ISIS and metaphor

plants_swordfern New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has a knack for using metaphor to simplify (or, some might argue, over-simplify) complex global issues.

On Sunday, he used the metaphor of an INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES to explain how ISIS has spread and gained momentum over the past year or so.

We know that metaphors unconsciously impact people’s thoughts and behavior. (For example, even innocuous-sounding metaphors like “fighting cancer” can affect how patients approach their treatment and how they view themselves – perhaps a less belligerent term would be more constructive).

What do you think of this metaphor of ISIS as a noxious plant? Is it accurate? If policy-makers conceptualize ISIS as a noxious plant, how might that affect our response to the ISIS threat?