The primary goal of al Qaeda and the Jihadist movement is to topple all non-Islamicist governments in the Muslim world and to replace them with a new caliphate. It should come as no surprise that the majority of their actions are aimed at destabilizing those Middle Eastern economies and governments that have at least cordial relations with the Western world. For this reason, they singled out Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for attacks in recent years.
As is typical for any particular brand of revolutionaries, most of their victims come from the population they purport to represent – the Jihadist movement has killed well over 200,000 Muslims so far. One might surmise that, as is true of so many ideologues, that if al Qaeda ever did get political mastery in any nation, the deaths could soon be counted in the millions. This alone makes it vital to oppose them.
However, the Jihadists do have a deep-seated need to punish the West for having the effrontery to be wealthy, prosperous, and non-Muslim. They specifically identified (in addition to the default target of Israel) the US, the UK, Australia, Spain, Canada and Italy for chastisement. Of all of the countries they have directly threatened, so far only Italy and Canada have been spared a major attack launched against their citizens… for now.
John Thompson is Editorial Director of the Mackenzie Institute which studies political instability and terrorism. He can be reached at: email@example.com
The following Egyptian TV interview on 9-11 was aired in 2005. It may be found on the internet at: http://memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=844 . Egyptian Researcher Zaynab Abd Al-Aziz is being interviewed on Iqra TV, May 26, 2005.
Abd Al-Aziz: When, in January 2001, the World Council of Churches delegated this mission to the U.S. - what did the U.S. do? It fabricated the show of... is it September 9 or 11?
Host: Eleven. Please explain this to me.
Abd Al-Aziz: Yes, of course...
Host: You mean to say that the World Council of Churches delegated the mission of Christianizing the world to the U.S.
Abd Al-Aziz: Yes. And how could the U.S. win legitimacy for this without anyone saying that they are perpetrating massacres and waging a Crusader war? It fabricated the 9/11 show. I call it a fabrication because much has been written on this. We are also to blame. Why do we accept a single perspective? Countless books were written, some of which were even translated into Arabic, like Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 - The Big Lie and Pentagate . 'Pentagate' like Watergate... He brings documents to prove that the method used in destroying the three [sic] towers was "controlled demolition." This is an architectural engineering theory, which was invented by the Americans. They teach it in their universities. They make movies and documentaries about it. They incorporated it in movie scenarios and then carried it out in real life. Why do we accept this?
Host: My God, Doctor. This is unbelievable! You're saying that this destruction...
Abd Al-Aziz: ...was a controlled demolition. The building collapsed in its place, without hitting a single building to its left or right. The three towers fell in place.
Host: In the same method they use in movies and plays?
Abd Al-Aziz: Yes, Exactly like that. That is how the U.S. won international legitimacy. You could sense the [9/11] operation was pre-planned because many things were revealed in the days that followed. For example, 4,000 Jews caught influenza on that exact day. They set a timer, and all 4,000...
Host: By God, you crack me up! They all set a timer and got influenza on the same day. So the building was completely empty of Jews.
Abd Al-Aziz: Much has been written about this. One hundred and fifty Congressmen demanded an inquiry.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the perennial skunk cabbage of the American White Supremacist movement has been making a tour of the Middle East to repeat the same story. David Duke – a long time feature of the KKK and one time State Senator from Louisiana – has been letting his Arab hosts imply that he is a United States Senator, while telling his credulous audiences about the Jewish plot to take over the United States.
‘Nuff said about the quality of critical analysis in so much of the Arab World. What is surprising is that there are many Westerners who share this belief. Indeed, the learned Abd Al-Aziz even cited one Western conspiracy addict’s idiotic theories. More on this sort of fuzzy thinking anon.
Usually, responding to requests to do phone-in shows is a pleasure; but increasingly this is an experience that has gone sour, particularly when it comes to dealing with terrorism. Inevitably, there is the caller who – with the same breathless pride of a toddler announcing that he has just gone to the potty by himself – tells me that “The real terrorists are the United States”. At least the toddler’s pride is understandable. Usually Mr. “US is a Terrorist” is followed by some other idiot who cites Noam Chomsky in the sadly mistaken belief that any deconstructionist must be some kind of intellectual worthy of respect. As like as not, some member of the handwringer brigade soon trails them, with the inevitable wail that all would be well if we only all tried to get along.
If fuzzy thinking was a disease, our society seems to be caught in a severe epidemic.
Others have noticed this epidemic too. Francis Wheen is the author of How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions. The book is an excoriating attack on a lot of what passes for thinking nowadays, and deserves much more attention that what it has received so far. But then, Mumbo Jumbo is a widespread ailment, and a lot of, oh, book reviewers and talk-show hosts seem to be infected too.
Interestingly, on correcting a book store clerk who placed Wheen’s book in the humor section, it appeared that it was catalogued by the distributor to be placed there. How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World is sarcastic, not satirical, and is intended by the publisher (and rightly so) for placement in those shelves dealing with thought, political science, etc. Those who intend to acquire the book should be advised to look for it in the right place.
