Wednesday, October 31, 2007

He Said What?

So naive I happen to be. Hearing that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah made a public statement chastising the West for not sufficiently taking steps to combat terrorism made me feel warm and comforted. After all, if the home of Wahhabist Islam - whose spawn bear the likeness of Osama bin Laden, and chief suicide adventurers of 9-11 - so much fear and abhor al-Qaeda and their ilk, there must indeed be hope for overcoming their evil intent.

On the other hand, what's this I hear about Saudi oil money funding madrassas here, there and everywhere - including Canada. Fundamentalist schools where the honour of jihad is taught. Where it is taught also that to consort with infidels is forbidden. Where, indeed, in British mosques Saudi-funded extremist literature - pamphlets, books and leaflets teach: "The Jews and the Christians are the enemies of the Muslim", and, "Whoever changes his religion, kill him".

Now King Abdullah has been greeted as a guest of honour by the British Royal family. State banquets have been arranged in his honour. He has been right regally put up, with his entourage of hundreds, at Buckingham Palace. While a British research institution is attempting to persuade Prime Minister Gordon Brown to gently prod this honoured guest over the proliferation of hate literature abounding in British mosques and schools.

Handsomely funded by Saudi Arabia. Preaching extremism, violence.

The British Policy Exchange think-tank discovered, through visiting some 95 Islamic sites, fully one-quarter utilize documents that teach strident sectarianism. That non-Muslims are abhorrent. And that violence against apostates and infidels is often justified. "Saudi Arabia is the ideological source of much of this sectarianism and must be held to account for it" according to the Policy Exchange.

How indelicate. How diplomatically embarrassing. How peculiarly at odds with His Royal Highness's statements in support of anti-terror measures. Unfair, to be sure, but the thought occurs: Islamist, heal thineself.

Labels: , ,

How's That Again? Kindly Repeat...?

Increasingly countries around the world have come to the realization that there is no help for it but to mount state counter terrorism activities to protect their populations, their way of life, the very existence of their nations against the deadly incursion of terrorists. Some countries of the world have been living with the situation of terror-induced fear and violence for quite a while, but the incidents and episodes have increased, become deadlier and more far-reaching.

Canada, like other Western democracies, has seen its safety threatened, its citizens imperilled, its well-being in a state of potentially fearsome disturbance. Not only from the potential incursions of violence from abroad, but also now from within. Thanks to the kindly auspices of rigidly totalitarian regimes in the Middle East who use oil money to fund terror-training madrassas throughout the world, including within Canada.

Can anything seem more obscenely absurd in a politically correct climate than the perceived need to protect every Canadian citizen equally regardless of circumstances, where a parliamentary committee will criticize Canada's security intelligence agency of violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its treatment of a self-avowed member of al-Qaeda whose purpose and activities were launched to achieve mass murder?

Yet here is the Security Intelligence Review Committee, faulting CSIS for failing to uphold the rights of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, Kuwait-born, Canadian raised and educated, who pledged himself as an Islamic holy warrior directly in a personal meeting with Osama bin Laden. A man who gladly accepted missions to blow up American and Israeli embassies in Singapore, then accepted another assignment to bring havoc to Oman.

Unsurprisingly, when he was arrested in Oman, The Canadian Security Intelligence Service wished to interview this Canadian, returning him to Canada where he was questioned. The RCMP, not in possession of any evidence of wrong-doing within Canada had no interest in further investigating or retaining him. But the U.S. Department of Justice did, and CSIS, with Jabarah's consent, surrendered him to U.S. custody.

This man, pledged to al-Qaeda, trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan as an expert sniper, became a leader of an al-Qaeda bombing cell. The mind that planned the 9/11 attacks personally trained Mr. Jabarah, as did the mastermind of the Bangkok bombing. None of which has stopped the Security Intelligence Review Committee from crying foul against CSIS.
Uppermost in mind the "protection" of the human and civil rights of a Canadian, irrespective of the fact that this particular Canadian aspired to mass murder.

"Mohammed Mansour Jabarah is a Canadian who, no matter how heinous his crimes and no matter how much we deplore them, is entitled to all the rights and freedoms afforded to any other citizen under our Charter", according to the report put out by the committee. Oh, really? Are we obligated as a matter of Canadian jurisprudence, entrenched in our laws, to honour and assist bloody-intentioned jihadists?

CSIS observes that it had several alternatives; to permit a trained and determined terrorist to go on his way until his activities resulted in the successful bombing of an installation that would take the lives of many innocent people, or to perform a service for which they have been established - to protect Canadians, as well as any other targeted country. It chose to consult with our next-door neighbour, one of whose diplomatic installations was targeted for destruction, its citizens to be murdered.

Mr. Jabarah undertook to sign a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, to reveal to them the information that they sought from him, an al-Qaeda insider, an agent of jihad. He did co-operate with American justice authorities. Up until the time his brother, another al-Qaeda operative was killed by Saudi security forces as he evaded arrest for his part in bombings in Riyadh.

At which time he turned himself about, refusing to co-operate any further, emphasizing his refusal by stabbing a U.S. official. He remains in U.S. custody, in criminal detention, awaiting sentencing.

Need we really concern ourselves with the well-being of such an twisted mind? A man who turned his back on all the freedoms that Canada offered him, choosing instead to accept the blandishments of a radical cleric, accepting his obligation as a fundamentalist Muslim to avenge the purported insults visited on Islam by the non-Muslim world?

SIRC insists that Mr. Jabarah did not have independent legal advice and was not "read his rights". His age, the report added, emotional state, fear and length of time in CSIS custody might, they infer, have played a role in his decision to agree to be rendered to the custody of U.S. Justice agents.

Might Mr. Jabarah have delicately read out the human rights of those whose lives he conspired to destroy? Did not our national intelligence agency have a professional and national obligation to dispatch this man, to turn him over to the justice system of a country with which we have firm and resolute ties?

This man was an adult at the time he decided to spurn the life offered him in Canada. He purposefully sought out terrorist training, determinedly sought to meet Osama bin Laden and throw in his future with that of al-Qaeda.

If he harboured any doubts while in the relatively benign custody of CSIS what is that to the extent of the horror he attempted to unleash on an unready world?

Labels: ,

Morbidly Profitable

The true extent of evil taxes normal peoples' imaginations. That there are among us human beings, true psychopaths, who harbour no regard, feel not the merest twinge of responsibility for the well-being of others is difficult to digest. All the more difficult to understand when people are deliberately placed in harm's way through the machinations of others standing to gain profit through inspiring trust in their goodwill, then to increase profit, leaving them adrift and helpless in the sea of life.

We can be a little more specific than that. We can speak of individuals who permit their services to be enlisted as practical aids to people fleeing situations of hardship in the hope that they can gain entry to other countries with more advanced economies. Take the case most recently of 56 Africans who perished while attempting to reach a port of hope in Spain. Their boat had been outfitted by a source handsomely paid for the service, but which turned out, in the end, to be a false expectation of misplaced trust.

These people, fleeing from the west coast of Africa, attempting to reach the Canary Islands where they hoped that Spain would somehow come to their rescue, had the great misfortune to have been bilked of their disposable funds as well as their lives through the heinous calculations of unscrupulous profiteers knowing full well that their plan to cheat the refugees of the paid-for items would result in their deaths.

Does any language have words sufficient to describe the anti-human outrage so casually dispensed by such people?

One man alone survived, but barely, in the frail vessel half-sunk south of Cape Verde, 21 days after the group had set out for their destination and what they fervently hoped would be their new lives in another part of the world that promised them salvation from the dire straits they lived with. They went in search of employment and a better life. Setting out from Mauritania with paid-for provisions of water, rice and fuel, their venture must have seemed more than possible to result in success.

But by the fourth day of the journey the first of their fuel was used, and they turned to the remaining fuel cans. Only to discover that instead of holding the fuel they had paid so dearly for, what they had was another fluid entirely; water. They were located, at that point, some 157 kilometres from the Canaries, and the people on board began to panic and despair, to shout and to weep and pray.

The humanity-packed little vessel of would-be refugees represented the hopes of 28 Guineans, 20 Malians and three Senegalese. Once the food began to run out on their now-aimless journey, the arguments and the fights began. Some people took to throwing other, sleeping people over the side; others, observing passively, did nothing. And the boat continued to drift. Their destination receding further and further.

Others died of starvation, their bodies consigned by the survivors at that point, to the deep. Some, in utter despair, threw themselves into the ocean, while others simply expired in their sleeping state. Without fuel, directionless, the boat drifted 2,000 kilometres south of the Canaries, some 1,000 kilometres from their starting point.

Senegalese police have launched an investigation. European countries have no wish to welcome the desperate refugees fleeing in their illegal, migrant craft. Had they been successful in their attempt, and had the boat been intercepted, they would have been repatriated, turned back to the country of origin.

Their adventure a failure, but their lives not forfeit.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


For every action a reaction. There are consequences that result from decisions. Might not an intelligent individual, or a group, or a representative body of government thoughtfully give a moment to consider what might result from actions taken today that have their costs on the morrow? Too reasonable, entirely. Particularly when the end game is a stretch toward success and perceived success and resulting enrichment exact their own costs.

The costs borne not by the decision-makers, but by others: bystanders, onlookers, dispensable others. Not that it's any great surprise that the surging Indian and Chinese economies have exacted their costs in human health and environmental degradation in the past. And not that these unfortunate by-products haven't been noted and duly regretted. But a juggernaut once in motion is most difficult to bring to a shuddering halt.

Resulting in a signal attenuation of original purpose. Which remains and will continue to remain the vital matter at hand. This is progress. The wealth of a nation. Often spoken of as its people. Meaning what - that the population, the valued people must be heralded into the atmosphere of mutually beneficial progress. Persuaded that they too will prosper as the State does. They become the enables, they become the mass beneficiaries. But of what?

