This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Back To Canada? Please, No!

Omar <span class=Khadr in a sketch from a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay"
Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes charges last week

There, then, is the long-awaited verdict: 40 years earned as a measure to deter other would-be jihadists. Not that this particular case will have much resonance as a deterrence to dedicated fanatics willing and eager to submit totally to a belief that divine will would have a complete personal sacrifice entailing martyrdom in the pursuit of mass slaughter. So the appeal to non-existent reason as opposed to fervent pious faith in a blood-thirsty god who commends followers to murder is a lost cause.

The cause for justice as seen through the lens of those who have been the target of violent Islam is another thing altogether. Excusing as absent in cerebral intelligence those apologists of the Liberal-left who espouse the humility of the guilt-ridden, that the West brings this abhorrent jihadist violence upon itself by its very existence. Insulting to Islam by the very fact that the strictures of the religion have ensured backwardness prevailed in those populations of the devout, while the world of the West has leaped ahead in economic, social, scientific, educational, medical advancement.

The 40 year judgement is a fiction, of course, since it will never be served, although it might have been had Omar Khadr not pleaded guilty to the charges laid against him at the Guantanamo Bay tribunal, and he had faced a full trial. As it is, the plea bargain he agreed to will impose 8 years of imprisonment; one year in a U.S. facility, and a request for transfer back to Canada where he has citizenship entitlements and where he will plan, with his lawyers, to sue for time off for good behaviour, as is customary in Canada.

Omar Khadr did murder an American medic, he was most certainly guilty of conspiring to commit acts of terror, he did train as an al-Qaeda recruit, he was taught how to build explosive devices, he did decide of his own volition to remain in the theatre of conflict rather than withdraw with other young people and women, and it was his choice to throw a grenade after a fire-fight had concluded, that ultimately killed an American medic. And it was American medics who worked unstintingly to put Omar Khadr back together when he was dreadfully wounded.

He did testify that he became aware of an $1,500 reward for the dispatch of Americans, and that it was his intention to attempt to kill "a lot of Americans to get lots of money". He was, therefore, motivated beyond his religious convictions. He was captivated also by the thought that he could earn a substantial cash reward in payment for successfully dispatching Americans, and he found that greatly appealing to his sense of materialistic advantage. Many would caution that this was the child speaking, the fifteen-year-old combatant, not the adult who stood trial for what the young man had done.

Those who are prepared to overlook his role as an al-Qaeda recruit dedicated to violent jihad are content to repeat infinitely that he was a child soldier and as such could not, should not be held accountable for what his father groomed him to accomplish in the name of Islam. They are prepared to give him more than the benefit of the doubt; to completely exonerate him of any responsibility for the choices others made for him, and for which choices he also exercised the free will that we are all endowed with.

It may indeed have been a show trial, as many contend it was. Hardly surprising, given all the attention it has received in the media over the years. But the evidence against "child soldier" Omar Khadr was solid, and it was damning. And his eventual personal decision to set aside his reluctance to participate in his own trial, and to turn it to his advantage by pleading guilty for the opportunity of returning to Canada and testing the assumption that in Canada he might stand a better-than-good chance of early parole, was yet another studied alternative which he chose.

That too, despite the impassioned contentions of his lawyers, was his own free choice. His apology to the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer was moving, and perhaps it was even sincere. How would we know? What we do know is that profound regret is always a fact and an often-expressed one reflecting an individual's plight, not necessarily that individual's heart-felt personal angst over poor choices. Choices seen in retrospect as having led to extremely uncomfortable personal circumstances. We seldom exercise the value of hind-sight before acting in spontaneous response, even as we know there are consequences for actions, for that knowledge exists dimly within our consciousness.

The trial was a fair one, and it took 7 military personnel close to nine hours of deliberation over a two-day period to arrive at their conclusion: 40 years' penalty for five confessed war crimes, inclusive of conspiracy with al-Qaeda, and murder in violation of the laws of war. Yes, it is ironic that the 'laws of war' are invoked at a time when many accuse the United States of contravening the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo Bay, but the rule of law is often twisted by those with the power to do so.

The circumstances are highly unusual; this is not a reflection of trained professional state armies facing off against each other. And thus the United States stands uniquely as the first country to prosecute a person at a war crimes tribunal for criminal actions committed as a juvenile, since the conclusion of the Second World War. Omar Khadr worked as a translator for al-Qaeda; he was groomed in every conceivable way to be a cog in the machine of violent, organized jihad. He voluntarily underwent combat training, built and planted bombs, and attacked U.S. troops.

He spoke of his father Ahmad Khadr, explaining that the combat training was to be used also "in attacks against the Jews because the Jews are always fighting." This slanderous legend has great cachet in the Muslim world. No, quite sincerely, we do not wish to have this "friendly and good-mannered young man" returned to Canada. No less than we would welcome "friendly and courteous" Osama bin Laden to visit Canada and settle down here.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are such horrendously dangerous places yes, but we do not feel comfortable in offering haven to the leaders of al-Qaeda, within Canada. Nor their ardent followers.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Due Caution Rewarded

Sounds peculiar does it not, that an Emirates flight would not respond to in-flight enquiries? As though the captain and crew had knowledge that something was not quite right, and that to open themselves to enquiries might result in embarrassment.

Not, though, if they suspected, one might imagine, that they were carrying in their cargo a lethal message of which they comprised the personally-lethal suicide component. Should the concealed explosives on board have been meant to be detonated while in flight, that is.

So NATO called Canadian CF-18 fighter jets into action from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville for tracking duty, more or less escorting the "aircraft of interest" as it negotiated the wide blue skies that the United Arab Emirates are so dedicated to opening even wider, on its way toward its destination within the United States.

Over American airspace, the tracking and escort duty was delegated to two U.S. F-15s from the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes International guard base in Massachusetts.

And as it happened, the cause for concentrated attention on the cargo aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 201 from the United Arab Emirates, carrying cargo from Yemen was soon enough unveiled, as packages of a suspicious nature were removed; one from the plane in question, another from a plane in Britain and yet another still in Dubai.

Destined for synagogues (or, as President Obama put it, Jewish places of worship), in Chicago. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been busy. From Yemen, which source it would appear makes the Saudis, due to unfortunate proximity, and lethal antipathies, extremely nervous.

Suspicious activity has since been reported as having been witnessed at Sana'a International (El Rahaba) airport in Yemen. Where unauthorized and uniformed boys were hauling bags away from X-ray machines, and porters were removing them to the personal baggage terminal. Further sourced information was that all women on the Yemen-to-Dubai flight wore full face coverings even as they moved through security.

It has also been reported that women in Yemen have been arrested, a mother and daughter, as being the source, if not the inspiration of the suspicious bags being moved onto various flights. With additional bags and explosives intended for other flights. All now in a state of apprehension.

U.S. intelligence was evidently alerted by their Saudi counterparts, of an explosives-plot emanating from Sana, Yemen. The intelligence data was complete enough so that American agents knew where to look and what to look out for. Which meant they were able to single out copier cartridges as having been transformed to explosives, to be detonated by cellphone.

Forensics examinations have thus far been successful in identifying the explosives, and in matching them with similar explosives used in an earlier, Christmas-day attempt to blow up an in-flight airliner. For which al-Qaeda earlier took proud responsibility.

American Islamist Anwar al-Awlaki must be chuckling to himself in utter delight. The plot may not have succeeded in its intent to destroy American synagogues and take the lives of accursed Jews, but it most certainly has caused an international furor and great consternation, let alone having succeeded in its foremost intent; to create an aura of terrorism.

His inspiring role for the Christmas Day plot and his encouragement and direction to the U.S. Army psychiatrist who succeeded in murdering 13 American Forces personnel at a medical facility at Fort Hood Texas must be another huge source of immense satisfaction to him.

On the other hand, he might not be quite so ecstatic about the failed plot were he to realize that Jews, regardless of where they live - Israel or anywhere in the diaspora - are so accustomed to being singled out, slandered, threatened and placed in danger that they have developed a different kind of attitude over the course of their recent history.

Ask the Jews in Chicago whose synagogues may have been among those targeted. Rabbi Michael Balinsky of the Chicago Board of Rabbis calmly asserts: "It's obviously disturbing, but certainly the Jewish community will proceed as it proceeds. We'll just exercise caution."

Come to think of it, perhaps that's also what Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Cabinet were exercising, when they refused to submit to the demand from Dubai that Emirates and its sister airlines of the UAE be allowed more frequent flight opportunities in and out of Canada.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Canadian Mining Industry

Yep, it doesn't make one feel very good to know that Canada remains evasive about its responsibilities to the rest of the world.  Fearful of impeding business initiatives, of making ill-thought-out decisions that will impact on already frail employment statistics in enterprises that should long ago have been abandoned because of their deleterious effects on peoples' health and the environment.

Tobacco, a case in point; while the wealthy countries of the world have undertaken domestic public relations drives to discourage smoking with the realization of its impact on vulnerable populations, and concomitant soaring health costs, there is no matching responsibility seen to alert people in developing countries of the world to the perniciously ill effects of smoking, lest domestic tobacco producers suffer a further loss in their manufacturing and profit margins.

Then of course, there's the problem of the federal government looking the other way while the province of Quebec insists it will do nothing to dissuade the asbestos industry in the province that its mendacious business, harming asbestos mine workers, is conscienceless, but far more so, an affront to the dignity and the human rights of third-world workers in countries like India which still use asbestos as a building material, while in Canada work is ongoing to remove the deadly carcinogen from elderly buildings.

Now a private member's bill, Bill C-300, introduced in the House of Commons to construct legal standards that all Canadian mining companies should observe has gone down to defeat.  No single political party stood four-square with the premise that a wealthy, forward-looking and human-rights-observing country like Canada should logically pass legislation that would compel its industrial mining giants to operate internationally in a responsible manner with full respect for the countries in which they do business.

International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan had a legitimate concern when he voiced his concern that the bill - whose major contention was Canada's responsibility to ensure that its mining companies were not responsible for human rights abuses - might appear too strictured and stringent, impacting badly on Canadian jobs.  Well then, if the bill as it was presented seemed too restrictive, then collaborate on presenting an altered bill that would address the industry's concerns, yet produce a set of useful guidelines.

Many Canadian mining companies already match their activities to the guidelines the bill represented.  It is those companies who do not, and whose reputations reflect so poorly on their own operations, and that of Canada as a responsible government that should be requiring its industry giants observe certain acceptable standards, who sully the situation.

Canada's far reach and experience in mining, as a result of our own natural resources and extraction and refinement of minerals and metals resulting in 75% of the world's largest mining and exploration companies being based in Canada, places a special obligation upon the country and its mining industry to operate abroad in a manner that does justice to our internal values, which should match those which we practise internationally.

It is profoundly disturbing to know that Canadian companies have been deeply implicated in the past decade in abusive incidents and serious allegations including human rights violations, in supporting brutal regimes - in looking the other way when violence, civil war and corruption is occurring while they are engaged in mining and exploration in areas of the world experiencing great social turmoil.

It truly is incumbent on Canada to demonstrate, as a leader in mining activities around the world, that the industry should not be immune to practising leadership skills reflecting Canadian values in its interaction with emerging economies for whom the rights and safety and security of their populations is of lesser concern that it should be. 

We are not disinterested onlookers, capable of neutral non-involvement, when we are ensconced directly within theatres of civil war, witness to atrocities we do nothing to ameliorate.  Remaining there, operating as though nothing untoward is occurring when all around people are suffering, is not an option, or should not be. 

It's too bad, in fact, that legislation must even be considered, and that industry leaders themselves do not produce a general best practises code of conduct that would represent best industry practise that all would willingly adapt to, in pursuit of an honest and respected bottom line.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seriously, Now...Peace!

Now that is absolutely wonderful.  Another peace conference.  One cannot conceivably entertain too many conferences devoted to the resonating subject of peace.  And where else than in Ottawa, the nation's capital?  Where concerned and considerate and not-too-well-informed, let alone -intentioned individuals have formed a quartet of dedicated concern to defuse misunderstandings between East and West.  More specifically, perhaps, the world of Islam and that of the West.  Since they seem, of late, to be at loggerheads, to put it mildly.

In that specific groups and individuals claiming to represent Islam have been violently attacking Western symbols, personages, institutions and populations in a not-in-vain effort to persuade those of the West that they are despised and hated.  While the West, for their part, are taken aback, startled out of their complacency, and attempt to protect themselves, by routing the presence of the violent Islamists in Muslim countries as well as those who have infiltrated into Western countries.  Thus the disaffection is mutual, but the methodology is quite opposite.

The stringency of the polarization of the two world views, ideologies, values and imperatives could not be more emphatically at odds.  Yet it is the world of Islam that blames the West for the situation, insisting that "Islamophobia" is at the heart of the matter.  While the West, given to reasonable discourse when all else fails, points out that it is not they who initiated and continue to initiate the bloody conflict, but those who represent Islam, and who quote zingers from the Koran and the Hadiths in support of violent jihad.

Now, here in Ottawa, there are four individuals, all of whom have been involved with one of Canada's (lesser-known and ballot-box-recognized political parties, the Greens) official opposition parties to the governing Conservatives, who have out of the goodness and breadth of their worldly perspective, mounted a conference on "just and sustainable peace", taking place at the Government Conference Centre.  Three featured guests represent academia from Tehran University.  With the keynote speaker being dean of the faculty of global studies at the university.

Panelist Davood Ameri is director general of the Islamic World Peace Forum, based in Tehran, a NGO with a website that reflects the worldview of the current Iranian administration.  Who better to speak of peace and conciliation between peoples than Iranians?  Particularly those who support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the reigning Ayatollahs?  It is a tragedy of immense proportions that the world misunderstands the intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran which desperately desires peace and unification between diverse people, rejecting the misunderstandings that result from inadequately parsing the statements of Mr. Ahmadinejad.

No nuclear weapons, period.  For peaceful, civil use, nothing more.  The intention is to live in peace and harmony with its Middle East neighbours and the world at large.  How could they be judged otherwise?  The world has a frail sense of humour; standing in the United Nations addressing the General Assembly and introducing a few light words that sound like the intention of destroying 'the Zionist entity', just proves how gullible people are, how ready to accuse others of dangerously malicious intent.  When nothing could be further from the truth.

The conference is a legitimate affair, an attempt for cool, rational and intelligent heads to reach a consensus on peace initiatives.  Is not the highly respected Imam Zijad Delic, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress one of the moderators?  Is not RCMP Constable Wayne Russett, aboriginal and ethnic liaison outreach officer scheduled to attend this momentous event?  Despite the outrageous slur voiced by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews characterizing the Canadian Islamic Congress as an extremist group?

The entirely fallacious assumption that Iran is up to no good is untenable, has no relation to reality: for Tehran has no intention of expelling IAEA inspectors from its nuclear sites; has no intention of placing its ballistic missiles on a state of alert, along with that of the Syrian army.  Nor is there any intention of developing nuclear weapons, and nor is Hezbollah standing by for further orders to initiate a large-scale military exercise. Perish the very thought of such dangerously provocative events ever occurring; not on their watch.

Just incidentally, it appears that Nigeria has intercepted an Iranian shipment of 13 containers, which held rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives which were camouflaged as building materials.  The Nigerian National Security Adviser advised that his government intended to destroy the weapons.
It is speculated that this seized shipment was meant for transfer to Hamas in the Gaza Strip; a new attempt at a new smuggling route via Africa.  Previous such arms smuggled through Sudan to Gaza have been detected through international supervision auditing the cargo of Iranian ships.
nigeria - AP - October 27 2010 an illegal arms shipment seized by authorities in Lagos, Nigeria.
Photo by: AP
In early 2009 there was a news report that the Israel Air Force had attacked a weapons convey being smuggled through Sudan into Gaza.  Later that same year the Israeli Navy boarded a vessel carrying tons of weapons from Iran to Syria, or Hezbollah in Lebanon.  This September an arms shipment from Iran to Syria was intercepted in the Italian port of Calabria.  Shortly after that an arms shipment headed to Syria from North Korea was captured in Greece.

Trifles, incidentals, meaning little.  The "Ottawa Group of Four", as they have named themselves, current and previous candidates for the Green Party, Paul Maillet ,Qais Ghanem, Akbar Manoussi and Sylvie Lemieux, deserve to be recognized for the good peace-seeking souls that they are.  Honouring Canadian soil and values by inviting Iranian scholars to speak on the subject so dear to the hearts of all of us.  Peace in our time.

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Retain Him, Our Compliments

Trouble is, they have no wish to detain him any longer. Without the admission of guilt, which many claim was coerced, he might have stood trial, refusing to acknowledge his guilty status, so that if the prosecution was successful in finding him guilty on all counts brought against him, principally that of murder as an enemy combatant, he might have been sentenced to life in prison.  Life in prison within the United States means just what it states.  Quite unlike Canada, where a defined period of time is allotted, and the lifer still has the right to seek clemency through early parole.

It simply made far more sense for Omar Khadr, whom many describe as "intelligent", to take the other route available to him.  To rejoin his extended family in Canada, citizens all, although they are also more familiarly acknowledged to be Canada's "al-Qaeda family".  The father an avowedly high-placed member of al-Qaeda, and a major financier through the raising of 'charitable' funds to advance their cause, and the mother unreservedly supportive of al-Qaeda's mission to overturn the degraded West, and institute a global Caliphate.

Of course, under the global Caliphate it's doubtful whether they would still be able to collect social charity through welfare, assisted housing, universal medical care and education.  Which is why they are avidly engaged, though they claim to despise this society, in grasping as much of these citizenship entitlements as they can, while they yet may.  As for youngest son, Omar, he will be in more direct geographic contact with his family.  And they can be proud of him, that he has not forsworn his dedication to jihad.

Young Mr. Khadr has a reputation to uphold, one he is very proud and conscious of; not only the legacy of his father's dedication to Osama bin Laden and his pathology of hatred for the despised West, but his star standing as a prize specimen of Islamism's finest; a youth well doctrinated into violent jihad and its twisted relation to Islam and the Koran - a high-value standard-bearer of the ascendancy of the inevitable.

The conscience of a Western society has been moved by the seeming misfortune of a youth whose values were sternly drawn by the example and the instruction of his father.  As though none of us is born with free will, and the capacity to look beyond the obvious into our inner hearts and instinctive values.  Omar Khadr passed the test of Islamist indoctrination, making his parents proud, and elevating his status as an example to other Muslim youth.

