Hang ‘em high, Part 2

Posted January 8th, 2011 in British Columbia, Canada by MarkOttawa

Further to this post,

Hang ‘em high

Holy justice! As close as it gets in Canada:

Ontario’s top court hikes sentences for convicted terrorists

Ontario’s highest court has come down hard on convicted terrorists, dramatically hiking prison sentences for the first Canadians convicted of violent jihadist activities…

another court brings down a (for Canada) judicial hammer:

Inderjit Singh Reyat sentenced to nine years for perjury in Air India trial

Inderjit Singh Reyat.
Photograph by: Ian Smith, PNG

Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in the Air India bombing, has been sentenced to nine years in jail for perjury at the trial of his accused co-conspirators.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan gave Reyat credit for 17 months in pretrial custody, meaning he will spend seven years, seven months more in jail [it does?].

The sentence was the highest ever in Canada for perjury, the previous longest jail term being six years from a case in Alberta…

Who would have thought that judges could turn out to be amongst the hardest-assed in our government? And there can be no suggestion of Islamaphobia in this case.


Afstan: Swedes hanging tough(ish)

Posted December 17th, 2010 in Afghanistan, Canada, International by MarkOttawa

I bet you won’t see this reported in our major media, esp. given a possible motivating factor:

Sweden to Strengthen Presence in Afghanistan

Four days after the first jihadist suicide bomb on Swedish soil injured two in an attack in downtown Stockholm, lawmakers voted 290-20 with 19 abstentions on Dec. 15 to extend the country’s military presence in Afghanistan.

The decision allows the government to add troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. About 500 operate there now; the government now has authority to increase that to 855. Next year will also see more UAVs and tactical and troop transport helicopters sent to the theater [of course no Canadian political party will consider keeping our Air Wing in Afstan].

The vote in parliament, which was supported by the opposition Social Democrats and Green Alliance [emphasis added], gave no firm date for the provisional withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. The expectation among government and opposition groups is that this may happen in 2014.

“We will not be intimidated. Our resolve is firm. What we are trying to achieve is to bring security and well-functioning civilian institutions to Afghanistan. When the U.N. calls, Sweden will come,” said Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s prime minister…

So a country with a population just under a third of Canada’s will be keeping almost as many troops in Afstan as we will after 2011. And the Swedes will not all be inside the wire:

A group of Swedish officers and soldiers who are part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) are based at Camp Mike Spann, about 12 kilometres south west of Mazar-i-Sharif. They act as mentors to the Afghan army and currently support commanding officers at corps and brigade level…

Seems those Vikings, even the neutral Swedes, get things–esp. the Danes (see the “Danish note” here; the Danes, unlike the Swedes, have had a serious combat role and are continuing it–unlike us).  I regret even thinking this but just maybe this country needs a real terrorist attack to wake up.

Update: A version of this post is at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute’s 3Ds Blog.


Hang ‘em high

Posted December 17th, 2010 in Afghanistan, Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

Holy justice! As close as it gets in Canada:

Ontario’s top court hikes sentences for convicted terrorists

Ontario’s highest court has come down hard on convicted terrorists, dramatically hiking prison sentences for the first Canadians convicted of violent jihadist activities.

In a series of rulings released Friday, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the scourge of terrorism necessitates demonstrating to would-be recruits that they will pay with their freedom.

It sentenced an Ottawa terrorist, Mohammed Momin Khawaja, to life in prison, and raised sentences for three key members of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist group.

One ringleader, Saad Khalid, saw his 14-year sentence elevated to 20 years, while another member, Zakaria Amara – described as the mastermind of the plot to bomb the CN Tower, CSIS headquarters and a military base – failed in a bid to have his life sentence reduced.

“He knew full well that hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people would die or be gravely injured if everything went according to his plan,” said Mr. Justice David Doherty, Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver and Madam Justice Eleanore Cronk.

“Indeed, a strong argument can be made that widespread carnage was precisely the outcome that he intended.”

A third member of the Toronto 18, Saad Gaya, had his sentence raised from an equivalent of 12 years to 18 years – and the court said that Mr. Gaya was lucky his sentence wasn’t hiked to 25 years…

In two more rulings, the court ordered the extradition of two alleged Sri Lankan terrorists to the United States [where time is serious, ask Baron Black of Crossharbour]…

Now let’s see what happens with the Supremes and appeals.

