Friday, April 19, 2013

The week's inevitable headline

What a shock to the system if a neighbor of characters like these said: "They weren't big enough to contain all the bad in them, it had to spill over sometime. I'll tell you what, I hope never to have any crazy sons of bitches like them on my street again. I wasn't born yesterday and a fake smile doesn't hold much weight with me."

Of course they are only alleged killers. Like they were alleged nice kids.

I rarely follow true crime stories, although the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath have a dreadful fascination. I feel sorry for the detectives and uniforms in the Boston area who must have been working practically around the clock. Their procedures were impressive, from determining the search areas and sealing the perimeters to the thorough house-to-house sweeps of every possible hidey hole. Somebody was also on the ball in telling residents to stay home, stay safe and not get in the way of the cops.

Aside from the bombing itself and the murder of the MIT policeman, one element felt disturbing: so many police armed like Special Forces. I know each police department has to have a force de frappe, but it seems like more and more cops are becoming paramilitary units, with armored vehicles, high-end automatic rifles, target-painting beams, and all the rest of the clobber. You read stories about SWAT teams breaking into houses at night for what should be routine searches or arrests for nonviolent crimes.

As I write this, the second suspect hasn't been found. He will be. My prediction: if he has a gun left, he'll aim it very carefully ... at himself. Even if he's as stupid as the day is long, he must know that killing a policeman on duty is signing your own death warrant.

Then the post-9/11 culture clash will resume in a new key. The Left, bitterly disappointed that the perps weren't old angry right-wing white men, will fall back to their second line of defense. Their captive media will drive home the message that Islam had nothing to do with the crimes, they were lone nutters (or rather double nutters), victims of racism and anti-Muslim prejudice.* The alternative-media Right will use the event as an argument against mass immigration -- in my view, a mistake because it's far from the the most important argument. In turn, they'll be blasted as "xenophobes" and "nativists" by the Washington Post et al.

Here we go again.

* Added later: That sentence reads like caricature. But progressives aren't shy of any absurdity in their obsession with blaming Americans -- well, white Americans -- for others' twisted acts.  See Marc Ambinder: "I love American culture, and I also think that something about living in a modern society loosens the moorings that prevent us from acting on our deepest, ugliest thoughts. Maybe in America it's a combination of economic distress, mass media, access to guns, bias and prejudice ... Bias against Muslims is real and it hurts. And the easiest way to radicalize un-radicalized people is to treat them like enemies."

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