Among the possibilities — a strike against sensitive critical communications infrastructure.
Reasoning: America cannot deny her changed posture with Russia since the December 25, 1991 end of the Cold War. The now 26-year term opened handily with cooperation in security and trade, but it appears Moscow’s old habits for authoritarian and central control die hard — or die or fade not at all. Most recent in evidence: Russia’s extraordinary hacking of data rich and powerful Federal institutions.
BackChannels may consider the Nashville Explosion a “follow on”.
As with the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and the targeting of America’s Cowboy Class from the exotically eastern-named Mandalay Bay Hotel (it seems major attacks against the Homeland involve such poetics), one might consider the range both of American Cowboy cities and symbols and otherwise centers of American commercial and defense might and vitality.
The tempo of aggression would seem within Moscow’s control while Americans read of discoveries and events in the news.
The Soviet Union collapsed in bankruptcy 26 years ago on December 25, 1991. Those who believed in the failed stated, believed also in absolute power with themselves as chiefs of state otherwise known as the Party Nomenklatura. On our side, we believed, however briefly, that the tension between the Capitalist West and an expanding and thieving Communist Russia, the most central sponsor of dictatorships worldwide, including Khomeini’s to come as the Islamic Revolution in Iran, had collapsed as well and that democracy and prosperity would be Moscow’s new fate with the western world.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
President Trump’s own disingenuous remonstrance involving Russia and his undeniable involvement with the Russian Federation tells the direction the Post-Soviet Era has taken, to wit, Russia has become an authoritarian and combined mafia and police state whose elite cook up and swallow money before breakfast while those less connected with Putin and Moscow mumble along without potent representation (even Alexei Navalny in the shadow of his latest poisoning has been forced to serve his Russian constituency from beyond Russia’s borders).
Here is Mikhail Gorbachev in 2016 speaking about the dissolving of his former state —
Accusation in a Mirror in One Statement
“That which I intend for you I will claim as your intention for me.”
“Accusation in a Mirror” (PDF) by Kenneth L. Marcus has a different and academic presence in political science. Marcus’s essay dealt with the Rwandan Genocide. Now and then it shows up simplified, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incitement_to_genocide#Accusation_in_a_mirror, but not quite enough, so in the above bolded line, I’ve tried to reduce the concept to one essential sentence or sentence-rule in political and social grammar.
In its secret life, Putin’s Russian Federation has mounted a challenge to the open democracies of the modern west. In Crimea, for example, it has produced the “Little Green Men” of “Hybrid Warfare” fame (it has also launched audacious cyber attacks against Ukrainian assets). Previously in the United States, it has sought to troll the nation into confusion (read up on “Cozy Bear” or the “Internet Research Agency”). Around the world and still in the domain of a perverse modern warfare, it has managed to sustain “Frozen Conflicts” that serve to inflict continuous insecurity in target states while providing comparatively safe harbors and transit zones for Transnational Crime Organizations (TCOs). Here’s a wrap by international energy consultant Agnia Grigas (2016) —
The Nashville Explosion that took place Christmas morning involved procuring and producing an RV Bomb, arming it in addition with a powerful sound system and patiently programmed tape, possibly including attention-getting gunfire, and it went off in a sufficiently symbolic (there’s that cowboy thing!) location but one also deeply sensitive with AT&T communications infrastructure. Given the day and hour, there was little interest in carnage or sustained drama and attention — there was, when it was over, direct damage to a major American communications hub.
Imagine the same form of attack repeated in one city after another.
Sufficient threat shifts state positions in small and unseen ways, but an attack appropriately interpreted serves as a wake-up that in a democracy calls for “clear, accurate, and complete” public analysis as well as some necessarily immediate, opaque, and sophisticated countermeasures.
Simple Criminal Act — or Act of Terror or Act of War
Moscow’s Janus face shows white before Russia’s public and the open democratic societies of the west. While it denies all wrongdoing, of course, its presence shows up repeatedly in Afghanistan (where the Taliban continue fighting with Russian arms and materiel), Venezuela (where it has sashayed through the air with its most sophisticated “White Swan” nuclear bomber), and the Central African Republic (where doing business and politics at the end of a gun barrel keeps turning out the best way of arranging business, after all).
Perhaps the “Nashville Christmas Morning Explosion” will turn out to be about lone nut case motivated by personal grievance and armed with money and know-how.
You know I’m in real estate, don’t you?
(Not a chance).
Addendum – In Which the Editor Considers Going Into Real Estate
The confirmation of Anthony Quinn Warner as the perpetrator has stalled where it had for Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, i.e., the “why?”.
The story will shift to the mystery woman on the other side of Warner’s “Quit Claim” in L.A., and, as with Paddock, there may still be no official explanation.
Troublesome here: “East-West Rivalry”; the “Whole Russian Thing”; The Location — Nashville, 2nd Street, hard by a critical AT&T communications center; the Christmas morning timing; the planning involved, the mockery (“Downtown”), the labor intensive execution, which had to include the gathering together and assembling of components, including the production of the tape and the creation or recording of the female voice on it.