The Toronto Sun, Tuesday July 25, 1995.  Page 12.

Left looks away from terror

By Lorrie Goldstein

    Excuse me, but where is the Canadian left now that someone on
the far left in Canada  is  apparently  waging a mail bomb terror
campaign across the country?

    Where are all those voices of protest in our mainstream media
that just a few  months  ago  were  decrying  the  Oklahoma  City
bombing and the perceived involvement of right-wing extremists in
that tragedy?

    One  seems  to  recall any number of Canadian commentators at
that time seizing upon  U.S.  President Bill Clinton warning that
conservative talk-show hosts were creating a climate of fear  and
loathing   in  America  that  might  encourage  already  unstable
individuals to go to war against their own government.

    Well, it is not possible  that  the same sort of over-the-top
rhetoric now being employed by the left in Canada - the kind that
portrays,  for  example,  every  last  decision  of  the   Harris
government  in  Ontario as part of a vicious attack on the poor -
may in fact be having a similar delirious effect here?

    Whoever is sending  out  these  mail  bombs and other threats
across Canada from a base of operations believed to  be  in  B.C.
has  not yet (thank God) achieved the mass terror of the Oklahoma
City bombing where at least 167 people died.

    So far non one  has  died  or  been  injured in this made-in-
Canada terror campaign whose targets  have  over  everyone  these
criminals happen to think is part of the far right.

    To  them,  this  apparently  includes everyone from the Aryan
Nations, to  Holocaust  denier  Ernst  Zundel,  to  the Mackenzie
Institute (a perfectly legitimate, independant think tank), to an
executive in a cattle-breeding company, for crying out loud.

    And let's not pretend (as many on the left in Canada are  nou
doubt  trying  to  do) that this is just a "little" story about a
few wackos, unworthy of further comment.

    Not when police in Toronto  felt  compelled, as they did July
17, to issue a news release  on  the  "recent  delivery  of  mail
bombs"  here  urging "individuals who may have taken or do take a
strong  position  publicly  on   a  political,  environmental  or
ecological  issue  to  use  extreme  caution  when  receiving  or
handling unexpected packages or letters."

    Terrific.  So why the crushing silence  from  the  left  now?
Haven't  we  all  learned after all these years that terrorism is
terrorism?  That you do not differentiate your denunciation of it
simply because it happens to come  from the extreme "left" or the
far "right?"  And that terrorism of the left or right is simply a
mirror image of precisely the same threat to democracy?

    I remember watching  with  growing  uneasiness  (and  writing
then)  that too many conservative commentators in the U.S. seemed
reluctant to condemn the  Oklahoma  City  bombing outright out of
some misguided notion  of  right-wing  "solidarity"  -  that  the
bombers  may have been protesting what they were protesting - big
government, state control, the Clinton administration.

    Who gives a  damn  what  their  reported motives were?  Since
when do conservatives countenance murder?

    But equally chilling is the double  standard  that  so  often
comes  from  the  left  as  these  more  recent  events in Canada
suggest.    This   hypocritical,   dangerous,   destructive   and
ultimately sick willingness to ignore,  or to look the other way,
or to  even  tacitly  countenance  evil  because  one  mistakenly
perceives that, in some bizarre way, one is on the same "side" as
its perpetrators.  Trust me, terrorists have no "side."

    Ask  experts  like the Sun's Bill Dunphy, who has studied and
exposed the far  right  in  Canada  for  years  and who genuinely
loaths its philosophy of hatred, but who was also among the first
(and the few) to leap to  Zundel's  defense  when  his  home  was
firebombed in May.

    Why?   Because,  as  Dunphy wrote at the time:  "God save me,
but I find myself coming to  the defense of this balding buffoon,
a man who's profited from a propaganda machine that degrades  and
debases the misery of millions of Jews.

    "But  when  I  see  terror  used against a man because of his
ideas, and few being upset  by  it,  I  am reminded of Nazi thugs
smashing the homes and businesses of German Jews  while  eveyrone
else stoo dby and shrugged.

    "After all, it was only the Jews."
    Funny, but I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Goldstein, Sun senior associate editor, appears Tuesdays,
            Sundays and comments on CFRB on weekends