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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Blasts: Whodunit?

I find it interesting that even middle-schoolers today were discussing theories about who was responsible for yesterday's attacks. The most popular theory was that North Korea had attacked anonymously out of sheer evil, though what it would stand to gain by such an attack is indiscernible. It seems kids are mixing up the various threats facing the country into one, amorphous blob of danger. I guess that describes Kim Jong Un to a tee.

The other prevalent theory was that it was the act of militant Islamists, or as most students put it, "terrorists." It's sad that the word terrorist has come to be synonymous with Islam in the public lexicon, but it has. I am sure that time and investigation will tell. What I find interesting is the way that these adult concerns have filtered down to children. I simply overheard them conversing between classes.

I'm also quite sure that every political hack worth his or her salt will be blaming this on political opponents. Liberals will say that it was probably an extreme Right-winger hopped up on rhetoric from Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Conservatives might blame it on Obama's lack of military acumen and resolve, granting America the appearance of weakness. This useless blame game brings to mind the Unabomber case from years past, in which college professors were having body parts blown off by mail bombs. Liberals uniformly attributed the acts of terror to a Right-wing nut job; after all, everyone knows that Conservatives detest college professors, right? As it turns out, these Liberals were being attacked by an even bigger Liberal, someone whose environmental perspective uncannily resembles that of Al Gore.

The point is that we, the public, should ignore the hype and rhetoric until the facts are all out. Using tragedy as a political wedge is both tacky and despicable, unless the case can be clearly made that the issue in question contributed to the tragedy. For example, if it turns out that a lack of immigration enforcement led to the attack, such a discussion might be merited. Arguing that the Sandy Hook shootings would have been preventable by limiting the Second Amendment is beyond the pale, however, given the facts of the case. None of the proposed gun control measures would have made any difference in the tragedy.

We will eventually find out the culprit in this bombing. What then? If it is a terrorist organization funded or abetted by a nation-state, we ought to ignore questions of sovereignty and simply blow that nation's capitol and military forces to dust, as well as any known terrorist camps in the country. Then we ought to make a blanket statement: So it will be for any who attack America, and for any who help them.


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