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Ship of Frightened Fools and Cowards

“The Statue of Liberty, given to us by France says ‘Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.’ – Nowhere does it say to dismiss them if you’re scared.”
American Congressman, Tim Ryan

In the wake of the latest terrorist attacks in Paris, fear is rising to the level that borders on hysteria and panic. Imagine that, millions of people in countries across Europe and North America are willing to throw away their constitutions, decency, courage, tolerance, even democratic rights in the face of a threat by an organization that numbers fewer than 80,000.

What is even more ironic is that the total size of the militaries of the sixty-member anti-ISIS coalition numbers around 15 million full-time troops and reservists.

And still many feel helpless as they stand in their own emotional urine, trembling in fear which they express in xenophobic, bigoted rage.

The Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, was one of the first to demand the federal government accelerate the processing of Syrian refugees to Canada just a couple of short months ago. Now he is calling on the federal government to suspend accepting any refugees. He would like you to believe that this is leadership rather than political cowardice.

A mosque has been burned to the ground in Peterborough, a Muslim-Canadian mother was attacked and beaten outside of her children’s school in Toronto, and a Sikh had his photograph altered by yet another coward to make him look like he was a jihadist bomber. The fear is so palpable that some among us can’t tell the difference between a Muslim and a Sikh or courage and cowardice. Just today, for example, a Muslim family were pulled from a flight in Baltimore for watching the news.

And what is all this hate and anger and fear accomplishing? Not much for us, to be perfectly frank, but it is giving ISIS a recruiting boost. The cowards among us are playing right into the hands of the terrorists whose objective is to make us so afraid we undermine our own way of life.

One mayor has even gone so far as to call for concentration camps in which Syrian refugees will be interred. Really? We’re that afraid that we’re considering emulating Hitler’s Third Reich?

And here’s the thing that really crawls under my hat. The refugees are not and never were the problem. They’re just every day folks trying to get away from people trying to kill them and their families.

Consider some basic facts.

Fewer than 2% of all terrorist attacks in Europe over the past 5 years were committed by Muslim extremists. The bulk of the attacks were committed by separatist groups or lone wolf fanatics not linked to Islam or ISIS. The worst terrorist attack was committed in Norway by  Anders Breivik an anti-Muslim, xenophobic, Christian fundamentalist who slaughtered 77  people, most of whom were teenagers.

Since 9/11, 37 people have been killed in the United States by Muslim extremists compared to 190,000 people murdered by fellow Americans. Between 1980 and 2005 (including the 9/11 attack) 42% of all terrorist attacks in the U.S. were by Latino extremist groups and only 6% by Muslim terrorists.

More than 750,000 refugees from the Middle East have resettled in the United States since 9/11 and not one – let me repeat that – not one has been charged or even arrested for links to jihadi terrorism.

In 2013, it was more likely an American could be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, five were killed accidentally by toddlers playing with their parents’ gun.

All of the terrorists in the last Paris attacks, and the attack on Charlie Hebdo, were French nationals. The one ‘Syrian refugee’ passport was proven to be a fake, planted at the scene of one of the attacks.

In Canada, both terrorists attacks committed in the past year were committed by Canadians.

As for security considerations? They’re so onerous that is much easier for a would-be terrorist to enter Canada or most other countries on a tourist visa than to go through the security checks and investigations in place by both the United Nations and each country’s own immigration departments. The process is long and it is rigorous involving the UN, Canada Border Services Agency, Interpol, CSIS and Immigration Canada. Only a fraction of all applicants make it through the process to get approval for resettlement.

At the same time that many in North America are spewing hatred and demanding an end to refugee resettlement, France – you remember France, the country that was attacked – are calling on the world not to blame refugees and to accept them. France has committed to resettling 30,000 refugees since last Friday’s massacre. It takes real courage to retain your sense of humanity in the face of danger, more courage than were seeing from the frightened fools over here.

It’s bizarre. The frightened bigots among us are making refugees fleeing a brutal war zone into the enemy. They aren’t much different than the same frightened xenophobes who shut their borders to Jews trying to flee the rise of Nazi Germany or who interred Japanese-Canadian and Americans during WWII even though most were neither dual citizens or had any direct links to Japan.

Is that really the society we want for ourselves and our families. Is that really the price we’re prepared to pay for the illusion of freedom or is the freedom and equal rights guaranteed to all just another illusion we abandon when we’re afraid? It takes courage to stand up for who and what you are when it is under attack, a courage sadly lacking in too many these days.

The simple fact is that it is these same bellicose bigots who are handing ISIS all the propaganda victory they need for recruitment to their barbaric cause. They are the fifth column within our own society who are doing more damage to our countries, our values and our way of life than any terrorist cell could ever hope to achieve.

These are the kind of people who would elbow others out of the way as they rushed to the lifeboats on a sinking ship.

These same people talk tough but it’s only talk. They’re demanding Canada continue its involvement in the air strike campaign against ISIS without any knowledge of just how effective that campaign or our involvement has been.

To date, there have been 57,000 plus coalition air strikes against ISIS. Canada participated in 3% of them of which 1/3 were non-combat and half of the remainder were unsuccessful at finding a target upon which to drop their bombs.

How effective has the overall campaign been? Judge for yourself. When it started, ISIS numbered fewer than 30,000 fighters. It now has more than 80,000. In the beginning ISIS had only small-arms, now it has artillery. It occupied a portion of Northern Iraq, now a year later it occupies most of Northern Iraq and a good chunk of Syria along with five satellite states in other Middle Eastern countries. A year ago, it was alone. Now it is allied with Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al Shabbab along with a dozen other smaller groups.

Further, our own coalition allies have played politics to the point that you begin to wonder if they are serious about treating this as a war – particularly when you see how Russia prosecutes a war against it’s enemies.

Turkey, a NATO member, is a gateway that could easily have shut off ISIS supply lines but didn’t. The United States has played a carelesslly dangerous game in Syria trying to contain ISIS without destroying it in the hope that ISIS would bring about the overthrow of the Assad regime. Now it has been revealed that ISIS is selling crude on the black market to countries outside of the Middle East including – get ready for it – some G20 countries.

Really? This is the coalition the chicken hawks want us to continue to support? Our own allies are undermining our efforts to defeat ISIS.

France has already thrown in with Russia to form their own mini-coalition against ISIS which pretty much tells you their opinion of the coalition led by the Americans and they have good reason to be skeptical. Just today, Barack Obama rejected a call from France to join in his country’s increased action against ISIS.

The other fact is that you cannot win a war with air power alone. At some point there has to be boots on the ground to hold the territory that the air power made available. Canada has a mere six metal-fatigued and dated CF-18s in the air campaign but it has a highly trained, experienced army that was battle-hardened in Afghanistan. The new government wants to contribute that expertise to training Iraqi and Kurdish forces to make them more effective on the ground.

Many conservatives are condemning this decision but it is the same decision the previous Conservative government made in Ukraine and it makes sense. You commit the best resources you have and put them where they will be most effective.

“…troop training is the “most important” project NATO could undertake if it gets involved.” – Jim Stavridis. former U.S. Navy Admiral and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe

It is a lesson that is lost on those who put ideological hysteria ahead of doing what is right.

Make no mistake about it. We are a nation at war but we are not at war with Syrian refugees nor are we at war with Islam or Muslims in general. We are at war with ISIS and it’s time our leadership and the loud cowards among us accepted that. It time our leaders started acting responsibly, stepped up and did the right thing rather than offering illusions of military action. It’s time those of our allies who are buying from the enemy or refusing to take the fight to the enemy got called out and it’s long past time that the cowards in this country, and others, were nailed to the wall for spreading hatred and violence against the innocent simply because of their religion or their cultural background.

We’re Canadians and we’re better than the cowardice and bigotry we’re seeing in some quarters these days.

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© 2015 Maggie’s Bear

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  • Strokerace

    Mr.Bear, how are you stranger. It has been awhile since we have chatted.
    First I will put my 2 cents in. Although most of what you have written is correct. You forgot a few facts. You never mentioned the religious beliefs the men were following at the time of the attacks. You also forgot about the bombs and the training camps here in Ontario. That was back in 2008. It happened in my home town.

    As for the bible verse, its not about killing in the name of a god. Its about killing for adultery. Also on that note about the Hebrew. Hebrew is also close to Muslim. But the principle is about the same for argument sake.

    But, to get back on subject. What most are doing now, is not much different then what The KKK stood for and what Hitler did in WWII

  • Strokerace

    Well Mr.Bear. it has been awhile. I hope all is well on your home front. Nice article. Fairly accurate, but not fully correct. You should have put their religion or beliefs in the article.

  • Bert_1

    Wow, Bear. I remember getting into conversations with you challenging your claim that you are a conservative. This blog, more than any other one of yours that I have read, clinches the fact that you are a hard core liberal. You vilify people without taking the time to verify a single fact. This blog is worthy of Chris Matthews.

    • MaggiesBear

      Every fact in this post is verified. Bigotry is not ideological no matter how much some conservatives might wish it to be.

      • Bert_1

        I wish I had the time to go through this utter nonsense to point out how frightfully wrong you are. You are a liberal making liberal arguments against liberal bogey men and attributing it all to conservatives. The really sad part is that I know that you are better than this. I have read vastly superior stuff – even stuff I disagreed with – in years past. This is beneath you.

        • MaggiesBear

          I am not a Liberal and I have not pointed the finger at conservatives. I am opposed to bigots. I don’t give a rat’s ass what their politics happen to be. If you had bothered to think about what I wrote rather than getting defensive, you would have noticed that I was highly critical of Obama (a LIberal) in this post. I’m tired of people trying to justify their positions based on partisan politics. This is a human issue and if you can’t understand that, don’t waste your time here. But for the record, everything in this post is documented and I’m not alone in my opinion.

          http://headspacepress.com/concerned-about-syrian-refugees-entering-canada-you-should-read-this/

          • Bert_1

            I did not say that you are a Liberal (big “L”) but a liberal (small “l”).

            Maybe I will try to find some time to point out just how partisan your arguments really are. Maybe you can’t see it, I don’t know, but this blog is utter garbage.

            People do understand that this is a human issue but you fail to understand that the humanness is on both sides. Yes, we have a moral obligation to help these people and I have yet to find someone who disagree with that. The disagreement is in the process. Vetting 25,000 people coming from one of the most terrorist infested locations on the planet is not something that can be properly done in a month. And, if the vetters fail, it isn’t a simple international embarrassment. We are talking about people’s lives. We have had terrorist actions on Canadian soil before and it could potentially get much, much worse.

            I know that you aren’t alone in your opinion and that is very, very unfortunate.

            • MaggiesBear

              What you fail to understand is that most of these refugees have been living in refugee camps for years. They have already been partially vetted and the process will continue for each and every one of them before they are granted refugee status by any country. Don’t lecture me about partisanship. I never mentioned politics or a political party in this post. I talked about the bigots and the cowards who lump all Muslims into one category — terrorists and who oppose bring any into this country,. I see it every day on my social media timelines. I read about the horrendous assaults on Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism or even refugees. Their Canadian and America citizens for God’s sake. Donald Trump is now calling on special ID for American Muslims as if somehow they need to identified differently like the Nazis had special identification (yellow star) for Jews. I’m not the only Conservative who feels this way. Even Rona Ambrose has called for working with the government to resettle refugees and I would strongly suggest you read today’s column by Dean Van Tendt in the National Post. This is not — I repeat — a partisan political issue. This is a human issue that tests whether or not we as Canadians are prepared to live our stated values and I resent you trying to make it partisan.

              • Bert_1

                The only person I see lumping all Muslims into one category, Bear, is you. I have never said that all Muslims are terrorists but you present the idea that none of them are. The truth is somewhere in between those two extremes.
                .
                I have also never suggested that we don’t accept any of the refugees here. That is your doing and the doing of almost every liberal I have discussed this with. If I am not 110% behind every utterance or Trudeau, I am immediately labeled a hateful, racist bigot.
                .
                For the record, I do believe that we need to help. But, considering the part of the earth these people are located in, I firmly believe that we have no choice but to go slow and make sure that they are vetted properly. We can’t afford to have a Paris here in Canada. And, no, that does not mean that I think that every Muslim is a terrorist. It means that I believe that the terrorists will try to insinuate themselves into this mass of people to get to Canada. I don’t know if their ultimate target is Canada or the US but I would feel awful if any of them turned out to be terrorists and a bunch of people died either here or in the US.
                .
                Again (and again, and again, and…) neither I or anyone I have heard are saying an outright “NO” to bringing refugees to Canada so please stop with that ridiculous narrative. You can’t shame me into changing my position from a position I do not hold. I, and every person I have heard voice an opinion on the subject – including Canadian politicians – advise caution. Nothing more and nothing less. Too much is at stake to rush it.

