A Word from Japa: The Blame Game

The Blame Game

by Japa

There have been some conflicts here about how to look at motives and the reasons behind the bombing in Boston. And I cringe when I read them, because so often the people going back and forth are missing what the other person is saying. And I think part of the problem is that we are sometimes afraid of being like the Right with their bigoted rushes to judgment.

When the bombings first occurred, there were a lot of people on our side of the political divide who were hoping the bombers weren’t Muslim. There were a lot on the other side that was hoping they weren’t white. Turns out they were both.

The reality is that their color may well have had nothing to do with their actions. Likewise, if they were of a darker hue, that skin color would have nothing to do with their actions. Actions like these are, for the most part, driven by one of three things: political ideology, religion or mental disorder. And it is not uncommon for it to be a combination of two or all three of these things.

So what does that mean as we go through the process with these two individuals or, in fact, examine any instances of terrorism be they bombings, shootings or whatever? And yes, I include Newtown and Aurora, and the bombing of abortion clinics or the assassination of a doctor that does abortions all to be acts of terrorism. And just as importantly, what doesn’t it mean?

For example, we know there have politically inspired acts of terrorism, including the shooting of the policemen in Pittsburgh or the attack at the Holocaust Museum. These were both done by people convinced the government was coming for their guns. And this type of thinking was inspired by right wing talk shows and even a few politicians. But there was also an element of mental imbalance involved that these people thought their actions were appropriate. And remember this point because it will come into play at the end.

When an abortion doctor is assassinated while he is attending a Christian church service, there is a combination of all three involved. Certainly, for many, abortion is a religious issue, particularly among conservative Christians and some Catholics. But it is also a political issue. The actual motivation could be both. But again, there has to be a mental imbalance which drives the actor to believe the action is appropriate.

In both the circumstances just described it is important to note that there is a background, whether right wing talk or Christian religious beliefs. Yet to say, therefore that conservative Republicanism or Christianity is to blame would be inappropriate. The vast majority of conservative Republicans or Christians would be disgusted by the actions taken, to some degree, in their names.

How does all this tie into the current discussion? Well, personally, I don’t believe you can take the religious element out of the equation. It is obvious that the older brother was extremely involved in a form or Islam that tended toward the radical. And I think the younger brother was caught up in that same element, probably deeply influenced by his brother. And, considering the Chechen element, there may well have been a political side to it as well. However, for them to perpetrate the acts they did, there almost definitely was that same type of mental imbalance that drove the killer of the police officers and Dr. Tiller’s assassin.

To imply that there was a religious element in the motivations of these young men is not, however, in any way, an indictment of Islam, as some tried to say earlier. Just like pointing out the Christian element in the abortion clinic bombings is not an indictment of Christianity.

To try to avoid the religious element is actually giving some degree of viability to those who make the opposite argument and are ready to condemn all Muslims just because of the actions of a few. Why be afraid to acknowledge that their religious viewpoints could have played a role? Not that it was the entire motivation, but simply that it could have been part of the equation.

The reality is that there are many people who want to play on the fact that some people do have a mental imbalance and will do things that they know will trigger these types of actions. And it is there that the blame truly belongs. It is the people who would be pulling the puppet’s strings that should be brought into the light.

This is true whether or not it is a Glenn Beck or a Muslim imam in England.

One final comment. I speak of mental imbalance. I do not say they have a mental illness, although some may. But what they experience in their minds is not necessarily something that could be detected during a mental evaluation. It could possibly be detected if someone does see a major change in behavior of an individual, but otherwise it will go unnoticed up until something actually happens.

My hope is that we do the best we can to counter those who try to use others to do their dirty work.

145 Responses to “A Word from Japa: The Blame Game”

  1. 7 Nena20409
    April 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Huh? What happened to the post? How did I get here?

  2. 11 Jovie
    April 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    McCaul: Overseas trip could hold key in search for attack motive
    Ben Goad
    04/20/13 12:55 PM ET
    The Texas Republican said the trip could be an indication that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was trained and radicalized by Chechen rebels.…

    Read more: http://thehill.com/#ixzz2R1mNTn8p

    Wtf? How does he know? It seems when push comes to shove the GOP reverts back to Neo- con status!

    • 12 Don
      April 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Overseas my ass! This numbnut probably thinks overseas is when he flies his crop-duster over a creek. Even though I live in Texas, please disregard anything any politician says from this state.

      • 13 jacquelineoboomer
        April 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        Sorry that’s all true, but what a great comment! Hang in there, Don! I have cousins who live in Texas – big ol’ liberals – so I’m sure they agree with your last sentence, especially.

  3. 14 Don
    April 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    A very thought provoking and interesting column you have written, Japa.

  4. 15 Jovie
    April 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    The hill website is a good source if information, but it does have its fair share of Conservative writers.
    Right now, they are trolling about The Presidents agenda being in jeopardy because of the attack. Saying they think it may stop immigration reform, unnamed sources, just that they are from the US government.
    The unnamed sources that troll like this, ate most often Republicans.
    Just saying.
    (Albeit, some of the language during the last few days have been very loaded, I was wondering if they knew it would effect immigration and with that in mind?).

  5. April 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks a million for this Japa, as I said earlier, thought-provoking as ever.

  6. April 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Just a very early heads-up, UT will follow up Japa’s post a little later. Thank you blog tyrants, you’re the best.

    • 19 andogriff
      April 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks so much for all the great threads last night and today… to you, Ms Chips … and all of the other blog tyrants! I have just caught up, and will now take a break. Excellent, thought-provoking post, Japa, thanks for your insights. I am still reeling at the thought that some folks can’t tell the difference between the Czech Republic and Chechnya. Whew!

      • 20 vcprezofan2
        April 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        I don’t understand why you are surprised, AG. After all they both start with ‘C’, have the same ‘ch’ sound, and both speak some ‘foreign’ language. Shouldn’t you be proud that they recognized both countries as foreign, enough to confuse them? 😉 😉

  7. 23 Nena20409
    April 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    A sensible well thought out Post.

    As a Roman Catholic……when I read that because of my faith a 31/32 yrs old pregnant woman died for the Hospital is mandated Not to perform a needed abortion that would have saved her life…….I cringe and I double down and weep for the injustice.

    When the LGBTQ are denied basic humanity my Church preaches, I double down and cry.

    When my Church Used redemption misguidedly to justify why Priests who molested children were Never turned to the authority, I am sick to my stomach.

    When my Church preaches against Capital Punishment, however, the same Church Never pursue that act the same as my Church feels about abortion, I cringe.

    I have not left my church, never will. However, I fight my Church to change.

    Injustice breeds Liberation……No Doubt about.

    The world were receptive of those oppressed to take up arms and fight……until in the 1970s. By 1980-1990s……those using violence to liberate themselves started being viewed negatively. Their grievances became marginalized. The world started to pay less attention. Unfortunately, the injustices quadruple for many in the Muslim world. That is the inhumanity of it all.

    • 24 mtmarilyn
      April 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Well said Nena20409 and Japa!!! We must continue to fight injustice where ever. We all are so thankful for this site that we can come for sanity.

  8. 25 kasai
    April 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Good Day Tod’s

    Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend…Blessed to be alive with President Obama leading the world..with class, dignity, compassion and love.
    Thank you Chips and all your brilliant bloggers here.
    Much Love!

  9. 26 utaustinliberal
    April 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I disagree with parts of this article. The parts I disagree with can be seen below:

    “How does all this tie into the current discussion? Well, personally, I don’t believe you can take the religious element out of the equation. It is obvious that the older brother was extremely involved in a form or Islam that tended toward the radical. And I think the younger brother was caught up in that same element, probably deeply influenced by his brother. And, considering the Chechen element, there may well have been a political side to it as well. However, for them to perpetrate the acts they did, there almost definitely was that same type of mental imbalance that drove the killer of the police officers and Dr. Tiller’s assassin.”

    “To try to avoid the religious element is actually giving some degree of viability to those who make the opposite argument and are ready to condemn all Muslims just because of the actions of a few. Why be afraid to acknowledge that their religious viewpoints could have played a role? Not that it was the entire motivation, but simply that it could have been part of the equation.”

    Trying to pin a Chechen motivation for their crimes is premature. Why do I say it’s premature? Because you are going by reports and commentary from the media. Some in the media previously said they lived in Chechnya their whole lives. That was false. Some said they didn’t live in Chechnya just visited from time to time. Some in the media said they’ve never been to Chechnya. Frankly, we don’t know their Chechen timeline so right now, what everyone is doing is speculation. Law enforcement officials have not said anything about their so called Chechen or lack of Chechen connections. Until they do, it would be prudent not to speculate.

    Trying to pin a religious motivation for their crimes is premature. It is not obvious that the older brother was “obvious that the older brother was extremely involved in a form or Islam that tended toward the radical.” It is not obvious that “the younger brother was caught up in that same element, probably deeply influenced by his brother.” It has not been established by law enforcement officials that the suspects were religious fanatics or extremists. It has not been established by law enforcement officials that they were practicing Muslims. You are basing this line of reasoning on media reports that this week showed to be less than stellar to say the least.

    No one in the media seemed concerned with Adam and Nancy Lanza’s religious background when he brutally murdered 26 individuals. Why? Because his name and characteristics are as American as apple pie? We waited for law enforcement officials to detail everything they knew about them that was based in facts and not media conjecture.

    Why can’t the same be applied to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? If and when the suspect says religion was his motivation, if and when law enforcement officials have factual evidence that religion was behind their heinous crimes, then and only then can careful conclusions be drawn.

    Until then, everything is unwarranted speculation.

    • 29 japa21
      April 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      UT where did I say there was a Chechen motivation? I didn’t. Did I say there could be? Yes, and there might be. This was wht I meant about talking to cross purposes.

    • 30 sherijr
      April 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      thank you UT.. until law enforcement or the President informs us of the actual facts.. we really only have suppositions.

    • April 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      “No one in the media seemed concerned with Adam and Nancy Lanza’s religious background when he brutally murdered 26 individuals. Why? Because his name and characteristics are as American as apple pie?”

      “Until then, everything is unwarranted speculation.”

      Yep. Thanks UT.

      • 33 LDS
        April 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm

        Thanks UT.
        Earlier I left Kudos to you and HF2 for comments on an earlier post. Which basically thank you both for saying what I have been feeling for a long while. Why the Lanzas’ religious background was never a concern? The mother was not held accountable for teaching terrorist acts to her son while knowing he had some serious issues. It seems like she as well…..and the media is oaky with that?
        I certainly am not. Especially after watching the CP5 last week. Those young boys’ mothers did everything to support them and the media, the mayor, Donald Frump and others called them “monsters, thugs, rat pack.”
        They were and are innocent. No one has openly apologized.

      • 34 dotster3
        April 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

        My thinking is that the reason religion didn’t play a role in the Lanza case was because it was not significant—-at all—in that case. Mental health was the obvious factor in trying to explain the why of that despicable action—–one of the 3 issues which are always involved in our most horrible events—agree with japa—it’s always ideology, religion or mental health, or a combination thereof.

        • April 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

          Thanks for your insights, dotster.

          At this point it is an entirely open issue as to whether ideology or and religion contributed to Lanza’s terrorist attack – because all that investigators have found in the home and in interviews, etc., are largely unknown excepting tidbits about the mom’s NRA affiliation and survivalist/libertarian behavior. Had Lanza’s first name been Mohammed & his mom’s Aaban, we’d likely have never heard anything about his ‘mental health’ or deficiency, thereof.

          Moreover, factors other than ideology, religion and mental health contribute to acts that, from the perspective of the ‘victims,’ are classified as ‘terror’. Slaves who took up arms against their owners would certainly have been classified as ‘terrorists’ by those owners; from the slaves perspective, it was not a matter of ideology or religion or mental health, it was because they refused to be enslaved any longer.

          Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, the fella in Tunisia who set himself ablaze and effectively catalyzed the Arab Spring did so because of economics – his wares had been confiscated and he felt humiliated by those who did that act of injustice to him.

          #FORWARD Together

          • 36 nathkatun7
            April 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm

            “Had Lanza’s first name been Mohammed & his mom’s Aaban, we’d likely have never heard anything about his ‘mental health’ or deficiency, thereof.”

            Excellent points, Bobfr! For me, the danger with asserting religious causation or ideological causation for acts of terror committed by certain individuals or groups is that the innocent people who practice a similar religion or hold similar ideological beliefs are automatically presumed to be terrorists. Already, political demagogues, like Rep. Peter King, are calling for surveillance of all Mosques in the United States. Surely all Catholics in the world should not have been blamed by acts of IRA, condemned as terrorist acts, just because members of the IRA were Catholics, and were fighting on behalf of Catholic freedom in Northern Ireland. Surely all Christians in the world should not have been blamed for KKK acts of terror that included bombing Black churches and killing innocent children simply because members of KKK are Christians and actually carry the CROSS as their symbol.

            By focusing on Islam as the cause of terrorism, instead of focusing on the behavior of the young men who are accused of committing these horrific acts, but who happen to be muslims, inflames ignorant people who start targeting all muslims for persecution. Islam is a world religion. It has been around since the 6th century. Islam played a major role in advancing science, education, and the arts. From the 7th century to the 13th century Islam was a major engine in spreading civilization all across the world but especially in Europe. The notion that Islam as a religion, and not the behavior of misguided people who happen to be muslims, causes people to be terrorists is not only absurd, but it is also quite dangerous. I say it’s dangerous because it can be used as justification for committing genocide against all Muslims.

            • April 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm

              “The notion that Islam as a religion, and not the behavior of misguided people who happen to be muslims, causes people to be terrorists is not only absurd, but it is also quite dangerous. I say it’s dangerous because it can be used as justification for committing genocide against all Muslims.”

              Exactly, nath.

              It would be the equivalent of considering all Catholics genocidal terrorists because of the nearly Two Centuries of genocidal crusades endorsed and funded by Popes and European Catholics.

              #FORWARD Together

    • 38 nathkatun7
      April 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      ” “Trying to pin a religious motivation for their crimes is premature….” This is also dangerous. Already right wing politicians, like Rep. Peter King, are using this to tar all muslims. Surely as Alycee’s tweet on a previous thread intimated, It would not be right to argue that the KKK, which carries the cross as it’s symbol, is motivated by Christianity. My fear is that with the media’s rush to ascribe “radical islam” as the motive for the heinous crime that these young men are accused of committing, is aimed at inflaming the public to blame all muslims.

      Thank you, UT, for your excellent comment.

    • 39 Puddin'
      April 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you UT…such wise, rational words. You have more sense in your “baby finger” than all of the talking heads that call themselves journalist, experts…

  10. April 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Speculation is the name of the game for cable news.

    Chechnya has spawned some really horrendous terrorists in the last couple decades or so; I didn’t pay much attention to the Balkans during the 1990s, but I’m guessing that similar emotions must be in play in Chechnya.

    Here’s item 5893 of Chuck Todd bashing for me:

    He “forgives” Big Papi (a Red Sox player according to Wikipedia) for using the “F” word. This from someone who flipped someone off on national TV. Such a consummate professional… NOT. And, gee, looks who’s just as amused as upChuck… David Gregory.

    I can’t believe that upChuck gets worse every day.

  11. 44 a4alice
    April 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    holy mackeral I just got here. TOD does not let any grass grow under their feet. Well I’ll be back after I finish the other posts.

  12. 46 kasai
    April 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Peace on Earth….

    • 47 Nena20409
      April 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      MLK’s wisdom:

      “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

      ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  13. 48 Asher in Boston
    April 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Sigh of relief here in Mass. Thanks for your prayers. Now, let’s wait for the law to take its course. This BS about blaming an entire religion, group or country is really sad. Now that the suspects turned out to be white, they then larch on to their religion. What shows that if someone prays five times a day, then they have to be radicalized or terrorists to be? In Islam, one of their tenets is praying 5x a day. Some do, some don’t, but it does signify one being a radical Moslem. I have family that belong to all religious sects and muslim relatives and friends and I refuse to sit by as they are branded as terrorists or radical moslems.

    Thank you all on here that are fighting this otheriizing of all muslims and Islam as a religion. There’re bad bad people in all sects/ groups. Its even getting tiring to always fight back on painting Islam, “dark-skinned people” with a broad brush whenever one of them commits a crime.
    As, I stated earlier, this is all pure speculation. And it’s being brought up because these guys are muslim. I never hear any mention of one’s religion unless its a muslim and then its highlighted in bold letters. Imho, they are demonising Islam as a religion period.

