Targeting civilians is always a war crime or crime against humanity. The leeway for incidental civilian deaths
The Boston Marathon attack, in addition to being an ordinary crime, was a war crime. It is fair to conclude now that the attackers were motivated by religion and anti-imperialist sentiments. One also seemed to have a personal grudge against America because as a non-citizen he was excluded from the national level of boxing competition, and then was further injured when he had his application for citizenship denied. Had he been made a citizen he would doubtless have gone back to boxing and done only injury to other volunteers for that brutal and uncivilized sport.
We cannot say the same for policies made and conducted by powerful politicians, including our own.
President Barack Obama seems to think that if he minimizes his war crimes, crimes against humanity, and attacks on human rights, he is okay. He is just driving a little over the speed limit because his passengers - capitalists and the corporate security state - want him to get to a preconceived goal a little bit faster than the rules allow for.
So if some women and children get blasted to pieces by a drone or a helicopter gunship or trigger-happy U.S. gunmen on patrol somewhere, Barack figures he has his ass covered. I can hear him at the trial: "I never gave orders to purposefully kill civilians."
I imagine his predecessor Franklin D. Roosevelt would have said the same thing, had anyone been powerful enough to put him on trial. Before World War II, starting with the Japanese invasion of China, President Roosevelt inveighed against any bombing of urban areas. It always involved civilian casualties, and it was a war crime, he pointed out. At least it was a war crime when Japan or Germany or Italy did it. When our ally, the British Empire did it, Roosevelt grew mute. Then he authorized the firebombing of Japanese cities, which was on a far larger scale than had ever been done up until that point. In hypocrisy, at least, the U.S. is Number One.
Or Barack could point to Harry Truman. His team of Democratic Party experts recommended dropping the first two atomic bombs on Japanese cities, after having rejected proposals for demonstration bombings that would have caused minimal casualties, or the destruction of only military targets or personnel. You can almost hear Harry's defense lawyer, "But he did not order the Air Force to bomb civilians. There were some military personnel at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We regret the civilian casualties."
It would take an encyclopedia to cover all of the war crimes and crimes against humanity since the inception of the United States of America.
So don't be surprised in foreigners take American indignation at American civilian casualties with a grain of salt.
Let's get rid of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Let's try George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and other top U.S. decision makers for the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity they have committed.
Let's put an end to U.S. imperialism. Let's remove all U.S. troops from foreign territories.
Only then can there really be Liberty and Justice for All.
See also: war crimes