As I write this, ten pipe bombs have been found in the mails, all heading toward major critics of the Trump Administration. Yesterday, we learned that the targets included the Clintons, President Obama, George Soros, and John Brennan at the offices of CNN. Today, the list has grown to include Vice President Biden and Robert De Niro. And, alas, who knows? By tomorrow others may been discovered.
Predictably, Donald Trump has decried the assassination attempts (does he mean it? Just asking). And, also predictably, the usual suspects on the Right have begun to claim that this is all a “false flag” attack, orchestrated by the Democratic Party to garner votes. It is, in other words, the old game of blaming the victim which Alex Jones and others have been playing since Sandy Hook and before.
But it is more than that. It is Stochastic Terrorism.
What is that? Well, it is quite simple. Suppose you are a government or a powerful individual. Say you wish to kill someone. But you don’t wish to do itself. You want to keep your hands “clean,” even while you carry out the assassination by remote control. What you do then is make your public comments as violent as possible. You name your target. You say who they are and where they live. You make wild…even insane!…allegations about them. (They run a sex slave ring out of a pizza parlor in D.C. They are secretly agents of Islamic Terrorism.) You call for someone…anyone!…to do something about this threat to human civilization.
And then you wait.
And then, sure enough, one of your more insane followers picks up a gun, or mails a bomb…
Doesn’t that all sound familiar? Isn’t that exactly what the American Right has been doing? Using the language of violence as a deadly weapon?
So, if you are wondering who is responsible for the ten bombs that have been sent out so far, well, the answer is obvious. There is a mad man somewhere in the works…a sad and demented person who has allowed his paranoia to lead him into violence.
But behind him…behind the mad man…there is something worse… the real criminals.
To wit, behind him, there is a cadre of genuinely evil individuals…
The men and women of Stochastic Terrorism, made flesh…