Friday, July 30, 2010

Dread Evictions

Families are asked to leave the houses owned by landlords, people other than themselves who have altered plans other than the rental of their properties. A family that has lived for a lengthy period of time in, say, an elderly property owned by someone else, feels affronted that their truly lengthy period of rental of the building is of no value. They take issue at the fact that new owners of the property have decided to live in their house themselves, as is their legal right and due.

These unfortunate clashes occur everywhere in the world. But when it happens in Israel, and most particularly in Jerusalem, that ancient city of modern identity-and-ownership-dispute itself, it is considered to be sufficiently newsworthy to be reported upon by Agence France-Presse, and picked up by newspapers around the world. Yet another example where Jews are unfairly targeting Palestinian families.

Chalk up another to the groaning list of social-averse, human-rights-disabling behaviour on the part of Jews, Zionists, Israelis. In the Old City of Jerusalem exists a heritage building. Owned by a Palestinian family who decided to emigrate to the United States decades ago. Another family of Palestinians rented the building and have lived in the century-house since 1936. It is a family of 50, most of whom are aged under 18.

"My grandfather rented this house", according to 50-year old Majid Qarsh. "If they bought the house, that's fine. Congratulations", he says, referring to the new property owners whom he surmises purchased the property in 1987 from the grandchildren of the original owner. "But I have rights here. They can make me pay them rent, but they cannot force me out."

Which seems most peculiar indeed. What has stopped the renting family from purchasing the property, over the years they lived in it as renters? And now that the property, having changed hands, is being considered as a home for the lawful owners, how precisely can the renter interpret the changed circumstances as benefiting him to the extent that he cannot be expected to leave what he does not own?

As things stand, at the moment, court authorities are prepared to adjudicate. The ownership documents will be authenticated, and if they are genuinely legal, a ruling will be made and the eviction may proceed.

At which time Agence France-Presse will have another story to report upon. And the world will again empathize with the unfair treatment of Palestinians by Jews.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shuguang West Road, China

This is rather puzzling. China, forever portrayed as authoritarian, manipulative of its people edging toward totalitarianism, is placed in a peculiar light with the situation recently reported on whereby a stubborn pair of siblings has held up the modernization of part of Beijing, occasioning by their refusal to sell their inner-city plot of land, great inconvenience to the municipality, its other residents, and entailing in the process additional costs as well.

The property where the Zhang family lives was once a rural area outside Beijing. The property the two brothers own on Shuguang West Road has been enveloped by massive development as the city has grown monumentally over the years to accommodate its growing population. Massive high-rise development has proceeded apace, with the brothers' property a small, shabby oasis of reluctance in the middle of these newly developed areas.

The property appears as traditionally rural Chinese; a ramshackle house and outbuildings comprised of cinder blocks and wood, with plastic tarps on the roof, bare concrete floors, walls covered with plastic sheeting, and even newspaper. The economic boom and mass movement of people from the countryside to employment in the city has altered the terrain far beyond its original ownership.

The brothers Zhang no longer live in a rural village, where a family farm traditionally supported a large family and people knew one another intimately. All of the Zhangs' neighbours have moved away, as their properties were bought out by developers. But the Zhangs' walled courtyard and small buildings remain, isolated and out of place within a landscape of skyscrapers.

Despite the inconvenience to development that the awkward presence of the compound represents, the Zhangs remain, unmolested by authority. The property interrupts six lanes of road, squeezing traffic to bottlenecks, resulting in massive traffic jams. There are eight lanes of traffic on one side of the Zhang family compound, and six on the other, all of which curve around the courtyard walls.

Clearly, this is a holding situation for both the elderly Zhangs and the municipal authority in the capital city of China. Now, is this not peculiar, that the state would not casually undertake to use its authority to requisition the property and pay the owners the assessed value, and put the matter to rest?

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Abetting Lethal Willfulness

Children can be willful, but parents even more so, when they deliberately set about to encourage reckless behaviour for their children, believing it to be their duty to inspire mere youths to undertake dangerous journeys that would pose a potential threat to the most experienced, seasoned and professional sailors.

In the case of Laura Dekker, fourteen years of age, who envisions herself successfully circumnavigating the Globe single-handedly, her parents' encouragement has led to her insistence that she is sufficiently capable and plans to proceed.

Parents are proud of their children, of their accomplishments and talents and aspirations, urging them to pursue their dreams, and this is natural enough. It does transcend intelligent design and responsibility when parents abrogate their sense of caution in the belief that a child of fourteen has the needed skills to pursue a goal that would present as a danger to anyone much older with far more experience and proven skills.

This represents nothing less than abandonment of the parental role.

However, after over a year of Dutch social workers attempting to dissuade the child and her parents, and refusing legal permission for her to embark on such a fraught journey single-handed, a Dutch court has ruled otherwise: "It is the responsibility of the parents to let the child go on the yacht trip or not", according to Judge Suzanne Kuypers, giving legal permission for the child to embark upon her epic trip.

The classic 'on your head be it', response to a difficult situation.

Child protection authorities no longer are able to exert the authority vested in them by the state to protect children whose parents are abusive, who have abandoned their responsibility to their charges, and who have exhibited poor judgement respecting the health and future of their child.

The two-year voyage in the girl's 8.3-metre sailboat sweetly-childish-named Guppy is set to proceed. Through some of the world's most dangers ocean passages.

The successful supervision order of a year ago, when Laura Dekker, a year younger, was halted from pursuing her dream of achieving a solo voyage as the youngest child ever to have mounted such an existential challenge, was well used, in the interim. The girl now has first-aid knowledge, plans to get on with her education while at sea through the Internet, and has been taught sleep management techniques.

Her will and these techniques will be tested in a solitary forum few others might wish to experience.

"A 14-year-old child cannot appreciate the risks of a solo trip of this nature", bemoaned Dutch social services spokesman, Richard Bakker. The wonder of it is that no other lawful entity has challenged the parents of this child through legal means on the basis of child abandonment.

For aiding and abetting and encouraging potentially lethal childish willfulness.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Empathetic Response Sans Liability

Acts have their consequences. People deciding to take a moral stance, however it is viewed by others. Feeling they have the right to protest which, in a liberal democracy, they most certainly do have. On the other hand, one must also take care with whom one is allying oneself. If, among the peaceful protesters there are violence-prone individuals whose purpose is to do more than innocently protest, then there is danger inherent in the process.

This is a situation limned in a most unfortunate manner for Emily Henochowicz, an American-Jewish 'activist' who chose, as an individual with a particular type of conscience, and an Israeli citizenship-holder to vent her displeasure at the actions of the State of Israel. She - along with others demonstrated objections to Israel's actions in attempting to deflect the trajectory of the Turkish 'humanitarian aid' flotilla to Gaza - assembled in a demonstration, heckling and attacking Border Police officers.

No one appreciates having rocks tossed their way. And police everywhere do respond when they feel themselves to be in physical danger, or when they recognize a need to control an unruly crowd threatening to become ever more violent. When Ms. Henochowicz took part in that protest after the Gaza-bound flotilla was stopped, the army reacted as might have been predicted, and in a manner consistent with the threat they faced. They used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In the melee, Ms. Henochowicz sustained serious injuries when a tear gas canister hit her. She insists that a policeman aimed directly for her face, in the process shattering her jaw, and causing the loss of her left eye. The incident was witnessed, in fact, by a reporter for Haaretz. Medical treatment was administered at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, and her American father given the bill for NIS 14,000.

On the advice of his lawyer, the Defense Ministry was invited to cover the expense. They refused. On the basis that the injuries sustained by Ms. Henochowicz were accidental, not deliberately caused.

"The canister ricocheted at her after it rebound[ed] off a concrete barrier and changed direction - it was not shot directly at her", the ministry claimed in a draft statement. Which statement also accused Ms. Henochowicz of placing herself at risk by her involvement with a protest characterized as a breach of the peace.

The father's lawyer, however, has a valid point. "Either way, even if wounding of my client was the result of negligence and not criminal intent - even then the State of Israel has a moral, ethical and legal obligation to pay for her treatment."

The Border Police acted as they were instructed to do, and professionally. The demonstrators placed themselves in a position of potential injury exacerbated by their violence.

In the interests of harmony and generosity, the costs associated with providing needed medical treatment to the woman should be absorbed by the State. The young woman could be escorted out of her university program, and invited to leave Israel, but she has a legal right to be there, as a citizen of the country.

She could be admonished to absent herself in future from any like incidents, advised that she will be held liable herself for any further damages done to her through reactive inadvertence.

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National Comportment

A nation and a country's executive should, in the best of all possible worlds, be sensitive to the needs of those within it, dependent on the good will and intelligent discrimination of the needs of those depending upon it. A nation and a country should be capable of writing its national laws and municipalities within the nation their civic laws for the betterment of the entire population and society at large. And sometimes, particularly in a country like Israel, a modern liberal democracy containing within its territory elements of historic cultural and tribal precedents, it does indeed take the wisdom of Solomon to reach a decision.

Within the jurisdiction of a municipality, say one like Jerusalem - with its mixed population of Jews and Arabs, compounded by the fact that within those two isolations there sit, glowering at one another, implacably opposed, belligerent and fundamental differences - limits must be set. It must be clearly understood that, to maintain order and to administer the municipality with all its contradictory needs and imperatives, people are obliged to petition for licenses. To build structures, institutions and homes where the municipal authorities will permit.

