Let the blame game begin — The New Yorker gets off to a good start, but can’t maintain its momentum

David Remnick, writing at The New Yorker has a very interesting article about “The Brothers Tsarnaev” (and yes, we all appreciated the little Dostoyevsky reference there).  It’s interesting at two levels.  At the first level, the beginning is an elegant piece of journalism that looks at the region and at Chechens, and acknowledges the region is distinctly Islamic and prone to blowing people up (although the word “Beslan” never appears).  Remnick also writes about the boys themselves, noting the mixture of shallowness and venom that characterizes them.  I was quite impressed.  By George, I thought, I think he’s getting it.  Maybe this liberal is having a reality moment.

But sadly, it was not to be.  He just couldn’t hang on to enlightenment by the time he got past the first half.  There was the reflexive drift towards “banality,” which James Taranto eviscerated so effectively.  By the third paragraph from the end, Remnick was blaming social media for the brothers’ killing spree.  I’ll agree that social media probably facilitates evil’s spread, but the evil is the particular brand of Islam the boys followed, and that seems to have been a gift to them from Chechen connections and their local radicalized mosque.  Facebook was a tool, not a cause.

The second paragraph from the end spoke about their loving families, and how we should feel sympathy for them.  The aunts and uncles who disavow the evil and speak of America . . . yes, I guess.  The Mom who screams about conspiracies — well, she could be in denial, which is a mom thing; she could be as evil as her sons; or she could be right.  As for the Dad, Remnick couldn’t resist a little selective editing.  Feel pity for Daddy he writes, because Daddy loved his boys:  “The father described Dzhokhar as an ‘angel.’”  Somehow Remnick forgot the rest of Daddy’s quote, where he said that, if Dzhokhar died, “all hell would break loose.”

And then, in the final paragraph, Remnick finally gets to his point — it’s the fault of both America and the internet:

The Tsarnaev family had been battered by history before—by empire and the strife of displacement, by exile and emigration. Asylum in a bright new land proved little comfort. When Anzor fell sick, a few years ago, he resolved to return to the Caucasus; he could not imagine dying in America. He had travelled halfway around the world from the harrowed land of his ancestors, but something had drawn him back. 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.

Funnily enough, in all those paragraphs, even though Remnick could acknowledge that the boys were Muslims, he could not make himself acknowledge that Islam is the core problem.  Everything else is window-dressing.

 

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Comments

  1. Libby says

    It’s painful to watch the MSM start building the terrorists-as-victims narrative once again. Here’s an old but excellent Dr. Sanity post about how terrorists are like borderline personality disorder patients: http://tinyurl.com/cnrpaxe
     
    “Taking responsibility for their behavior is exactly what all the terrorists of the world expect you to do. Their implicit message is that somehow YOU are the one responsible for THEIR murders. If YOU had behaved differently, then YOU would not have CAUSED THEM to behave the horrible way they did. THEY are the victims, and you are the perpetrators. That is of course the ultimate weapon of the terrorist, isn’t it? To make you feel that you cause their murderous behavior? That the beheadings would not have occurred IF NOT FOR YOU?”
     

  2. Call me Lennie says

    Quick answer to “the internet made me do it” beclownery
     
    Since the internet has been around in its present form for about ten years and is worldwide, why is it that ONLY Muslims have resorted to these bombings? The rest of the world outnumbers Muslims at least 4 to 1, but the internet hasn’t forced anyone else to blow away limbs of completely innocent people
     
     

  3. jj says

    It becomes tiresome. 
     
    The Tsarnaev family had been battered by history before – by empire and the strife of displacement, by exile and emigration. A sad story, to be sure, but we call that the “American story.”  Hey Remnick: throw a famine in with your “empire” and “displacement” sorrowful tale, and tell it to the Irish who came in the 1850s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  You think they arrived in New York for a weekend in the Hamptons?  They’d been coming for years by the time Ellis Island opened, and the first person processed through there was fifteen year old Anne Moore from County Cork.  Pretend you have a brain, Remnick: the forbears of 90% of this country came from “harrowed lands,” poor them.  America was, as you should have known by the second grade, established by people who’d been “battered by history” in one form or another.
     
