Monday, November 30, 2009

Islamic Grievances

Islam feels itself under siege from the infidels and the Jews. All conspiring to dishonour and to continue to oppress them. They long for the reinstitution by whatever means, of global power. The Muslim ummah has accepted what their trusted clerics, their scholars and their politicians have embraced; that Muslims have been hard done by traditionally, and they now, once again, face an organized conspiracy to belittle their faith and the founder of their faith, and to keep Muslim countries in a perpetual state of colonialism.

The propaganda serves a function. It enables dictators and totalitarian rulers, clerical tyrants to turn the frustrated anger of Muslims toward the outside, not the interior, where their civic needs and freedoms are held in abeyance for the greater good of those who rule. It also diverts Muslims in general, and Muslim academics in particular, from the necessity to clean house. The suspicion in which Islam is now viewed in the world outside its own religious house of worship has been well earned.

Young Muslim men who cannot find employment, who see no future for themselves in stagnant economies where the population is fodder for the ambitions of those who rule, are also ready recruits for the call of jihad. The smouldering resentment of champions of fundamentalist Islam, the Wahaabi-Salafist fanatics whose hatred of the West and all its achievements leading to a declaration of war has introduced the world to terror on a new scale of fear and suspense.

Muslim scholars would have it that the Christian Crusaders laid cruel waste to what Islam held dear. Overlooking entirely that the Crusades were instituted as a reaction to hundreds of years of violent and victorious jihad when Muslims engaged in destroying churches, converting them into mosques, the famous Byzantine Hagia Sophia among them. Their Eleventh-Century Caliph destroyed all the most holy of Christian churches and landmarks, building mosques above them.

Much as the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built upon the ruins of the Second Temple of Solomon on Judaism's most sacred symbol, the Temple Mount. Muslim scholars have been denying ever since, that there ever existed the two temples, claiming the area always to have been Islamic.
There has been an active conspiracy in the Palestinian Authority to remove all vestiges of archaeological evidence that Judaism had a ancient presence in Jerusalem, with the intent of eliminating all traces of links with the Temple Mount.

Not only was there a Muslim grand mufti who wrote acknowledgement in the 1920s that there was irrefutable proof of the Temple Mount's Judaic heritage, but an Arab university lecturer and writer is currently in hiding for fear for his life as a result of publishing a book linking Jews with the Temple Mount. "The legendary Temple of Jerusalem may be the place of the Presence of the Almighty and where the High Priests served Him." This does not sit well with the Arab Palestinian insistence that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are Palestinian.

New research by medievalists reveals that the Crusades were not exercises in barbarism but represented an elaborate theology of protection of Christian nations actively being threatened by a surge of Muslim invaders who had reached far into Europe, from France in the 8th Century to Vienna in the 16th and 17th Centuries. In the process, the Muslim hordes in their holy jihad desecrated Christian shrines and churches, general persecuting the Christian faithful.

Much, in actual fact, as is occurring now, with current-day Muslim countries persecuting their minority Christian populations, destroying churches and murdering their clerics. The Taliban famously destroyed several world-heritage ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan, and present-day Palestinian Arabs deface and destroy ancient Judaic artefacts and places of ancestral worship.

But the religions are not that far distanced from each other; while in antiquity the Crusaders felt that in taking part in the crusades, they would redeem their souls there is the modern counterpart. Just as current-day jihadis believe in their fanatical embrace of Islamism that murdering innocents, both Muslim and non-Muslim, they become martyrs, welcomed in Paradise.

Osama bin Laden exults in spreading the Muslim-palatable propaganda that a global Caliphate is at hand, calling the faithful to respond to the call for holy jihad, blaming foreign interests for "gaining control over the Islamic holy places and the Holy Sanctuaries, and hegemony over the wealth and riches of our ummah". The faithful are called to respond, to take back what is theirs and in the process restore Islam to its former glory.

That the infidels have gained control over holy places and sanctuaries must be news to Saudi Arabia, and would logically, have to be absurd to the two and a half million Muslim faithful who have just concluded the hajj, and are returning from Mecca. This is a propaganda war fully as much as it is an existential war between East and West.

The more gullible and emotional Islam's followers, the less opportunity for sanity to prevail.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Oppressor, the Oppressed

Canada's first convicted Islamic terrorist, Mohammad Momin Khawaja, sentenced by an Ontario judge to a 10½ year stay at a maximum prison under the Anti-terrorism Act for financing and facilitating terrorism on the basis of evidence that clearly demonstrated his commitment to violent jihad, has his defenders. Unsurprisingly, they are the members of his family.

After his arrest in March 2004, Mr. Khawaja spent five years in secure custody awaiting trial and sentencing. While incarcerated, he studied the Holy Koran, taught Islam to others in the same prison - it has been assured by those who have such information that he taught a fanatical brand of Islam - and doing physical work-outs to keep himself in physical shape. He has also enrolled in continuing education, sharpening his mind as well.

Neither wasting away, wasting his time entirely, nor wasting opportunities to speak for the Islam of jihad. Yet his father, Mahboob Khawaja, claims his son to have been badly misunderstood, and erroneously charged by a vengeance-seeking government, wreaking terror on Muslims in general and his innocent son in particular. The family head bemoans his family's social, emotional and financial state of collapse.

All due to a vindictive and oppressive government practising a "racist policy adventure aimed exclusively at terrorizing the Muslim people and nobody else." One imagines his view not to be widely held among Ottawa's large Muslim demographic, since he also makes mention of the distance between his family and other members of the Muslim community since the sensational revelations at his son's trial.

The Government of Canada, he claims bitterly, has decided to inflict terror on Muslims. Due to the unfortunate "ignorance, misinformation and incompetence on the part of the intelligence police apparatus". All the evidence gained in the initial search of the Khawaja household revealing the eldest son's dedication to radical Islam and violent jihad were simply coincidental to a curious young man's innocent playing with fire.

The Khawaja family is "law-abiding", and always has been. Involved with their local mosque, decent members of Canadian society, whose 'immature' son simply took it upon himself to explore his parents' culture and traditions a little too deeply, succumbing to the Internet glamour of active intervention against the kuffars slaughtering innocent Taliban and members of al-Qaeda. Obviously making light of the decent values imbibed at home.

In his own emailed words to a fellow jihadi, he described Osama Bin Laden as being " the most beloved person to me in the whole world, after Allah". However, his indulgent father, knowing how malleable and romantic young men are, explains that his naive son was simply confused, vulnerable to exploitation by British conspirators who drew him into a plot he knew no details of.

"Momin is friendly, disciplined, honest and the embodiment of superb creative thinking, morally strong ... and dedicated to do good to society." Quite the fond description of a man who plotted to help destroy countless lives through his creative tinkering with cellphones in a disciplined determination to build a bomb detonator, among his other friendly and honest exploits.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Soft War Solutions

Start with the children, teach them pride in who and what they are, their traditions and their culture. Those children will eventually mature into adults, and with that indelible pride educated into their robust little heads, they will inevitably become the stalwart adults upon whom the society, the country and its administrators can rely. To further advantage the country in all its aspirational determinations.

In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran that would translate as additional members of the Basij militia. And, of course, proud recruits for the Republican Guard. Many may even aspire and direct their educations toward the theological end of things and become respected clerics, perhaps even a future Grand Ayatollah, who knows? All of them, according to plan, should resist the impulse, however, to question the authority of their totalitarian rulers.

Many may become journalists, prepared and more than willing to educate the masses by the dissemination of all dictates emanating from the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution. Should that Utopian Islamist state emerge, there will no longer be any need for the Iranian media to be warned what they personally and professionally risk by publishing anything damaging to the image of the state's leaders.

Iran has a very busy agenda. While training, aiding and abetting terrorist militias in Lebanon and Gaza, the better to enable the geography to elevate itself toward acceptance of an Imperial Islamist Iran, it must also render adequate attention to the scientific advancement of the nation through the attainment of nuclear armament.

In the process, needless to say, fend off all accusatory denunciations attempting to pierce the armour of the country's determination to succeed. The United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States, the European Union, above all that snivelling Zionist entity have all conspired to slander the good name of the Iranian Revolution.

And by so doing, insult Islam, a matter that Ayatollah Khamenei does not take lightly. "The enemy has put soft war on its agenda after its arrogance faced failure in confronting the Islamic establishment during the first decade after the Islamic Revolution. As long as there is Basij, the Islamic republic will not face any threat."

The plan is wonderfully well envisaged. Six thousand Basij militia centres will be placed in elementary schools for the purpose of promoting the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. Head of the student and cultural section of the Basij explains "students of this age are more open to influence than older students, and for this reason we want to promote and establish the ideas of the revolution and the Basij."

Get them while they're young and impressionable, vulnerable to the flattery of invitation to honourably defend their traditions, their nation in its time of need; nationalistic patriotism burns hotly in the juvenile breasts of all children, none more fervently than those of Islam's children. Who will embrace the very thought of self-dedication to jihad and sacrifice while annihilating Islam's enemies.

