God help us. At lunchtime ABC News broke into the local broadcast I was listening to and announced that two explosions had occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It seemed that authorities did not know what had exploded or if it was related to the marathon.
As the afternoon progressed and more information came out, I kept thinking about how this sounds like domestic (homegrown) terrorism instead of foreign terrorism. While I don’t have many facts to base this on, I thought that this is probably either an act of domestic terrorism or an act of foreign terrorism designed to look domestic.
Foreign terrorists are often quick to claim responsibility for their acts. They are narcissists who want to be feared and (in their twisted minds) respected, so the sooner they can feel high and mighty about killing people, the more gratifying it can be to them. Domestic terrorists are often more shadowy; they’re not necessarily people who want to die for their cause if it can be avoided and they can feel powerful by not getting caught. They’d rather avoid an arrest, trial, and prosecution.
It seems significant that this happened on April 15th, Tax Day, in Boston. What I mean by that is that federal income taxes have to be filed by today and many people loathe paying an inefficient government so much money for expenditures they might not believe in. Today is also a holiday that many Americans don’t know about, Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord fought near Boston in 1775. This is obviously not the same as the more modern Patriot Day recognized on September 11th.
If you remember your American Revolutionary War history, Paul Revere and William Dawes rode from Boston to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming to arrest them. They took different routes to ensure the success of their mission and were joined by Samuel Prescott– who was returning from a date– along the way. The British troops were also intending to confiscate the arsenal at Concord.
Revere and Dawes were able to reach Lexington and on the way had mustered hundreds of Minutemen who prepared to face the British. Revere was captured by the British and held for a few hours while Dawes lost his mount, so only Prescott arrived in Concord. When the British set foot in Lexington, they were greeted by a colonial militia. After a time the crowd started to disperse, but someone fired a shot and both sides opened fire, leaving eight colonists dead and almost a dozen injured. This is considered the first battle of the American Revolution.
Both Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriots’ Day as a state holiday, so state, county, and local government offices are closed (it is not a federal holiday). Patriots’ Day is typically celebrated the third Monday in April and the Boston Marathon is logically held the same day. The marathon has been held on Patriots’ Day since 1897 and attracts a crowd of about half a million people. This, unfortunately, makes it a prime target for terrorists, who usually want to gain attention by killing random people at well-attended public events.
Boston is also the site of two key events in the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. On December 16th, 1773– 240 years ago now– colonists dressed as Mohawks boarded three British vessels in Boston Harbor and dumped almost 350 cases of tea overboard. This was part of a protest movement that objected to the British taxing American colonists without proper representation. This is how many Americans feel now, that they’re being taxed into hardship and poverty without their views and values being adequately represented by government officials.
The Boston Massacre occurred several years before the nighttime tea raid. On March 5th, 1770, a group of civilians got into a fight with British soldiers, hurling sticks, stones, and snowballs. Although the commanding officer told his troops not to fire, someone did and five civilians were killed (three died at the scene and two succumbed to their wounds later). The British troops had been in Boston about a year and a half and were increasingly despised for their behavior. Colonists resented how Britain was tightening its grip on their affairs and were increasing taxes at their expense.
Because of these and other important incidents, Boston is usually considered the birthplace of the American Revolution. So the date that these attacks occurred– Tax Day and Patriots’ Day– and the location could be highly significant. Someone could be trying to start a new American Revolution– but what they have likely done is to unite people against their cause rather than making them sympathetic to it. Murdering random people in such a violent, public and bloody “show of force” does not cause people to say, “go U.S.A.!” It causes us to call for the blood of those responsible.
There are other possibilities, namely that foreign terrorists (who can enter our country quite easily because of lax immigration policies and enforcement) have capitalized on a very American day and location to make themselves known. Even if a foreign group is known to be responsible for this though, I can’t help but wonder if brainwashed Americans who have become sympathetic to militant Islam are involved. This somehow seems like the kind of terrorist act a 21 year-old convert would think of to gain supposed revenge on a bad childhood.
I don’t know what kind of explosive devices were used but this does seem very IED-like. The MO does seem to match that of Muslim terrorists. On that note, officials should not assume that all bombs have detonated or tomorrow is any less significant to these murderers than today. I believe a couple more explosive devices have already been found and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there are more or this extends throughout the week.
