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, July 31, 2016

"Human Folly" Not His Fault

"No president wants to be a war president. Obama thinks of war as an instrument he has to use very reluctantly. But we're waging these long, rather strange wars."
"We're killing lots of people. We're taking casualties."
Eliot A. Cohen, military historian, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

"It's the difference between being a war president and a president at war."
"Being a war president means that all elements of American power and foreign policy are subservient to fighting the war."
"What Obama has tried to do, which is why he's careful about ratcheting up the number of forces, is not to have it overwhelm other priorities."
Derek Chollet former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs 

"As the Middle East coordinator, I certainly felt like it was a wartime pace."
"War doesn't exist anymore, in our official vocabulary."
Philip H. Gordon, former White House staffer

"No Nobel Peace Prize ever elicited more attention than the 2009 prize to Barack Obama."
"Even many of Obama's supporters believed that the prize was a mistake. In that sense the committee didn't achieve what it had hoped for."
Geir Lundestad, former secretary, Nobel Committee
US President Barack Obama holds his Nobel Peace Prize next to Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, in Oslo - 10 December 2009
AFP -- Barack Obama presented the Nobel award by committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland
What more prestigious gift could be conferred on a new American president than to bestow on him -- with a bare year into his presidency behind him, and none of his campaign promises to close the U.S. military presence in Iraq and shutter Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons yet come to fruition -- a reward for that promised future as a Nobel Laureate for Peace. How very distinguished; the hope and trust of the world invested in the tall man with the professorial mien and winsome smile.

And the world waits. It has waited for eight years for his promise, promotion and prophecy to be fulfilled. It will continue to wait after his departure. This antiwar president has overseen if anything the reversal of his promises and the acceleration of some of the tactics undertaken by his predecessor under his presidency. Troops were withdrawn, then a proportion returned. Not to fight, mind, only to train, and it was unfortunate if training took them into the line of fire and they returned fire.

President Barack Obama has achieved two distinctions denied any of his predecessors. He has been singled out for the Nobel Peace prize on the basis of his proposed solution to war, never achieved and he is the only president who has presided over his entire presidency as a war president. Something there does not compute. If the Nobel committee later regretted their impulse, possibly Barack Obama has regretted not opting to decline the honour.

The U.S. military is now in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Syria. Drone and air strikes have been approved against terrorist groups in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. It was under the watch of the peace president that Osama bin Laden was caught in Pakistan, not when the war president George W. sent his troops to the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to capture the elusive al-Qaeda head. Obama dedicated himself to reversing what Bush had wrought.

Instead, Bush's legacy became Obama's extension under extenuating circumstances. This, though, is the president who in his acceptance speech uttered the lofty recognition of the tedious inevitable: That "two seemingly irreconcilable truths - that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly", is a reality that had to be recognized. As though, looking into the future and recognizing the futility of his promises, he uttered the obvious unavoidable.

The United States under the Obama administration realizes that it has international commitments given its propensity to initiate changes in the administrations of other countries; therefore, 15,000 American troops will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. In recognition of the inability of governments in Iraq and Afghanistan to fend for themselves it has become difficult for the United States to ever leave entirely. Extrication is a hope, not a reality.

The original intention was to commit limited American troops to countries in conflict with the purpose in mind of working with their militaries to develop skills within the armies and police to enable them to handle their own security issues. The army that the U.S. trained in Iraq disappeared into the woodwork coming face to face with the jihadist fighters of the Islamic State, necessitating that U.S. troops be returned to a war America had vacated.

Afghan Army trainees whom the Americans spent limitless time and funding on, were incapable of holding back the Taliban from retaking territory lost when U.S. troops were still deployed there in significant numbers. Such unreliable partners, recognized Mr. Obama, represents a situation that is "probably going to be something that we have to continue to grapple with for years to come."

But, uh, not if the unfathomable occurs and presidential candidate Trump enters the vacated private quarters of the White House.

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Human Frailty and Orthodoxy

"I understand that I am sick and needy, and I don’t want to continue to be a burden on you."
"Don’t make much effort for the ceremony, something modest with a lot of flowers, and remember that this is what I chose as best for me, and also if you say that I am selfish, I accept and understand your lack of understanding."
Esti Weinstein, 50, mother of seven, former Hasidic community member
Esti Weinstein, a formerly ultra-Orthodox woman who committed suicide in June 2016 -- Times of Israel
That she married at 17 is not such a big deal, that it was an arranged marriage, a ritual of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect whose members are not free to act on impulse as human beings are wont to do, but are instead restrained from behaving as individuals with free will, is something else again. The rigid hierarchy and permitted customs of fundamentalists is inimical to satisfaction with life. Following such a rigid pattern is a kind of pathology where people are reduced to robotic status.

The restraints that the ultra-religious orthodoxy places on its members represent a mass psychosis, a denial of humanity, a collective agreement to exalt god by sacrificing one's individuality to a prescribed way of life where much is forbidden that represents normalcy to others not held in the thrall of groupthink and groupaction and groupfealty. It is in human nature to wish to be part of a social group, to be included, not excluded.

But the ultra-orthodox represent a very exclusive club indeed. Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholicism is that to a degree, whose sacred texts obligate the faithful to specific doctrine and precepts. Much relaxed in rigidity, however, over the centuries. Islam has become infinitely more doctrinal and rigid rather than the opposite over the past century, breeding a debased humanity that views martyrdom and death as representing the highest pinnacle of faith.

And there are others like Seventh Day Adventists and Doukhobors and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Taliban, Wahhabism and Boko Haram, to name a few, who represent religious fundamentalism. What they all have in common, it seems, is the degradation of women who are viewed as inferior and totally dependent on the whims of men who use and abuse them, while insisting through church law that they be unassuming, virginal and suppress their sexuality.

The woman quoted above left her marriage because as a female who had grown up in one of Israel's largest Hasidic sects, she found it wanting, too draining of her humanity. Her unhappy marriage and her seven children aside, she yearned for liberty. But even while establishing a loving relationship with another man, her abandonment of her marriage resulting in an absolute estrangement from six of her children though a seventh followed her out of the orthodox fold, caused her so much pain she took her life.

Before she did, she wrote a manuscript detailing many of the closed community's practices and customs. Her sect, the Gur community, restrained sex between married partners to once or twice monthly to dampen sexual cravings in favour of reaching a higher spiritual plane. On all occasions sensuality was to be avoided, and so physical contact took place only on those several monthly occasions, and nor, evidently was verbal intimacy contemplated.

The ultra-Orthodox religious groups in Israel view biblical contemplation, prayer and pious manners, not physical labour to earn a living as imperatives. While they typically have large broods, they also typically live at or below the poverty line, requiring the state intervention of welfare. Their intention is to remain separate from the rest of society, not to defile themselves by contact with the impure. Military service in Israel, compulsory for all, is rejected by them.

They represent a growing community; at present they are over ten percent of the Jewish population of Israel, and will reach 200 percent in an estimated dozen years. This is a far stretch from the secular majority of Israel, particularly far from its founding and its spirit of pioneer egalitarianism. The changing face of Israel appears, in some measure, to reflect the changing face of religion in the Middle East where fundamentalism has gained ground even as human rights' obligations have diminished.

What does distinguish Israel from all of its neighbours, however, is its dedication to human rights even within an uneasy and fraught geography where the nation lives within a history of violent military and religious attacks upon its right of existence. It cannot afford to be intolerant of the Hasidim living within its embrace; its purpose of existence, the very security and care of all Jews of all beliefs and origins mitigates against it.

Freinds and family attend the funeral of Esti Weinstein at the Yarkon cemetery in Tel Aviv, June 28, 2016. (Avi Dishi/Flash90)
Freinds and family attend the funeral of Esti Weinstein at the Yarkon cemetery in Tel Aviv, June 28, 
2016. (Avi Dishi/Flash90)

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bashing a Mosquito with a Mallet

"I find that the RCMP knowingly facilitated a terrorist activity by providing money and other services to the defendants that helped and made easier the terrorist activities."
"The spectre of the defendants serving a life sentence for a crime that the police manufactured by exploiting their vulnerabilities, by instilling fear that they would be killed if they backed out ... is offensive to our concept of fundamental justice."
"Simply put, the world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalized people who have neither the capacity nor sufficient motivation to do it [plan and carry out successful jihadist attacks] themselves."
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce

"This guy really is a nut. Not sure there's anything here."
"My impression is, he has no plan and just sort of makes stuff up."
Martha Devlin, B.C. Crown prosecutor
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody walk away after being released from the Main st Provincial courthouse, Vancouver, July 29 2016.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody walk away after being released from the Main St. Provincial courthouse, Vancouver, July 29 2016. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

"Mr. Nuttall will always be a risk as far as I’m concerned given his background, his history and his reaction to stresses which based on his life history is to use violence."
"That doesn’t mean he is necessarily a terrorist threat but he has a proven propensity to use violence. He is a radicalized individual."
Crown prosecutor Peter Eccles
This pair of sub-par intelligence, living on the edges of society, drug-addicted and without means to sustain themselves with human dignity found their salvation in Islam. They found purpose and meaning in their afflicted lives by becoming Muslim adherents. And it appears that at some time during this process they self-radicalized. They both turned the venom of their sensibilities against the society into which they were born and raised, preferring the superiority of the Islamist message that jihad is the ultimate purpose of the faithful.

What followed was a seemingly farcical theatrical production when Canada's premier intelligence agency CSIS, (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service) informed the RCMP that John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were on the cusp of committing themselves to Islamist terrorism. Evidently the man sank his own ship with his loose lips. It seems he made constant and casual comments about how prepared he was to commit to violently radical Islamism, complete with terrorist attacks.

He attended a local mosque, and undoubtedly spoke those sentiments on occasion to other mosque attendees. The mosque officials reputedly repudiated his sentiments and attempted to dissuade him from further mosque attendance. And someone from within that establishment undoubtedly reported his behaviour to authorities, which is where CSIS may have entered the picture, and in turn washed their hands of the matter by passing it on to the RCMP.

How should authorities respond when people of low intelligence take on the challenge of threatening their society by violent means? It could be argued that jihadists may all be of low intelligence guided by their psychopathic tendencies. On the other hand, many other Canadians who are/were Muslim, or converts to Islam, have been university students, so it is not necessarily their intelligence that was on a low par per se, but their choice of options to advance their direction in life.

What to do, then, with people who, given the opportunity and the inspiration and sympathetic assistance to aid them in fulfilling their aspirations, will take that opportunity and turn it to completing what they verbally set as a goal? It might be argued that if it was not the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that entered the picture at this juncture, Muslim radicals might have undertaken to take this vulnerable pair in hand to achieve their own like-minded purpose.

Still, what psychopathic religious bigots of violent inspiration seek to achieve is one thing; what law-and-order professionals tasked by their nation to serve and protect might conceive as a plan to entrap and criminalize and finally imprison a pair of sad dolts with no conceivable purpose in life other than a lethargic commitment to uphold the tenets of a theistic psychic malady constitutes an assault against reasonable deterrence.

On the other hand, the very fact that even in the face of observing how pathetic the two culprits are in spirit and deed, a jury reached the conclusion that John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were guilty as charged. That they had conspired to commit murder, had produced what they felt were explosive devices with a deadly purpose in mind, and took the requisite steps to install the (fake) bombs they thought were real, to achieve the purpose they had in mind.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

"Hero of the Otniel Attack"

"A terrorist behind the attack in which Rabbi Michael Mark was assassinated on July 1 was killed on Tuesday night during exchanges of fire with soldiers."
"During the operation to stop Mohamed Fakih, who carried out the attack, he was killed in an exchange of fire with soldiers."
Israel Defence Forces statement 

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Photo: Wikipedia.Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Photo: Wikipedia

The estimable chief peace negotiator of the Palestinian Authority has condemned the country with which he ostensibly seeks to find a solution to the ongoing violence, for having caused the death of the Palestinian man who ambushed a family while they were driving to Jerusalem from the West Bank settlement where they lived. The death of Rabbi Michael Mark, occurred en route to a celebratory dinner with his mother when a vehicle careened past their own and shots rang out, hitting their windshield and killing the rabbi, leaving his wife and two teen-age children injured.

