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No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn't it? —Mary Oliver
One suspect is dead and the other is in custody. The people of Boston celebrated their fuckin' city with such strength and grace that even the FCC could only smile. And that the context of these thoughts is understood without specific mention underscores the depth of the entire nation's shock and grief. Terrorists only win if those they attack allow themselves to be terrorized. It didn't happen.

Lives were shattered. Limbs were torn. Hearts were broken. But no nations have been bombed. Nobody in a position of power told us the correct response was to go shop. Survivors will heal, but scars will remain. And everyone has questions. And too many think they have answers. Every answer is part of an agenda, often a subconscious one. It's a psychological version of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: The more knowledge we have about the workings of some aspects the Universe, the more it confounds us not to have knowledge about the workings of other aspects of the Universe.

Some seem almost comforted that the suspects were not born in the United States, that they came from a troubled part of the world, that their political beliefs were well out of the mainstream, and that they considered themselves adherents of a religion that some prefer to caricature and demonize rather than attempt to understand. But others were almost hoping that the perpetrators would be native born, have a different religion and different political beliefs, and again for the purpose of caricaturing and demonizing. Neither serves any positive purpose. Neither brings us any closer to understanding. Both take us farther from what we idealize as the concept of humanity.

Terrorists fit no pattern. They come from all places and all races and all religions. Whatever their own attempts at self-serving rationalizations, those who seek to isolate blame to some particular demographic need to widen their view. Terrorists are human. Blame the species. Each of us is capable of incomprehensible beauty and each of us is capable of unthinkable horror. We want to understand why and how these capabilities balance or fall out of balance in particular individuals, but we cannot. We never will. There are in the world things that surpass understanding. Terrorism is one of them.

There are in the world countless millions who adhere to the religion claimed as that of the suspected terrorists. The overwhelming majority of that religion's adherents never resorts to violence. There are in the world countless millions who are alienated and dispossessed, who have suffered political and economic dislocation, who have been wounded by great personal losses and traumas, and no matter the combination of such, the overwhelming majority never resorts to violence. Why them? Why then? We ask. It is so human to ask. It is so human to rebel against the impossibility of ultimate answers.

One cannot profile what causes individual human beings to snap. The wonder is that more don't snap. But those who do are very much in the minority. That is a profound statement about the wonder that is humanity. The strength and courage of the people of the Boston area is a statement about humanity. No matter how bad or painful this world sometimes can be, people survive. People continue to survive. Some thrive. Some muddle through. Some endure. Some are bloodied. Some are broken. And those who turn to violence are very much in the minority. They are anomalies. We will never know why they, of all people, become such anomalies. We will never know why they, of all people, embrace the worst of what is inside all of humanity rather than what is best, or even not best, just not the worst, inside of all humanity. We want to know. We will never know.

It is human to want to know. We demand answers. We have trouble accepting that some things have no answers. We have particular trouble accepting that things so unthinkable, that acts so malefic, that conscious intentions to cause so much horror, have no answers. But there are no answers. There are no answers. If there was a causal relationship between the events of a life and the perpetration of such horrors, then all who experience similar events would perpetrate like horrors. That is not how it happens.

Our minds demand answers, and there are none. To some, that is the greatest horror of all. We cannot know. We cannot anticipate. We cannot draw the larger lessons we so desperately seek, even as other larger lessons stand before us, if we can but recognize them. We cannot know. Knowledge itself is a limited facuty. We walk through this life without ultimate answers. That won't stop us from asking. It is so human to ask. It is so human not to accept the lack of answers. But we can comprehend that we cannot know. As difficult as it is to accept such comprehending, we are capable of such accepting.

There are things we will never understand. Our minds rebel, yet we must try to get our minds around it. For the sake of our common humanity, we must try. We cannot know all that we want to know. We cannot even know all that will so defy such a reflexive need. We sometimes cannot know what we are most desperate to know. But we can live with strength and grace and courage and beauty even without such knowing. At times such as these, that may be all we can know.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And if you substitute (44+ / 0-)

    "Christian" or "Jew" or "Hindu" for "Muslim" in this terrific analysis, nothing else would have to change in it. Our enemy isn't "terrorism" as much as it is "fanaticism" where religion or religious issues are concerned. It's also "turf."

    Thank you, Laurence. Wonderfully well stated.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Columbine, Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston (h/t Charles Pierce)

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:04:47 AM PDT

    •  A thought from Jung (12+ / 0-)

      "If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures."

      —C. G. Jung—Two Essays on Analytical Psychology: New Paths in Psychology, 1912

      If we would aspire to be good, lets begin with ourselves.  We ARE all walking in shoes too small for us.  Demonizing the other might feel good, but it misses the point.

      Finding Fred A Memoir of Discovery @ smashwords.com/iTunes

      by Timothy L Smith on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:16:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm doped up on meds, and I just struggled (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, Laurence Lewis

        to express my thoughts (below) and here you are, Timothy, writing with clarity that which I could not express so easily.  I should have read the comments, first.

        One thing even with my mind muddled, there are some great thinkers here and I always appreciate reading all of you.

        Well done, Lawrence!  

        I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

        by KayCeSF on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:15:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, Dave in Northridge

      although some factions of some religions seem to encourage and popularize fanaticism more than others.

    •  And there are some synical know it alls now (2+ / 0-)

      reading this profound diary and shaking their heads, saying " see, that's why we can't trust those darn liberals because they are so mushy and weak."

      Right?

      "Heisenberg's uncertainty principle" meanwhile grins like a Cheshire cat...winning all arguments...:)

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:47:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From the title (14+ / 0-)

    I thought this was going to be about the GW presidential library.  

    Instead, it turned out to be about GW, the world's biggest living terrorist.  And someone, and an ideology--neoliberalism--which defies deep understanding.  

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:06:45 AM PDT

    •  Our political system snapped after 9/11 (19+ / 0-)

      We'll probably never know what political, religious, and intrafamily dynamics led the Tsarnaev brothers to consciously inflict mass carnage on total strangers who had never done them any harm.  The same goes for the perpetrators of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tuscson, Va Tech, Columbine, and other domestic tragedies.  I won't even start trying to address the motivations of the 9/11 jihadists.

