Overlapping allegiances: C2C’s interview with former Margaret Thatcher adviser, John O’Sullivan. In this interview with John O’ Sullivan, now executive editor at Radio Free Europe in Prague, O’ Sullivan reflects on multiculturalism, the IRA’s 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and the Toronto 18.
Day: March 1, 2010
By Howard Rotberg, Mantua Books, 231 pp, $25 Howard Rotberg’s new book, reviewed by David W. Livingstone— Page 50 Rotberg sets out to show that tolerance has been “raised to the be-all and end-all of human existence” and to point out the problems that excessive tolerance brings in its wake: “It disarms our best minds and our future leaders from protecting the important values and freedoms for which our forefathers have fought, and even died.”
“In advanced countries, treason is an antiquarian offence,” writes Lord Black in his survey of treason from the 16th century to the attacks in New York and Washington in September 2001. “Toleration of conscientious objection and a media tendency to mistrust militarism and nationalism and to seek the ‘sources’ of even foreign discontent have made treason an unfashionable allegation, as it implies national moral superiority. “
“In the years between August 1947 when Kanao Inouye, a Japanese-Canadian also known as the Kamloops Kid, was hanged for war crimes and the conviction of Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a Pakistani-Canadian, in October 2008 under the Anti-Terrorism Act , Canada changed significantly, “writes Salim Mansur. The open immigration policy adopted since the mid-1960s is desirable and not without obvious benefits asserts Mansur, but somewhere in the process, Canadian’s sense of membership and belonging that citizenship represents has become diluted: “Due to the increasing prevalence of dual and multiple citizenships that an individual can maintain, then under these conditions, the relationship between an individual and the state is increasingly utilitarian.”
“There is no shortage of offences with which to charge those who threaten Canada’s national security, writes University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan in his call for treason to stay, for all practical purposes, buried in Canada’s past. While Flanagan does not see removing treason from the books as desirable, neither are new prosecutions with treason as a charge. As for other non-criminal matters such as Quebec separatists, “In a democratic polity, such large-scale problems of allegiance can only be solved by political conciliation, not by hunting down and punishing traitors,” writes Flanagan.
“Is treason merely a relativistic concept?” asks Gordon Gibson in this essay on the necessary primacy of the individual. After all, the author points out, “The word describes a significant attack on the fundamental order of things, usually a form of governance. But if that order of things is illegitimate in the eyes of the viewer – dictatorships or theocracies as seen by Westerners or godless democracies as seen by the godly”—we are forced to ask if there a more absolute idea that would define treason as a betrayal of the individual or of human rights.
A former Canadian Ambassador with 36 years of service in eastern and central Europe, the Caribbean and Moscow, along with service as head of Canada’s immigration service, James Bisset argues the unwillingness to call treason by its proper name—and preference to use other, less serious sections of the Criminal Code when dealing with terrorists is an example of how deeply political correctness has permeated our society: “There is a dangerous tendency to obscure the truth and to camouflage unpleasant facts by ignoring them or by using euphemisms to minimize their gravity. “
Treason has succumbed to the bureaucratization common in modern life writes Barry Cooper: “We now rely almost entirely on security intelligence, which is to say pre-emptive, micro-managed bureaucratic options to deal with the kind of threats that used to be punished after the fact by sedition and treason prosecutions.”