The visuals from the bombings along the Boston Marathon’s finish line tear the heart: blood pooled on the race path and splattered across the sidewalk and the sight of bystanders and marathon participants lying mangled on the street with exposed femurs jutting out from where there were legs.
Just as painful to digest are the reminders of what was lost on Monday.
The image of the first publicly identified fatality, eight year old Martin Richard, smiling in first communion garb while holding a small banner with Christian imagery, has put a face on the horror of the calculated murder of civilians in Boston.
A little over twenty-four hours removed from the bombings some information about the how (bombs contained in pressure cookers concealed in black duffel bags) has surfaced though little is known about the who or the why, not that the latter is necessary since reasonable people don’t plant explosives.
We don’t know whether the bombings were carried out by terrorists working with the support of a hostile foreign terror network, a domestic group sympathetic to the aims of our known enemies though acting independently of an organization or sponsor country or the latest agendaless maniac who sought to imitate the senseless slaughters that have taken place in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.
The “usual suspects” are al-Qaeda, the terror group responsible for multiple attacks on the US mainland and facilities and assets overseas, or allied Islamist groups.
Considering their track record an initial assumption that Islamists were involved would only be logical and information about the first suspect identified, a Saudi student who just so happened to be at the scene of the explosions and was injured in the blasts, further led people to believe that Boston was the latest hit by a terror network that has made war on the US for the past two decades.
But an assumption is not a conviction and after being questioned by investigators and his apartment searched for evidence related to the bombings, the foreign student is now considered a witness and not a suspect.
Without solid leads, some folks are gleefully rooting for convenient scapegoats, particularly on the Left. They can barely contain themselves over the prospect that someone or some group even faintly affiliated with anything conservative or Republican or critical of the current White House might be involved and have tried to gently nudge along such a narrative in the media.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews mused “normally domestic terrorists- people- tend to be on the far right” while CNN national security expert Peter Bergen speculated that a “right wing extremist group” could have been responsible.
That the TEA Party or resentful of the current state of fiscal management in Washington could be lumped in the same paragraph as the butchers who crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is disgusting though not surprising when considering the sources.
Thus far the perpetrators behind the attack remain unknown yet like Fox Mulder, statist media personalities want to believe their own speculative narrative in the worst way.
Rather than prematurely pinning responsibility on a particular group, media outlets should focus on the investigation and not broadcast theories that tar the names and reputations of the president’s political opponents.
Some people on the Right have taken issue with President Barack Obama’s use of the word tragedy to describe the deaths of 3 people and the wounding of over 170 others.
Their criticism isn’t necessarily about splitting grammatical style hairs or typical partisan sniping at a Democrat but a point of frustration about the administration’s reluctance to publicly recognize the existence of an Islamist terror campaign against the United States.
However tragedy does seem to be an insufficient word for the Boston bombings.
A tragedy is an unfortunate occurrence that may or may not have been planned or intended to do harm.
The difference between tragedy and murder is the difference between a fatal car accident and a deadly car bomb.
What happened in Boston was a deliberate act to inflict the maximum number of casualties and while in all probability it was a terrorist attack it is possible that what happened was an act mass murder without a stated casus belli.
Since as of right now we do not know who was responsible for the blasts, so it is difficult to label it anything beyond pure evil.
We should be patient in ascertaining the facts though resolute in holding accountable those involved with its planning, funding and execution.
However if credible intelligence indicates that the Boston Marathon bombings were the work of an international terror syndicate I hope the president will authorize action to bring the murderers and their sponsors to justice, just as he did when he boldly chose to green light the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
May God welcome the souls of the slain, comfort those who have suffered loss, heal the injured and protect our civil servants in their pursuit of those responsible for this heinous crime.