London Bridge is standing up.
Last week's cowardly attacks on innocents in London is only the latest in a long list of wake-up calls that Canadians should heed. We shouldn't panic, but we certainly shouldn't avert our eyes and pretend that it can't happen here. It can and it will. The only questions are when and where.
Those who conduct terror don't care that we think we are nice guys. Apologists for terrorists and people who blame those who die for their own deaths are sleepwalking to their own demise. As Winston Churchill said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." Terrorism is a crocodile that will eat every last one of us, if we don't stop it, no matter the cost.
Can we ever eliminate terrorism? Not as long as there are people who do not value even their own lives and who will use terrorism to control their enemies, as well as their "friends". In other words - no! Can we afford to capitulate in the war against terrorists? Absolutely not! What are the costs of losing this war, and a war it surely is? Flush everything you value - summed up by the general term, quality of life - down the drain.
People in the West need to take the blinders off and realize that, no matter what we do, we will always and forever be the targets for lunatics like Osama bin Laden and Al-Queda. They have only one ultimate goal and they continue to state it loud and clear. That goal is our complete annihilation. There is only one answer to such a threat. It is not cheap and, at times, it might not be "nice". But, it must be effective.
As we have in the past, we can learn a lot from the Brits. Their reaction to mass murder was one of defiance and pluck, as they have defied past mass murderers. They are the epitome of the stiff upper lip and a bit of that stiffness should be transplanted to the backs of some other western politicians. The Brit intelligence, security and police forces are also damn good, and it came as no surprise yesterday that they had tracked down the murderers, some dead and some alive. There is really no way to prevent all terrorist attacks by a determined and clever enemy, but the Brits were able to react very swiftly. They would be one of the last countries that I would want to make really angry at me.
We can also learn an opposite lesson from Spain. They appeased the terrorist crocodile after it bit them just prior to their last national election, in which Spanish voters threw out a strongly anti-terrorist government.
What can Canada do? The first thing we can do is to stop kidding ourselves that we are different. We are all infidels in the terrorists' eyes. While I agree with Anne McLellan about our lack of psychological preparedness, I would point out to her that we are physically unprepared, as well. The reason for that is in the Offices of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Liberal Caucus. To be sure, there are many MPs from all parties who understand the seriousness of the situation, but the Government, itself, has been largely somnambulant.
Despite the unquestioned quality, commitment and bravery of our men and women in uniform, both military and para-military, we have not maintained the investment in freedom and security that only they can provide. We have not maintained our intelligence network, at home and abroad, that will help prevent terrorist acts or, at least, help to swiftly track down the perpetrators after the inevitable fact. One only has to say Air India to understand that failure. We have allowed over 40,000 illegal immigrants to roam Canada at will, the vast majority in search of only a better way of life, but some undoubtedly intent on destroying ours.
Canada is a multi-cultural mosaic and I, for one, enjoy that. That doesn't mean that we should be blind to the fact that there are some members of many cultural groups, white Anglo-Saxon included, who are intent on destroying the peace, order, and good government that we aspire to in Canada. Regardless of our ethnic roots, we all have an obligation to make sure that such criminals do not succeed, because we are all in this together. The Government has an obligation to show leadership and strength in preparing us psychologically and physically, to the extent possible. As citizens, voters and tax payers, we have an obligation to hold Government's feet to the fire; and if they don't do the job, we have an obligation to fire them.
"My country is the world and my religion is to do good." - Thomas Paine