|14A052 Trouble Up North by Jim Davies, 10/29/2014
This month, two young Canadian men killed government employees and each was then himself killed. That is extraordinary.
Reportedly, each had recently converted to Islam and was acting in some way in sympathy with the organized killers in IS. The second of them, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, shot an honor guard in the back at a war memorial in Ottawa, then drove past a pair of cop cars and ran into the Parliament building to shoot some more. He was brought down by an alert mace-bearer, Kevin Vickers. What's going on? - why would a couple of young men in one of the most prosperous and peaceful countries in the world choose to kill and die for the cause of a second-rate middle Eastern religion that cannot hold a candle to the one that prevails all around them? It doesn't seem to make sense on any level.
To find out, I began by watching some of the IS recruiting video, Flames of War, and that gave me some clues. It's quite well produced, and shows Bush and Obama as liars. Accurate so far. Bush announces perpetual war, the narrator concurs. Bush says "if you're not with us, you're against us" and cleverly, the video implies that the viewer has a choice; either Bush's US aggression, or the heroic defenders of civilization (or something) in IS. In reality there are of course more than two alternatives, but to a none-too-bright kid who wouldn't recognize a critical faculty if he fell over it, the film has a powerful appeal. And kids today in the North American and European schools are not being taught how to think, to analyze, or to question.
I then checked some of the details that are emerging about Bibeau; he was an habitual drug user, with a history of minor thefts and prosecutions; unemployed and unemployable. Imagine what all that does for self-esteem. Seems to me it produces a person wide open to a well-presented message that he is a victim but can become a hero instead. To cap it off, Bibeau had a Libyan father, who was fighting there a few years back, on one of the several sides in the Gaddafi war. I'd call Bibeau a sitting duck, an obvious recruit. His "conversion to Islam" probably had no spiritual component nor any careful comparison of the respective theologies of that religion and the one he was used to in Canada; he may even have had a hard time spelling "theology". Rather, it was an emotional response to an invitation to make something meaningful out of his so-far meaningless life... with lots of exciting bangs and flames.
Thirdly, I came across an interesting report by a writer, Rob Leech, whose brother in law Richard Dart is a Londoner similarly "converted." Rob did his best to talk Rich out of his plan to join the Pakistani Taliban, but failed: he calls Rich a "vulnerable young man with a massive great chip on his shoulder. With their radical new status [people like him] felt empowered, superior and perhaps most annoyingly for me, righteous." Bibeau, to a tee.
So far, this makes some sense. Western governments' school systems graduate kids unable to think and often unable to read, and set a minimum wage so high they can't find a job, while its "leaders" make war far from home on defenseless foreigners. It's all true. Then they're offered the possibility of purpose for life. What a tragedy, that we didn't get to them first. They are indeed the victims of massive child abuse - but the fix is not violence, it is reason. If only Bibeau had had a friend who steered him into the Freedom Academy!
Finally I noticed that Bibeau's rampage was remarkably intelligent, for one who had convinced himself to strike back with violence. He symbolically killed a soldier at a war memorial first - in Canada's capital. The very spot where the country's "heroic" dead are most honored, Bibeau dishonored, denouncing them as unprincipled killers. So far, not far wrong. He did so from behind, so there would be no chance of being delayed by a gun fight, then rushed off to try to kill some more in the very heart of the beast, the Parliament that had sent those killers to do their work. That part of his plan didn't work out, thanks to Vickers' prompt action, but for a one-man strike, the idea was pretty smart.
And that brought me a problem. How could such a dummy, such a loser as Bibeau come up with such a clever plan for symbolic violence? Surely he must have had help - but from where? Does IS have a recruiting officer in Canada? Maybe so.
But there is another possibility, explored in Tony Cartalucci's LRC article last week. He points out that Bibeau was "under the watch of not only Canadian authorities, but also US investigators, before the attack." He notes that "The FBI has a long list of foiled terror plots of its own creation" and that sometimes, the plots are not "foiled" but are allowed to "go live" and gives examples. In other words, the Ottawa attacks could have been false-flag jobs, designed to condition public opinion to favor putting boots back on Syrian and Iraqi soil so as to wipe out IS... and then Assad. Meanwhile, the gone-live Ottawa attacks serve as hobgoblins with which to keep the population scared and dependent.
I'm a skeptic of conspiracy theories, but Cartalucci makes a good case. Too bad we shall have to wait a few decades before knowing for sure. In the meantime, there is work to do. Have you any friends who are recent victims of the government's dumbing-down school system? If so, you know where to point them.