Right now, I'm with the Sheriff's spokesperson: there's no way to know who is responsible. And, although I think I made myself fairly clear in yesterday's post, it may be time for some clarification.
What prompted me to re-visit the Woodburn bank bombing so soon was data I found in this blog's statistics.
I do not track individuals who visit this blog, but I do pay attention to what search engines get used, and what search terms lead people here. It's not idle curiosity: If I'm going to have a useful blog, I need to know how people find their way to Another War-on-Terror Blog.
Here's what I found in the listing of search terms today:
- woodburn oregon bomb conspiracy
- woodburn oregon islamic center
- woodburn mosque
- woodburn ordnance
- woodburn bombing
- is there a large arab community in woodburn oregon
On the other hand, words and phrases like "conspiracy," "islamic center," and "mosque" make me think that people are seeing Muslims and/or Arabs the way that some saw Japanese more than a half-century ago.
Happily, American government policy has changed. We learn from our mistakes.
Individuals, though, often don't.
Woodburn: Home of Hispanics, Tulip-Growers, Russians, Poppy Farmers, and Other Suspicious PeopleAfter reading that "is there a large arab community in woodburn oregon" I went back into yesterday's research and pulled out some numbers:
Woodburn, Oregon, "Ethnicity & culture:"
- 52% Hispanic
- 11% Russian heritage
- Quiet Place Ministries
- Soul's Harbor Church of the Nazarene
- Woodburn Christian Church
- Woodburn United Methodist Church
Sure enough, Woodburn has Catholic churches, too. Two of them, at least:
- St Luke Catholic Church
- St Agnes Catholic Church
There's also a "non-denominational" group called Mid Valley Community Church.
I didn't find a Jewish community center or synagogue listed in Woodburn, and there doesn't seem to be an Islamic community center there, either.
But, between Hispanics, people with Russian roots, poppy farmers, and Catholics, there are still plenty of people in Woodburn who fit one set of biases or another.
Get a Grip, People! A-rabs, Ruskies and Foreigners Ain't the Problem!People who set bombs are the problem. So are people who want to kill presidential candidates. Some of them are Islamic fanatics. Some are meth-heads. Some think 'those people' should go back where they came from: forgetting that Iroquois and Cree chauvinists might feel the same way about them. There are even people who seem to believe that a secret cabal of liberals, Catholics, Masons, and Jesuit assassins is behind the world's troubles.
The sheriff's spokesperson made good sense: " 'You can't rule out any theory,' she said, 'so you follow every single lead.' " It's not unreasonable to consider possibilities: but would be folly to point at one group or another without any evidence.
- "Al Qaeda Behind Woodburn, Oregon, Bank Bombing? Not Likely"
(December 13, 2008)
- "Obama Assassination Plot and/or Meth Bust: Close Call in Colorado"
(August 26, 2008)
- "The War on Terror: It's Not All Uneducated Muslims and Attacks on America"
(February 23, 2008)
- "Jerks Burn Tennessee Mosque,
Churches Help Rebuild It"
(February 16, 2008)
- "Findings slow to come in Woodburn bank blast probe"
OregonLive (December 14, 2008)
- "Second trooper dies after Oregon bank blast"
CNN (December 13, 2008)
- "Officer killed, police chief injured in Oregon bank explosion"
CNN (December 13, 2008)
- Community Information
Woodburn Chamber of Commerce
- "Welcome to Woodburn"
"Part of the greater 'WWWelcome to Oregon™ ' guide to information and online resources about Oregon"
- "Ecoterrorism Suspected in House Fires in Seattle Suburb"
The New York Times (March 4, 2008)
- "The Threat of Eco-Terrorism"
FBI Congressional testimony (February 12, 2002)