Asks Damian Penny, in regards to Al-Queda's recent threats which specifically mentions Canada.
Nope, Canadians don't get it. There is a very strong belief in Canada that "it can't happen here." Intellectually, most Canadians do understand that we are vulnerable to terrorist attack. In the same sort of way that we understand that eating cheeseburgers and not exercising makes you fat. You know that for a fact, yet you keep on doing what you're doing believing the consequences of your actions will never really arrive.
Last year I had a flight that was scheduled to fly to England on September 13th. I did go to the airport and was confronted by armed soldiers, stepped up security and a real sense of danger. I didn't get to fly out that day and had to reschedule to a month later. When I came back to the Toronto airport a month later, I'd swear it was September 10th. No additional security. No additional procedures or questions. Nothing. Not a single acknowledgement of what had occured and that there were terrorists out there who had declared war on the west. I've been to the Toronto airport twice more since then and nothing has changed. Our institutions don't get it.
Of the Canadians I know here in Toronto, I'd say the proportion who are actually concerned and "get it" is no more than 25%. The rest think that this is to do with the US and its need for oil and imperialism and Bush being stupid. The danger to Canada they see is that we will become "guilty by association" in the terrorists' eyes. Ie, the terrorists aren't the problem, the US is.
I'm just wondering, what is the breakdown in other parts of Canada? If anyone comes from other parts of Canada, can you let me know what the breakdown is like there? How many people in Canada do get it?
""And that prince who bases his power entirely on...words, finding himself completely without other preparations, comes to ruin;" -- Niccolo Machiavelli "
I couldn't help but think of Canada. Our emphasis on "soft power" and our effective disarmament. Nasty thoughts about Chretien ensued, and then an interesting contrast presented itself.
Chretien has run the Federal Liberal party and Canadian government as his personal fief for the last eight years. He brutally punishes those who do not follow his line and rewards those who follow his dictates. He's been a ruthless politcal operator all of his political career, ammassing very real power and using it to secure his position. He understands well the uses of power and that his continued leadership depends on his being able to effectively punish his enemies and those who are disloyal.
How the hell is it that a person who understands so well the necessity of the credible ability to punish and the will to use it, not just moral suasion and discussion can take Canada to where it is in international affairs? Under his rulership, we've become nothing but a nation of words, a "moral superpower" dedicated to attempting to make the bad men play nice by talking to them.
If Chretien tried such an approach on the Liberal cabinet, he'd be out of office within a week. One can only conclude that he believes that the world is a safer place than the Liberal party cloakroom.