In 1970, Canada faced a “grave crisis” of terrorism. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said “violent and fanatical men are attempting to destroy the freedom and unity of Canada”. His response was decisive, telling critics to “just watch me” as he made a show of strength to combat the terrorist threat.
In 2015, incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced to President Obama that Canada will retreat from combating the Islamic State. Justin is one of the naive bleeding hearts his father warned about.
In October 1970 (13 months before Justin Trudeau was born) the Quebec Liberation Front (FLQ) began kidnapping and murdering government officials. In response, Pierre Trudeau called up military security, invoked the War Measures Act (including a suspension of habeas corpus), and rounded up hundreds of FLQ members and sympathizers. Four weeks later, the kidnappers were found, tried, and convicted.
In his speech announcing his invocation of the War Measures Act, Trudeau warned that “Canadians have always assumed that it could not happen here and as a result we are doubly shocked that it has. Our assumption may have been naive, but it was understandable: understandable because democracy flourishes in Canada; understandable because individual liberty is cherished in Canada.” When challenged by a reporter, he asserted “Well there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed. But it’s more important to keep law and order in the society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don’t like the looks of a soldier.”
Justin Trudeau is one of those weak-kneed people, naive in the assumption that if Canada retreats from bearing guns and wearing helmets, that further attacks simply won’t happen in Canada. I say further attacks, because Islamist terror came to Canada as recently as October 22, 2014, when the Islamist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau rushed onto Parliament Hill with a rifle, killing Canadian Army Reserve [Corrected from earlier] Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was on duty at the National War Memorial, then ran into Centre Block to try to kill members of Parliament. Zehaf-Bibeau was angry because his attempts were delayed to get a passport and go back to the Middle east so he could join the Islamic State’s army.
Pierre Trudeau responded to terrorism with strength, and a refusal to give in to terrorist demands. Justin Trudeau is instead retreating from the field of battle, hoping that the terrorists will just ignore Canada from now on. Justin Trudeau hopes that it can’t happen in Canada.
Let’s just hope that the incoming Prime Minister’s naive attitude toward terrorism doesn’t cost his nation in more attacks.