The overturned vehicle was seen by a Palestinian couple who stopped their own car and attempted to help those in the overturned vehicle. They took the wounded girl into their own car and attempted to comfort and reassure her. Shortly afterward another vehicle came along with a Palestinian doctor and his brother, also headed toward Jerusalem. They stopped and the Palestinian doctor attempted to give first aid to the wounded, until an Israeli ambulance arrived on the scene after the first couple had called for help.

The vehicle occupied by the Mark family, who were attacked by terrorists on Friday
The vehicle occupied by the Mark family, who were attacked by terrorists
In the wake of that tragedy, the IDF was on the search for the perpetrators of the killing. An IDF unit conducted a raid in Dura located in southern Hebron where a 29-year-old member of Hamas's Ezzedine Brigade, Muhammad Fakia -- who had been identified as the gunman who killed the rabbi -- lived. The intention was to take him and anyone else involved in the atrocity into custody, but a gunfight ensued, and Muhammad Fakia was shot to death in the melee.

Hamas had celebrated Fakia as the "hero of the Otniel attack". Saeb Erekat characterized the shooting as a "crime".

One of Fakia's family members accused the PA's security forces of having given information to the IDF on Fakia's whereabouts. After his death, a general strike took place in Hebron, with the declaration that it was to honour this hometown boy. Joint forces of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police had embarked on the night-time raid on the village of Tzurif, close to Hebron where Fakia had been hiding.

It had also been revealed by the Shin Bet that Fakia had earlier been involved with the terrorist group Islamic Jihad and it was his activities with that terrorist group that had landed him in an Israeli prison for planning attacks against Israelis. While in prison he became a Hamas operative. His accomplices in the murder of Rabbi Mark were arrested after the raid where Fakia, resisting arrest, was killed.

One accomplice who had been arrested several days after the event was revealed to be a member of the PA's national security forces, who during interrogation revealed he had driven the car where Fakia shot at the Mark family vehicle.

As a genuine Palestinian hero, Muhammad Fakia's death provides additional fuel to the fires of hatred and resentment that another martyr has been sacrificed to the altar of 'resistance' against the 'occupation', ensuring that the 'moderate' Palestinian Authority will move no closer to tamping down the invective against Israel, inciting Palestinians in the West Bank to do their duty, as so many have dedicated themselves to over the past months, through spontaneous attacks against Jews.

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Wherein the Green Party of Canada Clamours for BDS

WHEREAS the JNF practices discrimination against non-Jews in Israel through its bylaws which prohibit the lease or sale of its lands to non-Jews;
WHEREAS the JNF is complicit in the continued dispossession of Palestinians from their lands by creating forests and parks on this land in the name of ‘environmentalism’;
WHEREAS the JNF’s ‘Ayalon Canada Park’ sits in occupied Palestinian territory, covering up the lands of the depopulated and demolished Palestinian villages of Yalu, Imwas and Beit Nuba;
WHEREAS Israel’s Attorney General and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights have charged the JNF with practicing institutional discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of Israel;
WHEREAS “the CRA is aware that the JNF’s activities contravene Canadian public policy;”
WHEREAS many civil society groups across Canada, including Jewish groups, have called for an end to JNF charitable status;     
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Canada calls on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund for contravening public policy against discrimination and for its failure to comply with international human rights law.
The Green Party of Canada is primarily an environmental group just as its counterparts internationally are; their focus is on the environment and the green movement that has captured the concern of nations across the world as the symptoms of Climate Change become more evident through the frightening instances of hugely unusual weather systems wreaking havoc throughout the globe, threatening agriculture and the very existence of small island states through gradually rising ocean levels.

Canada's Green Party, with one elected parliamentarian sitting in the House of Commons, its leader, Elizabeth May, has seen fit to entertain a few resolutions at their upcoming national convention; resolutions approved and endorsed by its leadership, including Elizabeth May. One might think that if one nation's rump party is so dedicated to environmental stewardship, the issues brought up of more historical and complex political dimensions pertaining to another nation entirely would be of scant concern.

On the other  hand, there are countries of the world whose cultural habits add to environmental degradation, through the unstable harvesting of forests leading to desertification, or those countries addicted to burning coal which sends vast amounts of carbonized materials into the air, and other countries where the demand for rare animal parts in traditional medicines threaten the existence of vulnerable animal species. But no, as is typical in so many other instances, the Green Party has busied itself in a riff on the usual Boycott/Divestment frenzy of the State of Israel.

There will be a host of resolutions debated at the convention and two of them relate to foreign policy, not environmentalism. The two targeting Israel only, condemn it for being an 'occupying force' oppressing Palestinians. Resolution number one calls on boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israelis, a blacklist for scientists, academics, politicians, unions, etc. The second resolution focuses on canvassing Revenue Canada to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada.

This is a reputable charity whose work is entirely that of environmental preservation, an occupation that has been ongoing for a century in Israel, supported by donations from abroad. Their work represents a hundred years of planting trees in a desertified geography which had been abandoned to bleak uselessness. The environmental protection undertaken in Israel benefits everyone in the region with the building and management of water reservoirs, parks and green spaces that provide haven for birds and animals.

Even while Green Party leader Elizabeth May has agreed with the observation that the resolutions are rife with false allegations, she is complicit with them. In deference, perhaps, to the element within her political party who view Israel through the lens of anti-Semitism. The environmental projects taking place in Israel benefit everyone irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion. For a Canadian political party to take such an incendiary stance on another country is extraordinary.

