Letters from Green Island

June 23 2006

Can we have some context, please?

RE: Terrorists who face increased security abroad will target Canada: expert
(also copied at the end of this letter)

Once again, I wonder if you could add a bit of depth to one of your seemingly endless "we're all in great danger" "terrorist" stories. In this particular iteration, your guest "analyst" says the "terrorists" are facing tougher times in other countries with "better" security, so they're going to start looking for "easier" targets, and here sits good ol' innocent, unprotected Canada just asking to be bombed.

This might be seen as "good development" or some such thing in a Hollywood suspense movie or paperback novel, but in the real world, it's a bit cartoonish, not to mention becoming tedious in the extreme. I KNOW you want me to be fearful of "the bad people", but I grew out of bogeymen quite some time ago, and I prefer some meat and veg with my teasers these days.

What I have yet to see in any Canadian mainstream media including CNEWS and your Sun papers is any discussion whatsoever of just WHY these people you repeatedly call "terrorists" would actually WANT to bomb us, or anyone else. Surely they must have a reason, and wouldn't it make sense to find out as clearly as we can what that reason is, and then see if we can do something about it?

If, after suitable discussion (with input from ALL sides including some spokespersons from THEIR side, whatever that is), it turns out that they are just a bunch of drooling psychos with small reptilian brains who mindlessly use violence in the pursuit of evil ends (as you seem to want us to think of them, like bogeymen or Klingons or something), well, that's one thing, and we can then have a certain kind of discussion about how to protect ourselves and our communities, and maybe we'll all agree that what our government, following the footsteps of the Americans, is doing is more or less appropriate to protect us all. BUT - if, on the other hand, it turns out that they are actually human beings of some sort, real brains, real feelings and so on, of perhaps a different religion or something, who have some legitimate grievances about something that is happening somewhere in the world that the Canadian government is involved in that for some reason they feel they have no option but sending Canadians a message through some sort of violent activity (you know, the American philosophy from Washington through Bush - they do what we tell em to, or we bomb em), then maybe that would be important to know. Now, I quite understand we are not likely to get any personal participation from chief bogeyman Osama or any of the actual wahanabe jihadists anymore than we're likely to get G Bush participating (speaking for myself, I could do without that, you guys are getting the American gov side of things out pretty good by yourselves) - but we might still get a lot of insight from a lot of other people, as to possible historical things that might be upsetting these people you're calling terrorists. If we can't find anyone to speak for them, or their spokespeople have nothing intelligent to say about what is happening, then that will guide our decision - but there seem to be a lot of available people around who might welcome a chance to explain things from perspective not currently given much space, if any, in your papers (I'd be happy to furnish you with some names, should you have trouble coming up with any).

Such a discussion might go different ways - if, for instance, it turns out that Canada is involved in actually doing something to these people that might legitimately upset them, then we ought to either just stand up tall and proud and say something like "Screw you, we're bigger'n tougher'n you are and sure as hell got more guns and bombs and money and stuff (at least our American buds sure do) and we'll damn well do as we please (or as Washington pleases, whatever)!" (basic American bully talk, starting around 1492 and not ever having stopped in any noticeable way since) - or else maybe say, "Hey! It appears we haven't had the full story so far, and that we've been doing some stuff that, in hindsight, we ought not to have been doing! - Sorry about the misunderstanding, dude! We'll get out of your face, country, or whatever, and you can leave off with the bomb stuff, right?!" It may be too late for that sort of somewhat more civilized approach without some reparations, of course, but if we've done some bad stuff, maybe we'll have to make amends in one way or another. Sort of like criminal reparations, or something, like they do to people who get caught doing bad stuff. It might, of course, turn out that the only spokespeople anyone can find for "their" side are all screaming loonies who want to turn the world into some kind of Islamofascist dictatorship, as certain of your columnists seem to believe, and we'll have no choice but to give in or fight them tooth and claw to the bitter end - but that strikes me as somewhat unlikely, as does most bogeyman fantasy designed to frighten children and simple folk, and I shan't grace such nonsense with further commentary herein.

I gotta say, it strikes me as very suspicious that people like you in the media aren't trying to do some of this intelligent discussion stuff - you're just all filling the pages with this "Terrible Terrorist!!" crap, with no context - if we're really the "good guys" and "innocent victims", I'd like to know a bit more about how it all happened before I jump on the "Send Canadian troops overseas with big guns to protect us all!" bandwagon.

