From separatists to terrorists: the Boston bombers

A couple of years ago I was at a conference in Yalta, in the Crimea. Those attending were from the various states of the former USSR, so the language of the conference was Russian. One participant from Rostov pointed out at length that when an attack is made on the USA, the UK or somewhere like that, the perpetrators are called – by the respective politicians and media outlets – ‘terrorists’. But when an attack is made in Russia by, say, the Chechens, they are called ‘separatists’ or ‘independence fighters’ – seeking independence of course from the evil Russian state.

Scroll forward: of Chechen origin too is the last surviving suspect of the Boston bombings, although he and his dead brother have been resident and studied in the USA for some time. Now of course they are called ‘Chechen terrorists’, and Muslim to boot. No one seems to call them ‘separatists’ and ‘independence fighters’ now.

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11 thoughts on “From separatists to terrorists: the Boston bombers

  1. Or…the nature of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Chechnya (a republic seeking independence) may cloud the language used in describing those circumstances. Whereas individuals who choose to attack a country/city/people/individuals with tenuous ties to a conflict at “home” while identifying themselves and/or their actions religiously rather than politically or economically may also cloud the language used in describing those circumstances. It’s unsurprising but certainly not inexplicable even rhetorically.

    It remains to be seen what precisely motivated these particular actions, but I suspect that some of the prevailing academic nostrums that currently tie all global ills back to United States is not a likely candidate. I’m the last one to be an apologist for the US on any front, but the explanatory contortions made to avoid the religious elephant in the living room are wearing a bit thin.

    But then I understand that conceding such factors threatens to undermine the equally doctrinal position that correctly identifies socioeconomic factors but mistakenly isolates those conditions to the exclusion of cultural factors – ideas do matter sometimes even if fundamentally based in material conditions.

      1. I don’t care what your claims are. Hear the undefiled truth. Religions pervert truth. God is Hell to evil judging evil with his glory from his face. People not seeing this made their arm justice. A man made weapon is seen as Justice or a terrorist a bomb is seen as justice. That is why we get redirect from North Korea as one such incidence with people thinking mistakenly that they can give justice or any good thing with a weapon. Terrorists are the same way. Death is to them an answer. Religious people think death is an answer. They think that way toward gays, bestiality, zoosexuals whoever they can aim their hatred at like a gun. Jails are built on a religious concept. They wanted Jesus arrested. The servant of the high priest arrested Jesus. Religion and Jesus is like oil and water fire, and water life, and death truth, and falsehood good, and evil darkness and light forgiveness next to mercilessness. Not seeking their own next to rejecting whoever is not like them condemning them.

        Over and over King James version of the bible says religious people like to arrest and kill calling it good. People not teaching this makes people think a weapon is good. They are not good. They do what religiously minded people want to do.
        KJV, . John 18 >>Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
        Mark 14:1-9, the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death, John 12;10 the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
        Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death.
        Mark 14:55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
        John 5:16 : And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
        John 7:1After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.
        Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

  2. “Now you’re just being cute, the randy dude I mean.”

    No, no, no… I’m anything but cute 😉 In my field of study, cultural critiques tend to be very one dimensional. Most are positioned squarely on the dependent side of the equation. Culture, on this view, hasn’t the slightest capacity to explain anything. It’s a venerated object reserved for the relative safety of the explanandum.

    Now this move is not based upon any set of materialist suppositions as it should, but rather rests upon certain political suppositions that seek to protect particular identity constructs. Anything short of such particularistic affinities obviously reveals hegemonic impulses to reduce. It could be no less, right?

    As you point out, complexity is the prevailing game now.

  3. Roland- If their target made any particular sense, that would be one thing. However, I fail to see how bombing the Boston Marathon has anything to do with Chechen independence. The logical target would be the Russian state and not a bunch of runners and their friends and family in Boston. My own take is that the foreign born older brother was alienated from mainstream American culture and that the marathon on Patriots Day was for him somehow symbolic of that.

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