October 23, 2014

Canada can now go in One of Two Directions.


Two very different media views of the same event.” (i.imgur.com)

This is how a Nation defeats Terrorism: it protects its Liberties.

Canada can make like post-9/11 Bush America and use tragedy and terrorism to stoke fear and reduce civil liberties. That way, fear wins. Terrorism accomplishes its goal: we lose our selves, and aggression stokes aggression.

Or, Canada can make like Norway following those attacks of a few years back. It can retrench in its own heart, protecting its hard-won liberties, and be an example to the world of peace and compassion. And, in so doing, it can defeat fear.

Unlike CNN or US media generally, Canadian coverage of the terrorist attack was precise, and measured:

Peter Mansbridge, CBC: “we want to be cautious about what we’re saying until we know more.” 

But PM Harper sounded an awful like President Bush, following the attack: both macho and fear-mongering. “But, let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and re-double our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home. Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and re-double our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

Photo: Cpl. Cirillo’s dogs, today. (i.imgur.com)

A US citizen’s comment: “That is the worst thing that could happen. The US wasn’t the same after 9/11. And that wasn’t for the better.

Those terrorists got exactly what they wanted: attention.

What you need to do is forget them. Don’t acknowledge their cause, don’t look at their faces, don’t interview their families. Forget them. Let the police and government figure out the details, put on trials for those involved, and let it pass.

Instead spend media and public time to praise the people who did good, support those who were hurt, and move on. Do not give [aggression] what [it] craves: credibility and fear.

Don’t change your fundamental values.”

Other Canadian leaders were wiser:

“We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, justice and the rule of law. We will not be intimidated into changing that.” ~ Justin Trudeau, Canadian MP

And, Mulcair’s speech:

In this moment, Canadians are united in grief, and stricken with disbelief.

Canada is shaken today, but we shall not waver.

We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace, and tomorrow we will do the same.

These acts were driven by hatred, but also designed to drive us to hate.

They will not.

We will stand up, and we will stand together.

We will persevere, and we will prevail.


Remember Mr. Rogers’ advice:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” 

Click here for more: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s comments and NDP official opposition leader Tom Mulcair’s full statement.


A comment from Reddit.

“In the next few days we will see the true strength and unity of this country and I refuse to let it spiral into the cycle of fear and hate presented in the American Media. Let us not be controlled by fear. Let us not be controlled by hate, because we then become the cause for suffering of others.

Most important, let us not turn this into a headhunt. We need no further segregation, the insane actions of a few foes not represent the ideals of a whole. People will want justice, and let it be served, but not with blood…

The tomb of the unknown soldier should only serve as a reminder to the atrocities of war, and the bravery of those who fought to preserve the freedom we have. The true essence of a country is revealed, not when it is at peace, but when it faces such dangers as this. What is the true essence of Canada?”

Let us pay attention to the heroes:

Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-Arms at the House of Commons, shot one of the assailants. Previously, in this article, he said:

Mr. Vickers said that he doesn’t like the word “tolerance” or the phrase “a tolerant society.” “I am going to tolerate you wearing the kirpan within the Parliamentary Precinct. No. As head of security, I am going to accept and embrace your symbol of faith within the Parliamentary Precinct,” he said.

That’s a hero.

“As we go forward, we should ask ourselves what Canada should be when it grows up,” he said. “We have a long way to go before reaching adulthood. The seizure of the kirpans at the Quebec legislature last winter demonstrates the challenges that lay before us as we continue on this journey of sewing together the fabric of our nation with the thread of multiculturalism. Perhaps it would be beneficial for our country, as a nation, to define its core values. What are the core values of Canada, what makes up the soul and heart of our nation?”


More reader comments:

“How do we show we are not intimidated? By maintaining our freedoms, being even more welcoming to people. Basically, by being more Canadian than before.

Tomorrow we should mourn Nathan Cirillio and celebrate his life. There’s not much reason to dwell on the negative, that’s not the Canadian way.”



“Agreed. I’m hoping within a week, for the majority of Canada, this was just a bad dream, and nothing more. Obviously nothing will bring Nathan back to his family, but I pray we don’t go the way of the USA. I still want to be able to walk around Parliament, leave my doors unlocked, and not fear every day and have my liberties taken away because one person with a gun managed to cause a bit of havoc for a few hours.”

“Indeed, this is my greatest fear when Harper earlier talked about a redoubling of our efforts in intelligence agencies and such.”

Andrew Coyne put it best:

There are things we can do to make this less likely, over time. We can try to figure out what makes the homegrown terrorist tick, even at the risk of some consideration of “root causes” (there’s nothing wrong with this, in principle: it’s the instant identification with some simplistic pet theory or other that has brought the phrase into disrepute). We can fund and staff our intelligence services properly. We can take such other sensible precautions as seem worth the cost.

But we cannot stop every attack, and we shouldn’t try — not only for the astronomic monetary cost entailed, but more for the cost to our national spirit. The risk that any one of us will be killed approaches zero, but the risk that some of us will be approaches a certainty. Very well: let us brace ourselves to it, and adapt, as Londoners adapted during the IRA years. As it is we live with the reality that a certain number of murders will take place every year, or a certain number of traffic deaths. We can live with this. …

But the threat of micro-terrorism is of a more insidious kind, its effects — on our economy, our way of life, our peace of mind — out of all proportion to the risk. So the best way we can react to this, after the initial shock, is not with a panicky search for false assurances, nor even defiance, but a collective insouciance, a flick of the metaphoric cigarette, a magnificent national shrug.

We cannot, it is true, harden every target. But we can stiffen our spines.

Another reader comment: “You guys can’t leave us hanging. If you don’t spend the next ten years passing all sorts of draconian leglisation that spies on and strips the rights of your citizens, you’re going to make us look like assholes.

Harper’s sentiments are laudable, but this is also how it starts. We’re so brave. We’ll persevere. Freedom bla bla bla. Then legislation creep starts to set in and next thing you know some guy in a blue shirt is looking at your genitals under your clothes with magic technology.

That, sadly, is not even goddamn ridiculous hyperbole…

So watch out that this isn’t used as an excuse in the coming months and years, because it very well may.”

Note: here’s what’s already happened under Harper…beyond civil-liberties associations and activists, Canadians didn’t care much:


For more:

Facing Tragedy from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Finally, two American “comments”:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Dear Canada,
Don’t be like the people of the United States and willingly and happily sign something like our Patriot Act giving more power to your government to “keep you safe” you Canadians are tough sons of guns. Just like Americans. You can survive this without giving up your liberties. You’re masters of beating the untamed and wild. You’ve done it your whole existence. Don’t think you need to give it all over now.

Your American Brother.”


And, this:


Finally, finally:

Via Megan Underwood on Twitter: “On Sunday, we asked a very handsome guard for a picture with my friend visiting from Cali – RIP Nathan Cirillo.”

If you would like to send a letter showing support for the unit or sorrow over today’s events:

Argyll and Sutherland Regiment
200 James St. N
Hamilton, ON L8R 2A1

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Elephant Journal  |  Contribution: 1,510,185