“Boston bombings represent a sorrowful scene of what happens everyday in Syria. Do accept our condolences.” The bombings in the Boston marathon were a tragedy, and I truly wish that those few that were killed or injured in the explosion hadn’t been. I don’t mean to trivialize the pain and suffering that these events have put people through, but I think there’s some important context to be considered here.
The day after the picture of Syrian rebels was posted, a group of Bostonians got together and replied with a sign saying “Friends of Syria, we too hope for the safety of your families and for peace.” For citizens of a war-torn country terrorizing its own people, the false empathy of suburban white-collar Bostonians is a cruel joke.
I was a few blocks from the explosions and was evacuated from the T. Walking around the police blockade was a serious annoyance, but that was it. No buildings came down, my life wasn’t in danger, and I was pretty sure everything would be wrapped up in less than a week.
The bombing is a tragedy, but we should never forget that this is a tiny blip on the radar for us. Not counting the cost of the manhunt, or the hours worked by law enforcement, shutting down Boston for a day cost $333 million according to Bloomberg, enough to buy a few south pacific nations for a year. We are very lucky to live in a country with enough prosperity that we can spend that kind of money on public safety without hesitation.
In the face of tragedy one should never forget to count their blessings.
The recent incidents in Boston were unexpected and horrific. While I do not like the events that transpired, I think they provide a lot to think about and reflect on and a lot to be thankful for. The emergency personnel were incredible. So many injured victims needed emergency surgery and the like, and, this all happened amazingly smoothly under the circumstances. In such situations, we look at the victims and their families and empathize with them. It is easy to forget about the effects on everyone involved — the first responders, these nearby in the crowd, the hospital workers. The impact of such events reach much farther than those we think of first.
These recent events also offer us something else. They offer us a way to see what people in other parts of the world experience on a daily basis. There was a helpme about a backpack left on the wall near the CC. Imagine if every time you stepped outside you did not know if you would run into a IED, if you would get shot accidentally, etc. For us near Boston, the outward effects were relatively short lived. The mental and emotional affects are still there for many (and will be for a long time), but outwardly, things have returned to normal. I hope that this glimpse of how so many people live motivates us to help those who face such situations year round.
Please join BOCA in remembering those lost and those otherwise affected by the recent tragedies in Boston and Texas on Wednesday, May 1st, 7:00pm at Glavin Chapel.
If there’s one thing that the Boston Bombings show us, it’s that terrorism ‘works.’ The bombings and subsequent events successfully shut down a metropolitan area off and on for a week, and the most terrorizing thing about it was just not knowing what was going on. ‘Who would do this?’, ‘Why the marathon?’, and ‘Where are the perpetrators?’ were some of the most common questions that I heard, everywhere from the front pages of news sites to the dining hall to conversations with my parents. That’s why some friends and I decided that we would put together a ‘situation room’; if a lack of information was scary, then getting information would be comforting. Many questions still remain unanswered, but now that there is a suspect in custody, people are more comfortable. We’ve been offered one answer to one of the questions (‘who?’), and now it’s just up to the courts to decide if it’s the right one. If we process the suspect in a systematic and orderly way, we can fight terrorism the best way that we can: by learning what happened and eliminating our fear.
Last week’s events were admittedly exciting, and I enjoyed my sleepless night listening to the police scanner and pushing off my MechSolids exam. However, I can’t say I agree with over-dramatization of the deaths during the marathon and the threat posed by the young Chechnyan. Events like this feed into the completely unrealistic and widely popularized fear of terrorism, and the media’s misportrayal of the threat of terrorism feeds into the misappropriation of resources and support (see: Patriot Act). I would also argue that the media completely fails to give fair attention to the continuous recreation of the threat of terrorism, even that which we have been inflicting upon Iraqi children. Children who, I should note, do not have nice, clean hospitals to get shuttled off to.
Pardon my insensitivity, but if we are going to have “moments of silence” for those affected in the marathon bombing, should we not also honor the 27 victims from last week’s Baghdad coffee shop bombing? The government’s complete overreaction to the events and their inefficient removal of the boy’s threat only strengthen my belief that we should move to a far more decentralized government. From a purely economic standpoint, shutting down production in a city that outputs roughly $1 billion per day is a step too far.
A Wikipedia Introduction to the Patriot Act
“The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is an acronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
The act, as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, significantly reduced restrictions in law enforcement agencies’ gathering of intelligence within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.” ~Wikipedia