Posted by: JDM..... | April 20, 2013


will aid the healing…..

It’s hard not to get angry.

The Chechen leader blames America for molding the beliefs of bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Their father called them angels. Their mother says she is “100 percent sure this is a setup.”

But these are people as shocked by the events of April 15, 2013 as those who were in the midst of the mayhem.

The brothers Tsarnaev brought shame and dishonor to their family and to their native country. How do the innocent defend against the inevitable broadening of culpability in the public mind to include them by default because of kinship or ethnicity?

Within moments of the released identities of the Boston Marathon bombers, the internet was aflame with diatribes against Chechens and Muslims, with comments ranging from stunned disbelief to the requisite street corner garbage largely driven by adolescent testosterone. Just about anybody can drop into classic “black and white thinking” at some advanced level of pressure, but some do so on a regular basis and at the drop of a hat. We heard a lot from them, right from the start, and I suspect they’ll still be dictating the One Step Path to Eternal Peace and Tranquility when books about the incident can only be found at yard sales. Their answer doesn’t vary much from “exterminate everybody,” except for their clones and selected wannabes. I always find myself wondering, how is that different from the approaches taken by those who committed the offending acts in the first place?

So, the Chechen leader “blames the victim” and the parents of the suspects can not yet break through 20-25 years of family memories to start the agonizing process of dealing with their own losses. They lost two sons, and in a way that forever tainted the family name.

My focus remains on the surviving suspect. I want to know why he did what he did, not to forgive him or to make it “ok”, but to help my brain recover from the impact of a huge incongruity. I want to try to understand what twisted thinking convinced him that their plan was acceptable and had purpose. On a gut level, I suppose I feel some of what the “kill ‘em all” crowd has written or given voice to over the past few days, but I know that is adrenaline talking. Rational thought can only grow out of a broadened view of all that is within sight, not by intently staring through a straw at a speck and redefining it as “Everything”.

If there is more to this series of events than the despicable acts of two young brothers, we will know that in due time and can then respond accordingly. Drawing conclusions based on news bites, internet chatter, and raw emotion would preclude arriving at an accurate and complete response. The time to simply “react” has passed.

The traumatized, injured, and maimed will heal, to whatever extent their bodies and minds are able. The survivors of those killed by the explosions will somehow experience the years ahead. The loss will not go away, but hopefully will at least become bearable so that family members can grieve and move on.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is only nineteen, and his life, too, is over, whether he survives his injuries or not. Whether he dies, is executed, or spends the rest of his life in prison, he will likely know the obscurity of one Sirhan Sirhan, whose actions similarly brought an end to his own life, as well as that of another, in 1968. Most people under fifty either don’t know that name, or have to scratch their heads and retrieve it from some long-faded school memory. For some as yet unknown reason, a promising young man turned to fully embrace evil and commit murder and terrorism.

Except for the tasks of trying to figure out what led him to turn to evil, holding him accountable, and then figuring out what to do with his empty and purposeless shell, nineteen year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has ceased to exist.


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