Israel, the singular state that has always, since its birth, been the recipient of Muslim hatred and revenge-wishing that would have it disappear off the face of the Earth, must also grapple with the issue of home-grown terrorists.  Those with Israeli citizenship, reaping all the benefits that come with that citizenship, yet conspiring to destroy the state, and the lives of other citizens who happen to be Jews, not Arabs.

There are some within Israel, some lawmakers who have been musing within the Knesset that the time may have arrived when citizenship should be revoked from those who actively conspire to destroy the state.  To many within Israel, and not only Arab MKs and Palestinian-Israelis, but Jewish Israelis who value the concept of equality and the sanctity of state sovereignty and allegiance to the state, and democratic ideals, this appears an unspeakable travesty.

But is it?  Or is it a potentially practical solution to those citizens who conspire to destroy the very social and political conditions that allow them to aspire for their enlightened and socially advanced futures?

Instead of, for example, gently admonishing in a court of law and committing to short prison sentences, young Muslim men who have been nurtured within Canada, and who choose to turn their plans toward destroying Canadian society, perhaps they should discover they run the risk of becoming stateless, their citizenship revoked in exchange for planning terrorism against the country that represents their best interests.

It's a thought.  Most Canadians have no wish to welcome Omar Khadr back into Canada.  Nor are we particularly pleased to host his extended family whose values are clearly so different than our own.  We generally do not make common cause, in any event, with those who literally spit in our faces.  And this family has done that, and much, much more to demonstrate their contempt for Canada.

They should be cordially invited to leave, to return to Pakistan where they would be feted.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Desperately Migrating - Or Conveniently

The world is a horribly unsettling and hostile place for many of its inhabitants.  People who live in countries where civil strife, poverty, internecine warfare, tribal animosities and inter- and intra-country belligerence makes life a misery for its inhabitants.  Everyone would prefer, if at all possible, to escape the misery of social, political and economic uncertainty and the very real prospect of being maimed or slaughtered, raped and humiliated, looted and made homeless by events beyond one's capacity to either understand or to protect oneself against.

As matters now stand, the migration of desperate people away from war zones, from starvation, and deprivation, leaves millions of human beings eking out horrible lives of suspended normalcy in countless refugee camps.  Advanced countries of the world have a recognized obligation to absorb as many of these homeless people whom hope has passed by, as practically possible.  The process of recognizing and absorbing refugees is a long and involved one; to ascertain the legitimacy of claims and the suitability of claimants, and to begin them on the long voyage to reclaiming their lives.

It is an arduous, heart-breaking situation, where discouraged and miserable people eventually find haven in one country or another.  Not all countries have the capacity to absorb, to pay for the upkeep of people new to a country, to learn a new language, establish themselves, find employment and feel comfortable in their new surroundings.  Canada has a well-earned reputation as a compassionate country, with social programs that are designed to aid refugees until they become capable of aiding themselves.

To escape persecution, drudgery, fear and misery represents an immense alteration of life's fortunes.  Canada's reputation as a safe, reliable and pliable haven for families anxious to begin new lives ensures that there will be many instances where people claiming to be refugees take advantage of the generous opportunities available within the country.  Many genuine refugees as well as quasi-refugees seek out the services of people-smugglers, paying unconscionable sums of money to be conveyed into the country where they can then declare themselves.

Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board currently has a 60,000 backlog of asylum seekers.  It takes years for a hearing before the Board to be conducted.  In the interim, refugee-status entrants to the country are able to take advantage of generous social welfare.  They may seek paid employment, apply for free housing and medical/dental care while waiting their appointment before the IRB.  Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 asylum seekers arrive in Canada annually.

Canada's costs for processing, for legal fees, welfare, housing, medical care, outstrips what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees budgets in their care for the millions of refugees under their recognizance.  And there is this to consider: some 60% of claimants are discovered not to represent genuine refugees at all.  So even if they are refused asylum, refugee-seekers may, under Canadian law, seek a review of the negative findings by the IRB.

Failed refugee claimants may simply disappear, and not be heard from again, becoming part of Canadian society, rather than meekly accept an order to leave.  Alternatively, they may seek and receive approval of immigrant status.  And with that status comes the potential to sponsor other family members to Canada.  Refugee claimants such as the Tamils who have recently arrived by boat off the B.C. coast have sought the quick and easy way to attain status, shoving aside the long lineups that other claimants must legally pursue.

The refugee claims of Tamils in particular may be found to be questionable; the Sri Lankan government no longer actively persecutes their Tamil minority as they once did, in response to the violent activities of the Tamil Tigers - which terror group, it is well known, found financial support from Canada's large expatriate Tamil community.  Their status can be seen in the very fact that Tamils, settled comfortably in Canada, return to Sri Lanka for holidays.

The world has more than enough genuine refugees who are languishing in squalid misery in countless refugee camps throughout the world.  It is to these people that opportunities should be given, not those who have the wherewithal to further their bogus claims, taking illicit and immoral precedence through the illegal use of human smugglers.

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Blazing Cat Fur: Richard Warman Sues Blazingcatfur For Linking To "Far Right" Mark Steyn

Blazing Cat Fur: Richard Warman Sues Blazingcatfur For Linking To "Far Right" Mark Steyn

Lawful Outrage

In Canada's largest, most populous and most ethnically diverse city an absurd situation has arisen whereby the law as it is written and applied offers twisted "justice" to petty thieves who make the lives of merchants utterly miserable by the thieves' penchant to haul away shopkeepers' goods sans payment, while holding shopkeepers to a standard of behaviour that would make sense only in a society that welcomes pilferers and looters to help themselves.

Shopkeepers who witness slippery-fingered thieves at work and who immediately contact the police can wait a half day before busy police manage to respond.  In the interim, the thief has made off with goods, diminishing the return on hard work, long hours and merchandise-sales for the shopkeeper.  Common sense allied with practical solutions would have it that the shopkeeper could detain the thief until the arrival of the police.

After all, as it was pointed out during the trial of David Chen, owner of the Lucky Moose Food Mart, this is exactly what large merchandise emporiums like The Bay and Home Depot, for example, do themselves.  These large enterprises have the monetary wherewithal to hire private security firms to vet and audit clients' behaviour, and to detain them - even run after them outside the store to detain them, until the arrival of police.

Why then should it be different for a small shopkeeper, frustrated beyond mere irritation that the same thief, well known by neighbourhood merchants in Toronto's downtown Chinatown for his purloining ways?  Having witnessed Anthony Bennett, the bane of Chinese merchants for far too long, hauling away goods without paying for them, and then returning to compound the situation with another theft, Mr. Chen and two of his employees gave chase.

They apprehended the thief who himself was violently abusive toward Mr. Chen, and refused to pay for what he had stolen.  Toronto police who did show up after being called through a bystander's call to 911, took grave umbrage at citizens taking the initiative out of maddening exasperation, to do what the police should have done, and treated Mr. Chen, his employees Qing Li and Jie Chen as though they were the criminals.

Charges were laid of forcible confinement and assault against the shopkeeper and his two assistants, and the thief plea-bargained a break in exchange for testifying against Messrs. Chen, Li and Chen.  During which time he admitted to being a habitual thief, a perjurer and an unreliable witness.

While the trial is ongoing, set to be concluded on Friday, Mr. Bennett finds himself back in jail.  Seems like a second home to the man.He simply was unable to refrain from his life-long habit of lifting other peoples' property, yet again.

The Crown prosecution, however, insists the shopkeepers have broken the law.  Mr. Bennett's ongoing theft opportunities are irrelevant, as he would have it.  Perhaps it is this particular law which has broken the covenant between the property owner and the state to ensure security of private property through due diligence on the part of security agents, such as municipal police?

"A man was accosted, pushed against a fence, pushed to the ground, and hogtied", expostulated the Crown prosecutor.  True, true, certainly true.  The thief defied the lawful property owner's request for payment for his purloined goods, and he also kicked him repeatedly, initiating the violence that the Crown so deplored.

Under the circumstances, a violet thief whom police and the law have done little to deter, suffered the brief indignity of having to answer for his crimes.  The combined anger of the Toronto Chinese merchants and purveyors of foodstuffs has been aroused in this absurd case.  The Crown is quite correct in stating: "There are a number of points that beggar belief", in pursuing his case against Mr. Chen.

Foremost among those points, from the perspective of the Chinese shop owners in Toronto is that the law is diligent in its defence of a committedly bold thief, and appears quite disinterested in the affairs of lawful, hard-working shop owners.  That's what beggars belief.

David Chen
Aaron Lynett/National Post
Storekeeper David Chen poses for a portrait outside of the Lucky Moose Food Mart on Dundas Street West in Toronto's Chinatown, Friday afternoon, Oct. 1, 2010. Chen, who was ironically charged after apprehending a shoplifter, will have his case go to court next week.

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/10/07/david-chen-strip-searched-at-52-division/#ixzz13c6wvnWw

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two For The Price of One

Two of Canada's best and brightest, young men who are endowed with Canadian citizenship, for whom the future might be anything they might wish it to be, to succeed in any ambitious personal endeavour they would wish to undertake.  And then they are brought, by circumstances, to a trajectory that leads them to reject every value that Canadian citizenship implies.  The rule of law in the country is disdained, the virtues of citizenship and the values and entitlements that accrue from them become irrelevant, and they find their aspirational imperatives in the rejection of the freedoms guaranteed them under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in favour of pursuing an entirely different path.

One of the young men experiences parental guidance that places him on the crooked road to violence in the cause of a fanatical religious belief.  The other bemoans that his parents were 'absent' in his life, and he sought guidance from clerics representing that same religion; clerics who in the absence of guidance from his parents brought him to the same conclusive path that the previous young man was guided toward.  One young man was conveyed to a far-off land to engage in violent jihad, confronting the forces of the West who were imperilling the sovereignty of a Muslim country.  The other preferred to remain where he was, to bring violent jihad directly to the country that gave him haven. 

The young man who was born in Canada pursued the fanatical revenge inherent in violent jihad abroad, in a country torn by war.  Omar Khadr's father ensured he was educated in the pathology of holy war in the name of Islam, and it was in Afghanistan that he put to use the training he had received in bomb-making and the practical, deadly use of the instruments of war and death while in Pakistan. The young man who arrived in Canada as a child from Pakistan and who was educated within the Canadian system, received his radicalization through exposure to religious leaders within Canada and online recruiters to jihad.

For his avowed and proud war crimes ranging from murder, attempted murder, providing material support to terrorism, conspiracy and spying, Omar Khadr now awaits sentencing, secure in the understanding that a plea deal was reached between the authorities in the United States and those in Canada.  He anticipates a sentence of 8 years succeeding those matching years he has already spent at Guantanamo base, one year of which will be served in the United States, upon which time a transfer to Canada will be effected, and he will be able to invoke his right under Canadian law to seek eligibility for parole within a four-year period of incarceration in Canada.

This mature Omar Khadr, a fully-grown male well indoctrinated in the fundamentalist Islamist war ideology with the West is not a chastened child who recognizes the error of his ways and the wrongs his father committed against him by grooming him for terror-war.  He is a man proud of his father's reputation, and determined to follow in his father's footsteps.  He is a young man anxious to return to a country he has no real memory of, but which provides handsomely for his extended family in social services of which he too will avail himself, before once again embarking on his life's larger purpose.

As for the other young man, the one who has just been sentenced for his role as ringleader of the Toronto 18 terror group, he has been granted double credit for the time already spent as an apprehended felon awaiting trial and sentencing.  The trial judge handed down his sentence for plotting to detonate bombs around Toronto, conspiring to attack the prime minister and Parliament, all to avenge fellow Muslims whom Canadian troops were fending off in Afghanistan; protecting ordinary Muslims and offering resistance to Taliban; interpreted otherwise by jihadis, however, like Fahim Ahmad. 

Mr. Ahmad was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Fletcher Dawson to 16 years.  But in Canada 16 years is vastly reduced, with double-credits for time served previously, and throw in eligibility to apply for early parole, and Fahim Ahmad, who enlisted other young men in a conspiracy to bring jihad directly to Canada, who imported firearms, and instructed other eager jihadis in the fine art of terror, may be a free man in just under four years.  The judge offered a soupcon of doubt: "I sincerely hope you change your views and show me that I wasn't wrong", in reducing sentencing time.

Fact is, most of us 'sincerely hope' the judge was not too generous, as well.  "History has shown that amateur terrorists have often succeeded in causing great harm and certainly put many at risk of great harm. Ahmad's activities created a grave risk and substantially heightened the likelihood that devastating acts of terrorists would be carried out in Canada".  Yes, we know that.  Yet, despite that knowledge, it seems to many that these misguided - putting it kindly, the Canadian way - young men, are getting off fairly lightly.

As things stand, at the present time, both Omar Khadr and Fahim Ahmad can anticipate being freed at substantially the same time.  They have much in common.  They may experience the delightful opportunity to forge a true brotherhood bond.  And proceed, at the earliest opportunity, to demonstrate as only men who have been indoctrinated into a deadly ideological pathology of hatred, that they have no intention of being transformed into meek and mild lambs.

Islamist jihad.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

No One's Victim

Isn't it always the way? People accused and held responsible for social crimes that are unspeakable in their nature always have in their background the support of others who were casually in the background of their lives. Neighbours and co-workers, who recall the person in question as normal, friendly, outgoing and helpful to others. Within the tight confines of an individual's direct community he/she always appears to be one of them, a well-regarded neighbour, friendly enough and familiarly-trusted.

Initial denials of belief in the dreadful acts imputed against a former acquaintance, neighbour, friend - from those who worked closely with the accused and held him in high regard as a professional whose calibre of performance was outstanding, to those who knew him only slightly as someone to speak casually with - inevitably give way to stunned acceptance when the accused for whatever reason makes a public statement of guilt.

So that is finally settled. the realization that someone with whom some part of one's life has been invested - as a co-worker, a casual acquaintance, a distant family member, a neighbour - has betrayed the trust of society. Which is a polite understatement for an individual presenting as a psychopathic, sadistic murderer. Society must, on occasion, confront the reality that these monsters exist.

And that social scientists, psychiatrists, like to remind the public that these are not monsters, they are human beings whose investment in normalcy has been side-tracked by some neurological inheritance that left them bereft of humane impulse. A starkly dark neurosis of brutal dysfunction that eventually matured to manifest itself as a person entirely dedicated to his puerile ego, with no inner constraints, and no empathy nor conscience, entirely invested in sadistically-derived pleasure.

Which leaves society wondering at the other half of the equation, the women married for several decades to this monster-in-waiting, who ostensibly gave no clue to his inner turmoil, whose impeccable outward manner as a military man whose punctilious attention to detail and order, came unhinged in a black inchoate desire to inflict pain and suffering on innocent strangers. And no clue whatever presented itself with respect to the dysfunction of this man.

Which, to a degree, can be accepted as feasible. What is far more difficult to digest is the woman, married to the man who inflicted such horrible suffering and pain, disgust and terror, feels herself completely disengaged from the matter. Uppermost is her concern for her material well-being. Above all, her concern that she not be involved in a lawsuit that might have the effect of diminishing her cash and property reserves.

How is it possible for any woman to disengage herself to the degree that her concern fixates on the condition of the floors of her new prized-possession home, after a police investigation, rather than on the raw knowledge of her husband's deadly predations? How can it be that a cold-blooded decision is made, which Russell Williams' wife labels a "domestic contract", meant to transfer property from her husband to herself, to protect her investment, taking precedence over the pain and suffering of one of her husband's unfortunate victims?

Ms. Harriman denies that she has any underhanded intentions: "I had absolutely no intention whatsoever to have the matrimonial home fraudulently conveyed to me for the purpose of defeating the claims of the plaintiff. At all times, my intent on executing the conveyance was to provide for my financial security." However, to do so would, absolutely, lead to the intention of 'defeating the claims of the plaintiff'. Clearly enough; one is not accomplished without the other.

We do not accept arguments of 'guilt by association'. But the association is there, and there remains and always will remain, the question of how might it be possible that there were no questionable or troubling quirks or vague yet problematic indications that anything might be amiss in the behaviour of a man with whom a woman had very intimate relations. On the other hand, there must surely be an element of residual responsibility engrained in someone's consciousness.

That the person they were most closely, intimately associated with in a partnership that was firm and reciprocal, somehow was transformed into a strange, ravening beast whose appetite was horrendous and whose humane conscience was absent. Is there not some moral compulsion to demonstrate some modicum of understanding for the suffering of her husband's victims? Is it there, residing deep within her psyche, overshadowed by her insistent quest for her own financial security?

This woman is no one's victim.

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Making Peace With The Taliban

When Hamid Karzai spoke of inviting the Taliban to share his government, he was putting out feelers to determine how his Western protectors, supporters and financiers would take the issue. He now knows; NATO and the United States and Canada are tentatively taking a wait-and-see attitude - not without its own encouragement. When Hamid Karzai spoke, also years ago, about making overtures of a friendly nature to Iran, he defended himself by reminding NATO et al that Afghanistan had to live with its neighbours in a future that precluded the presence of Western nations.

So now we learn through leaked documents that Iran has been covertly funding the Karzai government, greatly enhancing their reputations among those in the Karzai cabinet pleased no end to do the bidding of Iran. Of course President Karzai has already been most helpful to the Shia cause within Afghanistan, agreeing with the fundamentalists among them that Sharia must be implemented to ensure that women in Afghanistan know their place in Afghan society. This is an issue the West is no longer invested in; the initial outcry long forgotten.

With the absence of the Taliban over the past decade, Afghan women could be forgiven if they tended to 'forget' for the time being that they are non-persons. They will soon enough be reminded, and many of them are already suffering throes of dread expectation with the prospect of the Taliban, through Hamid Karzai's proposed "reintegration" and "forgiveness" plan, to share the country's administration with the Taliban - those whose allegiance can be bought, and they will be legion.

Loyalty to the prospect of a nation and a government dedicated to the future prosperity of all its citizens, inclusive of education for girls and advancement for women within that society however, may be a trifle too much to expect. The warlords who have grown steadily wealthier, along with the Taliban, through the proceeds of the poppy crop, and who both benefit by Iranian largess, are certain to celebrate the departure of NATO and the oversight of Western countries.

Some of whom are still morally invested in the prospect of future involvement in the country, to assist in modernizing it and bringing it into a level of prosperity that will negate the need for too many of its tribal people to feel left out and abandoned by a central government too busy to view them as equally entitled. CARE Canada would ideally like Canada to devote itself to remaining, in a decreased civilian caretaker force, to ensure that with their encouragement, the cause of women will not be overlooked and forgotten.

