Explosion Rocks New York City

What does the blast portend for the nominees?

New York Explosion

With only barely over seven weeks remaining in the US Elections the specter of doom and gloom looms large over the US Horizon with the latest incident of a massive explosion which occurred in the heart of New York ‘s city upscale district Chelsea in Manhattan on Saturday night.

According to initial reports , there were no fatalities, however, 29 people were injured , one of them seriously and had to be hospitalized.

Chelsea is one of the busiest, most crowded bustlings with nightlife with restaurants, shops, bars subways and apartment buildings covering the entire area.

The force and impact of the blast were such that it was heard several blocks away. The Mayor of New York city Bill de Blasio in a statement to the press described the incident as intentional but presently no evidence was found of a terrorist link.

Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker used with Explosive device

A device at a second location in Chelsea appears to be a pressure cooker, according to multiple local and federal law enforcement officials.

The object was a pressure cooker with dark colored wiring protruding, connected by silver duct tape to what appears to be a cellphone.

Pressure cookers were used as explosive devices in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 in 2013.

Police officers and federal agents were combing the area to declare it safe leaving no stone unturned using robots, flashlights, and sniffer dogs.

Another device, reportedly a pressure cooker rigged with wires, was later found in the same district.

Pressure cookers were used as explosive devices in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 in 2013.

Police officers and federal agents were combing the streets and leaving no stone unturned to secure the area and declare it safe.

One victim a puncture wound described as serious, while the rest suffered scrapes and bruises.

Explosion in Manhattan
Explosion in Manhattan

The blast according to some reports occurred in a dumpster around. The explosion occurred around 21:00 (01:00 GMT on Sunday), close to a residence for the blind.

People fled in panic from all directions as the incredibly loud blast was heard.

Law enforcement officials said that the device found at the second Chelsea location appeared to be a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a mobile phone. Police said it had been removed safely.

The explosion took place on the 23rd street,the heart of Chelsea, the area over time has shed its bohemian look and is one of the most expensive real estates of the Manhattan borough.

Rich people have moved in bringing in their money. It also has a sizeable gay community with gay bars in the area. A very famous fashion college FIT is in close proximity to the location.

It is worth mentioning that New York City is Donald Trump’s home turf and Hillary Clinton’s adopted turf as she was elected senator from there.

Both the Presidential nominees are in touch with New York City officials receiving updates as is, of course, President Barrack Obama.

In another unrelated incident, a man went on a killing spree in a shopping Mall in stabbing eight people before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer. It is said that the man made a reference to Allah before going berserk. The eight were injured but not seriously.

So the question arises is what does this latest incident portend for the U.S elections just round the corner. The memories of the San Bernadino killings on 2nd Dec 2015 and the recent Orlando rampage on 12 June 2016 are still fresh in the minds of the American people and fear and a sense of insecurity prevail in the nation. Both these incidents have religious connotations as the perpetrators were Muslims.

Donald Trump was quick to seize the moment and blamed all Muslims of terrorism in the U.S.A. He has already spoken about the blast in New York at a rally in Colorado say that the nation needs to get tougher.

Trump: 'A bomb went off in New York'
Trump: ‘A bomb went off in New York’

Speaking at a rally in Colorado before police had commented on the cause of the blast, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters that a “bomb” had gone off.

The blast comes after a pipe bomb explosion in neighboring New Jersey hours earlier along the route of a planned charity race.

Security has been a major concern of the American people and many will seek answers from the nominees as to what more do they intend to do to beef up the security of the country.

While , Trump is defiant, belligerent and openly accuses President Obama that he is too soft on terrorism as a result of which the militant group known as the Islamic state or IS has gained such prominence.

Hillary, on the other hand, speaks of responsibility, tempered with reason and while agreeing that security needs to be looked at does not have senseless reactions as calling for a ban on Muslims and building a wall to keep out Mexicans.

However, this latest blast in New York City and New Jersey may well change people’s thinking as it is very close to the elections.

Its seems national security will take center stage and other issues will be sidelined as the people are scared and there are no answers.

Donald Trump will prey on their fears and psyche manipulating it to suit his needs and the question will come to the fore again. Can he make America great again or is he bluffing.

Hillary’s approach to the problem is cautious optimism, she does not charge up the crowd with false rhetoric like her rival.

How does this all reflect upon the Obama administration, Will he blamed that he did not do enough to wipe out the scourge of terrorism.

It is true that the U.S.A has the firepower to wipe entire countries but history is a witness that U.S has been engaged in Afghanistan for decades and have not been able to wipe out the Taliban.

Does Donald Trump really believe he can order strikes against Muslim countries where terrorists have sanctuaries without assessing the loss to civilian life and territory?

Hate begets hate, violence begets violence, the more terrorists are killed more will be motivated for terrorism is not a religious problem but a mindset.

It is next to impossible to stop anyone willing to die for a cause no matter how foolproof the security.

So what is the solution ? Many will argue there is none but the solution lies in eliminating the doctrine of terrorism . It must not be forgotten that terrorism is born from economic deprivation, people who are in abject poverty with no hope for jobs or money especially those with large families are vulnerable to be recruited for a terrorist use for they are brainwashed into believing that in the afterlife there will get all the luxuries they could not get in the earthly life.

The solution to the problem is money , billions and billions of dollars by the developed countries to pay off the wannabe Jihadists, bring them back to life, fund their education, build infrastructure, provide potable drinking water, schools, hospitals.

It seems that Hillary Clinton is better suited to address the problem as she has been in politics for over 30 years and has been the first lady, Secretary of State and Senator and experience really counts for a lot of things.

Donald Trump should understand that the U.S.A is not the lone victim as far as terrorism is concerned, the suffering of its people pales in comparison when it comes to the millions of lives lost in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan due to terrorism.

Pakistan is fighting terrorism tooth and nail and facing the brunt of it from different factions of terrorism.

Further warfare is not the solution Mr. Trump, Saner heads should prevail to tackle the situation.

US Elections 2016
US Elections 2016

The U.S, elections will be a barometer for change in the global order of things. While Trumps’s politics may make America stronger it will certainly alienate the rest of the world.

Hillary, on the other hand, is a seasoned politician, adept in social graces, skillful in the art of diplomacy and given the opportunity to can prove to be an excellent problem. Her husband Bill was much liked and admired to this very day and can help her in an advisory capacity.

The only setback at this point in time is her health which hopefully will improve with time but given the rigors and pressure of such a high-profile job it will certainly take its toll on her health.

At the end of the day, It is the American voter only who can decide the outcome the U.S elections but as mentioned the security situation is extremely volatile and in view of today’s blast the people will be most concerned about security issues and whosoever addresses the security problem confronting the country most effectively and most convincingly he or she is likely to become the next President of the United States of America.

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Written by Syed Anwer Ali

Ali Anwer is a veteran journalist having worked in Asia’s leading English daily newspaper for almost a decade. A prolific writer, he has contributed articles to different newspapers and established websites. He has also engaged in sports reporting for a brief period.

Having traveled the world extensively, he is a repository of information on world history, current affairs, political events and the entertainment industry. Being a movie buff he is an encyclopedia on Hollywood movies and actors.

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