Friday, July 08, 2005

Blow by blow, we defy you

It is, of course, not news that Canada remains another potential terrorist target. Yesterday's bombings in London, coupled with the attacks on the United States, Spain and Australia (through the Bali nightclub bombings), may increase the likelihood of Canada becoming a target for terror. Although it is not yet proved that an al-Qaeda group was responsible for yesterday's destruction, Canada is now one of a dwindling number of nations named as a target by Osama bin Laden that has not been directly hit. "Human targets sorted by level of importance," reads a list in the al-Battar Military Manual, a training manual masterminded by Saif al-Adel, one of al-Qaeda's most senior leaders, and distributed to supporters over the Internet. Jewish targets top the list. Then, in a separate category called "the Christians," the manual states: "The grades of importance are as follows: 1. Americans, 2. British, 3. Spaniards, 4. Australians, 5. Canadians, 6. Italians." With yesterday's attack, the first four countries on the list have all been targeted. Canada was also directly named by bin Laden in an audio address warning the U.S.'s allies. Canada - like every other nation on that list - would be a target for Islamist terrorists regardless of any current geopolitical machinations. The tipoff to that should be in exactly what the list is called: "The Christians." (And as a corollary, the higher-priority list of targets for mass murder being entirely Jewish.) No one content to plot killing hundreds or thousands based upon mere religion cares that Canada is perpetually in opposition to US foreign policy; frankly, we all look the same to them, as nations composed largely of infidel Christians or infidel secularists. I believe, contrary to what the expert interviewed maintains, that Canada will eventually be a target. Terrorism isn't conducted as a worldwide zero-sum game; there isn't a single Al-Qaeda, Inc. that has a finite amount of resources to use in different countries, but a huge number of plotters, sympathizers, and killers sharing common cause. Regardless of whether or not it can make major news, some in Canada will, at some point, manage to pull something off. It may not be spectacular, involving complex timing and cable-news-friendly graphic imagery, but it'll happen. When it does, we'll face the same test that Britain faces now, that Australia has already passed and Spain failed: What is important to us? Freedom and liberty, no matter what the cost? Or supplication to a host of madmen, in order to not too greatly further enrage those who already de facto despise everything about us?

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