The fact that Canada may need to “contribute more” to protecting our security may be true, but that portion of Harper’s response tells us nothing about the threat itself. We are left with “Islamic extremist terrorism” as “a big” threat. Is it the big one? Are there others?
The world is a messy place, so I empathize with the prime minister when he talks about the difficulty of defining threats in a complex world. But let’s be clear: complexity itself is not a threat. Nor should we respond to complexity with simplistic theories of history or vague allusions to looming conflicts.
If Canada faces a clear and present danger, Harper should tell us exactly what it is. Otherwise, he should stop scaring people – and himself.
See previously: The lurking, unspecific danger