Tripoli Tragedy

When I woke up this morning to the news of a horrific bombing in Tripoli (northern Lebanon) that killed at least 11 people, I swore I would not join the throngs of amateur (or often amateurish professional) pundits who leap to blame someone or other for this kind of strife.

But I have to point out how quickly people are doing just that. Check out this unfounded-in-fact editorial from NOW Lebanon, which blames Syria for the attack.

It’s gotten to the point where, any time any violence happens, folks just pull out their own agenda and slap it onto the vague facts of the case. There’s no sense of justice or accuracy in such games. Quite the opposite, they stoke hatred and suspicions. (Blaming Syria, in this case, implies certain sectarian and political abettors in Lebanon, which I won’t get into here.)

In a place where so many such crimes remain unsolved, I don’t blame people for speculating. But it would be nice to let people mourn and take stock of the situation before making wild accusations, especially if you have a voice that carries some authority. Using the event for a political agenda is terribly callous.

Anyway, I refuse to join the crowd of would-be experts and speculate about who is responsible. All the voices of such pundits gain steam until they are reported as near-fact on respectable websites. I just want to say that this attack — because of its timing and the fact that it apparently did not target any particular individual — especially requires some calmness and careful thought before allegations are made.

We’re not dealing with the latest rumor about an American presidential candidate’s extracurricular activities. We’re dealing with events that threaten to destabilize a country that is still very vulnerable to civil war. So if you’re in the media, be responsible and show some restraint before you start calling out names.

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