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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Maybe there is no blame in the PMOI issue

I've posted an extensive discussion of the Jason Kenney situation with regards to the MEK/PMOI, the Iranian dissident group listed as a terrorist group.

Now I've done more thinking, and more research, and I wonder if both sides have been too quick to blame the other for dealing with terrorists, inasmuch as the MEK/PMOI is concerned.

From the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School, a report on the MEK/PMOI:

The MEK philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and its primary support came from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein starting in the late 1980s. The MEK conducted anti-West-ern attacks prior to the Islamic Revolution. Since then, it has conducted terrorist attacks against the interests of the clerical regime in Iran and abroad.

Clearly the MEK/PMOI is not a friend of the West, but an enemy of the Mullahs. Allies of convenience. Enemy of my enemy and all that.

The group’s worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorism. During the 1970s, the MEK killed US military personnel and US civilians working on defense projects in Tehran and supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In 1981, the MEK detonated bombs in the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Premier’s office, killing some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. Near the end of the 1980-1988 war with Iran, Baghdad armed the MEK with military equipment and sent it into action against Iranian forces.

Remember what Liberal MP Alan Tonks said about the MEK/PMOI being "sheltered by international conventions"?

It is alleged that the theocratic Iranian regime attacked the pipelines in order to disrupt the Water supply of an internationally recognized and protected Iranian resistance group known as the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran. The PMOI, currently seeking refuge in Iraq, have long been advocates for democratic reforms in Iran.

Members of the PMOI are sheltered by international conventions and should be respected by lawful governments. I would urge you to intervene in this matter.

Here's the meaning of that reference:

Over 3,000 MEK members are currently confined to Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main compound north of Baghdad, where they remain under the Geneva Convention’s "protected person" status and Coalition control. As a condition of the cease-fire agreement, the group relinquished its weapons, including tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. A significant number of MEK personnel have "defected" from the Ashraf group, and several dozen of them have been voluntarily repatriated to Iran.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the rules are laid out:

Article 4 defines who is a Protected person Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. But it explicitly excludes Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention and the citizens of a neutral state or an allied state.

Article 32. A protected person/s shall not have anything done to them of such a character as to cause physical suffering or extermination ... the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishments, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment.

So on the one hand, we have a Conservative MP essentially tricked into appearing in front of a PMOI rally. But either by luck or good political instincts, all Jason Kenney said was that Canada supports democracy in Iran.

On the other hand, we have two letters from Liberal MPs urging the Canadian government to do what it can to make sure that PMOI members in Ashraf are being treated as protected persons. The ones in Ashraf are protected persons, they have disarmed, Canada is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, and it would appear that Iran might have tried to cut off their water supply.

The Liberal MPs did not suggest that the PMOI be taken off the terrorist list, or that direct contacts be made with the PMOI, at least not at the political level.  I do think they give the MEK/PMOI too much credit as being champions of democracy, but then the only way we'll ever know for sure is if they actually replaced the theocracy in Iran.

I think that the anger and frustration of the Boris Wrzesnewskyj situation has made both sides of the issue a bit too quick on the draw.

I fully expect people on the right to call me a coward, and people on the left to continue to demand Jason Kenney's head. I don't care, really, since I think I'm correct on this.

[Extended entry at Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on August 26, 2006 | Permalink


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I have been following Jason Kenny's career from the day he had a screamer with Ralph Kline in the Alberta Legislature lobby when Jason was only about 19 years old.

It is for certain that Jason Kenny does not support terrorist groupls nor is he an enemy of freedom, nor does he hate Jews or Americans.

This tempest in a teapost is simply more wrestling in the mud with the f**cking liberal Whacks.

What else do you expect for these idiot but a Pee Wee Herman "I know you are but what am I" argument.

Give us all a break ... it's clear that Jason Kenny, a very busy man, was duped by a devious, group of terroist supporters ... IE wolves in sheeps clothing.

Say you are Sure about it Steve ... no thinking is required.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-08-26 8:11:16 PM

Who cares? The Tories are toast. They blew their one chance.

Let's move forward. I have the Conservatives winning 98 seats next election, the Liberals 124, the Bloc 55, the NDP at 30, and Ind./other 1. Thoughts?

Posted by: Fizz | 2006-08-26 8:12:33 PM


Yes I think you are an ass.

You prove it with every post.

end repsonse to fizzles out

Posted by: Duke | 2006-08-26 9:12:00 PM

I saw Allen Tonks and Derek Lee performing at the public accounts committee that convined to get to the bottom of adscam. Cover up, cover up, cover up. They were disgraceful. Nothing those two say or do would surprise me! Brainless and Spineless. They were like yapping hyenas trying to steer the avengers away from the messy 'kill' (taxpayers slaughtered money) so they could keep a few morsels for themselves to consume later.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-08-27 2:01:32 AM

What possible election plank could the Liberals run on? The longer Prime Minister Harper runs Canada the less scary he gets.

