Thursday, April 18, 2013

Harper: The Root Cause of Terrorism

Harper in London
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Stephen Harper decided this was a good time to do what he does best: Kick someone in the balls. With no encouragement from the media, Harper attacked Justin Trudeau for comments made about the awful events in Boston.

While in London, this is what Harper said:

When you see this type of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes. You condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators, you deal with them as harshly as possible.
And this was in response to Trudeau saying:

We have to look at the root causes. Now, we don't know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?
It would appear from the CBC interview that Trudeau neither excused or rationalized the attack. His first response was shock, condolence and offer to help. Then he asked about motive.

The question of motive is always important because knowing about it leads to prevention. This isn't about a soft touch but to head things off before they happen.

This is food for thought for Stephen Harper. Under his government, we have seen terrorists develop under his nose and result in one of the most brazen attacks in the world this year.

The Algeria oil refinery attack appears to have been led by Canadians who quite possibly were recruited in in Canada and were responsible for  the attacks overseas.

In Harper's view, you don't look at the root causes of this. You condemn it after it happened and deal with it harshly after.

It was Mr. Harper who didn't catch the Canadians involved in the Algerian attack. Why? It is because he doesn't think about root causes and motive for such things. If he had, he might have removed Canada as a possible recruiting ground for international terrorism.

Perhaps it would help Mr. Harper to look at why things happen to prevent them from happening. It is hard to see prevention is making excuses or rationalizing behaviour.

What motivates Harper from saying what he does? It is starting to look like a distraction from his government missing four Canadians becoming involved with radicalism and terrorism.


One Man Committee said...

At the same time, Trudeau should have known better. It is no secret that the Conservatives trade on, among other things, a "tough on terrorism" image. Even if you take a more nuanced view of the world than us (good) and them (evil), the immediate aftermath of a terrorist incident is probably not the best time politically to express it. Because as we saw, the Conservatives were very quick to pounce on Trudeau's words to establish a distinction between themselves and Trudeau's Liberals.

If you're a political leader dealing with the immediate aftermath of a terrorist incident, going beyond a simple expression of sympathy for the victims and a condemnation of the act is just asking for trouble.

John Dobbin said...

I think Trudeau can fall back on his family history if Harper continues to press. Trudeau called into the War Measures Act to crush the FLQ and said: "Just watch me."

As for Harper, the debate this week might ask what Harper thinks about the roots of terrorism when he funds research into it.