By lex, on Fri – July 22, 2005
You have to wonder what goes through these guys heads…
A lot of them are losers, plain and simple. They’ve lived lives of pathetic and solitary dissolution, away from their communities: drinking, drug abuse, womanizing – lives of self-absorption, mostly free of empathy for others. These people are at the center of their own tales, the hero in their own narrative, under-appreciated in their own times. It is the most banal form of psychopathy.
At some point they have a conversion experience, or a re-conversion to the faith of their fathers and like nearly all converts, end up as zealots. They fall under the sway of some charismatic preacher, one who recognizes exactly what the loser is, and how to use him for his own purposes. He convinces the loser that all the pain and suffering he has endured, all the people who haven’t given him their due appreciation, all of this is caused by the hatred of the kuffar for the elect, and for the true and final word of God, as laid down by his prophet. And then he is given the keys to the kingdom – the chance to martyr himslef for the cause, and earn the quick pass to the front of the line to heaven, with those 72 virgins waiting there. He has the chance to be the last man to speak, the chance to be a winner!
So he gets his instructions, and he gets his bomb and he sits on the train. He sits there swelling with self-importance, the first that he’s ever truly felt. In his own eyes the bomber is the hero surrounded by the inner glow that no one else can see – certainly not these sheep on either side – those are merely props for the hero’s tale. They’re not people, in any real sense. They have no lives of their own, or at least any purpose to their lives but to be the vehicle by which the martyr’s entrance into heaven is assured. How powerful it must feel! The very servant of an all-powerful deity, and the instant recipient of all that deity’s mercies!
And then the bomb fails to detonate :
“Some witnesses said the Thursday’s attackers seemed ‘scared’ or ‘surprised’ when their bombs failed to explode properly.”
Scared and surprised. Scared because he no longer holds the lives of those around him in secret jeopardy – as they look round with surprise and see him cowering there, he’s under their hot judgment – they might catch him and beat him. No glory in getting beaten to death by an angry mob. Surprised because the bomb didn’t go off – it turns out that an all-powerful God didn’t want him to kill these people. Turns out a merciful God doesn’t work that way. Turns out that he’s a mere tool of a mortal man, someone who made a mistake somehow, like mortals will.
And he didn’t even get to die before he found out that what was always true of him is true still: He’s no hero at all. Just a pathetic loser and a tool of greater evil than he can even now comprehend.