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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Help Indict Ahmadinejad
Watch the clip & Sign the petition to help indict Iran's president Ahmadinejad
Posted by Winston on January 31, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (21)
George Bush is Wrong on Energy Policy
I have really been disappointed with the US Republicans; I had hoped
they would support market solutions more than they seem to do. Here is
some very good insight from John Lott, first on Ethanol:
Ethanol costs well over $100 per barrel. Oil costs about
$50 per barrel. You are throwing out $50 for each barrel of ethanol you
buy (actually it is even more than that since the energy produced by
burning a barrel of ethanol is apparently less). Bush’s and the
Democrat’s policy on this will just make us much poorer. I know the
responses: that the price of ethanol is coming down. But that doesn’t
justify a subsidy. Firms can take that into account just as they do
with any other product. If they think that cost will come down enough
that it will pay for them to produce the product, they will start
producing the product.
Right. If ethanol is such a great
product, why won't private enterprise bring it to market? And don't
tell me about CO2 emissions -- they'll be at least as bad with ethanol,
all things considered.
Next, here is John Lott on energy security:
If gas is risky because oil might get cut off in a war or
if there is a boycott, that causes the current price to rise to reflex
that future higher price. That higher price then will be taken into
account to see whether because of that risk we should be relying on
other energy sources. The only justification that I can make for this
last claim is that the threat of price controls prevent gas companies
from profiting from those higher future prices and thus eliminate their
incentives to do things such as store more gas today. The problem here
then is the threat of government intervention in the market that is
then used to justify more government intervention. There is no reason
to believe that the government is going to get anywhere near to picking
the right levels of investments here.
If there is concern
that we are using "too much" gasoline, as I have said before, let's
just tax the snot out of it (and cut taxes somewhere else, keeping the
tax revenue neutral).
Posted by EclectEcon on January 31, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (18)
Is the U.S. about to "go wobbly" on North Korea?
That certainly is the impression I'm getting. Take a look for yourselves and see if you agree.
This is why I really wish Canada had a seat at the table. Look at the current six participants (Communist China, the U.S., Japan, Russia, Stalinist North Korea, and South Korea), only the U.S. and Japan are honestly trying to force SNK to make good on its three earlier promises (1985, 1987, and 1994) not to become a nuclear power. Another strong U.S. ally at the talks would be very helpful in stiffening Washington's spine.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 31, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (6)
NPR Interview with President Bush
President Bush said on Monday that he doesn't intend to invade Iran, but he's willing to do "whatever it takes" to defend U.S. interests
"If Iran escalates its military action in Iraq to the detriment of our troops and/or innocent Iraqi people, we will respond firmly," the president said in a half-hour interview with NPR which is the first broadcast interview the president has given since his State of the Union address.
Hear the Full Interview
Read a Full Transcript of the Interview
Posted by Winston on January 31, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (4)
Hard to Love
A quote from the book "Poets & Pahlevans" by Marcello Di Cintio of Calgary, Alberta, talking about the urge among majority of Iranian youths to leave Iran due to economic or political pressures.
It's a good read for those Canadians who really want to know more about what is going on inside a country where people have lost their hope to live and love, yet they use every available opportunity to stay in touch with the civilized world. And it's also an important read for those Canadians who tend to ignore the suffering of other people.
Posted by Winston on January 31, 2007 in Books, Travel | Permalink
| Comments (11)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Don't forget the threat to Taiwan
As of this morning, Communist China has nearly 1,000 missiles pointed at the island democracy of Taiwan. Given the threat from the Taliban/al Qaeda and the Iranian mullahcracy, there is always a danger we will forget the danger Taiwan faces from the Communists. In fact, given the Communists' support for the mullahs and the terrorists, that may be the whole point.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 30, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (9)
$336,000 per job created
That's what the Province of Quebec is spending, explicitly and
implicitly, to entice Alcan to build a smelting plant in the
Saquenay-Lac St Jean region. That is one heck of a lot of money to
spend on job creation, for jobs that probably would be created
elsewhere in the economy anyway, especially if the province were to cut
I am skeptical, to say the least, of "job creation" statistics and arguments. If the long-run Phillips Curve
and the long-run aggregate supply curves are vertical, we know that
job-creation programmes do nothing more than rearrange jobs rather than
As Stephen Gordon says, "Electric Boondoggle du jour".
Posted by EclectEcon on January 30, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (38)
Monday, January 29, 2007
The illusion of "capitalism in China" and the Syria angle in the Arar case
Not to distract too much from the flap over political advertisements in Canada (see posts below - and I thought McCain-Feingold was dangerous!), but a couple of excellent (and for Canadian readers, pertinent) links are in today's post (here). The first is from Macleans, of all things, discussing how Communist China's complete lack of the rule of law has made fools out of Canadian business owners.
The second intriguing link is in the next-to-last item, to a column by David Frum explaining the role that Washington's ridiculous naivete on Syria's Ba'athist regime has played in the Maher Arar fiasco.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 29, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (13)
Will the Conservative attack ads ever run on TV?
Ezra Levant, working with the research of Stephen Taylor, has written a brilliant piece that makes me wonder if those devastating Conservative Party ads targeting Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion will ever make it to television.
If not, what can we do to help?
From the Calgary Sun, Ezra Levant writes about Telecaster, giving well-deserved credit to Stephen Taylor:
Ask a thousand Canadians what a "telecaster" is, and 999 would probably think it was a 1950s word for a newfangled TV set. But Telecaster is actually the name of the agency that screens TV ads.
Instead of advertisers having to get approval from every single TV station in the country, Telecaster is their one-stop shop. Canadian TV stations outsource their judgment to Telecaster, which is in charge of basic standards -- no profanity, for example.
Telecaster approves political ads, too. And so, what is a rubber stamp when it comes to toothpaste and shampoo ads becomes a powerful political censor when it comes election campaigns.
The problem is that Telecaster is run by a Liberal partisan, James Patterson:
Over the last three years, according to Elections Canada data dug up by blogger Stephen Taylor, Patterson made a whopping 17 donations to the Liberal Party, totalling more than $4,300.
That's more than most MPs give to their own parties. That's an extreme partisan.
One of the donations was even made in January 2006, just days before the last election. That's important, because Patterson was in charge of censoring TV ads that very moment. And censor he did.
The evidence suggests that Patterson is unable to separate his political views from his work with Telecaster, and that he's applying different rules to make advertising difficult for the Conservatives:
That was when the Liberals rolled out their attack ads, claiming Stephen Harper was going to put "soldiers in our streets". It was absurd, and it backfired.
The point is Telecaster, run by Jim Patterson, didn't censor them, even though they used images of Stephen Harper without his permission.
But when the Conservatives produced a response to those attack ads -- showing video clips of Liberal MPs admitting their own attack ads had gone too far -- Telecaster censored the ads. Telecaster ordered the Conservative ads off the air.
And of course, this double standard is going to apply to these ads just rolled out by the Conservatives:
All this came out in the open last week when Telecaster refused to allow the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association to run a TV ad briefly showing Harper's own image -- even though the CRFA owned the footage themselves. Telecaster told the CRFA that they couldn't show a picture of Harper without his permission -- a ridiculous requirement that Harper does not want.
We know where this is going.
Patterson, the big Liberal donor, is getting ready to block Tory ads in the upcoming campaign. He knows thin-skinned Stephane Dion, the new Liberal leader, won't grant permission to the Tories to use footage of him saying foolish things.
And saying foolish things is a Stephane Dion trademark.
So what can we do about this? I'm going to assume that Patterson is secure in his position. In any case, a wholesale cultural change at an institution so infected with bias towards the Liberal Party is going to take a long time. Finding people who are actually apolitical is tough, since in Canada someone who doesn't support any party is typically labeled a Conservative -- I suppose that's what you get for calling the Liberal Party Canada's natural governing party.
So the trick might be to bypass Telecaster altogether if Telecaster throws up roadblocks. News programs can show the ads as part of a story without any interference from Telecaster. So get on to your local news people and tell them this is an interesting story. And, of course, there is the internet. If you have a website, link to the ads or to any of the bloggers who have embedded the videos. Put links up on forums and message boards. Email your like-minded friends. Email your Liberal friends. Get the word -- and the URLs -- out there.
If we're lucky, Telecaster simply won't amount to much.
Thanks to reader Selma for the heads up on Ezra's article.
[Cross-posted from Angry in the Great White North]
Posted by Steve Janke on January 29, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (21)
New Conservative ads targeting Stephane Dion
The Conservatives have unveiled three ads that I think are devastating. You can find them on the CPC video page, or check them out below:
A lot of people will complain about negative campaigning. Let's make a distinction here. These are critical ads. They use facts and quotes to highlight the weaknesses in the opposition. That's fair game.
What's especially fair is using Stephane Dion's own whining response to Michael Ignatieff to show what sort of leader he will be -- unable to take criticism, easily offended, and someone whose first instinct is to avoid taking responsibility. Childish, really.
These ads do not indulge in fearmongering. They do not suggest that the Liberals will turn Canada into a police state, or that Canadians will be dying in large numbers for lack of health care, or that someone is going to point a gun at your face and kill you should the Liberals get into power. It was the Liberal Party that ran exactly these sorts of ads in the last two election cycles predicting these outcomes if the Conservatives were elected.
Of course, nothing of the sort has happened, nor will it. Those Liberal ads lacked any real information. Just wild speculation combined with emotional manipulation.
The Conservatives want you to make an informed choice. The Liberals want you to run scared.
Tell me which party treats you with more respect, regardless of what you think of their actual policies. Of course, Stephane Dion would probably say that my analysis of these approaches to so-called "negative ads" is unfair.
[Cross-posted from Angry in the Great White North]
Posted by Steve Janke on January 29, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (34)
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Hezbollah banned in Canada
Sun Media reports on a Canadian Security and Intelligence Service
(CSIS) report from last year where they worried about potential
Hezbollah generated violence in Canada during the Lebanon-Israel war. I
had to laugh at this bit:
Although the movement is banned in Canada, the report
states Hezbollah partisans here would continue to collect money
“through legitimate sources or by means of financial frauds, traffic
counterfeit identity cards, contraband cigarettes, etc.” (Calgary Sun)
Meanwhile in downtown Calgary:
Of more interest - here is a video of a supporter wrapped in a Hezbollah flag dancing on the war memorial where the rally was held.
None of what I seen that day seemed to bother the Calgary police even though in May of 2005 it was reported that there was huge amounts of money being shuffled through organized crime to terrorist groups in the middle east from Calgary. I guess the police were just being sensitive. (c/p dust my broom)
Posted by Darcey on January 28, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (87)
Saturday, January 27, 2007
L’illusion tranquille involves an ageing society living beyond its means, unable to shake the grip of meddlesome government and powerful trade unions”. This quote is from an article in today’s National Post entitled “Quebec film hits socialiste nerve”.
What I find galling is that with so many things in this country tilted to favour Quebec, equalization, industrial milk quotas (46.5 of the nation’s share), aircraft industry deliberately centered in Quebec since the Mulroney years, federal civil service hiring policies, cheap hydro electricity from Labrador at Newfoundland and Labrador’s expense and I could go on and on, they are still running up yearly deficits and adding to their colossal debt.
As an Albertan I would like to make some points. University tuition is much cheaper in Quebec than it is in Alberta, Alberta has nothing to compare to the daycare program that Quebec operates at a cost of seven dollars per day per child to users, snow clearing is reportedly much quicker in Quebec cities than it is in Alberta cities. These programs are considered too costly in our supposedly rich province. It should be noted that Alberta’s contribution to equalization approximately equals the income to the provincial government from our petroleum resources and also approximates what is handed over to Quebec. Therefore you could argue that Quebec benefits from Alberta’s petroleum resources while Alberta doesn’t. The irony here is that equalization is supposed to level the playing field so that all provinces can dispense the same level of social services if their tax resources are not sufficient to keep up to the wealthier ones. By that argument Quebec should be topping up Alberta’s coffers.
Perhaps there is some hope for reform if Francophone Quebecers themselves are recognizing the problem. There is more in the article that I hope will still be available here.
Posted by Bob Wood on January 27, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (31)
Wal-Mart: Not a Monopoly
Over two years ago, I wrote the two rules of antitrust/competition policy:
- You must compete.
- You must not win.
It never ceases to amaze me that so many people mistakenly equate competitive success with monopoly. Rebekah relates yet another example and smacks it hard:
Buddy went off on a Chomsky-ite tangent and said, "To the extent that Wal-Mart is a monopoly it impedes the free market."
... Precisely how is Wal-Mart a monopoly, when, even in my relatively
rural district — in flyover country — we have within just a half-mile
of the Wal-Mart, a Target, a K-Mart, a Sears, a J.C. Penney, a
farm-and-tractor supply chain, a home and garden center, two book
stores, a video store, and at least two dozen small family-operated
businesses, all marketing similar items to those at the eeeeevil
monopoly, and they have all been doing well for at least the decade the
Wal-Mart has been there? That's a funny-looking monopoly, in my eyes.
Of course, if you are willing to use Chomsky's methods to redefine
words to suit your immediate want, then, perhaps he has a point.
... The communities which have suffered are those which have not
allowed for lower-priced merchandise for the working classes. If I earn
a paycheck every week and have no place convenient at which to buy
affordable clothes, shoes, toys for my kids, and so on, I'm going to
look for a job closer to an affordable neighborhood.
Yup. These are precisely the people the elitist snobs of Stratford,
Ontario, don't want living and shopping in their snotty, snooty town,
which is proud (not sad) not to have a Wal-Mart.
Posted by EclectEcon on January 27, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (51)
Posted by Rick Hiebert on January 27, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (12)
Friday, January 26, 2007
Look who's helping Iran become a nuclear power
Why, it's Stalinist North Korea.
As an aside, and far be it from me to differ from EclectEcon, but I would humbly submit that the mullahcracy will probably never believe they "will be annihilated," no matter what they do on nuclear weapons, including use them or fob them off to terrorists. After all, they are allied to Communist China, a regime that to this day considers nuclear war not only a war it can survive, but one it can win. That Beijing would allow its de facto colony to help the mullahs along only further proves the point.
Not that I oppose a tough policy on Iran; for me, it's liberation all the way. I'm just saying we need an equally tough policy on Communist China, too.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 26, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (11)
Mass. Governor Mitt Romney has done great with regards to Iranian issues. He denied former president Khatami of state police security couple of months ago and, he is currently advocating tougher policies against the Islamic regime of Iran.
"[...] we should continue to tighten the economic sanctions. Our model should be at least as severe as the sanctions we imposed on Apartheid South Africa. We should demand no less from the international community today..."
His entire speech on Iran can be found here
Posted by Winston on January 26, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (7)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Drug cases sounds familiar
Long-time followers of the news can be forgiven for thinking there was something familiar in the Vancouver Sun's report today that the business manager of Ironworkers Local 97 in Burnaby, B.C., is facing drug charges after the U.S. Border Patrol "seized cocaine valued at more than $4 million in eastern Washington" last week. (See earlier posting, below, for more info.)
Haven't we heard all this before? Top B.C. labour guy? Blue-collar union? Drug-importation charges? Southeastern B.C.? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.
Back in 1983, the leader of the Trail, B.C., local of the United Steelworkers of America was arrested on charges of conspiracy to import $3 million work of marijuana and $1 million worth of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking.
Those charges died in March 1985 because a key Crown witness went missing. That witness, Alan McTeer (a distant relative of Maureen McTeer), resurfaced in 1994 and claimed he had been pressured into falsely implicating the Trail union leader.
The case remains noteworthy because of what that Trail union leader, free of the otherwise career-limiting encumbrance of drug charges, went on to achieve in the world of organized labour. Specifically, he became the relatively moderate (although strongly pro-NDP) president of the B.C. Federation of Labour and now holds the same position at the Canadian Labour Congress.
The man's name is Ken Georgetti.
Posted by Terry O'Neill on January 25, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (5)
I am not authorized to look at what Stephane Dion's drug dealing friend Perley Edmund Holmes has said about him
A union leader, Perley Edmund Holmes, has been arrested in connection to the trafficking of over $4 million in cocaine. Perley Edmund Holmes came out strongly for Stephane Dion during the Liberal Party leadership campaign. Of course, Stephane Dion can't control what his supporters do. But the Dion people were quick off the mark to expunge the website of Holmes' endorsement. What's wrong with these people? Have they never heard of the Google cache? By doing that, all they've done is pique my interest.
The Globe and Mail has reported that Perley Edmund Holmes is in some serious trouble with regards to drug trafficking:
A trail of footprints in freshly fallen snow led U.S. border police to a major cocaine-smuggling bust in the back roads of Washington State, ending in the arrest of a B.C. union official.
According to an affidavit, 136 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $4.3-million (U.S.) was found in two backpacks on Jan. 18. According to the affidavit, Perley Edmund Holmes, of Bridesville, B.C., faces drug charges.
Interestingly, a fellow by the name of Perley Holmes had a lot to say about Stephane Dion, as this endorsement reads from the Liberal leader's campaign website:
"Stéphane Dion's ability to gain the confidence of both previous Prime Ministers despite the serious rift in the party, bespeaks his ability to pull the party together. Ontario has some excellent leadership candidates but we will never run this country without the support of Quebec. Ontario has always been fairly evenly split between the Conservative party and the Liberal party. A strong leader will sway it one way or the other so it is fairly market neutral but the weight of a Francophone Liberal from Quebec would possibly be the demise of the Bloc Quebecois party, 'and good riddance', this certainly would tip the balance in our favour in the next federal election. I also feel Stéphane's commitment to environmental and social causes will pull support from the NDP out West. His combination of strengths have him way ahead of any of his contenders. Therefore, if we are to have a realistic chance of forming the next Government it only makes common sense to support Stéphane Dion."
You have to ask youself whether this is the same Perley Holmes. Well, first, the name is pretty distinctive. But then consider that this endorsement page has disappeared:
You are not authorized to access this page.
Yeah, I bet I'm not authorized. Now it might seem unfair to try to sling some mud on Stephane Dion because someone who endorsed him has got into some serious trouble. It's not like Stephane Dion hired him to work in his office. But this man had over $4 million in cocaine in a knapsack. That's an uncommon amount of money for someone who claims that "it only makes common sense to support Stephane Dion".
You see, the question arises whether Perley Holmes and his associates supported Stephane Dion with donations and loans and other resources that cost money. Drug money? That would be very unfortunate for Stephane Dion. I would bet the leadership candidates who lost to the Dion campaign would like to know if Dion was able to tap into this bottomless source of cash.
On paper, Perley Holmes donated a total of $100 to Stephane Dion. But then we know there are ways to move money around so that it doesn't have to be declared.
At the very least, the fact that Stephane Dion is trying to cover his tracks is, well, unsettling.
Addendum: It should be noted, of course, the Perley Holmes has not been convicted of anything. All the more curious that Stephane Dion and his people were so quick to expunge his name from the website.
[Cross posted from Angry in the Great White North]
Posted by Steve Janke on January 25, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (25)
Iran and the Nuclear Age
Let's face it. Contrary to Winston's hopes(?) or expectations(?), the U.S. isn't going to launch a pre-emptive strike to
prevent Iran's acquisition/development of nuclear Weapons. Neither is
Israel. And neither are the two, together. Iran is going to have
nuclear weapons within the next few years. Even a threatened oil price
war from the Saudis will not deter them.
Let's accept that as a given.
What will Iran's leaders do once they have nuclear weapons and missiles
with sufficient range to reach Tel-Aviv and Riyadh (besides swagger and
threaten)? Here is one piece that raises the spectre of a second holocaust [h/t to Eric]. Whether that actually happens will depend on two things:
1. The attitude of Iran's leaders toward self-destruction. If they
really believe that there is a higher purpose for their actions, then
they will launch the missiles with nuclear warheads at numerous Israeli
(and perhaps other Middle Eastern non-Shiite) targets. So what if they
and their people "suffer" massive retaliation? They will have carried
out their tasks in pursuit of these higher goals.
2. If their leaders do not have that attitude toward
self-destruction/self-sacrifice then it must be made abundantly clear
to them that they will be annihilated if they launch such an attack, no
matter what they threaten. In this instance, we must remain resolute
that no appeasement out of fear is possible.
After discussing this with my friend, Eric, it has become clear to me
(for now — I'm always willing to update my priors) that either way,
Israel should be working furiously to develop the best possible
anti-missile system, and the U.S. should be helping them do so.
Posted by EclectEcon on January 25, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (86)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
State of the Union
President Bush's State of the Union
"What every terrorist fears most is human freedom – societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies – and most will choose a better way when they are given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers, and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security . . . we must."
Posted by Winston on January 24, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (35)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
"Harper government celebrates one year anniversary
The title of this post is taken from the CBC "Your View" where they post a description of the event (in this case very fair) then invite comments. I wonder how long it will stay up because the vast majority of the comments do not hew to the standard CBC view that whatever Harper does is bad. Go to http://tinyurl.com/2m9dyy
to read the comments, forty plus at this time, even from Toronto, praising Harper's government.
Posted by Bob Wood on January 23, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (17)
They only blew up a satellite; we can trust them
Words fail me.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 23, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (24)
My latest at the Monitor, about Stephen Harper's first year.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
Posted by wonkitties on January 23, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink
| Comments (44)
Monday, January 22, 2007
Iranian regime blocks IAEA inspectors and in the mean time hardline revolutionary guards corps is going to conduct some war games.
You know, it sounds a lot like what Saddam was doing in the 1990s. And you certainly remember that his regime was bombed many times for disobeying the UN backed resolutions. Therefore, I'd not be surprised to hear, one day so soon, that Iranian regime is being bombed too. It will be sad but the free world's patience may run out pretty soon.
Posted by Winston on January 22, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (6)
Average Work Hours and Equalization Payments
Is this the reason for equalization payments from Alberta and Ontario? Statistics Canada did a study on average work hours for a year in the provinces and regions. Surprise, surprise, the provinces in which people put in longer working hours , make equalization payments to those provinces where people work less. Here is a teaser from the report:
In 2004, workers in Alberta averaged 1,880 hours a year -- the highest in the country -- the equivalent of 36 hours a week for a full-year worker. Their counterparts in the combined region of Manitoba-Saskatchewan were close behind with 1,860, followed by workers in Ontario, with 1,850 hours
In contrast, workers in Quebec averaged the lowest number of work hours -- 1,750 hours
Read the CTV report here: http://tinyurl.com/2eep9g
I guess in a perverse way it makes sense. You need spare time to spend money so it is taken away from those who don't have time to spend it and given to those who do. Perhaps the workers should insist on equalization of work hours across the country. Don't take that suggestion seriously, but maybe those work hour figures should somehow be worked into the equalization formula so those hard working people can keep more of their hard won earnings for themselves.
Posted by Bob Wood on January 22, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (41)
More evidence against moral relativism
This post will admittedly appeal more to the Americans who read this blog than the Canadian readership. One of the most hackneyed mantras of the moral relativists in the United States is the reaction of officialdom to Hurricane Katrina. Already, leading Democrats are using post-Katrina New Orleans as an argument against the liberation of Iraq (USA Today).
To all of them, I offer this as an example of how truly evil regimes respond to natural disasters, and ask them to have a little perspective, not that I have much hope of that.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 22, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
| Comments (7)
Tal Bachman appearing in Toronto Tuesday night
. . . with Joel Kroeker at Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas Street West (416-531-6604) Hat tip: The Toronto Star (no -- really!). $14 in advance by calling Hugh's Room, $16 at the door. Start time 8:30 p.m.
For the car-challenged, Hugh's Room is a 1-minute walk south of the Dundas West subway station, on the Bloor subway line.
Posted by joantintor on January 22, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (2)
TV censorship in Canada
When I ran for office in 2002, I discovered a niggling little agency called the Television Bureau of Canada, or "Telecaster". Before I aired my campaign's TV ads, I had to courier them to Telecaster for its approval. I can understand the purpose -- TV stations voluntarily outsource their editorial approval for TV ads to one central organization.
My ads were okayed, but what if an ad were vetoed for political reasons?
That's what has happened to our friends at the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association -- the ethanol association that wants to start running ads pressing Prime Minister Stephen Harper to follow through on his campaign promise to increase use of ethanol as fuel in Canada.
It was a statement made publicly by Harper, and the CRFA wants to hold him to it. But Telecaster has banned the ad, saying the CRFA needs to get Harper's personal permission before using a TV clip of him.
You can see the banned ad here.
Whatever you think of Harper or ethanol, banning that ad is absurd. But it's more than absurd -- it's political censorship, and it sets a terrible precedent in terms of chilling public discourse. Since when do political figures have a veto over the media's use of their publicly-made statements on the campaign trail? And since when does Telecaster enforce that veto?
Here is the CRFA's letter to Telecaster. If you think that unelected, unaccountable censors should stop meddling in political ads like this, send a note to Telecaster's Jim Patterson here.
Posted by Ezra Levant on January 22, 2007 | Permalink
| Comments (30)
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Iranians Love America
Although written by a Liberal scholar from Chicago, the article has lots of great things about Iranian people's love and affection for America:
Iranians don't hate America. On the contrary, many of them envy Americans to an unrealistic degree and think of the US as a paradise, a land where no problems exist.
I personally disagree with some parts of it about the Iranians defending the Islamic regime in case of a foreign attack to liberate Iran, but you can definitely find positive things in the article too. It is a must read for those who want to know more about what is going on in a country where the next conflict may take place in a very near future.
...Read it for yourself...
Also an excellent interview with Iranian student leader on how to topple the Mullahs regime
Posted by Winston on January 21, 2007 in International Affairs, Travel | Permalink
| Comments (36)
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull
is one of my favorite musicians. Been to two of his concerts in Dubai and Toronto, I have come to know him more and more over the past few years. Just regret why I didn't discover his music earlier. You never get tired of his style either...
I just saw that he has written
a pretty long note about his new tours, new ear phones, new band members and for sure his unique sense of humor:
As you might guess, my old ears have been ringing for most of the 39 years of Tull touring and, although we are far from being the loudest band in town, it has still been pretty punishing over the years. The pleasures of the many quieter shows (on stage that is – still pretty loud for the audience) which I have been doing more recently has meant no more fuzzy hearing and headaches after shows. The difficulty in hearing myself in the midst of relative cacophony has been replaced by a much nicer way of doing business with you. Kept me in better humour too as some have noticed. Not that I’m cranky or anything. Who, me?
Jethro Tull is a great band and will always be one. Hopefully they'll be back in Toronto in October again.
Posted by Winston on January 20, 2007 in Music | Permalink
| Comments (20)
Friday, January 19, 2007
Only in Canada, Eh?
Beth sent me this story:
Foreign strippers planning to dance in Canadian clubs must now provide photos of themselves with no clothes on to qualify for a visa for Canada.
The Canadian Embassy in Mexico says "stage photos during performances are required."
Sorry - I should clarify. It's an old story. From the Strippergate days. But it's Friday, and it's funny, and we all need a laugh.
Posted by RightGirl on January 19, 2007 in Humour | Permalink
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Mullah Omar hiding in Pakistan . . .
. . . under the protection of its elite intelligence corps. Remind me again, on whose side is Pakistan?
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 19, 2007 in International Affairs, Military | Permalink
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Thursday, January 18, 2007
Meanwhile, in Great Britain
And speaking of the utter failture of relativistic multiculturalism (see my earlier posting, below), I've just come across an Observer story of a few weeks ago, detailing a sad but all too predictable development within radical Islam in Britain. It reads, in part: "Secret video footage reveals Muslim preachers exhorting followers to prepare for jihad, to hit girls for not wearing the hijab, and to create a 'state within a state'." Read the whole story here.
That "secret video footage" was up on YouTube, but it appears to have been taken down now.
Posted by Terry O'Neill on January 18, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
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Reality sets in
Sun Media has a wake-up call for all those utopians out there who believe that Canada's multicultural policies should and do mean that every newcomer to the country gets to keep his old customs without having to integrate to some extent.
The wake-up call comes in the form of a poll done for Sun Media by Leger Marketing, which finds, "Most Canadians believe ethnic minorities should restrain their cultural customs and conform to those around them." The poll, "shows a stunning 85% believe it's important -- if not essential -- that minorities adapt to the lifestyle habits of the city where they live."
A Leger executive observed, "Over a third of Canada thinks there's a problem with someone wearing a veil, which is more evidence of us having this simmering racism. Not as nice a country as we'd like to think it is."
Oh come on now! I wouldn't be so quick to brand someone as a racist simply because he has concerns about a Muslim woman wearing a full-face veil in public. That would make Britain's Jack Straw and Tony Blair racists, a label to which I suspect they would both vehemently object.
Anyway, read the whole Sun story here. And visit Leger's site here for more details (although I don't think they've posted today's poll yet). And read my recent Western Standard story, about multiculturalism's shortcomings in dealing with immigrants who don't want to integrate. The story centred on fundamental Muslims.
Interestingly, an associated Leger poll published yesterday by Sun Media found that 88 per cent of Canadians have a good opinion of Italian immigrants but only 53 per cent have a good opinion of the Arab community. Another sign of simmering racism? Or simply an understandable reflection of the damage down to the Muslim brand by radical Islamic terrorists, the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq, etc?
Posted by Terry O'Neill on January 18, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
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Overthrowing the Mullahs
A well-written road map to topple the mad mullahs of Iran by Mr. Kenneth R. Timmerman:
"Supporting regime change by Iranians, while containing Syria, not only makes the best strategic sense for America. It is the right thing to do."
Posted by Winston on January 18, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Arrr, ye be warmin' me globe, says I
Remember the old rustic proverb:
If ‘tis warm in December
It be global warming you must remember
But if it be cold in Jan
That means even more products we must ban
And if in Feb it’s just 53 and partly sunny with occasional showers
That means ye Earth will only survive a few more hours.
Posted by Rob Huck on January 18, 2007 | Permalink
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Why free trade should be limited to free nations
This blog and magazine are, of course, among the bastions for free traders in North America. Unfortunately, as my focus is on one of the few places where the underlying assumptions that justify free trade don't apply (Communist China), nearly everyone in Canada has the impression I can't stand free trade. This isn't true; I have no quarrel with free trade with India, Japan, Taiwan, and other nations truly looking to be a part of the global free market.
The point I have been trying to make is that the Chinese Communist Party has no interest in joining the free market - they would rather fold, spindle, or mutilate it to sustain their brutal dictatorship.
Today's post has some examples of what I mean.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 18, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Playing the Double Standard
Communist China on free speech and cultural diversity in Canada: good for me, but not for thee.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 17, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Are they serious?
U.S. bringing second carrier to Mideast
This kind of news makes me wonder how serious U.S is in dealing with the Iranian regime?!
It doesn't make me nervous at all. I mean, it is certain that US is not going to allow Iran to continue its ugly behavior in the region and it seems they now realize the depth of the danger mullahs pose towards the entire world. But I wish we see a huge support for freedom movement in Iran towards a total regime change before any attack or bombardment begins.
I, personally, have accepted the fact that one day Iran may be bombed for its unacceptable behavior in the region. It won't surprise me a bit...
Posted by Winston on January 16, 2007 in Current Affairs, Military | Permalink
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What were they thinking?
There are times when I really wonder about the Pentagon: "The U.S. military has sold forbidden equipment at least a half-dozen times to middlemen for countries — including Iran and China — who exploited security flaws in the Defense Department's surplus auctions. The sales include fighter jet parts and missile components."
Maddening; absolutely maddening.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 16, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Monday, January 15, 2007
How Canada’s Liberals Have Run Out of Ideas
I have not become an expert of Canadian politics yet, but I don't try to hide my resentment for the Liberals and other blind leftists who have driven this great country into ground and I believe they intend to keep doing it because they certainly think Canada is theirs and no one else has any right to have a say in running this country.
Pajamas Media has published a piece on the mindset of Liberals in Canada on global warming, childcare, Afghan mission and aboriginal issues.
It just shows how shallow and hollow Liberals are... It's a must read
Posted by Winston on January 15, 2007 | Permalink
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The setting Sun
The Rev. Michael Ingham, the liberal Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, must have thought he had died and gone to heaven (if he believes in heaven, that is) when he picked up this morning's Vancouver Sun and saw that a recent letter he sent to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell had scored front-page, above the fold treatment. Ingham, whose pronouncements in favour of same-sex marriage are usually the only newsworthy topic emanating from his office, hit the news-hole bullseye with a missive to the premier, hectoring him about his failure to set binding goals for greenhouse gas reduction.
Now, Ingham is no global-warming authority, of course, but the Sun's editors obviously concluded that his moral heft was so considerable that his scolding of Mr. Campbell warranted "war declared" treatment. This makes a perverted sort of sense, of course, if you appreciate the fact that the fight-global-warming movement (of which the Sun is apparently a member) is a moral, quasi-religious movement above all else.
The lack of scientific rigour that global-warming fanatics, including the Sun, bring to the subject was also evident in a second front-page story in today's paper. This one headlined, "Climate change linked to increased disease, food-poisoning." The story quotes an infectious disease expert as saying that, "Over the longer period, if a milder climate is sustained in Canada, then there is a possibility that [new] diseases could be introduced and established [emphasis added]."
Problem #1 with this story: The expert's use of two (count 'em, two) qualifiers, is a pretty tenuous "link."
Problem #2: The story utterly fails to look at any possible benefits associated with global warming, benefits that might balance deleterious effects. What sort of benefits? Well, for starters, if Canada does, indeed, warm by a few degrees, our growing season will be longer, and we'll be able to produce more food for ourselves and the world. And surely increased food production is associated with positive health outcomes.
One final observation: Strangely, confusingly and paradoxically, the Sun's two global-warming stories surround a single front-page photo showing two boys playing shinny on a frozen farmer's field in suburban Vancouver -- an unusual sight in B.C.'s usually balmy Lower Mainland, and one that one wouldn't think would be associated with hysterical stories about the earth's warming.
Posted by Terry O'Neill on January 15, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
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Words of wisdom
The following quote came from Don Feder, a columnist for the Washington Times and Front Page Magazine (emphasis added): "China has decided that America is its enemy, despite the fact that the U.S. is also its major trading partner and is largely responsible for China’s modernization."
Find the like via this one, then read the whole thing.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 15, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Anti-Semitism and the Ontario Teachers' Union
The executive committee in District 12 of the Ontario
Secondary School Teachers' Union will be voting this Thursday on a
motion that criticizes Israel for the problems in the middle east [link
via Judith]. The text of the motion
BIRT District 12 STBU Council endorse the following motion for AMPA 2007:
“BIRT AMPA 2007 urge the Provincial Executive to express OSSTF’s
criticism of Israel’s continued violation of the human rights of
Palestinians as well as its belief that the achievement of justice for
the Palestinians will help bring peace to the Middle East and to the
people of Israel by taking the following actions:
a) Request the provincial Human Rights Committee to develop an
educational campaign for its members as well as curricular materials
for the classroom, to be ready for September’s Provincial Council, on
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, Palestine’s role in this
conflict, the role of Canada in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the
international community’s response.
b) Request the Human Rights Committee to devise a campaign to
materially and morally support the students of the occupied territories
unable to receive an education due to the occupation and make links
with teacher unions and student organizations both in the occupied
territories as well as Israel who are seeking a just and peaceful
solution to this region’s conflicts.
c) Write a letter to the prime minister as well as to the leaders of the oppositions parties, urging them to:
i) Pressure Israel to comply with international humanitarian law
including the decisions of the International Court of Justice and the
Fourth Geneva Convention;
ii) Call for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied territories;
iii) Demand the removal of Israel’s “separation wall” which has
resulted in the annexation of Palestinian land and extreme hardship in
the daily lives of Palestinians;
iv) Pressure Israel to restore the revenues collected by them to their rightful owners, the Palestinian Authority;
v) Publicly criticize Israel’s aggression against Gaza and Lebanon and
vi) End Canada’s sanctions against the democratically elected government of
Palestine which has resulted in the paralysis of the civil service and the extreme impoverishment of the Palestinian people.
d) Develop ways OSSTF can demonstrate its support of the growing
international call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against
Estimated cost: to be determined
J. Kunin, Vaughan Road Academy/H. Hulays, Harbord CI
This is sheer nonsense, and it is frightening that educators in Ontario
might believe it. It smacks of standard appeasement, and it is wrong.
The security fence (it really is more of a fence than a "wall") has
saved countless lives in Israel by deterring suicide bombers.
Poor education in Palestine can hardly be seen as the fault of Israel
when Palestinian leaders have absconded with billions of international
aid and when their schools spend so much time teaching hatred of Jews
and not enough teaching basic skills.
- The Canadian gubmnt
was absolutely right to withhold aid to the Palestinians after the
election of Hamas, an organization with the stated goal of destroying
Israel. That the Ontario teachers want this aid re-instated suggests to
me that they, too, favour the obliteration of Israel.
- Why no mention of the kidnapping of Israelis by Hamas and by Hezbollah?
- And why no mention of the incessant hail of rockets from Gaza into southern Israel?
- And how about condemning human rights abuses in China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela? Or dont' those count?
What appalls, puzzles, and angers me is that educators here and in the UK
so eager to support a David vs. Goliath cause, can be so blind to the
facts and the history of the Middle East. I can only conclude that
there is a strong anti-semitism underlying this motion, and I shudder
to think of the biases its sponsors might be imparting to their
As Charles says at LGF
At every juncture, over the course of many years, the
Palestinians have shown the world that they simply don’t care about
having a state. They care about destroying Israel. After Arafat died,
the Palestinians had a historic opportunity to change course and move
toward statehood—and instead they elected an openly genocidal terrorist
I really doubt if the OSSTF supporters of this resolution understand any of this.
Posted by EclectEcon on January 14, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink
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Canadian Cow Conundrum
Kate McMillan, of “Small Dead Animals” has been attacking the Canadian Wheat Board as an anti free choice, bureaucratic nightmare that prevents prairie wheat and barley growers from reaping full profits from their crops. She has been doing an excellent job of revealing the Wheat Board’s failings but as a one-time farm boy I think there are other targets that need the same sort of examination. I am speaking of marketing boards for dairy products and eggs. The two agencies are The Canadian Dairy Commission and the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. These are government agencies with many similarities to the Canadian Wheat Board. Their web pages are: http://www.cdc.ca/cdc/index.asp and http://www.canadaegg.ca/bins/index.asp Both agencies have provincial counterparts.
The milk market has two parts, industrial milk which is used for butter, ice cream, yogurt and powdered milk, and the second, fresh liquid milk and cream. The fresh sector is generally under the oversight of the provincial agencies.
I do not know whether these two agencies are good or bad for the producers or the consumers of their products but I get very suspicious when I learn of situations such as dairy farmers in the lower mainland of BC being forced to dump gallons and gallons of wholesome fresh milk due a strike or some other delivery problem and being unable to sell it to cheese makers because they had no industrial milk quota. The most recent outrage occurred in Ontario when police raided a poultry farm because the farmer apparently was selling products without the blessing of the provincial egg agency. Another anomaly was an egg farm being set up in the North West Territories, north of Alberta, to get around provincial quotas. I am also suspicious when you hear that often the largest tangible asset a poultry farmer has is his permit itself.
The following figures were taken from the Canadian Dairy Commission website dated in 2006:
Provincial Shares of Milk Share Quotas (MSQ) for Industrial Milk
Nfld & Labrador 0.3
Nova Scotia 1.1
New Brunswick 1.2
British Columbia 5.5
If those figures don’t make your eyes bulge you know a lot more about the dairy industry than I do or you are from Quebec. It might be that those figures had reasons behind them when the Canadian Dairy Commission was set up thirty or more years ago but I cannot believe those reasons are still valid. It sort of makes you wonder about the wisdom of picking the next Prime Minister from Quebec with him maybe appointing the Minister of Agriculture also from that province. Now the conundrum, what can the Harper government do to achieve a fairer balance without enraging a very powerful agricultural lobby in Quebec and losing much needed support from there?
Posted by Bob Wood on January 14, 2007 | Permalink
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Friday, January 12, 2007
Larry Zolf gets it
Today's post has quite a bit about the Communist-backed mullahcracy of Iran, but Winston's post just below was far more eloquent than I was. So I'll instead focus on Larry Zolf (longtime CBC left-of-center commentator) and his words for Stephen Harper: "I thoroughly prefer his gutsy stand on issues like China to Liberal gamesmanship and nuanced neutrality on human rights abuses - anytime, anyplace."
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 12, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink
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Thursday, January 11, 2007
Clueless & Dangerous
Iran, Syria Denounce Bush's Iraq Plan as do some clueless US Senators
I was watching how some idiot senators like Chuck Hagel, John sKerry, Hitlery Clinton, slow Joe Biden and Turbin Durbin sandbagged Bush, Condi and company yesterday and today over their new strategy in Iraq and I am stunned with the amount of stupidity and cluelessness among them.
None of them are interested in winning this war and none are willing to show resolve in the face of the most brutal enemy of the western civilization since the fall of communism. If the US loses this war on terror thing, it is solely fault of these bunch of clueless politicians whose blind hatred for Bush and America has driven them to side with the enemy. These few senators and representatives are enormously dangerous by being blind in this.
I only have this to say: Shame on you!
Cross-posted @ The Spirit of Man
Posted by Winston on January 11, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Now that the President has noticed Iran and Syria . . .
. . . perhaps he might also take into account the Chinese Communist regime's stubborn unwillingness to cut its longstanding ties to the mullahcracy.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 11, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007
My initial reaction to the president's speech
I found the transcript via Fox News
. I don't watch TV for stuff like this anymore - the four-year-old has a virtual hammerlock on the DVD player, and what with the web, who needs TV for information?
Anyhow, I must admit, I was deeply disappointed after my first reading of the speech. Luckily for me (and the president, for what it's worth), on my second reading, I noticed a paragraph I had earlier missed. I think it's the most important part of the entire speech.
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity — and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
It isn't quite double liberation, but it is the first time the President has given proper weight to the Khomeinist/Ba'athist axis, and he made clear we will take action against their nefarious efforts. I also liked the upcoming provincial elections (maybe that's just my electo-philism coming through), and the reference to every neighbor except Syria and Iran. That will be noticed in Iraq's Sunni communities.
I'm not so sure on the November de facto deadline for the Iraqi government's "plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces." The rest of the political plans for Iraq were pretty good, and clearly designed to send a political message to Iraqi Sunnis - namely, that they have a stake in the new Iraq. In that vital context, I'm willing to swallow de-de-Baathification, although I'm swallowing real hard on that one.
Overall, I saw a clear strategy for battling not only the al Qaedists, but also the Khomeinists and their Syrian proxies, both politically and militarily. Is it everything I wanted? No. Is it enough to bring victory to America and freedom to Iraq, both of which I still consider vital? In my view, yes.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 10, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink
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Why the good news from Somalia is so important
As I write this, we're less than one hour away from the President's address on Iraq, which will soon probably consume the entire attention span of the blogosphere.
However, we have just received confirmation that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the al Qaeda terrorist who masterminded the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Africa, was killed by American forces in Somalia. UPDATE: Ahem! It turns out he wasn't capped after all, but the al Qaedites are still pinned in the southern tip of Somalia, while "The strike was part of the first U.S. offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993" (AP via Worldwide Standard).
Let that sink in for a moment: "the first U.S. offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993." The importance of this cannot be underestimated.
For years, al Qaeda has inspired its recruits with stories of the 1993 Somalia fiasco. They ran us out of Somalia, they would boast; thus they could run us out of anywhere, no matter how long it took, and how many "martyrs" were lost.
Now, however, Somalia tells them, and us, a different tale. True the United States was chased away in 1993, but we didn't stay away. Instead, when the time was right, we rounded up our friends in the neighborhood and kicked their butts.
So now, any would-be terrorist, world leader, or anyone else on the planet for that matter, knows this from Somalia: the United States of America may not react immediately - it may even genuinely retreat - but it will come back, and in time, it will take care of business. Especially in the Middle East, where collective memory tends to be much longer than here, Somalia 2007 is an unmistakable warning to anyone who would find hope in Somalia 1993.
This is why I feel much better about our prospects in the Wahhabist-Ba'athist-Khomeinist war than I did just three weeks ago. I'm certain this will have an impact in Iraq and Iran, and possibly even Lebanon. In fact, even if things in Iraq go badly (and I hope and think they won't), none of our enemies can advance without wondering what might happen by or before 2020.
Somalia is a terrorist victory reversed; an al Qaeda inspiration turned into a warning. It is a sign that even when America is down, it does not stay down. The effects will be longer and deeper than any of us realize. While I don't mean to downplay the importance of Iraq, there are other theatres in the W-B-K war - and events in the African theatre are reasons to cheer.
Posted by D.J. McGuire on January 10, 2007 | Permalink
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