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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Soon after the explosions, there appeared on the website of The Boston Globe a video of the moment. Runners in the city’s iconic marathon are jogging across the finish line and everyone is cheering, when there is a clap of thunder and an orange bloom of fire from within a ring of flags honoring the nations represented in the race. It is followed, seconds later, by another blast from just down the street. The cheers become shrieks, falsetto shrills of panic and fear and the videographer carries you forward, to where the smoke is drifting and police, runners and bystanders rip barricades apart trying to reach the epicenter of chaos.

“We need help!” someone cries.

And the videographer whispers three words to himself. “Oh, my God,” he says.

He says it again. “Oh, my God.”

He keeps saying it, probably doesn’t even hear himself, probably doesn’t even realize. “Oh, my God.”

On a day that will be filled with expert analysis and speculation, in a moment of keening, lamentation and loss, on an afternoon that will require a presidential expression of empathy and resolve, no one will say any words more fitting, more viscerally descriptive than those. They are an entreaty of the Almighty, yes. They are also a susurration of helplessness in the face of stark and awesome evil.

Oh, my God because blood sits on the sidewalk in pools.

Oh, my God because pieces of people litter the streets.

Oh, my God because our nightmares now walk in sunshine.

“We can’t do this anymore,” a man named Allan Kaufman tells a reporter. “We can’t have open events anymore. You can’t control it.” It is a measure of the day’s horror that for an instant, his words, spoken in a rawness of anguish, seem to make sense. But they don’t, of course. Not really.

  • The Boston Bombing is just a reminder that any event can be a target. It can be indoors. It can be outdoors.

    • The letters containing ricin mailed to the President and two Democratic Senators, and recent murders of moderate law enforcement officials suggest the Boston bombing may not be an isolated incident by a deranged or bitter person. Something sinister and dangerous is going on.

  • Shame people use this to make their point. Must be better ways to express: out rage, anger, grievances. This country is extremely angry – need to determine cause.

  • elw

    I am outradged at what happened in Boston, I will hold my outradge until the FBI figures out who is to blame.

  • Allan Richardson

    The Light of God surrounds us. The Love of God enfolds us. The Power of God protects us. The Presence of God watches over us. Wherever we are, God IS. And all is well.

    –Unity prayer for protection, by James Dillet Freeman

  • Canistercook

    And while we sympathize with the victims of this terrible bombing, hopefully we will also sympathize with others in Iraq and Afghanistan who are daily subject to such tragedy.

    Somehow it is difficult to see how killing or maiming a few innocent people will solve any of our problems.

  • Thank you from Boston

  • We Must Retaliate With Blind Rage
    By Kent Doane
    On Patriots Day 2013, America was hit by an unprecedented attack on its shores. The devastation and loss of life is incalculable. It is clear to me, as it should be to all Americans, what our nation must do: Retaliate with blind, violent rage, striking back with a fury and vengeance the likes of which modern man has never seen.
    We must launch every available missile at any nation in which the terrorists are rumored to be hiding. We must bomb every square inch of any country that may be harboring them. Then, when the thick, black smoke has finally cleared, we must bomb them all over again, reducing the rubble to its component atoms. If, in the midst of carpet-bombing a country, we find that it had no involvement in the Patriots Day attack, so be it. Apologies can come later, but vengeance must be immediate.
    After pummeling the holy living hell out of those fuckers with bombs, we should send in ground troops, armed to the teeth, to sweep through and exterminate anyone still alive who might have been involved. America’s soldiers must be under orders to pump round after round into their bodies, pausing only to replace their clips. Only then will closure to this horrible event be possible. If we do not strike back fast and with as much military might as humanly possible, America will never be able to heal.
    Some people argue that if we capture bomber and his co-conspirators, we should bring them to justice before a U.N. tribunal or in Federal Court. I say that to bring them before a civilized court is to raise them up to the level of humans. Terrible acts must be punished with terrible retribution. Are we going to humanely execute by lethal injection men who wantonly killed and maimed hundreds of innocents? Instead, all of those who are guilty must be dipped in boiling fat and fed to dogs.
    Many say that using a nuclear weapon on the nations that harbor such sub-human filth would be rash and irresponsible. To which I say, “Why use a nuclear weapon when we have hundreds in our nation’s silos?” Should nuclear weapons be used? The question, really, is how many should be used, and can I push the buttons?
    Counterpoint
    We Must Retaliate With Measured, Focused Rage
    By Larry Tempel
    In this time of national tragedy, many people are letting their anger get the best of them. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that when you’re dealing with a crisis, the worst thing you can do is let your emotions run wild. To react rashly will only exacerbate the problem in the long run.
    Rather than be blinded by our collective anger, we must keep a cool head and, after careful consideration of the many complex social and geopolitical factors at work here, annihilate the pieces of shit who did this with measured, focused rage.
    While leveling Afghanistan, Iraq, the Sudan, No. Korea and Somalia with bombs might seem like a justifiable move, we must first ponder the consequences of such a hasty, hotheaded decision. Have we explored all other options? Have we made sure we have the support of other key powers in the region, so that further problems don’t develop after we bomb them back into the Stone Age?
    Let’s also keep in mind that we still don’t know with absolute certainty who is responsible for the attacks. Believe me, no one wants to assume al Qaeda is behind these heinous acts more than I do. However, basing a military response on conjecture would only weaken our international position and undermine any retaliatory measures we take. What we need is rock-solid, convincing rumors before we can move forward with vaporizing the bastards.
    I agree that the perpetrators must be punished severely. But, contrary to what so many knee-jerk, blood-lusting Americans would like to believe, merely capturing and punishing them will not prevent this sort of thing from happening again in the future. No, they must be tried and convicted in a U.S. court of law, so that President Obama can, on live TV, pump bullet after bullet into their bodies, starting with their feet and slowly working his way up. Then, after a great deal of soul-searching and consultation with his top advisors, the president must toss their lifeless, bullet-riddled bodies into a shark tank.
    I must also respond to the many voices in this country who have been calling for the use of nuclear weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are not to be used lightly. Much thought and caution must be exercised before making the country that gave safe haven and financing to the perpetrators an unlivable radioactive wasteland. Vigorous debate and discussion must precede any inevitable decision regarding target locations and the number of weapons. This is one area where you absolutely don’t want to make a mistake.
    We must remember that impulsively lashing out is never the best course of action. True justice can only be achieved through cool, calm, levelheaded Armageddon.