You wouldn’t expect that to happen in Russia

I’m rather speechless. And as you may guess, I’m not talking about Russia, but the USA, specifically Boston. The whole city is in lock-down. All houses and homes are being searched by SWAT teams. There is a curfew and everyone on the street is treated as a criminal per se. A declaration of martial law would have been a milder measure.

A suspect is gunned down and shot dead on the spot – even if you feel you have to fire weapons, one shot is usually enough. Multiple hits indicate that there were orders to shoot to kill.

An arrested man is searched for weapons, stripped down naked and not even allowed to put his clothes back on, after it has been established that there were no weapons in those clothes. All that in a country prudish enough to have such phenomena as “Nipple Gate”.

The whole scene is horrific and it is hard to think of another place where such things might take place, never mind in a civilized country, but any country at all. There have been so many precedents of terrorist acts. Acts much worse than the Boston marathon bombings. NONE comes to mind that resulted in such blatant ignorance of basic civil liberty in pursuit of the perpetrators as this one.

It is so far out of proportion to what happened and to what has been deemed necessary in similar and much worse cases in the past, that words fail to describe it. If something similar happened in Russia or China, it would provoke immediate criticism from all over the world. What is for sure, is that the USA now is a failure as a modern civil society beyond all doubt – unfortunately it is above any consequential criticism by international authorities … and from all I can tell, it is immune to any criticism from its media as well, if that is being levelled at all. Any serious criticism of those actions by the established media would be a surprise.

What now, except for size, is the difference between the USA and a run-off-the-mill military dictatorship?

(Update: i want to point out that this was written before I heard about the connection to Chechnya. The reference to Russia in the headline is a pure coincidence.)

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4 thoughts on “You wouldn’t expect that to happen in Russia

  1. Came here from Stross’s “Avoid the news” post.

    “The whole city is in lock-down. All houses and homes are being searched by SWAT teams. There is a curfew and everyone on the street is treated as a criminal per se” — wrong. We were requested to “shelter at home”, I don’t think it had legal teeth. Doesn’t seem irrational when there’s a car chase with *thrown bombs*. “All homes” were certainly not being searched; there might have been searches in Watertown, the heart of it all; not sure about that.

    “A suspect is gunned down and shot dead on the spot – even if you feel you have to fire weapons, one shot is usually enough. Multiple hits indicate that there were orders to shoot to kill.” — the dead guy was run over by his brother, not shot dead. And I’m pretty sure “one shot is usually enough” is wrong when dealing with an armed opponent; you’d fire until he was down and disarmed. You also ignore the reality of multiple cops firing at about the same time, and the chance of multiple ones hitting.

    “An arrested man is searched for weapons, stripped down naked and not even allowed to put his clothes back on” — citation needed.

    In retrospect, this post seems to really illustrate the sort of ill-informed hype Charlie was warning against.

    • First of all, the two posts accurately reflect my thinking at the time, which is why I will keep them the way they are. I would certainly not repeat a statement like “all houses and homes are being searched”. However, I do stand by some statements. Such as shoot to kill. Multiple cops shooting at the same time only enforces this impression. German police fired a grand total of 85 bullets in 2011. Of those 49 were warning shots, the other 36 were aimed shots. Those resulted in 15 people being injured and 6 killed – an average of no more than 1.7 shots per individual (including missed shots!). I would say those policemen in Boston ignored the reality of existing alternatives (and possibly their own poor marksmanship).

      Furthermore, bombs being thrown several kilometers away are as much of a danger as shots being fired at such a distance. There have been many precedents of both in past, but none in which it was deemed necessary to lock down a whole city in such a case and no adequate argument for an exception (that I know of) has been made anywhere.

      As for the citation you required, well, Let me google that for you.

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