Whatever you do, though, please don't start with this "Oh, they just hate us because we are so free and democratic!!" stuff (you've seen letters before about this farce you call "democracy"), or pretend that history began on Sept 11 2001 when the Peacable Kingdom was attacked from nowhere for no reason by the Evil Other - what we really need to do is to talk a bit about the British and then American control of the mideast for the last hundred or so years (just a coincidence that's where all the oil is, of course), and how the people in all of those countries feel about this control and theft of their wealth - maybe some talk about how the Americans supported Saddam Hussein through the 1980s as he had a war with Iran, and how the Americans installed the vicious dictator the Shah of Iran in that country in the 1960s, deposing a democratically elected president in the process, or how the Americans created Al Quaeda in the 1980s again in Afghanistan to oppose the Soviet invasion of that country, and then abandoned them all when the Soviets were defeated, how the Americans are supporting Israel as that country oppresses and murders the Palestinians, a few things like that would likely inform our discussion a whole lot more usefully than wild talk about "terrorists want to kill us all!!!" (I have quite a list of references if you want some reading that you may not have been exposed to in your papers)

Look now, in the same website I got the story that made me want to write this letter, we also have this - Troops accidentally kill Afghan cops - "KABUL (AP) - Coalition soldiers accidentally fired on an unmarked police car in eastern Afghanistan, killing three Afghan police and wounding three others, the military said Wednesday.... A spokesperson said they 'regret the incident'."

I mean, that's big of em, right? They "regret" killing three people. That should keep their families and friends happy, I suppose. (I bet a whole lot of people in Canada or anywhere else wished killing people could be shrugged off so easily!! - and with no complaining from our "free" press!!)

Now, I'm wondering, if the 17 young men picked up a couple of weeks ago to great fanfare by all you Canadian media people and with a whole lot of visible firepower from our "security" people (or their lawyers) say they "regret the incident" - will you just let em go and drop the story (I'm sure we'll hear no more about those three dead Afghani cops - I look a few hours later and it's already gone, although there are several "terrorist alert!" stories, as always...) and stop all the scare-mongering? I mean, these 17 guys didn't kill anyone, didn't even come close, right (outside of some journalistic and law enforcement imaginations)? Just young people playing around on the internet, really, most of em, getting a little carried away with the agent provacateur maybe? But over there, there were three (more) dead, innocent people. So you guys have a bare acknowledgement of the dead guys, and participate in making a huge spectacle of some police accusations. Hmmmm.

Heh heh, sorry, little humor there, calm down get back on your seat. Of COURSE we can't let em go - they're "terrorists!!!!" after all (I mean, "alleged" of course, but would our great secret spy guys go around doing this to innocent people? C'mon!! (and don't start on those other Pakistanis a couple of years ago - anyone can make a mistake, eh?)), and "our" guys over there, Americans and all, are honorable soldiers, who mean us all no harm, and are just protecting us, and if a few "collateral damage" bodies pile up along the way, no big deal, that's what happens in war, don't ya know ya pussies!?! And sure, we regret it! (wink wink)

Hmmm, to get slightly more serious again - you don't suppose that sort of thing might be why some of those "terrorists" are upset, do you, in terms of what I said earlier about sussing out some reasons for their apparent hostility to our great and free democracy? I mean, this sort of stuff has been going on for decades, but just recently, last couple of years, how many times have we read about wedding parties being bombed, with dozens of innocent people getting blown up or mangled kind of gruesomely, women, old people, kids, brides and grooms and bridesmaids, a hell of a shock at what is supposed to be a joyful event - do you suppose that would get some of those people angry enough to want to get some revenge? What would happen here, do you suppose, if somebody from some other country invading our country because they didn't like our government and decided we needed a new one dropped some bombs and killed a lot of people - at a wedding at that, for god's sake! Can you even imagine the level of outrage that would be generated in all the press? Yet we're to suppose what, here? That the Iraqis or Afghanis or whoever just shrug their shoulders, heartless reptilian terrorists that they all are anyway, and figure "Oh well, no big deal, collateral damage!" or something? Me, I expect not. I expect they get at least as pissed at the killers as we would over here (probably more, for that matter, as male pride and face are somewhat more dominant over there, from what I read, and avenging wrongs done against one or one's family are necessary if one is to maintain any community respect), no matter how OUR press spins it all (we don't usually hear anything at all from the relatives of their deceased over here, actually, do we? - just some American PR guy saying something is being investigated, or them darn terrorists do bad stuff like that, like hiding in wedding halls and stuff, so what's a good soldier supposed to do?). And since they don't have a huge air force with B-52s that can more or less drop bombs where they like in the world (you know, "civilized" war), well, maybe they improvise as best they can. You know, fertilizer bombs in trucks, a few sticks of dynamite strapped to the body - I mean, if I was a guy who had been about to get married to a beautiful young woman I was deeply in love with, and was just off to the washroom or something when suddenly a bomb fell through the roof and killed or mangled my bride-to-be and a bunch of my family and best friends all gathered around for this joyful event, once the initial anger and sorrow dissipated a bit, I'd probably figure I didn't have much left to live for anyway, and not be too concerned about killing myself as long as I could take a few of the bastards who killed my family along with me. And you can figure, as well, if I'm dealing with an invading force of some sort that figures civilians are fair game as amply evidenced by the bombing of my wedding and many other incidents of which I am well aware in my country, why in the hell should I figure any different about THEIR people when I go a-hunting?

