Skip to content

Trudeau on Terrorism

Spencer Morrison (1L)

On January 15th, six Canadians were slaughtered by Islamic terrorists at the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso. They were there to build a school with their church group.

In response to this brutal attack, now known to have been orchestrated by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, Prime Minister Trudeau issued a response where he stated that he “strongly condemns the deadly terrorist attack” and that Canada would help in the “investigation of this terrible crime.”

There are two salient issues with this statement. First, Trudeau mislabels the event as a “crime” so that it fits into his political narrative. This was no crime, it was an act of war. Al-Qaeda soldiers, whom Canada have been fighting since 2001, stormed the building with machine guns and other “heavy weapons”, killing 30 and wounding 56.

By calling the attack a crime, Trudeau absolves his government of taking any action, because it now becomes an issue for local authorities. Correctly identifying it as an act of war would require an appropriate response, such as aiding the local government against Islamist rebels which are conquering the Sahel region. As expected, there has been no action undertaken by Canada.

Second, Trudeau omits any reference to Islam in his statement. While “progressives” laud him for intellectually dissociating Islam and terrorism, this is an egregious strategic mistake and an intellectual fallacy.

In the Sixth Century BC, Sun Tzu wrote in his “Art of War”, that to be successful you must know yourself, and your enemy. Furthermore, knowing your opponent has long been the key to success in war, business, and sports. As such, for Trudeau to intentionally omit the critical identifier, “Islamist”, is problematic. It means that Trudeau either does not understand the terrorist’s motivations or he is too cowardly to speak the truth. Both options are dangerous.

This misunderstanding, or patent denial of Islamic motivations behind terrorist groups such as ISIL, seems to permeate Trudeau’s entire cabinet. For example, earlier this month the Defense Minister, Harjit Sajjan, stated that “climate change” is “creating grievances” in Syria and Iraq, and this “created that ripple [the rise of ISIL] that we see today.”

What does such double-speak and innuendo accomplish? Surely Sajjan is not so ridiculously stupid as to believe that ISIL was caused by climate change and is executing Christians because it is too damn hot, especially given that he fought the Taliban in Afghanistan on multiple tours. He is doing this country no service by perpetuating the nonsensical fiction that ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Hamas etc. are not motivated by radical Islamic dogma.

Rather than trying to manufacture a causal El Dorado, Trudeau and Sajjan should recognize that our enemies are not hiding their motivations; they are broadcasting them loud and clear. It is time to listen to our enemies and see them as they are; only then can we hope to defeat them.