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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Utility and Futility of North Korean Sanctions

"[China and Russia understand their combined effort] works better than individual action."
“Both oppose North Korea to become a full-fledged nuclear state, and both think parallel action from the U.S. is needed to affect any change in the situation.”
Wang Xinsheng, history professor, Peking University

"The stiffer sanctions won’t change anything in the near-term."
"The new embargoes are incrementally tougher, but diplomacy meant they had to be compromised to an extent that they are very unlikely to change minds in Pyongyang."
Stuart Culverhouse, head, macro and fixed income research, investment bank Exotix Capital.

"If South Korea, Japan, or both could have the U.S. deploy tactical nuclear weapons, that’ll put pressure on Kim to come to dialogue."
"When competition to have better weapons escalates, it’s always the poorer one who gives up."
Lee Ho-ryung, chief, North Korean studies, Korea Institute for Defense Analyses

"[The U.S. should look to engage diplomatically to find a level of security that North Korea and its neighbors will be happy with]."
"We did it against powers that have thousands of nuclear weapons. We certainly should be able to do this against a power that has less than two dozen."
George Lopez, (former member) UN Security Council panel of experts for sanctions on North Korea

"The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is related to regional peace and stability."
"Breaking the deadlock requires all relevant parties to show their sincerity."
Lu Kang, spokesman, Chinese foreign ministry 
Kim Jong Un    Photographer: KCNA/ AFP via Getty Images

In early September China undertook a ban of imports of coal from North Korea, along with iron and lead ore and seafood. That undertaking must have come as a bit of a shock to North Korea which has had good reason to believe that its sponsor China, would never accede to American demands that China act in concert with other nations to bring the North's nuclear and missile programs to closure. If so, that creeping realization of insecurity appears to have done nothing whatever to curb Kim Jong Un's ambitions.

More recently, China has placed North Korean businesses on notice that they can no longer count on doing business in China. A move meant to cut foreign revenue for the North, in recognition of United Nations' sanctions over missile and nuclear programs that have shaken the world in the ongoing bold actions of flaunting their growing technical improvements before an incredulous international audience.

As North Korea's major trading partner, Beijing has been prevailed upon to act in concert with its UN Security Council partners in opposing the ongoing trajectory of Kim's ambitions. Now that the current Chinese administration has been frustrated at its inability to curb Kim from his determination to succeed which the previous Chinese administration had urged upon the North, encouraging it and providing funding and technical support, it is a Frankenstein prepared to turn upon its maker.

Now that North Korea's business ventures with Chinese partners become a lost opportunity reflecting the September 11 approval of the UN Security Council's latest sanctions, financial support for the North, and its badly-needed  foreign revenue are threatening to place it in an even deeper grip of poverty where the communist dictatorship of the North has diverted support for imported foods and medicines to nuclear brinkmanship.

The Chinese leadership may feel aggravated by Kim's aggressive determination and his petulant penchant for ignoring Beijing's cautionary urgings at this point, but they remain focused on diplomacy, courting the United States in the renewal of diplomatic exchanges with the North, for fear military action would bring an abrupt halt to the Kim regime and with it the breakdown of North Korea. A collapse whose plight will fall directly toward Beijing to rescue; worse the fear of unification and no daylight between China's security and American influence.

Complaining that China bears the brunt of the pain relayed by the cost of enforcing sanctions, hurting Chinese businesses in that vast nation's northeast, no one it appears, dare remind China that in this as in other things, it is merely its chickens coming home to roost in having incited the Kim regime to deplore and threaten the U.S. and its regional interests. Beijing has nursed Pyongyang's paranoia against the U.S. to raging proportions, where it is now difficult to rein in.

 Its past crude investment in grooming North Korea to remain a constant thorn in the American side of security and restraint in the proliferation of nuclear weaponry, threatening the Korean peninsula and American interests, now has it cutting refined petroleum products to the North, but not crude oil representing the major percentage of Chinese energy supplies to  the North; managing cleverly to half-penalties for whole insubordination.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Independence and Ultimatums

"The government of Canada is taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq provide the requisite commitments that any equipment provided from the Government of Canada will be used in an appropriate manner."
"Canada will ensure that end-user agreements are fully approved and in place before any equipment is delivered."
Capt. Patricia Brunelle, Canadian Forces spokeswoman

"It is bad enough that Canada and other members of the anti-ISIL coalition have failed to develop any meaningful strategy for heading off this entirely foreseeable crisis."
"It is worse still for Canada to bury its head in the sand and continue supplying weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga. How is such action possibly consistent with support for a unified Iraq?"
(former) Canadian diplomat Peggy Mason, president, Rideau Institute

"The United States does not recognize the . . . unilateral referendum."
"The vote and the results lack legitimacy, and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq."
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Washington

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, center, arrives to vote in the independence referendum at a polling station near Irbil, capital of the semiautonomous Kurdish region, on Monday. (Ahmed Deeb/AFP/Getty Images)
"I called his excellency Prime Minster Abadi on this specific issue and I explained to him that this referendum is a normal, legal right of our people, and that afterwards we want negotiate the results of the referendum in a peaceful way through dialogue. He had an understanding of that. We told him that we want to solve this issue with Baghdad through peace and not through violence. He was receptive and understanding. He was positive."
"The referendum issue is about the destiny of a whole people. That’s why this issue is bigger than any other political framework, or any political parties, or any political problems within the party system. I’m sure that the majority of the people in Kurdistan are with the referendum. The supporters of the political parties, the majority of them are also pro-referendum. We had a very positive meeting with all the political parties, and they were all supporting it."
"When we have a referendum, it is to have that mandate from the people, to show to the domestic and to the external players what the Kurdish people want. Once the people decide and vote, then as I said, the first place we are going to start serious, peaceful negotiations and dialogue with is with Baghdad, to achieve and fulfill the wishes of the people."
"The referendum is for independence, and I want the others to understand this: Once we do the referendum and start dialogue, it doesn’t mean that we give up on the wishes of the people. So the referendum is for independence and its result must be implemented."
Leader of Iraqi Kurdistan, President Masoud Barzani

Passengers queue at the check-in counters at Irbil International Airport in Iraq on 27 September 2017 Reuters
There it is, the polarized opinion out of Western nations; on the one hand sympathizing with the need of this immense, 30-million strong ethnic group that has been persistently persecuted living within the borders of Arab (and Persian Iran) states refusing to entertain the very idea that in all justice if they feel it is fair that they enjoy a state of their own, why not the group that has called the geography encompassed by their borders their millennia-old heritage?

The occupying colonialist powers who promised the Kurds a hundred years ago that when new borders were struck for Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, a portion of each would be set aside for a Kurdish homeland, betrayed the Kurds. Ever since, the Kurdish ethnic minorities in those countries have been discriminated against, and their lives made utterly miserable when in fact they weren't being subject to violence. They persevered and they proved themselves capable of self-governance.

Canada's ambivalence in stepping in after the tribal and sectarian implosion of Iraq, to instruct its military to help train and supply the Kurdish Peshmerga which proved itself the only reliable fighting force in the Middle East capable of challenging the murderous Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group comes up hard against the government's diplomatic stance in echoing the opinion of its NATO allies by insisting on Iraqi insolubility.

Condemning, in other words, the Kurds who continue to aspire toward national independence, to remain subservient to what to them is a foreign government, one which in the past has denied their most basic human rights. In so doing, choosing to sit on the fence, despite continuing to arm Kurdish forces after the referendum for independence. A referendum whose purpose is to persuade the government in Baghdad to sit and discuss a situation that requires an inevitable conclusion.

Instead, Baghdad has slammed the door of negotiations shut in Kurdish President Massoud Barzani's face. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has committed to measures to ensure that Kurdistan remains within the orbit of Iraq. Ordering the Kurdish region to submit control of its airports to Iraqi federal authorities, otherwise a total flight ban would be instituted with Iraq's Transport Ministry ordering international airlines to no longer service Irbil, the Kurdish capital.

Turkey has followed suit, as has Egypt, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, with Turkey threatening trade sanctions and not ruling out military action. The sneering reference by Turkey to the sole ally backing Kurdish aspirations being Israel, emphasizes Kurdish isolation in a hostile-to-independence region, where Arab (and Persian) states lock forces, setting aside their own intractable and often violent differences to stand in unity against sovereign Kurdistan.

Iraq's Shiite dominated parliament has called upon al-Abadi for troops to be deployed to the disputed Kurdish-majority areas, including the city of Kirkuk, representing one-third of the oil riches of Iraq and which Kurdistan claims as its own. It won't take long to see what results from this regional animosity toward Kurdistan independence. Al-Abadi has all the support he would like to "enforce the rule of the federal authority in the Kurdish region with the power of the constitution."

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

National Holocaust Monument, Ottawa, Canada -- "Never To Forget"

"I am gratified to be a witness today to this momentous occasion when Canada unveils a striking and evocative monument to the Holocaust."
"It is a fitting tribute to the victims, the survivors, and to the Canadians who took part in defeating the Nazis."
Eva Kuper, 76, Holocaust survivor  

"It has been an exercise in patience, which is something we've [Jews] learned over the course of the centuries [to endure]."
"It has always hurt me as a Canadian when I would go somewhere and be asked why we [Canada] don't have a Holocaust memorial in the capital [in comparison to other western democracies]. I no longer have to apologize and say, 'It's a lamentable thing'."
Rabbi Rueven Bulka

"Having this place to go to is so important. I think about all of the survivors who still now carry the burden of remembering and telling the story."
"Now, finally, there's this monument that will talk for them when they're not here [no longer alive]."
Mina Cohn, director, Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship, Carleton University 
A man stops to take a photograph of the Canadian National Holocaust Monument following its official opening ceremony on Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017. Adrian Wyld, The Canadian Press

Canada, lauding itself under the current Liberal-led government, as a bulwark against racism, and boasting under current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that "Canada is back" as a bastion of human rights and a champion of equality and multiculturalism, has a deeper, darker history of discrimination and offences against human rights in the not-so-distant past. Its rejection of a ship full of Sikhs on the Komagata Maru in 1914 represents one of its shameful episodes of failing to respond to the need of desperate people seeking haven.

The incarceration of Japanese 'enemy aliens' who were in fact loyal Canadian citizens, when during World War II they were deprived of their material possessions, all their properties, businesses, homes, and placed in holding camps for the duration of the war lest they somehow give aid and comfort to wartime Imperial Japan was yet another event of shame. As was the head tax imposed on Chinese seeking a stable home in Canada, where it was fine to use them as virtual slave labourers building vast and hazardous cross-country rail lines, but not to honour them as citizens.

Perhaps the country's most infamous and wretched event of dismissing the desperate attempts of targeted people to escape death, was the country's rejection of the pleas of an estimated 900 Jewish men, women and children attempting to escape Nazi Germany's reach as they tried to find haven in Cuba (which had initially agreed to land them, then refused), and then sailed to the United States where they were similarly rejected. Canada too saw fit to have these Jews return to Europe to face their deadly fate. Some were accepted by the U.K., Belgium, France and Holland; 500 were returned to Germany.

That the Holocaust memorial was built at all resulted from the activism of an 18-year-old public administration student at the University of Ottawa, Laura Grosman, back in 2007, whose outrage when she found that Canada's lack of recognition of the suffering of Jews during the holocaust led her to lobby federal politicians that legislation be enacted to have such a memorial built. Tim Uppal, a Conservative Member of Parliament, a Sikh from Edmonton, launched a private member's bill and it became law in March 2011.

A campaign to raise the funds, fifty percent from public subscription and fifty percent from government coffers was undertaken. A selection jury in 2014 awarded the monument's design to a team including architect Daniel Libeskind, landscape architect Claude Cormier, photographer Edward Burtynsky, and University of Toronto historian Doris Bergen, whose winning design held the title: Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival, which features six triangular concrete structures creating the points of a star.

Eventually, post-war, an estimated 40,000 European Jews, survivors of the Holocaust, were accepted as refugees to Canada. Their numbers are now fast-dwindling, and it is their children and their grandchildren who carry the memory of what the survivors experienced. Eva Kuper was only two years old when she and her mother were ordered onto a train  from the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, where a cattle car was to take them to Treblinka. Her mother was put to death within an hour of her arrival at the extermination camp.

Two-year-old Eva Kuper was plucked from the cattle car parked on the rails before it left, returned to her father in the Warsaw Ghetto where eventually both escaped through the sewer system, and Eva survived to tell of what she had witnessed and to live a haunted life of dreadful memories. Monochromatic photographs of Holocaust sites where six million Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany along with Roma, homosexuals and the physically and mentally handicapped, form part of the memorial.

Jews, world-wide, pledged, post-Holocaust "Never to Forget".

National Holocaust Monument, Ottawa, Canada

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

From Out Of Nowhere ... Inciting to Terror

"I was supposed to pick him up tomorrow at the same checkpoint."
"I knew he had personal problems at home after his wife ran away ... We spoke to him about his issues but nothing we saw would indicate anything would happen like what happened today." 
"It is frightening and shocking to know that this person was the one who worked at our house. This is our reality — on one hand coexistence and on the other understanding that these things can happen."
Moishe Berdichev, a resident of Har Adar
Emergency services respond to a terror attack outside the Har Adar settlement near Jerusalem, in which three were killed and one wounded, on September 26, 2017. (Menahem Kahana/AFP PHOTO)
Emergency services respond to a terror attack outside the Har Adar settlement near Jerusalem, in which three were killed and one wounded, on September 26, 2017. (Menahem Kahana/AFP PHOTO)
"[The incident represents a] welcome message that the Palestinians prepared for American emissary Jason Greenblatt."
"American efforts must focus first on stopping the murderous Palestinian terror, before anything else."
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely

"[The terrorist] was known to those who greet the workers in the morning.” 
"[A border policeman and policewoman opened fire on the attacker] otherwise he could have entered the town and carried on with his murderous errand.”
"To my regret there is no profile for a terrorist [even one with an Israeli work permit].”
“It could just be someone who is fed up with everything and decides to take out his rage in an attack. The incitement [against Israel] is constant."
Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich
Image: Attack in the West Bank
Israeli border police stand at the site of an attack at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Har Adar on Tuesday. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP - Getty Images

And there you have it. A man unknown to the Shin Bet, with no history of being involved in terrorism, 37-year-old Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, depressed and looking for some way to vent his anger and frustration over his wife having left him to raise their children himself, left a note declaring himself "a terrible husband", exonerating his wife as having "nothing to do with what will happen". What happened was that the man who worked within a West Bank settlement as a cleaner, with the required permit and who appeared to have a stable relationship with his Israeli employers, planned to shoot and kill Israelis.

In a manner of speaking, he would also have been planning his death by suicide, since the chances of achieving that state by attacking armed Israeli military and police personnel is almost guaranteed to result in his firing on them inspiring return fire. Numerous Palestinians living in the West Bank are unable to find employment. The opportunity to work for Israelis, within settlements or within Israel's borders result in employment and permits are much sought-after. This man was one of those securing employment working for Jews.

In his choice to attack Jews, seeking to victimize them as he felt fate had victimized  him, he had essentially also decided to make life extremely difficult for his own close relatives, similarly given work permits enabling them to work for Israeli employers. Because Mr. Jamal had presented as a stable, reliable worker with no visible ax to grind, all other such workers will now come under intensified scrutiny and few will be trusted as they had been, to respect the right of other human beings to live without fear of violent attacks, attacks which are all too common.

Attacks in actual fact that the Palestinian culture as exemplified by Fatah and Hamas, emphasize are required to ensure that 'normalization' in accepting the presence of the Jewish state must be avoided at all costs. And the cost is martyrdom, selected suicide-by-killing. It is an option that many Palestinians view as their obligation to the Palestinian 'cause' a cause that calls for the elimination of the State of Israel and the geography upon which it sits being bequeathed through the conquest of jihad to the Palestinians.

What has been normalized by the Palestinian Authority is the challenge to Palestinians to 'resist' the 'occupation', an occupation that occurred resulting from the all-too-often violent attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israelis; a vicious cycle if there ever was one, and one that appears unsolvable by appealing to reason over the passion of hatred, resentment and victimization."Israel holds the responsibility for any Palestinian attack because these attacks come as reactions to the Israeli crimes against our people", offered Munir al-Jaghoub, a midlevel official in Fatah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded in the only way that Israel is capable of doing. Bearing in mind that it is not Israelis that are continually on the offensive; their action is reaction; defensive in nature. The attacker's home is now scheduled for demolition, permits giving members of his extended family the opportunity to enter Israel for work are to be revoked. The villagers of Beit Surik where the attacker lived, will also bear the brunt of Israel's response to the murder of the three Israelis outside the Har Adar settlement. His brothers have been arrested.

And, in the manner in which the Palestinian Authority reacts to all such atrocities, the attacker will now be recognized as a 'martyr' to the Palestinian cause. His family will be receiving a hero's pension hereafter, its size reflecting his success in killing three Israelis, and seriously wounding yet another. His death will be recognized as yet another 'sacrifice' to be honoured by Palestinians. As though such deaths by 'martyrs' do anything at all to advance the Palestinian cause...

"Before talking about any kind of [peace] negotiations, the world must demand of the Palestinian Authority to stop its incitement and encouragement of terror", remarked Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman. As though 'the world' is prepared to do that, as though the Palestinian Authority would see the justice in its responsibility to influence Palestinians to accept the presence of the Jewish State if they truly aspire to achieving one of their own.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Championing Islamic State

"Lone wolves, we salute you. IS is winning more ground and the lone wolves are hitting you in the heart of your lands."
"The real hero for hitting evil Canadian forces on their soil in retaliation for the Canadians supporting the Shiite gangs in Iraq [was Islamic convert Martin Couture-Rouleau who carried out vehicular murder of a Canadian Forces soldier in Quebec]. May Allah accept him."
"A Muslim brother is martyred by the Canadian police after he killed a Canadian Soldier in retaliation to Canada’s crimes in Iraq."
"In response to Harper's [Prime Minister Stephen Harper] policy of no restrictions on Canadian criminal forces in Iraq, Islamic State issues ... an order to lone wolves in Canada with 'no restrictions' on targets ... unlike prior restrictions to government and armed personnel only."
"If you are looking for someone to blame it is your government and elected prime minister."
"This dam [in Revelstoke, B.C.] supplies most of the west coast of the North American continent with power. The number of police officers in this town is between 20-30. Closest military base is 200 kilometres. Security is weak."
"There is a bridge — Nipigon River Bridge near a village Nipigon, Ont. It crosses a river and connects Eastern Canada with its West and it also carries a railroad. This bridge divides the country in the middle and its repair will take years. Security protection … zero."
"Our advice to supporters in the #US … carry your actions there … swiftly lone wolves activate all across #USA."
Othman Hamdan, Fort St. John, British Columbia -- Facebook
Othman Hamdan, on his way into a bail hearing in Fort St. John on July 15, 2016. He has been acquitted on all charges.
Othman Hamdan, on his way into a bail hearing in Fort St. John on July 15, 2016. He has been acquitted on all charges. (Brett Hyde/CBC)

