Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Pippo the Wolf"

In a small village, a geographic area in the countryside where everyone knows everyone else, how do you remove yourself from the presence of the really disagreeable people? Someone, for example, whose taciturn, moody character is demonstrably uncivil and depressing. Someone who has earned the sobriquet of "monster of Cassibile".

Cassibile is a village about 14 kilometres south of Syracuse, in Italy. And the 'monster of Cassibile' is a 69-year-old handyman, someone who is regularly hired by others in the area to do jobs that others aren't capable of performing. A kind of Jack-of-all-trades. A man with a useful penchant for knowing how to do practical things.

He was described by some other villagers as a hard worker who did odd jobs. Clearing land with a mechanical digger, or delivering wood, that kind of thing. His quietly reserved nature obviously tinged with more than a little nastiness earned him another nickname: "Pippo the wolf"; presumably not in his hearing.

Because he obviously has a very mean streak, and more than obviously is capable of wreaking revenge on those he deems have wronged him. And in his books those who did not pay him for his hard work on their behalf did wrong him, badly. And he took his revenge by exacting more than a pound of flesh; he took their very lives.

Lying in wait for them, to surprise his victims and assault them with deadly efficiency. Five people were killed by this handyman, and four others survived, though his intention was to murder them, too. He truly was a monster. Yet he was a married man, with two children.

He will no longer ambush victims for the purpose of murdering them in an act of righteous vengeance. His 12-gauge shotgun has been taken away, as has a pistol found in his home, where a home-made safe containing $26,000 was also discovered, after his arrest.

The moral of this story is hire people whom you trust, and trusting them, favour yourself by doing them the honour of due recompense for their labours.

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Blazing Cat Fur: To Stand On Guard - A Security Strategy for Canadians from the MacDonlad Laurier Institute

Blazing Cat Fur: To Stand On Guard - A Security Strategy for Canadians from the MacDonlad Laurier Institute

Monday, November 29, 2010

So, Wot's Gnu?

The unveiling of thousands of classified documents by WikiLeaks has garnered a lot of media attention and no little amount of embarrassment for the United States. All the new revelations as they are reported receive plenty of breathless commentary, and people strain to find interesting tidbits of information here and there to enlighten themselves about arcane, behind-the-scenes activities of their governments and how they are perceived through the random comments of U.S. diplomats reporting to home base.

But really, what's new? The revelations are interesting, but they are not new. Where before there was conjecture and hypothesis, and unproven allegations, and theories that seemed reasonable to explain events and occurrences, there are now further conjectures, and hypotheses, and unproven allegations and theories. What we are reading, after all, are only commentaries by U.S. diplomats; how they interpret what they see and experience.

It is largely embarrassing because of their having succumbed to the easy comfort of gossip and personal descriptions of principals with whom they find fault in one way or another. They also divulge to their masters data that they have picked up from various sources, some of which has been or will be corroborated, some of which cannot be. So they're still in the arena of allegations and theories until proven otherwise.

On the other hand, there is some danger, and much mischief in disclosing the contents of documents that are meant to be shielded from public view. A nation's security and intelligence is placed in jeopardy and where's the sense of that? What, really, is the purpose of all of this disclosure? Whom will it benefit? Well, there might be an improvement in the calibre of response from diplomatic sources abroad to headquarters.

Other than that, was it previously unknown that Syria was channelling new and improved armaments to Hezbollah, when the U.S. had pledged to Israel that it would undertake to prevent this from occurring, to persuade Israel to withdraw from its onslaught against Hezbollah in Lebanon? Was it unknown that Afghanistan's lawmakers were enriching themselves with the profits from drugs, and siphoning off of international aid money?

Was it unknown that Yemen's government did not want to be seen by the rest of the Islamic and the Arab world as being too heavily involved with the United States' efforts to bring down the al-Qaeda elements in that country for fear of reprisals? And wasn't it well enough scuttle-butted that the Obama administration was anxiously trying to persuade its allies to resettle Guantanamo Bay inmates?

The fact that Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-majority Arab countries in the Middle East were fearful of Iran's acquiring of nuclear weapons, leading them to hope that Israel and/or the United States would act pre-emptively and bomb the nuclear installations to relax their fears was pretty well known and extensively reported. American suspicion of United Nations' top officials is well documented, so what's new in those revelations of information-assembly?

That the United States, South Korea, Japan and other stake-holders in peace in south-east Asia would prefer a re-unified Korea with the fervently-hoped-for implosion of North Korea can be no secret to anyone. In light of which, although there are admittedly far more documents to be unveiled and distributed for public display, where are all the startling new revelations?

WikiLeaks has managed to make a reputation for itself. At what cost? And really, what's the point?

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Threat Plans

"I'm not suggesting the government has ignored issues, but ... we haven't put the big picture together. We haven't identified enough of what we see as the overall strategy to deal with threats, whereas if you go to the U.K. or the U.S., they have articulated a grand strategy and they've tried to make sense of the bits and pieces. The gap makes Canada an "attractive haven" for terrorists and criminal organizations." Paul Chapin, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
The United Kingdom, no less the United States, has been well infiltrated by volatile, incendiary, determined Islamists. From the mosques and community centres where messages of hatred and exclusion are routinely received by Muslims living in both countries, to the acceptance of Muslim scholars in academia whose messages of conciliatory prose mark them as 'moderate' while their agenda is secretive and managed, to the lawmakers who present as reasonable and trustworthy.

And both those countries have been severely impacted by monumentally traumatic terror attacks, costly in lives and in self-confidence in the ability to protect themselves from terrorists. Canada has thus far been fairly successful in apprehending planned attacks before they could be carried out. Mostly due to the lack of professionalism and organizational skills of the amateurish jihadist attempts, to date.

A slow but steady normalization of the Islamic presence within Western society, which began with welcomes and pledges to honour diversity and the expectation that despite differences a gradual melding would occur and all would live together in equanimity and mutual respect. And then the realization that what was parochial was meant to become mainstream, that those Muslim academics and scholars and lawmakers felt entitled to have the established social compact altered to suit their plans, and this was just and anticipated, in good will.

The greater Muslim community, the ummah, is prepared to go along with what their entitled and elite peers prescribe, for what do they know other than what they are encouraged to accept? A relatively few outspoken and courageous members of the Muslim community who find it possible to honour their heritage and religion, while cleaving with passion to their new countries' values fight a rearguard action of hopeless denial.

In Europe, a population that pledged to itself that it would never again lower its social character and self-regard to reflect the paranoia of xenophobia finds itself drowning in a stifling atmosphere of startling unfamiliarity with its passing scene, and mourning the loss of its nativist culture, its indigenous values, viewing its landscape suddenly become exotic, not as it is fondly recalled and belatedly mourned.

Canada, congratulating itself on its ability to entice, encourage and engage immigrants to transform themselves into Canadians, while assuring them that they are expected to proudly retain all aspects of their original culture, heritage, ethnic and tribal values, suddenly finds itself faced with disparate enclaves of antagonistic cultural-religious-social groups that find Canadian mores and customs unsuitably degrading to their personal tastes.

If there is any one single reason for Canada, like the examples of the U.K. and the U.S., to put into place a national threat plan, a security strategy, it is self-evidently on the basis of our own experiences in radical nationalism that have entered our shores. With Sikh Khalistan, and Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers.

But above all, with the very real and everpresent threat mounted against this country as with all free democracies by radical Islamism which aspires to create, through violence or steadily quiet, covert 'diplomacy', a new universal Caliphate. Occasional threats come Canada's way through the importation of violence from Sikhs and Tamils, but they have been subdued.

It is largely from the immense geographical presence of Islam and specifically fundamentalist, violence-prone Islamists that threats and atrocities are seen all over the world. Largely in the numbers of incidence, targeting the Islamic world itself, as tribal and clannish and sectarian viciousness plays itself out in an unending spiral of blood-letting.

But directed too at the jihadi-hating vestiges of a Western presence on Muslim soil. Where Christian communities in majority-Muslim atmospheres are increasingly at risk. And more vehemently at the democracies of the world whose values and systems of governance represent as anathema to a people schooled from birth in the rigidly authoritarian ideology of Islam.

The recommendation in the newly-issued report on security in Canada, and its lapses, points the need for a bilateral strategy with our neighbour. It stresses the need for the establishment of a foreign-intelligence service, which would "investigate the intentions of other countries": (e.g. spy network). Canada's lack of security and intelligence gathering, the report and its author claim, makes the country attractive for terrorists and criminal organizations.

We certainly see his claims in reality, with the installation and comfort of the Italian Mafia in Quebec and Ontario. And Asian drug-running gangs in British Columbia. And the ease with which the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated various parts of the country, installing more innocent-sounding groups as fronts to forward the elements of their mission.

Above all, the finger of lax attention to the needs of the country points at the dysfunctional refugee-determination system. It should also point unerringly to the immigration system which fails to accurately determine which people from which countries represent as most likely to adjust to the norms, the values, priorities and political-civic concerns of Canada.

"Once people are here we have to do something to promote citizenship and an appreciation for the Canadian way of life to protect them from people in their community or outside who seek to exploit them for one reason or another", explains Mr. Chapin. And he is quite correct. Which translates as a need to divest ourselves of that unworkable multiculturalism tradition.

To that add a need to exclude those clearly not representative of good citizenship material.

Canadians, as Mr. Chapin points out, are "comfortably convinced" that what happens elsewhere has no impact on Canada. Events occurring regularly within the country prove otherwise. Particularly when ethnic nationalism is concerned, and when regional conflicts are in play, and migrants from countries where both are a concern, bring their cultural and social and traditional conflicts to Canada.

"We're needlessly running a risk when we don't have a plan that would be a pretty good insurance policy", he says, and he's right.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Competitive Lunacy

"The nuclear power and missile research institutes in the North and Iran are effectively one body. North Korean nuclear and missile scientists are in Iran and Iranian scientists are in the North. They share everything."
This is testimony related to a conservative newspaper in Seoul, South Korea, the Chosun Ilbo, by a defecting North Korean official. It cannot come as a surprise to anyone. But it does not represent good news. Merely confirmation of what has long been theorized. And it took no great stretch of the imagination to do that, either.

Iran has been funding North Korea in that country's advances toward nuclear enrichment. And North Korea has been assisting Iran in its more fumbling attempts at nuclear enrichment. Each of the countries happen to be outlier nations, belligerent and impressively averse to freedom and human rights, particularly for their own populations.

Hunger and deprivation is present in both countries, although clearly not as rampant in Iran as it is in North Korea. Iranians are deprived of their freedoms, they live in a fundamentalist Islamist theocracy where every aspect of their lives is circumscribed by ruling Ayatollahs, and much is proscribed. While North Koreans exist under the baleful thumb of a secularist totalitarian, careless of the desperate state of the deprived population.

The diverse ideologies, one political, the other religious-political, still have much in common. Irredentism for one commonality, violent aggression in word and in deed against their neighbours. Above all, a determination to succeed in attaining nuclear power status for themselves, as rogue powers unsettling the world at large by their leaders' egomanaical neuroticism.

Just as Pyongyang so recently proudly revealed its production success in a new hitherto-unknown nuclear enrichment installation, so too has Iran done likewise, although not voluntarily disclosed. The duplicitous assurances given to the concerned international community of peaceful use of nuclear energy does not truly equate with the incendiary attitudes of the two countries against their neighbours.

The American nuclear scientist, Siegfried Hecker who recently revealed his shock at inspecting North Korea's unsuspected installation at Yongbyon is alarmed at the risk of North Korea exporting weapons materials to Iran. "What we saw, 2,000 centrifuges, that's about twice what Iran has done so far. I worry about co-operation with Iran."

He has gone out of his way in his concern, this former head of the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory, to attempt to convince Washington it must set three red lines for North Korea: 1. no new bombs; 2. no bigger bombs; 3. no export of nuclear material. Just how might that be enforced? Particularly with China's avuncular support of North Korea?

What a collaborative effort: Iran's engineers helping to design and build the North Korean centrifuges, and North Korea's scientists eagerly proffering some of the end result to Iran, which is experiencing no little amount of difficulty in enriching uranium.

One hell, two devils.

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Just an Artillery Drill, Relax

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those-trigger-happy elements to stage again the war exercises targeted against the North." Pyongyang's official news agency
Poor North Korea. Here they are, minding their own business as usual, and suddenly they're the subject of a spontaneous attack. It's extremely hurtful. They don't deserve that kind of treatment from South Korea. Surely it was much better before, under the previous regime's 'Sunshine policy' toward their brethren, to blithely pay no attention to the rumbles of conquest from the North, than what pertains currently, unsettling the North no end.

After all, what self-respecting nation would countenance shells being lobbed into its waters during a military exercise? Even if they were advised beforehand that such an exercise would be taking place? It's upsetting, off-putting, and just not at all neighbourly-nice. Warranting a live response, lively enough to destroy buildings on Yeonpyeong, the frontline border island, and kill four people.

Of course four people dying in that innocent little warning barrage wasn't quite like having 46 killed by torpedoing a naval vessel. And nothing much came of it. Outrage, sorrow for the South, but triumph for the North. Once again, their violent provocations not responded to. After all, they're holding a trump card; starvation may be rampant in the North, but they do have a budding collection of nuclear weapons and some fairly effective rockets to pair with them.

Launching missiles over the Sea of Japan makes Japan exceedingly nervous. Conducting nuclear tests makes the world very nervous, and the United States sits up and takes clear notice. The North's military-totalitarian regime plays hardball while the entire region wants to play table tennis. And China approves of table tennis; they're past masters as it. China is committed, above all, to harmony in the region.

China understands why North Korea will simply not tolerate any further provocations by the South. As for South Koreans, they just get on with their lives. Those living on Yeonpyeong island may very well be upset at the loss of their homes and businesses, but that's the cost of living next to a military power that must keep reminding the world that it is a military power.

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The Odious Durban Declaration

Opinion: Here it Comes, Durban III
by Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein, MP OpEd: Here Comes Durban III

The UN never ceases to amaze. Just when we thought we had become immune to all the poisonous concoctions that get dished out, once again, ten years down the road, we are being offered a remake of the notorious "Durban 1", the UN conference against racism which—to everyone’s horror—was transformed into a racist conference against Israel and the Americans. At that time, incredulous after the speeches by Mugabe, Fidel Castro and Arafat, who condemned in chorus the colonialist West and racist Jews, the Canadians, Americans and Israelis walked out. Later on, in 2009, when the UN organized "Durban 2" in Geneva, the Italian government, which had learned its lesson, refused to send a delegation. And, in fact, our entire parliament, from left to right, voted a resolution rejecting any anti-Semitic and anti-West sideshow. The protagonist this time was Ahmadinejad who took the opportunity to repeat his denial of the Shoah and promise to exterminate all Jews. Backing him was a plethora of NGOs who, undaunted, assisted the UN in its “anti-imperialist” campaign, as they had done with the violence in Durban in 2001.

So here we are again. According to the UN schedule, as Anne Bayefsky in "Eye on the UN" warns us, today the Third Committee of the General Assembly must vote on a resolution proposed by Yemen specifying all the details (including the date set probably for September 21, 2011, namely the day before the General Assembly annual opening in order to have the greatest number of heads of state) of a decision already passed by the General Assembly in 2009. It provides for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Durban 1 and reconfirms its extremely violent platform. In 2009, Italy voted against it, as did Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania and the United States. But a majority of 128 countries, backed by the entire Muslim world, non-aligned countries and a good number of African countries, kicked again the ball toward the net, through the "Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration" which, having met in Geneva October 11-22, decided that this General Assembly will bring back the epic of Durban.

It is a saga that, as journalist, I remember well, as I covered the conference in South Africa in 2001. Those were just the days before the attack on the Twin Towers and never was a hate scenario better laid. Durban was the premise to Ground Zero. While from the podium speakers heaped on the US and Israel all the sins of the world and demanded that they pay the penalty, Jews wearing kippahs had to protect themselves against the demonstrators touting portraits of Bin Laden (which at the time I saw and reported on) and hounding the Jews. The Jewish centers in the city were stormed and closed and the press conference of the Israeli delegation was violently assaulted and interrupted. Israel was compared to Nazism and accused of apartheid in order to claim, particularly in South Africa, its lack of legitimacy. At the same time, Americans were demanded to handsomely recompense Africa for damages from slavery. The fact that, for centuries, the Arabs were cruel slave traders who deported Blacks from Africa, had become a memory denied and forgotten.

The Durban declaration that they now want to resurrect and celebrate again, singles out Israel as a racist state, without naming any other country in the world. The myriad types of ethnic and religious discrimination that infests the world, for the declaration does not exist and it doesn't even say a word about the thousands of massacres that have bloodied the globe for reasons of the color of one's skin or beliefs: not the 165,000 Christian victims per year, for 80% in the Muslim world, are mentioned; not the tragedy of the Tutsi in Rwanda nor that in Darfur and not that of the Uiguri or Kurds, let alone the persecution and discrimination of Jews in numerous Eastern countries and the growing anti-Semitism now being seen again in the West. Re-approving the Durban document means rekindling, with the elephantine power of the UN General Assembly, a whole series of institutional initiatives giving rise to cultural and economic boycotts, discrimination against athletes, artists and scholars and proliferating the accusations of war crimes to any Israeli official in sight. It means reviving manifestations of hate in which the swastika and the Star of David overlap and the hunting season on Jews is declared open, the result being an exponential growth in anti-Semitic incidents. This makes many people happy, very happy.

Above all, it means dragging the UN into cultural and political disgrace, making any real possibility for anti-racist initiatives even more remote. Who could imagine this organization fighting against ethnic and religious discrimination if the opportunity to do so is used to persecute Israel and satisfy the enemies of the West? We can only hope that Yemen's resolution will be voted down, but we’re not counting on it. In the meantime, in any case, Patrick Ventrell, spokesman for the US delegation to the UN, said that the United States is against the proposed date, September not being “an appropriate time”.

Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein
Vice-president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chair of the Committee for the Inquiry into Antisemitism
Italian Chamber of Deputies

As published online at ArutzSheva.com, 28 November 2010

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Durban III - Canada's Initiative

"Canada will not participate in this charade any longer. We will not lend our country's good name to what has widely been characterized - indeed across party lines here - as a hatefest." Statement by Canada's Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney
Canada has no illusions left in a United Nations-led process whose purpose was stated as the need to combat racism, but which ultimately degenerated into a tainted process that led to the condemnation of a democratic liberal state, whose founders, steeped in a history of persecution led them to the conclusion that only such a state established for the distinct purpose of providing a safe haven for Jews would save them from potential annihilation.

Zionist-centred Israel is now a country whose existence relates to a Jewish homeland. Any Jew, living anywhere in the world, is free to 'return' to their historical roots in the Middle East, to become a citizen of Israel. Yet Israel is also a country dedicated to human rights, extending those freedoms and protections to all its citizens equally. A quarter of whom are not of Jewish origin, comprised of Arabs, Kurds, Christians and Muslims.

Despite which its enemies, and they continue to be legion, have no problems equating its establishment as a homeland for world Jewry with discriminatory apartheid. And since, from its very creation as a distinct, sovereign and singular state, it has met with violent resistance to its presence by all of its neighbours, it has never been able to relax its vigilance, to safeguard its existence.

While the many wars that Israel's Arab neighbours waged against it unsuccessfully proved the country could and would defend itself, the enmity its presence in the Middle East has engendered has never been lifted. The large and influential Arab and Muslim political bloc within the United Nations, supported by countries chiefly in Africa and Latin America has ensured that Israel has never been anything but an uneasy fit in the UN.

A reflection of which is the hugely disproportionate number of censuring votes against Israel that have emanated from the United Nations.

A process and procedure that culminated in the UN's formation of its Jew-venomous Human Rights Commission, and in its series of anti-racism conferences which focused singly upon Israel as representing a genocidal, human-rights-abusing state, accused as such by those very countries of the world whose records on human rights were horribly blemished.
"We obviously continue to believe in the United Nations as an important multilateral forum. But we are able to make basic distinctions between good and bad." Jason Kenney
Canada will remain involved in those aspects of the United Nation's activities that have a sound purpose for the common global good. Such as the World Food Program, UNICEF, and offering safe haven to the countless ethnic, displaced migrants of the world, living in UN refugee camps. Many of them refugees from the very Arab, African and Muslim countries that sit in implacable censure of Israel.

But Canada, once again leading the way, has announced its resolve to have nothing whatever to do with a reprise of the original World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, ten years ago. A conference spear-headed by the most malignant human-rights-abusing countries of the world whose agenda was simply to isolate one country alone.

In which process that one country - Israel - was held up for display as the one country whose existence and place on the world stage, and policies and politics and social structure exemplified racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, neatly fitting into the raison d'etre of the conference, giving it meaning, and a reason for jubilant exultation that it had exposed Israel to the censure that the censuring countries themselves deserved.

That Canada's official decision to withdraw its presence from the atrocious proceedings posing as a legitimate venue in support of human rights goes across party lines in support of Israel and denial of the hate-fest that the conference represents, demonstrates aptly the moral fibre of the current government, reflecting admirably on Canadian-held values.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Indonesia Has Room For Jews

Jewish Revival in Indonesia's Christian Stronghold
by Chana Ya'ar Jewish Revival in Indonesia

A 19-meter tall Chanukah menorah stands bright on a mountain overlooking Manado, a Christian stronghold in northern Indonesia -- the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

A Jewish revival of sorts is taking place in the area.

Home to descendants of Dutch Jews who immigrated to the country generations ago, the city and some of its residents are now beginning to explore those ancient roots -- even as Islamist harassment of other groups begins to grow.

Manado's government funded the creation of a sparkling new 62-foot (19 meters) menorah, built atop a mountain from which one can view the entire city.

Some taxi stands fly the flag of the State of Israel.

Local officials also paid for the large Magen David (Jewish star) that adorns the new ceiling in the six-year-old local synagogue that was recently refurbished. Only 10 people attend services at the synagogue so far; the community is that tiny.

Jewish Roots Run Deep

Jews came to Indonesia more than a century ago from Iraq and the Netherlands. Over the years, some moved to Singapore, and many others assimilated. Although most of Indonesia is Muslim, Manado and the surrounding areas are mainly Christian.

One does not have to dig so deep to find the history of those roots; it was only in 1949, when Indonesia gained its independence from Netherlands, that Jews began hiding their religious status “for safety,” according to an article published this week in the New York Times.

“We told our children never to talk about our Jewish origins,” 70-year-old Leo van Beugen told the NYT reporter. “So our grandchildren do not even know.” Van Beugen was raised as a Roman Catholic.

Only 10 years ago did a family member finally let the secret slip to a young relative, Toar Palilingan (now Yaakov Baruch) who immediately began to seek his heritage on the Internet and by reaching out to Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Singapore.

Only 1 Synagogue Left

Last November the country's venerable 100-year-old synagogue in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, was shut down by angry Muslims, supposedly in retaliation for Israel's Operation Cast Lead campaign.

The IDF counter terrorism war against the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza, was, intended to end the constant barrage of missile and mortar fire that made life miserable for the civilian residents of Israel's southland for nearly a decade. It lasted barely three weeks and ended on the day U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama was sworn into office.

Published online at ArutzSheva.com 26 November 2010

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Stalwart of Peace and Disciple of Christ

His nobility of purpose and presence is palpable. That is, toward and as perceived by a very specific audience. That would be those within Canada who remain invested in the belief that Israel has wrought unspeakable carnage in the Middle East, and presents as a threat to the world order and above all, international peace. They are a quite specific audience, comprised of Islamists and Arabs who have gravitated to Canada to live in peace and freedom and security and from that distance maintain their stake in the unrelentingly grim and unforgiving politics of the Middle East.

Supported most enthusiastically by the liberal-left contingent of Canadian society, the trade and academic unions, university student councils and academic staff, and churches like the United Church, the Quakers, the Unitarians and the members of the public who see great moral utility in helping to sabotage Israel's reasonable desire to remain in the geography of the Middle East as a nation dedicated to the welfare of world Jewry in the full knowledge that the world will never be engaged in ensuring the welfare of Jews.

He is, on the other hand, viewed as a grinning imbecile clownishly lapping the limelight, by those who support the right of Israel to exist even as an embattled state in a geography which has always been hostile to its presence and prepared to push it into the sea, if they could. Where once Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan did their best to accomplish just that, an uneasy truce now exists. In the place of the Arab kingdoms and dictatorships, proxy militias attempt the same destiny for Zionists who dare blemish the landscape by their presence.

In the service of those who have invited him to speak at venues across the country, to impart his great wisdom on the solution to the intractability of Israel's presence among Muslim neighbours, George Galloway is only too happy to expansively broaden his slanderous censure of Israel to include Canada whose current government is a staunch supporter of its right to exist. Curious George revels in all the coverage he has garnered, proudly brandishing his right to practise freedom of expression.

Canada, among other NATO countries, is ripe for condemnation for intruding on the affairs of Muslim countries, notably Afghanistan. And Canada's current Prime Minister and his Cabinet represent the forces of dark and evil neo-conservatism. Deservedly shut out of the UN Security Council because of its unwavering support for Israel, deliberately making enemies of Arab countries intent on opening international skies to predatory pricing, and bringing Lebanon to the brink of civil war by rank interference.

Mea culpa.

The Arab and Islamic voting bloc is not to be trifled with. Putting Hezbollah in a questionable light is intolerable; they should be free to assassinate those whom they will, since they will in any event and it is no other countries' business. George's friends in odd places, like Iran, Syria and Lebanon are not amused at the nosy interference of Canada in their affairs. It makes perfectly good sense for a failed British politician in bad odour at home to spread libellous slanders about a political and social ally in Canada, but it is intolerable for Canada to have any part in judicial investigations within the United Nations.

Afghanistan's prime minister Hamid Karzai is described as corrupt and unreliable, and the ISAF-NATO attempts to bring a 19th-Century sensibility and law and order and security and social advancement to the country deplorable, leaving the indelible impression that the Taliban and their reign of terror were perfectly acceptable and they should be allowed to get on with their business of fanaticism and human misery. Al-Qaeda's presence and security within the Taliban apparatus is simply the way things are done in that part of the world - and get used to it.

George Galloway is effusive in his praise for brave Palestinians under a dread occupation, and delighted to deliver his message of Israel-as-Zionist-apartheid-occupier. The wall separating suicide bombers from innocent civilians is condemned as representing a truly inconvenient human-rights abuse; that it has saved innumerable lives is irrelevant since they're the wrong lives. The Gaza defensive by the IDF was indefensible because not enough Israelis died as a result of the rockets fired across the border and too many members of Hamas did, as a result of the Israeli response.

Back to noble George, a modern-day Don Quixote, tilting at the windmill of imperialist Zionism and Canadian perfidy, for he states, from the heart, that "I am trying to bring about an end to all of this, to bring peace to the Holy Land. And the price of peace is justice for the Palestinians as the Prince of Peace would surely have recognized." Does he shudder at the thought of Christ's Jewish heritage, or simply overlook it as yet another of life's inconvenient little factoids?

Should we care?

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European Turkey or Islamist Turkey?

WikiLeaks: Turkey Allowed Weapons Flow to Al-Qaeda
by Gil Ronen 'Turkey Let Arms Go to Al Qaeda'

Turkey allowed weapons to be smuggled to Al Qaeda forces in Iraq, according to documents that are about to be exposed in the WikiLeaks website. This – according to a report Thursday in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.

The newspaper reports that WikiLeaks – which specializes in publication of classified documents – has gotten hold of classified official documents that prove that the the Turkish authorities allowed money and weapons to pass across Turkey's border with Iraq, en route to Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.

In addition, the documents allegedly show that Turkey was involved both directly and indirectly in carrying out terror acts in Iraq, including the blowing up of a bridge in Baghdad.

One of the reports mentioned by Al Hayat is an intelligence cable that appears to have been sent by an American intelligence agency. The cable says: “Large amounts of water have arrived from Turkey, large waves will hit Baghdad in a few hours. Some people are widening the irrigation canals.”

This message is believed to refer to the arrival of weapons from Turkey, that were intended for terror and warfare in Baghdad. Al Hayat also says that the WikiLeaks documents show that ammunition seized in a terrorist's apartment in Iraq in 2009 bore the markings “made in Turkey.”

The US is mounting a diplomatic damage control campaign as it prepares for the release of the documents. State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley said Wednesday: "These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests. They are going to create tension in relationships between our diplomats and our friends around the world."

Crowley said the release of secret communications about foreign governments will likely the cause the US embarrassment and damage relations with other countries. "When this confidence is betrayed and ends up on the front pages of newspapers or lead stories on television or radio, it has an impact," he said.

Published online at ArutzSheva.com, 26 November 2010

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Fooling NATO

Let's face it, Westerners simply are not as foxy, as capable of pulling the rug out from under their opponents as those who have faced the ongoing drama of invasion and semi-conquest for millennia; who have, in the process, learned to manipulate and to feint and to cajole and entreat and bargain to their advantage. Western minds are too civil and civilized, beyond the arcane artifice of those who know how to probe the inside of a donkey's mouth.

In this instance the donkeys were NATO leaders whose anxiety to take Afghan President Hamid Karzai's proposals to fruition, that his government, with the blessing, aid and treasury of the West, bring Taliban into his fold. President Karzai has himself been taken in through himself being slightly tainted by Western ideals, in even imagining that this putative potential for bargaining with the Taliban could succeed.

He is more than willing to sacrifice the advances made on behalf of the health, security and freedoms, however tentative, of the Afghan population under the anxious tutelage of Western-based aid groups and civilian volunteers from the many countries whose troops sit on Afghan soil, trying to keep it clean of fundamentalist Islamist rule.

From his feverish imagination that visualized himself able to continue as president, while graciously doling out cabinet posts to Taliban members, to the Western allies' willingness to countenance such an alliance leading to the hoped-for stability that might ensue, came the frenetic "secret talks" with Taliban leaders which Taliban leaders publicly announced would never occur.

And then the absurd denouement of a most unfortunate episode, where a purported Taliban leader with whom high-level Western agents were in contact, ushering him onto a NATO flight directly to Afghan President Karzai's palace to speak confidently about the possibility of a settlement between the belligerents. But oops, this was not Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour who was being dined and wined and bargained with.

Nope, it was a shrewd shopkeeper, a man who saw an opportunity and as a true entrepreneur at heart, decided to grasp what fortune set in his path. Thumbing his Pakistani nose at both delusional Afghan hopes for the future, and the Western powers that succumbed so readily to his scheme. In the process, managing to secure for himself a rich prize, described by one Western diplomat as "a lot of money".

Also quite a lot of gravitas lost in the process, unfortunately.

And now everyone is blaming everyone else, while the Taliban leaders sit by, smirking and counting the ways that the hapless Afghan leadership and its powerful allies are so readily taken in by a modest little shopkeeper, maintaining the traditions of Eastern trade practices and keenly cut-throat advantages that go to those whose instincts of a shark lead them to lunge to the kill.

The cunning heritage enabling a little shopkeeper to sabotage the non-starter aspirations of the desperate simply bespeaks a time-honoured tradition of the alert and the keen taking advantage of life's opportunities. And now the blanched-faced countenances of the rouge-faced conspirators in failure sit across the bargaining table confronting one another with accusations.

In fact, a repetition of all the plans that have gone awry over the ten-year span of NATO in Afghanistan, when the CIA kept munificently funding the war lords enriching themselves at the expense of the entire war-beggared country, and where the U.S. government bargained with Pakistan's General Musharraf, accepting his pledges of support in the 'war on terror' while authorizing his national army and his secret intelligence to work against the U.S.
Pakistani forces had failed to cordon off all the seven tribal agencies that make up the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Afghan border. Troops were deployed on the Kurram agency but not farther south, in South and North Waziristan, from where bin Laden escaped into Pakistan. More al-Qaeda escaped northward and crossed into Pakistan's Dir and Chitral regions, which were also unguarded. Taliban escaping from Kandahar were able to cross into Balochistan province unmolested by any Pakistan army presence. Thousands of Taliban escaped in this direction. Descent into Chaos - Ahmed Rashid
The more things change, the more they resemble the past.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Patriarchal Honour

Good grief, backward societies revel in their suppression of women. All religion-based patriarchal societies seek to control women, to maintain their stifling authority over women, from cradle to grave. In India, where widows were traditionally burned at their husbands' funeral pyres because their lives were entirely subsumed by those of their husbands', women were an appendage, entirely subservient to male will.

If the village elders of some backward states in the country had their way nothing would change, even though the country itself is steadily advancing as a technological giant, yet still mired in ancient cultures. The Dalit, the traditional "untouchables" cast are deemed by an act of Parliament to be equal in social status to the Brahmin class, but not if tradition has its way.

And, shocking as it is, in such backward cultures as those which are common in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, honour killings are still practised; those women who bring 'shame' to their family name, to their community, are seen to be deserving of death. In a country with 1.3-billion people, representing various ethnicities, religions, languages and traditions equality of the genders, let alone tribes is difficult to achieve.

Then there is the anomalous situation of a country beset by indigenous poverty in the countryside and wealth in the teeming cities. Those same cities where in the suburbs, people live in rabbit warrens of cramped, inadequate housing, little hygiene and hungry people. According to United Nations figures 366 million people living in India have no access to proper toilets.

But roughly 600 million people own mobile cellphones; an acute absurdity; one a dire necessity the other a relatively frivolous accessory. Yet it is the proliferation of the cellphones that is causing some societal upheaval, not the lack of proper hygiene. Because with the use of the mobile phones young men and women are now able to access one another unchaperoned.

"All parents were told to ensure their unmarried daughters do not use cellphones. The boys can do so, but only under their parents' monitoring", a village spokesman in the northern state explained. The council of elders who dictate cultural and social behaviours in Uttar Pradesh have been incensed at the growing incidence of young people eloping.

"Love marriages" are looked upon as cultural atrocities. Marriages are traditionally arranged, young people don't have the freedom to determine for themselves who they will spend their lives with in conjugal bliss; their futures are planned by others, their parents in conjunction with the village elders who influence all such outcomes.

Tradition holds it that unions between couples from the same village are not to be countenanced, considered to be incestuous. That, even when the bride and groom are not related. The provenance of such a ruling makes sense when historically people tended to remain in their original place of birth and people were distantly related to one another.

And young people who have entered into proscribed marriages with others from their village face threats and violence. The situation is so dire that authorities have taken steps to protect these couples, by establishing safe houses in the face of an upsurge of "honour killings".

Modernity and with it human rights and enlightenment come slowly to vast complicated societies steeped in traditions.

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Durban III, Abomination-in-Waiting

UN to Hold Another Durban Conference; Anti-Semitism Expected
by Hillel Fendel UN to Hold Another Durban Conf.

By a 121-19 vote, with 35 abstentions, the UN General Assembly resolved to launch what has been called another “global anti-racism hatefest,” known as Durban III.

The conference, known as the World Conference against Racism, commemorates the 9th anniversary of the first such conference, held in Durban, South Africa just 10 days before the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. That conference was described by the ICEJ as a “concerted effort by nearly all the Muslims of the world to denounce and de-legitimize the Jewish state of Israel; an awful verbal forerunner much as the one the Nazis sent before launching the Holocaust of the expunging of Israel as sovereign Jewish state from their Arab Muslim midst.”

Though the vote in favor of Durban III was overwhelming, a majority of the world’s democracies either voted against or abstained. Among those who voted against were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as most of the countries that knew Nazism at very close range: Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

The upcoming conference is to be held in New York City just ten days after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in September 2011.

Conveniently Scheduled

Human rights scholar and activist Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, commented that most heads of government avoided Durban I, and the only one to attend Durban II was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and therefore “for Durban III, the UN decided to ensnare most heads of state and government by scheduling the event to coincide with the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, when they are all present in New York anyway.”

Israel, the U.S., and others have expressed their opposition to the UN vote. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “unfortunate there are those who want to deflect from the fight on racism for anti-Israeli propaganda purposes.”

John Sammis, the U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN’s Economic and Social Council, stated that the vote “risks undermining the relationship we have worked hard to strengthen over the past few years between the United States and the UN.” In addition, he added, the U.S.is “deeply troubled by the choice of time and venue for the 10th anniversary commemorative event [just days after] we will have honored the victims of 9/11… [We] regret that this resolution contains elements that require us to vote no…”

Calling on Obama

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY, D) said, “We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over Durban I and Durban II, and we should expect the same thing to happen with Durban III… I appreciate the Obama Administration’s strong statement opposing yesterday’s resolution, and urge it to again withdraw from the event and encourage other nations to do the same.”

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Obama administration to “announce publicly, right now, that we will stay away from Durban III, deny it U.S.taxpayer dollars, and oppose all measures that seek to facilitate it. And we should encourage other responsible nations to do the same.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was very critical of the UN resolution, calling it "outrageous and shameful." ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman issued a statement saying, “The 2001 Durban Conference is permanently tainted as a notorious vehicle to promote anti-Semitism and incite hatred against Israel… [It] represented a colossal failure of the international community to prevent the perversion of a UN conference designed to address the scourge of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance. Each commemoration or review of the 2001 conference is an outrageous and shameful reminder of the harm perpetrated by an automatic majority of member states who allowed the Durban conference to become the symbol for expressions of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate...”

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saudi-Funded UK Madrassas

Parochial schools, once common enough as immigrant communities tried to educate their children in the language of the home country, the traditions and the culture left behind - so their children, while gradually absorbing into their new country's societal norms and customs to become proud citizens while maintaining a vestige of their ethnic/religious/cultural heritage - have most certainly changed.

The after-hours schools and alternative schools now inculcate in a good measure of Muslim children a fundamentalist version of Islam for the very purpose of ensuring that the children do not integrate into the prevailing social culture. This is not seen as a perfidious insult to the new country that has agreed to absorb them, as a denial of the need to enmesh themselves as citizens should, but as an entitled right to keep themselves apart.

In these schools which relish the freedom to teach as they will, not as they civilly should, the students are given stringent lessons that they must maintain a separation, that to be Muslim is to be aware of a distance between themselves and the kuffars, the non-Muslims, for they are not equal and are to be avoided as potentially degrading to the purity of Muslims.

A textbook originating in Saudi Arabia and used currently in Muslim schools in Britain teaches students rather atrocious lessons in discrimination; some pointedly suggesting that children list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jews. If the student responds obligingly with the anticipated answers: akin to pigs and apes, they have learned the lesson well. They must also know that the penalty for gender-confusion is execution.

The BBC program Panorama unleashed the unpleasant reality that over 40 Saudi-funded Students' Schools & Clubs are busily teaching that country's traditional school (Wahhabist) curriculum to roughly five thousand British-Muslim students. In response, the Saudi government claims to have no official ties to the part-time schools, and they do not officially endorse them. Embarrassing, one supposes, to be caught out so flagrantly.

The schools are set up to teach a student body from ages six to eighteen. Their textbooks are similar to those used elsewhere in the Middle East, including students under the Palestinian Authority. Textbooks for the older children demonstrate through diagrams the manner in which Sharia law deals with those convicted of theft; punishment is hacking off the hand of the thief; the hand usually used to cleans the anus after defecation. So that the hand used to handle food and to eat must be used for that purpose, also.

"The specified punishment of the thief is cutting off his right hand at the wrist. then it is cauterized to prevent him from bleeding to death." That is the compassionate side of Sharia law. "For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence." Presumably, should the thief prove to be unamenable to the straight and narrow, the death penalty will eventually be prescribed, once limbs are no longer available.

Sodomy merits death, whether by stoning, burning to death or being tossed off a cliff. Younger children are posed another query: what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam? "Hellfire" earns a plaudit.

Although the British government explains it does not regulate weekend or part-time teaching centres, the Department of Education is adamant that it can not permit anti-Semitic material in English schools. They give assurances that their Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, tasked with inspecting schools, will be looking into how they may begin to monitor the part-time centres.

That is tremendously reassuring.

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Brilliantly Discriminating Stuxnet Virus

Stuxnet Virus 'Warheads" Could Knock Out Iran's Utility Systems
by David Lev Stuxnet Can 'Attack' All of Iran

A secret report bt the International Atomic Energy Agency leaked on Tuesday said that Iran had been forced to suspend activity on enriching uranium, because of “technical problems” that have surfaced in thousands of centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear reactor.

The centrifuges, which are used in the enrichment project, were taken out of service, with the entire enrichment project there on hold, the report said – indicating, observers said, that Iran's problems with the particularly malignant Stuxnet computer virus were not yet over.

A weekend article in The New York Times quoted German security expert Ralph Langer as saying that the Stuxnet virus, which he identified in September as the worm that has caused major problems at Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant, was still alive and well, despite Iranian denials. But instead of just disabling centrifuges, the virus can also “confuse” frequency convertors that control all sorts of mechanical and industrial processes, Langer wrote - giving Stuxnet not one, but two "warheads" that could cause severe damage to infrastructure, including water, gas and electric systems.

The virus is also far more virulent than had been thought, Langer said; it was designed to attack control systems manufactured by Germany's Siemens, which are in use in infrastructure throughout the world. The Times article quoted a U.S. security expert who said that “computer security organizations were not adequately conveying the potential for serious industrial sabotage that Stuxnet foretells,” implying that many of the world's power plants, water facilities, and other basic infrastructure that are dependent on automated control systems, are at serious risk.

But while that is possible, says Israeli security expert Rafael Sutnick, there seemed to be little likelihood that Stuxnet would “leak out” to other facilities, based on what we know about it so far.

“Whoever unleashed it on Iran seems to have a tight rein on it,” Sutnick said. “So far, Iran is the only place we've seen the virus active, indicating that it was a specific target and did not reach the country's computer network by chance or accident. Whoever designed this knew what they were doing, and the experts who have analyzed the code say that years of work went into designing it. So I don't see it disabling infrastructure randomly.”

His comments again raise the question of just who might have produced the virus. Already in September, experts were saying that Stuxnet appeared to have been far too sophisticated to have been designed by amateur hackers, and the latest information published by Langer seems to confirm this. Which brings around what has become a perennial question in the Stuxnet saga: If Iran, as Sutnick and other experts say, is being deliberately targeted, does that mean that Israeli experts designed the virus?

“No one knows, and no one will probably ever know,” says Sutnick. “It's interesting that the IAEA report mentions the Natanz facility as having been compromised. Natanz was built eight meters underground and was topped with dozens of meters of reinforced concrete and earth in 2004, in anticipation of a possible attack by Israeli or American 'bunker buster' bombs.

"In other words, Natanz was designed to be the most secure Iranian nuclear site – but it has proven to be as vulnerable as an open computer network, apparently.” Whether Israel was behind the attack is impossible to know, he said – but there's no doubt that the IAEA report has made Israelis happy.

Published online at Arutz Sheva, 24 November 2010

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blazing Cat Fur: Oriana Fallaci: I Find It Disgraceful....

Blazing Cat Fur: Oriana Fallaci: I Find It Disgraceful....

Deflecting Guilt in Lebanon

Newly unveiled reports that the United Nations investigators are on the cusp of revealing their findings are raising a stir. But it merely confirms what was already known; that former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by the machinations of the triumvirate of Iran/Syria/Hezbollah. The puppet-master state, the vassal state and the proxy state. All of whom aspire to capture another neighbouring state entirely.

And Lebanon is ripe to fall. The country is poised on the delicate balance of the status quo where Hezbollah has become the virtual government - and the hellfires that can be unleashed when and if the UN panel investigating the death of Rafik Hariri brings definite charges. Had the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon been truly invested in unveiling the truth in a timely manner, Hezbollah would have been marginalized.

Of course a civil war would likely have erupted too. But at that time in the history of the relationship between Syria, Lebanon's long-time occupier, and Lebanon's people, public outrage was so indelible that there was a significant margin for opportunity, with the world's attention focused on the country, denouncing Syria for its role in the assassination, leading it to withdraw from Lebanon.

Syria's 'ownership' of Lebanon has since been assured, post reluctant withdrawal, however, with the ascendancy to legitimacy and governmental power of its proxy Hezbollah. The evidence of a conspiracy among the three to eradicate a threat to their future plans for Lebanon was always there, needing clarification and further evidence. Hezbollah, unsurprisingly, declared for Israel's guilt in the matter.

Much of the concluding evidence came to light through the dedicated detective work of a Lebanese police officer who met his heroic end through himself being assassinated by Hezbollah. Which knew of his involvement through their own useful infiltration and influence with the UN investigators. Captain Wissam Eid of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces suffered a martyr's death.

Fresh impetus is given to rival sectarian interests in that country long familiar with civil unrest and brutal retaliations. And it is quite amazing that Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri is off on an official visit to Tehran, interceding to 'improve relations' between Syria and Lebanon. So the world is unfolding in that arena as planned, with the son overlooking the evidence incontrovertibly linking Hezbollah/Syria/Iran with his father's untimely death.

Besides which, Syria-protected Hezbollah chief Sayyed Nasrallah has issued a warning not to be ignored, and for Lebanese consumption and introspection in recalling the fifteen-year civil war that beset the country until 1990, destroying a half-million lives. Should any Lebanese feel it incumbent upon them to honourably serve their country by assisting UN investigators it would be viewed as an attack on Hezbollah.

The penalty of such a purposed attack on Hezbollah, unsurprisingly, would be to "cut off the hand" of anyone attempting to arrest a "Hezbollah fighter".

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Substituting Traditional Values - for Uncommensurate Values

The world has altered itself immensely in the last four decades. That is, the liberal-democracies have turned the faces of their various countries' absorption with heritage and culture and social values and mores inside out and upside down. As enlightened nations of the world they saw the light and they acted upon it so that their humanitarian impulses were richly rewarded with the results of the world they knew becoming intimately peopled with those unlike the original inhabitants.

Most economically and socially advanced European countries have invested themselves in the haloed convention of annual generous refugee quotas, and along with that, an open-door policy for immigrants coming from all the disadvantaged corners of the Earth. The make-up of their populations now resemble one another, colourful with the introduction and absorption of that quaintly named "people of colour" demographic.

On the way to all this generosity in population dilution from the originals to a brave new world of mixed-culture-and-ethnicity populations, everyone on the receiving end of hordes of applicants seems to have forgotten the historically-proven utility in shared values, priorities and systems of social justice.

Where at one time in the past, when far fewer exotic-origined migrants were absorbed into indigenous populations there was a gradual merging of cultures and social mores; this is no longer the case and it hasn't been so for far too long. For with the growth of a universal social conscience, so too grew an aptitude to accept people for what they represented.

In this new mosaic of pluralistic attitudes that everyone is of equal value and all their cultural and heritage and religious baggage is to be given equal regard, instead of a melting pot and a shared system of values and mores, we've ended up with distinct ghettoes where cultural practices offensive to the home majority and illegal in many instances are the norm.

In other words, receiving countries have, over time, sacrificed far more than they bargained for. The costs related to absorbing, settling and easing people into their new countries were foreseen, but not the costs associated with a country taken aback by the sudden deterioration of all they hold dear, with alien cultures insisting their values take precedence, as is their due.

So what is their due? Traditionally, when immigrants humbly entered foreign shores of nations that had agreed, however reluctantly, to accept them in much smaller numbers than currently occurred, those immigrants understood it was up to them to settle themselves in to their new country, to adapt themselves to its cultural values and in that context make a new place for themselves and the futures of their children.

Those immigrants and the succeeding generations managed to find their way of their own accord, and to mesh into the greater society. There was no special accommodation to ease their way through government hand-outs and hand-ups. The struggle to succeed somehow made the immigrants understand that they were offered a privilege, to begin anew, and it was up to them to succeed on their own initiative.

This is no longer the case, as governments go out of their way to sensitively prostrate themselves and their treasuries to ensure that new immigrants feel comfortable and secure and entitled. And that entitlement and feeling of security living within the cozy confines of a liberal democracy has resulted in frustration for the original population faced with newcomers who demand their due.

The most obvious, visible immigrant populations who have made inroads in overturning the original cultures they have invaded remain quite specifically Muslim. Where special dispensation is given by governments not quite understanding what they've let themselves in for by graciously acceding to all the requests and demands.

France now has had decades of 'problems' integrating its large Muslim populations who tend to be low on the socio-economic scale and confine themselves to banlieues where French police risk life and limb to enter as a result of sullen and angry pay-back from disaffected Muslim youth unable to advance within society where racism plays a part. France has outlawed the wearing of burqas in public.

After the recently-concluded 2010 Conference on Combatting Anti-Semitism held in Ottawa, Norway's representative spoke of her country's problems in confronting the very real threats to the country represented by its immigrant Muslim population unwillingness to assimilate. Sweden and Denmark have also taken steps to diminish the deleterious influence of fundamentalist Islam. Switzerland took the peculiar step of outlawing minarets atop mosques.

It's quite one thing to see elderly immigrants dressed in the unique costumes reflecting their heritage and backgrounds. It's another entirely to see their grandchildren being cooed and coerced into wearing those same costumes. Little girls in Britain, for example, wearing full body coverings, along with a niqab, so only their eyes are revealed in public.

These are children groomed from the cradle to reflect not the dominant culture and its values and social mores, but those of an imported heritage, ethnicity and religion reflecting a tribal inheritance. Moreover, these same children, like those in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian Territories for example, are taught stringent religious dictums; to remain separate from apostates, non-Muslims and Jews.

In his book, Blood and Belonging, Michael Ignatieff wrote of the difficulties Germany encountered when it repatriated Russianized Germans from Ukraine in their hundreds of thousands; ethnic Germans who had no memory of Germany, no language proficiency, no cultural underpinnings. "They have to be taught to flush the toilet", he quoted a German social worker in a settlement house for Russian Germans.

Now Europe can look back with nostalgia at the passage of time when their only concerns in settling immigrants were to introduce them to modern conveniences. Ironically, when post-war Germany, a country whose economic well-being relied heavily on manufacturing and export, brought Turks into the country as cheap labour, they little realized that generations of Turkish children would be reluctant to leave the only country they knew.

In the United States which experienced the first of a wave of traumatic suicide attacks, followed by Britain and Spain, Muslim support for Iran's proxy militia Hezbollah is openly defiant with their flag in plain sight along with images of Hassan Nazrallah. Recently an Al Quds (Arabic for Jerusalem) rally vociferously protesting Israel's stewardship of the Old City of east Jerusalem came complete with claims that the 9/11 attacks represented a Zionist plot "in order to justify to occupy the land of the Muslims..."

In Canada, an Environics poll conducted a few years ago found 10% of Canadian Muslims feeling empathy for the Toronto 18, that they were somehow justified in attempting to attack the country to express their dissatisfaction with Canada's role in Afghanistan. That represents tens of thousands of Muslims living in Canada who feel similarly, but who have not - yet - acted upon their feelings as did the Toronto 18.

"Mainstream" Muslim and Arab associations and their publications continue to guide their followers in directions decidedly contrary to the values, aspirations and needs of most Canadians and the country at large. These Islamic groups tend to be fundamentalist in nature, and they celebrate the very same antipathies toward others that their forbears did historically.

Among Canadian Muslims there exists a troubling degree of affinity with the aspirations of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. These are issues and complex matters of history and geography that should have little resonance within the Canadian context. Even if we can assume, as we should, that the great majority of Canadian Muslims have no interest in fanatical Islamism, those that do invite guest speakers from abroad to speak favourably of violent jihad to Muslims born and educated in Canada.

Because their purpose is also to recruit to their cause, and because there is a groundswell of rejection of that cause lacking from within the Canadian Muslim population, young Canadian Muslims are attracted to the messages they can readily access through Internet sites, through local madrassas, and mosques and community centers.

Just a snapshot of the manner in which Western society has benefited from the generous invitation to 'come and abide with us' proffered toward the migrants of the world heavy on dissatisfaction with their native countries, with the misery of living under the heavy heel of totalitarian governments, anxious to escape the clutch of religious extremists.

And their whole-hearted appreciation of the wonderful privileges of living in a free society. Where they are free to speak their minds openly, free to live as they wish to, free to demand that the welcoming society prepare to make special, obligatory concessions to allow the introduction of a way of life unreflective of Canadian values.

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Palestinian Police State?

‘US-Trained Armed Forces Turning PA into Police State’
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Fears of PA Police State

The United States may have created a Frankenstein in the Palestinian Authority, which human rights groups fear is using U.S.-trained forces to build a police state.

“I feel real concern that we are reaching the level of a police state,” according to Ramallah-based human rights group director Shawan Jabarin, quoted by the Financial Times.

The United States has taken pride in its training PA ”policemen,” avoiding use of the words "armed forces" in order not to violate Oslo agreements. General Keith Dayton, who recently stepped down as director of the training program in the PA, has said the forces have been instrumental in eliminating Arab terror.

However, most of the terrorists and their supporters who have been arrested belong to Hamas, which threw its bitter rival Fatah out of Gaza in a bloody military war more than three years ago.

The Financial Times noted that PA politician Badr Abu Ayyash was arrested in September by the “Preventive Security Unit,” which allegedly tortured him to the point that he can hardly walk today. Other prisoners were quoted as saying that Hamas members are routinely beaten and tortured.

Human Rights Watch last month stated that “reports of torture by Palestinian security forces keep rolling in.” Randa Siniora, the director of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, told the Times, “We are looking at a very gloomy situation. I am afraid that this will become systematic.”

The anti-Hamas actions may prevent inroads by fundamentalist Muslim members of Hamas, but European countries, which generously fund the Palestinian Authority, have openly questioned whether their contribution justifies the PA becoming a police state.

The U.S. State Department five years ago encouraged the PA to establish democratic elections for the first time. However, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was shocked to discover that Hamas won the legislature.

Since then, no general legislative elections have been held, and PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to serve beyond his expired term, leaving the PA without any signs of the democracy that the United States introduced.

Ahmed Salhab, who said he was tortured in a PA prison, told the Times, “I had to eat lying on my back. I had to pray on my back and other inmates had to carry me to the toilet. I never broke the law. In the past, nobody would have believed that the PA would torture its own people. But now everybody knows that they do not respect human rights.”

Hamas charged on Monday that continuing arrests of its members in Judea and Samaria “are poisoning the atmosphere. A statement from its Damascus headquarters stated, “More than 50 armed men of the security services of the Palestinian Authority on Sunday night raided the home of MP Fathi al-Qarawi, arrested one of his sons and confiscated computers." It also charged that a preacher was “kidnapped” from her home in Shechem.

Published online at ArutzSheva.com, 23 November 2010

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Natanz Reactor Setback? Oh My!

Iran's nuclear program reportedly struggling

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 22, 2010; 8:44 PM

Iran's nuclear program has experienced serious problems, including unexplained fluctuations in the performance of the thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium, leading to a rare but temporary shutdown, international inspectors are expected to reveal Tuesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. unit that monitors nuclear programs, will provide no explanation of the problems. But speculation immediately centered on the Stuxnet worm, a computer virus that some researchers say appears to have been designed specifically to target Iran's centrifuge machines so that they spin out of control.

Iran denies the worm caused any problems.

No country has claimed responsibility for developing the virus, although suspicion has focused primarily on Israel and the United States. James L. Jones, who until recently was President Obama's national security adviser, declined to comment on the worm when asked about it Monday at the Aspen Institute.

The Associated Press first reported on the centrifuge shutdown, which was confirmed by a person familiar with the report. The official said the shutdown is mentioned in a much-anticipated IAEA report expected to be released Tuesday.

U.S. officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Even before the Stuxnet attack, the Natanz facility that houses the centrifuges had not been operating at full capacity, according to experts and U.S. officials.

Olli Heinonen, a former top IAEA official, said Monday at a meeting sponsored by the Arms Control Association that 3,772 centrifuges at the facility were being fed uranium gas and 5,084 machines were idle. "This indicates that there is a problem," he said.

Heinonen also said that Iran appears to have suffered a setback in its efforts to develop a second-generation centrifuge capable of enriching uranium more quickly. Iran's centrifuges are based on a Pakistani copy of a decades-old Dutch design, and Heinonen said Iran may have trouble obtaining the raw materials - such as high-strength carbon - for an upgrade because of international sanctions.

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There was a full ten months' freeze on construction in the West Bank during which time the Palestinian Authority refused to come to the bargaining table with Israel until a month prior to the lapse of the freeze. That time wasted was not wasted for no good reason. This was a purposeful and useful initiative. For the Palestinian Authority to demonstrate to the world that it was prepared to bargain in good faith. Good faith included a pre-condition that had not formerly been present in previous talks; the insistence on a halt to all settler construction.

And then, of course, the time elapsed and the ten-month freeze was concluded and plans to re-commence construction resumed. Predictably, the talks were then off again. The Palestinian Authority, condemning Israel for its perfidy, withdrew once again. Previously, it was assumed by both parties - and spoken of as a practical and useful proposal - that in the final stretches of any feasible agreement for peace there could result a swap of land to recompense on each side.

