On a Friday filled with suspense as the world began filling in the details on marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, their uncles appeared for impromptu on-camera statements amidst the manhunt for Dzhokhar — and one of them restored a blip of humanity in what Secretary of State John Kerry described as a week of "pretty direct confrontation with evil." After one uncle offered a condemnation of his nephews outside his car, the man he said was his brother, Ruslan Tsarni, gave an emotional press conference of source outside his house at midday. You can watch the full video at the bottom of this post, providing some important details to the public on the suspects, but most striking was when he was asked for his reasoning about how this violence could have happened. Tsarni offered a simple answer: "being losers."
Tsarni was vivacious, predicting the blame to come on Chechnya, his family, and "people like the bothers." He tried to exonerate his family, their country, his current country, and the entire Islamic religion, all in one whirling dervish of the only side of the family story we've seen on camera. (The brothers' father, sister, and aunt all gave brief non-televised interviews.) Despite not having seen them in years, Tsarni said the Tsarnaev brothers did what they did because they were not "able to settle themselves" and "hating everyone." He went on: "I respect this country. I love this country, which gives chance to everybody else to be treated as a human being."
And so the response to Tsarni's remarks have been overwhelmingly positive. Keith Olbermann called him the "definition of a great American" with a lot of similar sentiments going around Twitter, where "Uncle Ruslan" was trending worldwide heading into lunch hour:
Ruslan Tsarni is the only good news of the week.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) April 19, 2013
Update, 2:10 p.m: The aunt gave a televised mid-afternoon interview from Toronto, chastising the media, the investigation, and more — saying things like the bombing was staged and generally conspiracy theorizing.
You can watch Tsarni's full remarks here:
Stay tuned here for more updates.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.