And when residents of the municipality, be they long-time residents, or newly migrated to the area, decide on their own initiative to install themselves and their housing where it is not agreed upon and suitable, by the municipal order deeming that this is to be permitted, then they risk losing their residence. And this, according to the law. Laws written by municipal lawmakers for the express purpose to ensure that everyone recognizes both the limits and the opportunities available to them.

But in the larger, outlying areas where small towns and villages exist, and where the modern meets the medieval traditions of nomadic life, and people tend to settle themselves where they are convinced that their forbears once lived? Bearing in mind at the same time that the land upon which Israel has been established is acutely finite. In the spirit of 'no exceptions' and due warning given, it is accepted that such settlers will be forcibly removed and their homesteads will be forfeit, and such is precisely what appears to have occurred in a remote village of al-Arakib, north of Be'er Sheva.

Where the owner, Juma al-Turi and his family disbelievingly witnessed their village destroyed. By an federal administration arm whose purpose it is to determine the legality of such settlements, which had delivered due warning, and which delivered on its warning. Even the olive trees which had been planted to invigorate the land were uprooted, to be planted elsewhere. Just as Mr. al-Turi has been instructed to remove himself and put down roots elsewhere, where the government decrees he may. The price of not seeking permission beforehand.

But is this truly a just situation? Perhaps legally, but lacking somewhat in sensitivity and empathetic sensibility. A respected village elder, one who successfully imported food which he sold in the south of Israel, in Egypt and Jordan, a living symbol of successful enterprise in the village that was once his, is now in the deep dudgeon of despair. Not to despair; what Israel by authority has destroyed, the Islamic Movement undertakes to ameliorate.

"The Jews destroyed, the Muslims help. See what you've done. You are pushing us directly into the welcoming arms of the Islamic Movement, said Mr. al-Turi, aggrievedly. "These were my grandfather's lands, why does someone want to take them from me? I live here peacefully and quietly and don't bother anyone. It is simply embarrassing. I am a man of peace. I always got along with everyone, but you are pushing us to dangerous directions."

The Israel Lands Administration claims the evacuation was a result of legal and physical battles against the Aturi tribe. Fully 46 illegal buildings were destroyed, and 850 trees uprooted for re-planting elsewhere. The Bedouin, say the ILA, invaded state land, and in 1998 and 2000 a court order banned them from entering the area, but the tribe settled there and planted its trees. To make things legal, the tribe was offered the opportunity to rent the land at 2 NIS per dunam, but they refused. After which a court order for evacuation was issued with the support of the Supreme Court.

'Resistance' has been initiated as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, shocked by the demolition, denounced it: "Destruction of the village was a brutal act by state authorities against its citizens and residents, which destabilizes the foundations of democracy and human rights", said an ACRI lawyer, Rawia Abu Rabia. And the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee claims its intention to rebuild the destroyed homes, and establish a fund for the families.

The UN and international human rights groups have been invited to 'look into the matter'.

Clumsy and concerning; the optics are dreadful. Which is precisely what occurs when reason bumps against tradition. Depends on whose ox is being gored, once again.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Humanitarian Aid on Mavi Marmara? Gone Missing!

It's Official: There was No Humanitarian Aid on Mavi Marmara

by Gil Ronen

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Israel's representatives the world over that there were never any humanitarian supplies or equipment aboard the Mavi Marmara, where Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace activists. The commandos opened fire and killed nine of the attackers after three soldiers had been brutalized and temporarily captured.

Of the seven flotilla ships that were intercepted by Israel on May 31 and afterward, only four were freight ships, the MFA reported to its embassies and consulates: The Challenger 1 (a small yacht), the Sfendonh (a small passenger boat) and the Mavi Marmara (a passenger ship) did not carry any humanitarian aid, and had only the passengers' personal belongings.

The four freight ships are the Gaza, the Sofia, the Defeny and the Rachel Corrie. As of June 7, Israel had only offloaded equipment from the Defeny. The equipment offloaded was loaded onto 26 trucks, and an additional eight trucks are waiting at the Kerem Shalom crossing to enter Gaza.

The equipment includes:

1. 300 wheelchairs
2. 300 new mobility scooters
3. 100 special mobility scooters for the disabled
4. Hundreds of crutches
5. 250 hospital beds
6. 50 sofas
7. Four tons of medicine
8. 20 tons of clothing, carpets, school bags, cloth and shoes
9. Various hospital equipment - closets and cabinets, operating theater equipment, etc.
10. Playground equipment
11. Mattresses

The equipment remaining at Ashdod Port on the three cargo ships which have not been offloaded include some 2000 tons of construction equipment - building materials and tools, and construction waste (rubble, toilets, sinks and cement) for re-use.

The MFA noted that:

The equipment does not constitute humanitarian aid in the accepted sense (basic foodstuffs, new and functional equipment, fresh medicines).

The humanitarian aid on the four cargo ships was scattered in the ships' holds and thrown onto piles and not packed properly for transport. The equipment was not packaged and not properly placed on wooden bases. Because of the improper packing, some of the equipment was crushed by the weight in transit.

The medicines and sensitive equipment (operating theater equipment, new clothing, etc.) are being kept in cool storage at the Defense Ministry base. Some of the medicines had already expired, and some will expire soon. The operating theater equipment, which should be kept sterile, was carelessly wrapped. A large part of the equipment, particularly shoes and clothing, was used and worn.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

"Invincible Spirit" On Display

"The army and people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will start a retaliatory sacred war of their own style based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war."
Situation? What situation? Oh, the warning response relating to the sinking of South Korea's Cheonan warship with the resulting loss of 46 sailors. That situation? Don't worry, be happy, that little lark undertaken to advise South Korea that the North isn't happy with its belligerence against its innocent neighbour hasn't been taken seriously. Why even, some observers and scientists and academics within South Korea have shed doubt on North Korea's complicity.

North Korea has to rest easy. No one would risk elevating its irritated response to the charges of having attacked South Korea, to the level of incendiary response by nuclear warhead. Besides, they're just kidding, right? After all, Iran keeps promising to wipe Israel off the map of the Middle East, and they haven't embarked on that little mission yet, either. Just the usual rhetorical bombast.

But it is inordinately entertaining, nonetheless. Say it again?

"All these war manoeuvres are nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by force of arms", smoothly, innocuously explains North Korea's National Defence Commission. They will unleash a "sacred war" of nuclear retaliation, for the joint U.S. South Korean naval exercise represents "as reckless an act as waking up a sleeping tiger." Grrrooowal!

Use some common sense, take a deep breath, face reality. There is nothing coercive about two allies planning manoeuvres together. It's done all the time. This one, codenamed "Invincible Spirit", is actually named in homage to North Korea, whose indomitable, invincible spirit has been well noted, and soooo widely admired.

And, in homage to the might and the capability of North Korea, the show of solidarity between the U.S. and South Korean forces represents a puny display of pseudo-machismo. Wave after wave of aircraft, F-218 Hornet fighters and Hawkeye spy aircraft, taking off and landing on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

They're just showing off.

North Korea, by comparison, has its million men and women in uniform, men and women granted, whose (stunted) physiques and mental condition reflects years of starvation diets, but a million regardless. And the military equipment short of spare parts, the lack of a sufficiently forceful missile-delivery system for those little nuclear warheads?

An unfortunate, but temporary situation, soon to be suitably amended. And then, look out world!

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Nuclear Bursts In Troubled Bubbles

More data unveiled, more complex and complicating the situation becomes. The suspected has become a blazing reality with new intelligence monitoring of Burma. Leaked photographs, satellite tracking and electronic surveillance revealing that the country - yet another monstrous totalitarian country with an atrocious human rights record - is planning to become a nuclear power. A defector from Burma has also divulged the country's intention to develop nuclear weapons; yet another 'reclusive', xenophobic and lunatic administration threatening world order and peace.

Not that the world is particularly orderly or that peace prevails, since nothing could be further from reality; but in essence, a revelation that threatens to portend in the very near future the extremity of further dangers facing the world. The world will never, ever be ready to countenance the countries-cabal of North Korea, Iran, Syria and Burma boasting of their nuclear weapons. Within that combustible mixture we can toss in Pakistan. Venezuela may not be far behind. This augers ill for the future of world stability, on an order of despair for humankind.

These are countries without conscience within their leaderships. Raving lunatics who have amazingly managed to invest within themselves the authority of national leadership. Countries whose populations live in dire poverty, countries which are backward and devastatingly poor, but able regardless to muster sufficient funds from mysterious sources to enable themselves to become nuclear powers. Burma, the defector advises, now has two secret nuclear facilities along with a "nuclear battalion" charged with building a nuclear weapons capability.

Not so mysteriously, all manner of components, plans, scientific assistance and encouragement emanate from the most problematically illogical sources. Components built with German machine tools imported through Singapore. Laughably, Washington has informed Burma's ruling generals "they have international obligations we expect them to heed". That will without doubt make for a compelling impression upon those generals whose contempt for the international community is matched by North Korea and Iran.

