Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Nature of ISIS and the Key Harper Enablers

The Nature of ISIS and the Key Harper Enablers

Well, first of all, it’s hopeless young men looking for or needing something to do.  They are easily swayed by a Manichean world view, and even the madrasa chants in languages they don’t even comprehend have a kind of mesmeric, repetitive, and building power.  Stand in front of the mirror and grin sillily—eventually, you will get happy.  Stand in front of the mirror and frown, and eventually you will get angry.  Try it.  Islam is deep this way, for its most profound but least nuanced followers. 

The most persuasive and honest and devout people who follow faiths know their faiths are hard won and are all the stronger because of the tests and challenges they’ve endured; militant—or, in fact—most branches of Islam, a comparatively young and new religion, seem to offer a shortcut, suicide or murder or a stampeding rampage/Mecca carnage/pilgrimage etc., offering the shortest of all  


Good luck with that harem thing.

(Me I’d sail around behind the pearly gates if I hadn’t already been rejected/done gone rejected the fantasy.)

It’s hardly unlike the young men from Allied countries who got all gung-ho to enlist during WWI and WWII.  An adventure.  Beats milking dry cows and eating polk salad.  Something about a vague noble cause and pretty soon everyone regarding you as less than your sex if you weren’t over there. “And it’s 1-2-3-4, what am I fighting for?” Take a listen:

Those hippies.  I thought Kurt Cobain kind of revived them, but where have those hippies been?  Long view, the hippies were progeny of people who had been through WWs I and II and then Korea and then Vietnam and who were just kind of getting sick of the whole kind of let’s-get-into-a-war-no-matter-what-to-kick-start-the-economy-especially-in-places-like-West-Virginia deal.  After Iraq I (let’s support a country no-one can even remember now) and Iraq II (damn, we sold them those guns and now they’re not using them properly) and Afghanistan (maybe bad Waldo is here now?!?!), and now IS-whatever, I wonder if some people might be wondering the same.

In Canada, we’re querulous about just what it is that makes a handful of kids from Canada take up arms for ISwhatever.  Well, I already answered that above.  In many respects, we create our own problems, often knowingly, so we can seem the more superior when we fakely solve them. 

Take ideologue-in-chief, Stephen Harper.  A man of generous girth even then, he avowed in 2006 that Canadians were no cowards.  We will not “cut and run” he politically and humorously stated of himself whilst sounding the death knell for those he ordered into action.

When it became clear, after a couple years and over 100 lives and countless billions, that this was not a “winnable” war, he meekly acquiesced to what Jack (“Taliban Jack,” the deep-thinking Tories called him) Layton had said—we better talk to these people and see if we can figure out a way forward.

Virtually everyone, from Soviets to Americans, had long since realized that there were no wars to win in Afghanistan.  (If anyone who reads this still hasn’t kicked the reading habit, check out Tory Rory Stewart’s personal self-illumination  The Places In-Between (2004).

And soon after taking it up, Stephen Harper gave up the just war, as if he were choosing hazelnut coffee over cinnamon.  He packed it in, this time, as a rationalist, noting that we probably couldn’t win that war.  During the interim, he had sent 150+ Canadians to their deaths.

Now, is Stephen Harper just tremendously stupid, or is he ideologically inclined and regards a baker’s dozen of Canadian lives as more or less expendable, so long as they are in the service of ideology?  You pick. 

Actually, let me help you—Rick Hillier, anaesthetized on the rum and cokes he says he loved, and Walt Natyncyk, who took his family on private jet Caribbean vacations on your dime (, or Russell Williams, the CFB Trenton air-force chief who liked to take pictures of his cat while he raped and murdered colleagues and took pictures of himself in their lingerie and tried to incriminate others, or one-time “justice” minister Peter McKay arranging private military helicopter pickups at costs that amounted to annual incomes for many families in Central Nova: --it’s kind of clear that there’s not just a cozy Conservative Senate relationship with entitled criminals (Duffy, Brazeau, Wallin, etc.), but there’s one with the military, too.  And those men and women who serve, who are used as a taxi-service by Peter McKay and as travel agents by Canadian taxpayers, they might wonder who is really looking out for their backs.

Blood on his hands.  Calling others cowards, then saying he knew the mission was doomed—no Beatles tunes will erase that.  When Harper sings “Yesterday,” it’s going to be more than bittersweet for those he ordered into battle in a war he knew could not be won.  The parents, the sons and daughters of Canadians killed because Stephen Harper did not wish to be seen as “cutting and running,” after he did do exactly that, well, I wouldn’t wish to be Steve and Laureen, if they were penetrable to thought.

If I’m Canadian military personnel, who do I really want behind my back—a corrupt, murdering, ideologically-driven individual--or a balanced, thoughtful one who says “I’m gonna make sure you’ve got the tools first, then I’m gonna make up my mind.” 

The expendables, is how Tories quite apparently call Canadians who serve.  Rob Anders never did know a veterans’ meeting that he could not fall asleep at  Julian Fantino felt his meetings took way, way precedence over anything the veterans’ portfolio he was supposed to oversee ( 

And when it came to remembering Vimy, of course Canada nickeled-and-dimed its last remaining veterans, leaving it to the French graciously to pick up the costs. Prime Minister Stephen Harper took an entourage and a private party-colored jet that cost Canadians millions—but he went there to celebrate himself, not the actual people who had served. 

That the French had to step in to cover the costs of Canadian soldiers, while the Prime Minister jetted around soaking up hundreds of  thousands of taxpayer dollars, is against Canadian values.

Mine anyway, sure can’t speak for you.

At last we return to western kids who want to fight with ISIS.  Well, they’re disenfranchised, and Harper has, by his party’s own proud admission, been key in that, preventing Canadian voters from voting at every turn, targeting especially the non-white non-old people who *might* not vote for him.  Jason Kenney has been tireless and shameless (likes those regarded by many as terrorists for political gains, too!) in his attempts to woo ethnic voters, but even those ethnic voters can be unsettled by the sight of Kenney’s blushed, febrile,  greasy bulb popping right off its pear anchor. 

If Canada doesn’t want to send more young Canadians to jihad, it should, to reverse a page out of the Harper ideology playbook, treat it as a sociological matter, not a criminal one.  There will always be young men (now more than ever, for various sociological reasons) who will seek “jihad.”  That will happen.  But one has to create the right conditions, right here, on the ground, that make it possible for anyone in Canada to say, “hey, yeah, I’m part of this and making the world I live in better.” I’d love to hear Jason Kenney’s solutions on this.  Simply alienating or criminalizing (or buying) others can only lead to that cyclic war. . .1, 2, 3, 4. . .

It’s regrettable that journalists cannot do what bloggers can.  Journalists cannot speak to power unless they agree to ventriloquize that power.  Those journalists who can journal, like Mike Duffy, hardly set examples. 

Future lobbyists, future hobbyists (senators), neither helpful, nor useful.

For a better world,


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