Friday, April 26, 2013

The Evil in Boston

From Bret Stephens, at the Wall Street Journal:
I have my own experience of what a bombing of this sort looks like. In January 2004 I was living in Jerusalem when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus down the street from my apartment. I was on the scene in about three minutes.

"The ground was covered in glass; every window of the bus had been blasted," I wrote later that day. "Inside the wreckage, I could see three very still corpses and one body that rocked back and forth convulsively. Outside the bus, another three corpses were strewn on the ground, one face-up, two face-down. There was a large piece of torso ripped from its body, which I guessed was the suicide bomber's. Elsewhere on the ground, more chunks of human flesh: a leg, an arm, smaller bits, pools of blood."

Rereading these lines all these years later, I'm struck by how far they fall short of capturing my memory of the event, of the experience of it. But human carnage is beyond description, a fact known mainly to those—now including several hundred people in Boston—who have seen it for themselves. To see it is to understand it; to understand it is to have no real words for it.