"The word [used in a Facebook post] linguistically means: [the Islamic State] it is here to stay, it is here to remain. … It is a coined slogan specific only to the Islamic State."
"They have a vision, political and religious. The Islamic State wishes to remove Western hegemony, predominantly led by America from the Middle East … and replace them with governments that respect and implement Sharia law."
"[Lone-wolf attacks can refer to] an individual who is residing outside the Islamic State controlled territories around the globe."
"Anywhere outside, could be Canada, could be in the U.S. They are loyal to the Islamic State's cause, they are supportive of their religious or ideological or political motives. And they are willing to conduct operations to further the Islamic State's cause in the region of the Middle East."
RCMP Constable Tarek Mokdad, Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams
 Othman Hamdan  Facebook
Facebook has removed these pages for inappropriate content. Othman Hamdan allegedly posted comments counselling murder and other acts of violence on these Facebook pages. (Facebook)
The trial of this resident of Canada -- who does not hold Canadian citizenship -- began in June of this year, and has only now concluded. Constable Mokdad was recognized by the court as an expert on Islamist-inspired terrorism and lone-wolf attacks. He had been responsible during the investigation of Othman Hamdan, of interpreting the Facebook account used by the man who pleaded not guilty to charges of encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief. The charges against this man also included inducing and instructing someone to proceed with an act of terrorism.

Clearly enough this man, now 35, of Palestinian descent who lived for years from 1999 in the United States and whose roommate, a Saudi national, had been taking flying lessons, came to the attention of American intelligence authorities. Attention that Hamdan claimed amounted to discriminatory harassment and which was responsible for leading him to leave the U.S. and travel to Canada where he declared himself a refugee. Amazingly, the Immigration and Refugee board accepted his application as a refugee in 2003, a year following his arrival in Canada.

Born in Abu Dhabi where his Palestinian parents then lived, at the age of 18 he moved to the United States. While there, he converted to Christianity. Evidently that religion failed to serve his faith needs, so he reconverted to Islam. If he lived in Pakistan or Afghanistan as a Sunni Muslim he would doubtless have faced the death penalty for leaving Islam, however temporarily. As an Arab Muslim he had ample opportunity to return to the place of his birth, to live anywhere in the Middle East, to take part in its slow and steady implosion. And he does have Jordanian citizenship.

He chose the world of the West, instead. Where he testified at his trial, that he imbibed in alcohol and made use of recreational soft drugs in the United States, searching for where his soul should reside.
His search obviously led him to respond to the personal appeal that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant held for him, in their carnage-ridden atrocities across Iraq and Syria, calling on him to champion their 'cause' of jihad, and so he did. Acting as a proxy mentor to any Muslims who might find solace in their grief over Western Islamophobia and interference in Arab/Muslim affairs.

His 2015 arrest resulted in the RCMP carefully combing through 85 Facebook posts he was responsible for, between 2014 and 2015 where he posted approving ISIL propaganda, urging Muslims to throw in their lot with the nauseating jihadis. His posts made much of the 'successes' of the jihadi caliphate advances, lauding their pure Islamist tenacity and penchant for barbarically inventive atrocities. Betraying his own obvious enchantment with their modus operandi.

What was obviously concerning to investigators was Hamdan's high praise for the 'lone wolf' attacks that had taken military lives in Quebec and on Parliament Hill. He went the extra mile on his posts to publish a how-to guide for others aspiring to carry out such hugely successful attacks in compliance with Islamic State's urging of Muslims abroad to get involved and prove their credentials as faithful of Islam. In pleading not guilty to all charges brought against him, Hamdan argued his posts were 'taken out of context' and clearly misunderstood as to their intent.

He was, after all, being totally facetious in his professions of admiration for Islamic State, and nor were his urgings to other Muslims to be taken seriously, for that was not their real intent. Rather, he used social media for the express purpose to "shine a light" on the very atrocities that so shocked the civilized world. Those atrocities were not, needless to say, those carried out by Islamic State, for he championed them. They were atrocities being 'carried out in the Middle East' in general, through the presence of the Western military.

His posts? sheer political satire. He was endorsing no one and no group, none at all. What this master of invention was doing was going out of his way to explain why events that were taking place were taking place. From his considerable store of knowledge of such events. His posts were meant by anyone intelligent enough to interpret them as they should have been, to highlight government reacting against citizens holding peaceful protests in the Middle East during the Arab Spring. Dontcha see?

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler did see. "These posts are difficult for the average Canadian to read or understand. This is because Mr. Hamdan expresses support for the actions of lone wolf terrorists and the reasons he gives for saluting these actions defy logic. The suggestion that it is rational or acceptable for someone to kill unsuspecting non-combatants in a civil setting is repugnant. However, the posts do not contain statements that could be considered active inducements and encouragement for readers to go and commit similar offences."

Great judicial wisdom, that.

Got that? Justice Butler has acquitted this man of all charges brought against him. Though offensive, to Canadians, it doesn’t mean the Fort St. John man had the intention of encouraging or inciting acts of murder, assault and mischief as 'alleged by the Crown'. He does remain under incarceration, however.

Canada Border Services official Randal Hyland stated that the agency had grounds to believe that Hamdan was inadmissible to remain in Canada as he obviously poses a security risk as well as the nature of his serious criminality. At a detention hearing, Mr. Hyland recommended that Hamdan remain in prison until such time as a full admissibility hearing can be held before the Refugee Board.
For his part, Hamdan will contest any decision to remove him from Canada.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

An Uncertain Germany, An Enfeebled Government

"This is a great night. We did it. We are in parliament."
We will change this country. We will hunt Merkel, and reclaim our country and our people."

Alexander Gauland, chancellor candidate, Alternative for  Germany party [AfD]

"Today we must be open that there is internal dissent within the AfD,"
"We must not be silent about this. The community needs to know that we have controversial debates."
Frauke Petry AfD chairwoman

"We lost the election. We are the bulwark of democracy."
"Mrs. Merkel fought a scandalous campaign. She ducked away from debate, and prevented any contrast between the democratic left and the democratic right. This systematic refusal of political debate created a vacuum that the AfD was able to fill. I believe Mrs. Merkel bears a great responsibility for this."
Martin Schulz, Social Democrats party [SPD]

"It was a bad night for Schulz and the Socialists, but also for Mrs Merkel and the Christian Democrats. She still heads the largest party, but she enters these coalition negotiations with a weakened hand."
Christian Odendahl, Centre for European Reform, Berlin
"Forming a three-party government is going to be very difficult."
"The Greens and the FDP will feel emboldened by the result and given their traditional animosity it's in no way certain that the three parties will be able to strike a coalition agreement."
Dan Hough, professor of politics, University of Sussex
Angela Merkel addresses supporters in Berlin Sunday night.
Angela Merkel addresses supporters in Berlin Sunday night   CNN

Chancellor Merkel fought an uphill battle, but her popularity with the German voting public remained strong, as a tough leader who took Germany through years of EU destabilization as a result of its faltering economy and financial failures of some of its members. She took the lead in communicating with and standing against Russian President Vladimir Putin when the EU censured Russia for its seizure of the Crimea and support of ethnic Russian Ukrainians revolting in eastern Ukraine.

