All Bombs that Kill and Maim Innocent Civilians are Acts of Terror Delivered by Fanatics

During this morning's news conference US Pres.Obama said, "Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror." Unfortunately we've learned from experience that every word Obama, or any other lawyer or politician, utters must be looked at very carefully. In this case, it's the word 'target' that must be parsed. Obama includes the word 'target' to provide a logically plausible, but actually fallacious, argument for differentiating between those innocent victims in Boston yesterday and those who are innocent victims of his drone's bombings.

The agrument is fallacious because the definition of both the spoken term target and the inferred term collateral damage that the US militarists use to justify the equally innocent that their bombs kill and maim are 'in the eye of the beholder'. Fanatics can always justify their actions by defining their victims as 'other'. So yesterday's fanatical bombers can, in their own minds, justify the dead and maimed as collateral damage just as easily as the US militarist fanatics do.

The truth is it doesn't matter if yesterday's bombers turn out to be Muslim Jihadists, or extremist right-wing activists, or left-wing agitators, or false-flag black-ops militarists or Muslim-fearing Anders-Breivik types, or lone individuals driven by apolitical mental illness, fanatics of all ilks are crazy. The truth is that terror is terror whether it's being felt in the Hindu-Kush mountains, the deserts of Arabia or the streets of America.

Glen Greenwald's piece this morning contained the important word 'compassion' saying in part, "The widespread compassion for yesterday's victims and the intense anger over the attacks was obviously authentic and thus good to witness. But it was really hard not to find oneself wishing that just a fraction of that compassion and anger be devoted to attacks that the US perpetrates rather than suffers." Another important word to include here is 'empathy'.

All life forms are hard wired to react with fear when they encounter a situation similar to a previous one that caused pain and trauma, that's why terrorism is a potent weapon. But primates and many other species also have been proven to be hardwired with empathy and compassion by the possession of mirror neurons. A mirror neuron fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Dogs, for instance, have been shown to possess the highest ratio of mirror neurons among all the creatures tested so far. Someday neuro-science will most probably prove that all the various human fanatics have the lowest.

Hopefully someday we'll all, including the all fanatics who's fear filled ignorance allows them to justify their violence against 'others', have learned to take a deep breath and listen instead to the voice of compassion and empathy which is inside us all competing for our attention even in our most extremely stressful moments. Hopefully someday the killing and maiming of any innocent civilians, be it in  Pakistan, Yemen or Boston, will arouse the same reaction.