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What’s the Difference?

May 16, 2013

I know this is sort of old news right now, but I want to broach it anyway, and to free-associate, not trying to come to any immediate solution.

I will talk about the Boston bombings and the idea that Tsarnev should not have been read his Miranda Rights.Many right wing pundits would have it that Tsarnev should not have been read his Miranda Rights, as the atrocity was a terrorist attack, and therefore it should be a military hearing. The attack was meant to instill terror into the public, and that is why he has no rights, in spite of his American citizenship. It was an intentional jab at the public well-being, and was, for all intents and purposes, an act of war. That is, at least, their excuse for admonishing the Miranda reading.

A war on whom, and for what purpose? Is this not just as much an act of war as Adam Lanza’s destruction of Sandy Hook? Or James Holmes’s attack on the movie theater? They were just as much American citizens, and had just as much wits about them as Tsarnev. They were read their rights, and given proper trial, so why should people be so distraught about Tsarnev being read his rights? It is a little foggy, isn’t it?

I will not say I profess in law, but I will try to give an exemplary difference between the two, and I hope you will accept my cheesiness. The difference is that one of them is Cobra, and the other is the Joker. Cobra, on the one hand, is a terrorist organization bent on world takeover, and wants to force the world into their submission. The Joker is just a sick man with sick purposes, and does not want to prove a point; he does not discriminate, and he does not allege with anyone in his regimes, unless it is just temporary. The one has a purpose, while the other simply does for the sake of doing. Cobra wants to subdue the world and make everyone bow down to them. The Joker wants to just watch the world burn.

For these reasons, I can see the danger in reading Tsarnev his Miranda Rights. There is a caveat to this approach, and that is that Tsarnev had no compatriots, and he was not part of any kind of organized strike, at least not large-scale (there was a planned attack on Baltimore, but that did not work out, thank God). It really was not very hard-lined and well defined, it was more like, “I feel like showing these Americans what-for, so I’m going to bomb them and maybe get away with it.” In that sense, since he has no Cobra Commander or Destro from whom he takes orders, it really is just another Sandy Hook, right? It is on the border of being just an insane action, one the Joker would do. It borders on the line between an act of war and an act of insanity, and it is a fine line indeed.

Of course, since we did read him his Miranda Rights, we may never know about a Cobra Commander. But I do not think there is one. I do not think this is anything more than a scare, and if there are more coming, it is not all of Islam that is to blame. Yes, there are parts of the Qur’an that tell its readers to kill infidels (or so I’ve heard) but there are parts of the Bible that tell people to kill sinners. The moderate Muslims, fortunately, follow it moderately, but I will come out and say that immoderate Christians do the same as immoderate Muslims, except they kill their victims internally, abusing people inwardly instead of physically, and it is hard to tell which is worse. There are no stones thrown, but only guilt-trips and unnecessary volleys of burning coal. The Muslims, unlike the Christians, are just doing exactly what they’re told, instead of using their imaginations.

Perhaps what scares us most about this bombing was that it was purely because of their national heritage, their religion, or so we think, that the attack happened; for some reason radical Muslims are so hateful toward the West that they think these attacks should happen, and that people must “convert or perish.” And that is what makes them so alien to us. That is why we think Tsarnev should not be read his rights, in spite of his citizenship. And as I said, I will try not to come to some conclusion, except that if we did not read him his rights, it would show, indeed, that this attack was a success, and that we are scared. It would show the potential adversary, who would attack only as a response to our not reading him his rights, that we do fear him, and that we only want the worse for him, because we would treat a nineteen-year old who did not know what he was doing – mercilessly. “The only thing to fear is fear itself,” therefore. If we are afraid of radical Muslims in order to make a martyr (that’s true, isn’t it?) of their new poster child, then they will only hate us more.


From → Philosophy

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