No light-hearted banter in this blog today, Nation.
Reports today are suggesting that the Taliban and other extreme elements in Afghanistan are sending so-called "suicide bombers" to target cities in Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and the U.S.
Not coincidentally, each of the countries in question is doing some serious and public soul-searching within their parliaments about whether or not they should be engaged in the Middle-Eastern theatre. Taliban and al-Qaida leadership no doubt believes that, if threatened, these countries will lose their nerve and withdraw their troops from the region.
I'm not American. I'm mainly ethnically Germanic, but can't speak on the political climate there. I'm not British, although my beard betrays some of my Scots heritage. I can't speak for the effect that homeland attacks would have on those countries. I am, however, Canadian. And I can say, beyond a SHADOW of a doubt, that if the Taliban or al-Qaida believes that targeting Canadian cities will result in fewer troops wearing Maple Leafs in Afghanistan, they are dead wrong.
This country is a collection of many races and creeds, many regions and points of view, all held together by a dream, a highway, a railway line, and a tenuous hold to the much-debated "Canadian Identity". Only 3 things truly galvanize this country, and her people, into a solid and unified purpose: Hockey, the Olympics, and External Threats.
If a "suicide bomber" blows up a bus in downtown Toronto, or Montreal, or Winnipeg tomorrow, let me tell you exactly what will happen. There will be a National Day of Mourning. The NDP will do a complete 180, and throw their unwavering support behind the mission in Afghanistan. And thousands of able-bodied men and women will report to their local recruiting office. Because once the Taliban takes the fight to Canada's streets, this mission stops being one of nation-building, and becomes one of national defence. An attack on Canada won't result in FEWER troops in Afghanistan, it will result in MORE troops. Kids who normally would be pondering their summer plans and their hockey pool picks will be standing in line to be issued boots and rifles, and go over to Afghanistan with the safety of thier families in mind. They will hit the desert, and make it their personal goal in life to find Osama, crush the Taliban and al-Qaida, and make their homes safe again.
Can they do it? Maybe. Will they try? Ask the Germans who were stationed in Holland about 63 years ago. I can guarantee this, though: An attack on Canada won't make life for the Taliban leadership, or al-Qaida, any easier. It won't have the effect they intend. It won't get Canadian troops out of the Middle-East, and it won't result in the fall of the Federal Government. All it will do is galvanize this nation behind the troops and the mission in Afghanistan, and add thousands of motivated soldiers to the fight.
Ask the peoples of Western Europe what motivated Canadian soldiers can do. And notice that most of them won't be answering in German.