Those who consider themselves to be ‘Right Wing’ or conservative; or who still think of themselves as being ‘Left Wing’ should receive an additional warning: Wheen happily slaughters sacred cows from both sides of the pasture. It is also true that sacred cows make a delicious barbeque.
Western civilization is the product of long and painful centuries of intellectual progress – culminating in the Enlightenment. The heritage we have from that era included (until recently) the waning of absolutism and superstition, the rise of democracies with secular or neutral institutions to encourage individual freedom, rapid increases in our knowledge of history and science (particularly the natural world), liberal economics, and that balance of freedom and law achieved by those two masterworks of the Enlightenment: The British Parliamentary System and the American Constitution.
The achievements of the Enlightenment have always been under attack: The Romantic Era of the early 19th Century was the first such attack, and its more poisonous legacies led directly to Bonapartism, Communism, Nazism and a host of other murderous ideologies. The current threats to our Enlightenment inheritance are more subtle but in their own way are just as dangerous.
The first target in Wheen’s book is our trust in the market and the free-enterprise market system. Now, normally these do very well for us and remain institutions that are well worth preserving, but periodically the market goes insane. Charles Mackay’s classic study from 1841, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, begins with the Mississippi Scheme and the South Sea Bubble back in the early 18th Century. Are we so sure the Dotcom bubble was so removed from these classic sprees of irrational thought? The economy needs rational thinkers in positions of leadership and too many of them are infected with Mumbo Jumbo.
Those invisible hands at the tiller of the market also appear to be spending considerable money on snake-oil salesmen… the pitchmen of ‘Greed is good’ and ‘If it feels good, do it’ and similar mantras aimed at turning business into a religion of sorts, but which has an immoral message. Even more irritating are those who make a living out of selling common sense as something ‘visionary’ and ‘new’. The end result of these supposed thinkers are those flashy companies with ‘New Visions’ and ‘Mission Statements’ who redefine success by jiggling with the books – corporations like Enron and other saboteurs of the market.
However, these sins of the market pale in comparison to those of academia. The barbarians of Wall Street are nothing compared to the vandal hordes of deconstructionists who infest our ivory towers. Of them, Barbara Ehrenreich (herself a traditional Leftist) writes: “Students taking courses in literature, film, ‘cultural studies,’ and even, in some cases anthropology and political science, were taught that the world is just a socially constructed ‘text’ about which you can say anything you want, provided that you say it murkily enough… One of my own children, whose college education costs us about $25,000 a year, reported in some classes you could be marked down for using the word ‘reality’ without the quotation marks.”
Nor do the Dervishes of Jacques Derrida (who is the first of the true postmodernist deconstructionists) restrict their demolition work to the arts or foreign policy. The blame for these clowns goes back to the early days of the Soviet Revolution, and then to their political partisans in the West who had to bend over backwards to apologise for Lenin and Stalin without appearing to actually do so. It was a neat trick, and during these exercises, the old Marxist Left learned that, with enough intellectual juggling, war does become peace, freedom transforms into slavery and ignorance indeed becomes strength. Orwell warned us what this could lead to, and now we know. The deconstructionists that rose out of this tradition have a strength that is now great enough to march through the institutions of today’s great universities and overthrow history, the arts, the wisdom of centuries, and even challenge science.
The deconstructionists both mock science – one even denounced E=mc2 as a “sexist equation” – and yet seek to borrow its appearance to invest their own shabby constructs in stolen finery. Others have denounced physics the same way, but it is obvious they lack the courage of their convictions. We have yet to see deconstructionists leap off tall buildings while denouncing gravity as a patriarchal European construct; and can but hope that they try to do so.
Other deconstructionists now try to lard their gibbering with inserted mathematical symbols to imply that they have come out with an equation of sorts, and which therefore must be true. This is an odd approach for a school of thought that believes everything is false except for the moral purity and introspection of the deconstructionist alone. One can dress up an ass in ermine and purple, but it still is an ass.
The deconstructionists are certainly not the only modern fuzzy thinkers who despise reality: There is a huge market for New Age quackery in lieu of medicine (or for real spiritual discipline), for books on UFOs, a fascination with the Millennialism and end of the World, and, of course, for conspiracy thinking.
With conspiracy myth addicts, any refutation of their facts is only taken as further evidence of their beliefs. So how can you argue logically with them? For example, some hoaxers shot a grainy black and white film of an “alien autopsy” conducted by the US Air Force and released it as real footage from 1947. The film was immediately embraced by many “UFOologists” as proof of both the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence and of a decades-long effort by the US Air Force to conceal their existence. Enter the hoaxers with their triumphant ‘Gotcha!’, which had no effect. To the true believers, the footage must have been real, and the hoaxers’ declaration was therefore only more proof of the cover-up plot as the USAF would be obviously desperate to deny the validity of the film. If this makes sense to you, it might already be too late to get clinical help.
