Vastly varying emotions lay heavy in the spring air Friday as authorities closed in on the mega-violent, ultra-evil Boston bombing suspects.
News Friday morning of one’s death and the other’s scramble to escape brought immense relief – the hope of closure, and the apparent answer to the prayer that this abhorrent crime against humanity wouldn’t go unsolved.
Neither a years-long investigation nor the most meticulous jury trial could’ve rendered a more certain conclusion: We got ’em. Otherwise, you have to believe that two men perfectly fitting the suspects’ descriptions, and who just happened to be armed better than a small army while killing a campus cop in cold blood, have been wrongly fingered.
At the same time, that will be of limited comfort to the marathon’s severely wounded and those who are mourning loved ones. And Monday’s lasting horror was only added to on Friday, by more killing as the heavily armed terrorists sought to take others down with them in a blaze of rabid viciousness.
Relief is also tempered by the realization that there most certainly are others already here or on the way who have similar scruples – which is to say none – about killing innocent men, women and children.
The suspects’ backgrounds as Muslim brothers with ties to violence-wracked Russian republic Chechnya also will put a spotlight on America’s internal war against political correctness, the tenets of which – we’re not really at war, you can’t call it terrorism, you should never “profile” –
inarguably add significantly to the
dangers of modern American life.
That danger was ominously present in the bizarre hopes and expectations among terribly misguided folks on the left that the bombers would turn out to be Americans – preferably white conservative Americans. The unspeakable alternative, of course, was radical Islam – and even after all these years and attacks, that’s something our liberal friends just can’t get their arms around.
Before the suspects’ identities were known, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday shared with the Arab American Institute her “hope beyond hope that this doesn’t turn out to be what it might be” – meaning, of course, radical Islam.
Why? Why hope that it is or isn’t a certain nationality, religion or ideological persuasion? Why play favorites like that? Would it feel better? Terror is terror. Ripped limbs are ripped limbs. Dead children are dead children.
The answer to the question, of course, is that the left is desperate to prove that radical Muslims aren’t a threat, because that doesn’t conform to politically correct dogma. But they’re perfectly willing and even eager to postulate, repeatedly, that conservative Americans are a threat (see editorial Friday, “The Boston Scare-athon”).
Not even being wrong time and again has convinced them otherwise.
We happen to think it’s wrongheaded to assume or, heaven forbid, actually hope that terror emanates from a particular demographic group. Evil isn’t the exclusive franchise of a particular people. Like goodness, barbarity can be found in every shape, size, color and creed, and every corner on Earth.
But it’s also fatal and beyond irrational to ignore real patterns and true threats. Or to try to imagine them away.
We must work for a better world, while dealing honestly with the one we’re currently in.
At this writing, the Boston bombers’ motivations weren’t clear. Whatever their psychotic methods, one would think their real beef would’ve been with Mother Russia. It seems highly improbable that any tie to Russian politics or dreams of Chechen independence led them to attack America.
Were they mentally ill? Isolated and un-assimilated?
Perhaps. Another possibility, as uncomfortable as it might be, is that they fancied themselves part of radical Islam’s homicidal effort to build a worldwide
caliphate, while inflicting maximum pain on the West.
We pray that, rather than try to hope otherwise – or to gin up offense at the notion – that Muslims worldwide will instead dedicate themselves to eradicating hatred in their midst.
And in our midst too.