There are orcs on both sides: Paris and Beyond #Cdnpoli #

The title is apparently from a letter Christopher Tolkien sent his father while serving in World War II. Since the attacks in Paris I’ve seen the orcs on boths sides start spreading their venom. I guess it is nothing new, here’s something I grabbed from Farce Book:

Like many of you I was shocked to hear of the recent Fenian attacks on Fort Erie. How can our government allow Irish immigrants to flow into this United Province of Canada while we continue to be terrorized by Fenian religious zealots? Every Sunday in Catholic churches across the land, radical preachers are whipping their flocks into a cataclysmic frenzy, urging them to cram their Nicene orthodoxy down our throats three different ways. On every ship coming into Montreal or Halifax, hidden among the malnourished, diseased Irish there are sure to be Fenian terrorists ready to slit your throat at the first opportunity. This needs to stop now.
We all know that the Irish are a bunch of uneducated, colonial savages with a primitive religion. How will our women and children be safe while hoards of drunken Irish flow into our cities and roam the streets? Meanwhile they breed like rabbits, all part of their plan of Papist domination. It is a scientific fact that if Irish immigration continues apace Canada will be a Catholic state by 1910. Enjoy having your wine with communion, because that’s all about to end. And if we let the Irish in, who’s next – Ukrainians? Chinese? Musalmen?
It is our sacred duty to preserve Canadian values now, before it’s too late. In 150 years your children’s children will look back and know that you did the right thing.
Be sure to share this leaflet with all your friends (or at least those of them who can read… and you can probably skip the women, not like they can vote anyways). Say yes to Canada staying Canadian. Say no to Irish immigrants!
Rev. John Strachan,
York
June 1866

So obviously Rev Strachan was correct in his predictions, Canada is dominated by Irish Papists who are malnourished and diseased. Perhaps we should let Syrian refugees in to open falafel stands and have more cabbies with medical training. Canada is a nation of refugees from the United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution to people coming here today from the far too numerous conflict zones.

Canada has known various forms of terrorism since Confederation, Fenians, Boer sympathisers, German agents, Sikh extremists, FLQ to name a few groups. Maybe if we were better aware of our history we’d be less a bunch of panicky idiots when these attacks happened.

To slip in old codger mode I remember coming of age in the late Eighties/early Nineties. Plenty of terror groups to pick from, some have disappeared, others have become political movements, and some are still with us in some form. The odd thing is travelling on the Tube with the terror alert warnings was not as scary as traveling in the USA with all those gun nuts.

In my understanding of history it is the peoples who lack confidence, legitimacy, and courage who see violence as the first option or response. Most of the Roman, British, or American empire was gained attacking a threat. Arrogant, paranoid people end up supporting massive war machines that end up controlling politics to the detriment of all.

The current calls in Canada to ban refugees/immigrants from Syria and other conflict zones. Those who believe all Muslims are terrorists most likely haven’t ever met one nor read the Koran, the latter is something they have in common with the terrorists. Then there are those scoundrels that suddenly find patriotism and cry ‘Take Care of our own’. Great, so we’ll start funding First Nations as promised in treaties, reduce poverty, and create more generous social programs?

The calls for us to keep bombing, like six aging fighter/bombers will be noticed, is another thing I keep reading. I read assessments of the heavy bombings in World War II that show both Axis and Allied raids increased casualties, prolonged the war, and hardened resolve to keep fighting. A documentary on Michael Wittmann quoted a letter which he vowed revenge after seeing the destruction of his homeland. He would use a single Tiger I E tank to destroy a reinforced Allied armoured Regiment and slowed an offensive in the process.

I don’t honestly believe the people calling for war are serious, they just want to see senseless destruction and buy shares in bomb or missile manufacturers. If the war cries were real then they would include real war measures; a 100% tax on profits, rationing, registration for conscription, a ban on making luxury goods such as cars, and a suspension of arms sales for export. As a father of a woman about to turn eighteen I don’t want to any of that to happen.

Terrorism today is a product of previous terrorism and counterterrorism failures. Create the anti-Soviet insurgency and get Al Qaeda, create the anti- Hussein/anti-Assad groups and get Islamic State, arm anti-Gaddafi groups and get Libya’s civil war, current examples seem to be endless. Perhaps, as Liddel-Hart argues, arming another group of people isn’t a solution. Do we have the courage to stop the vicious cycle?

The causes of what is going on in the world are not easy to get into a simplistic sound bite. The social, religious, economic, environmental, political, historic, petty, and herd mentality excuses do need to be studied deeper. None are the sole reason for what is happening but that doesn’t mean any can be dismissed as factors. The world is a jumble of spider webs not a Victorian display of butterflies.

The best advice for what is happening is written on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; DON’T PANIC. Giving into our flight or fight response will encourage the orcs on both sides to continue their murder, destruction, and chaos. We should not allow blinders to focus on the terror groups in one region at the expense of being vigilant to the threats from those who use terrorism as an excuse to build a police state and end our human rights.

So people like simple solutions so here are some of mine:

  • Steal money from terror groups, their arms dealers, and their backers – no one should be getting rich from this
  • Laugh at them, mock them, and humanize them
  • Kill their hatred with kindness
  • Tell their moms
  • Be more unpredictable than they are
  • Solve the world’s real problems
  • Count prisoners and mourn the dead of both sides
  • Remember knowledge is power, ignorance helps the “enemy”
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