Odd the way you guys spin this - they kill civilians with bombs in our countries, it's barbaric terrorism and by god we're not gonna forget it!!!! - we kill civilians with bombs or guns or whatever in their countries, heck, it's regrettable get over it that's war it's their own damn fault they're not really human anyway move on, eh?

Anyway, so what about it? Little debate about the reasons "terrorists" might want to bomb us? Crazy reptile religious freaks who hate democracy and "freedom" blindly and ought to be stomped like mad dogs? (our military leader over there thinks so - that's a long URL that may well misfunction, but you could just google Hillier + "detestable murderers and scumbags" and get other sources) - or actual human beings with some legitimate grievances about the way they've been treated the last 50 or 100 years by the west? Are we in Canada "the good guys" we always like to think of ourselves as, grievously targetted by madmen - or are we perhaps not quite so innocent, might even be becoming, with close and closer ties to PNAC America, part of an imperialist empire, stealing land and wealth from others, and now facing a bit of payback? - which is going to get more before it gets less, I expect, just being in the nature of such things. (Or am I getting dangerously close to stuff that you people do NOT want to be talking about?!?!)

It's a legitimate question, it seems to me - you or we are free to answer, that's right, jack, there's one pie and by god we're fighting for the lion's share, fuck the losers - or we can say no, no, that's not right, we shouldn't be doing that - or some other thing - but shouldn't all the cards be on the table somewhere, honestly, so we all know exactly what it is that's going down here? This fantasy of "we wonderful innocent people" being attacked for no reason by "mindless bogeyman terrorists" - well, that's fine for your "crazy sandniggers in caves" conspiracy theorists, but it doesn't really satisfy those of us who like to think a bit about things. The world is usually a somewhat more complex place than the black and white "good guy - bad guy" fantasies you spread all over the front pages of your newspapers.

Some of us want to know. Some of us don't want to be darthvadering around the world, stomping and stealing - and we don't want to be blown up by mistake because of you a**holes who like doing that. And that too is a debate that could use some airing - there's been a fair amount of talk in the media about those evil, heartless terrorists hiding behind innocent women and children - but aren't you guys doing about the same? When you're off shooting innocent people in the desert, it seems quite natural that at least some of their fighters would figure it's fair game (you started it, after all), to come back to our country and return the favor - yes or no??

Oh well, I'm probably way, way, way over the limit of things you guys don't want to talk about.

But one of these days we ARE going to have a talk. There's going to be a new Nuremburg sort of trials coming up one of these years - and it's going to be the current American government in the dock. And those who supported them - it was pretty well established at Nuremburg that those who propagandize in the service of evil share the guilt. You guys are in deep, deep shit.

Later -


Terrorists who face increased security abroad will target Canada: expert

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United States Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins. (CPimages/Jonathan Hayward)
TORONTO (CP) - Lax public security in Canada's largest city makes this country easy prey for terrorists increasingly thwarted by the vigilance of other nations around the world, a British counterterrorism expert warned Wednesday.

"As other parts of the world become more target-hardened, the terrorists are going to start looking at areas where they're going to have an impact and where it's going to be easier for them to attack," Keith Weston told delegates during the third and final day of a disaster management conference.

While praising Canada's "fantastic, open society," the former head of the counterterrorism unit of London's metropolitan police force said he found low levels of security while walking the streets of Toronto.

"This is the type of thing, through terrorist eyes, (that) makes you a very target-rich environment."

Weston's dire prediction comes on the heels of police thwarting an alleged terror plot in southern Ontario earlier this month that led to the arrests of 17 people. The group, compromised of Canadian residents, is alleged to have planned a series of bombings and terrorist acts.

Weston, who now works as a senior research fellow in counterterrorism at the Resilience Centre at Cranfield University in the U.K., insisted the focus of his address was to raise awareness rather than create alarm among Canadians.

He devoted much of his address to the preparedness and response measures used by British authorities after the July 2005 bombings in London, and said that Canada needs to develop its own counterterrorist strategy.

"We live in a world where (terrorism) is inevitable," Weston said.

Such a threat demands greater security measures at the U.S.-Canada border, the U.S. ambassador to Canada told the delegates earlier Wednesday.

"Many folks are concerned that we will sacrifice our extraordinary trade and tourism success for tougher security standards," David Wilkins said in reference to a U.S. initiative that will see passports required at all land crossings by January 2008.

"There's absolutely no one in my country who wants to impede trade or travel in the name of security, but they are not mutually exclusive - you can have both."

Last month, Canada's western premiers and some U.S. governors jointly called for a delay in the passport requirements to allow time to consider and implement alternatives.

"This passport initiative will result in more secure borders for both of us, and a border that works smarter and more effectively," Wilkins said.

A plan that would see the U.S. and Canada co-ordinating emergency services and personnel in the event of a crisis is also in the works, he added.

The ambassador also praised the efforts of Canadian authorities for the arrests of the 17 Ontario terrorist suspects, sentiments he said are echoed by U.S. President George W. Bush.

"If anything goes to the heart of disaster management, it's thwarting a potentially devastating terrorist plot," Wilkins said.
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