Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
The Boston marathon terror incident awakens numerous responses. Perhaps the saddest one alluded to previously here and which has been mentioned in countless reports is that Boston is the new reality. It represents the nature of the modern world within which we sadly live. This is the way of the 21st Century.
It is, of course, the way of the world with which Israel largely has lived throughout the last several decades. Only more recently have the number of suicide bombers and gruesome bombings declined, only to be replaced by the more conventional choice of terrorists; Qassam rockets. The size of the potential dangers is so much greater in the U.S. than in Israel, but the finality of wholesale attacks in Israel could be cataclysmic.
There was an ironic juxtaposition in the tragedy in Boston on Monday and the failed Senate vote on background checks for gun purchases on Wednesday. While clearly unrelated, they do speak to the violent world within which we see apparently obsessed individuals sending terrifying chills through a nation, while elected lawmakers lack the courage to invoke a simple initiative which perhaps could reduce the threat of weapons ending up in the hands of deranged individuals.
It was predictable as well that now that the presumed perpetrators of the Boston tragedy have been identified as foreigners—here legally—that voices would be raised challenging the just introduced immigration reform proposal. It was suggested that admitting or legalizing those foreigners here illegally could well escalate the likely dangers to the U.S. imposed by foreigners. The opposition to immigration reform did not need very much help and now it remains to be seen if this perspective will shake votes away from the pro-reform forces.
Finally, the fears that these two apparent Chechnyian brothers may have been seduced by radical Islamic teachers suggests what many have feared for some time would occur. Al Qaeda and radical Muslims would seek non Arabs as the next generation of potential “messengers” to carry their poison to the West. No one ever believed that radical Islam needed a staggering number of converts from the West. If they now have succeeded in developing a string of recruits, the events in Boston may be only the beginning of what is yet to come.