Two bombs exploded near the end of the course of the Boston Marathon today, killing three people including an 8-year-old child. 140 were injured with a number involving amputations. News reports say that while no one has yet been arrested, one man of Saudi nationality seen running injured from the scene has been questioned by authorities in the hospital.
Though wags such as Bill Maher and, undoubtedly, Pam Geller and her happy anti-Muslim warriors have jumped to the premature conclusion that this is the work of Islamic terrorists, we must assume at the very least that such a possibility is quite credible.
If this turns out to be true (with the emphasis on “if”), the U.S. will be justified in turning the full weight of the Justice Department and FBI on capturing and trying these individuals. But be clear about what I am NOT saying: there is no justification for putting them on a kill list and slaughtering them in by drone missile attack either in Afghanistan or a New York City cafe (remember the U.S. senator who asked John Brennan whether we could expect drone attacks on U.S. soil?). I am NOT approving a SEAL Team 6 Bin Laden style assassination either.
The perpetrators, whoever they are and whatever their motivation, must be apprehended and treated according to the dictates of U.S. law (not Gitmo justice either).
Now a word about the lunatic observations and imprecations of some of the commentariat. One of the most shocking, but not unexpected, comes from Bill Maher:
Its horrible, but this time, let’s not overreact, wallow, erect monuments to terrorism; let’s handle it Israeli-Munich style
Maher typically opens his mouth first before his brain has had a chance to catch up. We do not yet any confirmation of the identity, ethnicity, or motives of the bombers.
But even if it turns out that Maher is right, do we want to pursue a Munich-style vengeance operation by liquidating the perpetrators? Let’s recall the fallout of the Mossad’s series of assassinations: in at least one instance a Norwegian-Arab waiter was killed in a case of mistaken identity in Lillehammer. Are we so confident in the skills of our assassins and drone operators that we’re certain they won’t kill innocent civilians in such an operation?
In short, Maher is a moral cretin who represents the worst that U.S. media have to offer.
Now to an important issue raised by this attack which you may never see a MSM journalist address. It is a point many Muslims on Twitter have raised repeatedly: does the U.S. believe it can pursue a policy of unregulated murder in Arab lands without Muslims feeling duty bound to respond in kind?
To be clear, I am NOT justifying terror attacks against the U.S. I am merely pointing out that there is an almost ironclad law of human nature–that was goes around comes around. To quote Newton’s third law of motion:
“To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction…”
That means that while we Americans may believe that we are supremely powerful and may impose our will on the world, those on whom we impose it may have ideas of their own about that. Neither are we omnipotent, nor can we defy the laws of physics as interpreted by Sir Isaac.
As I’ve often written here about both Israel’s and U.S. counter-terror policy: there is always a price to be paid. Obama’s cynical calculation has been that there is much more to be gained than lost politically in out-Bushing Bush in the national security arena.
In that, he may’ve picked up a trick or two from Israeli leaders, who never pay a price for being too aggressive in attacking Palestinians and Arab states in pursuit of Israel’s national security objectives. Hence the plentiful Arab blood spilled over the years during wars and invasions Israel has often provoked.
While for us drone strikes are called “counter-terror” operations, Muslims experience them as terrorism. It doesn’t matter to them that Barack Obama claims such strikes adhere to U.S. law or that we claim to be a nation of laws. To the victims, we are terrorists. Viewing this from their point of view is this judgment invalid?
This would be a good time to return to the letter ten U.S. human rights NGOs sent last week to Pres. Obama, warning him that U.S. drone counter-terror policy was a violation of international law and should be stopped. If we want a safer world including a safer United States, stop killing Muslims. It should be remembered that of the several thousand Muslims killed in such strikes over the past decade several hundred were innocent civilians.
It is inexcusable to kill civilians, whether they be American or Middle Eastern Muslims. All who do it, including us, will face the music. It is of course tragic whether an 8 year old boy in Boston or Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son are the victims. They always seem to pray the price instead of the adults like the Boston bombers and Barack Obama, who set these acts in motion.
UPDATE The Washington Post reports that the Saudi national questioned by police is a witness, not a suspect in the attack. He suffered serious third degree burns and also voluntarily allowed the authorities to search his apartment.
The Saudi embassy also confirmed that another Saudi visiting the Marathon with her family suffered shrapnel wounds. Which means that no matter who carried out the attack, they ensnared Muslims in it as well.
There has been no further evidence offered that the attackers were Islamists.