Quebec police at site of shooting..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
With the recent attacks on, and within, Canada's Parliament, the equivalent of the US Congress, the terrorists have sent us a message. And the message is very clear. Anyone can kill a lot of people. It happens all the time. In malls, college campuses, and so on, people go berserk and shooting sprees happen. If terrorists want to kill dozens, or even hundreds of people in the West, they can surely do so. Just enter a few malls and start shooting. Like every other crazy. But that's not what they wanted to do with the latest attacks. No, they wanted to show us that nowhere is safe from them.The same message they sent on September 11, 2001. What 9/11 drove home was that even the symbolic citadels of our financial, political, and military might are not safe from these people. While not diminishing the deaths of nearly 3000 people in 9/11, that is simply not the kind of number that the enemies of freedom are aiming for. They are aiming to kill really large numbers of people. Such ambitions will have to await the development of small, nuclear devices, which presumably the terrorists are hard at work on. But the White House? The Pentagon? The World Trade Center? We considered these the safest places on the planet, the best protected. After 9/11, we understood that even they are vulnerable. True, one plane on it's way to crash into the White House never made it. But another plane was actually crashed into the Pentagon. And two others into the world's financial center. If these places are not safe or able to be protected, then what chance do we have in our homes, offices, malls and movie theaters? That’s the message. That was what 9/11 was about.
So too today, when there is a firefight inside Canada's Parliament building, literally outside the doors of Parliament's chamber where Members of Parliament are in session. The imagery is iconic and striking. Lawmakers cowering within the chamber, with chairs piled high against the chamber's door. That's how close they got to these untouchables.That's how close they got to the prime minister who was right there. And it's not like this building is unprotected. It is, after all, the equivalent of the US Congress. And yet they managed to penetrate it. That is what the message is about. Not how many people they killed. But that nowhere is safe.
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