A few new horrific terrorist attacks have occurred, this time in Paris and Beirut. And just as day follows night, conspiracy theorists have appeared to cry “false flag”.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, 129 people were murdered in the Paris attacks alone, in several attacks involving explosives and automatic weapons that happened at various points around the city. As with any large-scale, well-documented tragedy that’s happened ever since September 11th, there’s a sizeable contingent of Alex Jones fanboys who are rushing to claim it never happened.
The reasons why they do this are varied, according to past research, but they seem to be based on several factors that all relate to a desire to have a semblance of control over an otherwise uncontrollable situation; a desire to know the real, relatively simple explanation for an event that is complex; the urge to know the solution to a nearly unsolvable quandary.
So what is their evidence that this huge and horrific event didn’t happen? Crisis actors. “Crisis actor” is an occupation conspiracy theorists made up to explain all the screaming, crying, and dead people we see on the news after these events. They claim these aren’t victims, but are simply actors who specialize in pretending to be victims, hired by the government. Here’s the meme making the rounds right now, showing the SAME WOMAN crying in Paris, in Sandy Hook, in Aurora, and in Boston after the marathon bombing. You can tell it’s the same woman in each photo, because she clearly is a white person with brown hair, and she’s crying.
The conspiracy theorists say the French government faked these attacks in order to stop the far right opposition from gaining a foothold in elections.
Of course, the only thing this actually proves is that all white women look the same. Because for the “crisis actor” hypothesis to be true, the French government would first of all have to be strategic idiots. As we’ve seen clearly in the US, nothing bolsters far-right anti-immigration politicians’ approval ratings like a terrorist attack. If you’re a leftist liberal government and you want to increase your votes, you should fake something else, like a recent Muslim refugee saving a hundred bigoted elderly folks from a retirement home fire, or something.
Secondly, which makes the most sense, logistically? Hiring actors to pretend to be terrorists and victims, including flying in American crisis actors to take jobs from hardworking French crisis actors, no less, or just bussing in some actual terrorists, giving them some guns, and letting them do their thing?
I know it’s weirdly more reassuring to believe that the government is doing these things, but unfortunately it’s not true. Terrorists exist, and to make matters worse, we’re not going to fix it by invading another country and blowing up more civilians. It’s a complex problem that will require complex answers and well thought out policies. And meanwhile, we have thousands of real-life Syrian refugees who are fleeing real-life violence that is ACTUALLY HAPPENING. Help them out: if you’re in the US, let your representatives know that you want to be on the right side of history and would like your state to help keep refugees safe. You can also support organizations like UNICEF, Oxfam, and Save the Children who are on the ground helping refugees right now.