  14. 50 Nena20409
    April 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Michael Jackson’s Black or White is applicable here as well.

    Prejudging. Prejudice.

    Equality. Love. Humanity. Tolerance. The Golden Rule.

  15. 52 kasai
    April 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    LOL! I like this tweet

  16. 55 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    April 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Thought of little Lindsey, Pete King, et al, when I read this tweet…

    • 56 jackiegrumbacher
      April 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Same thought, Alycee. Tyson must have been thinking of the Republican led US House and all the little ignorant and bigoted senators who trot out their hate in times of crisis.

  17. 58 japa21
    April 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

  18. 59 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    April 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

  19. 60 criquet
    April 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Just want to say that reading the available information on the background of the two brothers accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombing and the GOP trying to link it to immigration and prevent immigration legislation from being considered in Congress, it should be noted that they were not immigrants in the usual sense but refugees granted asylum under the Bush administration. It is an important difference in the debate on immigration and the process involved in attaining the usual immigrant status .

    • 61 japa21
      April 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Agreed. This should have no impact on that debate.

    • 62 globalcitizenlinda
      April 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      Once the bombing incident occurred, I immediately worried that those who are opposed to immigration reform will jump on it and use it as a justification for derailing passage. I can that IA’s rightwing senator grassely is lready spouting off the same garbage

    • 63 Asher in Boston
      April 20, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Criquet, this is the GOP’s M.O. They always try to find something to politicize and demonise. Remember, these idiots tie immigration with the people they detest, Muslims, hispanics and blacks. Thus, they are trying to link the immigration bill to the “un-fit” immigarants in thier eyes.

      And now Don Lemon is saying that parents should be held responsible for actions of their grown kids. Because they should be in the know of whatever their kids are doing since when he was 19, his parents knew of all his actins and whereabouts. Sigh. This from a black dude who should know better. Cnn has really hit a new low.

      • 64 sherijr
        April 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        In that case Don Lemon’s mom needs to smack him upside his deluded head. Hi Asher 😉 glad you’re all safe.

  20. 65 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    each time I think about the relationship between the two bombing suspect brothers, I immediately think of the relationship between the DC Sniper and his mentor. just speculation on my part

  21. 66 jackiegrumbacher
    April 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    If the Republicans use the Boston bombings as an excuse to delay immigration reform or in any way dilute it, they are digging their own graves. As it is, they will have only the slimmest chance in a presidential election if they can stop the massive bleeding of Latino support. They have nothing else to offer to Latinos, Asians, or any other large immigrant group, so if they fail on this one, they can kiss these votes goodbye. On one level, I hope they fumble the ball on this. We ill get a stronger Congress and immigration reform will happen. But I want to get to the point where no Latino or Asian will ever even think of voting for an R. As for Rubio, he can take his tent and all his little ambitions and dump them off the Florida coast line. So go ahead, Republican bigots, back off immigration. I double dare you, you idiots.

  22. 67 4morefor44
    April 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    i love seeing the photos of the people of boston treating the police and other public servants as if they are sports stars. it’s about time we reverse the vilification of public servants (police, teachers, firefighters, emts, etc.) that republicans and the mainstream media have been spreading for decades about “union thugs” and taxpayer money. forward people!!!

  23. April 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

  24. April 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Yep x 2.


  25. 70 dotster3
    April 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you japa for your calm, reasoned views. Well presented. I am in agreement with all your points.

  26. 71 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    April 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm

  27. 72 LDS
    April 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Japa, thought provoking views, I agree.
    But how I wish someone, anyone had the same concerns for Lanza and his mom. And I cannot help to think if one, just one reporter had supposed, speculated for the CP5, those young men and their moms’ lives could have been a little more peaceful.

  28. 73 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Japa, thanks for sharing your thoughts in more detail – I appreciate your taking the time to write this commentary, and as others have indicated, it is very interesting and thought-provoking. However, I wish to stress the point that I (as well as UT and others) made in the last thread regarding the media’s rush to form certain associations when certain groups/religions/countries can be blamed, but refrain from doing so when other groups/religions/countries can be implicated. Because we point this out does not mean that we want to avoid religious explanations at all costs – we’re simply saying that the information we have so far does not allow us to reach any conclusions about what led to the bombing, and (2) that the media is motivated to identify Islam religion as the fundamental cause of this incident for unhealthy reasons related to racial/ethnic stereotyping.

    Here’s an example of what I mean. In the case of the equally and perhaps even more heinous act of terror last December in Newtown, the perpetrator’s mental illness and history of being bullied by classmates, along with the inadequacy of the US mental health system, was placed at the forefront of the media discourse – not the extremist, radical worldviews held by his mother and him, not the warped ideology that dictates that one uses assault weapons to solve every little problem or conflict known to mankind.

    I just did a simple search on google by typing “Adam Lanza” and Google returned a heap of articles on Lanza’s history of being bullied and abused by fellow classmates. The truth is, most of us would be lying if we said we were NEVER bullied at some point in our lives as children. That’s what children do. They harass and torment those who they feel might different in anyway – be it a physical, mental or behavioral difference. I’m not saying it’s right or that it should be tolerated. No it’s not right and it should not be tolerated. But it is a fairly UNIVERSAL phenomenon, but does not lead to mass murderers in adulthood. Yet, the media has promoted a bullying history as the #1 reason for Lanza’s terrorism last month.

