Monday, March 16, 2015
Is Stephen Harper Fighting Terrorism or Promoting It?
As we know Stephen Harper would have us believe that the "international jihadist movement" has declared war on Canada.
That there is no greater threat to our lives and our values. And of course, that only he can save us from being beheaded in our beds.
But unfortunately for him, the facts don't back up that argument. And this burning question must be asked:
Is he fighting the international jihadist conspiracy, or helping to promote it?
Because for starters, as Jeffrey Simpson points out, jihadi terror is just one threat among many.
All terror, all the time distorts the threats facing Canada. A better approach, although one with less political appeal, would view jihadi terror as one threat among many, an approach that would require more resources, balance and nonpartisanship, since the country’s internal security belongs to no single party.
And Harper can hardly claim to be serious about fighting it, when he has been slashing the RCMP's budget.
Full-time equivalent positions in the force dropped from 2012 to 2015. The international policy operations budget fell from $79-million to $59-million. The police operations budget declined. So did the RCMP’s overall budget. In some public documents, the government bragged about the “savings.”
And as even CSIS itself points out, the kind of lone wolf attacks Canada has experienced are more often the work of white supremacists.
“Lone wolf” attacks more often come from white supremacists and extreme right-wing ideologies than from Islamic radicalism, internal CSIS documents say. Citing recent academic research, the unclassified documents note extreme right-wing and white supremacist ideology has been the “main ideological source” for 17 per cent of so-called lone wolf attacks worldwide.
Like the wannabe terrorists in Halifax, who despite the bloodbath they were planning, were declared NOT to be terrorists by Peter MacKay.
“The attack does not appear to have been culturally motivated, therefore [is] not linked to terrorism,” MacKay said in a press conference Saturday — a quote that stirred controversy for its apparent ignorance of the Criminal Code definition of terrorism.
And what's even even more disturbing is that by claiming that the international jihadi movement has declared war on us, Harper is actually promoting that movement and helping it grow:
The CSIS documents explicitly warn that the notion the Western world is at war with Islam plays into terrorist recruitment strategies. “International terrorist groups place a high priority on radicalizing Westerners who can be used to carry out terrorist attacks in their home countries,” the documents read.
“The narrative that the West is at war with Islam continues to exert a very powerful influence in radicalizing individuals and spreads quickly through social media and online fora.”
When he should be helping to diminish it, by portraying ISIS as just a ghastly gang of criminals, religious fanatics, and losers. Who should never be given the power to scare us, or change our lives in any way.
And if he was serious about trying to counter the influence of ISIS' slick propaganda videos on some disaffected youth, Harper might stop building them up like they were some big act, and he was their press agent.
And instead encourage those who mock them...
Like this group of young Syrian refugees is doing.
“The entire world seems to be terrified of Isis, so we want to laugh at them, expose their hypocrisy and show that their interpretation of Islam does not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims,” says Maen Watfe, 27. “The media, especially the western media, obsessively reproduce Isis propaganda portraying them as strong and intimidating. We want to show their weaknesses.”
By laughing at their fanaticism, and at those who would lead young people astray...
Because if you want to reach the young, and put a dent in the myth of ISIS, YouTube videos are the way to go.
But of course that would require intelligence, sophistication, and an interest in root causes which as we know Stephen Harper lacks. He'd rather spend a billion dollars on porky ads than fight homegrown terrorism.
He can hardly target right-wingers and white supremacists when he is a right-wing extremist himself.
He can't have people laugh at the terrorists, when he's trying to make us believe that there is a jihadi behind every tree waiting to behead us.
And him and his ghastly Cons would rather create another wedge issue, to try to snatch another bleeding majority, by riling up the "whities," and using "brown people" as scapegoats.
Even if that means using fear to divide us, and turn us into a police state.
While fanning the flames of bigotry...
And making our lives more dangerous rather than safer.
But then that's why I mock them, and laugh at him all the time.
So I don't inadvertently help build him up into some kind of Great Leader, like he's building up the jihadi movement.
For crass political purposes...
When I'd rather deflate him, and portray him as he really is: a grubby little coward who has defiled this country and its values, bullied all kinds of people, and shamed us beyond recognition in the eyes of the world.
And why I always say, we will not be safe, and we will not be decent.
Until the glorious day when that dangerous terrorist is finally defeated...
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