And it's true, they do. They become enablers, and in the process become enabled to procure consumer goods hitherto available only to the elevated, the wealthy, the aristocracy of the nation. In embracing progress and greater national wealth, there is an unfortunate surrender of other less recognized and at the moment, less valued attributes of existence. Like clean, potable water, fresh air, uncontaminated foodstuffs, environmental soundness.

The consequences of the Three Gorges Dam is the collapse of earthworks, threatening the stability of nearby villages, and the contamination of water sources, threatening the delivery of power as well. The consequences of unbridled growth of a communist version of capitalism is the polluting of vital waterways through chemical spill-off of factory wastes.

An identified rise in birth defects as a result of pollution; babies born with cleft palates, 'extra' digits. Babies born with serious disabilities in China are surging, rather complicating the vision of a country responding to its citizens' needs. Where mining for coal - the country's most common energy source whose chimney-belching atmospheric particles cause additional pulmonary ailments and early deaths - also causes a marked increase in birth defects.

Sixteen of the twenty most polluted cities in the world are located within China. China's cities are like none others in the world for density of population on a magnified scale of plenitude. The rate of birth defects throughout the country has increased from 104.9 per 10,000 in 2001 to 145.5 in 2006. Defects range from cleft palate, neural tube defects, added digits, congenital heart disease and hydrocephaly.

Noxious fumes from coke and chemical industries, poor nutrition and familial intermarriage are also pointed out as causal effects of growing birth defect rates. A World Bank study revealed that 460,000 Chinese die prematurely annually from the results of polluted air and dirty water.

Costs and consequences. Haste lays waste.

Labels: ,

Insurgencies, Like the Moon, Wax and Wane, Ebb and Rise

Good to hear the newfound confidence of those in the know. That on the evidence, incidents of brutality and violence, death-dealing and barbarities in Iraq are on a downward spiral. How, one may ask, might they conceivably become more numerous than the state of murderous chaos they had assumed? When there is nowhere left to turn to for hope, humans have the ability to be optimistic beyond all hope.

The growing success in subduing some elements of the violence in Iraq owes in part to the success met by the U.S. in persuading Sunni tribal leaders to join them. Aided in no small part by the maladaptive actions of al-Qaeda in Iraq targeting Sunni as well as Shia Iraqis, delivering horrendous deaths indiscriminately, with total abandon in the joys of bloodthirsty jihad. Alas, the first of the Sunni chiefs to show the way was assassinated a month ago.

Now, two days ago, no fewer than eleven such tribal Sunni and Shia chiefs, after having attended a meeting during which they affirmed their alliance with the United States and the Iraqi government, were abducted. The Iraqi defence ministry has since assured that eight of the eleven abductees have been freed, after a successful raid on the building where they were held. Of the three still missing one was subsequently found dead.

A suicide bomber riding a bicycle made his way through a gap in a concrete wall around an Iraqi police compound and detonated his explosives, sending himself to Paradise, and thirty Iraqi police officers in the process of performing morning exercises, to their early deaths. If, as the bomber anticipates, Allah will welcome him with great feeling for having been the instrument of the deaths of 30 other Muslims, what is in store for the thirty?

An additional twenty people were wounded, including a woman and a child. "I saw many bodies covered in blood. Some were dying, some had arms and legs blown off", according to one onlooker. Muslims murdering other Muslims. Sectarian violence beyond the fervid imagination of any psychosis-driven lunatic. The extent of the hate and the active determination to bring Death to his knees in an excess of jubilation beggars the mind.

In the same province of Diyala, police discovered the bodies of another twenty once-living specimens of humanity. These unfortunates had been decapitated. Is is true that only whole bodies will have their souls welcomed into Paradise? Successfully violent al-Qaeda terrorists revel in beheadings; a strange psychosis of the paroxysm of brutally removing the life-spirit from existence - the glory of gore.

Wait, we're not finished, not yet, there's more to come for this week's activities brought to you by the frantically busy needs of the terrorist on the block. In the northern Iraqi town of Siniya a car bomb was set off in a residential area. A resounding success by the parameters of fervent martyrs to Islamism, it killed eight people and wounded thirteen. They do the best they can, under the limitations of the opportunities afforded.

Despair if you must. There is more to come. Al-Qaeda promises that. The jihadists par excellence warn they plan to increase attacks on security forces, on Sunni Arab tribal leaders, along with Sunni insurgents - whom they consider apostates in any event, not having joined in their jihadist purpose - in revenge for their having taken umbrage at al-Qaeda attacking their own. Joining U.S. forces for the common defence of battling al-Qaeda (Wahaabist Saudis?).

In the town of Baquba in the province of Diyala, the police chief was among 26 people killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself in the glory of Paradisaical jihad in the compound of a mosque. The glory of the moment - just as Shia and Sunni Arab chiefs were in the process of holding talks leading to reconciliation.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 29, 2007

Turn The Other Cheek

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

In this biblical land, home since time immemorial to Jews and Arabs, the strife that signalled everyday accommodation between tribes, clans, cultures and traditions continue. But doesn't the Old Testament give the message of defense against insult? An eye for an eye? And is that not the prevailing precept of delivering the indelible message that one will pay for one's transgressions against others with like punishment?

And what, exactly, is the deterrent value? Questionable. Palestinians continue their fury at the Israeli presence by instilling terror in the hearts and souls of Jewish villagers and farmers by shelling their settlements across the border from Gaza, unceasingly. The government of Israel has decided it can no longer satisfy international opinion in detriment of its duty to its beleaguered people by continuing to ignore the assaults.

Yet another of the so-called "Abrahamic" religions born of Judaism, extols the virtue of turning the other cheek. Defend not thyself against thine enemy. Thine enemy will cease and desist. He will be shamed of his violence, his aggression, his anger, his murderous intent. He will lay down his arms and seek instead to embrace his erstwhile enemy. Christ would have it so. And to its great credit the Christian community of communities continues its presence.

Ah, but the last-born of the triumvirate of Abraham's inheritance is of a fiercer mien, determined that no vestige of land that was ever deemed to be in possession of Islam may be surrendered to infidels, apostates, non-believers, enemies of Islam. To permit this to occur is to insult Islam, and in insulting Islam, displeasing Allah, mightily. Mohammad would have it so. And to its great shame, Islamism purports to represent Islam.

Therefore, as a measure beyond protesting to the Palestinian Authority that it must exert its authority over its irregular armies of terror-inducing militias which has availed it nothing - the decision has been made to cut off sources of energy production to Gaza. At which prospect the protests and accusations of human-rights-abuses ring loud and clear from both the PA and Europe.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

The Yad Yair synagogue built as a memorial ten years ago in honour of a victim of Palestinian terrorism has been vandalized by Palestinians in the past, its sacred scrolls desecrated. Now, however, the synagogue has been destroyed, set on fire and consumed. The house of worship northwest of the PA government seat of Ramallah is no more. A playground for children too destroyed.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

In Sderot and Ashkelon as Jewish families sat at their Sabbath meals a rocket hit a factory in the industrial zone, causing extensive damage in Ashkelon. The alert system warned Israelis as usual and they sought shelter in concrete bunkers, quieting traumatized children. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas condones, for he does not forbid, the rocket attacks, and he condemns electricity cut-off as "collective punishment".

In response to 7 years of constant rocket attacks what kind of solution might he recommend? Turn the other cheek. Perish.

As a hopeful measure to instill a modicum of restraint into the mindsets of Palestinian terror militias with the thought that the misery and inconvenience that the Palestinian population is subject to as a result of their deadly insurgency. The Israeli "Peace Now" movement has ample compassion for all the victims, on both sides of the conflict. "We believe this to be an illegal, immoral act of collective punishment", they state.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

It is clear the Palestinian Authority has no intention of reining in their terror factions. It is obvious the Palestinian terrorists have no compassion for their civilian counterparts. It is more than a little apparent that they will permit nothing to deter them from their deadly hobby of inflicting damage and sometimes death on the hated Israelis. Yet the world clucks its disapproval of desperate Israeli sub-solutions.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

Palestinian terrorists fired at a Jewish motorist, a common enough occurrence, as shooting attacks have increasingly become a favourite gambit of target-shooting fun. Increasing, oddly enough, even while Israel, as a 'good-will gesture' toward the PA has been releasing and pardoning incarcerated terrorists, while at the same time removing irritating checkpoints to make points as political "gestures".

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

In an obvious accident when a bomb detonated before it was meant to, a home in south Gaza exploded, killing two Arab women and a four-year-old child. Another lamentable sacrifice in the holy jihad against Israel. When the front of the house collapsed, another two children were wounded in the blast, which also damaged another home. Hamas was proud to confirm this was a premature detonation in a bomb-building laboratory installed within a private home.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

IDF soldiers are regularly targeted, sometimes successfully. Ideally they can be abducted and held interminably for ransom, yet never released. In northern Gaza soldiers are attacked, wounded. The IDF has noted an increase in the presence and use of anti-tank missiles by Gaza terrorists. Weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza is an ongoing element of this cat-and-mouse game of well defined terrorism. Seek them out and destroy.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

In the third instance of deliberate agricultural vandalism in several months vines were torn up as well as extensive irrigation equipment. Jewish locals identified a cadre of foreign leftist activists and local Arabs turning toward Jewish agricultural plots where police and IDF soldiers apprehended three women from Britain as they fled the scene. Sympathetic foreign nationals and local Arabs work in tandem to wreak havoc on Jewish agricultural lands.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

In Palestinian Shechem plans are underway for PA security forces to take control of a city with the nomenclature of "terrorist capital of Israel", where terror-fugitives and other terrorists are often brought into custody; where weapons caches and bomb factories are a daily discovery. A spokesperson for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades informs Associated Press that 200 of its members have retained their weapons in defiance of Israel's amnesty programme.

One Fatah terrorist who had allowed his weapon to be confiscated is yet teaching his 6-year-old son to shoot an M-16 semi-automatic.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

While spectacularly failing in its obligation and stated determination to prevent terrorist attacks from Gaza into Israel, the Palestinian Authority charges Israel with preventing it from controlling such attacks. PA authorities claim that fully 90% of the three thousand Palestinian police officers to be deployed for the purpose of controlling terrorism are without adequate arms to assist in carrying out their assignment. Is Israel to arm them?

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

It is, after all, and illogically, Israel's fault for the inability of the PA to control their affiliated militias. For it is Israel's counter-terrorist methodology that makes it difficult to disarm Fatah operatives. One Hamas terrorist leader has stated to the Associated Press: "We can hide, or keep the weapons buried under the dirt for a while, but then we will rise again." Fatah attempting to disarm Hamas, which group has just successfully disarmed Fatah within Gaza.

Turn the other cheek. Perish.

Labels: , ,

Love and Compassion

That great good man espousing peace and harmony, Tenzin Gyatso, informs us that "compassion and love can solve any problems". Would that it were so. On the other hand, perhaps it is so, but how could we know this other than to have faith in this premise emanating from the soul of one whose goodness of heart espouses it.

Patience and forbearance are to be brought into play in response to those who would visit harm upon one. The virtues of goodness and spiritual enlightenment surpass the evil intent of those who practise vices of entitlement and sole possession. Passive resistance will convince aggressors that theirs is not an acceptable path in life. They will then, in our dreams, repent and adapt the way of enlightenment.

Is this not also what Mahatma Gandhi espoused? Deny violence. Do not permit hatred to despoil one's soul. Reach a level of purpose that will admit no vestiges of the eternal problems which have since time immemorial besmirched all that humankind could aspire to. Suppress our viler instincts, our propensity toward base emotions. Instead, make every effort to forestall suspicion, greed, envy, enmity and emote instead the passion of brotherhood and understanding.

Rational personalities will admit to the efficacy of demonstrating toward others a facade of tolerance and care. Whose effect is reflected back upon them when the subjects of their careful solicitude express their appreciation and relax suspicion. Tensions evaporate, people are able to communicate reasonably and in the interests of all. And this represents the best of all possible worlds.

Alas, this is not - at least at present - the world we inhabit. This is the world where factions run roughshod over one another, each determined to take unto themselves the greater portion of whatever material goods are available. To the detriment of the other, we hoard our goods and set up obstacles so that others cannot attain that which we value.

Yes, we do make some efforts. We are aware that the world is comprised of those segments of populations who represent the economically advanced countries, the energetically knowledge-based entrepreneurs, those countries of the world whose great stores of natural resources advance opportunities unrealized by the materially marginalized countries.

And the first-world nations hand over to the emerging economies stipends born of guilt to enable them to launch tentative first steps toward enablement, toward the procurement of the wherewithal that will allow them tenuous footholds on the future. The vast and growing populations of the under-developed world, balanced against the stable yet dwindling populations of the well-developed world.

Sharing is most certainly an option, one that would balance the scale of have and have-not more fairly. But nowhere does there exist a nation and an agreeable public that would surrender their wealth to enrich another country, bringing them to the same degree of need as those of whom they are benefactor, as an existential sacrifice of great spiritual meaning.

For the spirit is weak and flesh demands its due.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Energized By Hatred

What is it about we human beings? We are imbued with intelligence, the ability to discern truth and reality. We are capable of making sound decisions, we have free choice in what we choose to do, yet we succumb, time and again to our baser instincts, our self-afflicting passions of suspicion and hatred of the other. We are none of us very much different from one another, sharing the most basic of human characteristics and attributes.

Yet we look upon one another with suspicion and miserable hatred. We lose our level-headedness, our ability to be reasonable and become a mob of fanatical haters determined to wreak havoc on those whom we impress upon ourselves are ready to do the same - and worse - to us. We become a rabid rabble of impassioned fools, denying common sense and human decency.

Small groups of radicals who consider themselves active representatives of a larger community whom it is felt have been somehow wronged, or denied privileges due to them, or withheld from that which is rightfully theirs become a guerrilla army - terrorists who seek to destroy the peace of mind of their collectively-perceived enemies, inflicting terror upon their populations.

Which in turn results in that population becoming enraged, exhorting their own military to expunge the presence of their tormentors.

Just what has happened between the PKK, representing the broader sovereigntist interests of Kurdistan, and the sovereign country of Turkey. Locating themselves as guerrillas do, in inaccessible geographies they torment their perceived enemies by inflicting gadfly wounds upon them. In the case of the PKK, ensconced in the mountains of Iraq bordering Turkey, murdering thousands of Turkish citizens as well as soldiers.

Now, in response to the actions of these 5,000 PKK terrorists, Turkey has assembled an army of one hundred thousand troops, along with fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tanks and mortars on the border with northern Iraq. Still, the odds aren't in favour of the regular Turkish army despite its numbers and its armaments, because a regular army is at a disadvantage fighting a hit-and-strike guerrilla group familiar with its own geography and capable of melting into it post-attack.

And when an army finds itself incapable of mounting an effective offence, in the process of which it sustains many casualties and deaths it becomes an enraged collective. The innocent people living in the mountains, in border towns become suspect and as a result suffer consequences they have little earned. They're not able to call off the actions of the PKK, nor, it would appear, is the Kurdistan administrative government.

There are so many countries of the world bedevilled by insurgent forces comprised of ethnic or tribal, political or religious groups which feel themselves entitled to a portion of a geography - part of our inherited territorial imperative - and responsible for many of the conflicts in the world today: Sierra Leone, Spain, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Lebanon, India, Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan.

Vibrant vitriol toward one another. Searing hatred toward those whose inheritance and aspiration is at deviance with their own. Vile suspicion, leading to opposition, leading to violence. Dread of civil contact leading to collapse of civilization. Complete alienation, revenge, conflict. The costs in human lives immense. Why?

If we were moved to give a little to gain a lot, would it help? Human nature. A little rarely suffices. We all of us want it all. Which seems to be why negotiations so rarely result in a surcease of hostilities. We really are abject failures.

Labels: ,

The Evil Men Do

Yes, some people truly do tread fearlessly well beyond the pale of humanly-acceptable norms in protecting their interests as demagogic tyrants without conscience. But no one single individual can possibly enact scenes of finely orchestrated violence on his own. It takes the compliant obedience of many others complicit and at one with themselves over the actions they take which result in the horrendous deaths of hundreds, thousands and the disablement of more human beings.

And justified in some inscrutable way, as being necessary to ensure restoration of a peaceful atmosphere. So fearsomely and broadly victimizing a population that any further thought of protest against their condition of living under the burden of a brutal dictatorship is completely expunged. The process of sacrificing thousands of lives for the purpose of subduing rebellion somehow never seems excessive when they're conducted by self-regulating fascists.

Five thousand Kurds murdered heartlessly and with deliberate precision, at the orders of Saddam Hussein, and his henchmen eager to do his bidding. Iraqi military planes determinedly dropping a succession of bombs over the space of a day, 20 years ago, horrendously killing five thousand Kurds, leaving many thousands of others with tormenting life-long agonies of injuries and sickness of mind and body.

The hospital in Kurdish Halabja had taken in wounded Kurdish soldiers who had skirmished with the Iraqi military in March of 1988. A day later just after ten o'clock on the morning of March 16, bombs fell on the city in a carefully orchestrated barrage repeated and repeated unceasingly. Prior to the bombs being dropped the planes dropped paper to interpret wind direction and speed. No efforts wasted to ensure maximum hits, maximum damage, maximum deaths.

Then came cluster bombs, shrapnel, shelling. Then came napalm bombs, frightening the residents to hide as best they could in underground shelters built during the Iran-Iraq war. The bombing continued, intensified, with mustard gas, nerve agents, Sarin, tabun and cyanide. The gasses seeping everywhere, asphyxiating those who hadn't been killed by earlier onslaughts with shrapnel and direct hits.

Charred bodies littered the streets, houses, buildings. The dead fell with their arms wrapped around themselves, their children. A survivor who had suffered grave injuries, but who had been able to make his way with the help of others out of the city for medical assistance, returned a few days later to find silence - and blistered, black corpses swelling in putrefaction everywhere he turned.

Then Kurdish forces began loading the decomposing bodies onto trucks for mass burials. Twenty years later thousands of Kurds in the as-yet unreconstructed city - once the cultural and artistic capital of Iraqi Kurdistan - are still suffering from the effects of the bombing. The hospital hasn't the means to treat them all, although it serves close to 100,000 patients a year.

Chemical Ali, (Ali Hassan al-Majeed) the mastermind of the Halabja attack still lives under sentence of death. Is there a sentence too harsh for such a monstrous mass murder? His own death will accomplish not much of anything. The event can't be undone. People will continue to suffer - with their memories, their sickness. Little wonder the Kurds yearn for a homeland of their own.

Justice? What's that? Where found?

Labels: , ,

Now You See It , Now You - Don't

The mysterious emplacement that never was. But likely was. And no longer is. Evaporated. A figment of someone's anxious imagination. On the other hand, what most certainly was there at one time at an enticing stage aspiring to become something entirely other might have been there, might it not?

Are pictures worth a thousand words? At least that number of words and more have been expended on breathlessly theorizing and interpreting and hazarding educated guesses. All in the realm of possibility. Probability? Likelihood?

