Monday, June 12, 2006

So are Canadians complacent or not?

In his column in last weekend's Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell couldn't let his "on the one hand" know what his "on the other hand" was thinking about Canada's attitude to terrorism. The fact-based Caldwell noted that Canadians know Bin Laden has singled us out for attacks and that more Canadians than Americans view another major terrorist incident as "inevitable".

But the other Caldwell ignores the empirical facts his twin just cited, and claims to divine a "tendency towards complacency. " The basis for this alleged tendency is the fact that the Muslim Council of Montreal congratulated the authorities on a job well done (which, one would think, is a good thing), and Canadian distaste for the Iraq war and Guantanamo bay.

I realize that pundits never have to pay for error, but why can't we get a little logic?

Postscript: Caldwell is a model of coherence in comparison to the Economist's piece, which opens, "IT HAS long been an article of faith among Canadians—just as it once was among Britons—that their commitment to an easygoing multicultural society protects them from home-grown Islamist terrorism." Sheer nonsense: I know of no Canadians who believe that, let alone hold it as an "article of faith" (I doubt there were any Britons who believed it either). Better clichés, please.

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