'Why' Can Wait
Monday I sat glued to my TV, along with million of others, watching the reports of the unfathomable stupidity perpetrated at the Boston Marathon. Once again, some sad coward saw fit to attack innocent people in an act of terrorism designed to make some political point or other. Once again, innocent noncombatant people minding their own business were murdered or maimed, their lives taken from them, or changed forever. People were traumatized by the loss of loved ones. A great American event is forever scarred by it all. An eight year old child was murdered. His name was Martin Richard, and he was waiting at the finish line for his father to finish the race. That any human being could justify murdering him in the name of some “cause” is simply bewildering. But hatred doesn’t have a face. It can’t be defended or justified, and the line of thinking that led somebody to justify it, the ‘why,’ can wait. Whatever sick thinking motivates this kind of thing doesn’t have any importance at all in the face of the act itself. Time spent trying to figure out why would better be spent finding out who, and getting them and their co-conspirators off the street, and later, after we have taken care of the victims, and foreclosed any opportunity these cowards might have to do it again, after we have buried Martin, then we might turn our attention to why.
After a while, President Obama made some prepared remarks about the whole thing. I was troubled by a couple of things he said, or didn’t say. At no time did he use the word “terrorist”. What he did say, more than once, was that we would find out ‘who did this’, and with equal emphasis, we would find out ‘why’ they did it.
“Why” somebody might do this kind of thing is important, yes, but there are more important things to attend to first. “Why” is a question more suited perhaps to a defense attorney, or a forensic psychiatrist, but when a politician asks it, especially one with a history of “never letting a good crisis go to waste” one wonders at the motivation. People were still in surgery, the blood hadn’t dried on the sidewalk yet, and Mr. Obama was focused on political ramifications. That our President might view this as any kind of political “opportunity” is an appalling prospect. Surely he wouldn’t do that.
When Hitler was busy trying to take over the world, nobody, least of all the Commander in Chief of our country’s military, wasted time asking ‘why’ he was doing it. We rightly saw him as our enemy, and we set about killing him. That’s what leaders do when the people they are charged to protect are under attack. Looking for political advantage in the midst of something like this is a very disturbing thing to see.
God bless the victims in this tragedy, and their families. God bless Martin Richard, and God bless this country.
This was originally published Apr 16 by springeraz at nukingpolitics.com, under the title “‘Why’ Can Wait.”