Crystal waving New Agers are easy targets, and Wheen certainly doesn’t pass up a chance to attack them either – lambasting Madonna, Hillary Clinton, and Cherie Blair for choice. This last, despite being a declared Catholic, saw no problem in consulting a Feng Shui ‘expert’ to place furniture in 10 Downing Street, and in using a “dowsing healer” to treat her swollen ankles with an infusion of strawberry leaves grown in the “electro-magnetic field” of his homebuilt backyard Neolithic circle. Just how is a heap of stones one puts up in their backyard a ‘Neolithic’ construct anyway? Doesn’t it need to have been in place for 4,000 years first? Hucksters of this sort have always been around, but snake-oil medicines are big money these days.
Evangelical Christians might be discomfited to find themselves squarely in Mumbo-Jumbo’s sights too. If Marxist deconstructionists have failed to jump off tall buildings to demonstrate that gravity is a social construct of the Caucasian Patriarchy, we have also failed to see Evangelicals who believe that God micromanages every aspect of their lives pulling the lighting rods from the roofs of their churches, or canceling their insurance policies as unnecessary extravagances.
What might be particularly annoying to others besides Wheen are the proponents of ‘Intelligent Design’ as a supposedly valid alternative to the ghastly horror of teaching students about Darwin’s theory of evolution and all which has sprung from it. If, according to what I hear in my church on Sundays, we are God’s children, shouldn’t we examine the processes by which our omniscient creator works – instead of being so freaked out by astronomy, biology, geology, paleontology and similar disciplines? What loving parent wouldn’t take pride in the exploring spirit of his children, and just what is time to an eternal and omnipotent God anyway? The intelligent design types seek to stuff God and all of creation into a tiny little package that they can understand and, frankly, it is embarrassing to their more rational co-religionists.
Wheen concludes his book with the following: “Visitors to the US Archives building in Washington DC can read another of Santayana’s epigrams chiseled over the main entrance: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ He described this as the condition of ‘children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.’ But those who refuse to learn from experience, and strive to discredit the rationalism that makes such enlightenment possible – whether they be holy warriors, antiscientific relativists, economic fundamentalists, radical postmodernists, New Age mystics, or latter day Chicken Lickens – are not only condemning themselves to repeat the past. They wish to consign us all to a life in darkness.”
As for those who insist on believing that the United States is more immoral than Wahhabi Jihadists; that all the travails in the world flow from America; or that – the most pathetic fallacy of them all – there is no evil only misunderstanding, well…. The gifts of the Enlightenment are for the benighted too, but they should never expect respect for their opinions if they cannot shuffle out of the dark.
A late education can be a good thing, and a deathbed conversion is better than no conversion at all. But neither is easy.
Race relations has become a big industry here, and even bigger abroad, particularly in Britain where government boards have been established to "educate whites out of prejudice towards ethnic minorities."
This is sometimes good but often bad because the "educators" are often the blindest bigots of all. The riots in Birmingham, once one of the great cities of England, have revealed vicious hatred of whites and contempt for the nation's history, customs and traditions among minorities who have no interest in becoming "British."
"Multiculturalism" has largely insulated the black and Asian communities, keeping them apart except when they fight each other in the streets, and leaving them at the mercy of rumor and tall tales spread by those with no interest in community.
"The chairman of the Commission on Racial Equality," notes the London Daily Telegraph, "has warned in recent months of the dangers of the multicultural society. Lozells [a residential district of Birmingham and the scene of racial rioting] proves his point. While it is correct that in a free society the cultures and ways of life of different groups should be tolerated, toleration almost to the exclusion of the cultural mainstream is highly dangerous. Instead of having warring factions in our inner cities, we should have communities that, first and foremost, regard themselves as British."
The London bombings in July changed attitudes in Britain even more profoundly than September 11 changed things in America. Perhaps it begins with respect for language. The Queen's English belongs first to the British, after all, and most Englishmen are not as eager as we are to cower behind clouds of euphemism, obscuration and other poisonous gases.
The most profound change in Britain, says Daniel Pipes, an American scholar who is the director of the Middle East Forum, "is the sudden need of the British and others to assert what it means to be British, Australian or some other nationality. In the face of the Islamist challenge, historic identities taken for granted must now be explained and codified."
Not just the British, but Europeans, usually regarded here as made up in equal parts of mush, cotton, hay and rag, in recent months have stood up to defend the customs that make the West the West. Burqas have been banned in Italy, reluctant German schoolboys are required to attend coed swimming classes and male applicants for Irish citizenship are now required to renounce polygamy. When a visiting Iranian government delegation demanded that a Belgian minister drink no wine at his luncheon for them, the minister promptly canceled the lunch and told them: "You can't force the authorities of Belgium to drink water."
But it's more than wine and water. David Cameron, a rising Tory star in Britain, summons the courage to define "Britishness," and says it begins with "freedom under the rule of law," and this "explains almost everything you need to know about our country, our institutions, our history, our culture -- even our economy."
Mr. Cameron rises to bluntness: "The driving force behind today's terrorist threat is Islamist fundamentalism. The struggle we are engaged in is, at root, ideological. Islamist thinking has developed which, like other totalitarianisms, such as Nazi-ism and communism, offers its followers a form of redemption through violence."
