Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Who are the humanitarians?

The Monger’s in fine form and has a succinct summation of the only credible anti-war positions for the invasion of Iraq.

For all those out protesting in Ottawa or wishing they were there: I give you the words of Omar over at Iraq the Model:
You cannot tell a man that saving him and his family from torture, humiliation and death was a mistake and it should have not been done because it is illegal. This is almost an insult to Iraqis to hear someone saying that this war was illegal. It means that our suffering for decades meant nothing and that formalities and the stupid rules of the UN (that rarely function) are more important than the lives of 25 million people.
Now whatcha gonna say? Put your chains back on?

Canadian Moonbats in Action

Paul at Ravishing Light is deep undercover in Ottawa covering Canadian Moonbats in Action protesting against the visit by US President George W. Bush. He has posted pictures of the 8am action here. The 10-11:30am pictures are here. Paul promises more pictures by 3:00pm here.

Monday, November 29, 2004

What Famous Leader are You?

I only took the quiz because that is what all the cool brigade leader's were doing - now my secret is out.

Bush Busters! Who you gonna call??!!!

Just watched a CNN report on the "Canadian" perspective on US President George W. Bush and what kind of reception the US President can expect on his arrival in Canada. The CNN piece brings up the idiocy of indicting George W. Bush for war crimes. The piece explains the strife is the result of the Iraqi war. Here's a thought for the lefties - arrest George W. Bush and what do you think Dick Cheney, (who then becomes the acting president) would do while Bush sits in the hoosegow? How quick can you cry "Uncle"?

What would you call "Bad Faith"?

The ongoing negotiations with the Mullahs by England, Germany & France has my head spinning. The Mullah’s wouldn’t deal, then they would, then they wouldn’t, then they would, then they issue their demands, then the demands are rescinded, then the agreement is signed, then they issue new demands, then they back down, then they go ahead anyway with their on-going nuclear enrichment program, then they issue demands, then they rescind them.

According to this Jerusalem Post article the Iranians are going to enrichment at least 20 centrifuges.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Tehran was not worried about the threat of UN sanctions - a possible outcome if the deal falls through - telling reporters "referral to the UN Security Council would not be the end of the world."
"The issue of research and development is separate from discussions about suspension," Asefi said at a press conference. "We always had research and development in the past and we will continue that in the future. We will use the 20 centrifuges for research."

Iran insists using the 20 centrifuges purely for research is not banned by a Nov. 7 agreement worked out with Germany, France and Britain on behalf of the European Union to suspend all uranium enrichment and related activities. The European Union disagrees.

Today the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Mullahs have backed down just before the matter was referred to the UN Security Council – which should be a good thing, right?
Backing down before a Monday deadline, Iran apparently has given up its demand to exempt some equipment from a deal freezing uranium enrichment programs that can make nuclear weapons, diplomats said Sunday.

Diplomats from the European Union and elsewhere said on condition of anonymity that the International Atomic Energy Agency received a letter from Iran containing a pledge not to test some centrifuges during the freeze it agreed to Nov. 7 during negotiations with Britain, France and Germany on behalf of the European Union.
Except buried near the end of this article is this line:
The diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday that the letter still needed close examination to determine what exactly the Iranians had agreed to.
Let me get this straight. The Mullah’s sent a letter late Sunday night to the IAEA saying – well, that’s just it, no one really knows what the letter says because the IAEA has to study the letter to understand what the Mullah’s intentions are.

Based on the Mullah’s track record I would cite this as just another example of "Bad Faith" in action. Are you prepared to believe that the Mullahs will live up to the letter - let alone the spirit of any agreement signed with our Eurporean allies?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Wankster Blogger Alert!

The problem with falling asleep at 7:30pm is that you are up at 3:00am with far too much time on your hands. I thought it would help the cause of sleep if I read. I logged in to peruse the headlines at the Toronto Star and this bloggy by-line caught my eye (registration required):
Why `Weenie' may start with a capital Dubya

This is pretty much the standard Bush fisk but it is written by an alleged journalist, writing an alleged column for a major Canadian newspaper. Now I have no problems per say with journalists who hanker to be bloggers but Slinger needs to spend some down time reading and learning how the real bloggers do it. Memo to Slinger: Read Frank J at IMAO.

I have no problem tuning out the outrage factor on the Bush is a Weenie diatribes but I have nothing but blatant contempt for the man who would write this -- or for the newspaper that would publish it:

“He can't quite tell the difference between the gallant Royal 22nd Regiment that has just returned from making Afghanistan safe for opium growers”

I wish I had said, sleep be damned and finished playing Halo 2. Next time I will know better.

The Legacy of Arafat

Today I learned the name and fate of Aziz Tzalha in the Israel Insider. Tzalha was found complicit in the truly horrific lynching of two Israeli reservists who had the misfortune of taking a wrong turn in the West Bank. Tzalha is pictured below with his bloodied hands raised in triumph that was shown throughout the world in October 2000.

A Palestinian man photographed with his bloody hands raised in triumph has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in killing one of two Israeli reserve soldiers lynched by an angry mob in 2000, the army said Monday.

The brutal killing of the two Israelis by the mob in the first weeks of the current violence became an iconic image of the hatred between Palestinians and Israelis.

A military court sentenced Aziz Tzalha, 24, to a life sentence plus one year on Sunday. Tzalha was "convicted of the murder of Cpl. Vadim Norjitz in the Ramallah lynch," the statement said.

The article gives his age as 24 which made him just 20 years old when he willingly and joyous participated in this infamous lynching under the Ramallah sun. I cannot begin to comprehend the pathology of such a warped young man, in truth, I have no desire to, it is sufficient unto the day that I recognize that such evil exists; independent and nursed by those like-minded ones who seek pleasure in another’s torment for whatever political agenda.

I admit to a certain ambivalence towards the death penalty because I want to believe in the possibility of redemption and I am concerned that in life there is not always certain knowledge that the convicted is the one to be put to death. But when there is no absence of innocence and one is so young and already well versed in evil what hope exists for redemption?

Their are those that would say where there is life and time; hope of redemption is still possible but the true legacy of Arafat is that time will only nurse and feed this young man’s and other like-minded ones warped pathology.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Against All Flags: Hate, Fear & Smear

I fly the Red Ensign on my blog, I am a proud member of the Red Ensign Bloggers and I do so without hesitation, apology or regret. I harkened to the Flea’s call:
This country has also been a force for liberty. The third largest navy in the world fed Britain through the dark days of the Blitz and Hitler's north Atlantic wolf packs. This is the country that took Vimy Ridge and that stormed Juno Beach. Let's bring back that Canada.

I have read all the Red Ensign Bloggers blogs and there is not one member that I am not honoured to be associated with – even the so-called liberal ones (Do you know that Alan has a fish on his Red Ensign?)

Against All Flags seeks "to warn those might belong or those thinking to join this Brigade: don’t. There is a chance you could be connected in the public mind with these hate groups."

Against All Flags warns Red Ensign Blogger Alan: "Well, just you wait Alan until one of these guys claims to be a member of your ‘Red Ensign Brigade’. They tried to worm into the Reform Party and the Alliance. Why wouldn’t they try to associate themselves with your group?"

Really, Flynn, if you expended half the time you spent wading through hate groups by reading the Red Ensign Bloggers the answer would be self-evident.

Against all Flags asks: "I have yet to see one of you post a condemnation of the racists groups who are also flying the flag."

Flynn, unlike you, I do not have to denounce the fringe groups that claim the Red Ensign because everyday that I live and breathe is an act of denouncement of those very same fringe hate groups you chose to link to in your blog. Every day I blog is a denouncement.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t submit when I taunted as a child, I didn’t submit to the hatred of those who denounced me for being a "mud-person" or a Jew, so I shall certainly not submit to your politics of fear and smear.

And I shall blog proudly under the Red Ensign.

Shop Canadian

The current Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, has had her budget slashed and New Democrat MP Pat Martin opinioned(Yahoo News):
"It's not too much to ask for the Governor General to have to switch brands of caviar and find a more efficient way of running Rideau Hall," Martin said.
I am all for budget cuts to stop the feeding frenzy of the federal purse but “slashing, dicing and paring” the annual budget from Cdn$19 million to Cdn$18, 683,000 is not what I had in mind when I think "slashed".

(tipped off by Nealenews)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Question of the Day

Whenever I see articles like this piece in the Windsor Star:
Canadians are smoking pot more than ever before and the majority want police and government to leave people to indulge in peace.

It makes me wonder if the majority of Canadians realize that the most common form of marijuana consumption is by SMOKING. If the general consensus is that smoking cigarettes are harmful for the individual and society; why would the smoking of marijuana be a safer alternative? If you can’t smoke cigarettes in public in peace, why should you be able to smoke marijuana in peace? If you think cigarettes smell bad then the smell of a spliff will simply overwhelm you. If a public health goal is the cessation of smoking while would you support the legalization of another smoking substance?

Fiberal Resolve

Yesterday, I was dealing with a multitude of family issues and this slipped under my radar but fortunately for me, it did not pass under Debbye’s at Being American in TO.

