This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Dangers of Crowded Skies

A quad-rotor drone in flight. Four propellers face upwards, borne on four outstreched arms. Underneath its white plastic body is slung a small video camera
Devices like this could soon swarm skies Credit: PA
"There's actually no documented case of a death yet from a civilian drone, but you put $10-billion worth of consumer products up there and I think it's really only a matter of time."
Don Toporowski, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

"What we don't want is too many limitations, but we do have to recognize that there are manned aircraft out there and we need to work together with the aviation authorities as well as with the pilot associations in working out ways that both can live in the same airspace."
"Countries like that [Sweden], they will suffer from the impact of their decision and they will revise their regulations at some point because they are losing out on a lot of opportunities."
Romeo Durscher, director of education, DJI Ltd. (drone manufacturer)

"The conversation about privacy in my opinion went on for far too long and we lost two years of progress because people were worried about cameras flying in their windows."
John Corbin, founder, Corbin Visual (video production company)
danger drone hacker laptop dangerdrone photo

"A 14-year-old kid doesn’t understand the risk of flying a drone into an aircraft. They are taught not to step on the train lines, but not about drones."
"There’s going to be a lot of people buying drones who will want to try them in the park where people are going with dogs and it’s going to end up badly."
"If this thing was to smack you in the face, it would take your eye out without a shadow of a doubt. If a drone had to fly with propeller guards, I wouldn’t lose much sleep at nighttime."
"It’s a brilliant technology if operated correctly. It’s like a car. There are car crashes every day." 
Justin Pringle, chief technology officer, drone business Drone Operations
In the United States, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority each month is sent over 100 reports of drone incidents, one of which was a report of a drone in flight at 8,000 feet over Los Angeles Airport, the very altitude aircraft maintain in a holding pattern. A drone was seen over the fifth busiest airport in the world, in Istanbul, Turkey which claims its airport was geofenced, protected by means of an electronic exclusion zone preventing remote-controlled craft from entering the air space.

Even the White House has experienced drones flying onto the lawn. In France, authorities reported in excess of 60 incidents over their nuclear installations between October of 2014 and February 2015. And in London, England a drone crashed into an Air bus A320 which was approaching Heathrow airport. As it happened, the plane landed without further incident, but it stands out as a preliminary of what is yet to come, a warning of the potential dangers inherent in skies becoming too crowded with not only commercial and military aircraft but 'harmless' drones in the hands of amateurs.

Drone       Getty   Dangers of drones come under spotlight after Heathrow incident

New technology is fuelling popular demand for drones in private hands. The proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) represent a rapidly expanding market, where these devices can be seen and bought in any store that sells technological gadgets. In Canada, the experience has been that certificates issued to drone operators rose from 66 in 2010 to 2,480 by 2015. Last month, a Porter Airlines plane just managed to avoid a mid-air collision over Lake Ontario when the flight crew realized a drone was in their air space.

The aircraft took evasive measures to avoid contact, leaving two flight attendants suffering minor injuries. Earlier in the year two CF-18 fighter jets scrambled on a mission to investigate reports from Air Canada and WestJet Airlines of a drone flying close to the Ottawa airport. A "no drone zones" campaign was recently initiated by Transport Canada geared toward hobbyists and commercial drone users, of the risks in flying close to airports. The federal agency plans to release new regulations in early 2017 addressing the issue of drones in Canadian air space.

Sweden has enacted regulations outlawing the use of camera drones, resulting from privacy concerns. It was precisely the specific issue of privacy concerns that followed the popularity of drones when they first became accessible to the public market. But concerns over privacy have since evaporated and safety concerns have taken their place, and with better reason than the privacy concerns. The rapidly changing technology that has brought drones into the hands of hobbyists and commercial users has opened up new theatres of incipient danger to the public.

A camera drone fell out of the sky and crashed on a hill that Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher was racing in the Alpine World Cup last December in Italy. It fell directly behind him. Had it been slightly closer to the skier it would have taken his life. As it was he was startled but uninjured and managed to complete the race. The result is that the International Ski Federation is banning drones from future World Cup events, since the safety of those present at competitions is paramount; drone operators will simply have to become far more alert to the dangers their toys present.

 Drone       Getty   Drone navigates overhead wires

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Putin's Omelette

"The Russians are rushing to create a fait accompli on the ground before Trump gets to the White House."
Bassma Kodmani, leader, High Negotiations Council, Syria

"For twenty years, people basically ignored Russia on the Middle East."
"The Russian role in the region now will certainly increase."
Robert Ford, (former) U.S. ambassador to Syria
Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Moscow Kremlin ahead of his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly on December 1, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Metzel Mikhail/TASS/Zuma Press/TNS) 

"Moscow believes it now has the opportunity and time to make critical gains in Syria. Russian airstrikes in Idlib and Homs provinces as well as the Syrian army offensive in Aleppo seem to be building in this line of reasoning. At the same time, this shouldn’t contradict other Russian moves  — with an overall decrease in anti-American rhetoric, more attacks on the Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, and prospects for the deterrent built by the Russians in Syria to be a potential bargaining chip with the new [U.S.] administration."
"At the same time, the military offensives are set to bring more rebel groups to direct talks with the Russian military. According to the Bulletin of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in the Syrian Arab Republic on Nov. 19, within the previous 24 hours 'truce agreements were signed with representatives of three inhabited areas of Hama province and two in Latakia province.' Thus, the total number of inhabited areas whose leaders had signed the so-called reconciliation agreements now amounts to 956, while the number of cease-fire application forms signed with leaders of armed groups has reached 69. Finally, another track Moscow is pursuing is consultations with Iran and Turkey on strategic aspects of Syrian statehood, such as the country’s integrity. Both Tehran and Ankara favor the idea of a united Syria — though each for their own interests and with specific visions for it. Nevertheless, it is important for Russia to find itself on the same page with the regional stakeholders on the critical issues before the situation in Syria is transformed into a postwar diplomatic mode."
Maxim A. Suchkov, editor, Al-Monitor’s Russia-Mideast
A member of the Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, stands on the rubble of destroyed buildings during a rescue operation following an airstrike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Bustan al-Basha
A member of the Syrian civil defence volunteers, known as the White Helmets, stands on the rubble of destroyed buildings during a rescue operation following an airstrike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Bustan al-Basha
The American president-elect has elected to get into bed, as it were, in a fairly crowded bedroom where Iran, Russia and Turkey have already claimed for themselves the choicest resting places, but are prepared to shift over and welcome Donald Trump to make it a quartet. Not that the U.S. would be interested in sending its warplanes over Aleppo to help Russia and the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad pound the living hell out of the several hundred-thousand Syrian Sunnis remaining there.

Mr. Trump has identified the Syrian regime as small potatoes to the U.S., far more concerned about Islamic State, and where the U.S. has set its sights. Russia and Syria too have claimed that destroying the ISIL presence in Syria is top of mind for them, even though the subjects of their aerial bombardments have largely been the "terrorists" representing Syrian Sunni rebels' intention to see that Sunnis are treated equally to the status that Syria's Shiite Alawites have enjoyed under the al-Assad dynasty of Murder Incorporated.
US President Barack Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Lima, Peru, Nov. 20, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

It seems, on the surface, that the incoming president is concerned with reversing all the executive orders of the currently-sitting president, to leave Barack Obama with no legacy untouched by what Mr. Trump believes to be a far more discerning, deft hand determined to return America to its place in the world order. And to do that, it seems, he is willing to share status as a super-power with Russia, to see Washington and Moscow once again trading not barbs but cool diplomacy.

But it cannot be denied that Donald Trump's remarkable ascension is giving Vladimir Putin a real leg up on his determination to rebuild Russia's influence and power in the Middle East, re-establishing Russia in the region as a power to be reckoned with. One that has no compunction whatever in bombing heavily civilian areas in Aleppo, for example, well beyond the crushed civic state that already exists, to completely demoralize the "terrorist" Sunni Syrians rebelling against their tyrant, in the greater interests of restoring calm and civility to a crushed population.
Convincing opposition leaders and militia chiefs that surrender will gain them a place at the bargaining table, instead of accomplishing their fervent desires to demolish the Assad regime. In the interests of preserving as many civilian lives as they can from the threat of extinction, there are times when even the most tenaciously determined must admit that surrendering their purpose to a half-measure will accomplish some portion of success. So reaching some measure of self-determination holds out hope for Syria's Sunnis.
"Trump's election opens a new page that can put an end to this bloody war", stated Randa Kassis, a Syrian political opposition leader, preparing for a position within a power-sharing arrangement held out by Vladimir Putin as a potential solution to the intransigent blood-letting. It seems fairly far-fetched that Bashar al-Assad would assent to this Russian initiative. She has already met with Donald Trump Jr. and is now set to fly to Moscow for discussions with its Mideast envoy.
Even as the United Nations wrings its hands helplessly in dismay at the continued bombardment of eastern Aleppo, the desperation of the people besieged within that portion of the rebel-held city with starvation looming large, along with a lack of medical services with the destruction of all its hospitals, courtesy of the accuracy of Syrian and Russian bombing missions, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposing a 7-day truce to enable humanitarian access.
Like day and night, the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, built between the 8th and 13th centuries, is one of many historic sites left in charred ruins after heavy fighting  Photo: Carlo Ohanian/Olympia
The rebels' cause may be hopefully, naively just, and the regime represent a callously indifferent tyranny but it has its friends at court in Tehran in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in Moscow, helping both to fulfill their own regional aspirations. That Vladimir Putin has not hesitated to make common cause with Iran is a more than adequate glimpse into the black heart of another dictator whom the West politely names an autocratic ruler. To complete the symbiotic trifecta, there is Ankara cultivating Moscow and Tehran.

Vladimir Putin takes his natural place as the towering figure leading the Syrian regime out of the rancid witches' brew it has made of its country. Discarding the simmering black pot of sectarian blight, the Russian strongman is busy preparing his own version of a banquet, an omelette that will feed the concatenation of interests, while breaking a substantial number of eggs to hasten the process; Syria is just the first course.

Children play with water from a burst waterpipe at a site hit yesterday by an airstrike in Aleppo’s rebel-controlled al-Mashad neighbourhood
Children play with water from a burst waterpipe at a site hit by an airstrike in Aleppo’s rebel-controlled al-Mashad neighbourhood   

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Clowning Around Aleppo

"We can't keep up. We're having to choose who we find and who we don't."
Ibrahim Abu Laith, White Helmets civil defence group volunteer, Aleppo

"Where we used to bury one man, we lay down entire families now."
"We dig and we dig. It never ends."
Abo Jaafar, east Aleppo coroner

"For the sake of humanity, we call on, we plead with the parties and those with influence to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard."
Stephen O'Brien, head, UN humanitarian body

"He would act out skits for the children to break the walls between them."
"All of us in this field [child care] are exhausted, and we have to find strength to provide psychological support and continue with our work."
Samar Hijazi, Space for Hope, east Aleppo
(ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)

"My brother Anas Al Basha who was the reason why besieged children smiled ... killed today in Aleppo due to the Russian-Assad shelling."
"[Anas] lived to make children laugh and happy in the darkest most dangerous place. Anas who refused to leave Aleppo and decided to stay there to continue his work as a volunteer, to help the civilians and give gifts for the children in the streets, to bring hope for them."
Mahmoud al-Basha, Facebook
Anas al-Basha was killed in an air strike on the besieged city. He was 24 and newly married AP

When Anas al-Basha's family left Aleppo to preserve their lives and their sanity, he decided to remain behind. He had a mission as a member of a local civil society group, and as a social worker. To give hope to children for another life beyond what they have known for five years, when the assaults against their community by their president would come to a halt and some kind of normalcy might ensue. The kind of normalcy that might ensue would never return to them their dead parents. These are children whose mother, or father, or both were killed by the regime.

A more dire situation for a child cannot be imagined and the loathing and fear of death must haunt their sleeping hours and their waking days. Anas al-Basha sought to give them hope, with his clown humour to make them laugh, to think about better times and to remember how much they were loved. He died in a missile strike in eastern Aleppo, yet another body count notched up to the Syrian regime and their Russian ally for whom bombing schools and hospitals simply represent normalcy.

Oh, and yes of course, bombing funeral processions and cemeteries, those too. Making it now too dangerous to bury the dead in broad daylight. It is now a night-time activity to swiftly conduct the funeral rites, when warplanes don't tend to circle above, nor ground troops venture into eastern Aleppo's rebel held districts. Eastern Aleppo continues to be pounded and the rebels set off their rockets even as their enclaves steadily shrink.

Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi and Iranian Shiite militias are all aligned in the deadly game of retribution against Syrian Sunnis, alongside the Alawite regime and the sectarian-oblivious Russians. New districts keep falling to the military offensive, causing massive displacement which the UN estimates at over 31,000 as having fled, mostly to Kurdish areas, preferring to shield themselves from further violations of human rights should they flee to the government side of the city.

Russia has now lost two of its warplanes, but not as a result of the rebel defence, since they are not equipped to match the armaments of the regime and its co-fighting supporters, but to technical-mechanical deficiencies on the Russian aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean. In eastern Aleppo the graveyards are full and shallow graves have been spreading in public parks.

Among them the grave of a 24-year-old social worker who dressed as a clown to entertain children, to take their minds away from their dreadful losses, their fear and pain, their miserable existence, orphaned by the president of their nation.

Mideast Syria Clown Obituary
Al-Basha was a center director at Space for Hope, one of the many important but unheralded local initiatives that has operated against the odds to provide the services of civil society in Syria's war-torn opposition areas. (Ahmad al-Khatib/AP)

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Israel, Moving To The Head Of The Class

"Israel is a country where hundreds of new corporations start up their business every year in information and communications technology, medical services, and agriculture, and also produce innovative technologies. And for Japan, innovation is the engine of our economy."
"Taking both into account, there is every reason for Japan to co-operate with this great nation."
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Israel Innovation Forum, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the Japan-Israel Business Forum, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, January 18, 2015. Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the Japan-Israel Business Forum, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, January 18, 2015. Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash90

Not that this is the first time that Japanese have admired and wanted to acquire for themselves some of the spark that Jewish enterprise is capable of generating to advance economies and industries. But at that previous time, Israel did not exist. What did exist was the reputation that Jews were extraordinarily gifted with entrepreneurial qualities, as well as a genetic predisposition to the arts and sciences to a degree not matched by other ethnic groups.

And that is what spurred Japan to invest in a rescue effort of Jews, to bring them under Japanese aegis, away from the European killing machine that Nazi Germany introduced to Europe. Although Japan was recognized by the Third Reich, as part of the Axis powers and granted "Aryan" status, official Japan never did accept the calamitous propaganda about Jewish perfidy and threats to the world. They recognized in the Jewish mind something similar to the Japanese mind, aspiring to succeed.

Now, the two countries have some things in common. Both are small "islands" in the sea of larger countries surrounding them. While Japan historically became a threat and a violent overseer to its neighbours, Israel suffered the reverse; seen as a threat to its larger neighbours, they turned the hostility of violence against Israel. Among its neighbours, Japan is the technologically advanced one, though South Korea has caught up nicely. While among its neighbours, Israel is the success.

Israel has had to, and continues to struggle with that neighbourly hostility, the Muslim collective surrounding it representing an ongoing existential threat to a tiny country of non-Muslims  (excepting its 1.5-million Israeli Palestinians). Added to that, the most influential institution the world has whose purpose has been ostensibly to promote world peace and understanding between nations, has itself become a tool with which to bludgeon Israel and isolate it on the world stage.

Under huge duress from countless sources, not the least of which is the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions universal threat to harm Israel diplomatically and economically through a concerted leftist-led "progressive" campaign to besmirch the country, Israel's energy minister has announced that his nation's gas sales from its enormous offshore gas deposits will soon make the nation financially secure as it sells its resources to an energy-hungry world.

Not only to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey will Israel sell its natural gas resources, but to countries distant from the Middle East; China, Japan and Eastern Europe. "Their attitudes are based on a major reevaluation of what Israel as a nation represents, and what its existence and survival signify for the future prospects of other nations and regions", stated Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli energy minister.

The nation's high-tech industry has been building to the present time where, for a country of fewer than nine million citizens, it has achieved an amazing position in the world of high tech. Israel ranked five in position in the world on the Bloomberg Innovation Index, according to research and development budgets, patents, and the percentage of the labour force with advanced degrees, the number of research professionals per million population.

Ahead of France, Singapore and the U.K., and where the United States ranked sixth.

Major Chinese corporations are anxious to discover which Israeli startups they can invest in to aid them in competing with American counterparts such as Google and Apple. Israeli and Chinese universities work together, partnering on joint projects.

So much for divisive slander, efforts at isolation and manipulating the UN's Human Rights Council to condemn Israel for manufactured human rights abuses, singling it out over all other nations of the world whose record on human rights truly is deplorable, but who nonetheless manage to readily find place for themselves on UN committees judging Israel.

Carlos Slim Hélu speaking at the opening of the Aldea Digital, Mexico City, Mexico, March 16, 2013. (CC BY ITU Pictures, Flickr)
Carlos Slim speaking at the opening of the Aldea Digital Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by ITU Pictures Flickr .. Israel poses a challenge to the United States in the leadership of the global high technology industry, according to Carlos Slim, a Mexican telecommunications magnate. .

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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Loving Death and Martyrdom

"We love death like you love live."
"Like a summer camp [jihadi camp in Syria]. You chill, you have fun. You see different groups and drink tea with the Syrians."
"I wouldn't do attacks here [in Canada]. That's not my style. I'm not against them [Islamic State]. If they do it [attacks on foreign soil] , that's their business."
Ismael Habib, 29, Montreal
Facebook    Ismael Habib
He repeated that tired old mantra beloved of all Islamists explaining how and why it is that they take part in terrorist attacks against those whom they perceive as enemies or as standing in the way of their accomplishing the goal of achieving a global caliphate. Jihad is incumbent upon the faithful, a duty not to be set aside, but to be embraced. Martyrdom is an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of one's faith. And the rewards are significant; while committing oneself to become a martyr it is best accomplished by taking the lives of the non-faithful, who take up too much room with their presence.

They, non-Muslims, have the option, after all, of embracing Islam themselves, to save their lives. When they fail to exercise this option they invite death. The very fact that they have eschewed Islam renders them fully complicit in their own death, and it is the duty of the faithful Muslim to lead them to their death. As simple as that. When the Iranian Revolution took place, this obligation for all Muslims was emphasized. The Shiite Iranians sent the al Quds division of the Republican Guard to Lebanon in the 1980s.

There, they indoctrinated the Lebanese Shiites, a poverty-stricken minority, to understand their obligations and take pride in them, re-awakening their spiritual lives. And the mantra of "We love death like you love life" exemplified their pride. And Hezbollah was born. A pride and an explanatory statement that was adopted by another terrorist group, Hamas, the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood. It has since become a universal declaration of exceptionalism adopted by Islamist jihadists.

"Shariah is Islamic law", Habib explained to an undercover RCMP officer who had gained the man's trust, portraying himself as a Montreal gangster boss who could help Habib travel back to Syria to rejoin the jihadi group he was interested in. He was explaining to the man known as "the Boss", how, as a teen, he became more invested in Islam, than the superficial Muslim upbringing he had been brought up with. Now, he said, he was intent on following the path that Allah lays before all faithful Muslims.

The RCMP agent was interested in persuading this man to relay to him the names of other Montrealers who would ostensibly appreciate help in evading authorities to travel to Syria. Since he was prepared to smuggle them by ship directly to the war zone. Habib recommended the Assahaba mosque, where Adil Charkaoui, a controversial imam preaches. It is known also as the Centre islamique de l'Est de Montreal, linked to young people who previously left for Syria.

"You know he gives course to the youth and there are a lot of young people who are riled up", stated Habib helpfully. His own previous trip in 2013 to Syria was where he met up with his brother-in-law and where they made contact with Chechen jihadis. He had been there in Syria for three months, prior to the point where Islamic State made its surprise successful grab for geographical territory in Iraq and Syria, enabling it to declare the presence of its caliphate.

And he was anxious to return.

Although Habib described his jihad as fighting to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East, in his opinion the November 2015 attacks in France were just dessert reflecting French military involvement against ISIL. He was "really happy" at the attacks that killed 130 people. And should he find himself in need of gathering new recruits around him he would look for them at Adil Charkaoui's mosque.

That was then, and now he is charged with attempting to travel to Syria to commit a terrorist act, and with giving false information to obtain a passport. The undercover RCMP officer is giving testimony at Ismael Habib's trial. Habib has had his plans to return to Syria derailed. Life is so cruel and unfair. His intention to die as a martyr and receive his duly-earned reward, 72 women "beautiful and virgins", as he described them, delayed, for his trip to Paradise has been aborted.