For Canada to commit, for example, to fostering close ties with Afghan human rights organizations, invested in the struggle to ensure that women in Afghanistan are not relegated to their previous non-entitled positions to be exploited and their human rights trampled upon. Which will most certainly occur, should the Taliban, even mid-level leadership, be invited to share governance in the country. With the creeping return of the Taliban will come a return of al-Qaeda. And the situation that was reversed will be reinstalled

While foreign aid workers and humanitarian groups, along with various NATO countries' investment in civil infrastructure like hospitals and schools are currently assisting girls and women to achieve educational and workplace goals, this occurs in urban centres, while women and girls living in the outlying provinces are still devoid of opportunities.

The traditional patriarchal society that deems women's place within Islam to be closeted within a home, and women in public to be shrouded and accompanied by male family members will continue without a sweeping cultural change. This is something that can only be achieved through exposure to a more enlightened social system and a deliberate educational experience to convince men in society that the education of girls is a positive element that would lead to a more advanced society.

Returning the "Scholars of Islam" to ranking governing positions will turn back the clock for Afghan women, unless their fathers, husbands, brothers and uncles begin to see them as a equally endowed and requiring fulfilment alongside that of their male relatives. A slow but steady shift away from including women in parliament in the peace initiatives demonstrate aptly that Hamid Karzai is prepared to sacrifice Afghan women to his larger ambition to remain in power, at any cost.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aiding the Enemy

Appeasement doesn't work, but don't tell the big brains at the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA. They're located in the United States, just in case you didn't know. Although they do have a penchant on occasion to perambulating outside the United States and venturing elsewhere where they happen to have business to be conducted.

Conciliation is another word that's interesting and the practise of which is confusing to the onlooker because it so often doesn't seem to make practical sense.

Nor moral sense either, come to think of it. As, for example, the U.S. administration, the new one under Barack Obama, promising to do things differently than in the past, for their own self-respect, let alone the respect of the outside world, yet falling into the same old familiar trap.

While before the U.S. administration talked a streak about turning back the tide of terror, now there is no terror, simply inconvenient distractions from business as usual.

Always prepared to overlook the nasty truths that simply confused the issues, the U.S., seeing its dependence on Middle East oil not diminishing any time soon, and finding it extremely useful to continue multinational oil alliances with theocrats, autocrats, dictators and totalitarians, commits to practical issues.

It is impractical to recognize that Saudi Arabia continues to fund the founts of terror.

Wahhabi-style Islam is promulgated proudly and strenuously by U.S. greenbacks paid to oil sheikdoms in setting up madrassas all around the geography of the Middle East, Europe and North America, Asia and Africa. So the growing Islamism that spawns fanatical jihadis eager to give their all, and our all for Islam has its genesis in Saudi Arabia by way of Pakistan.

Which is why it is practical for the United States to sell some $60-billion in state-of-the-art war machinery to Saudi Arabia, and thus procure back some of the funds it has enriched the Saudis with through their oil refineries. And since Pakistan, which breeds jihadis sending out their deadly tentacles all over the world, is also a nuclear state, handle with kid gloves.

For Pakistan is America's greatest ally in the war against global terror. You heard it from American administrations one after the other, and now you hear it from the Obama administration. Prepared to offer additional billions in aid for Pakistan's military. This, of course, is the military and the ISI, which funds, arms and protects the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is prepared to ask Congress to approve additional military aid representing the U.S. "enduring commitment to help Pakistan plan for its defence needs." Against whom? Why of course, India. India toward which Pakistan remains an implacable foe, has had to suffer the effects of U.S.-funded Pakistan violence, as has Afghanistan.
"Washington had lavishly aided Pakistan's military, and U.S. legislators now asked where were the results of that aid. Between 2002 and 2007, the Bush administration had provided Pakistan with $3.5-billion in aid, more than half of that for the military. Between 2002 and 2005 the military had received another $3.6-billion in payments for use of its facilities and services by the U.S. Defense Department, while the United States had forgiven Pakistani debt worth over $3.0-billion. The CIA had paid large secret sums to the ISI in order to improve its performance and provide reward money for catching al Qaeda leaders. The army received another $30 to $40-million to improve border security. Washington provided for the computerization of all international passenger traffic at the country's airports, the creation of an air wing for the army to monitor FATA, (federally administered tribal areas), the building of access roads in FATA, and police training in several fields, including crime scene analysis and a centralized fingerprint ID system. Officially, by 2007, the United States had provided $10-billion in aid to Islamabad, and unofficially the figure was much higher, yet FATA and indeed Pakistan were now greater threats than ever before. With terrorism on the increase, U.S. legislators were asking the Bush administration where the money had gone." Ahmed Rashid, Descent into Chaos
This, incidentally, is the same Pakistan needless to say, which recently took great umbrage at the U.S. entering its airspace with drones to take out top-ranking Pakistani-Taliban and al-Qaeda members. So incommoded by the insult to their sovereignty on the part of their great ally in the war against terror that they refused passage of NATO-supply trucks, leaving them and the truckers sitting ducks for Taliban attacks.

These, then are the friends and allies upon which the U.S. hangs its trust; Saudi Arabia, the source of fanatical Islam's international stretch, and Pakistan, the breeding ground for attacks against Mumbai, Great Britain, Germany, France, and anywhere else their demented plans to convince the Western democracies that universal sharia is on its way, so get used to it.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Economies In Freefall

They're faltering like dominoes, struck one by one by the economic cataclysmic effect of a deeply-felt recession, complicated by desperate attempts to fund themselves out of the recessionary hole, finding themselves painfully headed toward fiscal bankruptcy, necessitating the adoption of austerity measures. European states, one after the other, faltering economically, attempting to enlist the support of their populations in belt-tightening. Count countries like Japan in there, as well.

Unsurprisingly, citizens are snarling in response. Populations that suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of hard times after a decade and more of good employment opportunities, healthy national economies, booming trade, and a satisfying way of life. Suddenly, countries that blithely offered their citizens generous social benefits found themselves strapped for cash. And the welfare services proffered to so many became truncated and mean.

Still, there are some services that are outer-directed that appear to be sacrosanct in nature. Green environment initiatives, for one, to which all national economies to greater or lesser degree, appear to have committed themselves to. With the exception of Conservative-led Western governments which have taken a more wait-and-see approach, not convinced, as per the president of the Czech Republic, that global warming is human-derived.

Austerity is an austere word; not a very appealing thought behind it, the need to conserve and to be prudently concerned. Government belt-tightening everywhere has resulted in fewer jobs in the civil service, and by extension in private enterprise. With the rise of unemployment, people face a grimly worrisome future. Unemployed people cannot spend what they do not have, and the economy suffers further decline.

Governments lead the way, and in the process battle public service unions who feel terrifically entitled to battle employers. The result is not pretty, particularly in a country like France where unions are traditionally bullishly militant. Now Great Britain has stepped up to the austerity-cutting plate, and diminished job prospects for a half-million Brits in the public service, which will surely extend to the private sector with an additional half-million cuts.

In Britain, cuts across the board, from welfare and pensions to government services, police and the military, even the Queen and the Royal Household, along with the country's universal health care and oops, the BBC. What will remain intact is international aid, education and climate change spending. And good luck to all of that. England's debt, deficit, inflation levels are all deeper than Canada's.

The United States' debt and deficit levels parallel those of the United Kingdom. There is a crisis looming in America, with states like California teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, along with Eastern Seaboard states, finding it difficult to pay for the infrastructure and services required to represent an advanced economy. Social security and health care costs in the U.S. will require they go the way of France and Britain.

And Canada is struggling to maintain its momentum of rising above the slow drain on its economy, although it has suffered far less than other G20 countries. The country's net national debt is still in the manageable range, but would represent greater comfort if it were to be speedily brought down. Both federally and provincially. Job numbers are slow to increase and consumer confidence is not yet booming. Waiting for an uptick in the U.S.

Not a very propitious time to start a business, look for well-remunerated employment, buy a new home, plan for a vacation - anywhere, at the present time. Food banks continue to enjoy great popularity.

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A "Sick And Dangerous" Man

Shameful tears, tears of a self-obsessed egomaniac, but not tears of personal shame. Tears of aggravated entitlement, bereaved at the loss of power, prestige, ambition. Yet he was himself the author of his own discovery of self as a monster of gruesome and vicious needs to achieve the kind of satisfaction he accustomed himself to. He made that pact with the leering devil within, and felt himself to be in complete control.

A control that extended to every facet of his life. The facade he presented as an accomplished leader of men in a rigid military hierarchy that requires of its leaders steadfast reliability, punctilious gravitas, the assumption of grave responsibilities, and the ability to casually perform under duress, placed him precisely where he felt his talents and capabilities should have led him. What percolated through his dementia, however, is anyone's guess.

Dissatisfaction with the ease of it all. The urge to find excitement and satisfaction elsewhere, in stealthy, puerile and shamefully sadistic acts to be perpetrated on the innocent and the helpless. His 'normal' life required that he present as a faithful and uxorious husband, concerned with the well-being of a socially-contracted matrimonial bond that complemented his station in life as a base commander on his way to higher office.

His lugubrious visage as a man facing the ultimate shame of being discovered to be a callous lout - a brutal sham, a bestial predator, a conscienceless sadist happy to forego the compassionate emotions of a normal human being, now haltingly confessing his regret at the "despicable crimes" he committed during unforgivable acts of tormenting misery - offendingly begs for forgiveness.

The flabby fines applied against him as "victim surcharges", representing a standard $100 fine for each of the 88 offences to which he pleaded guilty will go into an aid-for-victims of crime fund operated by the province. Anyone suspecting that they would be granted 'aid' from such a source would shudder in denial, pushing away the potential of accepting funding from such a dreadful source.

Russell Williams - no longer, at the urgent request of the Canadian military, to be honoured by the title "colonel" - is sincere enough in his regrets. They are all, however, inner-directed. He is profoundly regretful that his cleverly concealed responsibility for having committed dreadful crimes of viciously brutal misogyny were not sufficiently concealed as to continue to defer suspicion from him, as planned.

He was clearly shocked at the realization that evidence had accrued in the hands of the police that demonstrated his guilt in theft, predation, torture and death. He had obviously convinced himself that in his great position of trust and authority his character and the reputation that complemented it were unassailable. That he was more clever and capable than the police whose job it was to track him down.

This is what he regrets. That he was, at certain key times, not sufficiently aware, not adequately prepared to take the care he should have to avoid detection. What this man now mourns is the public shaming, the disgust and despair of the public in viewing the horrible spectacle of a man who had everything worthwhile in his grasp and chose to discard it and instead choose a path of atrocious destruction.

For a while, a conscienceless beast, a dedicated psychopath on a psychotic path to deliver torment and death to the innocents among us, prowled the streets and countryside of this national capital area. He has been detained, prosecuted, sentenced and de-fanged.

Justice can never be adequately performed; his victims will never return to those who loved them.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blatant Sanctimony

Imagine, Canada distinguishing itself by having its name emblazoned on a new venture, a humanitarian enterprise labelled The Canadian Boat to Gaza. Its passionate proponents are prepared to blacken Israel's right eye, having tarnished its left eye, joining the ranks of those countries like Ireland and Turkey committed to demonstrating their contempt for a country forced to defend itself against war-designing neighbours.

Fund-raising activities are in full swing within Canada, to raise the hundreds of thousands required to outright purchase some rusting old tub with enough float-worthiness left in her to give sea passage to stalwart anti-Zionists and Jew-baiters. There are more than enough proud kaffiyeh-wearing hyphenated Canadians and self-hating Jews to man the ramparts - or is it the halyards? - of the ship when it embarks on its voyage of rescue.

Of course organizers claim that they find no common cause with Hamas, since it is clearly identified under Canadian law, as it is elsewhere in the civilized world, as a terrorist group. Hamas just happens to be the government in Gaza, but it is ordinary Gazans, civilians, for whom this solidarity ship is meant to give hope. No, Hamas is orchestrating nothing, its public relations and propaganda arms have nothing to do with these arrangements.

Although those who support the Canadian Boat to Gaza group and its plans see nothing amiss in what Hamas is dedicated to, come to think of it. It is a legitimate governing entity, they gleefully point out, having been democratically elected by a majority of Palestinians who considered it an antidote to the 'moderate', immoderately-corrupt Fatah with whom it shared the executive of the Palestinian Authority for a few years.

Palestinian Gazans are indebted to Hamas for freeing it from the accursed occupation of the Zionists. That Israel unilaterally left Gaza to the Gazans has no fidelity to truth, it is an Israeli fiction. As is the recent news out of Gaza that over a dozen Gazans have been injured in a "work accident" at one of Hamas's military bases. What are children doing located at a military base? Why, the base is located directly within a crowded civilian neighbourhood in Rafiah.

Validating the inconvenient truth that Hamas deliberately chooses to install itself, its munitions and infrastructure in the crowded confines of civilian enclaves. Taking their cue from Hezbollah which has done just that. The better to complain to the international community of Israeli violence against the common folk when the IDF responds to assaults by targeting the base where the rockets emanated from.

In the latest blast, three women, five children and five others were injured in the blast. Hamas is mum on the possible cause of the unfortunate explosion, but these occur when roadside bombs, suicide bomber belts and other weapons detonate prematurely or accidentally during set-up. An unfortunate by-product of 'resistance' preparations.

The Associated Press reports that the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights claimed 58 people were wounded in a like incident that destroyed seven houses two months earlier. The human rights group has called upon Hamas through irritatingly annoying public statements, to store its explosives outside of crowded civilian centres, but its calls remain un-noticed.

Perhaps, when the Canadian blockade-busting aid boat reaches its destination its leaders could lead a confab with Hamas leaders to explain that legitimate and enlightened legislators generally make an effort to care for the people whom they represent, not use them as cannon fodder in the pursuit of their end purpose: to destroy a neighbouring state.

Heh, heh, not likely.

Because, as Ehab Lotayef, spokesman for the Canadian Boat to Gaza group earnestly explains,
"Our first goal is to reach the people of Gaza with much-needed supplies that they are short of, and also to show them the world is not forgetting about them. Our second important goal is to voice opposition to the position the Canadian government is taking regarding the siege of Gaza, and doing what the Canadian government always seems to do, which is to take the side of Israel."
Oh dear, Israel and Canada, two disparate nations, but one-of-a-kind in degenerate wicked disregard for the right of the Palestinians to clobber the Jews whenever feasible, rather than sue for mutual agreement toward a peaceful resolution of a tedious and ongoing campaign on the part of the Arab world to dislodge a Jewish state from the sacred confines of Islam-consecrated desert.

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Tip Of The Hat

Imagine, the Wall Street Journal recognizing Canada. Rarely does one see Canada mentioned for any reason whatever in an American newspaper. Next-door neighbours we may be, each other's largest trading partners, sharing many traditions and social mores, reliant on one another for safe borders, but Canada and thoughts of Canada are remote to the consciousness of most Americans, although Canadians are hugely welcomed as tourists and vacationers.

Here is The Wall Street Journal waxing in great admiration for Canada's principled stand within the United Nations. Vying for one of those rare, entitled albeit temporary two-year sets in the Security Council on the basis of having been enormously supportive of the United Nations in the past, paying (more than) our share of operating costs of the UN, and generally and reliably playing the Good Scout to developing countries.

All those African countries, the Asian and South and Central American countries which Canada has benefited in the past through tax-funded largess? Acknowledged by those heads of state whom we were privileged to assist? Who earnestly promised their votes when push came to shove against tiny impoverished Portugal? Ah, well, it is a secret vote, after all, and allegiances are always fluid within the confines of the United Nations.

Waddya expect, anyway, giving the finger to the United Arab Emirates? Don't you know who you're dealing with, aren't you aware of the potential consequences, don't you care that this kind of umbrage leads invariably to swaying like-minded others to work against your best interests? Yes. Yes. No. Sign that free trade deal with Israel and broadcast it widely. Commiserate with Israel over the injustices done it continually within the United Nations.

And deny Dubai its request to honour blue skies because they're a lot bluer in the Middle East than they are in North America, and who cares about the lousy service Air Canada offers anyway? Deny Dubai at your peril. Remember that long-term lease on a secret plot of desert where supplies and personnel are transited to Afghanistan? Cringing is sometimes the better part of valour...

Oops, don't think so? You'll pay for it. It's this Conservative government in Canada, that's what it is. It's that devil of a politician, Stephen Harper, the one who claims to govern the country on behalf of all Canadians. Not all Canadians agree, but a whole lot do. What's next? Trade retaliation, check. Slander, check; they're on it, sounding the alarm of Canada keeping mum on the alleged arrest of an Israeli wanted in the Dubai-Hamas/assassination debacle.

Calgary and Vancouver are agitating to allow the Emirates airlines more landing and take-off time? They would. Think of the industry, all that fossil fuel stuff and the huge numbers of Canadians employed over there. And what's this about Canada feeling they have the right to snub the UAE ambassador? Just because the UAE refused landing on their sacrosanct territory to Canada's Chief of Defence Staff and Minister of Defence? Tch, tch.

Bravo, Canada!
"We, The Wall Street Journal say: Way to go. Canada seems to have annoyed a sufficient number of Third World dictators and liberally pious Westerners to come up short in a secret General Assembly Ballot. The sins committed by Stephen Harper's Conservative government include staunch support for Israel, skepticism about cap-and-trade global warming schemes and long-standing commitment to the Afghan war. Americans would be so lucky to get a leader as steadfast on those issues as the Canadian Prime Minister.

"The U.S. role here is also embarrassing - to the U.S. Richard Grenell, a former senior official at the U.S. Mission to the U.N., reported last week that America's U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, refused to campaign on Canada's behalf. Mr. Harper's politics are not hers, and Liberal opposition leader and Obama political soulmate, Michael Ignatieff, declared last month that Canada under Mr. Harper didn't deserve to get one of the 10 temporary seats."
Ah, yes, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, a staunch opponent of Canada, evidenced by his statement of non-deserve status within the United Nations. A shining example of partisan bitterness and failed political demagoguery. Dunce hat for you, and off to sit in the corner, Chappie.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quebec Wooden-Heads

Bloc Quebecois Members of Parliament can be distinguished from all other MPs in the House of Commons by the sterling quality of their feverish imaginations, always on the search for some new ways and means to be brought into the law of the land to favour Quebec. The latest is a private member's bill for the government to enact legislation requiring the use of wood in construction or renovations of government buildings.

Back to the Middle Ages. When it made sense to use wood for the framing and construction of middling-sized buildings. High-rise towers, not so much. If government were in the business of building garden sheds and bungalows for its employees, wood-frame construction might make good sense. And then the forestry industry in Quebec which has suffered so badly in later years, could celebrate and become re-invigorated. As if.

Not so much in federal infrastructure-building in and around British Columbia, so as to advantage the lumber industry there; too bad, so sad. When the private member's bill was first introduced for the specific end-purpose of revitalizing Quebec's forestry industry fallen on hard times, the Liberals and the NDP fell all over themselves to support its principle.

The Conservatives thought a little harder about the logical consequences. Even Pat Martin of the NDP who knows something about carpentry has had sober second thoughts, regretting that the bill has "tied Parliament in knots". It's one of those things where you're damned whichever way you turn. Don't support the bill and you let down a disgruntled, entitled Quebec-based industry.

Support the bill and the country's construction industry is in throes of agony. Were the legislation to be passed, Public Works and Government Services Canada would have to re-write building codes for the federal government properties it administers. Can we imagine the remedial work being done on the historical buildings within the Parliamentary Precinct reliant on Quebec-derived lumber products?

As though cost-sensitive projects at a cost-sensitive time in the country's present situation of growing federal economic austerity will not produce further aggravating problems. The Canadian Construction Association is none too pleased. Such a sea change would impact deleteriously on architects, designers and contractors accustomed to selecting the best and most reliable materials for specific sites and properties.

The current National Building Code restricts wood buildings to four stories in height. We're not building them too low these days. And even if protectionist "Quebec lumber" amendments were put into place it would not, in the final analysis, provide that large a boost to the lumber industry. Nothing comparable to a renewed and vigorous U.S. housing market.

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Professional Expert Opinion

Well, certainly we're interested - even fascinated - by the opinion of a well-known and highly-respected psychiatrist who is prepared to divulge his conclusions after having clinically examined the state of mind of Canada's notorious Omar Khadr, son of the country's infamous al-Qaeda stalwart and fund-raiser.

We are interested simply because this is the opinion of a mental health professional experienced in evaluating the state of mind of extremely troubled people.

We are interested because we have heard too much and too often from politicians - from news sources, from left-wing apologists eager to explain that it is incumbent upon enlightened and democratic societies to recognize that certain religions appearing devoted to violence as a means of impressing the imperatives of their ideology - to offer the benefit of the doubt.

We are interested because we understand why it is that the greater majority of the society of which we are an integral portion is uneasy at the very thought of returning an avowed and trained and active jihadist to the country, even to be placed in incarceration to live out his sentence as a war criminal.

For the simple fact is, we would prefer to disown Omar Khadr and the rest of the Khadr clan.

That we cannot, because we must feel obligated toward them on the basis of their Canadian citizenship is our personal tragedy. That they have betrayed the values and customs and traditions and mores of Canadian society in favour of violently fanatical Islam is said to be of no moment in the issue. The issue, Mr. Khadr's supporters fervently claim, is that he was not responsible.

He was trained as a mujahadeen, trained to feel confident in constructing explosive devices, in handling firearms and explosives. He was trained as an Islamist guerrilla, a terrorist, a jihadist. And he was determined to give a good accounting of himself in confronting other armed men, professional soldiers, not that much older than himself, considered a 'child soldier' at age 15.

But Dr. Michael Welner, the psychiatric expert who investigates the deep-seated motivations behind peoples' aberrant behaviour has an entirely other opinion of the now-24-year-0ld Khadr. Doubting Omar Khadr's wish to become a normal, law-abiding individual who can be trusted to take his peaceful place within the society that gave his family safe harbour.

The extended Khadr family, which enjoys defaming the values of this country, along with all other Western countries, which, according to them, are dens of iniquity, of irreligious shame, but whose social benefits in welfare opportunities and free and excellent health and medical care are not to be shunned by principle.

"When one leaps to the conclusion about Omar Khadr's future because he is friendly, one might recall that Osama bin Laden has always been described as gentle, likeable and charming", Dr. Welner explained in a media interview. "There is no record of (Khadr's) publicly repudiating al-Qaeda, as civilized Muslims should, not even a letter composed for him by (one of his Canadian lawyers)".

There is "no call ... to radical Islamists to mature, beyond their elemental intolerance", said this man who, if anyone knows the incendiary mind of a psychopath, he might well be the one.

As for the Liberals and NDP slagging the Conservative-led government and the efforts of the bureaucrats at Foreign Affairs on behalf of this sterling citizen of Canada...
"Publicly available records reflect that members of the Canadian foreign ministry have made visits to Guantanamo to check on Khadr's every comfort, and Omar Khadr, not surprisingly, appreciated those visits", said the good doctor-shrink.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How - Is - It - Possible?

What is it about predators and serial killers, that they cannot see the humanity in other people, that they are capable of horrendous criminal acts, of tormenting, torturing and murdering those that they terrorize, yet they retain a soft spot in their warped psyches for their significant others? Clifford Olson would not divulge where he had secreted the bodies of the children he had abused and slaughtered unless he received a substantial sum of money for each location revealed. The money to be given to his wife, to ensure her financial stability.

How touching. And now, another luridly-bizarre predator, pederast, misogynist-murderer, revealing his methodology in tracking, stalking and abducting women, insists his first priority is to ensure his wife is well taken care of. This disgusting creature whose erratic behaviour and sick fascination with girls, their intimate apparel, with young attractive women and their lingerie, had no compassion or hesitation for the harm he inflicted on others, but wanted to make certain his wife retained an economic future.

He was, like the Nazis, who scrupulously documented all their crimes against humanity, and more specifically, the Jews of Europe, consumed with the need to carefully and meticulously document all of his perversions, his conquests and his fetish-objects. And it was these items, the notes, the photographs and videos, the hundreds of personal items of underwear that stood witness against the man, as he pleaded guilty to all 82 charges brought against him.

At risk of seeming naive, how is it possible that a woman, long married to a man she is purported to love and who purportedly reciprocates that emotion, has no knowledge of her husband's psychosis? How is it possible? One would have to be utterly remote, disinterested, shut away within oneself - which likely Col. Russell Williams was, to a degree - to not 'notice' irrational behaviour, and the strange little tics that made up this man's strange life.

Over four hundred items, ranging from young girls' Disney underwear, to that of mature women; photographs, copious notes, videos, baby items and blankets were secreted around about a house that this husband-and-wife shared, and a cottage, as well. The house was described as being extremely tidy. How is it possible that none of this ever came to the attention of an attentive, tidy-minded house-owner?

That having been said, there are some who no doubt feel pity for Col. Williams' wife, considering her to represent yet another victim of his sick desires. Does that then explain why she appears as anxious as he to ensure that she will not suffer financially from the fall-out of her husband's fall from the grace of his assured future as a high-ranking officer in the Canadian armed forces?

That she girded herself for the potential of losing ownership of substantial properties, against a civil law suit brought against her husband's disgusting crimes by one of his traumatized victims? What kind of mentality might that represent? So overwhelmed with grief over the fate of those poor innocent victims of her husband's mad lust and lunatic violence that she insists on her rights.

Is there any real question about her financial future given that she is an executive with a local branch of a national charity? She is capable of fending for herself against future adversities. Which is far more than could be said for the targeted victims of her husband's psychopathy.

Harsh, but then so is the reality of what has occurred.

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Radically-Inclined Quebec

Like a dirty old Phoenix, the Front de Liberation du Quebec rises again. Kind of. It's as though it's never gone away. Well, actually, it hasn't. Not quite. The message is still there, although the only violence inherent in it now is its assault against reason, and lack of civility. The old accusations still resonate, the indignation and inferiority complex, the resentment and the angst.

No need to resurrect them, they've been front and centre for a long time.

Forty years isn't that long, after all, and the claims and the urgency have never been repressed. Now, when Quebec separatists are no longer seen as terrorists, they earn the respectable votes of ardent Francophones who believe like them, that the Quebec 'nation' should be liberated from the tedious torment of Canadian unity.

And, looking back fondly at their salad days of scaring the hell out of Pierre Trudeau's government and Canadian society as a whole, they simmer with hatred at the 'terrorism' that the state visited upon those poor sad Quebecers who were arrested upon the imposition of the War Measures Act. After all, exploding mailboxes is no big deal, just a sign of social ferment. People killed? Shit happens.

And abducting British diplomats to make the point that Quebecois detest their once-British masters just as they do Canadian Anglophones is just a simple way of making a point. All right, they did get a trifle carried away kidnapping a Quebec Cabinet Minister, but they didn't really, truly, plan to take his life; it just kind of happened, and Mr. Laporte is no longer a problem.

But removing the current Quebec premier is. And the leader of the Parti Quebecois is affronted that Jean Charest dare suggest to her that she "distance herself from groups that preach violence in Quebec". None other than a reconstructed Rheal Mathieu, found guilty of manslaughter in 1967 for the FLQ bombing that took two lives. And who now still agitates, and still tosses firebombs.

Why not? Isn't it an offence when businesses located in Quebec foolishly insist on retaining their English-language names and titles? This radical propagandist-thug and his associates are recognized for their good work on behalf of Quebec's aspiration for nationhood, through funding by - why, none other than former PQ premier Bernard Landry, among other unsavoury characters.

Ms. Marois protests accusations from Mr. Charest by heart-rendingly referring to "this little people in America, this little francophone people". Well, she's right there; little-minded to the point of insignificant socially, but politically - dynamite!

