Czech vs. Chech

As everyone is certainly well aware, there was a bombing last week at the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.  With no known terrorists organizations claiming immediate responsibility, an anxious public desperately searched for clues and eagerly waited for answers into the identity of the suspect(s). Wild speculation was the order of the day and pundits “in the know” even went as far as to incorrectly and absurdly spew theories about who did it, such as Fox News contributor and overall hack Erik Rush, who claimed “Muslims are evil. Let’s kill them all,” and that it was the Saudi’s who were to blame. A Saudi man was initially questioned by Boston Police but released shortly thereafter.

Hats off to local and national law enforcement agencies who combed through thousands of images and poured over tons of video footage to identify who they believed to be people of interest. Only three days after the bombing, authorities released grainy yet identifiable photos of whom they believed may have planed the bombs. Later that night, authorities caught up with those two men and a violent gunfight and massive manhunt followed. 24 hours later, one suspect was dead and the other lay severely wounded in a Boston hospital down the hall from other victims of the bombing. It quickly came to light that these two men were Russian immigrants, naturalized U.S. citizens who were of Chechen descent. Again, the media grasped desperately for connections to Russia, to Chechnya and to the violent separatist movement that has rocked that region of Russia for decades. To date, no direct connection to Chechen violence has been made other than that happens to be the place the men were born.  The two uncle of the two men, after being hounded by the media,  desperately tried to make it clear that these two men did not represent Islam, they did not represent Chechnya and that they were losers.

Still, after watching this violent, dramatic, and bizarre event play out on TV, people still wanted to place blame on something bigger. It couldn’t just possibly just be two disgruntled men… someone else made them do it… some other organization had to have helped them out. Anger had to be directed at something tangible like another country, because that’s easy for people to digest. When the twin towers collapsed, we went after Afghanistan right? Well, even though there is no apparent connection to Chechnya yet, the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov  even stated on his instagram account that searching for clues in Chechnya would be futile, it didn’t stop bloodthirsty people from calling for the destruction of Chechnya. There are a couple of interesting problems with this. First, Chechnya was pretty much already destroyed once in the not so distant past, and second, an unsettling majority of people actually started calling for the destruction of the Czech Republic.  I’m sure most people who come to this website are worldly enough to realize that Chechnya and the Czech Republic are two separate and distinct places, but a lot of angry and vocal Americans didn’t. Americans took to social media to embarrassingly lash out at the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia (which no longer exists) in alarming numbers. Chalk it up to a failing public school system, a lack of geographic knowledge, or a mentality that the world revolves around the US so there is no need to learn about the rest of the world we are symbiotically connected with, but the tweets and Facebook posts about those evil Czech’s keep coming.

Just in case anyone was confused, here is the difference between the Czech Republic and Chechnya (Czech vs. Chech)… oh yeah, did I mention there was still no tenable connection to Chechnya being behind any of the events in Boston.

Czech Republic




Czech Republic




1,000,000 est.

Neighboring/Nearby Countries

Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia

Georgia, Azerbaijan

Major Languages


Chechen, Russian

Major Ethnic Groups

Czech, Moravian, Slovak

Chechen, Russian, Kumyks

Major Religions

Roman Catholic, Protestant

Islam, Christianity







Principle Economic Generators

Industry, manufacturing, Agriculture



Old Grozny

Old Grozny (Photo:

New Grozny

New Grozny (Photo:

 New Prague

Old Prague (Photo:

New Prague

New Prague (Photo: Ali Ertürk)

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