Besides projecting onto Canada the post-9/11 American question, “Why do they hate us?” Greenwald tried to assert that the attacks surprised Canadians because Canadians have been unaware of Canada’s participation in what used to be called the “war on terror.” This assertion is not credible.
Public opinion polls over the last decade have shown Canadians to be skeptical about the possibility of victory, for example, over the Taliban, yet they also showed us to be proud of our soldiers’ valour. But even skepticism about victory signifies awareness of the fight.
Perhaps the worst myth Greenwald continued to propagate was the American myth that terrorist violence in our midst is the result of our own misdeeds. It is easy to see why anyone would wish to believe this. If we blame ourselves, we gain the illusion of control: if we change, then circumstances will change.
Self-blame also matches the Canadian national character, one that is perhaps more open to self-criticism than any other, and seeks to give others the benefit of the doubt. After all, we apologize when someone else steps on our feet in a public place.
But in fact, some Muslims have been killing infidels and other Muslims for religious and political reasons long before Western interference, indeed since the dispute over the succession to Muhammad, which is at the origin of the Sunni/Shiite divide.