There is no good information available, yet, about the terror attack in Ottawa today. Whomever the perpetrators are, they have targeted a people as committed to freedom and individual rights as any in the world. The United States’ closest and most important ally, in many ways Canada under Stephen Harper has taken the lead in extolling the virtues of Western ideals.
This has apparently made Canada a target. If so, Canada is in good company. The United States has been under attack for championing the West since at least the 1970s; England was victimized in July, 2005; Spain in 2004. Israelis are under perpetual threat as an outpost of Western ideals in a hostile region.
Canadians should be proud of their moral and clear-sighted leadership at a time when U.S. vision is sadly lacking. And Americans should first mourn with their northern neighbors, but then renew their commitments to the Western liberalism that binds the modern world.
UPDATE: As expected, Prime Minister Harper’s statement on today’s attack strikes just the right tone. After acknowledging that Canada was not immune to terror, Harper continued, “let there be no misunderstanding….Canada will never be intimidate.”
The latest reports are that the perpetrator is a recent convert to Islam. That may turn out to be anecdotal and not pertinent to the attack itself, but it seems unlikely. That Canada’s leadership in promoting a western liberalism at odds with extremists is a badge of honor.