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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Treating Bashar's Victims

"They looked almost like they were coming out of a concentration camp."
"They were coming in not just injured or dehydrated, malnourished and psychologically traumatized."
"They [surgeons] would have amputated below the knee but all these wounds were infected and so we had to perform amputations above the knee to get less infection."
"What we were seeing was probably the tip of the iceberg."
"I treated her [4-month-old orphan with broken legs and fractured pelvis] and had to leave her and hope she gets through to Turkey. She's a beautiful little baby but she's not eating or drinking and will be dead in a week if she doesn't get treatment."
David Nott, British surgeon-volunteer, Idlib province, Syria
Around 30,000 people were evacuated from rebel-held east Aleppo Credit: AFP 

Who will be there to give that baby the soul-nourishing love and emotional support and physical dedication she will need, to want to live? Deprived at her young age of the presence of parents, destroyed by a war they could do nothing to prevent their baby from experiencing, she will be deprived of the will to live, irrespective of the best efforts of humanitarian workers like Dr. Nott.

This man's exceptional dedication to giving aid led to his repeated trips into Syria since 2011 where he undertook the training of many doctors working in east Aleppo's hospitals, now makeshift, after their destruction by Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes deliberately taking them out of commission. Just as the barrel-bombing of civilian enclaves in east Aleppo had a defined purpose, so did the equally deliberate bombing of the city's hospitals.

Dr. Nott, along with other dedicated volunteers, much less the remaining medical personnel from Syria's second-largest city, are attempting to cope with the flood of the wounded who exited Aleppo. Men, women and children presenting with untreated wounds. The six-month siege that deprived them of food and water, medicine and hope, has been lifted, temporarily. An evacuation of 30,000 civilians and rebel fighters under terms of a ceasefire.

Dr. Nott estimated that among the patients he was seeing it was not the elderly and children, most vulnerable during the siege who would have long-since died of wounds. Those he treated represented the most fit of the Aleppo residents, able to survive the rigours of the siege for whatever reason; their basic health and availability of food they could scrounge, however pitiful the quantity and quality.

Doctors in Aleppo had no choice but to perform hundreds of amputations, to save lives. They had no anaesthetic, nothing which could be used, to sterilize wounds, leaving injuries susceptible to infection and inevitably requiring that they had no option but to amputate patients for a second time, to ensure they wouldn't die of catastrophic infection and gangrene.

On his own, Dr. Nott operated on 90 people in the space of a week. Among them 30 children. He described patients as being "in a desperate state", having had little food for months, then having to cope with no shelter in an atmosphere of snow and  freezing temperatures. The agreed-upon ceasefire with hopes it would lead to peace talks will at the very least suspend further atrocities committed by the state against its population.

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Bashar al-Assad's Murderous Template

"Syrian regime forces shelling Wadi Barada and Ain al-Fijeh] to put pressure on Islamist rebel factions and Fateh al-Sham Front to accept a reconciliation deal."
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Screengrabs from a video allegedly show Syrian regime assault on Wadi Barada
Screen grab of Wadi Barda regime shelling

Aleppo, unsurprisingly, appears to have been the experimental template for what is destined to occur in the rest of Syria, since the cleansing of the eastern portion of Syria's once-commercial hub with its ancient footprint in the Middle East appears now to have been completed with the final evacuation of its Sunni citizens and the rebel factions among them. Starved out, wounded, demoralized, traumatized as no match for a faltering, barbarian regime that found new life with the military benefaction of Vladimir Putin in his long-range plan for Russian authority in the Middle East.

The ancient city of Aleppo and its archaeological treasures in the eastern half may be pounded to rubble, its people scattered as desperate refugees from the punishing sectarian hatred of its tyrant, but Bashar al-Assad exults in his victory, on the conquest he accomplished, thanks to the steadfastness in sectarian detestation of Shiite Islam over Sunni Islam exemplified by Iran's al-Quds division of its Republican Guard and its Lebanese Hezbollah militias dedicated to smashing the Syrian Sunni rebellion.

The barrel bombs and deprivation of basic necessities of human survival denied to Sunni civilians in east Aleppo demonstrated the success of such techniques in degrading existence for the besieged beyond human tolerance. And since the presence of rebellion is also present in Damascus what better place to continue the onslaught than towns close by the capital city? These strikes are reportedly aimed at Fateh al-Sham, known previously as Jabhat al-Nusra, as a routing technique.

But they are among 100,000 civilians lacking water and electricity, under attack from both the Islamists and the regime. Regime authorities cut off water supplies into some of the neighbourhoods of Damascus citing the rebels' having poisoned water resources. A regime that sees no barriers to its use of grotesque assault methodology against its civilian population would have no hesitation in ascribing to its opponents lethal conspiracies that they themselves might entertain.

The Damascus water authority issued an explanatory statement that supplies of potable water were cut in the wake of "terrorist attacks on all water resources feeding into Damascus and its surroundings", while they themselves are responsible for denying access to water by those whose need cannot be denied, but is. While 1.5 million people live within the city of Damascus, its suburbs hold an additional 3.5 million.

Vital resources civilization counts upon to provide the basic necessities of life are understandably under threat during conditions of warfare, but the denial of such necessities to those dependent on them have become a specialty of the Shiite Baathist government of President al-Assad as a historically tried-and-true strategy found useful during the Medieval era, thoughtfully resurrected courtesy of present-day Islamist societies.

The valley of the Wadi Barada has been under a state of siege for years. Food, water and electricity have all been elusive, deliberately withheld. As a technique to bring people to their knees nothing works as well as withholding food and water, and the Syrian regime can attest to its success. The heartless war waged by al-Assad against his majority-Sunni population reflects adequately his contempt for the majority sect.

And his malevolently deadly reaction to his own civilians' criticism for the unequal administration of his regime's oppressive institutionalized practices is justified in the defence offered by the Russian defence ministry citing the ostensible finding of its troops, of bodies of several dozen Syrians "who suffered atrocious torture and massacre" including mutilation and gunshot wounds.

