Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fear In The Streets? It's What He Wants



Those of us who have been following the machinations of our Machiavellian prime minster know that he seems intent on remaking Canada in his own malevolent image - a land where fear, suspicion, and division prevail, a land where only he and his party deserve the people's electoral trust to keep a panoply of hobgoblins at bay.

Immobilized by Islamophobia? Mr. Harper is on the job, protecting our values from the niqab and fighting ISIS for all that is good and holy. Intimidated by domestic terrorism? Bill C-51 is the answer. Horrified at the prospect of rural renegades? Gun ownership for personal protection is your salvation, intones the Dark Lord. The world is a dark place, and only the strong leadership of Dear Leader can save us from perils too prolific to enumerate.

So goes the official narrative, growing increasingly shrill the closer we come to the next election.

Yet Haroon Siddiqui feels our fears are misplaced. We should be much more wary of Harper's war on truth and transparency. Take, for example, his plan to extend the ISIS mission:
In keeping with the Conservative penchant for saying one thing and doing another, the government is positing the war plan as non-partisan — after having brazenly used the war as a partisan wedge issue to whip up fear, paint critics as terrorist sympathizers (even possibly “a national security threat,” as Greenpeace has been told), and raise funds for the ruling party.
The threat that Islamic terrorists pose to Canada is itself largely a Harper creation:
... the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says that Muslim terrorists are less of a threat than white supremacists. “Lone wolf” attacks are more likely to come from radical right-wingers than radical Islamists.
Harper's fevered campaign attests to the fact that in war (either real or imaginary), truth is the first casualty:
Contrary to facts, Harper links Muslim radicalization with Canadian mosques. And he remains undeterred even though his ban on the niqab during a citizenship ceremony has been tossed out by the Federal Court. He and his acolytes are inventing new rationale on the run: the citizenship oath must be seen to be recited and it should be recited loudly — when there is no such requirement.
The Machiavellian motivation behind his campaign is obvious to those whose intellects allow them to resist the puppet-master's manipulations:
The Conservatives are shameless in using the anti-niqab campaign to raise funds. Similarly, no sooner had Harper told rural Canadians to use guns to protect themselves than the party followed with a fundraising appeal.

Jenni Byrne, the party’s national campaign manager, told potential donors that Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau “want to make life harder for lawful hunters, farmers and sport shooters by bringing back the long-gun registry,” while “opposing everything we do to punish criminals who commit crimes with guns.”
Siddiqui ends his column with this bracing observation and advice, to which I have nothing to add:
The Harperites want us to be terrified of terrorists, niqabis, criminals, thieves, etc. Time for us, in fact, to be terrified of the Harperite bigots, bullies and ideologues.

13 comments:

  1. IMHO, Harper's war in Iraq is not Canada's war, but his and his followers sick christian crusade. The same with the Ukraine, where that war is edging closer, everyday, to being a full blown sectarian conflict.

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    1. In the black and white world of Harper and his acolytes, Anon, you are either with him or against him. Analysis of his motives makes you one who falls into the latter camp.

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  2. Part of what infuriates us about Harper is his obsession with taking every event or circumstance and figuring out how to politicize it, how to game it to his partisan advantage which will, without exception, trump the legitimate interests of the nation and our people.

    Yes, Harper relentlessly exploits fear. He's a shameless fear monger in no small part because his base - old white people - are so susceptible to it. Get them fearful and you can easily get them angry which is just where you need them when, absent any credible vision, you have to rely on wedge politics.

    Harper isn't a leader, he's a drover. Leaders are at the front and draw the public to follow them. They have to win over the public, give them policies they can support and want to pursue. People like Harper operate from the shadows behind the public, skilfully manipulating their basest instincts.

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    1. I like your metaphor of Harper as a drover, Mound. That makes his acolytes cattle or sheep, doesn't it?

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  3. .. Mound is on track re the 'drover' aspect of Harper. Its more complicated I believe, but to define Stephen Harper as a 'leader' is as Mound points out, clearly incorrect.. ludicrous. However, it seems that when our cowardly PM proclaims something is 'patently absurd' .. its 'Canada says' according to the great oracles of Canadian Mainstream Media.

