What happened in Paris was a grotesque tragedy, but I won’t be changing my profile picture to a French flag anytime soon. I am in solidarity with the French people, but I am also in solidarity with the world for all of the malicious and violent acts that are committed every single day against innocent individuals. Many people are wondering what the world is coming to and why the attacks in Paris took place, I believe the reason people are so tuned in to the Paris tragedy is because it happened in a first world country and they feel that it could happen to them too. If I were to change my profile picture every time a tragedy took place I would be changing it multiple times a day, with every drone strike, mass shooting, suicide bombing and government sanctioned “precision strike”.
The truth is… When you bomb someones mother, their brother, daughter, son or father, they will retaliate with anger and vengeance, and that is what happens every time collateral damage is racked up by a government military. I am by no means sympathizing with the attackers or any terrorist sect that attacks innocent civilians as those that kill others who committed no offense no longer deserve to live. Two weeks before the attacks in Paris the French military stationed an aircraft carrier near Syria to assist the US in operations against ISIS and Assad, this is most likely what inspired the Islamic State to commit violent and destructive acts of terrorism.
After the 2001 war in Iraq it is estimated 750,000 to over a million civilians were killed as collateral damage, with further innocent lives lost in Afghanistan, Pakistan and neighboring states. The US government continues to bomb these territories while any civilian males “of fighting age” (18+) are considered terrorists by default and thousands of men, women and children have been killed since the drone program has started. (And if you believe Obama ended these wars, know there are still US soldiers in all of these countries.) Of these, terrorist sects are easily able to recruit new members as their families, homes and neighborhoods are lost to Western munitions… We are seen as invaders, not liberators…
Where is their flag? Where is their voice? Where are their prayers? What of the countless tragedies that happen daily? Yesterday 147 people died in Kenya at the hands of the Islamic State, what makes these people’s lives any more of less valuable then those in France? What of the homicides in Chicago? What of the hundreds of suicides by veterans each day? Every person has a choice as to where and how heavily they place their empathy, let that be your choice. Don’t let the tide of popular opinion dictate whom your sympathy should expand to. Those in charge would like nothing better than to be able to control your opinions.
From 1989 to 1992 the CIA funded Al Qaeda with 6 billion dollars to fight in a proxy war against Russia. Today they are enemies of the US. The US government has again armed the Libyan and Syrian rebels during the Arab Spring, many of whom have sworn allegiance to Al Qaeda. Where has ISIS gained their power, capital and influence from over the years? Look no further then your own government and their narcissistic shortsightedness in arming an “ally” that has turned into an “enemy”. If you want to end terrorism, end the governments role in creating terrorists. If you want to defeat ISIS, the first thing you have to do is quit supplying them with arms.
Violence begets violence, and what happened in France was nothing more than blowback from years of meddling in foreign affairs. Large groups of people don’t just get up and attack other large groups of people, there is always an impetus, and foreign policy is that tinderbox. There needs to be a change in the core paradigms of those that are in power and the systems that are inherent in bringing those to power. Changing your profile picture or posting a status update won’t stop tragedies from occurring, it won’t stop the young and poor from being sent off to die in wars, it won’t stop your tax dollars from being used to fund drone strikes and military escapades, it won’t help unarmed individuals in theaters to get their right to self defense back.
If you truly want to make a difference in the world, stop hopping on the band wagon of every mainstream catastrophe or victory that takes place. Think for yourselves and look at the bigger picture. Stop being afraid of speaking the truth in a room full of people that disagree with you. Be polarizing, be interesting, stop being a part of the status quo, you won’t be as easily as controlled by cutting your tether to popular opinion, plus being neutral is boring. If you really want to make a difference, get off your computer and do something, join a local libertarian affiliate, read a book on foreign policy or economics, take your concerns to local and state government, adopt a kitten, do something!
With that said, people often say the world is falling apart. I hear it all the time from my family, friends and strangers. Apparently it’s never been a worse time to been alive… When in reality we are living in the most peaceful period of recorded history. It may sound cliche, but love is the highest aspiration we can hope to achieve, we must remember to love. Our governments may ask for more tax dollars, for more security, for bombs to be dropped in payloads on distant lands. These voices will try to sway you to be fearful, but by accepting fear you are giving up your power, stop giving your power to these assholes. Start thinking for yourself and climb out of the drift of mainstream persuasion…
And last thing, I’m Christian but, stop talking about praying for France if you’ve been an atheist all of your life. Stick to your guns damn it, I’ll have a lot more respect for you, and you won’t look like such a try hard.