The real martyrs? Christians

Posted December 22nd, 2010 in Canada, International, Islam by MarkOttawa


Christian cleansing in the Middle East

Now closer to home for those already effectively cleansed:

Canadians targeted on radical Islamic website
[It's interesting that the word "Christian" is not in the Ottawa Citizen's headline. The National Post, for a fuller version of the same story, omits "Islamic": "Website targets Coptic Christians". A curious example of fair and balanced.]

The RCMP is aware of an al-Qaeda linked website that has posted the names of Coptic Christian Canadians it accuses of trying to “tarnish the image of Islam.”

The names are among hundreds listed on the Shumukh-al-Islam site which is known to support Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization.

In many cases, the citations include photos and telephone numbers, which security experts fear could be used by radical Muslims to inflict harm.

The three web pages of names target Coptic Christians, typically of Arab-Egyptian origin, all over the world.

The RCMP wouldn’t say whether an investigation is underway, but Sgt. Julie Gagnon noted the force would “not hesitate to take action if there is evidence that criminal activity is being committed.”

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service also refused to discuss specific cases, but noted it’s “aware” of certain web-sites that “support or incite terrorist violence” and that it is mandated to “investigate such threats.”

Among those targeted was Canadian Coptic Association media spokesman Samuel Tawadrous.

“They are accusing me and other people of false things,” said Tawadrous who added he is “not afraid.”

“Copt” and “Egypt” have the same Greek root. The Copts in Egypt were recently persecuted as a side-effect of swine flu:

A wave of anti-Coptic feeling prompted the recent mass slaughter of pigs in Egypt, officially sanctioned to stop the spread of swine flu. Many Copts work as rubbish collectors in the big cities, and pigs are used to feed on discarded food and remains. The move appeared to be directed at the Copts while reinforcing the Muslim view of pigs as unclean.

Copts are the oldest and largest Christian community in the Middle East. Representing between 10 and 20 per cent of Egypt’s population of 80 million, they claim descent from the church brought to Alexandria by St Mark during the reign of the emperor Claudius, and call themselves the Church of St Mark. For centuries Copts formed the majority in Egypt, until the advent of Islam in 641…

Where are our progressives decrying Christophobia?


Speaking truth to power

Posted December 1st, 2010 in Canada, International, Uncategorized by MarkOttawa

An honest man talking to the real thing:

The cable also reveals how CSIS feels about Canadian attitudes. Former CSIS director Jim Judd went so far as to complain that judicial rulings and public naiveté were paralyzing his spies – specifically lamenting that Canadians were prone to “knee-jerk anti-Americanism” and “paroxysms of moral outrage.”..

The report was written in the summer of 2008, as Mr. Judd sat down with Eliot Cohen, a U.S. State Department official. The Bush administration appointee’s entourage took notes…

Mr Judd was of course right on target about many Canadians’ attitudes:

1) The US:

Raging anti-Americanism, or, the Canadian mental disorder/Inferiority complex Update

2) Moral outrage (selective, not honest):

Corruption? What stinking corruption? Part 2

I referred in 2006 at Daimnation! to “delusional Canadians, reeking of our moral self-importance”. Indeed. Far to many of us still want to be

Boy scout of the world

That remains an urge that will not be stilled, regardless of reality (maybe the urge needs a cross, garlic and silver bullet):

Why the Globe and Mail is not a newspaper, Part 2 (Congo section)


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What? No Canada?

Posted October 5th, 2010 in Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

Unless the British press has overlooked us (would be quite typical), or CSIS and the government are being terribly discrete:

British intelligence agents sent to foil attacks on Games
Britain, the United States and Australia have sent intelligence teams to India to help stop Pakistan-based groups launching a terrorist attack during the Commonwealth Games, The Daily Telegraph has learnt

Surely we have an R2P for our athletes too?


“Terrorism”: Globe and Mail reporters still at it/Toronto Star does point the finger

Posted August 27th, 2010 in Afghanistan, Canada, International, Islam by MarkOttawa


“Terrorism” update: Globe and Mail version/Toronto Star broad strata news

Today in the Globe it’s the fault of our war in Afstan, a PR exercise, and “fanciful teenagers”:

Terror plot would have brought Afghan war home to Canada

The Canadian citizens accused of belonging to an Ottawa terrorist cell allegedly planned to fund the purchase of weapons for Canada’s enemies in Afghanistan and had been trained to launch Afghan-style IED attacks in the Canadian capital. Had such a plot succeeded, it would have brought Canada’s Afghan war home with murderous effect….

A decade after the 9/11 attacks changed America and the world, the latest arrests will be held up as evidence that the threat of extremism is undiminished [emphasis added, it's in fact been said: '"Canada is not immune to terrorism," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said from Winnipeg on Thursday. "We are not immune from international or home-grown radicalization."'].  Six years ago, officers stormed a suburban Ottawa house to arrest 24-year-old Momin Khawaja, unearthing a small arsenal of weapons and circuitry before successfully prosecuting him as a terrorist. Four years ago, police in Toronto raided homes of 18 young suspects, including a 20-year-old ringleader who videotaped himself testing a prototype bomb detonator.

Officials point out the latest accused are educated professionals clustered around 30 years old – and not, as in past busts, fanciful teenagers with violent fantasies [emphasis added, what about Mr Khawaja?]…

Such as this fantasist?

‘Toronto 18′ mastermind gets life sentence

Whatever the writers of the story are, they are not reporters. Then, in a truly broad strata editorial, the Globe manages never to mention the “I” word (nor, it must be noted, did minister Toews):

The question for Canada is how to protect against a threat that cannot be stereotyped, or fought by profiling based on age, appearance or education…

It is a nasty world in which one cannot trust a brother or sister, or a hockey-playing Canadian medical graduate who sings Avril Lavigne songs…

On the other hand a Toronto Star editorial, to give them credit, is not so stupidly politically correct:

Raised Muslim voices are a vital element in thwarting jihadist terror, along with good policing and vigilant courts.

Update: As for Afghanistan:

Afstan: “We have not even bothered to try”

Upperdate: John Robson on the arrests and their repercussions on CFRA Ottawa:

Friday, August 27, 2010
John Robson in the Morning- Aug 27
Madely in the Morning – 8:10am — Every Friday, John Robson, CFRA Commentator at Large, and Ottawa Citizen Columnist, joins Steve Madely (Mark Sutcliffe fills in) for an hour to discuss the world’s news and his take on it. John also reveals his top 5 strange stories of the week!

Not enough Robson for you? Visit for more!
mp3 (click here to download)


“Terrorism” update: Globe and Mail version/Toronto Star broad strata news

Posted August 26th, 2010 in Canada, International by MarkOttawa

Further to this post,

CBC objectivity: ‘”TERRORISM” ARRESTS: Police arrest 2 Ottawa residents’

Globe reporters seem to think the arrests are all part of security agencies’ and the government’s, er, agenda:

For Canada’s embattled security agencies, the bust may help show that CSIS and the RMCP remain relevant in terms of fighting terrorism.

They spent more than a year on the investigation and will specify charges Thursday morning at a joint press conference while the accused make their initial court appearance under heavy security.

The roundup will add fuel to the federal government’s continued insistence that Canada is not immune from the threat of terrorism…

So it’s all PR, right?  But the “broad strata of our society” do seem represented; this is news:

Third terror suspect was ‘Canadian Idol’ contestant


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Dragon as mole

Posted August 11th, 2010 in Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

Just in case you thought CSIS Director Dick Fadden was just another fire-breather blowing smoke:

Former Northrop Grumman engineer found guilty of selling defense secrets

Noshir Gowadia, a Maui resident and former Northrop Grumman Corp. engineer, could spend the rest of his life in prison after he was found guilty Monday of selling secret defense information to China.

