As the crisis in Boston comes to a close, the people of America will undoubtedly search for a reason behind the chaos and they deserve such an answer. We will pore over the information regarding the bombers and determine who they were, what they were like and why they would turn to such horrendous violence in order to further their goals, whatever they might be.
One of the most interesting details that has become public in the aftermath is the nationality of these perpetrators, which has enormous significance and could point us towards a motive. The two men immigrated to America from Chechnya, a region of Russia that has been the focus of an intense civil war and insurgency. Over the past two decades, there have been two uprisings in which Chechen separatists have attempted to achieve independence for the region. Each of these revolts were heavy-handedly crushed by the Russian administration.
If these bombers are indeed affiliated with the Chechen secessionist movement, then the situation could hardly be more ironic. American-Russian relations have been extremely cold over the past few months because of a recent bill that Congress passed which forbids certain members of the Russian administration to enter the United States; this is due to the extremely harsh methods that Russia used in order to crush the rebels in Chechnya. If it is discovered that these two brothers were acting on behalf of the Chechens, then America will find itself in an even more awkward position.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, has reported that one of the two primary suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, might have traveled to Russia last year under an alias. The reasons behind this visit to his native country have obviously tremendous importance.
If this turns out to be the case, America will most likely give military assistance to Russia in order to combat and eradicate this organization. In that situation, America would be fighting an ethnic group that is fighting for its right to self-determination, which would mean going against one of its core principles.
However, this would not be the first time that America has forgone this specific belief; it fought against the same principle in the Vietnam War against the Vietnamese Nationalists because of their conviction in communism. The theoretical situation would be different in that while fighting against self-determination, America would be fighting against terrorism rather than communism.
While this is all merely speculation, the potential consequences of this act of terrorism must be carefully examined. There is certainly the possibility that the two acted entirely on their own, but the human mind easily draws uncorrelated events together. Although this should generally be avoided, the stakes are too high not to assume that others are involved.