Beyond the Cusp

April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Terror Attack

I had the misfortune of being available to be watching the news when the explosions occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The initial reports were about as confusing as they could be which is to be expected. The videos which were available did show two distinct explosions about a block or two apart. The confusion was palpable. The first action that caught my attention was the number of times the video caught young men, likely in their late teens, who acted reflexively not seeming to be thinking taking off their shirts to use them as pressure bandages. Their actions reflect that the promise that Americans react with generosity and when everything is going completely insane around them that many just instinctively seem to know what is required from them and commit to action without a second thought. This was also one of the comments made by British and French soldiers in World War II about the American soldiers who often acted with purpose and ingenuity even without having received orders and took actions addressing the situation with an immediacy which they found astounding. Seeing these youth take immediate action and performing the needed steps to dress wounds and offer what aid they were able before the official first responders had arrived on the scene was a promising sign that in such times our society can function as one hopes it would. That is how it should be in any society which values individuality and life. When you put those two items in the foremost place of importance you get people who become the first responders stepping up to do what is required to assist and attend to those who are in need. Watching those actions was reassuring despite the calamity of the situation which was simply horrific in nature.


The other thing which I am always amazed by is the rapid response from news networks in their coverage. In this case the fact that the location was the finish line of the event of the day in the United States probably allowed for there to be media coverage already in place. The one mitigating point against such being readily available was that the first line runners had finished the race at least two hours earlier and those finishing at the time of the explosions were the amateur runners who average four hours to complete a marathon. That would indicate that the target neither was so much high name recognition victims nor was it for highest body count as either of those objectives would have required the bombs to have been timed for when the first larger groups of the top runners were finishing. These bombs were targeting the average people who were participating in the race for their own personal reasons such as just to share in the experience, satisfy a life’s goal, joining a group running the race, private reasons or proving they could run a marathon, a fete in and of itself. The other differences in the coverage of these situations over time have become more reserved and more careful in reporting possible scenarios. If anything, the reactions have swerved to the point where they seem to prefer finding any explanation or way of perceiving what are obviously terror motivated being blamed to any other reason no matter how far the required stretch.


The news develops so painfully slow and even so a piece of information just revealed which points to Middle East style motivations in these bombings beyond the fact that the two explosions were timed to affect as many people as possible with their being timed so those running from the first blast would be passing the second location when it detonated. This new information was the presence of ball bearings or shotgun pellets that were propelled by at least one of these bombs. Also, unconfirmed reports are there is a person of interest who is under observation being treated in one of the area hospitals where the injured are being treated. Hopefully we will know more by the morning but seems like for now they are simply beating the same guesses and the few actual facts to death and interviewing anybody who they can find. I knew that they were getting desperate for somebody who would present a different slant when Sherriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona was brought on for an interview. What he could possibly add is beyond my limited imagination especially from across the nation and having the same television or radio new sources as the rest of us also have available.


On the purely opinion and speculation front, this attack should not be too surprising other than it has not occurred even sooner. Many of those who are familiar and witnessed the Second Intifada which was launched by Yasser Arafat against the Israeli public from September 2000, have wondered how long it would be before terror attacks against the American public of a similar nature where any event which would draw crowds or places where people congregate such as restaurants or shopping malls became targets for a series of bombings possibly even including suicide bombers. This has been a fear-filled anticipation which law enforcement and those tasked with protection of the American public have likely missed many nights sleep when there were heightened times of alert of which the public were rarely made aware. Should such terror acts begin to be perpetrated on an intensified and seemingly regular cycle of violence against public areas randomly across the nation then perhaps there would be checkpoints at all events and private security checkpoints being operated by private security providing companies similar to what became the norm in Israel. One can only wonder what would be the government’s reaction in such a situation. I have always thought that efforts would become far more obvious and publically viewable once the public had begun to feel vulnerable and made their fears known. Should Americans become inconvenienced by fears over potential terror attacks in their daily lives that the government would step up security and interjection to prevent even the slightest possibility of continued terror acts, the world would likely witness an elimination of terror leadership often with drone attacks as we have witnessed with somewhat more frequency during the Administration of President Obama on a whole new level. Hopefully, if this should become an unfortunate reality one would pray that it did not become a partisan argument and we would witness all of our politicians working together to make America safe for all the people in their daily lives.


By the time this article gets posted we will hopefully have more known about the bombing attack in Boston. We will probably hear from President Obama at some point once the government has definitive information and hopefully even suspects and assigned responsibility for this act of blatant terror. Watching as the news unfolds over the rest of the week should prove informative. Should the spokespeople from Homeland Security or any other branch of the government refer to this as anything other than terrorism would be very damning. Such, as unlikely as it would appear, is a possibility and as proof may we look at the Fort Hood shootings by Major Nidal Hasan where there were fourteen service people and family killed and thirty two more wounded which was determined by the Pentagon to be a case of “workplace violence” and not an act of terror. Also remember the Trolley Square Mall shooting where Sulejman Talović murdered five shoppers and wounding four others before he was shot by an armed shopper. On tapes of the shooting the perpetrator can be heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” while shooting at shoppers yet this too was determined not to be a terror related event. Now all we can do is wait and judge our government as they make determinations and the official story is revealed and we are able to compare that to what we all have observed on the reports that have been shown near constantly since the bombing of the Boston Marathon. The only other actions we can all make is to pray and hope for a full and rapid recovery of those injured and a complete emotional healing of those stricken by this horrific attack.


Beyond the Cusp


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