Bluntness inspires bluntness. The international relations minister for Quebec says immigrants who respect neither women nor the rights in the Canadian civil code are not welcome. The prime minister of New South Wales says immigrants who don't want to become Australians first should stay out. Australia's education minister told prospective Islamic immigrants that if they can't commit to Australian rule of law "they can basically clear off."
Lately George W. Bush has shown signs of acquiring a late education, saying for the first time what everybody knows, that the radical enemy within the gates does not necessarily embrace "a religion of peace." It's not much, but it's a start.
The following was a presentation by Brian McAdam on September 7th, 2005 to Public Forum: Focus on China, University of Ottawa. It comes with the permission of the Yang Hongmao Society – a group dedicated to the study of China’s relations with the Western World.
Canadians have to contend with five myths about China that have been perpetuated for a very long time. These are very powerful myths that have been the foundation of Canada’s relationship with China.
Myth #1 Trade with China is beneficial to Canada
Hints are thrown out that China has 1.3 billion customers and everyone should jump on the bandwagon. The government of China is adept at providing incentives for foreign countries and companies -- incentives to support China’s needs and purposes. Those who fail to comply with China’s wishes are told there may be dire consequences. For example Canada’s trade with China will be greatly affected.
In fact Canada’s relationship with China trade seems to trump everything – especially human rights and even Canada’s own security. So I wish to present to you tonight some facts that are rarely said.
Trade with China may be beneficial for a select few, but not for all Canadians. Yes, Canada is exporting more to China – natural resources such as coal and oil to fuel their industries, but few ever talk about the other side of the coin. Instead, officials parrot the hype:
“China is a priority market for Canada. It is the fastest growing economy in the world; it ranks in the top 10 world economies, currently on par with Italy, and ranks second in terms of purchasing power. China’s emerging middle class has the potential to soon become 200-million strong.”
“Canadian companies and their government see that the train is leaving the station and they want to catch it. If we don’t someone else will. In short, in today’s interdependent world, China’s continued success is vital to our continued success. China is now Canada’s largest Asian trading partner. Globally, China is Canada’s second largest two-way trading partner with over $23 billion in bilateral trade in 2003. Preliminary figures for 2004 indicate growth of more than 30 percent in two-way trade between our two countries… China -- as evidenced by the number of Canadians in this room – is at the top of Canada’s priority list as an export market and investment destination.”
The reality is that Canada has been rapidly developing a significant trade imbalance with China instead of “a modest balanced trading relationship” we had a decade ago. The deficit with China was larger than with any other single country. On a dollar basis, Canada imported four times as much from China as it exported. [Authors’s emphasis, with material drawn from Statistics Canada].
Canada’s recorded merchandise trade deficit with China has increased almost ten-fold since 1993, reaching to a record of $17.5 billion in 2004.
China is exporting hi-tech items to Canada like computers, cell phones, video recording equipment, etc., while Canada is still mainly exporting agricultural products to China; contrary to expectations. The structure of trade between China and Canada would make you wonder which one is the developed economy and which one is the developing country.
To make things worse, Canada is also losing out in its exports to the US as China is able to under-cut Canadian prices. 
Listening to the China trade hype one would think the amount of exports to China must be enormous. In fact, less than 2 percent of Canada’s total exports go to China, while 86.9 percent of Canada’s exports go to the United States.
Canada’s trade with China is not beneficial.  There is also a hidden cost most Canadians never consider.
“According to estimates from the Laogai Research Foundation, there are 6.8 million people incarcerated in China’s 1,100 labor institutions making slave labor goods being consumed by free-spending Westerners oblivious or indifferent to the plight of these poor souls.”
Myth #2 China has 1.3 billion customers
Cracking into the billion-consumer market has always been the goal of the Canadian government and has dominated the China/Canada relationship.
Many are lured by the idea that “If you can sell a widget to every person in China then that’s a billion dollars and you can go play golf the rest of your life.”  But all the evidence, historical and actual, shows this market to be a mirage. Phil Brennan of Newsmax explains:
“That 1.3 billion-person market shrinks dramatically once it is looked at with cooler eyes: A whopping 900 million are peasants earning incomes so tiny it’s doubtful they could afford a bottle of Coke. An additional 100 million are unemployed rural workers who have moved into the cities seeking work. Without incomes, they are without purchasing power.
“Using any arithmetic, that’s a cool billion … driven from the equation. The 1.3 billion shrinks to 300 million, a population roughly equivalent to [the US]. Among them is an emerging middle class with incomes a fraction of that of Americans.”
“The Chinese have companies too.” China, he adds, is “not a commercial void. Chinese businessmen are just as interested as American businessmen in selling to the Chinese. And they’re better positioned.
“Finally, there is that matter US businessmen are not prone to talk about: China is a communist dictatorship with a huge and corrupt bureaucracy that tends to stick its fingers into every phase of Chinese life.”
