Terrorist attacks should spark manhunts, not soul searching: Harper - Macleans.ca

Terrorist attacks should spark manhunts, not soul searching: Harper


LONDON – Terrorist attacks should prompt manhunts, not soul searching, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday in a thinly veiled jab at his new Liberal rival.

“When you see this type of violent act, you do not sit around trying to rationalize it or make excuses for it or figure out its root causes,” Harper said before leaving London after attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

“You condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators, you deal with them as harshly as possible.”

Harper’s comments appeared to be a direct rebuttal to a CBC interview with Justin Trudeau, in which the Liberal leader said examining the causes of terrorist attacks are important amid the security response.

“We have to look at the root causes,” Trudeau said. “Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue.

“But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?”

On Wednesday, Trudeau was asked to elaborate on what he meant by “root causes.”

“Obviously, we have to make sure that as we move forward we look at creating a safe community, a safe country, a safe world for all citizens and all individuals,” he replied.

“And that happens both with security and with a significant commitment to peace, as highlighted in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Given Boston’s proximity to the border, Canadian officials have ramped up security in the wake of the attacks as American officials continue their hunt for clues and suspects in the explosions, which killed three and left 170 wounded.

Harper said the U.S. did not ask Canada to take any specific measures related to the attack.

“All governments, all leaders are following these kinds of violent activities anywhere in the world,” he said.

“We’re obviously continuing to talk to our American colleagues … we will be following this closely and do whatever we have to do to adapt.”

— With files from Joan Bryden in Ottawa

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Terrorist attacks should spark manhunts, not soul searching: Harper

    • They both make valid points. Sure, you do everything you can to catch the perpetrators – but knowing what set them off may allow us to make the changes necessary to prevent someone else making the same decision. i.e. a balance of reactive [Harper] and proactive [Trudeau].

      • Yes, because after a terrorist attack we should really be concerning ourselves with how we can appease said terrorists so they don’t do it again. Because we all know negotiating with terrorists is a strategy that will bring success every time.

        • Read it again Rick – I said knowing why may allow us to make the changes necessary to prevent someone else making the same decision. It’s a little thing called prevention; much better to stop it from happening in the first place than to clean up and bury the dead afterwards.

    • Shorter Stephen Harper
      “There’s a time to think and there’s a time to act… this is no time to think”

  1. He is right of course – look let’s be honest folks Justin is in over his head and has a very long row to hoe … Justin was trying the classic mistake of a rookie and attemtping to disseminate and talk intelligently about a subject at the exact wrong time! Right after something evil – you calll it out as such – this is evil and a tragedy and offer support for family and loved ones then you hang up the phone folks! You don’t elaborate – you don’t try talking away the pain of those who have lost something you ceretainly don’t try to rationalize and analyze if you are a real leader. This only adds fuel to the existing fire and is another brick on the wall – even Mulcair is zapping the kid right now !!!!!!

  2. Just the opposite Mr. Harper. This requires A LOT of soul searching on why do humans kill each other.
    Because humans have always wanted to kill each other throughout history. Boston, Newtown, Aurora, New York, Iraq, etc. Nothing’s changed.

  3. How about not flooding Canada, America and W. Europe with immigrants from terrorist-producing areas? If they can’t put down roots here, we don’t have to worry about the “root causes” of terrorism.

  4. Why can’t we do both? Catch the killer(s) and figure out what fucked up motivation they had, that is?

  5. Can you imagine Obama in his address: “my fellow Americans, this happened because someone feels excluded.” Can you imagine Justin phoning up victims, “your kid is dead, or your leg blown off because someone felt excluded.” Just disgraceful!

    • I don’t know if you watched the whole video, but he even has a little smirk and a chuckle at the idea of some people hating Bostonians. The guy has absolutely no class whatsoever.