Let me break this down into human terms:
I have this aggressive friend (fighting actually put him through college) who told me a story. Duing highschool he picked a fight with this gentle giant and in a surprise attack broke his nose. The guy wasn't knocked out as my friend would have hoped, and in a powerful grip grabbed and held my friend off the ground. As my friend angrily struggled he kept asking "are we even yet?", and eventually my friend had to bow to the obvious. In this measured response he earned my friends complete respect - the guy could have destroyed, or at least humiliated my friend but did neither.
I can tell you now that if he'd beaten the sh*t out of my friend the fighting wouldn't have stopped. Also, if the guy had preemtively beaten up those he thought could be threatening in future... well... he'd be called a bully wouldn't he, and perhaps that friend of mine may have had some help. In this way dictators are destined to become prisoners of their own dictatorship and never get the safety they crave, and develop this strange and dark view of the world which is as terrible as it is self-fulfilling.
Still, even in the best case you'll get a broken nose occasionally, hence the oft repeated security vs safety quote.