Artists and teachers have been forewarned by Ayatollah Khamenei that the "atmosphere of sedition" which they contumaciously bring to the streets of the nation will not be countenanced in the nation's volcanic battle between itself and the evil influences of the West. Their numbers will be purged, and they will be re-Islamized, along with the educational system.

Academics and the media must also look to purge themselves of their secular influences so harmful to the youth of the country and ultimately to the Islamist character of the nation.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Cling To Backwardness, Resentment and Denial

Special Dispatch - No. 2670
November 27, 2009 No. 2670
Saudi Prince: A Curse on Anyone Who Seeks to Institute Western Democracy in Saudi Arabia

In an op-ed in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, Saudi Prince Saud bin Mansour bin Saud bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz [1] took on Saudi and Arab liberals and reformists and the Western ideal of democracy. Without naming names, he said that these people were promoting Western democracy despite all its flaws and despite the fact that Islam is vastly superior. Calling democracy "demo-khratiyya" (i.e. "demo-mendacity"), the prince said that writers who criticized Saudi Arabia needed an "ideological bloodletting" to purge them of their corrupt ideas.

Following are translated excerpts from his article: [2]

"Democracy according to their interpretation [that is, that of the Arab reformists] is a Western social regime that works for the interests of the majority, under many protections and conditions, in order [to enable] political stability, development and advancement, as well as reduced corruption, poverty and hunger, and freedom of expression. This freedom is always plastered like a placard on the wall of democracy - in [full] knowledge that Plato called it the rule of the people for itself and by itself.

"Most unfortunately, some of the Arab media mouthpieces are trumpeting [democracy] as a means of [progress], forgetting that democracy's principles include that of separation of religion and state. They enslave the term [i.e. democracy] to their own twisted interests, and to their prattling that gives their listeners a headache.

"Have the owners of these mouthpieces [i.e. the Arab media] forgotten that Islam laid out an order that is incompatible with foreign ideology, and that it is a sound and pure religion - and that the respect for the individual in Islam... is supreme? [Have they forgotten that Islam] is the best source for the appropriate freedom and for [ideals of] humanity, and that it is the best protector of mankind?

"Those who hasten to endorse the Western 'openness' - whose arrows appear gentle but [carry] a fatal load - have they forgotten our principles and our clarity? Have [these people] not noticed that the West is always marketing democracy as a secular and civil system, not a religious [system]? [Struck by] waves of political Alzheimer's, they keep telling us that Islam is not democratic.

"A curse on anyone who wants to enforce this demo-khratiyya on all political and constitutional issues. A curse on all those dictatorships that masquerade as demo-khratiyya in order to destroy what they define as third-world countries!

"It should be remembered that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Custodian of the Two Holy Places, and that the sons or residents of the homeland have never been denied their rights. Our country's structure is perfect [thanks to] Islam, which has established the [concept of] shura [i.e consultation] and the protection of rights, freedom, justice and anything [else] of value, as laid down by this generous religion."

"Members of the Arab and Muslim media are miserly when it comes to highlighting this Islamic freedom, and do not present our just Islamic system. Let us be more mature than these ideas, that lead a divisive and cheap style aimed at dividing the country into factions and groups.

"How can we be indifferent to the fact that the various Arab media are replete with booby-trapped imported ideas?! Not to mention the perversion represented by video clips or [soap operas], which some people look forward to more than the month of Ramadan itself so that they can enjoy the garbage of those artists, marketers, and actors. All this is aimed at dismantling religious obligation, under the slogan of democracy.

"...Most of our Arab media platforms [are filled with] sensationalism, exchange of insults, debauchery, agitation, fitna [i.e. civil strife], perversion, and reactionism. We read amazing things written by some [Saudi] writers, in which the term 'the Saudis' is used in a generalizing manner to include anything disgraceful, and anything that crosses red lines.

"These writers need an ideological bloodletting in order to remove [their] corrupt ideas. They must be taught not to generalize like ignoramuses.

"Oh my country, rush to glory and grandeur by having your sons cling to Islam, Arabness, and Saudiness!"

[1] The prince is the great-grandson of the founder of the Saudi kingdom 'Abd Al-'Aziz (ruled 1932-1953) and the grandson of King Saud (ruled 1953-1964).

[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), October 19, 2009

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Think About It

Special Dispatch - No. 2671
November 27, 2009 No. 2671
Saudi Liberal: The Muslims' Sense of Moral Superiority Is Unfounded

In a recent article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, Saudi liberal Muhammad Jamil Kutbi wrote that the Arabs and Muslims are unjustified in regarding themselves as morally superior to the West. He argued that although Islam champions values such as equality, justice and charity, the West actually surpasses the Muslim world at implementing these values.

Following are excerpts from the article. [1]

"...We Arabs and Muslims see the Jews and Christians as people who do not acknowledge or fear Allah, and are not ashamed before Him. We also falsely accuse the Westerners, the Christians, and the Jews of being liars, forgers, criminals, and money lenders who charge usurious interest rates.

"But when we look reality in the face and follow the developments [in the world], when we examine the facts as they are and investigate the Muslim and Arab reality in which we live - including all the exaggerations, [empty] statements, faults, flaws and problems - we discover that, though we are called Muslims, we do not truly embody the qualities, values and principles of Islam...

"We claim that the Westerners love money and material things, while we Muslims are better than they are: we are ascetic, pious and charitable. As an example, we present one of the Prophet's companions, 'Abd Al-Rahman bin 'Awf, who was known to possess great wealth but donated half of it to the cause of jihad for the sake of Allah. We Muslims take great pride in his example.

"But today there is a Westerner named Bill Gates, owner of the world's richest and most powerful computer company, who gave away all his wealth, leaving only $3 billion for himself. [The rest] he donated to the poor and the needy, and to social organizations. Now, in the Arab and Muslim world there are hundreds of wealthy people like him, who appear on the list of the world's billionaires. But we never heard of them performing a humanitarian act like that of Bill Gates. Where are these wealthy Muslims [when it comes to performing] human, Islamic and civilized acts of this kind?

"The Arabs accuse the West of loving the [pleasures] of this world and of pursuing power, but that is not true. It is we Arabs who love and sanctify power. It is we who invented the concept of hereditary rule. Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan, the first Caliph of the Ummayad Dynasty, was the first who created and shaped [this concept]. This Arab greed [for power] is insatiable and is the cause of internal conflicts, wars and problems.

"Let me point out incidentally that [in 1945,] the British people did not [reelect] their famous leader [Winston Churchill], who was prime minister during World War II, even though he had brought them victory [in that war]."

"We Arabs claim to be a nation that does not cheat, lie or deceive, but the Arab leadership, which regards itself as a model for emulation, [certainly] lies and deceives. [The late Egyptian] president Gamal Abdel Nasser was the first Arab leader to invent the concept of forging elections, giving himself 99.9% [of the votes]...

"The Arab and Muslim judiciary system regards itself as the purest, noblest and best in the world. But in reality it is just the opposite. [This system] is nothing but deception and fraud, and it is controlled by the regimes and their associates.

"The Western judiciary system is better. A Paris court [recently] rejected a lawsuit by French President [Nicolas] Sarkozy, and [the latter], despite his authority and clout as president, was not able to force the court to rule in his favor and according to his will.

"The Prophet Muhammad said, 'By Allah, if [my own daughter] Fatima bint Muhammad had stolen, I would have cut off her hand.' This is the nature of a just and equal society according to Islam, and these are the values and principles of Muslim rule."

"But the Muslim nation does not implement these values and principles of justice and equality between the rulers and the ruled. [In today's Muslim world,] the ruler does whatever he pleases, however he pleases, and whenever he pleases.

"The Jews, on the other hand, are better than we Arabs and Muslims [in this respect]. [Former] Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was indicted and tried for accepting bribes and for abusing his political office, and was forced to resign from his party and from his post as prime minister, in a political scandal that ended his career. This is the lexicon of justice and equality."

"What would have happened in our Arab and Muslim countries if some leaders were brought to trial? Think about it, and don't be too angry when you realize the answer. You will eventually arrive at the realization that we are a nation without an identity or future, and without essence, power, opinion, morality, values or principles..."

[1] Al-Siyassa (Kuwait), October 24, 2009.

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Reverse Invasion

Isn't it perfectly perverse that countries that had once invaded other countries suddenly notice that those whom they had colonized, their land occupied, their natural resources absorbed, their people oppressed and then finally left to their own collapsed devices and bitterness, seek now to successfully reverse-colonize the geographies of the imperialists. Isn't there a kind of serene justice in that scenario? Yes. And no.

Is it enough that the former colonial powers repent their historical mastery of presence over the far less-advanced and vulnerable countries and populations they once lorded? Is it surprising that the memories of those who were once oppressed, although generations removed, stagnate in resentment? History does not have a habit of overturning itself; what has been done is forever done, and one looks to the future.

Europe, once so fractured by borders, heritage, traditions, language and culture, is suddenly a study in co-operation and co-ordination of resources and entitlements. That same Europe that finds itself struggling with the realization that it has been inundated with a gradual migration of their former colonies' inhabitants, seeking a better life for themselves.

