Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We are now Israel

My heart and thoughts go out to the injured in Boston and the family and friends of the deceased. The videos are just horrifying. One of my first thoughts after hearing the news is that we are now Israel where terrorist attacks can occur anywhere people are gathered. An open society like ours is so very vulnerable. I've always thought that the terrorists would realize that there is no point in attacking airplanes and would go after the millions and millions of targets that we present every day at any gathering in a mall, theater, school, concert, or sporting events. That is what I thought would happen at some point following 9/11 and we've been lucky since then.

And we've been vigilant. Don't discount the daily work done by hundreds of thousands of police and federal agents to try to forestall just such an occurrence. We've already heard of thwarted attempts that seemed minor at the time, but would have been catastrophic without our vigilance. Remember that the police were able to arrest a terrorist who was aiming to set off a car bomb in Times Square. We were lucky then, but we so easily might not have been. But our protectors have to block every single attempt; our enemies have to succeed just once and we will see stories like yesterday's. This is what Israel has been experiencing for decades. And I greatly fear that this is what our future will be.

It would be comforting to think that this was an isolated incident and the work of one man, but we just don't know. And so the searches and investigations must go on. And people will have to stop complaining about searches at the airport or museums and start expecting more such intrusions into our daily lives.

Another thought I had is how difficult it must be for the news anchors who have to fill hours and hours of coverage without much news. There are only so many times that they can run the same video footage over and over. At some point they'll have to start speculating and they can say some awfully dumb stuff. The news itself is sensational; there is no need for news anchors to try to intensify the story just to fill time. It makes following a story like this better on the internet. Sure there is a whole lot of false reports and stupid speculation, but you can skip those and just follow the news reports in a few minutes of sweeping through the online news and skip the time-filler that so much of the TV news was yesterday.