That appears to have been a too-uncomfortably-successful formula for reaching a peace agreement, and had to be re-thought. What the world sees at the present time is the new formula; one that places new restrictions and sacrifices on Israel, while demanding little but stubborn defiance from the Palestinian Authority. There is quiet talk about the potential for a bi-national state, and that would of course mean the dissolution of the State of Israel.

It would, however, be a satisfactory conclusion to the intractable problem that has presented thus far in the history of settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, as far as the Arab world is concerned. For Israel still and always will present to the Arab world as a foreign and unwelcome entity as a Jewish nation in a geography peopled by Arabs and Muslims; its presence an unforgivable and divinely unpalatable insult to Islam.

Interestingly enough a recent poll disclosed that a majority of Palestinians look favourably upon the creation of a two-state solution - as a temporary measure. That from the creation of the two states existing side by side a gradual merge of the two stages into one Arab state of Palestine would emerge, whether through force or otherwise. The Palestinian Authority still imagines their right to a nation-state from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean.

The Israel Project poll of Palestinians from a recent survey indicates 60% in favour of direct negotiations to achieve the "two states" of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. And two-thirds feel that "over time, Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state." Of the respondents, 23% agreed with the proposal that "Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people."

Which could be taken for an encouraging sign for the future if the number represented were greater. Particularly given that armed violence remains a high priority for 58% who prefer "armed struggle" rather than submit to "engagement with Israel", on a peaceful, neighbourly basis. That higher percentage dedicated to violence reflects Palestinian Gazan opinion.

So is the stage set for any kind of reliable and lasting peace agreements?

Israel's Cabinet is prepared to invest $23-million to develop the Western Wall, the holiest religious site in Judaism, for a project the PA insists is "illegal", to improve access to the (Wailing) Wall. The PA insists this part of Jerusalem represents their future capital, where the third holiest site in Islam exists represented by the Al-Aqsa mosque, historically built over the (second, reconstructed) ancient Temple of Solomon.

Is it even remotely possible that these two viewpoints and historical and modern realities can ever reach any mutually beneficial decision?

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Dastardly Plots Happily Foiled

Depends on how you look at it. And there are enough who look at it rather askance. Yes, when terror plots geared to bring death and destruction to their targets are apprehended through sheer good fortune, or good investigative work, or good contacts imparting reliable information, there is reason to cheer. For no lives were lost, no huge damage incurred, no discernible waves of fear circulated within the target population.

Of course when the occasional terror plot has reached a successful conclusion what occurs is a collective rage of disgust and hatred toward the perpetrators. Whose respect for human life is acknowledged to be entirely absent in their dementedly dire dedication to wreaking carnage in the name of terror. A terror in service to a fundamentalist view of a world religion whose violent warriors have dedicated themselves to reap a harvest of corpses to place before the divine alter of Islam.

There is more than one way to strike terror into the minds of those whom jihadists despise. If blood cannot be shed because plans go awry, and buildings do not collapse because the bombs fail to ignite, it isn't quite true that some level of success has not resulted. For each of these attacks leaves behind its own residue of fear - of the prospect of future and further attacks that will strike when no one suspects they may.

Insecurity, uncertainty create an aura of destabilization invaluable to the plans of the jihadists. They take comfort from attacks that have not succeeded materially because they know they have succeeded on another, introspective, deeply-embedded level of inner consciousness. They celebrate each of these incidents as a success because incrementally they represent fear and terror resplendent in their favour.

The al-Qaeda-linked and -centered cells that promulgate hated, revenge, violence and death encourage any and all manner of attacks, from relatively modest single-combatant assaults to group efforts, as long as they are well planned, executed in a timely manner and the assailants are adequately armed to produce maximum effect.

Minimum effect will do, if all else fails. From the needfully enhanced security imposed upon the attacked parties, to the more elaborate and costly attempts to provide protection against those attacks, and the disturbed-mind syndrome that such attacks elicit from among the insecure, even failed assaults have their usefulness.

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"Stunning" Revelations

"Instead of seeing a few small cascades of centrifuges, which I believed to exist in North Korea, we saw a modern, clean centrifuge plant of more than a thousand centrifuges all neatly aligned and plumbed below us." Stanford University-based scientist Siegfried Hecker
Surprise, absolutely stunning surprise. But then, that was precisely the response that was supposed to emerge from Dr. Hecker's guided tour of the Yongbyon nuclear complex. After all, North Korea is puffed with pride over its accomplishment. It is no mean feat for a poverty-stricken, backward country to invest extravagantly in attaining nuclear expertise and produce such startling results. Two fairly successful nuclear tests, thus far.

Of course North Korea did have assistance in this endeavour, and Pakistan is ready to take an ownership bow of acknowledgement at any time the applause is heard on the world stage. North Korea put up with quite a bit of condemnation over its insistence that it has a right and a divine duty to achieve nuclear sufficiency.

The aggravation, irritation it felt over UN sanctions only inspired them to greater patience and consistency in rigorously applying themselves and there are their dividends. As witnessed by Dr. Hecker, anxious to debrief the White House, infecting them too with the consternation he feels at his exposure to the spectacle of North Korea's capability of enriching uranium.

Iran is also stunning the world with arrogant impunity, cheered on by Syria, Venezuela, Turkey, Lebanon and Cuba. Ideological brothers-at-arms, as it were. Theocratic right-wing belligerency happily coupling with left-wing atheism. Of course enrichment of uranium, while ongoing, does not represent a search for nuclear weaponry to tip those newly-revealed longer-range missiles; Pyongyang's only purpose is peaceful, for civil nuclear use.

Reflecting precisely Iran's position. Both Iran and North Korea just incidentally, have withdrawn from denuclearization talks, from co-operation with the UN's nuclear watchdog, but to put things in perspective, they are still highly respected members of the United Nations, free to address the general assembly and to take their place on various committees if they so desire, for the UN at its heart is non-judgemental - but for one singular country.

Professor Hecker's guides during his privileged tour informed him that there were, in fact, two thousand centrifuges, producing low-grade-enriched uranium purposed for a nuclear power reactor, for their civilian nuclear electricity program. The good professor described the control room as "...astonishingly modern ... and would fit into any modern American processing facility".

And that North Korean scientists - his scientific peers as it were - informed him that the "Uranium Enrichment Workshop" has been a work in progress since April 2009, completed a mere few days before his private tour. And his beaming guides assured him that it had all been accomplished with their own brilliant and determined expertise.

With that confirmed data and hypotheses abounding for future prospects, we can anticipate what, precisely?

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Apportioning Blame

Report: Evidence links Hezbollah to murder of former Lebanese PM

According to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, previously unpublished Lebanese phone records connect Hezbollah to the 2005 murder of Rafik Hariri.

By Haaretz Service

UN investigators and a Lebanese police officer have unearthed evidence implicating Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, according to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp published Sunday.

The report by CBC News details a months-long investigation which links Hezbollah to the Hariri murder, and faults the United Nations for having key information on the case which it failed to pursue further.

Rafik Hariri and Nasrallah

Assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri speaking with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on May, 25, 2001.

Photo by: AP

According to the report, the UN International Independent Investigation Commission's findings are based on an extensive examination of Lebanese phone records.

According to a phone analysis by Lebanese and UN investigators, the records suggest that Hezbollah officials were in frequent contact with the owners of the cell phones that were allegedly used to coordinate the bomb detonation that killed Hariri.

According to the Washington Post, the revelations are likely to add to speculations that a UN prosecutor plans to indict members of Hezbollah by the end of the year.

The CBC report also points to errors done by the United Nations, such as misplacing the Lebanese phone records which allegedly identify the phones used by Hariri's killers – a crucial piece of evidence in the investigation. The report also faults the UN committee for the inadequate security provided for a key Lebanese officer who was killed after he helped the UN crack the case.

The latest evidence is a major development in the UN investigation which initially implicated Syria, even though recent media reports have already said that the United Nations prosecutor may issue indictments against members of Hezbollah. Hezbollah, however, denies any involvement.

A spokesman for the United Nations declined to comment Sunday on the substance of the allegations.

Published online at Haaretz.com, 22 November 2010

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