Boston Marathon Bombing

My prayers and condolences go to the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings, especially for the family of the 8-year-old boy who passed away. It was truly a shocking an unfathomable incident. It's very sad to see what our world has turned into.

The world is no longer the same as it was 20 years ago. One of the most significant changes that we frequently see is air travel. Air travel used to be fun - I used to get super excited about flying. Today, we spend 30 minutes in line at the security checkpoint, longer if you get lucky with the "random" luggage and body searches. Then you have to go through immigration - another 30 minutes there, not to mention having to check-in at least 2 hours before your flight. You end up spending half of a working day just to get on a plane. And after your exhausting 20-hour flight, you get to repeat all of that again before claiming your bags. This is just one of the many examples of the post-911-era world we live in.

Let's go back to the topic at hand, the bombing. Many media sources and law authorities are using the word "terrorism" or "terror attack." Prior to 2001, these phrases are unknown to most people around the world. Or if people did know, it was mostly a reference to villains in 80s-90s cold-war Hollywood movies. But today, when the word "terrorism" is heard, we instantly imagine an Arab on a commercial jet plummeting into a building, debris falling all over, chaos everywhere. That's the legacy of September 11 attacks, a legacy that changed our lives. Let's use the September 11 attacks as a benchmark for terrorism. What qualifies the Boston Marathon Bombings as another act of terror? The shooting in Cleveland, the Dark Knight movie premier shooting incident, and many others terrorized and killed more than the Boston incident, and yet, why aren't those labelled terrorism? A gun does as much damage as a bomb in the right hand, or the wrong hand in this case - there are approximately 37,000 gun-related deaths in America in a year, and not one is labelled terrorism.

Let's assume further that the Boston Incident was indeed terrorism in the sense that it was the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. But think about the countless injustices are happening all over the world that are censored by the media. Many innocent people in other countries have died due to US (and other allied countries) intervention or invasion. And drone attacks, air strikes, creates that much more distance and anonymity. But life is life, and their lives are just as valuable as ours. Now place yourselves in their shoes for a moment, wouldn't you consider the "citizens of the free world" terrorists? Whatever the reason was, our governments did terrorize their homes and families.

Again, I am NOT positing that the Boston incident was committed by a particular group of people or terrorists. I am simply using the US-Middle East conflict as an example to make a point that our judgment of what happens in the world is greatly affected by what we see and hear via the media, and what it chooses to cover - is it all absolutely accurate and necessarily trustworthy? Think again. What the media chooses to cover is as important as what it chooses not to cover.

Photo Credits:
Boston Bombing Marathon Runners -
Martin Richards Boston Marathon Bombing Victims -
Screenshot of article "Obama Calls Blasts an ‘Act of Terrorism’" -
Man with Child -