28 May 2007

They Still Just Don't Get It

This is largely picking up something off Kinsella's, but deserves to be repeated and rebuked, time and time again:

"It's a hard sell, this terrorism stuff. When more people are dying on our side of the world from bathtub mishaps than terror outbreaks, you wonder how long the paranoia can linger."

The comment comes from the G&M's Lawrence Martin, a contemptible piece written on May 24th. Like most of the latent anti-Americans running around the Globe's offices, Martin would love to bury his head in the sand and act as though the world hasn't dramatically changed since 9/11. Look at the framing of the greatest issue in global politics and international relations of the 21st century: "this terrorism stuff." It's just a simple thing, a collection of things, and not one that's easy to convince people is actually really an issue at all. Sort of like trying to tell people that dust bunnies will cause massive amounts of lethal allergic reactions and thus we must all hunker down and start cleaning. Take that, grand strategists of the world!

I know, I know, freedom of speech, different political perceptions, to each their own pair of rose-coloured glass, and all that stuff. But it really makes you wonder how some people can look at the reality of the world around them and arrive at the conclusion that falling down in the bathtub constitutes a greater threat to Canadian, American, and global security than a movement whose stated agenda is to kill four million Americans and any other infidels that obstruct their path to reconstituting the Islamic caliphate of centuries long gone.

It is exactly this type of laissez-faire attitude, the sentiment that we can let our guards down simply because it's been more than five years and Canada still hasn't been on the wrong end of a terrorist attack led by al Qaeda or some other network, that will embolden the terrorists to actually attack us. So soon Martin forgets that only a year ago a plot to storm Parliament, capture and behead the Prime Minister of Canada was uncovered. We owe it to our law enforcement and intelligence agencies for preventing that attack, and the countless others that have not happened.

In Lawrence Martin's world, Canada would unilaterally declare that it's getting out of "the terrorism stuff," post haste. But as surely as someone falling in a bathtub, an attack against this country for its participation in Afghanistan would follow. Complacency and cowardice are the allies of the terrorists. They know that Canada is soft, its underbelly (the Canadian public and especially the media) ripe for a solid body blow. They think that we would mimic Spain's decision after the Madrid bombing to get out of Iraq, by getting out of Afghanistan and cowering from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Lawrence Martin would likely be the first to run an article in the G&M proclaiming our surrender, unless Jack Layton were able to nudge him out with a guest editorial comment.

This is what makes the Left so dangerous: by portraying those of us on the Right as hysterical and full of paranoia, and the Right refusing to engage in that type of childlike debate, they appear to hold more rational thought and thus by default capture public sentiment. It happened with Ballistic Missile Defence, it happened with Iraq, it happens from time to time on matters pertaining to Afghanistan. The Left cries out, the Right says nothing, and thus the people--largely apathetic and disengaged on foreign affairs--hear only the Left and take on those positions.

This is deeply troubling for Canadian national interests and our security. I sincerely hope that somebody out there with a large pulpit starts tearing down the facade of credibility that people like Lawrence Martin and Jeff Simpson have in the minds of Canadians. Those type of writers simply don't "get it" when it comes to the nature of 21st century conflict. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, so expecting people who grew up in the airy-fairy world of Trudeau to understand the intricacies of fourth-generation warfare, terrorism, and counterinsurgencies is a little rich. But somebody out there needs to start countering these dimwits, or else the body count from terrorism will quickly outgrow the fatalities incurred from slipping in the shower.

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