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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Neighbourly Perspective

"Iran has been a neighbour for millennia, and will continue to be a neighbour for millennia. We have no issue with seeking to develop the best terms we can with Iran."
"But after the revolution of 1979, Iran embarked on a policy of sectarianism. Iran began a policy of expanding its revolution, of interfering with the affairs of its neighbours, a policy of assassinating diplomats and of attacking embassies."
"Iran is responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in the kingdom; it is responsible for smuggling explosives and drugs into Saudi Arabia."
"And Iran is responsible for setting up sectarian militias in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, whose objective is to destabilize those countries."
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to Washington 
    • Shahla Jahed Executed by Iran  Contracts with "temporary wives" are a legal way for Iranian men to have mistresses outside marriage. Wednesday's death sentence was based on the Islamic law of "qisas" - or eye for an eye retribution.     Credit: AFP/Getty Images
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is far more delicately discreet in its pursuit of expanding its version of Salafist Islam. While the Islamic Republic of Iran goes about funding and helping to create terrorist groups like Hezbollah, dispatching them outside the Middle East on occasion to create havoc and atrocities that satisfy the jihadist inclination of the Republic, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is far more finessed, in lavishing its oil wealth on the construction of mosques and madrasas far afield from the Middle East.

Each, in their own way, is advancing the agenda of Islam, which sternly admonishes its faithful of their uppermost obligation to the faith, expansion and conquest through jihad. This is the jihad of persuasion and of war, to accomplish what the Prophet Mohammed enjoined upon his followers, to ensure that Islam achieves its sacred destiny by achieving worldwide domination in its imperialist ambition to conquer all in the name of Allah. Inshallah!

And god does so will.

Iran's Ayatollahs' manner of achievement is that of the scimitar, the crude and utilitarian method of force led by brute intimidation and fear of death. Alternately, nuclear-tipped missiles will do. Iran's victory is its inculcation in the minds of those who adapt to its jihadist agenda that they do the work of god by clasping death to their bosom, finding glory in martyrdom, sneering at those lesser mortals who fear and wish to evade death, while they hail it as their salvation.

The Saudis' version of jihad is to invariably convince their adherents through Wahhabist teaching that their stern mode of Islamist faith adheres to the original, achieving their purpose by the stealth of
influencing and convincing non-Muslims that their puritanical Islam is theistically authentic, its austere and noble countenance reflecting the purity of worship of the almighty. Their Wahhabist graduates went off track when they embraced violent jihad.

There is not that much that separates the Shiite version of jihad achieved through glorious martyrdom and the Sunni brand that promotes death through terrorism since each uses the very same arguments and tactics to achieve similar aims. But that they are separate versions of Islam does bring them at loggerheads toward one another, each disparaging and dismissing the other as unoriginal versions of loyalty to Islam.
"We don't tolerate terrorism. We go after the terrorists and those who support them and those who justify their actions. Our record has been very clear, contrary to their record. They harbour Al-Qaeda leaders. They facilitate Al-Qaeda operations. They complain about Daesh (Islamic State group), but Iran is the only country around the negotiating table that has not been attacked by either Al-Qaeda or Daesh."
And that may perhaps be attributed to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is unequivocally disposed to hatred of the West, Israel and the United States in particular, their "great" and "little" Satans, their despised enemies of choice. While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seen by the jihadists that they themselves bred through the auspices of the Wahhabist madrasas as sell-outs to the West, sly companions in corporate oil enterprise to the United States of America.
"Our scholars and our media have been very outspoken. We were the first country in the world to hold a national public awareness campaign against extremism and terrorism. Why would we not want to fight an ideology whose objective is to kill us?"
A public awareness campaign geared to defend against attacks from the very Frankenstein that was created in the madrasas that Saudi oil money built and maintained to ensure that Wahhabist Islam was paramount, in competition now with the Iranian Shiite brand. As for defence of Saudi troops in Yemen, battling the Iran-backed Shiite Houthis as defending their sovereign borders, and Sunni Muslims against the malicious violence of Shiite Muslims, how explain no similar presence in Syria for the same reason?

Similarities to the punishments meted out by the Islamic State with those that the Saudi state imposes are striking. Not only mature men and sometimes women put to death for offences against the state and against Islam, but young people as well. By crucifixion at times and far more often beheadings. But discreetly, with nothing like the fanfare and pride that Daesh exuberantly flaunts in their beheading and other atrocity-laden videos.

saudi arabia execution pictures, saudi arabia beheading pictures, saudi arabia execution photos, saudi arabia execution photos
Saudi Arabia follows sharia law and while many of the beheadings were allegedly carried out in line with this strict interpretation of Islamic law, drug-related offenses are considered "ta'zir," meaning that the punishment is not described in the Quran. Above is a photo allegedly showing a Saudi sanctioned beheading shared by international terrorism watchdog group Terror Monitor.

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Bred And Cultivated In The Bone

"[There is] zero tolerance [for corruption in Afghanistan]."
"The president has been decisive in acting on information that indicates involvement of government officials in illegal acts, including taxation of opium."
Sayed Zafar Hashemi, government spokesman

"I have seen the central government, the local government and the foreigners all talk very seriously about poppy."
"In practice, they do nothing, and behind the scenes, the government makes secret deals to enrich themselves."
Hakim Angar (former) police chief, Helmand Province

"Of course it happens here. But the police chief, the local police commander, they don't take the money directly. They do it through influential figures."
Baz Gul, police commander, Marja, Afghanistan
An American soldier greets local children in a poppy field in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2011 (ISAF)
An American soldier greets local children in a poppy field in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2011 (ISAF)

When NATO troops and the United States' military were in Afghanistan helping the government fend off attacks by the Taliban, and attempting to help the country pull itself into the 20th century from its feudal Islamist roots in which the country was mired, humanitarian groups and foreign civic volunteers from prison authorities to experts in civil infrastructure, guided the country and its government, its military and its national police toward the manner in which the country could best be benefited.

To do that, they were faced with the necessity of attempting to wean all those basic sources away from ingrained corruption. And while the focus was on corruption, effort was expended, along with treasury, to try to convince farmers to grow edible or cash crops other than opium poppies. The impression was that it was the Taliban that was forcing poor farmers to cultivate poppies, but the truth was rural dwellers were happy to grow poppies since the return, even when 'taxed' by the Taliban was far more generous than growing grains.

It was well enough known that some members of the Afghan parliament who were in their previous incarnation war lords with questionable backgrounds in illegal criminal enterprises including murder, were involved as well, with a sizeable stake in the worldwide sale and circulation of opium, courtesy of Afghanistan, the major source of opium, worldwide. Tens of billions of foreign treasury went into attempts to stem corruption and the growth of opium poppies, to little avail.

Poppy cultivation is a major source of funding that local governments depend on, where officials impose taxes on farmers reflective of the method used by the Taliban in areas that they control. Some of the collected revenue reaches beyond the provinces to enrich elite officials in the capital, Kabul. Afghan government officials have become discreet drug lords, in competition with the Taliban, each struggling for control of opium revenue.

The theory was that once security had been achieved, with the Taliban finally routed for good, the country would settle into its new, Western-inspired, Islamic-style democracy, and Afghanistan would flourish. For the drug trade to stop and farmers to incline toward growing the necessities of life, security would lead the way. This is a scenario that has proven elusive to impossible to navigate in a society for which corruption expresses a way of life, and growing poppies a basic livelihood

In the last year of the NATO mission, 2014, more poppies were cultivated than at any other time since records were kept. Representatives of the government operate behind the scenes. Responsible for seeing that the poppies are duly produced, refined and smuggled as opium or heroin in their black market export, taxation is unofficially official.

An elder in Marja in Helmand Province explained that poppy presented a crop that no one had any wish to abandon. Even with the imposition of the tax, profits were far beyond anything that could be realized with any other crops. "Most other crops would have earned about $20,000", remarked the elder -- in comparison to the $59,000 that his group in his village realized from 18 hectares planted with poppy.

The area under cultivation for poppies is rising as Afghan farmers can get up to 12 times more for the crop than they can for growing cereals or vegetables AFP/Get

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Humanity in Distress and Terrorist Designs

“This information is nothing new."
"The ministry has long noted that in a significant number of cases an asylum seeker who has been registered in the system does not arrive at the reception centre he or she was assigned."
Tobias Plate, spokesman, German interior ministry
Migrants queue in front of the compound of the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio BenschREUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch   Migrants queue in front of the compound of the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, January 29, 2016.

Little wonder that a government and its various departments tasked with documentation and tracking of an immense influx of refugees have failed in their purpose. It is doubtful that any country has ever had to tackle such an overwhelming intake of foreigners with all the concerns relating to their accommodation and record-keeping, and in the case of the Syrian refugees, attempting to ensure safety and security are not ignored.

Short cuts in registration and security checks were inevitable in an effort to cope with the tide of humanity entering the country.

When Chancellor Angela Merkel charitably stated that Germany would do what no other European country committed to, it was from the perspective of a EU leadership, of a country whose economic stability and political influence was at its pinnacle of command. Perhaps it was just too much for anyone to imagine just what the nation was inviting for itself in the massive headache of settling all the refugees and migrants it had given encouragement to.

And, it has now been revealed it seems that German authorities retained scant information on the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers crossing into the country.This, from a nation that prided itself on its scrupulous and painstaking record-keeping capacity. A country so given to record-maintenance that after the conclusion of the Second World War and the revelations surrounding the horrors of the Holocaust, much could be pieced together in the way of evidence through the precision of German record-keeping.

Migrants, it seems, were not fingerprinted, their identities confirmed beyond a doubt. This enabled them to play the registration system, entering at more than one location, and in the end, not turning up where they might have been expected to; in many instances simply 'disappearing'. Of the total number absorbed by Germany, an astonishing 1.1-million last year, an estimated 130,000 it is now recognized may have gone underground, according to government figures recently released.

Not knowing where these people ended up, assumes that they are there, somewhere, and perhaps their intentions are not benignly reflective of people desperate to find peaceful haven and future opportunities for themselves. Intelligence agents' minds swivel to concerns over terrorism and organized crime, as an alternative to haven-seeking. While 1.1 million people were registered as asylum seekers, thirteen percent cannot be found, never having arrived at the refugee accommodation they were assigned to.

The interior ministry, in its frail defence feels the figures may be exaggerated through data entry errors. Which does little to assuage the concerns that the unaccounted travellers might represent Islamist extremists or criminals. The asylum seekers who have seemingly vanished loom as a giant headache for authorities. Some among them are believed to have possessed forged passports whose source has been recognized as that used by some of the Paris terrorists.

Refugees queue at the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs last month
Refugees queue at the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs last month  Photo: EPA

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United Nations, the Epitome of Moral Bankruptcy

"A UN watchdog group is criticizing UN chief Ban Ki-moon for his blessings delivered today before an anachronistic UN committee charged with “decolonizing” the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar — at the same time as the 24-nation entity elected gross human rights abusers Syria and Venezuela to leadership posts. “I commend the leadership of all those committed to bringing new energy to its work,” said Mr. Ban."
"UN Watch instead is calling on Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, and the EU’s UN ambassadors to condemn the world body’s “absurd and morally obscene” election just of Syria and Venezuela to senior posts on a decolonization committee that is charged with upholding fundamental human rights in opposing the “subjugation, domination and exploitation” of peoples — a propaganda victory that—like before—is already being trumpeted by the Assad regime."

While the United Nations Refugee Agency [UNHCR] launches appeal after appeal for contributions to help save refugees escaping the mass slaughter launched by their president, Bashar al Assad against his Sunni Syrian citizens, and the UN Security Council meets in emergency sessions to discuss sanctions against a national leader who uses chemical agents to gas his people and barrel bombs to destroy and to kill, the work of the United Nations goes on as has become normal.
Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari has been elected 'by acclamation' to a leadership post of a special U.N. committee dealing with decolonization. (UN Photo/ Violaine Martin, File)

The Shiite Baathist regime of Bashar al Assad has been accused of war crimes. Although Syria and Iraq have been murderously beset by a deeply fanatical Islamist jihadist group that revels in boasting of its love for and facility with mounting inhuman atrocities against their victims, it is the Syrian regime itself that accounts for far more civilian deaths and destruction of civil infrastructure than the terrorist Islamist groups that have flooded the destroyed country.

It has been almost five years of brutality, violence, torture, starvation, displacement and mass murder that no agency has been able to curtail, let alone stop. A sectarian war that has torn the country apart and created over eleven million refugees and close to a third of a million deaths. Negotiations undertaken by the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations and 17 other countries have attempted to bring an end to the massacres.

In the negotiations the High Negotiations Committee representing anti-government militias and councils demands cessation of attacks by the Syrian government on its civilians. It insists on the freeing of prisoners and that food and medical supplies be delivered to areas isolated by the civil war, and where the government of Syria has deliberately cut off ingress and egress, using starvation as a tool of its vengeance against Syrian Sunnis.
A boy rides a bike during the ceasefire.
Aleppo on the first day of the ceasefire -- CNN

For Bashar al Assad the goal is a total scorched-civilian policy, to reclaim all the territory he has lost to the rebel groups, and the al-Qaeda-associated Nusra group, along with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a goal he was close to losing until Russian President Vladimir V. Putin stepped into the breach and offered Russian air power to turn back Assad's losses into victory. The cost has been high for the rebel groups, not for al Nusra, nor ISIL.

