Using fear, Prime Minister Harper is trying to coax Canadians into accepting George W. Bush's failed policies
Republicans in the United States are often referred to as the Party of Fear. They prey on the fears of the public to get votes on matters where little danger exists. As we’ve seen over the past decade and a half, they do it very well.
They use the media to stoke fear in the hearts of Americans concerning Ebola, Healthcare, and of course terrorism. Anywhere the public can be fooled into trusting conservatives to protect them.
In the decade plus that has passed, fear has been used in the United States as a propaganda tool to invade or assault sovereign nations and spy on American citizens. The so called war on terror has done virtually nothing other than exacerbate the military industrial complex and enable the American security state.
Last October, I wrote a piece called “The Ottawa Shooting is not a National Tragedy” in response to the terrorist attack in Ottawa that left Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dead. The basic premise of the article was to tell people to calm down and not overreact to the actions of a lone wolf Jihadist.
Naturally, rational though within Canada’s governing party was nowhere to be found. Instead what Canadians were given this past week was Stephen Harper’s new anti-terrorism bill, Bill C-51. A broad and over-reaching bill condemned as an assault on privacy and free speech. A bill that can be likened to the American Patriot Act.
For instance, it would allow for the removal of “terrorist propaganda” from the Internet, give law enforcement more powers and expand no-fly-list provisions. Critics also say the new laws could be used to stifle dissent, remove due process and lead to the creation of a secret police force. Scary shit when you consider we live in a supposed democracy.
I have advocated Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in the past (not with violence mind you). Knowing our Conservative Government’s hard-on for Netanyahu, will this bill allow some of my articles, critical of Israel, to be seen as “terrorist propaganda?” Terrorism is a broad term, and every industrialized country could be considered guilty of it to some extent.
C-51 also lowers the threshold for arrest, meaning law enforcement agencies will be allowed to arrest somebody if they think a terrorist act “may be carried out,” instead of the current standard of “will be carried out.” The new law would also allow court proceedings to be sealed at any given time. That sounds just a little shady.
I personally think this bill is an overreaction to one mentally ill individual’s actions and will do little to stop terrorist activities. But it also gives false piece of mind to Canadians who are worried about terrorism simply because our Prime Minister tells us to fear it.
And telling us he is. “A great evil has been descending upon our world, an evil which has been growing more and more powerful: violent jihadism,” Prime Minister Harper said after the bill was tabled. “(It) is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced. In parts of Asia and Africa, jihadists are finding shelter in failed states and ungoverned territories.”
You start to get the feeling that Harper hired one of George W. Bush’s speech writers. He continues; “And under their influence attacks and plots outside these regions have become more frequent and more dangerous in Australia, in France and in Belgium just recently, and of course here at home in Canada. We cannot avoid the stark reality. Jihadist terrorism is not a future possibility, it is a present reality.”
That same message was driven home in the latest weekly video posted online by the Prime Minister’s Office, the narrator describing a “growing threat” to Canadian families.
The reasons behind this new anti-terrorism bill is complete and utter nonsense of course, as is the rationale behind Canada’s bombing of ISIS in Iraq. They will not make Canada or the rest of the world safer.
Under Harper’s leadership, Canada is currently going down the same road the United States drove on following 9/11. And like Bush, he may be doing it for pure political reasons. Many polling firms describe terrorism as a winning issue for Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party. A party behind in the polls and facing re-election in nine months.
For the record, I believe it’s important to point out that just as Democrats passed the Patriot Act following 9/11, the Liberal Party of Canada is also supporting this new Anti-Terrorism Bill. I believe the words “chickenshit liberal” are beginning to hold meaning in this country.
As a people, we foiled two terrorist plots in Canada before Cpl. Cirillo was killed. Not by passing a freedom killing anti-terrorism bill or bombing a foreign nation, but by engaging in the Muslim community.
Canadians should fear the words coming out of Stephen Harper, not the jihadist rhetoric itself, but the end results of it. If Canadians don’t wake up and smell the bologna soon, that result will be another election win.