Bloggers on the explosion at a Times Square recruitment center.

Bloggers on the explosion at a Times Square recruitment center.

Bloggers on the explosion at a Times Square recruitment center.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
March 6 2008 5:55 PM

Blast in Times Square

Bloggers wonder what was behind the explosion near a recruitment center in Times Square and ask if Al Gore is going to pick up that ringing red phone.

Small blast at Times Square: A small bomb exploded outside the famous Army Recruitment Center in Times Square on Thursday morning. No one was hurt, the damage was minimal, and all we really know so far is that a creepy bicyclist in a gray sweatshirt was seen wandering around the area seconds before the explosion. That hasn't stopped blogger speculation.

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Progessive Connecticut Bob Adams was staying at a Times Square hotel. The explosion woke him up: "I knew immediately it was some kind of explosion. I stayed in bed and listened for the sirens. After about a minute I only heard a couple, then it was kind of quiet, so I didn't worry about it and fell back asleep. If it was 9/11 part II, I'd have heard all hell breaking loose."

Allahpundit at Hot Air posts the surveillance tape, and Confederate Yankee does his own armchair forensics: "From the choice of target, lack of shrapnel, and low amount of explosives used, I think it only logical to conclude that the blast was political in nature, a violent though purposefully less-lethal bomb, if you can ever call an improvised explosive device 'less lethal.' For these reasons, I doubt it was the act of Islamic extremists. This was an act of domestic terrorism."

Alaskan Grizzly at In God We Trust thunders: "This is an escalation of the terror and treason being committed against our troops. We have Code Stink and other various groups constantly protesting at military recruitment centers and now we have a loon who went so far as to plant an actual bomb outside a recruitment center in the middle of Times Square where thousands of tourists go through all times of the day and night. Thank God no one was injured." John Hinderaker at Power Line points a finger: "Given the increasing virulence of attacks on the military and on military recruiting facilities by antiwar groups like Code Pink, most notably the repeated confrontations in Berkeley, one could speculate that a liberal group is the most likely culprit."

Megan McArdle is more skeptical of the culprit's motives: "The obvious inference it that it's some dimwit who thinks that if he acts like the Weathermen, he'll be magically transported back to the halcyon days of 1969, when the LSD ran like wine and every student in America lined up to press their righteous crusade. But the police say it may be linked to two bombings of the British and Mexican consulates, which makes it sound more like a random lunatic who likes to watch things go bang. Either way, it's pretty sickening."

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Relax. "Antirove" at Daily Kos has got it all sorted out: "It's nothng new for the right to CAUSE or INCITE the violence, or to trigger arranged mob responses, and make sure it all gets pinned on the Left.  And the right seems to be able to get the FBI and law enforcement to do this for them as well.  Anarchy, chaos, property damage, physical harm, mayhem, murder, militarized police with massive crowd control equipment, are all 'options' the right are  eager to use to shut down any potentially energizing movement." 

Read more about the Times Square bombing.

Pick up the phone, Al: Charles Hurt at the New YorkPosthas started a potent little conversation about whether Al Gore is the man to forestall a Democratic Party meltdown. He's a national figure with solid popularity, untainted by any government tenure during the past eight years. Plus, his refusal to endorse any candidate makes him meta-partisan. As Hurt writes, "The inconvenient truth is that the red phone is now ringing and Al Gore hears it. The only question is whether he has the guts to pick it up."

Marty Peretz at the New Republic's Spine agrees that Gore is the peacemaker: "Make no mistake, Hillary will take this battle all the way to the convention; she will destroy the party if that is what it takes. Al Gore, in the 2000 election dispute, put his country before himself. Is there a greater study in contrasts?"

John Derbyshire at the National Review's Corner doesn't think guts have anything to do with it: "This guy took in the 'public service' ethos with his mother's milk. He was practically born on the White House lawn. In his own mind, he's been elected President once already. He'll answer the call even if he doesn't much want to. And he does much want to."

Though Hurt doesn't say it in his column, some are interpreting it as a call for Gore to become the nominee. PoliBlog ain't buying it: "[W]hy would the party want to go through this big fight and then jettison both of the candidates who went through it only to hand the nomination to someone who did not campaign? How would that heal the party? Why would the supporters of the candidate who won the most elected delegates find solace in having then nomination taken from their candidate and handed to Gore?" Tennesee blogger Kleinheider is skeptical for different reasons at Volunteer Voters: "Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that Al Gore voted for Barack Obama in the Tennessee Primary this year? If this is true how is he any less conflicted out than anyone else? Or does he not have to be? Is his presence so large in the political landscape these days that his advice will have to be heeded no matter what his biases?"

Don Surber is even more damning of the idea: "If Al Gore is your answer then you're asking the wrong question."

Read more about Gore to the rescue.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.