Weigh those claims against the Islamist militias whose jihad-inspired terrorism still is incapable of notching up as many civilian deaths as can be achieved through the methodology and military machine of the government of Syria, through imprisonment, torture and deaths, chemical weapons attacks, and helicopter gunships strafing civilian enclaves, bombing hospitals and schools, mosques and apartment buildings, destroying towns and cities and their inhabitants with barrel bomb attacks.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Religion of Peace

  • The population of Syria before the civil war began in 2011 was 22 million;
  • The civil war has displaced 6.3-million Syrians, mostly Sunnis;
  • There is an estimated 4.9-million internally displaced Syrians living in besieged or isolated regions of the country;
  • Estimates of the numbers of Syrians killed in the past five years range between 400,000 and 500,000;
  • Each month of the conflict results in 30,000 people suffering traumatic injuries;
  • Combined, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey shelter 4.8-million Syrian refugees, half of whom are children; 
  • Syrian refugees who have fled to Europe by sea in 2015 number one million, with four thousand believed to have drowned;

Initially, when Syrian civilians began leaving their homes, the towns and cities and farms to escape the immediate effects of the conflict, they believed their absence would be temporary, that they would be able to return in a matter of weeks, months, certainly not the years they have now been displaced, with no end in sight, as the president of their country continues his unabated violent war against his own people whom he scornfully names "terrorists".

That nomenclature, he seems to believe, is all the proof needed that his war is a just one; destroying the lives of terrorists, not that a Shiite administration views his Sunni sect population as enemies of the state. No civilized country of the world targets its civilian population with chemical weapons, with artillery, with barrel bombs, enlisting the aid of other Shiite countries to help it subdue its own citizens from demanding their human rights. The Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah finds this work right down their alley.

The externally displaced Syrians, living as refugees in neighbouring countries, cannot work to earn a living as the legal convention recognizing their status as refugees does not permit them to work where they have found haven. Which hasn't stopped desperate families from sending out their children to find work, to help sustain the family's needs. Not all refugees live in crowded refugee camps, many who fled with whatever of their goods and money they could preserve, live in host-country cities, finding their financial resources inexorably dwindling.

The very poorest of the poor Syrians hadn't the wherewithal in goods or money to flee externally, they are the internally displaced who huddle together for safety in towns and villages that often come under direct fire by the regime's forces, their slaughter considered their just due for 'supporting' the rebel cause based on the fact that the rebels are Sunnis rebelling against the minority Shiite Alawite government which has denied them equality rights, and the civilians are also Sunnis, earning the state's enmity.

Foreign humanitarian groups have been working alongside various arms of the United Nations, where they are permitted to give aid, providing the Syrian refugees in the countries of haven with water and shelter and protection from sexual exploitation. Local aid agencies do their best to alleviate the plight of the refugees, as well. The civilian Sunni Syrian men, women and children who fled the ravaged Sunni half of Aleppo were in a state of universal shock from the effects of the siege and the continual bombing, many injured at a time when hospitals and medical clinics in eastern Aleppo were targeted and destroyed by Russian and Syrian bombs.

Most of the world's refugees have resulted from fanatical Islamism. Muslims who have chosen to wage jihad as a symbol of their faith and their response to the Koranic injunction to all Muslim faithful to obey the religion's objective to proselytize using whatever means it takes to attain the goal of a worldwide caliphate of the faithful. From the Middle East through North Africa, conflict has created a greater number of displaced people and refugees who have experienced violence, torture, murder and rape than from any other cause, all attributed to Islam.

Tragic suicide note of Aleppo nurse who killed herself to avoid rape by Syrian army
A Syrian woman, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, reacts as she stands with her children in Aleppo’s Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters (Picture: Getty)

"Last night we were able to reinforce our new defense lines and to build some blast walls on the new borders. Today the regime forces tried to sweep through our new defense lines [in town of Azaz] but they haven’t been able to do so yet. But the problem is the barbaric, unprecedented bombardment and shelling that you can’t even imagine."
"Seventy-nine of them [residents who attempted escape] were executed at the barricades. The rest — everyone under 40 — were taken to warehouses that look more like internment camps. They face an unknown fate."
"This morning 20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped."

Abdullah Othman, head, Consultative Council in the Levant Front rebel group, Aleppo, Dec13/16

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Unreliable Functionality of United Nations Peacekeepers

Burundian UN peacekeepers patrol in Bangui, Central African Republic -- Photo by Jane Hahn Washington Post
"The weakest and most vulnerable around the world rely on the United Nations to protect them, but it won't be able to fulfill their expectations if its members send protectors who are known abusers back home."
Akshaya Kumar, deputy UN director, Human Rights Watch

"[The UN] does not have dedicated resources to carry out human rights screening of individual contingent members, nor do we have the means to assess the records of individuals."
Farhan Haq, senior spokesman, UN peacekeepers
At the present time, the United Nations is engaged in managing sixteen separate peacekeeping missions with over 100,000 uniformed personnel and an annual $8-billion budget. It recruits peacekeepers from militaries around the world, many of which have notable records of military and institutionalized abuse serving repressive governments. But the United Nations lacks a system to identify conscripts with backgrounds replete with human rights abuses.

Burundi is a case in point, where the government has used its security forces as a punishing tool against political opponents. A team of human rights experts appointed by the UN warned months ago that their forces were committing "gross violations" of human rights, recommending it "phase out" use of Burundian peacekeepers. Consequently, the UN announced months ago it would no longer accept Burundian police as peacekeepers in the Central African Republic once the contingent has completed its tour.

The UN cited that cessation "given the current allegations of serious and ongoing human rights violations in Burindi". Despite which the UN employs over 800 Burundian soldiers in the Central African Republic, required, according to senior officials, to maintain the peace. Another 5,400 Burundian troops are supported through the African Union's mission in Somalia. And the reason that Burundian police and military are offered to the United Nations for peacekeeping is that millions of dollars are sent to the government of Burundi as payment for supplying the troops.

The same could be said for any and all governments who offer their security personnel for deployment as UN peacekeepers; governments are lavishly recompensed for their part in offering their national police and military to the United Nations. For their part, the conscripts to the UN peacekeeping effort view the opportunity to serve as a splendid personal opportunity to enhance their livelihood. The coveted posts pay exceedingly well, about $12,000 annually as opposed to the salary of a lieutenant in Burundi who makes $500 per year.

This is used as a form of pay-off by the Burundian government which reserves the peacekeeping nominations for its loyalist contingents. Congo too sent 850 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic with an African Union mission, in 2014 taken over by the United Nations. Like Burundi, Congo's military commits human rights abuses, raping and killing civilians during civil war. Similarly, the UN announced it would be ending Congo's role in the Central African Republic after incoming troops were unable to meet UN standards for vetting, training and equipment.

Security forces that open fire on protesters, kill and injure people, crack down on suspected government enemies, arrest hundreds in defense of government orders are considered loyalists by repressive, human-rights-abusing regimes which are still viewed with a measure of favour in the United Nations. Consider Syria's regime known to be responsible for a half-million Syrian deaths in civil war conflict, and millions of displaced Syrians; half its population. It still has a respected place within UN member-bodies.

A great majority of United Nations member countries are unable to bear even cursory scrutiny of their human rights records. Countries like Saudi Arabia with its misogynistic patriarchy and its penchant for inspiring terrorism, can still sit on a council ostensibly created to support women's rights. The United Nations was meant to be a bulwark against human rights abuses in the world, as a world body to promote peace and equality. Instead it has become a club for human rights abusers to stand in judgement over the relative few of the UN's members who are exemplars of human rights protection.

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The Mysterious TU-154 Crash

"[The FSB has found] no indications or facts pointing at the possibility of a terror attack or act of sabotage on board the [Russian Defence Ministry Tu-154] plane."
Federal Security Service report

"Possible malfunctions . . . certainly wouldn't have prevented the crew from reporting them."
"[An] external impact [seemed, in his experience, the most likely reason for the disintegration of the Syria-bound plane on take-off from Sochi airport."
Vitaly Andreyev, (former) senior Russian air traffic controller
Russian rescue boats patrol off the coast of the Black Sea city of Sochi looking for debris of a Russian military plane, 26 December
AFP : Russian boats have been searching the sea for bodies and wreckage

If security and counter-terrorism states with assurance that terrorism can be checked off the list of possible reasons why 92 people lost their lives on Monday, yet suspicion has been aroused that none of the flight crew appeared to have noticed anything awry, technical or otherwise which the retrieved black box validates, and the wreckage was spewed from the air over a wide distance, it is little wonder that belief in that authoritative conclusion is suspended.

The Alexandrov Ensemble perform in Moscow, Russia 31 March 2016

But the Kremlin has stated unequivocally that it is more likely that a technical malfunction or pilot error led to the crash and subsequent deaths that have devastated Russia. The famed Alexandrov Ensemble en route to entertain a Syrian-located Russian air base has lost one-third of its talented and internationally recognized troupe. Elite members of the Russian military, the air crew, and a Russian doctor renowned for her humanitarian work, all gone, leaving Russia the poorer for their untimely deaths.

No efforts have been spared to retrieve the bodies of the dead, intact or in parts, with 3,500 people deployed on 43 ships and 182 divers sweeping the crash site for any vestiges of the victims' bodies and the plane's debris. One of the plane's black boxes has been retrieved in shape sufficient to offer some clues as to what had occurred to produce this disaster. Despite the Kremlin's assurances that they know best, experts in aviation however, remain unconvinced.

It has been pointed out that the Kremlin has no wish for the Russian public to believe that their country has become a target of terrorists who feel entitled to bomb them just as Russian warplanes are bombing rebel militias, Syrian citizens and terrorist groups alike in Syria, in conjunction with the barrel-bomb-dropping Syrian helicopters where the regime has been deliberately targeting its own people. But Islamist jihadists who exist under cover in Russia could very well be sympathetic to their counterparts in Syria, and to exercise their option to demonstrate that sympathy.

After all, it is no secret that Chechen jihadists, among other international terrorists have been operating in Syria, although it is not necessarily the terrorists that Syria and Russia have held in their gun sights, but the rebel opposition in Syria eager to dislodge Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the new Butcher of the Middle East. To admit that a terrorist attack on a Russian military transport caused the catastrophic explosion would be to draw the Russian public's attention more closely to the deployment of thousands of Russian soldiers in Syria.

Their government, after all, has been describing its actions in Syria as a noble enterprise, countering the evil of Islamist atrocities against defenceless civilians, at the very time when the Russian military has been busy itself committing what even the haplessly dysfunctional United Nations has declared to be "war crimes". Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov appears to favour the theory of pilot error resulting in the crash, although technical fault would also be acceptable.

Who knows what the black box will be revealing ... or how it will be interpreted?


Tupolev-154: Russian workhorse : AFP

The plane originally took flight from the Chkalovsky military airport outside Moscow, stopping in Sochi to refuel. Border guards and military servicemen, according to the FSB, were on duty, protecting the plane on the tarmac, and even the chief pilot along with the flight engineer were there personally to monitor the refuelling exercise. Moreover a border guard officer and customs official were the sole brief boarders in Sochi, both beyond impeachment as loyal Russians.

Annoyingly no doubt, some in the Russian media point out lax security prevailing at Chkalovsky where the aging plane had been based, unlike the stricter security at civilian airports. To add to the doubts, former chief of the FSB special forces unit, Alexander Gusak, spoke of security breaches at the military airport. But even the much more secure Sochi airport could be vulnerable, he added: "It's possible to penetrate any facility.

"It depends on your skills."

Map showing Sochi in Russia

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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Philippine War on Drugs

"I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere -- on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls' school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald's restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living room sofas. I watched as a woman in red peeked at one of those grisly sites through fingers held over her eyes at once trying to protect herself and permit herself one last glance at a man killed in the middle of a busy road."
"I have covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What I experienced in the Philippines felt like a new level of ruthlessness: police officers summarily shooting anyone suspected of dealing or even using drugs. Vigilantes taking seriously Mr. Duterte's call to 'slaughter them all'."
Journalist Daniel Berehulak: Witnessing Slaughter in Duterte's Philippines, The New York Times

"We in the slums of Manila who have been living in constant fear for the past ten-plus years because of the denial of the previous administration that we are becoming a narco state feel safer. You do not have the right to tell that you don't feel safe if you haven't experience[d] violence from drug infested areas!!!
Ann Mendoza, Philippines

"I'm living in the Philippines, and yes one of my family got killed because of this campaign, but I still and the rest of my relatives support this campaign because since the administration changed we feel more safer. And about his efforts, we, most of Filipinos are very satisfied to his [Duterte's] works."
Jhudie Rap Ram-Jo, Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a nationwide crackdown on drugs criminals. Since he became president in June 2016, more than 3,000 are thought to have died.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a nationwide crackdown on drugs criminals. Since he became president in June 2016, more than 3,000 are thought to have died. Photograph: Bullit Marquez/AP

Last year Rodrigo Duterte, who had garnered a reputation as a brutally fearless law-and-order, coarse-speaking politician who had cleaned up his own crime-ridden city in the Philippines in his stint as its mayor, ran for the office of president of the country, boasting he would rid his country of terrorists and drug dealers to bring justice to bear and remediate the quality of life of the people of his nation. And he was handily elected to office. Immediately on assuming the presidency he launched a war against drugs.

Since President Duterte formally unveiled his war on drugs, urging everyone to become involved, he has inspired extrajudicial killings committed by vigilantes or just plain thugs to take place without consequences or question let alone trial and justice, the administration content to allow the situation to unroll as it would, with the police, the military and the public becoming involved. The police essentially have license to kill anyone they feel is a suspect.
Residents stand behind a police line, observing the two dead bodies of alleged drug dealers following a drug bust operation that turned into a gunfight in Manila in July. Nearly 1,800 people have died, police said, since the government launched a crackdown on illegal drugs after Rodrigo Duterte won a landslide presidential election victory in May with a vow to kill criminals.       Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

President Duterte would not shed a tear for the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people killed, satisfying his determination to cleanse the country of the presence of users and dealers alike. "Suspect Cruz ran inside the house then pulled a firearm and successively shot the lawmen, prompting the same to return fire in order to prevent and repel Cruz's unlawful aggression" one police report stated. Obviously exculpatory reason to act as they did.

But an exonerating tale that was not supported by the eyewitness account of Florjohn Cruz's wife. Who told her own story of her 34-year-old husband busy fixing a transistor radio owned by his 71-year-old mother. Armed men clattered their way into the living room and shot Mr. Cruz dead, a man who was not a drug dealer but who used methamphetamine. Police knew where he lived because months ago he had, like tens of thousands others, 'surrendered' in response to a presidential decree.

Which had included an opportunity while turning oneself in to authorities, to take advantage of a drug treatment program presumably available to anyone who registered as either a drug dealer or a user of drugs, but failed to materialize. Joselito Jumaquio was one of those users, a pedicab driver who surrendered to the authorities. His end came when 14 masked men entered the shantytown where he lived and dragged him down an alley, calling to neighbours to stay inside their homes.

They exited after two shots were fired, and then another four, to find Mr. Jumaquio's bloodied body. A plastic bag of amphetamines beside his handcuffed hands, along with a gun, in an operation that the subsequent police report described as a "buy-bust operation". There are so many bodies of those summarily executed that they are piled like firewood in morgues for eventual burial in mass graves.

Benjamin Visda was at a food outlet eating cake when he was taken by eight men. He lived for another 20 minutes, after which his body was dumped outside a police station. Crisostomo Diaz, 51 years of age, had nine children with his wife Nellie. He worked at odd jobs and was a drug user who had turned himself in to authorities. His wife wanted him to stay with relatives, but missing his family he returned, to sleep at home. And was murdered there.

According to Mr. Diaz's 19 year old son, a man in a motorcycle helmet kicked in their front door, two others behind him. The helmeted man said "Goodbye, my friend", while his companions held guns at the chests of the boys gathered in the house, and Mr. Diaz was shot point blank in the chest. As he sank to the floor he was shot twice more, in his head and his cheeks. The children watched as the three men left, laughing.

Over 35,600 people have been arrested in anti-drug operations the government has named Project Tokhang, a Cebuano language phrase meaning "Knock and plead". In poor districts police seize teenage boys and men directly off the street, make arrests after running background checks, but sometimes shooting to kill. Over 3.57 million residences have had government forces knock on their doors.

More than 727,600 drug users and 56,500 dealers have surrendered to the police, leading to massively overcrowded prisons. President Duterte is usually seen smiling in public. He is fulfilling his election promise.
CRIMINALS KILLING CRIMINALS? This photo shows a placard reading 'Do not follow me, I am a drug pusher and my house is a drug den,' next to victims who were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Manila on July 28, 2016. Photo from EPA
CRIMINALS KILLING CRIMINALS? This photo shows a placard reading 'Do not follow me, I am a drug pusher and my house is a drug den,' next to victims who were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Manila on July 28, 2016. Photo from EPA

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Buying and Selling Israel

"[Obama and Kerry] secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel's back, which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the western Wall occupied Palestinian territory."
Israeli official [unidentified]

"[Washington] will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements. That has been the policy of every administration, Republican and Democrat, since before President Reagan and all the way through to the present day."
"[Settlement activity] harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region."
American Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power

"[Israeli settlements have] no legal validity. [Such activities must be halted for] salvaging the two-state solution. [Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are a] flagrant violation [of international law]."
UN Security Council resolution
Friday UN Security Council resolution
The Security Council votes on resolution reiterating its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The vote was 14 in favour, with one abstention (United States). UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Loud applause. Egypt reconsidering its sponsorship of the resolution when the American president-elect intervened at Israel's request, suspended its sponsorship reflecting diplomatic considerations. Into the breach stepped four nations' representatives reflecting geographic areas encompassing all points of the compass. If a trope is repeated often enough and with sufficient indignation and sanctimony its cause is picked up and embraced by all within hearing distance.

And so, a perfectly legal move to ownership of a geographical area of the world whose heritage reflects antiquity forward to the present, which just happens to be contested by another group of come-latelies eager to re-write history and re-interpret reality with an internationally-digestible fiction conspires to deny Jews their homeland, when every other country of the world has in turn spurned its presence as an unassimilable alien presence persecuted and doomed by hatred.

The United States, which has assumed the mantle of champion of the underdog alternating with championing dictators whose ideological bent was agreeable to American fortunes, has latterly seen fit to buy the Jewish state's gratitude through the generosity of financial support greater in substance than similar support given to non-grateful nations like Pakistan and other recipients posing as friends of the West. Whereas, Israel's values and system of justice accurately reflects those of the West.

The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed....cont:

Barack Obama came to power with the pledge that he would restore American prestige and respect the world over. The Nobel prize rewarded him for his rhetoric, anxious to do so before any actual reason for so doing might occur. And when President Obama assured the world of Islam from a speech in Egypt that America was Islam's friend, he meant it and they doubted it. The proof has been elusive, for Islam itself is conflicted and to befriend one sect is to insult another.

The sole substantive issue that unites all of Islam, however, is the Koranic injunction that no land consecrated to Islam by the presence of Muslims must be allowed to fall into the possession of non-Muslims, for to do so would be to degrade and insult the honour of Islam through the surrender of its exalted possession. Mr. Obama has demonstrated his statesmanship by honouring Islam's sacred precept of conquest. A solution readily arrived at by selling Israel's trust and security to the greater utility of proving that his word could be banked on.

The personal antipathy that Barack Obama so obviously displayed in his aversion to Israel's current prime minister goes beyond inter-personal disagreement in situations where nation-to-nation business should take ultimate precedence. The deeper question is whether a deeply-ingrained anti-Semitism evoked such displays of blatant dislike of a head of state who refused to submit to the self-serving whims of an autocratic patron demanding submission by a supplicant.

No other country of the world has ever faced the demands that it surrender traditional geography it has defended against the violent threats and military assaults by its neighbours that Israel has suffered. Geography successfully defended from violent military aggression remains with the successful defender. Israel's claims to possession of ancestral land face condemnation by the international community invoking international law of questionable pedigree.

Israel's fault lies in the fact that it refuses to be a supplicant. It is a defender of the existence of world Jewry, when the world has proven time and again that it has no intention whatever at any time of ensuring that the survival of Jews is their responsibility. It has, as a result, become Israel's responsibility to ensure that the diaspora as well as the Jews of Israel survive. While the world appears more interested than ever in contesting its presence.

A nation under continual siege with little support on the world stage. Proudly defiant, Israel will survive because it must, in perpetuity. The Palestinians whose agenda is to reclaim the entire land on which Israel sits as its own, persuades the international community that it is a demoralized, persecuted minority fighting a Goliath when all it wants is parity in land to be apportioned to it. In the process inciting its people to commit acts of terrorism which the international community pretends to know nothing of.

The UN votes against 'occupation' knowing full well that the situation of 'occupation' has been forced upon Israel as a defensive measure against ongoing violent attacks by Palestinian Arabs against Israeli Jews. The occupation is a preventive effort to safeguard the lives of Jews from the vicious attacks of Arabs. Who are, after all, only doing what their European counterparts excelled at in years past.

Duplicity and sanctimony to spare.

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Iraq's Christians

"We will not have a light Christmas. Despite what we have suffered, we will have a real Christmas of understanding of the birth of Jesus on a cold night at a difficult time. Because that, too, is our situation."
"Those who make such decisions [Canada voting down a motion agreeing that Islamist threats to Christians represents a form of genocide] have lost nothing. They sit in their nice homes and make such decisions."
"Our people live in tents and suffer in the cold. Look at what ISIL did. This whole area is a crime scene. They captured women and tortured and raped them. They murdered us. They wrecked our churches."
Sister Diana, Syriac Catholic Church, Bartella, Iraq

"They tried to kill all of us and our traditional practices."
"Even the graves of our saints were destroyed. Nothing was sacred to them."
Matuos, Nineveh Protection Unit, Khidr Elias, Iraq
group destroy latin Church in , which was opened in 1873 as continue to face persecution.

Towns and villages situated close to Mosul that once were the homes of the majority Christian presence from antiquity forward, were largely vacated by the ancient Christian sect of Iraq under threat of conversion-or-die by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, when it entered Mosul and declared it part of the ISIL caliphate. The homes were plundered, the church interiors were looted and destroyed. Christian lives became forfeit to Islamist jihad in a land where Christians were established then imperilled, since the 7th Century.

In the 14th Century, Tamerlane according to history, had 150,000 Christians beheaded in Baghdad and Tikrit [centuries later the home town of Saddam Hussein]. Up to 12 percent of Iraq's population as late as 1947 was Christian with the pre-2003 Christian population as high as five percent of the population; roughly 1.5-million people. At the present time, the population has fallen to two percent. As many as 243 churches were destroyed by ISIL, Roads and buildings in Bartella and Khidr Elias along with other towns were left with booby-trapped explosives.

On the eastern outskirts of Mosul conflict is ongoing between the Iraqi military and their allies, in conflict with and opposing ISIL's presence. Mosul and its Nineveh region was once regarded as the cradle of Christianity. For the third consecutive winter, the venerable Christian enclave lacked worshippers at Christmas mass, absenting the Christian presence where Christianity arose and worshipped for the past two thousand years.

ISIL used a Syriac Catholic Church in the town of Khidr Elias as its regional headquarters. The church interior was scribbled with jihad-glorifying jihad. The Christian militiamen now occupying the church grounds expunged the words praising ISIL, and Qur'an quotations with their own sentiments, mocking the propaganda ISIL espouses, including that ISIL was prepared for eternal rule.

In Bartella, the church of St.George has survived relatively intact though its interior was trashed. Still, a battered statue of the Virgin Mary was resurrected and at the church nave a large cross recovered from the wreckage was erected back in place. Over 100,000 Christians who evaded death at ISIS's onslaught left Mosul for haven in Baghdad, Turkey or Ankawa, a suburb of Kurdish Erbil. Whether they will ever feel safe enough to return to their ancestral homes is another matter.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas US/Judas Betrayal of Israel

"To understand the severity of [what] the situation is, let us recall that in the 1950s about 86% of the population of the Bethlehem area was Christian. Today, we are only 12%. In Israel, by contrast, we have 133,000 Christians and the figure is stable. Of course, I am worried about the future of Christians here. Looking at the facts on the ground, you can see that there is no future for the Christians here. We are melting; we are disappearing. I fear the day will come when our churches will become museums. That is my nightmare."
Samir Qumsieh, Christian Palestinian, Bet Sahour, near Bethlehem

"Israel’s borders and territorial scope are a source of seemingly endless debate. Remarkably, despite the intensity of the debates, little attention has been paid to the relevance of the doctrine of uti possidetis juris to resolving legal aspects of the border dispute. Uti possidetis juris is widely acknowledged as the doctrine of customary international law that is central to determining territorial sovereignty in the era of decolonization. The doctrine provides that emerging states presumptively inherit their pre-independence administrative boundaries."
"Applied to the case of Israel, uti possidetis juris would dictate that Israel inherit the boundaries of the Mandate of Palestine as they existed in May, 1948. The doctrine would thus support Israeli claims to any or all of the currently hotly disputed areas of Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem), the West Bank, and even potentially the Gaza Strip (though not the Golan Heights)."
Palestine, Uti Possidetis Juris, and the Borders of Israel  -- 58 Ariz. L. Rev. 633 (2016)  Abraham Bell & Eugene Kontorovic, Professor of International Law, Northwestern University

The Security Council votes on resolution reiterating its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The vote was 14 in favour, with one abstention (United States). UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Palestinian law prohibits Palestinians renting property to Jews. President Mahmoud Abbas has stated categorically that no Jews may live among Arabs in a new Palestinian State; the presence of Jews will be strictly prohibited. A Palestinian State will be restricted from Jewish habitation entirely. A Palestinian State will be prepared to offer itself to Arabs only. Sounds like Apartheid. Good grief, it is apartheid, is it not? Will the world's supporters of the Palestinian 'cause' do a 180-degree pivot and urge boycott-divestment-sanction against a Palestinian state?

Yesterday, at the United Nations, that increasingly dysfunctional, morally-absent world body a resolution condemning Israel for building settlements in the West Bank passed unanimously. The one permanent member of the Security Council that could have halted that resolution from becoming official UN policy decided to abstain, which in the circumstances acts as a vote for the resolution.
Countries that sit on the revolving Security Council are often the world's most blighted human rights abusers.

The permanent members of the UN Security Council include both Russia and China, both of which are well known for their lack of concern over human rights, each of which is known to engage in unofficial extrajudicial murder. The revolving membership this year includes Angola, Egypt, Japan, Spain, Malaysia, Ukraine, New Zealand, Senegal, Uruguay and Venezuela. Angola, known for torture, beatings, police action, arbitrary arrest and detention. Egypt lacks freedom of assembly, expression and rights and liberties.

Reporters Without Borders has ranked Malaysia 147 out of 180 nations for press freedom. Ukraine rates for violation of of the rights of vulnerable groups and police abuse and violence. Senegal: state corruption, rape, discrimination against women, security forces violence, child abuse, infanticide etc.  Uruguay's human rights abuse includes the use of torture, police violence, and sexual discrimination.Venezuela: attacks and intimidation against human rights proponents and journalists, arbitrary detention, corruption.

Those living in glass houses don't hesitate to cast stones upon those whose glass houses pass muster as human rights' exemplars. Where public relations-mandated abuses against Palestinians are charged against Israel, when Gazans suffer serious abuses at the hands of Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority is well known to amass foreign investment meant to support PA citizens but which are placed in personal bank accounts. In both territories children are abused by authorities who groom them for violent 'resistance' against 'occupation'.

That the 'occupation' is a desperate effort at defence from people whose leaders have incited them from childhood to adulthood to hate Jews and view the existence of the State of Israel as an assault against Arab rights and Islamic honour, within which the tiny state which harbours among its Jewish population of six million, several million Arab Muslims and Christians, Kurds and Bedouin, among others with equal status as citizens -- is deliberately overlooked.

With President Obama's decision to exercise a vituperative last-minute administrative spite to cap his animosity toward his Israeli counterpart whom he has always detested and acted toward with a grim-mouthed lack of diplomacy, to slam the Jewish state for appropriating land the international community enjoys claiming is the Palestinians' right to claim for themselves, represents the height of rank hypocrisy. American government 'occupation' of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba rates as a prime example of sanctimonious territoriality.

But the U.S. is not alone among those who grasp at any opportunity to slander Israel for its 'occupation' of 'Palestinian' land. There is Great Britain, with its grasp of the Falkland Islands which is really Argentina's Islas Malvinas, a grim enough  territorial imperative that rated a deadly conflict far from Britain's shores but next door to Argentina's. Russia, yet another stalwart critic of Israel and supporter of the Arab cause of land consecrated to Islam has nothing to explain about Georgia, Ukraine and Kornengsberg, an ancient German city.

And nor has China whose occupation of Tibet is widely and universally rejected to no avail, yet no condemnation in the United Nations would make the effort to shame China on the world stage for China has the power and the veto to prevent it. Turkey, another fan of Israel's presence in the Middle East, has much to answer for in Cyprus, but will not deign to, now will it be held accountable for its lethal treatment of the Kurds whose ancestral land Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria occupy in part, and deny to the Kurds as their rightful homeland.

This betrayal of Israel by the United States has been a long time brewing. Israel knew full well what was in the offing, but as hope springs eternal, the anticipation was that perhaps, just perhaps, a moral twinge of responsibility would turn the tide at the last possible moment. Israel, however, had no reason to hope that justice and truth would prevail in the grand salons of the United Nations, nor that President Obama whose antipathy toward Benjamin Netanyahu ran deep and rank, would nonetheless choose to be fair and decent.

Four different areas of the world, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela, representing for the most part, some of the most indecent human rights violators in their geographic areas, chose to sit in judgement of a nation exceptionally superior to their own. East Jerusalem, the biblical homeland and heritage of Israel, to be commandeered once again by forces indignant that Jews might feel entitled to reclaim that which was historically theirs and currently open to all religions under Israeli auspices.

And yesterday, outgoing UN director-general Ban Ki-moon, who only a week earlier, commented on the unfairness of the UN's continual resolutions against one tiny state when egregious human rights violations conducted by countless members of the United Nations went unnoticed with studied oblivion, commented the following in a display of utter hypocrisy:
"The resolution is a significant step, demonstrating the Council’s much needed leadership and the international community’s collective efforts to reconfirm that the vision of two States is still achievable. The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work with the international community to create a conducive environment for a return to meaningful negotiations. The United Nations stands ready to support all concerned parties in achieving this goal."

 That damning resolution, demonstrating the collusion between the American administration and the Palestinian Authority will go far to ensure that the PA will continue evading its responsibility to engage in direct talks with Israeli negotiators to arrive at an agreement that is fair and just for both parties. The PA will now feel entitled to continue the path it has been engaged on, because it works for them; direct engagement with the UN to do the work for the PA that the PA refuses to do for itself, and as is usual with arbitrators, their decision-making is in favour of those whom they favour.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Embracing Cultural Annihilation

"On March 22, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, his younger brother Khalid, and Najim Laachraoui blew themselves up at Brussels Airport and at a metro station, killing 36 people. On June 13, Larossi Abballa stabbed a French police officer to death outside his home near Paris, then slit the officer's wife's throat in front of their three-year-old son. On July 14, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhiel ploughed into Bastille Day revellers on the Promenate des Anglais in Nice, killing 86. On July 18, on a train near Frankfurt, Riaz Khan Ahmadzai injured five passengers with a hatchet. On July 24, Mohammed Daleel blew himself up outside a wine bar in Ansbach, near Nuremberg, injuring 15 people. On July 26, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malic Petitjean stormed into a Catholic church in Normandy, took the congregants hostage and slit the priest's throat at the foot of the altar."
Chris Selley, journalist, National Post

Berlin's Christmas market vehicular assault can also be counted in that trail of mayhem and murder. Europe now lives on a tightrope of anxious anticipation of attacks that can happen seemingly anywhere at any time, and no one relishes the thought of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone will be, most assuredly. And attacks such as these are difficult for intelligence agencies to cope with. They have a growing roster of potential suspects recognized as persons-of-interest who may be the next Islamist jihadist spilling his spleen for spilt blood.

Europe has absorbed millions of Muslim immigrants and refugees. France and Germany now have a significant proportion of their population that is Muslim. Islam is solely responsible for all of the terrorist events haunting the world as a result of the Koranic injunctions to the faithful to pledge themselves to upholding and promoting Islam through whatever means must be engaged to produce the desired result of Islam presenting as the enduring, most powerful and eventually sole religion on Earth.

European politicians often look with envy at North America for the fact that vast oceans separate the continent from the source of the Muslim tide that has overwhelmed Europe. They also cite a different model of integration at a variance with their own that seems not to breed such overwhelming numbers of Islamist psychopaths. Yet, the famed American melting pot of citizen integration has not withstood the test of time and experience in the United States, and nor will it in Canada with its dedication to multiculturalism.

From the massive death count of 9/11 to Fort Hood's shooting to the Boston Marathon bombing and the Florida Pulse gay nightclub attack to the San Bernardino office party shootup , all surprising American authorities and leaving a gory footstep of Muslim death-squad functionaries revelling in the success of their bold jihad as heroes of Islamist jihad, North America has received its share of the signature of Islamist conquest in the wings, awaiting the final curtain fall of the future.

The thing about the West, is its restraint and polite endeavours to solve problems through reasonable debate and conciliation. Both of which utterly fail when coming to grips with fundamentalist ideologies based in fanatic religious destiny striving to reach the goal of consolidating the Islamic hold on the minds and hearts and souls of dedicated followers who believe what the Koran promises, that patience and violence in equal measure will prevail.

"Which country has security under control? Next time it will be a plane or a train, and that's how it is. If a commuter train had blown up, people would still have to ride the train", remarked an exasperated and fearful, albeit resigned Berliner in Christmas mode complete with Santa hat at the re-opened Christmas market in Berlin. Well, the experiments with planes went astonishingly well, close to three thousand killed in one remarkably bloody, explosive day that shook the world.

Trains? They've had their success stories too, just ask Britain and Spain.

There is something about the culture of the West that reflects civilization, a kind of moral constraint that permeates society. Tribal societies whose culture reflecting a religion based on the heritage of the tribes and their culture appear to lack the deeply ingrained moral distaste for blood-letting. In societies where a neighbour's good fortune is jealously viewed by another neighbour who resorts to murder and pillage to further his own interests, humanitarianism and just plain decency don't rank very high in top-of-mind considerations of the public weal.

The Western mind swiftly adopts the willingness to share and to give haven to those in need, cringing with dismay at the plight of those whose own governments or the government in the next country resolves to settle scores and extinguish hopes of equality and freedom. In their generosity, despite dismay at the sheer numbers presenting for aid and haven, they sacrifice their own culture and values and system of justice in the smothering presence of people for whom all of that is completely foreign and contradictory to their religion.

But nations and their leaders feel complacently smug about their humanitarian impulses in the rescue of the unfortunates viewed as disposable, dispensable dross by their own nations. And their compulsion to help the unfortunates blinds them to the quandary they will themselves face when confronted with the inability of the rescued unfortunates to absorb Western justice and values and spirit of respect and co-operation in an egalitarian society.

Spurned by those who implicitly believe in their exceptionality as Muslims to do as tribal custom gears them to.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Innocuous Intelligence Hints?

"When I saw the picture of my brother in the media, I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm in shock, and can't believe it's him who committed this crime."
"If he's guilty, the deserves every condemnation. We reject terrorism and terrorists -- we have no dealings with terrorists."
Abdelkader Amri, Tunisia

Mustapha Amri, father of Mr. Amri, in Oueslatia, a town in the midwest region of Tunisia. Credit Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters
"[It would be] totally disgusting [to blame Ms. Merkel for the Berlin Christmas market attack]."
"But we have to acknowledge that there is a connection between the refugee crisis and the increase in Islamic terror cases. There is a new dimension of terror now and we have to make sure that our society doesn’t get torn apart if this polarization continues."
"It’s [the controversy over German acceptance of a million Muslim refugees and haven seekers] certainly not gotten easier for her."
Stephan Mayer, lawmaker, Germany conservative alliance
A freshly-minted 24, it seems that this Tunisian-born jihadist went on a birthday spree to prove unequivocally his faithful dedication to Islamist jihad. He might have been even more successful in his scorecard of death had he not been challenged by the Polish driver whose truck he had commandeered. It seems likely from the evidence and supposition gathered and imagined by investigators that the unfortunate Lukasz Urban sacrificed his own life to prevent an even greater toll by grasping the steering wheel to turn it from driving straight into the thick of the Christmas market shopping crowd.

What more evidence might be sought other than the discovery of Anis Amri's identity documentation, along with a handful of false identity papers under various aliases in three nationalities. The criminal record he amassed in both Italy and Tunisia verify the attitudes and criminal propensities this young man brought to all his interactions with the public and the police. His crimes netted him a four-year vacation from civilian life as an incarcerant in an Italian prison. A committed criminal and vicious religious psychopath.

His fingerprints were identified in the cab of the truck in which the dead Polish truck driver was found, mauled and bloodied in his struggle with the hijacker, shot to death at close range by the mass murderer. A known supporter of terrorist groups, he was also identified as a disciple of a well-known preacher of religious hatred toward others. In German intelligence sights, he nonetheless was granted a stay from expulsion reflecting his lack of a passport identifying him as a Tunisian. Might this man's background and obvious inclinations have cleared him of suspicion as a potential attacker?

German intelligence seemed to feel that way. And Germany's justice system appears to have guided their ultimate decision; no hard proof of criminal malfeasance waiting to happen, so he could not be detained for over 24 hours. Too few intelligence personnel to adequately follow the 500 suspected Islamist jihadists currently happily ensconced in Germany, so authorities trust to luck. And luck was busy elsewhere this week. And for that twelve people paid with their lives while dozens will have the scars of their injuries to live with to remind them of their victimhood status.