She has been the equal of any world leader and has indeed surpassed most with the steadfastness of her vision of the new Germany and its place in the world order of democratic nations. Her stumble came when she responded, as the daughter of a Lutheran minister who had lived under Communist rule and before that had experienced Nazi fascism, which led her to open Germany's borders to a million refugees and economic migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

The flood of foreigners into a Germany, united and prosperous, willing according to the government and able, to share with outsiders what made the country a beacon of freedom and stability, was first welcomed by the German population -- which had already absorbed about four million Muslims through immigration -- and then second thoughts intruded as many of the newcomers were unattached young men, unruly and with a penchant for unlawful behaviour trending toward violence. Her popularity plummeted, but saw resurrection with the election call.

Those who remained disaffected responded to the siren call of nationalism, wanting to ensure that their beloved Germany would not fall victim to Islamization, its heritage and culture strained beyond endurance by the massive foreign influx. The party that arose  in response to their alarmed discomfiture in the presence of so many strangers whose customs, values and religion ensured that integration would be problematical, attracted those who resented their presence.

Now, the Alternative for Germany's chairwoman, an energetic and determined young woman struggling to make certain that her party did not descend to the fascistic past in the presence among its leaders of those promoting pride in Nazi Germany's wartime military, has decided to leave the party, to sit in the Bundestag, but not with her party, until and unless it sheds its shift hard right and re-centers itself. Her failure to remove a regional AfD leader who had disparaged a Holocaust memorial spurred her to action.

Mrs. Merkel is prepared to make the sacrifices she sees ahead as her diminished party attempts to form a government with one or two of the also-rans. Her Social Democrats partners in the past government have refused to rejoin the CDU in its "Grand Coalition". "Her "biggest challenge", she stated, was to win back those who decided to back the nationalist challengers on their anti-immigration, nationalist party.

"We have a mandate to form a government. And no one can form a government against us", she assured her supporters.

"Until now, I had hoped this wasn't going to happen", said a neurology student, who had voted for the Christian Democrats. "But we are here and the extreme right is back", she mourned, among the hundreds of protesters, mostly young people in their 20s, who gathered in Berlin once initial results were announced, outside the AfD headquarters.

Chart showing changes in parties' votes since 2013 election: CDU-CSU lost 8.5%, SPD lost 5.2%, AfD gained 7.9%


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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Phantom Phobia: Islamophobia

"There's No Such Thing as Islamophobia. Critique of religion is a fundamental western right, not an illness."
"Nothing is more western than hatred of the West. All of modern thought can be reduced to mechanical denunciations of the West, emphasizing the latter's hypocrisy, violence, and abomination."
Pascal Bruckner, French philosopher
Canada's Parliament passed a controversial bill condemning "Islamophobia", and requiring that an investigation take place into the incidence of Islamophobia within Canada. The majority of Canadians were not in favour of the bill introduced by a Muslim Member of Parliament, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid. Its passage was supported by the New Democratic Party, and opposed by the opposition Conservative Party of Canada which had proposed rewording the bill to remove "Islamophobia" and replace it with all manner of discrimination, omitting the focus on Islam.

If the concept and the meaning of Islamophobia is not defined and is left to anyone to interpret it to suit their impressions, it hardly represents a social ill that can be addressed if it cannot even be adequately explained. The reaction of the general public not of the Muslim faith when they recoil in horror at the many transgressions against human rights committed by the faithful in Islam? That virtually all acts of terrorism taking place in the world today have their genesis in Islam, with the perpetrators proudly proclaiming 'Allahu Akbar!' as they engage in slaughter?

If people feel wary and uncomfortable about Islam which its followers insist is a religion of peace, while the Koran and the Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Mohammad) describe the world outside Islam as being places of "conflict", whereas "peace" only resides where Islam is paramount, it is little wonder. We would be blind, deaf and spectacularly oblivious to the carnage wrought throughout the world in the name of Islam if no links were made with terrorist groups and Islam, leading to suspicion of that world religion. But that awareness is identified by Muslims lashing back, as "Islamophobia".

Khalid's motion, known as Bill-103, calls on the government to do three things:
  • Condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.
  • Quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear.
  • Compel the Commons heritage committee to develop a government-wide approach for reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia.
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid says she's relieved motion M-103 passed in the House of Commons. The vote passed by a margin of 201-91. Still from video, Global News

The word in very fact has weaponized language, not a new thing, but an effective bludgeon with which to silence critics of Islam. The word is associated with racism, although there's nothing racist about religion; that particular religion is practised throughout the world in disparate countries from the Middle East to South-East Asia to North Africa, North America, Europe, Australia and beyond. Its faithful are in fact legion, the 'umma' represent about a billion people, a bit fewer than practise Christianity. The fervency of Christianity has been muted of late, but not that of Islam.

And Muslims have a tendency to become fanatically infuriated at any suggestion of criticism of their religion, much less their hallowed figure of the Prophet Mohammad. Perceived disrespect of the Prophet or of the Koran can result in murderous onslaughts, rampages, fury and destruction, mutilation and slaughter. This resonates in peoples' minds and memories; that of non-Muslims, while Muslims continue to insist that theirs is a religion of peace, a misunderstood religion that no one has the right to defame.

So "Islamophobia" is a silencing tool, and an effective one at that, since particularly in the West, people are sensitive to slights they are perceived to wield against others, and detest being singled out as being socially deficient, even if the claims are so obviously contrived, purposed to shame and to silence. Making the assumption that the good people living among us who are faithful to Islam feel shame at the intolerance and violence perpetrated by those practising their religion based on the scriptures held sacred to that religion, can be both right and wrong.

Right, because among all populations there are people who perceive clearly and wish nothing to do with hatred and violence. Wrong, because in those same populations reside a considerable percentage who feel that whatever is written in the Koran is right and positive because it is the word of god and anything done in god's name, not any god, but Allah, has a defined and special purpose that has been prophesied for a reason. That purpose, defining the very core of the religion, is to bring peace to the world by curing it of its warring status as a non-Muslim reality.

The faithful feel, because they have been taught since childhood, steeped in the core values and issues of Islam and the Koran, that only when the world has accepted Islam and rejected all other 'false' religions hateful to Allah, will humankind be saved. From itself, presumably. Slight Islam? Only if one is prepared to pay the consequences. Not by being named an Islamophobe, but by bringing the wrath of Allah down on oneself in the guise of an avenging jihadi.

European states whose populations have been suffused by immigration and migrants and refugees cannot afford to be too critical of the fact that those immigrants, migrants and  refugees who are Muslim are unwilling to integrate, to accept Western values, to cede to the culture and laws that preceded them. They risk much by confronting Islam, for the fury of its believers will not tolerate any suggestion that Islam and its values is any less than perfect, for it is god's will.

Canada has rejected Islamophobia, how very fitting and uplifting.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Israel, Silently Cleaning Up Threats

"Just before midnight on September 5, 2007, four F-15s and four F-16s took off from Israeli Air Force bases, including Ramat David, southeast of Haifa. After flying north along the Mediterranean Coast, the planes turned east and followed the Syrian-Turkish border, to avoid detection by radar. Using standard electronic scrambling tools, the Israelis blinded Syria’s air-defense system. In Tel Aviv, in a room of the underground I.A.F. command-and-control center known as “the pit,” Olmert, Barak, Livni, and senior security officials followed the planes by radar. The room would serve as a bunker for Olmert in the event that the strike sparked a war; the Israelis had also prepared a military contingency plan."
"General Shkedi tracked the pilots by audio in an adjacent room. Sometime between 12:40 and 12:53 A.M., the pilots uttered the computer-generated code word of the day, “Arizona,” indicating that seventeen tons of explosives had been dropped on their target. 'There was a sense of elation,” one participant recalled. “The reactor was destroyed and we did not lose a pilot'."
"The next day, the Syrian Arab News Agency announced that Israeli planes had entered Syrian airspace but had been repelled: 'Air-defense units confronted them and forced them to leave after they dropped some ammunition in deserted areas without causing any human or material damage'."
"The Israelis say that not a single Syrian air-defense missile was launched. At least ten, and perhaps as many as three dozen, workers were killed in the strike."
David Makovsky, The New Yorker
image description
Target: North Korean missiles Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

"This morning (Saturday March 19, 2017), Arab media outlets reported that Israel conducted yesterday’s airstrike in Syria in order to prevent North Korean missiles from reaching Hezbollah. As reported yesterday by JOL, an anti-aircraft missile was shot at Israel in response to the airstrike, which was intercepted by the IDF’s Arrow System."
"According to a report on the Arab news website Rai al-Youm, political groups and reliable Jordanian sources believe that there is a connection between recent Israeli military and intelligence operations along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon and between leaked information claiming that Hezbollah has obtained extremely technologically advanced missiles from North Korea."
Photo published for Syrian threats to Israel continue
Following last night events between the IDF and Syria, Syria continues to threaten Israel. Jerusalemonline.com
North Korea threatens, bellows its hatred of the United States, South Korea and Japan, triumphantly tests its ballistic missiles and nuclear devices, each time chortling how technologically advanced they have become, joyously pronouncing its intention to obliterate its enemies, continually startling its neighbours by faster,  higher flights of missiles over Japanese territories and occasionally attacking its neighbour South Korea at sea. The North has succeeded in even making its sponsor, China, extremely nervous about the intentions of Kim Jong-Un.

Yet apart from returning rhetoric and constant urging of restraint -- not of the declarations and showmanship of North Korea and its tyrannical little leader -- but of the world power that glowers menacingly at the very suggestion that Kim's intentions to attack the American Pacific coast, or its Guam protectorate -- nothing has worked to persuade Kim to cease and desist. No attacks of any kind have been launched pre-emptively against North Korea by threatened South Korea, Japan or the United States. But another country entirely has taken to the skies to launch attacks that concern North Korea's export of weapons and technology.

North Korea is regarded as a world-class outlier, a rogue nation led by a sinister little murderer who regards himself as entitled to be recognized as a world power. For a small country with a meagre GDP highly dependent on a neighbour to provide its energy needs and disposable income, it rankles at its international stature, deprived of the acknowledgement of its true status, that of a powerful nation capable of disrupting the equilibrium of pretenders-to-power like Japan and the U.S.

North Korea has no love of Israel. It has trained and armed the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah and its specialized tunnel technology is held in high esteem by Iran to protect its secretive nuclear facilities against any conceivable attacks. The sophisticated tunnels constructed by Hamas in particular owe much to North Korean expertise enabling the terrorist group operatives to clamber into Israel undetected at times. North Korea and Iranian nuclear scientists have a vital bond; the former entertaining the latter during bomb tests.

Shipments from North Korea of high-tech munitions and missile technology along with conventional arms and chemical weaponry have been intercepted by Israel en route from North Korea to Syria where they are often directed onward to stock Hezbollah's weapons caches. Two North Korean arms shipments for the Syrian agency for chemical weapons, according to a UN report that appeared on Reuters, were intercepted by unnamed governments.

North Korea views Israel as a tough enemy it would hugely appreciate being put out of commission entirely; not surprising it is in league with other dedicated enemies of the Jewish state resolved to destroy its presence. Thirteen years ago a Mossad agent entered North Korea on a purloined Canadian passport and soon afterward a huge explosion took place killing at least a dozen Syrian nuclear scientists when a North Korean freight train conveying nuclear material was destroyed.

Having his plans thwarted by a tiny nuisance state that his friends view with as much hostility as he does himself places Israel in a very special club of nations that North Korea's Kim would prefer to see destroyed for the hindrance they provide to his aspirations. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973 North Korea sent its fighter pilots in Soviet MiG fighters to scramble in dogfights over Egypt with the Israeli air force.

That at this juncture in the sanctions program weighting North Korea's censure by the United Nations Security Council its chief source of income, arms, are being interrupted is particularly irksome. As for Israel, that North Korea is arming Iran in particular, the country that paid for the Syrian nuclear reactor, and which has been benefiting from the North's missile and nuclear technology hasn't endeared Kim to Israel. The prospect of Kim selling ready-to-go nuclear bombs does not much please Israel.

Should the U.S. continue with its verbal belligerence while refraining from taking concrete steps to disarm North Korea, it will continue to ship arms to Syria, to Hezbollah, and potentially nuclear bombs to Iran to enable the Islamic Republic to make good on its threats to obliterate the 'Zionist entity'. Failing U.S. action to ensure world stability, how feasible is it for a tiny nation to once again engage in risky action to protect itself from an existential threat?

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Friday, September 22, 2017

The Passion of Muslim Violence

"Vigilante justice, like the case that just happened in Bekasi, happens so frequently."
"It reflects a lack of trust toward legal institutions. The police are seen as insufficiently responsive."
Alghifari Aqsa, lawyer, Legal Aid Institute

"The legal system is seen by many people as too lenient for petty theft."
"Now more strangers are passing through these areas, and often the residents don't know what their purpose is."
"If there is indication of a crime, it can lead to a lynching."
Sana Jaffrey, doctoral researcher, University of Chicago

"Let's not have there be any future victims of vigilante justice."
"If this keeps up, how can we be considered a nation of laws?"
Siti Zubaidah, 25
Siti Zubaidah, Mr. Zahra’s widow, with her 4-year-old son. “Let’s not have there be any future victims of vigilante justice,” she said. Credit Rony Zakaria for The New York Times

Ms. Zubaidah is pregnant, and has become a widow. Her husband, a seller of electronics, was a recent victim of mob violence. He was accused by a mob of having stolen an amplifier from inside a mosque. He protested his innocence, by telling his accusers "I'm not a thief", but the mob was intent on blood and they beat him to death, then burned his body. An act of public savagery in Bekasi, Indonesia that shocked the public presumably, but satisfied the mob which shouted triumphantly as the man's body burst into flames.

Earlier, 30-year-old Muhammad al-Zahra had been lynched in a suburb of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Society is now agonizing at the vicious vigilante mobs terrifying in their rabid and swift version of justice for crimes unproven, but charged. Between 2007 and 2014 mob attacks saw an increase of 25 percent, a figure from the National Violence Monitoring System, a program through the World Bank which records vigilante killings in Indonesia.

The program records 33,627 incidents of vigilante violence where people were victimized, an estimated 1,549 of whom were killed by the violence visited upon them. The picture is not quite complete since the program is set to monitor only violence that takes place in half of the provinces of Indonesia. According to Ms. Jaffrey, who had headed the program for the World Bank, residents of impoverished districts feel the Indonesian legal code is too lenient with petty thieves so they have mandated themselves to exact stiffer penalties.

The men arrested as ringleaders of the mob that had beaten Mr. Zahra to death had no idea what he had been accused of, according to Rizal Marito, a police official: "They thought he was a motorbike thief", he stated at a news conference. For a nation that prides itself on its democratic governance, the most populous Muslim country in the world, its level of tolerance for the minorities within, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu, leaves much to be desired.

The usual hostility of Islam toward the presence of other religions is manifest; churches failing to obtain the proper 'licence' are subject to state destruction, yet obtaining permission to build is a difficult procedure not readily granted. What is common among Muslims in a generalized way, is their collective and individual reaction to assumed slights against Islam. And the presence of any religious symbol representing another religion is hateful and insulting to Islam as far as its orthodox faithful are concerned.

It doesn't take much for a mob to go on a vindictively violent rampage, whether or not they're in possession of reliable evidence to back up the wild claims made against people seen as offensive to Islam. The world was witness to the reaction of Muslims across the globe in mass violence as the faithful protested the Mohammad cartoon contest launched by Jyllands Posten. Mobs go on pathologically berserk rampages of violence in response to perceived mockery of Islam.

It is as though in lock-step with the surrender to Islam by the faithful, a dose of virulent paranoia is inherited, along with obeisance to the Koran and the Hadiths and the requirements to pray five times daily.
"The jailing of Jakarta’s Christian governor for two years for blasphemy is a shocking and harsh ruling in a case that should never have been brought. It goes further than even prosecutors had sought; they had asked for a suspended one-year sentence for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – better known as Ahok – on a lesser charge. He had cited a verse from the Qur’an which he said was misused to deceive voters into believing non-Muslims should not lead Muslims. His lawyer says he will appeal."
"Indonesia is not only a relatively recent democracy, but the world’s third largest; it also has the largest Muslim population. It has been welcomed as proof that Islam and democracy are compatible; and – though deeply scarred by periodic outbreaks of communal and inter-ethnic violence of various kinds – it likes to pride itself on moderation, pluralism and tolerance."
The Guardian newspaper
Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, arrives at a courtroom for his verdict and sentence in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on 9 May
Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian, popularly known as Ahok, who was sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy. Photograph: Jefta Images/Barcroft Images

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dust-Up at the United Nations

"It [the current mullah-led administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran] has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos."
"We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles."
"And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program."
"I have decided...."
U.S. President Donald Trump

"[Iran] continues to flout the spirit of the Iran deal, destabilizing the region and brazenly threatening the security of sovereign nations."
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence

"[Iran will not violate the nuclear agreement first], but it will respond decisively to its violation by any party. It will be a great pity of this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics."
"By violating its international commitments, the new U.S. administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise."
"The ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations that was uttered before this august body yesterday was not only unfit to be heard at the United Nations, which was established to promote peace and respect."
"This is a building the frame of which, if you take out a single brick, the entire building will collapse. This issue must be understood by the American officials. Either the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] will remain as it is in its entirety or it will cease to exist." 
"If anyone exits the agreement and breaks their commitment, it means our hand is completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Rouhani said Trump’s speech was beneath the dignity of the UN.
Hassan Rouhani said Donald Trump’s speech was beneath the dignity of the UN. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

While the first two statements above are on the record of evidence eminently credible and a fitting response to the arrogance of a regime that continues to develop its long-range ballistic missile technology with the significant assistance of another 'rogue' regime on the world stage with whom the international community barely knows how to proceed, the spiked rejoinder by Iran's 'moderate' president is rife with non-sequitors. Iran complacently violates the peace and respect which the UN is meant to promote by openly stating its intention to destroy a member-state.

For ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric few rate as highly and expertly in that realm of spreading venom as the Islamic Republic. For deft deceit, circumlocution and sly smiles of accommodation while plotting to undermine the peace and security in the broader Middle East, no other country is as complicit as Iran, in its creation of a proxy militia dedicated to destroying Israel, as the avenging "Party of God" whose sacred word has been blasphemed by Israel's rebirth in a geography sanctified by the presence of Islam.

The previous American administration led by President Barack Obama, sensitive to Iranian values, failed to write into the agreement that ongoing development of ICBMs, and continuing plots to undermine stability in the Middle East be linked to the Republic's agreement to set aside for the length of the agreement, its search for the formulae in nuclear research enabling it to develop nuclear warheads to fit on those long-range ballistic missiles. Iran simply assented to wait a little longer for nuclear advancement, while focusing its attention on ICBMs.

And while Iran consistently denied accusations that it had dedicated itself under the controlling aegis of its elite Republican Guard Corps to the goal of accomplishing its search to a conclusion, to enable it to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons as its co-conspirator and great helper North Korea has done, it now threatens, should the United States find Iran to have been remiss in observing all aspects of the agreement, to return to its nuclear program; unambiguously verifying its end-purpose in one fell swoop of a rejoinder.

Iranian compliance with the agreement is certainly questionable given its focus on funding Hezbollah and Hamas for the end purpose of destroying Israel. In its unalloyed support for the slaughter carried out on the Sunni Syrian population of Syria's Alawite-Shia President Bashar al-Assad. In its providing weapons and support to the Shiite Houthis in Yemen in a civil conflict that is beggaring an already-poverty-stricken country. In its ongoing collaboration with the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un's nuclear and ICBM programs.

The dramas that take place in the United Nations with the confrontations through speeches from various national leaders holding others to account, for their violations of human rights and impacts on the sovereignty rights of leaders who are guilty of persecuting their own populations do little to shame the transgressors for the fact that cliques like the non-aligned nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation remain bastions of human rights violators.

The sinister, creepy boldness with which Rouhani responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address stating that despite Iranian threats against the existence of the State of Israel in its determination to destroy the Jewish state, Israel will continue to exist irrespective of the plots Iran and its hegemonic terrorist groups plan for, brought yet another mind-boggling response from this master of intrigue:
"It is reprehensible that the rogue Zionist regime that threatens regional and global security with its nuclear arsenal and is not committed to any international instrument or safeguard has the audacity to preach [to] peaceful nations."
This, of a nation embattled and threatened since its re-establishment in 1948. A nation indeed in possession of a small nuclear arsenal and which has never threatened any other nation with its destructive force, unlike the clear intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Applying the word 'reprehensible' to a nation that has absorbed as citizens with equal rights, Arab Muslims, Druze, Kurds, Christians all hoping to live in peace and security, speaks volumes of a country like Iran whose agenda is regional conquest and Shiite command.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Unappealing Refugee Claimant Prospects 

"To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #WelcomeToCanada."
"Regardless of who you are or where you come from, there's always a place for you in Canada."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ottawa, Canada

Canada offers refugee protection to some people in Canada who fear persecution or who would be in danger if they had to leave. Some dangers they may face include:
  • torture
  • a risk to their life, or
  • a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
If you feel you could face one of these risks if you go back to your home country or the country where you normally live, you may be able to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.
Government of Canada

An asylum seeker claiming to be from Eritrea is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada last month in Champlain, N.Y. An asylum seeker claiming to be from Eritrea is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada last month from Champlain, N.Y. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

It was historically the United States of America that was known as the land of the brave and the free, eager to welcome the oppressed of the world to join it in building into one of the greatest modern nations on Earth, a land of opportunity and equality, where one's heritage, culture, ethnic group or religion made no difference; a great melting pot of humanity welcoming all and sundry. Until it no longer would, because everything must be accomplished in an orderly manner and no nation on this globe willingly accepts the presence of those whose culture and religion is averse to democracy and whose presence potentially represents a burden on the one hand and a potential threat on the other.

In present-day America the issue of undocumented or illegal migrants living in their millions in the country, often in a generational time-span with no official status, has caused a reaction, actually a polarized reaction for it seems that half the population (including industry) would like the presence of the undocumented 'illegals' to be 'normalized' through extending citizenship to them as long as they have no criminal record, and the other half of the population would prefer to see them deported and returned to their countries from which they fled purposing to arrive at the land of freedom and opportunity....

Canada's current government leader is a man of unreconstructed liberalism, enchanted by the kind of socialism he and his father before him felt was represented by Cuba. Typically it is wealthy families who often admire an ideology that would, if fully implemented, deprive them of their wealth for the greater good of dispersing wealth equally among all. Justin Trudeau, as first premier of the nation, like his father before him, aspires to hold onto his personal wealth and grow it, while lecturing others of his class of their obligation to surrender more of their wealth to the public weal.

And in reaction to the administration of a new American presidency which has closed ranks around those preferring to invite illegals to leave the country which has become near, dear and familiar to them, opened his heart and his country and in the process has presented himself on the world stage as the saviour of the huddled masses desperate to escape poverty, persecution and conflict, by stating his version of the U.S.'s generous offer to the oppressed: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". Deliberately portraying himself in such a mode as to draw to himself plaudits of admiration from the international community and the liberal-left.

The international community of potential have-seekers and economic migrants no doubt picked up their opportunity-antennae and now Canada is struggling to deal with an unprecedented strain on its immigration and refugee-accepting situation. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recently released statistics to show that in the first six months of this year, 27,440 claims for asylum were filed, almost a peak record high. And the expectation that a veritable flood will continue upward from those numbers is high.

Canada's Immigration Minister under Mr. Trudeau's government is himself a former refugee from Somalia, a failed African country rife with terrorism and ongoing violent upheaval. Minister Ahmed Hussen, at a meeting with immigration organizations taking place in New York City, stated that based on current trends, Canada could realize 40,000 refugee claims by year's end. That number on top of the approximately quarter-million immigrants that make application to emigrate to Canada annually from their home countries.

The official opposition in Canada is not entirely thrilled with the situation, though they too when in government approved the quarter- to third-million immigration figures annually. "Given the global forced displacement and forced migration, this is now a public policy concern. Nobody is saying that this is going to stop", said the Conservative immigration and refugee critic at that same N.Y.C. meeting. Federal and provincial governments are strained with the cost of at least $353.9 million upwards to $548.8 million it takes to process claims and provide vital services -- cost per claim ranging from $12,900 to $20,000.

Aside from those administrative costs there is the cost of deporting claimants whose applications fail; which is to say, if they can be located, to be deported. Additional costs are those related to aid given to refugee claimants; housing, food, medical attention, straining already strained social services. In August alone the RCMP intercepted 5,530 people crossing illegally from New York State into Quebec, double the number who made that trip in July. British Columbia registered a spike in refugee claimants. Most of those entering Manitoba were Somalian in origin.

As for British Columbia, settlement organizations register refugee seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Mexico and Turkey, among others; dozens of countries in all. The Immigration and Refugee board warns it is ill-equipped to manage the rise in claims, since it already suffers a backlog it is struggling to deal with. Without system improvements and/or additional resources those rising claims could result in wait times up to 11 years by 2021. Which translates to extended stays in the country by claimants awaiting the disposition of their claims.

Some of those claimants simply melt into the population living underground, and others, if their claims are rejected will appeal, appeal and appeal.
asylum seekers quebec numbers chart

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