Times columnist and global raconteur Tom Friedman outdoes himself as he tries to put the Boston bombing into perspective:
Bring on the Next Marathon
We still do not know who set off the Boston Marathon bombs or why. But we do know now, after 9/11, after all the terrorism the world has seen in the last decade, what the right reaction is: wash the sidewalk, wipe away the blood, and let whoever did it know that while they have sickeningly maimed and killed some of our brothers and sisters, they have left no trace on our society or way of life. Terrorists are not strong enough to do that — only we can do that to ourselves — and we must never accommodate them.
So let’s repair the sidewalk immediately, fix the windows, fill the holes and leave no trace — no shrines, no flowers, no statues, no plaques — and return life to normal there as fast as possible. Let’s defy the terrorists, by not allowing them to leave even the smallest scar on our streets, and honor the dead by sanctifying our values, by affirming life and all those things that make us stronger and bring us closer together as a country.
Seriously? The terrorism he is describing (he opens with the example of a Tel Aviv bombing) is politically motivated. Yet as he notes, we don't even know who the bomber was or what the motive might have been - isn't it a bit early to announce that we will win by ignoring the guy?
And if, just for example, the bomber is a lone nutjob desperately in need of better mental health care and reporting, why does ignoring him make any sense at all? Was Tom Friedman exhorting us to ignore the lone psychos in Aurora and Sandy Hook? He was not - Sandy Hook was a clear signal for an assault weapons ban, but killing and maiming with bombs gets a pass?
It is inconceivable to me that Tom Friedman or his editors would ever run a column telling the Sandy Hook parents that it was time to move on or else Adam Lanza wins. So how the Times let pass this exhortation to the newly legless to just get over it is beyond me.
SOMETIMES THE BIG PICTURE IS THERE IS NO PICTURE: We have star shooters like Mark Chapman who gain their infamy by shooting a celebrity. Why can't we have psycho star bombers whose only motive is headlines and notoriety [and a clean getaway]? Why couldn't the Boston bomber simply be Adam Lanza or James Holmes with a bomb instead of a gun?
We all hope that the investigation will turn up some answers but to prejudge this as conventional terror motivated by some sort of political agenda is premature and Friedmanesque.
I HAVE COMPANY: Sen. Claire McCaskill makes a similar point:
Claire McCaskill: If Boston bombings are terrorism, why not Sandy Hook?