    The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, you say?  Quite true: your brain is supposed to do that.  We’re all exposed to it all the time, and we all have the option of embracing the insanity of Islam.  Or any other species of insanity that strikes our fancy.  But oddly enough, Dave ol’ whip, most of us don’t.  (Surely you’ve noticed.) 
     
    … the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men.  But that one applies to everybody, Dave!  Didn’t you ever encounter – hear or read – the phrase: “how many of us, when young, would settle for or approve of what we end up doing and who we eventually become?”  That phrase or one of the many versions thereof that express that thought, and the inevitable passing of youthful idealism when confronted by the real world.  Come on, Dave – that theme’s as old as the Appalachians: everybody from Faulkner to Fitzgerald to Wolfe to Steinbeck to Cheever to Grisham have put down a version of that one; where’ve you been?  And yet how many of us, in our disappointment in ourselves, plant bombs?
     
    It won’t do, Dave.  Nothing you’ve decried is outside the range of absolutely normative human experience, or emotion: nothing.  Yet most of us are pretty resolute about the idea that we don’t plant bombs.  So it can’t be anything you’ve called out, because you haven’t called out anything beyond anyone’s routine experience, anything that couldn’t be replicated in 100,000,000 other families.  And you won’t call out Islam, which would be the obvious thing to do – so I guess it’ll just have to continue to be a mystery to you, Dave.

  4. JKB says

    Have you sensed it?  There is a change in America.  You can feel people reevaluating their following the Obama/Prog piper.  It’s looking like these guys were a coordinated terrorist attack and people feel it.  
     
    Seems some Dems are as well.  Feinstein apparently has the scoop on what people in Boston need when they are told to hide in their basement, there’s a terrorist on the loose and he wants to kill people.  I predict a rough week for the Left.

  5. SADIE says

     
    “…they are told to hide in their basement”
     
    The last time Boston was told to hide (Marshall Law) Paul Revere lived in the neighborhood.
     
    “We got him,” Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted. A cheer erupted from a crowd gathered near the scene. “CAPTURED!!!” police added later. “The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”
     
    Homes illegally searched, city and towns under a new euphemism “sheltering in place”, schools closed, businesses closed, all buses/trains in/out of Boston shut down  ….  the shot heard round the world has a silencer on the muzzle and it’s engraved with “death by diversity”. I am in full puke mode. Ah, those poor immigrants, forced to live in America when they could have had a lovely childhood in Beslan. Mayor Menino truly represents Boston in his wheelchair.
     
     
     
     

  6. JKB says

    Sadly, SIP, Shelter in place, is not new.  Way back in 2003, I was tasked with organizing it for my floor of a DC government office.  That entailed and elaborate plan to seal off the doors with plastic while under a chemical/bio attack.  I had a bit of fun with it.  As it was absurd, shut down the air and seal off the exterior doors to a modern building filled with government workers with lots of health “issues” and you’ll have people dropping like flies in no time.  They were not amused when I enquired as to how many body bags I got for my SIP kit.  
     
    As an amusing aside, the wall covering around the stairwell doors was apparently the one thing on earth duct tape won’t stick to.  
     
    Your average government worker was clueless about the risks.  A few asked me stupid questions so I was going to develop a personal SIP package for them, a dry cleaning bag and a rubber band big enough to fit snugly around their  neck.  I did not however, as there was a fair chance someone would try to use it.

  7. Charles Martel says

    In my yoot when I was a small-town newspaper reporter, I interviewed an old fireman who was a true eccentric. His signature move for me was that he’d hand-built a stage in his backyard for one of his girlfriends, an operatic soprano, to perform on whenever she blew into town. At dusk, she would don a theatrical costume and mount the stage. He would turn on lights he’d carefully calibrated to give her a glamorous aura, then sit back to sip at a martini as he listened to her sing. Later, well…..  
     
    He also liked to collect offbeat photos, a penchant he developed after spending two years as a guest of the Japanese Army in WWII. The barbarities he saw and suffered there made him fascinated with the whole field of East Asian cruelty, and he was able to collect Japanese atrocity photos as a sort of reparation.
     
    One of the photos–I’ll never get it out of my mind–was picked up by a Japanese soldier sometime in China in the mid-1930s. It showed a hapless Chinese peasant who was suspended from a frame and well into a third day of being dismantled by the “death of a thousand cuts.” The butchers who administered this particular punishment were masters of human physiology, able to cut skin and muscle without ever quite hitting arteries or severing major organs, mishaps that would have led to quickly bleeding out or a permanent loss of consciousness.
     