      What's arguably more troublesome, however, is the collective reactions of a group of educated and presumably intelligent people to that latter unspeakable tragedy.  One can argue the merits and demerits of invading Afghanistan and the conduct of the ensuing occupation.  The conscious collective decision to invade Iraq and the conduct of that ensuing occupation was as insane (and vastly more harmful) than any of the crimes I mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

      At this point, analyzing how much W's Oedipal issues, Cheney's malevolence, Big Oil's influence, and neocon insecurities led to the worst foreign policy decision in our history is, arguably, a futile exercise.  Analyzing why most Senate Dems (and too many House Dems) went enabled this psychosis is probably futile, too.  I'm not sure why there was a conscious bipartisan effort to whitewash that psychosis this week, nor can I comprehend why there is still an ongoing debate about attacking Iran, too.

      There are lots of things I don't understand anymore.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  massive, collective denial. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        and i know that a simplistic response/answer, but i do think there are many stuck in that phase of the grief cycle, one they only enlarged via their responses to the original tragedy that was 9/11/01.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:18:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Those in power grabbed more. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RFK Lives

        Those we elect to represent us only represent the people who fund their campaigns.  The balance is gone.  How do we take back the power they gave themselves and get the money out of politics.  It's simplistic and certainly doesn't solve everything, but would go a long way to getting back to some semblance of balance.  Just don't know how we exert our power.  Maybe start by remembering we have some.

        The GOP will try to destroy anyone who doesn't think like them or anything they can't own. Time to stop this childish crap.

        by AnnieR on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 02:16:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I understand "snapping." (31+ / 0-)

    When I was in the convent I had a novice mistress who would call me into her office every single day.  She'd tell me what a horrible person I was because I was willful and disobedient.  I remember rocking in a rocker and thinking about rocking over backwards to break my neck.  I was only 19.  

    Then, one day she said that I'd never see my parents again (they had moved to the wrong coast) and that they were responsible for my being screwed up (paraphrase of her babble).  I got out of the rocker and leaned into her face and told her I would choke her to death if she ever said anything about my parents again.

    She destroyed lives of innocent young women.  The only thing she broke in me is that she is the only human being I actually hate until this day -- and I check the obituaries waiting for her death.

    Religion was not her means of destruction -- hubris was.  Evil people can make others snapable.

    I'm not making excuses for the bombers or any other murderers of innocents.  I'm not saying religion is evil and responsible for all horrifying acts of violence.  I think there's way too much fucked upness in the "free" market that is culpable.

    I hope this comment isn't OT or a de-railer.  Thank for the well crafted diary.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:11:29 AM PDT

  •  Believe it or not, I'm presumptuous enough to (16+ / 0-)

    posit an answer:

    Somehow at least one of the brothers got an idea, born perhaps of frustration and isolation, that grew into an obsession. He recruited his brother, in a folie a deux, to turn that obsession into a reality. In the logic of this pathology, these explosions would give him release from his growing tension. The sickness saw only one exit. Since the one release wouldn't really do that, he would plan other releases, in the vain hope of getting satisfaction. It would be endless.

    My take. Yeah, it's "psychological."  The religious and political veneer to it is really something only incidental, though they dovetail terribly conveniently.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:12:52 AM PDT

    •  but even that (7+ / 0-)

      countless others are frustrated and isolated. why one then gets that idea- we will never know.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:14:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The younger one (7+ / 0-)

      I live in Cambridge, MA, the home of the younger brother. We brought him up and nurtured him as one of our own.  All my neighbors are concerned about him and hurt for him.  That is not to say they are not furious at what he did and the wreck of lives he caused and the destruction at what he knew was one of our most cherished institutions, the marathon.
      But a close reading of his activities in the last year(as I am aware of them and god knows my sources as all source right now are sketchy) he entered U Mass Dartmouth on a scholarship.  It looks like he failed most of his classes.  We don't know whether that was because  without his mentors and support from Cambridge Rindge and Latin (and that is a school that the rest of the country should scramble to imitate) he was footloose.  He continued playing sports, soccer and wrestling, but he seems to have given up on the hard stuff, engineering I believe.  
       What that suggests to me is that he could not handle failure easily or bounce back to recalculate, and that he became open to his brother's recruiting because of his fragility.
      The more he turns to his family the more he becomes aware of the Chechan Muslim history which is replete with horrible treatment, from early Russian imperialism, through Stalin and the present.
      He was born in Dagastan.  His family were already refugees/immigrants.  Apparently in their second or third immigration (this one to the US) neither parent was able to get a grasp on the kind of energy and ambition it takes to survive here.  His uncle obviously did.  So this family is already feeling one down to the successful relatives and bitter at the US.  His family is a fragile reed on which such a needy boy must lean.
      Not his race, not his religion, but the particular history of his family and the way historical circumstances made it difficult for them to survive.  
      Tamerlan, the older brother comes across ways the Salafi version of his religion makes him feel like a powerful man and not a defeated soul. Remember the older brother was the northeast champion boxer.  Obviously I am not talking about all boxers, but for him, one could say that boxing held its appeal because it healed, for a time his sense of powerlessness.  It seems clear that that never lasted beyond the last win, so he looked somewhere else for the combination of thrill and groundedness that the sport gave him.  
      I 'm not going on.  This is my speculation based on reduced clues to say the least.  Suffice it to say that wile we are indeed proud of our people, DZojar, at least, is one of us and we are sad at the incredible loss of a potentially fine young man.  
      So here at least our feelings are mixed.

      WE must hang together or we will all hang separately. B.Franklin

      by ruthhmiller on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:45:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You made some good points (0+ / 0-)

        especially with the parents' difficulty in adjusting to the pull your own bootstraps type of Western culture. The parts of the world they came from is more collectivist and dependent where religion plays the role of cultural glue. Not everyone have the means to make the transfer and adapt.

        "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:58:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  With none of your personal and community (0+ / 0-)

        connections, I have still felt mystified and saddened by what I read and hear about this boy (young man); what a waste of a promising young life. Your analysis is interesting.

  •  how much do we need to "understand"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, Be Skeptical

    I'm understanding that the leader of Egypt said: "mothers must nurse their children on hatred for the Jews and Zionists"

    This is an example of Muslim leadership...not some fringe element in a cave in Afghanistan.