Brought, many would say, to reality by the background and the action - in the air, on the ground. Now, is there conceivably any room left for doubt? Those thousand-and-more words have taken back seat to satellite photographs purporting to illustrate that which was not, had never been, and simply did not exist.

These are the "before" and then the "after" photographs. Mysterious, to be sure, but explicatory at the very least by events precedented but unanticipated by those who cling to the "never-existed" claim. What most certainly looks like a nuclear site close to the Euphrates River, complete with pumping station for the reactor in photo one. Photo two, tractors, bulldozers excavating buried pipelines. Now gone, vanished.

There is now nothing left for the International Atomic Energy Agency to pick away at. They saw, they flew, they conquered. Not the IAEA, most certainly, but those others whose very existence is dependent upon a nuclear-free zone where they make their abode. With rare exceptions, to say the least.

Syria, rather put out at the disruption of her plans to succeed where their close friends already have, practised the expeditious art of removing all traces of her misdemeanor on the world stage. Allowing that yes there was a building under construction, but its purpose was entirely other than that claimed. And they're downright pissed at the illegal incursion.

"Dismantling and removing the building at such a rapid pace dramatically complicates any (IAEA) inspection of the facilities and suggests Syria may be trying to hide what was there", according to the highly intelligent report by the Institute for Science and International Security.

After inspecting the aerial photographs of the 'suspected' reactor building well visible prior to Israel's September 6 air raid over Syria. Leaving both that country and Iran to fume over the failure of their (Russian-built-and-failed) aerial detection system.

Israel too is remaining uncharacteristically tight-lipped about the purpose of her mission over Syria. A friendly visit it most certainly was not. A warning to Iran, perhaps, at the very least. Buying time.

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Forward To The Second Level...

When talks and reasoning don't prevail to encourage recalcitrant states to come around to the broad thinking of their collectively more biddable contemporaries, one searches out other means of persuasion. Incremental persuasion.

Despite the egregiously fearsome determination of a state to act decisively in its own interests, so clearly detrimental to other states in its intent, those states who take it upon themselves to act as leaveners on behalf of all, must take steps not to betray their last and lethal option.

So it is that the United States - in the face of prodigious UN efforts to entice Iran to cease and desist in its quest for nuclear power as an obvious front for the attainment of nuclear arms - has advanced to step number two.

Imposing sanctions on Tehran's theocratic government through the naming of its country's armed forces as terrorist-inspiring-and-encouraging enemies of peace. Naming the Revolutionary Guards thus also enables the imposition of financial sanctions on the country.

Earlier unheeded sanctions have already left the country struggling to meet its internal commitments. But funds to finance ongoing nuclear commitments are somehow found, regardless. Not enough, it seems, to satisfy the debt Iran owes to Russia for its nuclear infrastructure, scientific assistance and needed materials, but the resolve to forge ahead remains undiminished.

Through the targeting of the Revolutionary Guards who own and control signal business interests spread throughout the world, bringing in ready and needed financial assistance to the country, yet another avenue of revenue has been truncated.

The proud, playfully plaintive words of Iran's spokesperson that "The hostile policies of America against the respectful Iranian nation and our legal organizations are against international regulations and have no value", strike a particular chord.

Iran respectful? Toward whom exactly? The international community which, through the United Nations has indicated Iran's aspirations makes them extremely nervous? The UN's International Atomic Energy Commission, interested in Iran's nuclear ambitions and whose inspections the country has spurned?

Ah, of course, it's the respect that Iran demonstrates toward other UN member-states of which he speaks. Particularly that of the State of Israel, against which Iran's president has iterated and reiterated the respectful intent of personally obliterating.

"Against international regulations", has a particular ring to it, reminiscent most latterly of Iran's defiance against UN requests that it cease and desist in its nuclear search. "Against international regulations" should refer to Iran's position of arming and instigating terrorism.

They obviously see things differently. But then, they would; they are different. Public hangings as public spectacles for entertainment. Or, mayhap, as rather unsubtle warnings to those segments of its population chafing under the country's Islamist dictatorship.

Above all, the country's and its forces' support for its proxies and terror-affiliated friends like Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the PFLOP. Busy-busy. And the United States in particular is rather annoyed at its Shia-led support of terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, targeting U.S. forces quite particularly.

Lest we overlook Iran's military intent - their unswerving interest in surface-to-surface missiles; their lofty claims that their Shahab strategic missiles have a wide range, capable of reaching a very wide swath of Europe - should also be taken into account. As well as their ambitious chemical and biological weapons programme.

Most compelling for an avowedly peaceful state in a real nutcracker of an environment. All in honour, needless to say, of Allah. For did not the Supreme Ayatollah proudly announce to the world at large, holding up a vial of enriched uranium, that this is Iran's right as a sovereign state in a modern technological world?

Iran's destabilizing influence within the Middle East, in encouraging Hezbollah to provoke and attack Israel alongside its wider provocation within Lebanon a case in point. Iran's encouragement of Syria to try for its own nuclear emplacements with the assistance of their good friends from North Korea, another.

And then there's the little matter of its human rights abuses, again. It's an internal matter that Iran brooks no interference with. If the administration wishes to brutalize those within its population who will insist that they confusedly practise a gay lifestyle, if they choose to punish political dissenters, women who refuse to decently garb themselves, they will.

They have their own powerful supporters after all, in China and Russia. And there is that nice, reliable middle-power, good old Canada, asserting its undiminished outrage at Iran's murder of one of its own Canadian citizens, trying once again as in previous years to amass sufficient votes to exact yet another UN condemnation of Iran for its human rights abuses.

Poor Iran, so embattled. So misunderstood. So undeserving of all this censure.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Capricious Lunacy

Here are neighbours, two disparate peoples whose ancient history in the Middle East had them neighbours millennia ago in their earlier incarnations as a desert people emerging into a settled, urban life, settling at that time their countless incidents of strife against one another. And they're still at it, still aggrieved and struggling to contain the direction that fate propels them toward. It's an unequal struggle, since one half of the equation has matured socially and intellectually while the other appears to regress day by day.

Adolescents mired in their immature demands don't make good bargaining agents for equality when their methods are comprised of anger-managing delusions of entitlement that go well beyond their dues. Hypocritical demands that all or nothing will suffice, lest they be compelled to wreak further havoc; in this instance terrorizing the more mature half of the argument by threatening to continue their passion-fueled trajectory toward delivering death to their 'enemy' even at the cost of diminishing rewards for themselves.

These adolescents are dependent for their material needs upon those they threaten, as in a household with providers and hostile siblings conspiring to unleash hell upon their parents. The more the parents relent, despite their better judgement, and render unto their offspring all they demand, the more the demands increase. The end result is no solution whatever to the impasse; the parents frustrated, frozen with inaction, walking on the eggshells of fearful anticipation - the offspring bitterly dissatisfied, determined that nothing will restore peace between them, ready to commit all to damnation.

On the face of it, the PLO-Fatah-Palestinian Authority administration insists it is finally prepared to bargain in good faith with the State of Israel to reach a mutually-agreed upon settlement where both may agree on boundaries, on issues of insurmountable difficulties between the two populations, leaving the neighbours to live contiguous but separately sovereign lives. Yet while Israel makes every effort to rein in the activities - mostly protest in nature - of its more rigidly-obstreperous citizens, the PA makes no effort whatever to restrain the deadly assaults launched by their militia-factions which rain down deadly rockets on Jewish communities as an expression of their lethal dissatisfaction.

Palestinian terrorists are psychically arrested in tribal warfare mode, a cultural psychosis seemingly shared by much of the Arab world, but while they employ basic tried-and-true guerrilla techniques of instilling fear in their enemies by striking hard through deadly attacks, then slipping quietly back into the civilian population to avoid detection, they also use modern technology. In Gaza the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades admitted gladly to their use of Google's Internet virtual mapping technology to aid them in closely identifying targets within Israel. Each requested location obligingly provides latitude and longitude.

In stark contrast to the PA not intervening and by their passive assent encouraging these depredations upon their neighbour, Israel apprehends those of its citizens whom it deems may present a challenge toward keeping the peace on their side. Residents of border communities who conspire to visit damage to Palestinians, for example by attempting to disrupt stealth activities tearing up Israeli farmers' crops are prohibited from returning to their homes. A political activist well known to promulgate his favouring of Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, Yekutiel Ban-Yaakove, has been presented with an administrative order preventing him from returning to his home in Tapuach for a three-month exile.

The Palestinian Authority, which insists it has authority over Gaza, despite the presence of Hamas, has done nothing whatever to discourage the lobbing of Kassams over the border into the western Negev. As a result the Deputy Defence Minister of Israel recommends electrical power supplied by Israel be cut off to northern Gaza for short periods of time. The committee which he heads has also recommended that Israel's supply of fuel and goods to Gaza be cut. For, "we have no alternative other than to employ these measures" explains the deputy minister. "The situation cannot continue in which we supply the Palestinians with all their needs as usual while they fire at us. Gaza is a hostile entity, and this is a gradual disengagement."

Lest it be forgotten, Israel removed nine thousand of her citizen-settlers from Gaza, to return the territory to the Palestinians in the anticipation that this sacrifice would encourage Palestinians to take full advantage of the opportunities that awaited them. Instead of welcoming the withdrawal of the settlers and the portions of the IDF that were assigned to protect them, Palestinians went on a mission of search-and-destroy, including a series of greenhouses purchased in good faith by philanthropic Jews for the purpose of leaving them intact for Palestinians as a start-up agricultural business.

