01.07.2015 08:13 AM

Two (possibly emotional) reactions to the Paris massacre

Both reactions somewhat emotional, as I say. One is to state that (I think) I was wrong.

In the Summer, I wrote this:

“On the much-read National Newswatch Thursday morning, then, a column on Harper and foreign policy was the top headlined item. In it, the Public Policy Forum’s Dr. Don Lenihan wrote that Harper’s approach to foreign policy “just might pay off at the ballot box.”

Writes Lenihan, who is influential in Ottawa: “Harper has positioned himself as a champion of democracy and is using his place on the world stage to stand up to tyrants and terrorists.”

Politically, “[Harper’s foreign policy moves are] starting to look like a very smart. By contrast with Vladimir Putin or Hamas, Harper can’t help but look good. Standing up to them looks even better. While he’s been criticized for being too one-sided, and even of shooting from the lip, lots of people agree with his hard line.”

Indeed they do. This assistant to a former Liberal prime minister is one of them. Harper’s willingness to be tough with the likes of Putin and Hamas – in effect, punching above Canada’s foreign policy weight class – is something to be admired, whether you agree with him or not.

But will it pay electoral dividends? Can Harper actually win an election against the surging Trudeau Liberals with foreign policy?

Not a chance.”

The events of recent months – the assassinations of members of our Armed Forces, most notably – have me reassessing my position. In dangerous times like these, people make important choices. In Canada, the choice is presently between, on the one hand, two Opposition leaders who seemingly oppose confronting and defeating terror in every possible circumstance – and, on the other hand, a Prime Minister who apparently believes handing out box lunches to the victims of ISIS is insufficient.

That’s my first response to the atrocity in Paris: we live in dangerous times, people know it, and they will vote accordingly.

My second response to what happened – and which I encourage everyone else to do, too – is to post here the cartoon of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi that Charlie Hebdo tweeted just prior to the murders of their staff. I guess my message is this: burn in Hell, you monsters. You can’t kill all of us.



  1. Ian Howard says:

    Would that be a Muslim or Christian hell?

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      I’m reminded of how aghast the usual suspects of the liberal MSM were following this interview, in which Harper had the audacity to speak the truth…


      • doconnor says:

        He said it was Canada biggest security threat. Overall Canada is a very secure country, so that doesn’t mean it is a very big threat.

        Canada as other larger non-security threats like climate change, currency bubbles and brain-dead right-wing economic theories.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          That actually made me laugh out loud!

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Let’s be clear about this…

          One thing millions of Canadians (but clearly not all, eh?) no longer are delusional about is that this sort of attack could have happened on our own streets.

          On the security threat scale of 1 to 10, this rates about a 9.5, while climate change ranks somewhere south of a general strike by garbage collectors.

          • doconnor says:

            On your security threat scale of 1 to 10, how would an all out nuclear attack from the United States rank?

          • smelter rat says:

            Be afraid Al, be very afraid.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            “…FROM the United States”

            Yes, a nuclear attack FROM the US certainly haunts Canadians’ late at night, eh?

            Good grief! Really?????

          • doconnor says:

            Is your “security threat scale” based on likelihood or the amount of damage the threat could do to Canada?

            What would the United States do if we elected a government that nationalized the commanding heights of the economy?

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            Oh! I see!

            Well, of course, they’d nuke us!

            Silly me!

            …I haven’t heard that line of reasoning since I was about 14 back in the ’60s, when fear of those imperialist Americans taking over Canada at gunpoint was a common theme amongst a few of my socialist classmates.

          • doconnor says:

            While the US government overthroughing a democratically elected Canadian government is unlikely, but it is still more likely then Islamic extreamists overthroughing the Canadian government.

            I still don’t understand by what criteria you give ISIS a scurity threat level of 9.5 out of 10.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            It’s not about ISIS taking over Canada. In their wildest dreams!

            As Warren notes in the above interview with Akin, those streets where gun battles waged looked like a lot of streets in Canada.

            It’s about going down town to pick up the mail and a carton of milk for the kids, and getting blown to hell by a car bomb, or cut down by some fanatic spraying everyone in sight with an AK-47.

            Trust me, that’s 9.5 stuff in the minds of those who witness it via the media, and imagine it in their own streets.

