I’m a bit put off by the screechy patriotic noises emanating from the aftermath of the Marathon bombing. The local Boston commentators go on about how Boston will take two punches to deliver one, how the firefighters and cops and others ran into the bombed area to help people, as if everyone else in the world would run away and only Bostonians are noble enough to rush to the aid of the injured, and so forth and so on.
The only attempt to connect what happened in Boston to events elsewhere in the world has been to blame Islamic extremism. Not registering on the radar of these preachy screechers is the fact that if the United States had not been such a bad actor in the world this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened here.
We ripped Iraq apart for no reason and now scores of people in Iraq die in terrorist bombings every week. Week after week. That’s on the United States for destroying a stable, if unsavory, government. We have shredded Afghanistan, and continue to kill innocents, women and children, every day, and terrorist bombings there have been picking up the pace of late.
And Syria. Bloody Syria. The ugly regime of Assad has slaughtered untold tens of thousands of its citizens for two years, while the United States twiddled its thumbs. When the U.S. finally decided it might be to its advantage to intervene to stop the slaughter of innocents by the government, it first pleaded, then it made empty threats and set up useless sanctions, and then decided to send aid. Blankets and medicine to fight jets and artillery. But no weapons, none of the arms so desperately needed by the rebellion, by the people doing the fighting and dying, because…wait for it… because later on the weapons might fall into the ‘wrong’ hands. So it’s okay for Assad to engage in the mass slaughter of unarmed civilians, to send jets and helicopters and artillery against women and children in cities, to unleash some of the most vicious militias on the face of the earth against families, but not for the U.S. to provide arms and ammunition to the fighters because of some possible consequence out there in the future. The only thing such a policy accomplishes is to make sure that if the rebellion succeeds the people who fought and bled will remember that the United States sat on its hands and watched thousands die at the hands of a vicious dictator.
And why? Because when the Soviets occupied Afghanistan the United States sent arms to the rebels there and the rebels ultimately turned out to be people the geniuses in the U.S. government couldn’t control or buy off. So now the current geniuses, who probably went to the same school as those other geniuses, have decided to change the policy. In other words, they’re still thinking in terms of the Afghan-Soviet conflict and ignoring the completely different Syrian rebellion that’s happening under their noses.
No one should doubt for a minute that if Assad succeeds in crushing the rebellion the United States will just cozy up to him again. And when it does, the Syrian people will see that and they will remember.
But that’s how the United States does business in the world. Never mind the people. Love the tyrant. Love the money. Screw the peasants. That’s how it does business in the Middle East, in South Asia, in Central America, in South America, in the Far East. We shout ‘Democracy!’ and we shout ‘Liberty!’ and then we send in our corporations to rape the people and to rape the country.
And then when someone steps on our little toe, as at the Boston Marathon, because they see all of this and decide to take a bit of revenge, the United States gets offended and plays the victim of horrible, terrible, evil people. I’m surprised we haven’t bombed Dagestan or Kyrgyzstan, where the Tsarnaev family came from. Or Cambridge, for that matter. After all, that’s where these two killers lived. Must be an evil place.
Yes, the Marathon bombings were tragic. Yes, it’s sad about the deaths and the injuries and the suffering. Yes, the Tsarnaev brothers were bad actors.
But what the people of Boston and the United States refuse to see, refuse to understand, refuse to even consider, is that the act was inevitable, if not in Boston then somewhere in America, that it was a direct result of the actions of the United States in the world. It’s called blowback, and the winds of blowback are getting stronger. They swirl into every corner of the United States and they’ll touch people who do see, who have a stake out there in the world – brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins, a town, a village, a city – and who recognize the futility of trying to talk sense to a government that puts itself above all others and arrogantly seeks to rule the world, arrogantly ignores international law, arrogantly attacks innocents in pursuit of endless war benefiting only war profiteers and corporations who refuse to pay taxes while profiting from having their talons deep in the bowels of Congress and every Executive Administration of the last several decades.
Cry for the victims of Boston if you will, and you should. But don’t ever forget that the bombs of the Tsarnaev brothers were created in the inner circles of the United States government.