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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Beijing: To Tehran With Love

"China is dominating Iran. Iranian authorities do not see any drawbacks to being dependent on China."
"Together we are moving ahead."
Mehdi Taghavi, economics professor, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran

"Many countries are close by, even Europe. Iran is at the center of everything."
"You can say that I was even more visionary than some of our politicians. I was a pioneer, and they want to hear my experiences."
"I am expecting a 50 percent increase in revenue. Of course, Iran's economy will also grow. China will expand. Its power will grow."
"Life is good in Iran. The future is good."
"We grow our own vegetables and eat Chinese food. Just like home."
Zuoru Lin, Beijing entrepreneur, Neyshabur, Iran
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani prepare to shake hands at the conclusion of their joint press conference at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran. AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani prepare to shake hands at the conclusion of their joint pres conference at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran. AP

The mammoth business enterprise that China has become with its State-owned giant corporations and its tentacles abroad is smothering the world of manufacturing and natural resource extraction even as China contemplates its way forward to making its dream of world domination in industry, trade and commerce a reality, as well as its increasingly aggressive approach to control of geographic spaces and oceans and the geological mineral and petroleum riches that lie under the seas, from the East China Sea to the South and the northern Pacific to the Arctic heralding its new ambition: "One Belt, One Road".

China has its State-sponsored and private enterprise fingers in all corners of the world, with its massive investments and loans to bring grateful countries into its orbit, delving deep into their infrastructures and promising a shining future of economic gain for their struggling economies. Their indebtedness to China cannot be overstated. From those countries popularly referred to as emerging economies to those in the West whose economies place them among the wealthy, yet delighted to enter the Chinese market, playing by China's rules, and allowing China to enter theirs, playing by China's rules.

China rules. Any nation's corporations that contemplate entry to China must agree to joint ventures, sharing trade secrets, giving China access to closely guarded plans and enterprises that will invariably impact on those countries' security and intelligence agencies alongside control of their industries' formulae and infrastructure, making China's traditional espionage, both industrial and military, outdated; why engage surreptitiously when formerly suspicious administrations now line up to accept China's investment opportunities and those of their national corporations investing in China?

Harmony. One Belt, One Road. And it is China's road, all the way.

Take Iran, a traditional trading hub that linked East and West from antiquity to the present. China has promised over $1-trillion in infrastructure investment to benefit over 60 countries right through Europe, Asia and Africa, and Iran is central to this enterprise. Chinese workers are busy modernizing Iran's major rail routes. They are improving the track bed, standardizing gauge sizes, rebuilding bridges, all with the goal in mind of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan being connected through Tehran.
China is nothing if not methodical.
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews an honor guard as he is welcomed by his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews an honour guard as he is welcomed by his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. AP

Already Iran's largest trading partner, China's market for Iranian oil links the two quite firmly. Iran needs China's financing of infrastructure projects, counterbalancing the weight that China will have on Iran's independence, dominating the country through the sheer strength of its overarching presence and its plans for the future. Mr. Lin, the happy entrepreneur, as example, has built his empire in Iran with eight factories producing a variety of goods that Iran and neighbouring countries consume.

The 925-kilometer electrified rail line to link Tehran and Mashhad where Mr. Lin's factories take advantage of the trade route was financed with a Chinese loan, enabling eventually Mr. Lin to reach northern Europe, Poland and Russia with his goods. China can't lose. Corporations eager to buy into a piece of the gigantic Chinese marketplace have had to agree to allow vetting authority to internally ensconced Communist Party committees. A joint venture enabling business in China requires the establishment of such committees.

Ask Samsung Electronics and Nokia; they were happy -- or not -- to comply, agreeing to have Communist Party units established within their operations in China. China thrilled the environmental world with its concern over meeting demands for cleaning up its environmental act, by cutting back on its massive use of coal-fired plants throughout the country, as the world's greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. China is going green by cancelling plans to build another 100 coal plants internally.

Instead Chinese companies are planning 700 coal projects but not in China. Mostly in Africa. In Iran, in Pakistan and in Indonesia. Where there's a Chinese will there's always a way. So let's hear it for "One Belt, One Road". And harmony. We must have a harmonious world, agreeable to Chinese aspirations.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

U.S. Airborne Firepower

"This is not an attempt to bring more forces in, but it is an attempt to actually clarify a very confusing set of reporting rules that has the unintended consequence of forcing commanders to make readiness trade-offs." 
"So what it does is, it actually lets the American people know what their sons and daughters are doing in Afghanistan."
Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, joint staff director, Afghanistan, U.S. Armed Forces
An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing
An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Aug. 18, 2017. According to the Department of Defense, Butler, of Monticello, Utah, died Aug. 16, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations.  Steve Ruark
At the U.S. regional air headquarters in Qatar giant screens are set up to view in real time a 24/7 action choreography which includes B-52s, U-2s, F-16s, F-22s, F-35s, F-15s, A-10s, C-17s, V-22s, U-28s, C-130s, JStars, AWACs, satellites and unmanned Reapers and Predators. That is a massive amount of airpower, all fuelled in the air with the standby action of a fleet of KC-10 and KC-135 'gas stations' in flight. A massive number of forays have gone out, some 23,934 in number striking Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria. 84,585 precision-guided bombs have been dispensed since 2014.

By anyone's reckoning all that flying hardware, the monumental cost, the time spent, the dangers encountered and surmounted and the casualties taken, represents a massive investment in stabilizing two countries in the Middle East that exploded in cataclysmic paroxysms of tribal and sectarian violence, a never-ending slaughter that deprived tens of thousands of their lives, most of them civilians, when their governments failed the most elemental responsibility due their citizens; security, safety, equality, freedoms, purpose in life.

There is this inescapable fact about nations of the Middle East, Muslim countries forever at odds with one another; they always teeter on the brink of collapse, their administrations are tyrannical in nature and their populations have no voice in civic, political and social conventions where custom and tradition and heritage weigh heavily on the scales of injustice and a casual attitude toward human rights. Another inescapable fact is that whenever these countries run into problems they turn not to their own resources to attempt to solve those problems, but express their reliance on the United States.

And when the United States, the traditional authority on stabilization goes into action, the very nations that cried out for its presence, bitterly decry that presence as an invasion and an occupation they resent. Now, its presence in the Middle East is mostly for the purpose of destroying the aspirations of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, yanking its geographic caliphate out from under, restoring the geography to the governments that allowed it to be taken, whose armed forces though armed and trained by the U.S., chose to shrink from a confrontation with the terrorist horde.
U.S. Marines run to load their gear as they prepare
U.S. Marines run to load their gear as they prepare to fly to a new position somewhere near Kandahar, Afghanistan on Dec. 10, 2001. U.S. Marines moved troops and heavy weapons closer to the fallen Taliban stronghold of Kandahar on Monday to cut off escape routes for Taliban leaders and fighters from Osama bin Laden's terror network.  Earnie Grafton, San Diego Union Tribune via AFP

Under the tutelage of American military trainers, alongside trainers from other NATO countries collaborating in an agreement to boost regional armed forces' capabilities to take responsibility for the security within their own borders, U.S.-led warplanes have been softening up ISIL sites and weapons depots to enable the Arab troops taught best conflict practises to regain their honour as fighting forces protecting their own, retaking ISIL-captured towns realizing slow and steady progress in ousting ISIL from its caliphate territory, shrinking it enormously.

The mystery also is that with all that air power and the destruction accompanying it to ISIL's forces and their munitions, that it still persists. The new Trump administration has announced an intended increase in American troops in hopeless Afghanistan, yet another failed Muslim country more accustomed to violent chaos and foreign invasion than most through the centuries. And it has been revealed finally that there is a greater presence of U.S. troops in that country than was previously admitted. To train and mentor Afghan police and military.

Both of whom demonstrate a larger penchant for going AWOL and deserting in droves than committing themselves to the responsibility of protecting their country and its people from the predations of the Taliban, even while al-Qaeda and Islamic State both have an additional presence as a threat to the country. While there is hope for Iraq and Syria to wrench themselves out of the fearful thrall of Islamic State, they will still be mired in mutual distrust erupting now and again in slaughter, Sunni against Shia and the reverse. ISIL is partially comprised of foreign fighters eager for jihad, a condition that host countries see them as foreign invaders.

Not so in Afghanistan where it is the majority Pashtun who form the corps of the Taliban, never short of conscripts dedicated to reinstalling their version of Islamist rule of despotic terrorism in the country. Afghanistan is a wild card, not only ethnic and tribal and sectarian bloody disputes reign there, but their neighbour Pakistan is more comfortable plotting continued destabilization in Afghanistan. Linked to its irrational hatred of India, seeing it as a competitor for influence in Afghanistan, among other things.

Into this Medieval barbarism comes the United States with a rational purpose in an irrational human landscape. Expending energy, lives, treasury and time in an impossible mission. When all is said and done, and time comes for the U.S. to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the major beneficiary will be the Islamic Republic of Iran, ready and expectant, prepared to step into liberated landscapes which it has groomed to be part of its growing Shiite sphere of influence.
A handout photo made available on May 2, 2017 by the
A handout photo made available on May 2, 2017 by the US Army and taken by US Army combat photographer Spc. Hilda I. Clayton showing an Afghan soldier as a mortar tube accidentally explodes during an Afghan National Army live-fire training exercise in Laghman province, Afghanistan on July 2, 2013. The US Army report on May 2, 2017 that Spc. Hilda I. Clayton, who was assigned to the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera), 21st Signal Brigade, took the image a moment before she died as the mortar tube accidentally exploded during an Afghan National Army live-fire training exercise in Laghman province. Hilda Clayton, and an Afgahn Army photojournalist died in the blast along with three Afghan soldiers taking part in the mortar training. Clayton's family approved the release of the photographs.   Hilda Clayton , US ARMY via European Pressphoto Agency

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Canada's Islamist Despicables

"I, Charles Adler, would not apologize to Omar Khadr, even if you offered me $10.5-million. It would be a betrayal."
"Sure, he checks off all the boxes. He was technically a Canadian. But who believes his family were ever Canadians in spirit? He was technically a child soldier. But he wasn't some kid who'd been kidnapped and turned into a robot and forced to kill people at gunpoint."
"It's not that people on the street don't understand the Charter. They do. But almost every time they hear about the Charter, it's about a bad guy – a drug dealer or a pedophile. And the lawyers tell them it was such a good thing that the Charter was upheld, because that means all our rights are upheld. But most of them aren't contemplating being pedophiles or drug dealers. Most of them think that when you turn your guns on your own country, you stop being a Canadian. And they feel locked out."
"The elites think these folks don't understand the rule of law. Well, they do understand the law. They just don't like what the law tells them to do."
"People feel they've been had. And they don't like it."
Charles Adler, radio host, Corus Radio Network, Vancouver
Omar Khadr (inset) wants unsupervised visits with his sister Zaynab Khadr, who is seen in this 2009 file photo on the left with their mother Maha El Samnah. (Brett Gundlock/Postmedia/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)
"I am now an adult and I think independently. Even if the members of my family were to wish to influence my religious or other views, they would not be able to control or influence me in any negative manner."
"I would like to be able to spend time with her [sister Zaynab] and the rest of our family when she is here. As far as I am aware, Zaynab is not involved in any criminal activities and is frequently in contact with the Canadian embassy in order to ensure that her paperwork is up to date."
"I’m not excusing what they [his mother and sister, though he excuses what he did] said. I’m not justifying what they said. They were going through a hard time. They said things out of anger or frustration."
"I wish to become independent and to put my legal matters behind me. I am a law-abiding citizen and I wish to live free of court-imposed conditions."
Omar Khadr affidavit; former boy terrorist, Guantanamo Bay inmate  
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, 30, is seen in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, July 6, 2017. A lawyer for the widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan is slated to square off in court in Toronto today against counsel for Omar Khadr. Tabitha Speer and a former U.S. soldier are trying to go after Khadr's assets.
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr, 30, is seen in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, July 6, 2017. A lawyer for the widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan is slated to square off in court in Toronto against counsel for Omar Khadr. Tabitha Speer and a former U.S. soldier are trying to go after Khadr's assets.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
"He has been perfectly well behaved since his release [from prison]."
"Regardless of what Zaynab may have said in a documentary many years ago, there is no danger whatsoever of somebody somehow corrupting Omar into becoming a bad person."
Nathan Whitling, Khadr lawyer

"[Those behind the 2001 New York/Washington/Pennsylvania attacks had a wish to hit the government of the U.S.] where it will hurt it, not the people. But sometimes innocent people pay the price."
"You don't want to feel happy, but you just sort of think, well, they deserve it, they've been doing it [to others] for such a long time. Why shouldn't they feel it once in a while?" 2004 CBC interview
"All sects of Islam have agreed unanimously that homosexual acts are a sin, hijab is mandatory, imams must be men."
"If you reject this, you are lying to yourself and you are weak in faith Accept Islam for what it is or leave our mosques." 2017 Facebook entry
Zaynab Khadr, Canadian citizen, living in Sudan
Zaynab Khadr, Global TV

Now that the government of Canada in the person of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has formally apologized to former youth jihadi Omar Khadr and settled the lawsuit that he brought against the very same government for $20-million to compensate him for pain and suffering he underwent as an innocent child in Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bay when U.S. medics saved his life from the serious injuries he sustained when he killed an American military medic, Justin Trudeau has surprised Canadians rather unpleasantly by bestowing $10-million of Canadian taxpayer money on the man.

Government apologists have gone out of their way to supinely explain to stupid Canadians that there was no other option but to give this munificent sum to a terrorist whose father, an Egyptian and mother, a Palestinian raised their children in jihad and ordered their sons to attend jihadi combat training schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Their daughter, Zaynab, an avowedly passionate defender of Osama bin Laden, was able to personally thank bin Laden for attending her second marriage ceremony.

Now that Omar Khadr has his reward for patiently waiting for the government of Canada to reach its right senses in acknowledging him to be a pitiable victim of harsh American penalties for lobbing grenades at its fighting men, he has gone to court to have restrictions in his bail conditions lifted, which assert that he can only have contact with his al-Qaeda-supporting, Western-loathing mother and sister in the presence of intermediaries. To that end he has petitioned the Court of Queen's Bench to relax his bail to enable unencumbered visits with  his sister and mother.

He has filed an affidavit with the court claiming that if family members did make an effort to unduly influence him, they would fail since, at age 30, he is an adult with his own independent thoughts and values. Omar Khadr, certifies his lawyer, is now incontrovertibly a good man, and exposure to his family's contempt for Canadian values while honouring those of al-Qaeda can do nothing to convert him into a 'bad person'.

When a journalist attempted to contact his mother, Maha Elsamnah, at her Toronto home, whoever answered the call asserted: "Every time (Omar) sh--s, you have to write about it? Don't call back and don't bother her [his mother]", he snarled before hanging up. His sister, living with her fourth husband in Sudan, after living in Malaysia and then in Egypt, has plans, after giving birth yet again, to return to Canada for a visit. And her brother Omar doesn't want to miss the opportunity to commune with his sister.

As a Canadian citizen, after all, he has all the constitutional rights to live his life normally and with all protections under equality laws guaranteed to all other Canadians. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he argues, protects him and asserts his equal rights. After all, though the RCMP identified the family as supporters of al-Qaeda who saw nothing whatever wrong with Taliban rule in Afghanistan, his sister insists her family had only the best interests of Afghans uppermost in mind.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

The Infectious Quality of Unfathomable Stupidity

"As soon as it hit the floor, there was a realization by me as president that it was an emotional issue. We're talking about the first prime minister of Canada and how he is held in esteem by many people. It's an emotional issue."
"But what's important is that we're having an open and frank discussion about pieces of our history that we've talked about, as we have with residential schools, as an example."
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario president Sam Hammond

"When you see Macdonald's name, he's the author of the residential schools. At least in my mind. They (in 1867) did this to us, and people are still suffering the effects, and they will be for more generations."
"Why would you name something, especially a place of education, that is so offensive and was so harmful to all of us First Nations people?"
"There are no First Nations people who are not affected. Not today, not yesterday and they'll still be affected tomorrow."
"I just find it a slap in the face. Five years ago, they renamed the Western Parkway. Why? Why would you pick the author of the residential schools, the person who harmed us to a point where we can barely recover? They finally apologized, so now let's get rid of the memorabilia that makes this person heroic. He was not a hero to us."
Ottawa Indigenous community activist Lynda Kitchikeesic

Sir John A. MacDonald's statue in Kingston, Ontario on June 21, 2012. (Lars Hagberg/CP)
Sir John A. Macdonald’s statue in Kingston, Ont. (Lars Hagberg/CP)

"Where will it stop? If we start to do that, where will it stop? And this is a good example."
"Will we change all these names [an airport, bridge, highway, street, parkway and federal buildings]? John A. Macdonald, like all politicians did good and wrong things, but he is the first prime minister of Canada and is really related to the history of Canada. I don't think we have to throw out his name everywhere."
"[If we throw out his name whose will follow]? We'll only be left with [former Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate, Lester B.] Pearson." 
"Right now, we're trying to rewrite history with our eyes, from today. But when we look 100 years ago, society has changed so much. Generally I feel we should keep those names; it's an opportunity to speak about what they did -- something good, something wrong. But if you throw away these names, we will forget them and never speak about them."
Michel Prevost, president, la Societe d'histoire de l'Outaouais, archivist, University of Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves a Teepee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday. Trudeau had a brief meeting this morning with indigenous activists who have set up a demonstration tepee on Parliament Hill ahead of Canada Day celebrations.   Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

We are separate nations, with a different social culture and certainly different political system, but when any social craze strikes the United States like a persistent cold-and-fever, Canada sneezes. What becomes au cuurant in the United States, from popular culture to political responses to world affairs, becomes an echo in Canada, albeit in watered-down form, reflecting Canadian values to colour Canadian response. Sometimes the echo comes too close in content and reaction for comfort.

And it certainly has done so with this latest media-emphasized and left-versus-right bout of social-driven righteousness in attempting to re-write history bringing out the crazies on both the left and the right to impact public consciousness on the sanctimony inherent in victims' rights and entitlements.
Mr. Prevost, an esteemed historian got his facts wrong on Lester B. Pearson, held in such high esteem as embodying the best and the brightest to come out of Canada's old Department of External Affairs. He too would now be looked upon as a racist; he evinced a deep dislike of Blacks.

As for Canada's first Prime Minister and one of the architects of Canadian Confederation, he was a creature of his times, and  his time in governance was a century and a half ago. First Nations now are aggrieved over the residential school system that the government of the day in agreement with religious orders established to expose Indigenous children to European-based methods of education and social studies, as well as socializing them in the reflection of European values.

Most of the children who underwent that process of education learned to look after themselves, received an education comparable to those that other children in mainstream society were exposed to, and went on to further their own aspirations. Many other children made claims to physical and mental abuse, and harm done them. Children died in those residential schools from episodes of disease that swept through society at the time, but in no greater numbers than other children in society.

Today's First Nations are encouraged by their leadership to live in traditional ways on traditional lands on reserves operated by tribal leaders many of whom take advantage of their position to betray their responsibility to the larger reserve population, all paid for by financial allocations taken out of tax funds. There has been little accountability, and while some reserves are operated to the credit of their elected officials, all too many others are rife with corruption.

On reserves, living the 'traditional' way, in remote communities, housing is supplied by the government and funding for education, health, and all other living expenses is provided through general taxes, exempt for First Nations people living on reserves. There is scant employment, education and medical care can be sub-par, and poverty is rife, but not for the band councils which compensate themselves generously through government handouts.

Family dysfunction is rife, sexual predation is high and violence is common, while drug and alcohol dependency rules the day so that children's needs are neglected and the suicide rate among aboriginal children is high, as is the number of children taken into care in recognition of their parents' incapacity to meet their emotional and nurturance requirements. All these failures are attributed by the aggrieved state of victimhood embraced by First Nations, to the advent of the residential schools.
A group of indigenous protesters have erected a barricade on Argyle Street at the south end of Caledonia, Ontario on Thursday morning, August 10, 2017. The location is the same spot where a large protest over the Douglas Creek Estates residential development took place several years ago.  So far protesters are not allowing photographs at the site, nor are they willing to comment on the matter that prompted the barricade. Ontario Provincial Police are on scene and have stopped traffic from approaching the scene. Brian Thompson/Brantford Expositor/Postmedia Network
A group of indigenous protesters have erected a barricade on Argyle Street at the south end of Caledonia, Ontario on Thursday morning, August 10, 2017. The location is the same spot where a large protest over the Douglas Creek Estates residential development took place several years ago. So far protesters are not allowing photographs at the site, nor are they willing to comment on the matter that prompted the barricade. Ontario Provincial Police are on scene and have stopped traffic from approaching the scene. Brian Thompson/Brantford Expositor/Postmedia Network

In the United States, complete reconciliation between the two competing political/ideological/social forces that led to the American Civil War remains elusive and simmers under the surface. It has now culminated with the push by 'progressive' leftists to remove all vestiges of that historical time; the memorials and statues erected to commemorate the Confederate side of the Civil War. In response, that segment of society that values those historical remnants of a time gone by, have resisted. And into their orbit has come white supremacists, fascists, neo-Nazis and other racists, as is their wont.

Now we have the echo resonating in Canada, with calls by leftists, by unions, and by First Nations activists to emulate demands in the United States to expunge from public view all commemorations that give offense to the delicate-minded who fail to appreciate that history is real, it happened, and not always to everyone's liking, and that toppling a statue will change nothing. It is wince-worthy but not entirely surprising that a teachers' union would propose the elimination of memorials to Canada's political worthies. Not surprising since their chief enabler is the current government itself.

These are the teachers who appear in classrooms to expose Canadian children to their preferred versions of history. And the appeasing hordes of leftist sycophants who slaver at the bit to reassure the original victims of European invasion into Canada triumphantly bleat their accord with demands to rearrange Canadian history to make it less offensive to Canada's indigenous populations. Who never went to war among one another, nor took one another as slaves, nor tortured nor killed other tribes' populations.

First Nations protest along Highway 1 east of Winnipeg causes lengthy delays for driver. Still from video.
“You’re sick of being here stuck in traffic. Imagine what it’s like to be stuck in a First Nations community where there’s no hope, no resources for you, and you don’t have anywhere to reach out to. We’re stuck,” Jennifer Spence-Clarke with Urban Warrior Alliance said.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Graveyard of Occupying Forces

"America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank cheque."
"We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will."
"Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan."
"I share the American people's frustration. In the end, we will win."
U.S. President Donald J. Trump
U.S. troops assess the damage to an armoured vehicle with the NATO-led military coalition after a suicide attack in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, this month. (Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters)
For untold centuries Afghanistan has been a country that has been invaded, occupied by countries like Britain and Russia, in a revolving-door repeat of history that has seen such foreign nations arrive and finally depart, defeated by a country whose tribal passions refuse to be dampened. Tribal, clan and sectarian animosities are set aside with the presence of foreign armies, only to be ferociously reinstated in bloody civil wars when the foreign enemy slinks off to lick the wounds of its sacrifice of treasury, lives and time.

In more recent times the Soviet Union sought to install a Communist puppet government, bringing on the fury of the world of Arab Muslims at the presence yet again of unbelievers manipulating an Islamic environment. The U.S., in a bid to outmanoeuvre the Soviet Union, conspired with Pakistan to train and arm foreign Muslim guerrillas arriving zealously to take their place in a new jihad. That pact with the devil saw the CIA in league with an untrustworthy Pakistan, both engaged in giving birth to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Islam had its vengeful reward in 9-11, the serpent venomously attacking the devious Americans who had no idea with whom they were dealing, an event that saw a U.S.-led NATO invasion to dislodge al-Qaeda and the Taliban, oblivious to the fact that Pakistan's military and its Inter-Services Intelligence Agency supported and gave haven and funding to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. And lurking in the background, awaiting its opportunity from centuries back to the present, was Iran.

While the Taliban under the collective assault was forced to vacate its mountain strongholds on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden succeeded in evading the attacks meant to destroy them, their ideological Islamofascism could not be defeated and they returned season after season. "NATO has all the watches, but we have all the time", was the refrain as they simply waited out the years until the weary and defeated West was prepared to withdraw.

Nothing worked in Afghanistan, not the billions spent on relief and reconstruction, for security and "governance and development" and the time, energy and funding for counter-narcotic activities. Afghans are still largely illiterate, poverty reigns supreme, Afghan farmers still prefer growing poppies and the Taliban still gain profit from the opium drug trade. There was the massive undertaking to train the Afghan national police and the Afghan armed forces, the result of which remains largely negative.

Not only have the Taliban returned with a vengeance in the final withdrawal of Western forces, leaving it to the Afghan military to look after their own security, where the rate of abandonment of their ranks is unprecedented, and the deaths attributed to Taliban attacks mind-boggling, but al-Qaeda too has been resurrected, and the region has been infiltrated by Islamic State as well. On Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index Afghanistan ranks ahead of Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya.

The hundreds of drone strikes by the United States has repeatedly killed the core leadership of both al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but nothing restrains new leaders from eagerly taking the helm. And nor have those entering the leagues of al-Qaeda and the Taliban diminished over the years of counter-attack; their numbers have increased exponentially; nothing seems to attract Muslims to the war of jihad more than the perceived opposition of the infidel Crusaders..

The religious pathological fanaticism that Islam breeds into its adherents has its roots in the conquest agenda of a tribal, tailor-made religion that responds to the traditional hatreds between clans and sects. So, bring on the renewal of troops, of nations loyal to the concept of civilization and the defence of democracy in a region and a religion where nothing could be more foreign, and no, there is no force, singly or collectively, that will succeed in obliterating violence from any Muslim nation dedicated to its pathways.

 SAS troops are returning to Afghanistan in a big way, sources say
Getty - Contributor     British SAS troops are returning to Afghanistan in a big way, sources say

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Instigator and the Fallout

"I can understand the concerns Canadians share about whether this is a short cut, whether this is somehow uncontrolled immigration."
"What I'm very pleased to be able to say ... is that the rules on Canada's immigration system continue to be enforced."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... August 2017

"A photo op after a meeting will not cut it. The Prime Minister of Canada, in order to help the world's most vulnerable and to salvage the Canadian asylum claim system needs to come up with a credible plan and he needs o explain it to Canadians."
Member of Parliament Michelle Rempel, Conservative immigration critic

"To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ... January 2017

"My Canadian training, I'm a paralegal, means I have to tell them [Salvadorans in the U.S. making enquiries about coming to Canada] that because of our immigration laws, they can't just show up at the border."
"When Mr. Trudeau said  welcome refugees and stuff like that, he didn't say you have to visit our embassies or consulates, you have to get a visa."
"He missed that part."
Angela Ventura, head, Salvadoran community association, Windsor, Ontario

"There are similarities to the policy context [the first wave of asylum seekers in 1985 fleeing civil war when the U.S. granted asylum to only 3 percent] -- people who were not being recognized as refugees in the U.S. but felt that they would be in Canada were coming over the border."
"But the main difference is the Safe Third Country agreement [between Canada and the U.S.] because it changes the way the border works."
Julie Young, post-doctoral fellow, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

How it works is that each, considered a country of safe haven, will only contemplate receiving refugee claimants who come to either the U.S. or Canada directly, turning away any who arrive for example in Canada after first claiming haven in the United States, and vice-versa. To get around this impediment, people living in the United States, mostly Haitians and El Salvadorans, have taken to bypassing official border crossings to cross illegally, where there is little option but to accept their claims and begin the process of verification and deliberation.

And the man who boasted that Canada is ready,willing and able to welcome any and all who come to its borders, anxious to disassociate himself from the stance of the new American president who is doing precisely what his predecessors did, effectively attempting to make some headway in clearing out some of the millions of illegals living in the United States, must bear a goodly portion of the responsibility for the chaos that has now been visited on Canada. Justin Trudeau's much-publicized tweet showing off his progressive credentials got wide coverage; he is as needy of approval as the man he is eager to prove he is the direct opposite of.

More than 260,000 El Salvadorans stand to be deported from the United States once the temporary protected status granted them as a result of the civil war that raged there years ago is lifted in March. In the same token, a much lesser number of Haitians for whom temporary status was given in the wake of the 2010 earthquake fear their status will be revoked in January, and they have been arriving in their thousands at illegal border crossings into Canada to declare themselves refugees. Notwithstanding that Canada lifted its own temporary haven status for Haitians a year ago.

Their arrival, some ten thousand in number since the turn of the year, with hundreds arriving daily, has overtaxed Canada's claims system. It will be many months before all the refugee claims can be processed, perhaps even longer. In the meanwhile, communities and provincial agencies are taxed with the burden of housing and caring for these people. The Province of Quebec has initiated the process of disbursing monthly welfare cheques to those who qualify, to enable them to move from the temporary tent cities holding them to rental accommodation.

Those thousands of Haitians, many of whom have lived for many years in the U.S. are leaving in fear of being deported by the Trump administration, although the Obama administration had begun the process of deportation back to Haiti. Many have children born in the United States. Incorrect information went out through the medium of social media informing Haitians they would be welcome in Canada. No one appears to have informed them, however, that there are official channels that must be respected, visas and other paperwork to be obtained.

Many of the asylum seekers now seeking entry to Canada from the United States left Haiti as a result of faltering economic conditions after the devastating earthquake in 2010, not directly after the earthquake had occurred. They weren't eligible to take advantage of the temporary protected status meant for those who left in the direct wake of the disaster; they are among those the U.S. began deporting last November following the six-year moratorium. Temporary doesn't mean 'forever' in any language. But they heard on the grapevine that Canada would welcome them.

For Canada, their arrival is not particularly auspicious; the backlog experienced by Canada's immigration system under normal conditions is bad enough. Now the Immigration and Refugee Board is struggling to accommodate the added pressure loaded over their backlogs. The rush of would-be refugee claimants are mostly Haitians at this point, but all indications point to a swell of much larger numbers representing El Salvadorans in the U.S. rushing the border into Canada as well. And Canada will be hard-pressed to cope.

