Saturday, February 17, 2007

Our covenant will take the shape of the network and reciprocity we are building, step by step, today...

Michael T. sent along this story (available only by subscription) by Trevor Wilhelm from the January 29 Windsor Star. It is framed as a wake-up call to Canadians about terrorists in our midsts. What I found interesting was the assumption made about how our country can wake up:
Canada is vulnerable to a host of terrorist threats, and is a safe haven for terrorists and war criminals because authorities blind themselves to the dangers, according to a top jihad expert.

Thomas Quiggin, a former RCMP intelligence expert and Canada's only court-recognized jihad authority, said Canadians will remain vulnerable to political and religious extremists until their government develops a better approach to dealing with them.

"Secrecy is the ally of the terrorist and the criminal," said Quiggin, also a Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security in Singapore. "Knowledge is the great asset to the government and Canadian citizens, yet our federal government agencies insist on retreating from any public debate on the issues and they wrap themselves in a useless and self-defeating cloak of secrecy."
"Canada has been and remains a safe haven for terrorists, war criminals and those who have committed crimes as serious as genocide," he said. "Until we decide as a country to take an all-of-government approach to solving our problems, we remain vulnerable to a host of these threats."

Quiggin said Canada has no national strategic view and no "horizon scanning" program to detect new threats.

"The only force that can prevail in the face of such threats is knowledge," said Quiggin. "What is most stunning, however, is the near total lack of knowledge of the problem in the federal government and the lack of any attempt to get there."

Melisa Leclerc, spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, said the government has made several strides in the fight against terrorism.

She pointed out that last June, authorities nabbed people allegedly plotting southern Ontario terror attacks.

Leclerc added that the government put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) on its list of terrorist entities.

In the 2006 budget, she said, the Conservative government committed $1.4 billion over two years for national security and community safety, and $160 million to hire 1,000 new RCMP officers.

But Quiggin, who recently finished a conference with speakers including the former head of MI-6 and the New York City Police Department's deputy commissioner, said other jurisdictions take a far more progressive and effective approach.

He said his institute in Singapore has more than 100 full-time staff and a list of world class experts who visit on a rotating basis. New York police --"one of the shining examples of how to attack this type of problem" -- has 24 full-time analysts dealing with terrorism, he said.
In a country and government that has built itself for a long generation now on myths of multiculturalism - on the false idea that a nation does not have to have a particular cultural or historical and political character, beyond its embrace of some culturally and religiously neutral liberalism and of some regime of human rights, that it does not have to have particular kinds of enemies in the world - it is not surprising to hear someone's opinion that Ottawa is frozen and incapable of responding seriously to the terrorist threat which, with all due respect to the Tamil tigers and others, is for us and our American friends whom we possibly endanger, almost entirely a Jihadist threat. How, for example, could an honest discussion of the fundamental role that violent Jihad plays in Islamic holy texts be taken on by a government that welcomes Muslim immigrants, pious or not, to Canada on the same terms as all others and that seeks out some necessarily under-conceived "moderate" Muslim consultation on many matters of policy. Even as the Department of Foreign Affairs recognizes the Umma as a political reality, and seeks out the advice of Canadian Muslims on how to relate to it, we are sold the dubious idea that "moderate" Muslims are fundamentally on our side and not in any way sympathetic to those "extremists" who perform Jihad around the world in the name of the Umma.

Given this, why would someone like Quiggin be surprised that we have no national strategic view or knowledge of Islam, and of its political imperialism, in the federal government? or, more to the point, why does he think we can take an "all-of-government approach" to the terrorist problem?

In an ideal world, all of our government would be knowledgeable and on the side of defending Western and Canadian culture and its particular history. But we don't live in that world and won't for the foreseeable future. This means that Canadians inside and out of government who have some knowledge and understanding of the jihad problem have to do more than they already do to grow informal networks that circumvent the old-school power nodes that don't want to face up to hard realities because they are immersed in the politics of white guilt and the consequent myths of multiculturalism. Just as people increasingly go to the internet for analysis and opinion that the Mainstream Media does not provide, the new covenant between the Canadian people and the crown in parliament, will first emerge not from leadership at the top commanding an "all-of-government" approach, but informally through connections made among people who know what is going on and take it as a matter of honour and responsibility to do something about it to help their nation learn and respond effectively and in a way that shows honour and respect to all Muslims for what they are (even if that is only our enemy) and not for what some ideological fancy wants the followers of Mohammed, that great warrior, to be.

Increasingly, our established elites in all fields of politics and government are showing their lack of attachment to reality, stuck as they are in decaying modes of filtering information and analysis; and the solution will be for ordinary, informed, people in all positions of life to look out, in the spirit of Flight 93 on 9/11, for opportunities where they can take charge of a problem or unfolding event and covenant with others, creating new actions, feedback mechanisms, and means of screening and publicly analyzing information, so that our nation starts seriously to mediate reality despite the inertia of entrenched interests. Instead of wasting energies trying to tear down all the old school's houses, let's just forget the arrogant elites, leave them to their fantasies and endless conferences, while those who can and those who know seek out ways to network by just doing our jobs so as to shape and open windows on reality, by trading information, opinion, and support wherever we can. Time is short today, and while this networking is already what some people are doing, we hope to have more thoughts on how to do this in future posts.

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