There has been enough already written about the Chechin brothers of Boston to fill a library, and it''s still coming.
We''ll never know for sure what produced the decisions of those two young men, and whoever else may have been involved. We''ve already heard from the White House that the man apprehended is only a suspect, and that Americans should not jump to conclusions about immigrants, or others who look like they might be Muslims.
There is some truth to the assertion that the problem is not Islam, but only Islamic extremists.
Yet hateful elements within Islamic doctrine and preaching are ascendant, and provide the motivation for many Muslims.
Not all Muslims, to be sure, and probably nothing close to a majority. Moreover, there remain Jews and Christians attracted to the hateful elements in their own doctrines. However, the Talmud demonstrates that the rabbis turned against the Torah''s assertions of capital and corporal punishment at least two centuries before Christ. Most clearly since the Holocaust, Christian leaders have renounced the excesses of their predecessors and the hateful elements in their doctrines.
If the current problem is not Islam, it is Muslims; not all or most of them, but a enough of them to be worrisome.
Pity Americans, not equipped to deal with the issue.
Their laws and traditions will keep them from the profiling that Israelis use to screen individuals who want to enter the country, or who line up to be checked before entering supermarkets, universities, restaurants, other public buildings, and--at times of particular stress--buses, as well as individuals presenting themselves and their luggage at the international airport. Israeli Jews move through those checkpoints easier than others. Arabs complain, officials proclaim that all will be screened, but the individuals doing the work learn who to wave through and who to delay for a more careful inquiry.
Boston may help to bring the Russians and Americans closer together. These Chechins caused a small number of personal tragedies, a great insult, and a day of extreme fright to the citizens of Boston. However, they did little actual harm compared to what their countrymen have done in Moscow and elsewhere. Russians have responded to acts of terror with their own massive retaliations, and sometimes dealt with those directly involved with a quick bullet to the head. If the second brother survives his medical care, he can look forward to decades of legal wrangling and millions of dollars spent by authorities on the way to deciding how to punish him. Massachusetts removed the death penalty from its statutes three decades ago, but there is a federal death penalty that some prosecutors and lots of politicians will be itching to apply.
Among the comments are that the crime against the Boston Marathon was more noteworthy than the deaths and injuries. America was insulted by violence at an event of national importance. The crime resembled 9-11, which targeted a New York landmark and was called the equivalent of Pearl Harbor.
What followed 9-11 was an onslaught against Afghanistan and then an attack against Iraq, the destruction of the Iraqi government, and the killing of Saddam Hussein. The unraveling of Iraqi society continues with uncounted casualties that may have passed a million. Entering an airport in much of the world is not like it used to be. Getting into the United States is more difficult for students coming from overseas, and occasionally impossible for Israeli Jews whose passports indicate that they were born in Iran, Iraq, or some other problematic place.
The individuals given jobs of security in the United States do not have the wisdom of professors, or the IDF graduates screened and trained to be "selectors" for those wanting to travel to or from Israel.
The Boston Marathon indicates that the war against terror is not over. More high profile attacks should be expected, as well as killings like those 13 done at Fort Hood by a Muslim psychiatrist with the rank of major.
There will also be an uptick in the analyses and proposals by American experts, commentators, and politicians. The NRA will assert, if it has not done so already, that the best defense is more guns in the hands of Americans.
Putting Boston in perspective, however, the numbers indicate that Americans should worry more about guns in their own hands than explosives in the hands of Muslims.
The President''s defeat in the Senate, even in the case of a measure so weak in its aspirations as to cause wonder in comparison with gun control elsewhere in western societies, is a more serious impediment to American security than anything found in the Koran or the preaching of the most radical of Islamic clerics.