You would have to be a monster to support the Tsarnaev brothers, and you would have to be evil yourself to defend their actions. Yet, to a certain degree, I can sympathize with them through the loyalty they displayed to one another. All brothers and siblings should try and live out these values, and I can at least sympathize with this part of their story.
When I had pieced together that the bombers were two brothers and that one was dead after leaving behind his brother to suicide-charge the police, I knew what had really happened there. Tamerlan sacrificed himself for his younger brother. He told Dzhokhar what was going to happen and told him to get away, no matter the costs, no matter what.
Why? Because that is what we as older brothers do. We may make fun of our younger brothers, beat them up, disparage and degrade them, but at the end of the day, we love them and will do anything to protect them. When push comes to shove, those of us who are older brothers will do anything for our younger brothers.
We protect, take care of and mentor our younger brothers, and in return they look up to us, take advice from us, and emulate us. Whether said brother is younger by four years or four minutes is irrelevant. It is our responsibility as older brothers to guide them toward making the right choices and in this regard, Tamerlan strayed from his responsibilities as the older brother. Because of this violation of brotherly duty, Dzhokhar had the right to void his obligation in this dynamic, but out of loyalty for his older brother, he chose not to and hence he devotedly followed his brother on their mad crusade.
I want Dzhokhar to talk. I want him to spill his guts. I want him to tell us everything. I want that for the sake of the dead, the wounded and the families affected. I want him to lay out the whole story so that we can have justice for Krystle Campbell, for Lü Lingzi, for Martin Richard and for Sean Collier. The American people are owed an explanation.
Yet at the same time, for that to happen requires the destruction of the loyalty and bond between two brothers. Dzhokhar would have to betray Tamerlan. I’m not sure I can support that. I am fully in favor of killing him, throwing him in prison to rot and even torturing him until he can’t even remember his own name. He’s earned all that. But to force him to betray his own flesh and blood? He may be a monster, a villain and the scum of the earth, but I cannot wish that upon him.
Loyalty is one of the most noble virtues mankind can aspire to, and one of the values I personally believe is supreme above all. Like all virtues, it cannot exist through words alone, it must be proven through deeds. The brothers Tsarnaev are evil human beings. Yet despite everything else, they believed in each other and were loyal to the end. They refused to break their ties of brotherhood, their unbreakable bond birthed in blood. Although it pains me to say this, I must admit that they are a fine example of brotherhood and loyalty, and I can begrudgingly respect them for that.