It is reflective in substance with the declaration made by one of its former candidates for election who stated her opinion that the Holocaust represents "the biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history ... there were no gas chambers". Iranian ayatollahs would be proud of this woman's historical ignorance. And the assured vehemence of her moral abandonment.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Clarifying the Obvious: WHAT OTHERS?!

"I only want to clarify that, when I speak of war, I am really speaking of war. A war of interests, for money, resources, dominion of peoples."
"I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don't want war. The others want war."
Pope Francis
Pope Francis in Poland on Wednesday.
Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images  Pope Francis in Poland on Wednesday.
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on — perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara — by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between — as they were called — three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point — itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole — which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that sura 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…
The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: "For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.
12 September 2006 lecture by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in Germany
Pope Benedict's scholarly erudition in the annals of the Vatican's treasured bibliography in the Catholic Church's relations with Islam certainly elicited an emphatic, outraged response from Islam. And the good Pope was forced by obvious interests in maintaining calmly harmonious relations between the two religions to apologize abjectly for misinterpreting the intolerable insult to Islam. Pope Francis doubtless took that lesson in humility and caution seriously enough to convince him that direct criticism of Islam as a religion espousing other than peace is inadvisable.

"He wanted to specify very clearly, he doesn't mean a war of religions", clarified Vatican spokesman the Reverend Federico Lombardi, of this veritable minefield best side-stepped. No doubt 85-year-old Reverend Jacques Hamel who was slaughtered in his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, would sagaciously have nodded his head in assent, having no further use of his life at his advanced age, other than to further good relations between Islam and the Catholic Church.

"The terrorists held me with a revolver at my neck. He [Father Hamel] fell down looking upward, toward us", said 86-uear-old Jeanine, one of the four hostages taken by the two Islamists at the church while morning mass was led by Father Hamel. Her husband, Guy, had been handed a cellphone with instructions that he take photographs of the atrocity being served for their observation as the two attackers slit the elderly priest's throat on the floor of the chancel.

And when they finished with the priest they then turned on her husband, slashing him repeatedly. He remains in hospital suffering from serious injuries. The elderly couple and the priest were held along with two nuns. One nun at the morning mass that had gone so horribly awry, had managed to slip away to alert police who confronted the murderers outside the church, killing them. They were locals, two 19-year-old men who had aspired to fight with Islamic State in Syria.

Unable to leave France by alerted authorities, both were under watch, both understood to be ISIL sympathizers, both managing to fulfill their obligations to Islamic State, jihad and the responsibility of the faithful to Koranic injunctions which instruct that none should hesitate to commit to jihad as a major tenet of the faith. But shush! don't be too free in discussing this other than obliquely, euphemisms and circumlocution most highly recommended.

Headlines in sensitive news media should reflect the fact that two young Muslims lost their lives near a church in France, so sad.

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

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Political Bumf and More Bumf

Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama wave to the crowd Wednesday after Obama gave a speech.
CNN Politics -- Clinton and Barack Obama wave to DNC crowd on Wednesday, post-Obama speech

"Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits."
"I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman -- not me, not Bill, nobody -- more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America."
"Nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. You can read about it. You can study it. Until you've sat at that desk, you don't know what it's like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary's been in the room; she's been part of those decisions."
U.S. President Barack Obama

That's my man! Your truth, dignity and grace reminds us what real leadership looks like. I am always proud of our @POTUS. -mo            (who might've guessed?)

Love-ins are great feel-good events, where everyone involved pulls together with their focus on responding to the public weal and the need to selflessly offer to guide the country through domestic civil affairs and external threats, to uphold the rule of law and see that justice works equally for all, and that citizens who work hard and lead decent lives and care for their families will find employment; health care will be available when needed, and children will be well educated and borders will be protected from unsanctioned egress, while enemies of the state from abroad will be confronted and neutralized.

The Democrats with their well-funded public relations and their celebrity-faction support, their charm offensive and passionate promises to perform beyond reproach to respond to all of America's challenges while keeping the country great, as the sole great-power nation on the planet, do have a bit of a problem among the demographic that, though responding to their appeal, feel ignored. That large segment that views the establishment, corporate interests, the moneyed class and the social elite hogging privilege and leaving them dregs, have not made for an entirely sanguine, harmonious campaign or convention.

Which reminds us of that poutingly disparaging remark by Michelle Obama away back in 2006 that should her husband not attain the position of Democratic presidential candidate she would be "ashamed" of America. She hasn't been ashamed for eight years running, now. And for someone who claims that Hillary Clinton is more suited to the presidency than was he himself, Barack Obama is clearly writing a fairy tale for the gullible, since he edged her out of the candidacy and the White House away back when he was convinced he was the better "man" for the job. So which is it?

Oh, America, how polarized and how mawkishly patriotic you can be, how given to facade and celebrity, to lionizing yourselves as symbols of power, strength, capability, endurance and trust. Indeed, "In God We Trust", not the greenback with a church on every block while worshipping those with personal wealth beyond count, and at the same time resenting that one percent that scoops up gold bullion and leaves copper dregs for the 99%. On the other hand, if American isn't great why is the rest of the world so emulative of its culture?

There is an alternative to the Democrats. There WAS an alternative. There is always the putative Republican candidate whose skills as a marketer of dreams (his own) to the ignorant, wretched masses who feel so left behind that regard a crude ignoramus as the answer to their demands that the establishment be swept aside and a genuine man-of-the-people who just happens to be a sterling example of the moneyed-class-through-capitalist-excess replace those they loathe. And where will this 'populist' lead America?

To greatness! To isolation! To trade security! To Xenophobic gratification through exclusion. The poem on the Statue of Liberty will, of course, require a change in declarative purpose and intent. That's all, folks, absorption of the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free has completed its mission. Donald Trump for president. And, as president, he will restore to America something that it never was, but that he feels it should be.

Donald Trump, the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for President, has been in the spotlight for years. From developing real estate to producing and starring in TV shows, see how he's shaped his empire.
Seriously now, folks!

Finding much in common with another showman who portrays himself as invincible and all-knowing, he is willing to move aside a bit, to make room on the world stage for two super-powers once again, seeing little untoward in democracy sliding into autocratic reform with Soviet panache. "I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly but there's nothing that I can think of that I'd rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now so that we can go and knock out ISIS together with other people and with other countries.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along, as an example, with Russia? I'm all for it and let's go get ISIS because we have to get ISIS and we have to get them fast. Right now, we don't have a good relationship. Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. OK? He mentioned the "N" word. You know what the "N" word is, right? He mentioned it. I was shocked. He has a total lack of respect for President Obama. No 1, he doesn't like him. And No.2, he doesn't respect him. I think he's going to respect your president if I'm elected. And I hope he likes me."

Well, things can't be all that bad if Trump is shocked to hear that Putin spoke dirty in re-invoking that disgraceful word that blacks used to be called. Oh, it wasn't that? Nuclear, was it? You're confused over his statements, they sound contradictory to  you? Well, fella, join the club and get used to hearing strange statements erupting out of this man's uncouth and untutored mouth in reflection of a man whose mind is so engaged with his own perfection there's no room for serious thought about anything else.

So, Americans, how're you voting come November?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Religions of Love and Peace

"The investigations are ongoing. There are still unknowns." 
"There are dogs, explosive detectors and bomb disposal services [at the church outside the city of Rouen, Normandy region]."
Pierre-Henry Brandet, French Interior Ministry spokesman

"[Rev. Hamel was forced to the ground] ...They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that's when the tragedy happened [terrorists slit his throat]."
"They [Islamist jihadists] did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It's a horror."
Sister Danielle, Saint-Etienne-Du-Rouvray, France

"I cry out to God, with all men of goodwill And I invite all non-believers to unite with this cry."
"The Catholic Church has no other arms beside prayer and fraternity between men."
Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun

"Sometimes he was running all around, and his desire was to spread a message for which he consecrated his life."
"And he certainly didn't think that consecrating his life would mean for him to die while celebrating a mass, which is a message of love."
Philippe Maheut, Rouen diocese official

"The person who committed this odious act is known and he has been followed by the police for at least one and a half years."
"He went to Turkey and security services were alerted after this."
Mohammed Karabila, head, Regional Council of the Muslim Faith for Haute-Normandie
Francois Mori / Associated Press
Francois Mori / Associated Press   General view of the church where a priest was killed in an attack in Saint Etienne du Rouvray, Normandy
Obviously 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel's message of love has been spurned by some members of the Muslim community of France. That other religion, the religion of peace, urges its faithful to commit to jihad and it seems that love and peace are not at all compatible after all. Not when Christians go out of their way to incite Muslims to violence. It isn't difficult to achieve; their very presence is sufficient to spur Islamists into action.

Anyone asked to name a Middle East country where Christians, worshipping the faith that arose there in antiquity, and where the faithful of Christianity have lived ever since, would be hard put to identify one other than the Jewish state resurrected from its ancient heritage site and which preceded Christianity by millennia. Anywhere that Islam is the majority religion Christians are under siege, their numbers steeply declining over the years as they flee persecution and violence.

And as the Middle East and Muslim North Africa frees itself from the pestilence of a Christian presence they look abroad to further wound Christianity. Pope Francis wisely counselled after the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo that it is a wise course to avoid insulting and thus inciting Islam to vengeance. Presumably his message of prudence will fall short of addressing the spiteful viciousness visited upon Father Hamel who humbly worshipped the Catholic faith.

One of the two ISIL-connected Islamists who attacked Father Hamel lived locally. His fascination with Islamic State and its message of hate and death concerned his parents leading them to convey his radicalism to authorities' notice. Adel Kermiche comes from an educated family, well-adjusted in France, his sister a physician, his mother an academic. They were concerned with his aspiration to travel to Syria. When Turkey turned him away at the border he was imprisoned in France.

But obviously as has also happened elsewhere in the world when devoted Islamists find their way to Syria and Islamic State impeded they turn to internal violence in the country where they reside. The message of Islamic State resonates with them and proudly their news agency boasts of attacks carried out by "soldiers of the Islamic State". And nor are other European nations with large Muslim immigrant populations exempt from the phenomenon.

"The Islamic State is waging a brutal war of aggression ... against our way of life", stated Joachim Herrmann, top security officer in Bavaria, where recently three jihadist attacks took place. Where a failed refugee applicant from Syria wrought his vengeance by assembling bombs in his room located in a home set aside for asylum seekers. Mr. Herrmann speaks of laws requiring change to allow for swifter deportation. As a solution to the problem of an excess of migrants and refugees and a lack of security clearances along with an inability to apprehend jihadist attacks it is a meagre one of screaming desperation.

The barbarism that Islamic State is so exceedingly proud to display in its slickly produced videos with its sickening detail to the finer points of torture and cruelly inventive death delivery in the prolongation of suffering, is not, in fact in quality and quantity so different from the kinds of institutional and legal punishments meted out by Muslim countries under Sharia law, reflecting the supreme authenticity of 7th Century Islam.

The pain and grief felt by the good people of France and Germany after their most recent travails will no doubt be considerably alleviated by the loving words of Pope Francis who has unequivocally condemned the attack that severed Father Hamel from loving existence. In the words of Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi, the Pope has expressed "pain and horror for this absurd violence, with the strongest condemnation for every form of hatred, and prayer for those affected."

France, needless to say, remains on high alert and under a state of emergency, congruent with the July 14 attack on Bastille Day in Nice where 84 people were killed in a drive-by murderous assault of prolonged agony, an occasion of great celebration for Islamic State

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"Deeply Shocked. And Appalled"

"Like all Australians, we are shocked by the report, by that evidence that was shown on Four Corners [Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program Four Corners investigation] last night. Deeply shocked."
"We have moved swiftly to get to the bottom of it."
"We need to get all the facts out as swiftly as we can. We need to expose the cultural problems, the administrative problems that allowed this type of mistreatment to occur."
"We want to know how this came about. We want to know what lessons can be learned from it. We want to know why there were inquiries into this centre which did not turn up the evidence and the information that we saw on Four Corners last night."
"This is a shocking state of affairs and we will move quickly to establish what happened."
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

"[I want to thank the] whole Australian community for the support you have showed us boys [teen prison incarcerates] as well as our families."
"I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the community for my wrongs and I can't wait to get out [of prison] and make up for them."
Dylon Voller, 17, featured in investigation into prison abuse of young boys in Australia

"The impact of those years of brutalization must be immediately measured and he needs immediate assistance."
"Any child locked up in solitary confinement in the Northern Territory needs to be released immediately."
Peter O'Brien, lawyer for Dylan Voller

"[Dylan] deserves his life back. [He] lost everything ... lost hope."
"The last time I went to visit him there was no smile, there was no emotion, there was nothing. I couldn't give him anything to be positive about and that really broke me."
"I want him to know he's still a person and people still love him and he still has hope for a life."
Kira Voller, Dylan's sister 
Dylan Voller shackled into a restraining chair -- ABC news

Aboriginal Australian youth are sometimes defiant and socially deviant, as the term goes to express the kind of resentment engendered by systematic, institutionalized racism that afflicts most colonial-era-derived societies. Australia appears to have reached the conclusion at some time in the near past that the best remediative treatment for insufferable anti-social behaviour is to brutalize those exhibiting that behaviour, to persuade those placed in prisons where they are treated to even greater incidents of contemptible disciplinary punishment for spurning societal norms, to straighten out and fly better.

That is evidently accomplished by long episodes of solitary confinement, earned when young prisoners act out intolerably. This earns them a bout of tear gas and placement for weeks on end in isolation, but not before being exposed to physical brutality. Isolation bereft of natural light, running water or breathable air where the reek of urine and the scuttle of rats distinguish the environment is certain, authorities must feel, to engender a chastening effect. It is called a correctional system after all, and not for nothing. Unfortunately, for a teen who has spent his formative years in the system it doesn't appear to have worked.
Young Dylan Voller
Dylan Voller in and out of detention since childhood -- ABC News

The systemic abuse of children and teens, most of Aboriginal extraction, has produced a cadre of of youth who have never known normalcy in their lives, but somehow learned to live through and endure the unspeakably atrocious punishments that a clearly dysfunctional system believes they have earned. On the other hand, it could only be sadism imposed by psychopaths who would impose such vicious punishment on children for the crime of non-compliance with authority. Do the prison guards who exhibit those tendencies have a leg up on job selection?

In 2014 Dylan was among six boys tear-gassed as treatment meted out to ensure a "riot" didn't proceed; a concern that lodged in the imagination and nowhere else since closed-circuit television and video recordings staff themselves created indicated that one boy had escaped from his cell when it was left unlocked by a guard. In the program that was aired on Monday evening, 'corrections' officers appeared on screen tear-gassing children in their cells, wrestling them to the ground, calling them "little f---ers".

With the emergence of shocking footage of teenagers being assaulted and abused in juvenile detention centres, the ABC wants to hear any stories you have of similar acts. Contact us ABC

Footage from 2010 when Dylan was all of ten years old, showed him being hurled across his cell floor, kneed and knocked to the ground where he was stripped naked numerous times and kept in solitary confinement, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Originally from Alice Spring, Dylan was imprisoned after a 24-hour meltdown when, high on methamphetamine, he attacked two men and a police officer. This could have been entitled Life As A Nightmare.

Dylan, said a social worker who has cared for Dylan, "has been in and out of trouble, needs to get serious counselling and it needs to be funded by the government. If a boy commits a crime, I'm not saying they don't have to face the music, but where's the duty of care? They need a place where they can be safe." All these revelations have utterly shocked the conscience of the nation; above all the government which disclaims any knowledge of such wretched situations victimizing children.

Oddly enough, the former Northern Territory children's commissioner, Dr. Howard Bath, undertook a lengthy investigation into this situation of institutional penal mistreatment. The fact that Australia was founded by the British as a penal colony must have tainted the atmosphere in perpetuity. The results of the lengthy investigation were presented to the government in 2012. It must have been neatly filed away. It had never been publicly released, let alone tabled in parliament.

Parliament is now engrossed in the earned embarrassment of nasty revelations.

Videos obtained by Four Corners show prison guards stripping, assaulting and mistreating teenager Dylan Voller over a period of more than four years. ABC

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Officer Down!"

"We're asking cops to do too much in this country. ... Schools fail, give it to the cops. Seventy percent of the African-American community is being raised by single women. Let's give that as well."
Serve  your communities. ... We're hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. And we'll put you in your neighbourhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you're protesting about."
"We're all on edge. And we're being very careful."
Black Dallas Police Chief David Brown
Dallas police chief David Brown was intimate with loss well before five police officers were killed at a protest in Dallas Thursday night.
Dallas police chief David Brown was intimate with loss well before five police officers were killed at a protest in Dallas Thursday night.  (Mark Mulligan / Associated Press)
"I think it is fair to say we will see more tension between police and communities this month, next month, next year, for quite some time."
"[Those who don’t agree with the movement will do] everything in their power [to discredit it]."
"It’s not a new tactic, and we know it’s not an honest tactic. We should not have to protest. We’re in the street because police have killed people. We would love to go home, but we can’t go home. We are unwilling to go home."
Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson

"We've seen nothing like this at all."
"The average officer in America, who was tense anyway, their tension and vigilance is going to increase even more. Police officers have always been vulnerable, and they know it. But somewhere inside you, you didn't think it would happen. But now we're seeing it happen [snipers aiming to kill police]."
Darrel W. Stephens, executive director, Major Cities Chiefs Association; instructor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore 

