Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Omigod, omigod, omigod, their talking about us"

That headline is the very first comment on CBC's WikiLeaks doc dump website. Yes. There are folks who understand that this big expose is a bust. This is not going to damage America's reputation, except maybe that they have a massive hole in their security apparatus, which could make for some embarrassment, and perhaps will make allies more reluctant to be forthcoming with good intelligence.  But, on the whole, most allies are enraged at the behavior of the self-anointed  gracile, effeminate one, and are against what he has done on principle. The only thing it's going to do, short of creating a massive backlash against Wikileaks, is feed the rabid frothing-at-the-mouth crowd something new to go on and on about.

Yawn. CBC - serving its base.

Speaking of which, here are a few of the more savoury gems penned by that frothy bunch, that got published by the CBC. They range from conspiracy theorists, to anti-Semites, to sufferers of Harper Derangment Syndrome.  The number of them that not only show up but actually get published on CBC's website is astonishing.  Bear in mind, very few of the Canadian related documents had yet to be published when these comments started flowing, so most of them are pure fantasy and conjecture, but apparently that's not inappropriate for the CBC website. My comments are written in blue, inside blue parentheses. Here we go:
"I wonder how long this story will be posted before it is pulled unless it is from the PMO to start with" (Conspiracy theory and Harper Derangement Syndrome)

"Just like in highschool, let's see how much the jockey USA is dissing us Canadians (and everyone else, except Isreal)." (Just an observation, but have you ever noticed how often these lefties spell Israel wrong?)

"The tough part of this is... the US gets tarred for what the quips of it's Ivy league snoty educated foreign civil service people..but no one is looking at Canada's communcations from Washingon to Ottawa... Let's face it... they are likely equally "uncomfortable" with what and how things are said, that in the public would NEVER be said this way or at all." (Some good points and some so-so. First, this commenter is making assumptions about the nature of the private exchanges between the American embassy staff and folks back in Washington, BEFORE HE HAS EVEN SEEN OR READ ANY OF THEM. But, he's correct that these sorts of conversations are part and parcel of every ambassadorial exchange with headquarters, no matter what the country. I'll call this tunnel vision. It's like they're looking through a one way mirror.)
"I don't understand the concern over this, like our diplomats are any more diplomatic. This is just smoke and daggers to have an excuse for more security and less freedom. Watch all diplomates are going to have Blackberrys and this stuff will be coded and no longer useful." (Good points. This commentator understands the day to day grind of the diplomat's job. But his postulation is about "smoke and daggers" is a bit overboard. True enough, though, this could be used as a reason to clamp down on the freedoms we enjoy in cyberspace. Somehow, I don't think WikiLeaks has that as one of their goals.)

"Is there anything in there about Chemtrails ?

Cause it WAS going to be a beautiful sunny day, but they are spraying like made up there....and you wait, in a couple hours it will be completely overcast.

Thanks to letting the military spray us like cockroaches, mine government." (Huh??  Not sure what this one is getting at, but it sounds part tongue in cheek and part conspiracy theory.)

"Its interesting that CBC wasnt given access to the files in the same way that NYT, SPIEGEL, etc were." (That's because the CBC is a half-bit little organization in a two-bit little country. We have a reputation to dismantle and then rebuild, thanks in no small way to the work of the CBC over the past 40 to 50 years.  Oh. And by the way, do I detect a bit of the good old inferiority complex?  "Waaaa. Why did they get it, but we didn't.")

"Wow! A government sponsored network that is leaking security documents! Time to get rid of the CBC!!" (Bingo!)

"Interesting not so much, obvious and expected, yes. CBC is a government funded and controlled censorship, shill, authorless article propaganda token news organisation" (Another "Huh?" In other words, the CBC is trying to protect the government by censoring.....um, censoring....., what was that again that they're censoring by putting the WikiLeaks documents on line for all to see?  Wow! Our education system is in shambles, I guess.)

"So our leaders are telling this is a vile disrespect for confidential diplomatic dealings and here's CBC, giving us a customized tool to search our hearts out for the juicy tidbits.

That cracks me up... Shows how once something is freed to the media, it propagates beyond the government's control." (True enough, which I suppose is a good thing, but then we are treated to the spectacle of MSM distortion and misreading, so we, the citizens, aren't a whole lot better off.)
"It's become evident, this whole Wikileak thing, is a propoganda scam by the US Government, to try and discredit Iran.
Everybody knows the Iranian government is excellent at propoganda. I do not support Iran at all, but I cannot believe the American gov't would think that anybody would be so gulible to believe any of this nonsense. (That's just too much of a beaut. I'll let it speak for itself.)

And CBC..... You are just as bad for sensationalizing it."(Well, he got that part right.)
"JohnnieBoy wrote at 10:23 AM ET "Can't wait to see what or American (neighbours) say about us... I'm sure it will all be positive."

Joking aside, about all that has been disclosed so far is that the US considers Canada to be a nation with "an inferiority complex".

