I have to say, and I know Mike agrees, that the idea that those 17 terrorists were going to bomb the Peace Tower shocks me to the core.
Now: Let me say right now I am all for due process of law. Try them in an open court and give them every protection. If they are not guilty, let them go. I do not - not for an instant - think they should get any other treatment. The reason why we as a society are better than nutcases and terrorists (and most countries) is that we believe in innocent until proven guilty and we don't have secret prisons and we don't torture.
But - the Peace Tower? What part of PEACE didn't they get? The Peace Tower is not triumphant. The Peace Tower is a monument to grief, not to glory. The Memorial Chamber inside is one of the most solemn and moving places I've been to. [ps take the virtual tour. Read the plaques on the walls.] More pics here, here, here, and here.
The Peace Tower is nothing about what Islamic radicals complain. The Peace Tower is the physical statement of how our small and beautiful country has been dragged into wars that were not - ever - of its choosing. The Peace Tower is that momument to our country's intense desire for peace, for tolerance, for kindness. The Peace Tower has no injustice, no oppression, no cruelty, no imperialism.
Try them and give them full process of law. But if they are convicted - and I hate that I sound bloodthirsty - let them hang. I would not feel this way if they had planned an attack on an office building, or even on the Throne itself.
But to target the Peace Tower means to target Canada and our values - our values of kindness and openness and tolerance and diversity and multiculturalism - is too much.
Those that would attack the Tower reject Canada. They have no place among us.