Politics

Krauthammer: Obama wrong to call Boston attack ‘tragedy’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On “The O’Reilly Factor” on Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer told Bill O’Reilly that he — O-Reilly — was right to criticize President Barack Obama on Monday’s show for describing Monday’s Boston bombings as a “tragedy.”

Krauthammer asserted that the Monday attack was “beyond a tragedy” because of its motivations and likened it to the improper response from some following the shooting of former Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

“Obama is not the first to use ‘tragedy’ in describing events like this,” Krauthammer observed. “A bus accident is a tragedy. An attack on a bus is a crime or it is an act of war. When FDR addressed the Congress after Pearl Harbor, he didn’t say ‘December 7, a day that will live in tragedy.’ He said ‘it is a day that will live in infamy.’ It has to do with agency and cause. I mean, an accident is a tragedy and it has a cause and has to do with fate, serendipity. An accident — luck.

“But when the agency is human evil — that is beyond a tragedy,” he continued. “It’s a crime. That is what we’re dealing with here. I agree it’s a little early to say — it was obviously an attack. To call it terrorism you had to be sure that the motive was a political one. Remember what happened in the Tucson shooting, where a member of Congress was shot by Jared Loughner. And the left jumped all over this — the mainstream media — and assumed it was a terror attack and it was an attack by some person inspired by the right-wing to attack a liberal congresswoman. And that was completely wrong … and so you have to establish it was a political one. Probably is but we’re not sure yet.”

Krauthammer had other criticisms, mostly pertaining to U.S. intelligence on terrorism and threats abroad.

“Well, they’ve done a very good job in protecting us from post-9/11 terror attacks. In fact, I think one of the reasons there was such shock and dismay yesterday as a result of this — this is the first time, I don’t think people are aware of this. This is the first time there has been a successful bombing attack in the U.S. since 9/11,” he said. “There have been a lot of terror attacks, about 10 or so but they are all with guns. One was a guy driving a car into a crowd deliberately.”

“So what we had yesterday was a scene — an urban scene, people screaming, a lot of smoke, people being hurt on the street. It had the resonance of 9/11,” Krauthammer continued. “So in that sense, we’ve been very well protected. The place where our intelligence has really been awful is in understanding the big issues like the nuclear weapon issue in Iraq where we undershot, in North Korea, where we’re now being told we completely undershot. We learned last week this sort of hair-raising news that the North Koreans might have the capacity to put a nuke on a rocket, which we had been assured for years was years away. So we have a history of undershooting on what’s happening abroad.”

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