Of course South Korea is extremely upset and nervous over the irate belligerence of North Korea, as it threatens to fully detonate into manic and end-stage nuclear threats. Reminds one of how nervous Russia is about its homegrown threats emanating from its own Muslim Islamist threats from neighbours once securely under the fist of the USSR. But Russia has few compunctions about assisting Iran in building its nuclear infrastructure. Nor in providing Hamas and the PA with weapons and other military equipment.

Reminds one of how close Iran and North Korea have become, inviting Burma to join them - and Syria along for the joyride. And Pakistan, of course, from whence, courtesy of its chief nuclear scientist, came the impetus for sharing nuclear technology to the highest bidder. South Korea's fears and tribulations, however, have not stopped it from aiding Jordan in establishing that kingdom's first nuclear research reactor with a munificent $70 million loan agreement.

The Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute and Daewoo Engineering and Construction are prepared to begin building Jordan's first reactor at the Jordan University for Science and Technology. Strange; even though the U.S. is supportive of Jordan's plans for a peaceful nuclear program, it has oddly enough expressed reservations over Jordan's plans to enrich large uranium reserves.

What is nervous-making for countries facing off against intransigent, bitterly-belligerent neighbours attaining nuclear sufficiency and growing that toward nuclear weaponry - sooner rather than later - presents in a different prism of light and understanding when those potential threats become worries for other nations. The binding resolution for helpfulness remains the sharing of technology for financial gain.

This is the incendiary trade-off bargain between nations and ideologies (resulting in irrelevantly-benighted purposes) the world has descended to.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Look, We Share the Same Values!

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a very nice man. He will tell you so. Those who hear his sermons will also declare him to be a very nice man, a good and a moderate Muslim. An American citizen who shares all the values of other American citizens. But of course, a man of experience in his faith, one who knows how to lead others to their faith. And in the process, melding Islam with the American experience of a social centre that brings people together, educates and enthuses them.

"We repeatedly say we are neither a mosque nor within Ground Zero, but they just shout back 'Ground Zero mosque, Ground Zero mosque'", Imam Rauf complains. The 13-story complex he plans to build in the shadow of Ground Zero has a laudable purpose innocent of malice, much misunderstood by the too-sensitive non-Muslim citizenry of New York, and by extension Americans living elsewhere in the country.

All consumed by the memory of 9-ll, which, unfortunately is inextricably, horrendously, atrociously linked to Islam.

Now, how unreasonable can people be! "We are trying to establish something that follows the YMCA concept but is not a church or a synagogue or, in this case, a mosque. We are taking that concept and adapting it to our time and the fact that we're Muslims. It's basically a Muslim Y." Well, that explains everything. And demonstrates aptly how skilled Muslims have become at adapting to and adopting Western-style values, manipulated to veil their own.

Islam is unlike other religions. It has a firm stranglehold on its adherents, as a total lifestyle experience. It is a religion that will not lift its stolid, heavy presence as a firm and unassailable expression of domination through all aspects of life's journey from the political to the social, the civil to the religious, all one neat and complex bundle to be taken as is, no deviations contemplated lest ye become an apostate.

The clever manipulation of reason and logic by the quiet use of laws to insist that Muslims want nothing more nor less than their due as integral members of Western society, and that due should really, given sheer numbers within the population, include sharia. To deny them that is to express one's anti-Muslim attitude. The laws of freedoms and public relations meant to advantage society as an entirety have proven very useful.

Imam Rauf seeks understanding, empathy, sympathy for the need to further the cause of Islamic stability and acceptance within the greater society of the United States. In the process he demonstrates an utter lack of empathy and sensitivity for the sensibilities of other Americans who have suffered a grave trauma in witnessing the sanctity of their public places destroyed, their citizens murdered in an attack of monumental proportions.

The attackers were rabid Islamist jihadists whose incendiary hatred for the West and for non-Muslims led them to plan an outrage so unsuspected by the targets that they could be assured their assault would have tormentingly long-lasting effects. These were men so steeped in the pathology of avenging an historic past, so utterly devoid of humane-ness that they could undertake to destroy the lives of thousands and consider it a blessing for Islam.

After the 9-11 atrocity, Muslims throughout the world who hated the West and specifically the United States, celebrated the event as a victory for Islam. Dancing in the streets and handing out sweets to children marked the depths to which a depraved hatred of other human beings could plunge a people. Sympathy for the attackers and contempt for those whose lives were lost marked a well-noted attitude within Arab and Muslim states.

Imam Rauf contends that his projected project, to build the mosque that is not really a mosque but a Western-concept "Y", is a badly misunderstood project. One that "couldn't be more urgent than right now. One thing I hear all the time is, 'Where are the moderate Muslims?' We are moderates and we've condemned radicalism But moderation doesn't' sell newspapers."

No, it does not, he is correct. But unmitigated chutzpah can and does. And what is being proposed in the 'shadow' of Ground Zero represents a signal lack of empathy, sympathy and understanding of the huge trauma suffered by New Yorkers. What he proposes to build there represents another kind of trauma, one of unrepentant opportunism, an undeclared but obvious obliviousness to the shock and horror felt by the people affected, one that will not fade gracefully.

His actions and those of his backers represent a grave affront to the memory of those who died. To the pain of the living who now exist without their loved ones. To the insecurity and terror re-lived in nightmares of people who are very well aware that their enemy is restless and anxious to commit additional acts of terror wherever and whenever opportunity presents itself.

When Imam Rauf was pointedly asked why he would choose to build where he did, he evaded the question by responding: "I've been in this community for the last quarter century. I'm the imam of a mosque 10 blocks from there. But we now have to hold three sessions of Friday prayers because the space is so tight."

Right. But why, on heaven's name there, in that very space, so adjacent the atrocity that altered America's comfort of self? That, in and of itself is a triumphalism, expressing Islamic contempt for others, for non-Muslims, for infidels and kuffars.

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That Sporting Life

You know things are bad when you can't even please some of the people some of the time. Israel is in one of those unenviable positions. Not too many are pleased with Israel. It's a nation of majority-Jewish population, but rainbow enough to include Chinese and African Jews, as well as Arab Palestinians and Kurds and Greek and Armenian Christians, and a smattering of American evangelicals trying to convert Jews to Jesus.

Oh right, Israel has its own seemingly unbridgeable gap with its own fundamentalists, Jews whose interpretation of Judaism pits them against the reality of the existence of the State of Israel, which they view as a blasphemy against Holy Scriptures solemnly teaching that only with the return of the Messiah may Israel rise from its ashes. Now, they really do have something in common with Iran's Ayatollahs, come to think of it.

The Hidden Imam, seen as Iran's own Messiah with its Shia interpretation of Islam, when the world as it is known will be destroyed and only the righteous will inhabit it, those believers and worshippers of Allah (not including the apostates who worship other, false versions of Islam and Sunni Muslims need not apply, among others). Precisely because the appearance of the 13th Imam is imminent, annihilating Israel into nuclear night is feasible.

Roman Catholic Spain launched its Inquisition against those who eschewed Christian belief. And during that time fraught with everpresent danger of auto-da-fes it became a life-and-death decision to become a converso. This was six centuries of persecution of Jews, heretics and apostates, from Rome, to France, Spain to Portugal. The Malleus Maleficarum expressing the need and the protocol, prefacing Russia's production of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Just something about those Jews, always gets into someone's craw. Israel, alone among the countries in the Middle East does not persecute gays and lesbians, who live openly and unfettered by fear of discovery. Gay Pride parades are an accepted celebration in Tel Aviv. Gays serve openly and with distinction in the IDF. Gay marriages are recognized as legal in Israel (albeit performed elsewhere).

But in Toronto, the Gay Pride parade allows its QueersQontingent to slander and belittle Israel, declaring it a barbaric, human-rights-offending state. Madrid too had its annual gay pride festival, considered the largest in Europe, where the usual calls for societal tolerance and explicit and raunchy sexuality is displayed, and where the organizers, Spain's Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders and Bisexuals, disallowed Israeli gays' participation.

Israel just plays the wrong kinds of games. Games that utterly pervert what world opinion will tolerate. Setting it apart, aside and well beyond the moral pale. Unions, academics, state legislators, student groups, and even international sport organizations decry the mendacity and offensive behaviour of a country seeking to protect itself from violent assault by Zionist-haters.

There is a huge culture that has evolved within the international community. And on a scale of pro- and -con, the weights are balanced heavily to disfavour the State of Israel. (And just a teeny-weeny bit weighted toward virulent anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism, to call a spade what it really is; deep-thrusting and black). On the other hand, it isn't just the outside world of non-Jews who deplore and detest Israel.

The free-for-all has extended to Jews themselves, those who hold themselves to be 'enlightened' and dedicated to 'freedom' and who lean so far left on the liberal-democratic scale it's a wonder they aren't in a continual prone position - well, damn! they are, so to speak. The greater the calls for censure toward Israel, the more self-hating Jews appear to align themselves with the wholesale opposition to Judaism.

Medieval-minded, aggressive, armed and dangerous Israel pitted against sadly afflicted Arab Palestinians whose sixty years in the wilderness of refugee-dom has allied the international community toward their rescue from !Occupation! The Palestinian Authority which speaks gently of the search for peace, while teaching its young through vested curricula that Jews are the enemy who must be defeated, and land Israel squats upon must be reclaimed.

