The method employed by one's opponents in baffling one's open and honorable efforts to do the right thing.— Ambrose Bierce
The Boston Marathon was bombed today.
As I write this we still do not know who did it or the ostensible motivation.
On Facebook I saw someone write, "what kind of world do we live in?" and someone else posted "I cannot believe this happened here."
I do not want to dismiss their grief or even their indignant attitude that this happens, but I am offended by the provincialness of these views in some ways. For a dozen years we have been reigning terror upon the dark corners of the world, in response to terror visited upon us, now dwarfed by our response. And then, if you choose (conveniently, it seems, one can do that these days), you can remember the history before 9/11 and realize we were doing that before too.
We have no excuse.
There is no such thing as security in a world with the inqualities we have, measurable on every scale.
I don't mean to say anyone murdered or injured or traumatized by 9/11 or 7/7 or today's tragedy, or any of the others had it coming to them. I do not mean to say that those who do these things are justified. I do not believe that. In fact, I believe the opposite—and I wish to apply that standard evenly.
I can only expect, despite what every human deserves, that societies will get back what they dish out.
While one might reasonably be startled—literally—when these events occur, I am not surprised.
So many parts of the world suffer horrors like this with regularity. It is yet another cost we, "the west," have externalized. We should be surprised only that such does not visit us more often.
I also read sentiments of support for the First Responders, and Bostonians sharing their resources, their homes in particular, for those stranded in a locked-down city. "This is my America," they said.
You cannot cherry-pick your America. I think I know what my one friend meant though, and I do not meant to dismiss the sentiment that I will extrapolate and imbue with the best possible expression of solidarity.
I do mean to emphasize that if you want that to be anyone else's America, then we all have a responsibility to end wars with impunity, drone strikes and assassinations, government-backed-corporate-imperialism (and vice versa), etc. The litany is shrill but it is a true audit.
If you want credit for the good things to come to us, we must end the double-standard on evil.
We are, sometimes, evil.
Perhaps the evilest kind: the subtle kind. The most banal. None with power, and so few without, feel responsibility for it.
~mjb, 15 April 2013.