Monday, June 05, 2006

Red Flags in Canada

Over the weekend it was announced that 17 people have been arrested in Canada for acquiring three tons of ammonium nitrate. When mixed with other, easily available substances, this could be used to make a bomb three times the size of the one used in Oklahoma City. The suspects are all affiliated with radical groups inspired by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. This raises two red flags.

1) The news media has been telling us that the American-style assimilation protected us from the sort of home-grown bombings that happened in England and Spain and the sort of general violence that occurred in France last Fall. Canada assimilates immigrants similar to the way that America does. The would-be terrorists in Canada have been described as "{...} very well-established professionals, well-established families, no criminal pasts whatsoever." If assimilation is no protection then America can expect more attacks.

2) Isolationists from the left and right have been saying for years that September 11 happened because we behave like an empire. If we would work with international bodies, pull our troops back to protect our borders, and support the Palestinians over Israel then we would be safe. In other words, instead of waging a war on terror, we just need to act like Canada. Obviously that is not enough. It is not enough to act like France, either. France has a history of terrorist attacks of its own.

The morals here - we are at risk and there are no simple solutions.

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