  • JWM

    I will correct you from the get go. Islam has about 1.3 billion followers and all have to follow the dictates of the Koran and the Koran commands them to kill and or enslave non-believers. That is non-negotiable. ISIS is doing as commanded by the prophet and allah. People who are delusional will try and equate islam with other religions and babble on about peaceful muslims, all the while ignoring the truth and history.

    • MaggiesBear

      What a crock of horseshit. The bible has many of the same injunctions and commands. You can twist scripture any way you like but in the end, you’re doing exactly the same thing that the extremists use to validate their extremism. We’ve have had Muslims living peacefully in this country since the 1800s without incident or issue. It isn’t Islam or Muslims that are the problem. It’s extremism and you’ll find that wherever you find intolerance, greed and fear.

      • JWM

        The Bible has no such injunctions. Please show me where it says the followers of Christ have top kill those who do not believe. I can show where it says the followers of islam have to kill non-believers. I think horseshit is clouding your vision. The extremists are reading exactly what the Koran says and are twisting nothing. I thought that you were a reasonably intelligent person who could thin k logically, I was wrong.

        • MaggiesBear

          “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you … Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die.” — Dt.13:6-10

          “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.” — Dt.22-22

          “But that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.” — 2 Chronicles: 15-13

          “Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand.” — Ezekiel 3:20

          “And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.” — Exodus 32:27


          A Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire) is stoned to death at the Lord’s command” — Numbers 15:32-36
          (about heretics)
          “But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.– Deuteronomy 13:9

          “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.– Deuteronomy 17:2-20

          and on refugees, the bible says

          When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in .– Leviticus 19:33-34

          He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” — Deuteronomy 10:18-19

          “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.”- Malachi 3:5

          “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.–.1 Kings 8:41-44

          • Bert_1

            All OT stuff outlining rules and regulations for the Jews of the time. Jesus fulfilled the Law so it is no longer applicable.

            • MaggiesBear

              He also said love your enemy as yourself did he not? I don’t know what church you belong to but in mine we read from both the Old and the New Testament.

              • Bert_1

                Yeah, and? Have I suggested anything else?

          • New Centurion

            Not arguing your point, I’m all for helping out refugees, we should help out these people it’s the right thing to do. “The bible has the same injunctions and commands”. I don’t know about the Koran and I’m not sure what your point is from the verses you’ve quoted. Are you insinuating that the bible can be interpreted by “extremist” Christians to kill in the name of God, while at the same time show compassion towards non-believers? It is important to understand that the OT is not only the story of mans fall, it is a reflection through the law, of God’s holiness. The law educates us what sin is and ultimately is a type and shadow pointing to Christ’s sacrifice. The bible is, in its entirety, only about Jesus Christ. He commands “extremist” Christians to love God, love our neighbors and our enemies. Hope this helps.

            • MaggiesBear

              Extremists can twist anything to suit their purposes. Timothy McVey killed more than 100 innocents, including children with the bombing of the FBI Building in Utah. He was a fundamentalist Christian. The IRA were Catholic, The Klan professes to be Christian even as they burned black Baptist churches and lynched African-Americans. Do they represent Christianity? I hardly think so. Nor do I think the Sikh terrorists who blew up an Air India flight killing more than 300 people represent the Sikh religion. The Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that did many of the same things including bombings and murder that terrorists are doing these days certainly don’t represent Judaism so why in God’s name are people trying to paint all Muslims as potential terrorists based on the psychopaths in ISIS and the Taliban?