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

Expanding the Jihadist Base

"[As] training possibilities [for Islamist extremists have decreased, Islamic State's] involvement with potential violent jihadists in the West seems to be shifting from training to coaching primarily self-taught operatives."
Europole, European Police Office report
Image result for isil photos
The News Chronicle

The European Union's police agency's report is yet another heads-up for the new direction being taken by the Islamofascist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, finding themselves facing an ever-decreasing geographic caliphate. With the diminution of their geographical territory -- thanks to the U.S.-led assaults against ISIL in Iraq and Syria -- hailed by Muslim fanatics as the groundwork for a new empire whose dominion would spread to encompass ever greater territory, the allure and appeal among young Muslims as recruits has waned.

That is, the allure of travelling to that vaunted caliphate, to become one of its warrior-citizens, establishing a home base and a family where wives serve their ISIL fighting men and raise their children as the 'lion cubs' of ISIL steadily diminishes. Now that the territory of the caliphate has been vulnerable to a shrinking dimension, the new paradise-on-earth has become tarnished in reality if not in conceptual theory.

Guiding the leadership of Islamic State to look elsewhere for those willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of Islamist conquest. For as the world well knows, death is very attractive to Islamist fundamentalists; lives readily expendable, their own and those of non-Muslims, the greater the latter number the better for the glory and sacrifice of the former's hero-status and his rewarding welcome to Paradise.

If Islamist jihadists remain endangered where they were determined to expand their Middle Eastern base, one of their other options would conceivably be to expand their non-Muslim base to become more actively involved and committed to expending time, energy and lives to further the universal cause of the universal caliphate. And this is precisely what Europol's report points out.

ISIL is designing its near future to incorporate its far-abroad constituency as another front line, one which has moved its platform and program more conveniently located to extract maximum advantage from the very forces that have combined to eradicate it from its home base. In Europe and North America, its sleeper agents are being nudged awake and into an atmosphere of activated reaction to the shrinking caliphate.

Europol stresses that the "weapons of choice" for terrorist cells in Europe and elsewhere remain the automatic firearms so beloved of guerrillas everywhere in the world. But not to entirely negate the landmark terror signature of Islamic State's tactical architecture of terrorism, the use of catastrophically explosive vehicular bombs. The success of the use of such guerrilla armaments can in fact be traced to the Iran-enabled, then-emerging Hezbollah militias in Lebanon.

When in 1983, a massively explosive truck bomb targeted the American marine base in Lebanon, to kill 241 U.S. servicemen, including 220 marines. Simultaneous to the Marine barracks attack, a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden pickup truck into a building housing French paratroopers where 58 French soldiers were killed. And when again, a similar bombing attack hit the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 63 people, including 17 American embassy staff and CIA members.

US Marines searching for victims in Beirut eight days after an attack that killed 241 American soldiers on October 23, 1983.

Islamist perpetrators of bombing atrocities on a grand scale have never looked back. But they did become more inventive with the use of passenger jets hijacked by Muslim terrorists to become deadly projectiles whose cost in lives approached three thousand in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. When mass murder becomes such a satisfying celebratory occasion in the minds of Islamists, their triumph of death-delivery can only be enhanced with the potential use of weapons of mass destruction on a truly grand scale.

For the meanwhile, another shift in tactics has been identified, that ISIL may begin "planning and dispatching" attacks from Libya, a handy "second springboard" for its death-central enterprise. They also point out that while most of the attacks under the ISIL flag have been carried out by "inspired" terrorists, the move now would be to "directed" attacks, whereby an "external terrorism" branch of ISIL has exported fighters to the European and North American theatre, prepared to reveal their presence through the commission of massacres.

European and North American intelligence and government authorities are indeed aware of all this and more and the potential for foreign fighters returning to home countries bringing with them all they have experienced and become proficient in through their radicalization will have ample opportunity to share with an unaware and oblivious public in their countries of return, the deadly divisions between the Islamic and non-Muslim communities.

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Friday, December 02, 2016

The Company They Keep ....