No word yet on more substantial issues, such as whether Uncle Sam wants Canada to "please take your terrorist back" in the Omar Khadr case or any reaction to Jean Chrétien's decision to deploy troops to Kandahar but not to Baghdad where the fictional WMD cache was to have existed.

My guess is that far more of this will focus on hotspots like the Middle East and Korea, or at least somewhere where oil wells are located somewhere not nicknamed "51st state" or "Texas of the North", with international relations between the opposite sides of CanUSA Street, Beebe Plain, Québec/Vermont somehow being little more than a footnote if even notable at all. Haskell's Library is not the Korean Northern Limit Line and CanUSA Street not the DMZ, even if signage on one side of the road s'exprime en français. (Well, darned if I know what that means, but it's certainly worthy of publication.)
"I knew it all along. The reason our beer is strong is to keep us in the dark about whats happening in the real world.

This has got to be the most anti climactic story ever. Sort of like paying for pleasure and then being told you need to put down another deposit before your rocks pop." (Well said, even if a little crude.)
"cb1613 wrote: "..because the price of fuel in Ontario under McGuilty and the Harper Sales Tax is more than a US.."

...because of that line right there I stopped reading your comment since you have no credibility. I'm not conservative, I'm as liberal as they come, but you can't blame HST on Harper, it had nothing to do with him. Harper's actually lowered the Goods & Services Tax by 2% since he's been in office. I dislike the Conservatives and Harper as much as the next guy, but I'm not just going to make things up to blame him for. What's with this uber-liberal mentality to just blame EVERYTHING on Harper, even if it's a provincial matter that he has no say in?" (At last, we have a breath of fresh air, proving that Liberals /Dippers? can argue with logic and do recognize moonbat conspiracy theories, after all. There's hope. You think maybe this guy might have issues with giving public funds to a broadcaster which chooses to publish conspiracy theory non-sense? Hope so.)
"These releases while supposedly damaging for the US don't seem to have been reported as causing any danger to anyone only embarrassment and it's understood, so it looks like credible stuff to masses.
It only serves a few real purposes (to condition of international masses):
1. Creates the 9/11 like Internet security event with censorship/web sites closures/repercussions targeted at Internet free speech "anti-establishment" web sites...putting them on the "terrorist" list. Also in a few months we can expect international agreements that will legalise of severely censoring what can be said on the Internet against establishment. (Indeed, that is one of the possible outcomes of this. We need to be vigilant and we need to support every effort to bring WikiLeaks down.)
2. Serving current US/Israeli political stance against Iran. (Eyes rolling.)
3. And usual increase in the "anti-terrorism" security measures, giving governments even more control." (Possibly, or something similar.)
"With all the wikileaks over the few years they have released documents no one has been killed because of it. That is simple American bull." (Are you sure about that? The MSM wouldn't report it, if it did. We're talking simple Afghan peasants being put at risk, for example. The MSM doesn't give a shit about them, unless they are with the Taliban and there's rumours of a torture story that can be hyped up.)
"Here is how I see all of this....This is the beginning of the end to the internet. This is the thing that will shut it down or at the very least become government controlled. This has been predicted. They need to stop the sheeple from communicating with one another. Something about all of this seems like a set up.

Time will tell......." (Again, a very plausible outcome, perhaps bit by bit, but here we go again with the conspiracy theorizing.)
"Sorry but this looks like normal business in the diplomatic realm....yawwn." (Bingo! But perhaps we should wait and actually see what the "Canadian" documents actually say.)
"I doubt that the information related to Canada in these documents will be terribly surprising, except to find them so bluntly stated in "diplomatic" communications. American attitudes towards Canada and Canadians are well known: we are a close ally and important trade partner, but we seem soft on drugs, criminals, and security; as a country, we have an inferiority complex that can often result in anti-American sentiments and rhetoric, but rarely in anti-American actions; we seem to have a naive understanding of international affairs that can lead us to be soft on enemies of the West; and we have a more socialist leaning politically, although the current Harper government is much more in line with American views.

