"Americans refuse to be terrorized. Ultimately, that's what we'll remember from this week," Obama said in his radio address.
But of course Americans were terrorized. Obama's message is that in response to the terrorism, Bostonians won't spend the rest of their lives locked in their homes, at least not until the next time there's a terrorist on the loose.
But then again neither are Rwandans or Sudanese. This isn't so much an inspirational message as a pat on the back from a government that once again failed in its duty to keep Americans from being terrorized.
If America had refused to be terrorized, the Tsarnaevs would not have been admitted to this country or would have been shown the door once they started adding terrorist videos to their playlist.
Instead Tamerlan Tsarnaev was free to slap around his girlfriend while his brother Dzhokhar was adding classic hits to his YouTube playlist like "We Will Dedicate Our Lives to the Jihad."
That ditty, from the hit-master behind “Hey, Shahid”, “The Holy Jihad (Rise Muslim)” and “Insallah, We are Waiting for Paradise” contains lyrics like "Paradise’s rivers softly chime/The 72 virgins lovingly whisper" and "Infidels rule the earth/for the faithful life is torture".
But while infidels might still rule the United States, though there are serious questions to be raised about who is ruling Michigan or New Jersey, life was hardly torture for the Tsarnaevs who drove luxury cars, attended good schools and got good media coverage. The good media coverage continued even after their bout of mass murder as the New York Times feature story on them was headlined, "Far From War-Torn Homeland, Trying to Fit In." And who can blame them for trying to fit by practicing some of their native customs of mass murder.
At some point refusing to be terrorized looks a lot like refusing to pay attention to what terrorism is. After September 11 the government encouraged everyone to get back out there and shop. The message now is take in an interfaith service and then visit your local mosque for a sanitized tour that explains how peaceful Islam really is. There's a lot of talk about finishing the marathon and MoveOn.orging on our way past the unpleasantness.
But there are two standards on being terrorized. When a mentally ill man shoots up a school, then everyone is obligated to be terrorized all the time. Children can be seized for chewing a pop tart the wrong way and the leading leaders tow around selected parents of victims to demand that the pesky Bill of Rights take a back seat to a special moral superiority vote from a former Democratic member of congress whose great achievement in life was getting shot in the head by another mental patient.
The next Adam Lanza is just around the corner. But the next Tamerlan Tsarnaev isn't worth bothering with. Gun control is an urgent issue, but mass immigration from terrorist countries isn't.
Talk of refusing to be terrorized smacks of governments handing out coping mechanisms for preventable acts of terror. And once we start going down that road, it's worth remembering that the timeless coping mechanism for that sort of thing is Stockholm Syndrome. Indeed the old Stockholm cure is popular in the media which is already beginning to disgorge explanations of alienation that will show that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn't kill on their own, we made them killers by not showing them enough love.
It's not the role of governments to tell people how to get over a terrorist attack. Nor is it the role of government to violate the Bill of Rights using the act of a lone madman as a pretext. But it is the role of government to stop an international campaign of terror by a fanatical ideology from reaching these shores using the blunt tool of immigration.
Refusing to be terrorized is as simple as refusing to accept more immigrants from Muslim countries. It's not the least repressive measure ever, but it beats interfering with the civil rights of hundreds of millions of Americans who are not members of terrorist groups.
The difference between refusing to accept terrorism and refusing to feel bad about terrorism is the difference between refusing to be terrorized and refusing to pay attention to terrorism.
There is no need for Obama to play Therapist-in-Chief. It's not his job, even if he is better at it than he is at his real job. His job isn't to praise the attitudes of the people his administration put in danger by refusing to give Tamerlan the boot even after warnings had come in that he was involved with Islamic terrorism. It's to refuse to accept the presence of terrorists in this country.
Obama obviously won't do that job.
But neither did Bush. Unlike empty paeans to courage by politicians with none of their own, that topic is not even on the table. The terrorists will keep on coming and after each new act of terror, the politicians who keep the door wide open for them will praise the indomitable spirit of whichever city got targeted this time around.
Americans don't need to be told that they have courage. It's a nice topic for a speech, but an even better topic for a speech is, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation Deporting Amateur Jihadists Who Claim Life Under Infidel Rule is Torture." One is an empty compliment. The other is a practical task.
A refusal to be terrorized should not be the task of the civilian population. It only becomes the task of the civilian population when the government is unwilling or unable to keep them safe. And then come the speeches that say, but don't say, "The bad news is you're going to be blown up, but the good news is you're going to be a good soldier about it."
Muslim terrorism doesn't just happen. It's not random. It's not inevitable. It's a known entity and it has a vector. When bird flu breaks out, flights from affected countries are suspended, but when Islamism breaks out in a country, then the planes keep flying and the refugees get resettled and the infection spreads.
America will refuse to be terrorized when it refuses to admit terrorists or potential terrorists into the country and when it begins aggressively deporting terrorist sympathizers from its cities. Americans will refuse to be terrorized when they demand a government that closes the door to terrorists, instead of praising everyone for their courage once the acts of terror happen.
Terrorism is a function of immigration. Terrorists do not come to this country on parachutes or sneak in by boat. For the most part they arrive here legally. They come through a door that our government opened and keeps open as widely as it can because its allied institutions profit from the traffic. It is more important for the government to keep colleges in the Middle East student business and to keep Democrats in the new minorities business than it is to refuse to allow this country to be terrorized.
We refused to be terrorized after September 11. We went shopping. We got back in the stock market. We fought two wars whose prime purposes was to get two Muslim countries to be able to vote for their leaders. And here we are again facing the same thing all over again. Except this time we get to trade Iraq for Syria and Boston for New York.
While we refuse to be terrorized, those who insist on terrorizing us continue swarming into this country.
A hundred Muslim nations have sent their progeny to live their tortured lives here, until they grow tired of infidel rule and decide to do what they do back home. Kill. And then we once again can refuse to be terrorized at an interfaith service in which the clergy of the murderers stand side by side with the clergy of the murdered.
The day may come when we finally refuse to be terrorized. They will not do it by going back to do their part for the next shopping season, the next interfaith service and the next healing speech.
They will refuse to be terrorized by closing the door on terrorism for good.