"At Crime Prevention Ottawa, we work closely with local residents, government, police, school boards, businesses, community services, child protection and other partners to reduce crime and build safer communities. So join us! After all, there is strength in numbers." Crime Prevention Ottawa

"It's a disappointing and puzzling decision for Ottawa to partner with NCCM [formerly named CAIR-Canada] on this event, given that their Crime Prevention Ottawa colleagues in other law-enforcement agencies such as the RCMP and Durham police have distanced themselves from the group in the past...."
"There are certainly less controversial organizations that the Ottawa police can choose to partner with at these sorts of events [public education programs]."
Michael Mostyn, CEO, B'nai Brith

"We find [NCCM/CAIR.CAN's] activities at best shady and misleading for the Muslim population of Canada."
Syed Raza, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow
The purpose of Crime Prevention Ottawa's existence is to develop strategies to help ensure community safety, in the process addressing social problems such as violence directed against women, abuse of the disabled, hate crimes and neighbourhood gangs. In the hopes of reducing their incidence and helping the community to forge closer ties with disparate groups within society, fostering understanding and cohesion, committing to a social shield where crime and discord will fail to set down permanent roots.

In the past year there have been 64 commissions of hate crimes reported that have targeted blacks, LGBT, Jews and Muslims, according to Staff Sgt. Dave Zackrias representing the Diversity and Race Relations Unit of the Ottawa Police Service, who described the majority of those reports as representative of "mischief" such as graffiti of symbols and offensive labels, Internet hate speech, or harassment. Two of the incidents were genuinely seen to be physical assaults.

The Crime Prevention Ottawa group would like to reduce those social-assaultive incidents even further, to approach zero. To that end, they have mounted public events dedicated to discussions and educational forays into the commission of hate crimes. One, "Why Faith-Based Crime Prevention Matters", had a panel of two Christians and one Muslim; organizers had evidently failed to identify a need for a Jewish representative.

Rather surprisingly, under the circumstances wherein Jews, far less numerous as a demographic, are eight times likelier than Muslims, indeed any other group, to be targets of faith-related hate statistics. Interestingly enough, the Muslim panelist was Imam Zijad Delic whose appearance in 2010 at the Department of National Defence for an event revolving around Islam was cancelled, reflecting the discovery of his Islamist affiliations.

This man was involved in an invitation extended to a Taliban apologist proud of her collaboration with Hezbollah, at a Montreal speaking event. Imam Delic was front and centre as a leader in the Canadian Islamic Congress Shariah lobby for the province to officially adopt Sharia law. He supports the Organization of Islamic Conference's stridently entitled "blasphemy" initiative to make it a criminal offence to criticize Islam.

In the scheduling of the public event by the CPO, called "Addressing Hate Crimes: Creating a Safe City for All", once again no Jewish representation was involved, whereas black, LGBT and Muslim representatives were present. The Muslim representative being Amira Elghawaby, communications director of NCCM/CAIR.CAN. The National Council of Canadian Muslims was previously called CAIR.CAN., the Canadian chapter of the Islamist American organization, CAIR.

CAIR was identified as being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and its junior affiliate, Hamas, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI feels CAIR is spectacularly unsuited as "an appropriate liaison partner" in any government outreach programs. NCCM now claims there is "no strong and/or continuing link to CAIR". 

Interestingly enough, the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow is a Muslim group but not an Islamist group, which regularly denounces political Islam, promoting instead Islamic reform more in keeping with contemporary standards of moral justice and values. One might think that MFT would represent a far more useful and suitable partner for Crime Prevention Ottawa purposes, but one would be wrong, evidently.

Of the three people whose board makeup represents the CPO, one is a man, Sharmaarke Abdullahi, whose curriculum vitae on the Canadian Arab Institute site identifies him as having worked previously with the NCCM. What makes NCCM/CAIR.CAN's selection to work with Crime Prevention Ottawa even odder is the fact that the group remains involved in a libel suit it brought against the former prime minister's communications director who implied NCCM/CAIR.CAN has ties to Hamas.

Crime Prevention Ottawa Initiatives
CPO contributes to crime reduction and enhanced community safety in Ottawa through collaborative, evidence-based crime prevention.  Building on our Strategic Plan, CPO develops strategic initiatives to address key issues. 
 Our role is to: 
  • Build community capacity
  • Foster community action
  • Nurture partnerships
  • Engage in policy dialogue
 Our priorities are:
  • Reducing violence against women
  • Reducing crime in high risk neighbourhoods
  • Working with youth in high risk environments Crime Prevention Ottawa

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