To the terror

14 Nov 2015

image Courtesy of RTÉ

I’m tired of hearing it. I’m tired of reading it. I’m tired of watching it. In fact, I have tried to avoid encountering it as much as possible. It is something I have encountered before.

The attacks’ aftermath. The dead bodies, the souls that have left, in most cases unwillingly. Those who survived and trying to recover from the whole affair . The whole country mourns. In fact, almost the whole world mourns and symphatizes. The identification of the responsible ones as, at least, followers of a “radical” form of a Middle Eastern faith. Subsequent promise and action of governments to deal with the cause of the attacks. Mostly involving internal security. The theme of “love, not hate.” Media stories of citizens being warm, friendly and welcoming to their migrant neighbours. The survivors and those left behind by the perished who choose not to hate their attacker’s co-religionists. The needed declaration by the co-religionists that condemns those attacks, that they are one with the victims. A renewed focus on what is happening in the Middle East, its causes and its solutions.

It arguably all began with 9/11. Then the events in Madrid and London, followed by Charlie Hebdo. It appears like the Western world — whose opinion is arguably the most important in the world — is forced to think and reflect on terrorism, “radical” Islam and everything about them only when it hits these shores. Otherwise, most of us don’t give much attention to the region where all of this is coming from — the armed actions, bombings, protests, abuse — unless it hits our interests directly.

But that is not the point here. Or rather it is only one point of this post. The other point is what to make of all this, what to do out of all this.

So we are besieged or flanked by forces that are only interested in pushing their interests forward, mostly to our disaster. That would include Islamists, liberal-oriented governments and right-wing populists. What is there to do?

There is no other choice but to fight. The fight to live and to exist. The individual duty to fight. Fighting by simply existing and living. No more time to mourn, maybe even to love and to hate. Just fight.


Musings of A Canadian Nationalist (or, a Prose Poem Attempt)

01 Jul 2013

They say the Canadian nationalist is dead. Or extinct. Or irrelevant. Or plain unnecessary. They say he or she is no longer needed in this globalised age, that at best the Canadian nationalist advocates for what’s impossible, at worst an enemy of diversity. The Canadian nationalist may have been relevant for the sixties and seventies, when this country was just trying to find (again) itself, but no longer so today. Hey, maybe the goals of the Canadian nationalist have been achieved. This country is now distinct from the United States in numerous ways, like in healthcare, importance of military, the “French fact,” our reputation for tolerance and open-mindedness.

Or maybe not.

Well, take a look at it. Most of what we think as “Canadian identity” came from a party that was historically until recently, pro-US. And human rights, individual liberty, all those things? They don’t make this country different from the US. And now, the current Conservatives are implementing emphasis on the military, less government and deregulation – things no different from the Republican party. Some say this country is “America-lite.”

If that’s the case, then why Canada? Why the need for this country to exist? Why not just join Uncle Sam’s embrace? Healthcare? Well, that was a recent phenomenon – not much accepted in the days before Mr. T. Douglas established it (or maybe I’m wrong, but that was piecemeal!). Parliamentary democracy? The monarchy? We don’t think much of them as special, anyway, except on events where they are celebrated. How about Quebec? Its fate different than Louisiana’s? Remember, Quebecois desire to separate is strong.

Why Canada?

I think the Canadian nationalist is still relevant in this day and age. Regardless, arguably, of the ideological leaning – “old” Tories who still see this country as based on the ideas and principles of Sir John A., or those coming from the New Left whose nationalism is of course, more left-leaning. And even those patriots from the Liberal party and other groups.

What matters most here is that, if this country is ever to be truly relevant in this day and age where globalisation has made everything minor and irrelevant that which is not in-tune with it, if Canada is ever to truly assert itself on the crowded stage, the Canadian nationalist, the first defender of this country, its front-line defence, is still important and necessary.