Terror has already reached Canadian soil
News sites today all across Canada are pumping out stories of 'probable' terrorist attacks on Canadian soil, after the declassification of a CSIS report to the government. At first glance of course, this is immediate cause for alarm, and I am quite surprised that nobody at work has come to me saying that Al Qaeda is plotting to destroy the Saddledome or the CN Tower. I think the fact that the media has jumped all over this is far more of a threat than any bomb. In fact, now that this has made headlines, there *has* been an attack on Canadian soil. Not literally of course, but perhaps some folks will now become too 'vigilante', perhaps simple paranoia or perhaps to the extent of harassing their neighbours simply because they are of Middle Eastern decent. After all, it began happening in the US, with idiots like Ann Coulter and that writer from the Daily Tar Heel who was fired for her comments on strip searching every Arab at airports...
I believe that a *real* cause for concern is when our politicians begin sounding like clones of the Bush Administration, especially with regard to Canada's peace-keeping mission in Afghanistan. I still believe we are doing good there, and the mission is very important, especially now that it has heated up a lot. I fear it is going to get a lot worse though, and my opinion will sway along with the majority of Canadians abotu whether or not we should leave them to their own, just like the US and Iraq. However, Peter MacKay spoke while on a surprise visit to Afghanistan (hmmm surprise visits by high level government folks to the Middle East also rings a familiar bell) and what he had to say really scares me. It isn't anything to do with the troops, or the conflict, but the wording he chooses, and his reasons for Canada being there. It's photo-op Politicians and what they say that will cause me to stop supporting our role in Afghanistan.
"There is a great sense of common purpose and goals to be achieved here, in the areas of democracy, in the areas of combating terrorism and all that flows from terrorism," he said at a news conference after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.
He also said it's also in Canada's interest to work closely with Afghanistan.
"While Canada continues to have an abiding interest in stability and peace here in Afghanistan, we also realize that no country is immune from the reach of terrorism," he said. "So it is very much in our interest to work closely with Afghanistan, with our international partners in building a stable and generous country," he said.
Terrorism. War on Terror. It has hit our nation now, with these headlines, as if we had begun the blessed thing. Statements like the start of the article which say "Canada is committed to triumphing over terrorism in Afghanistan even if it takes longer than planned" start sounding a lot like the stuff we here daily from Iraq. Whether it is the 'stay the course' rhetoric or the 'hunt down terror' rhetoric. Of course the War in Iraq was only an off-shoot of the real War on Terror. The US seems to have forgotten about Bin Laden, except when a tape suddenly appears... If anything is going to make Al Qaeda or any other group decide to blow up the Saddledome, it will be a change in our policy in the Middle East, and our politicians sounding like they belong in the White House.
Myself? I refuse to live in fear. Some say it is vigilance, I say it is fear. These news headlines are breeding the fear that gripped America after 9-11. Maybe a few months, or a few years from now, people will come back and say 'I told you so', but for now, I'll stick to my own thoughts on this... For now, I watch as my Canada begins to be slowly eaten up by fear.
As always, discussion welcome.