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Safety? Security? – A window into our fearful past and what we’ve lost of our privacy.

Even before the terror attacks in Paris last week, the possibility of terrorists was the reason the Harper government gave for being so incredibly slow to accept Syrian refugees.  When the news of the attacks broke Friday afternoon my time, it was literally minutes before I heard it in the office water cooler talk: “No wonder, there’s so many refugees there.”  And of course we have the Governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Texas, saying their states will not accept refugees, and the Premier of Saskatchewan asking our Prime Minister to put his ambitious refugee resettlement program on ice.

This is racist, indecent and inhumane garbage, and pants-on-head levels of stupid.

As a pacifist-leaning liberal arts major, I am pretty much the opposite of a military strategist.  And if somebody like me can see how low the ROI is for terrorists to try to infiltrate foreign countries under the guise of refugees, then I have to conclude wilful ignorance (or worse) on the part of officials in higher levels of government, whose job it is, last I heard, to think strategically.

Radicalizing and training up a terrorist is an investment.  Are you seriously going to put that investment on a leaky boat that may or may not reach its destination, and then, assuming the boat makes it, have your investment walk for months, sleeping rough, with little to eat, and provisioned with only what he can personally carry, only to have his route to the target country barred by intermediary countries that may or may not let him through?  Then, assuming he reaches his destination, he still needs to learn to fit in with the society he intends to attack, enough to walk the streets unnoticed, and you still have to arm him, because he probably opted to carry food rather than explosives on his long walk.

The refugees fleeing IS are unlikely to be a useful source of terrorist recruits – if they agreed with IS, they would presumably be staying and fighting under their banner.

As the attacks on Paris demonstrate, there’s a much higher-ROI way of blowing up people in a foreign country:  have their own citizens do the dirty work for you.

The narrative emerging after these attacks is that IS wants to create division and hatred.  That they want to destroy what they call the “grey zone” of society, where Muslims and non-Muslims live and work together productively and peacefully.  What will ultimately destroy IS, is expanding and solidifying those grey zones.

Domestically, it means combating Islamophobia and the othering of Muslims, and ensuring that Muslims are not excluded from the benefits and opportunities inherent in living in a well-to-do secular democracy.  Failure to do so will only produce disaffected angry youth who feel like they have nothing to lose, a rich recruiting ground for induction into radicalism and ultimately terrorism.

When it comes to the refugees fleeing Syria, we need to get them safe, get them homes, and provide them all the support they need to adapt to their new countries and become full and contributing citizens.

Or, we can do IS’s radicalization work for them.  All we have to do is watch while more children drown; let children freeze this winter; not find a place for all these families to be safe and call home; not give them full opportunity to belong when they get here.

 

Oh, those wacky religious Muslim terrorists are at it again going all murder happy on people who dare to make fun of their religion.

CH1

This event is completely ludicrous and, in 2015, should not be happening, some reasons off the top of my head:

1.  Mohammad, Jebus, Krishna, Sif – pick your imaginary friend –  they all don’t fucking exist.

2.  If they did exist wouldn’t there be some godly smiting going on, like all the time?  Being immortal and all powerful and all that shite, you would think that they could take care of business without the help of mere mortals.

3.  How can you, a mere mortal, even think that you can contemplate what your Godhead wants, never mind what she’s offended by?

4.  How does killing Western journalists advance your cause by even one micrometer?  Not all journalists are card carrying lackeys of empire yet, but with doing shit-for-brains (shit for brains is my new term for “stupid” because I’ve been informed by certain elements that “stupid” is ablest slur) wankery like mass murder how is the non-wanking western media supposed to put forward the case for Islam not being full of yahoos ready to kill people for shit-for-brains reasons?

If you think this is going to be all about bashing the religious and the Muslims,  you’d be wrong.   Let’s get a little context on the situation from Ziauddin Sardar:

“I would argue that western imperialism has not so much forged an alliance with radical factions, as created them”, I was told, in London, by my friend, and leading progressive Muslim intellectual, Ziauddin Sardar.

And Mr. Sardar continued:

“We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. Colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the ‘European Renaissance’ and ‘the Enlightenment’ and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting History as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed.”

Of course our hands are dirty on this one most of the terrible shit going on in the world can be directly or indirectly attributed to putting our state interests (see colonialism, empire, and name your flavour of exceptionalism et al.) ahead of the needs of other people who happen to be living in their own countries.

Andre Vltchek continues:

“From the hopes of those post-WWII years, to the total gloom of the present days – what a long and terrible journey is has been!

The Muslim world is now injured, humiliated and confused, almost always on the defensive.

It is misunderstood by the outsiders, and often even by its own people who are frequently forced to rely on Western and Christian views of the world.

What used to make the culture of Islam so attractive – tolerance, learning, concern for the wellbeing of the people – has been amputated from the Muslim realm, destroyed from abroad. What was left was only religion.

Now most of the Muslim countries are ruled by despots, by the military or corrupt cliques. All of them closely linked with the West and its global regime and interests.

As they did in several great nations and Empires of South and Central America, as well as Africa, Western invaders and colonizers managed to totally annihilate great Muslim cultures.

What forcefully replaced them were greed, corruption and brutality.

It appears that everything that is based on different, non-Christian foundations is being reduced to dust by the Empire. Only the biggest and toughest cultures are still surviving.

Anytime a Muslim country tries to go back to its essence, to march its own, socialist or socially-oriented way – be it Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, or much more recently Iraq, Libya or Syria – it gets savagely tortured and destroyed.

The will of its people is unceremoniously broken, and democratically expressed choices overthrown.”