    It’s only very recently we found out that the Lanza home contained NRA manual, training certificates (and only God knows what else the media is not telling us). The NRA put out a statement (that I have trouble believing) that neither Lanza nor his mother were members. But even if they weren’t that still does not mean that they were not influenced by the NRA’s extremist message that you need guns in order to function in this society, and the more the better. Yet there has been no rush in the media to tie the NRA and the gun culture that they promote to Lanza’s act of terror.

    Contrast that with the bombers’ situation. After the media inflicted their wishful thinking on us by jumping ahead and reporting the individuals as “dark-skinned” which they weren’t, the MSM continued their “othering” of the crime by insisting that there had to be some “foreign” entity responsible for making those young men commit those acts – be it a religion, a political group, etc. Hence their stringing of bits and pieces of information (some of which is based on hearsay) which may or may not have had anything to the crimes committed on Monday. It was the same rush to “other” that led Reddit/Buzzfeed/ et al., etc to erroneously finger missing student Sunil as the suspect – simply because he appeared to be of Middle Eastern background.

    The media uses mental illness as the antecedent cause when it suits them but ignores mental illness in other similar cases – as long as they can pin it on some racial/ethnic/religious group that is not White/American/Christian, etc. That’s the point we’re making in this case. So according to the media, in Lanza’s case, he had mental illness, which drove him to commit this act, but in the bombing suspects’ case, it was the Islam religion that made them go crazy, not the fact that they were already emotionally warped to begin with and subsequently dabbled in “religion” in a valiant attempt to calm their already troubled psyches.

    • 74 sherijr
      April 20, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Very well said Hopefruit. My concern is that we cannot trust either the media’s ‘reports’.. nor their motives. That has been true since 9-11.

      Too many people use these situations as fodder for whatever their issue is.. and it is generally political or religious.. which is also political. Right now we really know almost nothing about these brothers.. other than that the people who have known them over the years have had only good things to say about them. For whatever reasons they decided violence and mayhem was the answer to their problems.. just as Lanza appeared to. The fact- if it is a fact, that these young men have spent half or more of their lives immersed as Americans.. makes them Americans. I want to know if we failed them somehow, I want to know what troubled them.. I want to know, if he will be able to articulate for us- the why of all this.

      With that said, to Japa- I truly appreciate your viewpoints.

    • 75 Anna
      April 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Hopefruit, some of your words in paragraph 4 jumped right out at me, “does not mean that they were not influenced by the NRA’s extremist message that you need guns in order to function in this society”. I read this as radicalizing, brainwashing, of citizens by the NRA , the same as terrorists do. From this day forward I believe I will consider NRA a terrorist group.

      • 76 LDS
        April 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        HF, how many times can I say thank you. If it was up to me, you would be sitting front and center with the WH press corp.
        Why you, Chips and others here are not on cable with your own shows is a damn shame!
        We have to settle for the nut jobs, the clown shows, the misfits, the jackals imputing personal opinions, basis interpretations and outright lies…..enough is enough!

    • 77 Vicki
      April 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      I’ve been following TOD’s views, yours, UT, Japa and trying to understand them, hf. For me it boils down to white/Christian is good and every excuse must be made to protect that assertion.
      Anything not/Christian/not white/not American with no hyphen is suspect. And must be attacked immediately and as viciously as possible.

      Apparently, this crap is meant to suggest that somehow PBO is a big mistake. And has failed us.

      Maybe I am way off base here.

      The people who are actually sabotaging the USA are the 45 Senators who voted against Manchin-Toomey.

    • April 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Very well stated, hf. Thank you.

      #FORWARD Together

    • 79 nathkatun7
      April 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Absolutely brilliant, UT! I agree with everything you wrote!

      • 80 nathkatun7
        April 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

        Sorry, I meant to say hopefruit2! I think both you and UT have been spot in highlighting the discrepancy between how white christians who commit heinous acts are treated compared to the way the treat people who are not white who are not Christians when they commit horrendous acts of terror.

    • April 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I agree with you, Hopefruit. There are a lot of interesting and thought-provoking points in Japa’s article. Nonetheless, I think that short-cutting an explanation of criminal activities by focusing on religious groups or ethnic stereotypes is dangerous. Just last month, a state legislator answered a question about whether she would accept a Muslim prayer at the start of a legislative session the same way she was demanding a Christian prayer at the beginning of the session by saying, “I don’t support terrorism”. There are a billion Muslims in this world. The vast majority of them are peace-loving and non-violent. Apparently, there are a billion Catholics in this world, and the same could probably be said about a vast majority of them – despite the horrendous crimes committed in the past by the Christians/Catholics of the world.

      We may find that these two young men were radicalized. We may not. We may find that some extremist group was involved. We may not. But, I don’t think there will be a single group, or ideology that will explain what caused them to make the decisions they made – their act was unexplainable and abnormal. We may never get a satisfactory explanation. One spent more than 50% of his life growing up in this country, and the other spent his formative years in this country. I haven’t heard a lot of people mention the violent culture that is pervasive in this country, the easy access to guns – and how these might have contributed to the problem. The rush to demonize a religion doesn’t help – and I’m not saying that this is what Japa did in his article at all. I can only imagine that any radicalization that happened was only fueled by the anti-Muslim sentiment which seems to be propagated by the media and the right wing – and even many otherwise decent people, who feel very comfortable equating a religion with terrorism. It doesn’t help at all.

      • 83 nathkatun7
        April 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

        “There are a billion Muslims in this world. The vast majority of them are peace-loving and non-violent. Apparently, there are a billion Catholics in this world, and the same could probably be said about a vast majority of them – despite the horrendous crimes committed in the past by the Christians/Catholics of the world.”