Yet despite all these drawbacks, American business continues to dream… largely ignoring such markets as India, which the New Yorker points out also has a billion people who are better educated and many of whom speak English.
“US companies are sometimes forced to transfer technology to Chinese partners as a condition in business deals. The Chinese government violates its WTO [World Trade Organization] obligations when it expressly requires technology transfers as a condition of doing business. It is also able to compel such transfers through use of its regulatory powers as well as its extensive role in the economy. These technology transfers pose substantial economic and security concerns for the United States.” (2004 US-China Economic and Security Review Commission Annual Report to Congress).
Myth #3 China is becoming democratic
The Canadian government’s commercial diplomacy with China includes the faddish belief that what seems to be China’s move towards capitalism will lead eventually towards democracy. However, “the ruling Chinese elite holds a different view,” and does not “see China fated to evolve into a liberal democracy,” according to academics at Columbia and Princeton universities. The elite believe the Communist Party should stay in power. 
The Communist Party is not, as is invariably said, in transition from communism to a freer and more democratic regime. It is, instead, an autocracy while some also believe it is a maturing fascist regime. 
Myth #4 China has improved human rights
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is responsible for the deaths of more people than both Hitler or Stalin combined: An estimated 47-75 million people, and has an abominable record of abuse of human rights. 
Despite these facts, China’s leaders were given warm welcomes when they visited Canada; so too were the head of China’s intelligence who was involved in China’s murderous Cultural Revolution and the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) general who carried out the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The former and current administration is very reticent to criticize China’s human rights abuses such as forced abortions, religious and political repression, selling prisoners’ organs, mass executions and torture.
The Canadian government’s sycophants, apologists and propagandists do not want to address that the Chinese Communist government still actually and literally imprisons and tortures people, often to death, for their religious beliefs or activities.
Before former prime minister Jean Chretien’s first Team Canada trip to China, Foreign Affairs’ China experts advised him that instead of uttering the words “human rights” he should use the phrase “good governance and the rule of law.” 
A representative of Amnesty International said last week [in late August 2005] that “there is no improvement in human rights in China, and in certain areas, it has deteriorated.”
Myth #5 China is benign
Few in the Canadian government are familiar with China’s dark history. Most do not know nor have they made any effort to learn about the symbiosis of crime, business and politics in China.
Most Canadians cannot conceive of what Asian crime expert Bertil Linter describes as the “tangled web of bankers, gangsters, soldiers and spies” that exists in China and among the Overseas Chinese Diaspora.  Nor do they have any understanding of the implications of China’s emergence as a new superpower, which will use any means to achieve its ends even if it means the deaths of millions of its own citizens – or other people. Not knowing contemporary Chinese history, few can conceive of the barbarity and evil that the Chinese Communist Party is capable of.
Here are some reasons why we should not consider China to be benign:
Espionage: A joint CSIS/RCMP study in 1997, code named Sidewinder, warned the Canadian government about China’s espionage activities in Canada. It was aborted and denounced as a “conspiracy theory.” Eight years later we learn that China is indeed carrying out espionage activity in Canada.
Chinese defectors recently revealed that Beijing maintains a vast espionage network of more than 1,000 spies in Canada. Another Chinese defector warned Canadians of Beijing’s spy operations: Guangsheng Han says the luggage of important foreign visitors to China is routinely searched, Chinese delegations that go abroad frequently include spies and foreign embassies and consulates routinely engage in espionage.
China’s intelligence services have systematically targeted Canada’s science and technology sectors and use Chinese students and visiting scientists to steal technology for military use and to enhance the country’s global economic competitiveness. It is possible that Chinese spies cost Canada $1 billion every month through industrial espionage in terms of lost sales and markets. This loss represents twice the value of what Canada is exporting to China!
Spies are also charged with intimidating Falun Gong members in Canada. Falung Gong is a spiritual movement that was banned in China in 1999.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told the United States Congress that China has more than 3,000 “front” companies in America whose real purpose is to direct espionage efforts and acquire US technology for military purposes. “In Canada, intelligence reports indicate the number of Chinese front companies to be between 300 and 500,” according to an Asian Pacific Post article.
China’s Alliance with Chinese organized crime groups: As they did in the past – gangsters, officials, and China’s military are once again in an alliance. They collaborate to buy and spy to get high-tech secrets and political influence. Canadians are oblivious to what is happening and the threats this poses to Canada’s security.
Bertil Lintner, author and Asian crime expert writes: “Without the criminal underworld on its side, it would be almost impossible for Bejing to extend its writ beyond its frontiers, and that is what makes the new nexus between the Triads and China’s present leaders so dangerous for the rest of the world. China is, even more than North Korea, a state that feels that it has to engage in criminal activities such as drug running and the printing of counterfeit dollars to survive. And China needs the underworld to help it steal industrial secrets from more developed countries and to influence the politics of what is becoming its main rival, the United States.” 
The American government identified that Asian organized crime in Canada now poses a security threat to the United States! The report, entitled International Crime Threat Assessment, details how Chinese crime organizations from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan have exploited Canada’s lax immigration policies to establish a base for operations in the United States.
