Tuesday, April 16, 2013

President Obama calls U.S. a terrorist nation

Well, he didn't directly say that the U.S. is a terrorist nation, but he didn't choose his words carefully in response to the Boston Marathon terrorism.

First, let me back up to my first knowledge of this meaningless act.

One of my earliest reactions was when Rep. John Boehner called it a terrorist act.  I read the subtext as an "Islamist terrorist act."  I don't know if that was his intention or not, but he certainly gave me the impression that was what he meant.

Some authorities were reluctant at first to call the bombing a terrorist attack, but I don't think there is any other definition for it.  Sandy Hook was a terrorist attack; the Boston Marathon was a terrorist attack.  The whole object of these and many others is to frighten, maim, and kill a large number of people.

Given that nobody has claimed any responsibility, my guess is that someone who was disqualified from the Marathon might have done this out of spite.  Whoever it was and for whatever reason, I hope the authorities can track that person down, for no other reason than some sense of closure for the victims who lost their lives or who have had their lives drastically altered.

President Obama said the right words under the circumstances, but some of them may haunt him and other politicians later:

 “This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we know about what took place, the F.B.I. is investigating it as an act of terrorism.”  “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”

“What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack or why,” the president said, “whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That’s what we don’t yet know.”

- "Obama Calls Blasts an 'Act of Terrorism'", Mark Landler, New York Times, 2013-04-16

So, Mr. President, if bombs targeting innocent civilians are acts of terror, what are missiles shot by drones into occupied dwellings?  What are missiles shot from ships into cities?  What are atomic bombs dropped from planes or sent by guided or ballistic missiles?  Are these weapons only taking out "bad guys" or are a lot of people who have no control over the bad guys just going to be "collateral damage"?  We certainly don't want to think of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombs as being "collateral damage" for somebody's grudge against Boston or against the United States.