Sometimes the apple doesn’t just fall far from the tree, it’s forcibly thrown from its vicinity. That’s certainly the case with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Say what you will about his father, longtime Canadian leader Pierre Elliott Trudeau, at least he was competent. In the case of his son, I’ve yet to see proof there’s anything but a vacuum under his carefully landscaped mop of hair.
This vacuum was demonstrated to the rest of the world recently when he mansplained to a young woman that she should actually say “peoplekind” as opposed to “mankind” and then compared Islamic State terrorists to Italian and Vietnamese immigrants.
That was pretty bad. However, it wasn’t the first time he’d made such remarks. In fact, it didn’t take long for the internet to dredge up comments in which the Canadian leader blamed the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 of on how “excluding” America was.
First, Trudeau’s recent comments:
During a recent speaking tour, Trudeau was asked by a father in regards to the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations “how you’re going to protect future Canadians like my young daughter, 10, 15 years from now, when you’re letting people in with an ideology that just doesn’t conform to what we’re doing here.”
Trudeau’s answer was so daft that a writer for the Toronto Sun actually thought it was worse than the “peoplekind” gaffe.
“One of the reasons Canada is successful as a country is because we have been open to people fleeing persecution, fleeing war zones, looking for better life,” the prime minister said.
“When we welcomed in waves of refugees — whether it was the Ismaili refugees in the early ’70s, whether it was the Vietnamese boat people in the early ’80s, whether it was people fleeing the devastation of the Second World War, the Italian communities, the Greek communities, the Portuguese communities, and others — our country is so much the better for it.”
Of course, there were no Viet Cong trying to secretly mix in with the Vietnamese boat people, or partisans of the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal sneaking in with regular immigrants, looking to wreak havoc. (There was, however, Inderjit Singh Reyat, an Indian-born Sikh extremist and convicted terrorist who emigrated to Canada and was involved in the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, a London-bound plane from Montreal that exploded over the Atlantic and killed 329 people. But details, details.)
This wasn’t the first time Trudeau had used such logic, however.
Here’s his take on the Boston bombing back in 2013, just days after it happened:
“And then at the same time, you know, over the coming days, we have to look at the root causes,” Trudeau said. “Now we don’t know now whether it was, you know, terrorism or a single crazy or, you know, a domestic issue or a foreign issue, I mean, all of those questions. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded, completely at war with innocents, at war with a society.”
Ignoring the fact that it appears Canada has elected Matthew McConaughey’s character from “Dazed and Confused,” this is a world leader (or, at the time, a future world leader) who thinks the cause of terrorism is being “completely excluded.” That’s literally the only concrete explanation he can come up with.
No, Mr. Prime Minister. The cause is extremism. There may be reasons why people become radicalized — exclusion is theoretically one of them, although I highly doubt it plays a critical role — but the one thing that every terrorist had in common is that they are extremists.
The thing is that extremists need to be vetted out. I will freely admit that these extremists are exceptionally rare. But it doesn’t take many to do a great deal of damage.
It took 19 hijackers to kill 3,000 people on 9/11, all for extremist religious ideology. It took one Inderjit Singh Reyat to make the bomb that killed 329 innocent people over the icy waters of the Atlantic, all because extremist Sikhs had a deadly animus against the Hindu-dominated Indian government.
It took only two bombers in Boston to kill three and injure hundreds, all because they had become radicalized by foreign Islamist groups.
How many Islamic State group members would it take to do even more damage than all of those?
“Peoplekind” may have been ignorant, Mr. Trudeau. Ignorant, but harmless. The same can’t be said for the utter disregard you’ve shown toward the terrorist threat.
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