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Monday, July 31, 2006

Jenin Anyone?

"Hezbollah grants or withholds permission for any journalistic visit, then supervises it."
Robert Fulford, National Post, July 29

Who was the politician that said that someone who is willing to kill you might also be capable of lying to you? I can't recall just now. But, as Fulford notes, journalists around the world accept with astonishing and naive credulity the official news reports of Hezbollah—a group that is dedicated to conquering the non-Muslim world. Is it so hard to believe that these terrorists might be okay with fabricating some propaganda?

That's what they're thinking over at the Corner—here, here, here and here—where they've noticed that some of the details of the Qana bombing just don't seem to add up . .  .

Posted by Kevin Libin on July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Does my rebuttal look big in this?

At a time when the Middle East's only democracy is at war for its very survival, bombs are being lobbed from both sides daily, random Muslims are shooting up Jewish community centers full of women and Oliver Stone has made a 9/11 movie that doesn't paint a negative picture of America, it seems a little bit amazing that the Canadian blogosphere has dedicated so much time over the past ten days to... me. Ah yes, Wendy, always the center of attention. Somewhere in the afterlife, my parents are shaking their heads, having seen this oh-so-many times before. Careful everyone, all this limelight can ruin a girl's complexion.

Okay, snarky comments aside, I really am glad to have stirred up such controversy. People on both sides of the spectrum are discussing whether or not I should be drawn and quartered. The words Human Rights Tribunal have been tossed around. I have had to sit down with legal counsel to find out if there could potentially be a claim against me (and if, like some twisted version of Ally McBeal, I can actually sue an entire religion for promoting hate. Turns out that I can). You see, while the knee-jerk reaction of many was to immediately call me a racist (and then bigot, once they figured that the cult of Islam isn't a race), only a few commenters bothered to address the issue at hand: Is Islam a danger? Is it a threat? Should it be downgraded from legitimate religion to brainwashing cult?

There have been barbs from the secularists and the Islamic apologists pointing out that the Bible also has calls to arms. And they were then countered by the fact that as a group, Christians are not taught and tolerated to commit atrocities in the name of Christ. Kevin Libin of the Western Standard attempted (weakly) to point out that Andrea Yates killed her babies because she felt they were possessed by the devil. No Kevin. That wasn't Christianity. That wasn't anything that any religion might align itself with. And it was the Christian and secular West that cried out for justice for those poor kids. It wasn't Muslims, that's for sure.

I am not up for a debate over whose religion is better. I am simply stating my belief that one is not actually a religion to begin with. If I started a faith that worshipped Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer, and managed to get enough people to follow me, would that make my faith legitimate? Would I be eligible for tax deductions and protections under the Charter? What if the doctrines of my faith demanded that I kill starlets or eat gay prostitutes? Would I still be protected? Maybe, if I did it symbolically. If I just pretended to kill starlets and eat gay prostitutes, like in a ritual passion play, then maybe I could get away with it. But the day I actually go out and follow my holy doctrine to the letter, putting the lives of others in danger, I would have the wrath of society, the cops, the feds and socio-political pundits all over my ass. And rightly so. Why not with Islam?

In Canada and the United States, we are lucky enough to have freedom of religion and freedom of association - something Islamic countries do not subscribe to. So why then, are biker gangs (or gangs of any stripe) outlawed? Could it be because they are commiting illegal acts that put the lives of others in danger?

I've known guys in motorcylce clubs who do nothing except ride cross-country on Harleys. And I've known Christians.

I've lived in the East End of Montreal where the Hells Angels and Rock Machine ply their trade. And I've known Islam.

I know that the above examples are over the top, but think about them. Really think about them, and compare them to a religion that subjugates women, smites and beheads on nearly every page of its holy book, and blames everything - everything - on the Jews.

I truly hope for the sake of free society (of which many people have made me the enemy) you will continue to discuss some of the points I have put forward. I hope that you debate the points I have brought up, and decide for yourselves, free of political correctness, whether or not Islam can safely integrate with Western society. And if it cannot, I hope you will have the courage to be hated for trying to do something about it.

Posted by RightGirl on July 31, 2006 in Religion | Permalink | Comments (87) | TrackBack

Chinese observers in south Lebanon

Here's my Sun column from today about the UN observers staying on after the war broke out. Maybe I buried the lead; it's just a question, but a question I haven't seen asked:

It's not unthinkable one of the "observers" in that bunker -- a Chinese soldier was among the four dead -- was indeed observing the battle closely.

China is Hezbollah's major arms supplier, through Iran. Most of the Hezbollah rockets are Chinese made.

Is that why the UN post was still "observing" the war even after it started?

Is that unimaginable? Here's what else I wrote:

In 2000, Hezbollah terrorists also kidnapped Israeli soldiers. UN video cameras caught the whole thing on tape, but UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan refused to turn the tapes over to the Israelis. A UN soldier stationed there later claimed the reason the UN didn't turn over the tape is because four other UN troops actually assisted in the kidnapping -- Indian troops, bribed by Hezbollah.

Okay, let me do what the Star and the Post don't do: Invite comments and reader feedback, without editorial restrictions!

Posted by Ezra Levant on July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack

MSM vs. the blogs

Antonia Zerbisias of the Toronto Star and Adam Radwanski of the National Post criticize this blog for its unrestricted debate on Islam and its place in Canada. Both of them lament that we did not censor RightGirl's post on the subject, or many of the comments in response to it.

I think we have a better approach: instead of running our blog as a command and control system -- with an editor in chief, and hierarchical approval processes, like we run our print magazine -- we leave it to the spontaneous order of the marketplace of ideas.

So we don't sift and choose. We let it all hang out. It's blogospheric.

Instead of one person or a committee censoring or approving blog posts or comments -- as Zerbisias does with the Star (the Post's defunct blog didn't allow comments, and neither does Radwanski's own) -- we let the bloggers and commenters battle it out in an unrestricted contest of ideas.

This was demonstrated most vigorously by Chris Selley, who rebutted RightGirl's post in a post of his own. Other bloggers rebutted her more indirectly. And many commenters did, too.

Hundreds of comments were made, in fact.

I think it is a better approach to let the marketplace of ideas sort these things out. Artificially censoring what can and can't be written -- like Zerbisias does -- or not permitting feedback at all -- like Radwanski does -- are old media calling cards. In the new media, if you don't allow people to react and respond, they'll go elsewhere where they can. It's quite democratic, and like other aspects of democracy, it can be grubby.

