Ever since the Boston Marathon bombings last week that killed three and seriously wounded some 260 innocent people, I have been baffled as to what were the motives of the two Chechnyan American brothers allegedly committing this crime.
And let's be clear at the outset; this was a crime in the first degree, pre-planned with malice aforethought, regardless of their motivations.
But yesterday, the younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev while being interrogated wrote (as he was shot in the throat) revealed the following:
- The brothers planned the bombings only a week before the race.
- They were operating alone and received no training or support from outside terrorist groups, (investigators have said the brothers got bomb making information from an online al Qaeda web site and the older brother Tamerlan had purchased fireworks in New Hampshire in February presumably for the gun powder contained in them).
- The older brother Tamerlan was "upset" by the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his anger was the motivation to plant two homemade bombs along the race route.
It is this last revelation by the younger brother as to his older brothers' motive that is so intriguing. Since Tamerlan died in a police shootout we'll never no precisely what his motives were to commit this crime. But again, the last comment by the younger brother Dzhokhar to the interrogators is the most intriguing.
Then too, we'll never know the political astuteness of Tamerlan, but let's assume he was aware of what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan i.e. the U.S. pre-emptively invaded and occupied two Muslim countries, the U.S. is responsible for killing thousands of innocent Muslims in both countries, many killed in weddings and funeral processions (but all portrayed as "collateral damage" for which we are sorry), in drone strikes and missile attacks along with many innocents killed on the streets, in nights raids, even in their beds, (to which most Americans are either unaware or simply rationalize away).
So was the killing of innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. troops, drones, and missile strikes the reason Tamerlan was so "upset"? Again, we'll never know for sure.
But let's recognize some known facts by a majority of the American people with regard to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
- Most Americans have not been directly affected and have no direct connection with the fathers and mothers, husbands and wives or brothers and sisters who have fought in these wars or directly related to those who have been killed.
- Most Americans when polled approve of the drone strikes (that also kill many innocents) presumably because no Americans are being killed in them.
- Most Americans have not demonstrated against the drone strikes or called for the end of these strikes that kill innocent Muslims in these countries (to say nothing of the innocents killed in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia).
So is this killing of Muslim innocents in U.S. wars and occupations, which has had little direct affect or impact on most Americans, the reason that possibly drove the older brother to act as he did in killing innocents in Boston?
One can say this is pure speculation but would U.S. officials ever acknowledge our wars and occupations and our killing of innocent Muslims (which are creating new insurgents bent on retaliating against Americans) could have drove the brothers to commit murder and maiming in Boston?
But in the end, the killing of innocents in Boston was first degree murder and can never be justified regardless of the possible rationalizations by the older brother to commit this act on innocent people.