Muslims from Turkey and the Balkans now represent four percent of the Swiss population, steadily accumulating a commanding presence in the past three decades. There are now 150 mosques and prayer rooms in that small, exclusive and very entitled country. The Swiss are alarmed at the non-absorption into their society of the faithful of Islam. They fear an eventual backlash a la Denmark to their resistance of the presence of minarets.

France, with its loathsome banlieues and their vast resentful fire-bombing youth, where North African Arabic is as oft-heard as French, agitates against the growing presence of mosques, in particular the $30-million Grand Mosque of Marseille. France's traditional culture is in the process of drowning in a vast and growing sea of anti-assimilationist Muslims, clinging to their own culture, traditions, religious ideology.

Western Europe is uneasily witnessing steadily expanding communities of Muslim immigrants, eschewing the greater social culture, values, and mores of the general community, and asserting their own. The diligent activities of mosque-building and clerical haranguing, of Islamic meeting houses, restaurants, the insertion of Muslim academics in hallowed halls of higher learning, are creating unease and distress.

Must then, the immigrant populations continue meeting in temporary and inadequate premises, rented halls, home basements, garages, to accommodate their need for consolidating their presence in their adopted countries, whose mores and values they have no need for? Is there a need to halt the inevitable? Is there any civilized manner in which social integration can be accomplished?

Europe is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. Nothing can now stem the resolve,the living, teeming tide of reverse occupation; once the imperialist masters, now the reluctant hosts.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Exchange of What?

Was anything ever more inequitable? In exchange for one young man, a member of the Israeli Defence Forces who was captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid in June of 2006, an anxious government in Israel determined to honour an unspoken pact that exists between the country and its people, is prepared to release from its prisons over a thousand incarcerated enemies. Incarcerated for the quite acceptable reason that each of those individuals attempted - or was successful in their attempt - to murder Israelis.

Gilad Shalit's father has been unceasing in his dedicated manipulation of public emotion in his country over the abduction. It was that abduction in part, that led to an unsuccessful military operation - also for the purpose of halting the incessant lobbing of rockets into Israel - Cast Lead, in Gaza. Where searches for Gilad Shalit were unsuccessful, and the cessation of rocket attacks partially successful. Negotiators, from the Red Cross to Egypt, have intervened to help Israel secure the release of Shalit.

Hamas is impervious to calls to conscience, and knows very well that Israel functions as a state to protect its own. Unequal trades between Israel's militant adversaries have taken place before, where Israel has handed over hundreds of those imprisoned because of attacks on the state and its citizens, to secure the release of even the body of a dead Israeli. Many of those released returned to the triumphant victory hurrahs of Palestinian terrorist supporters.

Who celebrate the murders of children and innocent civilians simply because they are Jews, and as Jews, guilty by default of intent to demolish the aspirations of Arab Palestinians to once again secure the entirety of the geography as their own. Not that it ever was quite their own, since they were dominated and governed by Egypt and Jordan, but that is to quibble.

In any event, Hamas prides itself on driving a hard bargain. How much harder can you get than offering the life of one quivering captive, still alive however, for the well-cared-for prisoners of Israeli jails in their hundreds who aspire to pick up, given their freedom, where they left off? The plan is for a release of a total of 1,150 Palestinians in three stages.

The immediate release of 450 hard-core militants. And then Sergeant Shalit will be released to Egypt, while Israel will release the remainder of the prisoners in a two-stage lapse. And at that time Sergeant Shalit will be returned to Israel. Among those to be released is Marwan Barghouti, an immensely popular Fatah leader serving five life terms for planning the murders of Israeli settlers. Barghouti is seen as a potential future PA president.

He is, moreover, fairly stringent in his aspirations, prepared to urge upon the Palestinians continuing armed conflict with Israel, as push-back against their oppressors, while at the same time undertaking peace negotiations. His freedom might just present the opportunity that Palestinians have been awaiting, to wave farewell to distrusted current President Mahmoud Abbas, and to forge ahead with a more militant Barghouti.

Hopes for peace on the worn backs of two depressed and fast-losing-hope populations. Each of which likely hopes for a cessation of uncertainty and violence in their futures. Each of which longs for the opportunity to live normal lives, to aspire for their children's futures, enriched by new opportunities. Each trapped in the mire of suspicion and the living memory of incendiary hatred and vicious blow-back.

Where the balance of power lies is puzzling to ascertain. The stronger bows to the weaker. Enabling the weaker to wrest additional compromises from the stronger. So which, in the final analysis, is the strong, which the weak? One cares deeply for public opinion on the world stage, yet is flayed constantly by demands for submission. The other cares little for international opinion, yet has become inordinately skilled at manipulating it to their benefit.

Somewhere in that dreadful morass of human emotions at their very worst, may conceivably lie liberation from ever-looming doom.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From Within And Without

Canada's RCMP Commissioner William Elliot warned recently of the presence of covert cells linked to Hezbollah operating within Canada. He warned further of the very real potential for those cells to lead to violence within the country. "While Hezbollah has not articulated any specific grievance with Canada, from its perspective any state that supports Israel or Israeli interests is the enemy, which casts a wide net."

Now the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has, after a long investigation, arrested ten people from New York, New Jersey, Lebanon and Venezuela as part of a Hezbollah cell involved in arms dealing and depositing counterfeit American funds into Canadian banks. The criminal indictments against the arrested felons include money laundering, fencing of stolen cars and cellular phones, laptops and computer games, along with counterfeiting of U.S. currency.

There are clear implications that Iran and Syria have been heavily involved in Hezbollah's illicit network of arms importation, where guns were to have been shipped to a Syrian port. An FBI agent, working undercover directly with the principals was informed that "Hezbollah receives a great deal of money from Iran", that they "maintain small cells throughout the world". Taking credit, as an example, for the bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina.

"The allegations contained in this complaint demonstrate how terrorist organizations rely on a variety of underlying activities to fund and arm themselves", according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney. The apprehended were in the process of arranging the shipment of
1,200 Colt M-4 machine guns through Syria to Hezbollah, along with selling passports, among them a Canadian one, to raise the needed funding.

The counterfeit U.S. currency was claimed by one of the ringleaders, to have been manufactured in Iran. Hezbollah is, of course, outlawed in Canada, formally listed as a terrorist group, charged with car bombing, high-jacking and kidnapping activities in Europe, South America and Israel. None of which will disturb their reputation for righteously challenging Israel's right to exist.

There are complicitly ingenuous Canadians whose left-wing consciences have succumbed to the myth of the oppressor-and-the-oppressed, happy to embrace the slander of Zionism as racism, of Israel as a brutal oppressor, and who go out of their way, through their associations with trade unions, academic circles and student associations, to violate Jewish students' rights, and to hail the imposition of boycotts against Israel.

The boycotting of businesses that carry Israeli goods. The boycotting of Israeli academics from Canadian institutes of higher learning. Even a Canadian-owned business with nationwide locations, like Mountain Equipment Co-op, is being isolated by pro-Palestinian protesters in a nation-wide effort by leftist sympathizers and anti-Semites, to boycott Israeli-made goods.

From public-relations thrusts to marginalize; socially, economically and politically harm and isolate Israel, and to equate Zionism and anyone who supports it with racism, to covert activities for fund-raising to support terrorist jihadists, and to gain new adherents to the international cause of jihad, the Western-based public is assailed at every turn.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The World Their Stage

The West is so fond of its embrace of freedom of thought, of expression, of association and of the right to state in public whatever it is one embraces, that it appears not at all troubled that it provides a very public forum for those who despise the democratic ideal, enabling fervent jihadists to scoop the global media with their repugnantly malicious agenda. There's a compelling story to be had, and disseminated - after all, isn't that what news is all about?

Contorting and using the values that freedom-loving democracies hold dear, their enemies have become amazingly skilled at manipulating the guilt-syndrome that appears to be so prevalent in society and their administrations, compelling an agreement that equality of opportunity to vent be available to even those whose determination it is to increase the numbers of dedicated jihadists through spreading the good word of triumphalist jihad.

When Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. made his announcement that the five 'alleged' (the incessant use of that word to describe those incarcerated for crimes and awaiting trials, even while they may have offered agreement of guilt, expresses in and of itself the delicacy of feeling that society now offers the accused - aside from fear of litigation for pre-trial presumption of guilt) 9/11 plotters would be tried by a federal court located in New York City, the accused must have felt they'd found that proverbial pot of gold at the end of their jihadist rainbow.

They now plan to rescind their proud expressions of guilty-as-charged, to one of 'not guilty'. Although inordinately pleased with their honourable and Islam-defensive goal of bringing mayhem, misery and terror to the Great Satan, and eager to embrace the blessed state of martyrdom they worked so diligently to achieve, that can wait upon their trial and the inevitable finding of guilt. In the meanwhile the opportunity to gift the world with the oratory of divine justice on behalf of Islam renascent is theirs.

They have generously been given the stage to damn the American occupation of Muslim countries. To condemn the Americans for their errant stupidity in continuing to support the Little-Satan-Zionist-entity. Standing now in the country that represents "oppression, torture and terror" through their "dark ages" incarceration in Guantanamo, they can point their accusatory fingers at the true world oppressor, the United States.

