Canadians vest authority in our federal government to act in our best interest, to uphold our collective values, and to respect the rule of law. It should come as little surprise, then, that someone might get the distinct impression that walking into a mosque and opening fire with a weapon is fundamentally Canadian. After all, we are complicit in the legitimization of murder on an unfathomable scale.

“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts [of violence] have no place in our communities, cities and country,” wrote Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately following January’s barbaric attack in Quebec City. Indeed they are, and indeed they do not. But what about Muslims who aren’t Canadian? Who don’t live in our communities, cities, or country? Who aren’t Shiite, or, depending on the particular conflict, Sunni?

This is where things might get confusing for someone that looks to the state to set an example for what is right and what is wrong, to inform which lives have value, and which have none. Because the reality is, both directly and indirectly, the Canadian government and its Western allies have been killing and dehumanizing innocent Muslims year after year after year – in their places of worship, at their places of work, where they study, even while they seek treatment in hospital.

This isn't even partisan politics, as subtly suggested by islamophobe Alexandre Bissonnette's Facebook ‘Like‘ of the NDP on Facebook – but rather this ongoing and pervasive defence of murder on the flimsiest of humanitarian pretenses is deeply ingrained in the very fabric of our parliamentary democracy, and has been since at least 2001. Across the political spectrum, all major federal parties have blood on their hands: the Conservatives in Iraq and Syria, the NDP in Libya, the Liberals in Yemen – often all three are happy to find common ground when it comes to dropping bombs, exporting weapons, or providing the training and logistical assistance to kill millions.

The violence of the state is both unparalleled and beyond dispute. That Muslims have borne the brunt of that violence for almost two decades is not without its sad consequences at home. That the state won’t tolerate violence in our communities, cities and country, but will readily export it across Africa and the Middle East, is perhaps a contradictory moral and legal position too nuanced for someone like Bissonnette.

Canadians don’t shoot innocent Muslims in Canadian mosques, we only drop bombs on them while they work on dairy farms in northern Iraq.


Only Now

French President Hollande says the attacks in Paris were "an act of war" and that "faced with war, the country must take appropriate action."

If you're only going to cognitively unpack one thing from this whole mess, unpack those statements.

Because those words are coming from the president of a country that has already been dropping bombs on Muslim babies for the better part of a fucking decade.

Language is a powerful thing. When people hear "act of war" they immediately think something has just started. That one side has just started a conflict against an enemy in peacetime. Hollande is very purposely using this language to wipe away the memory of military interventions in Afghanistan, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Interventions that, not coincidentally, helped give rise to ISIL.

Hollande is attempting to create a fresh start, a morally clean slate, where we all naively believe we've been attacked 'out of the blue' - that 'we' didn't start this, 'they' did. That France is, only now, "faced with war."

The state's Orwellian strategies work very well: Just look at all the French flag-coloured Facebook profile pictures. Look at all the news articles only now - over a decade after the West first started its endless 'War on Terror' - announcing that "France Declares War" in response to last week's atrocities in Paris.

We need to stop allowing our leaders and the media to convince us we should be surprised each time people actually die on 'our' side of a war that's been raging for years.

Or are we so sure of the righteousness of our cause that we cannot possibly imagine why we can't kill thousands with impunity, why we can't bomb without consequence, why leaving behind a long trail of broken states and ruined lives would come back to haunt us?


Implicating Capital: Examining the Dimensions of Food Security Discourse

Introduction: Balancing the Scales

In order to conduct research into food security, researchers need to start with a broad conceptual framework for what constitutes that security and what characterizes its absence. Not only that, but researchers must also decide the scale at which to locate their investigations: food security can be examined from a global perspective, with a national focus, at the community level, or through the lens of individuals within households. While there are probably well over 200 competing definitions for food security, only two organizations have, since the late 1970s, defined the boundaries of that debate while simultaneously providing major funding for worldwide food security research, policy, and practice: the World Bank (WB) and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

These international and multilateral bodies, along with bit players like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and various other multinational agricultural interests, have formed the collective force behind which governmental and non-governmental food security policies have been historically transformed.

Through annual reports, research journals, conferences, and funding decisions, these institutions have framed food security discourse at various scales, starting in the 1970s at the global/national macroeconomic level, and subsequently transitioning to a position that today views food security as best examined at the local, microeconomic level. The question of whether or not these changes have been the result of a natural progression defined primarily by research/policy successes and failures, or whether they are in fact simply theoretical readjustments necessary to serve prevailing neoliberal economic practice, will be the focus of this paper.


Hypocritical Much?

Isn't it strange how the West expects other world leaders to take the fall for the behaviour of their security forces...