    None of our civil liberties or rights as defined in the Constitution are compromised by being very selective about who we allow into our country. The constitution is after all, specific to the U.S.

    •  i have a good friend who is egyptian-american (14+ / 0-)

      i know peaceful practicing muslims. i'm not sure i understand your point.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:19:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are all mirrors of each other. (6+ / 0-)

        And we keep trying to run away from ourselves.

        Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

        by nolagrl on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:23:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The point is that Islamic Supremacism is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dalerb, fatbeagle

        shockingly widespread as an ideology, and we need to understand it and confront it. The fact that many -- perhaps most -- Muslims don't agree with it is important to know, but we should also educate ourselves about how many do agree with it and what we can do to confront it. The proponents of Islamic Supremacism are not a few nutcases hiding in a cave, unfortunately. They most definitely do not speak for the entire Muslim world, but they speak for quite a few people, and that is something we should learn more about.

        Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

        by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:25:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat

        Whom you know, and how they practice, is not relevant to the characterization of Islam as being a "peaceful" religion with a tiny minority of violent extremists. This simply isn't true.

        That would be the equivalent of calling racism in the South in the 50's just a tiny minority. In truth, the killers of Emmett Till were throw a parade, following their jury nullification. That's not a tiny minority, and support for violence in the muslim community is also not a tiny minority.  

        The simple truth is, a broad segment of muslims worldwide either support or advocate violent jihad, that is the reality and the fact we need to face in how we structure our immigration policies.  

        •  really? (18+ / 0-)

          please link some evidence showing that a broad section of worldwide muslims advocate violent jihad. thanks.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:33:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I rec'd your comment for calling for evidence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dalerb

            because I agree, this is about being in reality. Here's some evidence. If other people have more, or conflicting evidence, fine -- we should be educating ourselves about what the evidence actually is.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            Here's a sample from the section "Recent Polls":

            Recent (2009) polls show a disparity of views regarding terrorism, with between 15% and 30% of respondents in most Muslim countries surveyed holding a positive view (see [6] for the complete results) on various related issues. An average of 30% of respondents in Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco held positive views of groups that launch attacks against Americans, while similar numbers held a negative view or a neutral view. With regards specifically to al-Qaeda, in Egypt, 21% of respondents supported their attacks on Americans, while 33% opposed attacks on Americans but supported al-Qaeda's goals and 28% opposed both al-Qaeda's attacks and goals; the remainder held no strong opinion.
            So: Strong evidence that it is not about all Muslims. But also strong evidence that it's about more than a few.

            Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

            by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:43:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and what percentage of americans (5+ / 0-)

              support attacking iran or islam in general? less than 1/3 does not strike me as broad support. more than half of republican primary voters said they thought obama wasn't born in the usa.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What do you define as "broad support"? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                congenitalefty

                I think the fact that about 1/4 of our country (half of Republicans) thinks Obama wasn't born here means about 1/4 of our country is arguably nuts. What say you? What percentages would you be looking for?

                Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:50:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BradyB, wader, a2nite, shaharazade

                  they're nuts. and they're a small minority. and the number whp turn violent, like the number of religious fanatics who turn violent, is relatively tiny.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:53:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  p.s. in case I didn't make it clear, I think (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Naniboujou, dalerb, fatbeagle

                  having one-fourth of your country be nuts is not good. I call that "broad support" for the crazy theory that Obama is not an American. You may have a different cut-off, in which case we shouldn't use the term "broad support" because I'm not using it to mean "majority" but simply "widespread enough to be a significant and worrisome phenomenon, not just a few bad apples."

                  Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                  by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:53:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Where is the muslim opposition? (1+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              Noisy Democrat
              Hidden by:
              BradyB

              Where are the mullas advocating for peaceful non-violent protest in the mode of Gandhi/MLK? Where are the mullas interpreting the term "jihad" in non-violent ways? Where are the mullas speaking out against statements like I posted by the  leader of Egypt?

              If they're out there, they're silent. Out of fear?.... perhaps. Out of silent agreement with these violent tendencies?....perhaps.

              Either way, islamic leadership is either calling for violent jihad, or it's largely silent.

              When I see a change in that equation, I'll start to consider the possibility there is any excuse to allow more people from these muslim countries into the U.S.. Until then, only with a very good reason, and only in small numbers.  

              •  wow (7+ / 0-)

                if you have to ask you're not looking. try google.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:13:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Over generalizing is self-defeating (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Noisy Democrat

                You can't generalize about all Muslim countries and sometimes it's only specific regions of specific Muslim countries.  

                It's like when Catholics were setting off bombs in London, you don't profile all Catholics.  You don't even profile all Irish Catholics.  But you can profile Irish Catholics from certain neighborhoods in specific cities.  That's not perfect.  Innocents get profiled and terrorists get missed but you have to focus on the most likely areas of concern.  

              •  There is one American Muslim leader who keeps (0+ / 0-)

                speaking out strongly. His name is Dr Zuhdi Jasser. He keeps calling for reform of Islam to make it compatible with Western democracy. The thing that concerns me is that there don't appear to be many people like him in the American Muslim community. There could be a number of reasons for that, but the impression I'm getting so far is that he's something of a voice crying in the wilderness.  

                There was also recently posted an appeal from Canadian Muslims for Americans to wake up and realize that extremism is a serious problem and that we need to be more aware of it. Now I can't seem to find it, but in my googling, I've found an open letter from 2006 arguing that we need to realize that there are progressive people in Muslim countries who want to get free of the extremists, and that we aren't doing moderate Muslims any favors by refusing to speak out against Islamic extremism. http://www.muslimcanadiancongress.org/...  If we actually care about being fair to Muslims, it seems to me that we should be learning more about who's who, what the agendas are, who the genuine moderates are, who's actually pushing extremism, etc.

                Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:22:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I have to do it... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dharmafarmer

                HR'd for blatant bigoted rhetoric towards Muslims.

                If you aren't aware of the major pushback from moderate Muslim groups against these violent acts then you must be intentionally not looking for them.

              •  Do you understand the term "mulla" (0+ / 0-)

                Fuck Google, you're living in a fantasy world where we don't have groups out to kill us.

                I was referring to international islamic clerics and the widespread acceptance, as posted in this tread, throughout the  muslin world, of exactly the violence these men engaged in.

                I'm not talking about some muslim doctor living in Manhattan. A few of you really need to get a grip on reality, you don't make friends with Nazis or those with similar views.

              •  The mosque in Boston, for one, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                peggy

                that refused to have a funeral for Tamerlan because they said he had disgraced Islam by the violence against innocent civilians -- that's an incredible step, to refuse to bury your own dead out of principle. It got very little press, but I noticed it in the Globe.

                Other Islamic Societies in the US have also condemned the bombings as contrary to Islam.

                But Fox and CNN and etc. etc. are more interested in having ignorant talking heads speculate about how "there could have been foreign training" than in reporting what actual US Muslims say.

              •  More links to answer your question (0+ / 0-)

                1. The Muslim Peace Fellowship / Ansâr as-Salâm
                2. The American Muslim Voice Foundation, also an affiliate of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

                The Fellowship of Reconciliation website has many more links.

    •  I've heard plenty of (18+ / 0-)

      Catholic and Christian sect hierarchy preach vile things about LGBT, women, minorities -- should I condemn all Catholics and Christians for the voices of evil?  Our own leadership since the beginning of this nation has said vile things about Jews, Catholics, Native Americans, Asians, Germans, and they've actually acted on their pronouncements.  See, e.g. the "sainted" FDR re: Japanese Americans and Jewish refugees and African Americans.  

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:19:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Precisely. Islamic Supremacists are explicitly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dalerb

      pursuing an agenda that is directly opposed to our Constitution and to democracy itself. If the Tsarnaevs were proponents of Islamic Supremacism -- as seems extremely likely at this point -- then it's important to find out how and where they got involved with it, how widespread its influence is in the American Muslim immigrant community, and so forth. Surely we would say the same thing if they had been proponents of murderous White Supremacism. Would anyone here argue that we shouldn't keep tabs on the KKK, be concerned if its members go on murderous rampages, and try to find out how widespread the ideology is? Islamic Supremacism is the same kind of thing.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:20:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Xian fundamentalists (13+ / 0-)

        are "explicitly pursuing an agenda that is directly opposed to our Constitution and democracy itself."

        Would you like to know the difference between the Islamic Supremacists and the Christian ones?  The Christian ones are in our Congress, State legislatures, military, PACs, etc.  in droves.  

        Please name the Islamic Supremacists who are in our federal and state legislatures.  I really am willing to wait.

        " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:40:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They aren't in our legislatures at this point (0+ / 0-)

          They're following a different strategy. But it isn't an either/or thing. We should be concerned about both Islamic Supremacists and Christian Dominionists -- any group that denies the authority of our Constitution and refuses to accept the idea of a pluralist society. Responding to the argument "There are some people with a very scary agenda that we should be concerned about" with "Oh, yeah? Well, there are some other people with a very scary agenda that we should be concerned about" -- what's the point?  Surely reality-based people want to be informed about both.

          Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

          by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:37:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm reality based (11+ / 0-)

            and haven't seen any Islamic Supremacists doing damage in our country via our political system.  Perhaps you are one of the lucky groups -- ok, the only lucky group -- that hasn't had an assault on privacy and other freedoms because of effing Xian nuts in positions of power.

            You can be scared of Sharia Law and scary Islamic Fundamentalists infiltrating our country via Mexico if you want.  I'm more concerned about Xian crap controlling my life and others because it is actually real.

            " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

            by gchaucer2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:41:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  False choice (0+ / 0-)

              It isn't either/or. Islamic Supremacists murdered some of our fellow citizens just two weeks ago, and were planning to kill more. I think it's very reasonable to learn more about what's going on on that front, and to reject any premature conclusion that the attack was merely the work of a couple of confused young men.

              At the same time, I'm also scared of Fundamentalists hijacking our government. I guess I have plenty of adrenalin to go around. :)

              Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

              by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 04:47:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'd say you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shahryar

                have plenty of 'fear' or paranoia to go around. What was Tim Mac Vey except a  fanatical,nationalist, bigot who snapped. It Pretty simplistic to blame it on one religion or a region. You have entirely overlooked the history/ back story of the ME countries and the West's so called civilized world.. The Christian Inquisition or even the Crusades makes your bigoted fear and loathing of the Muslim religion obvious. Our culture here in the US religious and secular is violent and uses religious prejudice and nationalism to terrorize for purely geopolitical dominance. Misplaced fear and hatred only fuels the fanatics and makes the circle continue until people snap, individually and collectively.      

                 It is not just a question of Muslims are fanatical jhadist's. Terrorist acts are committed by humans globally both historically and now. It is not a question of religion or even nationalism it's the dark violent side of humanity and believe me the US really knows how to terrorize they have it down.
                 From Juan Cole ...

                Terrorism and the other Religions
                http://www.juancole.com/...

                Contrary to what is alleged by bigots like Bill Maher, Muslims are not more violent than people of other religions. Murder rates in most of the Muslim world are very low compared to the United States.

                As for political violence, people of Christian heritage in the twentieth century polished off tens of millions of people in the two world wars and colonial repression. This massive carnage did not occur because European Christians are worse than or different from other human beings, but because they were the first to industrialize war and pursue a national model. Sometimes it is argued that they did not act in the name of religion but of nationalism. But, really, how naive. Religion and nationalism are closely intertwined. The British monarch is the head of the Church of England, and that still meant something in the first half of the twentieth century, at least. The Swedish church is a national church. Spain? Was it really unconnected to Catholicism? Did the Church and Francisco Franco’s feelings toward it play no role in the Civil War? And what’s sauce for the goose: much Muslim violence is driven by forms of modern nationalism, too.....

                It takes a peculiar sort of blindness to see Christians of European heritage as “nice” and Muslims and inherently violent, given the twentieth century death toll I mentioned above. Human beings are human beings and the species is too young and too interconnected to have differentiated much from group to group. People resort to violence out of ambition or grievance, and the more powerful they are, the more violence they seem to commit. The good news is that the number of wars is declining over time, and World War II, the biggest charnel house in history, hasn’t been repeated.

                •  That's all beside the point (0+ / 0-)

                  Arguing about the Crusades or the 2nd World War -- that's all a big distraction. In this context, I don't actually care whether Christians are nicer than Muslims. Bottom line: Our fellow citizens were killed by Islamic Supremacists, here in Boston. We have a duty to our fellow citizens -- those who died or were injured, and all our fellow citizens, because we all rely on each other to defend this nation -- not to take that lightly. If it turns out that the two brothers were just nuts who snapped, fine. But we need to find out what was going on and we need to think about the ideology that encouraged those brothers to kill people.

                  To do anything different would be the same as arguing that we shouldn't protest against Trayvon Martin's killing because after all, George Zimmerman may've been a lone nut who just snapped. We and our fellow citizens deserve better than that.

                  Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                  by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:11:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Islamic Supremacists? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty, Tommye

        Much of the anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world traces back to American foreign policy, not some drive for Islamic supremacy in the world.
           Even Osama bin Laden's writings had to do with grievances against the US within the Muslim part of the world.
           The Boston bombers were apparently upset with the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
           It is dangerous to stereotype all Muslims as violent religious extremists.

    •  Another choice quote (0+ / 0-)

      He characterized Zionists as “bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”

      NY Times Jan 15, 2013

      This man is the president of a country with nearly 85 million people.

    •  I could say similarly about USA Evagelical leaders (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, chuckvw, KayCeSF

      and their messages to flocks.

      Republican politicians and their messages meant to keep 23% of the electorate in thrall.

      etc.

      Your comment is simply falling into the circular trap described within this diary, I feel:

      . . . others were almost hoping that the perpetrators would be native born, have a different religion and different political beliefs, and again for the purpose of caricaturing and demonizing. Neither serves any positive purpose. Neither brings us any closer to understanding. Both take us farther from what we idealize as the concept of humanity.
      There are bad, manipulative and selfish people at the leadership of every movement that has a bad face to it, but your broad demonization of the Islamic for the negativity of some who use it to further their self-serving ends (through dangerous rhetoric and/or actions - e.g., the Taliban) runs around the truth: most adherents of Islam don't desire what happened in Boston.

      Perhaps it would be more useful to examine and minimize the enablers of such poor messages, given the age-old willingness of people to be inspired by these kinds of directives since our earliest days as a species - especially in a day and age when information from most places of the world with a phone connection can have a say in the global village.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:26:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  dalerb -And many Jews say similar things (0+ / 0-)

      about Muslims.

  •  But was this fanaticism? (7+ / 0-)

    There are religious elements, but the ideological aspect of this would seem to be incompetent at best.  Most likely it is not really the motivating factor.  

    One of the things I have seen around Christian evangelicism is the raw and burning desire to just DO something in young people ably exploited by older and more cynical church "leaders."    That is one of the things that causes young people to get so wound up.

    Have you never wondered why it is that evangelicals like the Jehovah's Witnesses send a preponderance of young kids out to knock on doors and try to get people to listen to them?

    Another aspect is sex.  One of the locker room wisdoms I was treated to at the Southern Baptist sponsored college I went to was that a good time to get chicks in the mood was to get them into a prayer session after Bible Study was over.  The, the excitement and fervor would be ripe, and the ecstasy, well, ecstatic!

    Energy and testosterone with no real good outlet.  

    The parents would seem to be cause for young men to get angry.  They abandoned them at a very stressful time in their lives to a society they did not understand.  

    Had they been helped over the hump, they would probably have become a part of the larger community instead of declaring themselves the enemy of it.  

    Thus, there is a case to be made that this is not about Muslims vs Christians.  Nor is it really terrorism, but the perennial "anger" that youth has at some stage for the older and settled adults.  That isn't terrorism.  That is a tantrum.  

    I don't really think that we should say something is not understandable.  The answers may be subtle, complex and not yielding immediately to obvious and quick soundbite style answers.  

    I think the tragedy of this crime is that it may not be about the things people go to war over.  It may just be a selfish and egotistical tantrum without a real agenda beyond an emotional one, and it may never be articulated by the brother left.  All he can do is shake his head and cry for however many years he has left and remember running his brother over.  

    It is more like the kind of tragedies that form the basis of Dostoevsky novels.  You can make black powder traceable, and you can track the movements of people flying back and forth to Russia.  But you can't really know what is brewing in the mind of someone who has been emotionally hurt in ways even the parents and siblings can't guess.  

    What we can hope is that other disaffected youth whose emotional burning needs an outlet won't think this is the sort of thing that might be a good idea.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:22:09 AM PDT

    •  Blowing people up is more than a tantrum (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, dalerb

      Why the reluctance to call it a terrorist attack? Seriously, I don't see what we gain by refusing to name it for what it was. We don't call Timothy McVeigh's actions a "tantrum."

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:28:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but are we being intelligent (3+ / 0-)

        If we go for buzz words that are common because most people want to find language that is as sensational as possible.  

        Maybe that is the fault of our language.  We don't mostly think in terms of extremes and degrees of extremes or shades of extremes.  

        When a couple of not too bright guys can maintain an impulse long enough to get some materials together for a home made bomb in order to express a kind of emotional pique, maybe it does not deserve glorification.  They are criminals.  

        Most people in prison are not evil geniuses.  Mostly they are people who put their inability to handle angst or anger ahead of thinking things through.  A lot of crimes are just stupid and tragic because they are so needless.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:20:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  grasping at straws (9+ / 0-)

    When nothing else succeeds, you grasp at straws.  When life's not worth living, you look for a "good" way to commit suicide.  When success and failure are defined as much by finances as by family, ethics disappears.  The mystery is why there are so few terrorist acts.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:29:52 AM PDT

  •  Innocents, and Iraq (14+ / 0-)

    I find this difficult to write, or at least to get the emphasis right.

    At this moment I'm not looking not at the brothers. What the reporting after the Boston bombing has brought for me is a detailed focus on the trauma, physical and emotional, suffered by innocent bystanders in a city street. And, for the first time, I have a specific understanding of the  ten years of suffering experienced by innocent Iraqis in their city streets, at the hands of both domestic terrorists and men in uniform, either accidentally in the fog of war, or in some cases intentionally.

    This is not to diminish the suffering of the victims in Boston, but to use their pain to illuminate, for me, the pain of other, far more numerous, "ordinary" people far away.  Of lost lives, lost limbs, lost hearing. And, as I said, it's the first time I have experienced that sharpness of focus, and I'm ashamed of that.

    When the pain can be directly attributed to events flowing from the invader's actions, many of them with the name of Jesus on their lips, it becomes astonishing that there have been apparently no US domestic attacks directly attributable to an Iraqi seeking some form of redress. It gives me new respect for them, and a hope that we, too, will stay our hand.

    I'm sure there is more that I can mine from this insight, but that's it for now.

    Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?

    by UncleDavid on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

    •  Chris Hayes had a Yemeni guy on this week. (5+ / 0-)

      This guy had been promoting America and American values to his village in Yemen and was gradually winning them over. Then one day a drone destroyed the entire village in the course of going after a single guy. Instantly every survivor of that village was radicalized against America. He lamented that one single moment, one single action, undid years of effort on his part, and none of it could ever be turned back.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:39:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I found this article interesting written by (4+ / 0-)

    Christopher Dickey -- he was just interviewed by Alex Witt:

    The Terrorist Tipping Point: What Pushed the Tsarnaev Brothers to Violence?
    by Christopher Dickey Apr 23, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

    Forget what you know about terrorism. Christopher Dickey on the three surprising factors that contribute to creating deadly terrorists, whether they are from al Qaeda or the IRA.

    Read in Full:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:48:45 AM PDT

  •  we need to realize (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, chuckvw

    our govt carries out similar attacks on foreign nationals in their own countries every week of the year as we sleep tight and protected for the most part in our beds, we are not the innocents we claim to be and the rest of the world knows it.

    •  We could address our national sociopathy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      congenitalefty, PC

      "We" blow people up every day in lands far away. And the "we" who actually press the buttons are normal, well adjusted folks who go home and watch Dancing With The Stars in the evening.

      We give them medals, not psychoanalysis. Most of the people they blow up, by the way, are Muslim peasants who couldn't find Boston on a map.

      I think this is a be fruitful discussion, Laurence, but even more so if we consider incidents like Boston or Columbine in the context of a culture/political system that has slaughtered and maimed millions of people for no good reason over the past 50 years and that imprisons more of its own citizens than any other nation.

      We're talking about aberrant behavior in a nuthouse.

      Great post. Thanks.

      Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

      by chuckvw on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Boston and New York, yes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge
    Terrorists only win if those they attack allow themselves to be terrorized. It didn't happen.
    but in Greater Teabagger-stan, AKA small town Texas, Tennessee, or Kentucky to name a  few,  Depends are being used up at an alarming rate.

    Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

    by JeffSCinNY on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 10:56:23 AM PDT

  •  We do need to profile (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, AaronInSanDiego

    The family came from a region with an extremely violent subculture motivated by hate filled age old vendettas.  I don't know if they were part of that subculture but we know that subculture exists.  They were refugees at least in some sense.  So they were a family exposed to great violence and great disruption.  They then settled in a very different culture where they faced a variety of confusing influences.  

    This has a been a profile of terrorists in Europe.  

    There are billions of Muslims so focusing on the religion doesn't get you a profile.  It's the other factors that make religious fanaticism likely and dangerous.

  •  excellent, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, LakeGirl, KayCeSF, vcmvo2

    first sentence to the last.
    gracias.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:11:45 AM PDT

  •  But the media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, a2nite

    really really wanted the everyone to feel terrorized.  

  •  this is good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis
    Every answer is part of an agenda, often a subconscious one.
    we're all good with the FBI's got the goods on these two, move along now, forward, trial's hardly necessary, string em up or throw away the key, right
  •  A little disingenuous, aren't you? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agoldnyc

    On the one hand, you are absolutely correct: blaming a religion for the political activities of its adherants is wrong.  Blaming all adherants of a religion for the activities of some is equally wrong.

    On that point, I cannot argue with you in the least.

    But you write as if terrorism is a series of random acts.  People go about their lives and -- snap! -- they do terror.

    That probably describes a number of terrorists.  Wouldn't surprise me, for example, if it describes the Boston bombers, though -- the Russian queries should rais questions.

    Wouldn't describe the Irish Republican Army and its reign of terror, largely associated with Irish Catholics.  That was a well-organized long-term consipiracy of violence against innocents.

    Nor would it describe 9/11 or the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing or the Riyadh compound bombing.
    Or the 2008 attacks on Mumbai.

    It probably IS fair to equate Muslim terrorism with Irish Catholic terrorism (or even Basque nationalism) in one way:

    Terrorists who come from a Catholic population are likely to be Catholics. Terrorists who come from a Muslim population are likely to be Muslims.  Social lives often center around church communities and gatherings.  It is natural for political views to disseminate through those gatherings.

    That's how people work.  The religious aspect is a side effect, not a cause.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:27:30 AM PDT

    •  how many irish catholics were there? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      how many engaged in violence? thanks.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:32:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah ah ah -- That's what I said. (0+ / 0-)

        For that matter, how many conservatives have bombed federal buildings?

        Yet -- here on DK, you'd think we're all just waiting for somebody to walk along so we can shoot or bomb them.

        When political disputes and passions arise, those who instigate and those who get caught up will look in many ways like the people who surround them.

        And they will be a minority.
        Most people have other things to do with their lives.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          given the legitimate grievances that so many irish catholics had, why did so relative few resort to terrorism? why them?

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:46:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now that's a good question. (0+ / 0-)

            Along the lines of why the bolsheviks, etc.

            My guess is that most people prefer not to get evil with one another.

            I prefer to think of that as the norm, and, instead, focus on why so many people fell in line with the Nazis, the KKK, etc.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:27:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and that's my point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              the norm, even for those living lives similar to those who become violent, is not to become violent. so why do these specific individuals become the anomaly? there is no amswer.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:33:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think that's one level too simplistic. (0+ / 0-)

                Even Martin Luther King admitted that he could condone violence if non-violent methods failed and failed again.

                I suspect there is something to being part of a group that believes itself to be wronged.  Get wronged enough, feel helpless enough, feel angry enough, and you want to do something about it. Sometimes it's a few, sometimes it's not so few.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:46:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Their friends and neighbors (2+ / 0-)

            They came from relatively few places.  They were steeped in the stories, myths, legends of grievance.  Even for most of these it's a pastime.  Probably most have heard the stories so often and heard the empty threats so often they don't even take themselves seriously.  But a few will and a few who don't know any better assume the others are serious when they're just crying in their beer.  People who need a place to put their grievance connect with a place that has a grievance.  It's like putting the individually harmless elements of a bomb together.

            •  but it isn't (0+ / 0-)

              put the parts of a bomb together and you have a bomb. put these parts of a life together, and the vast vast majority of the time you still won't have a bomber.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's more complicated (0+ / 0-)

                because we don't know how to identify all the individual components and triggers.  But think of gang violence.  In many cities it's sporadic and in the background but in Chicago it's almost become the norm in some neighborhoods.  So it could be that you go from the least mentally stable and the most easily influenced to the average guy depending on how deeply the neighborhood is infested with the culture of violence.   I don't think it's unexplainable.  Obviously, you can't explain why it happens in every individual.  

      •  You wouldn't profile all Irish Catholics (0+ / 0-)

        But you would have profiled Irish Catholics from certain neighborhoods in specific cities which were known to harbor actively recruiting terror cells and sympathizers.

        •  so (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          you'd profle specific chechens from specific neighborhoods in kyrgyzstan?

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:30:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure the Russians are doing exactly that.  That's probably how they came across these folks.   Now, the FBI doesn't have infinite resources so they probably had no reason to do that anymore than they would have profiled specific neighborhoods in Belfast but I wouldn't be surprised if the Brits didn't have them looking at some specific Irish gathering places in Chicago or Boston back in the '70s.  Whether it's drug gangs, mobsters, or terrorists, you'd be doing pretty much the same thing except that the terrorists have the excuse of a cause for their criminality so you're looking at motivation in addition to criminal activity.  

            •  except (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2

              that these two were condemned by their own family, particularly on religious grounds. if you can't profile them within their own family, how do you profile their neighborhood?

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:48:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm talking profile not beyond a reasonable doubt (0+ / 0-)

                You can profile neighborhoods on any number of factors.  Market research alone can tell you amazing amounts of information on the kinds of people who live in each census tract.  Cops profile neighborhoods all the time for types of crimes.  Terrorism isn't that different.  What is different here is that you have refugees who moved away from one of these neighborhoods you could profile into Cambridge, MA so they did not fit the profile for Cambridge.  So you probably had a hybrid thing going on with these folks.  They brought their profile with them and some set of triggers set it off.  

                Had they been from Belfast back in the '70s and moved into some neighborhood in Boston known to sympathize with the IRA, the FBI could have profiled them more easily.  

  •  portaits of Norway terrorism survivors win prize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:30:40 AM PDT

  •  Terrorists are winning because the USA is a lying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, chuckvw

    authoritarian state that they say we are.

    Tipped & rec'ed Lawrence.

  •  Knowing and understanding others begins with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, KayCeSF, wonmug

    knowing and understanding yourself.  This works at the individual level and it works at the mass level too.

    Before attempting an estimation of the traits of a group as large as Muslims, let's say, an equally critical estimation of one's own identity group would be in order.  Knowing and understanding instead of blaming and excusing.  

    What I say is self evident and yet it needs to be spelled out.  It isn't new.  It has appeared before.  Does this sound familiar at all:

    Don't poke your finger in my eye to remove a speck when you can't see because you have a speck in your own eye.   Remove yours first and make sure you can see before you poke your finger in my eye to remove a speck.

    Juan Cole had something to say about this a few days ago and it has to be read without blaming or excusing.

    Sometimes people resist this message with anger.  It's still possible at any moment to recover.  I have found that judging myself brings peace and a key that changes how I see others.    

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:43:08 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for posting Juan Cole's message. (0+ / 0-)

      I was thinking about him the other day after the Boston attack and forgot to look at his website.  He sure makes a good argument that Christians have a long history of terrorism and somehow people tend to have selective historical memory about what Christians have done to their fellow man.

      I have always felt Maher is a bigot.  He would argue against that, of course. In fact, he'd argue he's not a bigot, and use bigoted remarks about Muslims to argue his point.  ha!

      I believe your first sentence is certainly a first step to resolving the problems we have.

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We could address our national sociopathy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, wonmug

    "We" blow people up every day in lands far away. And the "we" who actually press the buttons are normal, well adjusted folks who go home and watch Dancing With The Stars in the evening.

    We give them medals, not psychoanalysis. Most of the people they blow up, by the way, are Muslim peasants who couldn't find Boston on a map.

    I think this is a be fruitful discussion, Laurence, but even more so if we consider incidents like Boston or Columbine in the context of a culture/political system that has slaughtered and maimed millions of people for no good reason over the past 50 years and that imprisons more of its own citizens than any other nation.

    We're talking about aberrant behavior in a nuthouse.

    Great post. Thanks.

    (Sorry for double post. I meant this as a stand alone, but inadvertently posted it as a reply above...)

    Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

    by chuckvw on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:54:36 AM PDT

  •  For me these attacks are perpetrated (3+ / 0-)

    by those who are frightened that globally the old energy is dying and the new energy is about releasing old concepts and dictates under which they still believe people should live. Instead, people are beginning to embrace the idea that we are all one and the human condition is improved upon if we work together even as we cherish and respect our differences.  

    The terrorists, or religious fanatics, and even old-age thinking politicians sense this change and will rise up to fight against it. They recognize this change as a threat. What we need to do is be patient and recognize that rebellion will continue for awhile until they finally get it that we have moved on and we are not going to accept what they believe to keep us compliant and obedient under their power. They don't want to give up their power over us.  They have trouble accepting that we are free thinkers.

    Lawrence, you said,

    But we can live with strength and grace and courage and beauty even without such knowing. At times such as these, that may be all we can know.
    For me that is exactly what frightens all of those who insist we live in their authoritarian world view.  We are transforming, evolving away from a tribal way of thinking and living.  No more do we accept the law-abiding system that has kept us well-behaved under their thumb. The notion that we want to be free-thinking and live with grace frightens them, especially because they sense this change is happening globally.  

    Living as you have expressed is exactly how we teach them to release the old ways and move forward, even if it will be a very slow process. Living as you have expressed is what I mean by "sending light" into dark places.  

    The greatest and most powerful teachers are the very people who became victims in this recent attack in Boston.  Imagine the woman who lost her leg and instead of showing anger she sat in front of a camera in an interview and spoke positively about her new challenges to heal.  And this seems to be the case for all the victims.  They are amazing to me.  

    Isn't it interesting the one who is angry and bitter is the mother of the sons who left the bombs.  

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:10:48 PM PDT

  •  Questions like ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, chuckvw


    Question: Why do people die?


    Answer:  Because we are mortal ...

    Best make the most of the short time we have.


    For we will not always have it. Nor will it always be as favorable as it once was, when it seemed 'the possibilities were limitless.'

  •  The key factor is that terrorists want to be (0+ / 0-)

    important.  Everybody wants to be important because humans are a social species and social importance is a critical part of human life.  A few get this natural tendency warped to the point where social importance, even for being a monster, ranks above life itself.  I think most terrorists have similar motivations to the mass killers of Columbine and Newtown.  They just have a different political or religious context that they use to rationalize their acts and increase their feelings of doing something important.

    Modern weaponry gives them a chance to be more deadly, getting a bigger reaction.  But it's the media that is the real target for these guys.  If no one reported their crimes, they probably would not bother, since their distorted sense of being important would not be fed.  I do not know how to solve this problem, but just because a problem does not have a good solution does not make it any less real.  

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 12:38:47 PM PDT

    •  I think some of them also want to feel (0+ / 0-)

      that they've given their lives for a good cause. Just because their cause seems insane to us doesn't mean it looks that way from their point of view. Just this morning I read reports in the media that Tsarnaev's mother said in a text message in 2011 that she was glad her son was "finally ready to die for Allah." I don't know whether that's what got the Russian authorities to send urgent messages to the FBI and the CIA, but in any case it fits with the idea that some of these people may be motivated by the desire to give their lives (and the lives of others) for something greater than themselves.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:10:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we were smart, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Noisy Democrat

    as smart as we once were, we would go abroad and begin to gather intelligence on what the peoples of the civilized world think about why this happens in the U.S. so frequently. General public types. Joe Blow and his wife. Because looking at each other, each in a bewildered, shocked and emotional wreck status, and trying to come to terms with this is not doing anyone any good. The why is important because we need to do something meaningful to attempt to stop the madness. We will never figure that out amongst ourselves. Let others tell us why and how. Not that any single person has the answer, but we need to move outside of the hurt locker to figure out how to put the lock back on it. A consensus of thoughts would be at least interesting to gather. We are too close to ground zero, all of us.

    With all due respect to Mr. Lewis, it sounds soothing to say that we will never understand the evil that men do. I do not disagree with that. But if his words are to be taken as a tonic, how do we remain in denial about the fact that it almost always only happens in the United States? What is different here that makes us not only want to kill each other, but puts targets on our backs for the rest of the world?

    I've always understood that freedom is not free, but this is not the price any of us ever thought we would pay. This is not the cost of freedom. This is the demise of freedom. This is the cost of living with the criminally insane moving freely about us. Do we somehow collectively foster the insanity required to carry out such acts? We must. And we do so in a way that makes certain that we ourselves are the victims. Yes, I said it, we are victims of it. I won't try to fool myself about that. Ask the parents of those youngsters if they feel their child was a victim. We are victims. We are the hunted prey. And it is time we woke up and did something about it.

    The one abject truth that we all know is that the dopes in Washington, NONE OF THEM, are going to do jack about it. So tomorrow we will all wake up with the same target on our backs. And it matters not who's finger is on the trigger, only that another trigger will be pulled, another bomb will be detonated, and this time, your odds are no better than mine. You see, I grew up a target. Until Matthew Sheppard was tied to a fencepost and left to die I didn't fear for my life as much as my safety. More than once I was given physical proof that my paranoia was not unfounded. Most gay people will tell you that we learn to look over our shoulder at a very young age. Just at the moment that all of that is beginning to change, this crap comes along. Welcome to my world And by "my" I mean all of us who for whatever reason wore the target. Perhaps it is time to take this battle into the streets as well. Stonewall or Selma to Montgomery anyone? Naw, I thought not.

    There is nothing more exciting than the truth. - Richard P. Feynman

    by pastol on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 01:39:34 PM PDT

    •  You ask some very, very good questions (0+ / 0-)

      I think we all need to be taking this crap very seriously and learning more on the subject. I don't know where the inquiry will lead us, but we need to be looking into it.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:06:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is an incredibly beautiful and wise diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, chuckvw

    During the early '90's I had a horrible thing happen to me. I grieved and asked "why me?"

    I never got any answers but I got some wisdom from a professional who told me that "there is no reason why X happened to you. No matter how your try and figure it out it just happened. If you were jumping up and down in the checkout at the Giant while drinking root beer, you would think that was why. But sometimes things just happen."

    I stopped after a year or so of trying to find out why. I don't know why that comforted me. But I have used that wisdom with others who go through tragedy (though not that story).

    This is just so much better than my example, but exactly...

    Thanks!

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:22:51 PM PDT

    •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      and i also learned to come to terms with the unknowns of existence because of personal expriences. life has thrown me my share of curves. sometimes there are answers, sometimes there just aren't. emotions are always valid, but allowing ourselves to feel our way through them sometimes necessitates recognizing that our minds won't always help.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:41:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, so true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Laurence Lewis

        I examined what happened from so many angles and it didn't help and it pained me to think that it might just happen again.

        It didn't but by then I had already achieved acceptance.

        In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

        by vcmvo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 05:49:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  been there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          you think through every angle in every possible way, and it becomes reflexive, habitual, and there is literally no new insight possible, but you keep doing it anyway. until you become aware that you're doing it, and you learn to catch yourself when it starts again, and you tell yourself that it is useless, and just extends and exacerbates all the layers of negative emotions. and then you start consciously developing the habit of not doing, by force at first, until finally the pattern is broken.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:59:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes I called it cutting the tape in my brain (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis

            like it was a tape machine with a continuous loop, I visualized me cutting it, until I got myself to stop.

            So very true!

            In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

            by vcmvo2 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 08:29:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. Who knew. Reb Lewis. Rev Lewis. Hmmmm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Your post takes my breath away.

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