Monday, June 12, 2006

Jonah and the Wail

Having been up in Canada this past week for a conference, it was interesting to see Canadians roundly wringing hands after the arrest of 17 terror suspects in a sting operation in Toronto. It was especially disheartening as the suspects were all natural-born citizens and many Canadians failed to understand this home-grown jihadism. I strongly suspect the jihadis themselves probably don't understand it very well, either, and that their foiled, idiotic plot grew out of a deranged desire to be a part of the larger Islamist movement. They certainly didn't seem to have much grievance with Canada or Canadians themselves. There was a vast spectrum of oh-my-god-what-does-this-mean prattling, liberals doubting their cherished liberalism, conservatives feeling vindicated for distrusting the now obviously distrustful "haji." It was all rather galling and nearly content-free.

However, the motley crew also appear to have been allowed to grow over the course of months if not years of surveillence by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), who had certain members of the group under watch since 2004. Some speculate that this was done primarily out of need for a "big bust," thereby reinforcing the apparent need to increase Canada's intelligence service and to further justify amped-up operations in Afghanistan. In other words, this was not a surprise but a timely reminder. None of this, of course, was much acknowledged by the talking heads, such information being inimicle to the larger of narrative of fear and danger.

Not to be outdone by the resounding lack of content and seemingly unaware of the fact that CSIS had been tracking the fools for 2 years, the inimitable Jonah Goldberg, sensing a clear opening for some right wing vitriol, launched his own nya-nya effort at Canada and the obvious waste of time it has been for that country to have been "nice" all these years. (Let's ignore the fact that Goldberg is chasitising a country that actually did track and arrest a jihadist terrorist cell.) To Jonah, it seems clear that countries might as well be imperialist sons-of-bitches because being nice and multicultural is clearly not the ticket to avoiding Islamist fundamentalist wrath. Goldberg, you see, felt Canada needed a damn good thrashing to wake it up to the cold harsh realities of a world gone mad with Islamist hatred. Now, just what that means for Canada is not really specified by Goldberg, all he really seems happy about is the fact that jihadists even want to attack "nice" countries, which educes in him a certain glee. You see, Goldberg seems to be saying, being nice gets you nowhere; it gets you an IED up your Canadian ass. Might as well be a prick. Because look how well that has worked out for the United States.


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