Bill Belliveau has a good column in today's paper. It's about 9/11; and it's very critical of the Harper government. (Would he have written it if it were a criticism of a Liberal government? Well, let's give credit where creidit it is due. This is a good one.) He makes the point that we ae following the US in becoming a police state. In fact, we already have. Governments in free countries do not, for example, turn over their own citizens for torture. Canada does, and has. It does not turn them over for illegal trials. Canada does, and has. But there's no doubt it is going to become much worse. Very soon. The US is going to demand we imitate their level of hysteria, domestic espionage, arbitrary arrest and imprisoning with no charge or trial that it has. It's going to demand the paranoid hatreds it generates over Islam and,l indeed, anybody who's different. Harper has just said so - even inventing a new word, Islamicalism. I'm glad he included that new word. It's reassuring to know we have a prime minister who is the intellectual equivalent of a George Bush.
I was delighted to read that Brent Mazerolle is performing in Trial by Jury, and in what sounds to be an excellent setting at the old courthouse in Hopewell. I am too late for the regular performances, but shall certainly do my best be be at the Sept. 17 show at 4 p.m. It really is a delight to come across a community effort like this one.
Now, a comment on the news media in general, on the media assault we we are likely to endure on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, (with a thank you to the T&T for its restraint in coverage - and for a variety in the tone as we can see in Belliveau's column.
Moncton is, nominally at least, largely a Christian city. That's why I was shocked to see a church on St. George St. some months ago flauting a sign "Suppor our troops in Afghanistan." In my admittedly limited understanding of The Bible,, we are called on to love our neighbour. I don't think any trasnlation reads "love thy guy next door. Give hell to everybody else." God, despite speeches I have heard from retired generals, is not the commander-in-chief of anybody's armed forces, and does not take sides in wars.
On a related note, every country I have ever heard of has practiced terrorism. Moses used terrorism against the Egyptians - though I have never heard a sermon mourning the suffering of innocent Egyptians. The US and Canada used it against their native peoples. Aerial bombing has been terrorism killing mostly civilians ever since Italy launched the first bombing raids over North African villages in 1910. Winston Churchill (as Secretary of the Colonies) ordered terrorist bombing of what is now Iraq in the 1920s. The bombing of Tokyo in World War Two was pure terrorism, as was Dresden.
In Cambodia, the US deliberately killed a half million civilians, quite indiscriminately, in a campaign which was 9/11 every day for a year. Napalm, cluster bombs, and poisons killed even more, far more, in Vietnam. 200,000 (about 70 times 9/11) were killed in Guatemala without a mention in our news media.
When 9/11 happened, it was promptly used as an excuse to kill well over a million in Iraq and AFghanistan - though neither had anything to do with the attack. It was also used to convert the US into a police state (with Canada no to follow.)
When it comes to terrorism, Moslems are bush league. When it comes to terror, mass murder, and torture, they could take lessons from the Christian west..
I wonder how many Chistian churches will have a mention of 9/11 this Sunday? How many will pray for the victims?
And then, how many will also mourn the millions of men, women, children and babies mained and killed by us.
Or will they all just mourn the victims of 9/11, imply that God is on our side, and so put the blame on Him for the terror we have done? And are doing.
Love thy neighbour does not mean just the person next door.