Political Tragedy

Political :

(from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is the practice and theory of influencing other people. More narrowly, it refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state.

Tragedy :

(from the Greek: τραγῳδία, tragōidia) is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in the viewing.

Thoughts and condolences to those affected by the coordinated attacks this past Friday. Lebanon, The West Bank, Iraq and France.*

These are tragic, and thus will be political.

Watching the coverage of the Paris attacks, I began to think of writing a post about the platitudes that were sure to come. Politicians, Public figures, Social media… Then thought is this post would be a platitude?

I try to take some time for details and facts to emerge before committing anything to digital records of this sort. Time has not brought anything surprising. Gladly no one I know directly was or knows anyone that was hurt in these attacks. I hope this does not change.

The platitudes came.

“Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

Part of the statement from the President of the United States. It seems clear that universal values are not at all shared. If this could be understood and accepted we would be better for it. These attacks came less than a day after the airing of an interview where he claimed plans had “contained the momentum” of the group that has taken responsibility for these attacks. I consider it ill timing, and though the media has made mountains out of smaller molehills, I doubt their handling of it will surprise me.

“there is no religious or human justification for it.”

From the head of the Catholic church. Is it despite or due to his station having a somewhat interesting take on human and ‘spiritual’ interaction, that can make this claim? Neither human justification would surprise me.


No. The attackers more than likely prayed for what happened to happen. The casualties that did pray, did not. No. Just stop.

My thoughts on social media changes following tragedies has not changed since 2008. Observing this and the Hashtag activism I agree with Dr. Gad Saad**, in his latest episode of The Saad Truth, when he observes the phenomena as an attempt by some at ‘Virtue Signalling.’ More on this later as there are other reasons interesting reasons behind this that have made things less surprising for me.

IMG_4311I told my mother as much when she contacted me to share her concern. My sister and I having been born in Paris. We grew up in western or at least westernized cultures, giving these attacks some added significance over for example the attack in Iraq. I would like to say this to some that expressed some consternation that the Media may be covering Paris as a Tragedy whilst turning a blind eye to Lebanon and other matters. Context matters. Think of where you grew up, where you continue to choose to live and where the media you partake of is based. This should give you some understanding of why Paris does not equal Lebanon.

We have opinions that make it tempting to state what things happened for. I have observed a common pattern in the aftermath of tragedies:

  1. X (be they, person(s), stance(s) or ideologies) is blamed by GROUP A
  2. GROUP B comes to the defense of X decrying that GROUP A always brings Ideology into tragedies
  3. GROUP A points out that GROUP B was as quick to blame Y last time a tragedy occurred
  4. GROUP B insists that it was a completely different situation


Things happen due to reasons, not for any particular reason. It is in the structure of the question, Why did it happen? Let discussion of those reasons continue to be politically incorrect and continue to be surprised.

After a tragedy we are likely to look for what may seem like solutions from anyone willing to offer them. It expected as it is in our nature and most of our nurture to seek comfort from those we deem to have power over us.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

Most Politicians know this, live by it. Those ruled often demand it of them, few rulers decline to.


Let us know what you think

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s