Thursday, March 31, 2005

UN Oil for Food Scandal - Canadian Involvement

And who says that Canadians are irrelevant on the world stage?

Thu, March 31, 2005
UN scandal inquiry has Frechette questions
By GREG WESTON -- Sun Ottawa Bureau
An international commission probing the worst corruption scandal ever to rock the United Nations is training its sights on a former high-ranking Canadian government official.
The Volcker commission recently cited Louise Frechette, a former deputy minister in Jean Chretien's government, for helping to cover up damning internal UN audits of the organization's scandalous Oil-for-Food program.
Now she is back in the spotlight as the commission probes her role in the overall mismanagement of the $80-billion humanitarian scheme, a fiasco threatening to topple UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Frechette has been the UN's first-ever deputy secretary-general and Annan's chief administrator since 1998, making her one of the organization's most powerful mandarins during the worst years of the Oil-for-Food fiasco.
Investigators believe a staggering $8 billion was embezzled or otherwise disappeared from the humanitarian program between 1997 and 2003.
There is no evidence to date that Frechette was in any way connected to the massive wrongdoing that befell the UN program, nor how much she even knew about the widening problem of corruption.
But her key position atop the UN secretariat, and her involvement with internal auditors, have put her in the crosshairs of the Volcker inquiry.
The UN-administered program was intended to allow Saddam Hussein to export about $40 billion of embargoed Iraqi oil in return for a similar amount of desperately needed imports of food, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid for his country.
According to an interim report of the Volcker inquiry, released in February, UN auditors began smelling something amiss early in the program -- and ultimately produced a total of 55 audits of it.
But for almost four years, as the humanitarian scheme became riddled with kickbacks and mismanagement, the auditors were stifled by the program's now-disgraced director, Benon Sevan.
Finally in frustration, the chief spending watchdog announced in late 2000 that future audits would be sent over Sevan's head, directly to the UN Security Council.
This time, it was Frechette who intervened. The Volcker inquiry reports that Frechette personally telephoned the head of audits, "denying this proposal."
"(The auditor) then abandoned the effort to report directly to the Security Council on (oil-for-food) related matters."
The UN audits remained under wraps for another four years until the Volcker inquiry began making them public only weeks ago. (Frechette said recently she believed the audits "were a management tool to be used only by internal managers.")
Frechette was Canada's deputy minister of defence in 1997 when Jean Chretien's government shut down the Somalia inquiry. She is also no stranger to the man heading the Volcker team of 75 investigators and forensic accountants.
Reid Morden is the former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
He was also Frechette's boss in 1993, when she was a diplomat and he was deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.
In a wide-ranging interview with me yesterday, Morden said the inquiry has so far tried to follow the money from the sale of Iraqi oil and purchase of humanitarian aid.
"What we will do now is try to give an overall picture of the management, mismanagement and possible corruption within the program overall," Morden said.
"And in that, we will be following up with Louise Frechette on whatever her role might have been or was not. "What we'll try to focus on is ... was the management structure appropriate and sufficient for a program of that size and complexity? And I think it is more on that side that we will be taking a look at her role."
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Littlest Liliputian

McKenna attacks view that Canadians are anti-American on call-in show
Wed Mar 30,10:38 AM ET
BETH GORHAM
WASHINGTON (CP) - There are a few "loose cannons" in Canada who have disparaged the United States but that doesn't mean the country is anti-American, Ambassador Frank McKenna told a call-in television show Wednesday.
Appearing for a half-hour on C-SPAN, a political cable TV show, McKenna also attacked the "urban legend" that any terrorists involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks crossed into the U.S. from Canada and persistent views that the border is a major security problem.
"The northern border, and it's the only one I can speak about, is not terrorist friendly at all," McKenna said. "We've spent some $10 billion Cdn ourselves as a country to make sure the border is safe."
One caller from Arkansas listed a litany of grievances against Canada, from its refusal to participate in the Iraq war and the U.S. missile defence program to a former prime ministerial aide who called Bush a "moron" and an MP who called Americans "bastards."
"I don't really think Canada is too much without America," said the caller. "Without our trade and without our defence, you guys would be in a bad spot. It just disgusts me and makes me sick when I hear these things."
McKenna noted Americans have also said "some pretty nasty things about Canada," adding that it doesn't reflect badly on relations.
"We have offered support to each other in so many ways that transcend the narrow and parochial comments from a few individuals from time to time."
"We're family and we're friends and we're colleagues and we're allies," he said. "This is an enduring relationship."
McKenna took pains to emphasize trade issues, outlining the devastation caused by the mad cow crisis and noting that Canada is "not going to sit back and abandon its farmers."

Read the full story [here]


What I find funny (in an ironic, painful way) is that here's our new ambassador (all 5'4" of him - and I've stood beside him in an elevator) attacking and barking and waving his finger about all the things Canada does. And yes, it is true that we skipped the Iraq war, and the missile defense shield, and members of the Canadian government have said mean things about the US administration so when are you going to fix the trade irritants like mad cow restrictions and softwood lumber? Well, considering Canada's lack of cooperation, how about never? If you don't want to play ball, just go home, because the ball is not yours.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Calling a Spade a Spade

His legacy's painted in yellow
By Peter Worthington -- For the Toronto Sun


Although some are disappointed, no one should be surprised that U.S. army deserter Jeremy Hinzman's bid to be a "refugee" has been rejected.
Hinzman himself says he expected this decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board, and will launch his appeal today. It will likely enable him to remain in Canada for years like other illegals.
Looking at it objectively, it's hard to imagine a case weaker than Hinzman. His three main themes for deserting are: 1. Iraq is an "illegal" war (what's a "legal" war, one wonders?); 2. He was afraid he'd have to commit atrocities in Iraq; 3. He decided he was a conscientious objector, even though he volunteered to become a paratrooper in America's most gung-ho unit, the 82nd Airborne.
'Fear of combat'
While good manners dictate that no one wants to come out and say it, it's hard to escape the stark conclusion that Jeremy Hinzman is a coward.


Read the whole thing [here]

Islamist Schooling in Canada and US

What Are Islamic Schools Teaching?
By Daniel Pipes
CNSNews.com
March 29, 2005

"Shocked" is how Aisha Sherazi, principal of the Abraar Islamic school in Ottawa, described the reaction of the school's administration and board on learning last week that two of its teachers had incited hatred of Jews.And "shocked" was how Mumtaz Akhtar, president of the Muslim-Community Council of Ottawa-Gatineau, described his own reaction to the front-page news about the Abraar school.But they may have been the only two persons on the planet to be "shocked" to learn that teachers at an Islamic school are promoting anti-Semitism or other aspects of the Islamist agenda. The fact is, inquiries into Islamic schools repeatedly discover just such a radical Islamic outlook.

The most prominent American Muslim organizations, especially the Council on American-Islamic Relations, spew anti-Semitism and host a neo-Nazi. The same applies in Canada, where the head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Mohamed Elmasry, publicly endorsed the murder of all Israelis over the age of eighteen.

Read the whole story [here].

Monday, March 28, 2005

I Love this Guy

Yes, the author of this piece is Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune fame. I think its great that he is openly conservative and makes no apologies about it. The whole article is [here].

Why I've Stopped Arguing with Liberals

by Pat Sajak
Posted Mar 28, 2005

Every time I argue with a Liberal, I’m reminded of quarrels I used to have with my parents. The battles never seemed fair because my folks decided what the rules were and what was out of bounds. In addition, because they were parents, they could threaten me in ways I couldn’t threaten them, and they could say things I could never say.

Recently, for example, I was discussing the United Sates Supreme Court with one of my many Liberal friends out in Los Angeles when she said, without any discernable embarrassment, that Justice Anton Scalia was “worse than Hitler.” Realizing she wasn’t alive during World War II and perhaps she may have been absent on those days when her schoolmates were studying Nazism, I reminded her of some of Hitler’s more egregious crimes against humanity, suggesting she may have overstated the case. She had not; Scalia was worse. As I often did when my parents threatened to send me to my room, I let the conversation die.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Kyoto and the Easter Bunny

Ottawa set to wield Kyoto blunt object

Peter Foster
National Post
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Full story [here]

On Thursday, with everybody thinking about the Easter Bunny, the Liberals sought to slip through a monumentally significant amendment to the Environmental Protection Act that would effectively identify carbon dioxide as a "pollutant." This would give the government the club it needs to batter big industrial energy users into compliance under Kyoto. The problem -- or rather one of myriad problems -- is that these entities, known collectively as Large Final Emitters, or LFEs, have little or no idea with what they are meant to comply. A blunt instrument is not a plan.

The amendment was strapped onto the bill implementing the 2005 budget. Opposition leader Stephen Harper noted that it would give the government "unlimited power to implement Kyoto without ever bringing a plan forward." Nevertheless, the Liberals may be counting on the fact that the Conservatives -- having not opposed the original budget -- will not now vote against this budget-plus-poison-pill. But this is not merely a procedural issue we are talking about; it's the future of the Canadian economy.

There can be no doubt that Ottawa needs a "mechanism" to enforce the draconian commitments it has made under Kyoto, but this appears to be an extraordinarily slippery way to get one. And it also leaves the question of how, on whom, and in what proportions this mechanism will be used. If ever a policy needed a full public airing, this is it.

However, the Liberals, it seems, are tired of the kind of piecemeal dickering that led to an agreement this week with the big Canadian automakers over greenhouse gas emissions. So far, the details of that agreement haven't been released, apart from the manufacturers' agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 megatonnes by 2010. That seems like an awfully large number until you remember that the total amount by which Canada has to reduce emissions to reach its Kyoto target may now be -- due to unforeseen economic growth, which is positively sinful under Kyoto -- up to 300 megatonnes.

And what if the automakers don't make their targets? The idea of "penalizing" them is ridiculous. How could they be punished except by undermining their financial viability, with an inevitably adverse effect on investment and jobs? And that's where we come to the black hole at the centre of Kyoto thinking.

Despite all the bafflegab about the great advantages to be had from being "an environmental leader," Kyoto's success is inevitably synonymous with Canada's economic failure. Thus apart from bogus industry agreements, the Liberals seek to save face and divert attention by addressing one of the wonkier components of an already wonky Kyoto policy: Third World development.

Rumour has it that the Liberals' top priority is to start funnelling money to the Third World under the so-called Clean Development Mechanism, under which Canada can atone for its own growth sins by funding windmills in Burundi. In case this makes no sense, when trying to get a grasp on Kyoto, the place to start is the United Nations.


Implementing the next phase of the Kyoto global regulatory regime is one of the three key elements of current alleged UN "reform." The other two are sinking the farce of the UN Human Rights Tribunal, and acquiring an independent military "peacekeeping" force (The guys who brought you oil-for-palaces in Iraq want their own army).

Kyoto is crucial to the future of the UN because, as the other two reform priorities indicate, it has been an abysmal failure in virtually everything it has ever attempted. Faced with such failure, and with perpetual and pervasive corruption, its only avenue has ever been to move on to bigger and more fantastic schemes. Kyoto is the most fantastic of all, and not merely because it seeks to save the world by regulating the climate, but because it hopes to give a boost to Third World development in the process. Never just fail to do one thing when you can fail to do two. More than any other policy maker on Earth, this double disaster-in-the-making is the dream child of key Paul Martin confidant Maurice Strong.

The only reason why Kyoto has never aroused a public uproar in Canada is that the general public doesn't have the slightest clue about what its "achievement" would entail in terms of lost jobs and the extension of whimsical state power. Again, lost jobs, lower growth and more unaccountable power are not unfortunate side effects of Kyoto, they are its key objectives. Remember that old modern liberal motto: Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. But if you can only do one, do the latter.

If the public just grasped the perversity of Kyoto, then Stephen Harper would have a clear case for bringing down the government. But there's no guarantee that the public does.

Friday, March 25, 2005

This Just In: Baghdad Not Pretty

Once-Beautiful Baghdad Becomes Eyesore

Wed Mar 23, 4:23 PM ET

By RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Baghdad, whose name means the "Garden of God," has fallen from grace. Known for centuries as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its landscape has been marred by concrete blast walls, barbed wire, steel barricades, sandbags and crumbling buildings pockmarked by bullet holes or gutted by explosions.

Saddam himself didn't help with beautification — most of the apartment complexes, government buildings and palaces built under his orders would not have won any architecture prizes. And then there were the dozen of statues and oversized portraits of the Iraqi leader that decorated those buildings.

After the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, the city of 5 million became one large military barricade: Humvees and tanks roaming the streets, helicopters rattling above, checkpoints and soldiers everywhere.

A two-year insurgency attacking homes and government buildings compounded the scars on the city's face, undermining its ailing infrastructure and tattering the remaining grace.

Beautiful date palm groves that lined the 10-mile-long airport road — a visitor's first impression of Baghdad — had to be removed to prevent gunmen from hiding in what has become one of the city's most dangerous battlefields.

The rampant lawlessness has also encouraged people to take over buildings previously occupied by government offices and construct squatter settlements.

Even democracy has taken its toll on Baghdad. Posters and banners of candidates running in the landmark Jan. 30 elections — a collage of mismatching colors — are still plastered everywhere, tainting traffic circles and walls two months after the vote. Huge black banners of religious invocations and photos of Shiite saints — a breakthrough for the country's majority Shiites oppressed under Saddam — are randomly scattered around the city.

Mayor Alaa al-Tamimi has made it his mission to bring back the city's former glory.

After taking office last year, al-Tamimi "relentlessly nagged" coalition officials to remove the security barriers and open blocked roads, said his spokesman, Amir al-Hassoun.

The security situation has also denied residents access to many parts of their city, including the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses U.S. and Iraqi government offices. A virtual fortress, the four-square-mile area is encircled and crisscrossed by 12-foot-high barricades. Its gates are guarded by U.S. Bradley fighting vehicles aimed at passing traffic.

The U.S. military said it realizes the city has suffered but that the measures were necessary.

"Any soldier of Task Force Baghdad would concede the point that concrete blocks, blast walls and barbed wire are ugly security tools that detract from the beauty of any city," said Army Lt. Col. Cliff Kent. "However ... (they) have been important tools in providing secure environments."

Coalition troops have taken steps toward rectifying the damage. Last year, before the handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government, the Coalition Provisional Authority allocated $10 million for beautification projects. The plan included creating parks, erecting sculptures, landscaping and repairing sidewalks.

Scores of Iraqis in orange jumpsuits already have been redesigning the eastern bank of the Tigris along Abu Nawas street, and hammering and the screech of saws can be heard throughout the city — signs residents are beginning to rebuild.

The underlying current of this so-called news story is that things are bad - bad! Baghdad isn't a garden these days. If you read between the lines the news is all good and anyone saying that security barriers - that have proved very effective - should be removed to beautify the city is off their rocker.

Social Engineering from the Left

Is it time to extend the vote?
Social planning study suggests dropping the voting age to 16
Report also backs giving non-citizens a ballot at the city level

BRUCE DEMARA
CITY HALL BUREAU

The voting age in Toronto municipal elections should be lowered to 16 and non-citizens living in the city should also be allowed to vote, says a study focused on giving residents — especially marginalized groups such as young people and new Canadians — a greater role in city life.

The Inclusive Cities report, released yesterday in concert with others in Vancouver, Edmonton, Burlington and Saint John, N.B., was produced by the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, a non-profit community organization.

"The time, we believe, is right for taking bold steps that will serve to renew city government and make it more reflective of the diversity and the diverse communities that make up our city, and help engage a whole new generation in building our city," said Melles, manager of the community action unit at the Family Service Association of Toronto and president of the African Canadian Social Development Council.

He said there's strong community support for lowering the voting age to 16 to give youth a more active role in civic life.

Councillor Pam McConnell, the other co-chair, said the report's release is particularly timely in light of this week's report from Statistics Canada predicting that visible minorities will make up half of the GTA's population by 2017, when Canada will mark its 150th birthday.

Extending voting rights to new Canadians at the municipal level makes sense in light of those statistics, she said.

"One of the things that we learned from Statistics Canada ... is that the numbers of people (who) are going to be non-citizens are going to move higher and higher," said McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale).

"We can't have a situation where we have more people out of civic engagement than we have in. If we want to empower our communities to make a difference and to have real meaning, then they have to have meaning around the most important decision ... which is who will represent them," McConnell said.