Today, an another example of the date’s importance, is Israel’s Independence Day. It is the 65th anniversary of its reestablishment as a nation– the U.S. was one of the first countries to recognize it as such. April 19th is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. It’s also the actual date of the Battle of Concord, the anniversary of the siege at the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and when the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began in 1943. It can be an emotional day for a lot of people as we remember acts of both great courage (Warsaw) and great cowardice (Oklahoma). April 20th is when the Columbine High School murders occurred, also Hitler’s birthday.
If you want to kill a lot of people, you will keep the mayhem and death going, letting people believe it’s over, then striking again when and where they least expect it. That’s what domestic abusers like to do to keep victims off balance and maintain control; they savor the power that comes with ambushes and unpredictability. They get their energy from terrorizing their targets and stunning them into a state of chaos.
On that note I hope there is high security at hospitals in particular, because in some terrorist’s psychopathic mind, that could be an ideal place to create even more intense suffering and pain. The scene in The Dark Knight where The Joker blows up Gotham General comes to mind. The police are already investigating an explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester. If that was a bomb, I’m pondering the significance of that if it wasn’t a diversionary tactic. JFK isn’t likely to be a symbolic target to domestic terrorists; Americans of all political persuasions tend to admire him to some degree.
There is another possibility I must mention regardless of its probability. I cannot profess to be examining all possibilities if I ignore the false flag theory. A false flag operation is when a government stages an attack against its own people while pretending to be an enemy. This is used to justify using military force or going to war with that enemy. Some people consider the events of September 11th, 2001 a false flag operation and others have said that recent mass shootings reek of this because of how quickly they’ve led to gun control.
At this point some people will be quick to shake their heads and yell, “conspiracy theory!” or “treason!” They don’t want to believe that anyone in their own government or country could murder others to further official agendas. But what’s the quickest way to gain control? Create a crisis. I know this from my years of living and working with, and studying, narcissists and sociopaths. Have you read my post on that? It’s Manipulation 101: https://wildninja.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/crises-and-control/.
When an act of terrorism occurs, we want the culprits to be identified and held responsible quickly. Our minds immediately move to obvious and convenient perpetrators who are easy to despise and who it’s politically correct to be angry with. We want to take action and make laws against the obvious suspects to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I think that at times– just like when the police arrest the wrong guy during a serial killing spree in their haste to make the public feel safe– we are quick to jump to conclusions. We feel better when suspects are caught and held accountable. We feel better when we can unite and collectively admonish the murderers responsible for the horrors they have inflicted on our people. In these cases we often want to satisfy our emotions more than our reason.
Before I write my initial thoughts on an event like this, I try not to read other opinions of what might have happened. I want to stick to the little we know so far and to formulate my own thoughts, revising them later as more information comes to light. In this case I was quick to jump to domestic terrorists as being responsible for the carnage at the Boston Marathon finish line, but perhaps that’s just what some shadowy group wants us to think.
Please note that the information released through the media can be tightly controlled, so sometimes all we know is all we’re allowed to know. Facts can be manipulated, emotions played, blame diffused. I don’t know who did this and to think objectively am trying to examine it from every side.
I was skeptical that a foreign terrorist would consider the date of 9/11 significant rather than their own holidays and am similarly puzzling over this happening on Tax Day/Patriots’ Day. That’s a convenient way to get people to blame the political right, effectively dividing the country even more.
What is most important is that we are praying for and caring for the victims of this despicable, murderous act. They are our brothers and sisters. I was horrified by the pictures of fellow Americans with bones sticking out of their flesh and limbs missing being wheeled to aid.
One man said he believes more than 30 people present are missing body parts; he took off his belt to use it as a tourniquet. Several victims have died; more are in critical condition. Their families and friends are likely in shock and public safety personnel are under terrible psychological strain.
Now seems like an ideal time for the National Prayer for Peace that is sometimes also called the Colonial Prayer:
Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
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2 thoughts on “On the Boston Marathon”
My aunt was running and there is a lot to be thankful for – that my mom had wandered away from the finish line and some nice lady dragged her into her apartment, that it was cold for my aunt so she was off pace and wasn’t at the finish line as she should have been, that I was signing my tax return so I didn’t see the news until my mom had texted she was okay.
My heart goes out to everyone who wasn’t so lucky as our family. I hope this mystery is solved quickly so they, and the nation, can begin to heal.
Wow. Thank God that the timing all worked out this way and they are safe.