If Americans, and our elected and appointed leaders in Washington, D.C., need any further proof that bombing does not work in terms of achieving a political objective, then they should listen to a packed TD Garden in Boston sing the National Anthem to open the Bruins-Sabres game Wednesday evening.
Unless the Boston Marathon bomber's purposes were to simply cause personal suffering and enjoy a sick thrill, and not achieve any form of political objective, he failed.
We have known bombing does not work for decades. The massive bombings of Germany and Japan in WWII and of the North Vietnamese in the 1960s and '70s only served to strengthen national resolve and unify populations. We now see the same result occurring in southern and eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. As a result of American bombings and targeted killings, many of which have no real targets, but target clusters of individuals who have the profile of a militant: old enough to carry a rifle and brown, insurgent and extremist groups that previously held little popular support are now claiming larger constituencies due to the reflexive nationalist response of the population to politically motivated bombings (a dynamic that is, of course, exacerbated in its effect by the bombing being conducted by a foreign and dissimilar power).
I am proud of the resiliency and strength of the people of Boston and Massachusetts, a city and state that was my home for six years. However, to have empathy for our own citizens and marvel at how such a cowardly and barbarous act in one of our cities unites a people across our country, while ignoring or disclaiming the same effect in other populations, is not just morally weak, but incredibly unwise. War and violence are fool's options. It is well past time Americans accept this truth and incorporate it not just into our policies and culture, but also into our national soul.
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