The United States scored a pretty significant victory this week when a jury convicted Chechnyan terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on 30 charges stemming from his role in the Boston Marathon Bombing in April 2013. Of the charges, 17 carry the death penalty, and the same jury which convicted Tsarnaev will decide whether the 21-year old will spend the rest of his life in prison or die by lethal injection.
Tsarneav’s older brother (and probable mastermind of the attacks) Tammerlan was killed in a shootout with police several hours after the bombing occurred in a residential neighborhood in Boston, so Dzhokhar is the sole representative of the attack left alive to feel the brunt of the judicial process. Fortunately for the younger Tsarneav, his loving mother, who still lives in Russia, believes both of her sons are innocent, and the “real” terrorist in the case is the American public. While the prospect of the American society coming together to kill three people and wound another 200 at one of the country’s most prestigious sporting events is a shaky suggestion, it also points to a much more insidious notion…
You see, mama Tsarneav, displays one of the most commonly held, but tough to shake beliefs in existence. A believe that pulls you in and refuses to let go, no matter how off-base it may seem. Nope, I’m not talking about radical Islam; I’m talking about maternal denial.
Consider a change of scenery: A women signs her aggressively unathletic child up for football. The child hates football, but the mother continues to bring him to practice, and eventually he just kind of adapts to the football culture. So when he gets fed up and wants to quit, the mother goes and yells at the coach for not catering to her child’s needs. Dzhokhar Tsarneav is the unathletic, pudgy football player.
Mothers have a way of always assuming the best of their children, and this is fair. But, at a certain point this maternal coddling begins to become detrimental.
What if this aggressively unathletic child went on to act in the school play? And his mother showed up to the rehearsal every day and told the kid he was awesome even though his singing was flat and he pooped his pants twice? When the director asks him to clean up after himself the mother freaks out and claims the world is against her son and his loose stools. Isn’t this sort of starting to border on insane?
Tsarneav is a terrorist. Timothy McVeigh had a much high body count in his attack on Oklahoma City in 1995, but even he comes off as downright likable when judged against Tsarneav, who is unlikable even by domestic terrorist standards. Not only did he ludicrously plead not guilty to his crimes, his spineless defense team is trying to pin the entirety of the crime on his deceased older brother. Granted, they probably have a point, but Tsarneav was 19 years-old when the attack occurred, certainly old enough to ignore his insane older brother.
The mother, however, took the lunacy one step further by declaring both of her sons “totally innocent”, even the one who was killed in a police shootout because he was shooting at police. The utter deniability of her referring to her son as “the best of the best” spits in the face of mothers everywhere.
My parents made it very clear that is I messed up, I would deal with the consequences. I think they were mostly referring to things like breaking a neighbors window and then having to apologize, but I assume more severe crimes applied as well. I’m not saying parents should call the police on a four-year old because he accidentally swiped a candy bar from Sheetz, but I think maybe it’s time to admit some fault when your son is responsible for the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.
It’s messed up to say, but I can even forgive the radical undertones of her frame of mind; we hear about “Death to America” stuff all the time, so that fact isn’t really disturbing. It’s the fact that she’s so willing to write this situation off as her son being an innocent victim that really bothers me.