Germany, that high-minded pacifist nation that morphed from its mid-20th-Century lunacy in genocide saw to it that the jihadist, thought to have been wounded during his slaughter-fest, since his blood was also found in the truck cab, appears to have been treated at a German hospital before taking advantage of the EU's Schengen zone open borders for transients, leading to an international hunt and a generous, but not overwhelmingly-so, offer of reward for information leading to this man's capture. Dead or alive, one assumes.

Now that the unthinkable has disturbed German complacency at the time-bomb in their midst, with the administration coaching the news media to look away and 'forget' to report on the growing incidents of criminal activities and violent assaults occurring from within that vast refugee community, the government has plans to introduce new surveillance laws that may disrupt future such deadly attacks; at the very least allow police to hold and interrogate suspected jihadists for longer than 24 hours' detention.

Away back in March this man who was naturally inclined to become a 'soldier' of Islamist jihad had been placed under surveillance on the basis of a tip he could be planning to commit theft to enable financing of automatic weapons useful in the event of committing a terrorist attack. That old adage, that where there is smoke there is fire appears to have been shunted aside. And it seems that the sharing of information on criminal activity and suspicion of Islamist violence has not been shared among EU national justice departments as forewarning.

But then, how unsurprising that is, given that within Germany as well, information that one state's police groups establish fails to be shared with that of others'. Surveillance of this danger to the public was removed in September leaving him to disappear underground so that police could no longer track him. Now they have renewed interest in tracking him after the fact of a deadly rampage shocking the country to the core with the realization that it too has become a target, and it has its own elite political decision-makers to thank for that.

A CCTV image shows what is believed to be Anis Amri at the Berlin-Moabit mosque shortly after the attack on the Christmas market
A CCTV image shows what is believed to be Anis Amri at the Berlin-Moabit mosque shortly after the attack on the Christmas market Credit: RBB

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Germany's New Reality

"There is also the prominent and symbolic target of a Christmas market, and the modus operandi that mirrors at least past calls by jihadi terror organizations."
"We don't know for sure whether it was one or several perpetrators. We don't know for sure whether he, or they, had support. These investigations aren't concluded yet."
Peter Frank, prosecutor, Germany

"I'm not going to change my lifestyle now. The chances that I get killed in a car or bike accident are bigger."
"We've all been prepared that something like this could happen, so we were not surprised."
Maximilian Much, 24, economics student, Berlin
Security and rescue workers tend to the area after a lorry truck ploughed through a Christmas market on December 20, 2016 in Berlin, Germany    
Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Information gradually emerges when intelligence agencies scrutinize their own records to realize that a suspect they are hunting was already in their sights for suspected terrorist activity, but resources to keep constant watch on the number of these suspects before they commit their acts of jihadist terrorism are in short supply. Add that to the fact that Germany's laws do not permit anyone to be held longer than 24  hours without incriminating evidence, and add to that the fact that recruiters from Islamic State in Germany are actively inciting 'fragile' personalities such as 24-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri, and you've inherited an explosive cocktail.

It is almost as though, having succeeded fairly well in his goal to launch a terrorist attack and kill and maim as many civilians as possible, after first killing the driver of the truck he hijacked, this man felt his mission would not be complete until he was martyred. He did make his escape immediately following his successful carnage-purposeful attack, but left behind his wallet containing personal papers identifying him, leading to a nation-wide alert for his apprehension. So he will likely have his sacred mission for Islam completed after all, and become eligible for a tryst with countless virgins in Paradise.
Anis Amri, Tunisian refused asylum in Berlin

Chancellor Merkel might never have envisioned in the goodness of her wide open heart that her generosity on behalf of the German people and her confidence that she is so beloved of them that a fourth term in office would be handily achieved in the next election, that her country was next in the revolving cycle of Islamist atrocities perpetrated in Europe against the hospitality proffered to Muslims escaping tyranny and bloodshed at home. But there it is, a dozen dead, 48 injured and a nation feeling pulverized by medieval inspired hatred that a sacred book inspires in its faithful.

Although the news media describe the Christmas market attack in Berlin as the "first mass casualty attack by Islamic extremists carried out on German soil", it is not, in fact, the first mass casualty at all, since an estimated thousand women on New Year's Eve were assaulted at traditional German celebrations in the cities of Cologne and Hamburg and elsewhere, involving over two thousand men, most of whom were described as "Middle Eastern", the details of which were scrupulously withheld by German authorities until the unauthorized release of incriminating documents.

Police deployed outside the main train station in Cologne, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2016. (Naja Hitij/AFP via Getty Images)

According to Holger Munch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, "There is a connection between the emergence of this phenomenon and the rapid migration in 2015. We have to presume that many of those crimes will never be fully investigated." Many of the suspects originated from North African countries according to officials. Since the New Year's Eve sex assaults there has resulted an ongoing crisis of violent sex attacks against women in Germany attributed to refugees, along with other types of crime that keep police busy and frustrated at the lack of political will and the deliberate hushing up of the incidents.

Pride in the success of this latest attack in Europe is more than evident in Islamic State's description of "a soldier of the Islamic State carried out the attack in response to calls or targeting citizens of the Crusader coalition." The German element in the "crusade" against Islam is confined to Tornado jets and a refuelling plane in Turkey supporting the U.S.-led coalition fighting militants in Syria, along with a frigate stationed to protect a French aircraft carrier int he Mediterranean.

The heavy transport truck carrying a cargo of industrial steel to Berlin from Poland was driven through the market for up to 80 metres before stopping, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Last year five people were wounded on a train near Wuerzburg in an axe attack by a jihadist, while 15 people sustained wounds in a bombing attack at Ansback in the southern state of Bavaria. In each instance the attackers qualified for their trysts with virgins in Paradise, blessed martyrs to the cause of imperial Islam.

"I know that it would be particularly hard for us all to hear if it were confirmed that a person committed this act who asked for protection and asylum in Germany", stated Frau Merkel. And she certainly got that right. Obviously there are some Germans who will maintain a 'that's life' attitude, while others, quite a few others, will feel horribly unfamiliar with what has become of their country, their culture, their heritage. All will be well, however, since German authorities have arranged for concrete barriers to be erected for security around those quaint and beloved Christmas markets.

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