If you’re not squeamish, you might want to wander over to Dan Riehl’s blog, where he has posted a very graphic picture that is alleged to be of Tamarlan Tsarnaev’s bloodied corpse, complete with a gaping hole in the side put there by doctors trying to save him (or, perhaps, to hasten the inevitable).
The picture’s interesting, but what’s more interesting is what the Boston police had to say about it:
The image of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead and naked on a slab, snapped by an unknown person, was e-mailed repeatedly by law enforcement officers Friday.
“Suspect 1” was written above the gruesome picture.
Seeing a photo of one of the Marathon bombing suspects dead was cathartic, said one law enforcement official who saw the picture.
Passing it around was a rare chance “to revel” while other officers searched for Tsarnaev’s brother, Dzhokhar, the official said. “Mission accomplished. We’re halfway there. Justice is served.”
I sympathize completely with the police. They are experiencing the warriors’ subdued, albeit cathartic, pleasure in seeing dead someone who planted a bomb that, mere days before, killed three people and horribly wounded dozens of others, and who hours before had killed one of their own (correction: killed two of their own).
In this regard, I believe that the police’s response, and their covert circulation amongst themselves of something that’s not quite a war trophy, but is a proof of success, is completely distinguishable from the Muslims in Gaza (a place that Boston liberals strongly support) who danced in the streets and handed out candy to celebrate the death of an 8-year-old boy among others. Wildly, joyously celebrating an innocent’s death, even if the death occurs in what you perceive as a war, is barbaric. There’s no other word for it.
A civilized nation will do what it needs to do to win a defensive war, but it never loses sight of its morality. It mourns the innocents, even as it acknowledges that their deaths may be necessary. Having said that, though, I think any law enforcement or military that has engaged in a fierce battle is entitled to have proof positive that its direct enemy — the one firing bullets and throw bombs at it — is actually dead. That’s cathartic, not immoral or barbaric.