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Trudeau on Terrorism: A Sane Voice in Politics

04/19/2013 12:25 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:12 EDT
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"How dare he?!"

That is how a feeble-minded reactionary Ice Tea Party member recoils after hearing Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau's comment on the Boston Bombing -- a question he was asked just two hours after the blast.

When an act of terror occurs, it takes time to assess what exactly happened. Two hours after the blast, blood was still being spilled, explosives were still being sniffed out, and loved ones were still being contacted to share the terrible news.

It was in this chaos that Mr. Trudeau was asked to react -- even before the President of the United States, the FBI, or the State Governor had reacted.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

But when your last name is Trudeau, you get thrown to the wolves -- as early and as often as possible. What's a new leader to do? Not answer until more information is known? No, that would allow his detractors to paint him as an airhead who cannot speak off the cuff. Should he answer in cold, robotic platitudes? We've seen that movie before. Trudeau isn't about relic thinking inside the predictable box. What Mr. Trudeau did was answer the truth. A novel concept for some, but a welcome philosophy to Canadians tired of the dreary, divisive diatribe. We don't know who did this, but surely there are ways we can look at root causes and prevent future bloodshed.

"Root causes"? How dare he?!

You can expect Conservative minions to scoff at the mere idea of examining "root causes."

After the Newton, Connecticut tragedy where a mentally ill man used high calibre guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines to murder 20 innocent children and their teachers in under five minutes, Americans took a look at some root causes. The perpetrator was able to shoot 152 bullets because he had access to high-capacity 30-round magazines. U.S. cable news goddess Rachel Maddow explained the math that made Americans think about the excessive damage that could have been avoided. Hence, there was a movement to ban high-capacity magazines, and to require background checks for weapon sales.

But Mr. Trudeau shouldn't dare talk about root causes.

Eighteen years ago this week, the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil pre-9/11 occurred when Timothy McVeigh intentionally detonated a bomb in Oklahoma. The blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of six, and injured more than 680 people. The ease with which the perpetrator accessed large amounts of bomb-making ingredients shocked the American public. In the years since the bombing, Nevada and South Carolina enacted new laws to require identification from customers who purchase ammonium nitrate fertilizer. In 2008, Honeywell announced that it had developed a nitrogen-based fertilizer that would not detonate when mixed with fuel oil. The company got assistance from the U.S. federal government to develop the fertilizer for commercial use.

But Mr. Trudeau shouldn't dare talk about root causes.

When Aboriginal leaders asked for help in Attawapiskat and other depressed regions where Canadians are literally living in shacks, Harper jumped into action: he sent a bureaucrat to review their finances, then sent them the bill for said "service." Examining root causes? Long-term solutions? Innovative ideas? Who needs that? Just send their leaders back to their shack with a promise of future "talks." If anyone expects the plight of Aboriginals in Indian Reserves to improve thanks to Harper's shuffling of feet, I've got ocean-front property in Saskatchewan to sell you.

Yet Prime Minister Harper falls over himself to slam "looking at root causes" his political nemesis for suggesting a loot at root causes. Some might say Harper spends more time demonizing political adversaries than he does solving the problems that confront its own citizens.

Mitch Wolfe and his ilk would have a leader condone the act, start a national man-hunt and gleefully report his the capture before declaring "Mission Accomplished." All without giving a single thought to long-term prevention, cause-and-effect, or introspection on societal circumstances which might breed such disasters. It is this kind of knee-jerk reaction which lead George W. Bush to Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction. It is that short-sightedness that lead then-43-year-old Harper, leader of the Reform / Canadian Alliance coalition, to clamour for Canada to join in the financial fiasco and decade-long death-trap.

Thank goodness for cooler heads prevailing.

It is in these unplanned, unscripted moments of scrutiny, a person's core is laid bare. Level-minded Canadians are beginning to realize that Justin Trudeau isn't handicapped by dim-witted approaches which lead a nation to near bankruptcy and international humiliation. In fact, Mr. Trudeau, at age 41, has shown more depth than Steven Harper did at that age. Heck, it seems Trudeau has a clearer grasp of the issue than the Prime Minister has today.

Australia's then-Prime Minister John Howard in 2006: "We have to fight [terrorism] on two fronts. We have to protect ourselves, we also have to attack a number of the root causes of it."

The head of Harper's favourite colonial power, British Prime Minister David Cameron, delivered a speech setting out his view on radicalization and Islamic extremism in 2011. PM Cameron said "We have got to get to the root of the problem, and we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks lie."

Finally, I leave you with this: Defence Minister Peter MacKay's reaction to the bone-chilling Norway mass murder in 2011 which left 92 innocent people dead:

MacKay said the bombings and shootings in Norway "demonstrate that the world is still a very volatile place."

"We also express our solidarity and support for those who have lost loved ones in Norway and we commit ourselves as a country to work with them..."

"It's also sobering for a country like Canada that shares values with Norwegians and a demonstration of ... the volatility that's still there, the vigilance that we have to demonstrate and persevere and work together to try to find the root causes...[of] these types of attacks."

WARNING: Some of the photos and videos from the scene may be graphic and disturbing.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Boston Marathon explosion