Monday, April 22, 2013

Is The Boston Bombing Terrorism?

I find it interesting how most people are calling the events of April eleventh in Boston an act of "terrorism." If indeed it was an act of terrorism, then why are we not calling what happened in Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Tucson, Arizona and Columbine High School in suburban Denver, Colorado acts of terrorism? Those are just a few of the mass murders we have had in the United States these past fifteen years.

We do refer to what Timothy McVeigh did to the Murrow Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as an act of domestic terrorism. But, have you ever heard what David Koresh and the Branch Davidian did in Waco, Texas as an act of terrorism

As the FBI and other authorities piece together a case for what they believe happened in Boston during the marathon, their only surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an American citizen, was officially charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.

According to CBS News, a magistrate judge went to nineteen-year-old Tsarnaev's hospital room to conduct the original appearance. According to the article I got this information from, Tsarnaev is awake and responding to questions. You can read the complete article and see a video by clicking here.

From the other articles I have read, and the rest of this article, it seems to me the major difference in calling this an act of terrorism versus a lone gunman killing twenty-six people in an elementary school is the perpetrators religion. Is that the case in the United States today? Do we distinguish our extreme acts of violence based on extremists from any religion?

If we do, shame on us. If we do not, what is it that distinguishes an act of terrorism versus an extreme act of violence? I would like to know what our forefathers who wrote the Constitution would think of how we interpret that phrase, "freedom of religion" today.

I believe that was the whole purpose of putting that phrase in there. We should all have the right to practice whatever religion we want to, or practice no religion at all. I believe that is what the signers had in mind when they formed our country.

I do not know enough about what these two brothers did to pass judgment yet. There are many people in the court of public opinion who already have them tried, found guilty and locked away or in line for the death penalty, simply because of what we are finding in these first few days. Aren't we innocent until proven guilty in the United States? I thought that was in the Constitution too. From the preponderance of evidence they arty have against the accused, I tend to believe he is probably guilty. But I want to know more facts about why this happened and if he is guilty, are there any more conspirators involved

Before we pass judgment, we should at least give him his day in court.  I believe the writers of the Constitution would agree with me. 

I look forward to your comments.




Ruona said...

Terrorism. A term Obama has a problem with. Terrorism is any attack on civilians for a 'political purpose'. Law enforcement to date has yet to determine that connection.

Anonymous said...

I would love to believe that there is some other objective criteria for calling this particular act "terrorism," perhaps the anonymity of the perpetrators or nature of the event, the possible plans for more such events, or the like. And all of those existed with this situation as well as Timothy McVeigh.

But one does have to wonder how this is already affecting the already fragile relations with the Muslim community or what further damage or violence it will bring with those who already choose to hate them and assume the worst of those billion plus people.

And if these young guys looked like you or me, bright-faced Irish and Minnesotan, rather than darker skinned with foreign sounding names, would that have made a difference in the tone the news took? I do not know, but I am guessing it may have.

And even with McVeigh, at first they did not know who it was and it was immediately speculated by some to be Bin Laden or Al Qaida type groups, even in those pre-9/11 days.

Until they found out it was an American war hero. And although he paid the ultimate penalty, I at least do not recall hearing people suggest he be tried for war crimes as such, certainly not at the Congressional level. Perhaps they did and I simply do not remember, but I do not think so.

Ironically he (McVeigh) even declared himself to be an "enemy combatant" having his own private militia based war with the US, and was involved in a larger circle with that same goal. So I do not know if that is the criteria used for "terrorism" or not, but possibly may have been. I would hope that is how such a title as "terrorist" is determined. If so as you said, indeed shame on us.

One last thought, if I may add my personal take, religion-wise, we cannot ever judge the soul of another anyway. We simply do not know the level of pain, confusion, anger or even sanity/brainwashing level of another. We ultimately just do not know what is inside their hearts.

We can (and must) judge their actions without a doubt. And if found guilty, then obviously never allow that person or persons on the street again in this lifetime.

But we do not, and must quit presuming to know,what is within any who do such things, including this very confused young man. We just don't.

Marion said...

Yes, this guy is an American citizen. Who knows why he/they did what they did - but he does deserve his day in court. it's hard to (try to) not remember all the chaos, pain, maiming and death those 2 men caused but we must remember we have the best system of justice in this world. Give him the opportunity for a jury to hear his side. That's the American way - whether we like it or not. He will have to answer to God eventually.

Eliot said...

Hi, Mike!

It's a very fine line, isn't it? Any mass killing evokes terror, and there are too many definitions of terrorism out there. The one that works for me is an act designed to do so with a political, rather than personal purpose. That one works here, but it is all just definition. Of course, if you were an NRA executive, you would want everyone to carry a concealed AK-47 to protect him/her-self.

More realistically, would it be so bad to give up on some privacy to have surveillance cameras everywhere, as the British do, or to have the government computers monitor all purchases of explosives, fertilizer chemicals, etc.?
You decide.


Doug said...

Good post Mike … Makes you think.

When you look up definitions of terrorism, it's pretty vague. However, the common theme is that you are committing this act of violence (terror) to further your goals … mostly for political or religious reasons.

I don't believe Sandy Hook, Columbine or David Koresh come into this broad definition.

Sandy Hook and Columbine were perpetrated by individuals with serious mental issues. Koresh was 'minding his own business' when he was attacked by the United States Government. Don't get me wrong, he was a serious nut case who was armed to the teeth but he wasn't going around blowing people up. I forget the name of the idiot Attorney General at the time but whomever it was … should be the one in jail.

No question that McVeigh committed an act of domestic terrorism. Same with the Boston Marathon bombers.

These were people of sound mind who had an agenda to push … whether it be political or religious in nature.

It's not shameful to consider a violent act terrorism if it is pushing a political or religious agenda.

It is simply calling it what it is.

Mike … It's a whole new and dangerous world that we live in today and the sooner we stop this political correctness crap … the safer this country will be.


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