    The White Boys from Chechnya (poor David Sirota!) may be the harbingers of America’s death by a thousand cuts.  When you look at the total, almost mindless overreaction of the alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies who were chasing after two idiot jihadists, the lock-down of an entire city, and the revealing of the utter cluelessness of the American media, you begin to see how just a few pairs of demented siblings could paralyze the country simply by similarly striking in a few cities.
     
    The pair didn’t cost the economy $1 trillion by taking down two great skyscrapers, and they didn’t detonate a dirty nuke, or assassinate some key public figure. They simply exploded a cooking bucket full of nails in a heavily peopled place and all hell broke loose. No national arteries were severed or major organs damaged (other than the already highly compromised reputations of law enforcement and the media).
     
    They also exposed a country on edge. Even though the narcissistic liar who is our president pretends that terrorism has pretty much been defanged, most of us, even liberals, know that that just ain’t so. Even politically correct agencies knew to look beyond the brothers to see if they had planted other devices or were members of sleeper cells. Our new low-tech breed of terrorists know that one act here or there won’t deliver a decisive blow. But each act, regardless of size, exacerbates an already existing fear, and eventually create a sense of being overwhelmed, then powerless, and finally resigned.
     
    Don’t forget that waiting in the wings are other bad actors who are not Muslims but despise our republic just as much. Just as the Chechen bros were pawns of jihadism, their ilk could easily become pawns of people who are desperate for an excuse to seize ultimate power in the name of protecting us.  
     
     
     
     
     

  8. JKB says

    Well, doesn’t this story just keep getting more and more liberally confused.  
    First two non-Middle East muslims raised in liberal Boston 
    Afforded the finest in Progressive education and attending top of the line famous Progressive universities.
    The terribly disaffected older one who can find a friend in America, but has a very pretty wife and a child.  
    A wife from a very, very Progressive family and very Progressive upbringing.  Who
    Who had very Progressive dreams of joining the Peace Corps but instead married a Chechen boy and converted to Islam.
    A wife who arrives to pick up a few things at their Cambridge home in a leopard print hijab before returning to the leafy Rhode Island home she grew up in.
     
    I’m sensing a common theme here.

  9. says

    After WWII everyone was pro-Nazi from the beginning and nobody thought that Nazism wasn’t a total evil that had to be utterly.  Everyone had believed that from the start and nobody had been sympathetic to the cause or merely an apologist.
    Of course prior to WWII it was much different and “who goes Nazi?” was a parlor game.  It would be interesting to read the Nazi apologists of the era and compare their writings to the Islamoapologists of today.
    My guess is you can change the names and leave the paragraphs as they are.

  10. says

    I wonder how much the Left has been making Americans pay for the privilege of being blown up by terrorists, raped by Leftist mobs, and rendered destitute by Democrat robber barons.
     
    Evil doesn’t work by paying its own way. It works by using the works of good to destroy good. Selling capitalists the rope they will be hanged with.

  11. says

    I mentioned before that it would take 100 WACOs before people in the US would start waking up and realizing what hate against the Left really was. Until then, not much will change strategically in the war(s).
     
    I’m not quite sure if we can count Virginia Tech, Columbine, Ft. Hood, as part of the 100, however. But it may very well end up that way.

  12. Danny Lemieux says

    Yesterday our esteemed (meaning, very Liberal) Bishop visited our parish to confer confirmation and first communion blessings. In his sermon, he lamented what a terrible month it had been: the Boston massacre, the floods, the Waco explosion (but not the Gosnell clinic horrors…mmmm).
    As his voice mounted to a fevered pitch of woe, dispair and gloom, he cast about to find a worthy target for his wrath. Then, as his gimlet gaze fixated upon the likely culprits behind our despair, the words “mil..Isl..m” burst forth….ha,ha,ha,ha! Just kidding of course.
    The target of his wrath was no other than….fundamentalist Christians.
    Really? Seriously? 

  13. Spartacus says

    Monsieur Lemieux — In the reform of the Church, God has handed you a great and worthy task.  You didn’t really want it to be easy, did you?  ;)

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