Once again some mentally deranged members of American society have proven themselves capable of bringing our country to its knees. A despicable act uncharacteristic of American values has everybody reeling with disbelief. Shock permeates as if it were a deadly virus. The US security machine mobilizes as if a foreign army had invaded. The streets were swarming with police and military. People ordered to hunker down and lock their doors. Homes were searched, whole communities sealed off.
The Boston bombing was scary, the people who did it were not. Dangerous, yes, but just small time criminals using terror to rob Americans. Rob them of their lives, sense of security, and ultimately something more precious, individual liberty.
Disbelief and panic is expected of those personally impacted by the bombs, but were the actions of those responsible for security dignified and professional? Or did they assist the terrorists achieve what they really wanted?
Have we become experts at overreacting to events, but fail to handle simply what we all know will happen anyway? What would national security do if something really serious were to happen?
How do our reactions appear to those countries that support us and rely on the U.S. for global stability? Even more importantly, how do we appear to those nations intent on doing us harm and destroying American freedom? Should America be paralyzed into dysfunction by what is classed as everyday life in many corners of the world?
The thought of bombing innocent people is outrageous to ordinary folk and can be expected to never make sense to us. Would it then be sensible to think the crazies we know for sure are out there would care about innocent life? If we can expect a Boston bombing, school or theater shooting, or other attack on everyday life, why are we not prepared to suffer one, just like we are for a sudden death in the family? Why are security personnel not trained to act quietly to efficiently handle the trauma, if we know it will happen. There will be crazy people carrying out crazy acts on American soil regularly from now on. Some will be minor, some will be catastrophic, but they will happen, just like in the rest of the world. America needs to grasp that concept and prepare itself in advance. We need security personnel courageous and resourceful enough to handle any occurrence and at the same time work to strengthen the freedoms pledged by the U.S. Constitution. It is the only way to insure terror will never be successful. To live the way we have always lived, despite the risk.
In the case of the Boston bombers, the two alleged perpetrators were on the run from the start. One was dead within a few hours, the other's identity was known and likely suffering a bullet wound, yet an army was assembled to catch him. All while the world was watching. It seemed no plans had been made and no one knew for sure what to do. Although they eventually caught the injured one, it was a citizen that found him in his back yard. The citizen was not harmed even though the two came face to face when he looked in his boat, but security forces needed to employ a robot to do what the citizen had done a few minutes earlier.
Would this have been the reaction of Israeli security? British security? Chinese security? Even a small nation in Africa?
It is my opinion that our overreaction to crises is making America a joke in the world. While all atrocities are abhorrent, the way we react to them reflects directly on our character as a nation. It may not be a popular sentiment, but I was not impressed with our performance. Many times security leaders acted like scout leaders trying to evict a snake from a tent. I didn't have faith that any one of them would go into the tent, grab the snake by the neck and bite its head off. I will wager that you would not get into national security in Israel, Britain, China, or a small nation in Africa if you didn't have the courage to at least grab a snake by the neck and drag it out of the tent. American security's stock answer would be to stay at a safe distance, shoot holes in the tent, set fire to it with a robot and let the snake escape to hide in a boat. A shameful episode for the leaders of American security forces and one that should never be repeated.
That is what I think. What do you think?
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