With shootings and beheadings, we get to know what we're doing: no whitewashing it as a medical procedure, no pretending we're different from our ISIS enemies and our Saudi friends. The person offed someone a few decades ago; now we're offing them. That is, after all, the logic of the death penalty.
On Monday, President Obama will visit Cuba - the first time a U.S. president has traveled there since Calvin Coolidge. It's an important step toward normalizing relations between the two countries, opening up important economic possibilities for Cuba and the potential for U.S. investment and influence there.
While the Iranians rightly condemned Saudi Arabia, I find it quite ironic when they represent the murders as a "medieval act of savagery." It's as if the Saudi's, in executing Shiite clerics, held up a mirror to the Iranians in which they saw reflected back their own long-standing and brutal civil and human rights atrocities.
There are no winners in the aftermath of murder and this is not about whose experience is more valid than another, but we do have the choice as a society if we will add death upon death. In memory of Brian and too many others killed, I hope and pray that soon, we will choose to respond to death with life.