Skilfully and knowingly using the language of civil freedoms, covering themselves in an aura of righteous response to the indignity of a people and a religion scorned, degraded and denied their rightful place in the world of respect and power, they usurp the language and the values of those they hate and seek to destroy. With a great degree of success, enabling them to reach a wider audience of those ripe for radicalization.

Offering, in an aside, greetings to their commander-in-chief, Osama bin Laden, his highly respected deputy in al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Afghan Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar. Standing together as one, in strength of conviction, of purpose, representing the Ummah triumphant in Islamofascism.

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Suffer The Children

What else do children require more than anything else, absent love and care, but education. The lack of which ensures that ignorance will prevail, that no questions will erupt about traditions that don't serve their best interests. A situation guaranteed to prolong human suffering because of a lack of educational opportunities, ensuring that poverty, lack of initiative, endurance of the unendurable persists.

The first order of business of any society should be to educate the young. To give them the opportunity to learn, to absorb information that will be of value to them. Not circumscribed, religion-based rites, but to learn how to read, to write, to become numerate, to know something about the world around them. In a country whose religion inspires the politics of the nation, and which denies education to girl children, the resulting adult women remain social pawns.

In one of the poorest, most backward countries of the world, struggling to take itself out of the syndrome of persistent warfare and domination by foreign powers, followed by the clutch of religious extremists, girl children have traditionally been denied education. Boy children have been allowed an education that bears no resemblance to secular-based learning, but is steeped in oral recitation of Koranic precepts in a language they have no knowledge of.

In efforts to mitigate the sterile learning environment of Afghanistan's children Canada has so far built five schools with another 28 under construction, amid plans to build or to renovate another 50 schools by 2011, in Kandahar province. CARE International, in conjunction with the World Bank and the Government of Afghanistan has released new findings about the state of education in that country.

Attacks on schools in the country by the Taliban, by criminal groups, and through tribal infighting are on the increase; primarily, however, by the Taliban. The Afghan Ministry of Education has released information detailing 230 deaths as a result of attacks on schools between 2006 and 2007. While 19% of the country's schools are girls-only, they remain highly targeted, making up 40% of attacks.

There were 1,153 attacks on schools in the country, including poisonings, murders, acid attacks on schoolgirls, and rocket and grenade attacks between 2006 and 2008. That number is on the increase. Since 2009, 670 schools across the country have been closed; 65% to 81% as a result of security concerns in the southern provinces, where the Taliban have gained strength.

The country's Ministry of Education figures reveal that 203 teachers, principals and MoE district staff were shot dead between 2006 and 2008. In that same period one hundred and ten students were killed at school sites, or while on their way home from school.

"Arson predominates; according to the UNICEF database. Explosions take second place: grenades have been thrown through school windows, mines placed in school walls, and rockets fired at schools", according to the report.

This is the first study of its kind, a comprehensive look at the prevailing situation, with the hope of improving the system of education in the country. How that will be possible without the guarantee of security is beyond anyone's guess. One no-brainer is to build schools inside existing communities, not in isolated areas as is currently the practise.

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Serving Islam

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. Edmund Burke.

Of course the great philosopher knew little of radicalized Islam, and he spoke of politics, not the politics of religion and the intoxicating power of empowering grievance into hatred, revenge and bloodthirsty slaughter. Nor, likely, did he ever suspect that his country, and the countries nearby, and those across the oceans that share the democratic ideal; in short the westernized, liberalized, freedom-guaranteeing, human-rights supporting countries of the world, would be embattled by a bitter and vicious global jihadist movement.

How peculiar it is that the Islam that came to birth in the Middle East, then spread through the sword to Africa, Europe, the far East, steadfastly stagnated as a political, social, scientific, technological force after its initial successes. Literal and absolute acceptance of the Koran's indelible urgencies ensured that Muslims heeded the call to remain separate from unbelievers, while engaging in the jihad of speech and violent deed to convert.

How meet it is that Pakistan, whose people are scorned by Arabs for their misfortune of birth, has become the crucible of terror. Speaking Urdu, not the sacred language of the Koran, they function as the spear-bearers, the advance troops, to augment those of the Middle East, their brethren in global jihad. A jihad that is interrupted now and again as the factions turn their tribal ire on one another, lapsing in their recognition of their true enemy, viewing one another as religious traitors, apostates.

Yet there is a synchronicity here; where Pakistan loathes their powerful neighbour India as an oppressor, a belligerent and battle-ready nation eager to re-absorb Pakistan into its vast territory. While it is India, a hugely-diversely-populated democracy, that must pay heed to its defence from the violent offences directed by Pakistan through myriad state-sponsored jihadist militia proxies eager to destroy what it can of India and its peoples. That distrust, fear and hatred by Pakistan of India has been strained into the very bones and sinew of their people.

A comparison neatly made of Palestinian Arabs who have their very own powerful, albeit population-scant neighbour, the State of Israel, whom the Palestinians 'resist' as 'oppressors' waiting to pounce on the ill-done-by, grievance-suffused, self-pitying, and ultimately dynamically belligerent dispossessed. A dispossessed only too willing to remain as they are, to demonstrate to a sympathetic world their refugee status, victims of Zionism. While dedicating themselves to the 'resistance' of suicide bombing and rocket attacks.

Among the Salifist-dedicated Pakistanis, the jihadis of the Magreb, the Saudi-funded jihadis huddling in the mountainous regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan writ large is that incendiary, dearly-held sense of aggrieved entitlement. Entitlement to self-pity, aggrandized bitterness, hatred; entitlement to bloody revenge, the more horrific the more expressive of their self-entitled outrage against the world which has so signally, shabbily dishonoured them.

Stealthy infiltration of democractic societies by hellfire-breathing Islamist clerics instill the fever of social discord, the virus of the brotherhood of jihad in the conflicted minds of young Muslims caught between the societal values and mores of their foreign countries of birth, and the heritage, religion, and cultural values of their parents' homelands. The Internet as a gathering-place for sharing of intent and lethal-weapons construction is invaluable. Conspiracies caught on the cusp of enactment apprehend wishful jihadis who rage their spite.

Who declaim that their acts of revenge against the infidels, the Christians, the Zionists may be termed barbaric, or immoral or cruel, but they represent, in fact, in the eyes of fundamentalist Muslims, fanatical jihadists, and above all Allah, acts of restorative justice. There is no courage like that of the dedicated jihadists. Loving, embracing death as they do. They have no fear of what they do, visiting death upon others, for in this way they gain martyrdom.

Serving Islam.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Best-Laid Plans

Sanctions have not worked. Threats made no impression. The open hand was met with a clenched fist, and no little degree of contempt. The world body confesses to being stymied. The United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency blows hot and cold, and then cold, very cold. One solution after another is advanced, proffered, and rejected.

The latest proposed accommodation, that Iran's uranium be sent to Russia for enrichment at low grade, then be transformed into medical type isotopes and returned to Iran has been finally, summarily dismissed.

Iran has no need for the intervention of foreign interests in its internal affairs. As for international regulations, that too is of little interest to the Islamic Republic of Iran, for it answers only to one authority. And Allah has informed Iran through direct dialogue with Grand Ayatollah Khamenei that Islamic dignity and honour requires that the country acquire its own source of energy.

Inclusive of atomic weaponry, through which it may demonstrate its clear world-class presence and ultimately dominance.

And lest Israel - whom Iran has repeatedly placed on notice of its imminent departure from existence on Middle Eastern soil - take it into its Zionist-inspired determination to alter its own fate by opting for pre-emptive strikes, Iran is prepared. The threats advanced, immorally, illegally, insultingly against the country's known nuclear facilities will not be countenanced.

Iran stands more than prepared to repel any such attacks. Attempt to strike Bushehr, Isfahan or Fars and Tel Aviv will be reduced to rubble.

Uranium enrichment is Iran's right by divine destiny. Iran's great military capabilities, the professionalism of its Revolutionary Guards and its Basij militia are more than sufficient to ward off the ineffective, low-grade attempts of the Zionist entity. As Iran strikes Tel Aviv, Hezbollah will move from Lebanon, Hamas from Gaza in a pincer-movement of military precision.

Iranian air defence forces are prepared to annihilate any Israeli warplanes foolish enough to believe they can breach the country's technically advanced defence system. "Even if their planes escape and land at the bases from which they took off, their bases will be struck by our destructive surface-to-surface missiles."

Israel, the United States, the United Nations, the IAEA - are on stern admonitory notice.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Another version of the Stockholm syndrome has raised its head. Where freedom-loving, human-rights-advancing democracies, become so dedicated to their imperialist-past mea culpas, have convinced themselves that all the ills of the world have followed on their past wrong-doings, their beliefs in their superiority over the fortunes of less materially, technically-advanced countries of the world.

There is much to atone for. Equity must be advanced at any cost. Those who were previously preyed upon, whose countries' natural resources and riches were sacked by the countries of Europe and North America must now be courteously helped to ascend, and become unreservedly entitled to whatever their grievance-endowed grudges and victim-status allows. Well, in fact, they are permitted anything and everything.

