War on Terror
The ICLMG simply cannot support Bill C-22 in its current form. Not only will it not create a Committee of Parliamentarians capable of real and strong oversight over our national security apparatus, its mere creation will give Canadians the impression that proper parliamentary oversight exists - which will not be the case.
Proponents say preclearance will facilitate the flow of people and goods between the US and Canada. Under preclearance, a traveller passes through US customs in Canada, so they do not need to do so once they enter the US, and vice-versa. There are US preclearance areas in eight Canadian airports, along with some train and ferry crossings in BC, and plans to expand this to more Canadian airports and train stations. Canadian preclearance zones would also be established for the first time in the United States.
In 2011, the government introduced a ministerial directive that allows, under exceptional circumstances, for information garnered under torture by a foreign country to be transmitted to and used by Canadian security agencies. These kinds of directives play a clear role in perpetuating human rights abuses.
The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Stéphane Dion, recently declared that Canada "should join this important protocol" -- the United Nations' Protocol against Torture. More than a decade after it was initially passed, Canada is still sitting on the bench and watching cases after cases of torture happening.
Why hasn't my Facebook feed filled with at least the same level of indignation about our government's disgraceful treatment of our Veterans as it was about the a tobogganing hill? We must learn to calibrate our anger so it's proportional to the injustice or slight. Let's fight for the things that make life fun for us like tobogganing while also fighting the things that make life miserable such as payday loan companies, multinational corporations, venture capitalists, a failed War on Terrorism and the self-serving hacks in the media and government who enable it all.
We should honour the sacrifice of Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Vincent by refusing to bestow their attackers with a name that accords them prominence and stature. Let's dial this back several notches and call this phenomenon what it is: violent treason. And the mental health aspect cannot be dismissed. Our focus should be soberly fixed on appropriate security, not obsessing over unstable individuals who are by their nature unpredictable.
The open-ended War On Terror is yet another Big Lie. It is used as a cover for on-going imperialism, not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in the Ukraine, Syria, and Palestine. Those who oppose Empire are said to be terrorists, and the monstrous crimes continue unabated. The most recent culprit is Israel -- thought to be an appendage (or driver?) of the U.S empire -- which is currently committing genocide in Palestine.
Co-founder of the Liberal Muslim Network in Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi, has been in jail in Jeddah since June, 2012. His imprisonment and if he is executed, his death, would only prove what the Kingdom already knows, as captured in the words of the late, great Malcolm X that, "power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression."
On February 14, 1989, precisely 25 years ago, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called upon "all brave Muslims of the world" to murder the apostate Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, a novel condemned as blasphemous. Twenty-five years ago, on February 14, 1989, war was declared by Islamic end-times fundamentalists upon freedom of thought, freedom of speech, literature, secularism, and human expression.
So here we are -- witnessing the slow and painful death of freedom in Canada as the Harper administration relentlessly wages a war on critical thinking that has left us with drastic reductions to our anonymity, due process, freedom of assembly, and virtual privacy in exchange for some intangible conceptualization of security.