Sunday, January 21, 2018

An Exceptional Woman in Raqqa

"She would like to come back; she has asked for pardon from her family, her friends, her country."
Mother of Emilie Konig, German convert to Islam, ISIL 'terrorist'
French female jihadists should face trial in Syria: Gov’t
"A Kurdish state does not exist, and French citizens cannot be judged by the Kurds."
"They [children born to ISIL women] did not ask to be born in Syria. Nor to be detained by the Kurds, and they cannot be held responsible for the choices of their parents."
Marie Dose, lawyer for French female jihadist 

"[If] there are legal institutions capable of guaranteeing a fair trial assuring their right to a defense [women arrested in Kurdish-held Syria should be] judged there."
"Whatever crime may have been committed -- even the most despicable -- French citizens abroad must have a guaranteed right to a defense. We must have confirmation of that."
French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux
Now 33 years old, Emilie Konig originally resident in a small town in Brittany, decided to convert to Islam while a teen. She later married, became the mother of two small children. She never felt quite comfortable living in France since she took to wearing a black abaya and niqab veiling her face. Since France did not seem to value her presence, she felt more comfortable leaving her two small children to travel to Syria where she became a propagandist and recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. There, she felt appreciated.

This woman is exceptional in that she became an important recruiter for ISIL, whereas other women who travelled from across Europe to Syria to join the ISIL caliphate were more content to be breeding mares for the Islamist fundamentalist movement. They too were important, raising ISIL "cubs" taught from childhood ISIL's values and indoctrinated into the militancy of its murderous ideology. Who can forget in the heights of its abysmal notoriety the photographs disseminated widely of children wielding firearms, shooting at prisoners, helping to decapitate prisoners?

This was the world-class purveyors of hatred and bloody gore that Emilie Konig exalted in her propaganda, urging Muslims to commit themselves to jihad, ISIL-style. In October when Raqqa, the erstwhile Syrian capital of Islamic State was finally taken from the barbarian Islamists, mostly through the courageous actions of the Kurdish militias, the women and children who were resident there were taken to prison camps in Syrian Kurdistan. Europe, needless to say wouldn't mind if the ground beneath Raqqa had swallowed these European jihadist females.

Many of them were indeed discovered underground in the many tunnels that Islamic State had built. It makes eminent good sense for captured felons, murderers and their enablers to stand trial in the very place where their crimes were committed. All too often compensation for murder is not Paradise but state punishment of execution. And since European countries writhe in an agony of discomfort at the very notion, they are faced with the dilemma of claiming their own to have them extradited to stand trial at  home for crimes against humanity committed elsewhere.

This photo taken on October 20, 2017 shows fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walking down a street in Raqqa past destroyed vehicles and heavily damaged buildings after a Kurdish-led force expelled ISIL fighters from the northern Syrian city, formerly their "capital". Bulent Kilic / AFP
This photo taken on October 20, 2017 shows fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walking down a street in Raqqa past destroyed vehicles and heavily damaged buildings after a Kurdish-led force expelled ISIL fighters from the northern Syrian city, formerly their "capital". Bulent Kilic / AFP

An estimated 4,300 people left Europe to join the battle in Syria and Iraq, according to the International Center for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. This is not a hard-and-fast number since other agencies place that number even higher. Foreign fighters remain in Syria of whom an estimated 43 percent are women. French President Emmanual Macon stated that decisions on retrieving women and children to return from Iraq and Syria would be reached on a case-by-case judgment basis.

Mustafa Bali, speaking for the Syrian Kurdish Defense Forces stated that his leaders have urged "all countries, European or other, to extradite their women and children". Presumably that advice has been set aside in indecision; the countries involved uncertain whether they plan or wish to return their nationals to stand trial at home, where no crimes were committed by them. Kurdish journalist Arin Shekhmus on visiting three camps where Arab, Asian and European "war prisoners" were kept, said he had seen up to a100 women and children.

They should be returned to their home countries which include Russia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia,  however: "The European governments still haven't reached out to extradite their citizens", he said. They don't want their wayward and blood-stained citizens to return necessarily, and presumably remain content to have them remain under the stewardship of the Kurds. Yet should the Kurds take the initiative to rid themselves of the camps' inmates and executive their due punishment, those same European countries would rise up in irate disgust to sanctimoniously slam the Kurds for 'taking matters into their own hands'.

Both the United Nations and the United States took the unusual step of distinguishing Emilie Konig in recognition of her vital role for Islamic State, of listing her as a terrorist, subject to sanctions. On her arrival in Syria at age 27 she started to post propaganda videos and to appeal to Muslims to recognize their jihadist duty to support the Islamic State caliphate. From all accounts her valuable services were duly appreciated and recognized as heroic in nature.

Emilie König
Emilie König, a Frenchwoman suspected of recruiting fighters for Islamic State who appeared on US and UN blacklists, has been arrested by Kurdish forces in Syria, her mother said on Tuesday.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Cranky Pope

Hard on the heels of the explosive and exploding incidences of women revealing for the first time the identities of their sexual abusers, a phenomenon of unveiling a dark hidden secret of many men in positions of power and influence using their positions to prey on women whose careers they are capable of advancing or retarding, a public figure of immense authority has stepped into the fray, and in all likelihood not by intention but through a momentary irascible backlash flash of irritation.
"The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I'll speak."
"There is not one shred of proof against him. It's all calumny. Is that clear?"
Pope Francis, Santiago, Chile
Pope Francis arrives in Peru
Pope Francis has accused victims of Chile’s most notorious paedophile of slander, in an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic church its credibility in the country. The Guardian
"As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all."
"These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty."
Juan Carlos Cruz, accuser

"[It is] sad and wrong [for the Pope to discredit the victims since] the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims -- and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed."
"He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis. Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?"
Anne Barrett Doyle, online database
Pope Francis, pressed for a comment by a Chilean journalist with respect to the status of Bishop Juan Barros whom he had named bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno in Chile at a time when victims of Barros's superior, the Rev.Fernando Karadima were accusing him of rampant sexual crimes, snapped back with the response that made it quite clear he failed to believe the accusations of the victims that Bishop Barros knew, and had even witnessed that abuse.

In one fell swoop not only turning asunder his main thrust of address in travelling to Chile with the purpose of apologizing for the horrendous misdeeds of the Catholic Church when its priests pledged to celibacy chose to pursue other avenues of satisfying their sexual desires by targeting children and parishioners for abuse. It was always widely recognized that these events took place, and that superiors within the Church sought to keep the scandal within the church, never admitting it took place, simply transferring the offending priest to another parish to repeat his sins anew.

In effect, this is what the Pontiff himself has done, irrespective of his sincere apology on behalf of the Catholic Church. Loyal Catholics who had been abused had attempted for years to apprise the church hierarchy of what was occurring only to hit a blank wall of indifference and disbelief. Sexual abuse and the cover up of the church is legendary. The Archbishop of Santiago eventually apologized for refusing to believe victims once they spread their stories at large and they became news of shocking importance.

Yet knowing that the victims' stories had been substantiated, Pope Francis still chose to believe that the man he named as Bishop, a former Karadima protege, could honourable and in good faith be accepted by the Osorno community as their church authority, in so doing repeating the very routine the church always engaged in when confronted by such abuse. As far as the Osorno controversy was concerned where people refused to consider Bishop Barros as their bishop, Pope Francis spoke of the controversy as "stupid".

This, from a man claiming himself to be dedicated to serving the people, not the classical indulgences of the church hierarchy. "Isn't the pastoral problem that we're living (in Osorno) enough to get rid of him?" asked Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics whose three-year campaign against Barros no doubt added to the Pope's rejection of the claims by parishioners that they could not respect an insider who had stood by and done nothing to help stop the abuse.

This is the church establishment which has vowed to do penance for the past, for having accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with unsubstantiated claims. And which Pope Francis set out to reverse, assuring Catholics that the church had much to apologize for and he was the man to assuage the wounds. Instead, he has chosen to open a new wound by the expedience of reverting to the former stance of the church, accusing the accusers.

A "tremendous error" in judgement by the Pope, according to to German Silva, political scientist at Universidad Mayor in Santiago, that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.

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The Snowboard Instructor, Drama Coach is out of His Depth

"It boils down to our political masters to have a serious reflection on all of this."
"There's a need for an internal debate and maybe [to] make some revisions to the strategy. I think this is taking place now, so hopefully there will be progress in the next few weeks. There's a bit of hard swallowing that is required." 
"I think that if the prime minister wants to stick to an explicit reference to labour rights, we won't have negotiations -- and in a way, then that could have an impact on the bilateral relations because they will say, 'Well, the Canadians are not serious and they should know better'."
"Otherwise I think it will remain an agenda that will be difficult to push."
Guy Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China

"There's more substance in a fluffernutter sandwich than there is in that damn thing [NAFTA negotiations]."
"The government is actually endangering the progressive agenda that they're putting forward by making people think that all these wonderful things have been done, when jack-all has been done."
Carlo Dade, director, Trade and Investment Centre, Canada West Foundation

"There is still some work to be done."
A progressive trade agenda opens more doors, raises standards and positions the middle class for success."
Joseph Pickerill, spokesman, Canada's Minister of Trade

"[While China values Canada as an important trade partner and] stands ready to negotiate and sign a free-trade agreement with the Canadian side at an early date, [it considers some issues to be off the table]."
"China always maintains that non-trade issues should not be brought in the FTA negotiation no matter in what kind of name, for it is not conducive to talks on the basis of equality and fairness."
Xiaozhong Zhu, Chinese embassy, Ottawa
Trudeau took part in a business round table in Beijing on Tuesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's admiration for China's ability to administer its vast empire as a totalitarian government appears to know few bounds. It just seems that totalitarian dictatorships fascinate Trudeau. His father's close relationship with Fidel Castro geared his son to regard that dictatorship as a resounding success too. In a way, while the world snorts its derision over the election to the American presidency of Donald Trump, a political novice whose personal attributes are anything but sterling, it has fawned over the election to the prime ministership of Justin Trudeau.

What few seem to notice is that Trudeau is a knock-off of Trump. Younger, more personable, more delicate in his language, but equally egocentric, and just as dedicated to prevarication, holding dear to himself the notion, like Trump, that he can do no wrong. Trump made many promises during the election campaign that brought him the presidency, some of which alarm the world at large. Trudeau made many promises during his election campaign that focused on representing the interests of Canada when in fact he has focused on his own personal interests.

To cap things off, he's as disingenuous and untrustworthy as Trump, but while Trump leers, Trudeau smiles beatifically, and congratulates himself on his "sunny ways". Both are bullies; Trump is criticized for his bullying,Trudeau's supporters prefer not to notice his bullying tactics. Trudeau has focused on re-orienting the world in his image, and as a feminist and touchy-feelly progressive plans to gift the international community with his vision and version of justice and fairness.

Introducing his "progressive trade agenda" into all negotiations for free trade agreements with Canada. Trudeau managed to scupper the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement on the cusp of signing through his sanctimonious insistence of renaming it the Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, based on his vision of including workers' rights, a feminist agenda and protection of First Nations community interests in trade issues. When he did the same with China the bilateral talks came to a swift parting of the ways.

What is surprising is that Trudeau is so oblivious to the impression he leaves with others of his monomaniacal agenda that he cannot believe it when he is rebuffed. He's fine and there's something seriously amiss with the rest of the world. His efforts to impose his personal views on moral and ethical considerations that the rest of the world should be eager to import, fails to mesh with their domestic situations on reforms in their due time.

Japan's ambassador to Canada, Kimihiro Ishikane mused that "progressive" is "a political word". Japan, he said, is prepared to talk trade when specific issues are brought to the table in concrete terms. Logical, but Justin Trudeau is emotional, not logical. Carlo Dade points out that Trudeau has failed o define what "progressive trade" means in its lexicon, nor has he proposed any solutions to solve inequality that Trudeau references.

Aside from the fact that there are so many contradictions in what this man contends are non-negotiable values he will not surrender. He insists on adding a chapter on gender to the North American Free Trade Agreement, considering it an absolute priority. Now wouldn't that be a winner with Donald J. Trump? Other than for the fact that in the negotiations for the Canada-Chile free trade agreement there are no substantial binding commitments to anything but the hard fundamentals of trade.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Your Charity Supports Terrorism and Child Abuse

"On Tuesday Global Affairs confirmed that Canadian funds have been applied by UNRWA to hire someone to monitor staff conduct and review school curricula to ensure they meet appropriate standards."
"In other words, it would seem that UNRWA is getting money from Canada to police itself."
"I have spoken recently with many experts who have devoted their professional careers to assessing UNRWA operations and effectiveness. All report that UNRWA does not allow any third party oversight of its curriculum, aside from 'government officials' where the school is located [so, for example, Hamas authorities in Gaza, or Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank]."
"I am certain you are familiar with the UN Charter, in particular Article 101(3), which requires that all UN staff uphold the highest standards of integrity, a quality that includes fairness and impartiality. This 'neutrality' standard is reiterated in staff regulations for UNRWA and UN staff and is published on the UNRWA website. Yet, the evidence is blindingly clear that UNRWA has not lived up to this standard."
Vivian Bercovici, formerly Canadian ambassador to Israel (2014 to 2016)

"There will be enhanced due diligence applied to UNRWA funding ... a very robust oversight and reporting framework, which includes regular site visits and strong anti-terrorism provisions...."
Canadian Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Ottawa
Hamas youth
A masked Palestinian boy demonstrates martial arts maneuvers with a plastic gun March 5, 2004 in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.   Abid Katib/Getty Images

UNRWA, the UN agency that has been in operation since December 1949 -- a unique agency unlike all other United Nations refugee groups, with its extensive mandate ensuring that Palestinian refugee status will never end and nor will that of their descendants, now numbering in the multiple millions from the original 700,000 who fled Israel to await its destruction at the hands of the approaching combined military forces of its Arab neighbours -- is a great employer of Palestinians to carry out its mandate.

Hamas, as an example, which viciously wrested control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority's Fatah party and whose mandate calls for the destruction of Israel, as does Fatah's though somewhat less raucously, provides the locally engaged component of aid delivery overseen by the United Nations. It is the Palestinian influence on UNRWA's administration that sees school curricula teaching Palestinian children to hate Israel, viewing it as a usurping alien presence forcefully denying Palestinians their geographic birthright.

For Palestinians Israel has no existence, simply an inexplicable malevolent presence that must be destroyed by violent resistance. Palestinian children are taught by their schools and their popular media to view Jews as vicious oppressors and that it is their duty to view the martyrs in their community who have attacked and killed Jews and died in the process as heroic, whose actions they should emulate to become celebrated martyrs themselves. Hamas operates 'summer camps' to teach Palestinian children how to conduct warfare.

As for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the funding it receives through UN transfers receiving financial support from member-states to benefit the Palestinians, the reality is that funding is earmarked to subsidize the murder of Israeli Jews. Those Palestinians, old and young, male and female, who respond to the PA incitement to violence against Jews can be assured that their families will be well taken care of through financial support suitable in reflecting their sacrifice for the 'cause' of Palestine, and that their status as celebrated heroes results from that same martyrdom sacrifice.

UNRWA has substantial supportive ties with Hamas. It is a well settled fact affirmed by both NGOs and the media that UNRWA donations to the Palestinians support incitement to violence against Israel, and that UNRWA and its locally engaged staff make use of social media with anti-Semitic slurs and the invitation to Palestinians to participate in terror attacks as loyal Palestinians determined to see their version of justice become reality. That version requires the elimination of the State of Israel to accommodate the rise of the State of Palestine.

