Thursday, November 18, 2004

"BE CAREFUL what you wish for": the following text was sent for publication by Aaron Hanscom, a loyal Barcepundit reader:
This year I feel like one of those particularly lucky people whose birthdays fall on Christmas Day. By the time I turned 28 at midnight on election night, George W. Bush had already won his 28th state and was well on his way to winning a second term in office. I wasn't alone in reaching an all-time high on November 3. Here's Canada's immigration ministry spokeswoman, Maria Iadinardi: "When we looked at the first day after the election, November 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high."

It appears that many of my fellow Americans are the ones contemplating the idea of seeking refuge in North America's last remaining civil society. Reuters reports that the number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration site has increased six-fold since the re-election of Dubya. While this spike could be due to the MTV generation's fear that P. Diddy will make good on his "Vote or Die" threat, it seems more likely that these potential emigrants fear the gangster occupying the White House.

It is hard to argue that Islamic terrorists don't share the far left's fear of a second Bush term. Osama bin Laden seemed to be mimicking Michael Moore in his pre-election videotaped message, when he castigated Bush for continuing to read "My Pet Goat" on the morning of September 11. Still, I'll concede that Al-Qaeda's leaders might view Bush as their single greatest recruitment tool. In wanting to rush to Canada, however, quite a few on the left undeniably share something in common with the terrorists.

Just take a look at a recent U.S. Library of Congress study declaring Canada a "favored destination for terrorists." Last year Canadian Security Intelligence Services reported that the country "is viewed by some terrorist groups as a place to try to seek refuge, raise funds, procure materials and/or conduct other support activities." You can thank Canada's immigration laws, welfare policy, rare prosecutions and light sentences for the fact that "virtually all of the most notorious international terrorist organizations are known to maintain a network presence in Canada." So while I can understand the terrorists believing they will be safe making the trip, I'm hoping Americans will give it a second thought.

Not that I haven't previously thought about expatriating. I, too, wanted to pretend that this War on Terror was something Bush had cooked up in Washington- and not World War III. How great it would be if I could just change citizenship and watch all my fears disappear. It would not have been too hard for me to leave either, since my wife is from Spain. Any doubts I may have had about Bush's handling of the war were quickly dispelled, however, when I took a closer look at the current situation in Spain (which closely resembles that of Canada).

The socialist government that came to power in the aftermath of the March 11 terrorist attack in Madrid has pursued what you (and John Kerry) might call a more "sensitive" war on terror. Prime Minister Jose Zapatero kindly pulled Spain's troops out of Iraq, per the terrorists' request, and has promoted cultural dialogue with the Muslim community as a superior counterterrorism tactic. The results? Just last month Spanish police arrested two groups of Islamic radicals for plotting to blow up the central criminal court and other landmarks. A "congress of dialogue" with representatives of the Arab world was summoned by the socialist government and resulted in Arab heckling when "European historians discussed the more liberal era when Islamic women did not wear the veil." Judge Baltasar Garzón, Spain's leading anti-terrorist judge, recently stated that Spanish prisons are "breeding grounds" for Islamic terrorists. And, oh yeah, Al-Qaeda hasn't yet given up its claim to Andalusia.

On November 2 millions of Americans endorsed President Bush's aggressive stance on terror. Carolyn Parrish, a liberal MP in Canada, spoke for much of the world when she said she was "dumfounded" over Bush's victory. She concluded that American voters are "completely out of step with most of the free world." Well, how about the part of the world that is not free? Millions of Iranians living under the repression of the
mullahs celebrated the results of the American election. They recognize that an America under President Bush is committed to democracy and freedom in the Middle East. The terrorists recognize it, too. That's why they wish we were more like Canada.

My compatriots looking to escape to Quebec or Toronto might want to be a little more careful of what they wish for.
Thanks, Aaron; a good text.