After the Boston bombings last week, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau commented that in addition to condemning such actions, offering condolences and assistance, and bringing the perpetrators to justice, we must delve to the roots of such evil acts, and deal with these as well.

This has spawned a voluble stream of snide criticism, notably from Mr Harper and his posse, ridiculing any such deeper treatment of the problem as naive bleeding heart liberalism, boasting that the only proper response is to swagger forth, act tough, and beat it down hard. If nothing else it feels good and gets good press, whether or not it does anything at all to improve public safety.

Rather than ending or suppressing the scourge, Mr Harper would have us just play whack-a-mole. Each terrorist incident that pops up must simply be beaten down hard, with great vigilance, zeal, and manly vigour. And if more keep popping up, well, bad luck — beat them down harder and faster; show ’em how tough and determined we are!

But, maybe, once you look under the covers, you see that the way the machine is wired the harder and faster you hit it the more often and the more places it pops up. No one can truly get ahead of the game, and no one can win.

Trouble is, too often, somebody dies. But as long as we deal with it severely and with a sufficiently dour face, apparently, and as long as we can send someone to prison for it, or the morgue, we’re OK.

The way to beat the problem is to figure it out, and realize that you have to reach beyond the overt and the obvious and cut the power. We need to end it, not play into it, no matter how sternly.

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