A federal jury found Gowadia, 66, guilty on 13 of 16 counts that accused the former defense contractor of willfully communicating classified national defense information to China…

Gowadia was arrested in October 2005 after prosecutors said he assisted China in the development of a cruise missile system. He was accused of traveling to China six times between July 2003 and June 2005 to help develop a stealth exhaust nozzle for the missiles and was paid at least $100,000.

Gowadia was an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corp. from 1968 to 1986 and contributed to the development of the propulsion system of the B-2 Spirit bomber, commonly referred to as the Stealth bomber…

Via Defense Industry Daily.  If you don’t think the Chinese are doing serious covert intelligence gathering–and influence spreading–in this country, I’ve got some swampland near Lhasa to sell you.

Mildly related:

Dragon update, or, die gelbe Gefahr


No intelligence

Posted August 9th, 2010 in Canada by MarkOttawa

At least not a history of Canada’s.  This is stupid:

History of Canada’s spy community remains a secret, and we can’t tell you why

What concerns did Canadian government spymasters have about efforts to break the Japanese military’s secret code in 1944?

What hindered the development of a Canadian secret service in the 1950s?

After the federal government spent $40,000 to answer those questions and others for a study on the history of Canada’s intelligence community, the results remained locked behind the doors of the Privy Council Office.

And in a new twist, the Privy Council Office has now declared that the reasons for the secrecy surrounding the historical study are secret as well…

At issue is an official history of the Canadian intelligence community that was finished around 2001 by professor Wesley Wark at a cost to taxpayers of $40,000.

Wark, an intelligence specialist and a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa, had received support from federal bureaucrats in his quest to publish the study he wrote as a book. He has argued that such a book would educate Canadians on the valuable contributions the country’s intelligence agencies have made over the decades.

But nine years after it was completed, the history — which covers the period from the Second World War to 1970 — remains in limbo.

“I think it’s a good news story so it’s all the more bizarre to bury it away in locked cabinets in Ottawa,” says Wark…

Wark said he wrote the history with the intent to have it made public. With that in mind, he was careful in what he included — for example, removing the names of individuals who served with foreign intelligence services.

Wark said the censorship is even more baffling as the history study did not bring any “scandals or terrible deeds to light.” Much of the study is about the bureaucratic manoeuvers, discussions and infighting that went along with the development of various intelligence organizations and policies…

The government’s continued insistence on keeping much of the study secret seems even stranger in light of the fact that allied intelligence agencies have produced and publicly released similar histories, Wark noted.

The official histories of the CIA and the National Security Agency, both in the U.S., have been published, as has that of the MI5 security service in Britain [I've read it, then there is the multi-volume official history, British Intelligence in the Second World War, scroll down]. The official history of the British MI6 intelligence service will be published next year, Wark added…

There has been some writing about our intelligence history, and CSIS has been more open of late–notably about its foreign activities, more here.

Unlike Prof. Wark (2008 video here) I do not think a separate Canadian foreign intelligence agency (i.e. HUMINT) should be formed; the Conservatives thankfully dropped their 2006 election promise to create one.  Early in the campaign they had pledged to “Expand the Canadian Foreign Intelligence Agency”–then they realized one didn’t exist (see “Securing our borders…The plan” at link).


Mickey I. keeps on dragon upsucking

Posted July 16th, 2010 in Canada, International by MarkOttawa

The Mickster wants those votes–Brian Lilley, newly of Sun News (that will include FNN) does a bit of his own upchucking:

CSIS boss Richard Fadden is under fire from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Photo: Andre Forget, QMI

No senior Liberal, no Liberal on committee and no Liberal critic on the CSIS file asked for Fadden’s resignation until Michael Ignatieff did on Thursday at the Chinese Cultural Centre [note at bottom where money comes from] in the east end of Toronto.

During his now infamous CBC interview Fadden said that several countries have gained or are attempting to gain influence with Canadian politicians. Asked which countries were involved, the CSIS boss would not answer but did respond to Peter Mansbridge’s prompt about China being one of the countries by saying that media reports of Chinese espionage are generally accurate.