While the Israeli settlers who were hauled out of Gaza still languish in unsuitable, temporary lodgings bereft of their livelihoods, the Gaza Strip still fulminates and festers. Offering daily assaults against Israeli communities over the border. Because Israel has designated Gaza as an "enemy entity" in reflection of its violent actions against itself by both Hamas terrorists and Fatah militias, Israeli banks have decided to withdraw their services to Gaza. However, The Bank of Israel has blocked this initiative, asking Bank HaPoalim to remain until an alternative, a Postal Bank or having Egyptian banks step in to fill the gap, can occur. Reason? The fear that already-serious economic problems in the Strip will be exacerbated. Impacting deleteriously on the local Palestinian population.

The ordinary people of both Israel and the PA seem to know something that appears to be escaping the attention of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. That trade and trust can occur between them. A case in point: the purchase by Orthodox Jews of fresh vegetables from Palestinian farmers when law does not permit Jewish farmers to cultivate and harvest their own for certain periods of time leaving the land to "rest" every 7th year. Moreover, when rockets continue to slam down into Israel, flattening buildings and homes, hitting residents and instilling terror, deliveries from Gaza are stopped.

Who exactly are the beneficiaries of the ongoing and seemingly deliberate attempts to forestall the potential for peace between the two countries? Recalcitrant politicians, determined they will wreak damage until every last vestige of Jewish ownership-presence in the area is eliminated. Along with the fascist-inspired secularists, and the Islamist-blessed terrorists both intent on destroying the State of Israel and dispelling its people from the area.

In anticipation of ongoing tribulations in attempting to reach a workable settlement despite all the violence and the belligerent rhetoric orchestrating a PA victory over a hoped-for diminished Israeli presence beginning the long slide to obliteration, a coalition of Jewish organizations has dedicated themselves to a common purpose. That of denying the PA determination, supported by the rest of the Arab world, to take full possession of Jerusalem's Old City.

Claiming that it belongs to Islam, historically, traditionally, culturally. Whereas little-to-no mention has ever been made of the importance of Jerusalem to Islam in the Koran, Jerusalem has been, since time immemorial, the touchstone, the soul of Jewry, as the "eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish people".

What, then, are the odds of the two solitudes ever coming together in enlightened and humane interaction for the attainment of mutual security and an enhanced future for both?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Up Front And Loud

In university campuses around North America - and elsewhere for all I know - the politically correct, the sweet-left who forgive all excesses emanating elsewhere than in the West adhere to the notion that all is permitted in the name of Western self-abnegation. Moral and ethical relativism is the order of the day; perspective is everything, seen through the prism of other cultures and traditions - as though such mores supersede the rigors of moral rectitude.

Diversity of background, culture, religious and ideological belief are all vital to the strengths of intellectual discourse stifled, to the great detriment of reality. Leftist academics stand ready and willing to surrender the verities and freedoms of their countries which have given them the opportunities to suborn the very structures and cultural underpinnings that spawned them. True intellectual debate where issues are aired logically and realistically are no longer the order of the day.

Quite simply, there are some topics that are not investigated, questioned or held to reason. Ideology and group identity, particularly with the perceived underdog takes precedence over all that the university setting once held dear: to view the world as it is and to attempt to understand it. Plato had Socrates explain that everything was a mystery to him, so he made every effort to attempt to understand that which stood before him, recognizing his initial ignorance, refusing the nomenclature of honour as a "wise man".

Now comes a new initiative to bring a little enlightenment to the academic discourse by shedding some light on the reality of the world as it is unfolding through the launching of "Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week" in the United States. In over one hundred university campuses across the United States speakers are confronting hostile university communities to bring home the reality of the threats that are poised on our common horizon by relentlessly jihad-bent fanatics of Islam.

"By the end of the week millions of people will have heard our message that we will no longer turn a blind eye to the violence directed against women, gays and "infidels" in Islamo-Fascist regimes. this homicidal intolerance and the conspiracy of silence that protects it on America's campuses, will no longer be accepted", according to the organizers of this campaign to force North America's intellectuals to face up to reality, sans political correctness.

Protesters abound, scandalized at the radical stance taken by these organizers determined to have their message heard. The organizers face intimidation, threats and extremely energetic protests. Yet they forge on, determined not to abrogate their responsibilities. "I left the Middle East because there was no freedom of speech and now I am here and there is fascism", claimed Nonie Darwish, shouting to make herself heard over the loud campus protests at her presence and her claims.

She is the daughter of an Egyptian General in charge of terror raids into Israel from Gaza in the 1950s, (comparable to the types of terror committed now by Hamas) who was responsible for the death of 400 Jews before he was himself killed by Israel's first targeted assassination attempt. Egypt's president Gamal Abdul Nasser asked the-then-child Nonie and her siblings at their father's funeral: "which one of you will avenge your father's death by killing Jews?"

Today she is known as the founder of the organization "Arabs for Israel". She spends her time condemning both Islamic fundamentalist extremists and those among the larger Muslim community who remain silent instead of protesting the besmirching of Islam. By their silence they have become complicit, permitting these jihadist groups to gain power and acceptance as spokesmen for official Muslim communities across the world.

Their success in thwarting good relations between Islam and Christianity, in besmirching the opinions of Muslims against Jews, Christians and Hindus have done irreparable harm to the world community. And it is their signal success at love-making with the secular, academic community in the West, the leaders of our societies in opinion-making, conscience-alerting that is the most troubling issue of this day.

Speak up loud and clear. We need to hear the truth, and we need to hear it now.

Labels: , ,

By The Company They Keep

Like is drawn to like. Isn't that so? Sometimes it's enough to make one shudder in horror. Comparisons, that is. We don't tend to think, for example, that the United States has too much in common with countries like North Korea or Iran, for example. Let alone China. North Korea, Iran and China commonly exact the penalty of death on inconvenient "enemies of the state", those whose irritating habits exceed the patience of their countries' administrations. Public hangings are common and serve as public entertainment.

How medieval can you get? Yet these countries, several of which formed the fated "axis of evil" are counterparts to the United States in their adherence to the death penalty as a deterrent to recidivist activities. How quaint, truly. You're dead, and that's that. Wrongly convicted? Oops. Accidents of fate will, after all, occur. Firm ideologies and a stern focus on national religious observance often go hand in hand with this type of administrative finality.

Still, it's difficult to discern otherwise why that great Democratic Republic of the U.S. would place itself firmly in the chorus of those who swear on the efficacy of death to solve problems.

Mind, the list of death-penalty retentionists is longer than that. It includes Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbados, Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, North (and) South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saint Christopher & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

This represents a motley list of countries that are dictatorships, monarchies, theocracies, and democracies. These are nations representing, in large part, the poorest of the poor, emerging economies, oil-rich kingdoms, and a complete standout: the world's super-power and champion of human rights. What on earth is the U.S. doing in there with the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Zimbabwe? Comrades not in arms, or economics, politics or religion, but in adherence to an ideal of the biblical eye-for-an-eye which even Israel, whose people originated the Old Testament, declines.

Now the 27-member European Union sees the time ripe for attempting once again to bring to the fore a draft moratorium for introduction and support into the United Nations General Assembly for a full ban on state executions. Which had formerly failed due to the fierce opposition of - wait for it - the United States, Singapore and other nations who rely on capital punishment to control their populations.

Should this pass it will be a non-binding agreement, the hope being that the moratorium would eventually persuade all member-countries that it is no longer meet that nations exercise such options as to take the lives of malefactors among them. That state-sanctioned and prosecuted revenge resulting in a theatre of legal murder is not the stuff of which enlightened societies engage in. It is not the action of responsible governance to take a life in payment of serious social transgressions, including murder.

To do so cheapens life, and by extension the very administrative law-makers who permit the practise. According to figures released by Amnesty International there are a mere six countries who account for roughly 90% of known executions which took place in the last year. Those countries are China, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan - and the United States. Not keeping very good company, are they?

Yet look at this improbable-appearing list of countries which declare themselves to be pro-abolitionist: Angola, Gabon, Brazil and Mexico, Croatia and Albania, Philippines and Timor-Leste. If these countries struggling with poverty-induced crime, attempting to reach into the 20th century, never mind the 21st, can see it in their best interests to forego the death penalty, how is it that the great U.S. of A cannot?

Time's up!

Labels: , ,

Discord In The Family

That the family in question is the premier Islamofascist al-Qaeda is most interesting. Rumours were circulating months ago that Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy Ayman al-Zawahri weren't too enthralled with what they are purported to have thought was the overly-vicious activities of al-Qaeda in Iraq whose murderous fanaticism evidenced in the fervour with which they slaughtered both Shi'ite and Sunni in that hapless country appeared to exceed even al-Qaeda's agenda of obliteration which, after all, focused primarily on jihad against unbelievers, the enemies of Islam.

Things have slowly taken a nasty turn for al-Qaeda, in the realization that their counterparts in Iraq, in not distinguishing between Shia, Sunni and American troops when meting out their death dealing idealism have engendered a deadly backlash from Iraq's Sunni tribal leaders. Who found it difficult to deal with the reality that their brethren from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, in their terrorist incarnations committed their fanatical atrocities against Sunni Iraqis. If your closest religious, ideology-driven counterparts disown you, well there are always alternatives.

In this case, the blandishments of the leaders of foreign Western armies who pointed out that Iraq's Sunni population need not suffer this dishonourable insult to their people through the unkindly intervention of foreign Sunni terrorists inclined to send their brethren to their early graves. Aghast at the predations of the al-Qaeda-in-Iraq contingents, they saw fit to gradually, one, then another, align themselves with the invading forces which, after all, were actively attempting to persuade the entire population to a general accord and normalization within the country.

