Wednesday, August 01, 2007

But The Right Wanted It To Be Terrorists

By Cernig

In an horrific accident the I35W bridge over the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis has collapsed into the river.
The Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour Wednesday, dumping an estimated 50 vehicles into the water and onto the land below, creating a horrific scene of damage, fire, smoke, injuries, frantic rescuers and bloody, terrified motorists.
It was not clear how many people might have been hurt or killed. As of 7:30, one construction worker was unaccounted for and three injured.

One death was reported by Dr. Joseph Clinton of the Hennepin County Medical Center. Clinton added that HCMC had admitted 22 serious but non-critical patients.

"It's obviously a catastrophe," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "We want to make sure we can do all we can to help those in need.
One local news station spoke to a structural engineer who pointed to steel failure as a probable cause of the collapse. There are reports of at least six fatalities.

Our thoughts go out to all those involved, their families and their friends.

But I'm personally disgusted by the speed with which ultra-rightwing blogs pounced on this horrific incident as a possible terrorist incident. None come right out and say it, but it's pretty obvious that the wanted it to be a terror attack, for then they would be vindicated in their own fearmongering. before any word of possible cause, before any official statements, they were already on their marks, ready for it.

Wizbang ; "I'm sure officials are going to investigate whether this was terrorism related."

Allahpundit: "Hmmm." (Noting the fact that the collapse happened during rush hour.)

Powerline: "This is the kind of disaster that just doesn't happen in the United States--a bridge spontaneously collapsing, apparently, into a river."

Others were more cicumspect but comments at those above and some of the largest extreme rightwing sites leave me in no doubt - a large number of those on the right assumed this would be a terror incident and felt vindicated thereby.


Update In comments, conservative blogger Confederate Yankee writes that I'm engaging on a witchhunt by quoting bloggers out of context and says that I would do better to "marvel at the strength of the human spirit" which enables ordinary folks to attempt rescues in such circumstances, despite great personal risk.

I do indeed acknowledge such greatness of the human condition. "Dulce et decorum est pro filii mori", the ability of common people to altruistically risk or even sacrifice life and limb for strangers in sudden and unexpected circumstances, has long been seen as the greatest virtue of humanity. I'd go as far as to say such altruists are even more heroic than those who are trained and psyched to acts of valour on the battlefield.

Yankee also mentions those at places like Democratic Underground who pounced on the "it's Republicans' fault for underfunding infrastructure" blame-game. Although such have more justification than the "it must be terrorists" feardy-cats, they also leave a bad taste in my mouth when it comes so close to the event. It won't be the first time I've said this in such circumstances - give it 24 hours, at least, before you bring in politics. Show some respect.

Yankee writes:
I think you owe all of these bloggers an apology for twisting their words so wildly out of context.

As for Malkin's comments re: terrorism as a cause... well, they struck me as off-key and perhaps a little creepy; I can't defend that.

As for the commenters on these and other sites... well, we've got a lot of nuts in this world, and many have a modem.
Well, I think protestations of a witchhunt would have better mileage if we didn't all recall the unseemly glee with which the shootings at Virginia Tech ("it's an Asian!") and other incidents hadn't been similiarly treated by rightwing bloggers. But I do like to think of myself as a fair and honourable man, so if any of the bloggers I've quoted above tell me that I've misunderstood, misrepresented or misquoted them, in good faith I will issue an apology to that blogger. Fair enough?

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