Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a Chechen immigrant who came to this country in 2002, and starred on the wrestling team of the 2011 graduating class at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School. It is a prestigious high school in Cambridge, Mass that has acquired an infamy it never entertained.
By all accounts he was on the surface well assimilated. Or perhaps more aptly, well integrated into the fabric of American teenage culture. “He was just a normal kid”, his high school friends interviewed by the news media this morning said. Obviously not, or else we need to redefine normalcy, and I’m loathe to think that this is what it has come to in our country. A former classmate remarked: “He was a quiet kid; guess it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for”. Others at U. Mass Amherst say he was outgoing and sociable, but fair to say that whatever his public face, Dzhokhar was bent on murderous mayhem.
Despite being athletically talented and reportedly academically gifted, Dzhokhar was apparently influenced by his big brother, Tamerlan, a disenfranchised refugee who (allegedly) made no pretense of his disdain for America and Westernization. Tamerlan was quoted as saying “I don’t have a single American friend. I don’t understand them.” He did understand how to kill and mame not only with homemade bombs and IEDs, but how to self destruct with a bomb vest.
Dzhokhar became an American citizen on September 11, 2012. He and his brother evidently chose the Boston Marathon and Patriot’s Day to make their public statement, plotted in erstwhile fashion while hiding behind the facade of a normal American life; a life that paradoxically is protected by our preference for not profiling individuals. His aunt in Canada says she doesn’t trust the FBI or any agency, and suggests the allegations against her nephews were staged. “Show me the evidence”, she says, channeling her inner Cuba Gooding Jr.
None of Dzhokhar’s former classmates who were interviewed ever met big brother Tamerlan, and evidently the two had hatched their Boston Marathon Bombing Plot well under the radar. The days of showing one’s displeasure with the government by dumping tea into Boston Harbor are long gone. Here is a television image from this morning showing the scene just prior to the triggering of one of the two bombs at the Boston Marathon scene. The young boy circled in blue is Martin Richard, the 8 year-old who was killed (allegedly) by the bomb in the black back pack circled in red deposited by Dzhokhar, seen in his backward white hat circled in red.
Ultimately Dzhokhar was found wounded, hiding in a boat in a Watertown back yard, with law enforcement officials as intent on preserving his life as he was in ending life. Now the formal questioning begins, though undoubtedly most questions will remain unanswered.
The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoyevsky’s philosophical novel that, in the words of Wiki enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia. To this The Brothers Tsarnaev have added a deeply disturbing chapter.