Even if you lived under a rock this past week it would have been rather difficult to have missed the non-stop coverage of the Boston bombing and its ensuing developments. But unfortunately the only thing that is clear, despite the voluminous amount of coverage of the issue, is that American society is deeply flawed.
There is no doubt that the bombing itself was horrendous and evil, but the government, media and public responses to it was by far one of the most embarrassing and ridiculous spectacles I have ever witnessed.
Within hours of the bombing misinformation abounded everywhere. Government officials were saying different and conflicting things that news media went ahead and reported. Social media was ablaze with accusations of one kind or another.
Innocent people’s lives became a nightmare when social media spread rumors and falsehoods about them, most notably the case of Salah Barhoun, a 17 year old who was implicated by the New York Post as a suspect.
But all of the media misinformation surrounding the bombing was nothing compared to what happened when the chase began for the two Chechen suspects.
Unlike what seems to be the vast majority of the publicm I am not in fact in favor of torturing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and then throwing him into the fires of hell for all eternity.
If media and government officials were able to be so horribly wrong in the past week is it impossible that maybe this could be the wrong person and that this man should at least have a trial before judgment s passed upon him?
That being said let us assume that the Tsarnaev brothers are in fact the terrorists. If they were the terrorists there is no doubt that they won. If I was a terrorist I could scarcely hope for a better reaction from the American government, media and people.
Two men were able to use primitive bombs and kill 3 people and wound over a hundred others. If these men wanted to draw attention to the cause of Chechen independence they certainly succeeded.
As a result of their actions they were able to draw more attention to Chechnya in one week than two wars against Russia where thousands of people were killed.
Next, two men managed to bring the entire city of Boston with hundreds of thousands of people to a complete stop. An American city on lockdown with armored vehicles rolling down the streets all because of two men — it’s simply unthinkable.
How many millions of dollars did this cost? Not only was there a huge cost in terms of having hundreds of police officers and FBI agents driving gas guzzling trucks all over the city but there is the huge loss in economic activity that comes from shutting an entire city down.
If I was a terrorist I would be more encouraged than ever before to attack America, seeing how reactionary Americans are and how eager people like Senator Lindsey Graham are to throw due process out the window.
There was however, a smidge of dark humor this week. When it was announced that the suspects were from Chechnya swarms of ignorant Americans took to the internet to pour hate, vitriol, and calls for death on…. the Czech Republic.
It was so bad that the Czech embassy had to clarify that no the Czech Republic is in fact not the same as the Chechen Republic which is part of the Russian Federation. This is quite fortunate for the Czechs seeing how so many Americans are calling for the American military to rain death down upon the region of origin of the suspect.
It was clear that this past week was a week in which America demonstrated a serious lack of judgment. No, America is not the greatest nation on earth, but it certainly is in the running for being named the most ignorant and stupid.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article does not reflect the views and believes of The Merciad, Mercyhurst University or the Catholic Church.