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June 04, 2006

Comments

Andrew

Not that this "warrants" terrorist attacks, obviously, but Canada did participate in the invasion of Afghanistan. The articles provide conflicting information on whether this is thought to have further angered the radicals - the Times says the officials at the news conference didn't think the Afghanistan invasion had anything to do with it, but also notes that bin Laden said Canada was a target in a 2002 recording because of Afghanistan. Also the Post suggests that before the attacks Canadian authorities believed the invasion was "fanning the passions" of Muslim radicals.

Abiola

I guess the answer's obvious, then: no one is ever to hold Muslim governments accountable for anything they carry out either at home or abroad; to do otherwise is to be guilty of "neocon warmongering" against peace-loving, tolerant Muslims (and yes, this isn't directed at you, but at those who are *already* at work "explaining" why this was all Canada's fault ...)

Steve Edwards

This one will definitely stretch the apologists. I thought Canada was supposed to be a social-democratic multicultural paradise - like a liberal version of communist Cuba - that everyone should aspire to emulate, and that could do no wrong.

Steve Edwards

There is one point I will take up with Abiola's post, and that pertains to "isolationism". It may be established that moving to a relatively isolationist foreign policy will have little effect on the probability of suffering a terrorist attack. But it would seem that if the probability of a terrorist attack was relatively unresponsive to any change in foreign policy, the same point can be made of moving to an interventionist foreign policy.

That is, if we accept that there is no substantial relationship between the probability of terrorist attacks and one's foreign policy posture, it surely follows that the expenditure of large sums of money abroad (particularly on warfare) to "stop terrorism" will likely not result in a net benefit. Therefore, while isolationism might not protect you from terrorism, it's certainly the preferable policy on utilitarian grounds (unless it can be shown that there is a net benefit from any particular foreign policy).

I think the most cost-effective way to reduce the probability of losing lives to Islamic terrorism is not to spend billions of dollars on war - but rather to bring Islamic immigration to a complete halt, and to spend more resources on monitoring the activities of existing Muslims within one's borders.

Chuckles

The problem with Steve Edwards' argument is that is rests on the notion that the only reason for American intervention ought to be American interests. This is a moral position that requires quite some justification: Even if the US gained nothing from intervening - this is not sufficient to justify isolationism.

[...I think the most cost-effective way to reduce the probability of losing lives to Islamic terrorism is not to spend billions of dollars on war...]

On the contrary, without these kinds of War, more lives might be lost to terrorism, though they might not be American lives - and besides, there is little evidence to suggest that increasing Muslim immigration will not curb terrorism, if other factors - say, a broad support for fiercely liberal regimes in Islamic States are also in place.

Abiola

Dead men don't commit terrorism, and it is far better for civil liberties at home if one goes to Afghanistan to kill terrorists who've attacked one's country than it would be to turn one's own country into a police state in a futile bid to keep tabs on every single person who might be sympathetic to Islamic aggression - and don't forget that anybody can convert to the religion, as many people of all races and backgrounds do, while there's no obligation to tell anyone about having done so. What we're talking about here is the national equivalent of the difference between a woman staying at home and installing window bars after being raped, or the police seeking out her attacker and putting him away forever. Isolationism is not a serious long-term answer to terrorism.

Steve Edwards

"...it is far better for civil liberties at home if one goes to Afghanistan to kill terrorists who've attacked one's country than it would be to turn one's own country into a police state in a futile bid to keep tabs on every single person who might be sympathetic to Islamic aggression..."

But the problem of late appears to be that the terrorists have overwhelmingly come from *home* (i.e. as citizens, and either first or second generation immigrants). Now, certainly I do not favour a police state, but it does seem that police work alone has had some success in preventing terrorist attacks in both Australia and Canada. We don't really need more stringent laws - just more cops and snitches to enforce existing ones.

Steve Edwards

As for Chuckles - my position is most certainly not a moral one; it is more accurately described as utilitarian. I like to apply similar principles to government policy whether at home or abroad - to wit, there has to be clear evidence that any appropriation is justified by some tangible benefit, preferably in excess of the appropriation.

I'm not a strict isolationist in that I certainly support setting up international networks of spooks, double-agents, bagmen, assassins and other undesirables in order to carry out the unsavoury aspects of state policy where necessary. Nevertheless, I generally don't support overt warfare except in self-defense or retaliation - primarily because of the extraordinary cost involved - and I certainly oppose all humanitarian interventions.

Alex Jones

The arrests in Toronto are no surprise, Muslims believes are the same whatever the country.The recipe is a mixture of envie, lack of interaction with young women, and alianation. Envie from the fact that western societies have been the only driving force
to the world of today. Nothing and when I say nothing is absolutely nothing, has come from Islam in the last five hundred years; evrything muslims use today comes from Western creativity, which is the result of our institutions, and way of life.All these Muslims in western nations are here for necessity because the teaching of the Book has created deseased societies , imbued with old miths,where earsay is a fact, where lieing is another tool to survival, violence is the essence to deal with the problems of the world, blackmail is the norme. Sexual tabue's have driven masses of young Muslims to become violent psycotic.
Obviousely they rarely integrate and found thmeselves at the margin of everything.
The solution is to keep them under surveillance and mostly not to let anymore of them to come to the West.

Regence

There is no doubt at all that the root cause of the problem is ISLAM. Any other explanation is just baloney. This religion preaches that everyone who is not a muslim is an enemy of islam (kafir) and should be killed. No ifs and buts about this.

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