Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked That 'A Terrorist' Attacked Its Soldiers
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 22/10/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX16793
The national mood and discourse in Canada is virtually identical to what prevails in every Western country whenever an incident like this happens: shock and bewilderment that someone would want to bring violence to such a good and innocent country, followed by claims that the incident shows how primitive and savage is the terrorist ideology of extremist Muslims, followed by rage and demand for still more actions of militarism and freedom-deprivation.
There are two points worth making about this:
First, Canada has spent the last 13 years proclaiming itself a nation at war. It actively participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and was an enthusiastic partner in some of the most extremist War on Terror abuses perpetrated by the U.S. Earlier this month, the Prime Minister revealed, with the support of a large majority of Canadians, that Canada is poised to go to war in Iraq, as [he] announced plans in Parliament  to send CF-18 fighter jets for up to six months to battle Islamic extremists. Just yesterday, Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson flamboyantly appeared at the airfield in Alberta from which the fighter jets left for Iraq and stood tall as he issued the standard Churchillian war rhetoric about the noble fight against evil.
It is always stunning when a country that has brought violence and military force to numerous countries acts shocked and bewildered when someone brings a tiny fraction of that violence back to that country. Regardless of ones views on the justifiability of Canadas lengthy military actions, its not the slightest bit surprising or difficult to understand why people who identify with those on the other end of Canadian bombs and bullets would decide to attack the military responsible for that violence.
Thats the nature of war. A country doesnt get to run around for years wallowing in war glory, invading, rendering and bombing others, without the risk of having violence brought back to it. Rather than being baffling or shocking, that reaction is completely natural and predictable. The only surprising thing about any of it is that it doesnt happen more often.
The issue here is not justification (very few people would view attacks on soldiers in a shopping mall parking lot to be justified). The issue is causation. Every time one of these attacks occurs from 9/11 on down Western governments pretend that it was just some sort of unprovoked, utterly senseless act of violence caused by primitive, irrational, savage religious extremism inexplicably aimed at a country innocently minding its own business. They even invent fairy tales to feed to the population to explain why it happens: they hate us for our freedoms.
Those fairy tales are pure deceit. Except in the rarest of cases, the violence has clearly identifiable and easy-to-understand causes: namely, anger over the violence that the countrys government has spent years directing at others. The statements of those accused by the west of terrorism, and even the Pentagons own commissioned research, have made conclusively clear what motivates these acts: namely, anger over the violence, abuse and interference by Western countries in that part of the world, with the worlds Muslims overwhelmingly the targets and victims. The very policies of militarism and civil liberties erosions justified in the name of stopping terrorism are actually what fuels terrorism and ensures its endless continuation.