Who cares if the Liberals get a minority government in Ottawash? I'm voting for Ted Morton. One way or the other, the Liberals are finished.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-27 9:30:45 AM

to all
wow i see all the talk i read of the great liberal mecca that canada is seems to be a typical liberal media lie. for the past week i have read this site and I must say you guys surprise me. I am impressed that so many of you do have a spine and a set of big ones to talk so boldly of your hate for liberals and the trouble we all face inthe world if liberals run any type of goverment. here in chicago we thought all of canada were kool-aid drinking pacifists who saw America as the great satan. we are not we want all the world to be free to live full lives and feel what it is ilke to set your own detiny.
More power to Canada I will spread the good news that Canada is not lost

Posted by: sal | 2006-08-27 2:40:30 PM

Thanks sal, The west has always been here - we were never listened to though. The Eastern establishment liked to think we were 'colonials'. The west, especially Alberta, has been a beacon of rational thought for decades; the east is finally waking up. We owe a great debt to radio shows like Dave Rutherford , blogs like Shotgun, sda, angry in the great white north,and fearless magazines like Alberta Report and Western Standard.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-08-28 10:24:42 AM


here's a question. If the whole world lives like Canada and the US we'll be all living in caves again in (at tops) 50 years because we have plundered the earths natural resources.

How are you proposing to overcome this problem?

Personal Freedom for most people only starts to matter once the basic needs are taken care off. I am curious about your solution.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 2:58:48 PM

"we'll be all living in caves again in (at tops) 50 years because we have plundered the earths natural resources."
Posted by: Snowrunner

Nonsense. You must be very young to have not heard the world is at the end of it's resouces dozens of times in your life and yet there are more resources today than ever before. The Alberta tar sands alone are, at current consumption rate, projected to contain enough oil to last 1400+ years.

The population of the world is actually contracting and the 'developing' nations are not developing.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 3:13:09 PM


The amount of resources that Canada and the US are consuming is quite extensive, yet, only 300 Million (roughly) people are living in these two countries.

The world has over 6.5 Billion people.

You cannot truly believe that 6.5 Billion people (assuming the world would stop having more children, or at last not in excess of the death rate) would not consume the remaining resources in short order?

Also, add another thing: The life expectancy world wide would increase, so even if we'd managed to get a "zero growth" on a global scale, we would still see 6.5 Billion people for the next 60 - 80 years, probably longer.

As for the Oilsands: Do you know how the process works? We put a LOT of energy into the ground in order to get the oil out, the reason why it wasn't feasable in the past to exploit the oilsands was that the energy we needed to get the oil out was more expensive than the oil.

You know what this energy source is? Natural Gas and North America uses Natural Gas for a lot of things already, power generation, heating homes etc. With an expansion of the oil sands production the market will get tighter for other applications, and ultimately will lead to an increase in the production costs for the oilsands.

Here are two videos:

How the process works:


And here's a video of one of the mines / production facilities (around an hour long)


Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 3:35:18 PM

The production of heavy oil in Alberta surpassed conventional oil back in the year 2000. I am a Calgarian and there is an exhibit in Banker's Hall showcasing the oil industry. Do you know what the price of a barrel of oil was in 2000?

Who says the world population is 6.5 billion? How long did it take to get from 5 billion to 6 billion? Population growth is contracting.

Snowrunner, you might want to take a stroll through a big city used book store and see all the books trumpeting this disaster and that disaster, books talking about a great depression in the 1980s and books talking about the population bomb, holes in the ozone layer, the coming ice age, etc. These authors made their money selling snakeoil to gulls like you and now their books line the shelves of greasy castoff book stores.

It's not that Liberals are know nothings, it's that they think they know so much that just isn't true.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 3:51:29 PM

[author name amended to match other comments--Sal, please don't type all in caps--ed.]

Posted by: Sal | 2006-08-28 3:56:42 PM

The above post is a troll impersonating me.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 4:11:06 PM

World population growth:

* 1 billion was reached in 1802.
* 2 billion was reached 125 years later in 1927.
* 3 billion was reached 34 years later in 1961.
* 4 billion was reached 13 years later in 1974.
* 5 billion was reached 13 years later in 1987.
* 6 billion was reached 12 years later in 1999.

Looks to me like we're increasing, not decreasing. Mind you, the counting back in the first half of the 20th Century and before probably wasn't quite as accurate as it is today.

As for the oil production, did you actually READ what I have written? I didn't say we're running out of oil, but the way we are producing it in the oilsands has a problem as we rely on ANOTHER fossile fuel to make oil, and the only reason we do (economical) now is due to the fact that Oil has become so expensive that it makes sense to burn one fossile fuel to get another one.

If you TRULY believe that we will never run out of natural resources then you are clearly buying your own snake oil. The world does NOT have infinit resource. Granted, my 50 years were grabbed out of thin air, but I doubt I'll be off by a lot.

And for the yelling SPELLER,

There is a difference between Peak Oil and running out of it. Peak Oil means we won't produce anymore. This can either mean we are going to plateau and just don't get more or it means we see a reduction in production. Neither of that means we won't have any left, just that it will be a lot more expensive and harder to get.

As for personal believes: I do not have a problem believing that we are changing the environment, humans always have, digging trenchesk building roades, everything has an impact on the environment.

It has been shown that cities have their own microclimate.

The difference is: These days we are doing it on a global scale without knowing the consequences because a complex system like Earth has enough elasticity to compensate up to a point, but once that point is reached it'll snap and we'll have to deal with the consequences.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 4:11:16 PM

Oh, and Growth Projections beyond 1999?

Year Population (billions)
2010 6.8
2020 7.6
2030 8.2
2040 8.7
2050 8.9

Still no sign of it letting up.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 4:22:16 PM

I see you didn't give a link. Did the page contain this?
"The UN estimated in 2000 that the world's population was then growing at the rate of 1.14% (or about 75 million people) per year [1]. This growth rate has been generally decreasing from its peak at 2.19% in 1963."

or this:
"The future growth of population is difficult to predict. Birth rates are declining slightly on average, but vary greatly between developed countries (where birth rates are often at or below replacement levels) and developing countries."

How about this:
In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that population growth would eventually outrun food supply, resulting in catastrophe. In 1968 Paul R. Ehrlich reignited this argument with his book The Population Bomb, which helped give the issue significant attention throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The dire predictions of Ehrlich and other neo-Malthusians were vigorously challenged by a number of economists, notably Julian Simon.

Julian Simon says:
"His 1981 book "The Ultimate Resource" is a criticism of the conventional wisdom on population growth, raw-material scarcity and resource consumption. Simon argues that our notions of increasing resource-scarcity ignore the long-term declines in wage-adjusted raw material prices. Viewed economically, he argues, increasing wealth and technology make more resources available; although supplies may be limited physically they may be viewed as economically indefinite as old resources are recycled and new alternatives are developed by the market. Simon challenged the notion of a pending Malthusian catastrophe—that an increase in population has negative economic consequences; that population is a drain on natural resources; and that we stand at risk of running out of resources through over-consumption. Simon argues that population is the solution to resource scarcities and environmental problems, since people and markets innovate. His critique was praised by Nobel Laureate economists Friedrich Hayek & Milton Friedman, the latter in a 1998 foreword to The Ultimate Resource II, but has also attracted many critics, such as Paul R. Ehrlich and Albert Bartlett ."

You can read all about Julian Simon here:

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 4:30:50 PM

By the way, Snowrunner, you really should browse through a well stocked used book store.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 4:34:12 PM


I used Wikipedia as well. I was refering to the overall increase, not the decrease in specific countries. And yes, I am very well aware of people saying we would run out of food.

Having said this, what prevented the food shortage was a change in the way we grew our food (the industrialization), to call those people nutjobs just because they ended up being "outsmarted" by new technology is pretty shortsighted. We may be able to extend our living space through new technologies, but in the end we will reach a limit.

Put into this, that what allowed us to grow the population and food output so much over the past sixty years is mainly due to the availablity of cheap fossile fuel that allowed for the mechanization of a lot of labour intensive tasks and the introduction of artificial (read oil based) fertilizer.

As oil becomes more expensive the production of food will become more expensive and / or more labour intensive. It will also have an impact on population numbers.

Doomsdayer are already predicting a vast "dieoff" when the cheap oil runs out, I am not sure that is really something we have to worry about (at least not int he developed world), but Europe may face a mass migration, the number of people trying to make it to Europe from Africa and drowning in the process has ever been increasing in the last 10 years, this may just be a foreshadow of things to come.

As for Julian Lincoln Simon, the fact that resources are getting cheaper is not necessarily an indication that we have MORE. What it means instead is that market forces are at work:

- We get better at extracting the materials.
- More competition.

Both drive down prices initially.

What it does NOT mean though is that it is an indication that we aren't running out / low on it, the market will correct over time (maybe even suddenly) but to deduct from lower resource prices that we have "more than enough" looks at it wrong. You can charge for your products whatever the market is accustomed to, rising prices only works if the demand is so dire that the price doesn't matter.

A good example is copper and other iron which has become a hot comodity, it has gotten to the point where now even people in North America and Europe start stripping "unused" wire to sell for scrap, a few years ago a few guys tried that in Ontario, cutting Rogers off of the Internet when they cut through the fibre that Rogers was using.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 5:01:19 PM

Here are some good links with which to battle the 'population bomb/resources are scarce' doomsayers:



The production of heavy oil, from bitumen, surpassed conventional crude in Alberta in the year 2000. It is now the primary source of resource energy production in Canada.

Digital cable is made of glass fibers not metal. Wireless has already flattened the spike in metals.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 5:26:24 PM

Speller speller speller.....

It is nice to hear that there is more and more oil produced in Canada by burning Natural Gas, in order to heat the water that is needed to seperate the oil from the sand.

Now, do you see a problem to the continous oil production?

Some "bullet points":

- Canada ships major quantities of its natural gas output to the United States through several pipeline connections.

- North America consumed about 23 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) of oil in 2000, or about 31 percent of estimated world oil demand. Canada consumed 1.7 MMbbl/d, Mexico consumed 1.7 MMbbl/d, and the United States consumed about 19.7 MMbbl/d.

- At the end of 2000, North America had conventional crude oil reserves of about 50 billion barrels and natural gas reserves of about 290 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), roughly 5 percent of the world total for oil and about 6 percent for gas.

Just read through these pages:


Those numbers are from 2000, just for kicks, have a look at the quoted numbers above for Natural Gas consumtion / production, then compare it with the proven reserves.

Mind you, this is back from 2000, the Oilsands are considered one of the largest users of Natural Gas in Canada, mainly because this is how this whole thing is produced.

To make it simple, here are my points again:

- Yes, there is shitloads of stuff in the Ground, and yet, we still don't have an infinte amount of resrouces.

- Reaching a peak does not mean we have nothing left.

- If all 6.5 Billion people in this world would live like the 300 Million in North America we would run out of resources in a very short order (not to mention we would probably all suffocate).

- Without Natural Gas there won't be any more oil out of the oilsands, the process is energy intesnive (watch the linked videos above) and at best we will see a 1:1 conversion from NG into Oil, but so far we have no process that isn't negative in energy output, so you can assume that right now we stick more energy in the form of NG into this process than we get out in the end in Oil. This may make economic sense in the short term, in the long term it is probably counter productive.

Finally: Heavy Crude isn't quite as nice as the light sweet stuff, it takes a lot more to refine and there are also some other differences (but I am not a chemist, so my knowledge is serverely limited).

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 5:49:05 PM

don't cry, just show my a clever response that makes me see you really have a point to prove. if you don't like what i say prove me wrong.
name calling "troll" the sign of a small mind. facts are what they are. i won'yt be scared by doomsdayser who repeat what their liberal masters tell them to say.

Posted by: sal | 2006-08-28 5:51:08 PM

Trolls steal nics. I dare you to do it again.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 5:52:30 PM


Show some decorum.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-28 5:57:48 PM

India just made a 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas find in the Bay of Bengal. How about them apples. Wait until that comes online, the price is going to plummet.


Lots of resource energy to find yet.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-28 6:09:46 PM

Sorry new to the blog world. If it isn't to much trouble Speller, what is a "nic" and I'll try not to do it again.

Posted by: sal | 2006-08-28 6:18:20 PM

Nic = nickname

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-28 6:29:47 PM

Like I said new to world of blogging. Sure beats arguing with my peeps though. Al least most of you are on the same side of the issues. Here in Liberal Chicago you have a real gauntlet to run through if you are conservative and believe that the US is a force for good in the world. Lots of haters.

Posted by: sal | 2006-08-28 6:35:32 PM


good one. Why have a lively debate with opposing views when you can just sit in a circle of like minded people and recreate the world (in your heads) as you want it to be.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 6:45:16 PM

There is a difference between lively debate and people screaming lies at you. That is why I was attracted to this sight. THe good discussions. I like to have discussions. But when all you hear is Bush was responsible for 9/11 it gets old, fast. In the little time I have been here I have heard real talking points and enjoyed most of the discussions. I know you need the opposing views. But say something we can debate. I lovre it.

Posted by: sal | 2006-08-28 7:03:13 PM

What am I a parrot?

Fine, you want to hear my thoughts on 9/11? I think they knew something was up, I also have no problem believing that they were willing to let it happen and gain some brownie points.

What I don't believe is that they fully orchestrated it, nor that they knew the extend of what was really going to happen.

Higjackings aren't anything new, it happens on a regular basis and until 9/11 planes were never used as weapons.

Ah, and why do I believe this? Because of Operation Northwoods, that called for a similar stunt to inflame the American Citizens and support an Invasion of Cuba, it never happened in the end, but the fact alone that someone in the Government was THINKING about such details is scary enough.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2006-08-28 7:13:05 PM

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