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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Al Qaeda-style strikes on Shiites in Iraq kill at least 26

The attacks across Iraq appeared coordinated and included car bombings, a favored tactic of Al Qaeda in Iraq. 

By Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press / September 30, 2012
A wounded woman walks near the site of a bomb attack in the town of Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad, September 30. A string of car bomb blasts targeting mainly police checkpoints killed at least 17 people across Iraq on Sunday, police and hospital sources said.
Saad Shalash/Reuters

Bombs striking Shiite neighborhoods, security forces, and other targets across Iraq killed at least 26 people Sunday, officials said. It was the latest instance in which insurgents launched coordinate attacks in multiple cities across the country in a single day, apparently intending to rekindle widespread sectarian conflict and undermine public confidence in the beleaguered government.

The deadliest attack came in the town of Taji, a former Al Qaeda stronghold just north of Baghdad, where three explosive-rigged cars went off within minutes of each other. Police said eight people died and 28 were injured in the back-to-back blasts that began around 7:15 a.m.

In all, at least 94 people were wounded in the wave of attacks that stretched from the restive but oil-rich city of Kirkuk in Iraq's north to the southern Shiite town of Kut.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, but car bombs are a hallmark of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Sunni militant network has vowed to take back areas of the country, like Taji, from which it was pushed before US troops withdrew last December.

Shortly after the Taji attacks, police said a suicide bomber set off his explosives-packed car in the Shiite neighborhood of Shula in northwest Baghdad. One person was killed and seven wounded. Police could not immediately identify the target.

"So many people were hurt. A leg of a person was amputated," lamented Shula resident Naeem Frieh. "What have those innocent people done to deserve this?"

And in Baghdad's bustling Karrada neighborhood, a parked car laden with explosives went off next to a police patrol, killing a police officer and a civilian, other officials said. Eight other people were injured. The blast was followed minutes later by another parked car bomb as people gathered, killing three civilians and injuring 12 others, they added. Secondary bomb blasts targeting those coming to help the wounded are a common insurgent tactic.

Elsewhere in the country, another suicide bomber drove a minibus into a security checkpoint in Kut, located 100 miles southeast of Baghdad. Three police officers were killed and five wounded, Maj. Gen. Hussein Abdul-Hadi Mahbob said.

And in Iraq's north, another policeman was killed when security forces were trying to defuse a car bomb parked on the main highway between the cities of Kirkuk and Tuz Khormato, said Kirkuk police chief Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir. A second policeman was wounded in the blast, Qadir said. Kirkuk is about 180 miles north of Baghdad.

In mid-morning, another parked car bomb went off next to a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims in the town of Madain, killing three Iraqis and injuring 11 others included seven Iranians, another police officer and health official said. Madain is a mainly Sunni area located 12 miles southeast of Baghdad.

In the town of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, a parked car bomb targeted a passing police patrol, killing two policemen and injuring seven others, a police officer and health official said. And in the nearby town of Khan Bani Saad, nine miles northeast of Baghdad, yet another parked car bomb exploded near a market and killed one civilian and injured nine others, they added.

Two Iraqi soldiers were killed in the town of Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, when their patrol hit a roadside bomb, another police officer and health official said. Six other people, including four civilians were wounded.

Health officials in Taji, Tarmiyah and Baghdad confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke anonymously as they were not authorized to release information.

Violence has dropped since the height of Iraq's bloodshed a few years ago, but Iraqi forces have failed to stop the attacks that continue to claim lives almost daily.

Senior central government officials were not available for comment.

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Apologizing, Ad Nauseum

Pardon me for living.  Might just as well bow and scrape in apology for existence when your existence is the fount of humiliation and anguish for so many delusional faithful whose entire value in life surrounds the defence of their faith against the hordes of unbelievers whose mention of their god is an affront the solution to which is berserk violence.

The simple fact is that presumed offence is a technique, a mechanism, a perpetual affront-taking on the part of the faithful against the very existence of all those who presume to exist in defiance of submission to Islam.  Just as in 7th Century deserts of Arabia the Bedouin swept through tribal cultures to convert or behead, so does that time-honoured tradition remain the method of transmitting the faith.

Those who innocently enough point out inconsistencies in claims to represent a religion of peace and brotherhood become instant enemies who have well earned the wrath of the ravening mobs eager to fulfill their martyrdom obligations and take their place in Paradise serviced by willing virgins.  Those are the naive, manipulated by experts in the traditions of Islam, clerics to whom the stench of the kuffar represents the fires of Hell.

From the initial revelations that a tired old cow of a video depicting the Prophet Mohammed in historic but unflattering terms was touted by the mullahs doing the work of al-Qaeda as offending the core of Islamic beliefs, urging the masses to burn with righteous indignation that their sacred beliefs had been subjected to unappeasable scorn, the anniversary of 9-11 delivered its message.

A message that the American administration spurned, in its desperate attempt to believe that all is well between the West and East.  But the name of the game was to inflate the mocking of Islam, making it all the easier for leaders to insist that Muslim rage is understandable, as a response by believers to the insulters of Islam who by their actions deserve to die.

The more the American administration stumbled over its own awkward left feet in proffering apology after apology, while feebly remonstrating that the right to freedom of speech is the American piety to liberty and equality, the greater the indignation from Muslim heads of state who gloated in charging the West with deliberately offending 1.5-billion Muslims, a state of affairs that could no longer be tolerated.

The world is capable of absorbing and tolerating low expectations of human behaviour from Muslims, but must not stoop so low as to accept that some among the populations of the West, incensed that their own sacred religious beliefs can be destroyed and their religious precepts scorned by faithful Muslims.

But the reverse cannot be permitted to occur.

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Doom, They Say

"It'll all be over in, oh, 11 weeks.  I'm curious as to what will happen next.  but maybe I can stop answering questions about the end of the world after December 21."
NASA space scientist David Morrison
 21/12/12.  Believe it, believe it not.  Many do.  People appear to have a fascination for the prospect of doom and damnation, Armageddon, the end of times, the finish of it all, our world imploding.  On the other hand, for those who are pure enough and devout enough to their reality of the return of the Messiah, the twenty-first day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the second millennium will bring salvation.

"The one thing in common with all of these scare stories about December 2012 is that they have absolutely zero basis in fact.  There was no Mayan prediction of anything going wrong, there's no planet Nibiru, there's no planet alignment, there's no change in the earth's axis, there's no change in anything about the earth.  It's just a complete fantasy", said Dr. Morrison.

