Monday, 22 April 2013

Not Enough Silicon?

A great recipe for political success: Frighten the population into a hysterical frenzy - send in the troops - catch a suspect - reap applause: 

The reports from Boston, after the Chechen suspect was arrested were full of “we are a resilient city” and “we are proud to be Bostonians”, whilst hordes in the city of Harvard and MIT shouted “USA USA” reminding one of recent classy Republican Party conventions.

As terror attacks go, this one was fairly minor. And yet, public transport was shut down, airspace was restricted and more than a million Bostonians were put under curfew. Then, many thousands of policemen, national guardsmen, FBI agents and who knows what other agencies they have, were sent out to locate one man whose identity was known to the authorities.

Is that their level of sophistication in the land of high-tech or is it just that the word terrorist gets everybody’s knickers in a twist? They don’t, after all, close down American cities every time a murderer is on the run. Perhaps they should? 

Such heavy-handed mode of operation could perhaps have been avoided, had more sophisticated and intelligent FBI work been able to prevent the Marathon bombing: having been tipped off by the Russian (?) secret service, the FBI that interrogated the elder (now killed) Tsarnaev brother a couple of years ago, failed to recognize his radicalization.


  1. Ah, for once NO diatribe against settlements!

    But why "hat off" to Obama for not attending Thatcher`s funeral?

  2. Fully agree with you on Boston. Ils sont fous ces americains!

  3. ja, ich weiß, was du meinst - und du hast recht mit der hysterischen Suche nach den 'Suspects' - und die kommen noch nicht mal aus Tschechenien sonder - so habe ich gehört aus Kirgistan... ha!!!

  4. It was an interesting week here in Boston. I never sensed the population was terrified... but they did follow orders and cooperated with the manhunt. Putting the whole city at a standstill for a day was probably overkill, but it is hard to argue with success.

    Those college kids chanting USA and celebrating in the streets were a rare moment of unity for this country and relief for the city of Boston. It was a little silly, but wasn't really about politics.

    1. Thanks Beno for your take.

      The bit about following orders I find significant. I know that the celebrations were not about politics - they were however the outcome of a whipped up manhunt.

      Glad you're well!

  5. I have a different outlook on the terrorist thing……….

    I am extremely pleased that so many terrorists have been thwarted not least the ones caught recently planning an attack on Amtrak, and I believe it was very commendable that the ones who get through were caught in 4 days.

    I realize that someone such as yourself living in the middle east for a large part of every year and to a certain extend myself having lived through the Irish bombs in London, that a European might find the police reaction in Boston an overreaction. But it worked.

    It is very refreshing to know that this country can successfully thwart terrorist violence and one can only hope that this force may one day encourage us to deal with its internal madness on guns and the civic culture of violence.