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Ed Driscoll

The Tsarnaev Brothers: Mascots of the Annointed

April 21st, 2013 - 9:29 am

“Normally, we would all feel anger toward the Tsarnaev brothers,” Stuart Schneiderman writes, at his Had Enough Therapy? blog. “Self-styled terrorists who murdered and mutilated innocent Americans deserve nothing other than our opprobrium:”

We need have no moral compunctions about holding the surviving brother accountable for his actions.

For liberal intellectuals this is a problem. In their theoretical ecosphere the Devil is American racism. Their mission is to rid America of racism. And that includes what is misleadingly called Islamophobia. Thus, they fear that America will go off on yet another round of Muslim-hatred, holding other Muslims to account for the actions of two deviants.

Within their minds, the Tsarnaev brothers will soon emerge as victims of America.

It has begun with an attempt to humanize the terrorists. Since most sentient humans know that the terrorists are monsters, the empathetic left will pay lip service to their perfidy and try to cast them as victims.

And it’s already begun: In addition to the New York Timesinitial sympathetic portrayals, at Big Journalism, John Nolte spots plenty of moral equivalence from the New Yorker’s David Remnick:

What a non-shock to discover Remnick is able to summon more empathy and eloquence for terrorists accused of mass murder than he did for the ridiculously peaceful Tea Party. Story here. Original story below…

It is one thing to never forget, no matter the evil with which we are faced, our own humanity. It is quite another, however, and quite dangerous, to forget that we are dealing with evil. Such a thing not only invites more evil; worse still, it is a cruel slap in the face to the victims of evil.

And it was the victims I thought of as I read David Remnick’s Saturday New Yorker essay, a poorly timed and even shameful attempt to define evil by something other than evil.

Remnick’s thoughtlessness does not come from reporting on the background of the two men suspected of unspeakable acts, but in his attempt to ask us to sympathize with them as he defines them by their luxury problems:

Anzor’s elder son, Tamerlan, appeared never to connect fully with American life. “I don’t have a single American friend,” Tamerlan told a photographer named Johannes Hirn, who asked to take pictures of him training as a boxer. “I don’t understand them.”…

To see Dzhokhar’s name, to see his face. I think this had to do with his older brother. Unless he was some sort of sleeper agent, I think his brother had a pretty strong influence. Tamerlan maybe felt like he didn’t belong, and he might have brainwashed Dzhokhar into some radical view that twisted things in the Koran.” …

Dzhokhar’s Twitter feed—@J_tsar—is a bewildering combination of banality and disaffection. (He seems to have been tweeting even after the explosions at the finish line last Monday.) As you scan it, you encounter a young man’s thoughts: his jokes, his resentments, his prejudices, his faith, his desires.

March 14, 2012—a decade in america already, I want out …

The American dream wasn’t for everyone. What they could not anticipate was the abysmal fate of their sons, lives destroyed in a terror of their own making. The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men. A decade in America already, I want out.

That is how Remnick closes his piece — quoting Dzokhar’s tweet: A decade in America already, I want out — which is a very writerly choice for Remnick to make. But it is about as thoughtless, obtuse, and clarifying as closing a piece on Adolph Hitler with, “all I ever wanted was to be an artist.”

Maybe Stalin took in stray cats and maybe Saddam Hussein slept with a stuffed rabbit. We know Lee Harvey Oswald and Timothy McVeigh felt out of place, and that Jeffrey Dahmer was lonely. And now we know that, like millions of American men their age, Tamerlan (26) and Dzohokhar (19) Tsarnaev had all kinds of crybaby problems.

In his 1996 book, The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell wrote about “The Mascots of the Anointed,” which the Tsarnaev brothers are well on their way to becoming. As Jack Cashill quips at the American Thinker, “How Long Before Dzhokhar Starts Palling Around with Obama?”

Speaking of which, “President Obama warns against rushing to judgment in age of tweets,” as spotted by Twitchy.

Let’s just say Barry learned this advice the hard way.

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On "This Week" during the roundtable on Sunday, Remmick was outrageously outraged about Rupert Murdoch's New York Post publishing the photo of the wrong suspects (given to them by the FBI), willing to give CNN a pass on their errors, and so locked in on the idea that the Tsarnaevs were radicalized by their alienation in America, and that it was America's fault, fellow panelist Martha Raddatz had to remind Remmick that the FBI failed to check up on Tamelan after his trip back to Russia, which is where the online trail shows his radical Islamic views really came to the forefront.

Remmick's already got the narrative down in his mind -- Who Bombed the Marathon? It Was You and Me (well, way more you than me if you're a gun-nut Teabagger. But it was definitely American society's anti-Muslim attitude that kept them apart from everyone, especially where the Tsarnaevs were living, in that hotbed of militant conservatism that is known as Boston, Massachusetts).
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