What the West feels is compassionate sympathy extended to the underdog, the victimized, slavering for revenge, interprets as weakness. The formerly complacent overlord succumbing to weak-kneed supplicant begging forgiveness. Dissolving completely any vestige of perceived or actual advantage of superiority. Of direction, of societal moral compass, of economic and political and social mentoring.

Who are we to teach those whom we have wronged? The self-esteem of the West has been irremediably wounded. The self-regard of the vast company of the oppressed has been granted a new life-lease, one that balances its success on the suppression of anything resembling acceptable accommodation. Revenge is sweet, and to be nurtured, and look at this! those abject apologists are even willing to aid and assist!

Islamists and their cronies and supporters name the price: terror. And when the physical manifestation of terror; fear transmuted to human wreckage materializes, celebration, joyful ululations! Not only among the aggrieved, celebrating pay-back, but also among their supporters who have melded themselves into an obsequious chorus of self-flagellating vengeance-boosters.

But who might have imagined that the administration of the United States itself would go that route? In effect, offering a world stage for the triumphant and martyr-availing designers of the World Trade Centre attacks to embroider and thunder from the pulpit of the witness stand the well-deserved response from the world of the underprivileged to that of the world-dominators.

The loathsome jihadists whose dearest dream come true is to destroy countless lives and all symbols of western superiority over the downtrodden east have been given the stage they desire. Brought the colossus to its knees. First through a series of cataclysmic wreckages of both lives and property, and now through a loud, availing denunciation and accusation whose triumph will be echoed electrically throughout the world.

Surely, this is Paradise delivered on a silver salver. And it is not angels, but twirling virgin maidens dancing on the head of a pin.

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"Corrupt and Illegitimate"

Former Afghan Member of Parliament Malalai Joya is one courageous young woman. Directly confronting her parliamentary colleagues and naming them for what they truly are. "Criminals", "killers", "warlords". In their turn they have raged against her, naming her "prostitute", "infidel", "traitor", and "communist". Oh yes, and just incidentally threatened to rape her, and also engaged in heretofore-unsuccessful attempts to assassinate her.

She is, in their opinion - as tribal, powerful, wealthy and entitled men in a fundamentally patriarchal society - the epitome of all that their traditions abhor. An independent-minded woman who speaks of what she knows, and demands justice. There is no justice for women in traditional, tribal Afghanistan under Islamic sharia law. Women are to be confined to their homes, smothered in burkas when in public, and never without a male escort.

They may not attend institutes of higher learning; young girls may not be exposed to elemental schooling. Nor may women be allowed to take their place in the workforce. Young girls may be taken in marriage by elderly men. And spend the rest of their lives bearing children, preparing meals, cleaning their homes, and silently moving from room to room, eating separately and apart from male family members.

Malalai Joya has become a world traveller. She has a message to disseminate. She was expelled from parliament years ago for insulting her fellow parliamentarians, denouncing them as corrupt criminals. She is committed to her activism on behalf of her country's women. She is also convinced that the United States and all other countries supporting them represent yet another invasion in a long legend of invasions of her country.

"We gave a good lesson to the Russians in the past - a superpower country who faced the resistance of my people. We gave good lessons to the British and we will give good lessons to the U.S. and Canada and NATO, if they do not stop this so-called war on terror, which is war on innocent civilians. It will take time. We must be tireless. We must be more fearless ... I don't fear this. I fear political silence against injustice."

"If they let us have a little bit of peace, we know what to do with our destiny. It's your government that supports the mafia-corrupt system of [Afghanistan President] Hamid Karzai. Canada is just a tool in the hands of the U.S. government. For eight years they followed the wrong policy and it makes a mockery of democracy. It's a mockery, the war on terror; it is a war crime. They have destroyed my country under the banner of human rights."

She is emphatic about her denial of NATO assisting Afghanistan out of its morass of misery, poverty and what is, in effect, civil war. Two political entities, the current, corrupt and ineffective 'moderate', West-supported Government of Afghanistan, and the fanatical Islamist Taliban whose reign Ms. Joya was well familiar with. Under their noses she operated an underground school for girls, while wearing the detested burka.

It's hard to know how to respond to this brave and utterly committed young woman's interpretation of matters as they stand in her country. She claims that those currently in power are little different from the Taliban who tormented Afghanistan before they were ousted when the U.S. and NATO came looking for al-Qaeda, supported by the Taliban. But she is adamant that the presence of foreign troops in her country is criminal.

"Democracy never comes by occupation. You cannot give it with cluster bombs." Can anyone with a conscience deny her assertion? "From the sky, occupation forces bomb and kill civilians and on the ground the Taliban and warlords continue their crimes. It is better that the foreign masters leave my country."

And then, what?

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Iran's Victory...

Another annual event has taken place within the United Nations as the General Assembly barely passed a resolution condemning Iran for its human rights abuses. The yearly draft resolution titled Situation of Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran passed with 74 countries in favour, 48 against the resolution, and with 59 abstentions. It's always represented a tight squeeze, successful passage of that resolution. Canada, with the help of Norway and Sweden, managed to convince enough countries to join in that condemnation.

But not enough, evidently, to convince Iran that the entire General Assembly shares those sentiments that accuse it of "harassment, intimidation and persecution" of protesters and bystanders caught up in the mass denunciations of the corrupt presidential elections that saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to power, in June. The resolution makes prominent mention, as is always does, of institutionalized torture, flogging, amputations and stone. And persecution of minorities, religions other than Islam, and gays.

The resolution is countered in part by Arab and Muslim states' traditional approval of resolutions targeting Israel. The latest eight brought forward on Israel represented part of the 20 or so sanctions normally brought to the General Assembly denouncing the actions of the Jewish State in support of Palestinian and Arab causes. Where Israel is accused of human-rights abuses, where Zionism is equated with racism, where Israel is named an aggressor-state, dominating and suppressing freedoms among Palestinians.

The eight resolutions newly endorsed had fascinating titles such as "Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices", "Israeli Practices Affecting Rights of Palestinian People", and others such. Effectively placing the only democratic country in the Middle East in direct company as a purportedly oppressive, human-rights offending state, with a true, brutally tyrannical one like Iran. Israel makes no claims for itself other than to observe that it is the world's most egregious human-rights abusers who slander its reputation and seek to isolate it.

Iran, on the other hand, interprets its damning vote as a victory. "The high number of votes against or in abstention illustrates the majority of member states continue to refuse to support the proposition put forward by Canada and its allies", according to the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations. "This pattern of voting clearly indicates yet again that ... measures should be taken to prevent certain countries such as Canada from abusing the United Nations."

Lunatic perversity? That's not the half of it. Under the circumstances, where right has been turned into wrong, and accusations are routinely lodged and supported against countries upholding freedom and human rights, while the worst human-rights abusers grandly pose as saviours of a just world, what value has the United Nations?

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Bemused, But Not Amused

Israel is definitely not a grovelling, plaintive and helpless client of a powerful country whose goodwill and support it most definitely needs and appreciates. Much as it would like to accommodate the wishes and desires of its major sponsor and erstwhile supporter on the world stage, it is a sovereign nation whose first duty is to itself and its people. That President Barack Obama and his administration are shocked, disappointed, annoyed as hell, is unfortunate.

The straitened and condemnatory statement: "I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbours. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous", is ingenuous at best, hypocritical to historical reality in its worst interpretation. The Palestinians have never been anything but bitter, it is what sustains them, their sense of bitter victimhood, their languorous, deeply-held aggrievement.

Palestinians do not need much in the way of encouragement to become violent in tone and in action. This is their relief valve. Their incendiary hatred for their neighbour whom they will never cease blaming for stealing their land and their patrimony is irreconcilable with peace-making. This is why all previous, along with the current theatre of 'peace talks', have failed to conclude with a working arrangement toward detente.

The Jerusalem municipality's decision to authorize construction of 900 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo is an internal affair. Gilo is built on land legally owned by Jews, purchased before 1948; it lies within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. That is Jerusalem, the undivided capital of Israel, Palestinian aspirations notwithsanding. And unlike the Obama administration, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner disagrees that this new construction represents an obstacle to peace.

The construction of new 'natural growth' housing in the West Bank settlements, on the other hand, is one that the Netanyahu government has been prepared to postpone, albeit not indefinitely. Historically, when it comes to peace talks with the Palestinians, settlement expansion has never been an obstacle to committing to peace talks. It's simply that those peace talks have never gone anywhere.

Any time a PA leader - Arafat or Abbas - began to strike a deal that looked like it might go somewhere, popular Palestinian resistance and resentment caused them to pull back when they lost political appeal as a result of accusations that they were acceding to the enemy, and they launched their famous Intifadas, restoring trust and solidarity with the people. They well knew their adversaries, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade would wreak havoc, if they didn't, and take the advantage from them.

In all of the accusations and counter-accusations, including American and European condemnation of the Jerusalem municipality destroying some illegal Palestinian-owned buildings, has there been any mention in the West of the fact that the Jerusalem municipality is proceeding with plans for the construction of over five thousand housing units in Arab neighbourhoods in northern and southeastern Jerusalem?

