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Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum


















Sunday, 1 March 2015
Did President Obama Invoke the Brzezinski Doctrine to Shoot Down IAF Planes Attacking Iran?
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Last night, I glanced at a report from a Kuwaiti  news paper and thought it looked suspiciously familiar. The Kuwaiti publication Al-Jarida published a report that a senior Israeli minister with alleged close ties to the Obama Administration had tipped off  Secretary of State Kerry about  a possible IAF attack against selected Iranian nuclear facilities.  Israel National News (INN)  reported:

US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama's threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.

According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel's back.

Al-Jarida quoted "well-placed" sources as saying that Netanyahu, along with Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.

According to the report, “Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army's chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran's nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel's security.”

The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Israeli fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran's airspace after they managed to break through radars.

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, as baseball great Yogi Berra might opine, it should. Back in 2008,  Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Carter National Security Advisor, was a foreign policy consultant to then Senator Obama in the midst of his first Presidential campaign. He became a center of controversy when he publicly favored the shoot down of IAF aircraft transiting Middle East airspace in an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.  Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, in a September 21, 2009, INN report wrote:

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for U.S. President Barack Obama, has called on the president to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast. Brzezinski, who served in the Carter administration from 1977 to 1981, is currently a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Maryland.

“We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse.’" Israel mistakenly attacked the American Liberty ship during the Six-Day War in 1967.

Brzezinski was a top candidate to become an official advisor to President Obama, but he was downgraded after Republican and pro-Israel Democratic charges during the campaign that Brzezinski’s anti-Israel attitude would damage Obama at the polls.

But like a bad penny, the Brzezinski doctrine popped up in an exchange in 2010 between Admiral Mike Mullins, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an Air Force ROTC cadet at the University  of West Virginia. Gil Ronen of INN in an April 21, 2010 report noted:

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, evaded a question Tuesday regarding the theoretical possibility that the US would shoot down IAF jets en route to attack Iran.

The Weekly Standard reported that in a town hall meeting on the campus of the University of West Virginia, a US Air Force ROTC cadet asked Mullen to respond to a hypothetical situation: if Israel decided to attack Iran, he said, its jets would need to fly through Iraqi airspace, which is considered a “no-fly” zone by the American military. Would US troops shoot down the Israeli jets, the airman asked, if they entered that zone?

Mullen evaded the question. “We have an exceptionally strong relationship with Israel,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with my counterpart in Israel. So we also have a very clear understanding of where we are. And beyond that, I just wouldn’t get into the speculation of what might happen and who might do what. I don’t think it serves a purpose, frankly,” he said. “I am hopeful that this will be resolved in a way where we never have to answer a question like that.”

The cadet insisted: “Would an airman like me ever be ordered to fire on an Israeli aircraft or personnel?”

Mullen still would not answer directly. “Again, I wouldn’t move out into the future very far from here,” he said. “They’re an extraordinarily close ally, have been for a long time, and will be in the future.”

Mullen, appearing in a forum at Columbia University on Sunday, equated the danger of a nuclear Iran with the danger of an attack on it. ""I worry . . . about striking Iran. I've been very public about that because of the unintended consequences. I think Iran having a nuclear weapon would be incredibly destabilizing. I think attacking them would also create the same kind of outcome,"  He did not mention the added danger to Israel of a nuclear Iran that has vowed publicly to destroy the Jewish State.

Israel may be prepared to counter an Iranian S-300 threat. We commented in a 2010, Iconoclast Post:

In June 2008, Israel’s air force undertook massive air training exercises involving more than 100 aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean against Greek S-300 Russian air defense systems. That effort demonstrated the canny effectiveness of swarming attacks against the S-300 and later versions that upset the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards.

That did not go unnoticed by the IRGC Air Force commanders.   They had put in orders for  an advanced version of the S-300 system to counter a possible Israeli air attack threat. However, Russia  was prevailed upon  by Israel and the US not to deliver those air defense systems.  Just after the January 18, 2015 Golan attack that took out senior Hezbollah and Iranian Al Quds commanders, there was a meeting in Tehran  on January 20, 2015 between, Russian Defense Minister Shogui and Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Dehghan. We noted in a January 21, 2015 Iconoclast post:

TAAS reported the US studying the announced Russian –Iranian military agreement, but specifically objecting to possible shipment of the S-300/400 air defense system. Russia might finally ship Iran the advanced S-300 air defense system that both the US and Israeli successfully lobbied former Russian President Medvedev in 2010 to cancel.  Immediate payment by Iran of $800 million for the S-300 system may have cemented the deal.  This defense cooperation deal is a prelude to a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President   Hassan Rouhani in a Central Asian republic location.

The Russian delivery of the S-300/400 air defense system to Iran  maybe a  possible counter  to  the IAF December 8, 2014 attacks at Damascus  International airport hangars  that destroyed  deliveries of missiles headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon and allegedly killed two senior  terrorist proxy operatives.

While the threat of the Brzezinski doctrine allegedly may have been invoked by President Obama to foil an alleged IAF attack in 2014 against Iranian nuclear facilities, the Israelis are prepared in that eventuality to spring some surprises that neither the US nor Iran had planned to  counter.  These reports reinforce the widening divide that has erupted between the Obama Administration and the Israeli Netanyahu government, the latter facing a general Knesset election on March 17th. PM Netanyahu’s arrival in Washington this evening  demonstrates his  determination to inform the American body polity of the clear and present dangers of Iran’s closure on becoming a nuclear threshold state  as witnessed by the  leaks of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding revealed in our February 27, 2015 post.

 

 

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Posted on 03/01/2015 6:42 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Times Of Israel Editor: What Is Known Proves That Netanyahu Was Right All Along
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Posted on 03/01/2015 3:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Dad, It's Just ISIS
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Posted on 03/01/2015 12:55 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Sunday Brunch
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On Sundays, some satisfy their hunger with manducating the Eucharist. I'm not among them. I need a special treat, preferably Asian, and neither con- nor trans- substantiation will do the trick. I need, as Paul Muldoon somewhere says, "all sorts and conditions of dim sum." So I'm off, for the first time in many months, to a Chinese restaurant where the price is right, and I can keep the shumai and the pork buns coming, as long as I want. But before I go, I have to find just the right reading material to bring along for the ride. Tenth of December? Can't And Won't? Moby Dick? The Selected Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montague? I don't want to get duck sauce on any of these books, even if they are paperbacks. Perhaps the usual disappointing up-to-date issue of the always-disappointing New Yorker?  Back issues of the TLS? I see this is going to take time, and I'm now beginning to worry. It's getting late for the mid-day brunch, and I don't want to get there after the makers of the dim sum have become exhausted, and cranky, or something runs out. Why is everything so difficult? Why must I always have something to read, no matter where I go, by way of vademecum and viaticum? Won't wonton soup and scallion pie be enough, just this once? The minutes are passing. What's wrong with me?

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Posted on 03/01/2015 11:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Jihadi John: Mohammed Emwazi's school attended by three terrorists
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From The Sunday Telegraph

It has emerged that the school of Mohammed Emwazi was attended by two other men who subsequently became linked to Islamist terror groups. 

Choukri Ellekhlifi, a contemporary of Jihadi John at Quintin Kynaston academy, was killed in Syria in 2013 after joining up with an al-Qaeda terror group. The disclosure comes after The Telegraph reported another pupil at the school, Mohammed Sakr, had died fighting for al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, in Somalia.

Their deaths and the fact that Mohammed Emwazi, the real name of “Jihadi John”, went to the school will inevitably raise questions over what measures had been put in place to tackle the radicalisation of Muslim teenagers. On Saturday night the Government announced a review into the matter.

Jo Shuter, the headteacher at the time, was a favourite with Tony Blair, although she spectacularly fell from grace in 2013, after being found guilty of using school funds “inappropriately”. 

On Saturday, sources at Quintin Kynaston (QK) confirmed that Ellekhlifi, who was 22 when he died, and Sakr, 27, had attended. Emwazi, 26, is thought to have been two years above Ellekhlifi at school. Alex Atherton, the headteacher, insisted the school was no longer a breeding ground for terrorists. “...Students that may have attended nine years ago are not a reflection of the students we are proud of having at QK..."

A former pupil in the same year as Ellekhlifi recalled how the Moroccan-born boy had become increasingly radicalised. The former pupil said: “When he [Ellekhlifi] joined he was just one of the Moroccan football lads. They all spent time with each other by virtue of the fact they all came from Edgware Road. Towards the end there was a shift to becoming more Islamic. They started wearing headwear and they became more detached from everyone else. I think QK had a suspicion that this was going on, but I wouldn’t say they knew completely.”

The student suggested Ellekhlifi was not allowed to stay on for the sixth form, while another said he left at the end of the lower sixth. He had become increasingly troublesome and, in 2012, fled to Syria, after skipping bail on armed robbery charges.

Another school acquaintance of Emwazi told how the future killer became radical and angry. “He was in the year above me at school,” the former pupil said. “I am a Muslim as well, but not really that religious. The thing is that [Emwazi] looked like a character not to mess with.” 

On Saturday night Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, ordered her officials to conduct an urgent review of all available evidence about QK. 

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Posted on 03/01/2015 11:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
We Have a Winner!
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Keith Simmonds currently residing in France has won our crossword competition for February. He will recieve a copy of JB Kelly's new collection, Islam Through the Looking Glass. Congratulations Keith!

Keep playing everyone!

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Posted on 03/01/2015 10:44 AM by NER
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
The Palestine Authority Does Not Have Clean Hands
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On January 16, 2015, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer, opened a “preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine.” Her decision quickly followed the accession of the Palestinian Authority on January 2, 2015 to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC.  

A preliminary examination is not an investigation but the process used to ascertain whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with one. According to ICC regulations the decision to conduct an investigation is made after information is collected and consideration of issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice are taken into consideration.  

The first issue that must be addressed is the technical legal question of whether “Palestine” can be considered a state and therefore eligible to join the ICC.  

The ICC reasoning was that on November 22, 2012 the UN General Assembly had approved, by a majority of 138 in favor, 9 against, and 41 abstentions, Resolution 67/19 granting Palestine “non-member observer State” status in the UN. The PA, it held, could therefore be considered a “State” for the purpose of accession to the Rome Treaty and joining the ICC. The PA will officially become a member of ICC on April 1, 2015.  

The prosecutor has begun her “examination” because the ICC determined the PA had accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC over alleged crimes committed “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem since June 13, 2014.”  

However, irrespective of the rules of the Rome Treaty, and the ongoing examination by the ICC prosecutor, this case that would involve allegations that Israel committed war crimes or crimes against humanity should go no further. What should prevail is the legal doctrine of clean hands.  

This doctrine is a rule of law that a party or individual bringing a lawsuit or motion before a court must be innocent of wrongdoing or unfair conduct on the issue of the claim in the lawsuit. Irrespective of any political or moral judgment of Palestinian actions in general towards the citizens of Israel, recent legal decisions have made clear that the Palestinian Authority does not come to court with clean hands. In two decisions by U.S. courts, the PA and other Palestinian groups have twice been found guilty of acting unethically and in bad faith because of their support of terrorism.  

The first decision was made on September 22, 2014 in the case of Linde v. Arab Bank by the Brooklyn, U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of New York. The second decision was made on February 23, 2015 in the landmark case, Sokolow v. PLO, in the Southern District Court of New York. 

Linde v, Arab Bank was a civil lawsuit in a New York bank filed on behalf of American terror victims against a bank. Two incidents were involved. John Linde, a U.S. citizen from Texas, was murdered by a terrorist in Gaza on October 15, 2003, and four members of an American family were murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber in a restaurant in Haifa. The lawsuit was brought under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1991 (signed into law in 1996) which gave U.S. courts jurisdiction over acts of terrorism that harm U.S. citizens abroad. Under that law the victims can seek damages for harm done to them.  

The Arab Bank, with headquarters in Amman, Jordan, was held liable for the deaths and injuries resulting from the terrorist acts committed by Palestinian terrorist groups between 2000 and 2004. Hamas was responsible for 24 of these attacks. The Arab Bank had knowingly provided financial services on behalf both of Hamas and its operatives and leaders and Hizb’allah. It had facilitated the transfer of millions of dollars to the families of suicide bombers and other terrorist operatives through the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Intifada and the al-Shahid Foundation. The court ruled that the activities of the Arab Bank went far beyond routine banking services in knowingly supporting terrorist acts, some of which killed American citizens.  

The other case, Sokolow v. PLO was decided after an 11-year lawsuit begun in 2004 and a trial that lasted six weeks. The lawsuit was brought by ten families of victims (Sokolow was the main plaintiff) of Palestinian terrorist attacks between January 2001 and January 2004, the years of the second Intifada. The acts were committed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of Fatah and by the armed wing of Hamas. The last attack took place on a crowded bus in Jerusalem. The PLO committed seven attacks in or near Jerusalem, killing 33 civilians and injuring more than 450, including American citizens. The families sought $350 million in damages from the PLO and the PA that continued to pay the security officials who organized the attacks, the terrorists who were imprisoned in Israel, and the families of the suicide bombers (“martyrs”).  

The Palestinians claimed the U.S. courts did not have jurisdiction, but their argument was rejected by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels in September 2008 rejected the PLO argument that the attacks were acts of war, not terrorism.  

In holding the Palestinian groups guilty of helping to plan and carry out the attacks, the court awarded the families $218 million, a sum that was tripled to $655 million according to the rules of the Anti-Terrorism Act.  

The decisions of the U.S. courts found Palestinian authorities, which are still paying security officials behind the terrorist attacks and providing benefits for the families of terrorists and honoring them, responsible for the actions of terrorists. What is important is that those actions were seen by the courts not as acts of war as Palestinian spokespersons alleged, but as acts of terrorism. The courts also made clear that money is the oxygen for terrorists. The U.S. courts did not advance a political or ideological agenda. On the contrary, they sent a message to banks in the Arab world and elsewhere that support for terrorism will not be tolerated in the U.S.  

Above all, the message is clear that the Palestinian Authority does not come to the ICC with clean hands. The U.S. courts have demonstrated that terrorism was official Palestinian policy during the second Intifada that was initiated by the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat. That policy embodied crimes against humanity and violations of human rights. The ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, should be conscious of the fact that the U.S. courts have ruled that the Palestinian Authority has acted in bad faith, legally, and morally. On the basis of the “clean hands” doctrine, she should forthwith end her “examination.”

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 03/01/2015 10:41 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Canada: Alarm bells must ring in response to the government’s new anti-terror bill
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Bill C-51, the federal government’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, is the principal official response to the increasing threat of terrorism, a phenomenon that infamously prorupted into the central block of Parliament on Oct. 22, after the murder of a soldier ceremonially guarding the grave of the unknown soldier at the war memorial in Ottawa.

The purpose of the measure is given as assurance that the people of Canada “live free from threats to their lives and their security,” as “there is no more fundamental role for a government than protecting its country and its people.” To this end, government departments and agencies are authorized and instructed to share information that could frustrate or reveal attempts “to undermine” or “threaten the security of Canada;” the Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness compiles a list of people who he or she “has reasonable grounds to suspect will attempt to threaten transport security” or commit or facilitate a “terrorism offense” in Canada or elsewhere.

This sounds fairly innocuous by the standards of legislation conferring enhanced arbitrary powers on law enforcement officials, but, as is usual and to some extent unavoidable, many of the elaborations of enhanced official powers are very broadly outlined. Reading through the text of this and related bills, the principal areas of impact are lowering the threshold for arrest, criminalizing the promotion of terrorism, conferring powers of disruption on CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), giving the power to remove designated terrorist material from the Internet, permitting court proceedings to be sealed while they are in progress for protection of investigative techniques, evidence, and personnel, expanding the government’s ability to stop people from leaving the country, and granting unspecified and scarcely limited powers of arbitrary, warrantless, detention.

It becomes quite troubling with the provisions that “every person who, by communicating statements, knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general — while knowing that any of those offences will be committed or being reckless as to whether any of those offences may be committed…is liable to imprisonment of not more than five years;” and that anyone responsible for “any writing, sign, visible representation or audio recording that advocates or promotes… or counsels the commission of a terrorist offence” may have material seized, internet excerpts deleted, and be subject to detention, indictment and imprisonment, though the authority of the attorney general is required for such proceedings.

Even more worrisome is the provision that a person may be detained in custody without warrant if a peace officer “believes on reasonable grounds that a terrorist activity may be carried out,” or that such arrest and detention “is likely to prevent the carrying out of the terrorist activity,” pending ratification of the action by a provincial court. Most Canadians would not be too much disturbed by the requirement that such a suspect be “prohibited from possessing any firearm (or) crossbow,” or be confined to a geographic area temporarily.

But alarm bells really must ring at “If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a particular activity constitutes a threat to the security of Canada, the service (CSIS) may take measures in or outside Canada, to reduce the threat.” These are unspecified, and must be “reasonable and proportional,” but they are unlimited except by the admonition not to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or any other law, unless “authorized to take them under a warrant,” but there are no further guidelines on the issuance of warrants. It is not altogether comforting to read that the authorities are forbidden to “cause intentionally or by criminal negligence, death or bodily harm,” or “wilfully (to) attempt in any manner to obstruct, pervert, or defeat the course of justice; or violate the sexual integrity of an individual.”

Those representing the Public Security and Emergency Preparedness minister may decide whether a warrant is necessary for any of these initiatives, in Canada or in any other country: “Without regard to any other law, including that of any foreign state, a judge may, in a warrant… authorize the measures specified in it to be taken outside Canada.” Obviously, no foreign jurisdiction would accept that a Canadian authority has any standing to approve such an intrusion, and it is fervently to be hoped that no one in the federal government imagines that it would be a good thing to exchange empowerments for the execution of such warrants with other countries, provoking a regime of reciprocal extra-legal, official outrages across international frontiers.

All of these steps create problems on the civil liberties front. As presented, Bill C-51 makes a Swiss cheese out of due process, and the three national political parties have approached the problem from distinctly different angles. The government have swaddled themselves in Stephen Harper’s default-toga of protecting the public, aspersing civil liberties concerns, and uttering tired pieties that “the law enforcement agencies are on our side,” presumably referring to their objectives rather than their political preferences. It is easy to be cynical about this and resignedly conclude that Vic Toews and Julian Fantino ride again (itself a terrorizing thought, and thought-terror is assumedly covered in the vast sweep of this bill). The government is responsible for preventing terrorist outrages from happening and it has to be given some licence to protect the country and everyone in it. But it is hard to be overly sanguine about the medieval antics of the government that took the giant leap backwards that was the omnibus crime bill. Nor is it reassuring that Mr. Harper, as is his frequent custom, is imposing a shortened debate on Parliament.

The Liberals have accepted the bill but claim to seek a clearer and heavier oversight than is now provided. This has been much mocked as toadying to reactionary opinion, but again, it is an attempt to reconcile the conflicting goals — though the unofficial opposition is no more specific about increased oversight than the government is about the many open-ended powers it wants to give the whole range of law enforcement agencies. The New Democrats and their leader, Thomas Mulcair, deserve credit for tackling this sloppily worded measure head on. He and his colleagues have said that the failure to give more precision to “disrupt” and many other new official rights is careless, that anyone protesting even the construction of a pipeline could be a target for some of these actions, and that there is insufficient focus on “deradicalization,” but that the NDP could support a bill adequately clarified.

We have ample proof, from the McDonald Commission’s 1981 report and elsewhere, that the law enforcement agencies in this country, as in others, are capable of outrageous and unfathomably stupid abuses, and anyone who has had anything to do with any arm of the law knows it (although most people in these occupations are reasonably dedicated and honest). Definitions have to be tightened; oversight has to be stringent and prompt and answerable to parliament, and we should be careful of too much reciprocity with foreign governments. Only 10 or 12 other countries have as much respect for human liberties as Canada does and must retain; the United States, with its 99.5% conviction rate and stacked rules — a criminal justice system that is just a conveyer-belt to its bloated and corrupt prison industry — is not one of them. If we go to sleep in Canada, we will wake up in an unrecognizable despotism, like Argentina, Turkey, or Louisiana.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 03/01/2015 10:30 AM by Conrad Black
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
The Coulibaly Chronicles
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While there was nothing even slightly amusing about the recent attacks in Paris on the journalists of Charlie Hebdo and the customers of a kosher supermarket, there was an element of dark humor in an article that appeared in Le Monde on February 16 about Amedy Coulibaly, the young man of Malian descent who shot a policewoman dead and then killed four hostages he had taken. Coulibaly was an armed robber and racketeer who found Islamic extremism much to his liking. Just before Christmas last year, preparing for his attack, he insisted that a former rapper who owed him 30,000 Euros ($36,000), presumably for the performance of some illegal service, should repay the money because, he said, he needed it urgently. “I naively thought it was for the holidays,” the former rapper told the police. I’d have liked to see their faces when he said that.

“In reality,” the article continued, “Coulibaly needed the money to buy arms, a car, and all his war equipment: bullet-proof vests, tear-gas canisters, and knives.” He “sub-contracted” their purchase to an unemployed man, Willy P., who spent all his time in the shopping center of Fleury-Mérogis, the southern Parisian suburb where the largest, and probably the worst, prison in Western Europe is located. It was in that prison that Coulibaly (and Chérif Kouachi, one of the brothers who murdered the Charlie Hebdo journalists) had been detained for some, but evidently not sufficient, years. In the prison, Kouachi and Coulibaly met Djemal Beghal, serving ten years for conspiring to blow up the American embassy in France. Beghal persuaded them to become terrorists.

According to the Le Monde article, Coulibaly enjoyed much “respect” in the area. By respect, of course, was meant fear—for as Willy P. explained to the police, he felt that he had no choice but to obey Coulibaly’s orders. “Otherwise it would have been threats,” he said. From December 27 to January 6, Coulibaly gave Willy P. new orders to fill every day. Willy P. and two associates then went to the gun store in Montrouge or to the flea market in Saint-Ouen to buy what Coulibaly had ordered. If what they bought did not meet with Coulibaly’s approval—for example, if the knives were not solid enough—he sent them back to buy something sturdier.

“I knew that [Coulibaly] was an armed robber and a drug-dealer,” Willy P. told the police. “That’s why I wasn’t worried when he asked me for all those things. I thought they were for a robbery or a drug deal.” In other words, Willy P. thought the weapons he was buying for Coulibaly were for everyday, normal, uncontentious use. One of Willy P’s associates, Tonio G., backed him up. He told the police that he didn’t think that there was anything strange about being asked to buy those things. “It wasn’t anything that made you exclaim. It wasn’t something, how can I put it, that seemed to me abnormal.”

When Willy P. and his associates saw on television that it was Coulibaly who had attacked the kosher supermarket, they felt really bad about it. “Coulibaly,” they said to one another, “has really landed us in the shit.”

First published in City Journal.

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Posted on 03/01/2015 10:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
Major Gen. (Res.) Yaacov Amidror:"The Proposed Agreement With Iran Is Very Bad"
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Here.

According to NPR and the Obama Administration, there is this mad dog, this political careerist, Netanyahu by name, who apparently arranged the whole speech business (in this version, Speaker Boehner was merely a pawn of this diabolical figure), who opposes ANY agreement with Iran (even though that diabolical figure has said repeatedly that he wants an agreement, will support an agreement, that does exactly what the Obama Administration originally said it would do -- prevent Iran from becoming capable of producing nuclear weapons), and who has the gall not to refuse to come, once he had accepted Speaker Boehner's invitation, when President Obama has let it be known that he regards this as an "insult." Insult it may be, but if your small country faces a mortal threat, because of the inability of a mighty power to conduct negotiations properly, failing to realize or exploit the great and permanent weakness of the party with whom it is negotiating, then the leader of that threatened country has not only a right but a duty to present his case to Congress, the only part of the government, the only body in the world, that might conceivably force the Obama Administration to come, nolens-volens, to its senses, if only to avoid the ridicule of everyone of sense.

But Netanyahu is not alone. Throughout the military and intelligence establishment of Israel, the clearest-headed, those not motivated by anti-Netanyahu personal spite (and there are some of those, whose back-stories are not known to the general public), agree with his assessment. He is not alone. He is not a mad dog. He is not "a gentleman in a dustcoat trying to make" us hear -- he's not always a gentleman, he has no dustcoat -- but he is trying to make us hear. 

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Posted on 03/01/2015 9:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 1 March 2015
David Wood On Allah: "What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate"
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Posted on 03/01/2015 9:23 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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