Palestinian youths practice their marching during a scouting summer camp next to the border between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, June 19, 2013.
Adel Hana/AP

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Stark Decay of Venezuela

"We're going to turn ourselves in!"
"They are firing at us with grenade launchers, we said we were going to surrender and they don't want to let us surrender, they want to kill us."
"I want to ask Venezuela not to lose heart -- fight, take to the streets. It is time for us to be free, and only you have the power now."
"It's the zero hour. The true way to pay respects to those who've died is for this dictatorship to fall."
Oscar Perez, rebel leader, Venezuelan regime of President Nicolas Maduro
Oscar Perez video
Oscar Perez, a Caracas police pilot, reads his manifesto calling for rebellion, in a video posted online on June 27, 2017. (YouTube)

"Despite all the attempts to achieve a peaceful and negotiated surrender, this heavily armed terrorist group started a sly and malicious showdown with security forces."
"In the face of an attack that put the lives of security officials at risk, the attacking group was neutralized using established protocols, with the unfortunate result of seven dead terrorists."
Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol

Members of Venezuela's intelligence service patrol Caracas as an operation to capture Oscar Perez, the Venezuelan helicopter pilot who dropped grenades on the Supreme Court last year during anti-government protests, is carried out on Monday.
Members of Venezuela's intelligence service patrol Caracas as an operation to capture Oscar Perez, the Venezuelan helicopter pilot who dropped grenades on the Supreme Court last year during anti-government protests, is carried out on Monday. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images) 

Once a 15-year member of Venezuela's forensic police, Oscar Perez, a  highly trained officer, pilot and dog trainer, has been the nemesis of the dictatorial Maduro in opposing the corrupt and brutal regime he leads, and whose influence with the people who thought of him as a hero for resisting the military forces he was once a part of, marked him for death. Described by the government as a "fanatic, extremist terrorist", Maduro claimed the entire nation was under attack by conspirators linked to the political opposition.

The group of Venezuelan rebels led by Oscar Perez was cornered, their presence revealed, bringing the death squad of the military within range of launching deadly grenades at them, giving them no opportunity to surrender, for that wasn't in the official plan. The security forces had their mission to conclude as they assembled around the rebel stronghold in the mountains outside Caracas, and they meant to carry it through to completion of that mission, as expected of them. The attack took place on a Monday.

The official announcement of the death of Perez and six of his supporters who vowed to fight to the death the tyranny of President Maduro, led inevitably to their inglorious death. And the sanctimoniously hypocritical explanation that followed on state television by the interior minister who added that two police officers also were killed, eight additional injured in this vital operation to destroy the aspirations of t hose who would unseat the legal government of Venezuela took place the following day.

Oscar Perez made his name as a latter-day James Bond, Venezuelan-style, by highjacking a helicopter from the CICPC, the forensic police he was once an integral part of, to fly it over and attack the Supreme Court while anti-government protests were in full sway. Protests because of sky-high inflation, mass unemployment, lack of food, of medicine, of people facing starvation as the next step up from malnutrition, in a general atmosphere of hopelessness and despair as the country continued to spiral downward.

While other countries with petroleum resources are taking full advantage of rising oil prices, Venezuela cannot because its long-neglected infrastructure is decaying and it no longer produces the refinery products that once made it wealthy enough to support neighbouring states less well off, even mischievously subsidizing heating oil to poverty-stricken Americans during the Bush era when Hugo Chavez spoke of the scent of the devil emanating from G.W. What he was scenting possibly was the stench of his own inadequacy in the failed Bolivarian Revolution.

His chosen successor has ably demonstrated that whatever Chavez the Venezuelan hero of the poor and the downtrodden could get wrong, Maduro could contrive to make even more dysfunctional while in the process enriching himself and his supporters at the expense of those who protested their misery in remembrance of the once-prosperous country that they recall. They are no longer the envy of their neighbours; they now crowd over the border to their neighbours in a desperate attempt at salvaging their lives.

The economic crises sees a rise in malnutrition and preventable diseases. During the four months of daily demonstrations, at least 120 Venezuelans have died. But of course the reason is explicable, since their president claims the country has been victimized by an "economic war" foisted on the country by political adversaries, exacerbated by economic sanctions thanks to the evil machinations of the United States.

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Erdogan, the Very Picture of a NATO Ally

"The United States has admitted that it has created a terrorist force along our country's border. Our duty is to drown this army of terror before it is born."
"A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders. What can that terror army target but Turkey?"
"This is what we have to say to all our allies: don't get in between us and terrorist organisations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences."
"Don't stand between us and these herd of murderers. Otherwise, we won't be responsible for the unwanted incidents that may arise."
"Tear off the insignia you have placed on the uniforms of the terrorists so that we don't have to bury them [U.S. soldiers] together with the terrorists."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at a rally of his Justice and Development Party in Bingol, eastern Turkey, on January 13, 2018. Pool Photo via AP
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at a rally of his Justice and Development Party in Bingol, eastern Turkey, on January 13, 2018. Pool Photo via AP
"Turkey is a valued member of a 74-member Coalition and a NATO partner, sharing our mission to ensure the lasting defeat of [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] in Iraq and Syria."
"It would be inappropriate for us to comment on Mr. Erdogan's remarks."
"A strong border security force will prohibit (IS) freedom of movement and deny the transportation of illicit materials. This will enable the Syrian people to establish effective local, representative governance and reclaim their land."
U.S.-led coalition statement
Erdogan: US trying to form 'terror army' in Syria
The US views the YPG as a highly effective fighting force in the fight against ISIL [File: Reuters]
Surely it would be far more efficient to invite the tyrannical, irascible and violently explosive Erdogan politely to vacate Ankara's place in NATO? Turkey's presence in the group is rather off-kilter at the best of times. Under Erdogan Turkey fails to share the principles, priorities and values of the other NATO members to begin with. He has become that veritable thorn in the side of the coalition of Western nations, spitting fire and fury at NATO and its members.

That this Islamist menace to good government, justice and human rights is prepared to continue the fiction of fitting right in with all the other members of NATO, and that NATO itself, as a responsible body whose purpose is to further the interests of democracy and protection of the existential interests of those involved, prepared to intervene when it appears appropriate to stave off conflict and disunity seems prepared to continue to groan under the weight of Erdogan's spume and spite is mystifying.

American plans for a formation of 30,000 Kurdish-led border security forces in Syria has met with threats by the Turkish president that he is prepared to "drown this army of terror before it is born". Nothing can dissuade this man from his hatred of Syrian and Turkish Kurds. His implacable fury at their very existence with the underlying appetite among Kurds to finally and at last secure the support of powers they make common cause with, to aid them in acquiring nation status is volcanic.

American troops have been given warning that should they happen to intervene between a coming clash of Turkish troops and Kurdish forces they will bear the inevitable consequences. The Turkish Kurdish insurgency has effectively created in his unstable, megalomaniac mind severe mental instability, leading him to prepare the launch of a new military operation against the People's Defence Units of the Syrian Kurds, the YPG in Northern Syria's Afrin enclave.

That the YPG were largely instrumental in driving the Islamic State from most of northern and eastern Syria when the opposition Syrian militias, let alone the Syrian military itself was incapable of defending their own territory, leading the United States military to view the YPG as the only reliable force they could effectively pair with in their U.S.-led airstrikes; the former leading the assault on the ground, the latter from the air to enable victory over the Islamic State is of little interest to Erdogan.

According to the coalition the new force of an anticipated 30,000 represents a strategy in Syria meant as a preventive of any possible resurgence of the Islamic State presence in the divided country. Fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces with whom the coalition allied themselves in the fight against Islamic State will form the core of the force. They will be deployed along the borders of the SDF-held areas of Iraq and Turkey. And this is the core that Turkey means to drown in a river of boiling rage.

The troops that Turkey advanced into Syria in 2016 were meant to prevent just this very same scenario of a contiguous entity along the Turkish border. Washington deliberately deployed U.S. troops in northeast Syria for the purpose of preventing Turkey-backed fighters clashing with the Kurdish forces. Currently, Turkey is preparing to launch its threatened operation in Afrin, sending reinforcements to the border.

And Erdogan is warning that military assault preparations for African "are complete", for an operation that could begin at any time. The comity that existed between the United States and its erstwhile ally Turkey has now completely evaporated in the blistering fog of Erdogan's demonic hatred of the Kurdish YPG militias, seeing them affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey, his detested nemesis.
"The Self Administration in Afrin has taken all measures."
"The citizens of the district are guarding its borders and are ready to sacrifice everything to protect Afrin. If Turkey attacks Afrin, then Afrin will be a powerful and unforgettable lesson for Turkey."
"[Afrin had] for years now been under a systematic siege posed by mercenary groups supported by the Turkish occupation."
"There isn't a clear statement by America about the situation in Afrin."
Egid Rashid, head, media office, Democratic Self Administration

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Making Peace With WarMongers

"We will not accept for the U.S. to be a mediator, because after what they have done to us — a believer shall not be stung twice in the same place."
"The deal of the century is the slap of the century. However, we’ll get back at them."
"Israel has killed Oslo. It has terminated Oslo. Now we are an authority without any authority, and an occupation without land, and we will not accept this."
"Damn your money!. He said, ‘I will give you a peace deal.’ The deal turned out to be a mess. He said, ‘We will not pay for the Palestinians because they stopped the negotiations.’ Where are the negotiations?"
"We are in a fateful moment of history. If we lose Jerusalem, what do you want to do? Have a state with Abu Dis as its capital? This is what they’re offering now: Abu Dis."
"They asked me to meet him. I said: ‘Him? No, I won’t meet him.’ Not here, not outside the country, in Amman or Washington. I will not meet this man."
"This is a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness. The Jews were used as a tool under the concept of the promised land — call it whatever you want. Everything has been made up."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, second from right, addressing the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday. Credit Majdi Mohammed/Associated Press
"If the Oslo process is dead, as suggested by Abbas, it would follow that the Palestinian Authority and its leadership are irrelevant."
"It’s time to find alternative Palestinian leaders and alternative peace plans that focus on building bridges between real people on the ground instead of making people like Abbas rich and famous."
Oded Revivi, spokesman, Yesha Council, West Bank

"They think it means Palestinians will take the Israeli ID and live under an apartheid regime. But our idea is to have one democratic state, with no privilege for the Jews or for any other ethnic or religious group."
Radki Jarai, Popular Movement for One Democratic State
"I would never give citizenship to the masses of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria [West Bank]."
Yoav Kisch, Likud, Member of Knesset

