Denials of reality about the Jihadist roots of this violence are already feeding frustration in Western populations who know better. The well-intended strategy of protecting Muslims in the West will actually do the opposite -- it will very likely guarantee a backlash against Western Muslims by a growing right-wing movement.
Few things are more despicable than the actions of these murderous individuals. Their actions are to be unequivocally condemned. However, to use an instance where 12 lives were extinguished in order to create momentum for furthering hate is not only ill-advised and insensitive -- it is disgusting and ill-placed. This is not the time to go and inflame an already sensitive issue. Families are mourning their deceased loved ones. Let's focus instead on respecting the lives lost and not on continuing to spread hatred.
Now a few days after the horrific attack in Paris, hashtag #JeSuisCharlie floats about the Internet as a neoliberal nod of solidarity to those who were killed in yesterday's attack. While I see its good intentions, in the big picture this hashtag serves as a demonstration of alliance with that coveted icon of western identity: freedom of speech. But make no mistake, the reasons the perpetrators carried out this attack were more complex than simply freedom of speech. For what is pitifully lacking in most every media representation of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo is the historical background of what this attack was about.
France's economy saw only a weak rebound after 2009 with real GDP growth rates of about two per cent in both 2010 and 2011 before slowing to a crawl with only 0.3 per cent growth in 2012. In comparison, Canada positively raced ahead, experiencing real GDP growth of 3.4, 3.0 and 1.9 per cent in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.
Martinique is to France, as Hawaii is to the U.S. This island "outpost" is a district of France, and its approximately 400,000 inhabitants live under French law. Proud to have been anointed the safest Caribbean island in recent years, the island has a distinctive French flair which is uniquely blended with the island culture.
The French Alps are on many avid skiers "bucket lists", but the expectation that the price is prohibitive prevents many from even exploring the possibility. Extra costs for lift tickets and lessons can escalate quickly. But in Valmorel France, the all-inclusive Club Med ski resort makes managing the cost easier than ever.
France must confront its demons: The Big State and a Gallic attitude to labour productivity, as its economy suffers. Compared with Canada, France is living on past glories while Canada pursues a way for its people to live as well as they can in the here and now. In essence, the French need to go easy on the vino.
In November 2008, Diab's life was turned upside-down when the RCMP arrested him at the request of the French government, which wanted to extradite him in connection with a bombing in Paris in 1980 that claimed four lives. He spent the next six months in jail, but was eventually released in April 2009 under extremely invasive bail conditions.
In the annals of human evil, Rwanda's genocide takes a special place. With a kill rate of about six people a minute for more than three months, it's likely one of the fastest mass slaughters of humans in history. Most were hacked to death by machete, partly because the perpetrators found it cheaper than using bullets.
Whether we like it or not, we live in the shadow of Neville Chamberlain's Munich deal with Hitler. It must affect our perspective on any agreement of this nature. What we learned from Munich, though, was that deals do not finalize the results. What Hitler absolutely taught us was that what one says and even promises is not necessarily what one means.
The G20 summit this week, and the growing Syrian catastrophe, underscores the reality that we are living in a G-zero world. The bonds that once held nations together have severed, and there is nothing close to an international consensus on any hot-button matter being discussed today. Welcome to the G-Zero world, where we exist in a geopolitical power vacuum as the west declines and emerging nations (China, India) concentrate on their own domestic problems. It may be this way for a long while.