Then there is the partisan argument, as made most memorably by a journalist who openly hoped the terrorists would be white right-wingers. There is an unnoticed dimension here. If the attack is seen as a political defeat it cannot be a learning experience. The question isn’t, “does this attack tell us something important about the real world?” but, “How can we explain it away so we don’t suffer losses in the effort to fundamentally transform America into a just, non-racist society?”

And so it can be claimed that, in a sense, white right-wingers, or at least the kind of policies they would endorse, did cause the Boston attack. America was mean to these kids; it is aggressive in other countries, counter-terrorist protection was reduced by budget cuts.

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In other words, lying, concealing, and misleading become defined as virtuous. As Trudeau said, talking honestly about revolutionary Islamism would be to inspire more racism and terrorism.

Finally, there is a “full admission” fallback argument on which U.S. foreign policy is based. Sure it was those evil SOBs at al-Qaeda. That’s why other Islamists are relatively good. That’s why we have to promote them into power since only they can counter the “bad” Islamists. That’s why Islamist governments in Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey are good for you.

Indeed, Secretary of State John Kerry in Turkey compared Americans’ feelings about the Boston attack to Turkish feelings about the killing of jihadis engaged in supporting a terrorist group (Hamas) who attacked Israeli soldiers during the Gaza flotilla incident. This should not be seen merely as a clumsy statement but as dangerous and revealing stupidity.

It is dangerous because it tells Muslims that they are equally the victims of “our” terrorism; and it is revealing because the context shows the equation of all violence, no matter what the cause, that reinforces such thinking. A U.S. attack on terrorists in Yemen, Afghanistan, or elsewhere then becomes anti-Muslim violence that justifies the next terror attack in an American city.

Former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw explained that American drones were killing innocent people and this led to rage against the “presumptuousness of the United States.”

In an honest discussion it must be considered what U.S. policy factors lead to terrorism. But now there is the transfer to America of the old “cycle of violence” argument about the Middle East. Terrorists murder Israeli civilians or fire rockets at Israel; Israel defends itself and the two events are treated as indistinguishable. Defending yourself offends people.

The proper response is to denounce the terrorists, the ideology of terrorism and the right of focused self-defense, which means doing everything possible to retaliate against those responsible and not citizens of another country chosen at random.

The American secretary of state, a leading Canadian politician, journalists, and others are thus rationalizing in advance more such attacks. They will get their “wish” and then explain away the next event as more proof for their worldview.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Glenn Beck??? LOL. I do not think Barry Rubin has to worry much about typical Americans. These two guys were crazy murderers and the connection to Islam extremism is very clear. If they would have put that kid out on the street that evening, they would have literally torn him to pieces with their bare hands. Even one of his uncles damned him in pretty convincing language. Most people were expecting that the terrorists were Islamic immediately regardless of news reports.

  2. Edit…Delete…Bernhard Rosenberg · 64 years old.
    Here is proof that the murderers in Boston are extremists Muslims. It is in Russian, II had someone translate it. It is his Facebook with extremist Muslim beliefs. Check out it out for yourself. My Synagogue and I have been threatened and damage was done to my garage door. and side of the house. This was sent by me to the Edison police and the F.B.I.

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg,

    http://vk.com/id160300242

  3. They should both rot in H. Wake up America. This is pre-Nazi Germany and the extremists are the Nazis. Have no mercy for they want to murder us. Remember the innocent child and young people and those who died and who are without limbs. Remember 911. Have no mercy for they seek a heaven with virgins that do not exist while we want to live only in peace. Rabbi DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG P.S. I AM a clergyman who who will never forgive or forget what the Nazis did when THEY MURDERED MY FAMILY, innocent babies and men and women. I have no mercy on villains.

  4. FYI RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    Fascinating! The media keeps quoting the Sura which paraphrases the mishna in Sanhedrin about the value of human life. This video shows that the Sura is a directive to the Jews and that the Sura validates/implies that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews.

    The video then goes on to the next verse which is a directive to the Muslims advocating.
    death and mutilation to those who disagree with Islam.

    Not being familiar with the Koran, it was an eye opener not only seeing the first verse in context, but seeing the verse which follows it advocating terrorist behaviors.

  5. The Boston bombing is already being shuttled into the background everywhere but Boston, and the East Coast, and everyone with an Israel connection, or anti radical islamist perspective. Why? "Well I really didn't know them, they weren't my family or friends, it was tragic, but people are killed everyday…" It is a whole lot easier to block it out than to begin changing a hardened perspective. The political forces and pundits mentioned in the article see the event as more a threat to their egos and philosophies than anything else, so they obfuscate to maintain their domination of public opinion.

  6. Well you are wrong. The bomber himself told us the reason today. It was revenge for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just like every bomb every explouded in Israel is revenge for forced removal of people from their homes in 1948 in Isreal. We act, there are consequences.

  7. In what context are the people being referred to "innocent men, women and children.", innocent – in Governer Patrick's statement?

    The innocence would have to be based on the premise of perp.

  8. When I hear them say what is the motive; let's be serious here; the motive lies in the Koran itself where there are over 165 instances of Jihad. State the facts; When was the last time you heard of a Hindu Terrorist, Taoist Terrorist, or Buddist Terrorist. Please I don't want to hear them say the motive one more time; because if you want the motive; well just look in the Koran.

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