The Toronto Sun reports this story of Liberal perfidy:
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced in Ottawa yesterday that Gordon Venner will assume duties as Canada's ambassador to Iran. Ottawa recalled its ambassador in July to protest Iran's injustice in the Kazemi case.
Insisting Canada remains "deeply committed" to the case, Pettigrew said it's important to resume full diplomatic presence to press human rights concerns and Canada's views on Iran's nuclear program.

Of course, Canada did have a diplomatic presence in Iran when photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was bludgeoned to death by the Mullah’s agents so I fail to see how having a diplomatic presence will improve the cause of human rights or save from bodily harm any Canadian who has the misfortune to run afoul of the Mullah’s sense of justice in Iran. Certainly Cuba’s record on human rights has not improved despite having had the benefit of Canadian diplomatic relations for decades.

Membership has its privleges

The Israel Insider is reporting that a Palestinian-Canadian arrested in November 2003 has pleaded guilty in an Israeli military court for conspiracy to commit manslaughter:
Jamal Akkal, 24, was arrested in Gaza on Nov. 1, 2003, and charged by the military with conspiracy to commit manslaughter. Prosecutors said Akkal planned to carry out attacks against Israeli officials traveling in the United States, as well as bombings against Jewish targets in North America.

Akkal had denied the charges, claiming a confession he gave was made under duress.

Under Wednesday's plea bargain, Akkal was found guilty of conspiracy to commit manslaughter and receiving paramilitary training, the army said. He was credited with time served since his arrest, and a second charge of receiving paramilitary training was dropped. Akkal, who was also fined 2,000 shekels (US$450), had faced up to 21 years in prison, the army said.

Akkal was born and raised in the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza and moved to Canada in 1999, where he received citizenship. He was arrested in Gaza after he fired eight shots in the air, his lawyer said.

During the trial, Akkal claimed he had come to Gaza to get engaged. The army said he met with militants from the violent Islamic group Hamas, received weapons training and planned attacks. According to the indictment, Akkal was to buy an M-16 rifle in Detroit and bomb materials to carry out the attacks in cities where many Jews live.

It would be germane to remember that Akkal has Canadian citizenship and all the rights and privileges that ensues. In four years time he will be released from an Israeli jail and deported to Canada.

Jeremy Hinzman, US Army Deserter, Canadian Resident

In a rare bit of sanity the Immigration and Refugee Board has turned down Jeremy Hinzman’s claim that the US led Iraqi war was illegal posts Daimnation quoting this National Post article:

In a decision released to the National Post yesterday, an adjudicator ruled former U.S. soldier Jeremy Hinzman's claim that the Iraqi conflict was "condemned by the international community" is irrelevant to his refugee claim.

"Evidence with respect to the legality of the U.S. embarking on military action in Iraq will not be admitted into evidence at the hearing of these claims," wrote Brian Goodman, the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board panel hearing the case.

The question becomes how many years will it actually take to deport Hinzman?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Canada Honest Broker?

Not according to this Jerusalem Post article:
But is Canada's involvement in any peace process really in Israel's best interests? Although Canada claims to be a friend of Israel, an examination of Canada's actions both internationally and domestically should raise a few eyebrows and generate some hard questions.

Let's begin with the United Nations. Here Israel's friend, Canada, has voted against Israel 78 times, abstained 38 times, and voted in support of Israel, by its own admission, only once – although a phone call to Israel's UN delegation in New York was unable to confirm even that.

In spite of evidence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are on UNRWA's payroll and have taken full advantage of UNRWA funds and facilities to further their own unholy agenda, Canada continues to contribute $10 million annually to UNRWA. When asked directly whether he can state categorically that Canadian dollars are not being used to finance terror attacks against Israelis, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs was unable to do so. Canada has also given a quarter of a billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority, a goodly percentage of which, no doubt, has been used to subsidize Suha Arafat's opulent Paris lifestyle; or perhaps found its way into the coffers of the terror networks.

Yet, when pressured, Foreign Affairs refuses not only to produce an accounting of how its funds are being used, but also to demand an accounting from UNRWA and the PA.

While mouthing platitudes about Israel's right to defend itself, Canada has managed to condemn just about everything Israel does in its own defense.

And if all the above was not sordid enough, how is this:
Canada's porous refugee and immigration laws have allowed PFLP terrorist Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Mohammed, convicted in the hijacking of an El AL plane and subsequent killing of one person at Athens Airport in 1968, to live comfortably in Brantford, Ontario, while enjoying refugee status.

Mahmoud Issa is a convicted terrorist and murderer, he lied his way into Canada in 1987. Thirty appeals later and he is still here and running a candy store in Ontario. According to this Stephen Brown article it has cost the Canadian taxpayer $3 million and counting. The most recent news I could find on the status of Mahmoud Issa’s case was reported here on November 10, 2004. I need to go take a shower.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Peacekeeping UN Style

Yahoo is reporting that the UN is investigating as many as 150 allegations of sexual abuse by UN personnel in the Congo Peacekeeping Mission:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations is investigating about 150 allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. civilian staff and soldiers in the Congo, some of them recorded on videotape, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.

The accusations include pedophilia, rape and prostitution, said Jane Holl Lute, an assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department.

Lute, an American, said there was photographic and video evidence for some of the allegations and most of the charges came to light since the spring.
Kofi Annan, in the best UN doublespeak makes his position crystal clear and is quoted at the end of this article:

"I have long made it clear that my attitude to sexual exploitation and abuse is one of zero tolerance, without exception, and I am determined to implement this policy in the most transparent manner," Annan said.

But the reality between Mr. Annan’s words and deeds lays bare the bold-faced hypocrisy of the Secretary-General of the UN. It was just a little under a month ago when the news broke that Kofi Annan cleared Ruud Lubberg, UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees from charges of sexual harassment despite an internal inquiry that backed the victim.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was embroiled in a new scandal yesterday after it emerged that he cleared a top official of sexual harassment despite an internal inquiry which backed the victim’s claims.

Annan cleared Ruud Lubbers in July after a woman on his staff claimed she had been groped by the ageing Dutch former foreign minister, who has been the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva since 2001.

But red-faced UN officials were forced to admit yesterday that an investigation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), an internal watchdog, had backed the unnamed woman’s allegations in a report to Annan.
Canada’s contribution to the United Nations General budget is approximately Cdn$53.1 million with an additional Cdn$77.8 million paid for peacekeeping contributions.

Lack of Condolence

The Toronto Star is taking Stockwill Day to task over an internal memo written by Day and sent to party colleagues outlining why he did not send condolences or sympathies to the Palestinian Authority on the death of Arafat (registration required):

Stockwell Day is pointing to a report that Yasser Arafat may have had AIDS in explaining why he didn't send condolences on the death of the Palestinian leader.

"Some of you have asked why I have not released a statement of condolence or sympathy," the Conservative party's foreign affairs critic wrote in a Nov. 16 e-mail to party colleagues.

"As you know, there are two sides to the Arafat story. You pick."
The e-mail then provides an article by conservative commentator David Frum in FrontPage Magazine which highlights Arafat's terrorist past and the possibility he had AIDS.

Now the Toronto Star wants to suggest that Stockwell Day did not send condolences to the Palestinian Authority because Arafat might have had Aids based on Day’s pointing to a David Frum article. The Frum column focuses on Arafat’s failure as a leader and highlights his career as a terrorist; and the sum total of speculation on the cause of Arafat’s deteriorating health is limited to six sentences. But maybe, just maybe, it is because he was a serial murderer/terrorist with the blood of many on his hands, and hence, Stockwell Day felt that the world was better off with the old bastard buried and encased in concrete. I concur.

Obviously, this view of the former Palestinian leader is foreign to the folks at the Toronto Star hence it is easier for the Toronto Star to describe the opinions of Arafat’s detractors as evidence of homophobia. Memo to the Toronto Star: it is not evidence of homophobia if you do not mourn the passing of terrorist thugs and heterosexuals get Aids too.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ministerial Extension: Strippergate

The CBC comments on the latest "Strippergate" twist:
Embattled Immigration Minister Judy Sgro is fending off demands by opposition MPs to step aside while the ethics commissioner investigates allegations that her office helped a campaign volunteer get on the immigration fast track.

The volunteer, an exotic dancer from Romania, was given a temporary resident permit three days before the June 28 election.

But really "Strippergate" is nothing more than then the ministerial extension of the Visa Buffscam.

"The Lady doth protest too much, me thinks".

Blogs by nature are peculiar things and are no more or less whatever the blogger desires them to be. Some are devoted to this or that hobby, some are political, others cultural, some are a mix of this and that, and others are the seemingly "private" musings of an online journal. No matter the blog, what we should never do is presume the blogger is the blog - for this is nothing but the folly of the daft.

I was going to blog a defense of a fellow Red Ensign Blogger after another blogger decided that she was unduly slogged off because her comments were deleted from a post at Ghost of a Flea but Babbling Brooks and the Monger have enacted an effective pincher maneuver and there is very little left to be said except that hell hath no fury like a woman blogger scorned....

