My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, June 30, 2006

Israel is singled out once again....

The new UN Human Rights Council is off to a really bad start....but is anybody surprised?
The new UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to make a review of alleged human rights abuses by Israel a permanent feature of every council session.

The resolution, which was sponsored by Islamic countries, was passed by a vote of 29-12, with five abstentions. It effectively revives a practice of the UN's dissolved Human Rights Commission, which also reviewed alleged Israeli abuses every time it met.

Israel protested Friday's vote, calling it a perpetuation of "the old infamous habits" of the widely discredited commission.

The resolution requires UN investigators to report at each council session "on the Israeli human rights violations in occupied Palestine."

The resolution also said the council "decides to undertake substantive consideration of the human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories at its next session and to incorporate that issue in its following sessions."

One of the United States' main criticisms of the 53-nation Human Rights Commission that was replaced this year by the council was that it spent one week of its annual six-week session criticizing Israel and made other frequent attacks on the Jewish state.

"Voting in favor of this draft resolution will lead you directly to the old infamous habits of the commission," Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon told the council. "Voting yes essentially means that no lessons have been drawn. It means that there is no fresh beginning."

Besides Arab and other Muslim countries, "yes" votes were cast by African nations, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia and Sri Lanka. Canada and European Union members on the council voted against it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The cruelty of affirmative action in the US.....

Affirmative action actually hurts the people it is supposed to help.
What if proponents of affirmative action are wrong? That is, what if racial-preference policies don't increase the numbers of minorities who graduate from colleges, law schools, etc, but rather, do just the opposite? Moreover, what if the harm done to minority academic and employment prospects is compounded by the fact that the policies are blatantly unlawful?

What if affirmative action is a giant, devastating sham?

Startling testimony at a recent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing from Dr. Richard Sander, Professor of Law at UCLA, showed that racial preferences at American law schools are just such a sham. Professor Sander's two most recent analyses reveal extraordinary disparities between black law students and their white comparatives: The grade-point averages of approximately 50 percent of black law students cluster in the bottom ten percent of the class. Blacks are 2½ times more likely than whites not to graduate. Blacks are four times more likely to fail the bar exam on the first try and six times more likely never to pass the exam despite multiple attempts.

Perhaps the most astonishing statistic is that only about a third of blacks entering law school this fall will graduate and pass the bar exam on the first try. Bleak are the prospects for many black law students.

Professor Sander testified that the primary cause for the black law-school disaster is racial preferences. His systemic analyses describe in unapologetic detail how affirmative action creates a mismatch effect, i.e., black students enroll at schools at which they’re ill-equipped to compete.

Jihad.....or Divorce!

Well, a whole new type of pre-nuptial agreement!
When it came time to write up the premarital agreement between Zakaria Amara and Nada Farooq, Ms. Farooq briefly considered adding a clause that would allow her to ask for a divorce.

She said that Mr. Amara (now accused of being a leader of the alleged terror plot that led to the arrests of 17 Muslim men early this month) had to aspire to take part in jihad.

"[And] if he ever refuses a clear opportunity to leave for jihad, then i want the choice of divorce," she wrote in one of more than 6,000 Internet postings uncovered by The Globe and Mail.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Let's not talk about muslim anti-semitism...

The Dutch are facing some obstacles in solving their problemm with muslims - to many relativists just can't face up to the problem.
A Dutch professor accused the president of his university of suppressing free speech by cutting out parts of a talk on Muslim anti-Semitism.

Pieter W. van der Horst, a professor of New Testament and Judaism, made the accusations after Willem Gispen, president of Utrecht University, cut passages from a van der Horst speech. Gispen said the passages are “offensive to a Muslim audience” and “unscholarly.”

Van der Horst was allowed to deliver the first half of the speech, which focused on Christian anti-Semitism.

BBC refusing to change policy on the use of the word 'terrorist'...

The BBC is beyond redemption.
The BBC has rejected a call made by an independent panel studying charges of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to change its editorial policies on the use of the word "terrorist" and appoint a senior editor to oversee its Middle East coverage.

Using the word "terrorist" to describe attacks on civilians, BBC management argued in a paper released June 19, would make the "very value judgments" it had been asked to eschew.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hamas-Fatah Deal is Useless....

You'll hear a lot from the press on this so-called breakthrough, but:
Rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas have reached agreement on a common political strategy to try to end a damaging power struggle.

However, Hamas negotiators have denied earlier reports that the deal meant the militants would implicitly recognise Israel - a major policy shift.

The full text of the accord has not yet been released. A Hamas minister said it did not have "one word" on the issue.

Palestinian minister Abdel Rahman Zeidan told the BBC the Hamas-Fatah document did not in any way recognise the state of Israel.

"There is no agreement between the Palestinians on specifically this phrase. You will not find one word in the document clearly stating the recognition of Israel as a state. Nobody has agreed to this. This was not on the table. This was not in the dialogue," he said.
I'm not surprised - there is simply no way that Hamas will ever recognize Israel. Their charter/mission is clear - the total destruction of Israel...but when will the press ever really understand?

Ward Churchill to be fired.....

Good news...but he should never have been a professor....
The top official at the University of Colorado's flagship campus said yesterday he intends to fire Ward Churchill, the professor who compared some World Trade Center victims to a Nazi and then landed in hot water over allegations of academic misconduct.

Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano said Mr. Churchill has 10 days to appeal his decision to a faculty committee. Mr. Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has denied allegations of plagiarism and other misconduct and has said he would file suit if fired.

Mr. Churchill did not immediately return telephone messages yesterday.

In an essay written shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Mr. Churchill described some of the victims in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann. The essay was largely ignored until January 2005, when it came to light before Mr. Churchill was to speak at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

The essay triggered calls for Mr. Churchill to be fired, but university officials concluded he could not be dismissed because of free speech protections. They did order an investigation into allegations of academic misconduct, which concluded two weeks ago.

The school's committee on research misconduct said Mr. Churchill "has committed serious, repeated, and deliberate research misconduct."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Chemical/Biological Weapons in Gaza?

I don't whether this is just bluster...but it is frightening just because of their intent.
he Aksa Martyrs Brigades announced on Sunday that its members have succeeded in manufacturing chemical and biological weapons.

In a leaflet distributed in the Gaza Strip, the group, which belongs to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party, said the weapons were the result of a three-year effort.

According to the statement, the first of its kind, the group has managed to manufacture and develop at least 20 different types of biological and chemical weapons.

The group said its members would not hesitate to add the new weapons to Kassam rockets that are being fired at Israeli communities almost every day. It also threatened to use the weapons against IDF soldiers if Israel carried out its threats to invade the Gaza Strip.

An American Hero

This is truly an inspirational story for our times....
Radical Islamists may not know it but their global jihad has more to fear from Shannen Rossmiller, an American mother-of-three, than from a squadron of F16s.

Yet a summary of case histories and transcripts seen by The Daily Telegraph reveals that she has uncovered the whereabouts of al-Qa'eda fighters in the lawless highlands of Pakistan, shopped groups of would-be terrorists from Liverpool to Lebanon, tracked down an Islamist designing a nuclear device and much, much more.

For four years, she has alternated her day jobs of mother and magistrate in the mountain state of Montana with a night-time role as a hunter of terrorists. Mrs Rossmiller first turned freelance spy after September 11.

Donning a range of virtual disguises, she uses her functional, self-taught Arabic, and customised software that masks her true identity and whereabouts, to navigate into radical internet chat rooms frequented by real terrorists or any fanatic with a computer and a grudge.

In her first interview with a British newspaper, the 37-year-old said that at first she kept her nocturnal sleuthing secret: "I didn't want my family to know because they'd call me crazy and this was just too damn interesting."

Now she finds it hard to escape the world she has entered. Asked whether she seeks a way out, she said: "I've tried a couple of times to back off, but it just hasn't been the right time.

"I remember the time I screamed 'Can't these guys take a weekend off?' But humanity is such a precious thing that you don't want to see [terrorist attacks] happen to anybody, to any country, any people."

She has proved increasingly useful to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which now supplies her with handlers, Arabic translators and security, in case the terrorists seek revenge.

They have reason to be angry: in America alone, the authorities have made several arrests based on Mrs Rossmiller's work.

In her best known case, she secured a life sentence for a treacherous soldier, Pte Ryan Anderson, who was trying to transmit the weaknesses of the M1 Abrams tank to al-Qa'eda. It was when she was called to give evidence in that case that her cover was blown. "I didn't have the choice of remaining anonymous," she said, despite earlier pledges from the authorities that her name would never be made public.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A sad tale from Pakistan....

More persecution of Christians in the muslim world.
y rights, the Pakistani Christians Asif Masih and Amjad Masih should be celebrating. Released from prison last month after their life sentences for blasphemy were overturned by Pakistan's supreme court, they are enjoying their first taste of freedom for seven years. But in the country's increasingly fundamentalist climate, the two feel as imprisoned now as they ever did, forced into hiding for fear of attacks by Muslim extremists.

The two cleaners from Jhang district, 300 miles south of Islamabad, were jailed by a Faisalabad court in 1999 under Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws, having been wrongly accused of burning a copy of the Koran. Because the law can be invoked on the word of just one witness, it is frequently manipulated by Muslims to settle scores or rouse religious tensions.

Asif, 30, and Amjad, 36, who are not related - Masih is a generic term used to describe Christians in Pakistan - said police made the Koran-burning allegations after the pair refused to pay bribe money in 1998. Their first appeal was rejected on May 23, 2003, and they were finally freed last month.

Amjad's wife, Kausar, said: "It has been a tough period for my family, but I am afraid the real tough time starts now, as the extremists can attack Amjad or somebody else from the family."

In jail, the two men were kept in solitary confinement for their own safety, following the murder of another blasphemer in a women's prison in 2003. Meena Munir, a local human rights activist, claimed they were just as much at risk having been released.

"Once a person is charged with blasphemy, he is considered condemned even if he is acquitted," she said. The families of the two men now face poverty, as employment prospects are bleak for anyone remotely associated with an alleged "blasphemer".

Amjad, his wife and their four children are now being looked after by the Bishop John Joseph Shaheed Trust, a charity set up in memory of a clergyman who committed suicide outside a court to protest against the blasphemy laws.

Amjad's story is all too familiar for Pakistan's vulnerable Christian minorities, who make up less than three per cent of the predom-inantly conservative Muslim population of 160 million. Unlike Christian communities in the Middle East, who are generally prosperous, Pakistani Christians are mainly poor - most trace their ancestry back to the "untouchable" Hindu Chuhra caste.

In many areas, they have suffered violence orchestrated against them and their churches. In February, 400 people attacked a church in the southern city of Sukkur after accusations that a Christian had set fire to a Koran. In 2002, Muslim hardliners threw grenades into a church on Christmas Day, killing three girls.

Worsening the situation for indigenous Christians is the perceived link between them and the Western world that is now demonised by extremists.

"Pakistan is becoming a fundamentalist state," Nasir Saeed, the London director for the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), a Pakistani charity, told The Sunday Telegraph. Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace, a Roman Catholic human rights body, has criticised the authorities for failing to prosecute Muslim militias, whom it claims have murdered at least 23 alleged blasphemers.

More on Saudi textbooks...

We've reported several weeks ago about the content of Saudi textbooks. Here's another report from the Daily Telegraph.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of continuing to foster religious hatred in its schools, despite its repeated assurances since the September 11 attacks that it would rewrite textbooks that refer to Jews as "apes" and Christians as "swine".

The charges come after Freedom House, a non-partisan American research group which monitors civil rights worldwide, examined textbooks that it smuggled out of Saudi Arabia. The group found that despite promises of change from leading Saudi officials, including Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, and Turki al-Faisal, the ambassador to America, schoolbooks in the kingdom still promote hatred of those who do not practise its strict form of Wahhabi Islam.