The Palestinian structures that were demolished were built illegally on public land. All the anguished breast-beating about the destruction of buildings owned by Palestinians are a canard; anywhere else in the world where squatters and illegal buildings are erected, the situation would be a non-issue. Palestinians and their ardent sympathizers have been working overtime on their public relations agenda to further isolate Israel.

The problem with the Obama administration is that they have failed to recognize that they are dealing with an autonomous entity in the State of Israel. That their bullying and denunciations of Israel, and complicit and implicit statements to the Arab and Muslim world in the hopes that their zeal to make friends there and relax tensions will materialize into reality have succeeded in making them look incompetent.

Actually, the truth is, they have been obscenely incompetent. Unnecessarily so. Their incompetence has been an embarrassment to them, and yet they continue to tread that same imbecilic path to hopeless dysfunction. Time out?

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fixed Priorities

While the United Nations World Food Program expresses its disappointment at the lacklustre response of developed nations in pledging billions of dollars to eradicate world hunger, those very developed nations are themselves struggling to pull themselves out of a perilous economic situation, to put themselves back on a solid financial footing. Yes, it is important for wealthy countries to spare as generous amounts of their nation's treasuries as they can to help the world's less fortunate.

Some of the world's less fortunates also live in many first-world countries, a fact not to be overlooked. With millions of people living in the United States, for example, the wealthiest, most advanced country of the world, in absolute poverty. And where, in a social-minded country like Canada, an unacceptable percentage of the nation's children must avail themselves of food banks to ensure they have sufficient food. Internal needs are at least as pressing for these countries as those presenting overseas.

The United Nations estimates there are roughly one billion undernourished people worldwide. And they are not taking into account people living in desperate conditions in developed countries. They speak of people living in Democratic Republic of Congo, in Bangladesh, in Burma, in North Korea, in China, in India, in Egypt, in Somalia, in Afghanistan, in Zimbabwe, in Pakistan, in Sudan, and other unfortunate corners of the world where life is hard. In most of those places it is their governments that fail to provide for their people.

Many of these are countries ruled by despots, by administrations far more interested in buying arms than feeding their people. More intent on lining their own pockets than seeing that their populations are housed, fed, educated and given medical treatment. Which is no reason why the developed countries should sit back and consign those populations to their ill fate, to be sure. But even in those oppressive environments people can be self empowered to help themselves.

They can discreetly be given modest means by which they can fend for themselves, in some instances. They can be encouraged to become independent, to avail themselves of any, even the merest opportunities to take advantage of. Offering modest wherewithals to encourage independence. Feeding people discourages anything but dependence, and it feeds a cycle of hopelessness. And ongoing, generational despair and dependence. Whose agenda does that serve?

But helping people to help themselves can offer dignity and self-availment. It's been done in a small way by offering women minuscule amounts of money as loans to set up modest cottage industries. It's been done by offering small sums of money to help villages drill wells. To help farmers to cultivate very small plots of land that can produce just enough to help people survive and have a little left over to help others of their community.

The head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization is perfectly correct when he points out that the world spends a horribly inordinate amount of its capital on munitions, while at the same time finding it difficult to collectively amass a sum of $44-billion the UN asks for, to help feed that one billion on the verge of starvation. That is a huge whack of money, but there are many generous nations of the world that could, if pressed, raise that sum.

On the other hand, look at the situation from the perspective of the Animal Kingdom. Nature provides climatic and growing boom-and-bust years. In the good years where food foraging due to weather and growing conditions being favourable, animals of the forest live well and their populations expand. In the poor-producing years, animal reproduction contracts to match food availability.

Animals do not grow their own food; they rely on the bounty of nature at its best to provide. Human beings, also animals, have the capability to tweak nature to help them grow the food they need to survive. To do so they need the initiative and the tools and the weather conditions, not all of which are available when they're required. But at least two of those conditions can be met.

On the other hand, another arm of the United Nations, the UN Population Fund, goes to great lengths to point out that unfettered human population growth is also linked to environmental degradation and climate change. "Slower population growth ... would help build social resilience to climate change's impacts and would contribute to a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the future."

Are they advocating withholding food from starving populations? Not quite; what they see for the future is a program for the empowerment of women, as they put it. Teaching women to contribute through fertility control, and by involvement in their local economies. Seems we've already visited that vision, and it's been successful where it has taken hold.

But try selling that message of fertility control and more female involvement in the politics and social economics of some countries and watch the orthodox component of the religious rear up their heads and roar about imperialist interference. Those countries of the world where hunger is at its meanest are invariably patriarchal, as are most countries of the world. Many of them are also diabolically theocratic regimes.

Back to the drawing board. Human beings are so devilishly skilled at cutting off their own noses...

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A People's Anguish

With Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai on the cusp of re-investiture, the people of Afghanistan have been given no renewal of trust or hope for their future through his administrative auspices. He has had more than ample opportunity to demonstrate that he is worthy of trust. Instead, he has advanced the fortunes of friends and colleagues, and shunned the need of the people to rely on state infrastructure to deliver services and some measure of security. Without which there can be no advance toward a future of civil fulfillment.

The Afghan army and the national police have retained traditional practises of corruption. Without any kind of credible demonstration that they can fulfill their mandate of protecting the population from the violence of insurgents determined once again to take up their former governing positions with fanatical Islamist sharia instructing the country how it must live. Leaving all active resistance to NATO forces, instead of committing themselves to the service of their own country, they exist to exist, not to perform their duty.

Although medical centres and schools have been built, thanks to the efforts of foreign governments which have invested, along with the United Nations presence in the country, huge amounts of their treasury, there is no stability. Half of Afghan children still do not attend primary school. Women are still largely illiterate. Customs of a patriarchal society still demand that women be neither seen nor heard, and young girls given over into matrimony to old men.

Women still die in childbirth in great numbers, and children and women continue to be physically and emotionally abused. Young boys and girls are still victims of rape. Girls and their teachers remain threatened by violence and death. In the past thirty years of upheaval the country was thrown back into the stone age of existence. Millions of Afghans were killed, and a like number forced to leave their homes and their communities in the face of war and the threat to human existence.

Ten percent of Afghans have seen the insides of prisons, where torture is routine. A third of those imprisoned and subsequently tortured have been the women of Afghanistan. One half of the population exists, tentatively, below the poverty line. A poverty line consistent with values in poor countries, not those of the advanced world. The trauma visited upon the population as a result of thirty years of conflict; the Russian invasion, the civil war, the Taliban, and now NATO conflicting with the Taliban, has left people with severe psychological damage.

A quarter of a million Afghans are refugees within their own country. And three million Afghans have sought refuge within the borders of Iran and of Pakistan. Afghans have seen their property destroyed, with no opportunity in the near future of returning, and re-building. Attacks by the Taliban have surged to incredibly high levels over the past year. And increasingly those attacks target civilian populations, not the military, domestic or foreign.

This is called a living nightmare.

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Mere Civility

It's called deferential respect. Respect for heritage, for custom, for tradition. For when in Rome - or Japan, as the case may be - do as they do. In Japan the Emperor is a sainted figure, only relatively recently divested of his stature as a living god. Yet, even as a mortal he is owed respect as the imperial head of state of his notable country. And then, too there is the undisputed fact of age differential. Youth deferring to age. You know, that quaint old custom that used to be universally recognized?

Long since, in America, gone the way of the Dodo, alas. America, where the concept of equality has been taken a tad too far. So that strangers feel free to approach strangers and speak familiarly, on a first-name basis. The socially crude fashion of children or young adults speaking on a first-name basis to grandparently figures, or to celebrity figures or those in the professions - and vice versa, has taken discourtesy to a new low, and lamentally accepted level.

This is not to be seen as discourtesy, we are loftily informed, but as a levelling of society. We are all perceived to be equal in status, in value, in individuality. Yet if, feeling insulted at the uninvited familiarity and accustomed to a modicum of civil respect with the calming distance of last name and appropriate title one demurs, that is taken as an insult. A simple matter of simple respect and social etiquette disdained and perverted. We may all have been created equal, but there is still a social distance required as a simple matter of courtesy, before an invitation is extended to become familiar.

So all of that fuss about whether or not President Obama was right or wrong to have been lavishly courteous to Emperor Akihito could only take place in the United States with its perverted and absurd 'equalization' of social contact through first-name acknowledgement in common usage. The disparity in their height would serve to emphasize the extent to which President Obama politely deferred to the Emperor. The occasion, the ceremony, the comparative ages of the two men, lent itself well indeed to Mr. Obama's gracious acknowledgement.

Obama bowing pictures

It is, actually, from a social perspective, diplomatically gratifying to see this American man, the President of the United States, performing this courtesy, given the circumstances. He has not humbled himself; he has nicely and courteously greeted a respected elder and in the process given recognition to another culture's traditions.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Incendiary Spots

Those places of the world where new recruits to global jihad are most likely to gravitate to and out of to infect and infest others parts of the world clearly now are Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The original Saudi Arabian investment in Wahhabi-tinctured madrasses in Pakistan bred an army of committed jihadists eager to martyr themselves in the great cause of Islamism. But since then, no country has been overlooked in the gradual infestation of fundamentalist madrasses, from the countries of the East to Europe, to North America.

