The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Jahar, the Teen Idol Terrorist

Posted on | May 17, 2013 | 45 Comments

Irrationality comes in many varieties, including tribal loyalty, religious fanaticism and anti-social alienation:

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a note claiming responsibility for the April 13 attack, reports CBS News senior correspondent John Miller.
Sources tell Miller that Tsarnaev wrote the note in the boat he was hiding in as police pursued him, and as he bled from gunshot wounds sustained in an earlier shootout between police and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The note, scrawled with a pen on the interior wall of the cabin, said the bombings were retribution U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims collateral damage in the way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” the note added.
Dzhokar said he didn’t mourn older brother Tamerlan — the other suspect in the bombings — writing that by that point, Tamerlan was a martyr in paradise — and that Dzhokar expected to join him there.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch examines Dzhokhar’s theology of jihad and declares it orthodox: This fanatical loyalty to one’s fellow Muslims transcends all other obligations, so that the Chechen immigrant can attack innocent civilians in America, the nation that gave refuge to his family, because of U.S. military action in Aghanistan and Iraq — and become a martyr in paradise as a result.

As insane as this belief may seem, is it any less rational than the lovestruck admiration of Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev fans?

Since his arrest in April, 19-year-old Tsarnaev has grown into a bit of an online heartthrob, with supporters setting up special Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr pages in his honor, using the hashtag #freejahar. The fans declare his innocence, refer to him by his nickname of Jahar, write about how they wish they could get in touch with him (and, in one case, “curl up and take a nap” in his soft hair), publicize items like hand beaded “Free Jahar” bracelets, and note that he’s “beautiful,” “hot” and “too pretty to be guilty.” One Kansas teen even told the New York Post that she was going to get a Tsarnaev quote tattooed onto her arm, though she soon after changed her mind.

Jahar is “too pretty to be guilty”? Such a decadent superficiality — the erotic obsession with physical beauty — is symptomatic of a cultural pathology, a potentially fatal sickness in the West.

Are good looks and fame are all that matter, so that even a bloodthirsty mass murderer can become a “heartthrob”?

Psychologist Jill Weber, author of “Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy: Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships,” told Yahoo! Shine that Tsarnaev may attract certain young girls because he’s a bad character, and because that’s both excitingly rebellious and also provides a chance to “help” someone.
“Similar to the fascination teen girls have with vampire characters in movies and books, dark characters are a way to forge a separate identity and to defiantly (or rebelliously) declare oneself as independent of authority figures,” she noted. “Some of this is normal teen development, but being drawn to a criminal is a dysfunctional way to forge independence.”
She added that girls who are hyper-socialized “toward caring about the feelings of others to the expense of their own are more easily drawn to relationships with dysfunctional or even sociopathic men,” and have difficulty seeing that certain men are simply unhealthy.

“Similar to the fascination teen girls have with vampire characters in movies and books” — uh, how recent is that? Were teen girls fascinated by vampires in, say, 1950? Was the film career of Bela Lugosi a result of teen girls identifying with “dark characters”? Or is it the case that this obsession is a symptom of a sick society?

Psychologically healthy people do not manifest this kind of “fascination” with monsters. A devotion to “dark characters” as a means of “forg[ing] a separate identity” is indeed, as Weber says, symptomatic of defiance toward “authority figures,” and any Christian would recognize that God is chief among the authority figures whom such teenagers are defying. Perhaps some pastor will be inspired to write a sermon about this, but I’m a journalist, not a preacher.

Defiance of authority — adolescent rebellion against one’s parents — is an immature, selfish and anti-social tendency, and adults in a healthy social recognize it as such. For decades, however, our decadent cultural elite have justified teen rebellion as legitimate. The consequence of indulging defiant youth is a phenomenon Midge Decter analyzed in a 1975 book, Liberal Parents, Radical Children.

Nearly four decades later, many adults in America are so confused about their own values that teenage rebellion manifests itself in ways that are incomprehensible and nihilistic. This is what the 1999 Columbine massacre really should have taught us. If “authority” has nothing more hopeful to offer youth than pep rallies, “popularity,” and the prospect of still more schooling — all the cool kids must go to college — is it really so surprising that some kids become alienated, submerge themselves in violent fantasy and, occasionally, go on murderous rampages?

Say what you will about Jahar Tsarnaev, his motivation was not more irrational than that of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

The inchoate rage of alienated youth expresses itself politically in the perpetual adolescent rebellion of adults who refuse to grow up. What else can we conclude about the anarchistic impulses of the Anonymous hackers and Occupy protesters?

Progressives, willing to accept as legitimate the grievances of any potential allies in their war against The System, organized anti-banking mobs that attracted dangerously violent rapists and other criminals. Once a movement begins to demonize cops — and the Occupiers were as much anti-cop as they were anti-anything else — bad things predictably will happen, including women being raped in tents by smelly hippies.

Or consider, as further evidence, a few recent revelations about members of the “progressive netroots community”:

Are these typical progressives? It would be unfair to say so, but all of these kooks and criminals were accepted as members — and in some cases, recognized as leaders — of a movement that persistently accuses conservatives of complicity in extremist violence. From the 2009 death of a Kentucky census worker to the Tucson massacre to the Aurora shooting spree, wherever there are victims, there are progressives trying to blame right-wingers for their deaths.

The anti-social ideology of the Left promotes paranoia, and the #FreeJahar mob’s belief in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s innocence involves conspiracy theories as twisted as the 9/11 Truther stuff of Zeitgeist that inspired Tuscon shooter Jared Loughner’s madness. Matthew Feeney at Reason magazine pointed out how a writer at Truther nutjob Alex Jones’s InfoWars peddled a Boston “inside job” theory:

What appear to be private contractors, wearing unmarked, matching uniforms and operating an unmarked SUV affixed with communication equipment near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shortly after the bomb blasts – can be seen beforehand, standing and waiting just meters away from where the first bomb was detonated.

Nearly a month after the bombing, the InfoWars kookery is still online without apology or retraction, an expression of the childish irresponsibility of those who promote such nonsense. Speaking of childish irresponsibility, the New York Times:

[Dzhokar Tsarnaev] was popular — “he had a lot of girls hitting on him,” said Junes Umarov, 18, a close friend who is also of Chechen descent — but even other close friends could not say whether he had a girlfriend. . . .
Mr. Umarov has known Mr. Tsarnaev since 2004, shortly after his family came to the United States. Young Dzhokhar sometimes stayed at his home for weeks during summers, goofing around with Junes and his siblings.
Visits to the Tsarnaev household were different. “Every time we went to Dzhokhar’s house, his brother would make us work, do a bunch of push-ups, get us in shape, because we were staying inside playing video games all day,” Mr. Umarov said. “His brother never gave him wrong advice. So he looked up to his brother.” . . .
One night, exactly one month before [the Boston Marathon bombing], Mr. Tsarnaev appeared at Mr. Umarov’s home in Chelsea, not far from Cambridge, with a friend. They carried a load of fireworks. The three chatted about college over burgers at a Five Guys restaurant and then headed for Admiral’s Hill, a former Navy barracks on the waterfront, to set off the fireworks: pinwheels, Roman candles and other largely innocuous types.
Then they went home. “That’s the last time I saw Dzhokhar,” Mr. Umarov said.

Really? You’re going to report as unquestioned fact Junes Umarov’s claim that he knew nothing of Dzhokhar Tasnaev’s Islamic radicalism? How are you different than these legions of lovestruck teenagers swooning over their “too pretty to be guilty” #FreeJahar idol?

UPDATE: You saw this coming, right?




 

Comments

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  • Nan

    But he’s so cuuuuute! You’re just a big meanie! Does he lose his citizenship for fraud? He became a citizen less than a year before his Jihad so clearly didn’t mean his oath of allegiance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SarahWW Sarah Wells

    Bela was quite the heart-throb. His dangerous, hypnotic come-hither was the same deal as all the twinkly ones.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    There’s a simpler explanation for the teen love for thugs: women can be quite stupid.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Well done, Stacy.

  • JeffS

    I’d say that a good portion of the American generation just now “coming of age” are infected with cultural pathology. Some fatally so.

    Enough to ultimately destroy America? Hard to say right now. Enough to damage America? More than we are now, I mean?

    Unfortunately, yes. Prepare yourselves for a rough ride.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    But… but…John Edwards had lovely hair! And Barack Obama is dreeeeeamy…

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    The “decadent superficiality” is an excellent essay all on its own. It conveys every bit of the horrified disgust I’ve been feeling whenever I read some foolishness about the Tsarnaevs.

    The Dylan Klybold of the brothers, the weak follower with no real will of his own, is not someone to swoon over, but to treat with the contempt we usually reserve for the character of Angel in Tess of the D’Ubervilles – “Too low to kick and too wet to step on.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    And the repressed sexuality drips off pretty much every page of the original Dracula, too.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    I blame the hormones.

    But, seriously, teenagers and stupid kind of go together.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    You know something? The Serbians were not completely wrong.

    Neither were Fernidad and Isabella for ejecting Spainish Muslims in 1492.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    The sex appeal of criminals (especially when they are safely behind bars) is strange but sadly common. Hence all those jailhouse marriages (many never even consummated). He is attractive looking so I am not surprised (just disappointed in the shallowness of those who are attracted to him given the monstrosity of his actions).

    Interesting thing is he did not choose to follow his brother to paradise. Doubts?

    Death or a long life in Florence, Colorado’s SuperMax? I suspect death is more desirable.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Agreed!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Well said!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    How else to explain the success of Twilight?

  • dc

    Were this note legit – we would have known about this in the days after he was discovered in the boat. It totally fits the meme, so why all of a sudden they find this a month later, if not to quell any lingering qualms about whether or not they did it?

    Anyone that’s taken a look at all the videos etc finds a TON of inconsistencies here. Combine that with the video of the kid yelling “we did do it” as the cops poured hundreds of rounds into the boat – jeez, is it any wonder why some people are questioning the idea that these kids did this?

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    It has been happening a long time. What worries me is children never growing up (no jobs, living at home, etc.).

  • http://profiles.google.com/rob5136 Rob Crawford

    Yes, it is a wonder.

    A typically Muslim target — people doing something innocent and fun — attacked in a typically Muslim way — an improvised explosive — and the perpetrators turn out to be typical Muslim terrorists — young adult males who have lived in luxury in the west.

  • Nan

    The Serbians were responding to hundreds of years of history in which Muslims murdered Christians. I’m proud that my ancestors repelled the Muslims; they forgot their coffee (turkish) and there’s a district of the city named Bezigrad (flee the castle) in the direction toward which they fled.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I could see the Feds and Police keeping it quiet. At least for a while. The note certainly fits with what we already knew about these two.

  • dc

    was wtc something innocent and fun before it was blown up? cripes dont make crap up as you go along, that’s just what the “authorities” are doing here – typical kneejerk response from someone who hasnt done a shred of his own investigation, rob.

    did you look at ANY of the evidence from boston? did you look at any of the images that showed inconsistencies? or were they just “crazy ideas that should be shunned”?

    its always conspiracy theory, before FOIA comes along and all of a sudden its conspiracy fact, like the government let pearl harbor happen.

    did you pay enough attention about newtown to see the AR-15 was a fabrication?

    nope, that’s just crazy talk, suggesting our government would do something….untoward, as it were. they NEVER do stuff like that!

  • dc

    why would that make any sense whatsoever? do you have any consistent reasoning for them to leave that out? it fits right in with the whole jihad meme. it would have bolstered their case having come out with this right away, cmon, use your head.

    what we already knew? as in nothing whatsoever, until after the incident, and stories needed to be written?

    its plainly known that the FBI baits potential terrorists to anyone that does a little bit of an investigation.

  • dc

    I guess I can say nevermind, the lot of yas here seem to think that “if its the official story, it must be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but, our government would never lie to us or violate our rights in any way.” as you watch the LEOs in boston violate the sh*t out of the residents 4th amendment “rights.”

    this is why conservatives can never get their act together – like progressives, too many are all too willing to be told what to do and this is how its gonna be.

    I didnt want to believe 9/11 was an inside job for the longest time either, for the same reasoning – it simply sounds too crazy to be true. but if you still believe the government’s story on it even after a picture perfect wtc-7 demolition-collapse…well what can I say.

    hell a few centuries ago, radio communication would have been considered supernatural witchcraft, that idea is just craaaazy isnt it?

    this isnt a R or D issue, this is a core issue, this is a CIA issue, DHS, FEMA, the whole knot of these elitist government entities have no compunction over having any means justify the ends they want.

    you think the bailouts and the economy and fed printing and our rights being infringed upon arent linked??

    its sad that most conservatives appear to be every bit the sheep they deride progressives for being. and progressives ARE despicable statist sheep.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    How indeed? I read the pull quote from one book, and fled.

    This from the woman who burns through 2 (count ’em, 2) 400-page novels between Prague and San Francisco, and still ended up with four hours without a book, which did not please me at all. I am so desperate for reading material I read almost anything, and I won’t try to read the Twilight books.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Fans of Malice Green will be so hurt over this.

    And Che. Don’t forget the Che.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    Try this:

    You’re positing much too complicated a plot.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    You are a complete idiot, and most choose to ignore you.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Try this instead: dc is an idiot.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Face it, giving women the vote was a mistake most cultures can’t survive…*ducks*

  • dc

    now there’s some logic – “jeez, this just SOUNDS strange. cant be possible”

    have fun napping with the rest of the sleeple

  • dc

    hah, okay…too big for small minds to get around I suppose.

    I’m not down for the flame fest here with a bunch of people that believe everything they read from the government.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I take everything with a grain of salt…

    But I know when someone is talking out of their ass.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I take everything with a grain of salt…

    But I know when someone is talking out of their ass.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    It didn’t fit the meme of an isolated “lone wolves” plot with all the jihadist rhetoric.

    Law enforcement and prosecutors don’t necessarily make every detail of all evidence they possess public right away, idiot.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Yes, we are stunned by the power of your intellect.

    I’m guessing your Dad’s nickname for your Mom was “Sis,” right?

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    THIS.

  • Cube

    How come we didn’t hear any of this during the Bosnia war? Only the Serbs were the bad guys then.

    I know, I know, it was a rhetorical question.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    You’re absolutely right. It was all because of con-trails.

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