[Source]

Picture is unrelated. I need some awesome in this post, because otherwise it is too damn depressing.

 

You’ll see the word “stability” crop up when you begin to examine the officially accepted version of history we all know and love.  Stability used in the geopolitical exceptional context is anti-democratic and anti-nationalist – pretty much the exact opposite of the flowery boilerplate about human rights and democracy promotion that is exuded from ‘top government’ officials.

It is usually about here I get painted as a part of the I hate america/canada crowd – but that shit can frack-off before it starts.  I am not about hating my country, I’m about this country looking at our history without the friendly blinders on and owning up and taking responsibility for the horrible shit we have done/continue to do in the name of the ‘national interest’.

So ya, wanna fix the terrorism problem? Lets start at home ,with us, like this:

“If we seriously want to end the plague of terrorism, we know how to do it. First, end our own role as perpetrators. That alone will have a substantial effect. Second, attend to the grievances that are typically in the background, and if they are legitimate, do something about them. Third, if an act of terror occurs, deal with it as a criminal act: identify and apprehend the suspects and carry out an honest judicial process. That actually works. In contrast, the techniques that are employed enhance the threat of terror. The evidence is fairly strong, and falls together which much else.

Thank you Mr.Chomsky for that gem of a quote.  Thank you dear readers for taking the time to listen to me rant.

Arbourist out.

 

 

The overarching apparatus of state is plainly evinced by the actions of one president elected on Hope and Change.

Truth is hard to come by when it comes to international relations and geopolitics.  Noam Chomsky fashions an argument based on reciprocal morality, one of the tenets of the majority of prescriptive moral systems.

Also, Noam weighs in on Obama on RT.

Violence knows no state boundaries and respects no one:

“A car explosion and what appeared to be a suicide attack injured two people, killed the apparent bomber and caused panic among Christmas shoppers in Stockholm.

Stockholm police spokeswoman Petra Sjolander said a car exploded Saturday near Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street in the centre of the city. Shortly afterward, a second explosion was heard higher up on the same street, and a man was found injured on the ground   He was later pronounced dead.”

People have a hard time understanding empathy and compassion; retribution and revenge though have been internalized quite thoroughly.

“Ten minutes before the blasts, Swedish news agency TT received an email saying “the time has come to take action.”According to the news agency, the email referred to Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan and Sweden’s silence surrounding artist Lars Vilk’s drawing of Muhammad as a dog.

“Now your children, daughters and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying,” the news agency quoted the email as saying.

Define someone as the “other”, marginalize them, strip them of their humanity call them terrorists or fanatics or zealots, it does not really matter.  Eventually, because we know revenge and because we know violence it will visit all those involved.

“Two people were taken to hospital with light injuries. It was not immediately clear in which explosion they were hurt.”

Empathy, respect, compassion.  Any of the three take more time, courage and dedication than revenge or retribution, and usually produce more amiable results.  Retribution makes the infidels/terrorists pay though.  It teaches the extremists/unbelievers a lesson that they will not forget.

The problem is that the wrong lesson is learned, and therefore the bloody game continues:  an eye for an eye.

Our formal fighting presence is over as of 2011, despite the braying of the addled Liberal party of Canada.  I’m glad that Harper runs his government like an uncaring majority, at least on this one issue.  The radicalization of dissent in Canada has taken yet another turn as police have arrested a fourth suspect in the Ottawa bomb plot.

“But a police source told CBC News the individual arrested, who was identified as a man, is not likely to be charged. The source told CBC News there does not appear to be enough evidence for a charge and police are unlikely to hold the individual under anti-terrorism legislation.”

It sounds like the forth individual might have only been lightly colluding with the three other suspects in custody.  The other three men have been formally charged:

“Authorities have arrested and charged three Ontario men in what the RCMP is calling a conspiracy to commit “a violent terrorism attack.”  Earlier Friday, Khurram Sher, 28, of London, Ont., was remanded in custody until Sept. 1 after a brief court appearance. He was charged Thursday with conspiracy to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity.      Two Ottawa men, Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, and Hiva Alizadeh, 30, were arrested on Wednesday. They appeared in an Ottawa courtroom on Thursday facing the same charge.”

Like the 9/11 bombers, these people are mostly all upper middle class well educated citizens.  Educated does not necessarily mean smart though.

“During their investigation, Therriault said, police seized more than 50 electronic circuit boards they say were designed specifically to remotely detonate improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

CBC News has learned that the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team knew about the circuit boards some time ago — for perhaps months or at least many weeks.

The team obtained a warrant to enter Alizadeh’s apartment and surreptitiously removed the boards, replacing them with look-alikes that were duds. Therefore any attack would likely have failed.

Therriault said they also seized a vast quantity of terrorist literature, videos and manuals.”

Full marks for the RCMP and CSIS for actually getting a job done right for once.  I’m pretty sure this was because there was no tasering involved with the situation.

“Their profiles are likely to raise concerns about homegrown radicalism, said security expert Eric Margolis, who said the roots of the radicalism are likely triggered by anger over the involvement of Western governments in countries such as Afghanistan.”
Sad, but unsurprising.
The damage we wrought in Afghanistan is coming back to bite us.  The families we destroyed, intentionally or not, are crying for revenge and retribution by any means necessary.  Unfortunately, that usually means when the gun is pointed at us, instead of comfortably at someone else, a terrorist attack.   Canada got lucky with these individuals, they were stupid and relied on unencrypted email to plot their actions.
It is a lesson for Canada and the RCMP, but also a lesson for others who will learn from this groups mistakes.

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