Absolutely wrong.  If people believe, what they believe expresses the reality of what will occur.  If it doesn't happen when it's been said it will, then there was a slight misinterpretation in the clues, so assiduously searched and hastily interpreted, and a little adjustment in time must be made, and then it will all come to fruition - or damnation, take your pick. 

Surveys conducted in the U.S. reveal that 30% to 40% of Americans believe implicitly in the depictions in the Bible's Book of Revelations.  God will unleash his wrath on evil-doers.  And according to a global survey recently undertaken by Ipsos Reid, one in ten people worldwide believe the world will end in December, 2012.  And that includes fully 9% of Canadians. 

Are we wholesale suggestible, or just thrilled with the prospect of endings?

"We feel incapable of being able to arrive at solutions to our own problems, whether it be on the issue of global warming, disasters of great magnitude like tsunamis and earthquakes, which the media report with ever increasing frequency.  Of course, I don't have to talk about the wars and terrorism, not to mention the recession.

"It's been an awful decade, not just in the United States but all around the world, Canada included.  In hard times, we reach out, and that's why there were more UFO sightings back in the late 1960s during the Vietnam era", explained Anthony Aveni, professor of archaeoastronomy at Colgate University, author of The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.

Believers of the Apocalypse and its imminence are various and belong to many cultures and geographies.  Including the Islamic Republic of Iran where the Ayatollahs await the coming of their Shia Messiah, the Hidden Imam, to bring the world to an end, a swift and cataclysmic wiping out of the world's unworthies, and an elevation to Paradise of the faithful - Shia Muslim only need apply.

"If you're in a society where you're feeling oppressed, where you feel persecuted, where you feel you're the odd person out, it certain is appealing to think that things could change radically, very quickly, and you could become [among] the chosen ones.  It's the idea that the social order could be radically reversed or that things could be so altered and transformed that you're going to come out on top", said Christopher Helland, professor of the sociology of religion, Dalhousie University in Halifax.

"Traditional grounds for people to trust that the world is a safe and secure place, that it's a place that has meaning, are being undermined by these processes of de-traditionalization, globalization, and heightened individualism.  And so people are increasingly feeling at loss as to how to gain a secure foothold, a sense of meaning in the world, a way of interpreting things", Professor Helland says.

"We're all pattern seeking creatures, making sense of the world.  This creates a narrative that [can give us] some degree of understanding and peace and it binds our anxiety.  In some respects not being in control gives you some degree of peace and solace.  It's all up to God, it's all up to fate", clarified Santa Clara University professor Thomas Plante.

So, then, why worry?  Why fear what we cannot have any impact on?  All those insecure individuals so prepared to believe that their existence is merely a temporary exercise in temporal endurance, awaiting the Apocalypse that will free their spirits into another dimension where they will live forevermore in happy security await their inevitable: 21/12/12.

While the rest of us just get on with life, sans delusions.

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Alarabiya.net English

Syrian army shells Aleppo after ancient souk burned

Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, has been the main battleground for the past two months of the country’s 18-month conflict. (Reuters)
Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, has been the main battleground for the past two months of the country’s 18-month conflict. (Reuters)
Fierce fighting broke out in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday as rebels attacked an army checkpoint near the capital, killing nine soldiers, monitors said.

Hours after a fire tore through a historic souk in Aleppo, fighting erupted in and around the Old City as rebels tried to seize control the district, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least 36 people have been killed across Syria by security force gunfire on Sunday, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

Since last week, much of the fighting has focused on the area around the Old City, and this is believed to have sparked the fire in the centuries-old souk which destroyed many shops, said an AFP correspondent and the Observatory.

Meanwhile the army subjected several of the city’s districts to intense shelling, and battled rebels in the northern district of Jandul, said the Observatory.

“There were many rebels and soldiers killed, but both sides are trying to conceal their casualties,” Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Among the districts shelled by the army overnight were the southwestern neighborhood of Salaheddin, the main theatre of combat between rebels and troops in mid-summer, the Britain-based watchdog said.

In Damascus province, the rebel Free Syrian Army attacked an army checkpoint on the road linking the southwestern town of Qatana to the capital, killing nine soldiers, the Observatory said.

Eight people are publicly executed in the Berza neighborhood in Damascus, Al Arabiya reported, citing the Syria Media Center.

The FSA also attacked a checkpoint in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, killing four soldiers, the monitoring group said.

Many areas of both Damascus province and Deir Ezzor have suffered intense army assaults, as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad tries to crush the insurgency.

Also in Damascus province, soldiers backed by aerial firepower stormed the rebel stronghold of Harasta as regime forces carried out arrest raids in the town of Zabadani, said the Observatory.

Violence across Syria killed at least 118 people on Saturday -- 48 civilians, 41 soldiers and 29 rebels, the Observatory said, adding to its toll of over 30,000 killed since an anti-regime uprising erupted in March 2011.

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Energy Alternatives?

Toyota has decided to abandon the mass-production of electric vehicles.  This, despite the billions in government subsidies provided to the electric vehicle industry. 
"The current capabilities of electric vehicles does not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge."  Toyota

Now that Toyota, the world's largest automaker, has abandoned the industry's future in electric vehicles, will it be long before other, lesser manufacturers follow suit?  Whither then, anti-oil activists and environmentalists?  Boycott Toyota, shame them, bring out new statistics, implore supporters to invest in greater electric-car ownership numbers?

Toyota stated the disappointed results rather succinctly:  inefficient, time-consuming, costly.  A larger buy-in investment, the irritation of not being able to drive very far before the battery runs dry, the length of time it takes to rejuice the battery, the search for energy-fuelling stations, all of it summing up to inconvenience writ large.

Well, there's another alternative, it's been around awhile, and people who originally ran their converted engines on vegetable oil, exulting at their creativity, now have industrialized commercial versions to select from.  The gasoline-powered automobile really isn't the only game in town.  There is the natural gas counterpart.  So, how about it, then?

Um, a tank of natural gas doesn't go very far; it's compressed but it just isn't efficient as a vehicle-mover.  And there's one model, the Honda Civic GX.  Good reputation, topping the list of Greenest Vehicle of the Year; where's the competition?  That Honda Civic GX costs about $6,000 more than a conventional vehicle, not all that bad, considering the savings in gas; natural gas is cheap.

But if you want to fuel up at home it'll cost $4,000 plus installation to buy a home-fuelling appliance.  It takes fully six hours to fill up the Honda tank, which is so large it takes up half of the space a normal car's trunk would have.  And that fully tanked up car will go as far as eight gallons of gasoline would take you in a conventional vehicle.

Better not run out of that compressed gas too far from home, because fill-up stations are few and far between.  Necessarily, in a profit-generated market, where there are very few such vehicles needing to be serviced.  And, as far as those government-generated assists and platitudes about changing reliance on Gulf oil to home sufficiency - government subsidies are drying up.

And that can be attributed to the fact that environmental degradation, while still real and imminent and even very present at this stage, is no longer as 'present' politically.  Particularly when economic times have become fairly tight and difficult to manage, what with government cut-backs, and etcetera....

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Rest not Easy; All Is not Well

Trade, economic stability, a growing energy industry, employment gains, all consume government's attention.  Encouraging free market deals that will compromise some of Canada's cherished agricultural support systems, and that will likely also hit the pocketbook of Canadians purchasing pharmaceuticals. 

And assuring potential trading partners with huge financial clout that their considered investments in Canada are hugely appreciated.

That is business as usual, but on a fast-track.  And perhaps all the repercussions have not been duly considered in sufficient depth, despite the enthusiasm of huge corporate share-holders greedy for their bottom line.  China looms large on the Canadian horizon.  There is a substantial trade imbalance between Canada and China, and it appears to be on the cusp of becoming wider, not narrower.

Still the potential is there for huge export sales. 

On the other hand, Canada has an inordinately valuable commodity - far more than just energy natural resources, but it is energy that China and India and other emerging economies slaver over.  And the China National Offshore Oil Corporation's $15.1-billion (dollar-friendly, nationalist-troubling) bid to take over Calgary's petroleum producer Nexen a case in point.

Waiting in the wings for clearance from government once the bid clears the Investment Canada Act review, will be other massive energy investment offers from China.  Should the CNOOC-Nexen deal clear the warm and fuzzy concept of "net benefit" to Canada through improving the level of economic activity, of employment, and compatibility with national industrial economic and cultural policies, the deal will proceed.

In light of so many concerns respecting China's cultural-nationalistic tendencies of ownership of geographies not their own, of the country's secretive dealings, of its dalliance with opaque threats, its past and current furtively-successful governmental-political, industrial and cyber espionage activities, we can only hope the Government of Canada thinks hard and defensively about cementing such deals.

For behind the CNOOC-Nexen prospect nearing completion is yet another, with Talisman Energy, the Calgary-based oil and gas company, expected to be targeted for yet another takeover attempt.  China's Sinopec oil company is already in a joint venture with Talisman Energy.  This venture would represent yet another review under the Investment Canada Act, to be subjected to scrutiny by cabinet to the "net benefit" test.

This, even while Calgary-based Telvent which produces software used by energy companies has become aware through the intervention of cyber-security news site KrebsOnSecurity.com that it has been hacked and a breach of security has occurred.  Experts have identified the digital fingerprints of Chinese hackers, yet another of many such incidents.

Can the government really busy itself adequately protecting Canada's cyber networks while at the same time inviting the main actor in such intrusions meant to corrupt vulnerable networks, to buy into Canada's major sovereign resources? 

Can we be so naive as to expect Chinese national resource companies to respect Canadian laws, values and ownership?

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Much Ado About Something

Seems great offence has been taken by those in the business of reporting news and engaging in investigative reportage at the intrusive busy-bodyness of a blogger, Carol Wainio, at mediaculpapost.blogspot.com.  Who has the effrontery to identify and report on sloppy journalistic techniques.

 Let's face it, no one likes to be called on sloppy practices, particularly when they are viewed - and view themselves as professionals.

So the question is:  Is it professional for a journalist to incorporate remarks made by someone else without enclosing them in quotes?  Even though that alleged culprit, none other than The Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente, a veteran journalist who surely should know better, attributed authorship within the content of the article?

Neither professional nor ethical.  For in inserting a quote, a statement written by someone else, in its entirety as a thought or a conclusion without the quotes, is to claim it for oneself.  Nothing distinguishes it as being foreign to the writer's own scribbling, there is nothing to have it stand out, apart and acknowledging it as the work of someone else.

That omission can only be the result of either inexcusable sloppiness, inconsistent with professionalism, or the result of a deliberate wish to leave an impression that the unattributed statement was her own. 

Ms. Wente excerpted a few sentences from a book she purportedly admired, Starved for Science, by Robert Paarlberg, a Harvard professor.  Took those excerpts and incorporated them into her own column, an approving one of the book's conclusions.

That she wrote within the column of the author, his book and his research findings is irrelevant to the fact that those lifted statements were not distinguished and clearly marked as his own original writings, not hers.

To omit the clarifying quotation marks is to utterly disregard writerly etiquette at best; representing the commission of an ethical failure at worst.  Perhaps both.

It may seem like a quibble, like a small thing, to be overlooked  The editors of The Globe and Mail happen not to have regarded it in that light when the matter was brought to their attention by Carol Wainio, and they undertook to 'discipline' their staff journalist. 

Said discipline should serve to remind the veteran journalist of her obligation to fair play.

But the episode has been picked up by those who support Ms. Wainio's thesis of obligations having to be met, or on the other hand, those who support Ms. Wente's lax attitudes on attribution.

Is it reasonable to assume that even those who support Ms. Wente's failing would themselves never stoop to such laxity, but are expressing their professional compassion for a fallen comrade?

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Gaza Mom Chooses Israeli Hospital to Save Baby

ArutzSheva 7 online

by Chana Ya'ar Gaza Mom Chooses Israeli Hospital to Save Baby

A Palestinian Authority mother from Gaza is home with a healthy baby thanks to Israeli doctors in Kfar Sava, after a complicated surgery.

After losing three babies to rare birth defects at Egyptian hospitals, Jian Abu Agram, 31, was faced with a difficult decision last year after another child was born last April with the same condition.

After speaking with her doctors, Agram took their advice and traveled through the Erez crossing with her infant daughter to Israel, where doctors at Meir Hospital performed intestinal surgery on the little girl.

"When the doctors told me of her condition and suggested that we bring her to Israel, I didn't think for a moment of the conflict between the two peoples,” Agram told the Hebrew-language weekly local Sharon region edition of the Yediot Acharanot newspaper.

