Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Understating The Case: Richard Fadden on Terrorism and the Dizziness of Canada's Elites

"Canada has seen its share of terrorism: 329 people, the vast majority of them Canadian, died in the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, shortly after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was born. We are inextricably linked to that event, and practically share the same anniversary. Canada is not immune from terrorism. . . You would not know this to be true, however, when you look at how Canadians discuss matters of national security. Our elites tend to avert their eyes, and media tend to give what little coverage they grant on this subject to groups that seem to feel that our charm and the Maple Leaf on our backpacks are all that we need to protect us."

Mr. Fadden understates the case.

Long before Flight 182 fell from the sky, the dizziness of Canada's elites in the face of open threats posed by Khalistani Sikh supremacists had already allowed, enabled and facilitated the slaughter and assassination of hundreds of civilians, politicians, liberals, socialists, poets and playwrights in India. The Khalistani terror campaign was organized, funded and directed from Canada.

A limp, confused and deluded response to the threat of clerical-fascist extremism was the reason Khalistani fanatics managed to successfully plot and murder those 329 Air India passengers. Back then, the terrorist haven wasn't the Pashtun borderlands. Canada was the terrorist haven.

Back when I was a cub reporter, I was intimately familiar with the Air India plotters, I'd travelled to Punjab and interviewed the key militants holed up behind their sandbagged gun batteries in the holy city of Amritsar, and I'd sat in conversation with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the Khalistani version of Osama Bin Laden. To anyone paying attention, there was nothing surprising or mysterious about what eventually happened.

Six years ago, looking back on the Air India disaster, I made Mr. Fadden's case this way: "The world is a dangerous place, and righteous pacifism isn't enough. Federal NDP leader Jack Layton can quote J.S. Woodsworth until he's blue in the face, and the rest of us can march until the soles of our shoes have worn through. It's not enough. . . If Canada is going to make even a pretence of national independence, the federal government is going to have to employ the treasury for more than just unionized daycare centres, bus tokens and free flags. We're going to need a smart and efficient military and some crackerjack intelligence and counter-terrorism capacity."

Now I will understate the case: I can't think of a damn thing that has happened since then to change my mind.

In the case of Sikh supremacist fanaticism, the response of Canada's elites, most notably the news media, was to more or less leave things for this country's brave and browbeaten Sikh communities to figure out all on their own. Everybody was just so frightened of being called insensitive or racist or some other mean name. Nowadays, faced with hauntingly similar torments, Canada's young Muslims are being expected to just sort it all out more or less by themselves, too.

Not a good idea. Nothing progressive, liberal, enlightened, anti-racist, tolerant or sensible about it.


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