The ancient Roman consul Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla had a simple maxim for bringing light to crimes commited: Cui bono? Who benefits?
Is it the obvious guilty party, or should one pause and consider also the person in the room who stands to gain the most from it all?
Then, as now, smart people found ways to enrich themselves or further their political goals while setting up some dumb guy to take the rap. But by starting the investigation in the right end, many “obvious” scapegoats got a fair shake while the manipulator behind the scenes was brought to justice.
What makes me think of this maxim is the mysterious rash of half-hearted “assaults” on Swedish mosques, so perfectly timed and limited in scope that the question of cui bono practically jumps out and slaps you across the face.
Let’s preface this by pointing out that investigations are ongoing, so as of this writing we do not know the origin of any of these incidents.
Having said that, consider the magnificent fiasco of the Eskilstuna mosque fire that made world headlines because of incompetence and politically correct opportunism joining hands in dazzling unison.
On Christmas day, hundreds of millions of newsreaders worldwide were informed that some white supremacist arsonist had burned down a mosque, trying to kill the people inside.
The righteous fury over this was so total that every “good” person basically came in their pants from the outrage, having to try really hard to out-do one another in expressing their disgust for the racist monsters and extending their sympathy for the poor persecuted muslims. Meanwhile, the muslim leaders seized the opportunity to wail about the “islamophobia” supposedly making their lives a living hell, wringing every drop of sympathy from the situation.
Just one teeny little problem. The fire most likely was a kitchen fire out of control. The “witness” who claimed to have seen the arsonist is nowhere to be found. The specially trained dogs found no trace of the rumored molotov cocktail. And government intelligence agency SÄPO ruled out political motives for the fire. Oops.
So here was this gigantic spectacle, all set for months of full media coverage with sobstories with the victims and grandstanding by the politicians… And it all just imploded. It’s like if the Pearl Harbor attack had turned out to be a Japanese kid playing with fire crackers and accidentally scared the American General’s poodle.
Now, let’s push the pause button for a second.
Who would benefit from there suddenly being a bunch of small, half-hearted “attacks” on other mosques in the wake of this? Nothing real, just a small bottle of flammable liquid being tossed safely against a concrete wall, a few scribbled swastikas that washes right off, that sort of thing. But enough to spin news stories on, conveying the image of “a wave of assaults” on the muslim community. Who benefits?
Is it the nationalist party SD supporters, who were originally fingered for the arson? Without having to do anything at all, they now had the glee of seeing the politically correct establishment have their pants pulled down — entirely by their own over-eagerness to spin political gold out of hay. Why would they help their enemies save face by perpetrating these petty “assaults” on other mosques? Suddenly, the initial fiasco is swept aside, and behold; the holy crusade against islamophobia is right back on track!
It is of course possible that it COULD be some idiot white supremacist doing this. If you had read some of the comments I’ve deleted on this blog, you would know that the stupidity of that clientele is a truly bottomless pit. And it’s an ugly pit, at that.
But to any reasonable person, the whole thing stinks. The left love to go on about how Iraq didn’t have any WMDs and scornfully talk about easily duped sheeple who just swallow every ridiculous claim being spoon-fed to them. “Why would Saddam have nukes? He wouldn’t do that, it’d be an invitation for invasion!”
And here are the same people, blinded by empathy and righteousness, not stopping for a second to question WHY their political opponents would be so hell-bent on wresting defeat from a great public opinion victory and saving their opponents from humiliation.
Cicero famously quoted the good consul because of his wisdom and keen sense of justice over 2000 years ago. It seems prudent we all, right or left, pause for a second once in a while and ask that crucial question: Who benefits?