Our Confusing, Violent World
It is entirely predictable that western nations will be targeted by extremists. It is simply not possible to participate in wars and violent regime changes without some level of domestic blowback, as Patrick Cockburn points out in his piece today:
There is a feeling of inevitability about the attack in Paris.
The likelihood must be that the killers were Islamic fanatics, the murder of the journalists and police underlining the degree to which the ferocious religious war being waged in Iraq and Syria now affects all of the world. Regardless of whether or not those who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office have any direct connection with this conflict, it has provided an ideal seedbed for Islamic extremism.
It was culpably naïve to imagine that sparks from the Iraq-Syrian civil war, now in its fourth year, would not spread explosive violence to Western Europe. With thousands of young Sunni Muslims making the difficult journey to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis, it has always been probable that some of them would choose to give a demonstration of their religious faith by attacking targets they deem anti-Islamic closer to home.
So it’s clear to those in the west this is a terrorist attack—a politically motivated act of violence. Getting much less attention here at home is the bomb that was set off outside a NAACP office in Colorado Springs. The suspect being sought by authorities is a balding, 40 year old white man:
An improvised explosive device was detonated against the exterior wall of a building housing the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP on Tuesday, officials said.
The explosion knocked items off the office walls but no one was injured.
Agents from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives went to the scene after the blast to gather evidence and place markers.
The FBI said that a gasoline can was placed next to the device but the contents did not ignite.
According to the the FBI, officials are seeking a “potential person of interest,” described as a balding white male, about 40 years old.
“He may be driving a 2000 or older model dirty, white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark colored bed liner, open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate,” the FBI said in a statement said.
Don’t worry, my fellow white men, our media won’t call him a terrorist. A lone wolf, maybe. But based on the target, who can deny this is a politically motivated act of violence?
The world can be very confusing. Americans demand free speech for religious bashing and depictions of political assassination, but if you make threats toward law enforcement, you will be arrested. In Europe, extremely offensive images of the prophet Mohammad are ok, but a handful of countries have made denying the holocaust illegal and have banned the swastika. Politically motivated acts of violence are acts of terrorism only when dark skinned people with foreign sounding names commit them. When a balding white man in a pickup truck sets off a bomb, it most likely will not be described as an act of terrorism.
And so it goes.