Some terror victims are more equal than others

Friday 04/12/2015
Foreign peace activist laying flower at site of suicide bombings in Bourj el-Barajneh in southern Beirut

Since the terrorist attacks on Paris that left 130 people dead, many more wounded and a city and a country on edge, there has been a flurry of diplomatic activity among the countries concerned as politicians try to figure out how to tackle this serious and sensitive issue.

And as the diplomatic pace picked up, there was feeling that the Paris attacks must not be left unanswered. So the military pace also accelerated as French and Russian warplanes dropped more bombs on strongholds of the Islamic State (ISIS) than they had done in the past. The end result being that the abyss dividing the two sides keeps getting wider and with no vi­able end in sight.

While the shock and anger, the fear and frustration in the aftermath of the at­tacks are understandable, Middle Eastern terrorism is not entirely a novelty in France. In the mid-1970s and ‘80s, Middle Eastern violence found its way to the French capital when Lebanese, Palestinians, Iraqis and Israelis took their griev­ances to the streets of the City of Lights in the form of car bombs and targeted assassinations.

But this time it was on much grander scale, on a much more murderous scale.

What was somewhat less un­derstandable, however, was the attention given to the Paris attacks when compared to how much less was accorded to the other targets from the same terrorist group or groups affiliated with ISIS.

Two weeks before the Paris kill­ings, a Russian airliner with 224 passengers and crew was blown up over Sinai. The day before the Paris attack, two bombs exploded min­utes apart in Beirut killing more than three dozen people.

Then came the raid on a luxury hotel in Mali and the attack on presidential guards in downtown Tunis. To say these latter targets did not get massive media cover­age would be wrong. CNN, the BBC, the wire agencies, among others, all carried the usual load of reports and analysis on the various attacks.

What many people felt missing was the outpouring of support, sympathy and true feelings of regret and sadness that was given to the people of Paris and France. That was absent for the tragedies of Beirut, Tunis, Sinai and Bamako.

Many accused the West of ap­plying double standards — one for Europeans and one for developing nations.

Politicians tell us at there can be no peace possible with ISIS terror­ists; yet in the same breath some of them tell us that quite possibly the only viable solution is to make sure that Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power.

Why, when you drop barrel bombs and chemical agents on women, children and elderly peo­ple, is that not as much of a terror­ist attack as killing people in Paris? Is that not a double standard?

Both should be considered ter­rorist entities on an equal footing. As a matter of fact, ask the majority of refugees fleeing Syria — there have been 9 million refugees so far — who are they running away from? You may be surprised that the majority will say that while they have no love lost for ISIS, it is the regime of Assad they are run­ning away from.