There is little doubt the brothers Tsarnaev and their possible accomplices had their reasons, but those reasons are inconsequential. Whoever they thought they were attacking or defending, they picked the wrong enemy and the methods of their actions cannot be tolerated. Tamerian and Dzhokar may have thought they were fighting for a principal, defeating an enemy, attacking a nation, defending a religion, protesting a government’s policy, or making any number of statements.

They weren’t.

All they did was kill and maim and break the hearts of innocent people.

If any of us believe our nation’s foreign policies have not been as our government has represented them, you might be right. If any of us believe the actions of Al Quaeda are barbaric, you most certainly would be right. Israelis may have legitimate issues with Palestinians and Palestinians with Israelis.

The bombing of the Boston marathon, the shooting of an MBTA officer and murder of an MIT police officer were not attacks on Boston or the United States or the Western World. They were attacks on innocent men, woman, and children.  Bombings, imprisonment, execution and torture happening all over the world, no matter who is doing it and for what reason, are all attacks on the innocents. Nothing more.

So, as we wait for the results of the investigation and eventually, if Dzhokar lives, the legal proceedings, let’s resist the temptation to defend our way of life, and let’s not denigrate any other way of life. Let’s use our right to free speech to say that the only rightful means to protest the actions of any group or institution or government, no matter who they are, is through debate. Any act of violence against an innocent person or persons in the world is a crime, not a statement.

This isn’t about defending our city or our nation. This is about the goodness of any human being who wants to live and love and raise a family in peace. This is about world indignation against an evil which would seek to destroy that goodness.

We give thanks to those who worked so diligently to apprehend the terrorists and save the lives of the victims, our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, and our wishes for a speedy recovery to all those who were injured.


R. Harvey Bravman