        Thanks Theo for this excellent comment! Any religion can be used for good or for evil. Just to focus on this country, Christian slave owners used the Bible to justify atrocities against Africans, but at the same enslaved Africans used the same Bible to promote hope faith and even to forgive their oppressors. The KKK, who claimed to be Christians, routinely used terror and inflicted heinous violence on African Americans, while carrying the Cross as their symbol. At the same time, African Americans, led by Dr. King, used their Christianity to promote non-violence, peace, human brotherhood and love. One can cite similar examples in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

        My strongest objection to what the media and many unethical politicians are doing is their blatant emphasis on Islam as the cause of terror thereby creating a frenzy among the most uninformed people, like the state legislator you cited who thinks that a Muslim prayer promotes “terrorism.” Even if turns out that these young men who terrorized Boston were devout Muslim that still does not mean that Islam caused them to be violent. There are, as you said, millions and millions of devout Muslims throughout the world who are”peace-loving.” If believing in Islamic religious teachings did not cause them to be violent then Islam, as a religion, which has been practiced since the 6th Century, cannot be seen as the cause for terrorism.

    • 84 Puddin'
      April 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      I said similar words to a “white” client of mine a couple of weeks ago…I pointed out to her that the reason she never think about “black” suspects as having mental problems, because whenever black people, particularly black males, commit a crime (murder, etc) MSM refer to them as criminal, thugs, gangsters, etc. I think Tweety called the ex-LA cop (a few months back) an animal, even though it had been reported that he issues with LAPD, etc. Tweety said he didn’t care what this man had to deal with in his life, there were no reasons for him to kill. I asked my client when was the last time she heard/saw a report that said the black suspect had mental illness…she could not recall. Case in point, remember the Central Park Five in 1989…I’m just sayin’

  29. 86 JER
    April 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  30. April 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Does this make anyone else nervous?

    I knew that POTUS would be at the opening of GW Bush library, didn’t remember that it’s next week, exactly a week after the horrific West, TX fertilizer plant explosion.

    Remember all the hateful things said about JFK before he visited Dallas with native-son LBJ.

    I hate being nervous about these things. Austin or San Antonio wouldn’t make me nervous; the beautiful hill country of Texas. But Dallas and surrounding area is filled with certified nut cases.

  31. 95 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    although we know crazy rightwinger rand paul will never defend the right of American Citizen & Suspected Marathon Bomber to a fair trial, we need to call him out on his double-standard.

    I think we should challenge him on why he thinks this is not a good cause to hold a speaking filibuster.

    if lil paul was not a hypocrite, he would be leading the charge against his fellow gop who are demanding an enemy combatant designation for the suspect

  32. April 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    And did you see this?

    Donor gave [Virginia Governor] McDonnell and family a lake-house vacation
    “Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell took a lake-house vacation in 2011 courtesy of the same major campaign donor who paid for the food at the wedding of the governor’s daughter that summer.”



  33. 97 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  34. 99 JER
    April 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    • 100 globalcitizenlinda
      April 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      amazing! Have never begrudged the use of my taxes and this just re-affirms one of the reasons WHY

  35. 101 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I have not heard others refer to this but this is something that struck me.

    It appears that by the time POTUS was giving his speech at the Inter-Faith Service in Boston on Thursday morning, he seems to have already known the photo ID of the Marathon Bombers.

    Why do I say this? Because if you listened closely to his speech, PBO at one time specifically refers to “perpetuators of such senseless violence, .. , these small stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build and think that this makes them important”.

    the description of the stature in stark terms is not really far off from the photos & video that were released by the FBI just a short while after PBO’s speech

    • 102 theo67
      April 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      I have no doubt that the President knew the identity of the men, and had received a pretty thorough briefing. Someone mentioned that Russia offered help and support early in the week, before the identity of the men was released – I think they’d already spoken with the Russian government well before the images were released to the public. I don’t think they would have released the pictures without being very confident that they had the right men in their sites, because there are way too many idiots who would have sought to take justice in their own hands. And remember, when they released the images, they said that the people were considered armed and dangerous – so they already knew.

  36. 103 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline” at the Boston game 🙂

  37. 105 Betsy
    April 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Great post Japan!

  38. 107 Jovie
    April 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Can somebody please ask the ACLU why they were not as tough on bush as they are Obama?
    We’re they scared?

  39. 108 Jovie
    April 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Happy Earth Day- I helped pick up beach today! 🙂

  40. 109 prettyfoot58
    April 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    • April 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      “Any attempt to draw a connection between Chechnya and Tsarnaevs — if they are guilty — is futile. They were raised in the United States, and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. It is necessary to seek the roots of this evil in America.” Kadyrov concluded by saying, “We mourn with the Americans.”


      • 111 nathkatun7
        April 20, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        ” They were raised in the United States, and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there.”

        Kadyrov has a point, although not everyone “raised in the United States” shares the “attitudes and beliefs” of the two young men who went on a terror rampage. But still, the fact that these young men were able to easily buy guns and access materials to build bombs is an indictment to our country which is dominated by the gun industry.

    • 112 amk for obama
      April 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      He has a very valid point there. The demonization by US rwnjs of all religions except christianity and other countries, who they do not see kowtowing to neocon fantasies (heck, they even demonized France during dumbya clusterfuck) will get an instant pushback now-a-days.

  41. 113 desertflower
    April 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Rather than place blame on people for the “why’s” of this incident…WHY don’t we STOP THE SEQUESTER that has devastated these police, fire depts, and federal agencies that worked so hard and helped catch this suspect? Why are these batshit crazy Republicans not being called out for this?

    • 114 nathkatun7
      April 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      I am with you, DF! The Police, Fire fighters, FBI, and other first responders are government workers. Instead of reducing them we should be increasing them.

  42. 115 prettyfoot58
    April 20, 2013 at 7:38 pm


    When is Ed Scultz’s show debuting…I thought it would have started by now…and yanno…I never thought that I would say it…but I miss his program

  43. April 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

  44. 117 amk for obama
    April 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    While side-stepping the motivations of these guyz (as PBO said no jumping to conclusions at this point and the true motivations can never be agreed upon by those who are discussing them), what is indisputable is the means they used to do these acts – weapons of mass destruction like guns and bombs. Ironic that the white man who ‘invented’ these solely to subjugate and rule over ‘lesser species’, aka the defenseless, is now finding it that it is backfiring on him. His answer to this problem ? Make them even more deadlier. /smh

    • April 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    • April 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      • 120 amk for obama
        April 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

        Yup, instead of focusing solely on why, let’s start a debate – which the rwers obviously do not want but the left has to – on how this carnage happened?

      • 121 nathkatun7
        April 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        This is a question that NRA and the Tea bag Republicans won’t allow us to ask because it violates the most important part of the entire U.S. Constitution – the Second Amendment! Actually for the tea baggers the entire U.S. Constitution is based on two Amendments: the 2nd and the 10th. Everything else in the Constitution could be done away with because they promote the liberal agenda.

  45. 122 yardarm756
    April 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Hello TODers. It’s been away for awhile but I’ve sadly returned from the North woods celebrating my d.o.b. prematurely. Unfortunately the North woods have cable tv and no living thing was immune to the horrors of this past week.
    I must admit that I can appreciate the merit of all the views listed here but my mind took another direction. Aside from the poor, jump to conclusion, journalism, I wondered where the perps got the guns and powder from……..Sounds like a perfect example of why we NEED background checks and registration of ammo and gunpowder……..Maybe register pressure cookers instead, eh?
    I then marveled at the precision of “lawr enforcement” in the gathering of leads and evidence. For a brief moment I thought wonderful it would be if this same fervor were applied to eliminating drug trafficking. That too would cover all ideological, religious, and racial bases I guess. Or would it?

    • 123 hopefruit2
      April 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Welcome back yardarm and glad to hear that you were away on a pre-birthday break 🙂

      I agree with your question raised about the gunpowder and guns – something that our feckless media just isn’t interested in at the moment.

    • April 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Welcome back, Yardarm!

      Many commenters, too numerous to mention, wondered if you were sailing the high seas and not able to joke with everyone.

      See my response to AMK just above your comment — it looks like Massachusetts has a problem similar to Chicago’s — easy access to firearms in neighboring states .

    • 125 desertflower
      April 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Great to see you back, yardarm:) You’ve been missed!

    • 128 nathkatun7
      April 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Great to see you back, yardarm! I hope you had a good relaxing time in the “North Woods.”. As always, you wasted no time zeroing in on the fundamental question that is not being asked by the media and politicians who are ready to lock up all Muslims. Where did those two young men get all these weapons to stage a mini war in Boston. I am sure they did not come from the “Islamists” in Chechnya.

  46. 129 hopefruit2
    April 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  47. April 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

  48. April 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Lost in MSM’s coverage this week because it was reported on the same day as the Boston Marathon, was this:


    MSM needs to confront the NRA with this FACT.

  49. 136 99ts
    April 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hello all. I believe a candle is needed for the President – http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO How he continues to handle everything thrown at him is a constant reminder of his character and his boundless love and energy for his country.

    The attacks from the right and the media just never stop. And in my humble opinion those attacks are what encourage the people who are so intent on causing mayhem. People can talk all they like about race, religion and mental illness (or any variant of same) – but the continual attacks, by those on the right – and their mimics – the media – on the current administration in the US is what gives extremists the “right” to do what they do. They believe they are doing “the will of the people” when they cause mayhem and death – but it seems to me they are doing the will of a very small but powerful part of US society, whose only aim is to bring down the President of the USA – and that is ALL about race.

    When 9/11 happened – everybody – just everybody – rallied around the arguably worst President the USA has ever elected. But when grief happens during the Obama Presidency – the right rallies around those who will keep ranting and raving until they can find something PBO said or did over the past 50 years that must be the prime cause of the event in question. I say these same people should look into their souls – which have probably long departed the sanity of reason.

    When those in political and media circles who incite people to violence because they lost an election are brought to justice, rather than rewarded for their horrific rhetoric, perhaps people will think twice about violent solutions to political arguments. While the world of guns lets neighbors solve their differences with gun violence, rather than “a chat over the back fence” – it seems guns have replaced diplomacy as a means to resolving any dispute.

    I think I am lost in sad.

    • April 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      September 11 left Americans in a state of shock.

      Just about everybody knew someone who was “stranded” in another city or country because all planes were grounded for several days following the attack.

      Horrified Americans resolved to be as American as possible, which included supporting our President.

      I blame John McCain for introducing the “wild card” aspect of our politics by selecting the evangelical unvetted tundra twit as his VP candidate. That selection pretty much said “the crazier and less educated, the better the candidate.”

      GOP elite know that it’s impossible to dredge up a scandal against our WYSIWYG President, so they’re continuing with the dead-end strategy of the “crazier the better,” with the MSM’s thumb on the scale in their favor.

      I really wish the MSM would do their frigging jobs and look at how GOP voted during the Clinton administration and let the listening/reading/viewing pulbic know.

      I’ll attempt to find that article and provide link later.