    Has anyone seen our media taking a look at where Harper's secret weapon, the leveraged Laureen grew up among the guns? Or the dubious proud 'nation builder' and 'wise woman' Jenni Byrne? You know.. those rural heartlands where city boy Harper indicates that guns form a vital part of safety & defense.. not to mention game hunting, sport shooting and the like.

    Fortunately I'm quite familiar with sleepy, safe Turner Valley, Alberta which has one of the most mercury toxic closed naptha plants in Canada, as well as sleepy cottage town Fenelon Falls, Ontario.. both of which may qualify as havens where approx 2,000 inhabitants know everything there is to know about all comings, goings, Fowl Suppers, christenings and Prom Night curfew.

    If there's gonna be gunfire & victims in the Falls.. its going to be deer, black bear or unwary hunters in season http://www.ontario.ca/document/2014-ontario-hunting-regulations-summary and where the Alberta antelope play & elk do roam is risky from gunfire too in season, tho mainly due to locals hunting among the foothills Thompson ground squirrels http://www.mywildalberta.com/Hunting/Default.aspx

    In short.. the man's a gasbag asshat.. a complete phony, little rich kid, now holier than thou, superior to all, certainly super smart in a know it all smug savant way. Exactly the kind of man that locals in Turner Valley, Alta or Fenelon Falls Ont would detest & trust with nothing.. yet all dressed up as a make believe 'conservative tory' he gets a ticket to ride, his MP's who have earned squat, ride for free.. and Canadian ridings get infested & defrauded at election time..

    riddle me that, batman ..

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    1. It is indeed a mystery to me, Salamander, that so many of the rural folk who should know better fall for Harper's tawdry, tendentious and completely hollow rhetoric. It makes them all look bad.

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    2. "gasbag asshat" and the Fenelon Falls reference. Jeebus, Sal, you made me laugh hard enough that my ribs hurt.

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  4. I do have an issue with the Niqab, or any other face covering by any other person which hides there identity from being allowed, unless I can do such as well.

    For me it's not a Religious issue but a practical one for identification.

    After they have had their photo taken they and anyone else can wear whatever they want.......

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    1. The identification issue really is not an issue in the case of the woman who wants to take her citizenship oath while wearing the niqab, Anon. Zunera Ishaq has no problem removing her veil to the citizenship judge before the ceremony for identification purposes. What she objects to, and it is an objection supported by the law and the courts, is removing it to placate demagogues like Mr. Harper.

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  5. I had no idea Ms Byrne was from Fenelon Falls. I've spent a good chunk of my time in that part of the country every summer for over 25 years. There is a certain explanatory value here. There is a quite distinct Dogpatch air and aroma to a good many of the good people of Fenelon Falls once one gets off the main drag thru town. It's sister town, on the other end of Sturgeon Lake, is Bobcaygeon. Two of the many stops on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Back about eleventy seven years ago the province asked the two towns if they'd like a highway by-pass built. Bobcaygeon said yes, please. Fenelon Falls said, no then no one would have to drive through and then what would we do. Bobcaygeon today is a beautiful, quiet village of shops and cafes and galleries (with the best shoe store in all of Canada-should you ever visit you must go to Bigley's, especially if you're of the female persuasion). Fenelon Falls, on the other hand, has a noisy, smelly main drag with old structures starting to show the wear and tear from huge trucks rumbling through town. Once you're off the main drag Fenelon has some charms but not that many do - they're driving through, putting up with the traffic bottleneck and cursing.

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    1. Those details are very telling one about the good folks of Fenlon Falls, Dana. I have never had the 'pleasure' of traversing their terrain.

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  6. I grew up in the woods of eastern Ontario. The biggest fear we had was of 'law abiding gun owners', half in the bag, running around the woods during hunting season, shooting off their high powered hunting rifles. We had the bullet holes in our house as proof.

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    1. In Harperland, Anon, it seems such 'good folk' can do no wrong, at least for electoral purposes.

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