SYMBOLS AND REVENGE
SOFT TARGETS ON TAX DAY
UPDATE – U.S. law enforcement officials disclosed that the detainee mentioned in an earlier leaked report was an injured Saudi national; he is considered a “witness”.
UPDATE – The JFK library fire is now being described as unrelated – not from an incendiary device.
BY JAY B GASKILL
On 9-11-01, three symbols of America’s elite status were targeted: Our most visible financial towers in New York, the national military headquarters in Virginia, and the civilian power center in DC. The first two attacks were struck, as intended, but the third was thwarted by the brave passengers of the doomed airline flight 93.
Then on 9-11-12, the US Embassy at Benghazi in Libya was attacked with RPG’s, an ambassador and others were killed.
Today, 4-15-13, the crowded terminus of the Boston Marathon in the Copley Square neighborhood was bombed – two explosions went off there, causing deadly casualties, and an incendiary device was detonated at the JFK Library without casualties. At this writing, the list of wounded, maimed and dead has not been released, but scores of people were removed from the Copley Square scene.
Sources close to law enforcement have leaked that someone, a young man, apparently spotted on a video near the explosions site with backpack, is now in custody. That person – if we are to believe one report – is a “foreign national”, meaning from a place that has hatched number of jihadists.
As I briefly explain below, even with no suspect in hand, the Boston incident would exhibit a Jihadi signature. Of course at this early stage, we have no idea whether this particular detainee is actually culpable, and his release will be quickly justified unless evidence to connect him to the bombs is found. No American who believes in the constitution can tolerate a law enforcement sweep based on ethnicity or religion. But no reasonable American can afford to ignore the power of religious motivation.
I believe that the three attacks just described belong to a large subset of terrorist assaults against US targets by persons connected to Islamist Jihad movements.
Between the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing almost 300 men in1983, and today’s tragedy, there have been more than a hundred such incidents, most of which were thwarted attempts, some of which simply failed, yet others drew blood, among them the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood massacre.
The overall pattern is compelling enough to ask this question: Why were all these killers and would-be killers engaged in a jihad against the USA? Why do they keep it up?
The tie that binds these deluded miscreants together is the blood bond of pathological envy. This mindset is currently focused on the prosperous West, especially the USA, as an irritatingly powerful success that is flaunting its “decadence” (when its culture is seen through a puritanical lens).
Such envy mutates into suicidal revenge when it is combined with a special religious ingredient – we’ll call it the “You are cheating God syndrome”. Please note that, as someone from a deeply ecumenical tradition, I refuse to condemn any of the major world religions.
But there is a deeply toxic fallacy well embedded among some followers. It goes like this: “My God (note the possessive case) guarantees our success if we just follow his way. Therefore, when Godless infidels succeed, and rub our noses in their decadence, they must be cheating God.” The jihad combines a spirit of righteous revenge with the promise of a heavenly reward. It is to ordinary grievance as a match flame is to pile of gasoline saturated tinder.
Those hated, godless elites were on full display on 9-11-01, 9-11-12 and 4-15, 13.
The combined symbolism surrounding this celebratory day in Boston – it was Patriots Day, also the site of a famous Marathon, an international gathering of runners, surrounded in the historical trappings of American patriotism, the home of the Secretary of State, and then there were all those soft targets from around the world.
In retrospect, it was a jihadi magnet.
We can’t fully defend every place every day, but the next combination of a special occasion and hated symbolism (from the perspective of the loosely wrapped jihad warriors) should be the cause for much increased security.
First published on The Policy Think Site
Copyright © 2013 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law
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