Nor should anyone presume that commenting on anyone’s blog is a "right" and there is no "right of entitlement" to communicate your two cents to the blogging classes on a fellow blogger’s comment section. In the spirit of enlightenment, I would direct the reader to my own bloggy code:

All e-mails are presumed to be for publication on the site unless otherwise indicated. Please note that postings to the comments section may be edited or deleted for racism, defamatory content or just because I don’t like you.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Raising the Red Ensign, Vol. 9

Dust My Broom has hoisted the Red Ensign with a round-up of what my fellow Red Brigade members are writing and ranting about now.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Suha Arafat: Quick Change Artist-but not small change

Now you see her, now you don’t. The Israel Insider reports:
Yasser Arafat's widow took possession of his much-sought medical dossier on Friday. She fled with the files after Palestinian TV broadcast a Friday sermon which threatened her life. She reportedly flew to Tunis in Arafat's jet, defying PA orders. Although the French defense ministry decided Nasser al Kidwa could access information on his uncle's mystery illness, Suha's lawyers claim only his widow can.

Suha Arafat obtained the file from the Percy military hospital in suburban Paris in mid-afternoon, attorney Jean-Marie Burguburu told The Associated Press by telephone.

Burguburu declined to give any details about the content of the file, but said the Palestinian leader's widow was considering whether to release the information to the public.

"The decision is in the process of being examined," he said. "The problem is, on the one hand, to try to stop all these false ideas about the death of President Arafat - these rumors."

"Secondly, it's to make sure that there is not any abnormal exploitation of this medical file," Burguburu said.

Earlier, Palestinian leaders dispatched an emissary to Paris to pick up the records and promised to make public the cause of Arafat's death.

It wasn't immediately clear how the latest development would affect the mission of the emissary -- Nasser al-Kidwa, Arafat's nephew and also the Palestinian representative to the United Nations. He had confirmed to the AP late Thursday that he would be traveling to France.

Debkafile is reporting that she is also refusing to return the plane:

French defense ministry says al Kidwa is entitled to access medical information on Arafat’s never-publicly-diagnosed illness. But Suha’s lawyers say only children and widow

She took the files and ran after Palestinian TV broadcast Friday sermon threatening her life. She used Arafat’s plane, flouting Palestinian Authority’s demands for its return.

PA hoped to publish record and lay to rest rumors of foul play, including Israeli poison. DEBKAfile’s Paris sources convinced widow will hold onto medical files as collateral for agreed PA payments and as leverage to help radicals Kadoumi, Mussa Arafat and Force 17 commander foil Abbas’s bid for succession.

I am starting to wonder if Suha Arafat is suffering from "bad boy syndrome". First Arafat, now; Pierre Rizk, Kadoumi, Mussa Arafta, Force 17 or maybe its just a case of the material girl securing the money supply.

Canadian Forces to train Iraqi Troops?

The Toronto Star reports that Canada may train Iraqi soldiers(registration required):

Canada is considering a request to provide military instructors to help the United States train Iraqi officers but would only do so if the training took place outside their wartorn homeland, officials say.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Bill Graham and a military spokesman said officials are considering the request and may be willing to provide trainers to work in a third country, such as Jordan.
"It would have to be outside of Iraq," said Isabelle Savard, Graham's chief spokeswoman.
Why do you think that is? It would not have anything to do with not being able to afford the cab ride from the Airport to downtown Baghdad would it?

Penny wise Navy

Canada's navy has hired a private contractor to fly civilian helicopters out to its ships at sea, as a way of reducing the flying pressures on the military's aging Sea Kings.

In a major naval training exercise this month, the navy hired an American civilian helicopter service to make transport flights to the four helicopter-carrying Canadian ships, sailing roughly 100 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia.

Civilian helicopters and pilots have been ferrying people, mail and other supplies to and from the fleet -- creating the unusual spectacle of shiny, blue Bell helicopters landing on the decks of naval ships in the midst of military operations.

The head of Canada's East Coast fleet says it's the first case he knows of in which civilian helicopters have been hired to service the navy's ships. "I'm trying to save money," says Commodore Tyrone Pile, "and I'm trying to save Sea King flying hours, by contracting a helo-delivery service."

I could rant and rave but unless this becomes a major issue in the next election it will not do any good. What’s next? Contract out our peacekeeping commitments to the French Foreign Legion? But really people when is enough, enough?

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Race is On – maybe.

Drudge is reporting that the Mullah’s are in a race to develop enough uranium hexafluoride to be enriched into weapons-grade uranium before the Mullahs suspend uranium enrichment as per the agreement worked out with France, Britain, Germany and the EU. Current estimates (according to this article) put the amount of uranium hexafluoride centrifuges at approximately 1,000 and with a minimum of 1,500 you have got yourself enough to make a small nuclear arsenal.

Mullah Foreign Minister, Hamid Reza Asefi, is denying the allegations and charges that Colin Powell should review his intelligence again. Read the rest and then decide for yourself, but I know who I would laid my money down on, if I were a betting kind of gal.

Question Period: Iran

Does anyone really believe that the Mullahs are seeking a fully functioning nuclear reactor to meet the energy needs of their citizens?

Is there anyone who really believes that the Mullahs do not have a secret nuclear program?

Does anyone really believe that the Mullah's will honour all conditions and obligations of any agreements they sign?

Is there anyone who believes that the IAEA/UN can effectively monitor and police the nuclear aspirations of the Mullah’s?

Does anyone really believe that the Mullah's can be trusted not to make long range nuclear missiles?

Is there anyone who really believes that if the Mullah’s acquired long range nuclear missiles that they will not use them?

Does anyone really believe that Nuclear Mullahs would not pose a threat to their neighbors?

Is there anyone who really doubts that that the Mullah's would not seek the destruction of the State of Israel if the Mullah's possessed nuclear warheads in their arsenal?

If you answered No to any of these questions, what policies are you prepared to support? And if you have answered Yes to any of these questions you need to go here and live under Mullah rule – if you survive, then we can talk.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Let the Revolution Begin!

Okay, all I need to know now is where and when can I sign up?

The High Cost of Peace

Last Saturday was bookstore day in my household. The Last Amazon and I are both reading our way through the Sharpe series, Montana needed a new Redwall book and Isaiah wanted comics. So after guitar lessons, but before the bread factory trip we started at Yonge & Dundas and worked our way north. One of the books I picked up was Yosseff Bodansky’s The High Cost of Peace. I started reading the book on the return trip home. Coming after the death of Arafat and all the accolades showered on the curse of the righteous, I was struck by this (page 9):

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union’s growing involvement in the Middle East during the early 1970s led to its increased support for, and exploitation of, the Palestinian revolutionary movement. To further their join aims, Moscow advised the PLO to develop a political image that would gain support from Western elites. Taking Moscow’s advice, Arafat sent a high-level PLO delegation headed by Salah Khalaf—also known as Abu-Iyad—on a milestone visit to Hanoi. The Palestinians had lengthy discussions with a Politburo team lead by General Vo Nguyen Giap, in which the Vietnamese told their Palestinian guests about their success in manipulating the Western media, to the point that they had a direct impact on the United States’ ability to wage war against North Vietnam and the Vietcong.

In his book Palestinian Without a Motherland, Abu-Iyad related how he brought up the question of why the Palestinian armed struggle was considered terrorism whereas the Vietnamese struggle was lauded and supported throughout the West. His hosts attributed this phenomenon to the different ways the two liberation movements had packaged their goals. The Vietnamese team agreed to sit with the PLO delegation and help them develop a program that would appear flexible and moderate. Especially in dealing with the United States, the Vietnamese explained, one must “sacrifice the unimportant if only in order to preserve the essential.” They emphasized that while the PLO must remain committed to its ultimate objective—namely, “the establishment of a unified democratic state in the entire Palestine”—in near term it would be politically advantageous to accept transient phases and even interim solutions. The Vietnamese suggested that accepting “the division of the land between two independent states” without making it clear that this was only an interim phase would neutralize the PLO’s opponents in the West.

The Vietnamese team in Hanoi introduced the Palestinians to such issues as dealing with the US media and with liberal political circles and institutions, and they provided insight on the power of the Jewish community. Disinformation and psychological-warfare experts assisted the Palestinians in formulating a “moderate political program” accepting the establishment of a “small Palestine” in the territories. Hanoi also promised to help the PLO persuade pro-North Vietnamese organization in the West to accept the PLO’s transient solutions by using “moderate, even vague” terminology to make these solutions appear nonthreatening to Israel. Abu-Iyad wrote that the PLO adopted the Vietnamese recommendations and began implementing them immediately.

The result was the Phases Program/Phased Plan, adopted as the resolution of the Twelfth Palestinian National Council in Cairo on June 19, 1974.

I’d say that the pupils have become the master; and General Giap, you have done your job well, Fidel couldn’t have done it better and I bet Ho Chi Minh would be proud.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I bet she has an Ann Coulter Action Figure too!

I really don’t know what to think of Carolyn Parrish, in truth, I try not to think about her at all, but just when I think she can’t possibly get any more over the top, she goes one better; thereby proving that bottom feeders have no discernible limits. The CBC reports:
At least one Liberal MP will find it difficult to hide her distaste for the recently re-elected U.S. president. Carolyn Parrish didn't even try on Monday, playing along with CBC-TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes by stomping on a George Bush action figure.
I certainly hope the Prime Minister will dispatch her immediately on a fact-finding mission to Hans Island to determine if the Danes have attempted to violate Canada sovereignty this summer.

(tipped off by Neale News)

Choosing not to Shake Hands

The Toronto Star reports (registration required) that Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire’s book has been chosen for an award:

Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general who commanded UN peacekeepers during the horrors in Rwanda in the early 1990s, won a Governor General's literary award today for his account of the experience, entitled Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.

The citation called his entry, the winner of the non-fiction English prize, "a book of singular importance and courage in the voice of the principal witness of the Rwandan tragedy."

A decade ago, UN authorities ignored Dallaire's warnings of an impending genocide of the minority Tutsi population by the country's Hutus, and a massacre claimed the lives of 800,000 men, women and children.

"Out of his own experience, Romeo Dallaire has written a brave cautionary tale for our hard and selfish times," said the citation from the Canadian Council for the Arts for Dallaire, who has begun a fellowship at Harvard where he's writing about conflict resolution.

Last Christmas, I bought Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. I really wanted to read this book. I bought this book and I looked forward to reading it over the holidays. I started reading the book and got to 3/8th of the way into it and I have never been able to finish. It was well written but I grew increasingly frustrated with the decisions Lt.-General Dallaire made during his time leading the Rwanda peacekeeping mission; too much the politician and not enough the general.

Perhaps I am not being fair to Lt.-General Romeo Dallaire but I want my generals to act and to lead, not plead their case before acting. He has information about a large illegal arms cache. Go confiscate it before those very same weapons are turned against your men or the people you are trying to keep the peace for. Then send a message to the UN that you have confiscated a large arms cache and destroyed the weapons and the peace has been saved. Don’t ask the UN for permission to act as the commander in charge – you’re the one in the field.

I freely admit that I have a certain kind of fondness for generals who act, and act boldly. One of the things I always like about Ariel Sharon’s time was his insistence on acting, and often contrary to central command. He was very much the general on the field and not in the tent. If not for his boldness in the Sinai in 1973, the Israelis would not have crossed the Sinai and the entire Egyptian Third Army would not have been cut off and completely surrounded. The road to Cairo would not have been open and the State of Israel might have been nothing more than a foot note in the history of the world.

Perhaps, one day I will finish the book and I will have a different opinion of Lt.-Gen. Dallaire, who knows, perhaps he will surprise me yet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Fog of War

By now most people have heard that there is a young marine facing an investigation into an alleged execution of a wounded insurgent in a mosque in Fallajah. I have seen the video shot by Kevin Stiles a few times. The problem I have with the videotape deals with the camera angle. I cannot see what the young marine is seeing. Nothing on the tape reveals his point of view; without that point of view I cannot begin to comprehend the real context under which this shooting occurred.

Among the many tactics insurgents have employed to injury and/or kill marines are the booby-trapping of dead and injured insurgents. In fact, contained in this CNN story of the marine shooting; this is reported:
About a block away, a Marine was killed and five others wounded by a booby-trapped body they found in a house after a shootout with insurgents.

The question becomes how does one determine who will fight to death and seek to take you into that dark night with them? If I were that young marine, I would be inclined to look at all prone, wounded or stationary insurgent bodies as potential threats to myself and my fellow-marines. If they twitched or jerked quickly, the only prudent course would be to shoot first and ask questions later. It’s not pretty and it might not follow the combat rule book of politically correct etiquette but better safe than sorry. In combat, he who hesitates is lost. A bad decision is better than indecision.

I recognize that there are rules of who can be killed and when, who must be spared in war and overall I am comfortable with that; and the US Uniform Code of Military Justice. I believe in the integrity and trust in the honour of the US Marine Corps, and I am confident that that young man’s superiors will attempt do the right thing – whatever the right thing turns out to be. But on another level, an emotional one, my gut says: good, another scum bucket bites the dust. Perhaps, the truth lies in the fact that I am just not as highly evolved spiritually as others; therefore I am not able to rise above insurgent transgressions and eek out a few tears over this one. I cannot pity those who seek to enslave others to a brutal ideology or for those would not hesitate to torture and mutilate those they kidnap and hold hostage in their slaughterhouses.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Failed bid by 2,000 Marines to take Fallujah

This is how urban myths are created:

The Globe and Mail (dead tree version), November 15, 2004, page A14,
by Barrie McKenna, Washington
By-line reads: Cleanup begins after bloody assault on Fallujah

U.S. military commanders were clearly pleased that the operation had gone more smoothly than a failed bid by 2,000 marines in April to take back the city from its insurgent defenders.

Surely, the Canadian newspaper that wants to be known as the Paper of Record for Canada can do a better job than this. The Marines never failed to take Fallujah in April 2004 because the Marines were never allowed to launch a full-scale assault on Fallujah until November 2004.

If there is a fault to be assigned for Fallujah not being liberated sooner from insurgent control the responsibility for that fault lies with the civilian authority-not the with USMC. The marines were more than ready, willing and able to take back Fallujah in April – all they were lacking was the order to unleash their might.

Furthermore, I would not characterize insurgents as "defenders" unless I was routing for the jihadist’s who keep the slaughterhouses filled.

(Tipped off by Montana, Marine Observer)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Moderate Myths

Caroline Gluck on the fallacy of Arafat’s death being an opportunity for kick starting the "peace process”:

And here we get to the crux of the issue. Arafat's men – from Qurei to Abbas to Farouk Kadoumi and even to MK Ahmed Tibi – owe their positions in the world to the fact that they were integral parts of Arafat's regime. It wasn't just Arafat that Israel insanely brought into Judea, Samaria and Gaza (and Israel) in 1994, but the entire terrorist and corrupt regime of the PLO. Though Arafat's death has finally been announced, his regime will remain.

In their usual vacuous and ridiculous style, Israeli pundits, experts and politicians have been mouthing off over the past week about Israel using the opportunity of Arafat's death to strengthen the "reformist" elements in the PA. Fat chance of that working. There are no "reformist" elements in the PA. And anyone inside the PA who would dare speak of making changes to the way things are done would immediately be attacked, if not murdered, for daring to question Arafat's legacy.

We have only to look to Nabil Amr, the PLO member and representative of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who dared to attack Arafat in July for the PLO's corruption. He got shot in the leg and is now getting fitted for a prosthetic limb in Europe. And this happened while Arafat was still in charge. Imagine what will happen now that the "Martyred President" has finally been declared dead.

If Abbas or Qurei – Jerusalem and Washington's favorites to inherit Arafat's helm – try to cut a deal with Israel, or in any way take action against the PLO militias or Hamas or Fatah or Islamic Jihad, they will be immediately murdered. Not, of course, that they would try to take any action to rein in or disarm the terrorists. They side with the terrorists, because they are and always have been terrorists themselves. This is how they got their positions and retained them all these years at Arafat's side.

The point is that without a regime change in Palestinian society, Arafat's legacy will survive. And, as Suha's screeching statement makes clear, that legacy is both criminal and terrorist.

In a more enlightened world; Canada, US, EU, UN and a whole host- of others would not be bankrolling the aspirations of thugs and/or terrorists but sponsoring Teams of Psychiatrists for immediate deployment in the West Bank and Gaza.

Crocodile Tears

Before you accept that reports that Arafat’s long confinement in his Ramallah compound contributed to the decline in his health and was strictly the result of the Israeli government, let us remember what really happened when Arafat left his compound as the Israeli Operation "Defensive Shield" wound down. From the Arab News, May 15, 2002:
Arafat cancels visit to Jenin camp of fears of being attacked there

In an exclusive news, the Jordanian paper "al-Arab al-Youm" said that Arafat's cancellation on Monday of his visit to the Jenin camp came after Arafat was informed that real risks exist of him being attacked or even assassinated in this Palestinian camp.

The paper added that an Egyptian advise for Arafat not to enter the camp according to intelligence information made Arafat change his program and limit his tour to pass by in his car at the entrance of the camp.

Moving around the West Bank and Gaza held innate risks for Arafat from the very same people who are busy shedding crocodile tears for him now.

I can't hear you

The Spanish government, besides being Zookeepers, issues statements like this and is it any wonder why the Spanish Prime Minister cannot get passed the White House Switchboard:
"The Spanish government expresses its great sadness at the death of Yasser Arafat, the president of the Palestinian National Authority, and winner of the Nobel peace prize," the statement read.

"Arafat's charismatic personality, the international status that he gave to the Palestinian nation and his unrelenting fight for recognition for his people makes him one of the most relevant leaders of our time," the statement read.

The statement that appeared on the Spanish Foreign Ministry's web-site said that "at this time we should remember that Yasser Arafat, along with Yitzhak Rabin, moved the Oslo accords forward. These agreements represented one of the more encouraging steps in the long and difficult path towards finding a solution to the Palestinian -Israeli conflict."

But why stop there? By all means, let us not forget that Hilter shared the same kind of "charismatic personality." Let us also not forget Arafat’s contribution to terrorism: school bus massacres, school sieges, bus bombings, restaurant bombings, mall and market bombings, hijacking of planes, child suicide bombers. Let us not forget that the cheques were sent to the families of suicide bombers in payment for destruction and mayhem, or who paid for the arms that are routinely smuggled in from the tunnels of Gaza, or who tried to smuggle in arms on ships. These events all happened after the Oslo Accord was signed.

Arafat: A Cuckcold?

There are more twists and turns in the Arafat story than are dreamed of under heaven. Now the Israeli Insider is reporting that Suha Arafat’s financial adviser and constant companion is none other than Pierre Rizk, former head of the Phalangist intelligence agency.

French officials following the Arafat dead-or-alive fiasco were floored to discover that Suha Arafat's constant companion and financial adviser is none other than Pierre Rizk. Like her a Maronite Christian (although she went through a "conversion" to Islam when she married Yasser), Rizk headed the Phalangist intelligence service during the Lebanese civil war and was in close personal contact with the guerrilla group which carried out the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp in 1982.

An ally of Israel, Rizk was at the time the chief deputy of ElieHobeika, widely held directly responsible for ordering the bloodbath.

According to Daniel Nassif, Executive Director, of the American Lebanese Institute, "Elie Hobeika and Pierre Rizk,who shared command of the Lebanese Forces (Phalangists) at the time of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, have flourished in Syrian-controlled Lebanon. Hobeika has been one of the most trusted people in Lebanon by Damascus since at least 1985 and an influential minister in the Syrian-controlled Lebanese government since 1990. Rizk, who long collaborated with the PLO leadership, is currently reaping millions of dollars as a business front for Yasir Arafat and his wife Suha.

But there is another twist to this saga. Rizk received a settlement from the PA after Arafat reneged on a financial deal with Rizk:
Apparently, Rizk had been promised, by the Ra'is Himself, a license for his U.S. corporation to develop the communications infrastructure of the West Bank. Unfortunately for Rizk, Arafat had make similar promises to many other people and companies, promising them jobs, tenders and contracts in his future government.

As was Arafat's usual practice, however, none of the promises were ever fulfilled. However, unlike other disappointed parties, Rizk decided to sue Arafat for violating his word and, lo and behold, was awarded $18 million by American reports. As a result, Haaretz reports, U.S. banks froze $80 million of the PA's money, threatening its financial stability. The crisis was eventually ended, according to the newspaper, when the PA sent special envoys to Rizk in Paris to negotiate a settlement.

Arafat a cuckcold, and financially supporting the man his wife steps out with? Who would have thought! It makes you wonder what the price of beards really is in the West Bank.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

In Remembrance

All week I have been struggling on how to mark Remembrance Day and right up to this morning, I have not been unable to find a fitting way to mark the day. So, in the end, I thought that I would remember the veteran I loved most: my mother’s father, my grandfather.

He was born in 1899 and grew up in a modest farm in Cole Creek Queens County, New Brunswick. At seventeen, he was legally too young for war but the niceties were easily ignored back in January 1916; and so, he joined the Fighting 26th Battalion and was soon shipped overseas to war a few months later. He thought it would be one grand adventure and a chance to see the world beyond the country. Little did he realize that a trench at Vimy Ridge or Passchendaele looked much the same as a ditch dug in the Mirmachi. My mother still remembers hearing him sing his famous "army digging song":
"We are in the army, we’re not behind the plow, digging a ditch, son of bitch, we are in the army now."

Grandfather rarely talked about the war. By the time I was old enough to ask questions his sense of loss from those years had not lessen any. His uniform, medals, his Sam Brown belt, and messenger pouch were all packed away. Never to see the light of day until my son, Montana Francis, came to claim his room in the last homey house in the middle of the woods. The miracle was that this achingly young scout and messenger survived the war intact but not without wounds. I marvel at how fortunate I am that he survived when so many did not. From the spring of 1916 there was not a battle that it was his misfortune not to miss until the end of July 1918 when he was wounded for the second and last time in battle.

I was about 13 and it was during one of the annual summer treks home that I found his war photograph album. I brought them to him in the kitchen to ask about the war years and his part in the WW1. My mother and grandmother were quick to admonish me not to ask and they ordered me to put the album away. Asking Grandfather about the war was taboo in the family but for some unknown reason Grandfather told them it was okay. He took me outside to the front porch where he answered all my questions about the people in the album and the war.

He did not glamourize it and turn it into one long epic adventure. He spoke of life in the trenches being always hungry, tired, wet and cold, the rats, the bugs, the constant noise; and fear that never left your side. He spoke of Christmas in the trenches and sharing Christmas rations with the Germans; and utter madness that war wrought. For Boxing Day found you; and duty and obligation forced you to go back to the business of killing those you had just shared a cuppa with just the day before. The utter horror at listening to the sounds horse’s make when they have been injured and left to suffer because the demands of battle do not allow a time out for mercy. He kept his sanity by taking long walks in the woods whenever he had opportunity to do so. The first time he was injured was in April 1917 at Vimy Ridge. He was patched up only to be sent back and was seriously wounded again in July 1918. This time the injuries were substantial enough to begin the long trek home and he sat out the last few months of the war at a hospital in England.

In my naiveté and ignorance, I asked the question all soldier’s dread – did you kill anyone? He answered, “G-d, I hope not. When I was ordered to fire I closed my eyes and prayed for the Lord to have mercy on my soul.”

The war shaped the man he was to become. He returned from war and shunned “society” preferring the quiet of the woods and the sound of birds. He became a fur trapper (illegal) and wood’s guide (legal). He met my grandmother and began the long struggle to marry her. He had to fight all of her more than numerous brothers and best them: and if that wasn’t enough, he still had to win the respect of her father for the right to marry her. It took him 11 years from their first meeting until their wedding day. In 1979, we brought my grandfather home from the hospital with his left side in a state of semi-paralysis. The next morning, him and I, sat alone on the front porch of my childhood home and watched the sunrise together sipping tea. He spoke of the first time he met my grandmother and how he was swept away by her beauty and grace. After all those years, he still found in her company, the solace that the woods had always offered his spirit.

My Grandfather was a quiet man, he preferred to listen rather than speak. He was not much good in company except with us girls. I spent my childhood running after him and walking in the woods he so loved. To this day, stories are told about my grandfather among the locals, and even after all this time, he is sorely missed. There was no one who knew him that did not experience the evidence of his generosity; from the poorest of the poor to even those that had grievously wronged him. He held no grudges and preferred peace. He said he felt that the secret of life was to take all that life could throw at you and at the end of the day still be able to laugh. No one or nothing should rob you of your humanity, and if, you could keep your humanity intact, in spite of all the cruelties of the day, then you will triumph over life.

I gave my first son the name Francis in honour of his memory and Montana Francis wears it with pride which makes me smile; as unbeknownst to Montana, the first Francis hated that name with a passion and just barely tolerated Frank. There is not a time, when I think of my grandfather, that I do not wish I could go back and have him put his arms around me and say "my poor wee little soul' and tell me bear stories, just one more time. I deeply regret that my grandfather had not lived to see his namesake. There is much that he would have loved to share with him. There is a part of me that wonders whether when we bear the name of those that came before us; do we also then, manage to take a piece of their spirit with us into the future? I pray that it be so, for I can think of no finer thing for my much beloved son that he possess the generosity of spirit and the fortitude of his great grandfather who possessed uncommon valour as a common virtue.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hostage Slaugherhouses

Iraqi troops have found "hostage slaughterhouses" in Fallujah where foreign captives were held and killed, the commander of Iraqi forces in the city said Wednesday. Troops found CDs and records of people taken captive in houses in the northern part of Fallujah, Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader Mohammed Jassem Mohan told reporters. "We have found hostage slaughterhouses in Fallujah that were used by these people and the black clothing that they used to wear to identify themselves, hundreds of CDs and whole records with names of hostages," the general said at a military camp near Fallujah.

Tell me again, why the insurgents are only patriots?
(Via Drudge Report)

Serbia Hosts World Testicle Cooking Championships!

All you exotic epicure aficionados, Dejan Milovanovic from Belgrade has beaten off all comers in the World Testicle Cooking Championships. From the Sunday Herald:
Specialist cooks from around the world gathered in Serbia last week for the World Testicle Cooking Championship. Testicles are regarded as a gourmet delicacy in Serbia and the championship was organised by Ljubomir Erovic, of the Serbian Tourism Board, as a way of promoting the dish.

"The best cooked balls come from Serbia, which are known locally here as white kidneys," he said. The contest in the village of Savinac was won by gourmet testicle chef Dejan Milovanovic from Belgrade. His dish, prepared using testicles from a bull and a boar beat off challengers from around the world.

What I want to know is; who was the target audience that the Serbian Tourism Board felt it would attract for hosting this kind of event?

(Tipped off by The Cool Blue Blog)

Two Palestines?

Daniel Pipes has a thought provoking column in the Jerusalem Post regarding "Arafat’s Last Threat?"
Situation on the ground: There will be no successor to Yasser Arafat – he made sure of that through his endless manipulations, tricks, and schemes. Instead, this is the moment of the gunmen. Whether they fight for criminal gangs, warlords, security services, or ideological groups (like Hamas), militiamen grasping for land and treasure will dominate the Palestinian scene for months or years ahead.

The sort of persons we are familiar with from past diplomacy or from television commentaries (Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qurei, et al.) lack gunmen and so will have limited relevance going forward.

The Palestinian territories have already descended into a hellish anarchy, and their circumstances will probably worsen as the strongmen struggle for power. Eventually, two of them will emerge with the ability to negotiate with the Israelis and Americans.
Note, two of them. The geographic division of the West Bank and Gaza, of only minor import until now, looms large upon Arafat's passing. As Jonathan Schanzer has suggested, whoever rules in the one unit is unlikely to gain traction in the other, making the notion of a "Palestine" that much more difficult to promote.

Two Palestines, anyone?

Jonathan Schanzer wrote about the possibility of Gaza-West Bank split in a July/August 2001 article for Mid East Forum.

This very may well be the situation on the ground unless someone in the old guard of the PLO can build a bridge. The only PLO member that might have a shot at holding both territories is Farouk Kaddmouni, though with a Kaddmouni succession there will no peace but a never-ending reign of terror. If Kaddmouni breaks with his principles and enters the territories for Arafat’s funeral in either Ramallah or Gaza count that as him throwing his hat into the ring for the "battle to the death" leadership contest for control of the PLO.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

AP: Objective Reporting or Bias?

This is a great action picture of insurgents in Fallujah published on November 8, 2004, though the first thought that crossed my mind was how did AP Photographer Bilal Houssein get so close? And why is it that he is so comfortable in insurgent company when the rest of the press corps is concerned about the possibility of kidnapping and/or beheadings? If this was Al-Jazeera, I would not raise an eyebrow but Associated Press! What agenda are you now promoting?

(Tipped off via Drudge Report)

Saying your sorry is not enough

Alcoholics Anonymous says the first step in recovering from an addiction is to admit that you have a problem.
CFB VALCARTIER, Que. -- Prime Minister Paul Martin took some of the responsibility for the underfunded state of Canada's military on Monday as he visited with troops near Quebec City.

Martin had just finished lunch with a group of soldiers at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier when he said he hopes to invest more money in troops and equipment.
"We have to turn around our dwindling investment which, I admit, I have a certain responsibility for causing,'' Martin said.

"Your superiors here are just too polite to say it,'' he added, causing scattered laughter among the soldiers.

As Finance Minister Paul Martin presided over the deepest cut to the military budget and now he wants to "turn around our dwindling investment." I am all for "you make a mess, you clean it up," but the real question is; what exactly are you going to do about it? And please, don’t say that you need another commission to study the issue.

You will know a tree by its fruit

Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc, separatist party:
"Now with a minority government in Ottawa, I think it's more important ... that the people know us better."
I think it is safe to assume that Canadians already know everything they need to know about you. Save us the airfare and stay home.

Where were you Kofi Annan?

CNN reports:

Iraq's interim defense ministerHazem Sha'alan has lashed out at U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and leaders of other Arab countries during a pep talk for Iraqi troops before an expected assault on the insurgent-held city of Falluja.

Annan warned in a letter dated October 31 to the United States, Britain and Iraq that such an assault would have a "negative impact" on the prospects for elections, now scheduled for January.

But Sha'alan said on Sunday that Annan did nothing to help Iraqis under the rule of ousted leader Saddam Hussein.“Where was Kofi Annan when Saddam was slaughtering the Iraqis like sheep?" Sha'alan said.

"Where were the calls we hear from Arab and Islamic countries when Saddam was messing up the country?"

With thousands of U.S. troops poised to launch a major assault on Falluja, which has been under insurgent control for months, Sha'alan told the Iraqi troops set to participate in the offensive that they were "the defenders of democracy" who would rescue a city held hostage.

"Those who call not to fight the criminals, we say to them, 'You are the criminals.' They are the criminals," he said.

Good Question. So, what’s the answer: making a living?

New Zealand, Not just for Tourists

New Zealand is attracting interest and not just from tourists:

Americans have been bombarding New Zealand officials with inquiries about emigrating since President George W Bush was re-elected last week.

The Immigration Service in Wellington said its website recorded 10,300 hits from America the day after Mr Bush was re-elected, more than four times the average of 2,500. A further 300 inquiries were being received daily by telephone and e-mail, compared with about eight a day before the election.

Don Badman, the service's marketing manager, said: "It has exploded. It really started picking up from 11pm on the night of the election." Interest is especially strong in Democrat-voting San Francisco and Los Angeles, where before the election many people threatened to leave if Bush won.

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark is quoted in this article as saying, "We regard US migration as very desirable.”

I concur. All Americans seeking to leave America under a Bush Administration should make sail for New Zealand and NOT head North. Spread the word.

Sigh, that was close.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A Woman Scorned

The Jerusalem Post has characterized Suha Arafat as the Ramallah Lady MacBeth and attributes her early morning phone call to Al-Jazeera as the opening move to discredit the "so-called” moderates of the Palestinian Authority; Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) and Ahmed Queia (aka Abu Ala). It should be noted that Abu Mazan is acting as Yassir Arafat’s replacement in two of Arafat’s three roles; he is acting head of the PLO Executive Committee and Head of Fatah and the third Arafat role is currently being carried out by Ahmed Queia as Prime Minister and Head of Palestinian Authority.
"In a way, Suha managed to transfer the crisis from Paris to Ramallah. She is trying to rally the Palestinians behind her to score political points. She declared the beginning of the political grouping in public. It's no surprise that her remarks took the Palestinian leadership by surprise."

Although Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Gaza City were unanimous on Monday in condemning Suha as "evil" and a "madwoman," some noted that her allegations had caused extensive damage to Qurei and Abbas. "Suha is actually trying to bury the two alive," said a senior Fatah official in Ramallah. "I know many people who agree with her that Qurei and Abbas want to bury Arafat in order to inherit from him." He added: "Of course, her statements will have a serious impact on the two. Suha's message is that they are not loyal to Arafat and that they are in a hurry to bury him. Her remarks will be exploited by many people who are not happy with the current political leadership. She has supplied them with the ammunition."

Suha does not want to step into her husband's big shoes. Nor does she want to play any political role. Those who know her very well say she doesn't even have plans to leave Paris.

What Suha wants is revenge. She does not want to see people like Qurei, Abbas and Nabil Shaath in power. In her eyes, they are all hypocrites who have been anxiously waiting for Arafat's departure.

Suha's remarks are seen as an appeal to the Palestinians to revolt against the interim leadership and corrupt officials. What adds weight to her allegations is the fact that she is supported by the PLO's hard-line foreign minister Farouk Kaddoumi, who sees himself as the natural successor to Arafat, and many disgruntled Fatah activists and gunmen in the West Bank and Gaza Strip might agree.

This article suggests that Suha has aligned herself with Farouk Kaddoumi, one of the original 5 founders of Fatah, the PLO department that was responsible for the "armed struggle." He is an extreme PLO hardliner from the old school. He refused to endorse the Oslo Agreement and has never returned to the West Bank with Arafat and the PLO. He has maintained extensive ties with Syria and Hezbollah and it is rumoured that he has arranged insurgent units in Iraq. He is the head of Fatah Central Committee’s Politburo. Abu Mazen has been his replace in the territories.

To give you the full nuance of Farouk Kaddoumi, I found this Jerusalem Post article from April 2004:
Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO's hard-line "foreign minister," said Thursday that when Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat talks about the need to pursue the struggle against Israel, he is referring to the armed struggle. Kaddoumi said the armed struggle was the only way to force Israel to accept the demands of the Palestinians.

Kaddoumi's remarks were made in an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab. He admitted that the PLO charter, which denies Israel's right to exist, was never changed.

In response to a question what does Arafat mean when he talks about the continuation of the struggle, Kaddoumi, who is one of the few PLO leaders still living in Tunisia, said: "Yes, the national struggle must continue. I mean the armed struggle. In the past we abandoned our political parties in favor of the armed struggle.

"Fatah was established on the basis of the armed struggle and that this was the only way to leading to political negotiations that would force the enemy to accept our national aspirations. Therefore there is no struggle other than the armed military struggle."

Commenting on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, Kaddoumi said: "If Israel wants to leave the Gaza Strip, then it should do so. This means that the Palestinian resistance has forced it to leave. But the resistance will continue. Let the Gaza Strip be South Vietnam. We will use all available methods to liberate North Vietnam."

Kaddoumi revealed that the PLO leadership has entrusted him with being responsible for the "portfolio" of supporting the Iraqi resistance against the US-led coalition forces in Iraq. "There is no doubt that the Palestinian revolution supports the Iraqi resistance and we have seen demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories in backing the intifada and resistance in Iraq," he said. "I'm in charge of this issue and I condemn the American position."

Kaddoumi welcomed the establishment of an armed group in Iraq named after slain Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, saying this would increase pressure on the US. He described the new anti-American group as an "excellent phenomenon."

Kaddoumi said that, contrary to what many people believe, the PLO charter was never changed so as to recognize Israel's right to exist. "The Palestinian national charter has not been amended until now," he explained. "It was said that some articles are no longer effective, but they were not changed. I'm one of those who didn't agree to any changes."

Asked about US and Israeli demands to halt terror attacks as a condition for resuming the peace process, Kaddoumi replied: "They can go to hell!"

Kaddoumi has been acting foreign minister abroad for PLO interests for years. He has remained a long-term hold out but that can all change with the passing of Arafat. Certainly, he is ruthless enough to be able to forge an alliance with the hardliners in the PA and has enough street credentials to be able to forge a working alliance with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. All he would need to seal the deal is the "Benjamins."

The Red Ensign has been raised!

Bound by Gravity has hoisted the Red Ensign. Proving that once again, the Red Ensign Bloggers fearlessly blog on. Go check it out.

Where or where did all the embeds go?

The assault on Fallujah has begun:
U.S. forces stormed into the western outskirts of Fallujah early Monday, seizing the main city hospital and securing two key bridges over the Euphrates river in what appeared to be the first stage of the long-expected assault on the insurgent stronghold.

My oldest son has been fascinated by Marines for as long as I can remember. His idea of a fashion statement is the formal dress blues of the US Marine Corp. For days he has waited patiently for the assault on Fallujah to begin. Apparently, he got up out of bed regularly all night to check and see if CNN was running any footage of the US Marines in action in Fallujah. He got up this morning demanding to know where are the embedded camera men/reporters? If anyone has any suggestions please post.

Benjamins Watch: Part 2

The Toronto Sun:
YASSER ARAFAT'S wife lashed out at his top lieutenants today, accusing them of travelling to Paris with plans to "bury" her husband "alive." In a screaming telephone call from Arafat's hospital bedside near Paris, Suha Arafat told pan-Arab Al-Jazeera television that she was issuing "an appeal to the Palestinian people." She accused Arafat's top aides, who are travelling to France later today, of conspiring to usurp her husband's four-decade long role as Palestinian leader.

"Let it be known to the honest Palestinian people that a bunch of those who want to take over are coming to Paris tomorrow," she screamed in Arabic over the telephone.
"You have to realize the size of the conspiracy. I tell you they are trying to bury Abu Ammar alive," she said, using Arafat's nom de guerre. "He is alright and he is going home. God is great."

An Al-Jazeera producer said the broadcaster was confident it was Suha Arafat on the telephone and that she had called their Ramallah office from Arafat's bedside at a military hospital.

It is hard to see why Suha would be able to gather support from the Palestinian people. While she has been dining and shopping in Paris safe and sound, they have suffered the often fatal consequences of her husband’s leadership. I mark this as a desperate attempt by a desperate woman.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Show Me the Benjamins!

The Telegraph is reporting:

As confusion over Mr. Arafat's condition grew, a Palestinian legislator last night called for his financial adviser, Mohammed Rashid, who controls a multi-billion dollar network of Palestine Liberation Organisation accounts, to be investigated.

Over the past 40 years, Mr Arafat's PLO has built up a global empire of investments, worth an estimated $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion. (£2.3-£3.5 billion). Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority, which administers the territories, is virtually bankrupt.

Abdul Jawwad Saleh, a leading independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, wants Mr Rashid to be questioned at the organisation's Ramallah headquarters. His demand reflects concern that very few people will know the whereabouts of more than £2 billion of PLO funds if Mr Arafat dies. Mr Rashid left Ramallah some months ago, and is currently in Paris. Hassan Khreishe, another legislative council member, said Mr Rashid would be held to account. "We will follow him, don't worry," he said.

Mr Saleh is also calling for Mr Arafat's wife, Suha, who is said to be a business partner of Mr Rashid, to be questioned. "Mr Arafat's situation has presented a chance for us to question Mohammed Rashid," he said. "He knows better than anyone else the whereabouts of all the money, all the secret accounts. This is the people's money."
A confidential report last month by the Palestinian finance ministry shows that the Palestinian Authority is running a deficit of about £73 million a month.

Last year, the International Monetary Fund said Mr Arafat had diverted $1 billion or more of Palestinian Authority funds from 1995 to 2000.

A Palestinian lawyer who has investigated PLO corruption, and who wished to remain anonymous, said he knew of three or four Arafat loyalists who held secret bank accounts. "He paid a lot of this money to buy loyalty, squandering millions of dollars," he said. "The corruption was huge. The PLO had monopolies on cement, petrol, construction, taxes and cigarettes. It has investments everywhere. Nobody knows what has happened to all these assets."

And so the hunt begins.

(Tipped off by Highland Warriors)

Future of Forces

Peter Worthington asks the question: why do the Canadian Forces need submarines?
When asked why four subs are important, a succession of defence ministers, including Bill Graham, chiefs of defence staff (Ray Henault) and admirals (Bruce MacDonald) all tend to sound alike. They all say Canada, with the world's longest coastline (240,000 km), needs the four submarines to protect our "sovereignty" and enhance our security as "eyes and ears" under the sea.

That may sound good -- but makes no sense. To establish sovereignty (even presuming such is needed) means being seen, having a presence -- not being hidden and undetected. A flag establishes sovereignty more than an underwater marker. Submarines are basically designed as weapons of war -- of attack, not defence or security.


Top priorities on what the Canadian military needs in this volatile world of international terrorism and menace, include helicopters -- for the navy and army. Tomorrow's artillery is helicopter gunships, not ground cannons. Helicopters are the "eyes and ears" of the navy, as in search and rescue for the world's second largest country.

Our soldiers know how to rappel down ropes from helicopters -- but we don't have the helicopters. We need transport planes more than fighters or strike aircraft -- half of which we already have mothballed. If necessary, the Americans have more than enough fighter aircraft. We have no way to transport soldiers or equipment to hot spots -- or out of hot spots, either by air or sea. Our few paratroops occasionally have to rent commercial aircraft for practice drops. We need more ground troops, so the ones already on combat duty don't have to be recycled until they burn out. We need more armoured vehicles, like the LAV-III and Coyote which give our soldiers a distinct edge in Afghanistan.

We need fewer generals. We should emulate Australians, whose Special Forces are reminiscent of the SAS and can function in large or small units.

All this needs planning and a program and policy -- none of which are evident at DND.

I concur. It is far past the time for Canadians to stand up and take notice of our armed forces and develop a rational defence policy that mirrors how we need our forces to operate and then - fully fund it. Instead of election by focus group issues; why don’t we as citizens, get pro-active and demand our politicians lay out their program and policy on the armed forces in the next election?

Post-Election Random Thoughts

One of the interesting things about watching the US elections from the sidelines of Canada is how out of touch the Canadian main stream media was with our neighbors. These are the pundits that are paid for their punditry and almost without exception they called it wrong, wrong, wrong. They had more apparent interest in intellectually disarming themselves then using their intellect to see what was before their nose.

Watching and reading the post-election coverage has been just as entertaining. All that angst and the best they can come up with is that the Bible belt came out in force and how stupid the average voting American is. The fact remains George Bush won his mandate because his message had broad appeal to the middle class. Teresa might have received a bigger tax rebate than Mr. & Mrs. America, but Mr. & Mrs. were happy to see to see the cheque come in the mail. Furthermore, Mr. Bush might not be the best steward of the economy but the attacks on 9/11 were not just solely attacks on human/physical targets. They were designed to be devastating to the American economy as well. The bounce back from the economic havoc that the 9/11 wrought has been is astonishing.

War is always heartbreaking and heart-wrenching, but again Mr. & Mrs. America are happy to have their forces go off in the world and fight bad guys rather than waiting for the bad guys to come to the neighborhood, and then, after the damage is done rounding up the usual suspects. And yes, Saddam was a really bad guy and I don’t care how long he was a best bud with Jacques Chirac – he was evil. If your choice of dinner partners is evil what does that make you? Nuanced?

Americans voted with full knowledge that the next President they elected had the power to change the make-up of the Supreme Court. On the whole, Americans choose to elect politicians on the stands they take and the laws they promise to make rather than letting unelected and unaccountable make law.

Americans in 11 states voted against gay marriage. That does not make them homophobic or gay bashers but what is it does say is that they are not ready to change the nature of their social fabric. The time may come when it won’t be an issue but before Canadians start feeling too smug and superior, polls have suggested that if gay marriage was left up to the voting Canadian public the time has not come here either. The difference is our social policy is now being determined by a small handful of justices and not the electorate.

In the post-election coverage there has been a demonization of the religious among us – explicitly Christian but the motif extends to all the religious among us. Why do secularist think that their intolerance for religious people should be a shared common value among reasonable people? Ironically, my experience has been that the religious are more tolerant than most of the secularist I than I have known or read lately. Maybe I need to get out more but the worse I have had a Christian say to me is that I don’t mend my ways I will go to hell. It may be true, and it may be annoying to have my spiritual shortcomings pointed out though it does not endanger my life in the here and now or my livelihood. Here’s the question of the day. Why is making decisions based on your religious values a bad thing? From all accounts that I have read, Jesus wasn’t a bad guy, so why is living in Jesusland such a bad thing? Is it the Jew thing again?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Yassir Arafat: Is he or isn't he, Part 2

Is he or isn't he, that is still the question. It appears that he is lying in some kind of in-between life and death state with only a life support system keeping him alive and Suha does not want to pull the plug on the old nefarious one which is perfectly understandable to me - if I was Suha.

Suha Arafat has no power base among Palestinian terrorists, but what she does have is access to Arafat's billions. She is one of the few, the very few that know where the money is. Once Arafat is dead she has no protection. If I was the "official" new leader of the Palestinian Authority I would be busy plotting the path I would take to get those billions back. If I was a Hamas or Islamic Jihad or anyone of the other 11 rival fractions jocking for the mantle of Top Thug over the West Bank and Gaza I would be thinking that billions would buy a lot of weapons, men and loyalty. Let's face facts; Palestinian terrorists never every quibble about harming women/children or operating on foreign soil. If Suha and daughter go missing or turn up dead; you can always blame it on the Mossad.

Arafat has yet to be pronounced dead but already the rumors are flying that the Jews did it. The one thing you have to hand to Arab Street, they sure are consistent. The sun shines when you wanted rain - the Jews did it. Bush wins re-election, the Jews did it. You live in a G-d-forsaken hovel in a refugee camp with a million and one children you cannot afford because there is no work in the West Bank or Gaza - it is the Jew's fault.

You have to hand it to Arafat, even in the act of dying he has managed to cause as almost as many problems as an Arafat up and about running around the compound. Firstly, there is the exact matter of what caused the deterioration in his health. I admit that the possibility that he is in the last stage of Aids is highly appealing though one of my first choices was liver cancer with long bouts of chemo thrown in. It would have been poetic for the one who wrecked havoc and destruction with the lives of the young, old and the innocent to be rotting from within. But Aids will work.

Then where do you bury the body? Allegedly, Arafat spoke four months ago to Ikrema Sabri, a top Muslim cleric at the mosque on the Temple Mount. Ikrema Sabri says he wanted to be buried at Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. I admit that request does appeal to my sense of irony; an Arab terrorist wants to be buried where Jewish Kings are laid to rest. Personally, I would opt for the old family plot in Gaza that apparently is now a busy vegetable market in Khan Younis.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Welcome to Trudeaupia!

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Bloc Quebecois MP, Andre Bellavance, has refused a request from his local Canadian Legion to supply a Canadian Flag for Remembrance Day ceremonies:
A Bloc Québécois MP is refusing to hand out Canadian flags to the local Legion for Remembrance Day services this year, angering veterans as they prepare to remember their fallen comrades.

MP André Bellavance says he was elected as a sovereigntist and if his constituents want Canadian flags, they should call Heritage Canada. “A majority of people here elected an MP who's a Bloquiste and a sovereigntist — I never hid it during the campaign — and I don't want to become a distributor of Canadian flags,” he said in an interview yesterday from his office in Ottawa. However, he said he wouldn't have any problem giving out Quebec flags if someone asked him, even if he had to buy them himself.

Since Mr. Bellavance is a “Bloquiste” and a “Sovereigntist” and feels that his political principles are compromised by handing out a Canadian flag to local veterans who sacrificed on the behalf of all Canadians, yes - even the Bloquistes. I suggest that he and his like-minded sovereigntists immediately give up all benefits of Canadian citizenship and learn to speak German. Turn in their passports, give up their salaries, pension benefits, refuse transfer payments to the province, refuse to accept federal funding for all Quebec educational & medical institutions, immediately demand the removal of all federal government offices from Quebec, demand that all businesses supplying goods or services to the federal government cease immediately. The Bloquistes claim to be Separatists and Sovereigntists; then let them live out the full consequences of their principles – any less is a hypocritical compromise. Until then, go buy the flag and stop trying to score cheap political points on the backs of Quebec veterans.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Is he or Isn't he?

Haaretz is reporting that Arafat is either in a comatose state with no brain activity or he has died already:

A source quoted on French television said that Arafat is breathing with the help of a respirator and is not responding to medical treatment that is being administered. The source, a doctor in the hospital, claims that Arafat has no chance of coming out of the coma. The doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said that in the past three years Arafat's health has been neglected, which led to its deterioration.

In a rare flurry of activity, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Central Committee of the Fatah movement were urgently summoned to Arafat's Muqata headquarters in the West Bank city. Former Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) also took part in the emergency meeting at the compound.

"The Palestinian leadership is in constant meeting to follow up on the president's health situation," Palestinian cabinet minister Nabil Shaath said in Ramallah, adding that top officials were in touch with Arafat's hospital every half hour to check on his condition.

Arafat was rushed to intensive care late on Wednesday after a sudden deterioration in his condition. French hospital officials had been expected to hold a briefing Thursday morning on the Palestinian leader's condition, but the session was abruptly postponed, without explanation.

Union of the Lord

This gives knew meaning to the phrase "Militant Protestantism" though it really was on a matter of time before this happened:
They work for God, but they say their workplace conditions are too often wretched, and so a group of United Church clergy in Ontario and B.C. have taken the first steps toward unionizing the 4,000 pastors in Canada's largest Protestant denomination.

Citing psychological and physical abuse, bad working conditions, sweatshop wages and a corporate church that responds to their problems inadequately, a group of 30 clergy in Ontario and a similar number on the West Coast have invited unions to step in and organize the church.

So much for "turning the other cheek" or "ask and it shall be given." I personally cannot wait to see who will cross the picket line or who the UC management will get to work as "scabs". I want the T-shirt. Who will write the protest songs? Think of the picket line chants!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What a difference a day makes

Schadenfreude Moments are just abounding everywhere today. Kerry conceded the US election to George Bush. Bush managed to capture the largest popular vote in US history.

And now Arafat’s health has deteriorated further.

The health of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat seriously deteriorated Wednesday night. He was placed in an intensive-care unit at the French military hospital where he is being treated. Arafat was flown to France for treatment last Friday after his health worsened.

The sudden deterioration came a few hours after Leila Shahid, the Palestinians' permanent envoy to Paris, reiterated that doctors carrying out tests on Arafat in the suburb of Clamart, southwest of Paris, had ruled out leukemia or any other form of cancer and said his health was improving.

Ontario Acknowledges Peacekeepers Day

August 9th is to be officially recognized as Peacekeepers Day in the Province of Ontario reports the Canadian Press:

Canadians who take part in peacekeeping missions around the world will now have a day of honour in Ontario.

Attorney General Michael Bryant today declared Aug. 9 to be Peacekeepers' Day in the province, eliciting applause from the legislature as he made the announcement.

On that day in 1974, nine Canadians died when their plane was shot down over Lebanon. It was the single largest loss of life in Canadian peacekeeping history.

August 9th has been honoured for sometime by the Canadian Forces as Peacekeepers Day and there are public ceremonies held in other provinces to commemorate Canadian Peacekeepers though I concur that it is high time that Ontario decided to get on board. Call me ungrateful, but I wish the Canadian Press would get the story straight. The 9 Canadian peacekeepers were killed when Syria fired missiles at their plane over Syria, not Lebanon.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose.

Election day has finally dawned. This has seemed like the longest election and there was a time when I thought today would never arrive. I don’t know what the result will be at the end of the day; and in fact, at evening’s end there still might not be a decisive answer on who will be the next President of the United States.

I remember the election of 2000. I watched with amused detachment the antics of network anchors; calling Gore, then Bush, then Gore, then "It is too close to call." In the end, the cracker from Texas won. Yes that is how we use to refer George W. Bush in our home: The Texas Cracker. But that was then and this is now, and I truly believe that he is no more a Texas Cracker than I am.

9/11 happened and that changed everything, absolutely everything except for John Kerry. I remember remarking to a friend on September 12, 2001 that I bet Al Gore is thanking G-d he is not the President. There could not be a more stressful or thankless job than being President of the United States where literally the fate of the world rests upon your shoulders.

I am not an American. I am only the neighbor, so I have no vote. But if I had, I would go into the booth and vote for that Texas Liberator. There is a quote from Victor Davis Hanson on the mast of the Last Amazon. Those words resonate deeply in my being; “It is never wrong to be on the side of freedom – never.” There is only one candidate that comes close to living out that creed: George W. Bush. There is only one candidate who had the courage to put the boots on the ground and by that act, liberated millions upon millions of people from murderous thug-o-cracies. Over 40 million people are freer today than they have ever been in their history but freedom does not come without responsibilities. Ultimately, the responsibility for that newfound freedom lies within the Afghanis or Iraqis themselves.

If John Kerry had been President, I truly believe that the women of Afghanistan would still be prisoners behind their veils. The very life and liberty of all would still rest on the tender mercies of the Taliban. There would be no music in the streets of Kabul; there would be no schools for girls or a vote for the people to determine their own destiny.

Today, the Iraqi people are free of a murderous tyrant who slaughtered them at will for a 30-year rein of terror. There are no more mass graves being dug for a tyrant’s whims in Iraq today. Saddam cannot threaten the stability of his people or the world anymore. There are no more Iraqi soldiers being forced to fight wars against their neighbors for Saddam’s warped sense of honour, glory or profit. Today, the Soldiers of Iraq fight to preserve their freedom from an enemy who seeks to return them to a time of bondage.

If John Kerry were President, he'd still be negotiating with the Taliban for Osama bin Laden, Saddam would still be in power. If John Kerry becomes President tomorrow he will offer nuclear fuel to the Mullahs of Iran, who on October 31, 2004 voted overwhelming on a bill requiring their government to resume the enrichment of uranium with the cry, "Death to the Americans!"