Now David Brooks Would Like To See A Debate On Overreaction To Terrorism

David Brooks is once again about a decade late with his criticism of the United States any anyone's overreaction to terrorism.
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Pardon me if I have a problem with someone who was happy to be a cheerleader for us invading a couple of countries that were not a threat to us and the huge overreach by the Bush administration in response to 9-11, now saying that maybe the city of Boston and law enforcement there potentially overreacted because they locked down a good deal of the city, while in pursuit of suspects who were lobbing explosives in their path as they tried to escape.

JEFFREY BROWN: But 9/11 was a while ago. Have we forgotten that sense of -- in our own cities?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I don't think so, judging by the reaction.

When this is all over, I want to see a debate from people who know what they're talking about, about the wisdom of shutting down a region to chase one 19-year-old. I mean, it -- it could be an overreaction. We will wait and see.

And, also, when you go to places that suffer from these sorts of attacks, Israel and other places, one of the things they tell you is that the power and the importance of resilience and the importance of normalcy. So, say in Israel, during the Intifada days, when there would be an attack in a cafe, that cafe would be open the next day. And so the idea was to keep society normal, not to minimize what's happened, but to keep society as normal as possible.

And so I'm not sure we're achieving that with the media coverage and the shutting down an entire city.

Brooks is a decade late with his feigned concern for Americans and their response to terrorist attacks. He's also a day late and a dollar short with catching up to Chris Hayes and Jon Stewart, who both expressed similar concerns over the way Americans react to gun and crime compared to the resources they're willing to pour into the name of preventing terrorism.

Full transcript below the fold.

JEFFREY BROWN:And we close the week and this most unusual day of news with the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Mark, I used the word extraordinary at the top of the program, a major American city in lockdown. Your thoughts on seeing that?

MARK SHIELDS: Well, I mean, it's obviously reminiscent of 9/11 and a reminder of what this sort of a national trauma, and particularly a regional trauma, can do to a nation.

I mean, we followed New York, the attack on New York and the attack on Washington, which obviously were far greater in volume and suffering, but -- by going into two wars and changing the way we live in this country.

And you can see right now, I mean, the willingness of people to accept Boston becoming a ghost town, basically.

JEFFREY BROWN: But 9/11 was a while ago. Have we forgotten that sense of -- in our own cities?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I don't think so, judging by the reaction.

When this is all over, I want to see a debate from people who know what they're talking about, about the wisdom of shutting down a region to chase one 19-year-old. I mean, it -- it could be an overreaction. We will wait and see.

And, also, when you go to places that suffer from these sorts of attacks, Israel and other places, one of the things they tell you is that the power and the importance of resilience and the importance of normalcy. So, say in Israel, during the Intifada days, when there would be an attack in a cafe, that cafe would be open the next day. And so the idea was to keep society normal, not to minimize what's happened, but to keep society as normal as possible.

And so I'm not sure we're achieving that with the media coverage and the shutting down an entire city.

JEFFREY BROWN: But that's what you mean about the potential impact on the larger psyche.

DAVID BROOKS: Right. You want your society to be a resilient society. And to be a resilient society, you want as much normalcy as possible.

JEFFREY BROWN: Well, what do you think about that, how we ...

MARK SHIELDS: Well, we have heard resilience in the people of Boston praised, including the president, and the governor, and the mayor, and just about everybody else, especially at the ceremony at the Holy Cross Cathedral on Thursday.

And virtually every commentator has spoken about the pluck, the mettle, the intestinal fortitude, the toughness of the people of Boston so, at some point, it becomes a little bit self-fulfilling. If everybody thinks we are, we're going to be. And we are, and, damn it, we will show them.

I think that seems to be the very unrepresentative, unscientific sample that have appeared, at least before television cameras and microphones.

JEFFREY BROWN: But, at a ceremony, the one you mentioned, the president speaks, we have had these before. This is when we look for a certain kind of leadership, right?

DAVID BROOKS: Right.

And I think all the leaders have done a nice job, Deval Patrick, the mayor, the president. I think you can sort of be proud of people stepping up. The other thing that strikes me is that you go through these phases of a certain type of violence. We don't know exactly what motivated these people.

We have had a lot of violent act by loners, by people who have slipped through the cracks of society, whether it's the school shootings, potentially these two, some other things down the road. So, once upon a time, it was anarchists 100 years ago. Then it was part of big terror organizations. This might be atomized, lonely, dissenting individuals.

And so that's a different kind of society and producing a different kind of nut job.

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