Brussels at night. / Luc Mercelis
The Baffler,  March 23, 2016

Daily Bafflements

Brussels at night. / Luc Mercelis
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• “It is worth reiterating that Marxism is terrible,” reiterates the dully left-baiting columnist Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine. If it’s the mid-twentieth century again, we at The Baffler didn’t notice. (Also, if Chait’s column has managed to push us back in time, can someone let us know? Technically, we shouldn’t exist before 1988.) The whole thing reeks of the power-hungry mindless centrism that George Scialabba eviscerated in his 2015 salvo, “People Who Influence Influential People Are the Most Influential People in the World.” 

• Authorities have identified two suspects in the attacks on Brussels yesterday—Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Khalid el-Bakraoui. Both had criminal records but no known links to terrorism, at least until a March 15 raid seeking parties to the November 2015 attacks in Paris. “The homegrown terrorist threat in Belgium, as well as in France, is no doubt driven by the craven machinations of the powerful and well-funded Islamic State,” wrote Joshua Hersh in The New Republic“But for every one of these people, there are many more who play crucial roles along the way in a kind of terrorism gray area.” Belgian authorities would be better off heeding Kade Crockford’s advice in “Keep Fear Alive,” by focusing on good policing rather than grandiose surveillance operations or a “war on terror” of sorts.

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