In the end, I believe that by maintaining a balance of views on the blog -- libertarians, conservatives, hawks, isolationists, people from different countries and different religions -- we will get a great debate. I acknowledge that some of the comments have been less than smart, or even vulgar. But that, too, is the nature of democracy, and it is far more interesting reading than the bowdlerized letters to the editor of the MSM.

Give Zerbisias and Radwanski some credit: At least they know what a blog is, and have one themselves. But I'm loathe to accept criticism about our rough and tumble free comments threads from writers whose own newspapers don't allow them to have free comments threads. It's like when Zerbisias came out against the Danish cartoons -- the fact that her employer had ordered her to comply with their censorship undermined her claim to independently having come to that journalistic conclusion on her own, and she knew it.

The Western Standard will continue to have the freest blog of any in Canada affiliated with a corporate media organ. That will ruffle the feathers of politically correct enforcers, but it will also continue to make us a center of the debate, and give us 2-million page views a month and growing. In fact, the very idea of an MSM enforcer shaking a finger at too-rough bloggers sums things up pretty well -- an impotent scold who can't get the public to obey their politically correct line. That's the MSM in a nutshell.

To me this is a no-brainer -- just like showing the cartoons.

Continue to read the Western Standard's blog if you believe in free speech and a clash of ideas, and if you believe that the correct response to inappropriate speech is not censorship, but rather more speech. And, for our lucky print subscribers, keep reading our mag for thoughtful writers like Salim Mansur who help us navigate through the issues of our age. It will be a lot more interesting than reading the censored mush of the MSM.

Posted by Ezra Levant on July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (60) | TrackBack

So that's what a UN ceasefire looks like

So mere hours into Israel's unilateral cessation of airstrikes, Hezbollah fires two Katyusha rockets into the Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona.

Any minute now, I just know it, Kofi Annan and the UN will have an emergency meeting condemning Hezbollah for this atrocity, and Bill Graham and CNN and the CBC will go wall-to-wall with their coverage of this attack on civilians.

Or maybe not.

What do you call it when you have a double-standard? What do you call it when that double standard applies only to one country, and that country happens to be Jewish? Why, unless you are into the euphemisms of diplomacy, you call it anti-Semitism.

At the UN? Couldn't be!

Posted by Ezra Levant on July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Making the world safe for dictatorship

The best example of Communist China's cold war with the democratic world is its near-obsessive drive to preserve the world's most brutal and cruel dictatorships, such as Zimbabwe (fourth item) and, of course, the mullahcracy that imprisons Iran.  However, the Communists have also resorted to carving out chunks of northern Korea to prevent the peninsula from becoming free, democratic, and whole.

The conventional wisdom holds that moves like the above are part of a pre-emptive strike against future Korean claims to old Manchuria.  Perhaps this is so, but I suspect something more sinister: the annexation of northern Korea should Kim Jong-il's regime start to lose control, or lose its value as "bad cop" to Beijing's "good cop."  Sadly, the Communists have played the "good cop" role so well that annexation would likely bring relief to the uninformed observer - save for Koreans, who would be unable to avoid the reality that half of its country is still under foreign occupation.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 31, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Iran student leader dies in jail

Another Iranian dissident dies in prisons of the Islamic regime. Do you think this would happen if liberal media had paid a little attention to the status of Iranian dissidents in regime's jails?

Fox News Reports, BBC News has more.

Italian's AKI:

Mullahs, liberal media, Eurowinnies, leftists, Mullahs' apologists and other left wing idiots share the blame for death of every single innocent people in Iran.

There are hundreds of dissidents like him in regime's jails who need to be freed. World needs to pay attention or it will be late and we'll end up having more dead dissidents.

The situation in Iran is very unfortunate!

Cross-posted @ The Spirit of Man

Posted by Winston on July 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Iran should 'prepare' to fight Israel, US: IRGC

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards commander says Iran should 'prepare' to fight Israel, US :

However, the reporting news agency retracted these comments.

One thing is for sure and that's the amount of provocation these comments make in the western world. Many leftists claim US is looking for an excuse to invade Iran but, really US doesn't need much excuses when there are idiots like this one in Iran inviting the western world to attack Iran.

Within the next few months, the only viable option to deal with Iran will be a foreign intervention and that's unfortunate when there are people inside of Iran ready to do the job of toppling these lunatics with a little moral and financial support.

Cross-posted @ The Spirit of Man

Posted by Winston on July 30, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

No Comment II

We report, you decide.

Young mother shot to death in honor killing:

Bugün daily yesterday reported on another honor killing, in Turkey's southeastern town of Diyarbakır.

A married woman with a child who allegedly had an affair was killed by members of her family while she was hiding inside a box. The 23-year-old woman, who was married to a handicapped relative under authorization of an imam -- which has no legal significance, had traveled to Istanbul to get away from problems she had with her spouse. The woman's relatives convinced her to return to her village, but decided to punish her with death by claiming that she had an affair in the time she spent in Istanbul.

The woman was initially shot in the arm by her husband and his relatives and ran to her parents' house where she hid inside a box; she was tracked down by her murderous pursuers and shot to death while hiding in the box.

Four suspects have been arrested and face charges of committing homicide to “vindicate family honor.”

Posted by RightGirl on July 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (93) | TrackBack

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Individual Responsibility

I haven't been paying full attention to the supposed controversy over remarks that were made about Islam/Islamists, etc. over here at the Shotgun, but I do find troubling a particular strain of thought that I've seen expressed by those on both sides of the debate.

Now even though I find it in the Canadian Muslim community's general interest to put forth a public image of tolerance, of respect for the rule of law and most importantly, of loyalty to Canada and to all Canadians, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, etc., every individual Canadian Muslim is not obligated to apologize for the behavior of a minority of their co-religionists (how small a minority espouses a form of extremism/terrorism is hard to quantify).  Every individual Muslim should only be held to account for what they themselves do when it comes to keeping an eye out for potential terrorism (I imagine most Canadian Muslims would never even come across such situations), funding to terrorist groups and then of course the actual planning and execution of terrorist acts.  Trying to hold every single Muslim to account for terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam is not only unfair, it's a gross violation of the western, liberal, secular, Canadian ideal of holding all citizens responsible for only their own actions.  Guilt by association is something I've seen of quite a bit as an observer of the BC Sikh community every since I was very young, and I've seen how truly unfair and unjust this tactic and mentality could be.

