Imagine if the governments of Canada and Quebec had effectively ceded control of the area around Quebec's borders to the FLQ, from which it could launch attacks with impunity against the rest of Canada and even the United States.
Imagine still that no government in either Ottawa or Quebec could be sure that the FLQ would not turn its guns on them, and made numerous concessions to it just to stay in office.
Would the public be demanding that the FLQ be treated as a legitimate actor in the democratic process, as these politicians are demanding for Hezbollah to be treated?
Dropping Hezbollah from a list of banned terrorist organizations in Canada would aid the cause of peace, according to two MPs now on a fact-finding mission to Lebanon.
When asked if he was in favour of Hezbollah being taken off the terror list, Etobicoke Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj said: "Yes, I would be." He likened the situation in the Middle East to Northern Ireland, where "if there wasn't the possibility for London to negotiate with the IRA, you'd still have bombings."
"Hezbollah has a political wing. They have members of parliament. They have two cabinet ministers. You want to encourage politicians in this military organization so that the centre of gravity shifts to them."
New Democrat Peggy Nash, who represents the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park, said her discussions in Lebanon had led her to believe "that it is just not helpful to label them a terrorist organization.
"If the political parties in Lebanon who may disagree with Hezbollah ... can figure out a way to work with Hezbollah and try to get along internally, then perhaps we should take a cue from that."
This was the message that both MPs said they would bring back to their caucuses, and eventually to the House of Commons, when they return to Canada later this week.
A political party with a paramilitary or terrorist arm cannot possibly be considered a legitimate participant in a democratic system, such as Lebanon has, on paper anyway.
The very definition of responsible, democratic, constitutional government precludes the notion of changing or controlling the government through illegal and unconstitutional methods.
What Hezbollah can't get with ballots, it tries to get with bullets.
And not just in Lebanon or Israel either, but wherever it can influence foreign policy.
Source: Ottawa Citizen