Looking for war in all the wrong places.

In Orwell’s novel 1984, Big Brother’s regime uses never ending far away wars to control the population. He makes war a critical component in sustaining the totalitarian regime. War is to blame for the regime’s economic failures, the shortages, and the beggaring of the proletariat. Big Brother has victories. The people suffer the losses.

But there is a caution that needs be noted for those seeking to create their ideal totalitarian regime in Canada. The one component that Orwell added to the mix in his mythical Oceania was total control of communications. This is where Mr. Harper and his lackeys in the Prime Minister’s Office have failed so miserably. Their nemesis the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation still runs exposés on their chicanery. And, for that matter, Mr. Harper can never really trust his friends at CTV, Shaw or TVA.

Canada is in an awkward position in going to war. It might have been alright with Canada’s Muslim community to go after a particularly despicable dictator such as Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and to try to police the poppy growers in Afghanistan but boots on the ground elsewhere in the Middle East can only assure Canadians of a large number of casualties and growing dissent at home.

And as much as the Tories might reap votes from the Ukrainian Diaspora, nobody in Canada wants to go to war with Russia over who owns the Eurasian Steppe—or the North Pole for that matter.

Harper needs to face the fact that while Canada has always done its job at war, it is hardly a sabre-rattling nation. We are multicultural, tolerant and peaceful. We prefer to be peacekeepers and referees. The Americans are the gunslingers. They have their National Rifle Association that thinks the only way to keep the peace is carry a bigger gun. They seem to relish the role of being the world’s policemen—until they realize what it costs.

Nobody in the Middle East has paid much attention to Harper or Baird sabre-rattling on behalf of Israel. They know they are only playing to the Jewish vote back home. Most Canadians are only embarrassed by Baird.

If we had never seen the downfall of the World Trade Towers to al-Qaeda, it would be hard to believe all the spin-offs from those terrorist roots. We keep hearing of new jihadists who seek to wreck havoc on the fat capitalists of North America. Maybe we have earned these new bogeymen but we cannot cower in our fortress in fear of them.

The people being overrun by brigands such as ISIS need humanitarian aid from countries such as Canada. It really is up to the Arab countries to put a stop to these international brigands who are taking advantage of the civil wars and disruption in the Middle East—it only encourages more totalitarian regimes.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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