"I think commanders all over the country, me included, are worried about our officers as they manage different events."
"Dallas and Baton Rouge have probably showed us that we're going to have to err on the side of protecting our officers so we can protect the community."
Chief Jon Belomar, St.Louis County, Missouri

"Black Lives Matter isn't responsible for the deaths of anyone."
"Yet we can attribute scores and scores of deaths of black people to the hands of law enforcement, and I think that is where the attention should be."
Kareem Henton, activist, Black Lives Matter
The three law-enforcement officers killed in Baton Rough, Louisiana, were, from left, Montrell Jackson,  Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald.
The three law-enforcement officers killed in Baton Rough, Louisiana, were, from left, Montrell Jackson, Brad Garafola and Matthew Gerald. CNN

Three police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge on July 17. And ten days earlier than the Baton Rouge event, five were shot to death in Dallas. In both incidents an additional dozen police officers were injured in the attacks. Police in the United States are fearful, anguished and confused. The estimated 900,000 state and local law enforcement officers are in a collective state of disillusionment and concern for not only public safety but their own security.

The defenders have no one to defend them. So they are doing whatever they can. Across the country officers are now ensuring they drive in pairs in squad cars for an assurance of at least basic safety. They're more observant, watching for potentially untoward actions while walking their beats and anxiety remains at a high level. There isn't a police officer anywhere who isn't planning at the end of his daily shift to return home hale and sound.

There isn't a more horrifically ominous call than to hear "Officer down" over their radios. The threat seems to be coming out of nowhere. The ambush style of the attacks is totally unexpected; no police officer goes about with the thought uppermost in mind: there might be a sniper aiming directly at my head out there.  Videos displaying fatal shootings of African American men by police lead the news and lead Black Lives Matter groups to vociferously march in their own defense.

"Cops are hurt. They don't understand what's going on. Every cop in America is on their guard", noted Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "How many police funerals must occur before the American public finally says 'enough is enough'?, he asks redundantly. Black Lives Matter activists are not impressed, and they are not inclined to feel guilty, that they have had any involvement whatever in the lashback.

On the other hand, it should be fair to ask where the Black Lives marchers are in their own communities when the horrific death toll among African Americans at the hands of African Americans is colossal, and no one seems to be dreadfully perturbed and committed to finding a solution. The arguments that poverty encourages gang activity and criminal action, and drug- and firearm-peddling leading to violence and death can go only so far.
Scenes from a shooting Monday at Club Blu in Fort Myers,
2 dead, 16 injured at Fort Myers Club Blu shooting -- news press.com

Why are African American men so loathe to be responsible for their offspring, leaving their raising to women alone, and in the process presenting to the young a formula to continue to ignore the needs of kids to be nurtured by whole families, by the presence of their fathers? Why is there so little emphasis in that community on the desirability of achieving an education? Why is self-respect not tied in with respect for others as a lesson in social harmony?

Why, above all, is the black community continuing to be over-represented in crime and social malaise? Why is it that the African American community is so averse to helping police solve the murder rate of black-on-black slaughter, to begin to clear up that file, which would actually be of help to the community?

"I've been watching this [activist group Black Lives Matter] for two years. I've predicted this. [BLM is a] hateful ideology", black Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke stated in an exchange with CNN's Don Lemon. As far as Sheriff Clarke is concerned, Black Lives Matter is wholly responsible for the violence unleashed on police in the United States. He is of the opinion that President Obama has tarred law enforcement as being racist whereas recent studies reflect the opposite being the case; that there is no institutional racism in American police forces.

He contends that the disproportionate profiling and perceived aggression by police in their reactions to and dealing with black males is off the mark; that bypassing the reality of disproportionate violent crime committed by blacks and the related risks to police performing their profession balancing out the equation is the real, unexplored issue for society to contemplate.

 Dallas Police Chief David Brown addressed his 3,600 member police department, to comfort them over the loss of police lives. His own experience as an African American, a father, and a police officer has informed him of the deep tragedy that infuses American life in a way few others have experienced it. "The past few days have been very troubling and emotional for all of us. My family has not only lost a son, but a fellow police officer and a private citizen lost their lives at the hands of our son. That hurts so deeply I cannot adequately express the sadness I feel inside my heart."

His 27-year-old son had amassed a few minor convictions. But there was a day when his girlfriend called police that Brown's son was in the throes of "a psychotic breakdown", had hit her. And then later that day, he shot a 23-year-old man in Lancaster, Texas. When a Lancaster police officer, 37-year-old Craig Shaw, responded to the shooting, Chief Brown's son shot and killed him as well. Totally unexpected. Wholly indefensible.

So the invitation to African Americans to be a part of the solution, not grow the problem instead, comes from someone who knows the intimate pain of grief and inconsolable sorrow that his own flesh and blood became the problem even while his father sought to pursue the solution.

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A Polarized, Traumatized America

"I will work every single day to make your dreams come true, to make you believe that America's future can be even better than our past."
"We are a forward-looking nation, aren't we? And I know that if we set our goals and we work to achieve them, we will. It has always been thus."
"This country has always delivered for the American people."
Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton == Twitter

This declaration of faith in the candidacy of a hopeful for President of the  United States, sounds like a sugar-coated echo of the statements made by Hillary Clinton's Republican rival. He emoted very similarly, but crudely and clumsily with just his typical dose of venom thrown in for good measure. And to emphasize that he would be the trustworthy "voice" of the voters who would place their trust in his capabilities and intentions, he gave forth on the reasons why no one in their right mind should vote for his rival.
"No matter what your political leanings, I think we can all agree that never in the history of conventions, certainly, but I think even more broadly, have we moved forward together by pointing fingers and scapegoating and blaming people instead of rolling up our sleeves, getting a plan together, and then working to achieve it."
"I've never heard of an American leader, or at least someone who wants to be an American leader, claiming that he's all we need. That's not a democracy, my friends. As I recall, we had a revolution to make sure we didn't have someone who said, 'I can fix it alone'."
Hillary Clinton, first female candidate for the U.S. presidency
Again, sketch in the appalling undercurrent of nastiness to more fully attire the brutal Trump version of the above and there isn't really all that much that separates them. With Bernie Sanders and his faithful following hot in pursuit of the first female candidate, Hillary Clinton has seen the urgency of steering  herself a lot closer to the leftist ideology whose anti-establishment, pro-populist message has resonated with liberal Americans.

The irony, of course, is that both Trump and Sanders' underlying message is distrust of the establishment and concern for the common man. Both are nativists, critical of past American involvement in world affairs, optioning that America remain at home and be less concerned for the weal and well-being of the world to focus on domestic affairs. And just set aside free trade, please. It is only their ideological perspective that is at odds and, of course, their delivery, equally passionately delivered, with Sanders' more palatable.

As for Clinton's promise to bring Americans together, to work in Congress and the Senate with both parties, a similar promise and hope was pronounced by her predecessor, now campaign mentor, but though Barack Obama glowed with the promise of "Yes we can!", he found he could not, or would not, engage in a bipartisan administration. And there is no reason to believe, given the corrosive verbal assaults that have taken place this election year, that Hillary will deliver any better.

TNS  Republicans complain Democrats haven't mentioned terrorism or ISIS

But the alternative? How does the prospect of a Trump presidency auguring for a U.S.-Russian reset seem? It seems on the surface that there is an unspoken conspiracy of mutual need propelling an odd relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, both men with hot love affairs focusing on themselves, each deeply admiring himself. Both given to outlandish public displays and overweening pride in self, preening and prancing and spouting the rubbish of doltish thugs. But Russian investment in Trump projects does trump other concerns.

And the question arises did the Democratic National Convention conspire against a Sanders selection? Was the Russian military tasked to cyber-infiltrate the DNC archives to extract embarrassing information that WikiLeaks could be relied upon to enthusiastically disseminate?
"We don't have information right now about that, but what we have is a kind of bromance going on between Vladimir Putin and Trump which is distinct from this leak", gushed Clinton adviser John Podesta.

The spectacle of a bumptious, divisive and worrying Republican Convention with the Trump clan parading their sumptuous disregard for sober and intelligent discourse in a crass display of marketing and the hypnotic effect on the masses of wealth and societal success and celebrity, appeared to be matched by a Democratic Convention of blame-and-shame and polarized opinion between the establishment and the Sandists.

Lots of celebrity star and political power to glitter the event; dysfunction aside, with ample testimonials to faith in the second Clinton to aspire to the throne.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find within this ungodly mess a meaningful future for this crumbling power-nation.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Leaping to Unwarranted Conclusions 

Among those injured were four people from Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post [EPA]

How odd it is the regularity with which terrorists -- who identify themselves as such most often by shouting Allahu Akbar! while attacking innocent people with the intention of slaughtering them as sacrifices on the alter of Ilamist jihad are identified by Western authorities and by extension the news media that tie in with the influence their governments have over them to bend over backwards not to implicate the entire Muslim community -- are held to be mentally deranged.

Once the deed has been done and abroad there is celebration in the towns and cities controlled by Islamic State, and a trifle deeper in the civil society that resides within Gaza, Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Libya and Somalia by those of the jihadi persuasion, it becomes clearer that what persuades the liberal West that insanity must be involved, is not shared by elements in the Muslim community who know that Koranic injunctions to the faithful are involved.
Munich shooter mcdonald's
Twitter shot of Ali David Sonboly outside Munich McDonald's

The Munich McDonald's David Ali Sonboly was said by a witness to have shouted the triumphant Allahu Akbar! as he murdered young teens in his rampage. But the Bavarian criminal police are convinced, they say, that the murderous assault had nothing to do with jihad and they should know, shouldn't they? Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae links him with neo-fascist Anders Behring Breivik, whose body count in Norway Sonboly was inspired to emulate.

Although the news spread quickly enough as horrified mourners of the victims of the Munich massacre mourned for them only to have the solemnity of the occasion somewhat marred by the presence of marching Muslim men shouting Allahu Akbar! to ensure that their contribution to the occasion did not go unnoticed. It is obviously an expression of condolences, one that ignorant Westerners are quite unfamiliar with.

Yet another security officer described his perceptions of what he saw during the shooting spree, that the 18-year-old who was so bewitched by mass killing which had nothing to do with Islamist jihad "behaved like he was in a video game, cold and methodical, [targeting] foreign-looking people". The ubiquitous and readily accessible online slick videos produced by Islamic State would, according to German authorities, never have been an inspiration to this young Muslim.

Which just goes to show how mistaken we can be in our visceral reactions when we characterize Muslims committed to violent attacks as jihadists with some association to the premier terrorist Islamist group holding such a fascination for Muslims worldwide that they flock to join the new influential caliphate geared to transform the world into one big Islamic state, when those such as Ali David Sonboly are merely in thrall to mass murder itself, absent Islam.

And then, of course, there are other misguided, misbegotten Muslims who select vulnerable people on trains in Wuerzberg. As well as a Syrian in Reutlingen who used a machete to kill an unfortunate woman who must have got in his way, and injure two others. Wait, there's more, another Syrian in Ansbach, denied asylum and set to be returned to Bulgaria a year ago but still rattling around Germany where he injured a dozen people after blowing himself up with his suicide vest.

Had he not been denied entry to the music festival with his backpack, his intent to kill and maim would have been immeasurably more successful, needless to say. But Bavaria's top security official, Joachim Hermann allowed as how "We don't know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others." Generous with the benefit of the doubt. It's the politically correct, socially conscious way. We turn ourselves into living pretzels trying to be 'fair' and ever so sensitive.

Ah yes, German authorities have their work cut out for them. A million Syrian and economic migrants absorbed into German society. With a decided emphasis on young males. Whatever happened to compassion-with-reason, offering asylum to families, to women with children, to Christian Syrians, to Yazidis, to Muslim gays? Readily identifiable as requiring protection from the single male Muslims who prey on them.

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