In the 1980s, fleeing civil war, Canada took in over ten thousand refugees from El Salvador; Canada's acceptance rate at that time was 60 percent, as opposed to the three percent acceptance of the United States in granting asylum to civil-war fleeing Salvadorans. And that was when they showed up at official border points, before the two countries signed the 'safe haven' agreement that has Haitians showing up in droves at illegal crossings.

One thing has to be clarified: if Haitians know enough to bypass official border stations because they will be turned back and not allowed to make their refugee claims under that agreement, knowing that at the illegal crossings they will be taken into custody and their claims processed, how is it that they would not know that all claimants are required to obtain visas beforehand in recognition of legal entry requirements that all countries depend upon to control who and how many people take advantage of their immigration and refugee policies?

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Supporting Terrorism Through Palestinian Refugee Status: UNRWA

"Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has privately assured the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, that the United States, which provides more than $300 million to the agency each year, will maintain its current levels of funding to the organization."
"America has long been committed to funding UNRWA’s important mission, and that will continue", [said one official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations]."
"[The US pledge runs] contrary to the administration’s push to rein in spending on UN relief programs elsewhere. It reflects growing concern that the imposition of sharp cuts to Palestinian relief programs could thwart the White House campaign to restart Middle East peace talks, and inject further political instability in a region that stands permanently perched on the brink of political upheaval."
Foreign Policy

"The Israelis are stuck in a position where the only thing worse than supporting UNRWA is not supporting UNRWA and having total chaos in the West Bank or Gaza."
Ilan Goldenberg, former U.S. State Department official

Israel has frequently highlighted the promotion of anti-Israel propaganda in UNRWA-run schools. Photo: SWU.

Both the West Bank and Gaza are in a fairly permanent state of dysfunction; as close to chaos as it is possible to get without complete and utter collapse. The Palestinian Authority is dependent on Israel for its continued ability to administer West Bank affairs such as they do, effectively protecting the Fatah-led PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, from Hamas-spurred assassination. There is no freedom in either the West Bank or Gaza, but corruption reigns supreme. Unemployment is rife, opportunities are absent. There is dire poverty alongside sumptuous wealth.

And there is never-ending agitation for violence against Israeli interests and the presence of Jews in the Middle East. Palestinians live in security and with aspirational opportunities as citizens in the State of Israel, yet the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza plot to disable the country through ongoing physical violence in Israel and slanderous campaigns for delegitimization abroad. The original estimated 750,000 Palestinian 'refugees' that resulted from Israel's rebirth has swelled to six million Palestinians In Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

All considered to be 'refugees' and all under the protective and financial umbrella of the United Nations' Relief and Works Agency, most of whose employees are locals, most of whom are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. UNRWA has looked the other way when educational curricula it funds expands on the 'illegitimate' presence of Israel on Palestinian land, that all the land belongs to the Palestinians. Conventionally, the elite appointees leading UNRWA have been violently opposed to Israel, supportive of Palestinian 'rights'. During conflicts UNRWA has supported violence against Israel.

Recommendations that UNRWA be disbanded and the issue of Palestinians as refugees be taken under the control of the UN agency responsible for all refugees worldwide, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has been rejected for the simple enough reason that Palestinians and Arab states want the Palestinians to be deemed refugees, whereas under UNHCR the offspring of  refugees are not automatically given refugee status. This would effectively disfavour the Palestinians' claims of entitlement to 'return' to Israel for all its millions of 'refugees'.

UNRWA schools in Gaza infamously were used as weapons caches. Alternately, rockets were shot off from the UNRWA schools as well as other munitions toward Israel and Israeli troops during conflicts between Hamas and the IDF, effectively making human shields of the population, and when the IDF returned fire to the source of the attack and people were killed or injured, their deaths became propaganda tools accusing Israel of killing innocent civilians. More recently a Hamas terrorist tunnel was found under a Gaza UNRWA school.

Above: In April, UN Watch released a new report at the Canadian Parliament, examining the Canadian government’s pledge to ensure “enhanced due diligence” on UNRWA as a condition of renewed funding. The report reveals dozens of cases of UNRWA teachers inciting jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism online. Read: Report

The Undersecretary of State for political affairs for the U.S. has solicited Canada, the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to provide additional funding adding up to over $100-million to respond to a  shortfall in UNRWA funding. Canada has responded by pledging another $25-million in support of the agency, despite being reminded that UNRWA schools have been helping to normalize anti-Semitism.

"Helping impoverished Palestinians in various Arab countries is certainly a positive, as many individuals do require assistance [however], UNWRA continues to facilitate antisemitism and the demonization of Israel. UNWRA’s highly-politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians", cautioned Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada.

The Palestinian refugee agency has identified a gap in the financing it requires of over $126-million for the 2017 year, warning its finances will run bare by September, leading it to the misfortune of cutting programs scheduled for vaccines, diabetes medication and sanitation. Regardless UNRWA is proceeding with its plans to open its schools for the new academic year, while insisting it will be unable to keep them open without additional funds.

No one appears to be holding the Palestinian Authority to account for the millions it sets aside in its budget for rewarding the families of suicide bombers, however.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Freed, Liberated, Catatonic

Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
"Very tired", "unconscious", "in severe shock and psychological upset" represented some of the terminology used by a Yazidi gynecologist in diagnosing the behaviour and reaction of Yazidi women in his care who were rescued from captivity by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist fighters. The women and girls had been abducted and were abused in a never-ending cycle of violence perpetrated against them as sex slaves.
"We thought the first cases were difficult. But those after the liberation of Mosul, they are very difficult."
Dr. Nagham Nawzat Hasan
Dr Hasan has treated over a thousand rescued Yazidi women and girls, who are in a state of traumatic shock. They sleep for days on end, according to Hussein Qaidi, director of the abductee rescue bureau in Shariya Camp, Iraq. "Ninety percent of the women coming out [of captivity] are like this", explained Mr. Qaidi; 'this' being a state of suspended animation as though suppressing their emotions has deadened them, at least temporarily, to life.

Commonly found in the Sinjar mountains, the Yazidi account for less than two percent of Iraq's population of 38 million Getty

Souhayla is 16 years old. She was 13 when she was abducted, since then she was sold nine times and repeatedly raped by seven different men. Unable to muster the physical resources required to even hold her head upright at her liberation. She needs help to even drink water. Even so it is difficult for her to swallow. She speaks in a voice so faint it is difficult to interpret what she says without placing an ear close to her mouth. Her family has no wish to withhold her identity. Making her name public, they feel will enable people to fully understand the agonizing torture she was forced to endure.

"This is what they (ISIS) have done to our people", her uncle says. Last year the operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State yielded about 180 women, girls and children of the minority Yazidis, captured by the terrorists in 2014. Iraq's Bureau for the Rescue of Abductees verifies the numbers. Those who saw rescue within the first two years of their sex slavery returned home to their ancestral homeland with suicidal thoughts, infections and broken limbs. All of which it is hoped, will heal.

The women who sustained three years of captivity, like Souhayla are seen to be more psychically and physically damaged. They suffer an extraordinary amount of psychological pain and injury. Souhayla's image was posted on Facebook by her uncle, Khalid Taalo, who is attempting to nurse his niece back to some semblance of health. With her image went a description of her dreadful ordeal. Souhayla managed to escape her captor on July 9, two days following an airstrike.

The building where she was kept along with another Yazidi girl saw a wall collapse. While Souhayla survived, the other girl was buried and killed in the rubble. But then so was their captor. Eventually Souhayla was able to make her way through the rubble, and eventually found herself at an Iraqi checkpoint. "I ran to her and she ran to me and we started crying and then we started laughing as well", Mr. Raalo said. "We stayed like that holding each other, and we kept crying and laughing until we fell to the ground."

And then, nothing. She would no longer speak. Reunited with her mother and the rest of her family Souhayla's consciousness evaporated. Antibiotics for a urinary tract infection was prescribed by examining doctors. She was also diagnosed in a state of malnutrition. Two weeks after her return to her family she was finally able to stand for a few minutes, her legs still unsteady.

As for other returnees, some go to extraordinary lengths to try to retain some semblance of human dignity, to defend themselves from their own perceptions of self as irredeemably 'spoiled'; repeatedly raped, their humanity soiled. Yazidi sisters, 20 and 26 drew the attention of camp officials at the Hamam Ali 1 refugee camp, wearing niqabs they refused to go without, as though to hide behind the anonymity of facelessness. Yazidi women never cover their faces ordinarily.

They spoke of their Islamic State rapists as their "husbands", as "martyrs", according to camp official Muntajab Ibraheem, director of the Iraqi Salvation Humanitarian Organization. Holding three toddlers their captivity and constant rapes had produced, they shunned nursing the babies. Camp officials saw no solution other than to complete paperwork to enable the children to become wards of the state.

The liberated women were unable to stand, lying on mattresses inside the plastic walls of the tent in the camp. Those women who attempted desperately to shield themselves from recognition, and who shunned their babies fell into a deep coma-like state from which they occasionally awoke momentarily before falling back to sleep, a sleep that seemed would never conclude. As though they were intent on shielding themselves from reality.

This image taken in August 2014 shows Yazidi people fleeing their homeland in Northern Iraq after the arrival of Islamic State. Thousands of women and girls were captured at the time and used as sex slaves for ISIS soldiers. Picture: AP Photo via AP video
This image taken in August 2014 shows Yazidi people fleeing their homeland in Northern Iraq after the arrival of Islamic State. Thousands of women and girls were captured at the time and used as sex slaves for ISIS soldiers.  AP

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Which Group Are The Thugs?

"Their world doesn't interest us. They say they are non-violent. Let them tell us who they are. What they want, and take away all ambiguity from their message."
"Why do they have to look like a private militia?"
"La Meute didn't cause violence [at their Sunday demonstration in Quebec City] but what was their friend doing in Charlottesville?"
"[Still, I] thank [them] for collaborating with police [they] won the popularity contest on Sunday."
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume

"We are disgusted and outraged by today’s unprovoked attack on a Global News crew covering demonstrations in Quebec City. While we are relieved that our journalists were not seriously hurt, Canadians should be concerned by this threat against the working of a free press. Our team was there to provide independent coverage and transparency as events unfolded – a goal clearly not shared by the thugs who shielded their identities in the commission of violence."
Global News’ senior vice-president Troy Reeb 
Demonstrators of a right wing group, “La Meute” walk in silence to the legislature, Sunday in 
Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS
They are named as a far-right group, calling themselves La Meute, and they planned a demonstration to take place in Quebec City on Sunday. They obtained the requisite permit and set about to do just that. This demonstration was launched to protest the actions and reactions of both the federal and provincial government "in the face of the scourge of illegal immigration". Their protest was meant to emphasize their dissatisfaction with the welcome that illegals living in the United States crossing into Canada at informal border areas, bypassing formal routes are given by authorities.

It is telling that the group considers itself to represent nationalist pride, and they deny the label of "racist" that anti-fascists paint them with. What they want to see put into place is firmer border control to ensure that asylum seekers go the prescribed formal route to declaring themselves refugees at official border crossings. (The illegal crossings have swamped the capacity of authorities to maintain order and momentum in processing.) Their duly licensed protested was postponed for five hours behind the National Assembly in Quebec City, since they were effectively 'trapped' in a parking garage awaiting the dispersal of a gathering that materialized as anti-racists, responding to their planned protest.

Protesters launched a counter-protest to the original protest they would not allow to even commence. The original protest was comprised of 200 members of the Le Meute group; the counter-protestors who had procured no license to make their protest legal were represented by 300 people, organized by a group calling themselves Actio citoyenne contre la discrimination, folding in others such as the Ligue anti-fascists, anti-raciste Quebec and Antifa.

Still from video; anti-racists assaulting police...Global News
Gathering outside the parking garage entrance where the La Meute protesters had assembled, they chanted slogans such as "no one likes racists", and "anti, anti, anti-fascist". Many in that group had covered their faces with bandanas and were wearing sunglasses for anonymity. Some among them threw bricks at a man carrying a Patriotes and a Quebec flag. Attempting to confront his tormentors, they tackled him to the ground. Smoking flares were aimed by the anti-fascists at a line of police officers.

The illegal counter-demonstrators threw fireworks and a flare at police. A dumpster was set on fire and pushed on its wheels toward a police line. Masked anti-fascists were seen to assault the media, with one cameraman's camera damaged when his camera was taken from him and tossed on the ground. Police finally pepper-sprayed many of the counter-protesters, forcibly removing them.

All the while police had asked La Meute through its leader, to remain patient and await an opportunity when the counter-protest was cleared away before beginning their protest. The group exhibit a pronounced aversion to extreme Islam, clearly seen on their Facebook page. "We think it's irresponsible to tell immigrants 'come here, we'll take you", commented Sylvain Brouillette, a spokesperson for La Meute, arguing against asylum-seekers illegally crossing the U.S. border into Canada.

When, eventually, they were cleared to begin their protest, five hours after the march had been scheduled to begin, they marched silently to make their point of protest.

Dan Spector @danspector
Police said everyone was under arrest and demanded they disperse. Antifa shot more fireworks and smoke bombs at cops.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Mountain Whom All Approach in China

"Since the start of last year, eight ministries and four organizations directly under the State Council, China's cabinet, have been given new chiefs."
South China Morning Post

"He [Xi Jinping] stood still, long arms slack, hair pomaded, a portrait of take-it-or-leave-it composure that induced his visitor to cross the room in pursuit of a handshake."
Evan Osnos, New Yorker, Xi profile
"He's a very talented man. I think he's a very good man. He loves China, I can tell you. He loves China. He wants to do what's right for China."
"Just left China’s President Xi where we had an excellent meeting on trade & North Korea."
"So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try! While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out."
U.S. President Donald Trump
China's President Xi Jinping waits to meet with outgoing Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying at a hotel in Hong Kong, China, June 29, 2017.
One-man rule. (Reuters/Dale De La Rey)

The world is immersed in a period of political dictatorships. The trend seemed to begin in Russia with Vladimir Putin deciding that two terms as president of Russia just wasn't satisfying enough for his self-conceived role as the new czar, so he and Dmitri Medvedev did a little twist on the child's game of musical chairs and exchanged positions. Circumventing the Russian constitution that deems two terms at the helm more than sufficient; a legal clause that most nations' constitutions reflect.

The next step was to give himself increased power that would enable him to change the constitution, to cleanse it of the offending stipulation that two terms would serve nicely to bring in fresh blood. Mr. Putin spilled more than his share of blood in erasing his critics' irritating dissents, and now he is able legally in Russia to rule for as long as he wishes. His successful ruse inspired Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to follow suit, and  he too despite opposition that he made quick work of, succeeded.

Then along came Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro determined to do the very same. Only protest in Venezuela is far more robust than it was in both Russia and Turkey, mostly because the country is in a state of perilous downfall, its economy in free fall, unemployment rife, violence on the rise, and food and medicine and oil in steep decline. No matter, if Putin, Erdogan and other aspiring dictators could succeed so could Maduro.

Next in line surely would be the Phillippines' Rodrigo Duterte, whose inflexibly violent 'war on drugs' will warrant that he will be the only political leader in that torn country battling its very own Islamist insurgency entitled to rule the country. Despite all its horrendous dysfunction courtesy of Islam, drugs and Duterte, popular support of the population will ensure that they will obligingly support the prospect of his continued unforgiving iron command.

No one could rightfully claim that Donald J. Trump pirated the American presidential election to crown himself with the pompous self-regard he showers on himself. It was the decision of an overwhelming number of American voters that brought President Trump to the White House. The nation was already deep in the throes of political polarization which thrived under his predecessor, the redoubtable Barack Obama. This is a nation increasingly at war with itself.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) to the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, on April 6, 2017.
Still from video; G20 Summit

But the biggest fish to fry is now consolidating his influence in the world's most populous nation. If it is considered difficult to administer the affairs of a country whose population originated from all parts of the world and whose politics reflect the full spectrum from left to right, radical to moderate, it [the U.S.] is still merely one-quarter of the size of the population ruled by the Communist Party of China's Politboro and its leader.

The reformist who came to office as an insider with a moderate agenda also undertook like Trump, to 'clean out the stable' [one of the tasks of srongman Hercules, to clean out the gigantic Aegean stable] of the entitlement of the political elite to the additional emoluments of corruption. To make the country run more effectively, efficiently, increase prosperity, become more responsible to its people, that kind of thing. And so, Xi Jinping set out to cleanse the leadership of the corrupting influences of his predecessor.

The 19th National Congress is scheduled for the fall and there it is that China's latest dictator will shine, his keynote address paving the way for re-writing the constitution of the Communist Party of China. This leader of the People's Republic is attuned to winning another, his second five-year General Secretary term. And when that one is completed, there's the third term which the current constitution disallows, but which, like Russia's and Turkey's, in capable hands can will be re-written.

All the preliminaries have been taken care of; he did have five years to install those friends in the party's upper echelons, as well as reorganize the military. Critics were charged with inharmonious activities harmful to the welfare of the state and duly prosecuted. With President Xi flattery and sycophancy goe a long way to please this very amiable man. And intelligent. And literate. As head of the seven-member national committee in any event, it is exceedingly unwise to challenge his authority.

He is on track to lead his nation toward the "great rejuvenation of the nation"; prosperity, unity and strength. And who could criticize the relaxation of the one-child policy, or the elimination of "re-education through labour" camps, after all? As for the modernization and technical advances brought to the country, helping to increase the numbers of the middle class; high-speed rail and all manner of technical and scientific advances the equal of any first-world country, and more, express China's potential and its present.

Issues such as human rights, independent judiciaries and constitutional democracy Western-style, are simply not the Chinese way. Chinese lawyers who specialize in promoting human rights are actively practising anti-Chinese values, resulting in lack of harmony and social, economic and poliical stability which in and of itself challenge forward-looking success.

No, we haven't forgotten North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. He is in a category of his own. Sharing space with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on March 3, 2017.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on March 3, 2017   Jason Lee, Reuters

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