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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Fifty-First State 

It’s always been a laughing joke that Canada is the 51st state, but I’ve always argued that we do things a bit different, and even the politicians had a way of governing unique and independent to that of the United States.

Not anymore. In the past week, in both the French and English media, more and more happenings seem to resemble the way things are done in the United States. And here are the top three:
1) Have the police pay handsome sums to informants to act as witnesses against“terrorists.” This stunt was first pulled in the United States in 2002 when the Feds went in and grabbed a Buffalo “sleeper cell” of “Al Qaeda.” Turns out that the U.S. needed to get a witness in order to bring charges to this “sleeper cell” because there was not enough evidence to properly convict them. Turns out the informant was a pathological liar, and when the FBI waved hundreds of thousands of dollars at him, he went and sang for his supper. The same shit was pulled in the U.K. to arrest a gang that resulted in the understanding that every single liquid on planet earth could, somehow, blow up a plane. And last summer, when just after Prime Minister, err, President Stephen Harper came to the helm, 18 brown guys were arrested outside of Toronto for playing with guns and buying fertilizer. In that agricultural belt neither is an uncommon occurrence. Only these guys were Islamic and doing it. It also turns out that the RCMP paid shit-loads to a fibbing informant to act as a witness and testify against these guys.
2) Canada is supposed to be a good place when it comes to human rights, and we usually criticize countries that have a record of torture, abuse and such and such. Except when it comes to China. President Harper spoke tough against China the other day, and just about every pundit in the country has said that he needs to be more sensitive when it comes to China. The logic being that while human rights abuses are well noted, Canada needs to continue biting into the Chinese market when it comes to trade.

I see.

Business rights over human rights yet again? “Oh but we need trade” goes the argument. Who needs it exactly? Fat fucks sitting in first class? I mean we already have a global trade surplus, and other than environmental destruction, I’m not seeing the benefits. I’m only seeing further hypocrisy.

3) Now the CBC reports that Al Qaeda is to blow up oil refineries in Canada. Sure. Exactly which wild Islamist is going to do the job? The guys dressed up as farmers in Afghanistan? Or how about the Al Qaeda leaders that were hiding out in a rural Somali village that was leveled thanks to a U.S. aircraft carrier? Or maybe it will be another sleeper cell in Calgary that can only be found out through bribing lying assholes? In any case, she don’t add up boss. Looking at the details it wasn’t like Bin Ladin picked up the bat phone and said to Harper, “hey man, we’re going to fuck up your oil.” It was more like a random not-for-profit drew the conclusion, rather than any actual public authority.

It’s a sad state of affairs, and what makes it worse is that there just isn’t open critical dialogue in Canada to seriously address this….not yet at least.

Well said. If there was a single serious terrorist in Canada (let alone an entire Al-Qaeda sleeper cell) they could go and blow themselves up (or at least leave a bag to blow others up) in a crowded urban environment at any time, and cause mass panic and hysteria for months.

Or take a gun to an underground station in rush hour in Montreal and Toronto.

They haven't even managed this most basic level of DIY terrorism.

Conclusion: they probably don't exist. There are, at most, a few young male muslims who talk big. To date, they don't appear to have the cajoles to follow through.
And yet, when a guy does in fact go pulling into a Montreal college and starts shooting people up it is not deemed as "terrorism."

Why? Because there is no broader connection to a larger network.

Until someone actually comes up with some solid proof as to how this Al Qaeda network operates, I'm not going to be convinced that shooting a school doesn't count as terrorism, yet bringing a tripple late on board an aircraft somehow does.
A common criminal can "terrorize" civilians. But to be a "terrorist" (and thus an uncommon criminal?) you need to not only terrorize civilians, but to do so in order to advance some political cause?

The Montreal case is interesting, because clearly the nutjob did see his actions as being connected to a broader cause.

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