Thursday, April 25, 2013

Canada is not serious about terrorism.

From my Ottawa Citizen blog.

This is the front page of tomorrow's Times. This is the BBC eight minutes ago: we have "varying degrees of confidence" about the use of poison gas on a "small scale" in Syria. Oh, well then. With confidence only varying and the scale being so small it makes all the difference in the world, then, does it?
How many dead so far? Is it 60,000 or 70,000? "We estimate it is actually around 120,000 people," says Rami Abdelrahman, head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More varying degrees of confidence, and then, whoops, a few dozen more dead.
More numbers for you: At least 2,300 people have been tortured to death by the regime since the uprising began last year, including 80 children, 25 women, and 51 people aged over 60. Only 5 percent of all victims were armed rebels. But that's a human rights group doing the research, so there will be, of course, varying degrees of confidence we should attach the precision of the data.
Prime Minister Harper is quite right. It is not a time for sociology. In the matter of the state-terrorist regime of Bashar Al-Assad, it is a time for drones. It is time for the skies above Damascus to be darkened with drones.
Instead, we're all setting ourselves on fire over a bit of trainspotting and congratulating ourselves about how seriously we take this scourge of "terrorism." Here's my Citizen column today, about just that. Yes, I am being disgracefully impertinent to pretty well everyone. Yes, I do find it all quite funny. In a dark sort of way.
Until Canada is prepared to amend the regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act in a reformed and public "listing" process to ensure that such terrorist scum as, say, Bashar al Assad and all his officials and agents and state lackeys are properly designated as terrorists, we should stop telling ourselves we are serious about terrorism.

Until we are prepared to amend our terror law to allow for the free movement and mobilization in Canada of any and all democratic-revolutionary movements committed to armed struggle for the overthrow of such terrorists as, say, Bashar al Assad - as a matter of law, not just as a matter of ministerial whim - we should stop telling ourselves we are serious about terrorism.
Until section 83.01(1)(b) of the Criminal Code is amended to ensure that acts of legitimate revolutionary violence undertaken for the purpose of regime change in terrorist tyrannies such as Syria are specifically extended the same exemptions as already exist for acts or omissions committed during armed conflicts carried out in accordance with conventional international law, then we should step telling ourselves we are serious about terrorism.


Blogger Brian from Toronto said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, because I haven't looked into this, but wouldn't the law only criminalize joining groups that have been officially designated as terrorist groups?

And wouldn't that leave off revolutionary movements?

7:49 PM  
Blogger Rock Harder said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Rock Harder said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Brian: Sadly, no. The law as it stands makes no distinction between what reasonable people (and a proper definition) would classify as a terrorist group, and a democratic revolutionary movement.

4:20 PM  

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