Political Interference: In the article Feeling the long arm of China: The Consul-General is making sure politicians know where her country stands, Jan Wong states “Interviews with politicians, community activists and documents obtained by the Globe and Mail show that the Toronto consulate and its friends have repeatedly tried to influence political decisions at the federal, provincial and municipal levels that conflict with the interests of China’s Communist regime.”
There are signs that the Canadian judicial system has become poisoned by Communist China’s misinformation. 
Military Threats: The US Government has cited China as the number one threat to global security.
China has been posing an increased threat to the rest of the world for a long time, with generals threatening nuclear attacks. It can launch nuclear weapons that in 30 minutes could kill one hundred million Americans.
A Pentagon report states that much of China’s defense strategy seems to be derived from guidance that then Premier Deng Xiapoing gave to the military and national security establishment in the early 1990s. This guidance, known as the “24 Character Strategy,” advises military planners to “observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities; and bide our time.”
The Epoch Times recently reported on a briefing General Chi Haotian, China’s former minister of defence allegedly made to China’s senior military leaders: The War is approaching us and War is not far from us and is the midwife of the Chinese Century [emphasis in original]. The following lowlights of what he allegedly said are shocking:
“Would the United States allow us to go out to gain new living space? First, if the United States is firm in blocking us, it is hard for us to do anything significant to Taiwan and some other countries! Second, even if we could snatch some land from Taiwan, Vietnam, India, or even Japan, how much more living space can we get? Very trivial! Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization.
“There has been rapid development of modern biological technology, and new bio weapons have been invented one after another. Of course, we have not been idle; in the past years we have seized the opportunity to master weapons of this kind. We are capable of achieving our purpose of “cleaning up” America all of a sudden. When Comrade Xiaping was still with us, the Party Central Committee had the perspicacity to make the right decision not to develop aircraft carrier groups and focus instead on developing lethal weapons that can eliminate mass populations of the enemy country.
“This yellow land has reached the limit of its capacity. One day, who knows how soon it will come the great collapse will occur any time and more than half of the population will have to go,
“We must prepare ourselves for two scenarios. If our biological weapons succeed in the surprise attack [on, presumably, the United States but bioweapons would not be any great respecter of our common border – ed], the Chinese people will be able to keep their losses at a minimum in the fight against the United States. If, however, the attack fails and triggers a nuclear retaliation from the United States, China would perhaps suffer a catastrophe in which more than half of its population would perish. That is why we need to be ready with air defence systems for our big and medium-sized cities.”
Yes, there are more skyscrapers, cell phones, cars, and Gucci products in China, but there is less freedom. Many are tortured, and China now has missiles targeted at the United States and has spies employed in stealing America’s nuclear secrets and technology from Canada.
Since Marco Polo first visited China 700 years ago, the Western World has believed that there are untold riches in China. The importance of China’s supposedly vast markets has been trumpeted for centuries, but “recent history is littered with the dashed plans of foreign companies that made disastrous miscalculations about China.” 
With very few exceptions, these ventures were disastrous, according to a new book The China Dream: The Quest for the Last Great Untapped Market on Earth by Joe Studwell. He writes that political leaders, international agencies and analysts have also been misled many times by the apparently unlimited opportunities in China.
In the 1990s, the “China gold rush” went to unprecedented levels as foreign investors to this day want to believe that dreams do come true. But, as Studwell argues, that century after century, China’s economy crashes and their dreams turn to dust. He predicts China’s economy will stall again with potentially catastrophic results that will be felt around the world. Studwell, who is one of the most respected business journalists covering China, predicts a full-blown economic and political crisis for China.
Canada has taken a Pollyanna, head-in-the-sand approach toward China, seduced by hopes of selling billions of widgets to China’s 1.3 billion people. The Canadian government is not only ignoring the threat China poses, it is also turning a blind eye to China’s despicable human rights policies – which are repugnant to Canadian values.
The Canadian government has failed to understand China’s strategy of trade, influence buying, and espionage to achieve their goals of building a modern military and to support the aims of the People’s Liberation Army and the Communist Party that rules China. 
The Canadian government has based its foreign policy relationship with China upon myths and delusions, while steadfastly denying that there are any problems with their relationship with the most evil and blood-soaked regime in the world today. In addition, there are those that willingly conspire with the Chinese Communist Party either for ideological purposes, or out of sheer greed.
How far will the Canadian government go to please Beijing?
There is an ancient belief cited in James George Frazer's The Golden Bough that making a human sacrifice in laying the foundations of important buildings would give them strength and durability. Sometimes it was assumed that blood made mortar stronger and bone conferred stability.
The Canada that we know certainly had enough sacrifice taken during the laying of its foundations. Modern Canada only ceased to believe that it was little more than a British colony as a result of the First World War; our sense of national pride was especially kindled by the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.
It might be said that the blood and bone of over 59,500 Canadians was laid into our foundations between 1914 and 1919. Some of that blood comes from my great uncle.