          • doconnor says:

            You’re more likely to die in a car accident going to get the milk and kids then in a terrorist attack (or shot by a foolish gang member or from a global warming induced tornado or suicide after losing your job due to right-wing economic polices).

            It’s only 9.5 to those that have been successfully terrorized. Are you one of them?

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            You’ve got to expand your sources of information, bud! I can provide umpteen graphs proving the last couple decades have seen a significant drop in both tornadoes and hurricanes in N. America. F’rinstance…



            But forget about that. Here’s one look at the results of some socialist/climate change policies in Britain…


            Brilliant, eh? We definitely need more of that lunacy!

            Or are you going to tell me that “the ends justify the means”???

  2. Clive says:

    Bravo, WK, bravo.

  3. Warren says:

    Too late for me, my friend! I’ve been on their hit list since my first book in 1992 – when I made the ridiculous suggestion that outlaw Arab nations would soon start exporting terror to North America.

    The reviewers ridiculed that one, as I recall.

  4. Simon Says says:

    Have not heard any Muslim leaders denouncing the act of killing. Status Quo from the Muslim community in France and in North America.

  5. davie says:

    So far, we have an attack on people who worked on a publication that had many targets. The allegation is that his attack has to do with just one of those targets, the leader of the Sunni uprising in Iraq. As well, a witness reported hearing one of the 3 masked attackers holler something about Allah. So, strong indications that this is a Sunni reprisal for a cartoon.

    Our best response would be self righteous hysteria.

    (Why do they do this to us? Don’t they know that our efforts in Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza, West Bank, Yemen, Sudan, …are on behalf of good things? They are so irrational, doing to us what we are…er, never mind.)

  6. norbert boily says:

    I salute your courage, Warren and wish you a Happy New Year….. Je suis Charlie….

  7. !o! says:

    From Kay’s column:

    “To denounce fundamentalist Christianity in the rare event of a Bible-thumper’s killing of an abortion doctor, whether the killer is mentally disturbed or not, is never perceived as racism. But linkage of any terrorist act to Islam is repugnant to liberals”

    Her agenda becomes fairly clear in the lack of a parallel here– if she were to say ‘fundamentalist islam’, rather than ‘islam’, she can’t make her point. Of course linkage of terrorism to fundamentalism is not repugnant, so she constructs a straw man.

    Extreme fundamentalism and mental illness of course HAVE been linked: one may not cause the other, but they go together more often than by chance.

  8. Tiger says:


    The threats from Islamic extremists “come from a very small minority that doesn’t necessarily have the means to act,” he says. “If one person is injured or killed, it doesn’t mean all of France will be put on its knees.

    “It’s not Islam attacking France, it’s one person attacking another person, that’s all.”

    But what if you’re that person?

    “Yeah, that’s rather bothersome,” admits Charb, adding that it would be harder to do the job, which he took in 2009, if he had a family to worry about. …

    “Besides, he says, he and his colleagues just can’t help themselves. “It’s not exactly our drawings that have power, it’s our stubbornness — a stubbornness to continue doing what we feel like doing, through drawing…. It comes from the fact that I have nothing else.

    “The only thing we have is our freedom of speech,” Charb says. “If we give up on that, we’d need to change fields. Do other things.”

  9. smelter rat says:

    So the preferred option is to be cowed into silence?

  10. Eric Weiss says:

    I speak 3 languages, but French isn’t one of them. Can someone translate what the cartoon says?

  11. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Look forward to more (stunningly naïve) assumptions amongst the usual suspects about mental instability…


    “Two brothers who ‘trained in Yemen as assassins’ and a homeless teenager identified by police as suspects in Paris magazine massacre that left 12 dead”

    • smelter rat says:

      I look forward to more of your equally stunning comments about how we should all hide under our beds.

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        WTF are you babbling about, rat?

        You and Casper do more chirping from the sidelines than a pet store full of canaries, and make just about as much sense as a bunch of f**king birdbrains, too.

  12. Joe says:

    I didn’t hear any of the actual words spoken by PM Harper, Leader of the Opposition Mulcair or Liberal leader Trudeau but I found it instructive that the CBC would mention that PM Harper and Leader of the Opposition Mulcair condemned the attacks and offered their condolences to the families who lost loved ones. Liberal Leader Trudeau offered condolences to the families. Maybe his lack of condemnation stems from his courting the radical vote.

    • Robert Jago says:

      Hear hear, and hamdullah for that. If Trudeau doesn’t win the radical Islamist vote, how will he ever hope to take – um – just *where* exactly does this radical vote reside in such numbers that it can sway a riding one way or another?

    • smelter rat says:

      What the fuck is wrong with your head? Seriously? Trudeau is in the NWT on vacation is he not?

      • Joe says:

        What does Trudeau being in NWT have to do with anything. Last time I was up there my cell phone worked and I had access to the net and the news. CBC said he offered condolences and unless the CBC was just making it up Trudeau offered condolences. Good so far – but why wouldn’t he condemn the acts like every other leader in the western world?

        • Robert Jago says:

          I can’t believe you’re still harping on this point. It takes about 10 seconds to find and read Trudeau’s comment on the attacks. Here’s the first part of it, from 14 hours ago: “We condemn today’s horrific attacks in Paris / Nous condamnons les horribles attentats survenus à Paris”.

        • smelter rat says:

          He did. You chose to look the other way.

    • Nicole says:

      Trudeau condemned the attacks today on his Facebook page and Twitter feed. So what is your point exactly?

      • Peter says:

        Trudeau condemned the attacks today on his Facebook page and Twitter feed

        I suppose that counts as Churchillian in 2015. Did he call for some stern UN resolutions too?

  13. Mervyn Norton says:

    Harper has (again) shown himself to be a supreme hypocrite in pretending to be a defender of western values, like freedom of expression, when he doesn’t even have enough respect for democracy to allow journalists to question him–unless he can control the message as Supreme Leader of the CPC. I give most Canadian voters credit for being able to recognize evil both abroad and at home.

  14. Bryan Cotton says:

    Harper doesn’t have to win with just foreign policy, he’ll win because of a “lack of policy’ from Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party on everything else. You know as well as everyone else that Justin Trudeau was voted in by the old Liberal guard. They wanted older voters to remember the P.E. “Trudeau” era, and sucker the uneducated young voters into voting Liberal by promising legalized pot etc. They want the young people to think he’s one of them, but he isn’t, he’s above them…at least he thinks so. Canada would be a laughing stock if Justin Trudeau were Prime Minister. He’ll falter and fail during their first debate.
    I enjoy listening to you and your wife when on Sun News Network, for the other point of view (I do have an open mind) but the Liberals should “not” be put in power.

  15. Steve T says:

    Bravo for posting that specific cartoon, Warren. The best “fuck you” to the terrorists would be for every major newspaper in the world to post that cartoon, plus the previous one that caused all the fuss. Even better would be a major production run of t-shirts with those cartoons on them, worn by as many people as possible, as a statement of solidarity.

    • JH says:

      See Neil MacDonald ripped CBC pretty good in an on-air editorial on the National tonight, regarding witholding of cartoons. Rob Silver and gang did so as well on P & P’s Power Panel. Excellent point – Media, CBC included, rush to courts all the time to demand opening files on protected info, but hypocritically refuse to show the cause of the terrorist attack – the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo. And yeah, I used the word terrorist. Oh! Oh!

  16. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    As much as any human being can rightly condemn these cowardly and senseless acts, the West finds itself unable to prevent some of these attacks nor is it able to sufficently neutralize such groups.

    The West couldn’t win the war against terrorism even if it invaded Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Algeria and a number of other nation-states where terrorist groups continue to prosper. We are good at fighting — even though we will always remain incapable of winning. We have that in common with terrorist groups. We can’t prevail and they despite their efforts are thoroughly incapable of winning.

    The war on terrorism is a failure precisely because the best that can be hoped for is a draw.

    • Peter says:

      The West couldn’t win the war against terrorism

      Don’t tell us, tell the Kurds. That has become as much an unthinking shibboleth as “they hate us for our freedom.”. Are you suggesting we simply write these attacks off as a cost of doing business?

  17. patrick says:

    A question to all those quivering under their covers afeared of scum bags in foreign countries coming to overthrow our blessed existence – when was the last time a terrorist cell over threw a functioning western state? Are any of them on the edge of collapse due to bombings or shootings? Is France weaker because of three pathetic scumbags killed 12 people. Hardly.
    Another question, what has Harper’s tough on anything accomplished, other that give the odd babbling incontinent a curdled woody? Punching above one’s weight means means the blows have affect. Putin and Hamas haven’t ignored Harper because he isn’t important enough to ignore.

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