I certainly didn’t see that coming. Still, we can learn a few useful things:
1. America is no island. The world is already here; therefore, it should no longer surprise us when international conflict comes to these shores.
2. This means that isolationism is strictly impossible. The old Pat Buchanan notion that America can wall itself off from the rest of the world is obsolete.
3. There’s no such thing as surety. The idea of safety becomes a more tenuous thing. As some in the media have said, that is innocence truly lost. If 9/11 didn’t take that away, this event most certainly has.
4. That means Americans must learn to think a bit more like those in Britain, and take up a steely resolve that no terror attack will break the people’s will. “Who did this?” “Mice….” The bombers—and I specifically mean the bombers themselves—are/were evil, period.
5. However, this also means Americans must not close their minds or hearts. In a sense, it doesn’t matter who did this. Two evil young men did it. That’s all. Americans must not under any circumstance undertake mistrust of foreigners over this incident, or use this to exercise a deeper hatred of their own. That’s as bad as giving in to terror, this opening of the well of hate, racism, nationalism.
For all that, it’s good to see the people of Boston displaying a unity we also saw in New York after 9/11. The rest of us can take something positive from their example.