Once Pakistan served its primary purpose, leading to its current situation of life-and-death existential response by the government and its military against a renascent Taliban, the Magreb offered up its auspices as ready breeding grounds. Stateless, lawless Somalia, with its wavering, weak, hardly-there government has been supplanted by Al Shabab in its southern extremes. And the allure of dedicated war and fascinating death-dealing has attracted recruits from near and wide.

Somalian refugees in dire need of rescue from their country's collapse fled to countries that in their great compassion, absorbed them. American authorities have been well alerted to the gradual sieving out of some of their young immigrants, travelling for excitement and adventure - and the opportunity to ascend to Paradise - to Somalia, land of their birth. Canada too can boast of having one of the largest Somalian diaspora communities in the West.

"Radicalization within the U.S. Somali community may be an indicator of similar processes at work in Canada", helpfully informed Canada's commissioner of the RCMP. "...The potential follow-on threat, from a Canadian and RCMP perspective, is Somali-Canadians who travel to Somalia to fight and then return, imbued with both extremist ideology and the skills necessary to translate it into direct action."

Direct action? What a quaint and rather opaque descriptive. Might he possibly mean that newly-inspired, enthused and empowered Somali-Canadian youth, bringing their newfound expertise in violent jihad may be inspired to demonstrate to Canada and Canadians their gratitude to the country for absorbing their parents and themselves, rescuing them from their desperate flight from a war-torn country?

Their embrace of the arrival of an Islamic state in the country of their birth, inspiring them to heed the call for global jihad among the ummah, the faithful diaspora, wherever they live, to expand and expansively create a universal Islamic empire. So that, like Mogadishu, new sharia-led laws inimical to human happiness and freedom may be installed. And where malefactors, those who refuse to surrender to the faith, may be summarily executed.

Perhaps not 'summarily', perhaps slowly, agonizingly painfully. Think stoned to death. think beheaded before a large and appreciative crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. Think garroted, dismembere, as a reward for recalcitrance.

Think we better pay more attention?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Back To Square One

On all fronts, it would seem. The Palestinian Authority is now bringing before the United Nations its case for a unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state. A declaration by the world body accepting a sovereign Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, and with boundaries commensurate with June 1967 borders. Which is to say a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

When last the United Nations offered this to the Palestinians through the original 1948 plan for Partition, dividing the area between Jews and Arabs, it was scorned as unfit to even consider. The Palestinians were mortally, morally offended that what they claimed as their own, (though they did not own it; Egypt and Jordan did) the total area inclusive of what was designated as geography of the State of Israel was denied them, was beneath their consent and contempt.

With the collusion of the surrounding Arab states, the Palestinians felt they just had to sit back and let events overtake UN complacency in its decision-making. The joint attack on Israel failing to resolve the 'problem'. Instead, the United Nations committed itself to supporting the world's lengthiest, unresolved 'refugee' situation, expending immense sums of international aid dedicated to the consolidation of that refugee status for over a half-century.

All the makings of a nascent state were still there, awaiting the earnest determination of the Palestinians and their purported leaders to commit themselves to building the civic infrastructure and proceeding to demonstrate that they were capable of providing for an independent state, to advance toward the future. Instead, they languished in a perpetual state of aggrieved victimhood and struck violently, repeatedly, at their 'aggressors'.

When the Oslo Accords were signed between the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians as a framework for future negotiations with Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton, resulting in Israel actively assisting the new Palestinian Authority (devolving from the PLO) to begin building a nascent state infrastructure, Israel helping to train and arm Palestinian police and militia, Arafat was unable to restrain his tribal instincts to turn against Israel, mounting the First Intifada.

Now, with Israel having had to respond to continued assaults from Hamas in Gaza with Operation Cast Lead, the PA exercised another option to abandon peace talks. In the process yet again defeating its own future. Needless to say, the assurances bred of the ambiguously-stated expectations of the new American administration gave the PA the impression it could demand everything of Israel, and sacrifice nothing itself.

With Israel viewing its initial gains from Cast Lead evaporating now that Hamas has launched itself into ever more strenuous tunnelling under the unseeing eyes of Egypt, the realization is there that yet another incursion into Gaza may be required. Hamas fired off a rocket just recently proving that it could destructively reach Tel Aviv. The old home-made rockets have been replaced with far more sophisticated weaponry, thanks to Iran.

Hezbollah too, has been busy replacing its stockpile of depleted weaponry from the Israel-Lebanon assault, thanks again to Syria and Iran, and under the watchful eyes of the UN forces installed on the Lebanese border to prevent this. Israel, ever cognizant of the world's condemnatory eyes on its activities, self-protective as they are, restrains its military force from exacting the full price from its enemies' ongoing invitations to battle.

The world wrung its hands in dismay over Israel's 'disproportionate' response to Hezbollah's assertively deliberate provocations, frantic over the damage being done to Lebanon's infrastructure. Accusing Israel of vindictive assaults against an unarmed and innocent civilian population behind whom Hezbollah's militia hid, launching attacks from crowded civilian enclaves. With the mounting casualties the world insisted Israel be brought to heel.

In Operation Cast Lead, Israel was forced, once again by outraged world public opinion, to withdraw under the same circumstances. Where Hamas militants, otherwise known as terrorists serving a terrorist agenda with a terrorist entity, sent off their rockets from among crowded civilian areas, inviting responses that would take the lives of those very civilians among whom they hid for cover.

Both Hezbollah and Hamas, proxy militias funded and trained and encouraged by Iran have had their munitions well re-stocked and their resolve newly burnished; to destroy the State of Israel and return the entirety of the geography to the Palestinians. As though the destruction of Israel and the re-possession of the geography will produce justice, and will bring the Middle East to a state of amity between nations.

As a family of nations with a common heritage and similar cultures bred of tribalism, finding comfort in a divided faith whose proponents remain incendiarily opposed to each other to the point of murderous onslaughts, dysfunction and vilely brutal aggression between them will not cease with the removal of the common irritant that Israel's creation and existence represented.

They would and will turn ravenously on one another much as they have always done; distrusting, hating and intent on wreaking their Shia- or Sunni-inspired revenge upon one another, in honour of Islam and its Koranic interpretations.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

And Reality Is...

Optimism, admittedly, is a wonderfully self-availing tool with which to face life's adversities. It helps enormously to lift peoples' spirits above the mundane and disappointing occurrences in life that a pessimistic view might very well work to inhibit hope for the future. But an overvaluing sunny view of life's opportunities and peoples' basic, inbred or acquired behaviours, views, values and other characteristics should never superimpose itself over careful scrutiny of possibilities, defaulting the intelligence to blind trust.

Or, in the case of world events and the interactions of world leaders, one submitting to the trusting hope that his own finer nature would miraculously, inevitably impress itself on that of a psychopathic leader or a sociopathic administration, instantly achieving reform and a newfound, albeit dilatory, respect for humanity at large. Take, for example, the sublimely confident and eminently empathetic President of the United States, Barack Obama. He suffers from a reversal of the usual low-self esteem complex.

He is imbued with a level of self-confidence given to few. Encouraging him to insist that, in his singular way, he has taken John Lennon's appeal to heart, and is willing to go the extra mile to 'give peace a chance'. Mr. Obama appears convinced that as long as he is sincere and conciliatory, any to whom he extends the proverbial hand of friendship will be disarmed and reciprocate. His pure spirit, turned to good works, would communicate to others, stimulating them to respond in like form.

The result, however, appears on the record to be otherwise. His overtures are deemed to be insincere and unworthy of a world leader, for to seek to pacify those whose intention is to do harm to others brings the reward of scorn from those vigorously repudiating the opportunities extended them. They have no need of the opportunity to establish warm relations with a country they despise, evidently, and have invited Mr. Obama to kiss their Muslim backsides.

The trip to Turkey, where in Instanbul Mr. Obama addressed the Turkish Grand National Assembly in his attempt to reach out to a Muslim audience has not resulted in warmer relations between Turkey and the West. Long aspiring to join the European Union, that is more remote than ever, since Turkey under its new Islamist government has stretched the gap between it and the West, once so conformingly comforting.

Turkey has chosen to abandon its traditional relationship with Israel for the greater advantage of chumming with Iran and Syria, denouncing Israel as a country that should be outed as a genocidal state, with President Erdogan personally clearing Sudan of those Darfur-inspired charges. President Obama's message of "the importance of Turkey, not just to the United States, but to the world" somehow failed to impress the Islamist administration.

"When people look back on this time, let it be said of America that we extended the hand of friendship", declared an earnest President Obama. Obviously incapable of foreseeing that his generosity would be rejected. (As a peculiar expression of political weakness, in actual fact.) Forcing the United States and other NATO allies to cancel a joint air exercise traditionally including Israel, when Turkey excluded its one-time ally and chose instead to proceed with joint military exercises with its latest pal, Syria.

President Obama's Cairo trip, undertaken to alter his country's relationship with the world of Islam, somehow failed to make the grade, as well. Sternly impressing upon Israel that she alone must make sacrifices. Encouraging the Palestinians along with the other Middle East countries to believe that the Palestinian Authority could proceed with demands at all levels of entitlements. In the process exacting sacrifices from Israel to reach a peace accord, leading to a general collapse of the peace talks.

When Iran's presidential elections were exposed for the fraud that they represented, and the opposition parties mounted a series of protests which the Islamic Republic of Iran's administration countered by setting the Basiji militia and the Republican Guard upon unarmed protesters, there was no support for the courageous Iranians emanating from the United States government. Despite the violence visited on the protesters, the arrests, torture and killing, just low-key murmurs of 'disappointment'.

Iran's dismissal of American-led EU-supported recommendations with respect to the country's insistence on its divine right to obtain nuclear power (and nuclear weaponization) reveals the country's delight in playing cat-and-mouse games with the UN, the IAEA, and the international community. Revealing too in no little degree its contempt for the weakness of those who display their frail commitment by appealing to the presumed better nature of such regimes.

The assurance given Russia by President Obama on his trip there, that the United States would surrender its plans to install a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic, in an unstated exchange for Russia's assistance in pressuring Iran on the nuclear issue also left the United States with a one-sided victory. In the process, leaving east European allies in a distressed state of disappointment - but then, that situation should never have evolved in the first place.

President Obama is now in China, a country that holds billions of dollars of investment in a cash-strapped American economy. He is there to encourage more open trade relations with the emerging economic giant and world power. At the very time when other countries of the world are shouting foul at the U.S. Congress for exacting new trade protectionist measures. To burnish his credentials as a human-rights activist, President Obama plans to raise the question of human rights during his trip.

Life is very complicated. President Obama is doubtless an honourable man, seen in his own mirror image of self. Without doubt he aspires to represent as the epitome of an honourable man, one for whom human rights concerns are outstanding. While he exhibits few cautions when confronting and conciliating world leaders whose exploits in the field of abusing human rights are undeniable, he was cautious in deciding not to meet with the Dalai Lama. In contrast to his predecessors who all did just that.

At the summit in Singapore just past, with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Mr. Obama effectively officially gave accreditation to Myanmar's military junta by speaking to the Burmese leader - 'engaging Burma' - to recognize their opposition, urging free elections. Which the Burmese opposition characterized as a sham, giving legitimization to the ruling junta. President Obama did speak on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi, asking for her release from detention.

Will the brutal, oppressive Myanmar leadership, which initially refused all foreign aid for its people in the horrendous aftermath of their cataclysmic earthquake, leaving people to rescue themselves, now see the error of their ways and repent? Restoring Aung San Suu Kyi to her rightful place as the democratically-elected head of a government that would certainly not permit the ruling junta any place in the administration of the country?

Just as surely as a modest Barack Obama, nobly and gently turned down the Nobel Peace Prize in favour of its finally being presented to thrice-nominated human rights activist, and currently imprisoned Liu Xiaobo.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Will He? Or Will He Not?

More to the point, should he - or should he not? Isn't it anyone's guess? After all, the military academics, the military professionals, the political pundits, the war-games enthusiasts, diplomats, and the administration executives, let alone the secret service agencies all have their opinions, and they collide and smash and crash against one another in a paroxysm of violent disagreement.

Most of the focus is on the very real, openly revealed - for the obtuse, non-astute onlooker whom that fact that previously eluded - fact of the current administration of Afghanistan's utter and abject failure as a trustworthy, reliable, able and workable ally. President Hamid Karzai's own war-weary people no longer have any trust in his capability let alone willingness to lead the country responsibly into the future.

The level of corruption, in a society well acquainted with corruption as a way of life has transcended the lowest of expectations of its citizens. The recent level of electoral mismanagement and vote-rigging in its entirety made a complete shambles of United Nations, U.S. and NATO expectations to advance to another level of achievement in the country.

Yet an unapologetic Hamid Karzai chose to move forward, thumbing his nose at the rumblings of foreign governments by appointing his previous defence minister whose corruption was infamous, and whose maintenance of his own armed militia poked a finger in the collective eye of NATO, to be one of his two Vice-Presidents.

It has been stressed and reiterated to Mr. Karzai that is fundamentally incumbent on him to meet international expectations. Modest enough by most democratic countries' standards, after all.

To initiate needed internal reforms, and by so doing regain some of the lost trust of his own tired and dispirited countrymen. Without the presence of NATO and primarily U.S. troops, Hamid Karzai would be removed from office with his international props gone. On the other hand, the international community cannot afford to surrender the country to Islamist fanatics.

To do so would be to abandon both Afghanistan and Pakistan to the inevitable; the takeover of the region by fundamentalist jihadists. Who are most certainly resolved to expand Islamism, not only in the region, but wherever their violent jihadist tentacles reach. Covert operatives installed in the West awaiting opportunities to act need no further encouragement to wreak their version of the Apocalypse.

So who will President Barak Obama listen to and accede to? His vice-president? His chief of staff? His secretary of state? The current U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, formerly head of the U.S. military there, whose opinion now counteracts that of his successor? Tellingly, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a central military leader in the Northern Alliance that ousted the Taliban in 2001 with the support of U.S. special forces warns: don't.

He points to the fact that Afghans themselves, the military and the police, are simply not holding their own, not exerting themselves, sitting back , content to allow NATO forces to do the heavy lifting. Because they are there, the international forces, doing the work that Afghan forces should be doing. "The Afghan military failure", he states, "is a question of commitment and morale: the more foreign money and troops the less Afghans see this war as theirs.

"In the past six years, I have not heard of one Afghan officer of captain or major rank killed in battle. During this same period hundreds of Americans and other NATO soldiers have been killed. This is a major embarrassment for the Afghan government and its people." Despite which, General Dostum believes a military victory is possible.

Rejecting the contention inherent in the argument put forward by British and U.S. strategists claiming to favour a political reconciliation with 'non-ideological' Taliban. As a sign of conciliating gratitude toward foreign and international aid, President Karzai reveals his personal opinion in a PBS interview, claiming the West is to be blamed for bringing corruption to Afghanistan by operating poorly-managed aid programs.

As far as he - speaking for his country - is concerned, the fault lies with Western troops in Afghanistan more concerned with their own countries' interests than that of Afghanistan's. Furthermore, if it transpires that the hundreds of foreign staff associated with the United Nations - evacuated in the aftermath of an attack where five were killed - do not return, it will be of little concern to Afghanistan.

Now in all of this tortured mess of cognition and recognition of the state of affairs, who has the inside track?

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

That Elusive Truth

Apologists for anything and everything contentious within society abound. Particularly in a society determined to be even-handed, reasonable, sensitive to minorities, dedicated to pluralism ideals. Willing, in short, to bend over sideways, backwards, upside-down, to ensure that opinion is fair, balanced and non-judgemental. For who are we to judge when others have different yardsticks than we? As though the most basic moral instruction can be differentiated between societies, religions, ideologies.

The relativism offered as an understanding tool of a free society dedicated to the concept of equality, even within the recognition of differentiation in mores, values and judgement has proven a slippery slope to failure to comprehend. What eludes understanding is that there are differences that cannot and should not be accepted. That they are perverse and unacceptable, belying the universal values of human rights. They can be construed in only one way, as being rigidly inimical to human survival.

When an ideology or proponents of a radicalized version of an already-impacted religion, using common texts from the religion's holy scriptures said to have precisely reflected the attitude, mind and purpose of the sacred Almighty justifies mass murder, how can there possibly be any exculpating justification? In the most recent atrocity committed by yet another fanatical jihadi, instinct to political correctness has the public being cautioned to withhold blame.

The tragedy at Fort Hood Army Base was an anomaly, not to be confused with any religion agitating to militant jihad to advance its agenda. Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a confused, conflicted individual. He had suffered religious harassment throughout his career. He was a loyal American, anxious to serve his country. He was fearful of facing the reality of being shipped out to a theatre of war where he would face his co-religionists as a mortal antagonist.

Escaping the other part of the equation that Major Hasan opted to whitewash the vicious intention of Islamist fascism, totally bypassing another reality, that the majority of the victims of fanatical Islam are Muslims themselves. It slipped his mind that the military of which he was part, went out of its way to protect Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan, sometimes from Christians, more often from other Muslims.

It was his decided choice to succumb to the allure of fundamentalist, violence-prone traditional jihad exhorting the faithful to prove their commitment to Allah by bloody personal sacrifice. In the final analysis, his confused bitterness, his inner turmoil expressed when he overtly attempted to persuade others of the perversion of battling Muslims in any situation, and his covert association with terrorism won his allegiance.

He would, for God, become a slayer of infidels. He was ready to sacrifice himself for Islamic jihad. But not martyrdom, no, not that. After his rampage he could have submitted himself to the kind of restorative justice that lovers of death welcome, but he did not. News reports still delicately refer to him as the 'alleged' attacker. The U.S. military, and its government, were quick to caution the public not to draw hasty conclusions.

Hasty conclusions? From what, exactly? The evidence, the blaring reality of who and what the man was? The evidence that points to the absurd ineptness of American security agencies? The lack of due diligence of superior officers to apprehend a tragedy, and by their laxity inviting mass execution of those they inducted in good faith into the military to do their best for their country?

Oh well, just another unfortunate misadventure. Shrug. Yawn. That's life. Can't win them all now, can we?

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