              • Bert_1

                Timothy McVeigh was as much a Christian as Mohammed. He (and, before you say it, Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini) was raised in a Catholic home but left the Church in his teens and claimed to be agnostic. He did accept the Last Rites before his execution, though.
                ..
                The IRA was also not Catholic. They were a politically motivated terrorist group who happened to be in a predominantly Catholic country. That does not make them Catholic nor could they in any way justify their tactics through the teachings of Jesus.

              • New Centurion

                With everything you see in the media these days, I have to admit at times I struggle with suspicion and fear. I’ve even had friends at work ask me how to purchase firearms.

          • JWM

            So you are willing to look at the history of the Bible as it pertains to the ancient Hebrews and ignore Christ.

  • CanadaGoose1

    Sorry ISIS doesn’t need any excuse to attack us.
    Canada can remain generous by accepting Christian and Yazidi refugees. They are the most at risk.
    I wonder how many of those attacks against Muslims are for real. So many of these incidents in the past have been fabricated.
    Any ‘Syrian’ refugee should be asked if they believe in sharia law, what do they think of Jews and homosexuals.
    My husband has relatives in Paris and we don’t find this situation trivial at all. Canada is a very generous nation but we shouldn’t be doormats.

    • MaggiesBear

      Where is your evidence that most of the evidence that the attacks against Muslims are real? My wife’s broader family lives in Europe so we’re not strangers to what’s happening over there. Even the heads of CSIS and the RCMP are onside with the government and have said there is no security issue. I’m tired of people creating fictional excuses to mask xenophobic bigotry.

      • Bert_1

        So, my being concerned about brining 25,000 people from an area that is known for producing most of the world’s terrorists makes me a racist and a xenophobic bigot? You need a holiday.

        • MaggiesBear

          I’m not talking about being concerned. I’m talking about in your face bigotry. Of course it is legitimate to be concerned and to demand that the appropriate security precautions be taken. Good Christ, can you not differentiate between that and labeling all Muslims as terrorists, thugs beating up a mother picking up her children from school simply because she’s Muslim or a Mosque being burned to the ground by a bunch of cowards in the middle of the night? There is far to much fear and panic and it is unrealistic. You have a better chance of being killed by a fellow citizen than by a Muslim terrorist. The level of hate rhetoric is unbelievably disproportionate and only serves to help the enemy. Is that what you want? If so, just keep on supporting the bigots.

          • Bert_1

            See? There you go again. Claiming that people are screaming that ALL Muslims are terrorists and that I or others somehow justify and possibly even encourage attacking Muslim mothers because they are Muslim. WT absolute F?

            Pull your head out of your ass and address the problems and arguments in the real world! Do we have people who decry Muslims and hate them? YES But they are in the minority and are certainly not mainstream conservatives the way you would like to portray us.

            There is no fear or panic except in your mind and the minds of other liberals. People are concerned. There is also no hate (God I’m starting to hate that word). You are taking a typical liberal approach in all of your writing. If someone disagrees with you, they are filled with hatred, are racists, bigots and the like. Is it not possible, by any stretch of the imagination, for me to disagree with you without being a hateful, racist bigot? Can people no longer disagree without being labeled? Why has the left – who claim to be the most tolerant of all people – become the most intolerant group in human history?

            Sorry, Bear, but this crap makes me physically ill.

            • MaggiesBear

              I don’t know what reality you live in but I see it every day. If you don’t like what I post and can’t be civil in your disagreement don’t bother to read this blog. It won’t offend me. I’m tired of the bullshit. I don’t even know what your last comment means it is so convoluted.

              • deb Scott

                I appreciate your views MB, and I’m glad that not all conservatives cater to the echo chamber principles. Keep up the blogging, its appreciated, at least by those with open minds, and questions about our world.

              • Bert_1

                I guess that’s it, then. I had stopped reading your blog a year or two ago because of this nonsense and only came back to read this blog because the email blurb was so off the rails. You were wrong then and you are wrong now so I guess there’s no point in me reading anything else.

                This last comment of your is a case in point. I comment using simple language and you claim it is convoluted. We both know that it is quite unambiguous. You just don’t like what it says.

                Just like the whole issue with what the Bible says. You and I had a conversation about that years ago and yet here you post the exact same lies you posted back then. So, you have your own narrative and you don’t let facts get in the way of that. And that, my friend, is why I rank you among the liberals of Canada, not the conservatives.