Post-Paris: Where do we go from here?

“Governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe while defending our rights and freedoms. And that balance is something that the Canadian government and indeed all governments around the world will be focusing on.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

By Gerald V. Paul
Torontonians gathered at Nathan Phillips Square to honour those killed in the Paris attacks. Gerald V. Paul photos.

Eyesers, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm (commonly known as the Clean Break Report) is a policy document prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Pearle for Benjamin Netanyahu, then-prime minister of Israel.
The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on “Western values.” It has since been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting its possession of “weapons of mass destruction” -yes, George Bush’s WMDs.
In 2006, commentator Karen Kwiatkowski pointed to similarities between the proposed actions in Clean Break and the subsequent 2003 invasion of Iraq. As they say in the old country, “nah trouble, trouble, ‘cause trouble guh trouble yuh” and of course “if yuh mess wid de bull, yuh gun get da horn!”
Journalist Jason West wrote that the report was a “kind of U.S.-Israeli neoconservative manifesto” and it proposed “a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment.
So, in the aftermath of the West’s creation of ISIS through that very policy, what are the neoconservatives in Canada saying? These political mendicants, now out of power, would suggest they have all the answers. Give me a break!
A Charlie Hebdo cartoonist said, “Friends from around the world, thank you for #prayforParis.” In the wake of all those cut down by AK 47s and killed and injured in explosions, Parisians are fighting back by demonstrating they are not afraid by going about their daily routine as much as possible and holding vigils.
But to the former Harper neo-cons, the only response is to continue to bomb ISIS, collateral damage and all, and reset the new Liberal government’s agenda, including ending our war footing, without regard for who created the evil of ISIS in the first place.
To the neo-conservatives, when you have a hammer, everything else is a nail.
ISIS wants to control other people, Muslims included. But do you know that they have killed more Muslims than any other religious group even though they have specifically targeted minority religious groups?
The Eyes Guy says mercy be upon those of all faiths and no faith who shudder with grief and strength to those who work for peace.
“Please do not let fear dictate your actions. Know that real, positive change comes from working with others, not dehumanizing them,” Dr. Marika Morris noted.
Morris reminded us that right-wing extremism has also led to massacres, such as those committed by Anders Breivik in Norway and the Oklahoma City bombing. Here in Canada, right-wing extremism results in over a thousand reported hate crimes per year.
At the massive tribute last Saturday at Nathan Phillips Square as Toronto and Canada honoured the 129 killed in last Friday’s violence in Paris there was a Canadian multicultural crowd, with Muslims on hand, who all sang La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
But on their minds, of course: Does the Paris massacre raise the refugee resettlement stakes for 25,000 souls? Should we wait and check and double check? Even one terrorist who slips in is too many.
“These terrorist attacks are deeply worrying and obviously unsettling to people around the world,” Trudeau said before leaving for the G20 Summit in Turkey.
Mr. Prime Minister, with confirmation by Greek officials that one of the Paris terrorists carried a Syrian passport of a migrant, we have a challenge on our hands, no?
Let’s put on ice the 25, 000 Syrian refugees until 2016 so they can be checked and double checked. Methinks all the riders on the subway, those in shopping centres and so on will say amen to that.
Better to take our time and get it right.