Ferocious, damning anti-Israel propaganda reaches ears eager to believe all the bloody tropes of Jews kidnapping Arab (or Christian) children to drain their blood for Passover matzos. It's such a gruesomely alluring tale, it must be true, since Jews are involved, and nothing is too grim and horrible to ascribe to that miserable race of malefactors-against-the-world. There are no games innocent of the intent to dominate and to humiliate, on the part of Jews.

Even a volleyball game with Israel playing Serbia taking place in Turkey is rife with opportunity to unfurl Palestinian flags and hurl hate-ridden invective at the disgusting presence of Jewish athletes among the legitimate players. Replete with smuggled signage recalling to memory the Munich Olympics massacre of Jewish athletes. Whose slaughter Allah is thought to have viewed with satisfaction, obviously.

Demonstrators showed up for the game despite that the match, as a security precaution, had been closed to the public. Jewish and Israeli groups, public speakers, intellectuals, sport groups, cannot appear anywhere without the inevitable show of anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protesters. The European Volleyball League is just simply a whole lot better off without being besmirched by the presence of Jews.

"Don't be dogs of Zionism. G-d will hold you to account!" was the refrain, with demonstrators hurling bottles at police, rapping with PA flagpoles on the police shields. And the police? Very nicely behaved. "Esteemed friends, please don't cause trouble", a police commander appealed to the increasingly more hostile crowd.

Very civilized, very sporting in the best traditions of internationalism. Emailed messages had advised protesters to hide their Palestinian Authority flags and banners, and refrain from shouting slogans. They were apprehended by sharp-eyed security personnel, caught and their entry to the stadium blocked.

The game was lost by Israel, 3-0. The Israeli team is now scheduled to play Turkey. The Israeli coach's opinion was that the loss to Serbia by Israel represented a "good experience" for his team. Stimulating them to play harder? To overlook the mortal slights and slings and stones, and ignore the detestation displayed? Lest they forget they are Jews?

Demonstrating the height of civilized courtesy, the Israeli team's coach expressed his gratitude to the Turkish authorities for the tight security. Which did not prevent his players from feeling the sting of bitter slander, but did protect them from the fate that assailed Israeli athletes in Munich, during the 1972 Olympics.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

"We too say 'Never Again'"

Quite incredible, the profound change that has taken place in Turkey, where Ankara has seen fit, under Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to lay waste to a relationship between his country and Israel that was useful to both for a prolonged period of time. An oasis in the direly violent and traditionally dysfunctional relationship between the Arab world and the Jewish State.

The new Turkish administration has neutered its once fiercely secular armed forces leadership. Accusing and arresting high-echelon armed forces leaders, on the charge of plotting to overthrow the government. His government. His ferociously Islamist government. A government that has turned on a one-time ally, and who most latterly involved itself in accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

And which challenged Israel by sending a Turkish-led flotilla of 'humanitarian aid' to Gaza, with its lead vessel including identified Islamist thugs associated with a Turkish terror group, IHH. The fallout of that flotilla's having been stopped and boarded by Israeli marines who were ambushed and beaten, the resulting melee causing the deaths of 9 Turks, enabled Erdogan to garner international outrage against Israel.

This is the Turkey that of course, knows something about ethnic cleansing. Armenians suffered just that when Turkey felt it would be better off eliminating them, and which it did, spectacularly successfully. Denying that Armenian Holocaust ever since. And Israel delicately stepped around that issue, cautious lest it enrage its ally. This is also the Turkey that embarked on a colonization of Northern Cyprus, uprooting hundreds of thousands of Greeks.

How peculiar it is that events follow their destined courses. Greece, with whom Turkey enjoys atrocious relations, and whose history in some ways parallels Israel's, is now moving toward a close political, economic and social alliance with Israel, filling a very needful gap for both countries.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stated as his mission "forging closer ties with Israel...". Opportune, at the very least, given the yawning gap left by Turkey's new and growing hatred for the Jewish State. And Turkey's re-alignment with Syria and Iran, and its defence of Hamas.

Prime Minister Papandreou stated a consolidating assurance in moving to cement a closer relationship: "We too say 'never again'."

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Icon Of South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Tutu seemed, at a geographic remove, and from the reportage coming out of South Africa, like a decent, well-intentioned and compassionate man. With a puckish sense of humour that always has an important place anytime in human relations. He's getting on, and stepping away from formal public life. His placid demeanor and earnest dedication to conciliatory relations between the races in South Africa echoed that of Nelson Mandela.

They both appeared as extraordinary figures of human decency during the vicious era of Apartheid. Neither opted for violence to attain justice, both represented a peaceful turnover of administrations, and they did not seek revenge on their former tormentors, but invited them to become part of the new South Africa.

They shared a vision of South Africa that elevated the ugly to the sublime. A country of equality and opportunity and freedom to achieve what could be achieved; a huge move forward for an important country in a neglected, strife-torn continent of huge, teeming tribal animosities and brutal dictatorships.

And then, for a while, it looked as though everything would come to fruition. While Nelson Mandela presided over the African National Congress, the country seemed to move toward its goal, of providing employment to all, decent living accommodations, education and equal opportunities to advance everyone into another, advanced century of attainment. The advance stalled.

Poverty remains endemic, unemployment is rife, and so are infectious diseases. And while violent crime in South Africa has a wide scope, its people have also become xenophobic, unwilling to aid their desperate brethren fleeing from untenable institutionalized violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, in Somalia and Pakistan. The government is doing its best to embrace the need to give haven, the people are resistant, forgetting what neighbours did for them.

The country has its political, social elite, an entitled and wealthy minority, while inadequate housing, medical treatment and job opportunities plague huge segments of the country. Yet the country splurged on inviting the world to come and celebrate with it, at its coming-out party hosting the World Cup of Soccer where no expense was spared to throw a lavish display.

How conflicted men like Desmund Tutu and Nelson Mandela must have felt, yet full of pride at the same time, that South Africa could command the world's attention at such a festive event, yet in the background the seething mess of a country in dire need remained, to return to the forefront. Yet there is just so much and no more that one man can do.

And Archbishop Desmond Tutu has done more than one single man's turn. Still, it must pain him horribly to witness the descending mess of the African National Congress, and its stupendous failures.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shooting From The Hip Lip

Reality brief: get the facts, not the factoids. The meat, not the giblets. Act in haste, you know you'll be held to account when the facts emerge, and then publicly repent, with sulphur-odoured egg smeared all over your face. Makes you look like the dolts you don't want to resemble, the knee-jerky idiots who took a story, edited it to suit their purpose and cried 'reverse-racism!' because it made their day and headlines, as well.

Here was Shirley Sherrod, a fine upstanding American who understands well, through personal experience and keen observation of the passing scene what racial intolerance and hate-inspired isolation produces. And who did her utmost throughout an honourable service-career to help people survive catastrophic circumstances that would lead to a penuriously dismal failure.

Tasked by her position as an enabler, an administrator of rural development, she assisted hundreds of farmers, black and white, to sustain their livelihoods through joint interaction and shared potentials, surmounting the difficulties of economic difficulties in depressed farming markets. Sharing some signal moments in her past with the NAACP, her statements were videotaped and worked over with sinister intent.

Released on a super-heated right-wing blog and going viral in the news media who picked it up as the latest example of institutionalized racial intolerance in reverse, to stab the current administration with an example of one of their own shafting whites. Even the NAACP, whose conference gathering heard her complete speech, accepted the out-of-context accusations.

Not only leaving her to dangle high in the wind, alone and betrayed but supporting the contentions of those who were responsible for deliberately misreading and misinterpreting her story. "Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race", the national president solemnly condemned.

They were appalled by her actions. No different than the abuse of power against people of colour. "I didn't discriminate", she begged to differ. "I didn't have to help that farmer. I could have sent him out the door without giving him any help at all. But in the end, we became very good friends, and that friendship lasted for some years."

The wife of the farmer in question, now 82, still considers Shirley Sherrod her "friend for life", who was singly responsible for helping her family avoid bankruptcy. "She's the one I give credit for helping us save our farm" (decades previously). The executive director of the nonprofit organization informed CNN: "I can't praise Shirley enough. She holds no malice in her heart."

But unfortunately Shirley Sherrod was urged, encouraged, then finally forced to leave her position as Georgia director of rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By an Obama administration horrified that they might be conceived of being linked to someone who behaved so atrociously as was reported by Fox News, thanks to Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart.

What a difference a day makes. The White House that was so anxiously determined to fire this woman, now agonizes over its rash reaction to a vicious, unproven accusation of racism. "Without a doubt, Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology. I would do so on behalf of this administration. Everybody involved made determinations without knowing all the facts and all the events." The White House regrets the "injustice".

You can bet they do. And an reinstated Shirley Sherrod will just go back to doing what she always did, representing the very best interests of her clients in an unbiased, empathetic and humane manner, a credit to her personally, and to the U.S. administration by default.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh. Oh.

Freely given, hastily accepted. Consensual sex. One-night stands. Women hoping that if they put out there might be repeats, and who knows what that might lead to. Marriage? Why not. Where there is sex there is hope. But that robustly-proven old adage, 'act in haste, repent at leisure', also quite concisely describes how many women feel after the fact. As in dammit, did I really do that?