Comes a plaintive plea from al-Qaeda: "Where are the soldiers of the Levant and the reinforcements from Yemen? Where are the knights of Egypt and the lions of Hejaz (region in Saudi Arabia)? Come to the aid of your brothers in Iraq". Thus went the invitation expressed on the most recently-released audio recording and video posted on various Islamist websites and aired on Al Jazeera television, with its likeness of Osama bin Laden writ large on the background. "Increase (the enemy's) disarray and strike further at their necks and hit them with bone-cutting swords", bin Laden coos enticingly.

In the scenario of "how fare the troops?" it would appear that the original al-Qaeda is rather disquieted by the too far-reaching, ideology-dislocating activities of their Iraq-located branch in violating their principles of Sunni brotherhood. In the process severely alienating those in the vicinity they felt certain they could encourage to make common cause with them. But the fervently committed suicide bombers from elsewhere appear to view their fellow Muslims whatever their sect to be fair game in the ecstasy of jihad resurgent.

Gruesome doesn't gain adherents to the purpose of universal jihad. Viewing the spilled blood and guts of one's neighbours, friends and family members does not endear either the activities or the perpetrators to Sunni tribes people in Iraq. That they too are viewed as the enemies of the Islamofascists was a certain formula for incurring their wrath and revenge. From their initial hailing and supporting of the foreign-based al-Qaeda militants Sunni tribes in Iraq have turned their faces to support the Western-based foreign invaders. Bitter gall.

Yet despite al-Qaeda headquarter's urgent message to their deputies in Iraq to more carefully design and implement their attacks of jihad, their advice has been steadfastly ignored. That's how it goes when the passions of hatred and revenge unleashed to wreak total chaos with the intent of spilling as much blood as inhumanly possible takes precedence over the larger programme promulgated by the leaders who aren't actually on the scene, and therefore regarded as largely impotent.

Meanwhile the Islamic Army in Iraq is taking up the broader cudgel, diminishing the impact of al-Qaeda, which original terror group is not fond of taking a backseat to any other group in pursuing the Islamic agenda to annihilate heretics, foreigners and Jews.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Good News

A recent report appears to indicate that the world's climate is deteriorating faster than anticipated by the world's atmospheric scientists. The conclusion was reached by scientists studying a plethora of accumulated evidence. Our environment is steadily acquiring more carbon dioxide than expected according, to an international team tasked with isolating signals of change in the global climate.

Our planet's traditional "carbon sinks", our great forests and jungles, our oceans and lakes, are being overwhelmed by an inexorably ever-growing incidence of human activity throwing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an unprecedentedly-accelerated rate. Is it even possible that these carbon-capturing sinks can reach a level of acceptance beyond which their capacity fails?

The report indicates that major droughts during the years between 2002 and 2005 may have led to a lessening of capabilities of the terrestrial carbon sinks. There was a slow-down of tree, shrub and crop growth as a result of drought, translating into a weakening of the carbon-sink system, hauling C02 out of the air. Fewer flora to do their carbon-absorbing work.

A change in traditional wind patterns resulted in a alteration of the "ventilation of carbon-rich waters" in southern oceans in the last seven years. All of which results in a growing incidence of atmospheric C02 accumulation, a huge acceleration of environmental degradation. None of which has been helped by the growing economic activity emanating from India and China, both growth-juggernauts.

Between 2000 and 2006 human-generated environmental emissions grew at a 3% annual rate - four times faster than the previous ten years of study. Climatologists point to an atmospheric C02 concentration of 450 parts per million as the tipping point, the threshold many scientists identify as a trigger leading to mass extinctions, the melting of the Greenland ice cap and the consequent flooding of low-lying areas due to a rise in sea levels.

At the present time our C02 atmospheric concentration stands at 382 ppm. With the concentration now growing at a steady 2 ppm yearly the future looks fearfully questionable. Through the burning of coal, oil and gas, along with deforestation, we're steadily degrading our environment beyond recall. To the tune of 10 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide wafting into the air each year.

Scientists point out that our current atmospheric C02 concentration "is the highest during the past 650,000 years and probably during the last 20 million years", according to the report issued from the Global Carbon Project. Which assembled its conclusions through a synthesis of data drawn from the United Nations and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A respectable source of information, to say the least. So, all those nay-sayers casting doubt about human-related activities triggering the acceleration of our degraded environment may think they know something the scientists and atmospheric climatologists don't know, but it would appear that the record and on-the-ground indicators do indite human activities.

We're more responsible than we'd like to admit. And far more irresponsible than we believe ourselves to be.

Labels: , ,

Well, here's a proud moment for Canada. A UN-sponsored report (UN Human Rights Council) bringing Canada to task for its failure in providing necessary subsidized and affordable housing for its population. It's a question of human rights; affordable housing for poor families. A response to the blight of homelessness on the streets of our great cities.

A country of untold riches in natural resources. A geography of outstanding beauty, blessed with great fresh-water lakes and rivers. A territory encompassing almost half of North America. A richly heterogeneous population living together in reasonable harmony in a country that offers them safety, security of person, the right to practise their religion or ideology of choice; freedom of expression.

That offers equality of opportunity to its citizens, an excellent education and universal health care system. And the assurance of equality under the law, an assured egalitarianism upholding internationally-recognized tenets of human rights. Women are granted full rights and the exercise of opportunities alongside the opposite gender and other-gendered likewise.

From the tundra of our high-northern regions to the gentle rainforests and mountains of the British Columbia interior we celebrate our Canadianness. From the great wheat fields of Saskatchewan, the oil fields of Alberta, the manufacturing base of Ontario, the resourcefulness of Quebec, to the Maritimes and our sad fisheries, we are Canada.

This country of great natural wealth and a generally law-abiding and caring people has such a sterling reputation on the international level that we can barely cope with the applications received from abroad to emigrate here. This is a country with a collective and well-practised conscience - we go out of our way to do our best.

Yet we have seemingly insolvable problems sullying our self-regard and our sense of the rightness of things. We must find a solution, one way or another, to the dreadful embarrassment of a multitude of urgent needs unmet for our aboriginal populations. Their lives of unendurable misery are our responsibility, not only theirs. We must find ways to help them help themselves other than the failures of the past.

And the lately-released report from the United Nations Human Rights Council pointing out our monumental failure as a society to rescue vulnerable Canadians from homelessness and hopelessness, hunger and lack of personal safety resounds to our great shame. A UN representative, Miloon Kothari, having visited Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto as well as a number of rural areas identifies our shame.

Mr. Kothari has reached the inescapable conclusion that Canada is not in compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which it is a signatory. "As evident from the situation on the street, (Canada has) failed to incorporate these international legal standards into policy and legislation that would have a practical impact", according to a report released by Mr. Kothari.

The gap between the wealthy and the poor has been widened. A country once hailed for its progressive policies in affordable housing, has seen a significant slide-back of public policy and intent, with a subsequent erosion of affordable housing for the poor. Mr. Kothari, on the strength of his UN position, has called upon Canada's federal government to pay attention to its failure to meet these needs.

Mr. Kothari is quick to point out that his recommendations are based on the obligations countries must face to live up to human rights conditions for their populations. He also points out that governments in the developed world are more involved with the market perspective and market forces playing out within their communities - the obvious reason for disparities between what governments are obliged to produce to protect their most vulnerable and their inclination to encourage market growth.

"We know that the Canadian government doesn't like to be shamed internationally", according to a senior public policy fellow with the Wellesley Institute, which may explain why the recently-delivered policy Speech From the Throne gave mention to affordable housing, indicating the current government acknowledges the issue as a priority.

We can only hope. And perhaps agitate a trifle more strenuously for additional efforts toward social justice in this country.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nuclear Devices Falling Into The Hands Of....

It is a real and present concern. Nuclear devices falling into the hands of renegades, guerrillas, terrorists of all stripes of political and ideological conviction in their armed "struggle" against the conventions they abhor. Thus it is that the world at large frets over the attainment of nuclear proficiency by rogue countries like North Korea, Syria, Iran. If these countries are inspired to become nuclear agents why not all the other wealthy countries of the near and far East?

Pakistan and India, neighbours who live contiguously and nervously alongside one another, at continual loggerheads over religion and territory - Kashmir for example - both own hundreds of nuclear warheads. Cooler heads will always prevail, we desperately hope and pray. In any event, the deed is done, the technology is theirs and perhaps the fact they each measure up to one another will ensure sufficient deterrence.

And then there is the first nation on earth to have achieved their nuclear ambition, the one country in the world that we hope and feel has the needed maturity to ensure these are never used. Wait a minute: didn't the U.S. drop two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima? It's a moot point; did this end-of-days scenario ensure the end of WWII or did the bombs represent scientific curiosity sated?

What the world learned through the horrendous bombing of those cities was the devastating finality potential of settling political arguments. So these monsters, while having escaped the dungeon of forevermore into reality, have to be carefully tended lest they escape again to wreak havoc where they land. It's a no-brainer, really. These horribly destructive attempts by mankind to mimic nature at her most violent must be carefully tended.

What's that about familiarity breeding contempt? It shouldn't should it? There is danger in that. The most fearsome weapon known to man must be isolated and protected from use; its usefulness lays in its deterrence-value. There is no room for carelessness in handling such deadly devices; the mass dead can not be resurrected. We choose not to be bringers of doom.

Yet some 70 (!) U.S. Air Force personnel faced discipline over a truly egregious lack of disciplinary cognizance in handling a deadly cargo of decommissioned nuclear warheads by loading them onto a B-52 bomber and flying them 1,900 kilometres across the United States. These missiles each had up to fifteen times the strength of the Hiroshoma-destroyed atomic bomb. Quite obviously stringent rules detailing the handling of such warheads were ignored.

