Saturday, March 31, 2007


The names and aims of terrorists are legion, but all draw their violent methods from the same well. Masked men in combat gear lobbing Molotov cocktails and firing machine guns from behind makeshift barricades look and act much the same, whether in Gaza, Sri Lanka or Medellin.

Or Caledonia.

But don't you dare draw such comparisons:

Radical natives are listed in the Canadian army's counterinsurgency manual as a potential military opponent, lumping aboriginals in with the Tamil Tigers, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad.

The military is putting the finishing touches on the manual, but a draft version of the document obtained by The Globe and Mail outlines a host of measures the military might use to fight insurgents at home and abroad. The measures include ambushes, deception and killing.

The draft manual was produced in September, 2005, and recently released through an access-to-information request. A final edited version of the army manual is expected to be complete within months, but a cover letter states that the draft version was immediately circulated in 2005 to army units for military training.

Its inclusion of “radical Native American Organizations” as a potential target of military action surfaces at a time of heightened tensions between aboriginals and the federal government.


Stewart Phillip, the Grand Chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs who recently predicted “a summer of aboriginal protest” in response to the perceived lack of action on native poverty in the federal budget, said he is “absolutely outraged” by the manual.

“It's a complete attack on our political rights,” he said.

“What we're seeing,” Mr. Phillip continued, “is the deliberate criminalization of the efforts of aboriginal people to march, demonstrate and rally to draw public attention to the crushing poverty that is the reality within our communities.”

As the sun rises and sets, so do the aggrieved march and disperse; both part of nature's cycle, neither a cause for alarm. The professional protestors flatter themselves unduly with their paranoia.

The armed militants, on the other hand, have not received the critical media attention and condemnation they deserve. Their intentions and actions fit the textbook definition of insurrection. They mean what they say.

By not drawing distinctions between the two, the former appear more menacing than they are, and the latter far less so.

Glad to see that the Armed Forces, at least, can tell the difference.

Source: Globe and Mail

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