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Opening Arguments


I've been resisting the urge to add my useless chatter to all the useless chatter already out there about the Bost massacre, but I thought this worthy of comment:

President Obama said Tuesday that the "heinous" attack on the Boston Marathon is being treated as an "act of terrorism," while investigators try to determine whether the bombing was the work of a terrorist group or "malevolent individual." 

"This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism," Obama said. 

"Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror." 

It may seem that the president is just stating the obvious -- planting a bomb in the middle of a crowd of civilians is ipso facto terorism. It ain't complicated.

But the word has picked up so much baggage since 9/11 that some people just can't pick it up. I think this is the first time, in fact, that the president has been this clear and direct in so labeling a domestic incident. I suspect he has always been reluctant to use the word because that would make people think "al-Qaida," and that would be bad for the administration's image because it has bragged so much about having that group "on the run."

If calling this terror does conjure up in some minds an image of swarthy Midde Easterners who hate the Amuricun way of life, so what? Any speculation about who did this and why is pretty pointless right now and mostly fueled by the speculators' political predispositions. They'll eventually catch who did this (at least we should hope they do), and it'll be who it is. May be a foreign terrorist group, or a leftwing or rightwing domestic extremist individual or group, or just a whack job. When that moment of discovery happens, then we can all drag out our favorite villains to tie o the whipping post.

For now, it's enough to call it a despicable, cowardly act, don't you think?