Tuesday, April 16, 2013

That was not "terrorism" yesterday in Boston

It was a crime.

I don't care if right-wing loonies, left-wing loonies, al Qaeda or the Kim Jong Un Fan Club were behind yesterday's murderous attacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the perpetrators of that crime are not soldiers in a cause, they are murderers. They are criminals. Period. Full stop.

If terror may ever be a legitimate military tactic -- and there may have been times and places in history where terror may arguably have been justifiable -- and, mind you, I say only 'may' and 'arguably' -- terror can never be a legitimate tactic in our United States. Whatever grievances the bombers may have thought they had, there are many, many ways to air them in this country without blowing up women and children.

As long as we remember that -- and insist on the preservation of our freedoms and oppose the creeping expansion of the state trying to 'protect' us -- we'll be fine. And idiot bombers like those responsible for yesterday's atrocities will remain mere criminals.

All the talking heads filling air yesterday afternoon and evening speculating on which group might be behind yesterday's crime in Boston revealed far more of their own prejudices and biases than they revealed about any possible perpetrator. Al Qaeda was blamed. Republicans were blamed. The NRA was blamed. All theories floated, equally, on the basis of nothing.

But that kind of poisonous speculation bears equally poisonous fruit. A Saudi national was chased down by bystanders at the scene and turned over to the police because he ran away from the explosions. Why? What was he doing besides being there and being Saudi?

Please think for a moment. It took a special kind of courage to run toward the victims. That's why police and fire and paramedics and the doctors and nurses who stayed at or responded to the scene are heroic. I dare say that most ordinary people would run away. I dare say a lot of people in the area did their best to clear out when the bombs went off. Perhaps the Saudi was just one of these. If the Saudi had something to do with the murders yesterday, he must and should be held accountable. Maybe some sharp-eyed observer did see him do something suspicious. But if the Saudi national was chased and tackled and held simply because he appeared to be a swarthy-looking foreigner, that's indicative of a species of bigotry I think wholly un-American.

Here's what I think: A crime has been committed. The police (and the FBI) need time to gather evidence and clues.

Let them.

Meanwhile, mourn the dead, comfort the other victims and their families. Pray for them all. We'll find out soon enough (maybe even today) who did it and what their motive was. Because that's the only thing whatever "cause" the bomber or bombers may espouse is useful for at this point, as evidence of the criminal's or criminals' twisted motive. Let's give law enforcement some breathing room to make a good arrest, then let the criminal justice system work.

Criminal justice system. Because there was no "terrorism" yesterday in Boston. Only a crime.

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