Rushville Republican

Columns

April 23, 2013

Barada: Punishing those responsible for terrorism

RUSHVILLE — Just one week ago was the latest terrorist attack on the United States. Two home-made bombs were detonated near the finish line of the famous Boston Marathon. As of this writing, at least three people were killed and over 160 injured, some very seriously. If you watched any of the coverage of the tragedy in Boston last week, you saw the blasts and the blood, heard the screams, and were as repulsed by this cowardly act of terrorism as anyone.

The only thing fortunate about this latest tragedy was that the explosions took place near the finish of the 26 mile marathon; there were all sorts of medical personnel near the finish line to help those who had been injured by the blasts. There were also plenty of law enforcement personnel in the area to maintain control.

This year there were over 20,000 runners and huge crowds lining the route.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world, the first race was held way back in 1897. Because it draws such a crowd, it is a natural attraction for terrorists who are out to kill or injure as many people as possible. The detonation of those two bombs clearly was intended to harm as many as possible because, despite their relatively crude construction, the bombs were filled with shrapnel and, some say, nails and ball bearings. There can be no other purpose behind filling a bomb with small fragments of metal than to spray the crowd with deadly flying missiles. An 8-year-old boy was one of those killed.

The horror of these events was described by those who were nearby. Some reported seeing severed arms and legs flying through the air. Later, area doctors reported having performed several amputations on those with limbs too badly mutilated to save. Some injuries were worse.

At this writing, at least two persons are known to have been involved. If it turns out that whoever was ultimately responsible for these bombings were Muslim extremists, either foreign or domestic, retribution should be swift and sure. No matter how deeply held the cause, nothing justifies the slaughter of innocent people, especially children. Americans cannot and will not live their lives in fear of this sort of terrorist attack, but it’s time for this country to retaliate in kind once we’re sure what group, religious or otherwise, was responsible for these insane acts.

It no longer is enough for the current administration just to sit on its hands and bemoan the loss of life and the horrific injuries inflicted and do nothing in response. The only thing to do is to make the price for committing such acts as these so quick and devastating that other extremists will think twice before plotting another attack. Doing nothing should not be an option. The United States used to be the most powerful country in the world. Few would even dream of attacking us on our own soil. Efforts lately to placate terrorists and to negotiate with groups or nations who would like to kill us only make us look weak in their eyes. Extending the hand of cooperation and friendship to jihadists around the world is likely to result in that hand being summarily lopped off, not looked upon as a friendly and well-meaning gesture by fanatics not afraid to lose their lives for their particular version of holy war. We are no longer feared by those who would do us harm, hence the bombings last week in Boston.

What’s even worse, these kinds of terrorist acts are, at their core, not acts of brave ideologues fighting for what they believe, but the acts of cowards bent only on the destruction of the lives of others. While they may be prepared to give their own lives in the process, the outcome, if they succeed, is the senseless loss of life among people totally innocent of any crime, insult or affront to their cause or their beliefs. I’m afraid the only way to combat terrorism is to respond in kind to the magnitude of something like ten-fold. Violence is all these people seem to understand; and, if that’s the case, then violence should be their reward for the death and destruction they inflict on innocent men, women, and children.

There are two belief systems at work in all this. Our belief system is founded on the Judeo-Christian tradition based on universal notions like doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, or the Ten Commandments, none of which espouse killing those who don’t believe, as we do, as something God wants us to do! The time may have come, however, when retaliation may be the only concept that Islamic extremists understand. Everything they stand for is antithetical to what the vast majority of Americans believe; a little of the Old Testament like “an eye for an eye” may be what’s required.

The tragedy in Boston is just the latest example of the extremes to which terrorists will go to harm us. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be the last terrorist attack we will experience. The huge difference is all of us must remain constantly on guard until the next lunatic decides to set off an explosive in some crowded, but unlikely place; that’s the price fanatics want to make us pay for our freedom.

That’s -30- for this week.

 

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