George Conn was born in Scotland and came over with his immigrating parents in 1910; settling in Brockville on the Ontario shore of the St. Laurence. When he enlisted in August 1914, he probably still thought of himself as a Briton. If he had lasted until the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917, it is very likely that he would then have then been thinking of himself as a Canuck, first and foremost. However, he was killed in action two years earlier, on April 22nd, 1915.
When Canadians think of the First World War, their thoughts tend to centre on Vimy Ridge, which was an impressive victory that marked the coming supremacy of the Canadian Corps as the elite formation in the Allied forces on the Western Front. Canadians have good reason to commemorate that accomplishment, as it was one of the signal events that marked Canada’s maturation into a self-confident nation. Yet it was a losing fight on another ridge that marked the debut of Canadian troops in the war, and which first drew attention from their allies and enemies to their future potential.
The volunteers who flocked to join the enthusiastic (though quite clumsy) formation of Canada's expeditionary force around Valcartier in August 1914 had little idea of what lay ahead of them. Armed with the inadequate Ross Rifle (a pet-project of the buffoonish Sir Sam Hughes, then Minister of Defence), they chaffed to get 'over there' to 'do their bit'. As battalions formed and reformed, with almost daily changes in command -- again thanks to Sir Sam’s erratic micromanagement -- somehow or other, a young Scottish quarryman ended up in the 13th Battalion as a private soldier. He was still with them eight months later when the Second Battle of Ypres began.
The 13th Battalion was largely based on the Royal Highlanders of Canada, a Montreal militia regiment officered by young McGill students and the social elite of the city. They were brash, eager, and quite under-trained by the later high professional standards of the Canadian Corps. However, when the German Army unleashed its big spring offensive designed to cut the Allied line in two and drive towards the vital Channel ports, the Highlanders were a part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Canadian Division who were in their way. The division was in the front line for the first time.
Actually, the 1st Canadian Division wasn't alone in the German's path. Some of that honor belonged to French-African troops, most of whom fled or died when the Germans began their offensive on April 22nd, 1915 with the first effective poison gas attack in military history. This left a large gap on the flank of the Canadian division, and the left-hand battalion – the 13th – was left exposed. The Highlanders, advised by a Canadian chemist in their ranks, improvised the first crude gas masks by urinating on handkerchiefs and tying them over their faces. Then they stretched out to cover both their old position and part of the new gap in the line. As the gas cloud drifted away, the Germans launched a torrent of shells and attacked.
The expedient gas masks often didn't work. My family doesn't know exactly when George died, only that it was reported to have occurred on the 22nd. Maybe he was among the Canadians who drowned as their chlorine gas-seared lungs filled up with their own bodily fluids out in a newly occupied trench.
What then happened to the now severely overstretched 13th was that they spent that afternoon and evening being the anvil to the German hammer. The Ross Rifle certainly let its faults be known to the Canadians at Ypres, and the 13th Battalion were the first to realize them. The Ross was very accurate, but jammed very quickly when fired rapidly – the usual circumstance in combat. The survivors of Second Ypres were quick to later discard their Ross Rifles for the much more reliable British Lee Enfields. Nevertheless, a lot of Canadians died during German assaults while frantically hammering at the bolts of their jammed rifles as the Germans stormed their trenches. Maybe my great uncle George Conn went this way, clawing at the bolt of his useless rifle as the Germans bayonets drew near.
Out massed, gassed, stretched thin and with faulty rifles, it was a wonder that the Royal Highlanders lasted as long as they did, but eventually the Germans worked through their lines, and the rest of the 13th had to fight their way out on the morning of the 23rd – along with the survivors of other Canadian battalions stuffed into the near empty line that night. A lot didn't make it. Canada's first Victoria Cross of the war was won -- posthumously -- by one of the 13th Battalion's young NCOs. Lance Corporal Fred Fisher, a McGill University student nine months earlier, was only 18 when he fought to the death with his Colt machine-gun to give other Canadians a chance to win safety. Maybe this was also how my great uncle died, but he was already reported as dead when the line broke.
What we do know from the history of the War is that the whole of the First Canadian Division put up a very stiff fight during their debut in battle, and blunted the German's initial drive. It was a costly debut, in five days, over 6,000 of its members were killed and wounded (though no other battalions paid as high a price as the Royal Highlanders did for their baptism of fire). The rest of the battle, like so many in the First World War, didn't go well for either side; but the Canadians were pegged down by both the British and the Germans as troops to watch. The Canadians were relieved on the 27th.
There are two other legacies of that day, one for the nation, and one for my Mother's family. One Canadian physician, a doctor who was teaching at McGill when the war began, was keenly aware of what was happening to his friends, neighbors and students. Major Dr. John McCrae was running a forward dressing station through most of the battle (even after the Canadian troops had been pulled from the front line), giving the first treatment that a lot of the wounded received. For many of them, nothing more could be done and they went under row on row of crosses in a field of poppies near McCrae’s station. It seems unlikely but perhaps George Conn died here, and his was one of the temporary graves that inspired part of the vivid imagery for McCrae’s poem 'In Flanders’ Fields'.