Yet the warheads, loaded onto the bomber for conveyance were not readied for the journey; due diligence, proper safety inspections and routine safety issues were disregarded when the warheads were not first removed from the missiles. The deputy chief of staff for the air force commented that there had been an "erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards".

How's that for an understatement, given the cargo, the conveyance, the distance, the potential for accident? "They did not follow the formal scheduling processes that would have allowed them to do the proper maintenance and handling of those weapons." The handling of which represented an "unprecedented string of procedural errors" initiated when airmen failed to conduct a required inspection before loading.

And after landing, the missiles sat on a runway in Louisiana for a full nine hours before it came to anyone's notice that the warheads were intact, albeit not activated. The potential that sharp eyes seeking to do irreparable damage might have taken advantage of the situation to trigger the warheads or to abscond with them is always there. It's a strange world we live in.

What feared malevolent forces might aspire to achieve by design, American forces almost succeeded in producing by slovenly inattention to duty and safe practise.

Labels: ,

Turkish Resolve

Little wonder Turkey is simmering with resentment, indignation and downright anger over the deliberate and deadly provocations the country has been experiencing with cross-border raids by guerrillas representing the Kurdish Workers Party, a widely recognized terror group fomenting violence on behalf of Kurdish territoriality and sovereignty. Swarming over the border into Turkey from their bases in Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK are answerable to no one.

The government of Iraq is powerless to stop them, since it isn't able to protect its own citizens from terror attacks they launch against one another in mass sectarian-inspired violence. The one quiet zone of peace and prosperity in Iraq is represented by the semi-autonomous Kurdish-held territory, whose own government while not supporting the PKK are not amenable to clashing with them over a territorial aspiration they themselves support.

The United States is beside itself with angst over the very real prospect of the Turkish government, now that the Parliamentary vote to permit response has been achieved, taking the final step to launch its troops over the border into Iraq in a retaliatory attempt to oust the PKK. They've good reason to do so, in the wake of the latest attacks on Turkish territory resulting in scores of their soldiers killed and wounded, others missing.

Yet here is Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, despite his country being on a war footing and the outrage of its population to avenge these deadly provocations, holding back, and counselling for patience in response to urgent requests from the United States. Irony upon ironies; an Islamist government amenable to reason, pressure being brought to bear upon them by a country which has amply demonstrated its own unreasonable short fuse.

"Attacks from Iraqi territory need to be dealt with swiftly by the Iraqi government and Kurdish regional authorities", claimed a White House spokesman. "The United States, Turkey and Iraq will continue to stand together to defeat the PKK terrorists." Oh, likely. Turkey is on its own, here. The others pay lip service, but it's Turkish citizens who are paying the full price with their lives.

But to his great credit - whatever happens finally - Mr. Erdogan stood before national Turkish television to state that despite the state of outrage, a calm approach, not an agitated one, based on good common sense would stand them in good stead. Meanwhile local authorities in Iraq condemn the PKK actions but will take no direct action themselves.

That the Kurds would dearly love to carve out a little swath of sovereign territory for themselves, taking a little bit from Iraq, some from Iran and a little bit more from Turkey to form their own national aspirational geography is understandable. From the perspective of their sense of national identify it may also seem reasonable.

Trouble is, none of the countries involved appear willing to render greater Kurdistan unto the Kurds. Having said which, timely negotiations and reasoned politics are the avenues to explore the potential; countries born of violence extinguish themselves the same way.

Don't they? They don't?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Bad Faith

What's all the fuss about? Why pretend surprise over an event that is so predictable? Haven't there been instances galore to prepare for such events? It's business as usual with the Palestinian Authority, after all. Are memories so short that no one recalls a summertime event where Hamas associates laid a trap for Mahmoud Abbas in a failed attempt to assassinate him at a time when Fatah and Hamas were still in a state of blessed union?

So if colleagues, however bitter they are toward one another's aspirations and blatant attempts to out distance one the other for supreme leadership of the Palestinian people are so casually capable of attempting assassination of their own leadership, why the public display of surprise over a Fatah-associated group conspiring to assassinate Ehud Olmert? It's all brinkmanship, showmanship, and idle theatre.

Swept under the rug for accommodation of a perceived need at a dire time, but resurrected at another time to impact on a very uncomfortable summit where Prime Minister Olmert knows he cannot deliver even a modicum of accommodation toward meeting the PA's demands without losing his own core support. Thus his early warning alert, not to expect much to arise out of the forthcoming summit.

And who're we kidding, that the PA is committed to respecting its negotiations with Israel? Its haranguing and demands will continue with the usual determination to scream loud and long about entitlements until the adversarial rather than collegial exchanges result, in the minds of the PA negotiators, in the complete capitulation of the Israelis to the PA's demands.

The PLO, Fatah, the PA have no idea what balanced accommodation means.

They have no intention whatever to submit to any kind of fair negotiating procedures or any kind of arbitration that might result from the Annapolis Summit and the presence of U.S., French, German, Russian and E.U. representatives. Along with those of the Arab world, invited also to attend this exercise in frustrated illogicality.

It's all very well, to caution, as Nicolas Sarkozy did, echoing the very same statements issued by his confreres, that it's past time to settle the problem, but how to achieve such a settlement without succumbing completely to irrational demands that one side accept all the other's demands and think of this is a balanced and fair accommodation?

Clearly, Israel badly requires some other representatives with whom to bargain for peace, not the current body which so obviously spurns peace by claiming it will launch another spurt of violence against Israel should Israel prove by rejecting all the PA demands that it is not interested in peace. The responsibility to accept illogical and state-fatal demands is placed on Israel, with no dissenting voices heard from other-state interlocutors.

Do the Palestinians feel that they too require another prime representative with whom to bargain for what they obstinately consider their rights to begin with? Do they think that Netanayahu or Barak will deliver to them all that they stringently demand with no obligations on their part to reciprocate and surrender some of their own aspirational yearnings?

Might this have given them the confidence to encourage Fatah's terror-linkages to launch an assassination attempt on Olmert? Clumsy, impolitic, ragingly stupid in full characteristic of too many of the PA's representatives - demonstrating their incapacity for governance, let alone negotiating "in good faith" with a government from whom they wish to extract concessions.

Having to hold their feet to the fire to continue to incarcerate, let alone bring to justice the would-be executioners of that same head of government with whom they are engaging in negotiations. So much for integrity and honour. So much for reliability in representation and in bargaining.

So much for ongoing revelations of the backwardness and primitive mind-set of a people mired in tribal politics.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Insight: The physical world is actually a vast system of energy. It is a matter of seeing the human world as a vast competition for energy and thus for power. The Celestine Prophecy

There are those who contend that to be spiritual is to be religious; one cannot be separated from the other. And that may be so. Still, there is something about existence and the realization of one's life, its purpose, and the unification of all matter; the recognition of nature and physics, the combining of the spiritual and the natural world that has people struggling to identify the elusive truth of the meaning of life.

A problem of staggering proportions that was ably handled by Monty Python some while ago. But which yet besets us with the imponderable of the unknowable.

Are we merely accidents of nature that just happened to materialize through an ancient process of natural evolution and selection, no different than a similar process that produced the modern honeybee, an apple tree? Is matter, the stuff of the universe that adheres to form, to fashion everything that is familiar to us something mysteriously scientific and natural?

What else could it be? We are simply too limited in our ability to discern how truly complex nature is in her ability to produce various and diverse life forms, fitting them through trial and error to their physical, growing environments.

In steps mysticism to fill in the knowledge gaps and to ascribe to a higher spiritual power all the mysteries which humankind cannot decipher. In place of the evolutionary nature of nature itself rises the image of a great unknowable, all-powerful designer of ferocious imagery and brilliant capability.

That this divine image takes on the visage of a human being, a male human being, replacing the primitive belief in nature as a female nurturing force named Gaea, is not difficult to divine in that the construct of God is a man-made claim, a controlling mechanism of great political and social merit as a tool whereby populations may be manipulated for the greater good of the community at large.

It's all bunk. A comfy security blanket. Yet why not? If it works and people adhere to the message and find comfort in such faith, why not?

Modern seekers of the truth dredge up ancient texts to interpret their often ambiguous messages through the lens of new insight. Even going to great lengths to try to persuade the gullible and the intellectually malleable that new "manuscripts" of ancient lineage have been discovered, but certain authorities, groups in prominent political or social positions take steps to ensure these texts remain hidden.

Not entirely dissimilar to the claims of believers in extraterrestrial visitations that not-of-this-earth inhabitants and their peculiar aircraft have been found and spirited away in a government-secluded area to keep the knowledge of their existence from the great unwashed. Ostensibly with the understanding that should their existence be revealed, world-wide panic would ensue.

The Kabbalah text, written 1,900 years ago, predicted the whole 20th century would be in crisis and a new humanity would begin; the"forces that come to this world were completed and the crisis becomes tangibly felt. Perhaps we don't sense these things yet, but they've begun to unfold". Rav Michael Laitman

Now here are other figures who bring themselves and their truths to the public eye from time to time. And whose message is much sought-after and acclaimed by a public eager to believe. The Kabbalah, that ancient mystical, numerical text of Judaic piety is revealed by yet another practitioner as a science and philosophy, not necessarily a religious device. Thus opening its potential to the world at large, rather than imprisoning it forever in the realms of Jewish mysticism.

Adam, God's first living human sculpture of flesh and blood and soul marked the evolutionary beginnings of humankind. Then came Abraham purported to be the first Kabbalist, author of
The Book of Creation, according to Rav Michael Laitman. Who explains the existence of two worlds; the lower material world and the upper spiritual world.

Both worlds must be united to confer upon mankind all the benefits to be acquired in an ascendant evolutionary arc. And to avoid the descent into unspeakable chaos, hatred, universal madness.

