World’s Most Prolific Mass-Destroyer Charges Boston Bombing Suspect with Using WMD
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect believed to have planted and and detonated the bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 others at last week’s Boston Marathon, has been charged with using a ‘weapon of mass destruction.’
Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with “one count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device, or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police on Friday, are the sole suspects in the attack. Dzhokhar was seriously injured during a Friday night standoff with police which led to his capture. He was denied Miranda rights and access to an attorney before being charged while lying in his hospital bed.
If convicted, Tsarnaev could face the death penalty.
The government’s complaint against Tsarnaev describes his “weapon of mass destruction” as “low-grade explosives that were housed in pressure cookers,” with were loaded with “metallic BBs and nails” to inflict maximum casualties.
While there is no denying that the Boston bombing caused mass casualties, including deaths and horrific maiming as well as some property damage, the government’s WMD charge against Tsarnaev is breathtakingly hypocritical. This, after all, is the same government that invaded Iraq, a sovereign state, under false pretenses (ironically involving non-existent WMDs), resulting in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent civilians. Many thousands of these deaths were caused by American bombs and bullets that certainly must be considered weapons of mass destruction if we are to designate a homemade pressure-cooker bomb as such. The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq devastated Iraq’s economy and infrastructure, both of which remain in a pitiful state to this very day. And as was the case with the chemical weapon Agent Orange in Vietnam, America’s use of depleted uranium munitions in Iraq is most likely to blame for a dramatic spike in miscarriages, still births and horrific birth defects among babies born since the US-led invasion. Weapons of mass destruction, indeed!
And what about US warplanes and unmanned aerial drones that rain death and deformity from the skies above Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, terrorizing entire regions and destroying life, limb and property of thousands of innocent and impoverished people guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are these planes, bombs, missiles and drones which have killed thousands of innocent men, women and children not ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ if pressure cooker bombs that killed three people are?
Of course, such questions will be dismissed without explanation by US leaders, the corporate mainstream media and by the overwhelming majority of our citizenry, with the usual accusations of “America-hating” and “terrorist-defending” from self-proclaimed ‘patriots’ for whom America can do no wrong. As the world-renowned American thinker Noam Chomsky has been saying for years, “their [whoever ‘they’ may be] terror against us and our clients is the ultimate evil, while our terror against them does not exist– or if it does, it is entirely appropriate.”
A quick thought before we conclude: since the closing days of the last World War, “their” terror against us has claimed the lives of no more than 5,000 American civilians. Our terror against them– “them” being comprised of a long list of nationalities including, but not limited to Japanese, Greeks, Koreans, Lebanese, Cubans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Indonesians, Dominicans, Salvadorans, Grenadans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, Iranians, Libyans, Iraqis, Panamanians, Colombians, Filipinos, Somalians, Haitians, Sudanese, Serbians, Afghans, Yemenis, Pakistanis and Palestinian– has, by contrast, killed millions of innocent men, women and children. This death and destruction has sometimes been delivered using some of the world’s most horrific weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical weaponry.
Since the end of World War II, no nation on the face of the earth has killed more innocent people in more countries outside its own borders than has the United States. This makes the charge against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seem supremely hypocritical, even laughable. Of course he should be tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to a life behind bars with no chance for parole. But for honesty’s sake, don’t charge him with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Not when the government making the charge is the world’s most prolific mass-destroyer.