There have been plenty of noxious responses to the Boston Marathon bombing. The usual suspects blamed Muslims as quickly as possible. Conspiracy entrepreneurs huffed and puffed about “false flags” in their usual Pavlovian manner. So reading Glenn Greenwald’s April 16 column was a like taking in a breath of fresh air after escaping a HAZ-MAT scene.
Greenwald discussed five reactions that seem to be present after events like Boston. Among these were the knee-jerk blaming of Muslims, the fear among Arabs and Muslims that the suspect will indeed be a Muslim and the ritual proclamations by pundits that we must accept the enhanced security precautions that will surely follow this attack.
I don’t want to yammer on too much about these points, because I want you to read Greenwald’s piece. So I will just close by quoting him at length:
Regardless of your views of justification and intent: whatever rage you’re feeling toward the perpetrator of this Boston attack, that’s the rage in sustained form that people across the world feel toward the US for killing innocent people in their countries. Whatever sadness you feel for yesterday’s victims, the same level of sadness is warranted for the innocent people whose lives are ended by American bombs. However profound a loss you recognize the parents and family members of these victims to have suffered, that’s the same loss experienced by victims of US violence. It’s natural that it won’t be felt as intensely when the victims are far away and mostly invisible, but applying these reactions to those acts of US aggression would go a long way toward better understanding what they are and the outcomes they generate.
Thanks Glenn, we needed that.