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Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Terrorism | 6 comments

Why are bombings so rare in America?

Why are bombings so rare in America? Andrew Sullivan has a roundup with some thoughts about why.

I suspect it’s a combination of citizens, businesses and law enforcement having their eyes peeled, plus there’s little prospect here — unlike in some countries — where it’s going to generate anything but utter revulsion on the part of the populace.

I lived in Spain from May 1975 – December 1978, when most of the time there I wrote for The Christian Science Monitor. Bombings were not unusual there on the tail end of the Franco era. In fact, the course of Spanish history was changed in 1973 when Prime Minister Luis Carrero Blanco’s car was blown up by the Basque separatist ETA group. This set in chain a series of events that eventually led to the democratization of Spain. The Francoist Spain I arrived in was in its death throes and there were always fears of ETA separatism. After dictator Gen. Francisco Franco died, the fears became ETA plus freelancing right-wing paramilitary groups who didn’t want the Franco era to end. I did one story for the Chicago Daily News about a oro-democracy Spanish reporter beaten up by ultra-rightists after Franco died.

Yet, in the case of ETA, there was indeed a segment of the Spanish population that might not have agreed on its methods (kidnappings, killings, bombings) but quietly considered the group heroic for fighting Franco.

Not so in the 2004 Madrid training bombing pulled off by a group inspired by Al Qaeda: the group had zero support in Spain and were looked upon as nothing but butchers.

No one can look at the Boston Marathon and feel anything but contempt for the group that pulled this off and just wanted to rack up a big body count at an event watched around the world.

You could sum it up with this truth, no joke: Bombings bomb in America.