Musings —07.15.2016 09:01 AM—
Hours after last night’s horror in Nice, France, I don’t know what to say or do.
I’m just a guy with a web site and a newspaper column. I don’t have any power and I don’t have much in the way of influence, either. What can I do to stop the sort of relentless, genocidal cult that murders innocents almost every week – in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Baghdad, Dahka, Orlando, Kabul, Jakarta and on and on and on?
Last night didn’t make me feel afraid – it made me feel powerless. I want to do something to help stop it. But what?
In a democracy, there are two things we can do, perhaps. Ensure we elect leaders who are informed about this horrible new kind of war – and have a plan to deal with it. Secondly, we – as citizens – need to refuse to do the very things the terrorists seek most of all: prejudice, isolationism, autocracy, fear. We must do the opposite.
A few hours before Nice, I wrote the following for next week’s Hill Times and Troy Media. Maybe it’s relevant, this morning after.
Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was the most pacifistic leader his party had seen in a generation. He mocked our military effort against the Islamic State, likening it to “trying to whip out our CF-18s and show how big they are.” He promised to withdraw from the international coalition fighting the IS. He refused to acknowledge that the IS was engaged in genocide on a massive scale.
This, despite the fact that the United Nations had provided convincing proof that IS was, indeed, engaged in genocide. This, despite the fact that that IS had revealed itself to be a well-funded, well-organized malevolent cult – a murderous force arguably unlike any since Hitler’s regime. This, despite the fact that IS itself had proudly documented beheadings, crucifixions, mass rapes, enslavements, torture, and the murder of Canadian citizens.
This, too, despite the historical fact that it was the Liberal Party of Canada that had deployed Canadian Forces in the fight against the aforementioned Hitler regime in World War II – and, later, sent our troops overseas to prevent genocide in Bosnia, and to contain terror in Afghanistan. This, despite the fact Trudeau’s anti-combat rhetoric had alienated many, many senior Liberals – like Irwin Cotler, and Bob Rae, Lloyd Axworthy, Romeo Dallaire (and much-lesser Grits, like this writer, who decided against running under the Liberal banner as a result).
That’s the most critical part. I end the column, however, doing something else entirely – by paying tribute to Trudeau. I point out that the man he was before the election is not the same man he is after it.
He has become increasingly tough and resolute, and he clearly now recognizes the homicidal threat we collectively face. He has been transformed, I think, by the terrible events of the past few months.
There isn’t much I feel I can do on my own, this morning. But I am proud, at least, to say that Justin Trudeau is my Prime Minister in these dangerous times.