  50. April 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Hopefully Steve won’t engage in too much PBO-bashing, but the segment on Senators who cast a NO vote for the Background Check amendment might be interesting:

  51. 141 globalcitizenlinda
    April 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    have been very upset by people who are sending photos of the deceased Suspect 1 into my TL – thank God for the block option

  52. 142 kathryn kivett
    April 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    If you truly believe that a person’s character is what separates us as humans rather than the amount of melanin pigment one has in their skin then why is race even discussed when discussing the two men who brought so much pain and suffering to so many of their human brethren. Some on here are almost gleeful that the color of these two men’s skin was lighter than yours.What difference does it make where they were born? In my opinion, we all should be asking what formed their character. Yes, there are a lot of questions that we might never have answers to such as how could a young man who became a US Citizen at 18 blow peoples legs off, kill a child, kill two beautiful women and calmly go back to his dorm, party with other students, attend classes, and work out at the gym until his picture is spread all over the media. Another question that should be asked is how someone with a Domestic Violence conviction is able to acquire guns, ammunition, gunpowder and all the other stuff it takes to make weapons of mass destruction? How could someone with a 3 yr. old daughter blow up someone else’s daughter? As far as religion is concerned…..what is religion? What does it mean to you? There are people all over the world that use religion as an excuse to bring harm to other humans….think Westboro “Church”????? Sometimes I just don’t think there is any answer but some people are just so full of hate that they become EVIL…..their religion is hate….and it doesn’t make any difference what color they are or where they were born. and there is no answer to WHY?

    • 143 nathkatun7
      April 21, 2013 at 12:49 am

      “….why is race even discussed when discussing the two men who brought so much pain and suffering to so many of their human brethren. Some on here are almost gleeful that the color of these two men’s skin was lighter than yours.’

      1. It was not the people here at TOD who introduced the issue of race in this horrific situation. Rather, it was the mainstream media that were “gleeful” in talking about ” dark-skinned” individuals who allegedly had set off the bombs.

      2. I ‘ve not read a single person who is “gleeful that the color of these men’s skin was lighter than” theirs. What I’ve read are people pointing out the hypocrisy and the double standards. When a person of color commits a crime all people that look like him or her are suspect, but the same is not true when it comes to white people who are always judged as individuals.

      3. There was an attempt to say that these two individuals were not really white in ” a normal sense” because they were Muslims from Chechnya. People have been pushing back by again pointing out that people from Chechnya are Caucasians.

      4. As to the issue of religion, once again we meet hypocrisy and double standards. The despicable actions of the “Wesboro Church” Christians are not used to indict all Christians, whereas any despicable action by a muslim, or a group of Muslims, is used to indict the entire billion+ Muslims in the world. Already, the media is filled with stories that the two young men accused of committing this heinous crime regularly attended a mosque. How come we were not told that the mass murderer of people in Oklahoma regularly attended church? And in case you haven’t read about it, one member of Congress is calling for police surveillance of all Mosques in the United States. I bet you if the two boys who committed this horrendous crime were Christians, or practiced Judaism, no member of Congress would dare suggest that all the Churches,or all the synagogues, should be placed under police surveillance. These are the people you should be angry with for using religion, race and country of origin, to indict innocent people who had nothing to do with the terror attack in Boston

      I agree with you that race (which really means very little in science) color, country of origin, or religious beliefs, should not matter when dealing with deranged people who have no qualms about inflicting horror on innocent people. Yet you anger is directed at wrong people who were merely pointing out the absurdity of racism in America. Before Christmas, a school in Connecticut was terrorized. 20 innocent children and six of their teachers were brutally murdered. Yet no one tried to ascribe religion, or race, or country of origin, as the explanation for the dastardly actions of the killer. Some of us who are darker know fully well that if that individual had been one of us no one would have cared to investigate his mental state or his family situation. He would have been simply dismissed as a “thug” or an “animal” not worthy of any human sympathy. If the murderer who terrorized Newtown, CT had been a Muslim, of any color, then Islam would be roundly blamed for teaching terrorism. All Muslims, especially those of darker color, would be presumed to be potential
      terrorists that must be under constant surveillance.

      So, Kathryn, It’s the hypocrisy and double-standards, and especially by the media, that people were reacting too.

      • 144 donna dem 4 obama
        April 21, 2013 at 6:34 am

        Very well said my friend!

      • 145 hopefruit2
        April 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

        Thank you Nath for setting the record straight. I’m tired of the hypocrisy the double standards that some people refuse to admit exists along racial lines. I didn’t see any pushback or disapproval from Kathryn when John King/CNN erroneously reported the “dark-skinned male” description, thereby introducing the element of race/ethnicity in the equation. I didn’t see any pushback or disapproval from Kathryn when Reddit/Buzzfeed, etc. erroneously flashed the picture of a middle-Eastern man as being the missing suspect. I didn’t see any pushback or disapproval from Kathryn when Tweety (Chris Matthews) and his colleagues at MSNBC kept insisting that these guys HAD to be foreigners, or HAD to have ties to Al Qaeda, Islam, or some other non-Christian religious entity.

        The assertion that people are “gleeful” because the skin color of the guys are lighter than theirs is not only false, but unfair. As you indicated Nath, the only “glee” was expressed in the media by John King and his CNN colleagues and some Republican policitians who want to use this event to continue their racial/ethnic profiling of Muslims. The reaction by posters here on TOD and on Twitter is merely a response to the MSM’s disgusting racialized framing of crimes. If folks have a problem with people being happy that an inconvenient truth was revealed – then that’s too bad. Maybe they need to look in the mirror and do some of their own soul searching.

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