(This column was published in the North Shore News on Dec. 5, 2001)


Freedoms come with a price

By Leo Knight

A few days ago I was speaking with a young UBC student who was seeking a job.


During the conversation, I learned that she was Romanian by birth and had come to Canada as a child with her parents, fleeing their homeland in the waning days of the brutal Ceausescu regime.


She spoke rather eloquently about her love for her new home in Canada and about the dark days living under a communist dictatorship. It then became apparent she was against the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Afghanistan. I tried to understand the dichotomy when she asked if I didn't think the U.S.A. brought this on themselves.


A couple of quick questions determined she had arrived at her conclusions courtesy of a professor apparently out of touch with reality.


I'm not sure why this really bugged me. It is, after all, to be expected since our institutions of higher learning have been taken over by the leftist intelligentsia and have been transformed from bastions of free-thinking and intellectual debate to cathedrals of political correctness. Evidently it is now expected to condemn the U.S. for fighting back against those who carried out the outrageous attacks on Sept. 11.


This really is over the top.


It doesn't really matter how much you disagree with the American foreign policy over the years, nothing could have possibly justified the attacks on the United States. Yet for some reason the leaders of the left are dishing up that nonsense to our youth. Which is made worse by the fact they are now the majority of the teachers and professors in our high schools, colleges and universities.


What these people don't seem to understand is that freedoms are hard won by people who are prepared to fight and die for liberty. This includes the freedom to spout their nonsense.


The young lady asked if we just couldn't talk this over and avoid the use of the military to solve the problem. Sounds to me like she could be federal Liberal cabinet material.


It's quite amazing really. The forces of bin Laden and his Al Queda network have pledged themselves to destroying "western decadent societies" by any means. He has called for millions of the followers of Islam to join in his unholy cause. They have brought a violent war to the shores of North America and somehow this can all be solved with a little knees-up around the conference table?


One wonders if they are taking any of what is going on in the world seriously. And I do include the federal government in that question. Look at the way the UN Human Rights conference in Durban was hijacked by the oh-so-politically correct and their attempts to condemn Israel as a racist state.


Considering the radical Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah have pledged they will not rest until the state of Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth one wonders who the real racists are.


Look at the cold-blooded murders committed on the weekend in Jerusalem and Haifa. How can any nation protect against such lunacy? What then is left to them but to strike back? All the talking in the world has been truly ineffective in dealing with the mealy-mouthed Yasser Arafat.


The Western world has been kowtowing to him for the past 25 years and to what effect? Certainly there's been no less blood on the streets.


The war against terrorism is one that must be won. There is no second place in this. Not for the U.S.A., not for Israel or Canada or Britain either. Whether the enemy is Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Queda or Tekwar Al-Hiraj, the Algerian group believed to have carried out the World Trade Center attacks, war has been declared.


It matters not if you don't want a war, sometimes you must fight one. The UBC profs may not like it, but the time for talking is long since past.


The young Romanian girl got the job, by the way. She's far too idealistic and needs to learn some cynicism.






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