"If the two-state solution dies, it will be the responsibility of Israel, not the Palestinians. But if the Israelis kill it, which they're in the process of doing now, unfortunately with the help of Trump's administration, then the only option will be for us to fight the apartheid system and bring it down, which means one state with equal rights for everybody."
Mustafa Barghouti, member, P.L.O. central council
As a member of the P.L.O. Mr. Barghouti, held in such respect by the international community as a man of peaceful mien, prepared to live with the State of Israel, as long as it is subordinate to the Palestinians' wish to dominate, seems totally, spectacularly unaware that the P.L.O envisages a one-state solution and always has, and is not prepared to accommodate in any measure the much-anticipated two-state solution. The Palestinian Authority, Fatah, part of the P.L.O. has long issued maps where Israel is absent and 'Palestine' occupies the entire geography.

Israeli negotiators, and particularly under the leadership of two previous prime ministers (see Ehud Barak), offered Palestinian negotiators all that they demanded, and it still was not persuasive enough to conclude a peace agreement resulting in two separate states side by side. The PA never failed to respond to agreement by Israel of its far-reaching demands by extending those demands, itself never once bothering to negotiate in good faith, let alone being prepared to sacrifice anything, but demanding constant sacrifice of Israel. The anxiety to conclude a peace agreement was entirely one-sided. 

Now, with the latest negotiations that have been in limbo for years while Mahmoud Abbas refused to return to the bargaining table despite the ongoing appeals of Israeli officials, Abbas sloughs off any responsibility as he huffs and puffs in irate aggrievement, wallowing in the victimhood status so beloved of the Palestinians as they appeal to the international community to condemn Israel's apartheid occupation. Occupation? Self defence time and again fighting off Arab armies attacking Israel, the final conflict restoring Israel's heritage in Jerusalem where Jordanian rule had ostracized any Jewish presence. On the other hand, Abbas vowed he would allow no Jews to live in a Palestinian state.

Apartheid? There is equality and citizenship rights in Israel with an impartial judicial system guaranteeing rights of citizenship. Arabs have their own parliamentary representation in opposition, and are permitted to contest any laws and go so far as to support militant Palestinian violence, but are not prepared to leave Israel to live under Palestinian rule in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority wants a capital presence in Jerusalem? They've been given an offer, but not one that will give them control of the Old City, sacred to Judaism.

The offer to carve out those areas within Israel with majority Muslim populations for Palestinian rule was rejected by the Arabs living in those areas who prefer to remain under Israeli rule, and one unacquainted with what life is like under Palestinian rule might wonder why. That offer was contingent on the Palestinian Authority agreeing to transfer those areas to Israeli rule in the West Bank occupied by settlers, so neither would lose land, but that too was met with upturned nose.

The demand that Israel permit the 'return' of six million Arabs representing the offspring of the original 700,000 that left Israel to await the outcome of the first collective Arab Middle East military attack against the fledgling Jewish state, and were recognized as 'refugees' by the United Nations represents yet another effort to dilute the Jewish presence and render Israel an Arab, not a Jewish state. Those two sticking points; return and Jerusalem represented the most potent demands each of which would destroy Israel.

Underlying all of the negotiations were the assurances from the Palestinian leadership to the Palestinians that it was their intention to restore to the Arab Palestinians the geography that would become Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. To continue claiming victimhood status characterizing Israel as an aggressive oppressor in view of the violent attacks launched by incitement of the PA to ensure that Palestinians would never agree to 'normalization' of relations with Israel; painting Israel as the aggressor and Palestinians as victims is a classic Palestinian/Arab technique.

Lest Israel have any illusions about what life might be like for Jews under a single state dominated by Arabs they might cast their minds' eye back to recent history and pogroms, an importation from eastern Europe finding great popularity in the Middle East. And keep their eyes on Hamas in Gaza which has never deviated from its core goal and mandate to destroy the State of Israel and push its Jews into the sea. When Ariel Sharon ordered Israeli settlements and the Israeli military out of Gaza that experiment to return the strip to Palestinian control was ample demonstration of Arab goodwill.

The ongoing construction of complex, expensive tunnels burrowing from Gaza into Israel for the purpose of giving entry to terrorist fighters to Jewish villages and towns and military outposts speaks volumes of the hopelessness of any efforts for peace between intransigent, deadly Hamas dedicated along with Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria to the destruction of Israel.

An Israeli jeep drives near where Israeli forces said they had destroyed an attack tunnel from Gaza,  December 10, 2017.
An Israeli jeep drives near where Israeli forces said they had destroyed an attack tunnel from Gaza, December 10, 2017. Amir Cohen

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whoops! Another Shithole Country! We See You, Pakistan!

This is how the Mullah-Military Mafia of silences its political critics. Look at the battered and bruised body of Prof. , a leader of the who disappeared & was later found on the back seat of his abandoned car with torture marks all over

I hate to share videos of dead bodies on social media, but since authorities in Sindh claim that Dr Hasan Zafar Arif's body did not bear any mark of tortures, I'm constrained to take exception to standard rules (this video contains pictures of his tortured dead body):

If it weren't for the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump is such an unmitigated mountain troll who stumbled into Twitter and couldn't find his way out, his raw statement of resentment that the United States had become a dumping ground for migrants, expressing his annoyance through the crude language he seems to favour, sending politically correct critics into paroxysms of righteous rage, his 'shithole' characterization of the collective dysfunction of countries that barely function, where leaders prey on their own populations and misery is indiscriminate would be seen as accurate enough.