Russia has made a permanent place for its military in Syria with its Khmeimin airbase and thousand-strong personnel accommodations, and fighter-bombers, transports, tanks and air defence systems. Assad's opponents comprised of his own citizens who originally protested peacefully for equality with Assad's Shiite branch of Islam, as equal citizens of the country were described by him as "terrorists", "scum" whom he arrested, tortured and killed.

Those "traitors and terrorists" who countered Assad's military attacks against the Sunni populations were backed by the Arab League, NATO and the United States, but with the limp and at-a-distance aid given them, and the U.S.-led coalition of necessity targeting Islamic State, the rebels were forced to contend with superior weaponry against their basic small-arms and still managed to rout the Syrian military. Until the entry of Russia.

The world has looked on with horror as the Syrian regime continued to slaughter its own, and more so with the aid of the Russian airstrikes enabling the regime to regain areas it had long lost. And then the United Nations stepped in to elect the Syrian regime as a co-chair alongside another human-rights-abusing state, Venezuela, of the decolonization committee which is charged with recommending policy on remaining global colonies such as Gibraltar, French Polynesia and the Virgin Islands.

The "Subjugation of Peoples", spells out the work the committee is focused on assessing. Perhaps placing Syria there has a purpose which escapes the logic of most who find it an outrage, their perspective incapable of adjusting to the fact that Syria knows a great deal of subjugating people.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Palestinians: Pathologically Self-Destructive Psychosis

"The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine salutes and mourns the martyr, Comrade Omar Nayef Zayed, the former Palestinian political prisoner and lifelong struggler for the freedom of Palestine, assassinated this morning in the Palestinian embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria."
"Comrade Omar Nayef Zayed had taken refuge in the Palestinian embassy after he was pursued by Zionist and Bulgarian forces for extradition 25 years after he escaped from Zionist prisons in 1990 following a 40-day hunger strike. He had been imprisoned for an operation targeting illegal Zionist settlers in Jerusalem, along with fellow strugglers including his brother, and including Samer Mahroum, recently re-imprisoned by Zionist forces following his earlier release."
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

"I told all sides that our prosecution had received a request for extradition and now a court was to decide whether he will be extradited or not."
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov
Omar Nayef Zayed, PLFP member, deceased, 1986 convicted killer
The Palestinian terrorist group known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is mourning one of their own. Infamously shot to death in the back of the head by Zionists. A claim that Ahmed al-Madun, the Palestinian Authority ambassador in Sofia, in view of Bulgarian officials validating that no gunshot wounds were found on the corpse, did not himself claim. Emphasizing the devilish danger Israel poses to PLFP heroes who kill unarmed civilians, al-Masbuh did, however, characterized Zayed's death as a murder with none other to blame than "continuing persecution by Israel."

This predictable routine was followed by another predictable routine: "This is not an Israeli issue", commented Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Now, however, Bulgaria is relieved of the need to make the decision of which Mr. Borisov spoke. The wanted killer is himself killed by some unnamed agency, thus eliminating the necessity for Bulgaria to consider Israel's formal request for extradition to be returned to an Israeli prison to continue serving his sentence for murder.

A prison sentence he escaped when, due to effects from one of the Palestinians' favourite ploys while in prison, a hunger strike, he had been sent to a hospital from which he made his escape, ending up in Bulgaria, where he has lived for decades with his Bulgarian wife and their children. Upon hearing, however, that Israel has not forgotten him and his murderous crime  against a young Jewish Israeli who lost his life to Palestinian derangement, Omar Nayef Zayed chose to flee his home and seek sanctuary at the Palestinian embassy.

Where the 52-year-old lived for several months awaiting the outcome of the Israeli request to Bulgaria. His life sentence for the murder of a Jewish student in Jerusalem in 1986 was never served to completion. He now serves at his maker's pleasure. It is yet to be determined whether he fell, or jumped, or possibly was helped to fall from the building.
"He was still breathing when he was found. We called for an ambulance and he died while the medics were trying to treat him. We are working with the Bulgarian authorities on an investigation which will reveal everything later."
"Omar is one of the Palestinian fighters who led the struggle against the occupation and fulfilled his duty to his land and his people."
Palestinian ambassador, Ahmad al-Madbuh
"Since the first day, the embassy was not happy and pushed him to leave. They didn’t want him to meet us. They turned away lawyers we sent. The whole situation was complicated. The ambassador warned him that if he didn’t leave the embassy, something might happen to him."
"The last thing he said was there was something strange going on in the embassy. He was hearing things he could not explain. He was feeling it was becoming more and more dangerous for him."
Mohammed Khatib, member, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Brussels

A protest in London in January against Bulgaria extraditing Omar Nayef Zayed to Israel.
A protest in London in January against Bulgaria extraditing Omar Nayef Zayed to Israel. Photograph: Peter Marshall/Demotix/Corbis
And lest we forget, strange things do happen at the Palestinian 'embassies'. Recall perhaps in 2014 what happened when the Palestinian ambassador newly appointed to the Czech Republic opened a safe that had been locked for 30 years, and then died in the ensuing explosives blast he inadvertently set off...? At that time Palestinian Foreign Minister Rial Maliki had said no foul play was suspected"

"The ambassador decided to open it [the safe]. He opened it and asked his wife to bring a paper and a pen to write down the contents of the safe."
"She left him to bring (the) pen and paper. During that time, she heard the sound of an explosion."
Someone failed to recognize, it might appear, that it was an Israeli safe, set to go off 30 years into the future? Diabolical!

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Volunteering to Fight Islamic State

"They [Kurdish contacts in Syria] said, OK, you can come."
"It was like a race [his Kurdish Hummer followed by an ISIL explosive-filled truck]."
"[Once when an ISIL explosives truck came racing for their Kurdish Hummer an explosion from a detonated mine lifted the Hummer off the ground[ I could barely walk the next day."
"[I may have been] a little drop of water in the pool [but I know my presence fighting against ISIL made a difference]."
"[As for Trudeau's  calling off Canada's CF-18 airstrikes in preference of increased training for Kurds] I don't understand why he thinks they need training. The Kurds know how to fight. All they lack is air support, which we're not going to give anymore."
Robert Somerville, volunteer, with the Kurdish YPG in Syria
Robert Somerville was deported from Australia for not declaring his Kurdish nickname.
Facebook    Robert Somerville was deported from Australia for not declaring his Kurdish nickname

Returning from his stint fighting with the Syrian Kurdish militias against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the 28-year-old Canadian, a former member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, with experience serving in a war zone in Australia, Robert Somerville faced a surprise 'welcome committee' when he landed in Brisbane for the purpose of visiting with his father who has been living in Australia. The reception he got there rather surprised him.

"They [Australian border police] asked me about other Canadians there [in Syria]. I said I knew some but I didn't give any names. It was an hour and a half. I was glad to get out of there", he said in an interview later back in Canada. His passport was returned to him, after his unwelcome grilling, and once he confirmed that he hadn't brought back any weapons. It appears the U.K. and Australia are becoming just about as nervous at the return of volunteers fighting against ISIL as those far more numerous returnees who fought with ISIL.

And when he returned to Canada, surprise! Officers representing the Canada Border Services Agency were also awaiting his arrival at Vancouver airport, prepared to search his cellphone and laptop, and querying him as well about posts on his Facebook account. They too questioned him about the estimated 20 Canadians who've gone over to join Kurdish forces. The government's position on the matter of Canadian volunteers going overseas to fight in Syria against Islamist jihad has been to recommend they not do this, but to join the military instead.

The concern appears to be that NATO member Turkey is incensed with the YPG, angered that his NATO allies are supporting the Syrian Kurds in their battle against ISIL, since Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party considers the YPG to be analogous with Turkey's PKK, declared a terrorist group for their conflict with Ankara over the status of Kurds in Turkey, when as a significant presence in the geography they feel entitled to a geography of their own in recognition of their heritage status.

Robert Sommerville had received training by the Kurds in the kind of guerrilla warfare practised in Syria against ISIL, and he was given weapons, then assigned to drive a Hummer making supply runs of fighters, food and ammunition to the fighting front lines. Eventually he was given the role of a gunner to man the turret placed atop the Hummer he had driven. He became accustomed to mortars raining down and gunfire pinging off the Hummer's metal plates, as well as being pursued by explosives-laden ISIL trucks.

With his experience behind him, and the feeling that he had added something of value, however briefly, to the fight against ISIL, this man who has seen the conflict from the inside, admits to being baffled by the decision of the new Liberal Government of Canada to abandon flights with the U.S.-led air bombing campaign against ISIL, in favour of beefing up the Canadian military instruction component of Canada's commitment to aid in the battle against ISIL.
Facebook The border authority grilled Robert Somerville upon his return.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

More Loyal Trustworthy Canadians

"The end purchaser for some of these items was the Iranian military, thus national security was implicated."
Emily Langlie, U.S. attorney's office, Seattle, Washington
"The Iranian regime through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps is building a complex terror infrastructure including sleeping [sic] cells that are stockpiling arms, intelligence and operatives and are ready to act on order including in Europe and America."
"[Iran plans destabilization of the Middle East and beyond in training, funding and arming] emissaries [toward a revolution]."
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon
The American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman was entering the Persian Gulf when Iran's Revolutionary Guards fire missiles, a navy spokesman said.
The American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman was entering the Persian Gulf when Iran's Revolutionary Guards fire missiles, a navy spokesman said. (Getty Images)
Shahin Tabatabaei, a Canadian citizen of Iranian heritage had a business associate in Iran, a man by the name of Abbas Moradi. Mr. Moradi took orders from Iranian companies wishing to acquire an assortment of American-manufactured products. Mr. Tabatabaei's end of their business arrangement was to see to acquiring the requested products. And this is precisely what Mr. Tabatabaei did, with the use of false identities.

Using names like "Gary Sean Williams" and "Alex Moore" for his orders and invoices, Mr. Tabatabaei performed his function in the interests of giving service to the Islamic Republic of Iran at a time when Canada, along with other Western nations was observing a sanctions protocol installed in reaction to Iran's illegal and controversially-alarming nuclear technology program in an evident attempt to produce nuclear weapons.

In the interests of going undetected for as long as possible, Mr. Tabatabaei took advantage of subterfuge useful to his purpose by misrepresenting who the end-users of those products would be. Another man from British Columbia, Iranian-Canadian Seyed Mohammad Akhavan Fatemi arranged payment for the items and their shipment into and away from Canada.

Unfortunately for their collaborative scheme to aid and assist Iran and its Revolutionary Guard Corps to provision themselves in direct contradiction to Canada's sanctions protocol, Mr. Tabatabaei encountered problems in September of 2010. He informed his Iranian contact via email that Canada's export control regulators had blocked his account, their obvious intention being to stop his export operations.

Helpfully, he attached a letter entitled "Sanctions against Iran", that he had been sent, to ensure he was fully aware of what the underlying problem was. Essentially that the government agency had discovered his illegal ploy and was putting a stop to it. Mr. Moradi back in Iran had a ready solution, recommending that his colleague sue the Government of Canada. Mr. Tabatabaei responded with his impression that such a lawsuit could never be won.

Just another -- this one detected -- scheme of undoubtedly many that indicate the Iranian Republic has invested in a large web of spies and enablers around the world in preparation for the eventual execution of their grand scheme of conquest and power. It is so easy a thing to do when the terrorism-experienced Iranians plot against such a trusting nation that could never imagine it had been thoroughly infiltrated by alien agents setting out to do harm.

A grand jury indictment was filed in California that has brought evidence against these two sterling examples of dual-citizenship Canadians. Just recently brought to the public notice, this violation of trade sanctions that potentially threatened national security of two countries gave evidence the group had shipped an array of American-made technical gear from pressure transducers to thermal imagers, solenoid valves, battery charges and gearmotors.

The products went through Canada, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey from 2007 through to 2011, to Iran. While some of the items were meant for use in Iran's oil and gas industries, others had a "military application" and were destined for use by the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

B.C. men accused of violating trade sanctions, shipping technology to Iran
The U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle says two B.C. men, Shahin Tabatabaei and Seyed Mohammad Akhavan Fatemi, were involved in a scheme to sell American-made equipment to Iran. Some of that equipment, an indictment suggests, was destined for Iran’s military.    AFP/Getty Images

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Loyal and Patriotic Canadians

"His need to attempt terrorist acts may have included his determined need to follow through on commitments of Muslim loyalty."
"[The Toronto 18 scheme was] spine-chilling. The potential for loss of life existed on a scale never before seen in Canada. Had the plan been implemented it would have changed the lives of many, if not all Canadians forever."
Justice Bruce Durno
CTV National News: Citizenship of Toronto 18 mastermind revoked
"He expressed violent disloyalty for this country -- hatred for Canada -- and in so doing, through that conviction, he effectively renounced his own Canadian citizenship."
(former) Conservative Minister Jason Kenney
When Canada's new Liberal prime minster, Justin Trudeau chortled on the world stage that "Canada is back", he raised eyebrows both within Canada and abroad. What he meant was his delight that the Liberal Party of Canada was back in power, with him at its helm. A man with no political experience other than a short stint as an elected Member of Parliament, whose past experience was that of a drama coach at a private boys' school in Vancouver, and a snowboarding instructor.

But he had a particular cachet; a famous name, reflecting a previous Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. His father was an intellectual, and doubtless considered himself a philosopher, since he was given the sobriquet of "philosopher-king", but his eldest son is a glad-handing socio-lite, heavy on social engineering and fond of spending other people's money, so he has as far as he must be concerned, landed in the perfect place.

In line with returning Canada to a Liberal government, their focus has unremittingly been on reversing as much legislation as they can manage that was brought in by the previous Conservative government. The Liberal re-engineering of the Canadian ship of state has proceeded full blast. The latest legislation to fall is the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act brought in by the Conservative government and made law in 2015.

This was a law that made certain any dual citizens who were convicted of terrorism, of high treason, or of spying stood the risk of having their citizenship revoked, the natural consequence of which would be that they would also be returned to the country of their alternate citizenship. "If you take up arms against  your country or plan to do so, and you are convicted in a Canadian court, or an equivalent foreign court, through your violent disloyalty, you are forfeiting  your own citizenship", stated then Foreign Minister Jason Kenney.
Toronto 18
Toronto police arresting Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian-Canadian member of the Toronto 18, in 2006. Amara was the first person to have Canadian citizenship revoked under Bill C-24. CTV News

The very first dual-national to receive notice that his citizenship would be revoked was the leader of the infamous "Toronto 18", 30-year-old Zakaria Amara, who plotted with others to storm Parliament Hill, to behead the prime minister and to set off bombs in downtown Toronto's financial district and security establishment. Now, under the Liberals this terrorist criminal who was sentenced to life imprisonment will no longer face deportation with the revocation of his citizenship. And his lawsuit contesting that intent can be set aside.

Bill C-6, tabled in the House of Commons, has a provision restoring citizenship of convicted terrorists. Nine other terrorists who similarly received notices to inform them of the revocation of their citizenship need no longer concern themselves. An Iranian-Canadian and a Pakistani-Canadian whose 2010 plan to bomb military bases in Canada are included in this citizenship-saving Liberal rescue mission.

A Pakistani-Canadian, Tahawwur Hussain Rana who plotted to decapitate employees of a Danish newspaper and who is now imprisoned in California will similarly retain his Canadian citizenship.

This new Prime Minister mellifluously mouths "A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian", happily rejecting the very dreadful thought that loyalty should be expected of any Canadian holding the privilege of Canadian citizenship. This man chafes at the very suggestion that the law he has now altered created "two classes of Canadians". A dreadful thought, applied exclusively to convicted terrorists with dual nationality.
Toronto 18
Incriminating bomb-making evidence recovered by police in the Toronto 18 terrorist case

So this ringleader of an al-Qaeda-styled terrorist attack on Canadian soil, born in Jordan, who also lived in Saudi Arabia before his 1997 emigration to Canada was so dedicated to the welfare of his new adopted home that he saw fit to establish a group mirroring al-Qaeda in Canada, training for terrorist attacks on Canadians. His citizenship restored, he can resume his life as a Canadian in about a year's time; so much for life imprisonment; ten years for this sterling Canadian citizen who planned to destroy numerous lives in the name of jihad.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Human Rights, You Say?

"The BDS campaign is completely contradictory to the Palestinian cause. We will never build peace this way. It has been catastrophic. The Palestinian people want prosperity, and BDS is about a totally different agenda. It is the agenda of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iran. The agenda of the BDS campaign is to try to destroy Israel. What I try to explain to people is that if you support BDS, you are not supporting the Palestinian cause. You are not even aware of the Palestinian cause."
"Of course it's anti-Semitic [BDS campaign]. There is no doubt about it. It is because it's anti-Semitic that the campaign has such energy around it. These activists believe that Israel should not exist, that there should not be a Jewish state, that the Jewish people should not exist."
"And by the way, this goal will never benefit the Palestinian people, not in the short term, and not in the long term."
Bassem Eid, Palestinian human rights activist, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
Mideast Israel Cyber Warfare
An Egyptian man shouts anti-Israeli slogans in front of banners with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (GDS) logo. Amr Nabil/The Associated Press Files

This man dedicated to the furtherance of Palestinian interests travels the Globe as a speaker on the human rights situation of the Palestinians. He began his career as an investigator for B'Tselem, the Israeli NGO focusing on what it believes is Israel's illegal interference with West Bank Palestinians, a socialist-oriented, leftist, civil rights group critical of its own government. Mr. Eid has since branched out, co-founding the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.

BDS goes hand-in-glove with the "right of return", the insistence that the offspring of the original 700,000 or so Palestinians who fled with the creation of the State of Israel, now numbering in the millions, have the right to 'return' to towns and villages they imagine themselves to be the rightful inheritors of. That 'return' and the 'dismantling' of the wall that separates Israel from the Palestinian terrorists who excel at suicide missions and the slaughter of civilians will satisfy the concerns of those empathizing with the plight of Palestinians.

The Palestinian group has a focus on acting as an investigative agency highlighting and emphasizing the abuses carried out by the Palestinian Authority against its own people in the West Bank, and the even worse human rights abusive situation practised by Hamas in Gaza. These are the issues, however, that the international community is far less interested in hearing about than accusations leveled against Israel for its purported inhumane treatment of Palestinians.

Those who claim not to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign led by Palestinians and their legions of sympathizers who therein find an outlet for their latent anti-Semitism to find satisfactory expression under guise of human rights support, but who insist that the right to freely express their opinions is paramount in a free society, also are at ease ignoring the fact that the BDS supporters often violently repress the expression of opinions other than their own.

Events organized to denounce the BDS campaign on university campuses risk threats leading to violence. Mr. Eid in speaking at the University of Chicago had pro-BDS activists disrupt his speech, with one protester threatening to kill  him. Also in Chicago at DePaul University and at Northwestern University, Mr. Eid's speech venues were forced to safer places, excluding non-students. BDS supporters insist on their right to free speech, but refuse similar rights to those opposing their BDS campaign.

"The United Church of Canada does not describe itself as being part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement" wrote the United Church national moderator, the Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, thus removing the United Church from direct communion with the raving anti-Semitism of the BDS movement, while hypocritically supporting the achievement of their goals. Taking the higher road while practising the lower purpose.

The wildly anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference that embraced the "apartheid" smear of Israel, upheld BDS as a moral duty obliging all human rights groups to embrace the concept in the name of humanity. Israel has the distinction of being singled out as a transgressor of human rights while the most egregious of state abusers go deliberately unnoticed. And mostly because they themselves are elected to sit on the UN's human rights commission.

The United Nations, needless to say, remains a bastion of human-rights-supporting clarity, as can be witnessed in the appointments carried out there in the name of furthering humanity's goals to foster equality and the advancement of liberty globally.

Which goes a long way to explaining their latest triumph of accommodation over reason by electing Syria and Venezuela to top posts on its committee against "Subjugation of Peoples", for those two countries are aptly capable of applying their experience to the topic in a first-hand view to elucidate the issue for the edification of all concerned human rights activists eager to hear the florid details from the horses' mouths, as it were.

