Today marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people, 19 of them children. That massacre of course pales by comparison to the multiple horrors of September 11, 2001, yet it should not be forgotten. As with 9/11, was a day of magnificent heroism for the many firefighters and others who helped save many lives. It was also a day that should inspire us to contemplate the peculiar and egregious murderousness of taking the lives of innocent civilians via terrorism because you have a grievance against the U.S. government.
This editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times sums it up nicely:
“While thankfully few of us would contemplate committing murder to promote a political cause, the attitude inspiring [Oklahoma City bombers Timothy] McVeigh and [Terry] Nichols — that the government is a malign force waging war on its own citizens — is all too common at the paranoid fringe of American life. It is shared by a range of people from the far left, who use the Iraqi war to rationalize the most vehement anti-Americanism or in years past to justify bombings and other violence in the anti-Vietnam War cause, to the far right, the tax resisters and white supremacists who view any kind of federal action as oppression.
“It is a view disconnected from reality: That America, for all its flaws and mistakes, remains the freest nation on earth. We vote, we run for office, we trade opinions in a free press, we take to the streets in protest. The idea of killing innocent children to strike at the government earns unalloyed disgust, but also repellent is the notion behind it: That the government is the enemy. There may be things about government we don’t like — its huge size or its intrusions manifest, for instance, in the Patriot Act — but the government is not the enemy, not some shady conspiracy, some entrenched occupying power — though individuals will always be corrupted by power, and being an aggregate of humans, human mistakes will always be made. Our government is us. ‘We, the People . . .” the Constitution begins.
“McVeigh waved off the deaths of the 19 children he killed as ’collateral damage’ in the private war he waged. We need to keep that attitude, indifference to human life for a political cause, in mind as we mark today’s solemn anniversary.”
And Michelle Malkin posts this moving photo.