Now, A Hatchet Attack On New York City Police Officers

From CNN video.

From CNN video.

Four uniformed New York City police officers were ambushed yesterday afternoon by a murderous man wielding an 18.5-in. hatchet. The sneak attack occurred a day after the sneak attack on Canada’s Parliament in which a duteous sentry standing watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the War Memorial in Ottawa was shot and killed.

In the New York incident, one officer presumptively was brutally cleaved in the head, another in the arm. Both are hospitalized. The two other officers reportedly shot the attacker dead. A bystander exercising the freedom to be out in public reportedly was hit by a stray bullet. All four officers are rookies. They were posing for a picture when attacked, according to reports.

This, friends, is what anarchy looks like in freeze frame. It can happen in a matter of seconds. The danger is that it can be copy-catted in random locations. At least for now, whether a hardware-store hatchet served as a cheap substitute for the swords of ISIS is just another imponderable.

As an official matter, terrorism has neither been ruled in nor ruled out in the New York attack. When a man swinging a hatchet like a baseball bat goes after patrol cops on the streets of Queens in broad daylight, however, it’s hard to see it as anything other than an attack on U.S. society itself.

New York, of course, was a target of grandiose terrorists who caused airliners to crash into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, destroying both human and brick-and-mortar symbols of freedom and Democracy. The hatchet attack suggests New York City and other cities now may need to be on the lookout for terrorists (officially designated or otherwise) who are less grandiose in choice of weaponry and their instant aims, but equally committed to destroying the symbols of order and the guardians of that order — in this case, four cops on the beat.

Video of the incident appears to show the attacker could have carved up a civilian on the sidewalk, but darted around him and headed straight for the people wearing badges. But before you get the notion that the hatchet man was interested in giving the pedestrian an even break and didn’t hold him accountable for grievances, remember that the 9/11 attackers also sought to aim planes at the U.S. Capitol or the White House and ultimately struck the Pentagon.

Despite the fact he thankfully was left physically unharmed, the New York pedestrian nevertheless counts as a casualty: By attacking the cops, the hatchet man was attacking the pedestrian by proxy, just as the American people were attacked by proxy on 9/11 through attacks on the symbols of commerce and freedom itself and the Canadian people were attacked by proxy in this week’s attack against the soldier and Parliament.

We’re sitting here this morning remembering that Eric Frein, who allegedly ambushed cops at their home barracks in Pennsylvania under cover of darkness last month, is still on the lam.

Regardless of the varied corrupt ideologies and the tortured psychologies or malignant philosophies of the attackers, all of these attacks are attacks against the keepers of freedom and the people who benefit from that freedom. That some of the attackers chose over-the-counter weapons rather than hijacked airliners matters only in terms of the instant body count and the size of the headline font. The mind-set is the same, even if the official casualty list includes fewer names.

It’s terrorism at a variety-store discount, the same thing the world observed at the 2013 Boston Marathon. But in New York City yesterday, it was a garden hatchet, not a pressure cooker.

 

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