Update: A very good column by Christie Blatchford of the Globe and Mail:

Terrorism rulings an early Christmas present from our justice system


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WikiLeaks: Jack takes his gloves off/Norman wonders if the NYT and Guardian covered the same story

Posted December 7th, 2010 in Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

Norman Spector was not best pleased yesterday:

“WikiLeaks’s mad attack on Canada”/Gadhafi Update

Now the good historian Jack Granatstein is some riled.  From a post at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute’s 3Ds Blog:

Close Down WikiLeaks Now

…the latest release of the US telegrams that detail the critical infrastructure in nations such as Canada that could cause most harm to American interests if destroyed takes me beyond my anger at WikiLeaks’ other releases. These cables are not merely embarrassing to outspoken envoys; these are criminal. The list of critical points is a gift to terrorists everywhere, put out in the open on Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks’ website. It demonstrates now that Assange’s aim is to cause harm, not merely to embarrass…

We are now at the point where the New York Times and The Guardian, for example, should stop publishing WikiLeaks’ material. We are now at the point where those who cooperate with Assange should be charged with aiding and abetting terrorism…

Meanwhile Norman today compares how the NY Times and Guardian covered the same basic story:

WikiLeaks exposes newspaper bias


Though troubling to many people, bias in the media is not always due to some dark plot – political or economic. In fact, it is inevitable. And the WikiLeaks document dump provides the perfect case study to prove the point.

Of all the newspapers in the world, four were provided privileged access by WikiLeaks to the diplomatic cables; in return, these newspapers promised to spread out and co-ordinate their publication dates on major issues. One paper, the Guardian, agreed to share the documents it received with the New York Times, which had refused WikiLeaks’s offer this time, though not on two previous occasions.

Both of these newspapers are generally considered to be quality broadsheets [The Guardian is now actually a "Berliner"]. Both would fairly be described as being on the liberal end of the political spectrum [The Guardian is actually a whole lot further to the left]. Both have had financial difficulties in recent years, but have striven to maintain their values in the current environment. And their Tuesday editions provide an excellent case study of media bias…

On the front page of today’s New York Times, under the headline “America Prods and Protests But Can’t halt Arms Trade,” one reads the following report:

Just a week after President Bashar al-Assad of Syria assured a top State Department official that his government was not sending sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, the Obama administration lodged a confidential protest accusing Syria of doing precisely what it had denied doing…

In contrast, the Guardian report of the arms trade cables is on Page 6 of today’s edition and is headlined “US used Israel intelligence to block arms from Iran and Syria.” It is accompanied by a colour photo captioned: “Palestinian civilians and medics run for safety as Israeli missiles fall in Beit Lahia in the Cast Lead offensive in January 2009.” And the report – written by Mideast editor Ian Black – differs so markedly from that in the New York Times – both in what it includes and what it omits – that you have to wonder whether the two sets of first-rate journalists were reading the same cables…


A profile of profiling

Posted December 6th, 2010 in Canada, International, united states by MarkOttawa

Wise words from Publius:


On a recent business trip to the US – thankfully before the junk groping got under way – I was profiled myself. Out of dozens of flyers, a trio of police officers – rather than TSA rent-a-dolts – stopped and asked me if I was carrying cash over $10,000, which must be reported. I was shocked for a moment. Why me? I hadn’t done anything wrong. No, but I was the only one on the flight wearing a business suit, and my one carry on item was stuffed with three days worth of clothing. My unshaven appearance probably didn’t help. It simply made sense to target the guy who looked like he would be carrying large sums of money, rather than the mother with three kids behind me.

While the officer was courteous, and I tried not to show my annoyance, it was an intelligent bit of profiling. The law being enforced was essentially unjust, a product of the misbegotten American War on Drugs, but part of life is knowing when to pick your battles. The cop knew hassling the mother of three was a waste of time, and might cause a scene, while questioning me in a civilized manner might actually lead to finding what he was looking to find. Making a fuss would get me nowhere, and in any case I was a guest in a foreign country, not a citizen. A Toronto cop asking me the same questioning, while walking down the street, would have gotten a somewhat less congenial response…

For generations it’s been a cliche of the Left [not only them] that generals are always fighting the last war. In the war against Islamic Fundamentalism, it’s the intellectuals that are fighting the last cultural war. This is not the North America of 1960 and our society is not, in the conventional sense, a bastion of racism needing expiation. It’s a basically free, basically tolerant society engaged in a low level – but still dangerous – war against primitive religious fanaticism. Failing to use the tools at our disposal, in a intelligent and restrained manner, makes us both less secure and less free.


Give me your huddled masses…and we will grope them

Posted November 21st, 2010 in International, united states by MarkOttawa

Further to this post on Americans’ liberties,

TSA snakebitten


the conclusion of a column by George Will,

…Disproportion is the common denominator of almost all of life’s absurdities. Automobile safety is important. But attempting to maximize it would begin (but by no means end) with forbidding left turns.

Bureaucracies try to maximize their missions. They can’t help themselves. Adult supervision is required to stand athwart this tendency, yelling “Stop!”

Again, Buckley: “Every year, whether the Republican or the Democratic Party is in office, more and more power drains away from the individual to feed vast reservoirs in far-off places; and we have less and less say about the shape of events which shape our future.”

The average American has regular contact with the federal government at three points – the IRS, the post office and the TSA. Start with that fact if you are formulating a unified field theory to explain the public’s current political mood.

and of a post by Paul at Celestial Junk:

…Over on this side of the world we’d rather grope 5 year olds, cover cancer survivors in urine, humiliate flight attendants, and suspect the very pilots who are ultimately responsible for the passengers being groped than offend one single person who triggers a profile alarm.

