I had a different blog post prepared for today.
But on Saturday night a good friend of mine (with whom, when I lived in Montreal, I used to have the most intense, interesting and fabulous conversations on just about every topic you can think of, but especially politics) sent me an email about some articles she’d read in the Globe & Mail.
She wondered what my thoughts were, she was incensed about one of them, which was written by Jeffrey Simpson.
Frankly I hadn’t read them. Margaret Wente, an OpEd writer for the Globe, finally pissed me off enough I cancelled my subscription. She was bad for my blood pressure.
After getting that email, though, I had to read all three. As usual my friend and I were in agreement. Two, one of which was, ironically, written by Margaret Wente, were on point. The third, Jeffrey Simpson’s got my ire up and the next thing I knew I was penning a long rant back to Monica. I wasn’t through venting, though, so I decided to save my other post for another day and write this one instead.
Essentially he believes Canada should not be withdrawing troops from Syria. Instead he thinks we should be stepping up our efforts and joining the other allies in this misbegotten bombing mission they’re on. Peer pressure, perhaps. Or is he just suffering from some penis-uh-battle-envy?
(Feel free to read it for yourself here. But please come right back because I haven’t gotten it all off my chest yet.)
Bad enough as far as I’m concerned. But it’s his reasoning that really gave me the massive headache that forced me to lay down with an ice pack on my noggin: He’s afraid our allies won’t like us any more. That “they’ll say all the right things in public, but remember the Canadian decision privately quite differently.”
Or in other words, we won’t be popular any more. We won’t be part of the in-crowd. So much for winning the Miss Congeniality Award. We’ll be outcasts, scorned, wallflowers. Nobody’s gonna ask us to dance.
Hell I’m the first to admit I’m not an expert on this subject. But does anybody really believe bombing the shit out of Syria is going to destroy ISIS, or even scare them? Because I don’t. I think it’s the innocent bystanders, all those helpless men, women and children who’ll get massacred.
And ISIS will laugh in our faces and continue to spread their evil around the world like a tumour that’s metastasizing faster than we can figure out how to slow it down, let alone stop it.
They have unlimited funds. They have more marketing savvy than you’ll find in the best ad agencies in the world. Their video production facilities churn out their propaganda with the kind of speed that puts Madison Avenue to shame; and let me tell you, the quality’s pretty damn good, too.
They know exactly how to recruit and they know who to recruit. And we’re the best thing that ever happened to them. Because thanks to our virtually non-stop media coverage of all the carnage, misery and grief they leave behind, we are aiding and abetting them.
We are giving them billions of dollars worth of prime time television coverage, front page newspaper editorials, magazine cover stories and ISIS-related tweets and posts are literally dominating most social media. And while we’re busy playing war games in Iraq, all over the world there are hoards of young men and women tripping over themselves in their rush to self-radicalize and support the ISIS ideology in the cities and towns where they live. Where we live.
To make matters worse, thanks to the internet, instructions on how to build all kinds of bombs, out of everyday materials you can buy anywhere, is easily accessible. And, thanks to the NRA and its power and all the right wing nuts who think it’s their God-given right to go grocery shopping with AK 47s and hand guns, all these home-grown terrorists have an open and unlimited invitation to buy an endless number of assault weapons and enough ammunition to blow up all 50 states. How f*king helpful!
It’s so out of control it’s more than any country can handle; and way too many of these local terrorists slip through the cracks, going completely unnoticed — until they kill scores of innocent people (and themselves) in cafes and bars and stadiums, in offices and at office parties. And yet again we’re blindsided. Yet again we never saw it coming, with all the fancy technology and the security and the surveillance.
So you know what Mr. Simpson?
Instead of spending millions, if not billions, of dollars on an exercise in futility overseas, why don’t all us allies get together and spend some of that money on trying to get better at sussing out all the local citizenry who are building arsenals in their basements, buying combat gear online (undetected), carefully mapping out who’ll they’ll attack, when and how many different locations they can hit before they have to detonate their vests, blow themselves up and go meet all those virgins who are waiting for them? And while we’re at it, for once and for all, why don’t we also make it illegal for any crazy with a vendetta against anybody, regardless of the reason, to buy anything more lethal than a whoopee cushion?
That’s what I’d like to know.