Sunday, July 10, 2005

You may look the other way; we can try to understand

This seems to stand out, in an article on DND Chief Rick Hillier re-emphasizing that Canada is as likely as any other western nation to be targeted by terrorists: Right after news of the London terrorist attacks reached Canada, the country's 24-hour emergency preparedness system kicked in, said officials. But government officials were just as quick to reassure Canadians that Ottawa had not received information about threat of an attack on Canadian soil. "Let's be clear, Canada is not actively the object of any terrorist threats," Prime Minister Paul Martin said Thursday from Gleneagles, Scotland where he was when the attacks occurred. Well, that's not quite true. What the PM meant to say (I hope) is that there are no immediate and credible threats in the offing; Canada is an active target, just as much as the US, Britain, France, Spain, Germany, et al, for the heresy of not immediately submitting to the barbaric and medieval death cult that is militant Islam. Canada may be a Lesser Satan, only a junior (and often intransigent) associate of the putative Zionist-Crusader Conspiracy our collective enemies imagine, but the fact that we are - relatively - a free and open society, in itself, makes us a target. That being the case, and any policy decisions he actually makes aside, I fear Martin's off-the-cuff remarks are a reflexive product of (and will only serve to generally reinforce) the belief that Canada isn't important enough to be targeted, that the national equivalent of keeping one's head down and pulling a Sergeant Schultz-esque "I see nothing!" is a viable option. It's a shame that that isn't true, because an awful lot of Canadians are going to go on believing it regardless.

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