Today Canada was the victim of a low-grade 9/11-style coordinated terror attack. Shots were fired at four locations in Ottawa, including Parliament Hill and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. One Canadian Forces member is dead. So is his killer, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, reported as Canadian-born and a recent convert to Islam.
Many have taken to social media to insist that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is to blame for this: that Canada is under such attack only because we have sent CF-18s to bomb ISIS militants in Iraq.
The logic is flawed, and the greater implications of it are nothing short of alarming.
The attack in which Zehaf-Bribeau participated is only one of two in the past week. Martin Rouleau, also a Canadian-born convert to Islam, attacked Canadian Forces members in what many have described as a Lee Rigby-style attack. (In actuality, Ahmad de Converti -- Rouleau's chosen name -- was far more cowardly than Rigby's murderers, who at least stayed to face the police who arrived to shoot them.)
Not long ago I wrote a blogpost noting that we're fighting ISIS in Iraq so that we don't have to fight them here. Well, as it turns out they're already here, and now we are fighting them here.
While I remain adamant that we must not treat Canada's Muslim populations as if they are all ISIS members or even as if they're potentially ISIS members, we can no longer deny that fighters for the Islamic State are walking amongst us. Perhaps not many, but clearly some. Two attacks within a week, with two victims, speak for themselves.
So suppose that we were to do what the various people who want to pin the attacks on Harper seem to want us to do: withdraw our warplanes from Iraq, abandon our alliance with Israel, and essentially allow them to dictate our foreign policy to us in order to placate these ISIS fighters already hidden in our midst. What would we have just done?
We would have just submitted to living under de facto occupation. Perhaps living under occupation by a force that we may not otherwise be confronted by, but under occupation no less.
We would have handed to ISIS, on a silver platter, Canada as their first conquest in an empire of fear.
I'd be tempted to tell these assorted defeatists (who seem to think we cannot defeat the Islamic State), partisans (who simply point the finger for political gain) and wannabe peaceniks (who seem to miss the detail that there can be no peace with organizations such as ISIS, by their own accord) that they're welcome to live like this.
But if they live like that, so do we all. So they aren't interested in it. And if they aren't content to face the reality of today's events then they just need to put a sock in it.