The report also alleged that some of the textbooks are used in official Saudi schools around the world. Senior staff at the King Fahd Academy in Acton, west London, which has 750 pupils, said that it was not for the school to comment.

"Even if only a small percentage of the people who are exposed to this take it to heart and act on it, that's still a lot of people," said Nina Shea, Freedom House's director, after the release of the 39-page report, Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance.

The report cites extracts from textbooks used in religious education classes for children aged between five and 16. It quotes the following exercise for the youngest children: "Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ------- is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters -------."

It claims that older students are taught: "It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour (of judgment)."

Let's not compensate the Chinese for the exclusion act...

I've been somewhat taken aback by Stephen Harper's decision to apologize to the Chinese community for the head tax and the exclusion act...and to pay monies to the people who have paid the head tax.

In my view there were two separate crimes committed: First, the head tax, and second, the exclusion act which prohibited chinese from emigrating to Canada. The second is a far more serious crime than the first - at least Chinese could still get into Canada while paying the head tax.

Consider the case of Jews who were excluded from Canada during the holocaust. From the late 1930 to the end of the war, Canada took in less than 5,000 Jews. Think of how many Jews could have been saved had the Government allowed them in. Should there be compensation for that? How on earth could you ever compensate for the 100,000+ Jews who could have been saved? You can't.

Every group who's been wronged can now stand in line for compensation? How about gays who have been excluded from Canada for years? Gay spouses who have been denied entry for years? Labour groups, Ukranians, etc....there is no shortage of groups who can have some sort of claim.

Of course, I should say that I do deserve some compensation. I have suffered greatly by my lack of suffering. I have had no family members murdered during the holocaust, and I haven't suffered from anti-semitism. Isn't that the ultimate insult to somebody who is jewish? And, being gay, I am sure that I should get some sort of payment - particularly since gay sex wasn't taught in sex ed when I was in school. I was deprived, no? I figure a cheque of $25,000 should cover my suffering.

One last note: Instead of token compensation for the chinese, I believe the government should build an immigration museum which could cover the head tax, the exclusion act, the ban on allowing Jews into the country during the second world war, etc....

Good news from the UK.....

Not surprising - many gay couples, like straight couples, want to get married....
Nearly 7,000 same-sex couples have entered into civil partnerships in Britain in the four months since they became legal.

The majority of the couples were married in England and Wales where 6,516 pairs tied the knot. In Scotland, some 350 couples have exchanged vows.

Unlike most other countries which allow same-sex couples to solemnify their relationships most of the British couples were male - by a margin of almost two-to-one figures released Friday show.

In England and Wales 4,311 couples were male and 2,205 female.

Not surprisingly there was a rush to have civil unions in December, right after the law went into effect with 1,901 partnerships formed in England and Wales. Numbers tailed off slightly in the new year.

The most popular location to have a civil partnership was in London, followed closely by the largely gay area of Brighton and Hove.

Despite the lower numbers in Scotland, one-in-five of all couples tying the knot in Edinburgh were same-sex couples.

Palestinians to limit their terrorist acts...

The sad fact is that many people will see this as good news....
Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad confirmed on Saturday that that Fatah and Hamas were near reached an agreement on the prisoners document, according to which Hamas would agree to most of the stipulations in the document, including a demand to limit their terror attacks to territories outside the Green Line.
Nope, they can't quite stop their terrorist acts - that would be too much.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What is Bush thinking???

Even Sharansky is unhappy that Bush seems to be abandoning his push for democracy.
In recent months the emphasis on supporting the "growth of democratic movements and institutions" has waned for the White House. On Thursday, for example, Secretary of State Rice worked closely with Senator Biden, a Democrat of Delaware, to defeat a Senate amendment that would have authorized $100 million for the Iranian democracy movement and tightened sanctions against Iran, in part because of fears such a measure would scuttle negotiations with Iran over abandoning its uranium enrichment.
Look, I firmly believe that no matter what the US does, the Iranians are not going to go for any deal. We desperately need to fund the opposition to the current regime. Help!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Supreme Court sets a new standard....

Get set for lawyers going crazy over emotional trauma.
The emotional consequences of a spouse's misconduct can be weighed by the courts when judging spousal support payments, despite Canada's system of no-fault divorce, the nation's top court ruled Wednesday.

But the landmark decision from the Supreme Court of Canada stresses that misconduct alone is not a reason to financially support a wronged spouse.

"Misconduct, as such, is off the table as a relevant consideration,'' wrote Justice Ian Binnie. "Consequences (however) are not rendered irrelevant because of their genesis in the other spouse's misconduct.''

Despite the ruling, Gary Leskun's lawyer Lorne MacLean characterized the judgment as a legal victory.

"We won on the law we lost on the facts, which is basically what Mr. Justice Binnie said. He agreed with our submission that spousal misconduct should not play a part but felt that the judgment was sustainable on other grounds," he said, appearing on CTV Newsnet after the ruling.

The highly nuanced case centred on an appeal filed by Gary Leskun, who left his wife of 20 years to marry another woman in 1998.

He was appealing a lower court's judgment that he must continue to pay monthly spousal support to his ex-wife Sherry Leskun on the grounds she is so embittered from his extra-marital affair she can't work.

"Her life is this litigation,'' the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in 2004 in upholding the $2,250 monthly spousal support.

The court wrote that Sherry Leskun, who is now 59, is "bitter to the point of obsession with his misconduct and in consequence has been unable to make a new life.''
But, here's Grant Brown's interpretation:
The SCC sets a new standard by saying that the "emotional devastation" suffered by a woman as a result of her husband's affair was sufficient to keep her out of work, thus necessitating the payment of spousal support indefinitely.

This should be good news for men. When women have affairs, men are just as emotionally devastated; but in addition, they also tend to lose their children, their homes, and often their friends and neighbours. It must be a source of amazement to the SCC that any man can find the strength to keep working after a separation. Surely they cannot be expected to pay child support, much less spousal support, when this happens. I look forward to this new standard being applied even handedly, pursuant to s. 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

When in doubt, blame the Jews...

The President of the Sudan has real chutzpah....
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir escalated his rejection of the United Nations deploying peacekeepers in Darfur, calling them neo-colonialists and accusing Jewish organizations of pushing for their deployment.

His comments, made while a joint UN and African Union team was in Sudan planning for such a deployment, is likely to increase tension with the UN Security Council and provoke an angry response from US legislators.

A Security Council delegation toured Darfur early this month. The US and Europeans have been pushing for a large UN force to take over peacekeeping in Darfur from the African Union's poorly equipped 7,000 troops, who have been unable to halt the violence in the west Sudanese region.

When journalists pressed al-Bashir on his objection to UN troops in Darfur, he replied: "It is clear that there is a purpose behind the heavy propaganda and media campaigns" for international intervention in Darfur.

"If we return to the last demonstrations in the United States, and the groups that organized the demonstrations, we find that they are all Jewish organizations," al-Bashir said.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

So-called gay rights activists disappointing...

The Margaret Somerville kerfuffle at Ryerson this week is indicative of the short-sighted thinking you can expect from gay rights activists. It appears that Ms. Somerville is very deserving of an honorary degree - and I just wish that these so-called gay activists would have just ignored the whole thing.

Not everybody supports gay marriage - and gay activists need to respect differences of opinion. In fact, what these activists are doing is just making more enemies - and influencing nobody positively. They ill-service the gay community.

I just wish they would put the same effort into protesting the treatment of gay people in Iran and other muslim countries. On this, gay activists are mostly silent.

The deluded Europeans...

Gee, here's an out of touch European.
Kassam rocket fire on Sderot is another sign that the Israelis and Palestinians need to "sit down and talk and go for a long-lasting peace," European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

Responding to the oft-heard argument that any European country faced with a constant rocket barrage on one of its cities would respond with great military force, Ferrero-Waldner said that "at a certain moment everyone would understand that one has to sit down and talk and go for long lasting peace; this is the only argument that really counts." She said that if this were not done, "it would be horrible here and horrible there, and this is our European understanding. We would like to assist both of you as much as we can and be an objective partner."

When asked with whom Israel should sit and talk, she said, "absolutely with [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas." Ferrero-Waldner, who left Israel on Wednesday after two days of talks focused on the Quartet-backed "funding mechanism" designed to channel international aid into the PA while bypassing the Hamas-led government, met Abbas Tuesday and said he is "the elected president and also a man of peace. He has renounced violence, recognized Israel, and always speaks about the roadmap and about Oslo, and he wants to talk with Israel. I think this is the right moment to do it."
Europe as an objective partner??? How funny is that? And, she's probably right, the Europeans wouldn't respond to thousaands of Kassam rockets - they didn't move a finger to stop the Serb massacre in Srebenica.

Is Bosnia in trouble?

There was an article in the National Post on Saturday about Bosnia. Many of the Wahhabist fighters from the wars in the 1990s are still there and causing trouble. A muslim woman was just murdered by her son, after she refused to join him for morning prayers.

Supposedly there is also a 'sharia militia' running around trying to police people.

Again, in the heart of Europe, the islamists are threatening to take over a country. I doubt there will be response from the Europeans. Perhaps our aid agencies should start funneling support to moderate muslims - before it is too late.

A Michael Jackson Moment...

Michael Jackson is being sued by a former financial advisor. But have a look at this testimony from Jackson on how he makes his spending money:
In a bizarre detail, Jackson maintained he got his spending money by leasing cows that lived on his Neverland ranch. During the deposition there was this exchange between King and Jackson:

Q. "So all your cash, whenever you need cash to shop or whatever comes from the cows?"

A. "Yes, believe it or not."

Q. "I don't but that's OK. I don't have to."

A. "I'm telling you."

Q. "OK. So Alan Whitman's office never arranged for you to get cash, correct?"

A. "Not that I can recall because I don't remember talking to Alan. I don't think I have ever met him."
Alan Whitman is his business manager - and Jackson is denying he ever met him.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The blast in Gaza...

The early evidence looks like the blast in Gaza was NOT caused by the Israelies. However, I believe it is irrelevent who was responsible. Let's be clear here - the Palestinians fire rockets into Israel with the INTENT to kill as many civilians as possible. The Israelies respond - and occasionally civilians get killed. But, when that happens there is typically an Israeli investigation, lots of hand-wringing (did we go too far), and, of course, no shortage of international condemnation.

Could you EVER imagine the Paletinians holding an internal investigation into Israeli deaths? Of course not. They'd be too busy celebrating.

The incident on the beach underscores the difference between the Israelies and the Palestinians. But, it also shows the difference in how the international community looks at the two sides. The Palestinians could fire over 100 rockets from Gaza into Israel over the course of a weekend - but nary a peep from anybody. The Israelies MIGHT have (but possibly not) accidentally killed some Palestinians...and even Kofi Annan is horrified.

Actually, Israel is weak. Their response to continued rocket fire from Gaza has been tepid. Interestingly enough, Hamas has now promised to stop rocket fire - even though they claim they had a ceasefire with Israel. Has the press noticed this seeming contradiction???

Iran says fuck off...

It appears that they have rejected the 'carrots and sticks' approach. Will we take no for answer and finally do something?
The supreme leader of Iran yesterday gave the sternest rejection to date of the international package of incentives designed to coax Teheran into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran will not bend to these pressures."

He was referring to the diplomatic "carrots and sticks" agreed earlier this month by America, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

An important meeting in Baghdad...

