August 24 2006
Some questions for Ms Harris
Dear Ms Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
I wonder if you might consider a question or two regarding your story on "Homegrown terror"?(original story also copied at the end of this letter)
** Assuming there are at least a few young Muslims out there who are considering, for whatever reason, acts of violence that might be labelled 'terrorist' should they ever come to fruition, have you (in your capacity as a reporter for a major Canadian newspaper-media chain whose sacred duty is providing the Canadian people with the news they need to know to make intelligent decisions about the things going on in their country and world) ever tried to ascertain in any way exactly WHY these young men, if indeed they exist (I myself have seen and read a lot more booga-booga than reliable proof of such people), are so angry that they might actually carry out such things? Do you actually believe they are just crazy people who love to kill, as your lead and entire story seem to imply (note, I have appended at the bottom a short list of reasons you might want to be a bit sceptical of things you hear from CSIS and other spy people)? Do you actually believe they hate Canadian 'democracy' because we are so free and they cannot stand to see such freedom in the world and they just blindly strike out at us for that reason? Do you really believe they want to destroy the great free country we have as they and their fellow crazies try to establish some great islamofascist world empire? Exactly what are they trying to do, and why?
** I cannot understand why, in a story of this type, you do not make at least some attempt to address these most fundamental of all questions - in ANY type of criminal activity investigation, one of the central features of the prosecution is "Motive" - what is the motive of these men whom are, you say, plotting such terrible things against us? This is not a hypothetical question, I am sure you see - if we understood why they are doing this (if indeed they are), then that would help us understand how to deal with them.
** Is there any chance, do you suppose, that these young men, and others like them in other places, might come from countries that are being invaded by western powers, and they are not actually totally insane as your story and interviewees seem to postulate, but actually, they are trying to oppose a war of conquest that is being waged against their countries, and are using 'terror' tactics as the only means available to them to let people in western countries know that they want 'us' out of their countries? Is there any chance, do you suppose, that if 'we' in the west actually did that, got out of their countries, stopped stealing their oil and trying to impose our western ideas of government on them, that this current 'wave' of terrorism might stop? It seems to me that any honest journalism about this whole terrorism thing really needs to address that question before starting with all the rest of it about how we are going to deal with it all.
** you yourself may or may not agree with any of those ideas - but do you think it is your role as a journalist, and the role of an important media group like the Sun papers, to be telling Canadians what to think through this completely one-sided presentation of world events, rather than trying to help educate them with some other facts such as I have outlined in the questions above? Are you knowingly part of a government with Big Brother-type ambitions pounding an endless message of WE GOOD THEY BAD WE MUST DESTROOOOOOYYYYY THE ENEMY!!!! ('they' being whoever the current enemy du jour happens to be) into the brains of Canadians, to allow an endless war of some sort as the Americans seem to see for the future? If you were truly trying to give information to We the People, wouldn't you try to address some of the questions I have posed above?
Two final questions. You are a reporter, you obviously have a good imagination - consider a slightly alternate world, through the looking glass with the situation reversed, as it were:
** If Canada was sort of a poor country, whose wealth was being stolen by a powerful Arabian Empire, and we were occupied by Arabian soldiers who were telling us we had to change our government to one they approved of, and your village had just been bombed by Arabian B-52s killing 20 or 30 of the people you had known and loved all of your life - how would you feel about that? The Arabians say some cowardly Canadian terrorists (although of course many Canadians call them 'freedom fighters') were hiding in the village, and the killing of the people was regretful, but quite justified under the circumstances. Would you just accept the 'news' placidly, accepting the propaganda of the bombers that they were trying to free you from your hateful capitalistic democracy and bring you the great blessing of Freedom under an Islamic Government of the One True God? If you knew a Canadian in an Arabian city (a city whose people supported the Arabian occupation of Canada, and who believed that the bombing that was taking place here in the name of establishing a modern Muslim government in Canada because that is the will of god and democracy is just for stupid heathens), who had lost all he loved and didn't have much to live for, was planning to build a small improvised bomb of some sort (we poor Canadians do not have big modern bombers or anything like that) and take some revenge for the people he had lost in his own village, including his wife and children and parents, in an Arabian bombing last year, how would you feel about that? Would you turn him in to the local authorities because he was planning a terrorist act that you knew would kill a lot of local innocent people, or would you send him a few bucks if you could because by god we want these damned occupiers out of our land?
- and secondly,
** Even if we assume all of the tales of terrorist bombings are true (you as a journalist would know there are many, many questions about these things), how about a little feet on the ground reality check, such as - how many people have the 'Muslim terrorists' killed in attacks against the west over the last (pick a number) years in how many specific places, and how much damage has been done by their bombs? Now ask - how many people have American and British and NATO bombs killed in Muslim countries in the last (same number) years, and how much infrastructure have they destroyed in how many cities? Do you want to write those numbers down side by side and look at them and think about it? Print them in your paper for others to think about?
Didn't think so.
