Re: SWAT Army Occupies Boston

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Lew, as sad as this already appears, something else struck me as I watched the scene in Boston.  The picture below is making the rounds on Twitter.

WatertownMA_19Apr1013

The caption accompanying the photo reads, “Amazing photo. Chilling. And at the same time, proud that’s response we mustered to defend citizens.” I was particularly taken aback by the phrase, “…to defend citizens.”

Consider: America is a nation begun, in large part, when its citizens raised arms against the Government. Citizens. Raised arms. Against the government. Fast forward, and those very same citizens, ironically in the area often thought of as the birthplace of that revolution, are forced to cower in their homes, while armored cars and police “protect them” from… What? Ostensibly, a couple Chechen terrorists? C’mon now!  (Never mind the fact that a U.S. drone probably killed a whole family of civilians last night, with nary a mention on the CBS Evening News.)

What is particularly relevant here, and chilling from my point of view, is an observation Jeff Snyder makes in his powerful book, “Nation of Cowards.” Snyder talks about the change that takes place, that must take place, in the psyche of a person who is protected by others as a matter of routine. He accepts that protection in exchange for some portion of his own sense of personal responsibility. As a result, he can often be more easily controlled by those protectors.

We’re well on our way.

2:00 pm on April 19, 2013