Terrorism always fails because it’s against nature
“Disgusted.” “Sickened.” “Enraged.” “Heartbroken.” “Grief-stricken.” “Shocked.” “Appalled.” “Horrified.” “Despondent.” “Traumatized.” “Stupefied.” The roll call of post-mass killing adjectives has been taken. All the obligatory words are in attendance.
Once again Americans have been murdered by maniacal killers, this time a husband and wife who dropped off their 6-month-old child before slaughtering the same people who seven months earlier had thrown Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook a baby shower.
Law enforcement has finally acknowledged what the nation knew from the gut. This was something even more awful than a deranged lunatic with a gun and a voice in his head. The mass killing in San Bernardino was a carefully planned attack inspired by, if not orchestrated by, ISIS or ISIL or Daesh. Pick the moniker du jour.
The San Bernardino attack was terrorism. It was also a complete failure.
While we grieve and shake our heads and wonder why and how and what’s next, it’s important to remember terrorism always fails.
Last Wednesday’s attack took 14 lives but at the same time the murderers were driving off to meet their bullet-riddled end, first responders and journalists rushed to the scene. Loved ones gathered to collect the survivors and comfort the families of those who didn’t. The next morning we went to work. Our kids went to school. Planes flew. Traffic backed up.
While we will never understand how anyone could abandon their baby to murder friends and co-workers, terrorists will never understand what failures they actually are.
Only a tiny handful of humans have the capacity to murder, yet billions busy themselves raising their children, earning their daily bread, building, creating, loving. The rational world will fold the possibility of terrorism into our lives the same way we accept the possibility today is the day that idiot texting in the fast lane finally rams us from behind. The knowledge this might happen doesn’t stop us from picking up our dry-cleaning.
Israelis live with the possibility that every day could be the day. Every bus they board, every sidewalk café where they choose to nosh, every nightclub or public place they gather represents a potential target for terrorists. Yet the buses still run, the cafés and clubs are still crowded.
Nazi V-2 rockets rained down on Londoners during the blitz, yet once the “all clear” signal was given the Brits put out the fires, cared for the wounded, cleared the streets of debris and stiffened their upper lips.
On Oct. 1, 1910, the Los Angeles Times building was destroyed in a dynamite attack that killed 21 and mauled scores more, still the largest terrorist event in California history.
The murderers where two brothers, J.B. and J.J. McNamara, leaders of the Iron Workers Union based in Indianapolis. The Times bombing was the culmination of an 18-month reign of terror that saw 150 buildings, bridges and construction sites bombed by a professional demolitionist named Ortie McManigal. To McManigal’s credit, if you can call it that, he passed on the Times’ job. His bag was mayhem not murder.
The L.A. Times published the next day.
Nature teaches us life is for the living. Terrorists live for death. They are literally unnatural.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears every Sunday. Hear him weekdays 5-10 on AM 790. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.