Have a nice day.
(and the above letter is online at http://www.rudemacedon.ca/lgi/06/0824-harris.html - as will be your response, should you break the Omerta and reply, at least if such action does not cause a heart attack from the shock of being acknowledged from a gatekeeper in me and prevent my publishing it)
PS - Maybe you could spend a weekend one of these days reading a book called 1984 by a guy called Orwell, if you haven't already or lately. He speaks to a lot of what you and the rest of you are doing.
Why can't spy agencies be regarded as reliable?
- they deal in speculation
- they have a long record of being wrong about important things
- if there are not bad guys out there plotting bad things - the spy people will not be needed. spying is a cool job, lots of travel and perks and 'do as we tell you!' stuff for people who like that sort of thing. would they do themselves out of this cool job by telling everyone there was no danger? Would you?
- in today's world (post-Bush-911 esp) such people are more and more, and very obviously, attached to a broader government NWO-PNAC agenda, and are well known to use 'intel' from the primary approach of wanting and/or needing to justify a certain policy, rather than impartially gathering intel and making of it what can be made of it. Jack Ryan fantasies notwithstanding. (note 'full spectrum propaganda' above)
- spies lie as part of the JD (for the 'greater good' of course - but who defines that 'greater good'? please don't tell me you believe that GW Bush and the leader of Iran have the same definition, or me or - what about you? Would you REALLY be happy with GW Bush's definition of 'the greater good' being the founding principle of a society you lived in? REALLY!?!?!?!)
- in the glory days of spies, WWII, we were led by Winston Churchill and FDR (who led Canada didn't much matter then and it doesn't much matter now to anyone else except us) - today the leaders of the 'free' world are named Bush and Blair. As are your leaders, so are your spies. Would you trust either with your daughter or her lunch money? Would you trust her with one of their spies?
(one might make similar observations about modern mainstream Canadian newspapers and their journalists, it occurs to me, but we'll just leave that for another day)
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August 21 2006
Security experts say the enemy within is just as dangerous as external organizations
By KATHLEEN HARRIS -- Sun Media
OTTAWA -- They are young, radical and driven by hate to inflict death and destruction on a massive scale.
According to security experts, homegrown Canadian terrorists now pose a threat to national security that is on par with external organizations. The alarming trend was first revealed by a top CSIS official in May, just one month before 17 Muslim men were arrested in Toronto for an alleged plot to blow up the stock exchange and CSIS offices in Toronto and the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.
The latest foiled conspiracy in Britain to liquid-bomb a series of commercial jetliners -- again allegedly planned by homegrown terrorists -- has forced governments, police and security officials to take a hard new look at causes and possible solutions to the rising threat.
Insp. Wayne Hanniman, in charge of the RCMP's community outreach program for national security, said homegrown terrorism has checkered Canada's history, citing the FLQ, the Squamish Five and the Air India bombers. While made-in-Canada terror is not new, the rising risk of a large-scale attack on civilians is a major cause for concern.
WE'RE NOT ALONE
"It turned from an external threat to an internal threat. When that happened and why, we're not really sure. But it seems to be the phenomenon in Europe as well," Hanniman said.
Police rely on co-operation with Canada's Muslim community as much as high-level intelligence to combat the problem. Awareness programs modelled after suicide prevention plans are being developed to root out potential attackers, but the Internet gives conspirators a quick, easily accessible means to plot and elude detection.
"Borders are no longer a barrier. People don't have to be together to meet to plot or carry out conspiracies or criminal offences," Hanniman said.
David Harris, a former CSIS official who is now a senior fellow with the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, believes Canada is inviting "clear and present" danger with policies that take in more immigrants and refugees than the country can securely handle and integrate. Because we are living in "war time," he said authorities must consider a number of bold measures -- from a moratorium on immigration, to thorough scrutiny of textbooks and teachings in private religious schools, to a clampdown on demonstrators who brazenly display support for illegal terrorist groups.
While NDP MP Joe Comartin thinks the Conservative government is fanning the flames of fanaticism with a biased foreign policy on Afghanistan and the Middle East, he still sees homegrown terrorists as a "minor risk" compared to outside threats.
"I don't think we can ignore it. On the other hand, it's hysterical to suggest it's any kind of a major problem," he said.
Comartin said Canada is no stranger to internal threats of violence by extremists, and said the onus is on Canada's Muslim community to identify and challenge those who espouse hatred.
"When you look at it historically, the best way of dealing with it has been to continue our multi-cultural policy and expect those communities to deal with the problem within it," he said.
The Conservatives believe the best answer lies in greater financial investment for more police and enhanced intelligence, but also in deeper and broader outreach into the Muslim community.
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day insists the feds are "vigilant" in trying to tame the terrorist threat, pointing to $1.4 billion in the budget for beefed-up police, border and public security.
"Both at home and abroad, we are working to ensure that Canadians can live in safety," he said. "We are committed to reaching out to various communities to foster dialogue on security matters."
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