Saturday, September 29, 2018

Canada's Love Affair with Scrap, Second-Hand

"[Germany has decided to] begin concrete negotiations with Canada for the sale of the Euro Hawk aircraft, two ground stations and possibly certain spare parts."
German Defence Ministry

"The question is what a buyer would do with such a gutted aircraft."
"Without GPS navigation and in particular without flight control systems, the drone would hardly be able to fly."
Thomas Wiegold, German journalist

In this Thursday, July 21, 2011 photo a recce drone 'Euro Hawk' is moved at the air base in Manching, Germany. Germany wants to sell a second-hand drone that’s cost the country over 700 million euros ($823 million) to Canada, without many core components it needs to fly. (Armin Weigel/dpa via AP, file)

This is a technologically advanced, military drone whose future is being discussed. According to the German government the drone has been "demilitarized". Which means U.S.-manufactured radio equipment has been removed, along with the GPS receiver and aerials, as well as all encryption and flight control system. Technicians, it appears, given the order to prepare the aircraft for sale, chose to perform a "hardware uninstallation" rather than labour to delete its individual software components.

Somewhat similar to a complete lobotomy with consequential results, one might safely assume. Back in 2000 Germany ordered the Euro Hawk, a variation of the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, for use as a long-distance reconnaissance plane. The order was cancelled in view of skyrocketing costs and the realization that the prototype wouldn't be certifiable for flight in Europe, leading then-German defence minister Thomas de Maiziere to characterize the drone as a write-off.

Better, he said, to have a "horrible end than a horror without end". In recognition, most likely, that this was such a complicated mess; that attempts to rectify all the problems attendant on it would only complicate matters further, with increasing costs associated with each consequent effort to make a silk purse out of their sow's ear. Canada has some considerable experience in that type of situation. Remember the four Victoria-class submarines that Britain wrote off and Canada bought from them?
The HMCS Chicoutimi is seen departing in Esquimalt, B.C., on March 2, 2017.
CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS     Liberals to spend nearly $2.5-billion to keep used subs sailing past 2030
"Why were the Canadians daft enough to buy them? My God, it's a sad tale, isn't it? 'Buyer beware' should have been painted on the sides of these submarines.We sold them to you knowing there were intrinsic problems in the submarines. It's either incompetence on behalf of the Canadians, or sheer, smooth-talking salesmen from the MOD [Ministry of Defence] here in Britain", noted Mike Hancock, the Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South. Canada paid $850-million for the wrecks  plagued by dents, rust, fires and leaks.
In trade blowback, Canada will buy used Australian jets rather than new Boeing aircraft
A Royal Australian Air Force F-18 fighter on a training mission. (Royal Australian Air Force)
More currently, the Trudeau government has rejected the deal made by their predecessors who had signed on to buying CF35s for the RCAF, badly needed aircraft which Justin Trudeau scorned as of "unproven" value, turning instead to Boeing's Super Hornets, only to find that corporation in a competitive spat with Canada's Bombardier, leading the Canadian government to turn away from Boeing and decide instead to buy second-hand F-18 fighters from Australia, planes that are of the same vintage as the ones they're to replace currently in use by the Canadian Air Force.
Now, Transport Canada plans to buy that German-reject drone for surveillance missions in the Canadian Arctic, the very drone that many analysts claim to be close to worthless. This time the Department of National Defence isn't in the questioning hot seat, instead it's Transport Canada which refused to confirm its interest other than to state: "In 2015-2017, as part of its technical assessment, the government sought information from suppliers to better understand the technology and the solutions available."

"We look forward to sharing more information on this project as it progresses, but it is still premature to speculate which remotely piloted aircraft system will be purchased." Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat approved $39.5-million in funding for a technical assessment and a system meeting Canada's needs: "We have identified options within this range", noted a spokesperson for Transport Canada. According to the Left Party lawmaker Andrej Hunko in Germany, the drone has "scrap value".

Just down Canada's alley!

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Basic Flaws

"[Its] basic flaw ... has always exempted the bishops [from independent oversight. The fundamental need is to answer the question as to how Archbishop McCarrick and others rose in their ecclesiastical careers when troubling facts regarding sexual abuse were known by the hierarchy which promoted them."
"We asked how many trials have you done on the accused priests. Scicluna said he was getting empty files from bishops. They didn't want to release information to the Holy See because they feared subpoena power [from lawyers representing victims]. Bob [Bennett] told Scichluna to tell them to send the files, they'll get a subpoena anyway."
"Where are we today? At the same place. We know what we suspected then, but it's now affirmed: we cannot trust the hierarchy of the Catholic Church."
Judge Anne Burke, Chicago, Illinois Supreme Court Justice

"What he's [Pope Francis] got to be seen to be doing is pushing for a very rigorous policy. Can he do that if he himself has not been as diligent, to say the least, as he should be?"
"It's too early to say, but just looking at the case, it looks very bad. It seems like a violation -- is he the guy [Cardinal Daniel DiNardo] who should be leading at this point?"
David Gibson, director, Center on Religion and Culture, Catholic university Fordham

"We shared with Pope Francis our situation in the United States -- how the Body of Christ is lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse. He listened very deeply from the heart."
". . . It was a lengthy, fruitful, and good exchange."
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Galveston-Houston, president, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
 Pope Francis meets with officials representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican Sept. 13. Pictured from left are Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the conference, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of conference, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
  Pope Francis meets with officials representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican Sept. 13. Pictured from left are Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the conference, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of conference, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Cardinal DiNaro stands accused of mishandling the case of the Reverend Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, arrested in Conroe, Texas earlier in September on four counts of indecency with a child. According to police, La Rosa-Lopez fondled two teens while a priest at a Conroe church. He was engaged at another church in Richmond Texas, as their priest, at the time of his arrest. So much for the church cleansing itself of its habit of overlooking the priestly-celibate-behaviour of its clerics in their abuse of parishioners.

