Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Don`t these people ever come out with something original?

First it was Brison ripping off Clement`s platform.

And now its Dion copying Suzuki`s report word by word? (h/t Steve Janke).

With all respect to Steve, I`m not sure. Dion is considered (at least in the Academic World) a very well respected University professor prior to his entry into politics. Which is why I`m willing to believe that this was a fu*k up made by his legislative team rather than him personally.

But then again, you`d expect someone like Dion (who never stops reminding us of his environmental credentials or the priority he gives to this issue) to have read an important report by Suzuki and put 2 and 2 together when he read his own platform.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

People making a difference:

There are people who talk about making the world a better place, and there are people who actually work to make the world a better place. Like the following:

1. 4 Canadian soldiers killed Afghanistan during a successful offensive mounted by Afghan, American, British and Canadian on Taliban strongholds. Deepest condolences and prayers go out the the friends and families of
* Warrant Officer Frank Robert Mellish
* Warrant Officer Richard Francis Nolan
and the two other unidentified soldiers.


2. Arab Peace Warrior dies:

Novelist Naguib Mahfouz, who in my opinion, is the greatest novelist ever to come out of the Arab World, passed away on Thursday, he was 92. For those of you unfamiliar with Mahfouz, he was a Nobel prize winner for literature in 1988, who stood side by side with Anwar Sadat when he signed the Peace Deal with Israel at Camp David in the late 70`s. He was considered a hero and a mentor to many Arab Moderates and Democracy activists throughout the middle east. And was also highly critical of the status-quo currently held in the Arab world today. Needless to say he faced allot of this:

It is no wonder that Islamists condemned him for this very reason. In 1994, he was stabbed in the neck by extremists while he was taking his daily walk to a favorite café in Cairo. He survived the assault but lived under constant protection by the authorities ever since.

In addition to the hostility he faced from the religious establishment, he was also criticized by so-called intellectuals in the Arab world for his moderate stance toward Israel and his outspoken support for President Anwar Al-Sadat and the Camp David peace accords. Before that, he was branded a reactionary because of his well-hidden disapproval of the destructive policies of President Gamal Abdul Nasser and the coup that brought him to power in 1952. Many of his novels were banned in Arab countries.


(h/t Healing Iraq)

God Bless you Naguib. You were the beacon of light to our people for many of us.

Make sure to read more about Mahfouz:
Big Pharaoh

Sandmonkey:

Freedom for Egyptians:


Kabob Fest

And Roba:



3. Fellow Blogger Brian Gardiner from Home At Hepster is running for Terry Fox. Probably the greatest Canadian ever to have lived. If you can, help him by sponsoring him through this link. Blue Blogging Soapbox has put out a 500$ challenge. So far there`s 205$.

"Talking to the Taliban"....sooo 2001.

By now, everybody is aware of Jack Chamberlain`s idiotic suggestion of "talking with the Taliban", progressive goals be dammed, this guy shown that he has no principles in which he believes in, and that the Liberal Party was right when it joked that Layton would sell out his own mother for an extra vote in the ballot box.

What you probably missed was that the Liberal party is in favor of this approach as well, and I would`nt have realized it without Eva Braun`s long lost daughter Liberal Catnip:

Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh also rejected the NDP call to withdraw troops, but agreed that talks with the Taliban could be helpful.



The problem for the Grits and the Dippers is that believe it or not...its already been tried. And by George W. Bush nonetheless:

CNN (17.09.01)

Taliban given three days to hand over bin Laden

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani government, led by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, will ask the Taliban, Afghanistan's rulers, to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden in three days or face massive military action led by the United States, CNN learned Sunday.

In a move called "very encouraging" by a senior Bush administration official Sunday, a high-level Pakistani delegation is traveling to Afghanistan Monday to carry this message to the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in Kandahar.


But to no avail.

AFGHANISTAN'S ruling Taliban yesterday ignored an edict by Islamic clerics that Osama bin Laden be asked to leave the country, defying America's demands that they hand him over or face military strikes. President Bush had also said that the Taliban should yield senior members of the suspected terrorist mastermind's al-Qa'eda organisation, and close all militant training camps inside Afghanistan, where he has lived for five years.



They said no back then, they`ll say no again. In fact just like Hezbollah and Hamas, they`ll see this as a sign of weakness and help their propaganda campaign. Its the way these people think and work.

Update (03/09/06) 5:24 pm:

Andrew Coyne with the money shot to Layton, what does he mean by "negotiations"?:

Or would they, having absorbed the initial round of gains, simply resume fighting the minute the opportunity presented itself? In which case, would any negotiations not require the continued presence of international troops to enforce the results? And what if the Taliban refused to abide by the terms even then? Why would they be likely to accede to the demands of the international community in that event, when they have been so unwilling to date? In which case, would we not have to, you know, fight them?


(H/T Daimnation!)

Debunking the Hezbollah whitewashing.

I know I`m very late to comment on this, but during my mini-hiatus from the blogging world, there`s been quite a few interesting developments when it comes to Canadian Foreign Policy and anti-terrorism.

Predictably, many on the Canadian Left have called for invitations to Hezbollah to come to the negotiating table and be treated as equals in the peace process. I will list the excuses and talking points (at least the predominant ones) followed by a simple rebuke using nothing but historical facts and common sense logic.

This will be a an ongoing post, meaning every time I hear a new talking point/excuse for Hezbollah to be scratched off the terror list and begin negotiations with them, I will post it, source it, and follow it up by a rebuke. Now I`m not going to be alone in this. A few of my Lebanese-Canadian buddies will be helping me out on this: My best friend Khaled is just itching to blast away any `misconceptions`the Left has to offer on Hezbollah, he`ll be doing some of the debunking. So will Deema (an ex girlfriend who has relatives in the SLA), her cousin Ramzi, Geroge (who spent his entire childhood in Lebanon) and Eli (Lebanese foreign student in Canada).

This is just a heads up in case you see one answer/post with a different signature on it. I`m still here, only others will also be answering your questions.

Also if you happen to come accross any new excuse, let us know in the comments section, and we`ll take care of it.

I have plans to turn Arabian Dissent into a group blog, and if your of Middle Eastern origin who needs a channel to vent your frustration against the fuckers who are dragging our name in the mud, and is for Democracy, and widescale reform to take hold in the Middle East, e-mail me.

Now...on to the Debunking:

Myth number 1:

Hezbollah is a democraticaly elected party in the Lebanese legislature, if Lebanese politicians talk with them freely, why can`t we?

Answer: Hezbollah may have been democraticaly elected in the legislature, however, that does not mean they respect and honour their democratic duties. Flashback:

Some 100 lawmakers, including Geagea's wife, voted for the amnesty motions,
while about 15 legislators of Shia Muslim group Hizb Allah and their allies
walked out when lawmakers began debating Geagea's case.

The violence began when sticks and rocks were used in fighting between
members
of the Shia Amal movement and Christian Maronite supporters of
Geagea.
When gunfire broke out, Lebanese army units were deployed
to
the area to stop the violence.



There`s your reason why Lebanese politicians have no choice but to have formal talks with them. If they don`t, they get killed, its as simple as that.

Next.


Myth number 2:

We`ve dealt with the IRA, why can`t we deal with Hezbollah!?

Answer: Very simple. The nature of both groups are very very different. For starters, the IRA does not advocate nor aim for the destruction of Engalnd. And peace negottiations with the IRA only began AFTER they moderated their stance not before. The IRA also has no major plans for territorial expansion aimed at wiping an entire race from the face of Europe. And is not an active satelite for a country that`s known to fund and aid terrorist groups. The same cannot be said for Hezbollah.

Myth number 3:
comes from the well-meaning but historicaly ignorant Mike from Rational Reasons:
"including these groups in the political process (see IRA, PLO, currently ETA) has moderated their positions and brought about negotiations and peace."

The PLO moderating its stance since its inclusion into the political process? Only in Dipper world, where history begins this morning.

Since being "included in the political process" the PLO (and its sub organizations) under Yasser Arafat has:
-Doubled anti-semitic Propaghanda in their social system through state-controlled media and through its education system.
-Personally wrote checks for suicide operations.
-Helped form a sub-division that carried out suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.
-Refused to crack down on Hamas and Islamic Jihad (a pre-requisite for the PA when it signed onto Oslo)
-Tried to sneak in a boatload of ammunition into Gaza.
-Pulled two-faced tactics, saying one thing in English in front of the international community, while saying another in Arabic to its people.
-Refused a generous offer by Ehud Barak to get back 95 per cent of West Bank and Gaza Strip land and instead launched a civilian uprising against the Israelis.
(Initifada 2)

Does that sound like "moderating their position" to you Mike?

Myth number 4:
Hezbollah runs various charities and social programs that aim to help the Lebanese civilian population.

Answer: Let`s use this logic through a different scenario. Say I killed an innocent passer-by because I was having a bad day. However, I`m also a member of the Red Cross and volunteer at the local Food Bank from time to time. In the court of law, the later would`nt mean squat. I`m still a murderer. And will be judged as such. My volunteer work and goodwill cannot be used as a bargaining chip with the law. And neither can Hezbollah (and its apologists) use this as a tool to convince people that they`re really not that bad.

Myth Number 5:

Some Israelis don`t view Hezbollah as "terrorists"

Answer: Like I said in my previous post, the Israeli left has been very naive over the past few years.
Almost all their concessions and negotiations they championed have lead to more and more disasters for both people. So while many on the Israeli side are well-meaning, they`re not necessarily right on this matter.


(More will come...)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Delaying the inevitable.

I wish I can express some level of optimism regarding the so-called “ceasefire” in Lebanon. No more bombs, no more dead innocent civilians and no more destruction to property. The Lebanese people will just have to pull back their sleeves and begin the re-construction phase once again and eventually peace will come…..

If only that was true! However, just a glimpse at the history of the region would indicate that the current UN brokered ceasefire is only a delay of the even bigger war that will create ten times more destruction and death.

The way things are perceived in the Arab world is that Hezbollah stood up against the Jews, caused many casualties, humiliated the once-might Israeli army, and have restored honor to “Muslim Pride”. It’s the exact similar reaction they had when the Israelis withdrew from Southern Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza last summer.

You’d think that this alone would raise a red flag in the mainstream media, the halls of academia or even individual citizens to properly assess what’s coming in the next few years. Unfortunately all were hearing are calls for inviting Hezbollah to the negotiations table, the “excessive force” displayed by the Israeli military and the questioning of whether or not military solutions are the proper response to Islamist threats.

Which is weird, considering all what’s happening in the recent months can be directly attributed to actions and “peace solutions” in which “Progressives” worldwide assured everybody would pay off. Many on the right however, had reservations.

Consider:

- Everybody pushed Israel to make territorial concessions in the West Bank and Gaza in the hopes that b withdrawing and giving the Palestinian people autonomy, political and economic control and a better handle to their social system. Eventually, the Israeli were told, the Palestinians would moderate, and tings would eventually fall into place for peace to take hold for future generations.

And the Israelis went for it, they gave back Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Gaza City, Bethlehem, Jericho and Jenin.

13 years later, the Palestinians elect Hamas. Hmmm…not exactly according to plans…but what the hell.

Case number 2:

Southern Lebanon:

Almost the same exact scenario as today. Israel was occupying Southern Lebanon in hopes of creating a buffer zone between northern Israel and Hezbollah. But things were getting hairy. It was getting expensive, in both finance and military lives on the Israeli side. And the Labor party in Israel under Ehud Barak caves into international pressure to eventually withdraw from Southern Lebanon and give control to the Lebanese. They were told by everyone from the UN, Bill Clinton and the EU that this move would send the right message to the Lebanese and Arabs in general that Israel would be willing to make concessions in return for peace. Once again, the Israeli right wing had different feelings. Nonetheless, on April of 2000, the last Israeli solider officially withdrew from Southern Lebanon.

6 years later: Hezbollah terrorists are praised as Liberators, they gain major political autonomy in Shiite regions in Lebanon, more political representation and message is sent to the Arab world that Israel eventually caves once you kill the right amount. Possibly setting the motivation for Arafat to launch the second intifada shortly after Camp David 2.

Was this what the people who were calling for the withdrawal back then had in mind? Who knows…but just a few years later they advocate for the same thing only this time in the Gaza Strip.

Case number 3:

The Gaza Strip

Ariel Sharon breaks off with his traditional right-wing allies in Israel and decides to create a centrist alternative to both Likud and Labor. He goes against his right flank and announces a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The left in Israel and all over the world is overjoyed. This is the right thing to do they said. Concessions and sacrifices are they key to the peace process. This will help the Palestinian moderates. Cooler heads would prevail. The Palestinians would finally build a prosperous and peaceful society that would help deflect terrorist and radical intentions.

One year later:

Hamas gets praised as liberators. Israel is seen as weak to pressure. They begin using the Gaza strip as a lunch pad to their rockets that target Israeli civilians. The economy in Gaza is in ruins, and the moderates are nowhere to be seen.

Hmmmm…so far they’re 0-for 3.

Now what you need to do is consider the three scenarios mentioned and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is Israel more or less in danger today following the withdrawals?
2. Who gave more concessions throughout the whole peace process Israel (with territorial concessions) or the Arabs (cracking down on terrorist groups)?
3. Who has prevailed in the Arab world after all those concessions? The Moderates? Or the religious fundamentalists?
4. Has the situation in the Palestinian territories and Southern Lebanon improved following the withdrawals?
5. Do you think the continued violence is due to the fact because the Israeli right was listened to? Or is it because they were ignored?

And finally…do you think following the withdrawal this time from Southern Lebanon, the Israelis have avoided or simply delayed a bigger fight in the future?

Judging from the scenarios before us, I’m leaning towards the later.

And I’m not the only one. Khaled (my buddy who was evacuated from Lebanon a few weeks ago) swears that Lebanon is dead to him. As far as he’s concerned, he ain’t ever going back. My Lebanese friends aren’t even considering returning for even a visit for the next 10 years.

I’ve just run into an Israeli-Canadian friend from University in the gym. Says he’s just trying to get back in shape because all signs in Israel point to him being called back for military service. Does this sound like peace is right around the corner?