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The second Boston marathon bomber was taken into custody last night. Nineteen year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wounded in a gunfight with police Thursday night when his 26 year old brother, Tamerian, was killed, was found hiding in a boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts neighborhood.
The brothers are of Chechen heritage.....Dzhokbar became a U.S. citizen last year.
There is still no apparent motive for the Marathon bombing. After reading quite a number of theories and musings on the topic....it is very possible, as Charles Pierce mentions here, that the bombing by the two brothers is comparable to Columbine. Kind of a wilding, with pressure cooker bombs. I suppose time will tell. There are no apparent connections with either the Chechen-Russian struggle or Islamic extremist....yet.
Today, I'm setting aside the comments of one Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) from yesterday.....when ole' "pulling the plug on grandma" Chuck decided to politicize the Boston bombings for the purpose of derailing immigration reform.
What I do want to focus on are the words yesterday from my favorite Goober, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Lindsey is up for re-election in 2014.....so the Huck has been throwing out an abundance of red meat to GOP-base primary voters. It's all been quite embarassing....but Graham's re-election effort will be threatened if some Tea Partier squeezes in to his right in the S. Carolina primary. The Huck can't allow that to happen.
What follows from Lindsey Graham's interview with WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin typifies everything that has gone wrong in the U.S. since 9-11.
He said of the Boston bombers: “They were radicalized somewhere, somehow.”
Regardless of whether they are international or “homegrown,” he said, “This is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.”
“It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.”
“It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]” He also slammed the president’s policy of “leading from behind and criminalizing war.”
Here's a Graham tweet from yesterday....."If captured, I hope Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes."
First....Graham doesn't know dick about what the Tsarneav brothers motives were in carrying out the Boston bombing. Further, what does the word "radicalization" even mean here? To many on the right, "radicalization" means reading and absorbing the material on leftwing web sites.....or studying the NY Times.....or watching MSNBC religiously and believing the takes on news stories which those media sources provide. "Radicalization" is just another word whose meaning can be shaped to fit any right wing interpretation of events in the bogusly-named "war on terror." It means what the right wants it to mean at any given moment.
Second...."the homeland is the battlefield." My god. My good reader....do you believe that hokum? Do you actually, cognitively, believe that the 50 states of our United States are a "battlefield" today?
I literally despise the Third Reich-sounding word "homeland." The connotation has always been creepy. But to call the "homeland" the "battlefield"....all but declaring that our nation has been fully militarized as a war zone....is not only irresponsible coming from a Senator.....but also incorrect on the facts.
Third....“It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” That is the assertion of a moron. Graham is not a moron, but he often imitates one. That sentence is the evidence. What if, whoever the "terrorists" are, they think America is a big ball of cheddar cheese? Should we simply accept what they think and rush out and stock up on crackers? I mean...WTF? That is the same ignorant and misleading thinking which attributes warriorhood to Islamic extremists because THEY consider themselves warriors. They're not. They're international criminals, nothing more. They're not soldiers, they're not warriors, they're not in some apocalyptic war-of-the-worlds struggle.....they are criminals.
Furthermore, since when have we accepted what non-Americans "think" about anything? Why would we start now?
You may disagree, but the U.S. is not at war. If you disagree, who are we at war with? If your response is al-Qaeda......when has the U.S. ever been at war with a stateless and unaffiliated band of religious fanatics?
It's difficult to "criminalize" war when you are not at war. What has been happening since 9-11 (Iraq excluded) is not war. It is instead a law enforcement pursuit of international criminals in which we are using the resources of the U.S. military and the CIA. Everything else has been political Orwellianism.
Finally, "drones" and "enemy combatants". Making stuff up to hide whatever it is you are doing is common. That's what the words "enemy combatants" are for. A whole new "legal" classification was constructed after 9-11 out of whole cloth to justify refusing habeas, torture, trial by jury, Gitmo and indefinite detention. The words "enemy combatants" are foolish and inappropriate when applied to Islamic extremists. As I said earlier....these folks are not "combatants" in some kind of war, even if THEY think so.....they are....criminals.
Lindsey Graham can't wait for the days when Big Intrusive Gub'Mint will have one big eye in the sky over the U.S. "homeland" in the form of tens of thousands of drones.....you know, in order to keep us safe here in the "homeland".
Keeping things in perspective....each of our chances of being killed in a "terrorist" attack is somewhere around 1 in 3,500,000. The chance we have of being struck by lightning is 1 in 280,000. Which either means Lindsey Graham will be announcing a "war on lightning" soon.....or that the South Carolina Senator is just a bloviating bag of southern gas, an embarrassment to the nation.