“What I considered was only one thing: to save my girl. I couldn't allow myself to lose another child.”

The infant has since recovered from the intricate life-saving treatment that she needed, and two weeks ago returned to her home in Gaza.

While Israel is engaged in life-saving efforts to help the children of Gaza, a leftist website last week accused Jerusalem of creating the latest SARS virus strain identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Saudi Arabia in order to attack "specific Arab communities."

Israel's Health Ministry has issued an alert to all hospitals and medical personnel in response to news of the new SARS virus strain, known as a Coronavirus.

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Morsi in Turkey, Calls for Support for Syria and 'Palestine'

In an address in Turkey, Egypt's president urges support "the nations that are aspiring to freedom and independence."

By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 9/30/2012, 7:42 PM

Morsi speaks in Turkey
Morsi speaks in Turkey
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday discussed several pressing regional issues in an address delivered at an annual conference of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.

"Our history, hopes and goals bind us together to achieve the freedom and justice that all nations are struggling for," Morsi said during a short visit to Ankara, according to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram.
Morsi, on his first visit to Turkey as Egypt's president, urged members of the audience to support "the nations that are aspiring to freedom and independence."

“The Arab world and the Arab Spring need you and your support to achieve sought-for stability,” he said, according to Al-Ahram.

Egypt, he went on, "supports the demand of the people for freedom from oppression and occupation in both Syria and Palestine," stressing Turkey's role as an "important element" in issues of concern to the region.

Morsi also condemned the "misery" imposed on the Syrian people and the "bloodshed caused by the Syrian regime."

"The Syrian people have the right to choose their leaders," said the Egyptian president. "And this can only be achieved when they obtain their full freedom on their own soil and have our full support."
Morsi also expressed his hope for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, urging his listeners to support “the Palestinian national cause.”

He also stressed that the border between Egypt and Hamas-run Gaza remained open "to meet our obligations to our brothers in Gaza."

Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal also attended the conference in Turkey, along with several members of the Gaza government, Al-Ahram reported.

"In Egypt, we aspire for stability, security and productivity," Morsi declared in his speech. "The Egyptian people are now on the path towards national revival and the establishment of a true civilization for the nation."

He went on to reject any outside interference in Egypt's domestic affairs.

The speech comes amid reports earlier on Sunday that Morsi has expressed willingness to meet top Israeli officials. According to the Yisrael Hayom newspaper which published the report, his preference would be to meet with President Shimon Peres.

The report said that if such a meeting takes place it would occur in Washington, shortly after the U.S. election. During the meeting, the two officials would attempt to set a new basis for the sour relations between Israel and Egypt, which nearly fell apart after an Egyptian mob stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo last year.

Last week, in his address to the United Nations, Morsi hit out at Israel over its veiled threats to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and the deadlock in the Middle East peace process.

Morsi said the Middle East "no longer tolerates" any country's refusal to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "especially if this is coupled with irresponsible policies or arbitrary threats."
"The acceptance by the international community of the principle of pre-emptiveness or the attempt to legitimize it is in itself a serious matter and must be firmly confronted to avoid the prevalence of the law of the jungle," he said.

Morsi also put the Israel-Arab conflict ahead of the Syria war in the list of priorities he laid out before the General Assembly.

"The first issue which the world must exert all its efforts in resolving, on the basis of justice and dignity, is the Palestinian cause," Morsi said.

He said that UN resolutions on the conflict had not been implemented and that Palestinian Authority Arabs "must also taste the fruits of freedom and dignity" that other countries in the Arab region have won in the past year.

Arutz Sheva

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Bangladeshi Muslims burn 10 Buddhist temples over Facebook photo

Rioters pinned a Facebook photo of a burning Quran on a local Buddhist boy, but it's unclear if the boy posted the photo or not.

By Associated Press / September 30, 2012
Bangladeshi Buddhist monks form a human chain during a protest against attacks on Buddhist temples and homes, in front of national press club in Dhaka September 30. Hundreds of Muslims in Bangladesh burned at least four Buddhist temples and 15 homes of Buddhists on Sunday after complaining that a Buddhist man had insulted Islam, police and residents said. The placard reads, "We express our protest and condemnation."
Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims angry over an alleged derogatory photo of the Islamic holy book Quran on Facebook set fires in at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes near the southern border with Myanmar, authorities said Sunday.

The violence began late Saturday and continued until early Sunday, said Nojibul Islam, a police chief in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar.

He said the situation was under control Sunday afternoon after extra security officials were deployed and the government banned public gatherings in the troubled area.
He said at least 20 people were injured in the attacks that followed the posting of a Facebook photo of a burned copy of the Quran. The rioters blamed the photo on a local Buddhist boy, though it was not immediately clear if the boy actually posted the photo.

Bangladesh's popular English-language Daily Star newspaper quoted the boy as saying that the photo was mistakenly tagged on his Facebook profile. The newspaper reported that soon after the violence broke out, the boy's Facebook account was closed and police escorted him and his mother to safety.
Joinul Bari, chief government administrator in Cox's Bazar district, said authorities detained the boy's parents and were investigating.

Buddhists make up less than 1 percent of Muslim-majority Bangladesh's 150 million people.
The Bangladeshi violence follows protests that erupted in Muslim countries over the past month after a low-budget film, "Innocence of Muslims," produced by a U.S. citizen denigrated the Prophet Muhammad by portraying Islam's holiest figure as a fraud, womanizer and child molester.

Some two dozen demonstrators were killed in protests that attacked symbols of U.S. and the West, including diplomatic compounds.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

A mob raided the U.S. embassy in Cairothis month in protest at a film mocking Islam made in the United States that sparked deadly unrest across the Muslim world. (Reuters)
A mob raided the U.S. embassy in Cairothis month in protest at a film mocking Islam made in the United States that sparked deadly unrest across the Muslim world. (Reuters)
The United States warned on Saturday that U.S. women Christian missionaries in mainly Muslim Egypt face threats of terror attacks and urged vigilance.

“The embassy has credible information suggesting terrorist interest in targeting U.S. female missionaries in Egypt,” the American mission in Cairo said in a statement on its website.
“Accordingly, U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance, taking necessary precautions to maintain their personal security,” it said, calling on Americans to ensure they can be contacted by diplomatic missions in case of emergency.

On Friday, a Republican congresswoman froze a request by the U.S. administration for $450 million in cash for the Egyptian government, saying it needed new scrutiny amid rocky U.S. ties with Cairo.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama said Egypt was neither a friend nor a foe in the wake of last year’s uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak and brought Islamists to power.

Obama’s comments came after a mob raided the U.S. embassy in Cairo in protest at a film mocking Islam made in the United States that sparked deadly unrest across the Muslim world.

Coptic Christians, who make up six to 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 82 million, regularly complain of discrimination and marginalization. They have also been the target of numerous sectarian attacks.

The Copts have been nervous since the Islamists came to power.

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Turkish pilots killed by Assad, not crash: leaked documents

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Click to download...
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the killing of two Turkish air force pilots who were captured after their fighter jet was shot down on June 22, 2012, files obtained by Al Arabiya show. (Al Arabiya)

As political tensions mount between neighboring Syria and Turkey, newly-leaked Syrian intelligence documents obtained by Al Arabiya disclose shocking claims shedding light on the dreadful fate of two Turkish Air Force pilots.

Contrary to what was publically claimed, the documents reveal that the pilots survived the crash, but were later executed by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad!

This disclosure is the first in a series of revelations based on a number of newly-leaked and highly classified Syrian security documents which will be aired in a special program produced by Al Arabiya over the next two weeks; the channel’s English portal – http://english.alarabiya.net – will be carrying a subtitled version of the program on daily basis as well as publishing downloadable copies of the leaked documents.

The documents were obtained with the assistance of members of the Syrian opposition who refused to elaborate on how they laid hand on the documents.

Al Arabiya said that it has verified and authenticated hundreds of these documents and that it is has decided to disclose the ones with substantial news value and political relevance.
On June 22, a Turkish military jet was shot down by a Syrian missile in international airspace, Ankara’s official report said; a claim Damascus has refuted.

Assad’s regime said the country’s defense forces shot down the two-seater F-4 Phantom as it was in the Syrian airspace.

In an interview with Turkish paper Cumhuriyet published in July, Assad said he wished his forces did not shoot down the jet, claiming that Damascus did not know the identity of the plane at the time.

The incident set off tensions between the former allies, but Ankara, which had vowed a harsh response to any border violations by Syria, limited its reaction to sending military reinforcements to the common frontiers.

The two pilots on board of the jet were killed.

But both official reports by Syria and Turkey have restrained their explanation on the causes of the deaths of Air Force Captain Gokhan Ertan and Air Force Lieutenant Hasan Huseyin Aksoy.

Turkey’s armed forces said it had found the bodies of both pilots on the Mediterranean seabed.

“The bodies (of the two pilots) have been recovered [from] the seabed and work is underway to bring them to the surface,” the army command said in a statement released early in July.

The military did not specify where the bodies were found, but there has been no report that the pilots ejected from the plane.

However, after investigating the leaked documents it obtained, Al Arabiya can now reveal for the first time an alternative narrative of what might have happened to the two Turkish pilots.

One highly confidential document was sent directly from the presidential office of President Assad to brigadier Hassan Abdel Rahman (who Al Arabiya’s sources identify as the chief of the Syrian Special Operations Unit) states the following:

“Two Turkish pilots were captured by the Syrian Air Force Intelligence after their jet was shot down in coordination with the Russian naval base in (the Syrian city of) Tartus.”
Picture of the highly confidential document sent from the office of the Syrian president confirming the capture of the two Turkish pilots (Al Arabiya)
Picture of the highly confidential document sent from the office of the Syrian president confirming the capture of the two Turkish pilots (Al Arabiya)
The file therefore reveals two critical reports. First, the pilots were still alive after the plane had crashed. And second, that Russia held its share of involvement in this secretive mission.

The same document orders the concerned parties to treat both Turkish pilots according to the protocol of war prisoners, as instructed by the president.

It also requests that both men be investigated about Turkey’s role in supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the country’s main armed opposition group.

The report also suggests the possibility of transferring the pilots into the neighboring Lebanese territory, leaving them in the custody of Assad’s ally, Hezbollah.

However, if the Turkish air commanders were not killed upon the crash of their F-4 Phantom, further leaked documents confirm that their death was inevitable.

A subsequently leaked file, also sent from the presidential palace and addressed to all heads of units of the Syrian foreign intelligence, reads: “Based on information and guidance from the Russian leadership comes a need to eliminate the two Turkish pilots detained by the Special Operations Unit in a natural way and their bodies need to be returned to the crash site in international waters.”

The document also suggests the Syrian government sends a “menacing” message to the Turkish government, insinuating Syria’s capability of mobilizing Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK) on the Turkish borders, notifying Ankara from the danger it might face in case of any hostile move.
A copy of the presidential order for the killing in a “natural way” of two Turkish pilots. (Al Arabiya)
A copy of the presidential order for the killing in a “natural way” of two Turkish pilots. (Al Arabiya)
The report insists that the Syrian leadership should hasten and make a formal apology to the Turkish government for bringing down the plane, which would embarrass the Turks and win the support of international public opinion. As such, the Syrian Regime did apologize.

Al Arabiya’s exclusive series on the newly-leaked Syrian security documents continues tomorrow.

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East is East and West is West

The leaders of the Islamic ummah have gathered in a rare display of unity to express at the United Nations General Assembly their outrage over what they claim is a rising tide of unsuppressed and hatefully malicious slander against Islam.  What is sacred to Islamic sensibilities must not be taken in light vein by non-Muslims.  As in 'show some respect'.

The United Nations headquarters in New York, where Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults. (Reuters)
The United Nations headquarters in New York, where Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults. (Reuters)
Which would be entirely reasonable under different circumstances.  Should not those who hold their faith in such high regard restrain themselves from offering death as a consequence to those whose words they find compellingly offensive?  Verbal abuse in exchange for violent death.  The verbal abuse is insufferable, and completely at fault, causing the pious to respond in such a viciously violent manner.

"Death to America", spoken with passion and a wish to visit instant death on any whom a mob approaches that appear to resemble Americans is excusable, evidently.  Passions have been aroused, and the result of that provocation must be severe.  Mutilation and death are quite severe.  That many Islamic countries have laws that discipline those who take the name of the Prophet or Islam in vain, or who secede from Islam, and thus become fodder for a death sentence is seen as abhorrent in the West.

But Western laws that disallow inhibitions and prohibitions on free speech are held by Islamic countries to represent decadence, a total failure of control and justice, as they know it.  It is just and meet that anyone defying the supremacy of Islam, anyone who has the unmitigated gall to point out the obvious, that too many of its adherents subscribe to violent jihad and irrational notions of martyrdom, be held accountable to Islamic law.

The exculpatory protection of free speech at the price of harming the emotional stability of fanatics is held to be a shield for hatred of Islam, according to Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who claims it is 'time to put an end' to the protection of Islamophobia 'masquerading' as the freedom to speak freely.  Why might that be so, when Muslims continually speak freely of their utter contempt of any religion other than Islam?

When it is common for a majority Muslim society to inflict real harm on minority religion worshippers in their midst.  When fanatical Muslims seek to injure Christians living among them, and see nothing awry in destroying the religious symbols that Christians or other religionists hold sacred?
When churches are destroyed or ancient Buddha statues, does the Muslim national hierarchy issue a stern condemnation?

For that matter, do the kings and tyrants and tycoons and generals gather themselves in outraged condemnation of Islamists slaughtering Muslims?  Have they reached a general agreement on being forthcoming in indicting the Syrian regime for its conduct of war against its own?  Have they urged Iran to speak less menacingly against the existence of a non-Muslim country in a Muslim geography? 

The 193-nation General Assembly heard out the outraged plaints of Turkey and Egypt among others. "Egypt respects freedom of expression, freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone.  We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us", decried the new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

But that is precisely the point; Muslim societies like that of Egypt do indeed attempt to impose concepts/cultures that are unacceptable to non-Muslims.  The film, Innocence of Muslims, that has so enraged Muslims was produced by an Egyptian-American Christian Copt, whose experience in Egypt was such that he vented his hatred and frustration in the crudely offensive manner that he did.  It is the Muslim attitudes and behaviour toward other religions that has propelled this activity.

Their righteously outraged stance at being victimized does not reflect reality.

And while the Western leaders at the United Nations have exhorted Muslim countries to foster democratic reforms and respect and uphold human rights and basic freedoms, they cannot and will not respond positively to calls by Muslim leaders for the United Nations to agree to an international ban on blasphemy.  A ban that would reflect the anger of Islam against the West.  Where Islam bears no responsibility for itself.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in whose country over a dozen people have been killed in those anti-Islam film protests was among those demanding criminalization of insults to religion (Islam).  The film represented another "ugly face" of religious persecution according to Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, insisting "Freedom of expression is therefore not absolute", quoting from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that "everyone must observe morality and public order".

King Abdullah II of Jordan, disparaged the film, and the violence that followed.  President Zardari demanded UN action: "Although we can never condone violence, the international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke both of the video and the latest incarnation of cartoons in France satirizing the Prophet Mohammed, terming the insults as representing the "depravity of fanatics", a phrase that neatly fits the reactions of the ravening Muslim mobs, destroying, looting, burning, beating and killing.  

But to him and to the 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, "Such acts can never be justified as freedom of speech or expression".

"The menace of Islamophobia" he claimed, represents "a worrying phenomenon that threatens peace and co-existence."  And here we were of the apprehended belief that the menace of Islamism represented a worrying phenomenon threatening peace and co-existence around the Globe. 

Clearly, a polarizing perspective of East and West.

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Well Oops...Our New Trading Partners?

"The Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre is aware of this incident and is already working with stakeholders in government and the private sector.
"We can tell you that the government of Canada is working to protect Canada's cyber networks, identify vulnerabilities and intrusions, and to defend against malicious cyber activity."
Public Safety Ministry spokesman, Jean-Paul Duval

Oh good!  Then we have nothing to worry about.  Not that we were.  Worried, that is.  No reason to be, since obviously our government security agencies are aware that hackers had managed to breach the security of software used by energy companies.  Think of the possible ramifications. 

If an alien agency - known for its malicious mischief and its penchant for issuing veiled (usually) threats to those who are considered to be opponents - has compromised security and had the ability to compromise a broad range of energy networks that the country is heavily reliant upon, the result would not be a celebratory event.

So, the compromising event has occurred.  But what could the source possibly be?  Ah, we can dimly recall the head of CSIS informing government and also the public on occasion that one very specific government has the means and the wherewithal and the inspiration to instruct its minions to undermine the confidence of other nations by covert cyber action such as closing down government Internet sites or extracting valuable data.

Oh, of course, not just government to access highly prioritized and secret data, schedules, formulae, but also private industry to scope out technical industrial secrets, vital blueprints ... something called industrial espionage...?  Could it possibly be that giant of a country that has been latterly swinging about its massive forearm, crushing the territorial claims of its neighbours?

Official Canada has demurred, declining to identify from whence has come this sovereign cyber-challenge.  But Calgary-based Telvent has given due warning to its customers with respect to the cyber-attack, the like of which has previously hit operations in the United States, Canada and Spain, events which the KrebsOnSecurity.com site recently reported.

Their expert cyber sleuths claim they have identified the critical digital 'fingerprints' remaining after the attack.  And those clues point directly to a Chinese source.  China is a devout subscriber to their very own theory that all is fair in energy and war.  For their part, those in the lion's den deny the legitimacy of such unwarranted suspicions.  Beijing is aghast, dreadfully upset at being fingered.

What interest might they have, after all, in inspiring chaos in the West as a result of interfering with the smooth technological, computerized flow of energy which business, government and the public are so dependent upon?  Well....

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Exuent Stage Left

Bitter disappointment for some, a gentle fade-out for most.  Those who feel they have put in the time and the effort, made themselves indispensable to the Liberal Party of Canada, have now had the proverbial rug pulled out from under their aspirations.  Their worst fears realized, as Mr. Hemandhaw has decided - big surprise - that he can no longer defy destiny.  He does enjoy dramatics, and felt that the public would appreciate a bit of drama as well, stringing out his response to the question: Will he run?

Why yes, the gentleman is for running.  And though he elicited sympathy in explaining how ill done he and his brothers were with their illustrious father giving his fullest attention to ordering the affairs of the nation when they were young, unwilling to cause a similar situation to befall his own young children, duty calls - loudly if not shrilly.  He cannot, must not and will not disappoint his loyal fans.  How loyal?

How does over a hundred thousand Twitter fans appeal?  Hundred and fifty thousand?  Golly.

Those agitated numbers of fans doubtless greet Justin Trudeau's bon mots with undying devotion; whatever issues from his lips becomes the stuff of 'did you hear?'  The latest scatological compliment directed toward the Opposition benches in Parliament, perhaps...  The most recent musings relative to the justification of Quebec separating in offence taken by Canada's Conservative-minded Prime Minister.  Vacuous musings on nomenclature too stern to describe cultural abuse of females.

Where Pierre Trudeau offered light-hearted antics to leaven the gravity of the decisions he made on behalf of ordering the country's affairs, his son's level of discourse has not yet moved beyond secondary school.  But the flamboyance and self-assurance have been inherited if not the capability and resourcefulness as a nation's manager.  Want to talk economy or world events or health care?  Plenty of civil servants who know what they're doing, an amplitude of bureaucrats who can advise.

But there he is, in full grin mode, basking in adoration and being an awfully nice, unaffected individual.  He obviously feels he is well qualified to become the new Liberal saviour to lead the party out of the dim wilderness their previous selections led them into to wither and die in the public consciousness.  Only the son of Pierre Elliot Trudeau has the required wherewithal to lead the Liberals back to the Land they have promised themselves.

He has barely entered the competition and yet immediately elevated to the Crown.  Other aspirants must be agonizing with themselves whether they really, truly are that invested in self-abuse that they wish to commit to a $75,000 leadership-entrance fee.  Entitlements, earned or otherwise, have a way of discombobulating others without such expectations; demoralizing them beyond resuscitation.

Has the man ever apologized for his faux pas?  Seems not.  Does that speak of emotional maturity?  One recalls his mother brought up on a drunk driving charge and pleading not guilty despite evidence to the contrary, hiring a high-paid legal-eagle and pleading for compassion taking her mental illness into account, and being charitably acquitted.

Perhaps it's time to acquit Justin Trudeau from his leadership illusions, leaving the field to those who have the experience, the intelligence and the stuff it takes to demonstrate their fitness outside of a boxing ring.

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Egypt's Christians Flee Sinai Homes After Attacks

From: Jihad Watch 29 September 2012

Eventually they will have no where to flee to. "Egypt's Copts abandon Sinai homes after threats, attack," by Yousri Mohamed andTamim Elyan for Reuters, September 28
(Reuters) - Most Christians living near Egypt's border with Israel are fleeing their homes after Islamist militants made death threats and gunmen attacked a Coptic-owned shop, a priest said on Friday.

The departure of nine families that made up the small Christian community in the border area of Egypt's Sinai peninsula will fuel worries about religious tolerance and the rise of militancy after the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak last year.

"Coptic Christian families decided to leave ... out of fear for their lives after the threats and the armed attack," said Mikhail Antwan, priest at the Coptic Margirgis church in the North Sinai town of al-Arish.

Death threats had been printed on flyers circulating in the desert area, he added.
Two armed men riding a motorcycle opened fire on a Coptic-owned shop in Rafah on Wednesday but no one was injured.

Two families from the small community had already left while the rest were still packing up their possessions in Rafah and Shaikh Zuwaid after living 20 years in the area, he added.

All were planning to move to al-Arish, the administrative center of North Sinai, where security was better, the priest said.

Islamists with possible links to al Qaeda have gained a foothold in the area, analysts say.
Israel has voiced concern about security in Sinai, where at least four cross-border attacks have taken place since Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.

Egypt's new president, Mohamed Mursi, has vowed to restore order. But efforts to impose central authority are complicated by the indigenous Bedouin population's ingrained hostility to the government in Cairo.

A local official, who asked not to be named, confirmed the departures and said the families planned to return when security improved. It was the second wave of Christian departures - another seven families left soon after Mubarak's fall.

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At UN Muslim world questions Western freedom of speech


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
UNITED NATIONS | Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:14pm EDT
(Reuters) - Muslim leaders were in unison at the United Nations this week arguing that the West was hiding behind its defense of freedom of speech and ignoring cultural sensitivities in the aftermath of anti-Islam slurs that have raised fears of a widening East-West cultural divide.

A video made in California depicting the Prophet Mohammad as a fool sparked the storming of U.S. and other Western embassies in many Islamic countries and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan this month. The crisis deepened when a French magazine published caricatures of the Prophet.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said it was time to put an end to the protection of Islamophobia masquerading as the freedom to speak freely.

"Unfortunately, Islamophobia has also become a new form of racism like anti-Semitism. It can no longer be tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression. Freedom does not mean anarchy," he told the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Friday.

Egypt's newly elected Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, voiced similar sentiments in his speech on Wednesday.

"Egypt respects freedom of expression, freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone," he said. "We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us."
Mursi was one of the first leaders to be democratically elected after Arab Spring revolutions that led to changes in the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen last year.

Western states that backed the uprisings have urged these countries to quickly foster democratic reforms and adhere stringently to human rights principles and basic freedoms.

They fear a more austere version of Islam could hijack the protest movements. Most Western speakers at the United Nation defended freedom of speech, but shied away from calls by Muslim leaders for an international ban on blasphemy.

While repeating his condemnations of the video, U.S. President Barack Obama staunchly defended free speech, riling some of those leaders.

"The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech - the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy," Obama said in a 30-minute speech dominated by this theme.

Speaking after Obama, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, where more than a dozen people were killed in protests against the anti-Islam film, demanded insults to religion be criminalized.

"The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression," he said.

Highlighting the anger of some, about 150 protesters demanded "justice" and chanted "there is no god but Allah" outside the U.N. building on Thursday. One placard read: "Blaspheming my Prophet must be made a crime at the U.N."

Foreign ministers from the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation met on Friday. The film topped the agenda.

"This incident demonstrates the serious consequences of abusing the principle of freedom of expression on one side and the freedom of demonstration on the other side," OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told reporters.

Human Rights First and Muslim Public Affairs Council, two U.S.-based advocacy groups, warned of the risks of regulating such freedoms.

"Countless incidents show that when governments or religious movements seek to punish offences in the name of combating religious bigotry, violence then ensues and real violations of human rights are perpetrated against targeted individuals," they said in a joint statement.

The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, dominated by developing states, has passed non-binding resolutions against defamation of religion for over a decade. Similar ones were endorsed in the U.N. General Assembly.

European countries, the United States and several Latin American nations in the council opposed the resolutions, arguing that while individual people have human rights, religions do not, and that existing U.N. pacts - if enforced - were sufficient to curb incitement to hatred and violence.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle attempted to dampen talk of a clash of civilizations on Thursday.

"Some would have us believe that the burning embassy buildings are proof of a clash of civilizations," Westerwelle said in his U.N. address. "We must not allow ourselves to be deluded by such arguments. This is not a clash of civilizations. It is a clash within civilizations. It is also a struggle for the soul of the movement for change in the Arab world."
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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A courtroom drawing of Omar Khadr at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2008. (Janet Hamlin/AP)

Omar Khadr in Canadian prison after return from Guantanamo Bay 

The Globe and Mail

Canadian convicted terrorist Omar Khadr is back in Canada after a decade in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a year after he was eligible for repatriation.
A Pentagon source told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Khadr departed from the U.S. naval base before 4:30 a.m. Saturday aboard a U.S. military plane.
That plane landed at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., about three hours later. A shackled Mr. Khadr was then put in a van and driven away with an Ontario Provincial Police escort, CTV news reported. He was taken to the Millhaven Institution federal maximum-security prison in Bath near Kingston, Ont.
"Omar Khadr was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen.  As a Canadian citizen, he has a right to enter Canada after the completion of his sentence,"  Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said. :This transfer occurs following a process initiated by the United States Government and determined in accordance with Canadian law." He said he's "satisfied" Corrections Canada can safely administer Mr. Khadr's sentence.

Mr. Khadr has six years remaining on his eight-year prison sentence, but under Canadian law, he could be eligible for parole as early as the summer of 2013.

One of Mr. Khadr's Canadian lawyers, Brydie Bethell, spoke with him Saturday morning shortly after he touched down in Canada.

"He's very happy. He is relieved. This is obviously a huge day for him," she said. "There's no question that the wait has been extremely painful for him, but he's dreamt of this moment for a very long time – for over a decade."

Mr. Khadr was n Millhaven's assessment centre and had a cell to himself. He'll be there while Corrections Canada decides where he should serve his sentence. While single-cell accommodation is Corrections Canada's standard, about 86 per cent of the inmates at Millhaven's assessment centre share cells built for one.

Ms. Bethell, who will meet with Mr. Khadr in person later Saturday, says she has no idea where that might be. The assessment process can take as little as a day or as long as several months.

"For his own security, that would make sense [to put Khadr in a maximum-security facility] but on the other hand there's no need for him to be placed in maximum security. He's been a model inmate in Guantanamo. Ask any guard," Ms. Bethell said. "If Omar's feeling insecure, that's something the Canadian government has created ... by using every opportunity to demonize him and turn the public against him."

Ms. Bethell said wouldn't speculate on whether he parole would be granted. "All that we've been thinking about and working towards is this very day – and it's the same for Omar: This is just the most momentous day of this kid's life."

Mr. Khadr found out Wednesday evening he would be brought back to Canada within the next few days, the Pentagon source said.

His U.S. military lawyer, Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, is also flying to Canada and is expected to be in Toronto later Saturday.

Mr. Khadr's family got the news watching television Saturday morning. A man answering the phone at a home where several friends and family members had gathered said the news had come as just one more shock to Mr. Khadr's grandparents, who "can't handle this stuff."

Now 26, Mr. Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. officers after an Afghan firefight. He spent several weeks in U.S. custody in Bagram, Afghanistan before being transported to Guantanamo. He was charged with numerous terrorism offences, including the murder of U.S. Sergeant Christopher Speer.

Mr. Khadr pleaded guilty in October, 2010 under a plea agreement that gave him an eight-year sentence with one year to be spent in the U.S. detention centre and the remainder in Canada. While Ottawa agreed to this at the time, Mr. Khadr's lawyers have accused Mr. Toews of stalling as almost two years passed and Mr. Khadr remained in Guantanamo Bay.

Mr. Toews, in whose hands the decision to repatriate Mr. Khadr rested, had said earlier that Ottawa had to do its due diligence to ensure Mr. Khadr could safely return. This involved reviewing footage from a psychological assessment of Mr. Khadr by U.S. psychiatrists Michael Welner and Alan Hopwell. In his formal decision to repatriate Mr. Khadr, dated Sept. 28, Mr. Toews said Canada "was advised by officials of the U.S. government that CSC [Correctional Services Canada] would be provided with a copy of the videotape" when Mr. Khadr made his formal application to come back to Canada. According to Ottawa's narrative, it was U.S. foot-dragging, not Canada's, that delayed Mr. Khadr's return.

But the delay irked the U.S. administration, which hoped to use Mr. Khadr's plea deal as an example for other inmates to follow. Instead, leery at the lack of movement in Mr. Khadr's case, some were reluctant to agree to plea deals of their own. “Clearly, if the government can’t carry through on their end of the bargain, it has a chilling effect on the willingness of others to plead,” Marine Colonel Jeffrey Colwell, chief defence counsel for military commissions, told the Miami Herald in July. “Certainly there was an expectation by all parties involved that Khadr was going to be home last fall.”

In the repatriation decision, Mr. Toews cites five issues of concern regarding Mr. Khadr's return. These include Mr. Khadr's idealization of his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, a close associate of Osama Bin Laden who was killed in Pakistan; his mother and sister's approval of terrorist activities; Mr. Khadr's terrorist training and the likelihood Mr. Khadr will need "substantial management" to aid his reintegration into Canadian society.

But the most notable concern is "Mr. Khadr's experiences in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Guantanamo Bay and the degree to which they have radicalized him." Fears around the possibility that spending years in the U.S. naval base detention centre, especially as its youngest detainee, would radicalize Mr. Khadr have been behind calls for him to be brought to Canada earlier.

Despite these concerns, Mr. Toews said he's satisfied Corrections Canada and the Parole Board of Canada can "administer Mr. Khadr's sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed ... through appropriate programming during incarceration and, if parole is granted, through the imposition of robust conditions of supervision."

Ms. Bethell slammed Mr. Toews's characterization Saturday of Mr. Khadr as a dangerous felon in need of special consideration or security measures by Corrections Canada. "There's no basis in reality to this idea," she said. "For a politician to try and tell an expert corrections official how to do their job, that would be unusual, to say the least."

The news of Mr. Khadr's imminent arrival came as somewhat of a surprise to his lawyers: Lt-Col. Jackson was flying to Toronto Saturday in preparation for cross-examination arguments next week as part of Mr. Khadr's lawyers' attempt to convince a court to force Mr. Toews to make up his mind. Ms. Bethell said she found out Mr. Khadr was returning before Saturday, but wouldn't elaborate.

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