And things can get even more complicated when, as happens all too often, the woman was - or thought she was - misled somehow. That the man represented himself as something - someone, actually - he was not. A wealthy man. A bachelor. A member of a royal house. A high-powered politician. A well-remunerated professional man. A guy looking for the right girl to complement his life. A Jew?

Since when might being a Jewish guy on the loose land some shmuck in an eager woman's bed? Ah, in Israel, when he's facing off with a Jewish woman. Jewish women generally, when they envision where things might go from there, think: eager Jewish guy. But this guy was a 30-year-old delivery man, and an Arab.

See where we're going here? He did what hordes of men before him have done, for the opportunity to get into some woman's bed; he misrepresented who he was. What he was. Introducing himself as a "Daniel", when he was really a "Sabbar". And, when the woman, whose name is being protected, while his is not, discovered the deception she was rather irritated.

Sufficiently so to bring criminal charges against him. And an Israeli court convicted this man of "rape by deception" following a criminal trial. They met in Jerusalem, on the street. They conversed, they meandered over to a nearby office and there they had a quickie. After which Sabbar Kashur departed, swiftly.

No coy telephone contact afterward, suggesting another assignation. He knew where to draw the line. She did not. It was perfectly all right for her to engage in sex for whatever reason, not necessarily as she later suggested, on the chance that she might find in him a future husband. Not so all right for him to represent himself as a remotely potential mate. For like oil and water, Jews and Arabs don't naturally meld in the MidEast.

The judge, a female, obviously allowed her gender to interpret law, concluding that the law had a duty to protect such women from "smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price. If (the victim) hadn't thought the accused was a Jewish bachelor interested in a serious romantic relationship, she would not have co-operated." Co-operated?

Pu-lease! Would this have occurred if it had been a married Jewish man passing himself off as a bachelor? If he had been a Jewish criminal with a long record of gender-abuse?

As it is this poor guy who has been found criminally responsible, can appeal. No amount of appealing, however, will protect him from his wife's reaction at his insultingly sordid dalliance.

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Not Our Fault!

"I don't think there's any great mystery here. There was a decision taken by the Scottish executive - in my view, a wholly wrong and misguided decision, a bad decision - but their decision, nonetheless. I don't think we need an extra inquiry to tell us that that's what happened." British Prime Minister David Cameron
"Let us not confuse the oil spill with the Libyan Bomber", Prime Minister Cameron cautioned reporters. No, not to be confused; the oil spill is one devastating accident with which BP is being charged, a charge that has enraged the American public, a situation encouraged by the American administration which itself has no wish to be blamed for its lack of adequate oversight.

So, don't confuse them. Yet, of course, BP is an oil producer, one of Britain's largest, most important, greatest wealth-producing international corporations, and should that corporation fail as a result of the fall-out of the Gulf spill and the follow-up (6-B and growing emergency repair and clean-up; $20-B reparations) Britain's economy would be hobbled, disastrously. So there's that issue, and its regrettable, and Mr. Cameron admits BP's responsibility.

At the same time, reminding America of the unassailable fact that giant corporations which have tentacles throughout the world, affecting the global economy, bring much employment also. "I completely understand the anger that exists right across America. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a catastrophe for the environment, for the fishing industry, for tourism." But remember all those jobs - on both sides of the Atlantic. Case made. Point acknowledged.

But this other issue, the one that he stood before the cameras and the reporters to discuss briefly, that's something else entirely. This, an issue which smacks of British government culpability. Wrong. Whitehall was not involved, certainly not. Not us. BP lobbied the Scottish government. Not the British government as well? BP, in this instance, concerned for its Libyan oil contracts; just incidentally, Tony Blair as well.

But it was the Scottish government, convinced, so they said, that they should release the former Libyan spy, convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, on compassionate grounds. His advanced cancer left the poor man a mere month of excruciatingly painful existence. The 270 people who died aboard Pan Am Flight 103, on the other hand, never knew what hit them, they simply died, did not suffer as Mr. al-Megrahi did.

The government of Scotland, needless to say, got their marching orders from London. And then had to figure out how they could possibly serve both masters. The pretext that humanitarian concerns trumped the need to exact justice on behalf of the 270 dead of a terrorist attack simply did not age well. Since Mr. al-Megrahi, who returned home to Libya as a national hero will yet outlive his death due-date.

"I'm not currently minded to hold an inquiry." His is the last word, is it not?

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Israel, Wherefore Art Thou?

Now, that's fascinating. The news out of the Washington Post of the runaway and hugely redundantly expensive, and fairly inept-to-inoperative Homeland Security in the United States, post 9-11. Over three thousand government and private contractor organizations operating from ten thousand locations across the U.S. and almost a million people with top-secret security clearance, and 33 new building complexes to house them. They've managed to produce 50,000 reports annually. What has it resulted in?

There's a whole lot of home-grown, and-growing young Islamist jihadi threats on the horizon. Some of them have already committed to martyrdom, and some have succeeded beyond their wildest delusions. More have been apprehended as a result of citizen-awareness alerting authorities. And the home-grown threat has not been pacified, and it will continue to fester. And so too, doubtless, will the immense industry constructed to detect their sinister plans.

Mind, they could take more than a few lessons from the State of Israel, a country that lives within a hornet's nest of incendiary states bristling with their own home-grown fanatics eager to bring down the autocratic, totalitarian, theocratic governments - most of which deplore the presence of Israel themselves and have in the past, and will in the future, do what they can to destroy it. (They do it with the aid of human intelligence trained to detect dangers and to act accordingly.)

And, beyond that, there's the proxy terror groups who threaten the country at its borders, and well beyond, even as the UN agencies stand watch - and there's the tribal-inbred, religion-fanatic-invested citizens of the country themselves of Arab origin, but with Israeli citizenship who plot, who attack, who sit in the elected Knesset representing Palestinian rights, with no loyalty whatever to the State that has given them all the rights of citizenship.

But the U.S. cares, deeply, about the state of the State of Israel. As its ally and protector. Even if the State of Israel is prickily irritating at the best of times. As in rumbles coming out of the country that it will have no option but to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran which constantly threatens its existence, and which is coming perilously close to producing bomb-grade uranium in its busy-beaver nuclear installations.

That, apart from all the lethal devices that Israel's borders are being bombarded with daily, threats from Hamas and Hezbollah, beloved proxies of Iran and Syria to increase the accuracy, lethality and reach of more technologically sophisticated armaments courtesy of Russia and China and North Korea. However, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, in Israel to announce that Congress has allocated $205-million to accelerate development of the "Iron Dome" anti-rocket system is useful news.

Useful in the sense that it may belay for the time being Israel's other concerns. For President Obama is anxious to ensure that Israel does not undertake to initiate a bombing foray over Iran to destroy its nuclear installations in an effort to save itself from nuclear destruction by Iran. Since he is convinced that should Israel act in such a selfish manner to save its future, it will impact deleteriously on American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, et al.

"U.S. support for Israel's security" harrumphed Mr. Shapiro, "is much more than a simple act of friendship. We are fully committed to Israel's security because it enhances our own national security and because it helps Israel to take the steps necessary for peace... we cannot entrust Israel's future to the status quo. And the most certain way to ensure Israel's future as a democratic state is through a sustainable regional peace." Um, yes, that agenda. Where no other American presidents have succeeded, the president who has pledged American-Islamic friendship urgently requires a break-through.

Israel has become increasingly isolated. The world, which post-Holocaust deferred anti-Semitism to hateful obscurity having no place in decent society appears to have embraced, post-defensive attack of Gaza in 2008 - and with the support of the Goldstone Report to the United Nations - a virulent form of anti-Israelism. Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriella Shaley, pointed out the danger to the existence of the Jewish State in the growing syndrome of anti-Zionism as a close relative to anti-Semitism.

"Israel", she said in Washington, "is the most isolated, lonely country in the world". And where the Arab world did not manage to succeed in destroying it through a succession of wars, and the economic boycott failed singularly in its intent, and while the jury is still out on terrorism, which the building of the internationally-abhorred protective wall between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza appears to prevent, de-legitimization of the State's existence may prove more effective.

Within the United Nations itself, with many of its off-shoot committees like the Human Rights Commission, largely controlled by the huge Muslim Nations Bloc, (Organization of the Islamic Conference) Israel is forever condemned and isolated, held to account in a way no other nation faces, while unlike the nations that condemn it, its human rights record remains a sterling one. European courts of public opinion remain set against Israel, accusing it of war crimes against the Palestinians when nothing could be further from the truth.

To round things out nicely, Egypt's uneasy peace pact with Israel may be in doubt in view of the fact that an intelligence source quoted by the Washington Post warns that President Hosni Mubarak is suffering from terminal cancer, with possibly no more than a year to live, placing in possible jeopardy the 1979 peace treaty, a very chilly "cold peace". Jordan's peace treaty with Israel appears an increasingly tenuous one, with high-pitched criticism of Israel's current government issuing from Amman.

Add to that Saudi Arabia whose Wahhabist fundamentalist outlook has never looked anything but sourly at the presence of Israel in the midst of the Arab Middle East. The influence that Saudi Arabia exerts on the other Arab countries is immeasurable, and its "normalization-peace plan" details insisting that Israel submit to its rigidly-untenable terms might itself eradicate the state's Jewishness. And then there is the sinister overtures that Shiite Iran and Wahhabi Saudi Arabia are engaging in.

Traditionally enemies, Arab Sunni Saudi Arabia, and Aryan Shiite Iran, are once again engaging in talks to mend their differences to ensure they do not "serve the interests of the Zionist regime and enemies of the region and the Muslim world." As though Israel's warm relations with Turkey nourished and well entrenched before the installation of an Islamist Turkish government now in complete free fall, decaying toward full belligerence weren't enough of an isolating drama.

Just how convoluted Middle East politics remain can be seen in the fear that Saudi Arabia feels respecting Iran's nuclear agenda. Despite their more recent warming trend in relations, Saudi Arabia has been purported to have given tacit approval to an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear infrastructure. The London Times reported the Saudis gave permission for Israeli bombers to pass over the Kingdom on a bombing mission to Iran.

Should Israel finally be forced to decide it can wait no longer, and undertake to risk striking Iran, it will do so because it can no longer countenance the risk of being bombed by a nuclear-armed Iran. Which fact of Iranian nuclear-arms would present as a direct threat to the entire Middle East. Once such an event occurred, all concerned with the exception of Iran's Supreme Commander and its President, would breathe a sigh of relief. Ordinary Iranians would take the opportunity to resurrect their Green revolution.

While the international community, breathing relief at the pre-emption, would also breathe fire and condemnation at Israel for bringing the calamity of potential war in the Middle East closer to reality. And the United States would raise its huge objections respecting Israel's intransigent refusal to heed its directions, withdrawing its support temporarily from Israel, until it is assured that the attack has indeed not harmed its interests.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good News In Afghanistan!

Well, that's settled now. Hamid Karzai has informed those gathered to a conference in Kabul, a 'peace conference' no less, that he and Afghanistan are fully prepared to be self-accountable, independent, capable of looking to their own interests and they will achieve this by 2014. A timeline that fits neatly into the plans of the United States as it happens. The country with the most troops stationed in Afghanistan. In a coalition with other NATO countries, all of which are anxious to depart that benighted country.

It's mind-boggling to consider what this nine-year 'war' against the Taliban has cost all the Western backers. In lives lost, in nations' treasuries, in time spent within the country desperately attempting to mend all the ills of an entrenched medieval society held in the thrall of a fanatical religion that imposes its strictures on every facet of human endeavour; its social functioning, politics, ideology. A country where indeed people live to serve a divine master. One whose functionaries prey pitilessly on the vulnerable.

International aid continues to pour into the country; humanitarian groups busily invested in a determined effort to bring civil services, health services, jurisprudence, a working government administration, schools and employment opportunities to a people whose most recent memories and whose heritage has been invasion and oppression by imperialist armies and by tribal adversaries armed, trained and directed by neighbouring countries.

The current government of Afghanistan is irremediably corrupt. It has no intention of changing its traditions that compel people to buy what they require from corrupt officials at every level of society. It is the grease that brings a modicum of order to a creaking administrative effort. Western aid donors, fully cognizant of this endemic corruption have funnelled funding through NGOs, bypassing government coffers.

President Hamid Karzai is offended by this, feeling he and his ministers should be given the opportunity to disburse, to plan and to produce the civic infrastructures to forward the interests of the country directly. The distrust in which he is generally held has caused him the occasional mental distress demonstrated by his none-too-veiled threats to join hands with the Taliban. His intention still is to buy out the less-committed Taliban, ordinary Pashtun tribespeople, his very own.

"It's absolutely important to us and the international community for its taxpayers' money to be acknowledged to have an impact on the ground, to lead to sustainable development, to strengthen Afghanistan institutions", said Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwai. Illustrating how cleverly adaptive these minds are to the buzz-words of obliging, guilt-ridden Western democracies, eager to secure their departure, desperate to ensure that the jihadists that threaten the West are buffered.

Sixty nations taking part in the conference, with a wide variety of non-governmental international institutions represented by their own delegates; this is a large-scale conference taking place in a quite dangerous war zone. Even though it is in the capital of the country, a city said to be well secured and defended, the Taliban prove otherwise, casually sending in their own suicide-belted delegates. Blowing up security-tight areas in Kabul. So much for tight security.

After nine long and weary years of Western sacrifice to the needs of Afghanistan and its tormented people precisely what has been accomplished? A veneer of civilization, greater numbers of children, including girls, attending school. Health clinics available for people's primary needs, a budding Islamic-style democracy where graft is the way of life and continues to be, a judiciary that is only slightly tainted, a police force held in contempt by the people, and an army incapable of acting on its own.

And Kandahar, the heart and soul of the 'insurgency'? That area which NATO claims has seen success? Some success that is. Greater numbers of attacks as the Taliban build up their forces with new recruits on a constantly-growing basis. Aided and abetted by tribal villagers with whom they share a common heritage and who are willing to learn how to produce IEDs and to carefully secure them. Foreigners are not, and have never been welcome in Afghanistan.

Canada will be withdrawing its forces in 2011, as will several other countries. Britain several years later. The United States already looks to the future divestment of its troops in the country. Depending on its staunch ally, Pakistan, to help guide Afghanistan to a steady state of reasonable functioning. This is the same Pakistan whose secret service trained and armed the Taliban.

Nuclear Pakistan that continually threatens its nuclear neighbour India, sending terror-jihadis into Mumbai and Kashmir. Democratic-inclined Pakistan whose tribal regions genially host al-Qaeda and their own Pakistani Taliban whose predations on tribal villages and whose incursions into Pakistan's own cities setting off suicide missions has become commonplace.

All is well.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Ah, Those Hearts and Minds

What should be clear through even a cursory study of historical antecedents, and a practical look at current events through the lens of a medieval society for whom fundamental religious devotion inscribes every facet of life, is finally identified as the result of a survey. Where field researchers with the International Council on Security and Development interviewed over 500 men in rural Kandahar and Helmand provinces, to discover that the majority remain sturdily unconvinced that NATO has any business whatever in Afghanistan.

In urban Kabul where the government of Hamid Karzai has some modicum of effectiveness and where international aid groups have been successful in liberalizing to some degree the manner in which women and girls are treated, it may be true that a large proportion of Afghans appreciate Western support. Where the population now has access to medical centres and children may now attend schools where girls were previously disallowed, and women may work to support themselves and men can shave beards without punishment.

In rural Afghanistan where the bulk of the population lives, a significant majority of Afghans (Pashtuns) feel that foreigners are a blight on their landscape, that respect for their traditions and for their religion is absent, and that it is "wrong" for them to work alongside international forces. And that the Western military offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar is not in their best interests.

Which clearly and obviously explains why it is that Canadian and other Western forces can walk or drive obliviously into IEDs that have been cleverly planted where they will do the most harm. Whose placement may be well known to the village communities. Some of whom may indeed have been involved in planting those IEDs. So why would they warn the foreigners of the presence of the explosives? Why would they betray their own?

The council's report, titled Afghanistan: The Relationship Gap, came to the conclusion that "These results are troubling and demonstrate the mistrust and resentment felt towards the international presence in Afghanistan". Amazing. What is truly amazing is the extent that well-meaning but unaware and righteous individuals and groups will go to to deny the obvious. Until it hits them in the face with the veracity of admission.

"We are failing to explain ourselves or our objectives to the Afghan people", said Norine MacDonald, a Canadian lawyer and president and lead researcher with the International Council on Security and Development. That failure, according to Ms. MacDonald, is the impetus behind the Taliban's ability to impress the population with its anti-Western propaganda.

Don't think so. The Taliban share ethnicity with the population. They are them. They share a religion, in a basic, fundamentalist manner. They share a heritage and a culture, and a great social understanding that this is how the country has been managed from time immemorial, and that resistance to the constant invasion of the country by foreigners is part of that culture.

Of course it was only men who were asked the questions in the survey. Women were not consulted. In a culture and a society where women are not seen, not heard from traditionally, little wonder. Women are chattel. In Kabul they are women. In Kabul they worry about their government's insistence that it wishes to confer with, bargain with, ally themselves with, the Taliban.

The feasibility of sharing government with the Taliban is newly appealing to Hamid Karzai. It will stop the terror attacks, the killing, the throwing of acid in the faces of girl students. The Taliban and the government of Hamid Karzai have much in common; both benefit hugely from the poppy industry, benefiting Western society with opioid production.

Afghan women are not complacent about this prospect. Their chattel inheritance will return. Their freedoms evaporate. The futures of their children stagnate and settle once again into backwardness and ignorance and hopelessness.

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Father-Abandoned Families

It's odd how curious it is that among black populations anywhere in the world one outstanding cultural feature distinguishes them. The high proportion of young black women who become mothers outside marriage. The high proportion of young black men who have no intention whatever of becoming caring, responsible fathers to their offspring. The high proportion of single-parent black families where women raise their children without the assistance of a male parental counterpart.

This peculiar fact alone accounts in large part for young black men in particular having few role models within a certain quite extensive strata of society, and scant values to which they can cling to, to assist them in identifying and striving to achieve a reasonable lifestyle. With few male role models who impress upon young boys the need to value education, to aspire to living a socially-sound lifestyle, it is hardly surprising that young black males adopt a dysfunctional lifestyle.

From that simple fact arises social disaffection and dysfunction, a dissonance in society with a class of black youth who turn to crime and violence as an expression of their anti-social attitudes. Young people who see no value in pursuing an education and from there a place within society with reliable and legal employment opportunities, complemented by an acknowledgement of their responsibilities toward the families they help to produce.

Within Africa, the Caribbean, Haiti, the United States, there exists a like situation, with black males eschewing responsibility toward their offspring. Leaving the women with whom they have intimate relations to bear children and to raise them on their own. What, exactly, is there in the genetic code of black men that so singularly impairs them and inures them to the need to become integrally involved, to help raise their families?

It is not as though there are no role models within the black community that can be looked upon with admiration and whose behaviours can be emulated. There are more than ample successful, intelligent and well educated black men who live exemplary social lives and who embrace the responsibility of adulthood by helping their women raise their children, jointly.

There is no lack whatever of prominent, successful black men whose lives and accomplishments bring glory to the black identity. They are represented in all the professions and they achieve high esteem in those professions. The big question is why is this upper strata of esteemed and highly educated and motivated men who bring much to society, not held in sufficient respect to stimulate a general uplifting of black men's aspirations?

The United States has a black president. Who has himself made mention of the need for young American black men to assume familial responsibility. There was a much-publicized movement to bring black men to the realization that they are not really so much men as they are men in arrested juvenile status as long as they abandon the women and the children they should be responsible for. What has it accomplished?

Young black men disproportionately represent the imprisoned in the United States. Committing all manner of crimes, mostly against one another. Yet the wife of the current President of the United States has launched a campaign to encourage black mothers to become familiar with basic, unadulterated foods and focus on nutrition for their growing young families.

Important enough to be sure, but hardly the foundational imperative they most urgently require.

It is a curious thing. A peculiar social/cultural anomaly. An exceedingly harmful one, both to individuals, the larger community and humankind itself.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bolivar! Viva Chavez!

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez is an emotional man, a man of convictions, a man of sturdy determination, a man of the people, for the people. Ask the poor of Venezuela and they will affirm this. Ask the middle-class and they will sneer. The country has vast fossil fuel resources and its president has a munificent attitude toward his neighbours, helpfully disbursing funding and socialist support for them.

All, that is, other than Colombia. Unlike Bolivia, Colombia does not have a man of the people at the helm. And Colombia is a disgrace in the neighbourhood, cleaving as it does to the principles of capitalism. Which is precisely why Hugo Chavez feels justified in supporting the Colombian FARC guerrilla movement, although strenuously denying it. Under Mr. Chavez the news media has become state-controlled (the fascist side of fundamental communism).

Under Mr. Chavez's direction a group of Colombian reporters were detained, accused of spying before finally being deported to Colombia. They were following a story on the activities of an ELN guerrilla commander in Venezuela. Colombia is prepared to take evidence proving official Venezuelan support of Marxist guerrillas to an upcoming meeting of the Organization of American States.

Luis Alfonso Hoyos, Colombia's ambassador to the OAS can show, through photos, videos and intelligence gained from rebel deserters that Hugo Chavez is actively encouraging the guerrillas "which affects Colombia's national security", at the OAS. Guerrilla commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have refuge and protection in Venezuela. Most un-neighbourly.

But then, Hugh Chavez's loathing for the capitalist running dogs is well known and practised. He allies himself proudly with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with Turkey's Erdogan, with Syria's al Bashir. This is the company he prefers, those who think like him, whose values reflect his, and whose belligerent stance in world affairs sets them aside. And like them, he is more than a trifle peculiar, as in delusional.

While Ahmadinejad sees flashing light descending from heaven indicating the imminent arrival of the Hidden Imam, and al Bashir imagines himself the entitled de facto ruler of Lebanon, Chavez sees himself as Bolivar incarnate, for he too feels the "fire" emanating from the bomb of Simon Bolivar, the great hero of Venezuelan independence.

The exhumation at the National Mausoleum in Caracas must have seen Chavez writhing in ecstasy at the revealed light of his national hero. Who was said to have died of consumption in Colombia. But not according to Mr. Chavez, for an autopsy is underway to determine that founding father Bolivar was poisoned with arsenic by Colombian forces.

Forces of the devil. The proof is in the findings of an American scientist from John Hopkins University who feels it likely that Bolivar did indeed die from arsenic poisoning, likely through contaminated water sources, and not through some dastardly conspiracy. But Chavez is conspiracy-prone, like his friends, and seeks justification for his own attempts to destroy Colombia's government.

The world and its raving lunatics, from Robert Mugabe, to North Korea's Dear Leader, and the Burmese leaders seeking nuclear weaponry, along to Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs, Syria's president, and Turkey's current Islamist party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his connections with the IHH terror group, and Pakistan's ISI and the Taliban.

All give us pause to gulp and reflect. Help!

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Turkish e-Terrorism

Turkish Hackers Steal Thousands of Email, PayPal, Bank Accounts
by Hana Levi Julian Turkish Hackers Grab Israel Info

Turkish hackers have stolen the details of thousands of Israeli bank, credit card and Pay Pal accounts, and posted the information online.

According to the Israeli We-CMS blog, the information was posted on to the message board of a Turkish Internet forum. By Sunday morning, the We-CMS blog itself was found “suspended” when Israel National News attempted to access the site.

In addition to the details of at least 32,561 Israelis, more than 140 passwords to Israeli government web sites and more than 300 passwords to Israeli academic web pages were swiped as well.

Globes business news service reports that many of the email addresses and passwords obtained by the Internet terrorists included accounts on Facebook, Gmail and Microsoft Live Messenger. Most of those had been hacked since the flotilla clash between IHH terror activists and Israeli Navy commandos aboard the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in May.

Erez Wolf, owner of the We-CMS, warned reporters, “The hackers used the information in their possession to enter accounts on other web sites. Assuming that many surfers use the same email, same password and same user name to register on all the sites that require registration – because it's easier to remember – the email and password from the hacked site will be the same one that gets them into others... like Pay Pal. From what I've been able to learn on the forum, the hackers penetrated the Pay Pal accounts of Israelis, and their bank accounts, and also were able to obtain credit card details as well.”

Wolf added that surfers have been debating the use of the information on the Turkish message board where the passwords and user names were posted in an Excel document. The discussion, said Wolf, is focused on whether or not it is permitted under Islamic law to use the stolen data.

Some of the writers have contended that as enemies of Islam, it is permitted to wreak whatever havoc is possible to Israeli users, citing social, criminal and religious arguments. Several quoted passages from the Koran that referred to the disposition of assets belonging to infidels (heretics).

The Excel file was downloaded from the Turkish web site and handed over to the Israel Police, who were unavailable for comment Sunday morning.

Published in Arutz Sheva, 18 July 2010

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Turkish Humanitarians

IHH Linked to Turkish President Erdogan
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu IHH Linked to Turkish Government

The IHH “charity," which attacked Israeli Navy commandos and which has been termed a terrorist group by Germany, is in cahoots with the governing Turkish party led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according a report in The New York Times.

The IHH has been exposed as a charity front for terror since the May 31 clash on the high seas when it supposedly was bringing humanitarian aid on a peace mission as a guise to break Israel’s sovereignty over the coastal waters of Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The latest disclosure by the Times proves that the IHH not only was sponsored by the government, but its officials also are inherently linked with Erdogan’s Justice and Development party, also known as the AK. As many as 10 AK legislators canceled plans at the last minute to join the IHH’s Mavi Marmara ship after being warned by Turkish government officials that their presence may be too dangerous diplomatically, Times’ reporter Tyler Hicks wrote.

(Pictured at left: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan) Nine IHH members, thoroughly trained by Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, were killed after clubbing Israeli Navy soldiers who had boarded the ship nearly defenseless in an effort to prevent it from continuing on its course to Gaza. The incident resulted in a worsening relationship between Turkey and Israel, but if the Turkish legislators had been on board, the situation would have been far more grave.

Turkish government officials warmly received the terror activists on their return, after the ship docked at Ashdod and was found to be carrying no humanitarian aid at all.

"The mission to Gaza served both the IHH and the government by making both heroes at home and in the Arab world,” according to Ercan Citlioglu, a terrorism expert at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul and quoted by the Times.

Despite IHH claims that it is not connected with Erdogan’s party, Tyler’s research found that 21 people on the IHH board of directors have or had close links with the AK party, including Murat Mercan, who also is chairman of the Parliament’s foreign affairs committee. He was in the overland convoy that delivered aid to Gaza via Egypt last January.

Published in Arutz Sheva, 18 July 2010

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

On The (Putrid) Scent...

"We were aware that this could have a negative impact on U.K. commercial interests, including the ratification by the Libyan Government of BP's exploration agreement." "It is a matter of public record that in late 2007 BP told the U.K. government that we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya." BP Spokesperson , 2010
"It was part of the bargaining deal with the U.K.... We signed an oil deal at the same time. The commerce and politics and deals were all with the PTA (prisoner transfer agreement). For the last seven to eight years we have been trying very hard to transfer Mr. Megrahi to Libya, to serve his sentence here and we have tried many times in the past to sign the PTA without mentioning Megrahi, but it was obvious we were targeting Megrahi and the PTA was on the table all the time." Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, 2009
BP is in extremely bad odour in the United States. Despite the British government's attempts to insist to the government of the U.S. that BP's fortunes are of vital concern to them, and to please go easy on the embattled multinational, the pride of Britain, the gloomy environmental forecast in the wake of the gargantuan Gulf oil spill has not endeared BP to America.

The company, for its part, has been losing stock shares like crazy. Confidence in its future is wobbly. It has spent a frantic $4-billion+ and growing, on trying to solve the problem of runaway oil soiling the eastern coastline of the United States, with the U.S. administration hot on its tail. Apportioning blame to its own lack of due vigilance, and BP's lack of due diligence hasn't been an option.

BP is a dirty, loathsome word and entity in the vocabulary of the United States of America. Although, if it does somehow manage to save itself from bankruptcy, it will still be eligible for further contracts with the U.S. That's the name of the game. Even if, currently, its ethical stock is at a perilously low ebb.

Add fuel to the fire? Not really necessary, but there it is, the fire of furious American opinion, both administrative and popular has been re-lit by new revelations around BP's interference in an affair that had the U.S. and Libya at jugular odds. Business as usual, perhaps, but not quite business as usual. The stench of corrupt blame is re-igniting America's ire.

And little wonder. The world looked on amazed as the Scottish government decided to release to Libya the sole individual who had been indicted and held responsible for planning and executing the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 which exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people, 189 of whom happened to be American.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was released last year in a humanitarian gesture. "Mr. Megrahi ... was sent home to die according to the due process of Scots law, based on the medical report of the Scottish Prison Service director of health and care, and the recommendations of the Parole Board and prison governor", was the mealy-mouthed excuse given by a Scottish government spokesperson.

What else could Scotland do but manoeuvre somehow to create this little scenario? After all British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the great good ally of the U.S., himself signed the PTA agreement. And he witnessed the signing of a major BP exploration contract in Libya, valued at five hundred million pounds.

Add to that a former official with MI6, Sir Mark Allen who had written to the Justice Secretary about a prisoner transfer agreement between Libya and Britain, and who travelled to Libya to broker oil deals on behalf of BP. And who, incidentally, has left his official government position, and now serves as a special advisor to BP.

BP admits it was lobbying the British government to conclude a PTA with Libya. "It is a matter of public record that in late 2007 BP told the U.K. government that we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya." And then, they no longer had any reason for concern; it was a done deal.

The television footage of a frail, morbidly ill Abdel Baset al-Megrahi being placed aboard an airliner to return to Libya, greeted on return by wild celebrations as a national hero, with the Government of Libya triumphant over its great success in liberating a mass murderer, held viewers enthralled. Bemused and enraged, too.

But, pity the poor man, he had mere months to live. He was said to have been placed immediately into a hospital where loving family members could linger over his last hours. And then, gradually, the realization that this was all a sham. He is well, very well indeed, thanks for asking. He lives gracefully, and in fairly robust health.

And BP secured that contract it was so anxious to obtain. And BP blew a hole in the ocean floor it couldn't contain. And BP still stands to benefit from many more such useful contracts in the future, hugely benefiting British pensioners. Can't argue with that, can you?

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Friday, July 16, 2010


Iran's nuclear scientist who is not a nuclear scientist at all - despite divulging fascinating data to interested CIA agents in the United States where he defected, but then didn't at all defect - is merely a "researcher" sans any useful nuclear knowledge, according to Iranian authorities. The CIA said thank you very much, paid him a cool $6 million and he has hied himself back to Iran to be re-united with his family whom he very much missed.

Iran is prepared to forgive and has given him a hero's welcome, having cleared him of any misdemeanors of the unforgivable traitor-variety.

This is one extremely conflicted young man, this nuclear scientist who is not a nuclear scientist. Who sought to seek refuge in the United States, but who was abducted by evil U.S. agents while he was in Saudi Arabia, and then forced to live for a few years in Texas, while attending university there to upgrade his knowledge about American society as an embedded agent of Iran.

He will verify in his de-briefing to take place in Evin prison for the Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guard that America is the Great Satan.

Iranians are becoming more than a little fretfully exercised over their plight as consumers for whom consumable goods are becoming more pricey. Thanks and no-thanks to the leadership of the United States and that unspeakable Middle East State, Israel, which has labelled it a threat to the world. Sanctions are impacting on the well-being of Iranian citizens to a notable degree. Not that they were not already being pinched by high prices.

Hitting the economy in travel, banking and energy, the trade and transfer of funds, all those sectors so necessary to the functioning of a society whose public has become accustomed to living a decent lifestyle is not a friendly act. those, for example, in the teaching profession who earn the equivalent of $400 monthly are finding it difficult to feed their families.

All this over Iran's right to become a nuclear nation?

This is patently unfair. This kind of hurtful psychological warfare, this isolation of a worthy country, a proud and honourable nation. This amounts to hatred directed toward the people of Iran. Iranians have become the new Jews! The world is targeting Iran with a brand of virulent anti-Aryanism. This is intolerably unfair, racist, implacably bigoted.

But, say many people, they are prepared to pay the price to preserve 'their nuclear program'.

Why? Because the country that produces an inordinate amount of the world's fossil fuel energy requires nuclear for domestic energy production. Fund the enterprises required to themselves refine all that gas and oil that is pumped to Europe for refinement and then returned as a finished product to Iran? Impractical.

Far better to use the country's scarce monetary reserves to build nuclear infrastructure. Here, there, everywhere. And continue to refine uranium.

No, not to weapons-grade. Just, to kind of have a stockpile of highly refined uranium. Iran is a peaceful, law-abiding, compassionate country. It has no intention, none whatever, of harming any other country, of posing a threat to the stability of the Middle East, much less to the world at large. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just kidding, folks. After all, he has Jewish blood in his DNA. Just keeping Israel on its proverbial toes, that's all.

The stealthy sabotage that the United States and its allies have been engaging in over the years, doing their utmost to throw wrenches into the finely-tuned plans of the Islamic Republic of Iran is most unfortunate. And the lies that they bandy about! Take the estimate by Ivan Oelrich, nuclear scientist, vice-president of Federation of American Scientists whose study purported to demonstrate that Iran's centrifuges operate at 20% efficiency; clearly outrageous attempts to demoralize the administration.

Iran is on top of that. Its Republican Guard know what they're doing. They've arrested spy squirrels and spy pigeons, and have the matter well in hand; neither are now reporting to the interfering international intelligence (hah! there's a misnomer if ever there was one...) communities. And those spies are on death row, destined to pay the supreme price for confusing their loyalties.

Sabotage will not be tolerated. Nor disrespect. Nor protests against theocratic totalitarianism which is what Allah has prescribed as a remedy to heal the sick hearts of the people of Iran.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unstable Pakistan

At the time of partition, when Pakistan was born out of India, and the Punjab remained partly in each one, there were horribly deadly riots where Hindus and Muslims slaughtered one another in the paroxysm of geopolitical and social-religious upheaval. Things have simmered down considerably since then, since the vast migration of people, Hindus leaving their ancestral homes in what is now Pakistan, and Muslims leaving theirs in India, to relocate to their new home country, Pakistan.

Muslim Pakistan achieved its dream of sovereignty. Although millions of Muslims preferred to remain where they were born and where their ancestors were born, in India, and apart from the occasional riot and bloodshed, the populations appear to live together in a state of uneasy pluralism. India ranks as the state hosting the second-largest Muslim population in the world, with 150 million Muslims.

It is the relationship between Pakistan and India that remains virulently toxic. There has been no time in the last 60 years when Pakistan has not fomented violence against India. Their long-standing argument over Kashmir remains unresolved, and has been the cause of much grief to India with terror assaults against Kashmiri Indians in the disputed area. When India was successful in obtaining nuclear proficiency, Pakistan was not long behind.

Two intransigent, deadly enemy nations, both armed with nuclear weapons. On the brink of war, and pulled back from that brink time and again. The aggression emanates from Pakistan. Its secret service, its government, its army, its religious leaders all fulminate against India and covert operations to destabilize India and violate its geography and slaughter its people continues.

Attempts to bring peace between the two countries have always stalled. When the two countries were close to signing a peace agreement, the ISI sent out its terrorist emissaries to Mumbai to slaughter 160 innocent people. Fearful of India's helpful assistance and investment in Afghanistan, and that India may achieve a close and trusting relationship with that country, Pakistan with its own designs for Afghanistan, trains, arms and directs the Taliban to attack.

Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist fundamentalist madrassas, installed throughout Pakistan as elsewhere, produced and continue to produce many of the world's dedicated shahids, eager to surrender their lives as martyrs for the greater cause of Islam, and Islamic domination to result in global Sharia and a resurgent Caliphate. Pakistan-born jihadists abound, to wreak havoc throughout the West. Second- and Third-generation-Western-born youth of Pakistani origin eagerly enlist as jihadis.

What a festering sore that country presents on the tender carapace of the world.

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