Friday night’s shocking terrorist attack in Paris has sent many in the US reeling. Folks have shown their support by changing their Facebook avatar, posting pictures of the Eiffel Tower, etc. Some have called for a step-up in our “War on Terror” while other have (seriously) suggested we wipe out ALL Muslims (one guy even provided a list of 55 countries where we could find them all – how thoughtful).
But a week ago there was a Russian plane downed by (most likely) the same folks responsible for the Paris attacks. None of my friends posted a pic of the Kremlin on their timelines. And just the day before Paris, 43 lost their lives in Beruit, again from the same group (again, most likely) that is responsible in France. But Facebook didn’t offer anyone a chance to change their avatar to the flag of Lebanon, nor activate their “safety check” feature so people could let their loved ones know they were safe in Beirut (they did it for Paris).
No one suggested that Russia “get serious” about terrorism after the plane crash, nor suggested we “bomb the stink out of ISIS” after Beriut. Only after more than 120 lost their lives in France did we get sympathetic to all things French.
Can we call ‘em French Fries again? Or are they still Freedom Fries? I know that’s so 2003, but it’s worth asking. Because here’s the thing – we no doubt will take this latest attack and step up bombing or droning or even put “boots on the ground” and it’s important to remember that the reason we’re doing so is because of a terrorist attack, but a SPECIFIC one.
It’s important to remember (and I am borrowing a cliché here) that ALL LIVES matter. French, Russian…even people who might just be Muslim (you know, the same religion as their attackers, which maybe means that this isn’t about religion?). I look forward to the day when we decide that it’s all equally important, because that will mean we’ve taken a giant leap in fighting terrorism. Because others not like us don’t terrorize us.
Oh, and there is a movement to make it so you can change your avatar to any flag you want – if you’re so inclined.