As for "invading" Canada, the US has no need to invade us, they already own us... or, at least, all the parts they are interested in. To be a little more fair, however, our multinationals tend to be few, our companies are often weak because many "entrepreneurs" in this country only want to create something interesting enough that the Americans will buy their company and make them rich enough that they can retire in Phoenix or Florida, and American paranoia post 9/11 makes them want to own everything that they depend on (such as Canadian resources)."
"I think most Canadians are too busy trying to get by to be bothered looking up info in these "leaks".I think the only people really interested will be the terrorists and others who might be plotting against the free world and by antiwar protesters who are trying desperately to find dirt to discredit people trying to keep us free.I am somewhat disturbed that CBC is aiding this effort using our tax dollars.This data will likely cause the deaths and torture of people too so Wkileaks is intentionally causing harm to others. Even the US who they hate likely does not intentionally want to cause harm to people. So who is worse? It also seems that Assange is part of the paranoid conspiracy theorists who believe there is an agent around every corner and that everything we see in not real. He must also not be a parent because parents try to minimize any threats or danger to their children and these leaks put many people sons and daughters in harms way. It is also somewhat disturbing that all this information is one sided and there is really nothing exposing the game plan and mind of those who intentionally detonate bombs in places like markets where innocent civilians are killed. These leaks are similar to releasing the plans and information used by the police to bring down organized crime. The only positive thing I can see from all this is that this has exposed a major weakness in how information is stored and transmitted. I suspect now that all future military information will be encoded and transmitted more secretly and less people will be privy to it. There was that expression used during world war 2 that "loose lips sink ships" because when the enemy got a hold of such information, they would use it to locate and destroy ships at sea, resulting in many deaths." (Oh man. You should be working for the CBC.)
"This won't make governments more honest..Just more careful. But it should serve to show how much is kept from the people they supposedly serve." (First part is true. Second part, why do we need to know what our ambassador says of some President in some banana republic?  That's not exactly critical for Canadian democracy.)
"Carefull not to search for something too specific. It could be a trap. I know, I know, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me." (Moonbat conspiracy theory.)
"Could Wikileaks be a front for the CIA to distribute the info they want you to see ?" (Moonbat conspiracy theory. And by the way, if we didn't have this inferiority complex you would have said CSIS, not CIA.)
"Oh please its not big news as long as Canada wasnt mentioned but since it was well...They wouldnt even bother with it if Canada want metnioned in the Cables. But it just goes to show that they are suddenly callling these diplomatic cables compared to "files" making it a cover story for what they are really about.They were not called that in the last two weeks of coming announcements of these impending leaks. Its really funny that this is all haooening at the same time North Korea is threatening to attack the South and US forces when they see impending dissention amongst the UN over all of this though.. Taking advantage of the situation if it were.Sorry folks we have a right to know these things and just goes to show how Canada is shown on the world stage and you have to wonder why we didnt get a seat on the UN security council. We allready knew how the US felt about us Canadians they just dont like it when the TRUTHS come out by someone else." (Complete moonbat psycho-babel - I think. It's hard to tell what this is about. It would get a D - or an F in a sixth grade term paper, but the CBC publishes it.)
"Is this a new tool to help control....YOU.. ?? Food for thought. I do not like the way the world looks anymore" (Again, a possible look into the future.)
"Come on WikiLeaks find out what our Reform Government is really doing in Afghanistan.

The truth someday will be set free." (Moonbattery, pure and simple)
"Hold on is this stil being debated?

I actually thought some juicy stuff was gonna come out. Everything revealed so far could have been found by doing some surfing on the internet and paying attention to the 6pm news. There is nothing new here.

NOTHING NEW AT ALL!!!!!" (Exactly!  But then let's wait a few more days and see what the big Canada Day dump is really going to give us.)
"All this proves is that

1) the security system that the US is using to transmit these messages is not secure. OR

2) the person or persons who broke their security contract or agreement that you have to sign before your even allowed to look at secret and above material is leaking this material and if caught, must pay with serious jail time." (Bingo!)
"How childish. Mr. Assange doesn't have to take any responsibility for governing or for the diplomatic--and perhaps personal--damage his actions may have already caused.

How can contributing to the breakdown of trust among nations already facing severe challenges be considered virtuous action? How can making governments even more restrictive and paranoid in dealing with their employees--as has already happened in response to the leaks and will probably worsen--be a good thing?

If we don't like how governments are working, throwing an anarchist's bomb into the diplomatic sphere is not a solution; it just makes things worse.

Newsmedia and cynics see it all as great entertainment, of course, but playing around in world affairs like this carries a cost that Mr. Assange cannot possibly measure, and that is what makes him so irresponsible"
"Its a bit like flushing the toilet. Maybe after this is over we can start clean and try to be a little more honest with the public."
"I don't get it. If any of this information truly puts people at risk, can they not just shut this site down ? Twenty years ago, this would have been considered high treason and punishment was ultimate.

Or perhaps this is yet another attempt to sensationlize nothingness to something and allow the media to have a field day. After all, we have had nothing but news on two small countries that were meaningless 10 years ago and now make the headlines every day (Haiti and Afghanistan) and the news admittedly gets relatively repetitious and stale...." (At last, someone who is both articulate and perceptive.  Well done, CBC, for publishing it.)
"Am I the only one unimpressed with this drivel? Where is the earth-shattering revelations that will change our view-point or foreign affairs? Who cares if some ambassador thinks Moammar Gadhafi is a crazy old man with a penchant for large breasted blondes or that the King of Saudi Arabia wants the US to attack Iran. Anyone with half a brain and a Google search bar can find this stuff out." (True enough, but then when the West is trying to woo the old goat and keep him in our tent, so to speak, this cannot help. Frankly, I would rather see him left back in his Libyan dessert, with his camels and his harem.)
"Details of Washington's tranactional alliances with murderous dictators, corrupt tyrants, warlords and drug traffickers are among its most closely guarded quasi secrets. Most media accounts can be blown off by officialdom, but smoking-gun diplomatic cables are harder to ignore.

The recent mega-leaks are especially jarring because of the extreme contrasts between the U. S. government,s public pretenses and real life actions. But the standard official response is to blame the leaking messengers.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman statment Wikileaks deliberate disclosure of these diplomatic cables is nothing less than an attack on our national security.

But what kind of national security can be built on duplicity from a government that is discreited and refuted by its own documents?"
"I wonder what our diplomats or anyone's diplomats have to say about other countries. Probably not much different than the Americans. If I was running the government I would want unvarnished honest opinions from my overseas diplomats and not politically correct pablum written to make us feel good."
"I, as a citizen of Canada, have an absolute right to know everything my government does in my name.
The only true threat to national security is an uninformed passive electorate, and governments that believe their decisions and deliberations should not be fully exposed to the glare of public scrutiny!"
"I would hate to appear to be diluting our boy and girls' efforts of bringing peace and democracy upon the ignorant third world... but lets cut through all the dark clouds of propaganda and look at this clearly

why would our beloved Cannon be so quick to support the U.S. on "our behalf" when there are rumours that our lovely neighbours alegedly accuse us of having an infiriority complex

wake up Canadians.... we have kissed uncle sam's bumm for way too long

the cables that are going to be released regarding our home and native land may bring us to question our government... but i say we clean up our own mess and let the americans drown in their own mess"
"The release of these documents is a treasonous act upon any American who released them. Assange has unleashed the exact opposite of what he was hoping to achieve, and maybe in part the world governments found a man in whom they could use to further their cause of less disclosure and transparency in government.

Assange, freedom of information crusader or government dupe used to justify tighter controls and operational transparency." (Good thing you're not "running Canada". It's hard to top this one as a fine specimen of moonbattery.)
"What? Nothing related to the Fisher -Underwood marriage?? Pffft...some leak!"
"Well well.. Here we go again..The Americans think they rule the world..Their whole country is based upon fear..Their economy relies on war..But yet they have never won a war they have started..They always want to start them but need other countries to come in and finish their mess.. I say screw yous..The Americans want war well thats fine cause by them selves they would be wiped out..(VIETNAM is an example)..The American economy is as follows-25% is illegal immergrants and degenerits..50% is involved in military and 10% is average workers and 15% is politics..Without war the Americans would have nothing..So with all that said, if you Americans got a problem with us Canadians well then come get some and we'll give yous a repeat of the war of 1812................." (Unadulterated moonbattery)
"I can't help but wonder how many US bashers here haven't got their own dirty little secrets that they would rather keep private?

- How about a dirty little s3x story? maybe same s3x ? maybe something dirtier?
(bark bark, whiney whiney, bah bah)

- How about a little fling with your buddys woman or your husbands buddy or their dog?

- How about something you said or did to your neighbor, or friend, or employer or spouse or family member?

Everyone has secrets they do not want to talk about or have anyone know about, nations are just a little larger and have more secrets that have far more weight than your perverted little fantasies about your best friends 14 year old daughter.

If these secrets get out as they are, we face a very serious threat of global meltdown, nations who have been neighbors and friends for years may get upset if they find out their neighbor ran over their cat and didn't tell them or realized that they have been stealing their morning paper for 6 months. You get what I mean?

International policy is guaranteed to to have nations who are friendly but also have dirt on each other. That dirt is best left concealed because you never know what PANDORAS BOX you are opening and how many countless lives and friendships it may cost.

Anyone that doesn't agree is welcome to post all their dirty little secrets here for anyone to read about, make sure you also leave your name and address and phone number so we can all get in touch with you." (Also well said.)
"I find CBC's article to be completely unreasonable and ill-advised. The posting of secret or classified information, knowing that it was obtained by theft and sedition, is clearly illegal ... and it doesn't matter that the crime was committed outside of Canada. CBC's actions in showing how to search this information (rather than simply reporting the fact of the publishing), in my opinion, crosses the line from responsible journalism and into it now being an accessory after the fact of a very serious criminal offense. If the information had have been ... say ... pornography (rather than the release of stolen classified material), would CBC then post links on how to access and search for this information? I would hope NOT!! So how does CBC justify its blattant complicity in the distribution of this information?" (Oh how I wish we could see the CBC charged with something along those lines.)
"the thing about secrets are they never stay secret forever.As a canadian and a member of this planet,I think that is fair and resonable the the global police are held accountable for there actions.Its easy to say,"lives are in danger",But more lives are in danger by the goverment of canada knowing some of what was going on and allowing our troops to stay there.

The american goverment wants to lie,slander,mudd sling behind there allies backs is fine,But if you are going to be a global bully,You better expect everyone to start looking at you.

Considering the magnitude of the errors our goverment has made in folowing the americans lead,I think the whole everything should remain as they are is assinine.

The argument about risking lives,We as a nation that marches blindly after the US,Have already givin to the cause,And the cause is oil.We were never told the whole truth and its time to let the amercans swim in there own muck,At least I hope its muck."
"I think these leaks have shown just how bad our western governments really are... the US especially... They have no one to blame but themselves for any harm these may cause. They have said and done some really stupid/illegal things. A bunch of lying hypocrites all of them. I have zero trust in governments. Again, especially the USA... terrible. They are finally harvesting what they have sown... I'm glad the truth is finally coming out." (Utter moonbattery)

"Wiki is to be commended. The USA is NO ONES "friend'. Their loyalty is as conditional as an inmates with a drug addiction.Enjoy the reading"
"Is the CRAP release of the budget documents to their lobbyists before giving the documents to the finance committee part of these wikileaks. OR do we have to put together our own wikileaaks! This CRAP government is teh worst in Canada;s histroy. NO MORALS. NO INTEGRITY! NO COMPASSION! NO PATRIOTISM! I am not sure they are Canadian. Yanks maybe?" (Moon battery, moonbattery, moonbattery)
"This whole scenario clearly shows how out of touch CBC is. Give it up folks, this is not news - even us uneducated Conservatives know that the "leaked" information is the standard way of doing business in diplomatic circles.

I had to laugh today when Carole McNeil breathlessly announced that she was going to interview Stephen Lewis, the ex Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, no doubt thinking that he would be horrified at the leaks (and maybe he could work in a slam to Harper's government).

Instead, he stated "this is the nature of diplomacy" - big grin on his face and suggested there is no big deal here. Poor Carole was deflated.

Key comment - ALL governments engage in the same thing, that's what they are paid for.

I am sure that the US is concerned as to how only their diplomatic lines of communication have been compromised."
"I think most of the US's problems arising from the leak are due to the blatant arrogance and feelings of superiority shown by American diplomats and government officials. They're just as self important and overbearing as everybody thought they were/are."
"What I find when browsing around different sites concerning this story is how nationally insecure some countries are. Do you actually care what some diplomats think? This whole story is being played up to mammoth proportions and I'm trying to find out if it was the media, WikiLeaks, or the U.S. itself. Or a combination of all three. Cheers."(Great comment. Great way to end this entry. Take heed, moonbats.)
Oh if CBC was more like an old print on paper news magazine, the "letters to the editor" would be much better than most of these.  Why do you publish this stuff, CBC? I wish I could cancel my subscription.

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Indian Muslims

Some interesting bits starting about 12:50.

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Well, Halleluljah!!

It's about bloody time. It's buried deep down toward the bottom of the article, but it's there:
"The Associated Press on Tuesday quoted an unnamed government official as saying U.S. lawyers were poring over legal manuals to see if Assange could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act."
They've been reading my blog. :p

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Canadian Federal By-elections

Good signs all around. In all three ridings there was a shift to the right. Winnipeg North, which is generally a socialist shithole, dumped the NDP brand and moved closer to the centre, electing a Liberal. In the other two, a formerly Liberal seat went to the Cons, and in the third the Cons simply held on to the already conservative seat. They say by-elections are usually protest elections that send a message to the sitting party, so WHOOPIE!!

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More WikiLeaks Revelations

...from around the world.

WikiLeaks: Assessing the 'Damage'
"Then there’s a category of items I count as being of urgent public concern. For example, North Korea has smuggled advanced Russian-made, nuclear-capable missiles to Iran. That’s important to know. Our government hasn’t told us already because it wants to ignore key aspects of the Iran problem, not to mention the North Korea problem. Another example: Leaked cables confirm that Syria supplies Hezbollah. This not only underscores (again) Syria’s status as a jihad-terror-supporting state, but deals yet another blow to the canard that Sunnis (Syria) don’t connive with Shiites (Hezbollah) against infidels (the rest of us). Then there’s Pakistan, which, we now learn, isn’t cooperating with our (formerly) secret plan to secure its nuke materials. (Which should make us wonder what $18 billion in “aid” to a sharia state really buys these days.)

At this very early stage, the greatest “damage” done seems to be mainly to the fictions of “engagement,” “outreach,” and other utopian canards destructive to the continued well-being of this nation."
WikiLeaks Confirms Our Analysis of U.S. Policy and Middle East Politics
"Please forgive me for saying this, but what really amazed me in reading the Wikileaks was how thoroughly they proved points I've been making for years. I wouldn't have had the nerve to say that except that readers have been telling me the same thing."
There is nothing new under the WikiLeaks sun
"Having spent much of the past 24 hours going through the State Department documents released by Wikileaks I can honestly say the most amazing revelation is the lack of revelations in the documents."
"The fact that the latest Wikileaks data dump does not contain anything new does not make it acceptable. The release of these documents is a crime and we should figure out how to prosecute everyone in that organization to the fullest extent of the law."

Deadly Fictions
"Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has positioned himself as a left-wing whistleblower whose life mission is to call the United States to task for the evil it has wreaked throughout the world. But after poring through the diplomatic cables revealed via the site yesterday, one might easily wonder if Assange isn’t instead a clandestine agent of Dick Cheney and Bibi Netanyahu; whether his muckraking website isn’t part of a Likudnik plot to provoke an attack on Iran"
"With all due apologies to Oliver Stone (and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey), what the Wikileaks documents reveal is not a conspiracy of any kind but a scary and growing gap between the private assessments of American diplomats and allies in the Middle East and public statements made by U.S. government officials. The publication of these leaked cables is eerily reminiscent of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed a decade-long attempt by U.S. officials to distort and conceal unpalatable truths about the Vietnam War, and manipulate public opinion. The difference is that while the Pentagon Papers substantially vindicated the American left, the Wikileaks cable dump vindicates the right."
Wikileaks: Anti-Israel Foreign Policy Experts Got Saudi Arabia, Other Arab Countries 100% Backwards On Iran Attack
"It didn’t get nearly as much play as it should have, but Obama’s June 2009 meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah ended with the monarch flying into a tirade and more or less telling the President to get a grip. This was the Riyadh meeting that Obama took on his way to his insulting and failed Cairo Speech, the better to prepare himself by visiting “the place where Islam began.” The sit-down was such a disaster that Dennis Ross was hurriedly brought into the White House and given a broader role, yielding the impression that the President wanted a Middle East adviser who kind of understood something about the Middle East – and didn’t think he had one."
And on
"Out of the 220 Wikileaks has published, there are plenty of juicy titbits but most of the news stories are of the dog-bites-man variety. Few will be surprised to learn, for instance, that Saudi Arabia was pretty keen for the US to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities or that the Americans spy on people at the UN (frankly, I’d be worried if they didn’t).

Though I must say, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia’s suggestion that Guantanamo Bay inmates be implated “with an electronic chip containing information about them and allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth”, noting that “this was done with horses and falcons” was pretty good."
"As for Assange’s protests that no one’s life would be put at risk, check this out. The name of the source has been redacted. But how many UK-educated engineers from prominent Pre-Revolution Isfahan families who once owned a large factory in Iran and are former national fencing champions of Iran, former presidents of the Iran Fencing
Association and former vice-presidents of an Azerbaijan sports association do you think there are out there?.

Overall though, there is little to justify the screaming headlines of American foreign policy in crisis or being turned upside down. Instead, it’s a case of so far, so blah."
"It seems to me that Assange is teasing Obama. Whereas the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs could be largely dismissed as Bush era material that didn’t really reflect on Obama, the State Department cables are different.

They go up to 28 February 2010, offering a potential window on Obama’s foreign policy which may well not show it in the sainted light he would prefer. It seems to me that Assange is teasing Obama, letting him know what WikiLeaks has and making him sweat.

Today was round one and the action was pretty tame. But there are plenty more rounds to come and Obama is on the back foot."
and on.

There's repetition in some of these, but each contains some unique analysis, so they are all worth a read in their entirety. All in all though, it seems Julian Assange has just taken away the last pretext that The One's foreign policy has been all about. Betcha weren't counting on that, were you, Julie?

And as far as this one's concerned, he not the only one to think out loud about the necessity of bringing Julian Assange's and WikiLeaks' ridiculous crusade to an end.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh, Julian, It's Just Not....

...working out the way you thought it would.

Worldwide condemnation over WikiLeaks release (Video)

US friends, foes savage WikiLeaks
"Friend and foe alike of the United States turned on WikiLeaks on Monday over its release of secret US diplomatic cables, saying the revelations undermined diplomacy and made the world less secure."
"Let me begin as they do by asserting that there is nothing very surprising to be found in all that haul. Scandals aplenty, and the horrors of war -- of course -- but in the main, the account which the Bush administration gave of what was happening in Iraq, is vindicated."
"That the numbers of non-partisans killed may be higher than official estimates cannot be breaking news, either. It is clear enough from the documents that the overwhelming majority of these were victims of terror strikes, and not "collateral damage."
"But the biggest revelation from the documents is not about misdeeds by the allies. It is instead that the Bush administration actually understated its case against Iranian meddling in the conflict. The WikiLeaks include numerous field intelligence reports from which it is clear that Shia "militants" are trained, armed, and infiltrated by Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, or directly by the Revolutionary Guard. And these are, in the old parlance of international law, direct acts of war by Iran against the United States and Iraq."
So far, so good. I hate to gloat, but I told you so. You see, Julie, the adults know what is at stake. Your America Derangement Syndrome has warped your pretty little mind and you've just shot yourself in the foot.

Okay, I lied. I love to gloat.

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Wouldn't This Be the Mother of All Ironies

WikiLeaks documents paint dark picture for Iran
"The drumbeat of an approaching war with Iran reverberates through U.S. diplomatic documents leaked by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

The drumbeat of an approaching war with Iran reverberates through U.S. diplomatic documents leaked by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks."
Our dear tender Julian is so certain that war is evil. If these leaks lead to an actual attack, or a full out war against Iran, or if Iran starts a war within the region, or, if as the article at the link suggests, as have many before it, there is a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East resulting from inaction by the Americans, who's he going to blame?

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WikiLeaks Database, Courtesy of the CBC

The CBC has set up a website for readers to search for the great "U.S. Diplomatic Cables" documents related to Canada.

The site provides a search utility, which includes a pull-down menu giving a long list of subject headings. A search brings up what can be described as a brief description, similar to a catalogue entry, of the document with what appears to be a hyperlink behind the date of the document. But so far, none of the links that came up in my searches seem to be active.

They are promising more as the days go by, so perhaps later in the week, that will change.

So far, I searched using the following headings, obtained from the drop down menu:

Bill Graham
Conservative Party
Gilles Duceppe
Liberal Party
Missile Defense
Omar Khadr
Patriot Act
- and -

Using these individual headings, the maximum number of documents (cables?) in the index that resulted from one of my searches is about ten. Most are much fewer than that.

The most recent document was dated 2009, but the vast, vast majority of the items recovered from my searches are dated from 2003 to 2005.

This is Liberal Party mandate era folks. It should be interesting to see what the actual documents say and whose faces the mud lands on, if any.

CBC commenters are, of course, slinging all sorts of mud at the Americans, accusing them of all sorts of sordid and disrespectful behaviour, and spouting all sorts of non-sense.  It doesn't seem to dawn on them that their language is sordid and disrespectful, which is highly ironic, since precious few, if any, of the documents have actually been uploaded yet.  So they are simply making assumptions, based on preconceived prejudiced notions.

I wonder if CBC has really thought through the possible consequences of letting people untrained in the art of journalism do their work for them. Are they saying a degree in journalism isn't worth squat? Are they simply going to take what these hordes find and run with it, without any further research?  I tell you, I am far more interested in seeing what this will do to the CBC, than to the Americans.

If the dates in my initial sampling prove to be typical of the whole database, I wonder how many of CBC's finest will take note that most of them pertain to the Liberal era.  If they do, how will they spin that?

Is there anyone at the CBC who understands what diplomats in foreign embassies actually do? I doubt it. The commenters sure don't.

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The World Is Just Full of Funny Stuff

A Virtual Laugh Riot

'Hacktivist for good'claims WikiLeaks Takedown
"A computer hacker who calls himself "The Jester" claimed responsibility for the cyber attack which took down the WikiLeaks site Sunday, shortly before it started posting hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables.

The Jester, who describes himself as a "hacktivist for good," said he took the controversial site down "for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops, 'other assets' & foreign relations."

He normally attacks Islamist websites, announcing "TANGO DOWN" on his Twitter account when claiming to have attacked a site. "Tango Down" is Special Forces jargon for having eliminated a terrorist."
Hey, Jester!! You Go, Boy!!! (Girl??) Any minute now, Julian will start crying for his mommy.

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Ooooh! The Angst of It All!


The Fiery Kitty Cat has me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off this morning.

"What! That's it? ... No Prince Charles buggering a goat?

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I Wonder If This is What Baby Julian..

...had in mind?

Arab states scorn Iran
"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Iran's foreign minister to "spare us your evil" in a meeting that reflected profound Arab hostility to the Islamic Republic – a recurrent theme of high-level private conversations in the Middle East in recent times.

Leaked state department cables catalogue a litany of complaints from the Saudis and smaller Gulf states, as well as Egypt, Jordan and others, on issues from Tehran's nuclear ambitions, to its involvement in Iraq and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas.

"You as Persians have no business meddling in Arab matters," the Saudi monarch was quoted as telling Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister. "Iran's goal is to cause problems," he continued in a conversation with a senior White House official. "There is no doubt something unstable about them.""
Nothing new there.

Israelis see PR windfall in WikiLeak's tips on Iran
"The secret cables leaked by the whistleblower website on Sunday showed Israel trying to prod a sometimes skeptical Washington into tougher action -- such as sanctions, subversion, and even a military strike by 2011 -- against Tehran.

But the documents also described Saudi Arabia urging the Americans to "cut off the head of the snake" by attacking Iran, a hawkishness echoed by other Arab leaders, and outline suspicions that North Korean missiles may have given the Iranians the range to reach western Europe and beyond. "These (disclosures) don't hurt Israel at all -- perhaps the opposite," said Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli general who served as national security adviser to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

"If there is something on the Iranian issue that, in my opinion, happens to help Israel, it is that these leaks show that Arab countries like Saudi Arabia are far more interested in Iran than they are in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for example," Eiland told Israel Radio."
On a related note, I wonder who did this?

