You think you know the story. You’ve seen the pictures on TV a million times. Over and over again.
You’ve seen how the media have tried to explain what happened, and how they’ve framed the narrative, complete with more heroes than you can count.
You know what Stephen Harper wants you to believe, and why.
You’ve seen how many Canadians have reacted, with an explosion of grief and emotion…
You think you know the story, until it starts to unravel.
And the reason it falls apart, is because the media has been more interested in building myths, trying to shoehorn the story into the 911 frame, and hysterically emoting rather than reporting.
And in so doing as Andrew Mitrovica correctly points out, they have failed us miserably.
History. Context. Perspective. Understanding. Skepticism. Thoughtfulness. Canada’s so-called media and political “elites” abandoned them all. In their stead, we got a week-long diet of chest-thumping patriotic clichés, cheap, meaningless hyperbole and tropes that, taken together, have already manufactured widespread consent for what will surely be another assault on our rights and freedoms engineered by a cynical Conservative government.
They got their facts wrong.
We were told that there were two or more shooters. Wrong. We were told that Wednesday’s shooting was likely “linked” to the hit and run death of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and hence that some sort of wider conspiracy was afoot. Wrong. We were told that shooter Michael Zahef-Bibeau was on a high-risk travel list. Wrong.
We were told that Zahef-Bibeau wanted to travel to Syria. Wrong. (He hoped to go to Saudi Arabia – one of Canada’s best buddies in the Middle East.) We were told that the 90-odd individuals supposedly on a CSIS “watch” list were being “rounded up” by authorities. Wrong.
Even the “hero” Sergeant-at-Arms “story” is collapsing. Reportedly, Zahef-Bibeau was shot at least a dozen times and possibly dead before Kevin Vickers fired his gun.
They inflamed the situation, they made the gunman sound like a member of a terrorist conspiracy, instead of a homeless drug addict who was clearly mentally ill.
In the letter to Postmedia, Susan Bibeau paints a picture of her son as an “unhappy person at odds with the world” and mentally unbalanced in his final days.
Bibeau writes she doesn’t believe Michael was part of an organization or acted “on behalf of some grand ideology or for a political motive.”
She says she believes “he acted in despair.”
And in so doing they have played into the hands of the Con regime who would magnify what happened for sleazy political purposes.
Bibeau’s comments didn’t persuade the Prime Minister’s Office to soften its language.
“This was a terrorist attack. He attacked two Canadian institutions — the soldiers standing guard at the War Memorial, and Parliament — had espoused extremist ideology, was, as the police have indicated, radicalized,” said Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for Harper told The Canadian Press in an email.
So Stephen Harper can pose as a Great Strong Leader…
Use the crisis to try to make his opponents look like weaklings, or terrorist stooges.
And as Glenn Greenwald points out, exploit a tragedy to ram through his sinister security agenda.
The federal government is “shamelessly” exploiting last week’s extremist attacks to dismantle liberties and core principles of justice, says journalist Glenn Greenwald.
The Pulitzer-Prize winning U.S. reporter warned that the Conservative government, aided by docile news media, is purposely fuelling alarmist speculation about the domestic threat of Islamic terrorism to ram through legislation giving the state extraordinary new powers over citizens.
For Greenwald is right, Harper has been shameless.
The speed and the aggression and the brazenness and the shamelessness with which the prime minister moved to manipulate and exploit the emotions around these events to demand more power for himself was almost impressive,” he said.
“These attacks are instantly seized upon as a way to further dismantle civil liberties and core principles of western justice.”
What he is trying to do is the stuff of fascists, and the REAL threat to Canada.
And it must be resisted by whatever legal means necessary.
None of which changes the fact that what happened was a sickening act of violence.
Or makes the deaths of those soldiers any less tragic…
Any less senseless or any less heartbreakingly sad.
But if in a dangerous time like this one, with a leader like Stephen Harper, we allow raw emotion to cloud reason, he will use it to take us to a very dark place.
A place so sinister and so evil it can scarcely be imagined.
You know, ever since I was very young I have always been haunted by the story of that other Simon, the lost boy in Lord of the Flies…
Who after seeing how some of the older boys were using the threat of a monster to scare the others, and justify their savage behaviour, set out to discover the truth for himself.
Only to discover that the monster was THEM…
And end up being savagely murdered by those who didn’t want to hear the truth.
Like so many in this country don’t want to hear it now. Either because they’re frightened, or because they want to elevate the story into something nobler, or because they like a simpler story line, or because they’re just too damn ignorant.
In that horribly Canadian way.
And the MSM is only too happy to give them what they want, because they’re desperate for viewers and readers. Raw emotion sells more than sober analysis. And because those who work on Parliament Hill were naturally traumatized, they want ALL of us to feel their pain.
Which makes the story appear bigger and more threatening than it really is, and at a time when fear and loathing are already running wild, only serves to create a monster like the one on Simon’s Island of the Damned.
Which Stephen Harper can feed and use to to inflame the mob, and turn us into a police state.
For there is a something terribly evil out there in the darkness of this foul Harperland.
And if that monstrous leader is not defeated, and removed from power as soon as is humanly possible.
He will unleash his inner beast. As well as those of others in our midst.
And he will savage this country bloody…