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Delusional Reasoning

"We thought, naively, that regime change was the solution to the problem."
"Looking backward [sic], I would have actually left the Taliban government in power and said [to them]: 'Stay out of the way. We're here to find al-Qaeda. And as long as you stay out of the way, the special forces will go in there, they will do what is necessary to get al-Qaeda and we will leave."
"We compounded the problem by getting rid of the Taliban regime. I didn't like the Taliban regime, but why did we go there in the first place? It was because of al-Qaeda. Not because of the Taliban."
"We repeated it in Iraq. In Libya, we didn't put any ground troops in and we created an even bigger mess because there's no government whatsoever in Libya. We went back into Iraq and now for the very first time the international community is beginning to appreciate that regime change is not the solution -- hence why we're not pushing to do a regime change in Syria."
Major-General Dave Fraser, retired

Now those are pretty simple-minded sentiments. Hard to believe that they're coming from someone with this man's experience as the Canadian commander leading NATO in southern Afghanistan ten years ago. He had command of the Canadian task force along with the military alliance's expanded mission to solidify the authority of then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai to capture command of the entire country, not merely Kabul.

It was an inadvertent goal to invade, occupy and leave Iraq without its strongman to ensure that sectarian viciousness would not overwhelm the divided population. This was an errant American-led decision to remove a typical Middle East dictator leaving a vacuum that Islamist terrorism rushed to fill. Saddam was a vicious beast, but his Sunni Baathist rule was nowhere near as destructive to his majority population as has been Bashar al Assad's Shiite Baathist regime, which had it been challenged at an early enough date with aid to the rebel forces would have removed a far worse butcher than Saddam.

The Taliban, a cruelly repressive, human-rights-bashing regime of Islamists, took pride in giving haven and support to al-Qaeda and its then-leader, Osama bin Laden, who had helped drive the Russian occupation into oblivion in Afghanistan. They had much in common, not the least of which was their extreme brand of Islam and hatred of Western influence. So when bin Laden realized his astonishing success in the planning and carrying out of 9/11, and it was demanded of them that they surrender bin Laden to the U.S. they refused.

To expect the Taliban to do otherwise, is to not understand the basic fundamentals of Islam, where it represents a heretical offence against Islam to betray fellow Muslims. Islam requires of its faithful as a primary obligation to the faith that jihad be undertaken, to battle the non-Muslim West for the achievement of primacy as a force of theocracy destined to rule the world. Any attack by a non-Muslim power against Muslims is viewed as an offence against all of Islam, and Muslims are called upon to respond with jihad.

Had the U.S.-led coalition attempted to do as Mr. Fraser now feels would have been the prudent thing to commit to, the result would have been the same as what occurred in any event; the Taliban and the foreign jihadists who flocked to Afghanistan once again, this time to fight the Western non-believers (kuffar) who had set out to 'destroy Islam', were met with  Islam's determination not to be destroyed by the West, or by any source outside Islam.

Imams, mullahs, Ayatollahs, from Egypt to Indonesia, Britain to Canada, Australia to Pakistan, and throughout the ummah, incited to jihad in response to any perception that the West was positioning itself to interfere with Islamic rule.

So -- wrong, retired major-general Fraser, had you indeed "done that", it would have availed nothing.
"[Islam] believes that only Islam and the 'Camp of Kufur' [unbelief] exist, and that there is no way to reach Paradise and to be delivered from Hell except by walking in the path of our Prophet Muhammad and joining Islam. Any other way leads to Hell."
"In light of this, my believing brethren, how can it be claimed that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all paths leading to Allah?!"
Sheikh Adnan Ahmad Siyami, Mecca, May 11, 2001 *

"It is impossible ever to make peace with the Jews. The Jews are defiled creatures and satanic scum. The Jews are the helpers of Satan. The Jews are the cause of the misery of the human race, together with the infidels and the other polytheists. Satan leads them to Hell and to a miserable fate The Jews are our enemies and hatred of them is in our hearts."
"Jihad against them is our worship. Muslims must ... educate their children to Jihad. This is the greatest benefit of the situation: educating the children to Jihad and to hatred of the Jews, the Christians, and the infidels; educating the children to Jihad and to revival of the embers of Jihad in their souls. This is what is needed now."
Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, Al-Damam, Saudi Arabia *

"In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force."
Muqaddimah [Islamic historical theory], Ibn Khaldun (1332--1406) *
  * Onward Muslim Soldiers -- Robert Spencer

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Canadian-Muslim Political/Social Dysfunction

"That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad."
Conservative MPs Tony Clement and Michelle Rempel 
The Parliament of Canada entertained a motion in the House of Commons last week, condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that is fomented throughout Europe and North America by Palestinian students and their supporters, and the motion was fairly unanimously carried. All Conservative Members of Parliament supported the motion, and most Liberals with the exception of a dozen did as well. Only the New Democratic Party failed to support the anti-BDS motion claiming it to be an infringement of the right of free speech.

The quite interesting issue is that those Liberal Members of Parliament who failed to support the motion had quite a lot in common. They all support the BDS movement, and the reason they do so is because of their sympathy with the "Palestinians", and their condemnation of the Government of Israel, because from their perspective as Muslims, their views represent reality in the world of Islam in general. So these Liberal MPs exercise their option to support a movement whose purpose is to destroy a democratic partner of Canada abroad.

Students gather in a spillover room to watch a livestream of a debate and vote on the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) at the Students' Society of McGill University February 22, 2016.
Students gather in a spillover room to watch a livestream of a debate and vote on the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) at the Students’ Society of McGill University February 22, 2016. Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette

In so doing they feel it entirely appropriate to bring an international conflict taking place in the Middle East into Canadian political and social life, and in so doing they obviously see nothing wrong in polarizing two Canadian communities, Muslims and Jews. Recognition was made that Omar Alghabra (MP Mississauga Centre), appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs absented himself from the House when the vote on the motion was cast.

This is a man whose anti-Israel philosophy is well known. As one-time Chairman of the Canadian Arab Federation he had criticized the news media for characterizing the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade as terrorists, even though the official designation for this group in Canada is that of a terrorist entity which carried out terrorist attacks, including suicide bombing attacks against Israel and of course specifically targeting Jews.

 In failing to cast votes against the BDS movement, Mr. Alghabra was joined by Majid Jawhar, MP for Richmond Hill, Izra Khalid, MP for Mississauga Erin Mills, Yasmin Ratansi, MP for Don Valley East, Marwan Tabbara, MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler, Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park, and Salma Zahid, Liberal MP for Scarborough Centre. Members of Parliament are elected to represent the interests of Canadians, all Canadians. How it can be interpreted that this kind of clear ethnic-religious animosity reeking of anti-Semitism reflects Canadian values is beyond absurd.

The leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and now Prime Minister of this country gave his personal stamp of approval to candidates running for office as Members of Parliament during the last election which brought the Liberals to power. He was emphatic that he would not accept any candidates who failed to espouse and uphold a woman's right to choose whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term or to terminate it through abortion.

The Prime Minister of Canada flirted with the idea of 'whipping' his caucus to ensure that all Liberal Members of Parliament would vote unanimously on the controversial issue of assisted suicide becoming law in Canada under specific guidelines. He obviously sees no need to ensure that Members of Parliament representing the Liberal imprimatur be required to respect all Canadian citizens in a pluralistic, equal society equally.

The differences between the Jewish and the Muslim communities in Canada are many, but they should not be unbridgeable. Yet it is those from the Muslim communities who agitate against Jews and not necessarily by default when they ventilate their hatred for Israel, characterizing the state and its Jewish citizens as brutal occupiers, not as people attempting to defend themselves from the violence perpetrated upon them by Arab Muslims refusing to recognize the Jewish state and in so doing accept its presence and establish a state of their own.

While in the Middle East countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, both Islamist regimes, defy the very notion of equality and freedoms we take for granted, while practising the most egregious forms of human rights abuses, and other countries like Syria and Iraq and Lebanon have succumbed to vicious sectarian violence through conflict that has sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives to morbid hatred and slaughter, not a murmur of condemnation emanates from Canadian Muslim groups.

And while Syria's Bashar al-Assad continues his Alawite Shiite vengeance against Syrian Sunni civilians by destroying their homes and livelihoods and their very lives through chemical gas and barrel bomb attacks, torture, imprisonment and extrajudicial killing of both children and adults, creating millions of displaced internally and seven million refugees, over a million of whom have migrated for haven to Europe, Canadian Jewish social and synagogue groups have raised money to sponsor Syrian refugees to Canada.

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Unaccompanied Child Migrants

"The implications of this surge in the proportion of children and women on the move are enormous -- it means more are at risk at sea, especially now in the winter, and more need protection on land."
Marie-Pierre Poirier, special coordinator, UNICEF

"A [humanitarian crisis] is occurring in countries of Europe] especially in Greece. We call on all countries and actors along t he route to prepare the necessary contingency planning to be able to address humanitarian needs, including reception capacities."
European Commission

Over 100,000 migrants have arrived in Europe since the start of 2016, after the earlier flood that brought over a million Syrian refugees, and migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to seek haven on the continent the year before, a huge proportion of them burdening open-armed Germany to document, settle them and care for their needs.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that greater numbers have reached Europe in the first six weeks of 2016 than those that arrived in the first six months of 2015. This, irrespective of the fact that it is the winter season, when migration  was expected to grind to a halt due to rough seas and inclement weather overall.

Greece alone has seen 102,500 people gaining its territory since January 1, while another 7,500 have reached Italy; whereas a combined total of 11,834 reached Europe during the months of January and February of 2015. On the frontier between Greece and Macedonia, 8,000 Afghan refugees have been stranded since Macedonia closed its border to further refugee flows.

The $4.5-billion deal that the European Union advanced with Turkey to stem the flow, giving as incentive an additional visa-free access to Europe for Turkish tourists and businessmen appears to have done little to accomplish the goal intended. A number of European authorities accuse Greece of having "waved through" close to a million migrants last year, so Greece's fury leaves the EU unmoved.

Crisis: The children are offered places in safe centres. But half walk out within days. There is nothing authorities can do to stop them because of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Crisis: The children are offered places in safe centres. But half walk out within days. There is nothing authorities can do to stop them because of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

But a new issue has been raised, that of unaccompanied children now representing the majority of migrants, where last year it was young single men who represented the majority of migrants. According to Europol, the European police agency, over ten thousand children who breached Europe's borders last year are nowhere to be found, simply vanished as a result of the overwhelmed chaotic system of documenting and dealing with the needs of refugees and migrants.

Many of those children are believed to have left detention centers because of unsafe conditions. Teenage boys, many from Syria and Afghanistan sent abroad by their families with plans to join them at a later date are feared to have been recruited into the traffic of the sex trade by organized criminal gangs. The profit that is realized from human smuggling is enhanced by the additional profit to be had by fencing vulnerable migrant children for illegal sex.

When children find themselves  unprotected, on the streets with the need to be resourceful in coping for themselves they readily fall victim to the promises of security and accommodation which turns out to be working for drug dealers, for pimps, or for petty theft groups. Adolescent girls and younger children are ripe for all manner of abuse. Many among them may have become separated from their families, or are among the 26,000 having arrived unaccompanied last year, according to Save the Children.
Courage: Nafisa from Khartoum travelled in a migrant boat alone last week. She hopes to make it to Sweden and go to school and become an engineer or a doctor. Nafisa doesn't to talk about the life she left behind
Courage: Nafisa from Khartoum travelled in a migrant boat alone last week. She hopes to make it to Sweden and go to school and become an engineer or a doctor. Nafisa doesn't to talk about the life she left behind

Their numbers are huge, and being added to daily. Over a third of refugees now crossing the Mediterranean by boat toward Europe are now children, reveals the United Nations. This, in comparison to 2015, when 70 percent of refugees arriving in Europe were young single men. Britain is setting up a $14-million fund in support of refugee and migrant children through its Department of International Development, but it is not intending to offer any of these children actual refuge in Britain itself.

In an editorial, The New York Times has waxed indignant that the EU has not increased its funding to ensure that services are improved for these homeless children, emphasizing that the trafficking networks must be thwarted and those involved in the criminal acts targeting children should be severely punished, but this in fact is what security and the laws that uphold it are charged to do. The Times goes on to rail against Europe for not fulfilling its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

That Europe, as the paper puts it, has failed to protect "these most vulnerable among the desperate people arriving on the Continent is unconscionable". But the very magnitude of the ongoing influx of human beings clamouring for haven with all their needs looked to, from housing to food, education to social services of every description, including medical aid, places a dreadful burden on any society absorbing the refugees and migrants.

And the United States clearly isn't one of them; from a distance it is easy to criticize the determination and methods used by others attempting to do justice to the needs of those who flee conflict, deprivation and fear, but when an influential news source of a country responsible in large part for some of the dysfunction of the Middle East through its questionable intervention leading to societal collapse chooses to find fault in other countries' coping mechanisms in attempting to rise to the occasion, it reeks with naked sanctimony bleeding  hypocrisy.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Pope In The Pot-and-Kettle Adage

"There's no public figure in the world today with an image defined by a more misleading sound bite than Pope Francis, whose signature line from almost three years ago remains, 'Who am I to judge?"
"Reality couldn't be more different, in truth. Francis is one of the most 'judgemental' figures around, in the sense of never pulling punches when he thinks something is wrong."
John Allan, Vatican reporter

"Harsh and divisive language does not befit the tongue of a pastor. It has no place in his heart."
Pope Francis
Pope Francis, Donald Trump --- pulse.ng

The good Pope castigated American bishops when he stood before them last September. There is little doubt that they must have wilted recognizably under the weight of their good Shepherd's admonitions that they would do better to open their hearts than to engage in speech that their parishioners felt attacked them personally for their values and lifestyles, invoking in them guilt and remorse for their ill-done ways.

No doubt the American bishops felt they were expressing the opinions of the Church. And for their troubles instead of support, they were harshly lectured.

This is a Pope who is different, who thinks of himself as a man of the people, and whose heart is with those whose worn and battered hearts are weary with sorrow and care, poverty and neglect. No other Pope followed Christ's example as deeply as this one did, in washing the feet of a dozen convicts, several of them women, one a Muslim. He truly became their servant, as he was the unadorned, passionate servant of God, bestowing blessings upon them because of their vulnerability and misery in society.

Clearly this is a man who will have no problem passing through the eye of a needle.

Pope Francis kissing the feet of a young offender -[- The Telegraph

No mention whether those so blessed felt uplifted and compelled to surrender their lives of crime to lives of compassion for others, of moving in society as trusted and helpful members, leaving their time of sociopathy behind, for this good man showed them the passage to contentment and fulfillment. He has given hope and care to many, from homosexual outcasts to divorcees, to women carrying disease-distorted foetuses, for he is a man of merciful compassion.

This man with the soft touch reaching out to the world's unfortunates and outcasts, a man who eschews rank and privilege, ostentation and reeking hypocrisy, demanding of his priests and his bishops that they too look inwardly to find within their hearts a reflection of the man whom god sacrificed to save the world, and act accordingly. He has looked outward as well, toward the world of politics and bombastic discrimination and has found it wanting, little surprise.

The surprise, however, lay in his passing judgement on the character and pronouncements of a man whose own simplicity of statement and charisma has attracted the counter-element to the Pope's own popularity, and whom he characterized as 'un-Christian', thus mortally stinging the pride of a man who considers himself a Christian above all, though not of the denomination that the Catholic Church represents.

And, for the first time, the Pope has been publicly rebuked, chastised, by the unabashed target of his criticism, for entering political waters in frank dismissal of a potential candidate for the American presidency.

Now he who has calumniated another by his ad hominem observation is himself being censored for careless smearing of someone as wildly popular as is the Pope. If there is hypocrisy here it lies perhaps in the choices this good man makes. His predecessor made an offhand comment on the violence within Islam, and lived to rue it, and recant it in favour of restoring warmth between Islam and the Church. It seems that Pope Frances is of that same school.

Absent is his obligation to defend Christianity under siege around the world. As the shepherd and pastor and confidante of 1.7-billion Christians worldwide, he errs by not singling out the plight of Christianity in its ancient birthplace; by not identifying their attackers, by refraining from pleading for Islam to cease and desist, by carefully avoiding directly confronting the vileness of jihad, central to Islam, and central to the destruction of ancient Christian cathedrals and churches, and the faithful who once prayed in them.

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Guilty When Proven Guilty

"The appellant was entitled to a determination of the extent to which he made a significant and knowing contribution to the crime or criminal purpose of the Ek 10a."
"Only then could a reasonable determination be made as to whether whatever harm he faced was more serious than the harm inflicted on others through his complicity."
Federal Court of Appeal 

"[Oberlander was] contriving to abuse the judicial system to avoid responsibility."
"Oberlander was a member of one of the most savage Nazi killing units. ... That he clearly lied about his wartime past to fraudulently gain entry into this country is not in question -- nor the legal consequences of falsification of immigration documents."
"He is here illegally and he ought to have his Canadian citizenship revoked."
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Suspected war criminal Helmut Oberlander in June 2004.
Suspected war criminal Helmut Oberlander in June 2004. Mathew McCarthy / CP photo archive
Ethnically German, resident in Ukraine during World War II, Helmut Oberlander was an integral part of the Nazi Final Solution as an interpreter with Einsatzkommando 10a, the unit involved in a force acknowledged as responsible for the mass murder of over two million people, most of whom were European Jews. The court reached its decision by referring to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that individuals can not be held accountable for crimes committed by a group on the basis of group association or passive acquiescence. 

Now 92 years of age, the man has been using all legal means available in Canada to forestall his deportation, for the past 20 years. He arrived in Canada nine years after the war had ended and soon afterward took out citizenship. By Canadian law that citizenship was negated, nullified, because he had lied on his immigration application, failing to disclose his collusion in genocide as a member of the German military. A membership he claims was forced upon him at age 17, one which he had no option but to adjust to. 

Legal proceedings to strip the man of his citizenship proceeded in 1995 on the very basis of his having lied about his service as an interpreter with a Nazi death squad, but he succeeded in forestalling deportation by the use of the legal privileges available to all citizens of Canada. The Federal Court pronounced itself unimpressed with the level of Oberlander's complicity in war crimes, referring his case back to Ottawa for reconsideration, the third time this has occurred over the years.

In 2000, a federal judge found that Mr. Oberlander's citizenship status was achieved under false representation, that he deliberately concealed his past wartime experiences, which led the federal cabinet to revoke his citizenship in 2001. That decision was set aside on appeal to the Federal Appeal Court in 2004 as the matter was returned to cabinet for re-consideration. Cabinet simply revoked his citizenship status once again in 2007. Clearly, Parliament and the government that sits therein recognized his culpability and just as clearly the Canadian justice system failed to deliver justice.

And in 2009 the Federal Appeal Court overturned that second revocation upholding his claims that he had been forcibly conscripted leading him to carry out his duties under duress with the death squad he was part of. But yet again the cabinet felt in 2012 that the duress defence had not been sufficiently established to exonerate the man from responsibility for war crimes and for the third time revoked his citizenship. Federal Court Justice James Russell saw fit to uphold their decision in 2015, observing that Oberlander had never attempted to be relieved of his duties, nor did he ever express remorse.

Which brings us to the current ruling where, claiming that Justice Russell had failed to take into account a 2013 Supreme Court ruling effectively changing the complicity standard in war crimes, the matter was once again returned to Ottawa. "It is hard to imagine how he could be held accountable now, given his limited and forced role with the unit", insisted his lawyer, dismissing the principle of "guilt by association" that he claims has snared his client. 

This has clear echoes of the 'Nicht Schuldig' response of those Nazi criminals brought before the Nuremburg Trials, when perpetrators of mass annihilation of innocent civilians claimed to be doing their duty as citizens of their country, a military machine which was tasked to perform as their government deemed suitable in its grand scheme labelled the Final Solution. As obedient, loyal servants of the government, they held themselves to have done nothing wrong.
"Entire units came en masse into Canada through Halifax in the 1940s. Canada knew at that time who they were."
"If there are a few cases that can still be brought, just for the sake of doing the right thing, then that should happen."
"None will live long enough to make it to trial, they will hire excellent lawyers. … They’ll delay and throw legal roadblocks in the way until they have died safely in their beds, but it’s the point of doing it."
"It’s a stain on the history of Canada. It is to the Canadian government’s great and eternal shame that more was not done."
U.S.-based Nazi-hunter, researcher, Steve Rambam

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