Christopher Hitchens looks at a newly-found Iraqi document.
As we are gradually becoming aware, an enormous tranche of captured Iraqi government papers are very slowly being analyzed and translated. Currently housed in Qatar, this documentation can be reviewed thus far on the Pentagon's Foreign Military Studies Office Web site. Elements in the Bush administration are still highly reluctant to declassify and disclose much of this material, probably because it demonstrates yet again that our "intelligence" services knew less than nothing of what was happening in Iraq. But early yields have proved illuminating and will probably lead to a revision of the current complacent consensus, both on Saddam's WMD plans and on his extensive contact with the region's Islamic fanatics.

A suggestive new document from this trove has now been uncovered and analyzed by Ray Robison, a former staffer on David Kay's Iraq Survey Group. It details a meeting in Baghdad between Fazlur Rahman, a major Pakistani cleric and Taliban sympathizer, and Taha Yassin Ramadan, Saddam's vice president and chief party enforcer. Fazlur Rahman seeks and receives sympathy, brings a message of goodwill from Mullah Omar, and requests Iraqi help in mediating between the Taliban, Northern Alliance, and the Russians in Afghanistan. Though some of the conversation is opaque and hard to decipher, it clearly shows that a friendly informal contact existed between the two regimes. (Unconfirmed reports allege that Vice President Ramadan also met with Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Baghdad in 1998.)

On holiday in Aruba...

Blogging will be light until I return from Aruba next monday. Just a short one week holiday to visit family...and the beaches are fantastic.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A dialogue with Imam Hindy....

I received today via e-mail an exchange of e-mail to and from Imam Hindy in Toronto.

First, here is the letter that was sent to him:
Mr. Aly Hindy,

I just finished reading some quotes in the Ottawa Citizen that have been attributed to you, regarding the foiled terrorist plot, re: “ Imam claims charges homegrown baloney”. You claim that this is an attack on the Muslim community. I would appreciate a response, please, clarifying this statement, as I do not understand what you mean.

Also, if you could help me to understand how we are abusing our boys for the sake of pleasing President George W. Bush, it would enlighten an obviously uninformed Canadian. Mr. Hindy, the federal employees of the Canadian forces of CSIS and the RCMP are by no means conjuring up falsehoods in fear of becoming unemployed. The Muslim community nation wide in all communities needs to understand and accept responsibility for the actions of their community and the most important, influential factor is for their leadership, Mr. Hindy, to encourage peace always. Part of the action to promote peaceful living is to acknowledge, without bitterness those who would choose violent behaviour against their fellow Canadians, and to ask that they be punished, if found guilty, of these most unacceptable crimes.

Please take note that Canadians are free loving and a kind-hearted people who wish to live in peace. We are not interested in having foreign grievances planted on our doorstep by ANYONE. I would hope that as a man in a leadership role of the Muslim community in Canada, you would consider a more thoughtful and considerate reply, when representing you, your mosque and your community in the future.

And, here is his response:
Dear Ms. xxx:

I thank you for your e-mail.

First of all when you talk about Canadians, you sound like you are from the Canadian people, but not myself or the those being accused of terrorism.

I have to tell you I love Canada and invested most of life in this country as much as you. I have contributed personally to many engineering projects in Ontario in the power generation Industry. I have also produced children and grand children that are Medical doctors, Engineers and Scientist that building this great Country of OURS. You have given me an unnecessary note.

Secondly, I have to tell you, that I receive and continue to receive e-mails and calls from many Canadians (Muslims and non-Muslims) that are very worried about the direction our country is taken. Mainly following the footsteps of the Neo-conservative government of USA. This policy of US, in case you do not know, is based on putting the population under constant fear of an imminent attack from an unknown enemy. The result is justifying military overseas adventures by attacking other nations to prevent possible attacks or "to go them before they come to us". This policy also resulted of suspension of many civil rights to American people including non-Muslims. In order to fully understand this it require from you some readings.

Thirdly, our government is pressured to help the American military operation overseas.

having said that, you can understand the intense pressure exerted on security agencies to produce some results in the war against terrorism..

Let us now examine the complete mess that the present government has made out of this case. By announcing these arrests in news conference and by comments made by the PM, Security Minster and other officials, the reputation of this government and our security apparatus is at stake in front of the whole world if those individual are found not guilty (which I believe so). What a judge (or Jury) would do if he (they) find those individuals are not guilty with the pressure from the government and media and Canada's reputation around the world.

If you look at the allegations, apart from criminal charges for 3 individuals of smuggling guns to be sold in Toronto lucrative market (Muslim community like any other community including yours have some criminals), the whole case of terrorism is hanging on one simple question. That is who & how those 3 tons of fertilizers.

If the government fails to prove the one of those individuals ordered the fertilizers, the whole case will fall apart.

Now I am asking you, why for the heaven sake the government did not wait until those guys bought the fuel oil and bring the wiring and the trucks and captured them red handed specially when the police already changed the fertilizers to an un-harmful material.

My friend the case is politically motivated specially the timing of the arrest.

The moment, I saw those individuals in the court, which I know nine of them, I realized that this case is made up. In no way by knowing the personality of some of those individuals, they can not be in this and they can not be together in a group.

I can assure you that we are peace loving people and one want to heart Canada what so ever.


Aly Hindy

N.B. You may find some disconnect in my writing because I wrote my reply in different times and still so busy to sit and response immediately.
I'm speechless.

What do you think about this exchange of ideas????

Israel continues to show weakness....

The Israelis cannot allow this to continue.
An Israeli woman sustained light wounds as fragments from a Kassam rocket late Monday night hit her in the shoulder. She was taken for treatment at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

Another rocket fired at the same time struck a car in Sderot, causing it to catch fire.

Kassam rockets continued to fall on the western Negev on Monday as Defense Minister Amir Peretz's ultimatum to the Hamas Palestinian leadership went unheeded.

Close to 20 Kassams fell but in contrast to Sunday the IDF did not launch any air strikes.

Peretz's office rejected the criticism of thos who said there should be a harsher response, claiming however that the minister's decision to reject an IDF recommendation to escalate the military offensive on the Gaza Strip was still in effect.

"Peretz believes in restraint and patience," a defense official explained. "He wants to give the Palestinians a chance to rein in the terrorists on their own." A massive IDF strike on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, the official added, could produce a concentrated new wave of terror attacks against Israel.
Israel must hit back hard - now is the not the time to believe that the Palestinians will rein in their terrorists.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Israelis are too soft...

Over 50 rockets were fired from Gaza into Sderot over the weekend.
On Sunday, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal drove to Jerusalem to personally deliver this message to Ra'anan Dinur, the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office: If the IDF does not destroy the northern Gaza neighborhood of Beit Hanun, Sderot will become a ghost town.

Upset by the unprecedented number of Kassam rockets fired at his city over the weekend - Palestinians launched more than 50 from Beit Hanun - a restless Moyal told Dinur, "You have to choose" between Beit Hanun and Sderot.

"If you do not destroy Beit Hanun, Sderot will become a ghost town. The people of this city cannot suffer any more Kassam attacks," he told Dinur and The Jerusalem Post. "It's impossible to live here now."

Then, as if to prove his point, even more Kassams slammed into Sderot. One resident was seriously wounded and three others were lightly wounded by two of at least 26 rockets fired on Sunday alone.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hitchens on the Al-Zarqawi death...

This is a must-read. Christopher Hitchens explains why the death of Al-Zarqawi is important.
For the defeatists and pacifists, these are easy questions to answer. Colin Powell was wrong to identify Zarqawi, in his now-notorious U.N. address, as a link between the Saddam regime and the Bin-Ladenists. The man's power was created only by the coalition's intervention, and his connection to al Qaida was principally opportunistic. On this logic, the original mistake of the United States would have been to invade Afghanistan, thereby forcing Zarqawi to flee his camp outside Herat and repositioning him for a new combat elsewhere. Thus, fighting against al-Qaida is a mistake to begin with: It only encourages them.

I think that (for once) Colin Powell was on to something. I know that Kurdish intelligence had been warning the coalition for some time before the invasion that former Afghanistan combatants were making their way into Iraq, which they saw as the next best chance to take advantage of a state that was both "failed" and "rogue." One might add that Iraq under Saddam was not an easy country to enter or to leave, and that no decision on who was allowed in would be taken by a junior officer. Furthermore, the Zarqawi elements appear to have found it their duty to join with the Ansar al-Islam splinter group in Kurdistan, which for some reason thought it was the highest duty of jihad to murder Saddam Hussein's main enemies. But perhaps I have a suspicious mind.

We happen to know that the Baathist regime was recruiting and training foreign fighters and brigading them with the gruesome "Fedayeen Saddam." (This is incidentally a clue to what the successor regime in Iraq might have looked like as the Saddam-plus-sanctions state imploded and Baathism itself went into eclipse.) That bomb at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, for example, was no improvised explosive device. It was a huge charge of military-grade ordnance. Are we to believe that a newly arrived Bedouin Jordanian thug could so swiftly have scraped acquaintance with senior-level former Baathists? (The charges that destroyed the golden dome of the Shiites in Samarra were likewise rigged and set by professional military demolitionists.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

US military ackowledges gay killings in Iraq...

At least they recognize it as a problem....
The U.S. military is aware of a rash of anti-gay killings in Iraq during the past eight months and is taking steps to curtail sectarian violence against all Iraqis, including gays, according to a spokesperson for the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq.

"If someone is in danger of being slaughtered or persecuted, we do all we can to stop it," said Army Maj. Joseph Todd Breasseale, chief of the Media Relations Division of the Multinational Corps in Iraq.

Breasseale spoke by telephone from his office at U.S. military headquarters in a section of Baghdad known as the Green Zone.

Faced with a highly volatile atmosphere brought about by warring Islamic factions, the U.S. and its coalition allies must use caution in addressing the issue of homosexuality, Breasseale said.

"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, when we're in a fledgling time like this, to go in and say, 'Here's these issues that are going to repel 80 percent of the population and this is what we want to inflict on you,'" he said. "We're trying not to get into too many values judgment type issues and just do the right thing."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Terrorists planned to hit Israeli airplane...

Yet another plot foiled....
Swiss intelligence agents foiled a plot to shoot down an Israeli aeroplane, the country's federal prosecutor said yesterday.

Several North African members of an alleged terrorist cell were arrested.

Intelligence services believed terrorists planned to fire a rocket at an El Al flight over Switzerland in December.

The prosecutor's office said the gang members were identified in early 2005 and lived off the profits of a series of robberies in Zurich and elsewhere.

Is Al Gore the new Michael Moore?

The Financial Post, to its credit, ran 2 articles about the new Al Gore movie on global warming. His ability to mislead is just like Michael Moore.
Mr. Gore suggests that the Greenland melt area increased considerably between 1992 and 2005. But 1992 was exceptionally cold in Greenland and the melt area of ice sheet was exceptionally low due to the cooling caused by volcanic dust emitted from Mt. Pinatubo. If, instead of 1992, Gore had chosen for comparison the year 1991, one in which the melt area was 1% higher than in 2005, he would have to conclude that the ice sheet melt area is shrinking and that perhaps a new Ice Age is just around the corner.

Dr. Petr Chylek, adjunct professor, Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax.

Time to repeal our hate crime laws...

We've never been consistent in how we use these laws, and it appears that the judges are confused as well. Let's repeal all these laws.
David Ahenakew, former head of the Assembly of First Nations, had his hate crime conviction overturned Thursday by a Saskatchewan judge.

Chief Justice Robert Laing ruled that Ahenakew did not have the necessary intent needed for a conviction, and ordered a new trial.

Ahenakew was convicted of promoting hatred and fined $1,000, after he called Jews a "disease" during a conversation with a Saskatoon StarPhoenix reporter in December 2002.

Because of that conviction, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson revoked Ahenakew's Order of Canada membership, granted in 1978 for his work on native issues.

"We understand that revocation will stand regardless of (Friday's) decision," CTV's Jill Macyshon told Newsnet from Winnipeg.

Doug Christie, Ahenakew's lawyer, argued his client's comments were spontaneous and isolated, despite the fact he was speaking to a journalist.

He said that the section of the Criminal Code under which Ahenakew was convicted applies only to hate spoken "other than in private conversation," and that the taped one-on-one interview with the reporter meets that exception.

Ahenakew testified that he felt confronted and didn't see the tape recorder the reporter was using.

But the reporter, James Parker, had testified he held the tape recorder right in front of Ahenakew's face.
I can't stand Ahenakew, but I don't want him to be convicted...embarassment is enough. Let's allow people to think what they want.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Norway declares war on Wal-Mart...

They have declared...get this...that their oil money can't be invested in Wal-Mart because of serious environmental damage.
The huge fund that's meant to preserve Norway's oil wealth for future generations is pulling out of shares that don't meet the government's ethical standards. Among them is the Wal-Mart discount store chain.

Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen revealed Tuesday that two new stocks will be banned from the country's so-called "oil fund," which now is called the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global and currently is worth about USD 250 billion. It ranks as one of the biggest pension funds in the world.

The ministry reported that it's excluding Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Wal-Mart de Mexico and Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc from the fund "in line with recommendations from the Council on Ethics for the Fund."

Halvorsen's finance ministry officials cited "serious" and "systematic violations of human rights and labour rights" as its reason for pulling out of its Wal-Mart investments.

Another decision to dump shares in Freeport McMoRan was based on "serious environmental damage" incurred by the company

Croatian Chief Rabbi Attacked....

I believe the Chief Rabbi of Moscow was also recently attacked.
A group of neo-Nazis assaulted Croatia's Chief Rabbi Eliezer Aloni on a Zagreb street on Saturday.

Aloni was on his way home from synagogue when a bunch of men wearing shirts with swastikas printed on them yelled "Jews out!" in German at him.

Witnesses say the men pushed the rabbi over after he asked them if they knew the meaning of what they were shouting.

Eliezer took refuge in the Jewish community building and informed the local police.

Zagreb's Jewish community said it was the third anti-Semitic incident to have taken place in the country within a week.

On Sunday, a group of men wearing shirts of the pro-Nazi militia that governed Croatia during World War II attacked a memorial service honoring local Jews murdered by Nazis and their allies.

Last Friday, the Jewish community's offices received a phone call by an anonymous caller who threatened to assist Hamas to blow up the community's buildings.

Suicide bombing comes to China...

They can thank the Palestinians for their contribution to world civilization.
A Chinese man angry that his ex-wife was remarrying, detonated explosives strapped to his body at her wedding reception. Lu Wenfeng's suicide attack killed nine others at the function in the north-eastern Heilongjiang province. Police did not say whether his ex-wife, Li Jinling, and her new husband survived.

The CBC and the Terrorism Case....

I watched CBC News tonight on television. I must be a masochist. Their first piece was on the revelations that Stephen Harper was a target of the terrorist attacks. A very short piece...and very incomplete. Then, they went into another piece asking whether the accused can get a fair trial in Canada. Their implication was clearly, no they cannot get a fair trial.

This was their coverage tonight of the bigget terrorism case in North America in several years. Here is what you can see in upcoming CBC shows:

1. How the defendants were marginalized by Canadian society (whatever that means).

2. Continued Islamophobia in Canadian society.

3. How the war in Afghanistan fuels terrorism.
3a. Why our mission in Afghanistan is antithetical to Canadian values (ooops, I really mean CBC values).

4. Were the defendants framed?

5. Why this case says nothing about what goes in mosques across the country.

6. A look at the defense of the terrorism suspects.

The plain fact of the matter is that Canada was not a participant in the Iraq war and still we are targets. The CBC will never understand that we are targets regardless of how we partipate in the war on terror. The terrorists hate western society....does the CBC as well?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Is Sharia law coming to Somalia?

Does this mean that yet another country may come under Sharia law?
Muslim militants in Somalia claimed to have seized control of the capital, Mogadishu, yesterday after defeating an alliance of US-backed warlords.

Several of the secular chieftains who had controlled the city since the overthrow of the east African country's last effective government 15 years ago were reported to have fled the country.

They had won support from Washington in their conflict with militiamen deployed by the powerful Islamic courts amid fears that a hardline Muslim administration would be sympathetic to al-Qa'eda.
Worse yet, does this mean a new base for Al-Qaeda?

Something to look forward to!

This is very disturbing.
Hamas operatives in the West Bank have experimented with adding toxic chemicals to their bombs, security sources told Haaretz Monday.

The sources said the experiments have involved relatively simple chemicals, and as far as is known, the organization is not yet able to integrate such agents into its bombs effectively. However, they said, Hamas' West Bank cells include several skilled bombmakers who are investing great effort in trying to upgrade their weapons.

The organization also is amassing large stocks of explosives so operatives will be ready to launch attacks immediately should its leadership decide to end the security "lull," the sources added.

"Thus far, members of its military wing have not received any orders to commit attacks, since a return to terror at this time would not serve the Palestinian Authority's Hamas government," one said. However, he added, they have been instructed to prepare attacks that can be launched the instant the order is given.

"They have no intention of repeating what they've done in the past," he continued. "The tendency is to prepare 'mega-attacks' that would create a new balance" of power with Israel.
Of course, what Hamas has been doing is to let Islamic Jihad to the bomb-throwing.....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Liberals and the NDP speak their minds...

We've just had 17 people arrested on suspicions of terrorism and here is what the NDP and hte Liberals have to say:
The Liberal and New Democratic public safety critics agreed with Day on the importance of engaging the Islamic community.

"This should be a big issue for us," Liberal Public Safety Critic Derek Lee told Question Period. "Ninety-nine per cent of the broader Islamic community is out there, very sensitive about this and waiting to hear some reassurance that they are Canadians just like everybody else.

"A few bad apples, should there be some...shouldn't be allowed to taint the whole community," Lee said. "There are as concerned about our public safety as anybody else."

Joe Comartin, the New Democratic Public Safety Critic agreed. He said Canadians need to react with calm and sensitivity to the recent arrests, and must protect the Islamic community from retaliation.

"They're the major victims when something like this happens because of what seems to be the inevitable backlash," Comartin told Question Period. "Canada has been good about the limited nature of that backlash, but it certainly is there. There's the bigotry and the racism that comes to the surface at these points."

"The Muslim community here has every right to expect Canadians will respond with moderation, apply our values, our judicial and justice system to the facts that are in effect here, (and ensure) we don't over react and we don't panic."
No real concern about what is going on the mosques of Canada. Of course, Canadians won't over-react....there was never much of a reaction after 9/11.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Imam speaks....on the terrorism suspects..

The CBC gets the scoop from the Imam...
Some of the accused may have been involved in criminal activity, but they were not terrorists, an imam said.

Aly Hindy, an imam at a Toronto mosque, said he knew most of the accused and believed they were not involved in terrorism-related activities.

"But the problem is these days when a Muslim commits fraud, it becomes terrorism. When he commits stealing it becomes terrorism," he told reporters outside the courtroom.

Falafel vendors leave Baghdad...

It looks like anything with a Jewish link is in trouble in Iraq.
As the purveyors of nothing spicier than the odd dash of hot chilli sauce, Baghdad's falafel vendors had never imagined their snacks might be deemed a threat to public morality.

Now, though, their simple offerings of chickpeas fried in breadcrumbs have gone the same way as alcohol, pop music and foreign films - labelled theologically impure by the country's growing number of Islamic zealots.

In a bizarre example of Iraq's creeping "Talibanisation", militants visited falafel vendors a fortnight ago, telling them to pack up their stalls by today or be killed.

The ultimatum seemed so odd that, at first, most laughed it off - until two of them were shot dead as they plied their trade.

"They came telling us, 'You have 14 days to end this job' and I asked them what was the problem," said Abu Zeinab, 32, who was packing up his stall for good yesterday in the suburb of al Dora, a hardline Sunni neighbourhood.

"I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either.

"I felt like telling them there were no Kalashnikovs in Mohammed's time either, but I wanted to keep my life."

Why Baghdad's falafel vendors should be blacklisted while their colleagues are allowed to continue selling kebabs or Western-style pizzas and burgers remains a mystery.

Some suspect it is because a taste for falafels is one of the few things that unites Jewish and Arab communities in Israel.

It is, however, just one of many Islamic edicts to hit Baghdad in recent weeks, prohibiting everything from the growing of goatee beards to the sale of mayonnaise - because it is allegedly made in Israel.

Friday, June 02, 2006

How's this for a school assignment?

This is a grade 8 geography assignment in Toronto.
A Toronto area teacher was "shocked and disturbed" to discover a geography assignment she handed out to her students on Monday contained messages she says are anti-Semitic.

The material includes a fictitious story that depicts Jews persecuting Christians, including the burning of a church. It is one of seven vignettes, and the only one that identifies an oppressor by ethnicity or religion.

"The implication that Jews are burning a church, given our own past, is really offensive," said Janis Rosen, who teaches Grade 8 geography at Donview Middle School in York Mills. "It just hit me in the stomach."

The material -- pulled from another Toronto area school board curriculum in 2002, according to the Canadian Jewish Congress -- comes from a group assignment in "Grade 8 Geography Resources" (2000), a binder that Ontario teachers photocopy looseleaf lessons from.

In a chapter about migration, students are asked to read the ficticious vignettes and identify push factors like war, death threats and natural disasters, before sending refugees to a new country.

In one such vignette, Jamal and his Christian family are forced to leave their hypothetical country, "Country F," after being tyrannized by Jews.

"Refugees from Jewish neighbourhoods slowly took over the apartment buildings," it reads."Great anger" grows between Christians and Jews, and all but one Christian family -- the speaker's -- are forced to leave.

"When someone burned the church down it seemed like a good time to move," it goes on. "My father cannot find a job because the Jewish people will not hire him. We have trouble even buying food because the shop keepers are afraid to sell to us. Gangs of youth will break their windows and wreck their stores if they did."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Reuters employee issues death threat...

This should be a huge story.....
A Reuters employee has been suspended after sending a death threat to an American blogger.

The message, sent from a Reuters internet account, read: "I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut."

It was sent to Charles Johnson, owner of the Little Green Footballs (LGF) weblog, a popular site which often backs Israel and highlights jihadist terrorist activities.

In the threat, the Reuters staff member, who has not been named, left his email address as "zionistpig" at

Reporting the message to his readers, Johnson wrote on his website: "This particular death threat is a bit different from the run of the mill hate mail we get around here, because an IP lookup on the sender reveals that he/she/it was using an account at none other than Reuters News."

Speaking to Ynetnews, Johnson said: "I was surprised to receive a threat from a Reuters IP, but only because it was so careless of this person to use a traceable work account to do it."

He added: "I think it's more than fair to say that Reuters has a big problem."

Michael Moore gets sued....

Couldn't happen to an uglier guy.
A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million US, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court last week.

Damon, 33, claims that Moore never asked for his consent to use a clip from an interview Damon did with NBC's "Nightly News."

He lost his arms when a tire on a Black Hawk helicopter exploded while he and another reservist were servicing the aircraft on the ground. Another reservist was killed in the explosion.

In his interview with NBC, Damon was asked about a new painkiller the military was using on wounded veterans. He claims in his lawsuit that the way Moore used the film clip in "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- Moore's scathing 2004 documentary criticizing the Bush administration and the war in Iraq -- makes him appear to "voice a complaint about the war effort" when he was actually complaining about "the excruciating type of pain" that comes with the injury he suffered.