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"You call that a terrorist?"

The remarkable tradition of Canadian terrorists who couldn't find their own navels with both hands and a flashlight seems be going unbroken. According to the French-language daily newspaper "24 Heures" - which I happened to skim-through while riding the Metro - the intended targets of the Great White North's latest batch of stupendous revolutionaries were none other than those marked edifices of imperialism and war known as the CN Tower and the Peace Tower.

For those amongst the viewing audience who aren't familiar with these buildings, the CN Tower is a big sky-needle who's primarily used to keep track of wheat-laden freight-trains, and the Peace Tower is the central structure of the Canadian Parliment, and is dedicated to... well, peace. It also has a big clock and some bells, and occasionally catches on fire. Frankly, any real terrorist would know that the Peace Tower is a lame duck of a target; Canadians would likely be less shocked by it being blown up than if it were to go a decade without bursting into flames - "Quoi? The Peace Tower didn't catch fire this week!? What staggering, diabolical genius accomplished this feat?"

And the symbolic message seems a little muddled. It would seem to scream, "Down with Peace!", but somehow I think something may be getting lost in the translation, seeing as that particular slogan doesn't test well with most consumers; it's right down there with strangling white doves - not the sort of thing that would be considered a propaganda victory.

As for detonating the CN Tower... Well, I'm sure it would have inconvenienced a whole lot of Manitoban wheat farmers for a few hours. The price of "Mini Wheats" may have been sent through the roof (for a day or two), and the insurance write-off would have given some unlucky accountant a nasty cramp. Other than that, one may be excused for asking, "WTF? The CN Tower?"

Not that these young folk are breaking with tradition or anything. The last "terrorist" to try anything of signifigance within Canadian borders was a nutter who barged into the National Assembly of Quebec with a Kalishnakov and held a few dozen politicians hostage for a number of hours. While I'm sure we were all (probably) morally horrified by the three deaths, most Quebecers also seemed relieved to be spared a few hours of Assembly members debating referenda and the finer points of sovereignty-association. When the whole shebang was over, we showed our support by not complaining too much when the honourable members voted to hire security personel actually capable of securing a door.

Before that fellow, there was the FLQ, the terrorist organization who's biggest accomplishment was striking a blow against British diplomats, and Quebequois politicos. Unfortunately, they were supposed to be striking blows against the Canadian federal gov't (it said so in their pamphlets, at least), which only further set the precedent of Canucks staring at the television screen, scratching their heads, and muttering, "What the hell are those idiots doing?"

Needless to say, the FLQ only lasted until the people in charge of the police and armed-forces started to actually pay attention to them.

Going further back, one can reference the example set by the Rebellions of 1937. Not that the Rebellions are anything to get excited about really; these were Canadian Rebellions, and thus their most telling features were a lack of enough weapons to arm the actual rebels, who were scarcely numerous enough to fill a good sized pub on Crescent Street to begin with. They lasted exactly as long as it took for the British troops to find their pants and load their rifles. A few decades later, the Queen bequeathed a "responsible gov't" on the colonies, thus ending the primary gripes that stirred the rebels, and evading any future bills to the Crown for the purchase and shipment of musket balls to the colonial garrisons.

All in all, given this history, it's perhaps not surprising that the latest crop of dumb, revolutionary Canadian kids managed to amount to very little. Particularly seeing as, let's face it - there's hardly much in the Great White North that's both worth blowing up and would actually be missed; save perhaps for the pubs.

"Where's the kaboom? There's supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!"

Angled photo of a waved Canadian flag against a dark background

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