Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Afghanistanian Embarrassment

On Tuesday this week, the Haquani 'terror network' of Pakistan orchestrated the efforts of a handful of fanatics to disturb the peace in Kabul. To-day we're being told that that 19 hour rootin'-shootin' sideshow was only a small part of a massive 'sonderaktion' the enemas of freedom had planned to upset the 9/11 retrospective weekend.

The fact is that 10 'heavily-armed criminals' could bring downtown Kabul to a standstill for most of a day before the forces of decency got some targetting data and blew the last 4 bitter-enders out of a concrete skeleton, which they had been using to 'fire at' the US embassy - among other things. We're told that they 'only' succeeded in killing 8 Afghanis - including three children - and wounding another 17. The reponsory barrage,  of all arms gunfire, we're supposed to believe, only succeeded in killing the 10 evildoers and didn't hit anybody else.

We are told the attackers used "heavy weapons" after breeching a skyscraper under construction. This gave them access to firing positions overlooking the US embassy and ISAF HQ some half- kilometer away. 6 PRG rounds are reported to have been discharged in the general direction of the embassy, but at that range they were ineffective. Maybe those heavy weapons would have worked better. The attackers are also said to have "targetted" and destroyed an 'empty' bus, full of schoolchildren. It is reported that they were able to make their way through stringent security zones because they looked like 10 burkah-clad women on their way to work at daybreak. Eventually their vehicle was fired-upon, at whch time they all ran away to hide. Two others mounted fruitless suicide attacks on Afghan police stations and that, in large part, is  what defines the attack as 'complex'.

Video shows a robust response from Afghan police and military including strafing runs from an Air Force Mil gunship helicopter. As if all the ammunition the Afghans were firing wasn't enough,  ISAF rent-a-troops manning the ramparts at HQ were also busily engaged firing at the criminals from inside the danger zone, i.e. a crossfire.

The results of all the 'bang bang' can be described from two perspectives. The Afghans are concerned that Kabul is no longer 'safe'. ISAF's 'take' is that it could have been worse, the Taliban did it because they've been 'weakened' and that that gunfire is a harbinger of freedom.

So if the Pakistani's would take some responsibility for what goes on in their tribal zones, or at least allow the forces of light to tackle the Haquani criminals, that promised dawn of freedom might only be another decade away.

So yeah, and only because the media went nuts, the terrorists scored a PR point or two. But hey, look who's still top-side and how little damage was done! What we think were their plans were thwarted. Or maybe that's what inspired to-day's news that what was really supposed to happen was very 'skeery'.

It's a good thing nobody warned Kabul,  like they warned New York, and anywhere else, about the potential for  9/11 payback'. At least there was no potential threat to be warded-off, at least in the public's mind, until to-day. But if BS works in America, why shouldn't it work in Kabul? Saying something's always better than dummying up.

Friday, September 02, 2011

My favorite constabulary is in the news again.

The first story relates to a tragic accident involving a TTC bus and a heavy duty tow truck. The accident, which killed a female passenger and sent most of the other passengers to hospital, occurred when a TTC bus attempted to get around the tow truck. In the process it struck the rear end of the truck, forcing it off the road. The TTC driver, a 52-year old, 10 year employee, was unhurt and, 'shaken up', took the rest of the day off. Police determined that there were no 'obvious signs of impairment' (aside from the bus, see above). The driver refused hospital treatment, or testing.  And there it might all have ended, had not some 'investigating officers' found a quantity of pot in the driver's  gym bag.  To-day he's being 'investigated' for possible drug use and needless to say he's called his union into the matter. Having dope at work, and smoking dope at work may well be totally unrelated events in this instant, but the time interval between the accident and finding the dope should have blown any proof that he was 'whacked' at the wheel. He probably 'blew' a relaxation reefer, at home, afterward, to cope with all the stress - that would explain any negative blood testing. Even if there were no obvious signs of impairment, would any other driver get such an empathetic police investigation after a fatal accident they walked away from, I doubt it.

The other story involves the Pleece Chief  William 'Linda' Blair. He was recommending his 'Chief's birthday honours list' of the 'deserving' for advancement in the ranks, to the Toronto Police Board, when one of the civilians noticed that nine of the 'meritorious' had been cited for removing their identification at the  G20 pacification and response to potential terroristic activity,  last year. The Board voted to reject the Chief's recommendation and withhold a salary increase and promotion for the officers in question. Well, right off the bat, the PR department at HQ swung into gear with charges of  pleecemen being punished two times for the one peckerdillo. It seems the fellows had already suffered a 'one-day stoppage' of the pay for trying to hide their identity from those who would seek to harm them and their families - or try to charge them with assault, illegal arrest,  or other misbehaviour. I'd be willing to bet the stoppage was deducted at 'regular' salary as opposed to G20 'overtime' and special, hazardous duty deployment rates. The Board's well-reasoned response was that promotion isn't a right, it's a privilege bestowed by the employer at the recommendation of the Chief. The Board now wants to know just how the Chief goes about making such recommendations. Watch out for a massive pout and deeply hurt feelings at HQ.

Ancillary to this is another dose of Blair who, talking to the media recently, declared that a proposed 10 percent reduction in the police budget was going to result in a twenty percent reduction in the number of pleecemen and women on the force. We must have been getting a bargain.

Now that Canada's armed intrusion onto the worlds' stages is theoretically winding-down, the Canadian Armed Forces are winding-down their wartime expenditure, too. Reductions in personnel are proposed. Who's going to get the axe? The officer corps? The civilian employees? Or the grunts, erks and swabbies who whom it all depends? I'm inclined to think it will be the second - as the former can 'golden handshake' into private enterprise, or a government job, and the latter remain at a premium in, at least,  the Naval arm.

While we're on the subject. The Prime Minister Steve Harper, setting the stage for his diplomatic master stroke in Paris at the Libya-freedom-recap meeting, stated his gratitude for all the sacrifices Canadian troops were making to bring freedom to the Libyans, and to serve up a warning that we wouldn't be leaving until the job was done up good and proper - despite an 'end of mandated deployment' coming up in a week and a half.  Not only that, he stated every Canadian's willingness to send our boys, and girls, after other nasty dictators. So Assad better get his head out of his azz and resign before he gets a 'beaver bashing', too. This is great, there's an outside chance of Canada actually doing something about Darfur, a situation that can be laid directly at the feet of Canadian Talisman Energy's Sudan oil dealings some two decades ago. But Harpo wasn't 'on watch' back then, so it don't count. Neither will the 'bad men' in Bahrain and Yemen, who, in those cases are the 'rebels', rather than the dictators. Of course the rebels in Afghanistan remain the gunsight targets for our new 'training mission' - we'll still be dropping our NATO/ISAF bombs on them.

The only people I can see getting any real jollies out of out new-found 'warrior ethos' are the same sort of extravagantly-paid investment managers and hedge fund honchos who would invest a couple of hundred thousand on some massive pick-up trucks to drive around the estate weekends and a pair of Harley's for the outlaw cruises to the local coffee bar. After all, for the wise, a war is always an investment opportunity.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"My Life Has Been Rooned"

 Ref to:

One of the more notable collateral damages of Canada's Afghan adventure is the sad fate of Brigadier General Danny Minard. His meteoric rise from promotion in January of 2010 to removal from command six months later, to embarassment and demotion, culminating in his retirement and removal, is an object lesson on tripping on one's own sword. A tidbit for the memoirs of the Rt. Hon P.G. McKay Esq. Minister of Defence.

Once said to be on the proverbial fast track to military glory and high command, Brigadier Danny, commander of the CAF contingent to Afghanistan, fell afoul the CAF's  'no-fraternization' policy and was turfed from his post. Afterward he was court-martialled and found guilty of lying and forcing a subordinate to lie, in trying to cover his hindquarters.  He was demoted in rank, fined and dismissed from the service. None of which will bother him much, as he had already resigned, taking his pension at his then-current rank. What is bothering him,  more than the 25G in 'bonus' money lost,  is that he figures 'somebody'  has ruined his life and it ain't him.

He's looking around at the media as suspects numbers one, etc. If it hadn't been for the media, well, what the heck, he would have been able to keep on keeping on.

We're told that he had begun a 'relationship' with an NCO 'well before' they both had found themselves posted to Kandahar.  There are no proscriptions of such 'relationships' at home, save for 'getting caught' by a spouse, or your CO. There are no 'officially' punitive remedies at any rate. Base Kandahar is different, CAF personnel, even married ones, are strictly prohibited from 'canoodling' on the base during their 6 month rotos. It was the latter action that presented the problem.

Actually, it was another 'action', or lack of same,  that presented the problem. A 2010 suicide bomb attack on an ISAF (US) convoy on a bridge near the Base at Kandahar, which killed a US serviceman, was laid at Minard's doorstep insofar as Canadians were supposed to be 'looking after' bridge security. And that, in the minds of Americans,  wasn't being adequately done. The Americans took Minard's 'failure' to heart and a griping campaign about his 'lack of military merit' ended-up on the keyboard of noted American military blogger, Mike Yon.  Yon mentioned that Minard might have been too 'otherwise occupied' with personal night missions to have been doing his job right. If he mentioned Minard's girl fiend's name and rank I don't know, but their liaisons were 'the worst kept secret' on the base. Mike's blog posting started the chain of events.

The military started an investigation. 

