Chomsky: The Boston Bombings Gave Americans a Taste of the Terrorism the U.S. Inflicts Abroad Every Day
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
April is usually a cheerful month in New England, with the first signs of spring, and the harsh winter at last receding. Not this year.
There are few in Boston who were not touched in some way by the marathon bombings on April 15 and the tense week that followed. Several friends of mine were at the finish line when the bombs went off. Others live close to where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect, was captured. The young police officer Sean Collier was murdered right outside my office building.
It's rare for privileged Westerners to see, graphically, what many others experience daily - for example, in a remote village in Yemen, the same week as the marathon bombings.
On April 23, Yemeni activist and journalist Farea Al-Muslimi, who had studied at an American high school, testified before a US Senate committee that right after the marathon bombings, a drone strike in his home village in Yemen killed its target.
The strike terrorized the villagers, turning them into enemies of the United States - something that years of jihadi propaganda had failed to accomplish.
His neighbors had admired the US, Al-Muslimi told the committee, but "Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the fear they feel at the drones over their heads. What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant."
Rack up another triumph for President Obama's global assassination program, which creates hatred of the United States and threats to its citizens more rapidly than it kills people who are suspected of posing a possible danger to us someday.
The target of the Yemeni village assassination, which was carried out to induce maximum terror in the population, was well-known and could easily have been apprehended, Al-Muslimi said. This is another familiar feature of the global terror operations.
There was no direct way to prevent the Boston murders. There are some easy ways to prevent likely future ones: by not inciting them. That's also true of another case of a suspect murdered, his body disposed of without autopsy, when he could easily have been apprehended and brought to trial: Osama bin Laden.
This murder too had consequences. To locate bin Laden, the CIA launched a fraudulent vaccination campaign in a poor neighborhood, then switched it, uncompleted, to a richer area where the suspect was thought to be.
The CIA operation violated fundamental principles as old as the Hippocratic oath. It also endangered health workers associated with a polio vaccination program in Pakistan, several of whom were abducted and killed, prompting the UN to withdraw its anti-polio team.
The CIA ruse also will lead to the deaths of unknown numbers of Pakistanis who have been deprived of protection from polio because they fear that foreign killers may still be exploiting vaccination programs.
Columbia University health scientist Leslie Roberts estimated that 100,000 cases of polio may follow this incident; he told Scientific American that "people would say this disease, this crippled child is because the US was so crazy to get Osama bin Laden."
And they may choose to react, as aggrieved people sometimes do, in ways that will cause their tormentors consternation and outrage.
Even more severe consequences were narrowly averted. The US Navy SEALs were under orders to fight their way out if necessary. Pakistan has a well-trained army, committed to defending the state. Had the invaders been confronted, Washington would not have left them to their fate. Rather, the full force of the US killing machine might have been used to extricate them, quite possibly leading to nuclear war.