JEFF PEARLMAN

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Cowards

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Another terrorit attack yesterday. Two of them, actually, in the Russian subway.

I’m feeling a bit obvious today, so I’m going to state the obvious: I hate these people.

I hate them more than opposing armies, because opposing armies are often made up of poor schlubs following orders they don’t necessairly believe in. I hate them more than cliched evil masterminds, because cliched evil masterminds are often warped individuals who spent their youths being beaten with a pipe. I hate them because—for the vain purpose of making a loud point—they take the lives of others. They decide, “I need to do this, so I’m going to walk into a subway with explosives attached to my chest and kill everyone—the old man nearing retirement; the 2-year-old twins; the popular high schooler; the math genius; the father working two jobs to support his kids; the mother coming home from her job at the accounting firm. I’m going to execute them all, because somehow I’ve decided it’s my God-given right to do so.”russia-mourns-metro-bombing-victims-2010-03-30_l

One of the worst parts is this: Most of the world’s suicide bombers seem to be young. Not teenagers, but in their 20s. They are willing to commit such an act, in part, because they know no better. They don’t understand the world; they haven’t lived; they lack the true emotional capacity that is empathy. They don’t mind killing because they’ve been told it is their duty. And duty calls.

On a political front, this is a real test for Vlad Putin—one he’ll almost cetainly fail. He can allow his (limited) open society to continue to exist, or he can shut down the government, take control of everything and use these attacks as an excuse to lasso a thicker steel chain around the rights of Russians. He can act just as George W. Bush did (scared, overzealous)—and accomplish little in the name of combating terror. Or he can make the most powerful statement possible: One that says, “Fuck you, we’re not afraid and your acts don’t do shit to us.”