In other words, it’s not them, it’s us.
Beginning Monday there had been a non-stop attempt to pin the blame for the Boston Marathon bombing on the “right wing” and Tea Party.
It wasn’t so much an argument based on facts as a hope based on politics, most clearly by David Sirota at Salon.com, but he was far from alone, Add Boston Marathon Bombing to pile of Failed Eliminationist Narratives.
Reality smashed those hopes in the face.
As it became indisputable that the perpetrators were Chechen Muslims who expressed support for Jihad and al-Qaeda (although the full extent of their connections is not known), the narrative shifted.
Now the emerging narrative is that these killers were not part of a vast foreign conspiracy but isolated “lone wolves” who became disenchanted with American society, who were not fully integrated into society, who were unhappy with their lives here and thus became radicalized.
It’s a straw man framing of the issue, because the choice is not between a highly integrated international conspiracy and some solo brother team who didn’t know nothin’ about nobody.
Maybe it’s somewhere in between. Framing the issue this way shifts the focus to American society, how the brothers’ became alienated by us, by our actions, how we need to look in the mirror not at jihadism:
If only we had been nicer, none of this would have happened.
In other words, it’s not them, it’s us. They were radicalized here, by us. Even if they don’t come right out and say it, that’s the implication.
Which would mean likely radicalized here MT @mmurraypolitics: Brothers would have been 9 to 16 at time of entry
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) April 19, 2013
We’re also seeing a full-blown attempt to excuse away the Jihad angle to the story. This was foreseeable:
And it’s being revealed in story after story:
Beyond parody: “Islam Might Have Had Secondary Role in Boston Attacks.” bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/…
— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) April 21, 2013
The motives, so mysterious and unknown?
To his credit, Adam Serwer, now at Mother Jones, reported reality:
Dead Boston suspect’s YouTube page contained video on prophecy associated with Al Qaeda motherjones.com/mojo/2013/04/b…
— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) April 19, 2013
The politicians are on board:
We can never know, can we, when there is epistemic closure.
If posting Jihadi videos on YouTube is not enough of a clue, what will be enough?
Update — Not surprisingly Think Progress puts the “Islamophobia” label on Peter King and Republicans even though Diane Feinstein didn’t use that term and King did not express hatred of Muslims:
Expect more of this.