Now, turning to the other "side".  A number of Liberals have rightly pointed out how ridiculous (and even bigoted, if only out of extreme ignorance and thoughtlessness) it was to label an entire 1.3 billion people as members of a "death cult", but then they themselves pointed to how few conservatives had condemned the so-called conservatives who were engaged in bigoted or irrational thinking.  (The obvious implication being that a) many didn't denounce the comments because they agreed with them and b) other conservatives, just because they're conservative, have an obligation to denounce people who are "conservative" but say stupid things)  Didn't these Liberals think twice before they called upon more conservative bloggers to denounce a single poster (and a few other commenters) when they had just commented on how silly it was to stereotype 1.3 billion people based on the actions of a few?  Muslims shouldn't have to apologize for the actions of a few and neither should conservatives.

Posted by Japnaam on July 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (113) | TrackBack

Friday, July 28, 2006

No Comment

Without any of my oh-so-controversial commentary.

A woman was killed and five other women were wounded on Friday when a gunman opened fire at a Jewish organization in downtown Seattle that last weekend organized a rally in support of Israel.

A Seattle police spokesman said the gunman, who was thought to be acting alone, had been taken into custody but that authorities were "taking every precaution" in searching for explosives and additional suspects.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Vice President Amy Wasser-Simpson told the Seattle Times in a story on its Web site that a man got through security at the building and shouted, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," then began shooting.

Posted by RightGirl on July 28, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (128) | TrackBack

UN and Hezbollah

Here's an interesting story about the bizarre interaction between Hezbollah and the UN. And here's a photo that shows how Hezbollah often co-locates with the UN. It's partly because the UN posts often choose the high ground -- perfect for observing, or directing rocket-fire. But it's also to use the UN as human shields.

Flags

Posted by Ezra Levant on July 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (133) | TrackBack

Muslims against terror

The sickening reappearance of Andrea Yates into the North American consciousness this week should serve an important reminder to those who would seek to "ban" Islam because it is "dangerous"—an idea floated by one blogger, and supported by a troubling number of commenters, a few days ago on this forum.

Yates was found not guilty in the murder of her five children, by reason of insanity, on Wednesday. Whether  you buy the verdict or not, Yates, a devout Christian, claimed that she believed she was possessed by Satan and killed her kids as a way to save their souls from Hell.

Yes, there are far fewer Christians who, like Yates, are motivated to murder by their religious beliefs, than there are Muslims who do the same. But I can think of no mainstream religion (my own included) that can say it has no adherents who practice violence in its name. The argument that we ban pitbulls, because a few may bite, or guns, because some are used in violent crime, only underscores the futility of banning supposedly "dangerous" things. It does not bolster the argument that we should ban anything that may, in some context or other, be used as a tool or a pretext to hurt someone else. The Koran doesn't kill people. People kill people.

More importantly, I can think of no worse idea, in terms of combating the bloodthirsty Muslim extremists of this world, than disenfranchising those Muslims who have the courage to speak out against their atrocities, and who remind Muslims everywhere that there is a more enlightened, peaceful path for Islam than the way of terror. (Shotgunner Chris Selley helpfully reminds us of just a few, here).

Among them, I would include Nouri Al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, who every day braves the very real threat of assassination in order to help in the fight to save his country from extremists. (Yes, I know he refused to condemn Hezbollah by name, but this guy is unpopular enough in the Arab world. His job is dangerous as it is, without being labelled a lackey for Israel. I, for one, am willing to cut him some slack—for the time being.)

Al-Maliki addressed the US Congress on Wednesday, and his words are a stirring reminder that, in this battle against radicalism, there is no more powerful, or more important weapon than the voice of a Muslim leader speaking out in defence of liberty and against terror. Here's a sample:

The war on terror is a real war against those who wish to burn out the flame of freedom. And we are in this vanguard for defending the values of humanity.
I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values . . .wherever humankind suffers a loss at the hands of terrorists, it is a loss of all of humanity.

And here's the whole thing.

(hat tip to Shotgun enthusiast, Rodger Beals)

Posted by Kevin Libin on July 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (54) | TrackBack

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What's the UN doing in the Mideast? (video)

By the sounds of it, Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, the Canadian peacekeeper who was killed in Israel's mistaken bombing of a UN observer post on Tuesday, was an honourable and brave man. He was also, according to e-mails sent home, aware of the fact that Hezbollah was deliberately "running around" near his UN camp, using it either as a "shield," or, just as likely, as a means of drawing Israeli fire in a calculation that dead peacekeepers would only further isolate Israel.

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that terrorists have exploited the UN in the Mideast. At least this time, it's safe to say that Hess-von Kruedener and his colleagues were unwittingly used by Hezbollah. Oftentimes, UN workers are actually complicit in aiding and abetting the violence. You'll see what I mean when you watch this startling video of a UN ambulance being used as a transport by Palestinian terrorists during a firefight. Wait till the last third of the video, and you'll find yourself asking, exactly what is the UN up to in the Mideast, anyway?

Posted by Kevin Libin on July 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Not all Muslims are the enemy

Today, yours truly would like to offer some thanks to Albania, one of the smallest and poorest nations in Europe (and it's only majority Mulsim nation if one doesn't count Turkey, which nearly no one in Europe does).  Over the last five years, the Pentagon has taken several Uighur Muslims from occupied East Turkestan into custody at Guantanamo Bay.  Most of them have since been found to have no terrorist ties whatsoever (a number of them were captured by Communist Chinese ally Pakistan and handed over to us).  The United States has spent years trying to find a home for these people - sending them back to Communist China would be a de facto death sentence, see Huseyincan Celil (seventeenth, sixth, third, and fourth items) - and every nation in Europe that was asked turn the Americans down flat.

Every nation, that is, except Albania, which granted five of the Uighurs asylum (fourth item).

Albania is also the oldest Muslim democracy this side of Turkey, and has resolutely stayed the course in Iraq as Spain, Italy, and others have withdrawn.  It has been an example not only for the Muslim world, but for the European continent as well.  It deserves far more recognition, praise, and thanks than it has received.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 27, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

DEFEND OR DIE

...I was wearing the words and carrying the sentiment in my heart.

The Stand With Israel rally in Toronto last night was an impressive show of solidarity (reports of over 5000 in attendance). Despite the faint hopes of the leftists in this country -- and no doubt the media -- the turnout was spectacular and contrary to similar gatherings of the anti-Israel crowd, this one was filled with positive messages and an overwhelming sense of goodwill.

I never did find Wendy, but the luscious new beau and I had great time taking our place in the crowd against capitulation and concession to murderers. What struck me was not the overwhelming presence of the Israeli flag, but that it was nearly out-numbered by those who chose to wave the Canadian flag as well...

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Pics_275

We enjoyed the speeches, and for a rare moment, stood proudly for our National Anthem. The entire crowd gave waves of hearty applause for the actions of Prime Minister Stephen Harper (the luscious beau has taken to calling him Steve-O) and the Conservative government which is not afraid to stand for what is right, in the face of international capitulation. (read UN self-sodomy)

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The night was not without its humorous moments...There was one lone protestor with a sign that read "No US and Canadian support of Israel"...Oh my, that's catchy! Unfortunately, the police escorted him away before I could get a picture of his pathetic display. If thats the best the anti crowd can do, we're in good shape ;)

The luscious beau and I had a good laugh at this dude...

Pics_288

...the personification of ox·y·mo·ron

A good night. A good cause. And a big fat thumb in the eye of anyone who says Canadians don't support Israel's right to defend itself. Clearly, even in the leftist bastion of Toronto, there is enough of us to cause a stir.

North American Patriot

Posted by Wonder Woman on July 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (89) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kinda like Woodstock . . .for terrorists

Here are some photos I received today which come from the Montreal "peace rally" on Saturday. Seems like a real peace-loving bunch. You can tell, for instance, by their balaclavas and Hezbollah flags, which features that symbol of love and harmony: The word "Allah" gripping an Ak47.

Hh1

Hh2

Hh3_1

Hh4

Hh5



Hh6

 

Hh10

Hh12_4


Hh13

Hh14


Posted by Kevin Libin on July 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Pro Israel rally in Toronto (Photos)

I was at pro-Israel rally in North York's Mel Lastman square this afternoon and took some pictures and shot a short video of the gathering.

Photos and Video

I talked to some Rabbis and other fellows explaining to them that Iranian people do not support terrorists. They were surprised and also very appreciative of support from a fellow Iranian citizen though.

Posted by Winston on July 26, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Is the U.S. aiding anti-Khomeinist rebels?

Macleans says yes (sixth item).  I only hope they're right.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 26, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fire Kofi Annan

It is really time to fire Kofi Annan.  It is deeply tragic that UN observers were hit in Lebanon, and there may have been Canadians hit in this incident.  But for Kofi Annan to conclude from thousands of miles away that this was a "deliberate attack" is unbelievably irresponsible.

The UN observation post is in the middle of a war zone, and Hizb'Allah has been frequently building outposts right next to the UNIFIL observation points.  Obviously the risk of an accidental hit is significant, and for that matter we don't even know whose bomb, artillery or rocket it was.
Annannasrallah600x431_1

The UN is disgracefully close terrorists and tyrannies at the best of times, as we see Kofi happily posing with the leader of the Hizb'Allah terrorist organization in 2000.  Hurling such incendiary accusations at a time like this is utterly irresponsible and he should be held to account.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on July 25, 2006 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (112) | TrackBack

You Can Call Him "Immy"

Jul24_002 My cousin, David Immergluck, is one of the Counting Crows. So, when the band comes to town, we get a great night out, and an invitation to the after show party. I have to say, rock stars ain't what they used to be. I was expecting bowls of cocaine and hot teenage groupies galore. Instead, there was light beer and vegetarian food. As for the groupies, there were none I could see.  There was, however, another cousin of ours, Dinah Christie, famous as one of the original anchors of This Hour has Seven Days

More on the concert, and the evening in general, at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on July 25, 2006 in Music | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Harper chooses moral clarity, and the Toronto Star gets nervous

During my freshman year in college, I had an unusual problem; I had become so used to the polluted air of my home region (northern New Jersey) that the clean air of Virginia actually hurt my nose.  This was the first thing to come to mind when seeing how the Toronto Star reacted to Stephen Harper's blast of fresh air in Canadian foreign policy (see Canada File).

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 25, 2006 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

“Canadians” to tough it out in Lebanon

I’ve seen estimates of Canadians in Lebanon that were as high as 50,000. The media has been portraying a mass scramble of desperation as they try to get out, so what the hell is this:

Fewer than one quarter of the Canadians registered with their embassy in Lebanon have taken up the government’s offer to get them out of the war-torn country, as officials say dwindling numbers mean the evacuation is winding down.

By late yesterday afternoon, after five days of exodus, slightly more than 7,900 people had boarded ships chartered by Canada to take them to safety. Only 2,800 of that number had actually reached Canadian soil, leaving thousands of evacuees in transit on ships headed for Turkey or Cyprus, on the ground there, or on airplanes headed to Canada.( Globe and Mail h/t Dissonance and Disrespect)  )

The majority are choosing to stay there. (c/p)

Posted by Darcey on July 25, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

US Senate hearing on Iran

The purpose of the hearing is to look at the status on Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities, European negotiations and the UN Security Council, and the feasibility of further negotiations, democracy promotion, sanctions, and/or military options.

Amir Abbas Fakhravar the leader of the Iran's student movement, Dr. Michael Ledeen of American Enterprise Institute and Ilan Berman the author of "Tehran Rising", were among the individulas giving testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Click here to view the Senate hearing (Real Player)

Posted by Winston on July 25, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Monday, July 24, 2006

Order of Canada disgrace

The Governor General has announced the latest appointments to the Order of Canada and there are indeed some good picks. But one stands out because her presence among those honoured, dishonours the Order of Canada. Michaelle Jean announced that former Toronto Star columnist Michelle Landsberg is now a member of the Order of Canada. When Landsberg retired from the Star in 2003, this is what The Interim, the socially conservative paper I edit, had to say about her:

"As a commentator, Landsberg's greatest failing was a complete inability to recognize that the folks who disagreed with her might have arrived at their views honestly, and merely possessed a different take on how to make the world a better place to live. Instead of viewing them as intellectual opponents, Landsberg saw modern-day Hitlers. The world she described is indeed a scary place, where rich, conservative, middle-aged men spend their days sipping scotch and thinking of new ways to harass minorities and single welfare moms. "

That doesn't sound like someone worth honouring.

Posted by Paul Tuns on July 24, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Wrong

One of the most unpleasant effects of political correctness is that it allows bigots to claim martyrdom. Because more people get called racists than deserve it, people like RightGirl can publish statements of rank, pure-as-the-driven snow bigotry and claim they're simply manning the barricades against the barbarian hordes.

For RightGirl, and for many people who frequent this blog, the hordes are Muslim. Because some Somalians put a jihad on Ethiopia, Canadians should be denied freedom of religion — that's what RightGirl argued on Saturday. Prominent Canadians who should be forced to renounce their beliefs include MP for Edmonton-Strathcona Rahim Jaffer, activist Irshad Manji (author of The Trouble with Islam), Zahra Kazemi's son Stephan Hachemi, Sun Media columnist and Canadian Coalition for Democracies Senior Fellow Salim Mansur, and hundreds of thousands of other peaceful folk with whom people like RightGirl interact every day without incident.

There can be no nobility or bravery in bigotry, particularly when it's anonymous. RightGirl could preach her beliefs in the middle of downtown Toronto and no harm would come to her, but that wouldn't do much for her "they want to kill us all because we're not Muslims" theory. She'd just be left there, barking at the moon like a lunatic, desperately hoping that a Canadian suicide bomber might some day validate her delusions — much as she does now.

A post suggesting that Islam be outlawed shouldn't be a chance to debate the merits of different religions, or to discuss what passages in some ancient book condone or condemn violence. It should be a chance to say that Canada doesn't ban religions and never will, and to point out how hopelessly repressive and needless and stupid it is even to suggest such a thing.

Posted by Chris Selley on July 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (86) | TrackBack

Kerry to the rescue

Sen. John Kerry says that the current war between Israel and Hezbollah "wouldn't have happened" if he had been elected in 2004, instead of George W. Bush.

Scrappleface has an equally insane idea: Bush should send Kerry to the region as his emissary!

Posted by Ezra Levant on July 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (38) | TrackBack

The OPP follow a poor example

In 1989, the Chinese Communist leadership kept remote army units in the dark concerning the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.  Not exposed to the criticisms being leveled at the leadership, these army units faithfully followed their leaders' orders to fire on the demonstrators, orders that local Beijing units were unwilling to carry out.

In 2006, the Ontatio Provincial Police is alleged to have blocked all access to a website that has been deepy critical of the performance of the OPP, in particular of the top commanders, during the illegal land occupation by Natives in Caledonia.

It's an act that is pointless in terms of keeping information from the rank-and-file of the OPP -- any officer who wants to can access the site from home or from a local library computer.  This isn't Communist China, after all.  But despite the futility, the OPP commanders seem to have taken this action.  Why?  Has grumbling from frustrated officers become so bad that that any action, no matter how trivial and ineffective, is being taken in an attempt to keep a lid on discontent?

[Extended entry at Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on July 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More on Israel's enemies

Today we have more evidence of Iran's deep involvement in Hezbollah's campaign against Israel, the lowdown on Bashar Assad's version of Islam, and more on organ harvesting from their common benefactor - the Chinese Communist Party.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 24, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Rally for Israel in Toronto

Israel_rally_3

A rally to support Israel will be held in Toronto this coming Wednesday, 26th of July, at 7:30 pm in Toronto Center for the Arts which is located @ 5040 Yonge Street.

Please come to this gathering to support the state of Israel in its new round of war against forces of evil and darkness.

The Spirit of Man

Posted by Winston on July 24, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (58) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Shameless Self-Promotion

My latest at the Star, about Canada and the Middle East.

Cross-posted at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on July 23, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Canadian troops continue to fight terrorists

We shouldn't forget or ignore the sacrifices that the Canadian troops are making in Afghanistan to secure the world and preserve our freedoms. Unfortunately, two more brave soldiers lost their lives while eight more were wounded according to CTV.

I think it is indeed appropriate to quote Prime Minister Harper on this tragic incident:

Posted by Winston on July 23, 2006 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Iranian people don't support Hezballah

Just to make my case more understandable about the fact that Iranian people do not support Hezbollah or any other terrorist organization, I should draw your attention to this post and the recent article by Time magazine as well.

I never remember seeing or hearing a true Iranian/Persian supporting these groups the way a radical islamist/arab does...

The main argument among the Iranians is that the Arab-Israeli conflict shouldn't concern us since it is not our business to do so. The people of Iran want to be taken care of first and foremost, and would like to see an alliance with the state of Israel just like the good old days during the reign of late Shah when Iran and Israel had military, diplomatic and cultural relations.

Posted by Winston on July 23, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Coyne Shames Arbour

In today's National Post (behind the usual subscriber barrier, so I won't bother linking), Andrew Coyne takes UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Canadian Louise Arbour, to task for her remarks about Israel being guilty of war crimes as dictated by the Geneva Conventions.

He writes:

The First Protocol to the Geneva Conventions reads in part: "The presence or movements of the civilian population... shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations... The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population... in order to attempt to shield military objectives."

If you attempt to use civilians as human shields, you are yourself guilty of war crimes. What is more, the culpability for any civilian deaths that occur as a result falls upon you, not the attacking party. Ms. Arbour would do well to read the conventions she cites.

Geneva Conventions resource can be found here.

Posted by RightGirl on July 22, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Hezbollah can't tolerate a difference in "opinion"

As Israel continues to pummel Hezbollah, the terrorists are demanding negotiations.  It'll be interesting to witness those sorts of negotiations, should they occur. I say that because Hezbollah is populated with the sort of people who can't imagine that they are wrong. There is no room for compromise. They can't even tolerate that other people don't believe in the things they do.

That attitude is displayed on the Hezbollah website.

Voice of America posted a story about the limits of free speech, discussing the issue of the Muhammad cartoons. In this piece, the author considers that Western societies have long limited free speech. Indeed, the piece is somewhat sympathetic to Muslims who wonder why free speech is not limited to protect their Prophet as it is in other contexts. Consider Holocaust denial:

According to Robert Kahn, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who has written extensively about laws governing Holocaust denial, free speech in the West is not an absolute right. It is tempered, Kahn says, by a complex system of legal and self-imposed censorship that's almost always derived from a society's history.

"The countries that tend to have the laws that specifically ban Holocaust denial -- France, Germany, and Austria --- either participated in the Holocaust or had serious problems with collaboration," he says. "Even though the United States and Canada have large Jewish communities, and have survivors and people who experienced the Holocaust, it's not the same type of thing."

This article was reprinted on the Hezbollah website, since it makes points that would please most Muslims.  But here is the same excerpt:

According to Robert Kahn, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who has written extensively about laws governing Holocaust denial, free speech in the West is not an absolute right. It is tempered, Kahn says, by a complex system of legal and self-imposed censorship that`s almost always derived from a society`s history.

"The countries that tend to have the laws that specifically ban Holocaust denial -- France, Germany, and Austria --- either participated in the Holocaust or had serious problems with collaboration," he says. "Even though the United States and Canada have large Jewish communities, and have (alleged) survivors and people who (allegedly) experienced the Holocaust, it's not the same type of thing."

I checked.  The article is otherwise faithfully reproduced.

Faithfully, except for the statement by Professor Kahn that the Holocaust happened, and that there were survivors. I guess you aren't free to say that in the presence of the Hezbollah.

The Holocaust allegedly happened, and there are alleged survivors.  Anyone who says different is going to be corrected.  Even without their permission.

Negotiations happen because people have differences of opinion, and are looking for some sort of modus vivendi.  Negotiations require a level of honesty, of acknowledging the other side's position and looking for common ground.  But with Hezbollah, it would appear that someone else's "opinion" is not to be tolerated.  When everyone accepts Hezbollah's view of the world, negotiations can begin.

I think we're in for a long fight.

Posted by Steve Janke on July 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Volpe's devil is a free agent now

Joe Volpe's campaign has suffered yet another blow:

Joe Volpe's trouble-plagued bid to become the next Liberal leader suffered another, possibly fatal, blow with the resignation Friday of his national campaign manager.

In a written statement released late Friday, Volpe said Jim Karygiannis, a controversial Toronto MP, "has left the campaign as a result of the position taken by the candidate on the current crisis in the Middle East.''

Volpe has been strongly supportive of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon, arguing that the Jewish state has a right to defend itself against attacks by Hezbollah guerillas based in southern Lebanon.

Karygiannis wanted more "balance":

Karygiannis said he had no problem with Volpe's insistence that Israel has a right to defend itself. But he said: "With the stuff that's happening in Lebanon, you've got have a balance.''

"You can't hold a country hostage, be it Israel or Hezbollah.''

The impact? Karygiannis signed up thousands of new Liberals for Volpe's campaign. Some of them will follow Karygiannis is he decides to move to another campaign. And that can hurt Volpe:

However, strategists with several other camps privately said they want nothing to do with Karygiannis, who has gained a reputation as an effective but controversial organizer.

Still, some predicted another camp will be tempted to recruit Karygiannis, in hopes that many of the 37,000 new party members he claims to have recruited for Volpe will come with him.

"Volpe is toast,'' said one strategist. "They are Jimmy's people, not Joe's. The big question is, who will do the deal with the devil?''

I'm willing to bet every single candidate will be willing to "deal with the devil" to get the votes.

Posted by Steve Janke on July 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Friday, July 21, 2006

Event in DC

The organizers of the Washington, DC rally in support of the (nearly) 12 million ex-Communists were kind enough to invite me to say a few words.  For those interested, here they are.

FYI, the News of the Day will be back on schedule on Monday.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 21, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

What cost, citizenship?

In the course of the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon, a raging debate has started over how much consideration is owed to dual citizenship holders who are permanent residents of Lebanon.  Wherein one side insists that Canadian citizenship entitles the holder to the universal rights and privileges held therein, the other side insists that a person who holds dual citizenship, but does not make Canada their home, should take second priority to Canadian residents. 

The one point missing from this argument is that of responsibility.  Not the responsibility of the government to service the citizen, but the responsibility of the citizen to the institution of Canada.  Citizenship is not just a right it is a responsibility - one that comes with inherent expectations.  For example, all citizens are expected to follow the rule of law and make a productive contribution to society.  These expectations apply to both those who were born here as well as those who have adopted Canada as their home.

Passport So if the citizens expect primary consideration from Canada, why is it unreasonable for Canada to expect the same primary consideration from them?

Why should a dual citizenship holder, who does not live here, makes no contribution to the economic and societal structures of this country, and who takes little or no active participation in their citizenship, get the same consideration and privileges as one who does?

Not only are the tax dollars of Canadian residents being used to rescue these Canadians-in-name-only, but there is also a reasonable expectation that when these non-residents arrive in Canada, they will have to rely considerably on our extensive social safety net in order to house and feed their families, and that is an expense which can drag on for years. 

Lastly, once the conflict in the Middle East abates, will these same Lebanese-Canadians politely thank (or not) us for our overwhelming hospitality and depart back to their nationality of choice, never to be a valuable contribution to the society they are so keen to take advantage of?

Canflag I have never been an advocate of dual citizenship, and this is a prime example of the reason why.  An immigrant who chooses to make Canada their home should be expected to renounce their previous citizenship as a measure of allegiance to their new home and any Canadians who choose to make their permanent residence elsewhere should be expected to do the same.  If we ever want Canadian citizenship to be anything more than ink on the pages of a passport, we should expect no less.  Privileges are a reward for sacrifices.  Or at least, they used to be.

I am certainly sympathetic to all the families, of any nationality, caught in the midst of this sudden, brutal conflict…but hard-working, tax-paying, productive Canadian citizens with family and a home here would understandably resent giving up their space in the evacuation to someone who has never made a meaningful sacrifice to earn their citizenship and made no measurable contribution to the furtherance of the society to which they suddenly make such extensive demands.

Ask not, what your country can do for you...cheesy but apt.

North American Patriot

Posted by Wonder Woman on July 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (129) | TrackBack

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm not the first person . . .

. . . to bring up the plight of Ramin Jahanbegloo (fifth item); I just hope I'm not the last.  As Michael Ledeen says (same item): Faster, please.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 20, 2006 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Protecting the Rare and Vanishing American Liberal

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

Time for some humour.

Posted by ErinAirton on July 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Not at all nuanced

While much of the Canadian media is in full howl about Harper refusing to be balanced or nuanced in the battle between the terrorist organization Hizballah and Israel, it's interesting to see how at least one other country is looking at it:

This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.

Who said that? Ahmed Al-Jarallah. Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Times in Kuwait.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on July 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack

Doing the right thing, and then just looking the part

There is already an excellent post on the subject of Stephen Harper's decision to divert to Cyprus to pick up Canadians evacuated from Lebanon.

One of the comments is interesting, though:

I can't even begin to imagine Chretien or Martin doing something similar. And even if they did, they certainly wouldn't ditch the media that were travelling with them - the photo-op would be just too good to pass up.

You don't have to imagine.  I'll cross post my piece on this story that directly compares Jean Chretien's actions during a time of need.  Enjoy.



From 1997, during the flooding in Manitoba:

When the Red River's already devastating floodwaters reached their crest in Winnipeg on May 1, few people in Manitoba's capital city were more relieved that those living on the historic waterway's banks.

No doubt, Winnipeg's Metropolitan-Archbishop Michael Bzdel assumes God was on his side during the last few weeks. The Ukrainian Catholic archeparch's office, residence and his new home, currently under construction, are all located on Scotia Street, which overlooks the Red River.

"People were setting up sandbags [in late April] around the clock," he said. They were doing that when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien visited the neighborhood on April 26, the day before he called the June 2 vote.

Although the federal Liberal government later gave Manitoba a $25 million check to help the province in its post-flood clean-up, Mr. Chrétien made few friends that day, said Mr. Sikorsky.

"The visit wasn't appreciated," said Mr. Sikorsky, who explained that sandbagging efforts were suspended for several hours by the prime minister's entourage and security detail that enveloped the area.

"All he did was throw one sandbag after saying to someone 'What do I do with this thing?' It was just a photo opportunity."

Jean Chretien wanted to look like he's doing the right thing, but ended up doing the wrong thing. Did that bother him? Did he even realize that precious hours that could have been spent sandbagging were lost so that he could get his pre-election photo?

Now compare:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is flying to Cyprus where he intends to take up to 120 evacuees from Lebanon home to Canada on his Canadian Forces plane.

Harper announced the surprise side trip on his week-long European diplomatic tour after a meeting with French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday afternoon.

"Because of the seriousness of the situation and our relative proximity to Cyrpus, we have decided to take the Canadian Forces aircraft we have been travelling on to help airlift evacuees back home," Harper said in a statement. "The aircraft will be stripped down to a skeleton staff."

Media travelling with the prime minister have been bumped to commercial flights for their return home to Canada. Only Harper's wife, Laureen, and a couple of his communications staff, will go to Cyprus with him, officials said.

A photo-op like Jean Chretien holding a sandbag?

In response to questions, Harper denied the trip was a photo opportunity.

"It's more than a symbolic trip," he said. "There's a need for air support in Cyprus. Freeing up seats, we will have a significant number of seats to help the situation.

"I think criticism in this type of situation, given all the complexities, is inevitable one way or another," Harper added. "We believe there is a real need here. . . . We believe it's the right thing to do."

Over a hundred people will really be going home. One less flight will have to come to Cyprus from Canada by diverting the Prime Minister's plane which was already in the region.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not looking at the airplane, considering his election fortunes, and asking, "What do I do with this thing?"

He already knows what to do, and he's doing it.


[Cross-posted from Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on July 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

So there I was...

... just strolling out to the Atrium on Bay for lunch.

Police Line: Do Not Cross

Hmm, what's going on, I ask. Another shooting perhaps? Nay, not another of Toronto's famed shootings, but a "suspicious package." Must have been a heck of a package, what with the HazMat guys, the Hi-Rise Rescue team, the several blocks closed off. For those of you with friends or family in the area, the package itself appears to be at Young and Dundas (which is why I thought it was a shooting).

So far my office hasn't been evacuated, and probably won't be, because it's far enough away (I hope). I'll keep you posted.

Posted by RightGirl on July 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Politically expedient evacuation

Prime Minister Harper, who has been pitch-perfect with with response to the troubles in the Middle East thus far, continues to elevate his already-shining geopolitical stature by volunteering to evacuate Canadians from Lebanon using his executive aircraft:

Harper said he will try to bring back as many as 120 Canadians using the Canadian Forces plane that took him to Europe earlier in the week.

There are an estimated 50,000 Canadian citizens among the foreigners in Lebanon, many desperate to escape the Israeli military strikes that began after Hezbollah militants crossed the border into Israel on July 12 and attacked an army outpost.

"Because of the seriousness of the situation and our relative proximity to Cyrpus, we have decided to take the Canadian Forces aircraft we have been travelling on to help airlift evacuees back home," Harper told reporters.

"It's more than a symbolic trip," Harper said. "There is a need for air support in Cyprus. We believe this is the right thing to do and that's why we are going to do it."

While one may argue about the costs associated with evacuating Canadian citizens caught in a war zone, a war zone which the Canadian government has given its consent, there is no argument strong enough to counter the political points which will be acheived by Harper if he succeeds in his mission.

However, one must remain cognizant of what sort of people Canada will be rescuing. Any concern about Hezbollah supporters hitching a ride on a Canadian-chartered ship is a real one, albeit remote, but if a less-than-savoury sort comes to this country via a prime ministerial escourt, the political tarnish to Harper's career could be substantial.

Chances are slim that Mr Harper will be hurt by his gesture but it is a possibility of which to be cognizant.

Don't screw it up, Steve.

Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer makes a concrete case for invasion:

The road to a solution is therefore clear: Israel liberates south Lebanon and gives it back to the Lebanese.

It starts by preparing the ground with air power, just as the Gulf War began with a 40-day air campaign. But if all that happens is the air campaign, the result will be failure. Hezbollah will remain in place, Israel will remain under the gun, Lebanon will remain divided and unfree. And this war will start again at a time of Hezbollah and Iran's choosing.

Just as in Kuwait 1991, what must follow the air campaign is a land invasion to clear the ground and expel the occupier. Israel must retake south Lebanon and expel Hezbollah. It would then declare the obvious: that it has no claim to Lebanese territory and is prepared to withdraw and hand south Lebanon over to the Lebanese Army (augmented perhaps by an international force), thus finally bringing about what the world has demanded - implementation of Resolution 1559 and restoration of south Lebanon to Lebanese sovereignty.

Only two questions remain: Israel's will and America's wisdom. Does Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have the courage to do what is so obviously necessary? And will Secretary of State Rice's upcoming peace trip to the Middle East force a premature ceasefire that spares her the humiliation of coming home empty-handed but prevents precisely the kind of decisive military outcome that would secure the interests ofIsrael, Lebanon, the moderate Arabs and the West?

Posted by Rob Huck on July 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Kudos to Canada, again

Once again (actually, twice), the Great White North stands out above the rest (and, for those very new to this blog, this comes from an American).

First, in the blogospher, Small Dead Animals relays the not-so-surprising but still very important news: Syria was caught trying to re-arm Hezbollah (fifth item).  Meanwhile, a court in Ontario - yes, Ontario - allowed a lawsuit by persecuted Falun Gong practitioners against Jiang Zemin and four other cadres to go forward (second item).

Canada may not be my land, but rest assured, I'll still stand on guard for thee.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on July 19, 2006 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Toronto Star

It's been a few nights since I wanted to write some thing about Toronto Star newspaper and compare it with the Iranian radical/fascist paper Keyhan run by the office of the supreme leader of the Islamic regime, (see here).

Why did I not write? Well, honestly because I was scared... You know, writing against a newspaper run by the regime leader is really terrifying and I thought if I compare Toronto Star with Keyhan, some one will come down to hunt me, as if writing against The Star is like writing against those idiots... [laughing] ... I think I still suffer from the bad memories of my time back in Iran any way. I have to remind you, that their contents are not the same, although their contents may just sound similar when it comes to US, Israel and democratic movements through out the mideast region. It doesn't matter though, but there are some silly but true similarities I thought you should know about.

1- Keyhan is the only paper that you can get for free in Iran, so is Toronto Star

2- Keyhan is the only paper allowed in University campuses in Iran and you can also find Toronto Star around in almost every single university or colleges in GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

3- Keyhan publishes lots of b***t, so does Toronto Star -- **cough cough**

4- The most anti-freedom, anti-US, anti-Israeli columnists write for Keyhan, and this seems to be the case for Toronto Star as well.

5- Keyhan newspaper is the only paper available in public/government offices, so is Toronto Star as far as I have noticed.

Why did it look like that to me? I don't know really, it just did and I don't like it when I see liberal/leftist part of the society tries so hard to shape the opinion of the society the way Mullahs of Iran do.

Don't you agree?!

*** I'll add more similarities as they come to my mind ***

Posted by Winston on July 19, 2006 in Media | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

May the Schwartz be with you

As EBD notes in a comment to one of my earlier posts, the CBC's Larry Zolf argues that Harper's refusal to play the equivalence game between the Islamic terrorists attacking Israel, and the soldiers defending Israel from ongoing missile and terrorist attacks, is a smart move politically and may secure him a majority government. The reason: "Canada's Jewish community is an influential one in Canadian media and business circles" and there are several heavily Jewish ridings in the country that could turn Tory.

I would stop short of suggesting that Zolf is floating some kooky conspiracy theory here, that Jews control politics or the media, or whatever. The fact is, that the Liberals never felt the need to court the Jewish vote by being fair to Israel—they were always rather unfair to the state, especially under Martin, as Zolf notes. Also, Zolf argues that Harper comes by his "Zionism" honestly: He truly believes in the right of a free and democratic state to defend itself against attacks, and he surely understands the reality of who Hamas and Hezbollah truly are, and what they ultimately stand for.

Zolf also happens to be right about the fact that this will make some of Canada's more powerful Jews take another look at the Conservatives. Want proof? Here's Onex CEO Gerry Schwartz yesterday praising Harper in a press release from the The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (the release is not on the website, as far as I can tell):

CIJA co-founder and Director, Gerald Schwartz O.C., observed that: "Earlier this year, Prime Minister Harper demonstrated great courage in expressing opposition to the new Hamas government - a position quickly adopted by the international community. Today, the Prime Minister has again assumed a leadership role through his unequivocal support of Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism. "

Schwartz is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest wallet the Liberals have. He was Paul Martin's top financier. Now he's swooning for Harper. And what have the Liberals been up to in the meantime? Apparently allowing Omar Alghabra (you'll remember him from the "Islamic power" nomination celebration last winter) to set the tone for their foreign policy.

In  a press release I received from the Saudi-born Alghabra yesterday, the Mississauga MP complains about Israel's "irrational flurry of bombing . . ." Criticizing Harper's declarations about Israel's right to defend itself, he adds: "Canadians have been contacting me to express their puzzlement with the Prime Minister's statement when he didn't promote calm and restraint," said Alghabra. "Canadians expect their leaders to be the voice of balance and reason both domestically and abroad."

Of course, "reason" and "balance" don't always go together. And it seems some Canadians prefer a voice of reasoned, moral clarity to balance.  So what if one or two of them just happen to be the most powerful political players in Canada?

Posted by Kevin Libin on July 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Another perspective from the Lebanese diaspora

Here:

Statement by Six Canadian Lebanese Organizations and Clubs

Mississauga, Ontario
-- July 19, 2006 -- We, the undersigned, representatives of the six Canadian Lebanese organizations that are listed below, extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Canadian government, represented by Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Peter MacKay, for the correct, just and prompt positions they have taken with regard to Lebanon and the unfortunate military confrontations that are occurring on its soil as a result of the reckless hostile actions of the Hezbollah group that violate the will of the Lebanese people and the decisions and authority of the legitimate government of Lebanon.  The actions and conduct of Hezbollah are extremely harmful to the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and obstruct progress of the peace process in Lebanon specifically, and in the Middle East in general.

We also thank the government for its wise and effective efforts with respect to its handling of all measures for the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon, the safeguard of their security, and their safe return to Canada.
We call on the Canadian government to continue its interventions through the United Nations and the Security Council to secure an immediate truce in Lebanon based on UN Resolution 1559, which explicitly calls for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with Israel, and the extension of the authority of the Lebanese government over all Lebanese territory.

Signatories of the statement

Elias Bejjani, Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council
Toni Mouanis, Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation
Noel Haddad, Phoenician Club of Mississauga
Khalil Kaekati, Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club
Charbel Constantine, Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club
Colonel Charbel Barakat, World Lebanese Cultural Union -- Canadian Chapter

For any further information please contact us on
clhrf@yahoo.com or Phoenicia@hotmail.com
Related Web sites
www.10452lccc.com, www.clhrf.com

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on July 18, 2006 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Neighbourhood Bully

The Globe and Mail's front-page headline today is really quite precious: "Harper refuses to budge." What's that you say? Harper stood by Israel right to defend itself a few days ago and now . . . he still does? Even after innocents were inadvertently killed in the crossfire? Wow. You'd think the man had principles, or something.

Alas, gone are the days of Mr. Dithers, when the Globe's editors could actually influence policy by bringing to bear enough pressure on the PM to make him waiver, say, by trying to centre the blame for this conflict on Israel. Of course, in the world of elite Eastern quasi-intellectual opinion, it's always at least partly Israel's fault. Murray Soupcoff (dad of Western Standard contributor, and National Postie, Marni Soupcoff) reminded us of this great 80's tune by Bob Dylan—The Neighborhood Bully—which pretty well sums up the way the Globe and the Star and the CBC interpret these conflicts—a view, thankfully, our prime minister is smart enough to reject:

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Posted by Kevin Libin on July 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

My heart swells

See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.

George W. Bush

We are not going to give into the temptation of some to single out Israel, which was the victim of the initial attack... The onus remains on the parties that caused the conflict to take steps to end the conflict.

Stephen Harper

Gorgeous.

Posted by RightGirl on July 18, 2006 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack