The Memory of Beslan, the Shame of Boston
Enough with all the chest-thumping, mingled with manly tears, about the dramatic end of the Marathon bombers' reign of terror in Boston last week. From the press coverage, you'd think the entire city (which is actually rather small) rose up as one and smote two evil Chechens a stunning blow for truth, justice, liberty and the American Way. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What we saw instead was a city cowering in fear, led by two particularly pusillanimous toads in Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Mumbles Menino, who had the services of some 10,000 armed personnel -- literally, a small army -- to take down... wait for it... a wounded teenager with a gun, and maybe some self-detonating explosives.
Way to go, Boston. You've made all of us proud to be Americans.
Now, of course, the liberal East Coast media is getting all mushy about the Brothers Tsarnaev. I'm not even going to bother to cite some of the more egregious examples from the New York Times and elsewhere, part of the MSM's ongoing bout of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to dealing with Islam and its discontents. John Hinderaker of Power Line has a nice roundup of the usual-suspect idiocy.
But don't you wish, just once, an American public official would react like a man? A man, say, like this guy, who said this about the Chechens after they attacked a school back in 2004. WARNING: offensive, ethnically biased stereotyping ahead:
"You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child killers?
"No one has a moral right to tell us to talk to child killers," he added.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but Margaret Thatcher, whom I've met more than once said: 'A man who comes out into the street to kill other people must himself be killed'."
Now, that's some real straight talk about murdering, child-killing bastards. In case you've forgotten Beslan, here's a brief taste of the hell the Muslim Chechens visited upon little kids on the first day of school:
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Note that, when the Russian military finally stormed the school, they were accompanied by armed residents of the village, desperate to save their children. In typical ham-handed Russian fashion, the former Soviets managed to kill almost as many people as they saved -- but the point is they fought back. They didn't "shelter in place" (what an odious, bloodless phrase for enforced institutional cowardice), hiding behind locked doors; they got up, got their guns, and finally did something to rid themselves of the aliens in their midst. For they knew -- with the example of the Moscow theater crisis fresh in everybody's minds -- that there was no way this atrocity could end any way but bloodily. They wanted to get their licks in, and die like men instead of dumb beasts waiting for the slaughter.
Wendy Kaminer, writing in The Atlantic, finally twigged to the shame of Boston:
Some of the stories we tell about ourselves in the aftermath of terror are true. Many people react reflexively with bravery and compassion, rushing toward an attack to aid its victims. Many open their homes to strangers.
Some of the stories we tell are naive: "This is a progressive town, the People's Republic," a Cambridge high school teacher remarked. "How could this be in our midst?" he wondered, as if diversity were a cure for all evil.
Some of the stories we tell are bravado. When people praise Boston's proverbial toughness, I shrug. Boston is home to over 600,000 individuals; some are resilient and others are not. Bravado has its virtues though, in times of grief and terror. It's self-medicating. Maybe acting tough can help you feel tough. Maybe you can approximate the person you wish yourself to be.
But not all our bravado is helpful or harmless. Some of the stories we tell about the nation are delusions that cloak weaknesses and wrongs, which fester unacknowledged...
Those on the left won't like this. But those on the reflexive right won't want to acknowledge this bit, either:
We've been surrendering liberty in the hope of keeping ourselves safe for the past decade. The marathon bombings will hasten our surrender of freedom from the watchful eye of law enforcement. The Boston Globe is already clamoring for additional surveillance cameras, which are sure to be installed to the applause of a great many Bostonians. You can rationalize increased surveillance as a necessary or reasonable intrusion on liberty, but you can't deny its intrusiveness, or inevitable abuses.
But that's what happens when, in the wake of Sept. 11, the country hands its fate over to a massive, bureaucratic surveillance state (and one that's not terribly good at it, either) -- a land of CCTV cameras and stop-and-frisk and the NSA's Black Widow and God alone knows what else. That's what happens when a majority of the sitting U.S. senators vote to infringe on our Second Amendment rights, notwithstanding the constitutional proscription against it. That's what happens when weepy public officials stand on the bodies of the murdered children of Newtown and call for punishing the very people who not only didn't do it, but might have helped stop it.
Had enough yet? Enough of whingeing and whining and cowering and appeasing? Enough of Blaming America First? Enough of wondering Why They Hate Us?
It used be said that it was better to die on your feet than live on your knees. The atheist Left has turned that formula upside down, preferring to submit than fight. How they must loathe themselves. Too bad they're trying to take the rest of us with them.
So congratulations, Boston. In a state with some of the "toughest" gun laws in the country -- and by "toughest" I mean unconstitutionally restrictive -- a legislature completely controlled by Democrats and a congressional delegation that includes a grand total of zero Republicans, it was somehow not surprising that the Chechens chose one of the few places in the United States where a) the people could not and would not fight back and b) the media would find them sympathetic. Heck, even the UN agrees with me... sort of.
I've long said that the relationship between the American Left and Islam is that of masochist and sadist; the perfect Suicide Cult meets the Death Cult of its dreams. No wonder they got along so well together, right up to the moment when they didn't.
UPDATE: If you're interested in how we might react to a Beslan-style attack on one of our own schools, and how it might be taken down, that's the subject of my first "Devlin" novel, Hostile Intent.