Friday, August 27, 2010

Globe and Mail sinks to new heights of hysteria

I'm not saying that a criminal conspiracy to commit murder with explosives is an OK part of the tapestry of Canadian Multiculturalism. I'm saying it's a crime covered by the Criminal Code of Canada, and was at the time of the Air India bombing in 1985. No special law was required to deal with that crime - "a Canadian atrocity" - but merely an informed police force doing its job and having some idea of reading handwriting on the wall. As I read Justice Major's report, the Air India bombing was a barn door prediction. Likewise, there is nothing about "terrorism" that hasn't been covered by the Criminal Code of Canada for years: "terrorism" is a useless concept.

The person who got this all right is Germaine Tillion. She spoke the truth about North African Berbers, Nazis, the French in Algeria, and survived Ravensbruck concentration camp. What she said, which I think cannot be improved on, is:

"We see the United States as deeply worried about terrorism. But effectively fighting against terrorism does not mean increasing the number of military operations; it means fighting against what causes terrorism. If you introduce kindness and gentleness at the place where terrorism begins, you will eradicate terrorism without pain. It is necessary to examine the most sensitive areas of the earth. You can do nothing to stop the seventeen-year-old kid who has decided to place a bomb somewhere. You can do strictly nothing, and any effort against him will just fly back in your face. Countering violence with violence is the most ineffective response imaginable. Instead, we should target the pain, with the goal to alleviate it. I firmly desire a worldwide dialogue, and I would like to see the United States discharged from the monologue. The period of great wars is over. Science has put in the hands of children extraordinary means of death. The greatest error the United States is currently making is to think that international military operations can stop a seventeen-year-old child from acting. The focus should be placed instead on alleviating the pain in the most sensitive regions of the world, beginning with Jerusalem."

Excerpt from “Déchiffrer le silence”:
A Conversation with Germaine Tillion
by Alison Rice
Research in African Literatures 2004 35(1):162-179