McCrae, then a lieutenant colonel, later became a victim of the war himself. He died in 1918 from an illness brought on by exhaustion after three more years of exertion in tending to the wounded.
We do know that my Grandfather John Conn, who was George’s younger brother, volunteered three times to get into the war after April 1915. As he was only born in 1900, it took some creative economies with the truth and apparently a sympathetic recruiting sergeant before he was enrolled in November 1916. He did get to France, but only as a member of a Forestry Battalion. Quite possibly other sympathetic NCOs didn't call him out on his age, but they didn’t let him transfer to the infantry either. However, he did live the war out, surviving as a farmer and mine foreman until 1967. He had three daughters and saw the birth of 12 grandchildren – from whom would later come an additional 22 great grandchildren (so far) and the first of the fifth generation who are all a part of his legacy to Canada.
As an extended family full of artists and engineers, machinists and entrepreneurs, we are adding our own stories to our country, but we know something of the price that was paid to build it. Blood and bone of our own is mixed into Canada’s foundations.
This is to be a new feature of the Institute’s newsletter – a quick summation/alert of new books which deserve wider attention. While we are at it, we will also be plugging some older classics from time to time.
Stewart Bell, that excellent reporter from the National Post, has another book to his credit: The Martyr’s Oath: The Apprenticeship of a Homegrown Terrorist profiles the background, recruitment and brief service in al Qaeda of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah. Raised partly in Canada, Jabarah left St. Catherines Ontario to become one of the inner circle of Osama Bin Laden’s followers before being arrested in early 2002. This book is a solid piece of reportage, profiling how a young Muslim with all the advantages decided to become a terrorist. (Wiley, Mississauga, Ontario 2005). Bell occasionally cites the old Eric Hoffer book, The True Believer, which is also a must-have in any library that concerns terrorism.
Robert D. Kaplan is a veteran journalist and author, with a number of impressive books to his credit. Well traveled in the unsettled marches of the world, he is the author of Balkan Ghosts, The Coming Anarchy and The Ends of the Earth. In the last three years, he has again traveled to the World’s trouble spots – this time in the company of US soldiers and marines. Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground (Random House, New York, 2005) is the best piece of reporting on how America’s troops function as the new Legionnaires out on the edges of the civilized world. Kaplan, always an astute and clinical observer, was awestruck by the men he watched. It was also clear that Kaplan had been doing his homework, judging from the many references to historical works like Colonel Callwell’s 1896 masterpiece Small Wars.
A welcome contribution to the library comes as a gift from Barry Cooper, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary. His first work on terrorism, New Political Religions, or An Analysis of Modern Terrorism (University of Missouri Press, 2004) is an illuminating work. Cooper cites the work of Eric Voegelin and uses them to explore the differences between terrorists who pursue a ‘first reality’ of legitimate political grievances and those who add a ‘second reality’ – a fantastic objective seen only by those whose rationality has been bent by what Cooper terms a pneumopathological consciousness. Cooper’s first foray into the world of terrorism gives much food for thought.
Kim Bolan’s book Loss of Faith: How the Air India Bombers Got Away with Murder is also on the shelves (McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, 2005). Bolan probably knows more about militant Sikhs in Canada than any other reporter, especially after having covered the issue for years – sometimes at personal risk. The book is a damning indictment, not so much of CSIS and our police, but more to the rest of us and our political leaders for simply refusing to recognize the gravity of the threat the Khalsa posed both within the Sikh community and to Canadians generally.
While there was much to object to in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, it also made a number of points that were worthy of consideration. Diamond’s latest book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Penguin Group, New York, 2005) yields the same result. Jared uses a five point framework to explore how human societies can overstrain their environment and collapse. These are the practices of any society with respect to their environment; climate change (a frequent occurrence throughout human history – heck, our species probably evolved as it did because of the rapid changes in climate over the past 600,000 years); the hostility of neighbors; the nature of friendlier ties with the same neighbors; and the ability to find and adopt changes when these are necessary. His book comes well armed with numerous examples of success and failure.
“It’s always interesting when people don’t seem to feel shame or embarrassment – but it’s often not a very good sign.”
- Christopher Hitchens
“Since the 1960s, Canada has tried to achieve moral leadership in the world by observing strict neutrality between good and evil.”
- George Jonas, Beethoven’s Mask: Notes on My Life and Times. [For those who are sadly unfamiliar with this excellent columnist – buy this book too!]
Soldiers are supposed to keep their opinions to themselves, but sometimes their T-shirts say a lot…
“You give peace a chance, I’ll provide cover.”
One Canadian soldier who isn’t keeping his opinions to himself – and right welcome ones they are – in the new Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier.
“It is the soldier, not the journalist, who guarantees freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the politician, who guarantees our democracy…”
- General Hillier at a funeral oration for two dead Canadian troops, Petawawa, 2003.
John Thompson is Editorial Director of the Mackenzie Institute which studies political instability and terrorism. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org