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On the Times Square Bombing & the villains of our imagination

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:36 pm - May 4, 2010.
Filed under: Arrogance of the Liberal Elites,War On Terror

Jim Geraghty observes how the initial absence of a suspect in the attempted bombing of Times Square revealed much about those making assumptions about his background and motivations:

This is how I like my counter-terrorism: No casualties and the good guys seem to be hot on the trail of the bad guys. As of this writing, we don’t know precisely who placed that car with various sundry incendiaries Saturday night, and the first 48 hours offered everyone a chance to suspect their favorite foe – Islamists, South Park critics, militia members, lone nuts, and in the case of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, health care bill critics.

Emphasis added.  Each person who made a speculation about a suspect revealed the type of person he believed was responsible for such evil acts.  The real villains of his imagination.

Roger offers an important insight into the imaginations of aging baby bombers and their hangers-on in younger generations:

If you were listening to Geraldo on Sunday night (okay, I apologize), you would have thought the would-be Times Square bomber was either the illegitimate son of Timothy McVeigh or an evangelical minister overdosed on steroids looking for an abortion clinic. Geraldo was practically fulminating at the mouth — it’s a white man, it’s a white man — in nostalgia for the good old days when the true enemy was some evil Ku Kluxer waving his hangman’s noose.

Emphasis added.

In a roundup on the arrest, Glenn links Mark Steyn who offers:

Whenever something goofy happens — bomb in Times Square, mass shootings at a US military base, etc. — there seem to be two kinds of reactions:

a) Some people go, “Hmm. I wonder if this involves some guy with a name like Mohammed who has e-mails from Yemen.”

b) Other people go, “Don’t worry, there’s no connection to terrorism, and anyway, even if there is, it’s all very amateurish, and besides he’s most likely an isolated extremist or lone wolf.”

Unfortunately, everyone in category (b) seems to work for the government.



  1. Dan,

    in the current environment I don’t think it’s a ‘chance to suspect their favourite foe’. It’s logical to assume it’s an Islamist based on the data at the time. I don’t think anyone has any joy at being proven right, though there may be some joy in seeing others proven wrong.

    I mean I immediately dismissed Bill Ayers, he’s not blown anyone up in years.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 4, 2010 @ 12:50 pm - May 4, 2010

  2. The disappointment of Dems that the suspect is not a Tea Party type is downright palpable.

    Comment by Tully — May 4, 2010 @ 12:52 pm - May 4, 2010

  3. There are two people in this situation who make me proud to be an American: The hot dog guy who noticed something wrong, and the policeman who cleared the area, with no concern for his own safety. Oh, and every other NYPD officer.

    P. S. Not Obama, who seems to still be trying to finish My Pet Goat.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — May 4, 2010 @ 12:55 pm - May 4, 2010

  4. Think the commander in chief might want to have a press conference soon? Since the Christmas Day bomber, the Ft Hood masacre, the Times Sq bomber, the 12 day silence on the Oil spill….
    Why isn’t the fifth estate DEMANDING some answers to this stuff?
    Good lord. Have a press conference Mr President. Put up a teleprompter. Have your concelours in the back room helping you answer some of these questions, but get out and answer some serious questions and follow ups. Instead of little 20 sec sound bites. Grow up.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 4, 2010 @ 12:59 pm - May 4, 2010

  5. Each person who made a speculation about a suspect revealed the type of person he believed was responsible for such evil acts.

    I assume your intent is to distinguish those who were really speculating from those who were speaking from facts. Some people used facts to arrive at the correct conclusion quickly, i.e., that it was the Islamists. They were then accused (wrongly) of speculation by certain idiots who weren’t paying attention to the facts. For a microcosm, review this GP comment thread from Sunday:

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 4, 2010 @ 4:08 pm - May 4, 2010

  6. P. S. Not Obama, who seems to still be trying to finish My Pet Goat.

    This site has a lot of really great commenters. There are a few “don’t waste my time”. A lot of insightful opinions, some I agree with, some I don’t, some I’d like to debate (but I don’t add anything after 20+ comments posted)

    Ash, as much as I usually blow past your stuff, *this* comment will make me read your future posts much more closely! Thanks!

    Comment by Jax Dancer — May 4, 2010 @ 10:07 pm - May 4, 2010

  7. Ash, as much as I usually blow past your stuff, *this* comment will make me read your future posts much more closely! Thanks!

    Ass has some good ones, but sometimes he forgets his meds and it’s just asinine blather.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 4, 2010 @ 11:48 pm - May 4, 2010

  8. The occasional sensible and/or anti-Obama comment functions as”bait” for all of his other asinine and/or left-wing blather, which functionally supports Obama most of the time.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 5, 2010 @ 12:04 am - May 5, 2010

  9. You’re ambivalent toward me! You’re really, really ambivalent toward me! 🙂

    Comment by Ashpenaz — May 5, 2010 @ 11:25 am - May 5, 2010

  10. Well Ash, you love government regulation so much, for example, believing there should have been more of it in the BP / Gulf of Mexico situation. It appears you were right halfway… sort of:

    The government regulators did not do their alleged job. They specifically exempted BP from an environmental safety analysis in 2009. The article, coming from the lamestream media, tactfully refrains from pointing out that the exemption happened under a Democrat administration and that BP was one of the Democrats’ top campaign contributors in 2008.

    All that illustrates a point I’ve long been been making: that government regulation is inherently political, shoddy and inadequate to the task, making things worse because it drives out the self-regulation that would otherwise grow powerfully from the profit motive.

    If BP were left to their own devices, they would have been worrying about what investors think of them (profit motive), concentrating on doing a good job (profit motive) so they could bring their product to market without having a major disaster on their hands (profit motive). After all, they’re out to make money and the reality is that disasters are big distraction and expense.

    But instead, government stepped in. At that point, BP had to worry about pleasing the regulators, lobbying the regulators, lobbying the regulators’ political paymasters, and generally how they were going to ‘work’ the regulators. Instead of focusing on doing a good job. Because by definition, you can’t focus on everything at once. Thus, government regulation (inherently shoddy and political) drives out self-regulation.

    But you, naturally, won’t think about any of that. Instead, you will make it out to mean that we need even more government regulation. Because, after all, government is all-wise, all-perfect, all-loving, well-motivated and does a great job. Or, perhaps, simply that we didn’t pick the right Democrat. If only we had the right Democrat, *then* government would be all-wise, all-perfect, all-loving, etc.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 5, 2010 @ 12:07 pm - May 5, 2010

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