Schweigeminute am G-20-Gipfel in der Türkei für die Opfer von Paris. © Le Monde

Public Response to Tragedy Is Disproportionate

Daniel DeLafe, New Jersey /  In light of the Paris terror attack that killed over 130, I have some observations to share regarding the social media response.

Red. Die Bestürzung und Trauer nach den terroristischen Attentaten in Paris ist zu recht gross. Doch warum empfinden wir mit westlichen Terroropfern so viel mehr Empathie als mit anderen? Daniel DeLafe, im Jahr 1990 geborener Publizist aus New Jersey stellt diese selektive Empathie in Frage.

Selective Empathy
First, I want to share this particular story to help make a point: New evidence emerges showing the US deliberately attacked the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press published a report providing further confirmation that the facility was targeted and bombed by US military personnel with full knowledge that it was a functioning hospital. The attack lasted for an hour, destroying the building and killing 30 people, including at least 13 MSF staff members and 10 patients.
The report follows a previous article citing a former intelligence official who said special operations analysts had mapped the entire area and drawn a circle around the hospital.
The new report adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that US forces knowingly and deliberately destroyed a hospital that was performing civilian functions, a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions and a violation of the US War Crimes Act. According to the latter, those found guilty of committing such a crime can be subject to life imprisonment or death.
Among the possible motivations for the attack is the fact that the hospital was the only major medical center in northeastern Afghanistan, and it provided aid to all those injured in the escalating conflict between US forces and the Taliban-led insurgency. Beyond those immediately killed, hundreds or even thousands will die as a result of their loss of access to medical care.
In a statement released on October 23, which reported an increase in the death toll from 22 to 30, MSF noted that the destruction of the hospital «will have a huge impact on access to surgical care for hundreds of thousands of people in the region… Last year, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed».

This is only one example among countless others I could use (many much worse), but it’s recent and I only need one to make this point. Where were all the «prayers» and «thoughts» for any of these people from most of you posting your condolences about what just happened in Paris? I’m sorry if this offends anyone, or if you feel like I’m trying to take attention away from the lives lost and disrespecting those grieving, but that is the opposite of what I’m doing. I’m trying to honor them.
I’m simply trying to get you to think and to feel deeper, and to expand your circle of empathy beyond Paris in order to grasp the bigger picture of why these attacks happen. This opinion piece gets to the core of some of those reasons: The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence. A larger game is at work, one we often do not see.
Let’s start by asking: Why are you more upset over one group of people being murdered and not another group? Or is the bombing of a hospital not terrorism? Do Afghan lives not mean as much as Parisian lives?
The events yesterday in Paris are heartbreaking and disturbing. What I find more disturbing is how easily people ignore why these things are even happening and who actually arms and funds Islamic extremists. How many just swallow the mainstream media propaganda and are therefore oblivious to history? Most disturbing is that 90% of the people that send their prayers and condolences online to those who died in Paris (as good as their intentions are), never seem to bat an eye at, or send a single prayer to, the millions of people slaughtered by the U.S./EU/Israeli/Saudi war machine, which created these extremist groups in the first place through direct and indirect results of Western foreign policy and Western proxy armies.
When an attack like this happens in the West, everyone is so, so sad – yet when hundreds of homes are leveled in Gaza, or elsewhere in the Middle East, there is relative silence! We should be equally upset about all of this senseless killing orchestrated by psychopaths in the highest echelons of society, not just what our TVs tell us we should be upset about. We should be sending our thoughts and prayers everyday to all the innocents murdered with our tax dollars, not just when an attack occurs in Europe or the U.S. Such events are also used as a fear-monger tactic and fuel to continue the very same policies and wars-for-profit that result in such attacks, whether orchestrated by extremists or by intelligence agencies.
The biggest terror attack in Lebanon for 25 years: 41 people were killed in 2 suicide bombings on November 12, the day before the Paris attacks.
To those who expressed themselves over the Paris attacks, yet remained silent over countless similar atrocities, I ask: where were your condolences, your «thoughts», your «prayers» for those killed in the attack on the Afghan hospital by US forces, or any other war crime committed by or supported by your own government? What determined your care for one group of people and not another? Was it your attitude? Your popularity? Maybe it was the type of information you are exposed to, or deliberately expose yourself to? Was it your beliefs?
Most likely it’s all of that – and more. The main question here is: Do you really have control over what you pay attention to and care about?
I guess terrorism is only what our psychopathic leaders and their media moguls tell us it is, and only then when it happens to us in the West, not when we’re the perpetrators. It seems that a lot of people only take the time to share their condolences about a tragedy when it’s trending and trendy to do so, and such trends are not only tracked and played upon by the power brokers in society, but are also manufactured and directed for larger political purposes. When Gaza was getting bombed to smithereens in summer of 2014, I didn’t see half the response I saw over this recent attack on social media and in conversation.
I’m sad for Paris today. I’m thinking about it a lot. I know this article, or a Facebook post, or a Tweet, won’t change anything in the grand scheme of things, but such things may do more than we think, and can plant seeds in people’s minds, just like the TV does. It helps to vent our frustration with all the lies, and to counter them even just a little bit. Many people decided to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to voice their concerns, their «thoughts and prayers» about Paris, and I completely understand why you did this.
You cared that people got killed for no reason. I get it. I feel that way everyday. But this is also a sinister manipulation of the public at large, and anyone who is familiar with Edward Bernays knows that powerful people put lots of time, money, and research into figuring out how to control what people think, like, and care about (I highly recommend the documentary series The Century of the Self). We all must understand how and why we are programmed by psychopaths in power, the richest of whom are in control of our own countries here in the West, and how these same people influence us to be selective with our conscience, with our caring.
Every single day, even my best and happiest days (like right now – I’m on tour with a band called The Gray Company, staying in a beautiful home in North Carolina with amazing friends, and having a blast!) I set some time aside to think of all the others dying at the hands of our government and the Secret Government, the National Security State, and its military industrial complex. I devote some time to reading and studying, and I try to post and disseminate information. I don’t wait for the mainstream media to tell me when to be upset and when to care, and what is true and what isn’t. I try to look and work it out and hold off on concluding. I choose to care because I value Truth, and I understand Truth hurts us in the process of seeking Her, and I’m willing to endure the pain of knowing for a chance to dance with Truth.
I wasn’t always like this though. It takes hard work and effort to Love and to seek the Truth, to draw up Her bitter-sweet water and drink it and to be changed by Her – it’s a constant effort to care and know how crazy the world really is while at the same time allowing yourself to be happy when necessary, and to appreciate your own life, and to strive in such a crazy world without letting it get to you and still succeed. I understand why so many shut this stuff out and just want to focus on their own life and success, or only spare a thought or condolence when it’s trendy to do so, especially when it’s shoved in our faces, while other events get downplayed or ignored. It’s easier to believe the lies and watered-down truth when it’s spoon-fed to us – it’s more comfortable and takes no effort. But will it help us grow?
I wasn’t always like this. You also don’t have to be the way you may be, to be manipulated by powers you don’t understand. But only if you really want to seek knowledge, to objectively Love, to seek Truth – if you truly want to care MORE. Take the feelings you get from the Paris attacks, the sadness for those lives lost in the middle of a grander chess game, and use it as motivation to learn and to speak – to try and follow the moves on the board by unseen hands. Post your thoughts and feelings every single day about ALL the innocents dying, not just for one day – because such things happen every day, and we all carry the responsibility for it and for doing something about it. The least we can do is make an effort to really understand it, to pay attention and speak out as much as possible, rather than blindly accepting what the talking heads tell us is going down and whose deaths we should or should not care about.
Dr. Martin Luther. King, Jr. once said «Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.» Of course, once you are aware of that decision, it’s then up to you to choose. Choose wisely.

«Selektive Empathie und Kriegstreiberei» von Stefan Schaer

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Themenbezogene Interessenbindung der Autorin/des Autors

Daniel DeLafe declares himself as an information junkie, social critic, and independent researcher with an interest for a variety of subjects, from comparative religion, mythology, mysticism, esotericism, to science, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, politics, activism, literature, and history. DeLafe publishes on

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Der «Krieg gegen den Terror» im Irak forderte 500'000 Todesopfer

USA, Iran, Türkei, Saudis, Europa und Russland mischten und mischen im ölreichen Irak mit. Noch immer sind Teile des Landes besetzt.

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7 Meinungen

  • am 16.11.2015 um 13:05 Uhr

    It is (almost) all about the ordinary everyday narcissism of us 97-99% empathic people and of the 1-3% suffering from narcissistic / antisocial personality disorder, the power seekers without any moral and without any sense of justice who rule the world and lie to us and betray us everyday all around the clock – a great piece, thank you, Daniel DeLafe and Infosperber!

  • am 16.11.2015 um 13:33 Uhr

    On the other hand, the people who are now complaining about the lack of empathy for Beirut and other tragedies *didn’t try and raise awareness before Paris either*. Both are hypocritical, the people who mourn only for the Paris victims but not the others, AND those who complain about the lack of awareness only after the Paris attacks. Maybe changing profile pictures on facebook just isn’t a good method of seeking solutions? How about that.

  • am 16.11.2015 um 13:47 Uhr

    I guess, dear Peter Zweigelt, Daniel DeLafe did the same as I did during the Gaza massacre and after the deliberate bombing of the MSF hospital by the US: Write!

    I understand that many people like to live in their mythic world of fairy tales. But I think that as well educated adults we should experience all the grotesque lies of the ‹psychopaths›, from 9/11 over ISIS, the Maidan and Charlie Hebdo to Paris, as an offense against our intellect.

    In my conception of the human being we have the duty to act as humans and to stop the ‹psychopaths› before they lead us into their atomic, climatic oder financial apocalypse.

  • Helmut_Scheben_310
    am 16.11.2015 um 16:18 Uhr

    Ich gebe dem Autor recht in seiner Feststellung, dass es in Syrien keinen Bürgerkrieg gegeben hätte, wenn nicht Saudiarabien mit der Hilfe der USA und anderer NATO-Staaten Terrorgruppen unterstützt hätten, die Assad stürzen sollten. Diese Entscheidung, einen militärischen Umsturz in Syrien voranzutreiben, muss bereits sehr früh gefallen sein, denn 2011 waren Al-Nusra und andere schon mit Terrorattacken in Syrien operativ. Die Erzählung, aus einem friedlichen arabischen Frühling hätte sich spontan ein bewaffneter Aufstand entwickelt, weil Assad Repression gegen friedliche Demonstranten ausübte, ist die von Washington verbreitete Version. Es ist eine Falschinformation mit dem Ziel der Rechtfertigung der kriminellen militärischen Intervention in Syrien.

  • am 16.11.2015 um 23:27 Uhr

    1 Amerikaner = 2 Europäer = 5 Israeli = 30 Palästinenser = 50 Afganen.
    Je nach Distanz zur westlichen Welt, Mentalität, Religion, Hautfarbe (oder weiss der Kuckuck was) schwanken diese Zahlen nach Bedarf. Stell Dir wieviel Drohnen es in Pakistan braucht, um den Wirbel der eine in Europa verursachen würde aufzuwiegen.

  • am 16.11.2015 um 23:28 Uhr

    1 Amerikaner = 2 Europäer = 5 Israeli = 30 Palästinenser = 50 Afganen.
    Je nach Distanz zur westlichen Welt, Mentalität, Religion, Hautfarbe (oder weiss der Kuckuck was) schwanken diese Zahlen nach Bedarf. Stell Dir vor wieviel Drohnen es in Pakistan braucht, um den Wirbel der eine in Europa verursachen würde aufzuwiegen.

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