First the news, then on to the political fallout.
One of the two suspects sought by the FBI in connection with Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon is dead this morning after a high-speed late-night car chase culminating in a firefight with FBI and local law enforcement. The other is on the lam, believed to be armed and dangerous, and the entire city of Boston is on lockdown.
The Boston suburb of Watertown turned into a virtual war zone overnight as hundreds of heavily armed police chased and confronted two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Residents watched out of their windows in terror as explosions and gunshots rocked the normally sleepy town….
Witnesses described a chaotic scene of fireballs, screeching police vehicles and law enforcement officers pointing assault weapons. Some witnesses said they saw men throwing grenades at the officers.
Once the smoke from the shootout had cleared, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a native of Chechnya (aka, black baseball cap, pictured on left) lay dead. His brother, 19-year-old Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev (white cap), managed to escape, prompting a house-to-house manhunt.
This morning, that directive was expanded to include the entire city of Boston. Police were asking people to stay inside, lock their doors, and not admit anyone but properly identified police. Mass transit has been suspended and roadblocks have been thrown up at on all roads leading out of the city.
Fox News fills in some of the missing “character” details of the brothers Tsarnaev. The two came to the U.S. from Chechnya about a decade ago. They are believed to have undergone military training overseas. Tamerlan, the brother killed in the shootout, told a photographer in 2009, “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”
Oh, and they have been confirmed to be Muslim.
These details are at least a setback for David Sirota, a blogger at Salon.com, who headlined a post earlier this week “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.” After taking much-deserved flak for his outrageous post, Sirota doubled down, crafting a second column titled that might have been titled “I’m Dreaming of a Whiter American.” Instead he opted for the more banal “I still hope the bomber is a white Americam.” After another round of well-aimed barbs, you’d think Sirota had had enough. And you’d think wrong.
Early this morning, around the time the police were shooting it out with the bombers, Sirota engaged in a shootout of his own on Twitter, attacking what he called the “white media” and defending his previous positions against the forces of “bigotry.”
So have Sirota and pals lost the battle? Not necessarily. Some on the left have already hit upon a new self-serving narrative: that the attackers were Muslim but that they were also white (shades of George Zimmerman?). Cenk Ungyur, of Current TV fame, who subscribes to this view, seems to wag an affectionate finger at Sirota in a tweet of his own:
My point has always been that you shouldn’t make assumptions based on race. This proves it. What are you going to do — target all Caucasians?
Plus, the motives for perpetrating the attack, which killed three and injured 176, have not yet been established. It is possible the attackers numbered themselves among the many disgruntled Muslims abroad who hate Obama and have taken to burning him in effigy.
For people with less of a political axe to grind, it will come as a relief that — irrespective of national identity — one of the bad guys has been neutralized, and that the FBI is hot on the trail of the other. You wouldn’t expect liberals to understand that.