Battling a two-front war

As I walked through my front door Friday afternoon, my wife asked me if I was aware of what was unfolding in Paris.
Earlier in the day, I had stopped following the news feed and was not aware of the attacks in the “City of Lights.”
Afterwards, we discovered eight different Paris locations were targets of bombings and shootings—and the western world was in shock.
We had not been shocked when the Russian civilian airliner was bombed killing all aboard, nor about the double-bombing in Beirut and the bombings in Bagdad and Afghanistan.
ISIS also claimed responsibility for all those attacks on innocent people.
Our new prime minister, just before boarding his plane to attend the G20 summit in Turkey, must have wondered what had happened to all of his optimism and his “Sunny Ways.”
In a matter of hours, the world had darkened. In the flash of that first explosion in Paris, he had gone from innocent bystander to a war prime minister—and Canada’s security teams were on high alert keeping our prime minister fully informed as he flew to his first international meeting.
On Monday in Turkey, Trudeau continued to say Canada still would withdraw its six fighter jets from a combat role in Syria and that Canada remained committed to bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to our shores by the end of December.
By Tuesday, he was committing to putting more Canadian boots on the ground to train local fighters to fight ISIS.
In France, meanwhile, President Francois Hollande declared the attacks in Paris “an act of war.” Trudeau continued to commit Canadian soldiers to training Kurdish troops in Iraq.
Yet ISIS, in taking responsibility for the attacks in Paris, also created an attack on Syrian refugees by casting a doubt on their credibility.
One Syrian passport was discovered near an attacker, though no one is certain that the owner of the passport who arrived in Greece as a refugee was an attacker.
The previous Canadian government had called for the settlement of 10,000 refugees into Canada following careful background checks.
One wonders if the ambitious plans by the Trudeau government to bring in 25,000 refugees will be more cautious as a result of the Paris attacks. We expect the government will be more thorough in screening Syrian refugees who want to come to Canada.
Twenty-five thousand refugees is admirable, but maybe the government should extend the time of meeting those commitments.
In other countries, governments are re-examining their commitments to the refugees. One can wonder if the attacks by ISIS were aimed at showing the refugees that they cannot run from ISIS by making it more difficult to relocate in western nations.
With many of the Paris attackers now being identified as home-grown terrorists, and knowing our own home-grown terrorists killed two soldiers in Canada last fall, we are faced with terrorism from within our country and from outside our country.
It is a two-front war.
The war will be fought both at home, by reducing the opportunities for young Muslim Canadians to become radicalized Islamists, and by creating stability in the Middle East so that its citizens can raise their families in peace in countries filled with opportunities for youth.

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