Attaining to and investing in knowledge of the Kabbalah is the assured way to avoid predictions of continuous and rising fascism in the world, along with global environmental disasters. For nature and its constituents and the spiritual world are as one and must be seen and accepted as one, welcoming a higher evolutionary standard to bring humankind closer to the angels than the beasts that we are.

Others approach this entrance to the gateway of immortality of body and soul, fused with nature in an everlasting dance with destiny in other, albeit similar ways, with similar yearnings and cautions and outreach.
The Celestine Prophecy, for example by James Redfield, sets out very like backgrounds and mystical texts and uniting of the human soul with that of nature on the grandest of scales.

Aren't we suckers for a good tale?


Friday, October 19, 2007

Nazi Agenda Re-Appraised

Nothing is ever entirely black and white; one must recognize the grey areas, the nuances, the instances where an ideology may have created an atmosphere which encouraged something worthwhile in the general heat of its fiery credo of mayhem-bent destruction. Some say the devil was really God's alter ego, his sibling, simply more adventurous. One was given dominion over the universe, the other over its depths. Who is there prepared to launch an expedition of enquiry to prove this imponderable?

It's far simpler to look at the dimensions of human dementia, to weigh whether anything could conceivably be salvaged from an ideological regime convinced of its moral, human, social, political superiority. Insisting that its exalted place in the scheme of world history, culture, scientific endeavour, allied with the physical and cerebral quality of its people entitled it to conquer the world and impose upon it an ideal of great clarity.

Simply put, that the conquered world be prepared to submit to an armada of men and women representative of a new era, a super-race whose purpose it would be to ennoble humankind and at the same time supervise world events and the lesser inhabitants of that world. In the process unleashing a mechanistic army prepared to do the bidding of an arch sociopath who had the saving grace of great personal charisma.

Laying siege to one country after another, then graciously accepting their surrender. While bombing cities, marching into sovereign but ill-defended countries, toppling one government after another and installing its own puppet regimes. Assembling in primitive mass camps any deemed sub-human; homosexuals, tramps, political adversaries, gypsies and mental deficients, alongside the weak and the ill - and oh yes, the greater European Jewish community.

Consigning them by the millions to a well-orchestrated and documented oblivion. Prudently setting aside their clothing, gold fillings, and other personal possessions. Utilizing flayed human skin for lamp shades, and bones for soap in a war-hungry economy. While the air of Europe stifled and stank with decomposing bodies, with the chimney-stench of the crematoria.

That was the nasty side of the Third Reich. But the side that many Germans wish to cling to is far different. This was the paternalistic governance of a health freak, who launched a propaganda campaign to entice its Aryan supermen to eschew tobacco; frankly bad for one's health. And speaking of health, an administration that pertly taught its population the benefits of eating well and exercising to encourage a healthier mind and body.

Which also touted the great benefits to society of ensuring that women did what women do best: look after their menfolk, cook and clean the household, raise children for the thousand-year reality-in-the-making. An administration that ridiculed music and the arts of a modern "unrepresentational" bent as corrupt, and looted great art of the ages for the greater good of the Fatherland.

But it also built factories and highways to move goods, and railroads to move people in cattle cars to certain destinations. A bustling economy ensued that employed far greater numbers of people than were formerly able to fend for themselves in a pre-war depressed economy. This has always been a nation proud of its cultural, artistic and scientific achievements. It has always known itself destined for greatness.

Somewhat hobbled in its ascent and humbled by the downfall, after 1945. Germans have a reputation for nostalgia. Not surprising then that there has been a renaissance of Nazi memorabilia, a growing appreciation for all the "good" things that transpired through the intervention of Nazi German in national affairs. Germans are finding political correctness grating and tedious.

They yearn to express themselves. So now greater numbers of German citizens find themselves finally prepared to publicly utter support, however limited, for some elements of National Socialism: lower crime rates, full employment, respect for family values. On balance that Germany back then was self-confident and full of itself. It's tiresome having to admit to oneself that German aspirations and self-entitlements led to a time of vividly cruel violence and undeniable genocidal excesses in human failure.

The headline "Nazis not all bad, 1 in 4 Germans say" is dispiritingly disappointing. Surprising? Alas, no.

Labels: , , ,

The Legions of Child Molesters

There's the dread impact on children whose childhoods are stolen from them through the predatory violence of sociopaths of all types. When ordinary people think of instances of child abuse most often threats, beatings and most dreadful of all the categories, pedophilic activities targeting children of all ages. Yet there are other ways in which children's lives become forfeit. Through the deadly, deliberate religious indoctrination of fanatical Islamists.

Wait: there is a religious element most often present, but at times, in the Middle East, and particularly from among the Palestinians there's also a political-ideological co-efficiency at work. Which results in Palestinian children being taught that their lives and those of their families are utter miseries, and their dreadful want of security, adequate food and housing has its genesis in the creation of the State of Israel.

Israel is indelibly indicted as an evil, blood-sucking presence, whose government and people are intent on destroying the Palestinian people, by first withholding from them all that is legitimately theirs by historic and legal inheritance, then by slowly strangling any opportunities for economic and social and political freedom and advancement in the world.

The enemy is obvious, the souls of the young are seared and scorched for life in the tenets of hatred as they are taught to become avenging angels whom God will be pleased to welcome.

Martyrdom becomes the most sacred aspiration of these children steeped deeply in the caustic cauldron of blame and hate. They become entranced with the myth of personal response resulting in the acceptance of the future role of martyr. For it will be by their unerring determination that they will rescue their families from want, and bring honour to their families' names, along with their own.

Just as they are taught to honour the names and deeds of other, earlier martyrs to the cause.

Yet another wonderful programme for children has been aired on Hamas TV (Al-Aqsa), an inspirational drafting mechanism meant to achieve success in instilling a longing for honour and martyrdom in impressionable young children. This latest production, out of Saudi Arabia was aired on October 12. It airs like a dramatic play with a chorus of children singing:
"We are not afraid of the soldiers, we are all steadfast. We are not afraid of the soldiers; we are all steadfast in this this land... We demand our right, and we carry our school bags. We demand our right, and we carry our school bags. On our way we take the risk, and hide stones next to notebooks."
A sole voice: "My little brothers, how long will we continue to let the occupier kill us by hunger and siege?" The chorus responds: "By hunger and siege... By killing and destruction..."

"No to the oppression and to the occupation, oh child killer. No to the oppression and to the occupation, oh child killer. The army of immorality will not defeat the stone. The army of immorality will not defeat the stone no matter how much you shoot. We will continue to follow the footsteps of the martyr. In the battlefield of freedom, our determination is strong and resolute. By hatred and harm, the tragedy will be buried."
Preparing and grooming the children to accept the understanding that their implacable enemies wishing them death and destruction must be dealt with. Instilling in them the faith that their righteous determination is unassailable, that God will protect them. They become impervious to harm through their spiritual dedication to the cause.

The children are enamoured of the drama and the trust placed in them to aid their families, their community to overcome the malevolent intent of the enemy. This careful guiding hand to self-destruction through instilling a martyrdom-complex in the young does its work, stealing the futures of these children.

The psychopaths who lead these children into a life of violent revolt against a perceived enemy are really no little different than the psyche-wracked sexual predator who steals a child's innocence and leaves a hollow shell with a bleak future. While society stands back in horror at the violently sexual assaults children are submitted to by child predators, there appears to be little reaction to the subsuming of children's lives into the war of violent territorial reprisals practised by socially primitive groups of terrorists.

And while fundamentalist Islamist groups like Hamas, encouraged and abetted by fundamentalists in Iran, in Syria, in Saudi Arabia enlist the media and dramatic plays to capture the hearts and minds of impressionable young children to their cause, secular groups like Fatah practise their own brand of educational grooming to unrealistic, unreasonable, hate-driven excess.

Fatah-controlled Palestinian television recently featured a map in which the entirety of Israel is presented as Palestinian. Fatah is announcing their intent to demand far more for a future Palestinian State than merely the West Bank and Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Quite in accord with their message to the Palestinian people that there is no legal entity titled Israel, there is only "Palestine" whose existence has been stifled by an impostor-state.

The Palestinian population has been encouraged to believe, both verbally and through visual presentations that they will prevail; their resolve will result in a world without Israel, when the geography is finally transformed and reverted back to Palestine. This is a message that is repeated time and again, in school books, children's programmes, crossword puzzles, video clips, formal symbols, school and street names ad infinitum.

Informing, securing and reinforcing an idea and an intent into reality.

While bargaining "in good faith" with Israel to mutually-agreed-upon exchanges that will ostensibly satisfy the needs of both - the existing nation and the nascent one - while assuring the world that it aspires to have its sovereign nation recognized alongside that of its neighbour, the agenda is otherwise for home consumption.

Terrorists' memories have been immortalized through the naming of streets within the PA. PA textbooks refer to the "Israel-is-Palestine" illusion.

"Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel." This blatantly unalloyed statement of false accusation and searing hatred exists in a 12th-grade instruction book within the PA.

Al Hayat al Jadida includes clues such as "a Palestinian city" in crossword puzzles, with the appropriate response being, Haifa, Lod and Ashkelon, all current Israeli cities existing within the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel. Another clue identifies Yad Vashem Holocaust Centre as a "Jewish center for eternalizing the Holocaust and the lies".

Somewhat unsurprising since the Fatah head of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas's Master's thesis was on the myth of the Holocaust.

Raising generation after generation of hate-dedicated children taxed to graciously relinquish their lives for the greater glory of Palestinian sovereignty of the greater geography encompassing the Jewish state as well as those areas which the United Nations conferred to the Palestinians in 1948 and which they rejected outright.

The vilest of the vile.

Labels: , , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet