|Mourners at the Auckland, New Zealand, vigil for Paris at the weekend. Photo: David Robie|
AS NEWS arrived of terror attacks in Paris that ultimately left more than 120 people dead, US President Barack Obama characterised the situation as “heartbreaking” and an assault “on all of humanity.”
But his presidential sympathy was conspicuously absent the previous day when terror attacks in Beirut left more than 40 dead. Predictably, Western media and social media were much less vocal about the slaughter in Lebanon.
|The Independent's weekend front page, UK.|
Of course, there's more to the story than the relative dehumanisation of the Lebanese as compared with their French counterparts. There's also the prevailing notion in the West that — as far as bombs, explosions, and killings go — Lebanon is simply One of Those Places Where Such Things Happen.
The same goes for places like Iraq, to an even greater extent, which is part of the reason we don't see Obama mourning attacks on all of humanity every time he reads the news out of Baghdad.