You Too Could Raise a Terrorist

Aside from the obvious ploy with a controversial title, this post isn’t meant to infuriate you, but I know it could. Which is why it has sat in my “draft” folder for a while.

When the two men in Boston were identified as young immigrants from Chechnya, I thought about the lives they must have led there. If you have read about the conflict there, it is inconceivable to most native born Americans what life there is like. I’m not going to take up space with a civics lesson, but let’s just say the Soviet Union’s collapse didn’t make everyone suddenly hold hands and sing hymns.

And what that kind of environment does to the human mind and spirit is unimaginable for most of us.

The younger one is the same age as my Gorgeous Gal. And the one picture of him seemingly everywhere seemed to show his eyes so full of pain. The same kind of pain I saw in my foster son’s eyes as he tried to kill my dog and threatened to kill me.

It is terrifying and- once you feel safe again- heartbreaking.

All that pain is going to go somewhere. It is going to burrow inside and fester into depression or hate and rage. Maybe not so much to be a terrorist. Maybe just enough to wound a dog. Or beat a child.

It is also possible for it to be carefully treated with the right kind of mix of education, therapy, love and patience to be released and healed. But that kind of treatment is very difficult and not always sought. Or available.

I found myself thinking about their mother. And that she cradled those boys and probably sang to them. And she worried for them. And she dreamed for them. She dreamed of safety and peace for them.

They had to get out. There had to be a way for a better life. And yet it wasn’t enough to save those boys from what they had all ready seen. It didn’t make them impervious to corrupted thoughts and extremist propaganda.

And it could happen to any of us.

And to our children.

We are all one race and to look upon those men and see them as unhuman (inhumane is a different thing) is a grave mistake.

If we dismiss them as something we are not- or could never be- then we miss the opportunity to find an answer to the whys and hows.

And within those answers, I believe are solutions.


I have felt hate and rage. I have wished people dead. No, I haven’t done anything to make my wish come true, but the point I want to make is we are all one race with the exact same continuum for thought, feelings, action and inaction. Some of us go too much one way or another as a result of our chemistry, early exposure to violence and trauma and ongoing life choices and experiences.

And the extremes can result in Darkness. Pain. Tragedy. Horror.

I hate what happened in Boston. I hate what happened to my five year old foster son to make him want to break the shower door, pick up the glass and kill me while I slept. I hate what happened in Chechnya to develop a mind capable of such acts.

And I ache for the mother of those two men. And for the mother who lost her son in Boston. And the woman who wasn’t a mother. And the mother who lost her legs.

Because I am a mother too. And it could be me. Or mine. Or you. Or yours.

And my mother’s heart prays for us All.