STAYING THE COURSE IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM
By: Rachel Marsden
NDP Member of Parliament, Svend Robinson, recently asked Prime Minister Jean Chretien, "Will the Prime Minister tell George Bush that we will not follow him down his dangerous Texas gunslinger road to fight in a shootout against the axis of evil? Will he make that clear to Canadians?"
Canada must continue to support George Bush and the Americans in the war on terrorism--for the sake of democracy and human rights around the world. What Robinson doesn't appear to realize is that without the US and the application of its interventionist foreign policy in this war on terrorism, women in Afghanistan would still be locked in their homes wearing burquas. All those wonderful human rights that Robinson cherishes so much wouldn't exist in many places around the globe if it weren't for American military action. After all, the last time the US used its military power was to protect poor Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo.
For Robinson to paint Bush as a reckless cowboy is patently unfair. The US gives more rights to the Taliban POW's at Guantanamo Bay than these fanatics would ever give to anyone from the Western World if the situation were reversed. The Taliban never signed the Geneva Convention, and they don't give a damn about international law, yet they're being granted all the protection and courtesies it affords. By contrast, consider the latest case of the slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. They slit his throat and sent a videotape of his execution to authorities. Meanwhile, the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are getting better health care and food than millions of Americans do.
This is not the time to go soft on countries that support terrorism. These fanatics are well beyond diplomacy. You may as well try explaining the concept to a bunch of cockroaches. Even former US President Ronald Reagan identified the nature and extent of the problem during his tenure. He recognized that most of the terrorists who kidnap and murder citizens of the Western World and attack Western installations are trained, financed, and directly or indirectly controlled by a core group of radical and totalitarian governments--a new, international version of Murder Incorporated. All of these states are united by one, simple, criminal phenomenon--their fanatical hatred of the West, our people, our way of life, our international stature. Their real goal is to eradicate and destroy the Western World. These theocratic governments lead their people to believe that the West is the source of all evil, and they encourage their people to go to the Mosques and demonize the West because it shifts the heat of popular distress off the governments.
Now it looks as though Iraq may be Bush's next target in his fight to eradicate terrorism. Excellent choice. Saddam Hussein isn't just Bush's chosen whipping-boy of the moment; he's one of the most brutal dictators on the face of the earth. He is killing his own people. What about their human rights? Like herpes, Hussein has been contained for so long, but now it's high time to take him out. Even though the UN weapons inspectors disarmed Iraq to the 90%-95% level back in 1996, and the factories that made the arms and the gas bombs that Hussein dropped on the Kurds are gone, 5% to 10% of their weapons remain unaccounted for. This represents a clear and present risk. And these figures don't take into account the technical sophistication and discreet fanaticism that have succeeded in eluding intelligence agencies. The UN Weapons Inspectors haven't been in Iraq to police the situation since December 1998. Who knows what other biological and chemical weapons Hussein may have in store?
The attacks of September 11th caught everyone off-guard. Terrorism isn't a new phenomenon, but now that it has hit far too close to home, Canada can ill-afford to be apathetic. We must continue to back the US and its counter-terrorism measures. This is a war. Under international law, any state that is victimized by acts of war has a right to defend itself. And sometimes the best defense is a good offense. We cannot wait until Iraqi-manufactured biological warfare rains down on our country before we decide that something needs to be done.