Saturday, October 25, 2014

Some lever. Some fulcrum

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. - Archimedes 
The Harper government might think that a deranged gunman has given the lever and fulcrum necessary to change their fortunes and introduce laws that might other wise be unpalatable. However, I'm not the only one to think that the rush to bring in anti-terror legislation as a response to an insane man with a dim knowledge of Islam runs screaming into Parliament with a gun is a bit of an overreaction.  Heck, even Russell Brand has a better read on this than most commentators: 
"The incidents in Ottawa are being used to advance a narrative that will not only entitle them to further wars abroad, but will entitle them to inhibit our freedoms," ...
Harper's repeated emphasis on terrorism and Islam are a subtle way of advancing a Conservative political agenda focused on increased military deployment.
Brand went on to contrast the political reaction to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's slaying at the National War Memorial with the reaction after Justin Bourque's shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B. earlier this year, in which three RCMP officers were gunned down. 
Brand concluded the Moncton shooting didn't receive the same degree of attention from Harper because it was perpetrated by a disaffected white Canadian rather than someone believed to have ties to a perceived foreign enemy.
 Another bit of over-reaching is the headlines and articles about how bravely the Conservatives were going to defend themselves from the threat.  Why were the Harperistas so quick to breathlessly inform every newshound present of their bravery and composure?  I saw nothing similar from the other parties.  I find it improbable that the Harp-bots are singularly brave under threat.  It all smacks of opportunism.  The most contrived was from Laurie "The Russians are coming" Hawn.  It matters not a whit if that reflects what his intentions were.  What ever happened to quiet composure?

If there is a true threat from ISIS "lapping on our shores", defeat it by all means necessary.  But the last week does not reflect that threat.  It is another case of a suffering soul manifesting his derangement on others.  Add the names of this weeks villains to the list including Marc LePine and so many others.  In this case, they were clad in the cloak of Islam and, thereby, sullying the majority of good people who practice that faith.  Exploiting the recent extremely unfortunate events for their own purposes will only add to the heap of dishonour Harper et al. have already brought themselves.  

If you ask "What other options do we have rather than lashing out?", I suggest that the recent podcast on NPR's On Being program featuring Scott Atran is a good place to start.

As a nation, our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims, as they should.  By all means, use these events as a lever and fulcrum to help society identify and help troubled souls such as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.  Anyone who attempts this as a rationale for curtailing civil liberties or as a platform for re-election should be forever ashamed.Recommend this Post