FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Violent Act Again in a Violent Nation

by DAVE LINDORFF

I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race — about four hours from the starting gun — that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.

That really brings home to me the horror of what just happened.

At the same time, I’m reminded that back when I ran my Boston Marathon, which was only weeks after the Viet Cong’s bloody Tet Offensive, we didn’t give a thought to the idea of the Viet Cong bringing their war home to America. Now you have to at least wonder whether this bombing might in some way have been linked to America’s various wars abroad.

We don’t at this point have a clue who was behind this atrocity, but whether it was some foreign terrorist organization, a contingent of Taliban fighters seeking to bring the Afghan War to the US, or a domestic right-wing group protesting abortion, the income tax or the country’s “Kenyan” president, it should be a wake-up call to the nation that our violent national culture and our imperial pretensions will eventually reap us a whirlwind.

A country that goes around blowing up children in Afghanistan by the score, as happened last week in Kundar Province, Afghanistan, that claims for itself the right to kill anyone, anywhere, if the president or his designees in the Pentagon and the CIA decide that person is a threat or an annoyance (and that is willing to kill lots of innocent bystanders, including women and kids, to do it), a country that encourages its police to act like an occupying military force in their jurisdictions, breaking into homes in SWAT gear at dawn, pointing assault rifles in people’s faces, arresting people on trumped-up charges, such a country and its people at some point must realize that such behavior invites a violent response.

This time, it was apparently crudely made IEDs that killed three and tore the limbs from other people innocently participating in or watching a road race. Note, though, that we had never even heard of IEDs until Bush’s and Cheney’s criminal invasion of Iraq. Next time, it could just as easily be a home-made remotely piloted drone aircraft carrying a load of TNT or some other deadly explosive.

The point is you reap what you sow. Violence begets violence.

So America, the most violent country in the world today, lurches from one act of mayhem to another. It really matters little whether the slaughter is caused by a wack-job armed with a few high-capacity-clip automatic pistols or a foreign or domestic terrorist armed with a couple of crude IEDs. The victims are just as dead or maimed either way.

We cannot hope to escape this kind of thing if we go on as we are going.

If the government responds to this latest tragedy by doubling down on its domestic spying campaign, by enhancing police powers, by stepping up its deadly global drone war, and by invading or meddling in more countries abroad, we can expect more and more violent attacks aimed at killing Americans here at home.

I’m especially contemplating the danger of blowback because we learned here in Philadelphia only two weeks ago that the Pentagon has decided to set up a drone piloting base just two miles from my house on the site of the mothballed Willow Grove Naval Air Station. None of the local pols who were effusively praising the announcement, hailing it as a job-creating phenomenon, gave a thought to the reality that this was bringing the front line of the Afghan War to the suburbs of Philly, and that besides putting a bunch of killers in uniform in our midst, it was putting a big bull’s eye right in a suburb full of civilians. (See my article about this in the latest issue of CounterPunch’s new monthly magazine.)

Clearly we need a new approach — one that relies on fostering international peace and cooperation, and that here at home seeks to rekindle some sense of community, and of reverence for the rights and freedoms that many people have died for, but which have over last two decades been whittled away until they are vestigial or barely recognizable.

Maybe too, we Americans could look at the latest carnage in Boston and recognize it as the very thing that our military has been engaged in doing in our name in places like Iraq and Afghanistan — right down to the deliberate and sick timing of a second bomb to blow up people who are coming to the aid of victims of the first bomb, which is the wretched MO of the US bombing and drone strike campaigns along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.

I’m disgusted by the attack on the Boston Marathon, and whoever did it is truly twisted, but no less twisted are the Pentagon officers and who planned the attack that killed those 10 children in Kundar, or the president who ordered the leveling of the Iraqi city of Fallujah. We Americans are far too selective in our sense of horror and outrage.

It all makes me sick. I’m going out for a run.

Dave Lindorff is a  founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. Lindorff’s article on drones in Philadelphia appears in the March issue of CounterPunch magazine. He lives in Philadelphia.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism:  Transcending the Masters tools
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Chuck Collins
Wall Street Hopes You’ve Forgotten the Crash Already
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Robert Koehler
Costa Rica’s Peace Journey
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail