Sunday, October 31, 2004

My Schadenfreude Moment

Turns out Al Jazeera had a few ethical considerations in airing the full new Osama bin Laden videotape and chose only to air a carefully chosen 6 minutes. Threaten to kill Americans - okay, whine about Bushie having you on the run – bad. Note from Al Jazeera to OBL: whining is an unattractive quality in a terrorist.

The full tape runs to 18 minutes and the New York Post is reporting on what did not make the airwaves:
Osama bin Laden's newest tape may have thrust him to the forefront of the presidential election, but what was not seen was the cave-dwelling terror lord talking about the setbacks al Qaeda has faced in recent months.

Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape — of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday — bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Shhh! No one tell Michael Moore.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

In Osama bin Laden’s latest video release he said something that piqued my interest. He stated that is was the behaviour of the American 6th Fleet in Lebanon in 1982 that inspired him to attack Americans. I could have sworn that originally Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda declared war against America because American infidel soldiers were being based in Saudi Arabia and thereby polluting the sacred soil, but hey, never let it be said that I cannot go with the flow.

"God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind. The incidents that affected me directly go back to 1982 and afterward, when America allowed Israelis to invade Lebanon, with the help of the American 6th Fleet. In these tough moments, many things raged inside me that are hard to describe, but they resulted in a strong feeling against injustice and a strong determination to punish the unjust. While I was looking at these destroyed towers in Lebanon, it sparked in my mind that the tyrant should be punished with the same and that we should destroy towers in America, so that it tastes what we taste and would be deterred from killing our children and women."

This interesting piece of historical distortion sent me back to the books to review the history of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. To understand the rationale of why Israel invaded Lebanon, it is first necessary to understand the context that caused the Israeli’s to invade in the first place.

After attempting to wrestle control against the Jordanian King, the PLO and supporters were driven out and found refuge in Lebanon. Incidentally, Arafat called the King Hussein’s crackdown on Palestinian terrorists a "genocide" against the Palestinian people but nevertheless enough terrorists survived to continue their activities in Lebanon. Once in Lebanon the PLO supporters proceeded to create chaos and mayhem around the world and set about the destruction of civil society in Lebanon where they had found refuge.

The training, planning, organization and financing for the next 8 years of terror were all masterminded in Lebanon by the PLO and supporters. From the Nahariya/Arivim School bus hijacking (yes, the PLO hijacked school buses full of 6-9 year olds), Lod Airport Massacre, Munich Olympic Massacre, Kiryat Shmona Apartment Building Seige, Ma’alot School Seige, Tel Aviv Savoy Hotel hostage taking. After the Costal Road Bus Hijacking that left 35 dead and over 100 wounded the Israeli government launched the Litani River Operation, or the first incursion into Lebanon designed to destroy the PLO bases and staging areas in southern Lebanon. The IDF only penetrated 10 kilometers into Lebanon. The UN Security Council passed resolution 425 condemning the Israeli incursion and calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces in Lebanon.

On March 19, 1978 UN Security Council adopted Resolution 425 calling for the complete withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon and establishing a buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon to be manned by an UNIFIL peacekeeping force for the south of Lebanon. Two months after the invasion Israel withdrew to allow UNIFIL forces to patrol a buffer zone in Southern Lebanon. The UNIFIL forces were unable to stop PLO infiltration into Israel by PLO terrorists and there began a series of attacks and retaliatory attacks between the PLO and IDF forces. In 1981, the Reagan Administration brokered a cease fire that lasted approximately 11 months. During this period there were over 270 attacks staged against Israel by the PLO forces leaving 29 Israeli’s murdered and over 300 injured.

The cease fire agreement was honoured by Israel until June 3, 1982 when Abu Nidal organized and planned an assassination attempt against Israeli Ambassador, Shlomo Argov in London. June 4th and 5th saw the IDF launch a retaliatory strike against PLO bases. In return the PLO launched a massive intense artillery and mortar barrage against the Israeli civilian population of Galilee – in spite of the best efforts of UNIFIL.

On June 6, 1982 Israel launched Operation Peace for Galilee or the full scale invasion of southern Lebanon and the invasion began in earnest. In taking the territory from the most southerly part of Lebanon to Beirut; enough weapons and munitions were seized to outfit 5 Israeli brigades. In August, US Ambassador Philip Habib negotiated the withdrawal of Yassir Arafat and his PLO. The Reagan Administration created the Multi-National Force (MNF) that was to facilitate the process of Israeli & PLO withdrawal. On August 21st French troops arrived who were followed by the US Marines on August 24th. By September 1st over 14,000 PLO forces were evacuated and relocated to Tunis, Tunisia without significant incidents and the US Marines withdraw to their ships on September 10th.

During the proceeding days the situation deteriorated and cumulated with Syrian backed group assassinating Maronite Catholic President-Elect Bashir Gemavel who favoured co-operation with Israel on September 14th. On September 15th, under orders from the Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon (without the backing of the Israeli cabinet) moved forward and took up positions throughout much of West Beirut. The US and the UN called for immediate Israeli withdrawal. Concerned that PLO forces or agents were left in the refugee camps the Israeli’s allowed the Christian Phalange forces under the leadership of Elie Hobeika to enter the camps for the express purpose of routing out any PLO forces that remained behind. 700-800 Palestinian refugees (men, woman and children) were murdered by the Phalangists until the Israeli forces wrestled control from the Phalangists in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

President Ronald Reagan outraged at the horror of the massacre announced on September 20th a new formation of a MNF from the US, France and Italy to take over in Lebanon until the Lebanese had a chance to stabilized their government. Negotiations over the withdrawal of Israeli forces and a possible treaty between Lebanon and Israel were conducted. The negotiations also included the need for the removal of the foreign fighters that were still left in the country.

In April 1983 a car bomb placed by Hezbollah operating from Syrian controlled territory exploded at the US embassy in Beirut, killing 17 US diplomatic and military personnel and over 40 Lebanese citizens.

In May 1983 Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement ending the State of War between the countries but the agreement was contingent upon Syrian and Palestinian forces leaving the country in a parallel withdrawal with the Israeli forces. Syria who controlled 35% of Lebanon refused to withdraw and the agreement was never executed. The only unbiased stabilizing force was the MNF. As 1983 continued the US Marines were more and more involved with armed clashed with the remnants of PLO, Syrian supplied Druze/Lebanese Muslim fractions. On the dawn of October 23rd, trucks packed with explosives blew-up the Marine and French barracks. The death toll was 241 US Marines and 56 French Troops.

By February 1984 active fighting had broken out between the Syrian backed Druze and Muslim militia forces and the Lebanese Army. On February 26, 1984 the MNF were ordered out of Lebanon. The US Marines were moved to their ships offshore. On March 5th, the government of Lebanon under pressure by Syria renounced the May 17, 1983 agreement for ending the State of War with Israel. In June 1985, Israel withdrew most of its troops from Lebanon leaving a small Israeli force and an Israeli supported militia (South Lebanon Army) in southern Lebanon creating a security zone in a 3-5 mile strip along the length of the Lebanese-Israeli border.

On May 24, 2000 Israel withdrew all its troops out of southern Lebanon and all Israeli and South Lebanon Army outposts were evacuated. Not even 6 months after the complete withdrawal of Israeli and SLA forces from the buffer zone, Yassir Arafat, from the West Bank launched his current Intifada against Israel.

There are obvious lessons here. It is important to note that the 6th Fleet never offered support in any way shape or form for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. If it was not for the active intervention of the Reagan Administration, Arafat and his PLO minions would not have made it out of Lebanon alive. The US Marine role in Lebanon was peacekeeping. For the MNF’s efforts, they suffered substantial attacks and casualties from the very people they trying to protect. In the end, the decision to remove the MNF from Lebanon was based on the fact that the there was no possibility of peace to keep between the warring Syrian backed Muslim militia, Palestinian, Phalange/Christian militia fractions. Finally, there is no country where Arafat and his minions have ever taken root that they have not attempted to subvert and destroy the infrastructural of civil society that they were residing in. As my grandmother use to say, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Alaa Speaks!

Since Osama bin Laden threw his two cents in on the forthcoming US election I think that it is only fair that Alaa, an Iraqi blogger at The Mesoptamian have his say too:
Well if Senator Kerry is such a good man, and he may well be, then it would be prudent to wait just another four years to elect him, after the job is done. And if this is interference in your national affairs by a foreigner, I am not going to give you any apology for it.

Please take the time and read his whole post here.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Osama Bin Laden: The Mid-East’s Michael Moore.

Okay, I was wrong, there is something new under the sun; Osama bin Laden is shilling for Michael Moore:

"It never occurred to us that the commander in chief of the country (Bush) would leave 50,000 citizens in the two towers to face those horrors alone ... because he thought listening to a child discussing her goats was more important," bin Laden said, referring to Bush's visit to a school when the attack occurred."

So its official, Michael Moore has had another "celebrity" endorsement.Obviously, the tape is an attempt to influence the American electorate especially when OBL starts using Michael Moore’s talking points. Actually, they both have a great deal in common. They both wear beards, big clothes,hats, and don’t forget - they both hold the same grudges: Saudis, Bushs, Israelis.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Remembrance of Those Passed

Today at lunch I sat down on a bench in an outside garden and opened the Globe and Mail though I only managed to read one article. Doug Sanders was reporting on the return of the Canadian liberators to Ortona, Italy, 61 years after the brutal battle of that seaside town. In Ortona, 1,375 Canadian soldiers fell in the seven days it took to drive the Germans from the town. I often wonder how on earth I will ever become a military historian when I seem to spend all my time crying my way through battles for those who have fallen or were maimed in the cause of freedom and liberty.

"It was just terrible to see. There were just hundreds of heavy guns firing throughout the day and night, people lying dead and injured all around you, snipers everywhere and mountains of rubble," said William (Skull) Worton, 85. Mr. Worton was a sergeant who fought his way from building to building with the Vancouver-based Seaforth Highlanders regiment.

In Ortona today, the destruction and death are still overshadowed by the deep sense of relief provided by the arrival of the Canadians."Our lives were ugly," said Silvana San Vitale, who was a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Ortona at the time. "Before the Canadians came, it was horrible -- no work, no food, no life. We lost our nona [grandmother]. We were moving out of town to get away from the bombs, and since she was old, the Nazis made her get off the truck and they shot her in the road. Right in front of us." "Then the Canadians came," said her brother Giannetto, who was 13 at the time. "We were starving and they fed us. We are in eternal gratitude for that."

"On Dec. 13, the battle came to our little house," said Tomaso Dimascio, 75. “We were surrounded by Germans and everything was destroyed -- our house and everything around us. The explosions were everywhere. So we ran out of our house, to the Canadians -- our whole family. I hadn't had any food for days, so I asked for bread." Mr. Dimascio wept as he recalled his encounter with the Edmontonians who fed him. "My face was very skinny from not having eaten. They told me I was very brave, and they let me stay there, giving food to people. I am so grateful."
Hundreds of Ortona residents flocked to the town's Canadian military graveyard, a peaceful spot in an olive grove that contains more dead Canadian soldiers than any other spot in the world, to give thanks to the men whom they had last seen when they were young.

For the Canadians, it was a rare moment of recognition for an event that is often compared to the Battle of Stalingrad for its carnage and ferocity.
The Canadians often are credited with having developed some key techniques of urban warfare, including "mouseholing," in which holes are blown through upper-floor walls so soldiers can move from one building to the next.


But the far more difficult and bloody campaign to liberate Italy was a larger event for Canadians, and is considered important in having drawn Hitler's forces away from the West. "People talk about it as if it was a sideshow, but this was bloody tough fighting. It was Hitler's best regiments and tanks, and it was terrible mud and hilly terrain, and we had a terrible time just moving around, but we did it," said Ivan Gunter, 84, a private who was an intelligence scout with the Ontario-based Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment.

To the:

Royal 22e Regiment & Ontario Regiment - Je me Souviens,
To the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada - Cuidich’N Righ
Hasting & Prince Edward Regiment -Paratus
48th Highlanders -Dileas Gu Brath.

I am grateful, and hope, that I will remain, Fior Go Bas.

Iraqi Sarindar?

There could be a multitude of other equally valid explanations for the alleged missing weapons cache -- rather than blaming it all on the Russians; but I thought this opinion piece written by Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence officer to ever defect from a "Soviet Bloc" country might shed some light on why this could be a potential Iraqi "Sarindar" Operation.

Russia: Last out of the Gate?

Bill Gertz at the Washington Times is reporting that Russian special forces were tasked with removing weapons and destroying documents in the weeks leading up to the March 2003 Coalition invasion of Iraq. The article suggests that the weapons were to moved to Syria and dispersed to Iran and Lebanon.

John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.

"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."

Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloging the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.

Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.

Well, well.

I remember the Bush Administration in the weeks prior to Iraqi invasion had suggested that they had found evidence of Russian firms suppling Iraq with night vision googles, jamming systems and anti-tank missles; all items that were that were in direct violation of the UN sanctions so it is very well within the realm of possibilities that the Russian government had a vested self-interest in aiding the Saddam Regime in removing equipment, munitions and weapons from Iraq prior to the arrival of Coalition forces.

UN Malice?

Clifford D. May at National Review Online asks why:

The United Nations is already embroiled in the largest economic scam in world history: the multibillion dollar Oil-for-Food scandal. Now there is reason to ask whether a senior U.N., official also has attempted to influence an American election by spreading misleading information?

Finish Reading Clifford D. May’s "Bombgate" here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Latest Spin

One of the greatest disappointments in this election is the overall poor quality of journalism both here, south of the border, and in the world beyond. I can accept that the fact that journalists and editors have bias, but in the current election news cycle they seemed to be more concerned with how to spin a story rather than to get on with the job at hand and report the story. I am nothing but a code challenged blogger hack, I have a full-time job and family responsibilities. No one pays me to write and I have a very finite amount of time, resources, and access to information, and yet, I seem to spend more time hunting down references than the alleged professionals.

Monday night I posted reports based on a reporter who was embedded with the 101st Airborne and arrived with the troops at Al Qaqaa on April 10th. Yesterday, the embedded NBC reporter was busying back tracking the original broadcast from Monday night and claimed there was no thorough search of the facilities in the rush to reach Baghdad.

Yesterday Drudge Report posted an article that CBS was running with the same munitions story with an eye to air the piece on the eve of the election but the NY Times broke the story first.

The irony is that CBS had already broken this story on April 3, 2003:

U.S. troops found thousands of boxes of white powder, nerve agent antidote and Arabic documents on how to engage in chemical warfare at an industrial site south of Baghdad. But a senior U.S. official familiar with initial testing said the materials were believed to be explosives.

Col. John Peabody, engineer brigade commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said the materials were found Friday at the Latifiyah industrial complex just south of Baghdad. "It is clearly a suspicious site," Peabody said. CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reports that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction continues at sites where the U.S. thought chemicals weapons might be hidden. "And although there are no reports of actual weapons being found, there are constant finds of suspicious material," Martin said. "It obviously will take laboratory testing to find out exactly what that powder is." The senior U.S. official, based in Washington and speaking on condition of anonymity, said the material was under further study.

The site is enormous and U.S. troops are still investigating it for potential weapons of mass destruction, the official said. "Initial reports are that the material is probably just explosives, but we're still going through the place," the official said. Peabody said troops found thousands of boxes, each of which contained three vials of white powder, together with documents written in Arabic that dealt with how to engage in chemical warfare. He also said they discovered atropine, used to counter the effects of nerve agents.

The facility had been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency as a suspected chemical, biological and nuclear weapons site. U.N. inspectors visited the plant at least nine times, including as recently as Feb. 18. The facility is part of a larger complex known as the Latifiyah Explosives and Ammunition Plant al Qa Qaa. During the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. jets bombed the plant. Troops also discovered what they believe is a training center for nuclear, chemical and biological warfare in Iraq's western desert, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks said Friday.

Read the rest.

If George W. Bush is relected on November 2, 2004, what on earth will MSM publish – that the UN declares John Kerry the winner and the general assembly has passed a resolution to this effect, and American citizens should respect the authority of the United Nations in governing their lives?

Tipped off by Powerline)

Update: Captain's Quarter has found more sources from the briefing on the Qaqaagate munitions and does anyone know what Baghdad Bob is doing now?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Poof! Gone in Seconds

The big lead story of today seems not to be the imaginary memories of John Kerry but a missing cache of explosives from Iraq reported by a New York Times article. Reportedly 350 or 380 tons or is tonnes? And when exactly did it go missing: after the last inspection but before the invasion, during the initial stages of invasion or once the occupation was firmly established? Either 350/380 tons/tonnes being unaccounted for is a serious matter and should not be treated lightly though Iraq on the whole seems to be one large ammo dump from sea to mosque to school to desert spidey hole.

A Seattle-Times article from last June reported that 110,000 tons of explosives/munitions had been destroyed by coalition forces and 138,000 tons are behind securely held protective barriers. 350/380 ton(ne)s vs 248,000 tons. Do the math.

Jim Geraghtry of the Kerry Spot has posted a report by Miklaszewski from NBC Nightly News take on the missing explosives:

NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.” (NBC’s “Nightly News,” 10/25/04)
Now how about MSM ask John Kerry why he repeated claimed he met with the entire UN Security Council - when in fact, he simply did not do so.

For a full round up of the missing munitions check out: Captain's Quarters, INDC Journal, or the Kerry Spot)

Question of the Day

In the past week, the Global and Mail has been featuring the economic engine that China has become. It’s economy is thriving so much so that Chinese government owned companies like China Minmetals Corp (which had revenues in 2003 of USD$11.7 billion) is currently negotiating to buy outright 100% of the stock of the Canadian mining corporation, Noranda Inc. The total stock is estimated at approximately CDN$6.7 billion.

If the Chinese government can afford to buy Noranda Inc. why hasn’t anyone asked when China will reimburse the overburden Canadian taxpayers of this fair land for the Cdn$65.4 million that has been given to China as foreign aid?

And the Nominations are...

In light of the John Kerry’s imaginary meeting with the UN Security Council in October 2002, I propose that the Democrats change the Kerry/Edwards theme song from "Fortunate Son" by CCC to Britney Spear’s "Oops, I did it again."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yassir should be so proud.

CTV is reporting this:

The president of the Canadian Islamic Congress says he personally does not believe that all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombers, despite saying so on television last week.But that has not satisfied critics who were infuriated by Mohamed Elmasry's comments last week.

In a release issued Sunday by the CIC, Elmasry said he was trying to express the view of many Palestinians, not his personal opinion."Dr. Elmasry did not, does not, and will not condone the widely-held Palestinian view that any form of armed resistance against civilians ... constitutes a legitimate military operation against the Israeli occupation, and not a terrorist activity,'' the release states. "I sincerely regret that my comments were misunderstood and, as a result, caused offence,'' Elmasry is quoted as saying in the release.

While appearing as part of a panel discussion on the Michael Coren Live TV show, an Ontario current affairs program, Elmasry said any Israeli over the age of 18 could be attacked because they are all members of the Israeli army."Anyone and everyone in Israel -- irrespective of gender -- over the age of 18 is a valid target?, Coren asked. "Yes, I would say,'' Elmasry responded.

Coren said Sunday he has a problem with Elmasry's latest statement, adding that at no point was it apparent that Elmasry was expressing anyone's opinion but his own.
"I find it extraordinary because I asked him about three times to clarify his position because I was so shocked by it, as was everyone on the panel, including the other Muslim guest,'' Coren said."I'm afraid I just do not buy this argument that it's misinterpreted,'' Coren added. "I actually think the man should resign, he's caused a lot of harm.''

There is a lot of truth in the old saying "if you live long enough you do get to see everything." Now we have a Canadian set in motion a play straight from the Arafat training manual.

Cdn Health Care on the Mark

I usually don’t post directly anything Mark Steyn’s written as I assume that if your reading me, your probably already are mouth breather but today’s Chicago Sun-Times column was too on the Mark not to post this:

One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it's a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can't wait to bring it south of the border. If one has to die for a cause, bringing liberty to the Middle East is a nobler venture and a better bet than government health care.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Random Reads

In the National Post today (dead tree version):

The Vietnamese government is considering abandoning firing squads as a method of execution because up to a third of policeman miss their target due to nerves.

The Communist state, which has executed about 60 people so far this year, is considering lethal injections or a mechanized gun as alternatives. Bui Duc Long, head of the Supreme Prosecution Institute’s execution inspection department, said a mechanized gun was the favoured method. “The executioner will have to just push a button,” he said. “if we use poison it takes time for it to work and it causes suffering to the condemned prisoner.”

Why do I doubt Bui Duc Long has the suffering of the condemned prisoners uppermost in his mind?

How do you say CBC in Dutch?

Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch anti-immigration populist who was killed by an animal rights activist in 2002, took the lead yesterday in television contest to choose the “greatest Dutch person.” He overtook Willem Drees, a post-war prime misiter, and William the Silent, who fought for Dutch independence in the 16th century and was assassinated.

Do you think Don Cherry might have a chance there?

An Edmonton MP who complained in the House of Commons recently of the government waste over funding a film about searching for the “perfect penis” has turned down the filmmaker’s offer to appear in that film.

Toronto Filmmaker, Mr. Michael McNamara’s film, Dementia: Search for the Perfect Penis,received financing from the Canadian Television Fund though if Mr. McNamara’s
film makes a profit the equity grant must be repaid.

Always nice to see a local man get a head.

The cash-strapped federal gun registry will miss out on more that $46 million in fees from gun owners this year by giving away 770,000 free licence renewals so that bureaucrats can catch up on their paperwork.

The gun registry started January 1, 2001, so tell me again, why do we need a gun registry and when will it be functional?

Friday, October 22, 2004

A Kerry Plan?

Charles Krauthammer in today’s Washington Post today poses the question how will Kerry get the Europeans et al on-board in helping rebuild Iraq?

He really does want to end America's isolation. And he has an idea how to do it. For understandable reasons, however, he will not explain how on the eve of an election.
Think about it: What do the Europeans and the Arab states endlessly rail about in the Middle East? What (outside of Iraq) is the area of most friction with U.S. policy? What single issue most isolates America from the overwhelming majority of countries at the United Nations?

The answer is obvious: Israel.

In what currency, therefore, would we pay the rest of the world in exchange for their support in places such as Iraq? The answer is obvious: giving in to them on Israel.

No Democrat will say that openly. But anyone familiar with the code words of Middle East diplomacy can read between the lines. Read what former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger said in "Foreign Policy for a Democratic President," a manifesto written while he was a senior foreign policy adviser to Kerry.

"As part of a new bargain with our allies, the United States must re-engage in . . . ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . . As we re-engage in the peace process and rebuild frayed ties with our allies, what should a Democratic president ask of our allies in return? First and foremost, we should ask for a real commitment of troops and money to Afghanistan and Iraq."
So in a "new bargain with our allies" America "re-engages" in the "peace process" in return for troops and money in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Re-engage in the peace process" is precisely what the Europeans, the Russians and the United Nations have been pressuring the United States to do for years. Do you believe any of them have Israel's safety at heart? They would sell out Israel in an instant, and they are pressuring America to do precisely that.

Why are they so upset with President Bush's Israeli policy? After all, isn't Bush the first president ever to commit the United States to an independent Palestinian state? Bush's sin is that he also insists the Palestinians genuinely accept Israel and replace the corrupt, dictatorial terrorist leadership of Yasser Arafat.

To reengage in a "peace process" while the violence continues and while Arafat is in charge is to undo the Bush Middle East policy. That policy -- isolating Arafat, supporting Israel's right to defend itself both by attacking the terrorist infrastructure and by building a defensive fence -- has succeeded in defeating the intifada and producing an astonishing 84 percent reduction in innocent Israeli casualties.

John Kerry says he wants to "rejoin the community of nations." There is no issue on which the United States more consistently fails the global test of international consensus than Israel. In July, the U.N. General Assembly declared Israel's defensive fence illegal by a vote of 150 to 6. In defending Israel, America stood almost alone.

You want to appease the "international community"? Sacrifice Israel. Gradually, of course, and always under the guise of "peace." Apply relentless pressure on Israel to make concessions to a Palestinian leadership that has proved (at Camp David in 2000) it will never make peace.

The allies will appreciate that. Then turn around and say to them: We're doing our part (against Israel), now you do yours (in Iraq). If Kerry is elected, the pressure on Israel will begin on day one.

It’s a frighteningly believable scenario that will naturally appeal to all those who cannot resist the urge to be zookeepers and ignore the signs posted about the dangers of feeding the animals.

As Iran readies to bring its nuclear ambitions online I can only see dark, lonely days ahead for Eretz Israel under a Kerry administration. The Mullah’s have time, and time again, made their intentions towards the "Zionist Entity" achingly, clear. But after all, in the words of a French diplomat it is only a "shitty little country."

For these times, the real tragedy of John Kerry is that his experience of war was framed by patrolling the Mekong Delta rather than the liberation of Auschwitz.

Flu Shots

This morning I posted an article from Front Page Magazine on Flu vaccines. The premise of the article was that litigation was a contributing factor in why US pharmaceutical companies were no longer manufacturing Flu vaccine. In the article, it was alleged that John Edwards successfully represented a North Carolina man in the 1980’s who had suffered serious side effects from a flu shot and was awarded a $5 Million settlement.

I did add a caveat to the original posting that I could not find any other source for this story other than Front Page Magazine which I have found to be generally reliable. A comment left by Chris Taylor of Taylor & Company caused me to revisit the issue a little more thoroughly. I followed up with his suggest at Snopes and also at Findlaw which has a listing of John Edward’s litigation cases. I could find no evidence that he actually represented any flu vaccine plaintiff at any time.

Regardless, my opinion of John Edward's as a snakeoil salesman remains unchanged.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Some Guys have all the luck.

It is not often that I find the rantings or antics of tyrants and/or dictators amusing but Moammar Gadhafi is in a league of his own. The Lebanon Daily Star Reports:
BEIRUT: Poor Gerhard Schroeder. Just when he thought he was making progress pushing German business and political interests with the new all smiling, all friendly Libya, the hand of history brought him back down to earth with a jolt.

During his tete-a-tete with Moammar Gadhafi last week, the German chancellor was told in no uncertain terms to pay Erwin Rommel's debt, as the Libyan leader demanded compensation for thousands of land mines buried in Libyan soil during World War II which are still killing and maiming people today.


The RED ENSIGN STANDARD No. Vll has been hoisted by fellow Red Ensign blogger, Myrick in Singapore.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It is never open season on mine or other people's children.

In my world, I find myself constantly wondering what reality other people inhabit and how in earth did they get there? I just do not want to accidentally take the wrong left that leads there. Today’s editorial from the Globe and Mail on the "The Gay Calculus of the U.S. Race" misses the entire point of the Kerry/Edwards verbiage on Mary Cheney, otherwise known as "fair game" by Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry campaign manager.

To this already complex rhetorical thicket, add the wild card of Vice-President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, Mary. In the final televised presidential debate last Wednesday, Mr. Bush was asked a simple question: Do you believe gays have a choice about their sexual orientation? Mr. Bush dodged, saying he didn’t know. Mr. Kerry answered directly, saying no, and used Ms. Cheney, who is openly gay and working for the Bush-Cheney campaign, to illustrate the point.

In doing so, Mr. Kerry was simply taking a leaf from his running mate’s book. In the vice-presidential debate, John Edwards effusively praised the Cheney’s for embracing their gay daughter. It was a deft means of highlighting the differences between Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush on the issue. Mr. Cheney has in the past said that he opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but nevertheless defers to the President on the matter.

But here’s the wrinkle: Whereas Mr. Edward’s foray drew a warm response from Mr. Cheney – he could do little else without appearing graceless – Mr. Kerry’s had the opposite effect. The following day, Mr. Cheney’s wife Lynne angrily accused Mr. Kerry of pulling a “cheap and tawdry political trick.” Mr. Cheney soon chimed in, asserting that he was a “pretty angry father.” Mr. Bush later added his voice, claiming Mr. Kerry went “over the line.”

What nonsense.

I did not originally weigh in with my two cents on the third presidential debate because I did not watch the whole debate. Once John Kerry brought up Dick Cheney’s daughter, I turned the television off in disgust. I just barely managed to stomach John Edward’s reference to Mary Cheney in the VP debate and I gave Dick Cheney a lot of credit on how he handled it. It was a veiled political cheap trick designed to embarrass or harm Dick Cheney politically by having him denounce either his daughter’s sexual orientation or alienate him from the religious. Cheney thanked Edwards for his kind words and passed on the rebuttal.

John Kerry tried the same veiled attack against George Bush in this debate. Make no mistake; Kerry/Edwards used Mary Cheney’s sexual orientation in the hopes of alienating the religious voters from supporting George Bush for the presidency. This has got to be a new low in politicking when a candidate’s child is used as "fair game" in attack politics. I don’t buy Kerry’s rambling explanation. It was not an apology which would have been the decent thing to do; instead he tries to justify referencing her. What is Mary Cheney anyway – the only lesbian he has every heard of? If it was not an attack move, why not use Rosie O’Donnell? Contrary to what the Globe pundits would have us believe, Kerry was not framing his words for his base but it was said in the guise and hope of having a demonstrative impact in alienating the religious base from the Bush/Cheney camp. Let’s face it; Kerry talking about his religious faith as a Catholic is just not credible and if you want to be credible, you do not misquote biblical references or having your deeds/words reflect poorly on your faith.

The Globe and Mail opines that George Bush "dodged" the question of whether a person’s sexual orientation is a matter of choice or biology. He answered a heartfelt "I don’t know." I have to "dodge" here too. I haven’t a clue on why some people are heterosexual and others are not. If anyone can offer definitive proof either way, do us all a favour and publish it so we can put this senseless debating pointing to bed once and for all.

Here’s my bottom line. I don’t give a tinker’s damn what anyone’s sexual orientation is. It just isn’t my affair and the only time I want to know anyone’s sexual orientation is if I am the one having sex with you. There is nothing more boring than other people’s sex lives. The only time a candidate’s sexual habits/orientations are an issue is if they concern children, animals, or a betrayal of trust. This speaks to character.

I am a mother of many, I love all my children, and their sexual orientation can in no way ever alter three facts: their sexual orientation is their business, gay or straight- I do not want or need to know details, and I love my children. I expect the Cheney’s feel the same, and if I was the Cheney parents, I too would be outraged, not that my daughter is a lesbian (a fact that seems to be lost in this issue is that being gay or lesbian reflects on a person’s sexual orientation and not character) but because the Kerry/Edward’s team feel that my child is "fair game." You do not like my politics or my ethics, go ahead and take your best shot at me; but there never is an open season on my children nor do other people’s children ever become "fair game."

Step-Money Speaks! Re: Value of Teachers/Librarians

"The most breathtakingly stupid answer is frequently not the best one."
Occam’s Carbuncle

Teresa Heinz Kerry in USATODAY:

Q: You'd be different from Laura Bush?

A: Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job — I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things. And I'm older, and my validation of what I do and what I believe and my experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.

(Tipped off by Occam’s Carbuncle)

Tax Dollars at Work

Front Page Magazine has a report on how Palestinian children went back to school this year with texts books made possible by grants from the Canadian International Development Agency among others:

In terms of how the new Palestinian school books define the state of Israel, the Jewish state appears nowhere on the maps in the new PA school books, while series of three maps in the Palestinian Authority history atlas which show the “Jewish Zone” in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the 1949 armistice lines.

However, Palestinian children learn from their new schoolbooks that the Palestinian Arab entity is the sovereign state in the region, encompassing Israeli regions, cities and sites which are presented as part of the Palestinian Arab State. Israeli territory is referred to as “the lands of 1948” or “the Green Line”

The new Palestinian school books describe the Middle East conflict as “a confrontation between “Zionism backed by Imperialism” – and its victims – the Palestinians. Not one word is mentioned in these new textbooks about the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 or about the invasion of the nascent state of Israel by seven Arab nations on the day of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.

And how do the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority explain the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 to a new generation of Palestinian Youth? As nothing less than the “outcome of a premeditated plan by Zionism and British Imperialism to expel the Palestinian Arabs from their land”.
And what do Palestinian school children learn about Jerusalem?
Jerusalem is presented by the new Palestinian Authority as an Arab city from time immemorial. Its Jebusite founders are Arabized and the Israelite or Jewish historical ties to this city, both national and religious, are not mentioned. Jerusalem is declared to be the capital of Palestine.

After reading this article I thought I would visit the CIDA website and see how CIDA describes their activities in the Occupied Territories & Gaza:

What I found was this:

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is working with Canadian and international partners to help create an environment conducive to peace and in which development can flourish. Canada has a long-standing commitment to regional stability and progress in the Middle East.

CIDA supports the search for peace, democracy, and equity in the region.

CIDA’s OBJECTIVES: Since 2000, CIDA has spent an average of $13 million per year on sustainable development and technical assistance within the Palestinian Territories, strengthening civil society, and humanitarian assistance. CIDA works with a variety of partners, including multilateral organizations and international agencies as well as private Canadian organizations and non-governmental organizations. It continues to seek innovative ways to improve the effectiveness of its aid delivery despite the ongoing crisis, by encouraging local ownership, by developing new strategic partnerships and by increasing its field presence.

Residents of the West Bank and Gaza also benefit from a number of CIDA regional programs addressing issues such as the management of water supplies; fostering conflict resolution, dialogue, and cooperation among Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians; and improving living conditions for refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

CIDA continuously monitors its humanitarian and development programs in the Middle East to ensure that assistance is delivered to the most vulnerable people by prudently selecting its partners in development and by working closely with other federal departments and agencies.

The Developmental Challenge for CIDA in the West Bank & Gaza: CIDA has also played a role in establishing electoral systems in the Palestinian Territories. Working with Elections Canada, CIDA funded a project that helped community-based organizations develop and distribute election information. CIDA also provided technical assistance to the Palestinian Electoral Commission and Canadian observers for the elections in 1996. In another CIDA-funded project, Oxfam Quebec helped communities in five refugee camps organize, and build or revitalize community resources such as three libraries, a playground, and a women's centre.
Reflecting Canadian Values: Canada's role in the world—including CIDA's work in the West Bank and Gaza—reflects the Canadian values of a free and open society that respects and celebrates its diversity, and strives for the universal realization of human rights and a high standard of living for all.

I have to ask myself how hard or expensive could it possibly be to purchase textbooks for Palestinian school children that are historically accurate and at the very least-neutral? If CIDA is to persist in the myth of fostering Canadian values does it not have an obligation to the taxpayers of this country to ensure that all goods or services purchased with Canadian taxpayers dollars do not promote prejudice, resentment and delusions? I maybe naïve but I would suspect that if the standard fare in Palestinian school children’s textbooks were not used to support prejudicial and delusional thinking it would go considerable further in promoting peace and a realization of human rights. How does the awarding of grants for this kind of a syllabus promote conflict resolution skills that don’t start with the cry "Kill the Jews"?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Artillery Barrage

Retired General Tommy Franks is conducting his own artillery barrage of words with his sights set on Senator John Kerry in this Op-ed piece in the New York Times today (log in required):

On more than one occasion, Senator Kerry has referred to the fight at Tora Bora in Afghanistan during late 2001 as a missed opportunity for America. He claims that our forces had Osama bin Laden cornered and allowed him to escape. How did it happen? According to Mr. Kerry, we "outsourced" the job to Afghan warlords. As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality.

First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.

Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.

Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts.

As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Call me old-fashioned, but there is just something downright appealing about artillerymen.

(tipped off via LGF)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Canada Rocks!

Canada had the third largest navy in the world. Canadians have always answered their country’s call and have struck decisive blows for liberty and freedom from Vimy Ridge to the beaches of Normandy and beyond. Now, our forces are reduced to begging for basic equipment before humanitarian deployments. The Toronto Star reports:

Canadian troops sent to Haiti earlier this year on a peacekeeping mission were left "prodding and begging" for basic equipment, according to an internal defence department report obtained by Canadian Press.

The report examines the deployment of about 500 Canadian troops as part of Operation Halo — a U.S.-led mission to restore calm after a three-week rebellion prompted then-Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to flee the troubled Caribbean country. The soldiers and equipment were airlifted to Haiti from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick.

The report, obtained under the federal Access to Information Act, identifies a shortage of operational equipment including ballistic plates, fragmentary vests, tan safety boots and even protective latex gloves.
Alas, Canadians should not give way to despair for there are still champions among us:

A 34-year-old man from Burlington, Ont., is the 2004 Rock Paper Scissors champion of the world. Lee Rammage claimed the title on Saturday in Toronto, along with $7,000 in prize money.

He says being up on stage with the crowd chanting was intimidating at times but he kept his focus and pulled it off.

"It was pretty intimidating a couple of times because you get down a few hands, and you're thinking, 'Man, I can't believe I've gone this far and I might lose,' '' he said.

The rules of the childhood game are very simple: rock is a fist, paper is done with your palm facing down and your hand out flat and scissors is a fist with your index and middle finger extended.

Before a match, which is always best-of-three, players must first shake and retract their fist toward each other three times before delivering their throw.
As for who wins, it's simple: paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper.

Our Prime Minister should immediately challenge the Danes to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors for sovereignty over the North Pole.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The times are a-changing...

I am ready to applaud China for stepping up to the plate but I can’t help feeling somewhat squeamish about the whole concept. Say the phrase "Chinese Riot Police" and I think: "Tiananmen Square" or "Cultural Revolution."

(Tipped off by Drudge)

The Duh Factor

When all is said and done, I am a law and order kind of gal. If I saw I police officer in trouble, I would certainly interfere in any way possible to help. If the police contacted me asking me for my assistance, I would probably try to comply to the best of my ability. On the other hand, if an officer asked for my help in re-staging a crime that I had no knowledge of - my first words would be are you daft???!! So this kind of compliance leaves me contemplating: is human gullibility a bottomless pit?

Friday, October 15, 2004

October Surprises?

From the World Tribune:

MOSCOW — Iran and Russia said they have completed construction of the nuclear power reactor at Blusher. The announcement came less than two months after Iran said Bushehr would not begin operations until late 2006, three years behind schedule. At the time, officials said Bushehr — a project estimated at $1 billion — was delayed by the Russian revision of the original nuclear reactor design, drafted by the German firm Simens in the 1970s.

But officials from both countries said on Thursday that Russia completed the construction of Bushehr and the installation of the first 1,000-megawatt light-water reactor unit. They said the key remaining task was for Russia to supply Iran with the nuclear fuel required to operate Bushehr, Middle East Newsline reported.
"We're done," a spokesman for Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, known as Rosatom, said. "What remains is for the Russian specialists to assemble the unit's control and safety equipment."

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Iran and assured his hosts that his government would provide the nuclear fuel for Bushehr, a move that has been delayed because of Iran's refusal to bear the costs of returning the spent nuclear fuel to Moscow. Earlier, a senior Iranian official said nuclear fuel deliveries must begin seven months before the facility was scheduled to launch operations.
"All we need to do now is work out an agreement on sending the spent fuel back to Russia," the Russian Atomic Energy Agency spokesman was quoted by Itar-Tass agency as saying.

The spokesman made his remarks after Rosatom director Alexander Rumyantsev met a key Iranian parliamentarian to discuss Bushehr. Iran has long complained of delays in the project, and in a briefing in August Mehran Zia Sheikholeslami, head of technical operations at Bushehr, said Teheran was pressing Moscow to meet Iran's latest deadline for the start of the facility's full operations, October 2006.
The Iranian who met Rumyantsev was identified as the chairman of parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, Alaeddin Borudjerdi. Borudjerdi agreed that Russia was required to do little more than provide the nuclear fuel for Bushehr.

"The [nuclear fuel] agreement is practically ready," Borudjerdi said. "If the experts agree on a few remaining commercial matters, it could be signed in November."

I cannot vouch for the reliability of this news report though last spring I read a report that suggested that Iran’s nuclear program could be ready to go online anytime from Jan-March 2005. Unfortunately, I lost the original report and have not been able to confirm it from any other source, but how quick can you say Armageddon?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Scamada, I stand on guard for thee.

Since the tragic events aboard the Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi I have been deliberately silent, not from a lack of opinion or passion. I find myself in this odd place where anger comes out not as reasoned discourse but as a deeply, bellowing, impotent diatribe. The more I try to write, the more I am overwhelmed by the extent of the betrayal from those of us who tend the home fires towards those "who stand on guard for thee". Make no mistake, my rage is personal. This could have been my beloved daughter or sons. Lt. Saunders was a beloved, irreplaceable son, husband and father. My heart goes out to his wife. The worst nightmare of a parent is to lose a child but there another nightmare for a parent and it is this; to tell your children that their father is dead. My youngest son still cannot look bare to look at pictures of his father, so they remain hidden away, awaiting the day he when he can bare to look.

Christie Blatchford in today’s Globe and Mail has articulated far more coherently the general direction of my rage than I am able too:

"As Prime Minister Paul Martin was at Halifax airport last Sunday to greet the body of Lt. Saunders, so yesterday was Defence Minister Bill Graham at St. Andrew’s United Church for the final farewell.

They are always there, in their fine dark suits, faces appropriately grief stricken. Whenever young men and women of the Canadian Forces die in the service of their country, federal politicians are there to preside over the corpse, just as they have for decades presided over the systematic reduction of a once-magnificent fighting force to its skeletal remains. That undoubtedly they genuinely feel badly, that absolutely they ought to be present, that Canadians and Lt. Saunders’s family would be wounded if they were not there – none of this reduces the breadth of their galling hypocrisy, or the rage that the sight of them invokes in me."


"The fact remains that Mr. Graham is the head of the Defence Department and under his watch and out of his mouth a dreadful, short-lived and false reassurance was offered to Canadians and in particular the families of the crew members. Oh, I understand why he was at Lt. Saunders’s funeral; what I cannot comprehend is where he found the stomach.

And was it not only six years ago that Mr. Graham’s predecessor, Art Eggleton, bragged in a National Defence news release of the four used submarines Canada was buying from Britain that they were "a great purchase for Canada, giving our navy a vital capability at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost"? Perhaps they will turn out to be functional, but let no one ever cast their purchase as anything other than what it was – the bargain-basement find of a nation baldly looking to equip its military on the cheap.

Why? Because the government can, and it can because in this country, defence spending is seen by influential players within the Liberal Party, and increasingly among Canadians themselves, as inherently immoral."

Yet adscam, golfballscam, flagscam, gunscam, and more scamadams than I can bare to list were wasted by our Liberal government while providing the necessary funds to adequately provide for those who freely give up the treasure of their lives to live out our ideas and provide for our safety is inherently immoral. When you consign your fate to the Liberals, you become merely a bystander in your own existence.

So, who among the Free Speech for Me, but Not for Thee Liberals - will be the first to threaten to file suit against Ms. Blatchford?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

John Kerry, Man of Mystery

The New York Sun has a fascinating article offering a rational on why John Kerry will not sign the Standard Form 180 and allow the full release of all his military records:

An official Navy document on Senator Kerry's campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry's "Honorable Discharge from the Reserves" opens a door on a well kept secret about his military service.

The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration's secretary of the Navy, W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry's discharge as being subsequent to the review of "a board of officers." This in it self is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.

According to the secretary of the Navy's document, the "authority of reference" this board was using in considering Mr. Kerry's record was "Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163. "This section refers to the grounds for involuntary separation from the service. What was being reviewed, then, was Mr. Kerry's involuntary separation from the service. And it couldn't have been an honorable discharge, or there would have been no point in any review at all. The review was likely held to improve Mr. Kerry's status of discharge from a less than honorable discharge to an honorable discharge.


The "board of officers" review reported in the Claytor document is even more extraordinary because it came about "by direction of the President." No normal honorable discharge requires the direction of the president. The president at that time was James Carter. This adds another twist to the story of Mr. Kerry's hidden military records.

Mr. Carter's first act as president was a general amnesty for draft dodgers and other war protesters. Less than an hour after his inauguration on January 21, 1977, while still in the Capitol building, Mr. Carter signed Executive Order 4483 empowering it. By the time it became a directive from the Defense Department in March 1977 it had been expanded to include other offenders who may have had general, bad conduct, dishonorable discharges, and any other discharge or sentence with negative effect on military records. In those cases the directive outlined a procedure for appeal on a case by case basis before a board of officers. A satisfactory appeal would result in an improvement of discharge status or an honorable discharge.

Mr. Kerry has repeatedly refused to sign Standard Form 180, which would allow the release of all his military records. And some of his various spokesmen have claimed that all his records are already posted on his Web site. But the Washington Post already noted that the Naval Personnel Office admitted that they were still withholding about 100 pages of files.

If Mr. Kerry was the victim of a Nixon "enemies list" hit, one might have expected him to wear it like a badge of honor, like many others such as his friend Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, CBS's Daniel Schorr, or the actor Paul Newman, who had made Mr. Colson's original list of 20 "enemies."

There are a number of categories of discharges besides honorable. There are general discharges, medical discharges, bad conduct discharges, as well as other than honorable and dishonorable discharges. There is one odd coincidence that gives some weight to the possibility that Mr. Kerry was dishonorably discharged. Mr. Kerry has claimed that he lost his medal certificates and that is why he asked that they be reissued. But when a dishonorable discharge is issued, all pay benefits, and allowances, and all medals and honors are revoked as well. And five months after Mr. Kerry joined the U.S. Senate in 1985, on one single day, June 4, all of Mr. Kerry's medals were reissued.
I would presume that very few of us are the same people we started out being 30+ years ago. I would also assume that most of us are rather apathic to who John Kerry was all those years ago except that the issue is not who John Kerry was 30+ years ago - but if he is still the same person today.

(Tipped off by Instapundit)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Carnie Men

If you needed any further proof of the moral bankruptcy of the Democratic party the snake oil salesmen have taken their side show on the road.

John Edwards, as reported by Drudge:
'We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases... When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.' Edwards made the unprecedented campaign promises during 30-minute speech at Newton High School gym in Newton, Iowa...

Under the Ramallah Sun

There are always moments in time that stand out from the crowd of ordinary and mundane ones. September 11, 2001 is one. October 13, 2000 is a personal one for me. I was returning home with my children just as night fell. At the corner of Church and Gerrard Streets I glanced into the newspapers boxes while waiting for the light to change. The front picture of all the newspapers in the boxes showed this:

I was stopped in my tracks, literally rooted to the spot in disbelief to what I was seeing and reading. Two Israeli reservists' took a wrong turn on the highway and were lost October 12, 2000. They were stopped by the Palestinian Authority and taken to a police station in Ramallah. There they were interrogated and beaten.

A crowd gathered outside the police station chanting "Allah Akbur" and "Kill the Jews". The Palestinian Authority allowed one of the reservists to be thrown out of a two storey window to the chanting crowd below.

His body was stabbed countless times, eyes were gouged from his sockets, and his face was crushed by feet, fists and stones. The crowd literally disemboweled and dismembered his body. He was set on fire and dragged along the street as the crowd danced and cheered in the slaughter of this helpless man.

The Palestinian Authority managed to remove the other Israeli reservist to a nearby Jewish settlement where he died shortly after arrival. He too was stabbed, beaten and mutilated.

The reservists were not the only ones endangered that day. Photographers and journalists who had rushed to the scene were threatened and in at least one case beaten. The Palestinian Authority did not want pictures of what goes on under the Ramallah sun to ever see the light of day in the rest of the world.

The lynching of two Israeli reservists inside a Palestinian police station in October 2000 would change the rules of Western news reporting on Palestinian violence. Nasser Atta, a Palestinian producer with ABC, recalled on Ted Koppel's "Nightline" how his cameraman was beaten and his crew prevented from filming the grisly lynchings.(17)According to first-hand reports, Palestinian security forces also surrounded a Polish TV crew who were beaten and relieved of their tapes.(18) A foreign correspondent noted that in "post-Ramallah where all good will was lost, he would be a lot more sensitive about going places in the territories.

It was then, at that moment when I realized that Palestinian society had reached a rabid stage and there could be no peace, for how can there be peace when even the civil authority was guilty of participation in such barbarism? That day was a window into the Palestinian soul.

Ask yourself this: would you sleep safely and soundly in your bed at night knowing that your neighbors had participated in the stabbing, mutilating, gouging, disemboweling of a man because he was born to a different religion? Dreams of peace between these two distinct people can not be possible until the Palestinians decide to join the human race and acknowledge the humanity of their neighbors.

Yesef Avrahami
Vadim Novesche

In my house I will give them a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters, an everlasting name which shall not perish.

Isaiah 56:5

Monday, October 11, 2004


Canadian self-haters grow shrill writes Linda McQuaig in a Toronto Star article. It is fascinating how she charactizes Canadian "rightwingers" or "neo-cons", such as I, into "anti-Canadians", though I wonder what she would make of Sir Wilfred Laurier who said, "A true patriot does not, hide his head in the sand and ignore the facts, but he looks the real situation of the country in the face." More interestingly perhaps is what Laurier would have made of Linda McQuaig?

Furthermore, if I fail the test as a Canadian patriot because I do not fall to my knees in worship of United Nations; an institution that has come to represent united human depravity from the sex-slaves in Bosnia, or extortion rackets in Kenya, sex-for-food in West Africa, Oil-for Food in Iraq, or complicity in genocides makes me anti-Canadian. So be it.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

How quick can you say Armageddon?

Another ringing endorsement for the John Kerry/John Edwards, another name for Kerry to drop in the next debate:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran would welcome a proposal by U.S. presidential candidate Senator John Kerry’s running mate for a "great bargain" to solve the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.
Vice presidential candidate Senator John Edwards that Kerry, a Democrat, would be willing to supply Iran with nuclear fuel for power generation if Tehran abandons its own fuel-making capability - if Iran did not accept this offer; it would confirm Iran wanted to make an atom bomb.

Iran earlier rejected the proposal, saying it would be "irrational" for Iran to jeopardize what it says is its purely civilian nuclear program by relying on supplies from abroad.

But in an apparent policy shift, Hossein Mousavian, head of the foreign policy committee at Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Iran would review the proposal.

For those not in the know the John Kerry proposal is to supply Iran with nuclear fuel for their peaceful nuclear energy program.

Allegedly, the Mullah’s rejected this proposal initially as they doubted the seriousness of Kerry’s intentions. Now that the Mullahs have been assured that it is indeed a serious proposal they are prepared to deal…I wonder why the Mullah’s feel that a Kerry presidency would be more palatable to deal with?

Tipped off by LGF

Girlieman Debates

I tried to avoid watching the second Presidential debate but just like a junkie, I was unable to control the compulsion to get the next hit. Off the cuff, I would say that John Kerry is sprouting a few more lines in his face this week. What’s up with that? And it was nice to see George W. show up for this debate. In fairness to George, I can understand being tired and off form after you spent the day visiting Florida hurricane victims whereas John had time to get a manicure.

I have to give credit to John Kerry; he comes across as a very credible man. He was very credible when he spoke as a young man before the Senate and accused American soldiers of committing war crimes reminiscent of Genghis Kahn on a daily basis. He was very credible when he took the floor in the Senate house in the 80’s when he spoke eloquently about how he spent Christmas in Cambodia and how those memories were seared –seared in his memory. He was credible when he wrote about VC the wonder dog or talked about how he got his lucky hat. No doubt his request to re-enact his combat missions so that he could film them with his 8mm camera sounded credible to his crew in Vietnam – well, at least to everyone but his gunner. Though I did think he started to stretch his credibility a tad when he implied that Teresa was anti-abortion counselor.

The problem with John Kerry is that history defies him. His credibility cannot stand beyond a moments examination. There has not been one major policy in last 30 years that he has not stood on the wrong side of history - from Vietnam to the Cold War to Gulf War 1. He is the modern equivalent of the 19th century snake oil salesman, and like any good salesman when he speaks he believes that his product will cure all your aches and ailments and just like the snake oil salesman; he cannot help dropping names of all those who have taken the Kerry cure.

In the debate tonight there were times if you were watching when you could see the bottle held no elixir. His lack of plan in dealing with Iran - let’s talk about North Korea or bunker busters instead. When he mentioned that he would increase the size of the armed forces by 40,000 soldiers – only one way to do that and it is called “draft”. When he fudged and hawed and never answered the young woman’s question on why federal funds should be used to finance abortion.

I do not have a vote in this election and no doubt there are many who would read these words and be glad that I do not, but in the end if I had, I would never cast my vote for the man who has made a career on standing on the wrong side of history.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Deja Vu: Exodus

The Jerusalem Post reports what you will not read in the Canadian Papers about the bombings in the Sinai. A children’s maritime playground becomes the target of suicide bombers in a vacation resort. The bodies of the dead are looted. Egyptian bureaucratics delay paramedics and rescue aid workers from entering the Sinai and procrastinate unnecessarily the evacuation of the wounded to Israeli hospitals.

Two car bombs exploded at the entrance to the Hilton Taba Hotel and a suicide bomber blew up at the hotel's beach front, an area designated for children maritime activities.

A combined bomb and shooting attack took place in two restaurants usually frequented by Israelis in Ras Al-Satan.

"The number of dead is not final yet. The Egyptian authorities are holding nine bodies, two of which, as we speak are being returned to Israel. In addition we spotted seven bodies among the hotel ruins in Taba that have yet to be extricated. We believe the fatalities will be higher and up until now we know that 38 Israelis are missing and are seeking to determine whether they are among the wounded or dead," he told reporters at a briefing at the Taba terminal crossing.

26 Magen David Adom ambulances and 60 Israeli paramedics are still in Egypt assisting the wounded and trying to negotiate with Egyptian officials the possibility of transporting the bodies of two Israelis to Israel. It remains unknown why Egypt is not allowing the transfer of the bodies to Israel.

However, Egyptian officials Friday morning allowed the Home Front Command to transport heavy mechanical equipment and rescue personnel to Taba in order to begin clearing collapsed structures and start searching for survivors among the rubble. 38 bodies remain trapped in the rubble, Israeli rescue officials said.
Eight people were removed alive from the rubble.

Israeli paramedics operating in Taba reported that the bodies of dead Israelis were looted; their valuables and wallets were stolen.

The IDF has raised the alert level across the country following the attacks.

The first explosion was initially believed to be caused by two booby-trapped trucks and occurred around 10:00 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel in Taba on the Red Sea, near the Israel-Egypt border. Searches showed the engine of a car in the hotel's lobby, Army Radio reported.

Two smaller explosions occurred soon after in Ras a-Satan, a beach resort near Nuweiba south of Taba. Reports say two Israelis were killed in the attack at Ras a-Satan, and 40 people were wounded. The site, some 40 minutes from the border, is visited frequently by Israelis.

Kobi Zaza, a paramedic with Ofek, told The Jerusalem Post his ambulance had to wait over an hour at the Egyptian border because the eight wounded Israelis in his ambulance were not carrying identification papers. Despite their agony and pain the wounded were asked to sign their names and provide their passport numbers before being allowed to leave Egypt.

Zaza said that since the Egyptian are only allowing six ambulances at a time to cross into Egypt, Israeli paramedics have been evacuating eight to ten wounded in an ambulance at a time.


Four hours after the blast collapsed a 10-story wing of the hotel, Israel's military was in command of the scene, said the army spokeswoman, Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron, but there were delays in sending in Israeli forces and rescue workers. Yaron, the Israeli army spokeswoman, said Israeli Brig. Gen. Efi Idan "took command over the event in Taba" four hours after the blast. She complained, "We still have some trouble in sending over all of the forces and their equipment to Taba and I hope this will be sorted out soon." "The whole front of the hotel has collapsed. There are dozens of people on the floor, lots of blood. It is very tense," witness Yigal Vakni told Army Radio. "I am standing outside of the hotel, the whole thing is burning and they have nothing to put it out with."

The Hilton Hotel in Taba is frequented by Israelis traveling to Sinai and many Israelis arrived there over the past days of the Succot and Simchat Torah holidays. Itzik Chai, general manager of the Taba Crossing, said all Israeli medical units have gone through the border, and that some of the ambulances have gone further south than Taba. Everyone will be able to get through, with or without a passport, Chai said.

According to a report on Channel 2, Egyptian border guards are not allowing Israeli soldiers operating with the Home Front Command rescue crews from entering Egypt through the Taba crossing in their IDF uniforms. Home Front Command is considering dressing the soldiers in civilian clothing to allow quick access the Taba Hotel, where some people are still feared trapped under the rubble.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom asked that Egypt allow Israeli helicopters land in Sinai to evacuate the wounded. Egyptian officials have still not allowed the helicopters to reach the area. Shalom also asked that Israelis be allowed to pass in and out of Sinai without passport and security checks, to allow a quick return of Israelis back to the country and immediate entrance of medical personnel and Israeli officials into Sinai.

Initially the Israel National News reported that Hamas had posted a claim for responsibility on their website but there have been no further confirmations. The Jerusalem Post reports this:

The deadly blast at the Hilton hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Taba on the border with Israel was claimed by the previously unknown "World Islamist Group", in a telephone call to AFP in Jerusalem.

"Jamaa Al-Islamiya Al-Alamiya (World Islamist Group) claims responsibility for the explosion at the Taba Hotel, carried out in revenge for the Palestinian and Arab martyrs dying in Palestine and Iraq," the caller said. "Jamaa will carry out a series of martyr operations (suicide attacks) during the month of Ramadan to avenge these martyrs," he said.

Debkafile posted this:

Initial Egyptian investigation of quadruple car bombings at three Sinai sites Thursday night points to co-production orchestrated by Iran - to which explosives traced - organized by Hizballah and carried out by Saudi al Qaeda bomb-teams. Method recalls al Qaeda’s 1996 bombing attacks on Khobar Towers and 2003 Istanbul strikes. Israel’s warning to Israeli tourists to stay away from Sinai based on intelligence of Hizballah plot. Israelis and Egyptians were twin targets.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Red Ensign Rises Again

The indubitable spirit of the Red Ensign has been hoisted this week by Taylor & Company. It is well worth the time to read what my fellow Red Ensign bloggers have ranting about.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Top Dogs

Years ago I had a received a sheltie puppy as a gift. I called her Mistress. By the time Mistress came into my life I had moved away from home and so Mistress was the first pet that I had to be totally responsible for. There was no one else to pick up the slack. Rain, shine, snow or sleet, my responsibilities did not end. She was a brilliant dog that more or less trained herself. The first 6 months were relatively easy as I was able to take her everywhere with me. Then my job changed and so did my relationship with Mistress. She hated being alone and set about every day destroying the house. She chewed up tiles, baseboards, walls, blankets, my brand new stereo speakers etc. As quickly as I thought I had removed temptation; she found a new way to vent her anger at what she perceived was my abandonment of her. Eventually she grew up and became my boon companion and protector of not only myself but my children as well. What I learned from that experience was that puppies were cute but nothing replaces maturity.

I only caught the last half of the VP debate last night. Watching the televised debate, I was reminded of the difference between puppies and dogs. Cheney is the old bulldog and Edwards is the young pup, cute and eager to please but not yet dog enough to patrol the yard and fight off all intruders to the death.

To paraphrase Dick Cheney, “If they couldn’t stand up to the pressures Howard Dean presented, how can they stand up to Al Qaeda?”


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Shape of Tax to Come

The duh factor courtesy of the Telegraph:

Sweden's parliament will open debate today on the Left Party proposal, which follows an Amnesty International report this year which found that violence against women increased almost 40 per cent during the 1990s and that 20 to 40 women are battered to death in Sweden each year.

"It must be clear to all we have a gigantic social problem and cost in men's violence towards women and we must discuss how we are going to pay for it," said Gudrun Schyman, the party's former leader, and one of several female MPs who have signed the motion.

"We have to have a discussion so that men understand that they have a collective financial responsibility," she added.

The Left Party says the idea of men collectively paying for the social costs of violence towards women is no different in principle than the fact that poor people pay less tax than rich people.

I suppose that it was only a question of time before this kind of a tax was introduced somewhere and once again, Sweden is leading the way. I can only hope that Jack Layton (who never met a tax he could not support) never learns of this asinine idea.

Ramallahization of Concordia

In the last two days Canadians have learned that a Canadian university will not allow former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, (possibly the most dovish of all Israeli prime ministers and the only one who attempted to give away the West Bank, Samaria, Judea, and Gaza) to speak at a campus sponsored event in Montreal. Concordia University concluded that it was unable to offer adequate security protection to the speaker, the students, the faculty and surrounding neighborhood.

And yet, on October 22, 2003, Eric Ben-Artzi, a famous Israeli "refusenik" and nephew to Benjamin Netanyahu (former Israeli Prime Minister, whose presence caused the "pro-palestinian" Concordia students to riot on September 9, 2002,) to speak at an event held on campus. No riots or arrests were reported.

The paradox lies in that the Pro-Palestinian fraction in Canada has managed to hijack even the most dovish voices of dissent on campus by the use of aggression and violence just like Arafat and his minions have in Ramallah.

Update via the Globe and Mail.

Clarification: Eric Ben-Artzi and is not an actual "refusenik" per say, but speaks out on behalf of the "Refusnik" cause and is related to Yoni Ben-Artzi (real deal "refusenik").

Monday, October 04, 2004

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Peter Hansen, Head of the UNRWA:

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) confirmed in a television interview that his group employs Hamas members in Gaza. "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime," UNRWA head Peter Hansen told Canada's CBC television Sunday.

Hamas has been declared a terror organization by the US and Canada, as well as the European Union. "Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another," he said. In the interview, Hansen added that "whatever their political persuasion is" members of his staff are required to "behave in accordance with UN standards and norms for neutrality."

According to the interview, Canada donates $10 million to UNWRA a year. Israel has long accused UNRWA and its Gaza chief of bias in favor of the Palestinians.

Hansen's remarks add further fuel to accusations made by Israel based on footage released by the IDF showing terrorists placing a Kassam rocket inside a UN vehicle. Earlier this week, the army released video footage taken by an unmanned aircraft flying over the Jabalya refugee camp which Israel says shows terrorists loading a Kassam rocket into a UN vehicle.

Declaring that it would be impossible to fling a rocket single handedly into the vehicle, Hansen said he supported the ambulance driver who said the footage shows him placing a stretcher inside the ambulance.

A security official told The Jerusalem Post that there are no doubts that a Kassam rocket was placed in the vehicle and said it was unfortunate that the comments made by Hansen didn't question the authenticity of the vehicle. "If there are any doubts they relate to the vehicle and whether it was indeed an authentic UN vehicle or whether the terrorists disguised a vehicle in order to evade being spotted by the army," the official said.

The recent incident is only one of a number of claims made by Israel in the past four years suggesting that terrorists take advantage of the UNWRA facilities and vehicles knowing they will not be subject to security checks and permitted unrestricted movement.

In April 2003, The Jerusalem Post obtained a document drawn up by the defense establishment claiming that terrorist organizations operating in Palestinian Authority controlled areas took advantage of UNWRA workers and their vehicles to transport terrorists and arms. At that time, Peter Hansen vehemently denied the claims; however, the document noted that Palestinian terrorists arrested by Israeli security forces admitted to using UNWRA equipment, facilities and vehicles.

As a Canadian, I cannot help but wonder what percentage of the $10 million that the UNWRA received from Canada helped finance and arm terrorist organizations in the Occupied Territories? Even if on a small portion of money was used towards terror funding Canadians can take comfort from the emphatic declaration issued by Chairman Arafat on the reliability of Qassam rockets:

Following an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian leadership convened an emergency meeting, during which Yasser Arafat, the President of the Palestinian Authority states that the launching of Qassam rockets at the city of Sderot did not cause any fatalities: "The rockets that Israel is talking about haven't killed anyone? They only make noise!"

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Irrational Iran

The Mullahs weigh in on John Kerry’s nuclear plan for Iran:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday rebuffed a proposal by U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry who has suggested supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel for power reactors if Tehran agrees to give up its own fuel-making capability.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said it would be "irrational" for Iran to put its nuclear program in jeopardy by relying on supplies from abroad. "We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel) and there is no need for us to beg from others," Asefi told a weekly news conference.

Washington says Iran plans to use its nuclear facilities to make atom bombs. Tehran says it merely wants to generate electricity from nuclear power.

President Bush wants Iran referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.

But Kerry says he would put Iran's intentions to the test by agreeing to supply it with nuclear fuel for its power reactors provided Tehran stopped efforts to make its own fuel and returned the spent fuel after use.

Iran has rejected repeated efforts by European countries to get it to scrap its nuclear fuel-cycle activities -- which could be used to make atomic bombs.

Asefi said Iran could not trust any deal from the West to supply it with reactor fuel."What guarantees are there? Will they supply us one day and then, if they want to, stop supplying us on another day?" he said.

It would appear that the Mullahs are not willing to play John Kerry's game, maybe now is the time for Johnny to re-think canceling the funding of "bunker buster" bombs.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Great Debate

Except it wasn’t. I was impressed with Kerry. He was articulate and much more personable than he has been in the past. It is obvious that he was a debate champion in college. He did have me cringing every time he made a reference to his time in Vietnam. I counted at least 4 times. To give him credit, nothing was seared into his memory this time. He wasn’t wearing his magic hat but does he ever speak without bringing up his time in Vietnam? I thought his invocation of the memory of Ronald Reagan was a little too rich since he made it a career move all through the Presidency of Ronald Reagan to make sure he stood on the opposite side of every Reagan initiative. But that was then, and this is now, and who knows where Kerry will be tomorrow?

George W. Bush looked tired and often agitated in the cut-aways when Kerry was speaking. I have to give the President credit, he didn’t take the cheap shots I would have and he stayed on message. Did he misspeak? You can bet the farm on it and this morning you would still have to get up early and milk the cows.

But Kerry showed himself very much as yesterday’s man when he brought up his plan for nuclear proliferation and disarmament. Nuclear disarmament was very much the "radical chic" cause of the 80’s and he outlined in his speech that not only would he seek nuclear disarmament of the world but he would not fund nuclear "bunker busters" research. No doubt that bit was music to the ears to the Mullahs in Iran. The Pandorian box was opened a long time ago and trying to shut the lid on nuclearization of weapons is a joint exercise in folly and futility.

Here’s the bottom line: did John Kerry change any minds? George W. Bush was never my first choice for leading the world in this war but nothing Kerry said last night influenced me that Kerry was the man to lead the way. If anything, nothing Kerry said last night inspired me that he was the man most capable of taking on the Mullahs.