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Medieval Theocracy

One can only suppose that if women, through long enough exposure to a certain type of culture - think it is fine to shroud themselves in public lest the sight of their scowling visage occasioned by sighting other women who don't feel like submitting to oppression - feel it's just dandy to anonymously claim justice, we should accept this as their due.

There is full sympathy for any woman who claims to have been raped, entitled to see justice done her and her violators judged.

That she has allegedly been raped by members of her own family, within a culture that views rapes as the fault of the woman, because the man simply was unable to control his urges, is fairly miserable. That this same culture views women who have lost their virginity as even more worthless than those who still present as marriageable-intact, represents a double offence.

In fairness, justice should be done and the rapists held to account.

But in Canada, as it happens, the accused have a right in law to face their accusers. And a judge and jury are accustomed to viewing both the accuser and the accused, to read body language and facial expressions in an effort to determine whether there is verity in the claims, either of the accuser or the accused.

If a woman from that culture insists that it is her religious right to cover her face and this right must be respected, we have a problem.

It's a problem that an Ontario court of appeal made a tenuously timid judgement on. In the obvious interests of being seen as sensitive to the issue of religious freedoms, justice has been held hostage. There are some judicial forms that simply should not be tampered with, and this is one of them. If the courage to stand up in court is present, it should be done bare-faced, without a face-covering.

Once outside the court, the woman can resume wearing her niqab. And/or her burqa. The choice, after all, is hers, and completely covering up on the streets of Canada is still legal, unlike some other countries of the world like Indonesia and France. But in a court of law? Uncover. Someone's perceived right represents someone else's rights being tampered with, and when that happens it's a no-go.

And here's the truly perplexing thing about the recent controversy in R. vs N.S. and the judgement of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The appellant had the support in her insistence that she must have her face covered while giving testimony in court, of LEAF, the women's Legal Education and Action Fund, a professional feminist group supporting the rights of women.

Puzzling, isn't it? Feminists finding common cause with a woman suffering the effects of a patriarchal society's culturally demeaning demands. If this were any other situation but one that pits Muslim women against democratic society's freedoms and mores, feminists would be front and centre decrying the imposition of a shroud on the dignity of a free female.

But women in fundamentalist Islam are not free in the carefree sense of the word. They must always be aware of who and where they are. They must not tantalize a strange male by the sight of their uncovered skin. To do so, as millions of women around the world do, is to invite untoward advances risking, even inviting rape.

But the woman in question came from a tradition in which women are thought to be irremediably soiled if she is no longer virginally intact. She was sexually assaulted by members of her own family, repeatedly, at a time when she was young and vulnerable. She has been wearing traditional Islamic garb for a mere five years.

Can it be so ingrained in her that were she to temporarily shed her face veil, that would be tantamount to blighting the quality of her faith in Islam?

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Stating The Obvious

"If we do not want to jail one terrorist only to release three, we need to take pre-emptive action based on the experience of our friends and allies. If we take the problem seriously and do our homework, Canadians can get ahead of prison radicalization before it becomes a major security concern." Alex Wilner, author of a new report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, public policy think-tank.
He is but stating the obvious. There is nothing particularly new about the growing understanding of the realities that exist within the country, where dedicated jihadists have revealed themselves and their dangerous intentions to attack symbols of authority and the general population. Canada's security agencies have caught up with them, and they have stood trial for their violent ideological-religious convictions and establishment of plans to wreak havoc in society in the name of fundamentalist Islam.

Momim Khawaja, the first convicted home-grown terrorist in Canada, was known for his 'work' in seducing other prisoners to Islam while he was incarcerated awaiting trial. The verdict in his trial of guilty as charged and the time allotted to him to serve out his sentence, gives him ample additional opportunity within the penal system to continue that work on behalf of spreading the message of Islamism. He will, no doubt, successfully convert other men to the glory of radical violent jihad. Appealing to the sense of pious adventure residing deep in the psyches of the mentally unbalanced and the social misfits.

It is well enough known that prisons in Europe are busily breeding future jihadists at an unprecedented rate. Out of proportion in numbers to those being recruited through other means; social Internet networks, within mosques and community centres, and through covert word-of-mouth in indoctrinating susceptible people. Invitations to radical Islamic speakers whose values and concerns are obviously deleterious to those of Canada, result in foreign Islamist sympathizers and jihadis speaking freely on Canadian soil to impressionable young Muslims.

The report just issued considers the threat within this country to be as yet "much less severe" in scale than what presents currently as a growing threat in the United States, Britain, France and Spain and Germany. As more aspiring jihadists are being apprehended and incarcerated, the incidence of spreading the extremist pathology of fascist Islamism increases exponentially. And Mr. Wilner, author of the report, has some recommendations for Canadian authorities interested in stemming the tide of home-grown terrorists.

Chief among them to cut off access by extremist Muslims to other prison inmates, which would of necessity mean isolating them from the general prison population. An effort to be made to screen the Muslim clerics who visit prisoners to clear them of radical intention. And any such conversations should be monitored (although if discussions take place in languages unfamiliar to the screeners/monitors, an additional problem arises). Within the Correctional Service of Canada, a unit should be tasked with monitoring radicalization trends.

The idea is to produce a state of apprehended violent jihad, cutting it off from spreading the appeal of violence in dedication to fundamentalist Islam. And without a shadow of doubt that's past time to occur.

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"How Did All This Come About?"

Canadians can expect to hear and read more than they care to about the shameful exploits of a man who literally had everything and regardless was unable to restrain himself from dangerously violent behaviour that escalated steadily from stark violations of trust, to theft through home invasions, the torture of women, rape, and finally murder. As a high-ranked Canadian forces officer, Colonel Russell Williams, a disgrace to his post as commander of the largest air force base in Canada, whose viciously dishonourable actions has blemished the armed forces this man's twisted life amazes.

For somewhere, at some time, this man must have betrayed in some way the fact that his state of mind was dangerously unbalanced. And quite obviously no one in the chain of command was alerted to this. He was given the privilege as an air force pilot of great dependability and professional skills, of piloting the aircraft that flew the Prime Minister, the Queen, and other elite luminaries to various destinations. Presenting as a man of rigid discipline, courtesy and professionalism, he led a true double life.

He was married, and was said to be devoted to his wife. Yet his downward spiral into sexual predator and finally double murderer resulting from his inherent psychopathy resulted in horrendous events and too many victims to count, from the bereaved families of the murdered women, to the women whom he tormented and raped, to those whose homes he stealthily entered for the purpose of collecting coveted items of intimate apparel which he kept as trophies. And no one the wiser. Not his wife of many years, nor those with whom he worked.

When, finally, peculiar evidence pointed irrevocably to this man whose unassailable reputation and position otherwise proclaimed him untouchable, he confessed to his horrible crimes. He revealed to a police detective who interrogated him all the details of his recent past in victimizing women, and even staking out the homes of teen-age girls as future prospects, close to where he lived. He expressed his concern, at the time, not about his victims, but the future financial welfare of his wife.

A second concern he expressed was how the detection of his dreadful assaults against society would impact on the military in the public perception. The public appears to understand that someone of his ilk, difficult to imagine as it is, could appear anywhere in society. With the knowledge that psychopaths become skilled in throwing off any suspicion of themselves, presenting as normal, reliable individuals, ensuring that their dark inner turmoil remain well hidden.

Through his incarceration period he became familiar with the evidence stacked against him. His recorded confession as a rapist-murderer was admissible in any court of law. His fetish burglaries which led to his eventual invasion of two homes close to where he and his wife had a cottage and the rape and torture of the women who lived there, developed further his attraction to sadistic exploitation of his dreadful sexual urges. He will be sentenced shortly for his crimes.

In the meanwhile, he has been collecting his regular monthly salary cheques, and stands also to qualify for superannuation that has accrued to him through his working career. He arranged with his wife to transfer ownership of their mutually-owned properties, to protect her financially in light of a $2.5-million civil lawsuit brought against both of them by one of his rape-torture victims. His wife denies any untoward conduct in the matter. But this arrangement of protecting his wife is consistent with his original concern.

He has pleaded guilty to all charges brought against him, in acknowledgement of his obvious guilt. Sparing in some measure, the military of which he was once such an integral part. To the extent that an even brighter future as a potential General in the Canadian armed forces was once contemplated by his superiors. His guilty plea thus perhaps offloading additional opprobrium through his admission of ownership of all charges held against him as a thief, a sexual pervert-predator, rapist-tormentor and murderer.

The man is beyond redemption. He has committed the most egregiously dreadful acts of violence against vulnerable women that it is possible to imagine. He was wrapped in the invulnerability of his position and his reputation as a stalwart officer. His victims await the opportunity to make their statements, detailing their pain and their irreparable loss. "I basically want to let him know how his actions have affected our daily life. We want him to know just how much he has hurt people", explained the brother of murder victim Jessica Lloyd.

Aren't normal, decent people seeking justice just so innocent of guile? Innocent too of a clear understanding of what motivates a psychopath to his psychotic path of destruction. Clearly unable to imagine that any human being could be devoid of a sense of personal guilt, of feeling compassion, of any kind of emotion that does not impact on him in a pleasurable-though-destructive manner. It hardly matters that Col. Williams will listen to the pleas for understanding of the pain and suffering he caused.

He may hear, but he will feel nothing. Other than a grisly satisfaction that he destroyed several lives. Although there is a certain peculiar compunction expressed, not any kind of sympathy for those destroyed lives, but a concern for the future financial security of his spouse.

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