Next thing you know, terrorists will be launching fake or poorly planned attacks just to get a kick out of how we submit ourselves to ever more monkey-brained security methods … if they haven’t already.

As for me, the TSA grope and porn-fest is just another example of how divorced from reality progressive elites are. They hold a world view, that no matter how illogical, must be adhered to. Pounding square pegs into round holes is, in the end, the only thing that progressives do well.

Beside Paul’s video links, I’ve also just seen some video on the networks of the groping; it really is de trop.


TSA snakebitten

Posted November 19th, 2010 in Technology, united states by MarkOttawa

Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Krauthammer: “Don’t touch my junk” is the new “don’t tread on me”

The Gadsden flag:



The Indo-Pak-Afghan Great Game–and the US

Posted November 8th, 2010 in International, united states by MarkOttawa

Two opinion pieces to suggest the complexities, starting with a typical piece of Pak paranoid fear-mongering and then an American perspective:

Indian boots in Afghanistan? [via Moby Media Updates]

Our Indian problem in Afghanistan

Now the latest news on how President Obama is walking the tightrope:

Obama supports adding India as a permanent member of U.N. Security Council [Paks will hate that]

Earlier Monday, Obama pledged to strengthen U.S.-India efforts to fight and prevent terrorism and to work with all South Asian nations to deny safe havens to terrorists.

But at a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Obama steered clear of the contentious issue of trying to mediate long-standing tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

Obama said the United States “cannot impose a solution” between India and Pakistan. He said his country is “happy to play any role the parties think is appropriate” but added that the two neighbors will have to “find mechanisms to work out these very difficult issues.”

These were heartening words for Indian officials, who want the United States to play a role in curbing the activities of Islamic militant groups in Pakistan but at the same time stay out of facilitating a resolution over Kashmir [the Indians have been far from nice guys in Kashmir, but most of the Muslim world expresses little outrage--whilst the West basically averts its gaze in pursuit of self-interest in India]…

Singh said during the news conference that dialogue with Pakistan cannot succeed as long as Pakistani groups continue to stage terrorist attacks in India.

“You cannot simultaneously be talking and at the same time the terror machine is as active as before,” Singh said. “Once Pakistan moves away from this terror-induced coercion, we will be very happy to engage productively with Pakistan and resolve all outstanding issues.”..

More on Pak paranoia from Terry Glavin:

Who’s To Blame For Pakistan’s Agonies? ‘Hindu Zionists and American Think-Tanks.’

And an earlier article on Indian great-gaming:

India’s Tripartite Plan for Afghanistan
Delhi is drawing closer to Iran and Russia in anticipation of a U.S. troop drawdown.

Complicated neck of woods, what?  A final, really scary, note:

How a nuclear war may begin

Update thought: Quite a few Paks probably fear the presence in Afstan of a few hundred members of the Indo Tibetan Border Police to provide security for Indian interests as the thin edge of the military wedge.


Canadian air cargo security?

Posted November 3rd, 2010 in Canada, Technology by MarkOttawa

What air cargo security?

Senator warns of terror risk at Pearson

The senator who chaired the standing committee on national security and defence says it’s not a question of whether a terrorist could get a bomb in the cargo hold of a plane at Pearson — it’s when…

Earlier and more broadly at Daimnation!:

How not to improve airport security

Airport security blasted

And the Liberal government was just as culpable…


“Iraqi Forces Storm a Church With Hostages in a Day of Bloodshed”

Posted November 1st, 2010 in Canada, International by MarkOttawa

Why was this event, reported in the NY Times print edition (same for the Washington Post), not covered in my Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, or Ottawa Sun this morning?

BAGHDAD — Iraqi antiterrorist forces stormed a church where gunmen had taken close to 100 hostages on Sunday in an afternoon of chaos that became a bloodbath. At least 30 hostages and 7 security officers were killed, and 41 hostages and 15 security force members were wounded, according to a source at the Ministry of the Interior…

Abdul-Kader Jassem al-Obeidi, the minister of defense, said that most of the hostages were killed or wounded when the kidnappers set off at least two suicide vests as they took over the church. He defended the decision to storm the building, saying, “This was a successful operation with a minimum of casualties, and killing all the terrorists.” He added that an unspecified number of suspects were also arrested.

The source at the Ministry of the Interior said that the police had arrested eight gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant organization connected to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Hussain Nahidh, a police officer who saw the interior of the church, said: “It’s a horrible scene. More than 50 people were killed. The suicide vests were filled with ball bearings to kill as many people as possible. You can see human flesh everywhere. Flesh was stuck to the top roof of the hall. Many people went to the hospitals without legs and hands.”..

More from the WaPo:

The Islamic State of Iraq, a front for the Sunni extremist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on the Internet on Monday. It said the attack on a “den of polytheism” was meant to pressure the Egyptian government to release women linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq who were being held in Egypt. It was not immediately clear which women the statement was referring to…

Update: At least it’s on CBC News Network now, 0940 ET.


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