Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston and the Future

Now that the two men that planted the bombs have been caught, it is time to consider the further implications of the bomb attack. It is clear that, whether or not the bombers were part of a larger conspiracy or group, they were inspired by the ideology of Islamic supremacy. Of course, Obama has indicated that we should not jump to conclusions about their motivation, but this is coming from the same person and Administration that still cannot bring itself to admit that the motivation for the Ft. Hood shooter (even though he yelled "Allah Akbar") was Islam. (Conversely, if the FBI were to discover that one of the brothers had read "The Turner Diaries" ten years ago, that would be enough for them to be branded "right-wing" extremists).

However, John Hinderaker notes at the Powerline Blog that whether they were part of a terrorist organization or acting on their own is largely irrelevant:

... The important point is not that the Tsarnaevs acted on their own, but rather that they could have. There is nothing about the murders they carried out that was beyond the capacities of two bright (as they were) and committed young men. 
That being the case, it is depressing to contemplate the success that the brothers’ terrorist act achieved. They killed three people and wounded nearly 200. The death toll was kept remarkably low by the fact that the finish line of a marathon is swarming with doctors, nurses, policemen and ambulances, and by the presence nearby of several excellent hospitals; still, the destruction must have been satisfying, from their perspective. Moreover, their homemade explosives succeeded in virtually shutting down a major American city for the better part of a week, and diverting an astonishing volume of law enforcement resources at enormous cost. 
That being the case, it is reasonable to ask whether the question of their association with a larger terrorist group, while entirely appropriate, is nevertheless overrated. It strikes me that the main lesson we should take away from the Boston Marathon massacre is the destructive potential of jihadist ideology in itself, apart from its manifestation in relatively large and well-organized groups like, most notably, al Qaeda. Doesn’t the fact that two guys like the Tsarnaev brothers can cause such destruction, and paralyze an entire metropolitan area, regardless of whether they had any direct association with al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, call into question the adequacy of a drones-over-Afghanistan strategy? And shouldn’t we at least consider, in the midst of a wide-ranging debate over immigration policy, whether more realistic immigration measures should be taken to limit the risk posed by home grown (or, as in this case, transplanted) terrorists?
Hinderaker's last question is important as the backers of "immigration reform" try to rush a bill through Congress before anyone has had a chance to review it. Over at the National Review, John O'Sullivan raises an important issue--the failure of assimilation:
The first point that strikes me is that these young men should have had every reason to be happy in the United States and grateful to the country for its giving them sanctuary. Their uncle seems to have developed just such a loyalty. In addition, the young men were apparently well-integrated into American life locally. They had been to good schools, taken part in voluntary activities, and were regarded by Americans who knew them as bright kids and potentially productive citizens.

... In that case 
[the 2005 London subway bombings] — and I suspect we shall find also in the case of the marathon bombers — the explanation was (or included the fact) that they had been assimilated into a nullity. For almost the entire youth of the 7/7 bombers, the British had acted as if they were ashamed of their national identity and history. So young men, with the usual propensity of young men to want to identify with patriotic and idealistic causes, had been told that there was nothing admirable or heroic about being British. It was a sort of swindle, and one, moreover, that had been perpretated especially upon people of their ethnic backgrounds. They had therefore looked around for a heroic cause they could identify with. The radical Islamists provided them with the cause of radical Islamism — and they embarked on the relatively short road to mass murder.
When that happened, several British commentators argued that this wouldn’t happen in America because America, with its public and private ceremonies of Americanization, had solved the conundrum of how to turn immigrants into loyal and patriotic Americans.
Alas, I had to tell them sadly that they were a generation behind the times. America now bore all the marks of a society that had been subjected to sevral decades of relentless indoctrination in the dogmas of multiculturalism and bilingualism. And the results are now in.
Ten days ago the Hudson Institute published an important paper, “America’s Patriotic Immigrations System is Broken,” by John Fonte and Althea Nagai, which drew on a massive new Harris Interactive survey of native-born Americans and immigrants (which Fonte discussed on the Corner).
This study shows beyond any doubt that, as John Fonte puts it, the patriotic attachment of naturalized citizens is much weaker than that of the native-born. For example, by 30 percentage points (67.3 percent to 37 percent) native-born citizens are more likely to believe that the U.S. Constitution should be a higher legal authority than international law if there is a conflict between the two. But that is only one example — the strength of Fonte-Nagai paper is the cumulative evidence that a relatively weak love of country persists across a large range of issues. But read the study for yourself.
Into this moral and patriotic vacuum seeps what Orwell called “transferred nationalism.” In his day this was usually some variety of Marxism; today it often often a variation on radical Islam. But it is adopted and sparks violent thoughts in the minds of young men whom official America has shielded from the old Americanization.
Getting patriotic assimilation right is as vital — perhaps more vital — than getting border security right. It is an essential part of any comprehensive immigration reform worth the name. To propose opening the country to millions of new immigrants until we have solved this problem is simply to invite more violence from more young men whom we have disoriented and left victim to the worse impulses.

...The fact that Senator Schumer has declared ex cathedra that the Boston bombings have no significance for the immigration bill before Congres 
[sic] merely shows that folly has no natural internal limit.
I'm also concerned with the police response, which seemed over-the-top, yet largely ineffective. An entire city put on "lock down" to track down two men. And unsuccessfully. The first clue as to the brother's location came only after their photos were finally released to the public (apparently panicking them into action). The second brother was located only after the "lock down" was lifted, and a citizen called in a tip. The success of the two will surely breed copycats. Will these also result in shutting down cities and ordering 24-hour curfews?

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