As an outside observer to the intense discussion under way concerning the Boston bombers, two questions keep coming up.

1. In searching for a reason, the genuine puzzlement seems to conceal a massive blind spot. I have seen radical Islam, the dreadful Russian government, the fierce independence of Chechens, dislocation in the USA … Studiously avoided is any self-examination: how are we to blame?

2. To follow on: now that the brothers seem to have been Muslim, they can be slotted into a convenient string of successful and foiled ‘terrorist’ attacks. But why are they not part of the sickening pattern of ‘domestic’ massacres that happen with banal regularity? Sandy Hook is the name of only the most well known recent one. After all, were not the Boston bombers long-time residents of the USA? Enough time to notice how one expresses a grievance.

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