The meeting with Pope Francis to discuss the crisis of sexual abuse with the leaders of American Catholics was a friendly affair, smiles and graciousness all around. That Cardinal DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was accused of yet again covering up actions of an abusing priest in his archdiocese was simply business as usual. Yet there were some among the lower-echelon clerics who impudently asked whether, under those circumstances, DiNardo was the right man to head such reforms.

The summer of 2018 saw one cardinal resign and another stating he might just do the same. Yet another bishop was removed by Pope Francis from ministry; Michael J. Bransfield of West Virginia now faces a church investigation on charges of sexual harassment. While the meeting between Pope Francis and the bishops who met with him was cordiality personified, the business of actually discussing plans of reform appear to have been overlooked.

Even as Cardinal DiNardo was preparing for that meeting, a woman came forward to claim she informed him of an abusive priest in his Texas archdiocese.  All well and good, but nothing was done, DiNardo took no action to remove that priest from ministry. Until finally it was taken out of his hands when the offending priest was arrested on charges of child abuse some time later. All this, following on the Pennsylvania grand jury report of the month before detailing allegations of abuse by over 300 priests in that state alone.

A shocking set of revelations that set off similar investigations to take place in Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. Of course there were credible and verifiable reports that Pope Francis himself had indulged in protecting and covering up for those of  his esteemed colleagues who had themselves done the same for their underlings, loathe to submit the venerable church to public scrutiny and the offensive effect of legal authorities taking priests into custody. So who will be investigating the Pope?

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Friday, September 28, 2018

The Elite Russian Hit Squad

"[Russia should not] be in any doubt [that if it did not] rejoin the international consensus against the use of chemical weapons [then the United Kingdom and its allies would be forced to take action]."
"We have seen what happens when the natural patriotism which is a cornerstone of a healthy society is warped into aggressive nationalism, exploiting fear and uncertainty to promote identity politics at home and belligerent confrontation abroad, while breaking rules and undermining institutions."
"And we see this when states like Russia flagrantly breach international norms – from the seizing of sovereign territory to the reckless use of chemical weapons on the streets of Britain by agents of the Russian GRU." 
"We have taken appropriate action, with our allies, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our collective security."
"Russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication."
British Prime Minister Theresa May, UN Security Council, 26 September, 2018
Theresa May speaking at the UN
Theresa May UN speech: Mrs May warned Russia over its use of chemical weapons (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

"Anatoly Vladimirovich Chepiga was awarded the honourary title of Hero of the Russian Federation by order of the president of the Russian Federation."
Far Eastern Military Command Academy, website
British intelligence has focused once again on the perpetrators of yet another deadly chemical attack on British soil of a Russian expatriate living in Great Britain whose criticism of the Kremlin and more specifically President Vladimir Putin has fuelled revenge-motivated silencing of a truly vicious type more than adequately demonstrating the Russian Federation's contempt for those hosting what it considers to be traitors as it pursues its entitled punishment on foreign soil as a signal to any others of the fate awaiting them should they too decide to turn against the Putin regime.

The nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury created an international stand-off, with Russia feeling fairly isolated when the West was once again scandalized at the sheer lunacy of such a transparent move on Russia's part. Its denials of involvement so obviously absurd given circumstances and evidence as well as a long-held tradition of such assassinations leading directly to its unrepentant source.
Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov, the two suspects in the attempted assassination of a Russian defector, say that their sightseeing trip to Britain was only a coincidence.
Photograph from Sputnik / AP
The identities of the two men who had 'visited' Salisbury to take in its heritage sites as tourists admiring history and ceremony, reveal them to have been dispatched by the highest authority to silence yet another dissenting voice irritating to the Kremlin and Russia's Dark Knight of Vengeance. One of the men that British counter-terrorism police have identified as Ruslan Boshirov is in reality a highly decorated GRU agent with special forces, the Spetsnaz unit, who was named as Col. Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga, 39, who served in Chechnya and Ukraine.

Honoured for his service to the Russian Federation as a Hero of the Russian Federation in 2014 in a secretive ceremony, mandated by none other than the president himself, Vladimir Putin. The innocent "civilians" identified by President Putin who had nothing to do with the Skripnal poisoning are in fact senior Russian military officers. Another such senior military officer explained, under cover of anonymity, that Chepiga's exalted professional rank and experience indicates "the job was ordered at the highest level". An assassination of lesser import would have been tasked to a lower-rank officer.

European arrest warrants as well as Interpol red notices were issued for the two men accused additionally of the murder of Dawn Sturgess. Not that they deliberately targeted the local Salisbury resident, but their carelessness in discarding a vial of Novichok which she and her male companion picked up, tainted them both with the chemical agent, whereupon she died in hospital and he recovered. CCTV evidence showed the two accused GRU officers near Skripal's home the day of the poisoning.

Subsequently the pair, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, appeared on Russia TV -- ordered to do so by President Putin to 'clear the air' -- claiming their innocence as 'fitness industry' workers, and tourists in "wonderful" Salisbury. Ironically, Russia's Spetsnaz special forces which Ruslan Boshirov belongs to, is operated by the GRU in which Sergei Skripal, their Salisbury target, was a colonel before his defection.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov questioned whether the UK ‘had something to hide’ over the Salisbury attack (Image: GETTY IMAGES)

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Civil Discourse in America

"Sexual assault survivor questioned Cruz during disruption at fancy Washington D.C. restaurant. Cruz ignores her."
"This is a message to Ted Cruz, Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump and the rest of the racist, sexist, transphobic, and homophobic right-wing scum."
"You are not safe. We will find you. We will expose you. We will take from you the peace you have taken from so many others."
Smash Racism DC social media

"I'd love to talk to you about Brett Kavanaugh tonight."
"I'd love to know what  your vote is going to be tonight. I know that you're very close friends with Mr. Kavanaugh. Do you believe in survivors, sir?"
"Senator, we have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh."
"God bless you, as well. I'm a survivor of sexual assault. I believe all survivors. There are now three people who have come forward and said that Brett Kavanaugh has attacked them."
"Would you talk to him about that?"
Unnamed women in mob group of 12, Fiola Italian restaurant, Washington, D.C.
"I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one."
"Not right that Senator Cruz and his wife Heidi were surrounded and forced to leave a restaurant last night because of protesters."
"The Cruz family should be treated with respect."       
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.), Democratic Senate candidate opposing Republican Cruz
Cruz swarmed by protesters at DC restaurant
Ted Cruz confronted in a D.C. restaurant about a mile from the U.S. Senate building. Smash Racism DC / Twitter
First it was President Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders who was refused a table at a rural Virginia restaurant. The restaurant owner refused to serve anyone who served Trump. Sanders gathered her dignity and her family and departed. As insults go, this was pretty stinging -- and socially indefensible. Last week it was Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican whom Mojos Real Cuban in Venice, Florida refused to serve, furious over the scourge of red tide algae presence in the state's waterways.

Senator Cruz and his wife were out for a evening's dining experience in Washington. They had made reservations at a restaurant popular with D.C. politicians of both stripes. Somehow, a motley assembly comprised of members of left-wing groups, a local anti-fascist group and a Democratic Socialists of America branch, and others got wind of the Cruz family reservation. They arrived an hour earlier to sit at the bar awaiting the Cruz's arrival. 

"[Politicians from both parties frequent Fiola often.] Everyone except Donald Trump. We're very bipartisan by nature", later explained a perturbed Maria Traochhi, a co-owner of the popular, upscale restaurant. "We're not trained to deal with this. How do you deal with things like this? It's crazy times", she opined, obviously unwilling to be viewed as supporting the ruckus that erupted leaving her and her staff fearful that violence might ensue. Not, however, from Senator Cruz who was being verbally crucified; his response to all the shrill charges shouted at him was: "God bless you, Ma'am."

His continued response to the ongoing confrontation was unwavering; polite, respectful and non-committal. Challenged by a woman whose odious behaviour he suffered, he remained polite throughout her harangue. That he had stated last week before a second woman declared herself to have been harassed by the candidate for the Supreme Court nominated by President Trump, and supported by him, irrespective of the hysteria now surrounding that nomination, that "These allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect", obviously held no currency with the raucous mob verbally assaulting the Senator.

The dozen self-righteous accusers kept flashing the cameras in their cellphones in the Senator's face, repeatedly chanting "We believe the survivors!", "Fascist, racist, anti-gay!", raising middle fingers, chanting continuously, "We believe the survivors!". As the Cruzes made to leave the premises, one of the men in the mob snarled a warning at other patrons in the restaurant, "This is what'll happen to you if you support Kavanaugh".

Police had been called. The restaurant staff stood watching, appalled at the viciousness of the attack on a couple who had assumed they had a right to privacy and a restful night out, enjoying a meal together after the stress of political life in the nation's capital that has become uber-partisan and unrelentingly ugly. The staff was uncomfortable and decidedly of the opinion that their hospitality was being besmirched by a demonstration of incivility unbecoming a civil society.

While the mob of a dozen misfits screamed and shouted at Senator Cruz, he responded with smiles, quietly repeating "God bless". Finally requesting of his attackers that they allow himself and his wife to leave without further ado: "Can you let my wife through?", he asked of the frenzied group. Finally a member of the restaurant staff ordered the mob to "Leave the premises. This is a private space." So by the time police arrived Senator Cruz had departed and the mob had left, mission accomplished.

And Smash Racism DC was quick to post videos of the event on their social media account. 
Last night, a group of protesters unexpectedly entered Fiola with the purpose of confronting Senator Cruz. Recognizing that there was a potential for escalation and concerned for the safety of all our customers, our management did what they could do to diffuse a difficult situation and, as is our policy, if there is ever an event of this nature, the police were immediately called.  We are trained at hospitality not public safety, and our highest priority is always the well-being of our customers. Separated from the protesters, the Senator exited the restaurant and the protesters left soon thereafter.
Fiola owners Fabio and Maria Trabocchi

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sacred Defence Week in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Funeral after terror attack on military parade
Father of Mohammad Taha Eghadami, a 4-year-old boy who was killed in Saturday's terror attack on a military parade, mourns over his coffin during a mass funeral ceremony for the victims, in southwestern city of Ahvaz, Iran, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP / Ebrahim Noroozi)
"America is acting like a bully toward the rest of the world ... and thinks it can act based on brute force."
"But our people will resist and the government is ready to confront America. We will overcome this situation and America will regret choosing the wrong path."
"[It is] absolutely clear to us who has done this, which group it is and to whom they are affiliated."
"One of the countries in the south of the Persian Gulf took care of their financial, weaponry and political needs."
"All these little mercenary countries we see in this region are backed by America. It is the Americans who incite them."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

"The thing he has to do is look in the mirror. He's got the Iranian people protesting. Every ounce of money goes into his military."
"He has oppressed his people for a long time. I think the Iranian people have had enough."
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador, United Nations

"There is still time for a determined international response that stops Iran from spreading its malignant influence to every corner of the region."
Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Saudi ambassador, United Kingdom

"You are responsible for these actions ['triangle' of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States]; you will face the repercussions."
"We warn all of those behind the story, we will take revenge."
General Hossein Salami, acting commander, Revolutionary Guard Corps
Iranian authorities 'detained' 22 'suspects' whom they link to the group responsible for the Saturday attack in Ahvas, Iran during the commemoration ceremonies of the anniversary of the Iraq-Iran war when four gunmen wearing military uniforms of the Revolutionary Guard Corps opened fire killing a dozen Revolutionary Guardsmen along with a number of spectators, 25 people in total before the gunmen were themselves shot and killed. Playing with fire with a regime that aspires to nuclear weaponry.

The four dead gunmen are acknowledged as being affiliated with the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz, a separatist group known to carry out night-time attacks in Ahvaz province on oil infrastructure. Tehran is focusing on those the revolutionary committee feels provided the funding, weapons and other support for the infiltration of the nation's Republican Guard, the country's elite security institution. The day following the attack, diplomats from the U.K. the Netherlands and Denmark were summoned and accused of harbouring Iranian opposition groups.

But it is the United States that the regime holds wholly responsible for the unrest and the attacks against its government that has incited Iranians to protest and action against the Islamic revolutionary government. The United Arab Emirates charge d'affaires was rebuked by the Iranian foreign ministry for comments overheard to have been made by an Emirati official relating to the bloody fusillade that violently marred the parade. The U.A.E. is an ally of Saudi Arabia, Shiite Iran's Sunni nemesis.

Infamously, Tehran conveniently overlooks the fact that the Islamic Republic is internationally recognized as the world's greatest supporter of terrorism. Its Shiite militias, its Republican National Guard Corps al Quds division and its surrogate militia, the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah group are responsible for bloodletting, threats and fear throughout the Middle East. It constantly and repeatedly threatens to make good its threat to destroy the State of Israel. It is partially responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Syrians and Yemenites.

That it is despised by its own population and deplored by the free world is undeniable. Its actions on the international stage to destabilize and disrupt order is legendary. Deploying its terrorist allies, it is responsible for acts of terror in support of the Shiite version of the religion of peace, balancing the Sunni terrorist groups who do likewise and enjoy support from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. This is Islam at its finest, just ask the Muslim faithful who face slaughter in vicious sectarian conflicts.

And now Tehran can get on with its capital punishment agenda as the country that dispatches more people to death for any number of 'criminal' and 'terrorist' offences against the state.

The claim of responsibility from the Ahwazi Democratic Popular Front

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

China Offending

"It took a lot of meticulous research -- figuring out what's going on took a combination of skills [from a range of groups."
Maya Wang, Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch

"[A mass ethnic roundup may not be the best way, but] maybe it's the necessary way to deal with Islamic or religious extremism, because the West has failed in doing so."
"Look at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some other European countries."
Li Xiaojun, spokesman, State council Information Office, Beijing
Xinjiang police
Law-enforcement officials patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang.
AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

It is now known that the government of China has expended billions in a vast archipelago of high-security indoctrination camps in the mountainous far western region of Xinjiang, home of the minority Chinese Uyghur, the Turkic Muslim population living in that vast region. The camps are populated by hundreds of thousands of people taken from their families in reflection of the undeniable, that they are Muslim and as such make Chinese authorities very nervous indeed. They would, needless to say, like to be independent of China, to have their traditional territory hived off, to be independent, autonomous, sovereign.

Another issue of great purport to China, which accuses any ethnic group that wishes to be sovereign in recognition of their heritage geography, to be 'splittist', potentially harming the treasured Chinese perfection of 'harmony'. And so, the ethnic Uyghur are placed in those vast holding centres to ensure that they are unable to plot, to mount offences, to become de facto terrorists in their struggle against Chinese authority insisting they must be good citizens and adapt to complete compliance. Held in these camps, it can be assured that they submit to authority.

In 2014 Chinese authorities launched their "Strike Hard Campaign Against Violent Terrorism" with the specific aim of pacifying the Uyghur population of Jinjiang. Achieved initially by arresting thousands whose ethnic roots and stubborn faith in Islam rendered them suspects of Islamic terrorism, or (shudder) separation. Two years later, a greater network of "political re-education camps" emerged. Chinese law is bypassed and so is due process for these camps stuffed with hundreds of thousands against whom no legal accusations have been lodged.

"They have a chair called the 'tiger.' My ankles were shackled, my hands locked to the chair. I couldn't move. They wouldn't let me sleep. They also hung me up for hours, and they beat me."
"They had thick wooden and rubber batons, whips made from twisted wire, needles to pierce the skin, pliers for pulling out your nails."
"All these tools were displayed on the table in front of me, ready for use at any time. You could hear other people screaming as well." 
omir xinjiang uighur bbc newsnight
Omir described being tortured by Chinese police at an internment camp in Karamay, Xinjiang.
BBC Newsnight

The United Nations last month, confirming the existence of the camps and their population, called on China for their release and the closure of the camps. Earlier, diplomats representing Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland made a formal request to China to discuss the existence of the camps, leaving China somewhat unimpressed and unresponsive. It was Beijing journalists who first became aware of the existence of the camps in 2014, from reports in the Uyghur-language media outside China; sources such as Radio Free Asia.

Adrian Zenz, a German scholar, obtained work-tender contracts revealing the size and purpose of the camps and the billions in treasury spent making them reality. Shawn Zhang, a University of British Columbia law student, used satellite images combined with Dr. Zenze's documents to pinpoint the precise location, rapid growth and widespread nature of the network of camps.

china muslims xinjiang uyghur
Uighurs in Kashgar, Xinjiang, carry a flag of the Chinese Communist Party and walk past a billboard with President Xi Jinping's face on it in June 2017. 
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Offending China: After All, Who Doesn't Want To Be Noticed and Liked?

"[I've received] more requests to speak around the world than I could fulfill in a lifetime."
"[The government's silence was] starting to look like procrastination."
"[The government of New Zealand needs to reach] a level of respect [in its relations with China] where we can point out things we don't like."
"Breaking New Zealand out of these military groupings and away from its traditional partners, or at the very least, getting New Zealand to agree to stop spying on China for the Five Eyes, would be a major coup for China’s strategic goal of becoming a global great power."
Professor Anne-Marie Brady, China specialist, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand – Anne Marie Brady – Wilson Center
New Zealand academic Anne-Marie Brady has faced burglaries and threats after releasing a report critical of China’s activities in the South Pacific. Photo: Youtube

"[The involvement of Interpol as well a local security service indicates the burglary and break-in perpetrators] are abroad at this moment, or are agents of a foreign entity."
"Everything in the New Zealand government's response points to a state, a state-sponsored entity, or a foreign criminal organization being involved with this."
Paul Buchanan, (former) Pentagon analyst, director, 36th Parallel Assessments, Auckland, New Zealand

"[Should evidence emerge that Chinese agents were involved in the office break-ins and burglary it should act as] a cattle prod to the New Zealand body politic [about its relationship with Beijing]."
"People advising me on my security have been quite alarmed. If China is targeting her, there's a good chance they're targeting me."
Clive Hamilton, professor, Charles Sturt University, Canberra
New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership that includes Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia. There is now a raised question whether it is allowing itself to become too vulnerable to Chinese influence as a Western country. Professor Hamilton had authored a book on the influence that China was asserting in Australia. Australia, cognizant of suspicion among its Western partners introduced national security legislation in June, banning foreign interference in their politics.

Another academic, Professor Anne-Marie Brady, has achieved a high profile through her investigation of Chinese intelligence working in New Zealand. Last September she published a paper, Magic Weapons, identifying categories of political-influence activities in Western democracies on China's part. Describing what she identified as the Chinese Communist Party's blueprint to conduct activities worldwide meant to infiltrate and influence the West. She specifically focused on New Zealand as a case study, highlighting Chinese influence across spheres of public life.

The result has been a series of events which have been interpreted by a former CIA analyst, Peter Mattis, now a China Program fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, as a signal for her to cease and desist. There were several break-ins at her office at the university, and more latterly her home was burglarized. Items of value, including cash, were left undisturbed. But whoever it was that had invaded her home, had disturbed bed covers, left papers strewn about, and absconded with what she described as an "old, broken" laptop and a "cheap" cellphone.

The laptop had been used for her most recent research while the cellphone had been used on her travels to China. Her husband's laptop was untouched. There was "only one likely culprit for this", stated Peter Mattis. And the break-ins had a purpose: "intimidating her into silence would in a sense be a major win" for China, he explained. As for Professor Brady herself, she interprets those disturbing events as a "psychological operation" targeting her over her work.

During her China trip her computer's hard drive had been tampered with. In addition, she had learned that people she had interviewed had been questioned later by Communist Party officials. She had been in receipt of a letter meant to warn her of an impending attack on her. Her last paper had been published coincidentally when a New Zealand lawmakers, Jian Yang, had denied he was a spy for China. He had simply taught English to spies in China, he explained. And he remains in Parliament.

Political leaders in New Zealand have been unimpressed with Brady's assertions. Unlike the impression they have had globally where her paper was cited in the United States in government committee hearings and her claims appear to have influenced Australia to take that step of banning foreign interference in their politics. New Zealand police responded to the break-ins, indicating that Interpol was aiding them, along with the country's Security Intelligence Service which had swept her office for the presence of listening devices.

China's Premier Li Keqiang (L) is welcomed to New Zealand's Government House by a Maori elder during a welcome ceremony in Wellington on March 27, 2017. Photo: AFP/ Marty Melville
China's Premier Li Keqiang (L) is welcomed to New Zealand's Government House by a Maori elder during a welcome ceremony in Wellington on March 27, 2017. Photo: AFP/ Marty Melville

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saint Justin Slaying the Anti-Equality Dragon

"[Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Salman was trying to send a message that he is not to be disrespected by anyone. Unfortunately, many Saudi students who were in Canada are paying a heavy price."
"Investors are looking more askance at Saudi Arabia, and none of this helps Saudi relations with the rest of the world."
Paul Sullivan, Saudi specialist, Georgetown University, Washington
"Canada is back," Trudeau mugged for the world's cameras at the signing of the Paris Accord in 2015. "We're Canadian," Trudeau told the U.N. General Assembly the following year, "and we're here to help." (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

When the smiley-face ebullience of Justin Trudeau, Margaret's "Golden Boy", was loosed on the world stage as Canada's spanking new prime minister he presented as an antidote to the taciturn, capable, resolute and intelligent Stephen Harper with whom the voting public had tired. How the public spirit soared at the prospect of this handsome young man with the temerity to offer himself as a public service to Canada with his great experience in drama and snowboarding excited expectations!

"Sunny ways" did it, Justin winked, as he boasted on the world stage introducing himself to other world leaders, that "Canada is back". Since then, we have learned that the Canada that never went away has shifted backward. Canada has become the world's silly clown, alternating between espousing progressive values and changing the social contract and its language, alerting 90 percent of the population that due diligence must be paid forward in soothing the emotional baggage of the dissatisfied ten percent as their due.

As for Canada's reputation abroad, it has become somewhat of a laughing stock, an administration that busies itself morally strong-arming its counterparts to give obeisance where it is due; Canada's version of social, cultural, international, economic imperatives to hoist the status of women and the traditionally socially-impoverished in a mission of achieving total equality.

Stephen Harper's cabinet gained close to parity between the genders, but Justin Trudeau appointed women to cabinet posts based on gender alone, it seemed not necessarily suitable qualifications which he deemed to be expendable; he had none, why would they require any?

Now it is attempting to placate the rage it inspired in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland demanded that the Saudis release a rights activist instanter. Liberal Party supporters like SNC-Lavalin, the Canadian unit of General Dynamics Corp., McCain Foods Ltd., and others stand to suffer as a result of a breach in relations whereby Canada's ambassador to the Kingdom was expelled, investments curbed, Saudi medical students recalled; a giant rebuff to Canada for interfering in Saudi Arabia's internal affairs.

Globally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is increasingly being regarded as a pain in the arse, his virtue-signalling fails to impress internationally just as it is beginning finally to pall at home. When Trudeau jabbed China and India in trade discussions with his expectations on women's and minority rights he failed to endear himself and Canada to potential free trade partners. This, in addition to the sad state of Canada's third-class status in NAFTA negotiations, where once again Chrystia Freeland has assaulted the sensibilities of the U.S. top trade negotiator; a trading partnership made in hell.

So, sigh, what went wrong? Well, just about everything. The shining new prime minister who promised that his administration would tend to bolstering Canada's reputation abroad, take back its revolving seat in the United Nations, bolster the military and respond to peacekeeping requests has just been slapped down by the Organization for Economic Cooperation for its failure to restore foreign aid commitments to the level it enjoyed under the Harper government.

Trudeau seemed to think his considerable charm and celebrity could mollify Trump in the early days of his presidency. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

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And Never The Twain...India's Hindu-Muslim Divide

"People are frustrated that they are not being able to get jobs."
"There is angst, which is spreading across communities and people ... It's a reaction to their circumstances."
Vasundhara Raje, Leading member, Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP]

"I have a strange sense of confidence now. The group has taught us what is right, what we need to do for society."
"Earlier there was a fear that the government would arrest us, but now with the Yogi government, we don't have any fear."
"Even if a smuggler is killed during a fight, we don't have to worry about it. Even if a life is lost, we don't care."
"All these BJP leaders, they've said, 'Do what you want to do about cow protection. Don't worry, if there is any problem we are there for you."
Ram Kumar, 23, Govardhan, India
People walk past a shop selling cow meat in Kolkata, capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

There are over 600 million people under the age of 24 in India with access to technology and education. But India has a vast population, many in the same age cohort who despite the advance in technology and education available to them now, for whom there will be scant opportunity for meaningful employment. The negatives don't end there; because boys are seen as preferential to girls, the culture selects for males, either in the womb or through neglect after birth.

The result of which is that there is an estimated 37 million men for whom a mate will never be found, thanks to aborted female fetuses. These are called "bachelor bombs", for whom the presence of a woman in their lives and the fulfillment of family life will never defuse those incipient 'bombs'. The cultural legacy of preference for boys leaves those young men bereft of a normal future.

Each month in India over a million young men enter the labour market, often with inadequate employment skills. India is able to generate 1.8 million jobs annually, according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. The government, on the other hand, claims that closer to 7 million new jobs were created last year.

The result of this growing social dysfunction with scant employment opportunities and restless young men for whom life seems purposeless, is a search for meaning. Some attend leadership camps; they are themselves under no economic duress, coming from well-off families. And they are joining right-wing groups in the belief that they can help clean up society's ills.

Their core Hindu beliefs, they believe, require their very particular vigilance to ensure that society knows its place. Beating others suspected of violating those Hindu beliefs, threatening interfaith couples in the belief that Muslims are plotting to steal their Hindu women for whom they're prepared to kill in defence of the faith.

This past summer has seen dozens of people killed by lynch mobs, where extremist Hindus assault and kill other people, mostly Muslims. Religious zealots responded to a minor traffic accident by demolishing a car with sticks to vent their rage, even while police looked on, unresponsively. The Hindu nationalist Bharantiya Janata Party governing India is being blamed for encouraging violence by Hindu extremists.

Ram Kumar is one example of a college graduate who attended a leadership camp sponsored by the Hindu nationalist World Hindu Council. And this is where he became familiar with the need to protect cows held sacred by Hindus but butchered and eaten by Muslims. It is where he was inspired to protect women's modesty, and to prevent those outside the faith from converting Hindus to their own faith.

Military drills, sleeping in spartan concrete dorm rooms, eating lentils and rice was part of the hardening off formula of these activists. Kumar, and his friend Gaurav Sharma, 22, a law student, come from Agra where they grew up, the city that boasts the Taj Mahal, the world-famed monument to love, which they regard as symbolic of the Mughal invaders subjugating India's Hindus.

After Kumar's indoctrination in the training camp he became accustomed to chasing down and threatening interfaith couples, conducting the kind of moral activism he feels is required to stop Muslim men from seducing girls "as young as 14", a practise known as "love jihad". At night Kumar prowls the streets on the lookout for cattle traders illegally smuggling cows to slaughter.

He and five other committed activists recently stopped a truck transporting cows and beat the driver, a Muslim, who pleaded for them to spare his life. His life was spared but not by the activists, when police arrived. "I was raging, if I had a pistol, I would have killed him", said Kumar. Since the BJP came to power in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the activists have no fear of accountability to authorities.
"Our parents never told us anything bad about Muslims. But in madrassas, they learn that Hindus are bad."
"We will tell the next generations how bad these people are."
Gauray Sharma, 22, law student

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Tagging The Beast

"This was our second tagging attempt in Canadian waters."
"To our knowledge, this is the first time that an archival satellite tag or any type of satellite tag has been applied to a white shark while in Canada, although we have had information from tags applied in the U.S. that have come to Canadian waters previous to this."
"We will have to wait patiently, but when the tag does pop off, we'll be able to analyze its depth and temperature use relative to some ocean current modelling that's been done, to look at both where it was in Canada as well as how it was behaving, how close it was to the coast, as well as what its behaviour might have been."
"There have been more sightings of whites up in around Canada. There's more tagging effort as well and so there's been more tag detections."
"But there's been no population size estimate for white sharks in the North Atlantic, so it's unknown whether this represents substantial population increase." 
"We would have information on things like swimming speed and those types of questions."
Heather Bowlby, researcher, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Halifax
A great white shark was tagged in the waters off southwest Nova Scotia last week. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans)

"We started having bait being taken from us."
"Nathan was the one who actually seen [sic] this splashing and white water all over the place --- and so we went racing over there and that's when we pretty much got our confirmation that it had been a white shark. He had taken the bait, bit the line off, and was swimming around the red float for a bit and then left."
"[Nathan] had come back to check a bucket to give it a shake for a drift, and when he went back and looked over the side, mister man was looking at him. So it was quite a little fright that he had."
"There was one time where the fish tail came up and whacked the side of the boat. It's amazing the adrenalin that will start going through your body once everything starts happening."
Art Gaetan, skipper, charter boat, Eastern Passage
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tag information will assist in understanding great white shark movements.
andythirlwell/Getty Images/iStockphoto
The purpose of tagging the lone great white shark, a juvenile predator seen off the coast of Nova Scotia, was to improve scientific understanding of this particular beast's movements off Canada. Tagging would provide an information assist to understand where white sharks move while in Canadian waters, informing recovery and protection efforts. This is a critical issue since white sharks are listed as endangered in the Canadian Species At Risk Act.

Anticipating that data collected from the archival tag will not be available for nine months, a gestationary period where eventually the tag will pop off the shark and float to the surface. When it does, it will transmit the vital information to a satellite. It was important that minimal interaction with the shark take place while the tagging was going on. It did so swiftly, in the water for minimal impact on the beast's behaviour in hopes of being able to "get the best information possible."

It is entirely possible, according to Dr. Bowlby, that greater numbers of white sharks are moving into Canadian waters. While working at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in a team of three researchers, she often collaborates with other organizations equally interested in the welfare of the species. The team held off naming the white shark caught last week which they estimated to be about twenty years old. Naming was withheld until the completion of a photo identification catalogue in development in the United States where photos of its dorsal fin had been sent to determine whether it has already been named.

An American group, Ocearch, is now operating in Nova Scotia on shark research with the intention of tagging mature females to track them to a birthing site. Ocearch tagged a celebrity great white shark named Hilton who was tracked off Cape Breton on Saturday. Hilton has its own Twitter feed with close to 45,000 followers. Did he but know!
Hilton the great white shark is shown being tagged in March of 2017 in Hilton Head, S.C. Hilton has travelled from the Gulf of Mexico in the spring to the coast of Nova Scotia this summer.
For the first time in Atlantic Canadian waters, scientists have successfully tagged a great white shark. Hilton the great white shark is shown being tagged in March of 2017 in Hilton Head, S.C. Hilton has travelled from the Gulf of Mexico in the spring to the coast of Nova Scotia this summer. - Contributed

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Keeping Peace While Prosecuting War

"[Israeli pilots attacking Syrian targets] used the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defences."
"We consider these provocative actions by Israel as hostile. Fifteen Russian military service members died because of irresponsible actions of the Israeli military."
"It's absolutely contrary to the spirit of Russia-Israeli partnership."
"We reserve the right for adequate response."
Igor Konashenkov, Russian military spokesman
Explosions seen in the Syrian city of Latakia after an attack on a military facility nearby on September 17, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)
"Israel expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed tonight due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire. [The Russian plane that was hit] was not within the area of the operation."
"The Syrian anti-air batteries fired indiscriminately and, from what we understand, did not bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air."
"[The target of Monday's night strike was a Syrian military facility that manufactured] accurate and lethal weapons about to be transferred, on behalf of Iran, to Hezbollah in Lebanon."
"These weapons were meant to attack Israel, and posed an intolerable threat against it. Israel holds the Assad regime, whose military shot down the Russian plane, fully responsible for this incident. Israel also holds Iran and the Hezbollah terror organization accountable for this unfortunate incident."
Israel Defence Forces statement
"[The downing of the plane by Syrian air defenses represented a] chain of tragic accidental circumstances."
"An Israeli jet did not shoot down our plane. No doubt we should seriously look into this."
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Too many jets being juggled in a finite airspace, deconfliction agreement aside. Moscow is intent on preserving its agreement with the Syrian regime to aid it in recapturing and consolidating all of its territory, even territory upon which its ancient cities and monuments have been destroyed, where millions of its people have been dispersed. On the one hand, there is Syria and attached to Syria are Lebanon's Hezbollah twinned with the Iranian Republican Guard Corps, and Iran's Shiite militias.

On the other hand, there is Israel with which Vladimir Putin has soft relations, supporting the Jewish state's right to exist, a matter entirely divorced from Moscow's support of Syria whose intent is the destruction of Israel in union with Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. While Moscow provides the aerial backbone of the Syrian regime's recapture of its territory, at the same time ensuring its deep sea base and aerial land base remain intact, its alliance with the trifecta threatening Israel's existence creates a fissure in its support for Israel.

The enemy of my friend is not necessarily in this instance a distanced enemy. The Monday airstrike when Syrian missiles rose in defence of its own allies targeted by Israeli strikes found the wrong target. A Russian reconnaissance plane returning to base after completing its mission was being tagged for cover by IDF planes intent on destroying new weapons bases being installed by Iran and Hezbollah in their intent to carry through their plans to confront and destroy Israel.

A so-called 'friendly fire' event in which 15 Russian airmen lost their lives. Ironically, a Russian-made S-200 air defence system that Moscow supplied to Syria was involved in shooting down the Ilyushin aircraft. The Ilyushin was reported missing just as Moscow announced it had reached an agreement with Turkey for a demilitarized zone in the remaining rebel stronghold of Idlib, averting a humanitarian catastrophe for the Sunni Syrians who had sought shelter in Idlib province, among the rebels. Three million citizens with nowhere to flee for shelter from an aggressive bombing mission.

The military reconnaissance plane was identified as an Israeli jet by the Syrian defence forces which saw the IDF planes and failed to recognize the Russian one. Israeli F-15 pilots flew after the Ilyushin Il-20 turboprop using it to cover their own strikes against targets in Latakia province where fire from Syrian missiles hit the wrong mark. The clumsy lack of proper identification prowess reflects a military that is somewhat less than proficient.

Returning to a Russian airbase near Latakia, the 15 Russian crewmen would never have imagined the danger they were in. And nor did the IDF contemplate the danger they were placing the Russian plane in, reasoning without doubt that the plane's proximity would protect their interests even while they were targeting an ammunition depot linked to Hezbollah. What is virtually certain, however, is that despite his refusal to directly blame the IDF for the loss of 15 Russian airmen, relations between Moscow and Jerusalem may become slightly more restrained in the near future.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they prepare to deliver joint statements after a meeting and a lunch in the Israeli leader’s Jerusalem residence, Monday, June 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Saving Sweden for Swedes

"We need to bring back a sense of safety in Swedish society because the government has failed us."
"We need to employ more police -- put 10,000 of them on the streets."
"No women, no teenager, no old person, no one, should be scared."
Jimmie Akesson, leader, Sweden Democrats

He's a man of confidence, a man of the world who's not afraid to tell people what he thinks."
"Sweden Democrats is not an anti-immigrant party, and we are not anti-refugee, but we do feel we have taken in far too many people."
Jimmy Gronfoss, 34, Sweden Democrats supporter

"He is too extreme. I think he is exploiting people by taking extreme examples [of migrant violence] and saying it's normal."
Boll Wallberg, 50, Motala, Sweden

Sweden’s violent reality is undoing a peaceful self-image  An armed police officer in Malmo, Sweden. The topic of crime is a sensitive one in the country | Johan Nilsson/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's Jimmie Akesson, whose party came in third in the popular vote in Sunday's election, garnered an impressive 20 percent of the vote. While  other parties, all of whom he has stated he is willing to work with, refuse to cooperate with the party he founded with its expressed desire to "Keep Sweden Swedish", there are sufficient Swedes fed up with the number of refugees that have invaded the country to give his party their support. The issue is that Sweden absorbed a greater number of refugees per capita than any other country in Europe during the migration flooding Europe.

The younger members of Sweden Democrats were known to have expressed clear racist leanings, and Jimmie Akesson responded by inviting them to leave his party. He will have nothing to do with the terms "populist" and "far right", considering the party to be nothing less than a respectable conservative and nationalist movement. One occasioned by the flood of refugees changing the face of Sweden, its concerns and its values, straining its social contract and introducing a level of crime hitherto unknown.

At 39 years of age the man has taken up a difficult task. Aside from purging racist mentalities from the party, he must convince the majority of Swedes that he is not an extremist but a patriotic Swede distressed as most others are, at the literal changing face of their nation. The government would have it statistically that gun crime, rape and sexual assault rates have increased since the 2015 refugee influx, but will not divulge the perpetrators' nationalities. It is an open secret that identifies refugee populations as the major source of those crimes.

The state broadcaster shed some light on the matter when it released its own figures, finding that in the past five years 58 percent of sex crimes were foreigner-committed. Europe in general is gradually moving in its sentiments toward the centre-right and Sweden is only the latest country in Europe to recognize the problem inherent with an intake of majority Muslim refugees.

"I think that [the connection between sex attacks and Muslim immigrants] is due to cultural differences in how you view women and women's rights", stated Mattias Karlson, MP and former party leader.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Idlib's Terrorist Population

Syrian protesters wave their national flag as they demonstrate against the regime and its ally Russia, in the rebel-held city of Idlib on September 7, 2018
Protesters in Idlib demonstrated against the Syrian government and Russia on Friday  AFP
"[A ceasefire] would be good [but there is no guarantee that terrorist groups in Idlib] will stop shooting or stop using drones with bombs."
"The fact is that there are no representatives of the armed opposition here around this table."
Russian President Vladimir Putin

"These commanders, these units [Syrian regime commanders around Idlib], will be held accountable by the international community."
"There are more babies in Idlib than there are terrorists and I think that should give those engaging in military action pause for thought."
Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the United Nations

"We are living in black days."
"It [Idlib City] is full of fear and expectations and rumours. We hear about massacres in other places and worry that it might happen in Idlib."
Woman resident of Idlib
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, right to left, pose for a photo before a meeting in Ankara
© Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev

Surely Vladimir Putin was being deliberately obtuse in looking around the table where he was seated with Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan; very facetious, knowing that seated with him was the sponsor of  the Syrian armed opposition. Erdogan has made his bed, though a member of NATO he has chosen to stand beside Russia and Iran and spurn the United States. He thought he could have his way, convince Washington to stop training and arming Kurds; failing that he now is unable to convince Moscow to spare the Syrian rebels since to the regime, (Tehran and Moscow falling into the regime's plan of execution) Sunni Syrians are all terrorists.

A ceasefire in Idlib, sparing Sunni Syrians is officially off the table, and Erdogan can grimace but not effect the outcome that he wanted; protection of Sunnis and conflict with the Kurds, the best fighting allies of the Americans whose target remains the real terrorists (aside from Russian warplanes and Iranian Shiite militias and Hezbollah) what remains of the Islamic State. In essence, Erdogan was out-chessed and has effectively agreed to the assault by the Assad regime and its allies, on Idlib.

It is why actually, Russia has warned that the rebels in Idlib have amassed chemical weapons, planning to use them, then accusing the regime of a chemical attack to bring in Western powers, most notably, U.S. forces to exact punishment on the regime for its use of universally condemned weapons against innocent civilians. The Syrian regime "has a right and must eventually take under control all of its national territory", is Putin's position in response to Erdogan's statement that an attack would "result in disaster, massacre and humanitarian drama".

And it most assuredly will, since U.S. intelligence has sussed out that Syrian regime forces are prepared once again to use chemical weapons in their Idlib attack.

Although Erdogan has for a change recognized a situation that he himself is part of and would very much like to avoid the consequences since they involve his own Islamic sect, he is now in a powerless, though chosen position. While not acquiescing, he is incapable of stopping the inevitable. Adding to his slaughter of his own Kurdish civilian populations, he will now be guilty of being in essence an accessory to the slaughter of Sunni Syrians, many of whom now have nowhere else to go  almost a million having gathered in Idlib province, escaping death elsewhere.

The repercussions will be far-reaching, one of which will be that another surge of desperate Syrian refugees will cross the border into Turkey, adding to the millions already suffering as refugees there. And Turkey will once again negotiate with Europe for financial assurances in aid of maintaining a blockade of refugees attempting to leave Turkish shores for Greece and Italy.

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