Welcome to the future, which is beginning to look a lot more like Clockwork Orange than Smallville.
Today's face of terror is a hatchet-wielding desperado
beheading someone in a London street and calling it an act in defense of Islam.
Then there's the Chechen friend of the Boston bombers, who reportedly
confessed to participating in a triple homicide with the Tsarnaev brothers before he was shot early Wednesday.
Some jihadis, these.
We expect our terrorists to be larger than life -- Bin Ladens, or at least somebody like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the reputed mastermind of the synchronized hijackings in the 9/11 attacks.
But no. The queue of merely unhinged Muslims seems to be growing faster than a line of job seekers at a new Walmart. Where once they were more rare than neo-Nazis in Idaho, they suddenly seem more common than armed teenagers in a high school.
Let's no dress them up as "lone wolves."
Some of these foreign-born Muslims, already ambivalent about ubiquitous American licentiousness, are just driven crazy by their inability to make headway in American society. They become depressed. Like any lapsed alcoholic Baptist, they may well find succor in a return to the church of their birth. They become zealots. They don't need al-Qaeda calling the signals. For young, distressed Muslims, the siren song of pure jihad may offer a clean new start--and revenge.
President Obama campaigned on a theme that Guantanamo was a recruiting tool for terrorists, and he's right. So was the invasion of Muslim Iraq, and drone strikes--imagine how pissed off you'd be at somebody flinging missiles at your home town. Do the math.
All these things will drive some Muslims here and elsewhere in the decadent West over the edge from time to time.
While it's understandable, though, it's not permissible.
But what are the options? Tightening the screws on the creeping police state created by the "war on terror?" Do we really want informants on every block, in every office, church, temple or mosque, like Cuba?
Or should we try something else?