loonies bugs and national security

According to a report by the Federation of American Scientists, which I am not making up, American defence contractors travelling in Canada have…

According to a report by the Federation of American Scientists, which I am not making up, American defence contractors travelling in Canada have discovered bugging devices secreted in Canadian one-dollar coins on at least three occasions. The news wires are rife with speculation on why anybody would choose to install tiny transmitters in the item least likely to remain in one individual’s possession for any length of time.

The currently popular theory is that the conspirators who bugged the loonies were CSIS agents, and it just never occurred to them.

They may still be tracking coins that were dropped in a pop machine minutes after they were planted. That’s if they didn’t inadvertently leave the radio receiver lying around to be stolen while they went to a hockey game.

But a more likely explanation is that it was never the arms salesmen who were being tracked. It was the coins.

The reason they were only discovered by American defence contractors is that nobody else in Canada is dweebie enough to scan their pocket change for bugs every night at bedtime. If we were, we might discover the awful truth. They’re all bugged. It’s done before they leave the mint. That’s why they put those weird little implants in the middle of them.

Bugged loonies and toonies are the Canadian government’s answer to international terrorism. Originally they tried bugging underwear at the garment factories, but international terrorists deviously resorted to bringing their own shorts when they entered the country.

And as for those people who wear robes all the time, well, who knows what’s under there?

Security agencies had to resort to coins because they’re the one thing a terrorist would need to pick up on arrival in the country.

OK, maybe that’s a bit far-fetched. But it shouldn’t really be a huge stretch of the imagination. We’re getting used to loopy notions about national security. Right now, for instance, our country’s foreign policy is based on the belief that our troops in Afghanistan are protecting Canada’s future security by keeping the Taliban from gaining control of the country.

Never mind that the Taliban have never shown the slightest inclination to attack Canada or any other foreign country.

Ignore the evidence that Al Qaeda never declared us a potential target until we joined the American combat forces in southern Afghanistan. Somehow, our picking a fight with the Taliban is supposed to lessen the possibility that terrorists will someday attack us. Hmm.

Now the government plans to spend $432 million to beef up security along the American border. The US, on its part, is beefing up security on the Canadian border. Some prominent American lawmakers are among those advocating the construction of a security fence that could cost up to US$ 8 billion to build.

Nervous citizens on both sides of the border will be comforted to know that, soon, we’ll each be securely protected from attacks originating within the borders of our closest ally. But how long will it take Al Qaeda to figure out that operatives on the American side can still attack American targets, and those on the Canadian side can do likewise?

A terror attack is an act of war, and it is a fact of human nature that we employ our innate creativity to best effect when it comes to making war.

Stop terror at one border, it will come in another. Stop all your borders and it will spring up inside. The billions of dollars worth of security on both sides of the world’s longest formerly-unprotected border are going to be about as much use as a radio transmitter in a dollar coin.

Since the War of 1812, Canada has been the victim of one mass terror attack — the Air India bombing — and that was a surrogate for a foreign war. We haven’t been attacked because we haven’t been at war.

The US has been attacked repeatedly, at home and abroad, because it has been at war.

Now we’re at war too.

Afghan civilians are dying in that war, and if we keep at it, someone will find a way to kill Canadian civilians in return.

Peace is security. War is its opposite.

If Canadians are agreed that it’s worth all the death and misery of war to keep the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan, so be it, but let’s not pretend that all the risk is someone else’s.

And let’s not pretend we can escape the inevitable.

Peace is a lot of work.

You don’t find it in loonie security schemes.