Marathon Men: the miniseries

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The capture and killing of the Tsarnaev brothers will be beat up by America into an anti-Muslim jihad, which Sandy Hook never was, says Bob Ellis.

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The older brother was shot dead by police.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The older brother, Tamerlan, was shot dead by police, while the younger is at time of publication in a critical condition in hospital. (Image courtesy Guardian (UK) and Reuters.)

I SLEPT through the pursuit and capture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev and woke to find some cop saying ‘closure’ on CNN.

It is all extremely American-crazy. Jarod Lee Loughner killed thirteen people in Tucson and shot a Congresswoman in the brain and was not called a ‘terrorist’; nor was Adam Lanza who killed twenty children in Sandy Hook. The Tsarnaev brothers, American citizens, killed three people, and traumatised the western world.

This is because they did not use action weapons to do it, which was their constitutional right, but IEDs which reeked of the Middle East. American hysteria then took over, called the incident ‘Boston’s 9/11’ and treated a series of deaths no more significant than the Columbine shootings like Pearl Harbor.

Guns good, bombs bad, we murmur, hand on heart, after this. The lately unrescinded law says the Tsarnaevs could have bought, and maybe did, any action weapon they sought at a gun show but they could not, should not, build a pipe bomb that killed less people because this was a war crime.

The NRA won two big victories this week. They got the heat off the Senate vote, which enabled murder. And they got the heat off guns, and drones, and heat-seeking missiles, and onto amateur ramshackle collations of ball-bearings and fertiliser, which are unAmerican. They got the heat off twenty-eight thousand Americans who die by gunfire every year, and the million adjacent Americans thus traumatised, every year, and off the gun manufacturers who make billions, every year, from these unabating tragedies, and onto some rag-head kooks in a garage with amateur materials.

A typical American victory. Organised evil wins, and gimcrack muddled spontaneity and foolish youth is blamed for it.

No background check would have picked these boys out of the crowd. No weapons ban would have stopped them building their initial weapons, or wanting to. What I have long suggested – the gaoling for six months of any male under twenty-six carrying a gun outside the home or a gun club – would have stopped this, maybe. Or maybe not. But no other action would.

Dzhokar will not survive, I imagine, to say why these brothers did what they did, and had no exit plan but a hail of bullets like that which then occurred. Their parents will be persecuted, and Putin’s latest pogrom take out a few more Chechnyans. There will be a search for an acceptable Islamic motive that discredits the Arab Spring; or not.

There will be much American joy that swarthy villains have been gunned down and not the usual clean-cut Anglo-Saxons. It will be beat up, as Sandy Hook never was, into a new anti-Semitic FBI jihad on ‘terrorists’ on which more billions will be spent.

And so it goes.

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