"There are a lot of people disenfranchised in our city, who are not able to vote. They pay taxes, but they don't vote. I think that that's wrong," she added.

McConnell conceded that with only five of its 45 members belonging to visible minorities, city council does not represent the "full diversity" of Toronto.

John Campey, executive director of the Community Social Planning Council, said some European cities offer voting rights to non-citizens. Toronto, in fact, once allowed any Commonwealth citizen to vote municipally.

The report comes out of a group initiative organized among social planning councils in the five cities, in association with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Representatives of all five plan to meet in Ottawa in June to discuss a cross-Canada report that highlights similarities and differences between cities and make recommendations to the federal government.

There's only one reason why anyone ever suggests dropping the voter age and that is to harvest the emotional (read leftist) political sympathies of the young. It's only municipal elections one might say but that is just the first step. How long until these so-called social architects would be clamouring to have the same voting rules applied provincially or federally? And having non-citizens vote to be "inclusive"? Hell, why not just let anyone vote.

Rumblings Across the East

Kyrgyz Opposition Names President, Akayev Defiant

Fri Mar 25,11:46 AM ET

World - Reuters

By Michael Steen

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) - Kyrgyzstan's opposition, a day after snatching power in a lightning coup, Friday named a new acting president while the ousted leader broke public silence to denounce them as "adventurers and conspirators."

This is the result of yet another country try to throw off its shackles in the wake of rigged elections. While the news services describe this as a violent revolution, the deaths of 2 people shouldn't take the shine of of an otherwise glorious chance for the spread of democracy.

Jew Hatred Taught in Private Muslim School in Ottawa

If anyone wants to know what the so-called root cause of terrorism is, this sums it up. Teaching small children to hate.

Read the whole story [here].

Rashid Nasim arrives at Abraar Islamic elementary school to pick up his young daughter, and he's upset, he wants answers.

"I want to speak to the principal, I want to speak to teachers. This is not what I want from this school. We didn't have our daughter go here for this. I want to know how this could happen."

Rashid Nasim wants to know why a Muslim pupil at the private school was allowed to get away with a project in which he wrote a stridently anti-Semitic story about Palestinians revengefully killing Jews in the Middle East. He wants to know why two teachers were approving of the completed work. He wants to know why it was put on display in the school as if to be proud of.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Harkat Gets the Boot

Wed, March 23, 2005
Judge OKs Harkat's removal
Terror suspect lied about ties to extremists
By JOHN STEINBACHS, Ottawa Sun


MOHAMED HARKAT lied about his past under oath and the feds have reasonable grounds to deport him, a federal court judge ruled yesterday. Justice Eleanor Dawson's decision comes as another blow to Harkat who has been fighting allegations of having links to terrorism for two years. Dawson also ruled the legislation being used against him is constitutional...

BIN LADEN FOLLOWER
Harkat was arrested in December 2002 on a special security certificate issued by the government. Since arriving in Canada in the mid-1990s he has been under a cloud of suspicion that he is a member of Osama bin Laden's terror network and worked to help terrorists here in Canada and abroad.
Last year, Harkat and his lawyers tried to fight the security certificate that leaves him facing deportation arguing that it had no foundation.
But in the ruling, Dawson poked holes in the testimony of Harkat basing a portion of her decision on confidential information not released to Harkat or his lawyers.
While that information may have been secret, it was apparently very damaging.
"On the basis of the confidential information it is clear and beyond doubt that Mr. Harkat lied under oath to the court in several important respects," wrote Dawson. "Including his denials that he knowingly supported or assisted Islamic extremists, assisted Islamic extremists who have come to Canada, was associated with Abu Zubaydah, was in Afghanistan and lived in Peshawar."
Dawson wrote that the confidential information the government presented was "credible and reliable information coming from a number of independent sources, many of whom are corroborated."
Dawson also wrote that she has issues with some of Harkat's public testimony he made to the court last summer.
Dawson was particularly concerned with how Harkat was able to obtain a job in Pakistan and save $18,000 while working there. She also raised issue with how he came to be in a car on Hwy. 401 with Ahmed Said Khadr, a known associate of Osama bin Laden.


FALSE PASSPORT

Harkat's lawyers did win one point when the judge gave no weight to evidence obtained from Abu Zubaydah, an accused terrorist held abroad, who allegedly identified Harkat by his photograph. The judge ruled that too many questions about the man's treatment and the photograph he identified made the testimony worthless.

All to the good - except the last part. Abu Zubayday identified Harkat as a terrorist by his photo, yet our justice system decided that there were "too many questions about the man's treatment" thus rendering his photo ID worthless. This is a backhanded slap to the US for the claims they have coerced evidence. Just as surely as US law does not apply outside of US borders, neither does Canadian law and dismissing key evidence because, without a shred of fact to substantiate the claim, it "may" have been obtained coercively.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Blue State/Province Polling

Martin gets thumbs-up on missiles
THE STAR
Mar. 22, 2005. 06:31 PM


OTTAWA — Canadians are giving Prime Minister Paul Martin an overwhelming thumbs up for his refusal to join the U.S. missile defence project, a new poll suggests. About 57 per cent of Canadians supported Martin's decision and only 26 per cent were opposed, according to a Decima Inc. poll. [Full Story]

What you see here is a phenomenon well known from the recent US election cycle. Polls suggesting things they really don't prove, usually conducted in large, far more liberal cities. Just as the average Nebraskan wouldn't get a phone call if he lived out of the city, neither do vast swaths of Canadians outside the what I call Central Canadian "Media Belt".

Three Amigos?

Martin sets modest goals on trade, security for Three Amigos summit
Jim Brown Canadian Press
Tuesday, March 22, 2005


OTTAWA (CP) - Paul Martin, who came to power with big ideas on foreign policy, appears to be lowering his sights as he prepares for a summit with the presidents of the Untied States and Mexico.
The meeting Wednesday in Texas among the prime minister, George W. Bush and Vicente Fox will be heavy on trade policy, border security and a host of so-called quality of life issues like environmental protection. But Canadian officials say there won't be any "big bang" announcements on any of those fronts.
Nor do they expect any talk of missile defence - the issue that did more than anything else to sour Martin's relationship with the Bush administration in Washington.


This is the pre-summit Liberal spin intended to blunt any expectations of resolving some of our longstanding trade problems with the US. Its the PM's first face-to-face with Bush - a golden opportunity to cash in on The One Big Issue for Bush - security. Anything that enhances US security moves to the top of Bush's list. If Canada were to tie the missile defense system and perhaps some more robust behaviour at the UN to trade issues, I for one am sure Bush would do his best to help out. Its not often a US president is so focused on a single issue and it is a historic mistake (what else is new) to pass it up to appease the noisy Quebec caucus and urban elites.

Monday, March 21, 2005

What's the Big Deal, Right?

Mon, March 21, 2005

Beauty vs. bigotry
Miss Canada Pakistan crowned
By CP

TORONTO -- Amid high security, the Miss Canada Pakistan pageant went off without a hitch in Toronto with a packed audience and a dozen nervous contestants -- defying detractors who claimed it dishonoured Islam. Thirteen women braved earlier religious protest as they took to the stage as contestants of the controversial beauty pageant Saturday night.

I'm glad to hear this went off without any incident but its a sad state of affairs that security had to be high in the first place. To be clear the women wore traditional Pakistani clothing - no bathing suits.

Another Toronto Star Whitewash of History

Today's Toronto Star has an article that attempts to explain the Islamic terrorism in Spain as a result of "Andalusia" having been stolen from the Moors by the evil Christians.

Andalusia's connectionOne year after the Madrid bombings, calls for made-in-Spain imams grow stronger in a region that still reflects on its past Muslim glories

SANDRO CONTENTA
EUROPEAN BUREAU
At the Jamal Islamiya mosque in this seaside town, a Muslim lament of historic proportions is proclaimed in large letters on a framed poster: "In 1492, we lost everything."
For the mosque's leader, and much of the Muslim world, the year marks the traumatic conclusion of Islam's golden age, a time remembered like a collective wound.
It's a period when the last piece of Muslim-held territory in Spain fell to Catholic monarchs, ending almost 800 years of Moorish rule on the Iberian peninsula.
Centuries when poetry, science and architecture flourished under Islamic caliphs expired with bonfires of Arabic manuscripts, mass expulsion and extermination in the Inquisition.
To the east, the Muslim empire of the Ottomans would reign for another four centuries. But many would trace its long decline to the fall of Al Andalus, the Moorish name for Andalusia.
The result is a yearning that today makes Spain, more than any other European country, a battleground in the name of Islam.
"They stole 500 years of history from us," says Omar Checa Garcia, who heads the Jamal Islamiya mosque and cultural centre. "We want it back, but we don't want revenge."
Others are not so accommodating. Osama bin Laden uses what he calls the "tragedy of Al Andalus" as a rallying cry for his deadly brand of Islamic jihad against "the crusaders and Jews."


A quick history lesson for the Toronto Star - Spain was conquered by an invading Muslim army. In 711 a Berber Muslim army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa into the Iberian peninsula. Roderick, last of the Visigothic kings of Spain, was defeated at the Battle of Río Barbate.

In short, Spain was recaptured by Christian armies that stemmed the tide of Islamic invasion and conquest. The great Charlemagne defeated the Moors in 732 and thus held the Muslim expansion in check.

It is disgraceful to frame the murderous actions of cowardly terrorists in Spain in some sort of soft light of historical injustice.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Oh no, He's Smoking!

Hidden Message equals Good News

Middle East - AP
AP
Iraq, Jordan Pull Envoys in Security Spat

Middle East - AP

By RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq (news - web sites) and Jordan engaged in a tit-for-tat withdrawal of ambassadors Sunday in a growing dispute over Shiite Muslim claims that Jordan is failing to block terrorists from entering Iraq, while U.S. forces killed 24 insurgents in a clash south of Baghdad.

An American convoy was traveling through the Salman Pak area, 20 miles southeast of Baghdad, when it was attacked, U.S. officials said. The military returned fire and killed 24 militants. Seven militants and six soldiers were also wounded.

Without an American causalty, 24 terrorists met their end. sounds like a pretty good story doesn't it? As a longtime student of military history a 3-2 casualty ratio will insure the lose of a war. A 24 to zero or as in Fallujah, 50 to 1 ratio is an absolute assurance of victory. How come we never hear about this other than in a backhand way in a story that is not focused on the actual fight against terrorism?

The Problem with Peacekeeping

Peacekeepers Among Dead in Haiti Clashes

World - AP Latin America

By STEVENSON JACOBS, Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - U.N. troops and ex-soldiers from Haiti's disbanded army fought two gunbattles on Sunday, leaving two peacekeepers and at least two former soldiers dead in the deadliest day for the 10-month-old U.N. mission, officials said.

The Sri Lankan and Nepalese soldiers who died were the first peacekeepers killed in clashes since the U.N. force arrived in June 2004 to try and stabilize the impoverished, volatile nation, officials said.

The U.N. troops entered Petit-Goave before dawn. Using a loudspeaker, the Brazilian commander of U.N. troops in Haiti, Lt. Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, tried for 20 minutes to get the former soldiers to surrender peacefully when they opened fire on U.N. troops, Kongo-Doudou said.

"We wanted to resolve this peacefully, but our troops received a hostile response from the insurgents and so they responded with force," he said.

The clashes were the first major confrontation between the 7,400-strong U.N. force and former members of Haiti's disbanded army, who helped oust former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a 1991 coup and again in an armed rebellion a year ago.

Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, has been in turmoil for years. A U.S.-led peacekeeping force was deployed after Aristide was forced into exile in February 2004, and this force was replaced by the U.N. peacekeepers in June. But armed rebels and former soldiers still control much of Haiti's countryside and the peacekeepers have been criticized for failing to curb violence.

U.N. forces detained 35 ex-soldiers following Sunday's gunbattle at the police station, Kongo-Doudou said.

The soldiers, many well into their 50s with fading uniforms and aging rifles, have bucked calls by the interim government and the U.N. force to disarm.

Aristide disbanded the army in 1995, four years after he was ousted. The 1991-1994 coup regime is blamed for the murders, maimings and torture of thousands of Aristide supporters, and today's former soldiers include convicted murderers.

The government plans to pay $29 million to about 6,000 former soldiers. There are no official estimates on how many took up arms last year, but estimates range from several hundred to 2,000.

Okay, lets take a look at what the UN in all its wisdom hath wrot. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and 7,500 peacekeepers can't control this little island, leaving large parts under the control of ex-army gunmen - poorly equiped and not under any real organization.

It would take a week for any serious armed force to disarm the whole island and lock up the gunmen but in typical UN fashion, in over six months they've done basically nothing. The money the ex-army soldiers want has not been paid - a paltry $29 million. Week two they could have paid them out in return for all weapons and equipment and the ex-soldiers would have happily taken the cash in return for weapons they probably can't afford to maintain. In fact, a very simple $ for guns arrangement could take weapons out of the hands of thousands of untrustworthy sorts and today there would be no dead peacekeepers.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Toronto Star Airbrushes Assad

Syria's Assad a work in progress
President `not a bad guy ... just not a born leader'

Some wonder if political neophyte wields real power

MITCH POTTER
MIDDLE EAST BUREAU

DAMASCUS—All the young Bashar Assad wanted to do was give the intransigent old men who run Syria a glimpse of the future.So the modern-minded president-in-waiting called them together, these Soviet-trained relics of a bygone era, and sat them down shoulder to shoulder for a fateful first encounter with the online universe.

Assad, 39, now five years into his fledgling presidency, continues to press the virtues of modernity and, by extension, a more open society for Syria. But those beguiled by his promise of a Damascus Spring learned early on that Syria's state security agents and the political cabals they represent have their own red lines, far less generous than those of the president.

Read the rest here - if you are so inclined.

Pardon me, but is this not a complete whitewash of reality? Assad is some kind of modern, forward-looking leader? The man leads a terrorist state; occupies a foreign country and I'd bet my bottom dollar is sitting on Sadaam's missing WMDs in the Bekaw valley. And yet the Toronto Star wants to cut him some slack.


Tremble before the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

Who are these people? They are some of the dingbat terrorists in the Philippines and allies of the Abu Sayyaf terrorists. The Abu Sayyaf group recently had a very nasty prison riot during which the Philippino police repressed the riot in a very nasty way resulting in the deaths of such famous wingnuts as "Commander Robot".

If you would like to know more about MILF, try typing it into google and pressing enter. I dare you. I also delight in the idea of somebody, someday telling these "hard asses" exactly what 90% of the world thinks MILF stands for.

Unending Liberal Rule

The Canadian Conservative party are holding their convention this weekend. They are not exactly all that conservative but compared to the Liberals they would be a big change. So we can only hope that they'll get their act together and put an end to the imperial Liberal rule - and then they do things like this:

Conservatives shed some of the vestiges of Reform past in move to centre Canadian Press

There were still some minor divisions between members of the founding parties. An attempt to establish a youth wing of the Conservative party was thwarted.
Former Progressive Conservatives such as Belinda Stronach, Peter McKay, John Baird and Tony Clement vigorously defended the need to have active campus associations to foster enthusiasm and develop potential future leaders. Experience around the world shows the correlation between active youth wings and electoral success, said Clement, a former leadership candidate.

"Every successful Conservative party has a youth and campus presence." Younger members of the Conservative caucus told delegates they don't need a youth wing to develop the party.

"They don't want to be segregated off into a sandbox and that was reflected in the vote here today," said Saskatchewan MP Jeremy Harrison, 27.

Liberal and NDP observers to the convention said they were dumbfounded by the decision. They claimed youth delegates infuse energy and new ideas to party debates.

To have no organized campus presence concedes the field to the bevy of liberal and socialist groups on every campus. It also deprives the party of foot soldiers during elections. Not smart at all.

Moonbats by the Thousands - er, Hundreds

Protests mark second anniversary of U.S. invasion of Iraq

Eilis Quinn
Canadian Press

Saturday, March 19, 2005

MONTREAL (CP) -- Small but noisy protests were held across Canada on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

In Montreal, antiwar demonstrator Denis Morton, 48, hoisted a 1.5-metre skeleton on his back as he prepared for the march through downtown. "It represents the death and destruction that the war on terror is bringing us," Morton said of the scythe-wielding puppet. "If I stay home and don't do anything it's like saying I accept (the occupation)."

Organizers said over 3,000 people turned out for the march to the U.S. consulate.

The colourful crowd banged drums, chanted slogans and pumped upside-down American flags in the air as they called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Marilyn Rheault, 24, travelled from Trois-Rivieres, about 140 kilometres northeast of Montreal, to attend. She said the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq didn't mean life had improved for the average civilian under U.S. occupation. "There's a lot of misinformation -- that (the Iraqis) have chosen their government so things aren't as bad," Rheault said.

"But it's the contrary, it's not really them that have chosen . . . . We have to send that message to the government -- both Canadian and American."

Although the demonstration drew just a fraction of the tens of thousands who clogged downtown Montreal to protest the war in 2003, organizers called the march a success. Raymond Legault, a spokesman for the antiwar group Echec a la guerre, said thousands of Iraqi civilians died in the war and continue to suffer.

"There's no significant improvement in people's lives," he said. "The people are more and more insecure and more divided then ever. For these reasons we think the occupation should stop immediately. That the troops there should leave."

In Toronto, about 500 protesters snaked through the downtown core, shutting down traffic as some shoppers looked on curiously. "I've been protesting for some time now and it does seem to make a little difference," said Beth Learn, whose ex-husband dodged the U.S. draft for the Vietnam War in 1969. "I think Canada ought to open their arms to (draft dodgers). They've nowhere else to go."

Security was especially tight as the crowd marched past the U.S. Consulate. At one point, minor shoving broke out between several protesters and police, but no arrests were made, police said. A similar number of protesters gathered in Vancouver opposite one of the city's armouries in preparation for a march through downtown. The marchers included the well-known Raging Grannies, a singing protest group known for their gingham dresses and colourful hats.

In Ottawa, about 100 protesters, mostly young students, waved signs and took over a major intersection a block from Parliament Hill to protest the war. War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget, said one sign. Dead Iraqis Don't Vote, said another. Cheryl Clark, 19, said she came to support the Iraqis. "We have to show our solidarity with the Iraqi people who are being killed by the occupation," Clark said. Mark Donald, 18, agreed. "We have to show George Bush that the world opposes what he's doing in Iraq."

Ahem... Bwa-ha-ha! Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators in Toronto, Canada's most populous city? You'd get more people walking in the park than that. My favourite part is the woman who says Canada should welcome US draft dodgers. The US hasn't had a draft in over 20 years...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Canada's Victoria Cross Recipients - all English but one

As a longtime student of military history, this is the first time I've ever come across this fact. It has been long known that french Canada has opposed external military actions and were bitterly against any involvement in WW2 and conscription. If you follow this link, you will see the names and action reports of all of Canada's 94 Victoria Cross recipients - only one is a french Canadian. Considering that french Canadians make up 20% of the population, you'd expect 20% of the VC recipients to be french, would you not? .001 doesn't look too good does it?

More than anything, Canada's listless, and frankly gutless non-involvement in the War on Terror is explained by our slavish adherence to french Canadian politics.

Here is the listing of Canada's Victoria Cross recipients.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A study in contrast:

First we see the Canadian War Memorial in downtown Ottawa. It shows a group of hardened World War One soldiers helping a gun team advance while shouldering their own weapons and gear. An inspirational monument at the foot of which is the grave of an unknown soldier who'se remains were brought home from Europe.




Now we see the recent monument a few blocks away to Canadian Peacekeeping. Is anyone even carrying a gun on this thing? This sums up the difference between a country that more than held its own in times past and is now a mere shadow of its former self, bowing at the altar of the cult of moral relativism.



I never walk by the real War Memorial without stopping to think of the brave men who stood so tall and I never walk past the Peacekeeping monument without grinding my teeth.

Lets not Mince Words

Fri, March 18, 2005

We're wimps
By PETER WORTHINGTON

WHAT A WIMPY country Canada has become -- and that's putting it gently.

When Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Israel sent Mossad to track down and eliminate the assassins.

It wasn't "law," but it sure was "justice." Rough justice.

When Libya sponsored terrorism and gave sanctuary to terrorists, U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1986 unleashed F-111 fighter jets to attack Col. Khadaffy -- which persuaded the tyrant to cool such behaviour.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush took action against terrorism (while Canada urged restraint).

After the bomb on Air India flight 182 killed some 320 Canadians in 1985, Canada waited 20 years -- then found the accused "Not Guilty."

This is not to say that Canada should have emulated Mossad and gone after the perpetrators, but a 20-year hiatus resulting in a "not-guilty" verdict is an obscenity of another sort.

Platitudes about "law" being more important than "justice" don't wash in this case.

Twenty years later and a trial of almost two years and a not-guilty verdict that cost $125 million-plus is outrageous and scandalous.

Worthington puts the blame squarely were it belongs - lack of co-operation between CSIS and the RCMP resulting in a complete fiasco.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cows come home to Roost

U.S. seeks to open border

Mar. 17, 2005. 08:47 PM


WASHINGTON — U.S. officials announced late today they'll appeal a temporary court-imposed delay on Canadian cattle imports. The move came as a federal judge in Montana, Richard Cebull, set July 27 for a critical hearing on whether the border should be permanently shut.

Permanently shut? Don't anyone for a minute tell me that things wouldn't be better if we cooperated with the US - our long-standing traditional ally and trading partner (largest trading arrangement in world history). Meanwhile, in Australia...

Australia won't rule out replacing Italian troops quitting Iraq

Wed Mar 16, 5:01 AM ET

Mideast - AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Prime Minister John Howard refused to rule out sending more Australian troops to Iraq (news - web sites) after Italy's surprise decision to pull its 3,000 soldiers from the war-torn country.

Australia announced last month that it would deploy an additional 450 soldiers to southern Iraq to help protect a Japanese humanitarian project and train Iraqi troops after the withdrawal of 1,400 Dutch military from the area.

That decision was opposed by most Australians and Howard came under sharp questioning in parliament Wednesday over whether he would again boost the number of Australian troops in Iraq to fill the gap left by the Italian pullout.

"We don't have any current plans to increase that number, but I cannot rule out some changes in the future and I don't intend to do so," Howard said, adding that Australia had received no requests for more troops.

What has Canada become? How much damage will our current politicos and MSM abetters do before we return to our traditional friends? It seems that even the word traditional is now out of style in Canada and has been completely replaced by the cult of multiculturalism.

Good to See

Victoria Cross
Award for Iraq bravery is first since Falklands War, first to a living person since 1965
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON — A British soldier who saved 30 comrades during a nighttime ambush in Iraq has been awarded the Victoria Cross, becoming the first recipient of the country's top military honour in more than 20 years.

The award citation said Pte. Johnson Beharry, 25, driver of a Warrior armoured vehicle with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, "carried out two individual acts of great heroism by which he saved the lives of his comrades."

CSIS and Air India Terrorism

Missing CSIS evidence spotlighted in Air India bombing acquittals

Wed Mar 16, 8:45 PM ET

STEVE MERTL

VANCOUVER (CP) - The acquittals of two men accused in the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 has once again cast a spotlight on the anti-terrorism role of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


The agency erased wiretap and interview tapes, including those of a key witness whose testimony the judge concluded could not be corroborated.

It underscores the dilemma for CSIS, which sees itself as an intelligence-gathering agency but which sometimes finds itself drawn into criminal prosecution in terror-related cases.

Unbelievable. The article goes on to say they couldn't store their audio tapes for storage and logistic reasons. Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I just had to look

Following up on the post below, I went in search of "The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada". Their website is the beyond parody named homesnotbombs.ca. Apparently they are deeply upset with CSIS detaining 5 (count 'em, 5) muslim men CSIS believes to be dangers to the public.

My favourite quote from their bizarre rantings is "Welcome to Canada's Guatanamo Bay". Give your head a shake...

CSIS Accused of Intimidation

CSIS agents intimidating bail-sureties for security detainees, lawyer says

Colin Perkel
Canadian Press

Wednesday, March 16, 2005



TORONTO (CP) - Canada's intelligence service is deliberately intimidating people who offer to put up bail for those the government deems a risk to national security, a Federal Court heard Tuesday.

The allegation came during a bail hearing for Mohammad Mahjoub, 44, an Egyptian held in a Toronto jail since his arrest as an alleged security threat since June 2000. During his testimony, a consulting engineer to the nuclear industry said he was afraid to visit Mahjoub in jail in light of two unsettling incidents that occurred after he first offered to put up $20,000 in bail money.

In the first incident a year ago, Mohammed Abdelhaleem said Canadian immigration authorities detained him for several hours on his return from Egypt, where he had gone to visit his dying mother.

He was similarly detained without explanation a month ago after returning from her funeral, he told the court.

"I don't know whether it's just scaring people," said Abdelhaleem, who has a security clearance and has never been in trouble with the law.

"Am I going to go through this every time I come to the country? How is this going to work?"

So who is this solid citizen that is being held?

The government alleges Mahjoub, who came to Canada in 1995, was a senior member of the Vanguards of Conquest, a terrorist group subsumed by the Egyptian Al Jihad and later by al-Qaida. An Egyptian military tribunal sentenced him in absentia to 15 years for his association with the organization.

So following the friends of suspected Al Qaeda terrorists as they travel back and forth to the Middle East is outrageous? I'd be outraged if CSIS wasn't doing this.

Now, here's the best part:

Also Tuesday, a long-time peace and rights activist offered to put up $5,000 for Mahjoub and help ensure he abide by any bail conditions.

Matthew Behrens, 40, said he came to know Mahjoub and his family almost four years ago.

The founder of the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, Behrens said he was "very concerned" about the length of the detention and that Mahjoub had a right to bail.

"I do not believe he poses a threat to the community or anyone," Behrens testified.

Are there really such people? The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada - truly amazing.

UN Hypocrisy

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in Ramallah on Monday the United Nations is establishing a register of property damage caused by the security fence, as hundreds of Palestinians protested the barrier outside the Palestinian Authority's Mukata compound in Ramallah.
Israel began building the fence two years ago, saying its aim was to keep out terrorists. Palestinians say the real intention is to grab land and draw a final border without waiting for a peace deal. One-third of the structure has been completed.


A register of property damage? How about a similar registry of damage caused by suicidal terrorists detonating themselves on the other side of the fence? The security fence works which is why it is so hated.

Avoid the Lloyd

In a response to his out and out ludicrous open letter to Condi Rice, Lloyed Axworthy has a new article marveling at the workings of the blogosphere and internet and has him surprised at the volume of email he has received. When you disrespect one of the most powerful people in the world in print, I'm sure that entitles you to more than a little email, mostly from like-minded moonbats.

As a Canadian who is proud of our martial past I take particular exception to these remarks from his Winnipeg Free Press article of March 10th:

"The message contained in the hundreds of e-mails I have received is that many Americans value Canada's willingness to be a good neighbour -- not as a clone of Bush-administration policies, but as a voice seeking solutions to security problems through collective, multilateral action rather than fear and the unilateral use of military power."

A "voice seeking solutions to security problems through collective, multilateral action..." Well the Liberals may have spent 30 years seeking, but they sure as hell haven't found anything. And just how many nations took part in the coalition in Iraq? Over 30 if memory serves me. Axworthy is an embarassment to the nation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

War on Terror at Home

Anti-Semitic incidents up in 2004: Jewish group

Terry Pedwell
Canadian Press

March 15, 2005

OTTAWA -- A "chilling'' new audit shows a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Canada last year.

B'nai Brith Canada's League for Human Rights released a report Tuesday citing 857 incidents across the country.

It's the highest number since the organization began tracking such incidents 22 years ago. And it's up 47 per cent from 2003.

These attacks coincide with the War on Terror. It is hardly a leap of logic to suggest that a sizeable number of the perpetrators are Muslims. Yet, the impression the article leaves you with is one of airbrushed reality. Even where people have been charged there is no examination of the ethnicity of the criminals because that wouldn't be politically correct enough.

I believe that Canada's lack of participation in the War on Terror has led to more attacks rather than fewer as our cowardly stance has emboldened the enemies of democracy. Spain is a perfect example.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Naomi Klein - Historical Half Wit

I'd be in a neck brace from shaking my head so hard every time I see Naomi Klein put down her granola long enough to spout off about the evil US of A. She was in her element exposing third world corporate misbehaviour back in the No Logo days. Now, with absolutely no background beyond hatred of the US, she graces the pages of The Guardian to share her factless, undocumented rantings.

Here are a few choice statements from her latest screed:

This new story is so contagious, we are told, that it has set off a domino effect akin to the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of communism. (Although in the "Arabian spring" the only wall in sight - Israel's apartheid wall - pointedly stays up.)

Apartheid Wall? Are people still saying that?

Meanwhile, Bush's freedom triumphalism glossed over the fact that, in the two years since the invasion, the power of political Islam has increased exponentially, while Iraq's deep secular traditions have been greatly eroded. In part, this has to do with the deadly decision to "embed" secularism and women's rights in the military invasion. Whenever Bremer needed a good-news hit, he had his picture taken at a newly opened women's centre, handily equating feminism with the hated occupation.

Political Islam's power has increased? Exponentially you say? Pardon me for referencing the real world but aren't they getting their asses handed to them on a plate these days? And for how long have women's rights in Islamic countries been a hated development amongst modern feminists? How can anyone, let alone precious Mz. Klein be against women's rights in a fledgling democracy?


The only idea that has ever stood up to kings, tyrants and mullahs in the Middle East is the promise of economic justice, brought about through nationalist and socialist policies of agrarian reform and state control over oil.

Waa? Now we see the "violence inherent in the system!" socialist policies of agrarian reform have stood up to tyrants in the Middle East? When exactly, Naomi, did that happen?

Too Funny

Stand back, people, the unstoppable army known as Catapult Collective here in sunny Ottawa have a plan to shatter, shatter, G.W. Bush's evil occupation of Iraq. They are planning a march on Saturday to "Take Down SNC!" Yes, well we all know what a household word SNC is so for the few of you who are emerging from comas I will let you in on who SNC are. They are a small Canadian company who amongst other things, sell bullets to the US military. Catapult Collective, in all their merciless splendour will meet this Saturday at the War Memorial (insert ironic snort here) to BRING DOWN SNC! As a long time resident of our nation's capital, I've seen many protests. I guarantee you that this one will be unworthy of even local news coverage. Pathetic.

If you're curious about what Canadian moonbats are like, here is their site. The best part is the statement that CANADIAN IMPERIALISM KILLS. Wow.

Read between the Lines

PM Martin announces $222 million for health research, including soldier study

JUDY MONCHUK

CALGARY (CP) - The mental-health toll of peacekeeping on Canadian soldiers, brought home by the emotional breakdown of retired general Romeo Dallaire, is one of the projects that will be studied with $222 million in research grants announced Monday by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Okay, now spending money on research is a good thing and even a stopped clock is right twice a day but for me the incredible thing here is mention of Romeo Dallaire and his emotional breakdown. It wasn't caused by the stress of being on the spot in Rwanda so much as it was being held captive by the UN's lack of courage. Had Dallaire and his men been given the green light to intervene, they could have prevented the Hutus from seizing an arms depot and arming their mass murder. Canadian soldiers have always pulled their weight and even a small force, armed to the teeth with training, weapons and the knowledge they were right could have saved the lives of untold thousands of innocents.

Right on the Money

Canada needs to improve international clout, says outgoing U.S. ambassador


TERRY PEDWELL

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada needs to boost its clout on the international scene by buying larger military aircraft, increasing its combat-ready forces and taking a more active role in the Middle East peace process, says outgoing U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci.

In the four years he has served as the voice of the United States in Ottawa, Cellucci has argued vigorously for Canada to increase defence spending.

Ottawa needs to target the nearly $13 billion for the military in last month's budget to become a bigger player on the world stage, Cellucci said Monday as he prepared to leave his post this week.

One way to improve its international stature is to buy or directly lease planes big enough to handle what is known as strategic airlift, Cellucci said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

With them, the ambassador argued, Canada could have provided speedy aid to people affected by the devastating Dec. 26 Asian tsunami, which left nearly 150,000 people dead across 11 countries.

When the Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, was deployed to Sri Lanka earlier this year as part of an international relief effort, it rented Russian Antonov AN-124 aircraft to transport its equipment overseas.

Read the rest here.

Words of Wisdom

Another great Steyn article - is there any other kind? If you have to subscribe to the Western Standard to read this, so be it.

We’re doomed

Monday, 14 March 2005
Mark Steyn


It’s in the nature of things that a conservative columnist in Trudeaupia spends much of his time lowering his readers into the abyss of despair. And, to be honest, I get a little disheartened by the amount of correspondence I get beginning, “Great piece on the Martin Liberals! Right on the money!! Do you have any information on emigrating to the U.S.? Or maybe one of those eastern European countries with the 16 per cent flat tax?”

Which I suppose gets to the heart of the matter: is Canada doomed?

Read the rest here

Cedar Revolution = Radio Silence

I'm still waiting to hear even one word of encouragement from the Canadian government. Considering the large number of Lebanese Canadians here, you'd think they'd at least make a token effort to buy their votes with some hollow words. Not even.

Anti-Syrian Protesters Flood Lebanese Capital

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of anti-Syrian protesters flooded central Beirut on Monday in what witnesses said was Lebanon's biggest demonstration since former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri's killing exactly a month ago.

Photo
Flag-waving crowds from across Lebanon packed the capital's Martyrs' Square, near Hariri's grave, and swamped nearby areas to demand an international inquiry into his death, the sacking of Syrian-backed security chiefs and a total Syrian pullout.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Anti Terrorism Canadian Style

Families await Air India trial verdict

Camille Bains
Canadian Press

Saturday, March 12, 2005


VANCOUVER -- Twenty years after a bomb ripped through an Air India plane, killing 329 people and shattering the lives of their families worldwide, two men accused in Canada's worst act of aviation terrorism are about to learn their fate.

Ripudaman Singh Malik, 58, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, 55, face eight charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy in the June 23, 1985, bombing of Flight 182.

Twenty years...And there is no shortage of evidence to link these terrorists to the crime. Twenty years...

Friday, March 11, 2005

One Year Ago Today

Today marks the first anniversary of the Madrid bombings in which 191 people were murdered by Islamic terrorists. The always great Charles at Little Green Footballs underscores the politically correct insanity which holds sway in Spain by pointing out that the newly-appointed high commissioner for the Madrid bomb victims has asked the media to refrain from publishing more images of the March 11 attacks.

It is vital to the very real War on Terror that the truth isn't "cleansed" to make people cool off. There is a brief movie clip from the security camera in the train station at Atocha which is being shown at LGF to underscore the need to remember.

http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php

More US Bashing from the Liberals

U.S.-bashing Liberal 'sorry'

By TERRY PEDWELL

OTTAWA (CP) - Liberal MP Marlene Jennings apologized Thursday for comments she made about the trade practices of the U.S. government.

Jennings told a Commons committee earlier this week that Ottawa should "embarrass" the Americans by warning their potential trade partners about Canada's trade difficulties with the U.S.

"Let's embarrass the hell out of the Americans," Jennings told the all-party committee, suggesting the federal government warn potential customers that the U.S. doesn't always treat even its close neighbour and favoured trading partner well.

"They (America) want to expand their markets and other countries are going to be leery" if they hear of Canada's experiences, Jennings said Tuesday.

The Quebec MP made the comments after experts told the committee that political embarrassment of Washington may be a good way to pressure the U.S. into agreeing to fix Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the section aimed at settling trade wars.

But on Thursday, Jennings said she was sorry for her remarks.

"I would apologize to the members in this House that my comments were a little bit exaggerated," she told the Commons.

"I believe that it is up to our government, and each one of us, to undertake to be constructive in our relationship with (the) United States," she said.

"It is in our interest. It is part of our Canadian values to cherish the relationship with the United States."

Critics called Tuesday's remarks just one more example of how the Liberals are fostering anti-U.S. sentiment in Canada.

"I think it's entirely appropriate to play hardball" with the U.S. over trade disputes, said Conservative MP Monte Solberg.

"But not after weeks, months and now years of sticking (the Bush administration) in the eye every time some cabinet minister or parliamentary secretary decides they're going to quit concealing their anti-Americanism."

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said he accepted Jennings' acknowledgement that she used a "poor choice of words."



You can draw a direct line from the time US-Canada relations went bad to the rise and reign of the current, unending Liberal government. The Liberals pander to anti-American sentiment, particulary in Quebec. The result? A lack of co-operation on trade issues from the US. Why even bother taking Canada into consideration if we constantly run them down and refuse to participate internationally with our traditional allies?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Albertan Tax Dollars Funding Leftist Nonsense

  • While trolling around various leftist sites I happened upon oneworld.ca. This haven from reality included the transcript of a speech given at the IFG Forum at the Fifth World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jan 29, 2005 by Gordon Laxer. His speech was entitled "The US Empire and Popular Sovereignty". Here are a few choice excerpts:

    "The 95% of humans who do not live in the United States can be thankful to George W. Bush. He pledged to free us all. “Bomb us into freedom”. Look at how well American style freedom is working in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and for Palestinians. "
  • The American Empire is spawning its antidote by reinvigorating contestations for sovereignty around the world. Iraqis are fighting a war of national liberation. US officials have long seen economic nationalism, popular national democracy, or regionally supportive groupings of independent states, as their most effective adversaries. First, US governments use strong pressures to defeat them. When those fail, attempts at ruthless suppression usually follow.

Typical leftist clap-trap, no? And who really cares what one aging hippie thinks or spouts off about while on a junket to South America, right? Mr. Gordon Laxer is the head of The Parkland Institute, situated in Edmonton, Alberta. They do a typical garden variety of left wing agitation which is no sin in and of itself. However, The Parkland Institute's office is on the grounds of the University of Alberta. Not only that but in their own words "The Parkland Institute is an Alberta research network situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta".

Very few Albertans would share Mr. Laxer's views on the United States or anti-capitalist agitation. Virtually none would support this group's being based at the publicly owned University of Alberta and living off taxpayers money.

The Parkland Institute's website is located at http://www.ualberta.ca/~parkland/index.html. If you click on the tab for funding, it is strangely blank.





Wednesday, March 09, 2005

CSIS - inaction

Don't let the headline fool you, folks. CSIS is still arm-deep in cereal boxes looking for decoder rings.

  • CSIS eyes mosques suspected in terror
  • They're being watched, agency says
  • Believed to be assisting with recruiting
    TONDA MACCHARLES
  • OTTAWA BUREAU
  • OTTAWA—Canada's spy agency is monitoring certain mosques in the country that it suspects are raising funds for terrorist activities and recruiting terrorist sympathizers, a senior CSIS official says.

But wait! Sounds like serious stuff but by the end of the article CSIS is defending itself on the list of things it is making sure it doesn't do:

The appearance of Canada's two top spymasters yesterday revealed several other aspects of CSIS activities:


  • Judd said Canada's spy agency has never exported or aided another country to ship abroad suspected terrorists for tough interrogations or torture.
    Judd denied CSIS had any role in the decision by the United States to deport Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen, to his native country where Arar says he was tortured.
    But in doing so, he acknowledged there was communication "after" that deportation occurred.
    He revealed the service is actively considering whether to recommend the Tamil Tigers be blacklisted as a terrorist organization, but admitted the government does not want to adversely affect the peace process in Sri Lanka.
    He disclosed that the intelligence agency's internal list of terror or espionage suspects contains a list of individuals "in the triple digits," although he would not say if it was closer to one thousand or one hundred names.
    He revealed that, despite passage of a law last year in response to "urgent" appeals for access to more airline passenger information, CSIS has not yet begun to use airline information to try to cross-reference it and identify terrorist suspects. The explanation? The "technical" aspects of the computer system that would do the work have not been finalized, and "privacy concerns."
    "We want to be absolutely scrupulous in how we would proceed with this provision," he said.


Ah, privacy concerns. We wouldn't want to offend anyone afterall.



Canadian Oil for Food Scandal Willfuly Ignored

How Montreal's Power Corp. found itself caught up in the biggest fiasco in UN history
by Kevin Steel, The Western Standard

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Most Canadian companies look forward to the day they earn themselves a mention on the prime-time news. They hire PR firms and spend thousands to harass news

editors with press releases to tout their latest acquisition, invention or foreign venture in hopes of convincing someone to give them even a passing mention on the national news–never mind the nearly unimaginable publicity of being plugged on a U.S. newscast.

But when Montreal-based Power Corporation of Canada found itself, in late January, the topic of a news story on America’s top-rated Fox News Channel, which draws millions of U.S. and international viewers, executives there probably weren’t thrilled. Unlike most publicly traded firms looking to build their brand on Wall Street, Power Corp. is, at the best of times, a quiet, often obscured company (in the past year it’s issued a total of five news releases). That might seem strange, given the massive size and, well, power wielded by the holding company. Power controls some of Canada’s biggest blue-chip companies, including the Investors Group, the country’s largest mutual fund dealer, and investment firm Mackenzie Financial. It owns insurers Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life and London Life. Power owns several Quebec newspapers, including La Presse. It also holds substantial positions in Chinese airlines and telecom firms and has large stakes in the world’s leading entertainment company, Bertelsmann, as well as a big piece of one of Europe’s largest oil producers. In 2003, Power Corp. reported annual revenues of $16 billion.

But the Fox News story wasn’t prompted by an announcement from Power of some billion-dollar takeover or the appointment of a new senior executive. It was something altogether different: the revelation that the man handpicked by the UN secretary general last April to probe the UN’s scandalized Oil-for-Food program, Paul Volcker, had not disclosed to the UN that he was a paid adviser to Power Corp., a story which had originally been broken by a small, independent Toronto newspaper, the Canada Free Press. Why did the highest-rated cable channel in the U.S. care? Because the more that Americans came to know about Oil-for-Food, which has been called the largest corruption scandal in history, the more the name of this little-known Montreal firm kept popping up. And the more links that seemed to emerge between Power Corp. and individuals or organizations involved in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the more Fox News and other news outlets sniffing around this story began to ask questions about who, exactly, this Power Corp. is. And, they wanted to know, what, if anything, did Power have to do with a scandal in which companies around the world took bribes to help a murderous dictator scam billions of dollars in humanitarian aid out of the UN while his people suffered and starved?

Just a month before the Canada Free Press revealed that Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, is a member of Power Corp.’s international advisory board–and a close friend and personal adviser to Power’s owner, Paul Desmarais Sr.–a U.S. congressional investigation into the UN scandal discovered that Power Corp. had extensive connections to BNP Paribas, a French bank that had been handpicked by the UN in 1996 to broker the Oil-for-Food program. In fact, Power actually once owned a stake in Paribas through its subsidiary, Pargesa Holding SA. The bank also purchased a stake in Power Corp. in the mid-seventies and, as recently as 2003, BNP Paribas had a 14.7 per cent equity and 21.3 per cent voting stake in Pargesa, company records show. John Rae, a director and former executive at Power (brother of former Ontario premier Bob Rae), was president and a director of the Paribas Bank of Canada until 2000. And Power Corp. director Michel François-Poncet, who was, in 2001, the vice-chairman of Pargesa, also sat on Paribas’s board, though he died Feb. 10, at the age of 70. A former chair of Paribas’s management board, André Levy-Lang, is currently a member of Power’s international advisory council. And Amaury-Daniel de Seze, a member of BNP Paribas’s executive council, also sat on Pargesa’s administrative council in 2002.

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Here's something you don't see every day...

Nuff said...


Down the Memory Hole

Only a few weeks ago, on February 18th, Prime Minister Martin said of Syria's occupation of Lebanon that "It’s clear that if the Syrians are in Lebanon it’s because they must keep the peace,” Martin told reporters.

Why so much silence concerning the Cedar Revolution? After years of thumping their chests and proclaiming Canada the world's leader in peacekeeping, the fact is that they'd hate for anyone to get the idea that Canada will say or do anything about a place like Lebanon. I'm not advocating any such thing right now - right now - but the day may come to pass when peacekeepers could be invaluable in preventing a civil war and giving democracy a fighting chance. Better to lay low in advance than risk being called on it some day down the road.

Monday, March 07, 2005

PM reneged: Cellucci

  • Canada gave impression 'in very direct way' it would participate in missile shield
  • Mark Kennedy and Mike Blanchfield
    CanWest News Service

  • Monday, March 07, 2005
  • OTTAWA - The Martin government long ago gave the "direct" impression to the Bush administration that Canada would join the missile defence program, U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci says.
Read the whole thing here.

Further confirmation that this isn't a simple misunderstanding but is a flat out renege on a previously agreed program.

Gun Registry Lunacy

Over a billion dollars spent - and to what end?

  • $1B gun registry branded `useless'
  • ANDREW CHUNG
  • STAFF REPORTER
  • Rochfort Bridge, Alta.—New questions are being asked about Canada's controversial and expensive gun registry, and why it didn't keep a high-calibre assault rifle out of the hands of a man who killed four Mounties in a cold-blooded ambush.
  • Despite the Firearms Act and its related programs — designed to keep firearms from people who are likely to be a danger to themselves or to others — local farmer Jim Roszko managed to obtain and keep the high-powered weapon, which he used Thursday to kill RCMP constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol before turning the gun on himself.
Read the whole thing here

Gospel Truth

This, from the Calgary Sun - proof that not all of Canada has lost its mind (hat tip to Manyu)

  • Mon, March 7, 2005
  • PM should tell truth
  • Canada has more to lose in game of tit-for-tat than U.S.
  • By Ezra Levant -- Calgary Sun
  • Another day, another excuse: So now Ottawa claims we didn't join the ballistic missile defence system because... we're mad at the U.S. for their trade barriers against Canadian beef and softwood lumber.
  • Yeah, right.
  • It's not true, of course. Paul Martin -- or Mr. Dithers as the Economist calls him --flipped and flopped his way to his final, anti-U.S. decision as a result of one thing only: The France-like anti-Americanism that infests the key province of Quebec, the province that counts to him more than any other, more than Canada itself, in fact.
  • Martin knows that Quebecers are pacifists and anti-Americans. He wants to gain seats there. So he rebuked U.S. President George W. Bush to win points in suburban Montreal. Simple as that.
  • But he should say so. At least it would be honest -- crass and foolish, but honest.
  • Instead, he ordered our new ambassador to Washington to offer an after-the-fact rationale -- that it was all about softwood lumber and mad cow bans.
  • We know that's not true. Ottawa has not made the resolution of either of those issues a top priority. They weren't a top priority in the last election campaign; they haven't been a top priority in Parliament. They aren't a priority at all -- gay marriage and national daycare are Martin's priorities. This is an excuse.
  • But even if it were true, it would be foolish. Canada should make its military decisions based on what we need militarily. Either we need a missile-defence shield or we don't. If we need one, we should support it.
  • If we don't, we shouldn't. (Though it would be tough to think of why we wouldn't sign on to the U.S. proposal -- they spend all the money, we get half the benefit.)
  • Other political issues should never interfere with our government's essential responsibility to defend the security of our country.
  • To do otherwise is to hold hostage our own country's safety -- not a smart way to negotiate. Certainly not a sensible way to run a military.
  • But even if we weren't dealing with something as important as defence, it wouldn't be smart negotiating anyway.
  • The U.S. can survive without Canadian co-operation. We can't survive without theirs.
  • Take the beef ban. The majority of Canadian beef is -- or was -- exported to the U.S.
  • We can't simply "eat" our way out of that problem. The U.S., on the other hand, could easily "eat" its way out of a reciprocal beef ban, because they have 300 million mouths down there. They don't need our markets.
  • For everything we export to them, there are a dozen U.S. trade lobbyists trying to kick us out. The Liberal "negotiating" tactic makes their job easier.
  • We have much more to lose in a game of tit for tat than they do.
  • These points have been made by others. But there is another point, too: The West's industries are the ones being linked and threatened here. Western beef. Western lumber. Will Western oil be next? (According to the Washington-based Weekly Standard, during his recent trip to China, Martin did sign a declaration offering China favourable access to Ft. McMurray's oil sands.)
  • Martin's new Parliamentary ally, NDP leader Jack Layton, has expressed a desire to slap an export tax on energy, something the Liberals have experience with.
  • The Liberals would never play chicken with Ontario cars, or Quebec dairy products. But Western grievances? No problem,especially if the goal is to distract from the real, Quebec-based reason for disparaging the U.S.
There are those who say that the Sun chain of newspapers are tabloids and light on news. If light on news means not having some giant Metro section of meaningless stories, then yes, they are. However, they are an everyman's kind of paper and reflect a lot of common beliefs that the ivory tower inhabitants ignore.