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The Aftermath of the Paris Attacks Is a Time to Grieve, Not Fear Monger

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 14/11/2015 Sam Corey
BEN CARSON © ASSOCIATED PRESS BEN CARSON

In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks that claimed the lives of at least 153 innocent people, FOX News and some Republican presidential hopefuls wasted no time to fear monger and stir up some good-ol-fashioned Islamophobia.
FOX anchor Megyn Kelly hosted R-NY Representative Peter King, a former IRA sympathizer, who stated in the interview:
"This was terrorism at its worst. This can happen in any major, large city in the U.S. and Europe. We always have to be on our guard. I hope this is a wake up call. I hope the president is listening when he says that ISIS is contained."
He added, "This shows it's going to be a long, hard fight before ISIS or al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorism is contained and destroyed. This is a war, we have to realize it and stop holding back and stop making believe our main worry is how fast we can close Guantanamo. Our main goal should be how quickly we can destroy ISIS."
Meanwhile, Kelly questioned whether the U.S. has an adequate enough screening process for Syrian refugees and suggested we return to the color-coded terrorism threat level indicators that were omnipresent during the post-9/11 and Iraq quest for fictitious weapons of mass destruction.
Bruce Hoffman, Director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, who has nearly four decades of terrorism research experience, stated in his report, Terrorism and the Media, that this type of media coverage is actually harmful to our national security.
He writes, "Only by spreading the terror and outrage to a much larger audience can the terrorists gain the maximum potential leverage that they need to effect fundamental political change."
A key factor of their objective is to create fear among the target population. Hoffman argues, "it is an essential factor in any terrorist's agenda that the whole tactic of terrorism is based upon, and that is visible in all parts of terrorist activity."
This strategy to gain attention is intentional. To an important extent, terrorists also want to intimidate the audience and the target government so that "even the threat of possibly becoming victim of terrorist violence is enough to create fear."
The whole point of terrorism is to create terror, and FOX News is playing right into their twisted game. But this doesn't stop some Republican presidential hopefuls from joining in on the fray.
Ben Carson spoke to a group of Republican Party activists at an event Friday evening, as the attacks were occurring -- meaning the culprits were yet to be properly identified.
"If we're going to be bringing 200,000 people over here from that region -- if I were one of the leaders of the global jihadist movement and I didn't infiltrate that group of people with my people, that would be almost malpractice," said Carson.
He asserted the Obama administration lacks "the kind of vision that would allow you to recognize that once you've gotten a place like Iraq under control you don't withdraw, which leaves an incredible vacuum and allows for the development of things like ISIS."
"There are those out there who have a thirst for innocent blood in an attempt to spread their philosophy and their will across this globe," Carson added. "We must redouble our efforts and our resolve to resist them. Not only to contain them, but to eliminate that kind of hatred in the world."
In a statement on the Paris attacks, Ted Cruz said, "We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means."
Donald Trump characteristically posted a smug "I told you so," style Tweet.Marco Rubio thumbed a status as part of a six-Tweet novella, reminiscent of a Team America response to terrorism. He wrote, "These brutal terrorist attacks against innocent civilians are a reminder of the increasing dangers facing free peoples around the world."
This assault was undeniably horrific and demands a sensible, well-planned response. But these statements and news broadcasts are emotional and political pandering at its worst.
These statements were made before the attackers were identified, further cementing that too many Americans just associate "terrorism" with "Islam."
In June, Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, shot and killed nine African-Americans in a Charleston church, hoping to "start a race war." However, Americans were apprehensive to label this fatal mass-shooting massacre as a terrorist attack, despite his motives to stroke fear, anger and social strife -- as noted in his manifesto.
Not only is this hypocritical, but also a racist attitude that contributes to constant conflict between the Western and the Arab regions.
Anyone watching the news during this event was inundated with stomach-churning images of civilians frantically running for their lives, reports of suicide bombing and police bravely marching through a wave of chaos and destruction to protect and rescue the victims of such a senseless, depraved act of violence.
Such an occurrence should be a reminder to appreciate your loved ones and a time to offer condolences to those who experienced the grave reality of how sudden a freak catastrophe can drastically alter one's life. We constantly live on the brink of existence and death, and the shootings and bombings in Paris served as a stark reminder of that.
When FOX News fires up the war hawk, fear-mongering partisan propaganda machine and men vying to lead our nation attempt to stir xenophobia in the aftermath of global carnage, we should be disgusted at their knee-jerk reaction to use such a ghastly event to push an agenda on us at a time when we're emotionally fragile.
The shock from such a spontaneous act of gruesome bloodshed hasn't even worn off before the grieving sinks in, and we have influential figures calling for an attack on Syria and to refuse innocent refugees seeking solace from a reality of daily violence.
Immediately latching this event onto an aggressive foreign policy stance and a nativist immigration platform serves as an injustice to the American people.
This isn't just morally bankrupt, it's borderline sociopathic.
Let's take a collective deep breath and use these moments following this attack to reflect on how valuable our lives are, how precious it is to live in a secure country that cherishes freedom and offer our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences to those who lost their lives to and are affected by this tragedy.

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