That there were unsympathetic members of the CAF who, all of a sudden, started 'leaving Danny out',  is a no-brainer. About the same time everybody at National HQ was trying to disavow knowing a soldiers' soldier who just happened to morph into deviant cross-dresser, panty bandit and double murderer. Balling the help, acceptable in some 'manly' circles, became detrimental to the career trajectory, so did associating with ballers. In fact, some were so 'unsympathetic' that they may have deliberately been proactive in throwing a spanner into Minard's works.

It was just prior to this that Danny 'accidently' discharged his personal weapon in the presence of 'big' Walt Natanczyk, the CinC. No doubt this unsoldierly lapse didn't help when news of his other laps came out.  His 'bad example' to the deployed troops had to be undone by the reappointment of his predecessor who, if nothing else,  had a reputation for  some competence.

The wheels came off Danny's wagon completely. I'm not sure that his Mrs. 'deserted' him, although, given his lack of remorse at a 'stupid rule', she might well have done that. The Major may be affected by that  'career trajectory' stuff, too. Being married to a 'loser' is one of those 'judgement errors' that could shorten the ladder of advancement in the eyes of those who might only have been bamboozled by one.

One has to wonder though, just how Danny managed to advance so far, so fast? It wasn't as if this hubris stuff would have been a 'sudden onset'  sort of malady. Danny's been skating close to the edge of the open water for some time and still would be, we're led to believe, if some media type hadn't shone the light on him, and her .. and the stupid rule everybody else was supposed to be following.

I wonder what Dan would have done with Sapper Jones, caught fraternizing with Gunner Smith?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Car 54 Where Are You?

It seems that they're taking it to the streets all over the place.

There have been a week of protests and camping out in gallant l'il Israel for the past 10 days, over 'social inequalities'. It is a 'welfare state' for the Hebrews, but some of the wealthier ones don't need welfare and, like their American cousins, don't see why they should have to pay for somebody else's. The 'somebody elses' are out on the street.

The Brits are 'going nuts'. This is being laid to a number of reasons, from the need to 'refit with some valuable new 'kit' for going back to school',  to the 'protest of the marginalized at a harsher and more restrictive social welfare policy in a diminishing economy'. Some rather civilized areas of London have been affected and the unrest seems to be spreading to trendy shopping areas of northern cities. A real 'run on the stores' is underway.

The Greeks have been protesting all summer about the Euro-imposed draconian measures required to have the government qualify to borrow the money needed to keep on paying the interest on the national debt.

There have been protests about the same thing in Portugal and Spain.

The Arab spring has morphed into the Arab summer. Tunisia seems to be settling down as somebody announced that bikinis would be welcomed  again - preferably wrapped around Swedish tourists and that booze would be available for the ferenghi - heads up Brits! Egypt seems on the point of another melt-down but this time the 'enemy' is less distinct, although it could be the Army. The Syrians are embroiled in on-going anti-government 'protests' and government protest suppression. And the Libyans are still 'discussing' the pros and cons of Muammar Ghaddafi with heavy artillery, anti-tank weapons and rigorous NATO humanitarian bombing. Let's hope things cool off in the Fall.

What is marvellous in all this is that the people who should be out on the streets, demanding that their government stop the jacking-around, are all at home running garage sales and kajiji -ing the 'toys' to raise cash. When you're trying to figure out how you're going to make your next credit card payment with another maxed-out credit card, there's not much time, or use, to be smashing the windows in upscale stores and stealing the kids some new Keds. The closest America has come to 'disorder' was this Spring's Wisconsin protest by public servants. That soon stopped when the 'Governator' 'bought off' the police 'protestors' with a new contract. Americans are just too 'American' to complain that going to the Mall and not being able to buy much isn't any fun.

Achmedinejad, the 'rogue' leader of Iran,  popped-off again to-day about the topic. He was wondering, out loud, where the UN Security Council was in the face of the British riots? For we all know where the UN was in the face of the Arab disorders - fixing it so that some world powers could be executing their 'obligation to protect' the rioters. The UN so far isn't siding with the Tottenham rioters, or perhaps that's only because it hasn't been asked.

I think we're going to see more rioting in future as food prices, and prices in general, continue to rise. There are parts of the world where starvation because of the inability to afford to buy food is becoming a growing reality. It's only a matter of time before the folks who can't afford a $25 baseball cap or $80 jeans will be hitting the streets, too. They might even do that sooner if they can't afford the school lunch program.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Reality TV

One of the most popular diversions these days is watching 'reality' on the television. It used to be that documentaries were as 'real' as it got, but since the advent of 'Survivor' - 'real' world entertainment has come to the fore. Now we have 'Celebrity Rehab', 'Big Brother', 'Bachelors' and cross-referable 'Bachelorettes' in a full-time (3 month) reprise of the Dating Game - with more smooching. There are a gang of brain-damaged people from 'New Joisy' who make the Three Stooges look like a brains trust and give some indication why somebody would ever want to call an Italian a 'wop'.

But some of the best reality - and this only occasionally in the media - is some of the stuff brought home from Afghanistan in some body's field pack. Of late there seems to be a lot of this stuff available.

Soldiers have always been fond of keeping mementos of where they've been and what they've done. In the 'olden' days that came in the form of looting the dead. To-day it's more apt to come in  the form of recordable media. If it hadn't been for some eager photographers, the events of the Holocaust would lack a very important visual dimension. It's hard to deny the photographic record.

No less so to-day. There is a narrative that we've all been exposed to. It's the one that justifies and defines and continues to shape what the 'civilized world' is doing in parts of the Third World. It's the one that's taken as conventional wisdom, very successfully, for it has been motivating for more than a decade now, with new motivations happening daily. The media has been co-opted into constantly reprising the narrative but, from time to time, a glimmer of another story sneaks through the cracks, often from those who are at the 'pointy' end of things. 

Lately,  Danes and now Dutchmen who have been part of the Afghan 'assistance' force are producing media based on video and photography recording the events experienced by the troops - a la "Restrepo". Two of these are "Armadillo" - winner of a European award and "Fokkin Hell". These live-actions are interspersed with interviews, with the soldiers involved, that flesh-out their perspectives. Not surprisingly they emphasize parts of the narrative the regular media plays down, and they introduce some things the regular media wouldn't show at all. What we're actually doing is way off the PR spokeperson's 'talking points'.  In fact it bears little resemblance to what we've been, and are being told, at all.

One of the notable things portrayed in the European work is the notion of  how disliked the ISAF forces are. In a couple of scenes Afghan youngsters ask these young soldiers from Denmark, in one case, and Holland on the other what they think they're doing in Afghanistan and then disabuse them of any 'ideal' of actually helping  anybody, or being welcomed to do it. There are the other scenes of Afghans trying to niggle compensation from soldiers unwilling to pay it. At least the Europeans don't seem to find the same need to 'jack around' with the locals portrayed in Restrepo. But the notion that 'they're on the take' is prevalent.

Another is the obvious anti-Afghan (anti-Taliban but who can tell the difference?) attitude held by the young soldiers. Every Afghan is a potential enemy, and so every Afghan is a potential target. It's a tribute to discipline that more Afghans aren't shot during the daily round of observation and patrol - just due to the omnipresent threat. There isn't much about 'rebuilding' in any of these works, unless it's rebuilding a firebase. But that could be because these are shot in 'hot' areas, as opposed to the more civilized spots. A further observation could be made about the men and their weapons, if the Afghans aren't awed by western firepower, the awe is certainly compensated in the western militaries. Bomb strikes, artillery stonks or missile impacts are all attended with 'oohs and aahs'. And the 'free shoots' seem to be heartily enjoyed by everybody with a trigger finger.

The casualties, the wounded, are depicted in remarkable isolation from the actual events. The camera only sees aftermath and there an impression given by the obviously unwounded that it's a fluke to be hit. If the western forces are as successful hitting their targets, there should be thousands of wounded Afghans not being medevaced out. But they must be hiding.

One other aspect that shows up in one of the pieces is the notion of unit integrity and keeping 'secrets'. In the Danish film the unit NCO gets hauled on the carpet for shooting wounded Taliban after one of the unit writes home to his parents about the deaths of three Taliban in a firefight. While the incident is depicted in all its bloodthirstiness, one can empathise with soldiers in the heat of battle, confronting an armed opponent. To say there was some 'overkill' involved is perhaps making an understatement, but that, too, is to be expected in such circumstances. What is notable is the Sargent's telling-off to his unit and his reminder that they had only done what they 'had to do' and it was the 'right' thing. That 'only those who were there share an understanding of what happened', that civilians, even nice family ones, can get it 'wrong'. When nobody raises a disagreement, "Tak! That's the story, move on.".

I think there is a whole lot more of the 'realistic' type of photojournalism that will appear after the military censors have returned to barracks. That should go a long way toward doing for Afghanistan and Iraq what a string of dissonant narratives have done to the Vietnam experience. Once again the glory  and honour of 'serving' in war - especially an unjust war- will be magnified as a fool's game. I can't see our latest round of vets getting any more respect than their Vietnam daddies and granddads, they certainly won't be compared favourably to their grand sires of the World Wars.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Peripatetic News

It's been almost a whole fortnight since last I applied digits to keyboard in another Blogger deposit. And what a fortnight it has been! If it wasn't for all the actual world-shaking events I'm sure the hyperactive media would have been hard pressed to drum up any kind of interest. But events overtook them.

 First off was the Oslo bombing and avantgarde shooting spree. I was actually 'en farte' on the internet when I noticed the first little media 'heads up' about 8:30 in the AM - an explosion reported near the office of the Norwegian PM. Within the hour, the US  news blogs lit up like a hannukah candle with the 'work of jihadi terror' mantra going great guns based on the readings of the magickal 8 ball. Sadly, that turned out to be far from the case. As the day's events morphed into the work of a crazed gunman - a mass shooting more common to US college campuses - the other part of hyperactive media kicked into play to explain why this had happened. And since then the crescendo was reached, newsorthily speaking, followed by a denouement of rationality that might suggest 'it wasn't all that bad' after all. With the exception that they're burying more of the victims to-day.

While everybody apparently agrees that shooting sixty kids is not something to be done on a regular basis. The pundits who, sort of, share the gunman's perspectives, have regathered the courage to start saying that we shouldn't let his actions stifle the 'Stepford effect' - we shouldn't lessen any efforts to decry the imminent demise of our civilization at the hands of godawful Islam. The only 'real'  mistake made here was in target selection. Had he shot muslims 'Hans Gunnar Quackenbusch' - 'Vanilla Hice' - might have been up for an Oscar, or a Nobel prize - definitely Olympic gold in free-range shooting. Punditry will out anyway.

The shooting was soon eclipsed by two weeks of 'high political drama' in America and much the same sort of activity in the EU. This of course all related to the financial situation which isn't going to go away anythime soon. It was defaults and bailouts on both sides of the Atlantic - Greece went under and was dragged to the surface for some Germanic mouth-to-mouth. Italy and Spain are on tenterhooks and it's problematic that the powerhouses are going to be much able to help. America won't.

The squabble that started when Obama foolishly tried to get the Republican 'rump' on-side at the beginning of his administration, is growiing into the kind of a tumor that should remind any political victor of the ancient tradition of 'cleaning house' when taking office. Leaving the lie-abouts from a previous administrtation thinking that they might be able to swing some weight, let alone have nothing to fear from a change,  is like ignoring a field of IEDs and a very naive way to do politics. And so the Republicans saw Obama down to the wire over a debt extension (due another failed 'initiative') and succeeded in removing any potency left in the truncated programs they had 'signed on to'. In keeping on - and extending Bushco's great Asian adventures, instead of calling the troops home, Obama involved himself in having to extend those debt limits where they should never have been. He got democratically 'boned' for his pains.

As an unpleasant segue to all this, the recent news that Standard and Poor had turned traitor and 'stabbed the nation in the back' by reducing it's credit rating to AA from the traditional AAA added another 'toofay salute' to an already odious stinkeroo. The move served to drop the value of stocks about 23 percent in one day and, theoretically, add another 100 billion the US will have to borrow to pay the interest on the money it already owes. Having to increase the debt to service the debt has never been a sign of economic health.  Maybe it's time that more financial institutions, who don't buy most of the government bonds anyway, start telling the emperor his Ass is bare.

While everybody's worrying about another kick in the retirement savings, to-day another little reminder that some are sacrificing all for us to have such freedoms. It seems some Afghan goatherd got lucky with an RPG round and dropped a chopper full of Navy Seals. Thirty  of the finest fighting men that  money can train, members of the 'Offin' Osama Squad' made their last dive into an Afghan mountain last night. Just what were they doing flying around an Afghan mountain in the dark with at least one other such well-sealed helicopter? Is was nice of you to ask. Well acccording to the press they were:

A) doing the job they were so well trained to do
B) Training the Afghans to do that job almost as well
C) In pursuit of a 'high value' target - a taliban bomb maker who had been unreportedly attacking  ISAF convoys  or
D) Going to the rescue of a unit pinned-down by massive enemy fire
E) Doing the job they loved  and
F) Making the folks at home feel safer and prouder.

There's gotta be a country and western song in this. Would to gracious Sullivan was still going, but there is Vegas,  and the late night shows. Why, the filthy Taliban even killed the doggy one of the nice soldiers had with him as they flew to a midnight raid.

The raid? Yeppers, it was another of those 'midnight rides' of which America is so fond. Months of intel work being brought to fruition at 3 am in a stealth strike on those who hate our freedoms. We are told that, after the crash, another chopper landed nearby and its crew, after a brief firefight, killed eight insurgents. They're darned lucky that that army unit 'under siege' didn't call in the standard air strikes, instead of trained seals. They might have wound up dead by the score. Or like the woman and her 8 kids - killed in another 'accident', down south, when somebody airstruck some Taliban hiding among them. But that news doesn't have the same 'weight' and discussibility.

Let's not forget the royal wedding and its 'ennertainment' value. The last Shuttle flight, the on-goings in Libya and Syria and the existential threats emanating from Iran, Korea, China - your choice. This week there's  the famine in Somalia and floods in other places to keep us thinking about doing something about the environment.

And so the round goes on, the world's diversions and distractions, laid out for their Warhol moments for a 'news hungry' public in welter of  sound bites and bafflegab commentary..

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Revving Up that Rhetoric

Iran is back!  In case you hadn't noticed the media has been featuring a new round of Iran bugaboos for the past two weeks.

It started with reports that Achmedinejad was in somebody's doghouse. Sources weren't clear, but it was thought that he'd run afoul of a Mullah or, even worse, the dreaded Revolutionary Guard. The message that an 'Iranian summer' counld be expected at any moment faded off to be replaced by incipient developments on the anti-aircraft front.

 The Iranians were charged with developing and testing a new anti-aircraft missile system that, while it might not prevent any future tactical bombing of terror sites, would certainly make the risk of collision much greater for the jet jockeys deployed. It was even media-ized that the treacherous Russkis were being tempted to give them the S300 missile systems they'd bought, rather than a refund. No doubt the wily Mede is holding out for newer, improved S400's which are reputedly capable of knocking out 10 different targets only slightly larger than gnats at any speed and extreme range in less than a minute!

After the military managed to get the pepto-bismol into them, they started considering the "rapid" increase in Iran's marginal propensity to produce an atomic bomb. This mode of reasoning was triggered by the assassination of, apparently, the wrong Iranian atomic bomb expert. The survivors were said to be increasing the rate at which weapons grade plutonium was being enriched to a whopping 24%, up from the old 17%. And even a dummy knows that's a whopping seven percent closer to the stuff they'll need to get themselves targetted for an ICBM strike. When somebody pointed out that the ounces of material the Iranians had were slightly less than the pounds they were going to need to make a viable explosive, the ADHD department went looking for some other topic.

And they found it over at the CIA news desk. The incoming chief of the CIA General "Orange Julius" Petraeus, long an advocate of Iran being the 'real' boogeyman of the middle east, got over blaming them for arming the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan , only because he has now discovered his arch-nemesis, the foul commander of the notorious 'Al Quds Brigade' of the Iranian Republican Guard is, get this, the de facto 'Ruler" of Iraq. Great minds in America are wondering if Petraeus' reign is going to result in the militarization of the CIA - and especially what the uniforms are going to be like.

Expect the calls for something necessary 'needing to be done' to increase as summer dwindles. For it's going to take more than one Norwegian 'Woody' to upset the applecart of freedom.

The Crucifixion Continues

The persecution of the Rt. Honorable Connie Black of Coal Harbor Esq. by the forces of plebeian lesser lights continues with his recent conviction on outstanding charges. His sentence is another 6 months in the slammer, two years of supervised release and a $125 000 fine. When the dowager Lady Coal Harbor heard the bad news she was stricken in the public chamber and had to be assisted by medical personnel. She was revived and left the courtroom escorting her paramour as he left to settle his business and a acquire a stock of monogrammed prison duds. He'll be signing into the gaol next month, unless, of course he decides to take it on the lam.

Surely there will be 'minions' and prison buddies awaiting his return to the 'lecture hall' where many, according to his lawyers, were elucidated by the tomes bought for the prison Library  as fruits of Lord Black's labor, and by his dulcet tones in viva voce as he disclosed to them the arcanities of Napoleon and the secrets of the classical ancients. Lord Black is no small light when it comes to such trivia. Perhaps he'll extend the learning experience to the area of the business and how to 'give it to them'. 

Rupert should be so blessed..

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

We're Out the Door!

Well not quite. In today's reality nothing is ever as it seems, or as it's cracked up to be. The denouement of Canada's adventures in Panjwai no less than anything else.

The Canada Day papers were full of the 'last' Canada Day in 'Canadahar' stories. Tales of ebullient Canuck merriment as the last 'roto' rotates its way into history. Stories of the Canada Day party at the base, where all the troops - front liners included - were gathered in for a couple of brewskis, some free red ball caps - a corporate 'goody' from Tim's  to repay the 'opportunity to serve' where the Red Cross and Sally Ann served our sires - with donuts and coffee, and a 'good time'.

How many of to-day's vets will have the same sour taste as their Grampies caused by the Red Cross' habit of charging for what the Sally Ann gave away free? Tim's, after all, is  in Kandahar on a 'cash' basis. Perhaps 'saving the world' and 'defending democracy from evil doers' are substantially different things than 70 years ago and there's supposedly a sense of entitlement missing to-day but it's definitely 'user buys'. I wonder how they work the 'buy a soldier a coffee'  campaign the Legion runs over there? If the bottom line is 'covered' by what they charge the military? The Horton's 'volunteer' staff may qualify for the new 'Afghan service medal' - the one foreign service workers don't qualify for, but this is volunteering with a corporate edge. When the US vets see a Timmy's going up in their neighborhoods, it hopefully won't give them the heeby-jeebies. Let it be known, however, that Tim's plows all the 'profits' of that Afghan operation as charitable donations, back into programs for soldiers. A win-win situation for any 'patriotic' corporation.

There were road hockey games with the politicos, other entertainers and press. 'Bubbles' the Trailer-park boy was there, a French Canadian comic to entertain the rump of the Vandoos was there, the CinC and 'MinDef' were there - sticks, and mikes, in hand. And so was Canada's latter-day 'Cracklin'  Rosie' Di Manno the granny, warrior-groupie of the Toronto Star.

Rosie's is out-doing herself these days. It's almost as if she thinks she won't be going back to Afghanistan over the next decade to report on the 'sacrifices' of our military police units and square-bashing aficionados. She's no spring chicken,  but one might almost suspect she gets moist being around all that military junk  Describing how a unit used an Afghan hill to 'clear' their APC guns and artillery before they were packed for shipping, one might be amused by the apparent glee of the lads on a free-fire exercise. Everybody who hadn't had a chance to shoot something significant must have been bussed out to the site. A jarring little bit of reality intruded into the good time, in the form of a Afghan station wagon,  straying into an area that was thought to 'civilian free'.  It just underscores the fact that our 'intel' still isn't 90 percent.

That doesn't stop Rosie from drooling over some Playgirl candidate's gelled 'stiffie'.  It's good that our guys can manage to look great while fighting terror. And a real bummer they have to slap a 'pot' onto a flashy 'do'. But that's war. To-day's Rosie report is titled, 'No Warning ... No Regrets'.  It tells of the prowess of the Canadian sniper.

The papers speak glowingly, for the saga isn't finished yet, of how Canada's 'footprint' was being 'erased' as we leave. That will be a change, if it's not more BS, as Afghanistan is littered with the detritus left behind by better war-fighters than us. The jury is still out on 'the mark' we've left on Afghanistan. Not only in terms of the stuff we won't be 'repatriating',  but also in terms of  the 'wonders'  Johnny Canuck has wrought. Those wonders are now in the gentle hands of the US Marine Corps. We'll see what happens next.

For the Canadian Forces, however, the gaze is directed northward ... toward Canada's Arctic. The 'challenge' there will not be from Afghan farmers, but from the Bears and Bison. It was our current PM who, only three years ago, 'Stepforded'** the renascent Russian air force's encroaching on Canadian airspace as they flew around their half of the Arctic. Canadian F-18's were scrambled to meet the potential intruder and the case made that we 'need' something stealthier to sneak up on them, and actually 'catch them in some act' or other. I wonder what the PM will think when our 'allies' steam a fleet into the Arctic to protect their vital oil interests and declare the Northwest Passage an 'international seaway'  like the Red Sea, or the Intracoastal Waterway? Our allies seem intent on manifesting their destiny on Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, while our enemas, the Russki's, don't.

Or maybe we'll be saddling-up the Governor General's Horse guards to ride to the rescue of the gallant little Libyans.  Wouldn't that be a shock?  For they don't particularly like us either.

A country in search of an adventure is a country with too much time on its hands.

** The act of pointing and shrieking - at 'aliens'  a la The Stepford Wives' and hecklers who attend Netanyahu speeches. Alerting the herd to danger.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blessed St. Nicholas, start praying for us

Santa Claus in his holier aspect is 'told off' as the patron saint of prostitutes. It is said that he saved a poor man from pimping his three daughters by giving him a sackful of gold. Why else would a guy want to peddle his daughters' butts than for some of the long green? It seems, though, that this story makes Nicholas the patron saint of almost-prostitutes, gals who get 'on the game'  need more patronage than that.

And so it goes in summertime Canada. For a decent little first world spot, Canada has its share of  'sex trade workers' - males and females who extend whatever paypacket they've got with a little 'professional' sex on the side. Now a non-association "they've" formed to 'represent' them has been hied into court to defend against a government challenge to a lower court ruling on 'anti-prostition laws' being contrary to their Charter rights and freedoms. This after another court ruling that cited prostitution as a "legitimate" occupation. Nobody seemed to challenge the notion that balling for dough was much different than anything else people do for dough, except when it comes to doing it on the street, or by bothering passers-by to find somebody with dough to do it for. Those laws about public prostitution, communicating for prostitution and living on the avails of prostitution are being challenged as laws that 'force' women  to 'work in the shadows' where, sometimes, their customers do them harm. What they want, I imagine, is the right to hang out a shingle, along with the more marketable body parts.

Strikes me that, unless the gals are working out of a high-security establishment, with glorified 'bouncers', that risk of harm isn't much diminished. Nor is any risk to 'johns' from those bouncers - who might be equated with guys who flunked out of police foundations courses at best, or a self-ordained 'lawmen' like 'The Dawg' at worst. One can only imagine the clientele. When you're breaking 'Mom's first law' and exposing yourself to 'strangers' you're asking for some trouble. Just look at the havoc caused by overly-friendly uncles and overzealous persons in authority - even to, we're told, the willing! I would doubt prostitution, even where it's a pillar of the society isn't plagued with a whole whack of related social ills. If it was any sort of social panacea, or even decent way to make a living, it would be promoted world-wide and we wouldn't be trying to remake it, again.

When it comes to banging for bucks there is no telling when a 'relationship' of long-standing isn't going to 'go sour' and somebody receive a good hiding - even in those non-prostitutional relationships. Adding a cash exchange just adds a flillip to the level of customer satisfaction and fogs the notion of another 'tip'. Cash enterprise is the stuff of real-world hurt feelings, donneybrooks and gunshots on  regular occasions. Prostitution has been a risky business since the days when the ladies had to 'show up for duty' in honor of the goddess at the temple once a year. Even nice gals, doing their religious duty, were exposed to the social misfits  who hung around the temple, gland in hand, waiting for just such an opportunity. Just look at the Pig Farmer of Kelowna. He could have slaughtered nice girls, but the hookers' lifestyle made it oh-so-much easier. That wouldn't have changed much, even if there were no 'take-out services', he was inviting them to 'parties'.

The Sex Trade Workers essentially want the law changed so they can 'open' their business in places it's not open now.  Anybody who's had the privilege of living beside an 'illegal' bawdy house can only imagine the fun it would be to have a legal one - running all above-board, 24/7 (closed for Christmas and high holidays)- next door. The increased tax revenue wouldn't begin to cover the increased police costs to fend off the phone complaints and investigate the damage to customers cars. And why would the girls want to give up the goodies they've got now - welfare, state child support  and/or disability payments, untaxed income, free health coverage and other social service benefits? No doubt these lifestyle 'perqs' wouldn't be included in any new legislation, but they will be, eventually, if prostituion continues to be expanded as a legitimate way to earn a living.

Hey, there's a new career field - specializing in the business end of the sex trade for 10 percent off the top. And let's not forget the investment opportunities provided by a chain of franchised high-end bordellos. Or is that just legalized pimping?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If This Don't Take the Cake

We're told that during Hitler's last few days  the question , "Where's Wenck?" echoed and re-echoed through the Fuhrerbunker under the devastated streets of Berlin. It was only when the question was answered that his 'army'  wasn't  any longer in existence that all hope was lost.

 In 1973, just before Watergate finished him, Nixon 'sold' the invasion of Cambodia as the ultimate winning strategy. We know now that, in return for a load of sequestered communist supplies,  the real outcome was the destabilization and ensuing destruction of Cambodia by the, until then impotent, Khmer Rouge. In that same war, the 1975 invasion of Laos by the South Vietnamese forces put paid to any chance they had of resisting the communists. A year later South Vietnam was consigned to the dustbin of history. When things get bad, the wacky get worse.

And so it continues in NATO's gallant fight to free the Libyans from the grasp of the guy they've been 'forced' to let rule them for almost 50 years. It's such a tough old fight with only the bomb plans left over from the Reagan era, that NATO is seeking the help of anybody willing. And so we have this fantastic tale:

"How social media users are helping NATO fight Gadhafi in Libya"

One Graham Smith , writing in the otherwise sober Globe and Mail newspaper, comes out with this rather outlandish tale of how some granny's twitter intercepts are helping to plot targets for NATO airstrikes. How some equally uninformed ice cream store employee in Arizona was responsible for shutting down Ghaddafi's private oil revenue source - all from some simple Google searches. If Smith's right, he might just have discovered the secret formula for overcoming world terror - the power of the ''common Joe''. No longer working in armaments plants , the common North American Joe, or Josephine, can apply their Internet talents toward gleaning intel. Something that, apparently, the greatest force for good on earth hasn't the time or resources to do. Maybe a national campaign is in order.

If every 'Netizen' in the freedom-loving countries on earth would put aside their porn sites, P2P activities, hold on to the email or stop cruising for puppy portraits for one hour and concentrate on finding the facts for the forces of freedom, glorioski, we could really impress those jihadis and tie military intelligence in knots after two hours. Force the defeatists to provide our soldiers with some decent data processing software to sort through all the clues for the TRUTH.

Say, there's a word you don't hear much these days when the news is as manufactured as the first story I ever wrote about a 'parade'. Like that particular fiction, there is always a loss of focus, mine was 'clowns' in the parade, Smith's is the fiction that the military actually care about what they don't know and that  they'd care about what any civilian thinks - unless, perhaps, she's spitting on them.

You gotta admit, though, the story's almost as good as a 'cakewalk' piece.

To the Shores of Tripoli

Sometime in the next month or so, Little Stevie Wonder, the preemeer of Canada will be asking his parliamentary cronies to 'have patience' while he extends Canada's role in leading the forces of freedom against the world's current tyrant in Libya. I imagine the patience part will have more to do with those cronies who think the his government is still spending like a drunk on a payday spree, for it couldn't have much to do with the transmogrification of the 'time to fall' period, vis a vis Mr. Ghaddafi,  from a matter of  days to months. If nothing else, 'Stay the Course' is a mantra Steve apparently learned in utero.

And how are things in sunny Libya these days? Well it depends on who you're reading,  but none of it is that 'light at the end of the chunnel'  horsewallop.  Positively speaking, the rebels (now that couldn't be the best word for legitimate forces of freedom) keep on keeping on, lately toward Tripoli, or holding-off the onslaught of Ghaddafi's minions elsewhere. The first desert boots are on the ground - on the feet of some private 'security' personnel, there to offer 'training' to the ragtag rebel forces. "Leadership" would definitely be faster, but, perhaps, too expensive and might not sit well with the Libyans. The French and Brits have decided that deploying attack helicopters is warranted, to do a 'blue knight' and winkle the evildoing armour out of city allies and bazaars. Lately, the rebels are complaining that Ghaddafi is hiding all his 'good stuff' in or near mosques and hospitals and, only to-day, in the ruins of some of those reminders of Roman glory that dot the Mediterranean seashore. If grandpas 'had to' bomb Pompeii to winkle out the panzers, great-grandkids Bubba and Harold wouldn't think more than once about 'restructuring' Leptis Magna or Sabratha. NATO "isn't ruling anything out", even some world  heritage destruction would be Ghaddafi's fault.

On the negative side, things don't seem to be changing fast enough to have Ghaddafi get the 'willies' and go away. A bombing 'uptick' last week seemed aimed at removing more sand from bunker sites, or blasting Muammar's tent to shreds than it did actually 'awing' anybody. The NATO 'campaign' seems to be on summer holiday. It appears that the bombing might be more of a joke than anything else, if what the Toronto Star's Rosie 'the Riveter' DiManno is reporting from behind the lines, the Gahaddafites seem to be laughing it up! So it's either they're not taking NATO all that seriously, or they're doing the 'Berlin bunker thing' on a demi-national scale in a sort of latter-day gotterdammerung party - without the artillery.

Our dear friends in America seem to be willing, if not actually encouraging, NATO to take over the whole thing and leave them out of it.  If it's to be believed, the US has a very light footprint in Libya, some CIA spooks and US-based patriots trying to set up a cogent 'government' and find out who the 'bad guys' from AQ might be to head off any applecart-upsetting when mission becomes successful. That should have been easy, for Ghaddafi had most of them in jail, but the rebels released them.

So, right now, the Libyan thing is a 'non-war', in many places it's not even a media event - like in Canada or the US. It soon won't be an African event either, if NATO succeeds in getting satellite access blocked for Libya's government TV stations. One would have thunk that would have been right up there on the first day target list. Apparently not. They let Ghaddafi go on "lying" and "using propaganda against them", to show how 'free' everything is?

And that's a good thing for Stevie Harper's Government are getting ready for their hard-earned summer break which will see him ruling as the national autocrat until they reconvene around Thanksgiving Day (in Canada that's at the beginning of October) to extend our Libyan 'mission' to Christmas.

The House of Commons , yesterday, "unanimously"  (but with "vigorous" debate and a threat that such wouldn't happen in future) approved the extension of Canada's 'mission civilatrice' to the poor benighted Lbyan people. It also took the rather unique step of recognizing a non-group of 'rebels' as the legitimate national government. I don't even think the Commies recognized the Viet Cong as the legitimate government of anything before they won. But Canada points to a proud tradition of support for 'governments-in-exile' during WW2 ( what would they have been otherwise?),  Jean Bertrand Aristide in exile 1 (before the USA convinced us that he was really just an asshole-in-disguise and we joined in the UN-sponsored 'regime change' in that benighted nation.). I believe we even 'recognized' Pol Pot at one time.

That bit of hypocrisy is further diminished by the pusillanimous thumbsucking and political pettifoggery that holds up what we are doing trying to kill Ghaddafi  as some sort of moral exercise the Libyans really need. If we are so noble, why the restrictions? Why only $60 million and why only three months? Why aren't we  loading the invasion barges with unemployed lumberjacks and making plans for Syria, Yemen, Darfur or Bahrain, too? There are a ton of  places the UN has a responsibility for us to protect.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nathan Had a Sqeezebox, Momma Didn't Sleep at Nignt

The blogosphere lit up least week twittering the blessings of Benny Netanyahu's unplan for a settlement of the Palestinian issue. AIPAC was fully mobilized to rah-rah his message of hope for Israel in case it fell flat. It didn't, but once everybody sobered up it is now being perceived that Nate has possibly painted any hope of a peace process into a corner with himself. You can't just say what he said and then backtrack on any of it. Credibility is as much an issue as anything else. Nate has the ultra rightists who keep him in power to worry about more than the Palestinians he's going to need to trust him..

Just what did Nate say any way? Well he prefaced his remarks to Congress by saying he was all for peace and that Israel was prepared to make some painful choices and to "be generous" to achieve that peace. But there were to be some provisos.

First there was the matter of the Jewish State - not the old 'State of  Israel' as mandated by the UN  and constituted by the founders - no a religious state, the land of the Jews. All of a sudden anybody who's non-Jewish by matrilinear descent or religious conversion is possibly not a citizen. That includes all those who would, I assume, prefer not to sign the new loyalty oath. Recognition of that State is a precondition for negotiations.

A second point is that the pre-1967 boundaries will not be the 'starting point' for defining the new Jewish entity. It's "flexible" borders will be defined through negotiation and land swaps. It's pretty apparent that Israel will look much like it does now, with some sort of tribal 'homeland' for the Palestinians passing through it. It's highly unlikely that 'homeland' will, or can be contiguous. But when it's only needed as a pool of labour, it doesn't have to be contiguous and it seems there's little other reason for having a separate Palestinian state but for the fact palestinians wouldn't 'fit' in a Jewish one.

All non-citizen Arabs would live in the Palestinian Zone. All except those Arabs who still claim  property in Israel but who are now refugees in neighboring counties. They lose all rights to their confiscated property and as 'palestinans'. Another precondition.

That arab entity would have responsibility only for its domestic affairs, everything else would be sieved though the Jewish state. Little will change for the State of Palestine that doesn't exist for the Palestinian authority.

As far as negotiations go,  Israel reserves its right to not negotiate with HAMAS, or with the PA if HAMAS is affiliated with them. They want the PA to elect a new 'peace partner'. Since HAMAS IS the current PA government, that's going to be a real sticking point. Even more so if they win more seats in the planned fall election. Even if Israel could skew that election, it's highly unlikely even Fatah would roll over for Netanyahu. If they did, any such peace treaty he outlined would never get ratified.

The saga continues to-day with the announcement, coming out of the recent G8 meeting in France, that a "balanced" view of Israel's situation is required. This at the instance of Canada's Steve Harper and in opposition to Obama's stated '67 borders scheme.  It is also mooted that Harper's position was 'reinforced' by a call from Netanyahu, although this is in keeping with Harper's support for everything else Israel has done since he was first elected.  Leiberman the Israeli Minister of Defence did, however, publicly thank him for the 'support'

What happens next will depend on American politics and, particularly, if Obama gets a second term. Israel can't be forced to do anything. Even if the UN was to vote unanimously on a Palestinian homeland, nothing could be done to effect it. Israel's security will always trump world concern. Until perhaps Israel is isolated.

Even then, the nuclear card she doesn't play could affect any outcomes that aren't perceived to be advantageous to her. There's a strong streak of the Masada complex in Israelis, even the blogging ones.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And the Cat Came Back

Six months, or so, back, I posted  on the results of a court case which saw a man with AIDS given a life sentence for spending seven years 'accidentally' infecting a number of women when he refused to follow health department instructions to inform his partners and to wear a condom . Two of his partners died of AIDS related illnesses and three others were infected.

Well it didn't take our man long to figure out that jail isn't where he wants to be and so, somehow, he's back in court trying to convince a judge that a) he's really sorry, b) he understands now what he did wrong, c) he's better now and d) he'd like to help others avoid doing what he did. The part about his being able to atone and pay back being much better done if he wasn't in the slammer, hasn't been mentioned in the media, yet.

By way of explaining what happened to him he had a long sad tale to tell.  His slide into despair apparently started with a deformed testicle. That brought him ridicule as a youngster and gave him those bad of feelings of inadequacy. Would to goodness the Nazi heirarchy had such debilitating results from the scrotal abnormalities  described in the old soldiers' song. But I digress.

Growing up in Idi Amin's Uganda didn't do him any good as, apparently, he got to look at a lot of dead people before he emigrated to Canada. Things 'picked up' there, with a free university education and a government job. He got married and had three kids. And then, somehow, he got an HIV infection. That 'somehow' probably had a lot to do with his wife leaving with the kids and the 'devastating' divorce settlement she laid on him. The economic hit was so bad that he took up drinking after work. It wasn't long before he realized he was lonely, and that the ladies in the bars were lonely, too. They obviously didn't mind his hideous gonadal disfigurement, for he, apparently, had a very productive sex life. Until some of the ladies started asking him pointed questions about his health. It appears that some of his partners were just happy to have a man, let alone one with a shrivelled nut and a heavy viral load, they didn't ask and he didn't tell. He didn't want to 'jeopardize' the companionship by wearing a rubber, either. Somebody got sick, the police got involved.They found out about the health department and the unmentionable. Bim! Bam! Boom!  He's doing life.

But he's back and he's got a sympathetic lawyer. And all he wants to do now is to 'give back' by educating kids about what happens when you keep your HIV to yourself, or don't.  The free medication he's been given in prison has reduced his viral load to nearly zero. So, even if somebody found him irresistable, he'd be almost a safe as any other guy who's not shooting blanks. Maybe he'd like to increase his family.

No doubt his lawyer will point out that having him sit in the slammer for twenty years, thinking over what he already knows now, will be awaste of valuable resources. Why, he could be kept comfy on a disability pension from  OMERS, some publicly-funded housing and medication and stuff, while he 'helps' people. And all for a lot less than the $75 000 it costs  to keep him in jail. It's a win-win proposition.

If it were anybody else I might agree, but there's the niggling thing I just don't get. Sad, lonely, drunk, stupid whatever, how do you go on for seven effin' years exposing people to a disease you say made you feel like you'd been "shot in the head, heart, soul"? No matter how scared, or traumatized, or deluded you were, there wasn't a single day when you thought to yourself what you were doing with your love gun was exactly what ruined your life? If that never happened, the guy should not be walking among us, he will do it again. And if it did happen, only once,  why didn't he stop? Why did he 'unintentionally' kill two people and ruin three other lives? Those errors is worth more than twenty years of his. In days past he might have been hung.

He can be a more effective "poster boy for AIDS" doing his time. He can save up for a computer and cheap video camera and make some presentations from his cell. The message will be all the more credible.

PS: At his appeal, Johnson Aziga was declared a Dangerous Offender. He will be imprisoned indefinitely due to his 'likelihood to reoffend'. I hope he doesn't get on the prison 'screw squad'.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Great Toronto Terror - a la Wikileaks

Now that radical islam's threats to Canadian life has been expunged, we have only to await the writing of the memoirs of the guys who 'took down terror'.

Those revelatons may be at some distance in the future as, no doubt, secrecies will have been sworn and blood oaths will preclude the prolix. But there are some codicils being written as we wait. An interesting one showed up yesterday  via wikileaks.

The Toronto Star printed a story that CSIS, the Canadian spy agency, had placed one of its 'star' witnesses, Mubin Shaikh, on the US no-fly list. Shaikh had been an informant while pretending to use his experience in the militia to pretend to carry-out military pretend military training for pretend group of Toronto pretend terrorists.

 You may recall the saga of  how diligent police work took down a network that threatened to bomb downtown Toronto, when they weren't up in Ottawa beheading the House of Commons. The 'evidence' read out in court and backed up by the eyewitness accounts of two paid police informers, was enough to convict the 10 of them. They have been sentenced to stiff sentences of between  2.5 years and life in prison. The court was told how they had talked, planned and comunicated about the jihad, how they had camped out and played soldiers with a real pistol and a variety of other pseudo weapons. How they had  obtained a quantity of what they thought was fertilizer for a bomb and how police nabbed them all in a 'massive' sweep operation  when two of them showed up to unload it from the police rental truck.

One 'hero' of the piece, back then, was Shaikh, who was said to have approached CSIS with an offer to act as an agent. CSIS referred him to the RCMP who paid him  at least a quarter million dollars for his services. It must have stuck in somebody's craw that asking for money when your country's existence is at stake, isn't very patriotic. And maybe that's why his name appears on a couple of American no-fly lists. Not just no-fly but also 'detain and investigate' lists.  Shaikh is a 'person of interest' to the US, perhaps becasuse he weas involved in the original 'oops I dropped my horseleg' pistol-smuggling operation that 'broke the case and perhaps because he's  holder of some of that 'intel' that has gotten others trips to interesting places and extended Cuban holidays. No wonder the lad is not impressed. CSIS also got his birth information wrong - claiming that Shaikh was born overseas,  when he was actually born at St. Mike's hospital in Toronto.

So much for the 'honour' among those who safeguard our freedoms.  Actually honour has nothing to do with it. Shakh got paid and the listing was a bonus - CSIS tells the Americans all. America tells CSIS what it wants them to know.

The real story couldn't be much different from the fiction.

Well? We're still here.

The "great earthquake" prophesied to begin the process of social disintegration leading up to the endtimes ultimate event, failed to appear, as foretold, again. I'm trying to figure out who gains in all this crap, there have to be 'suckers fleeced' somewhere. My bet is that the Grand Moff Tarkin who did the arithmetical computations, hasn't divested himself totally of all his worldly goods. But it appears that some poor dopes may have.

4 or 5 years back the same thing happened in Russia and a number of people in the Moscow area 'purified' themselves of everything but a clean bedsheet in anticipation of 'fahrt zum himmel'. It must have come as a shock in the ensuing years that the trip was off. Would it have been some form of welching to have 'indian gifted' all the stuff? And would the recipients have been 'doing the right thing' giving it all back? Deeply held religious beliefs and all.

That such messianic tidings should still be a regular occurrence should be of no real surprise to us. When we see the icons on which our 'world' is predicated - Bear Stearns, Lehmann Brothers, Enron, Bernie Madoff and the like - those things that 'fill the sole with joy' - proven to have the proverbial 'feet of clay', it makes the true believer start looking for alternatives. And so we have Raelians and Scientology and the fevered dreams of part-time shoe salesmen, petrologists and a host of others with 'good ideas'  for us to improve ourselves. If it isn't Donnie and Marie selling you stuff to eat that's going to give you the bod you've never had (and that mother Nature's going to alter significantly) or the shopping channeleers peddling undies and electronics , jewellry and cosmetics, investment chattels and health gizmos that will , if nothing else, make your life 'fuller', it's the glossy merchandising of a million 'lifestyle'  marketers selling everything from music to dog food. Consumerism is our faith - the market will never be empty - and religion, these days, is just another consumer choice. It's debunked as myth and superstition and used by many as the source of  'income generation'.

The ultimate 'big win' of course is the kingdom of heaven, the new Eden, Paradise ....  a place away from all this mortal coil stuff where all will be, as it was in the beginning, all blissful perfection. It didn't take the hotshots down at the temple long to figure out that magical amulets and an 'in' with the deity were marketable assets. The business of religion has been around since Ogg first saw the divine fire. But you'd think that we'd have managed to shake off the notion that 'buying' eternity isn't a sucker move of the first water. Especially if 'buying' it means letting somebody else, who ain't God either, do the driving for you. This latter happens too much. Yesterday it happened again.

The leaders of the great religions weren't into 'passing the plate' - although some of their followers had the real-world 'smarts' to realize you can't run an organization on faith alone. Judas may have been concerned about 'the bottom line', but I don't think that Jesus was - they had some words that might indicate a basic difference of opinion on the subject. I don't think Buddha was big on the collection, although generosity with ones' earthly belongings was praised as virtuous. Like other such thinkers, he pointed out that such belongings only get in the way of growth to enlightenment. All those thinkers - even including Mohamet - put that 'growth', over finite lifetime, as the ultimate achievement. All of them encourage the development of the sublime over the practical, the thought and word over the material, a way of living over a lifestyle.

Our artificial lifestyle - I say artificial because we've done a great job of dissociating ourselves from the natural in life - just cries out for the experience of 'real' that has us getting-off on survival, or reconnecting with a self,  blasted by bad choices in social 'advances' and abuse of what we used to consider 'gifts' but now take as  rights, or  ways of escaping. For with all our stuff  we enjoy watching the foibles of others with their 'stuff', our's is far neater and better-organized don'tcha know! We enjoy watching - and there's nothing much wrong with that for getting an idea of what life is like - but it leads us to trust things and people we shouldn't be trusting much at all. Yesterday it was a apocalytic earthquake that didn't happen, tomorrrow it could be a power outage - a severe one would have the same social effect over a period of a couple of weeks. Imagine the effect of no refrigeration, or heat, or even drinking water. We 'trust' a lot of institutions and organizations to make sure we have these. God doesn't have to move the earth to screw these up, we can do that all by ourselves.

Maybe those who were having 'apocalypse parties' last night to celebrate the non-event could 'smarten up' enough to consider the last points. You'd have to be a mental midget, or a bunker dweller, to think that the 'end of it all' was a good reason to party.

There's always the end of that Mayan Calendar coming up in the Fall.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Putting the whammi on Muammi Ghaddafi

Watching one of those 'town hall' meetings so much in vogue of late, on the topic of the current regime change underway in Libya. There were a host of experts and pundits available to discuss NATO's 'responsibility', acquired via the UN from the latest US doctrine - the 'obligation to protect' and how that is being applied in Libya. The 'rebel' side was represented by a number of expatriot Libyans.

The overall impression however, despite a wide ranging and comprehensive exchange of diplomatic, military, and civilian views, is that, somehow, a significant number of Libyans seem to be being left out of the discussion. And that is strange. For Libya, the last time I looked, hadn't declared war on anybody, and aside, from a UN resolution, had anyone declared war on it. There should be a number of Libyan voices still representative of the 'ancien regime' who could  offer an apologia, if not a perspective, for it. They may not be 'enemy aliens', but there is no way their narrative is being introduced into the debate, not in any free and open democratic forum.

So it seems that Ghaddafi, supported by two, (now only one), sons and the elite military units they command, are not only holding-off the rest of the country under the latest and best air bombardment NATO can offer, they actually seem to be able to put a regular 'run' on the 'rebel' forces and maintain another couple of seiges. They seem to be in control of, or able to deny control to, the country's oil resources. Ghaffi et fils seem to be in control of the western half of the country, and able to dispute the central coast, the southern areas seem to be theirs, too. What puts them in some jeopardy is the source of arms and supplies for the rebel forces, in the absence of such re-supply for his own. His ability to wage a conventional war seems to have been heavily-attritted but the notion that he might have access to some sophisticated weapons, particularly anti-aircraft weapons, is keeping the Coalition Airforce at altitude where they might not be as effective as wished. That notion might also be holding up the committment of ground forces..

As I pick this screed up (some 5 weeks later)  little has changed, except  now that NATO has managed to clear out at least some old stock from the bomb lockers, and Ghaddafi has become a personal 'high-value target',again,  the leader of the free world wants permission from Congress - of the USA (not the world) - to 'go kinetic'  by introducing an armed force into Libya. It's really suprising that the 'sober' voices (the silent ones) of the UN aren't saying 'enough already' and calling for a truce and talks. If only in New York - for the Security Council seems to be wagging the UN dog, and not doing it the least bit well at it.

So far the US seems to be taking some delight in pounding Ghaddafi's "compound" to rubble and using the general explanation (he brought them to a firefight?) to excuse their blasting a couple of his grandchildren and one of his sons. You'd think a country affected by one, singular, earth-shaking catastrophe might have some reluctance about visiting the same, in spades, on somebody else, particularly somebody else who did nothing to harm them. But, hey, if you had to hit back your 'pals' ..... it's always easier to punish an 'enemy'.

The testosterone is flowing in the US ... all the Bin Laden 'high fives'  have sprouted a 'bush' full of  'macho'  and John Wayne 'say-sos'. All except when it comes to gallant little Israel, though. Mr Meshuggeneh can come to America and address Congress, call the President a 'naif' and ridicule his Weltanschaung in the press. He can say that there's no way he's even going to consider what Obama, or the UN says, in his'existential' defence of Eretz Israel. Maybe if Israel wasn't America's 'only, real' friend. But then, who would want those high tech weapons - or be willing to use them - just look at what they do with the money they don't have to spend arming themselves, they've turned that desert into a garden, fer pete's sake. Or maybe that's the money they've screwed out of Gaza and the West Bank..

Another little north African 'adventure' may be just the ticket the US armed forces need to get their morale problem in order. A swift little desert war - putting the Abrams and the armored fist to work like Rommel did. And not a Monty, or even an O'Connor in sight - should be a 'cake walk', and an opportunity to show up the 'luftweapon' who figured they could bomb Muammar out of office.

But it better not take more than 2 weeks.

PS: There's no chance this is a Bin Laden post mortem trick, eh? Replacing 'the revolution' with Al Qaeda?  Nah, probably not.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Last month it was noised abroad that Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the PA, was to visit Gaza. Then a Jewish settler family was found murdered in the West Bank and the ensuing 'hue and cry' in West Bank villages put an end to the visit. The notion of Abbas sitting down with HAMAs seemed still-born.

But the Arab spring was in full swing and whatever powers there were in a newly 'de-Mubaraked' Egypt  invited the feuding sides to meet together without the standard Egyptian 'interests' (viz Mubarak's agreements with Israel) involved. The result, announced to-day, was another plan to unite the two main 'factions' of the PA into one political entity. HAMAS and FATAH  are uniting their forces to move the Palestinian agenda forward.

So what's new this time? There have been such 'plans' before.

True, there have been a number of attempts to re-engage the two halves of the palestinian polity, often at the behest of the Arab League. The league members have their own agenda and support of the Palestinian cause is, for many of them, mostly mouth action. Previous plans involved paying HAMAS for caving-in to FATAH. The latter being vaguely palatable to Israel as a 'peace partner' and acceptable to the western powers as 'reformed terrorists'. Obviously had HAMAS seen any benefit to joining the moribund rump of the PLO, it would have done that. But one of the main causal reasons for HAMAS is the loss of 'belly-fire' in the resistance, and the co-option of Arafat's movement to align with Israel's main supporters. Not to mention the fact that 'virtual zero' for Palestinians was thoroughly explored in a very protracted series of peace 'lunches', while the Zionists colonized the West Bank..

HAMAS, having fought off FATAH twice, was in  no mood to join the 'losers', even though such action isolated and severely punished Gaza. It is perhaps this stalwart defence of their principles that is bringing the West Bank Arabs to the realization that, if there is no substantial change, the 'screwing' they've been getting will continue indefinitely.

Among agreement on 5 points is one to organize and hold an election in Gaza and the West Bank. This is vital. The last parliamentary election saw a Hamas government elected, and then arrested by the Israeli military. HAMAS took over administration of GAZA. Fatah held its strongholds in the West bank by rounding-up and jailing HAMAS proponents. HAMAS reciprocated after intercepting a US arms shipment bound for FATAH supporters in Gaza and chased the party activists out. The next election will allow ballot box comment on a raft of changes  from new settlements to the Wall.  I'd bet FATAH's day is done. 

Of course the greatest reaction to this announcement came from Israel. The three biggest news sources were full of commentary and interpretation of the event. The Jewish blogosphere lit up with dire warnings that destruction had taken wing, the existential threat was being realized. There were demands for the UN to outlaw everything in Palestine and impose sanctions - definitely to ignore any calls for Palestinian statehood or study of Mr. Goldstone's original report - which still stands as written. The Israeli 'security' cabinet was meeting to discuss the ramifications.

Among the immediate actions being demanded is the withdrawal of US support for the Palestinian Authority which is, once again, being described, by 'Israelis', both 'foreign and domestic', as a "terrorist state". Israel calls upon the world not to recognize the 'new' Palestinian government. After an election this might be a more problematic. Israel might be well-advised to use the wallet of the USA to try to get a better settlement now, rather than risking a worse one at some time up the road.

It goes without saying that, unless she's obviously attacked, 'punching out' the neighborhood, again, as a diversion, is a counter-productive non-starter. But it isn't off the table, nu?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Priministerial Aide

Off and running and right into a tree,  the 'Harper Government' of Canada comes wallowing out of the blocks and right into another cabinet-style embarassment.

About a month back newspapers were carrying a story that the Assembly of First Nations had asked police to investigate the possible malfeasance of one Bruce Carson, who, at that time, was putting himself across to them as someone with inside connections to the Tory government. He had involved himself in the sale of some water filtration equipment and  was 'hyping' the deal with news that water quality was becoming a government 'priority' for first nations reserves and that he could access government money for equipment and training. He was also engaged in erroneously 'hyping' a particular filtration system to Indian band councils as being 'approved by the government and the AFN'. He might have failed to mention that his girlfriend, working for the company involved, stood to pick-up a 20 percent commission on sales. 


Turns out that his girlfriend is a reformed Ottawa area 'escort' and former teen prostitute. Bruce had , apparently taken her 'under his wing', helped her get out of 'the life'. Helped her land  a job. They had also become engaged and moved into a new house together. But that's the interesting part of the story. Since the story broke there are, so far, only trace elements of her previous existence on the internet.
                                                                                   The 'pied a terre'

The rest of the story is more mundane.

 Carson, a former lawyer who was disbarred and spent some time in jail for a small fraud, has been a denizen of Tory caves in Ottawa since Harper came to power. He has had a number of functions tangential to government, acting as an aide and advisor. One of his more interesting appointments was as  the policy chief on the Afghanistan deployment of Canada's Armed forces. Carson's job, at that time, was to receive and review daily reports from Afghanistan, to prepare a briefing digest for the Prime Minister and to advise on policy ramifications. It is said that he had 'secret' level security clearance, but reports from the military operation that he received must have been at a higher level than that, considering that one of the 'biggies' he handled was the matter of possible war crimes charged by returning military personnel. How a convicted fraudster managed to attain such status, is a question on which the Harper Government seems to be doing the 'cabinet shuffle'. They've blamed an anonymous clerk and, of late,  said the outgoing 'Staff' of the Mounties did it - but he denies that. It's looking more like nobody vetted Mr. Carson at all. And this gaffe won't be solved by tossing another aide under the dumptruck. It's even better than the 'Minister of War' dropping his brief at his girlfriend's house, for Harpo, himself, gave Bruce his jobs.

In the interim, Carson has had to step down from his latest appontment as the executive Director of the Canadian School of Energy and Environment. The CSEE is a government creation, a multi-institutional panel to collect studies on energy and the environment. A viable alternative to actually doing anything about energy and the environment, no doubt. Carson took that job late in 2008.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Goldstone Redux

Some 20 months ago Justice Goldstone, at the behest of the UN HRC, presented the report of his committee on 'Operation Cast Lead'. In the ensuing time its formal presentation to that body and to the General assembly has been stonewalled. That is probably, in retrospect, a good thing, for Justice Goldstone has had, we are told, a notable change of heart in regard to his report.

 In an opinion piece in yesterday's Washington Post the good justice claims that had he known then, what he has learned since, that report would be significantly different.

The elucidation he cites is, essentially, that the IDF has proceeded to investigate its peccadilloes while HAMAS has not. Ergo the IDF perspective - that they would not deliberately target civilians, becomes, for him, the lingua franca in which the report should have been written. He goes on to describe how, in at least two investigations that have actually been concluded - somebody, an officer in one case ( up on a charge for careless interpretation of some drone imagery that gave rise to the destruction of a house and the family in it) has been charged. Although the charge has been laid, the case has yet to make its way through an IDF court. And, probably, with the same results that saw numerous military incidents described as 'mistakes made in the heat of battle'. Another investigation saw an enlisted man convicted of theft of a credit card he was careless enough to use to buy some treats for himself when he got back to base.

The good Justice doesn't have much to say about the 'battle' which saw 7 IDF soldiers killed - 5 in friendly -fire incidents,  as opposed to 1100 fairly-definable civilians and 300 fairly-identifiable HAMAS fighters. The 'battle' would seem to have been quite one-sided. So much for a  'measured response'. There were other glaring incidents, reported by the Red Cross and UN observers, that have not yet been investigated - like the shooting of an ambulance crew trying to evacuate wounded, and the use of WP munitions on a UN school known to be used as a refuge. Justice Goldstone is convinced it was all done with the best of intentions. Hamas, he's equally as sure, now shares their part of the blame all alone. Actually they share all the blame, for although he doesn't say it, they 'made' the IDF 'have' to do it.

I'm inclined to think that this is an exercise to draw the world's attrention to the story of the Fogel family - mentioned, as it is, in his newpaper piece, and its getting 'lost' amid the news about Libya two weeks ago. The western press may have not played the 'massacre' as well as it might have been, but the electronic 'hebrew blog-o-sphere' certainly 'did it up right'. The Justice would have to be a Haman of sorts, to side with such monsters. In fact he's getting still such a reaction from some of his co-religionists for writing  that report (and encouraging such killers) at all. The other half of the crowd is calling to the 'World Pilate' in New York to 'wash its hands' of the report entirely and wondering if 'prestige' levels will improve enough for another 'free hand' in Gaza.

I'm inclined to think another poke at Gaza  is the ultimate point.  The recent murder of the Fogels put the blocks to another attempt to 'mend fences' between the West Bank and Gaza. 'Abu Mazen's' little foray to the camps had to be delayed so he could lend a hand in the 'razzas' the IDF pulled-off to 'round up the usual suspects'. So far none have been charged. A shipping container of weapons was confiscated from a Turkish ship sailing to Egypt. A number of rockets and a fairly large array of mortar bombs and  tubes were displayed for the public. One of the results was an uptick on fence security at Gaza with a spate of bombing and shooting incidents along the perimeter, and the launching of an increased number of retaliatory rockets and mortars. Noises being made last week, when a rocket actually hit a house, were reaching the "intolerable" level and the 'price', Cast Lead 2,  was being tossed around.

Mr Netanyahu is doing his darnedest to restrain the 'war dogs' in his cabinet, but even his 'patience' is worn thin.It wouldn't take much to unleash  another live-fire exercise on the Gazans. Maybe Mr. Goldstone, by recanting his report on the last one, has set the stage for the next one. Ironic, sort of.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey! Look at Me! Look at Me!

Somebody once asked a rocker (it might have been Keith Richards) what message he thought rock and rollers were trying to get across: he said it was, "Hey everybody, look at me!" That seems to be a common thing in the world ,too. There are a couple of countries that seem to be unable to stand being ignored. North Korea is one, South Korea is another. Gaddafi was good at it, and America, because of its importance, has not yet really been tried since its early days, which then had some promise. One of the best 'crier' is gallant little Israel.

Maybe it's because the 'threat' never really goes away. Maybe it's because it has been a nation-in-arms for the past 60 years. Maybe it's because it has kicked the tripe out of every one of its neighbours, some of them twice or three times, in that 60 years, or maybe it's just because the cash might stop coming if the crying stopped. But Israel makes a lot more noise about 'needing' than many other places far worse off, or with far greater needs.

Israel started advertising itself as the place that 'made the desert bloom' back in the fifties and although they've turned the place into an Arizona look-alike since then, it's probably had as much to do with having tremendous financial resources available, almost from the very beginning, than it's had to do with hard work. For, since the first Zionists arrived, they've been hiring the locals as day labor. It's not much different to-day. For a lot of Jews in Israel, the 'job' is just being Jewish, that aggrevates the non-religious Israelis who actually have to work for a living. When you look at what Israel actually exports to the world you find that, for all its modernity, it doesn't actually produce much at all.  But you wouldn't think so from looking at  google world. Israel is a lush green colour surrounded by dun-coloured neighbours. How could this be possible, with only a little help from friends and an 'edge' on the local resources.

Considering it has no oil production of its own and one of the highest ratios of citizens to automobiles on earth, and an active military, you have to wonder why you never hear Israel moaning about gas or oil shortages. If there is anywhere on earth that should have them, given the hostile neighborhood, it's Israel. But Israel never seems to have to scrimp at home while running a war anywhere else. Why is that? Well it could be because Israel, by some strange twist of kismet, got itself located at the end of an oil pipline from Jordan to the sea that exports mainly Iraqi oil, for Jordan has precious little of its own, either. For all their wanting to 'destroy' Israel, its oil rich Arab neighbours don't feel any constraints about oiling its war machine. Strikes me that, if they were as serious as the Israelis say they are, that tap would have been offed long ago.

Egypt controls the Suez but the thought of making Israeli shipping take the long way from Ashkelon to Eilat doesn't seem to have occurred to them. Even lately, the Egyptians were letting Israeli subs through their canal while the Israelis were whinging about a glorified Iranian tugboat being allowed through for the first time since the Ayetolleh was Homeini. Once again one would have thought, that, to 'strangle' Israel wouldn't have been such a difficult thing to do. The Arabs may have navies, some quite powerful on paper, but it's the Israelis who range the eastern Med fending-off those 'existential threats'.

This week the blogdom of the Jewish world lit up with the news that a settler family had been 'massacred' in one of those west bank outposts. It was unremarkable in that every one that I read stated, without any doubt that the Arabs had done it, because 'that's what Arabs do'. And the other unremarkability was the bloodthirsty nature of the proposed 'price extraction'. This week Jewish blogdom is riven by arguments about whether, or not, the on-site photos of slashed parents and bloodied babies should have been used to illustrate the story. While the effect of such lurid details was debatable; whether  the Arabs might actually not be guilty occurred to only one or two Jewish commentators. Or whether the actions of the IDF and settlers in the nearest Arab village, or whether the extension of that particular settlement onto newly 'abandoned' Palestinian land (suitably named from the initials of the 5 dead)  were appropriate reactions to such a horror, were noted by very few bloggers and commentators. Those commentators  were, naturally, greeted with the 'meshuggeneh' reaction.

Without getting to deeply into what seems to be 'an on-going investigation', in this instant we have what an American in Iraq once described as "what happens when you  bring your kids to a battle". This particular family of settlers, the Fogels, were among those who had 'settled' in Gaza, and had then been removed by the IDF. Funded by the Israeli government they moved into a West Bank settlement on what was considered to be  'legitimately-appropriated' land. For some reason they left that established home to break ground in a new settlement near Hebron.  Since it was started, the settlement has been in a literal 'war' with its Arab neighbours.  People, on both sides, have been beaten and killed, the notion of 'extracting a price' from Palestinians in destroyed property started near here,  and numerous Palestinians have been arrested and jailed under a military administration that often fails to identify settlers involved in provocations or violence. The Fogels may have been raising their children 'well',  but that included a readiness, in that community, to meet Palestinan "violence" with even more violent Israeli offensive "defence".

Along with a general round-up of young males in the nearby Palestian village (two policemen were identified immediately as suspects), the Israeli police also rounded-up all the 'foreign workers' in the settlement itself. These settler camps, like many other places in the middle east,  make use of  the  cheap labor of Thais and Philippinos to build or tend to things the settlers apparently don't have time to do. Some commentators have posited that it was one of these workers who may have killed the Fogels. For an outsider to enter the 'front line' camp, and 'execute' the family of two otherwise healthy adults, (one an IDF officer) - missing two of their children at home (who may have slept through the mayhem) and a third who was out at a meeting - without raising any alarm and then exiting the village undisturbed,  just seems to verge too much on the miraculous.

Both sides in this sad story have their martyrs, and their martydoms. Neither is particularly conducive to peace or reconciliation. No one, especially children, should have to suffer for the sins of their parents, but that, once again sadly, is, often, life.  By the same token,  no one should be dispossessed of their homes for anyone else's previous or historic 'rights'. If  that were the universal case, there would be few places on earth that wouldn't be challenged by  'former' owners. I really don't think that Jews from anywhere, other than Palestine, have any 'right' to land there, particularly if it currently belongs to a Palestinian. They should, perhaps, have a right to buy, if a Palestinaian wants to sell, but there is a lot of 'buying more than was sold', or buying rights to property from someone who doesn't hold them, and then using the courts and the law to gain freehold after encouraging  the residents'  'abandonment' through intimidation and violence.

As things stand now, with Israel continuing to 'cry out' and be heard by Americans and their government, nothing fair or equitable can be expected. What the world will get is more violence, for those like the Fogels, who claim a 'divine right', have no place for any non-jew in "Eretz Yisroel". Their only solution is ethnic cleansing. The non-religious Jews might be more temperate, but many of them see that they're in the same boat with the others, that the best way to keep 'safe' is to keep on top of the Palestinians, to make sure they can't go anywhere, be anything or do much but labour for scraps, if they stay in, or even near, Israel. Which leaves Palestinans with no real choice other than to give up and hope for some change of heart, or to keep fighting, and breeding, in hope that either they drive Israelis to do them what the Germans did to their sires and become 'pariah' to their supporters, or until they outnumber their masters and  their masters have no choice but to change.

For all the crying, the world isn't helping by running to 'pick up the baby'. It's already been spoiled, so there is no easy 'cure'.