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4/15/2013

In the wake of the Boston Marathon terror attack, the punditocracy seems dumbstruck.  We have come to expect after these things some good indications about perpetrators: old style terrorists would advertise their actions, and in the major recent cases, — 9/11, London subway,  Norway — the killers were discovered quickly.  As of this writing we the general public don’t seem to know much.

I agree with Charles Krauthammer that this has an Al Qaeda feel to it, the urban setting, the quest for dramatic photographs. But we  don’t know yet. A smaller probability seems to me a right wing domestic terrorist, perhaps on the Breivik model. Smaller still, Shi’ite (Iran sponsored) terror, or some some kind of false flag operation designed to implicate Iran and jumpstart an American-Iran war. But I’m no insider, I just read the blogs and the papers.

Eleven plus years ago, my wife called me from Wall Street to tell me she was okay. Okay about what I wondered. She explained. That afternoon I wrote a blog post for Justin Raimondo’s antiwar.com, saying that Mideast resentment of US policy towards Israel and Palestine was at an all time high, and unless we did something about it, we could expect a lot more of same.  David Frum, in an essay attacking antiwar conservatives, wondered whether it was Robert Novak or I who “blamed” Israel first. I think it was pretty much a tie.

At the time, in several subsequent pieces, I would argue that the best way for the United States to protect its own freedoms would be to have as little as possible to do with the Mideast– to cut loose our allies, limit immigration. Trade with that part of the world, but otherwise have as little as possible to do with it. We would of course have to punish the folks who did this to us, but after that, bye bye.

No one took this advice.  Instead, we (the United States) have since 9/11 killed, wounded, droned, imprisoned, tortured, made refugees of millions of Muslims. We have fought the endless war, the forever war. Electing Obama barely changed the situation. Whether this has made us any more secure is highly doubtful, but it surely has created more enemies than friends.

To be continued, obviously, when we know more about who perpetrated the Boston atrocity.

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#1 Comment By cka2nd On April 16, 2013 @ 10:31 am

Not to mention the Christian refugees who have had to flee Iraq, and who may well have to flee Syria if the neo-cons and liberal interventionists get their way.

#2 Comment By William Dalton On April 16, 2013 @ 11:26 am

I think it is a mark of how our government has cultivated public paranoia about “terrorism” (by which it intends mainly the Islamic radical, and occasionally domestic subversive, variety – never that perpetrated by our government), that both the media and the public begin by assuming the Boston bombing was precisely such an event. Isn’t it as likely, perhaps more likely, that whoever set off these explosives (reportedly simple devices) was a disgruntled marathoner, or one who, like the mass shooters we have seen in recent events in Arizona, Colorado, Blacksburg and Newtown, were acting out a battle with inner demons? Whenever mass killings occur our misapplied sense of proportion deludes us into thinking there must be forces as huge and monstrous as the havoc they wreak. More frequently than not, that isn’t the case.

#3 Comment By Jim Dooley On April 16, 2013 @ 11:48 am

9/11 was a crime. But the public would not be content with only a crime. And the government rather than lead allowed itself to be led into 10 years of useless and worse than useless wars. Cooler heads did not prevail, would they had. So easy was it to engage, so difficult it has been to disengage. 4/15 is a crime but the dogs have already begun to bay. We are going to find out whether we have learned anything.

#4 Comment By Glaivester On April 16, 2013 @ 11:50 am

At the time, in several subsequent pieces, I would argue that the best way for the United States to protect its own freedoms would be to have as little as possible to do with the Mideast– to cut loose our allies, limit immigration…
No one took this advice. Instead, we (the United States) have since 9/11 killed, wounded, droned, imprisoned, tortured, made refugees of millions of Muslims.

And we have done almost nothing to limit immigration as well. Don’t forget that part of our failure.

Invade the world, invite the world, in hock to the world, as Steve Sailer would say.

#5 Comment By Fran Macadam On April 16, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

Immigrants are responsible for almost everything that’s happened for good or ill since 1492. Which two hundred millon of the three hundred million offspring of mostly European “anchor babies” is it proposed to ethnically cleanse to return us to the “good old days” of 1400?

Moreover, 99.999999% of immigrants come here because they want to be part of us, and they have to leave where they come from behind to do so, a decision always fraught with some personal level of peril and uncertainty, which ought to be obvious.

Each person is responsible for his own actions; collective punishment of civilians is not only un-American, it is a principle that America got acknowledged world-wide as a norm, back in the days when we were actually a beacon for human rights.

There are powerful forces who will amplify fear of every terrible thing that happens, in order to profit mightily from an industrial-enemy state which actually harms the body politic and civil society mightily. Secretly, they applaud every danger out of greed while hypocritically shedding tears mixed with profitable motives of “going to the ends of the earth” for “retribution.”

#6 Comment By Northern Observer On April 16, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

It seems so reckless when you sit down and re-examine it.

#7 Comment By AndrewH On April 16, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

Immigrants are responsible for almost everything that’s happened for good or ill since 1492

Yes, because all “immigrants” (and original settlers, a different category) no matter their ethnic/national origins are all interchangeable according to the deracinated globalist consumerist mentality promoted by the US Empire. Oh boy.

#8 Comment By M_Young On April 16, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

“Moreover, 99.999999% of immigrants come here because they want to be part of us, and they have to leave where they come from behind to do so, a decision always fraught with some personal level of peril and uncertainty, which ought to be obvious.”

Fran McAdam, that’s ahighly romantic view of immigration. I would say that 99.9% of Mexican immigrants (the largest legal and illegal group) don’t give a fig about ‘becoming part of us’. Any US v. Mexico fútbol game will confirm my observation. Nor do they leave Mexico behind. I have family members that are among the last of ‘Anglos’ working in the SoCal construction trades. Work sites close down for 2-3 weeks at Christmas as the Mexicans working them take a long winter vacation to visit family. A heavily Mexican school district near me also extended ‘winter break’ as so many families simply pulled kids out of school for up to a month to visit querido Mexico.

#9 Comment By M_Young On April 16, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

To me this has a right wing feel. From what I’ve been able to glean, the bombs were not very sophisticated. Al qaeda is usually technically advanced. Coupled with the timing on tax day (and New England’s ‘Patriots Day’), that shifts the probabilities slightly toward ‘right wing’ (though not necessarily ‘white wing’) terror.

#10 Comment By Philip Giraldi On April 16, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

On CBS this morning a witness to the explosions said “It was just like Baghdad.” I don’t think he was making an obvious connection, that messing around overseas produces blowback over here, but perhaps he should have been. I would also note in passing that 75 people died in bombings in Iraq yesterday.

#11 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On April 16, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

If this were Al Qaeda, I’d have expected to see a claim of responsibility by now. Apparently there have been some such claims in a few Jihadi chat-rooms, but the FBI doesn’t find them credible.

If you’re blowing people up to make a point, you generally have to take responsibility for what you did and explain why, or no one will know what your point was. A political terrorist would generally find that to be an intolerable state of affairs, I would think.

#12 Comment By PDGM On April 16, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

M_Young,
Still beating the anti Mexican drum? 99.9% don’t give a fig? Got a source for those numbers, by any chance, or are they just from the distilled bitterness you seem to carry around?

#13 Comment By Mr. Patrick On April 16, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

OT, but so is the conversation at this point: What in heaven’s name do the Mexicans have to do with this? Are they reconquisting the Back Bay? Trading on the goodwill of useful Unitarian Brahmin dupes?

#14 Comment By M_Young On April 16, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

Yes, PDGM, I am bitter for what mass immigration has done to my state — the Deep South level NAEP scores, the parking lot freeways (despite the huge amount of infrastructure), the highest taxes in the nation, the ‘tagging’ everywhere, the trashed parks and hiking trails, the ethnically-chauvinist politicians that seem to think that immigration laws don’t apply to ‘their people’, and yes, the ‘Anglo’ kids that are now 25% of the school population. And my ‘source’ is personal experience.

And Mr. Patrick, it was Fran McAdam that broached this subject with a ridiculously naive view of immigration.

#15 Comment By PA Wicker On April 16, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

“the best way for the United States to protect its own freedoms would be to have as little as possible to do with the Mideast– to cut loose our allies, limit immigration. Trade with that part of the world, but otherwise have as little as possible to do with it. We would of course have to punish the folks who did this to us, but after that, bye bye.”

Amen. Amen. Amen.

And Amen. Amen. Amen. Again.

#16 Comment By The Wet One On April 16, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

Hmmm…

I thought the same thing yesterday, but it seemed gauche to write it.

Very commendable of you to write it for the record. This time around, your ideas may get more traction, or at least less derision than last time ’round.

#17 Comment By byrresheim On April 16, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

Thank you for forgetting about the one and one half million christian in iraq who have lost everything. It’s not only muslim lifes your policies are destroying.

You are destroying christianity in the cradle of christianity.

Yes, I mean you, the war critics, who only talk about killed and maimed muslims that had strictly nothing to do whatsoever with the crimes of 9/11. Why do you not mention the christians? Christians who have lived in the region since the beginning of christendom? Christians who had even less responsibilitiy for those criminal acts?

What is it that makes you people talk about everything but the millions of christians in the middle east, whose families have held out through centuries of religious opression but who have to flee now that you have opened the gates of hell in Iraq and now Syria?

#18 Comment By Scott McConnell On April 16, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

@byrresheim
Good point. TAC wrote a lot about Iraqi Christians in its first year, a community one of the war’s victims. And Syria’s too.

#19 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 16, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

Yes, I mean you, the war critics, who only talk about killed and maimed muslims that had strictly nothing to do whatsoever with the crimes of 9/11. Why do you not mention the christians? Christians who have lived in the region since the beginning of christendom? Christians who had even less responsibilitiy for those criminal acts?

Most of us “war critics” deplore all victims of warfare, not just the ones who happen to be Muslim.

#20 Comment By byrresheim On April 17, 2013 @ 2:43 am

Sorry if I offended anyone – I follow antiwar.com, LRC, counterpunch on the left – and TRC since its inception – for more than ten years now.

This is frustrating. It is absolutely right to deplore all victims of these wars.

The horrid fact is hower, that the christian minority arguably suffers far more than its “fair share” because the “crusaders for democracy” seem hellbent on removing any semblance of order and with it any protection afforded to minorities in these countries.

Christianity in Iraq is all but extinct and Christianity in Syria will follow if the “west” does not reconsider.

Tell all thoes christian warmongers in your country that the cradle of christianity is being destroyed before our very eyes by our very actions and inactions.