This week the 117th running of the Boston Marathon was torn asunder by the acts of terrorists. Lives were lost. People were horribly injured. Families were disrupted and the psyche of one of America’s greatest cities was scarred by the specter of terror.
At this moment as I write this one of the alleged terrorists, twenty-six year old Dzhokar Tsarnaev is dead. He met his end in protracted battle with authorities. His younger brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, all of nineteen, is on the run. Both young men were Chechen expatriates.
As with all things here we must apply the power of critical thinking to the situation as we consider the actions, the processes and the results of this heinous act of terror. We must consider sincerely what creates such evil in the hearts of two young men. We must consider the actions of those that imparted such evil to these young men. We must consider if these men were created through purposeful direction or the indoctrination of ideology.
We must consider the hearts and minds of those affected – Bostonians, our fellow Americans, our fellow human beings and stand with them as they reach for the strength to move beyond this act. We must consider critically the process by which action and result was brought into examination and how the process was leveraged effectively to bring justice to Boston and its greater metropolitan area.
Data abounds in our society and I have long stated that the effective utilization of WEB 2.0 tools has increased the democratization of our society by orders of magnitude. However, this same power can be and has been used in the service of justice.
Some of you may remember a few years back where HP used a commercial to show how information technology could be used to catch criminals. This is not fiction. Answers live in the data and data organized to convey meaning is information and information provides power.
Some of us lament the world of cameras, readily observable and recordable street corners and alleyways. The balance between public and private, security and freedom is precarious and we must not sacrifice freedom for security. However, within the balance comes the successful utilization of such tools for the purpose of safety and in some instances justice.
Cameras and the ubiquitous availability of images from mobile devices made the capture of these men a foregone conclusion. The power of information brought justice and continues to bring justice to the people of metropolitan Boston. It all serves to warn those who would commit evil that the tools available to prevent terror or bring retribution rest well in the hands of those that would protect or avenge us.
As the details of this incident spread worldwide the father of the alleged bombers is speaking up. The father is stating that his sons are innocent, that they were set up to take the fall for this incident, that they don’t know how to handle guns and explosives.
This clearly flies in the face of reason as one of his sons was hurling bombs at the authorities as they were pursuing him. This father is lamenting the loss of the sum product of his life and as such he is railing against authority and those who are persecuting his children. They are his sons. We must not lose sight of this fact. Many of us would do the same if it were our children.
We of the critical thinking mind divorce ourselves from the emotion unlike some and recognize this humanistic response by remaining silent knowing that in the days, months and years to come he will suffer far worse than any petty recriminations we may hurl in his direction. We don’t need to call him stupid as I heard one radio one host describe him, saying he should simply shut up. Such statements highlight our ignorance of facts and perspective and does nothing to elevate us as a people. We don’t need to say he was a horrible father. We don’t know when or how evil touched his own. His sons were men of evil and vile action and as such they have reaped what they chose to sow. Our vengeance is reserved for them, not their father.
I have long advocated for the Abrogation of Terror as opposed to the War on Terror. From a critical thinker’s perspective this serves as additional validation of the proposition.
The War on Terror is simply continued combat, asymmetrical or otherwise. War readily begets war with provocation around every corner. Peace through war only comes in total defeat and removal of the enemy, as well as the total vanquishing of the ideology such that those that advocated war can no longer use that ideology to command the tools of war.
The War on Terror makes such peace difficult if not impossible. The ideology of terror is pervasive and enduring, the tools can be procured by school children. Such war is not prosecuted on the battlefield, but rather where we all live. The War on Terror is a no win proposition.
However the Abrogation of Terror means we use every tool at our disposal in order to eliminate terrorism. This includes diplomacy, good will missions and in some instances much more give than take. It also includes the use of our tools of war for defense as well as attack where diplomacy fails.
The goal of abrogation is to remove not only the ability to make war but the need or desire to do so. This requires more than bullets and bombs. It requires social and economic uplift and that’s not isolated to currency. Information is essential. Information used effectively brought and continues to bring justice to Boston. It can aid us in bringing peace to those that feel the need.
As I finish this article for posting Tamerlan has been wounded by the police and captured. Information, technology and trained men and women perfectly willing to put their lives on the line to protect those they hold most dear came to bear on this fugitive and in a monumental exercise of restraint they apprehended him alive. Now though our angers and our passions are still high we must show the content of our character and the state of our society by allowing the process of American Justice to proceed with all due speed, limiting none of the rights due to this man either by God or by man.