That is apparently his crime, he stated what everyone knows to be true [Mother Corpse has reported it!], that China seeks to influence politics in Canada and he did it on the eve of the Chinese president’s visit. Michael Ignatieff has not called for Fadden to be fired because he told lies; he’s calling for Fadden to be fired because he may have embarrassed a foreign leader that has spies in Canada and agents trying to influence Canadian politicians.

As David Akin recently pointed out, Ignatieff has gone from tough talk on human rights in China to serving up diplomatic pablum Now we can also see that he’s putting ethno-politics ahead of what once would have been his ability to call a spade a spade.

…Ignatieff has decided to ignore reality and join this camp in the hope of a few more votes in Toronto’s Chinese communities.

Not a single security expert that I have spoken to on or off the record has contradicted Fadden. I have asked politicians if they reject the substance of Fadden’s remarks, none will…

Earlier (with photos):

Mickey I. upsucking to the deadly Dragon


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L’affaire Fadden: Norman respectates

Posted June 25th, 2010 in Canada, International by MarkOttawa

Further to this post,

CSIS and l’affaire Fadden: “Heads should roll all right – heads at the CBC.”

The CBC interview was not held in the can:

–We begin with a great moment in Canadian journalism

The real facts behind the CSIS documentary (Brian Stewart)

it has even been suggested [here and, ahem, here] that The National’s explosive interview with Fadden was held back for weeks, if not months, in order to make it public only on the eve of the Chinese president’s visit for the G20 summit.

Not so.

–We follow with the Globe’s correction

–What you won’t read in Mandarin today

Why Harper and Hu stiffed the press

–What you won’t see in your paper today (and all you really need to know)

No-one’s perfect; Mr Spector’s rather more honest than the Globe.

Update: Not really news, but the real truth:

Ottawa aware of foreign influence: sources


CSIS and l’affaire Fadden: “Heads should roll all right – heads at the CBC.”

Posted June 24th, 2010 in Canada by MarkOttawa

Several reasons to read Norman Spector:

1) His vision is about our most acute:

Here in Canada, on the other hand, we’ve just seen the worst in journalism, with the CBC’s broadcast of an interview in which CSIS Director Richard Fadden states that a number of Canadian politicians are influenced by foreign states. Now, politicians and pundits are criticizing Mr. Fadden for making this statement. And calls for his resignation are being heard across the land.

How does the broadcast of this interview reflect the worst in journalism, you ask?

Buried within Colin Freeze and Ian Bailey’s fine report of the interview fallout in Thursday’s Globe and Mail, we read: “The timing of the CBC interview was not Mr. Fadden’s choice. This spring, CBC approached him to repeat remarks he had made at a private, but videotaped, speech at the Royal Canadian Military Institute. The public broadcaster kept the interview in its back pocket until it broadcast the exclusive this week.”

In other words, CBC sat on the explosive interview for weeks, if not months. And it chose to make the interview public on the eve of a state visit to Canada by China’s President Hu, and on the eve of a summit to be attended both by him and by the Prime Minister of India.

Shame on the people who made that judgment. Heads should roll all right – heads at the CBC.

2) He can really mine the papers:

–Might this explain the CBC ambush of  Mr. Fadden?

Fadden’s remarks seemingly out of character

Mr. Fadden’s first major speech as CSIS director – delivered last fall to the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies’ annual conference – also contained statements that struck many observers as strange. In it, he directed aim at Canada’s political elites and the media for underestimating the threat posed by international terrorism.

Although there had been five convictions or guilty pleas in terror cases before the courts, he noted, “Our elites tend to avert their eyes and media tend to give what little coverage they grant on this subject to groups that seem to feel that our charm and the Maple Leaf on our backpacks are all that we need to protect us.… Why … are those accused of terrorist offences often portrayed in media as quasi-folk heroes, despite the harsh statements of numerous judges? Why are they … more or less taken at their word when they accuse CSIS or other government agencies of abusing them?”..

3) He can sniff the stink:

A column that gets it wrong from start to finish—with a couple of idiocies

There is no stuffing secrets back into the spy director’s briefcase (Mason)


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