His undiplomatic choice of words has offended the polite, courteous world at large. That same world that knows very well indeed that many African countries generally, and Middle East and South Asian nations function with a degree of corruption. persecution and brutality that designates them quite accurately as 'shithole' countries. If the same amount of outrage were expended on Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia to name but a few, for the human misery and torment they impose on their own, the United Nations would condemn them as the shitholes they are.

In Pakistan, police fired live ammunition at a stone-throwing mob in Kasur, in eastern Punjab province enraged over the rape and murder of a eight-year-old girl who had been abducted in the absence of her parents who happened to be on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. The little girl had been en route to a home near her own, to study the Koran when she was abducted. "We will not bury our daughter until her killers are arrested" declared her father, Ameen Ansari. Will that restore honour to the family, more precious than the life of a child?

On social media, condemnation against the government for failing to arrest the criminals involved in this tragic atrocity that followed the sexual assault of six other little girls in recent months, enraged people who attacked the police station in the area. Two people were killed while protesting. Police were shooting directly at the protesters. A hugely respected cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri at the little girl's funeral blamed the chief minister of Punjab for failing to "protect lives and honour of innocent girls" in the province.

"Honour"? These Islam-obsessed people, backward and ignorant, are rankled about honour. The bestial attack on children abhorred, but coming second place to honour? All the requisite hallmarks of a shithole country. One that denies it tortures its prisoners, then sends their corpses back to their families for burial. On the way to his assignment with Death, the professor whose activities in a political party the regime opposes appears to have himself been abducted, tortured, his body left to be discovered in the back seat of his car.
"The body was found from the back seat of the car even though he was driving and Ibrahim Hyderi was not even in his route."
"We started looking for him after he did not return home till late night and his cellphone was also switched off."
Qamar Arif, deceased's brother 
File photo of Dr Hasan Zafar Arif being arrested by Rangers from outside the Karachi Press Club on October 22, 2016. PHOTO: PPI
File photo of Dr Hasan Zafar Arif being arrested by Rangers from outside the Karachi Press Club on October 22, 2016. PHOTO: PPI
"Prof Arif, a man of principle, was a harmless personality. He wanted due rights for the poor class, including Muhajirs."
"He was abducted on December 9, and for 24 hours yesterday, law enforcers kept him in illegal confinement and then killed him extra-judicially just because he was a supporter and representative of Altaf Hussain."
Syed Qasim Ali Raza, head, MQM-L (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) international secretariat
The Pakistan government's surrender to demands of an Islamic extremist group jeopardizes the last chances for Christian mother Aasiya Noreen (Asia Bibi) to overturn her death sentence for "blasphemy," sources said.
Christian mother Asia Bibi was imprisoned in 2010 after being accused of blasphemy AP photo
The Pakistan government's surrender to demands of an Islamic extremist group jeopardizes the last chances for Christian mother Aasiya Noreen (Asia Bibi) to overturn her death sentence for "blasphemy," sources said.

Christians in Pakistan suffer grave discrimination. Charges of blasphemy against Islam are grounds for incarceration and death. Those who defend Christians are themselves susceptible to deadly attacks by Islamist fundamentalists in Pakistan. Pakistan, the neighbour to Afghanistan, which has supported the Taliban, arming them and inciting them to violent attacks to destabilize their neighbour. Pakistan's relations with India are corrosive and deadly, sending Islamist terrorists on missions to commit atrocities in India and in disputed Kashmir.

Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden found helpful haven in Abbottabad, adjacent a Pakistani military officers' compound. Pakistan, which arrested and charged with treason, a medical doctor who owned the house next to the bin Laden compound, because he cooperated with the U.S. CIA before the Navy Seals launched their mission to take al-Qaeda's chief out of commission.

Pakistan qualifies as an absolute shithole of a country; the pretense that it was an ally in the war against terror and took billions from the U.S. Treasury based on that premise is enough to make any sane man lose his mind (even someone like Trump afflicted with a scrambled mind to begin with) and use inflamed language to describe a country for just what it is.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Trudeau's Hardball Interference

"[Trudeau's office and the Privy Council Office were] having kittens over references to explicit cabinet discussions in Cudmore article. Launching an investigation ... UFB."
"They'll all be distracted from the actual capability gap as they execute a witch hunt for who quoted who ... sigh"
"He's [Cudmore, CBC reporter] going to draw some really aggressive attention. The source of that document will be investigated by the RCMP and anyone associated with him will e part of their search. This is serious shit."
"I want you to photograph exactly where each of those items are in the office. Because I'm coming back -- and they are going back up on the wall where they belong."
(removed) Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Second in command, Canadian Armed Forces

"I have compelling, sobering and frightening information."
"Do you have anything to say for  yourself?"
Chief of Defence Staff Jon Vance

"This is an important matter that is obviously under investigation, and will likely end up before the courts, so I won't make any further comments at this time."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"The emails in question are by no means smoking guns."
"At its highest, it appears that the potential allegation against Vice-Admiral Norman is that he was trying to keep a contractual relationship together so that the country might get itself a badly needed supply ship."
Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips

"To claim that Mark Norman is the only one with such [protected Cabinet meeting] information is ridiculous."
"He appears to me to be the designated fall guy."
Liberal Senator Colin Kenny

"It's all part of the Ottawa political game. Information is leaked by the government of the day in a controlled method to journalists."
"No investigations are launched because it's all sanctioned by the government."
(retired) Naval Captain Kevin Carle
Asterix on Maiden Voyage from Quebec City to Halifax 25/12/2017 (CNW Group/Davie Shipbuilding)

Canada has been in dire operational functioning need of naval supply ships. The two that had been in use were scheduled to be decommissioned; neither was in any condition to be in continued use, both were aged, rusting wrecks. The government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper had agreed on an interim measure other than embarrassingly leasing supply ships from Chile and Spain. Canada would sign an agreement to provide a temporary solution to lease a supply ship from a private firm and proposals were received from a number of Canadian shipbuilding enterprises.

In 2015 it was announced that the winning proposal was from the Davie Shipbuilding enterprise in Levis, Quebec, a proposal that appealed to the Conservative-led government since the shipyard was located in the riding of Conservative cabinet minister Steven Blaney. The project, valued at $670-million was set to proceed, as a commercial container ship called the Asterix owned by a Greek shipping concern, sailing under a Liberian flag was to be bought by Davie and converted into a supply ship using the navy's specifications.

In August of 2015 the-then defence minister, Jason Kenny, signed a letter of intent with Davie, and Vice-Admiral Mark Norman whose bailiwick this was, began a correspondence with Spencer Fraser, a former Royal Canadian Navy officer who was at that time head of Federal Fleet, the affiliate of Davie overseeing Project Resolve. In early October of 2015 Davie received the Asterix, just as the country was in the throes of a federal election, and the ship conversion had not yet been approved.

In mid-October a Liberal majority was elected, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau determined to overturn everything that his predecessor Stephen Harper, had done.

James Irving of Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax wrote to the new Liberal Cabinet ministers; Harjit Sajjan at Defence, Bill Morneau as Finance Minister, along with two Members of Parliament from Atlantic Canada, Procurement Minister Judy Foote and Treasury Board President Scott Brison. Irving protested that the previous government had undertaken a sole-source agreement with Davie, leaving his company's competing proposal unevaluated.

James Cudmore, a CBC journalist at the time, heard rumours of the Irving letter form a government insider, and wrote about the issue, including that Irving had denied any involvement. The publicity, however, embarrassed the government in its crass decision to withdraw the former government's arrangement to decide for Irving to fill in the gap. The CBC published a Cudmore article revealing that a cabinet committee had decided Project Resolve would be delayed and reported that Irving had meddled in the decision.

Davie responded by warning Quebec premier Philippe Couillard that the shipbuilder would be forced, with the cancellation, to lay off shipyard workers, at which point Premier Couillard became involved, approaching Justin Trudeau with his concerns. Trudeau, reeling under the interference by Couillard soon found he was being questioned by journalists about the potential Davie layoffs resulting from his government's decision. Furious, the Liberal government called in the RCMP to investigate a leak.

Whatever leak took place informing Cudmore and enabling him to gain a scoop for the CBC revealing information that should have been known only to cabinet ministers plotting to overturn the previous government's arrangement would no longer come from that journalist. He was taken out of the picture by an offer of employment as a senior adviser to  Defence Minister Sajjan. And the RCMP went on its search for a leaker of confidential data.

A working theory reached by RCMP Corp. Matthieu Boulanger involved the premise that Vice-Admiral Norman had set out to manipulate events to ensure that the navy would get its supply vessel, interfering in the political decision to set aside the agreement. Norman engaged in a nefarious plot "to influence decision-makers within government to adopt his preferred outcome" to provide the Asterix supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.  He was soon unceremoniously removed from his position as second in command to the Chief of the Defense Staff.

He was dismissed from duty, his office cleared of all his papers. His home was raided by RCMP who removed all official documentation, along with personal items, a year ago. Seven police officers spent six hours at the home of Vice-Admiral Norman removing DND files along with Norman family personal effects; family and vacation photographs, medical records and other items. A short while later Vice-Admiral Norman met with his superior, Jon Vance, Chief of Defence Staff, and was summarily dismissed.

There was no hearing, no opportunity for Norman to defend himself from a decision based on unproven claims. Vance ordered a blackout on all information about Norman. Trudeau declined to provide any details to the news media, but did declare that he and his government were in full support of the defence chief in a decision that saw the country's second-highest-ranking military officer removed from office with no word of explanation.

Police subsequently interviewed over 30 individuals including Davie staff, people at the Department of National Defence, at Public Services and Procurement Canada, along with a number of federal cabinet ministers. Nine search warrants were obtained to examine Norman's home, cellphones and computers, and Davie's offices and lobbyists. Some among Ottawa's military circles believe the government is making an example of Vice-Admiral Norman.

They anticipate that his legal bills will mount as his state of limbo where he has not been charged with anything, but is removed from office still receiving his salary, stretches indefinitely. The feeling is that his family will experience enough financial stress forcing the Vice-Admiral to resign. Despite which, Norman seems to have no intention of resigning. He is determined to see matters through. No charges, no trial, no public hearing.

He waits to be exonerated of implied charges, at which time he plans to resume his naval command. He may have to wait until Justin Trudeau is removed from office.

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