Eco-terrorism comes to the burbs

Watch out Hummer owners, there are eco-terrorists on the loose!

On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

I don't know about you guys, but I know a couple of people who become absolutely enraged at the mere thought of Hummers.

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Isolated incident

I debated with myself earlier about whether to post this. I decided against it because it amounts to just one incident, and so there is, at this point, no clear evidence that this is a trend. The coming months and years will tell.

I find the Post's take on it sick. "Hummer owner gets angry message" is a sick title. If it were a case of rape, would the Post run it with the title, "Woman dressed to inspire lust gets a message about her effect on men?"

Also, the only angle that makes this a national-news-worthy story is the eco-vandalism angle. And if it is an isolated incident, then even with the eco-vandalism angle, it is not a story of national significance. Therefore the folks at the Washington Post (who are the ones who apparently brought national attention to this) must think that this act of eco-vandalism may be the tip of an iceberg, possibly the start of a trend. They may, in fact, want it to be the start of a trend. Or they may be attempting to strike fear into the hearts of gas-guzzler owners around the nation and even to inspire copy-cat acts of vandalism. That is, the Washington Post may be a willing participant in eco-terrorism. Considering the title and the way the article is written, I am inclined to that view. This is in itself an isolated, and so far as we know insignificant incident, which the Washington Post has done pretty much everything it possibly can to blow up into something bigger.

Other news outlets that carried the story (following the Post) used titles like, "Eco-vandals attack DC Man's Hummer", or, "Vandals attack man's hummer, leave note." Neither of these titles - in contrast to the Post title - imply that the vandalism was legitimate (a "message") or that the fault lies with the Hummer owner (who had made people "angry" enough to give him a "message").

If eco-vandalism becomes common, one of two things will happen. Either a few of these cowardly masked punks will be brought to justice and this will have a chilling effect on the scene, or else the state will fail in its basic responsibility to the citizen, in which case individual victims will take matters into their own hands, and punks will learn the hard way what "retaliatory violence" means.