Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Boston Blasts: Four-Fifteen, a turning point

For a start let nobody cast any doubt whatsoever on the sheer horror felt throughout the world community at the totally unacceptable act of wanton and random violence perpetrated at the end of the Boston Marathon on 4/15/2013. Secondly, let us place the act in context and thirdly, let us not allow the US authorities to jump to conclusions.

The context of the Boston Blasts, or 4/15, is the post-Clausewitz world we live in, in which the individual has the power to wage war against a State. It is a world of accountability: you attack sovereign nations outside the auspices of international law, you strafe Iraqi children with military hardware fired from a coward sitting in an aircraft spreading freedom and democracy from 30,000 feet by blasting the limbs off kids, you get one back.

You deploy cruise missiles removing a Government in Libya whose only crime was to stand up against international terrorism, be the first to issue an international arrest warrant for Al-Qaeda, to provide Africa with telemedicine and e-learning programmes and plan for Africa to manage its own affairs, and you get one back.

You start funding and aiding terrorists half-way across the globe, you instigate colour revolutions, you support dictatorial regimes, run drug smuggling rings, oversee the most horrific acts of crime, of murder, of torture, of sodomy of prisoners, and you get one back.

For those intelligent enough to see the writing on the wall, this must surely be the turning point of the United States of America's criminal and murderous foreign policy, one synonymous with concentration camps, deployment of military hardware against civilian structures, of wanton destruction to then hand out rebuilding contracts and to satisfy the lobbies at home. It is the end of mail-order massacres and war crimes.

That said, let us reiterate what was stated in the opening paragraph, that such horrific acts of violence, which in this case left an eight-year-old child among the three dead and many critically injured among the 140 other victims, are wholly unacceptable and are as wrong in the context of a double bomb blast in a Marathon as they are in the context of a double bomb blast caused by a coward sitting in his aircraft or some demented psychopath sitting in the Nevada desert controlling a drone and yelling "Bugsplat!" when he zaps a "Paki".

And in this case let there be no mistake in the blame game as a culprit is found...or invented. Our lesson is 9/11, together with the serious questions surrounding the apparent implosion of the Twin Towers, the squeaky-clean passports found among the rubble, and the queen of queens, the Pentagon strike.

The scrutiny of the entire international media, bought/controlled and real/alternative, will be on the US authorities to see if they mention "Syria" or "North Korea" in the (very strange) absence of a claim of responsibility for the Boston blasts. To preclude any such temptation (and we remember the allegations of chemical attacks by the Syrian authorities against the terrorists unleashed by NATO in their country, slicing the breasts off women and girls in the street, when the only ones using chemical weapons were the terrorists themselves), let us remember that it is as likely that 4/15 was perpetrated by a home-grown loner with a grudge to bear, or a home-grown terrorist cell, than any international organization.

The nature of the attack - twin blasts, probably detonated by remote control, indicate a certain level of planning and organization but nothing beyond the capabilities of hundreds of thousands of people willing to give it a go.

We live in a non-Clauswitzian world, one in which any individual anywhere has such powers. Let us all agree on one thing: the death of an American child murdered in a bomb blast is as unacceptable and tragic as the death of an Iraqi boy, or a Libyan boy, or a Syrian boy, murdered in a bomb blast by a member of the US Armed Forces or the terrorists it supports.

In a world of global values in which such acts are met with horror and shock, surely a foreign policy based upon Shock and Awe, spreading democracy with the bullet, has no place. Time for a rethink in US foreign policy. If Boston was not about this, then there is no guarantee that other strikes will not be. Let us spare a thought for the victims and their families - all of them, everywhere - and see if together we cannot provide an alternative to what we have.

These days you cannot even go to a Marathon in peace. Is this freedom?


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey