<< News Scan | Main | The Bombers' Inspiration: Hate >>

That Didn't Take Long

It didn't take long, that is, for pundits to start making excuses for the terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon.  Although the President said not a week ago that we would "come together as one nation," or some such thing, I knew the moment it was out of his mouth that it was nonsense.  

Yesterday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Tom Brokaw got the Excuse Parade underway.  Heads up, Mr. Federal Defender  --  here's Brokaw beginning his outline of your sentencing pitch:

"We have to work a lot harder at the motivation here. What prompts a young man to come to this country and still feel alienated from it, to go back to Russia and do whatever he did?"

Ah, yes, alienation.  Kind of a retread from the 70's, but we've got to start somewhere.

And "do whatever he did."  Now what would that be?  I think it was, like, killing an eight year-old by blowing a bunch of nails through him, but we wouldn't want to be too specific about that sort of unpleasantness (or the other cadavers).

For those of you with the stomach, Brokaw goes on for a while in the same vein. Here's the whole thing.


I do not think determining his motivation and punishing him are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think trying to figure out why might help avert future terrorists. Hopefully.

Theoretically that's true, but in practice it seldom works out that way. Inquiries into motivation almost always turn into sentiment-driven stories sympathetic to the personal "plight" of the killer. This then gets used at sentencing to try to talk the jury out of the death penalty.

There is one other problem here as well, to wit, that, as with Brokaw's tale, the "motivation" is likely to be fabricated from thin air. I have not seen a single story suggesting that the younger brother gave two hoots about drones, nor did he hail from, or have any known association with, Iraq or Afghanistan, where we are fighting.

To the extent he had a beef with a country (which is not known to me), it would have been Russia.

I guess the other problem I have with Brokaw is that he portrays the Boston bombing as in some sense defensive. That is, it's portrayed as a reaction to American "aggression." This sort of view omits what strikes me as the far more likely possibility -- that the bombing was offense, not defense.

The problem here is not America, a generous country that was generous to them. The problem is two hate-filled cowards with a how-to manual from al Qaeda.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives