Glenn Greenwald makes some astute observations about the public, governmental, and media reaction to yesterday’s Boston bombings. I summarize below and add a little of my own flavoring.
- How unfortunate that Americans are horrified when innocent civilians are killed by bombs, but take no notice of when teh U.S. routinely does the same to innocent people in other countries. Who could be so “evil” as to detonate a second bomb targeting rescuers responding to the first bomb? Well, the U.S. government, for one. Americans seem to think bombs that fall from the sky are more moral than bombs planted on the ground.
- Everyone seems to be eager to suspect militant Muslims without a shred of evidence. Is that because the U.S. has already been targeted by Muslim extremists before or do we automatically suspect them because we know our constant attacks on them in their own countries probably gives them plenty of incentive for retaliation?
- Arabs and Muslims around the world have been openly expressing hope that the attackers will not turn out to be Arabs or Muslims. Maybe this is how the black community used to feel when a local white woman was raped.
- How quick the media is to pronounce this event terrorism, reacting with dismay that Obama didn’t immediately recognize it as a terrorist attack. Fox News quoted a “senior administration official” as saying, “When multiple (explosive) devices go off that’s an act of terrorism” without noting the irony of such a statement coming from a government hat routinely bombs people in other countries.
- And, above all, this bombing, while bad for the victims, represents yet a fresh opportunity for the government to claim more power for itself and whittle down even further what few liberties remain with citizens. The attacks of 9/11 have taught us that, as gruesome and destructive as these attacks are, the real lasting damage to the nation comes afterwards at the hands of a fear mongering government with an insatiable thirst for control over everyone and everything.