Blast 'kills top Iranian nuclear scientist'

Oh yah. I forgot. It was Israel, of course.

All told, not a bad way to start the day. Might even speed this along.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

With Friends Like These......???

This blog entry is dedicated the Ian Morrison of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, under whose watch, the organization has just become the worst enemy the CBC could ever hope for.

It begins over at SDA, were the alert was sounded. It was there that I learned the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting had posted a survey form about the CBC.

The survey is a doozy. It begins by asking the respondent to insert their email address into a box "To ensure the security of our survey, please enter the email address at which you received an invitation to participate." So right off the bat, we know they are not interested in criticism of the CBC and will only take into consideration the views of CBC's genuine "friends". But that didn't stop me, of course, nor many SDAers.

Besides, a simple little search reveals the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting are actually enemies of Canadian Broadcasting.
"QMI Agency asked Friends for more information on what they do and how they spend their millions in donations. An official said the group does not publish an annual report and directed QMI Agency to the audited financial statements posted on their website.

QMI Agency attempted to contact Friends spokesman Ian Morrison by telephone and e-mail regarding its lobbying position and its financial statements. Specific questions included whether the $78,750 listed as a “management fee” in the financial statements was his salary for what is described as a part-time job. Those questions were not answered."
Indeed, they seem to think Canadian broadcasting consists only of the CBC.

But back to the survey. It was one of the worst, if not THE WORST survey instruments I have ever seen. If you missed it, I copied it and will now show you the questions that were asked.

The questions asked in the first section are as follows (there were five responses to choose from ranging from "Strongly agree" to "Strongly disagree"):
  • "How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the CBC? "

"We should build a new CBC capable of providing high quality Canadian programming with strong regional content throughout Canada."

This is a reasonably phrased question. You can either agree or disagree with it.
  • "The CBC is the one thing that helps distinguish Canada from the U.S."

Now, with only one question out of the way, we already have the beginning of the anti-American bias creeping in and it gets worse in subsequent questions. However, this one is a reasonable question in that you can either agree with it or disagree with it.
  • The CBC provides value for taxpayers' money.

Again, another reasonable question. It's easy to answer with one of the five response options made available.
  • As Canada’s economic ties with the United States increase, it is becoming more important to strengthen Canadian culture and identity.

Again with the America-phobia, but nevertheless, easy to answer.

The question remains, though, to what degree, if any, would answers from those who are not on the privileged "invited" list differ from those who were invited. I'm sure if it truly was a randomly chosen set of respondents, rather than a special group of invitees, the responses would be very different.

Now on to the next set of questions and again there are five possible responses to choose from. This time they are: Very important / Somewhat important / Not very important / Not at all important / Don't know
  • Do you feel that the Canadian television and radio production industry is important to the Canadian economy and jobs?

  • How important is Canadian programming and content on television and radio for maintaining and developing Canadian culture and identity?

We're beginning to see why the responses of only those who were "invited" to participate will be taken into consideration. Decades ago the Canadian "arts community" set itself up as the saviour of Canadian "culture", assuming for themselves the exclusive privilege of defining what our culture is, and forthwith began spinning tales which had as their bedrock, anti-Americanism - Canadian culture was defined as "not America" and to ensure this was firmly implanted in the brains of the great unwashed peasantry of the land, they began to build the anti-American cornerstone of their brand of "Canadian Culture", primarily through the CBC. All throughout, the question of whether or not the underlying assumption (that Canadian culture and identity is threatened) was true or false was never asked.
  • Do you feel that the CBC plays an important role in your community?

A reasonable question which can be answered with one of the five possible responses allowed. My answer was "Not at all important", although it would have been nice to be able to choose "CBC is the enemy of democracy" or some such thing. But you can see how surveys can be construed to give a certain pre-determined tilt to things. That tilt gets decidedly worse later in the survey.
  • Do you feel that the CBC is important in protecting Canadian identity and culture?

Well, that depends on what Canadian identity and culture are. If its soul is America and Conservative bashing, then sure, CBC is an important tool. But, nonetheless, it's a reasonable question that folks like me can answer with "Not at all important", even if we'd like to challenge the premise of the question in the first place. How about asking, "Do you feel Canadian culture and identity are threatened?" or "Do Canadian culture and identity need to be protected against encroachment by American culture?" My answer to both those questions would be "Not in the least. Get over your inferiority complex and grow up." But, alas, such questions do not serve to buttress the narrative, so they are left out.

Excellent / Very good / Good / Fair / Poor / Very poor / No opinion

"We'd like to know your opinions on two aspects of the CBC's performance.

  • As you may know, as the national broadcaster the mandate of the CBC is to provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens, and entertains. Overall, how would you rate the performance of the CBC in fulfilling this mandate to date?"

Fair question, but my hunch is that people who have not been invited to participate would have a very different view than the one held by invitees.

The second aspect goes as follows:

  • "As part of its mandate, the CBC is required to provide television and radio content that reflects Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, and to serve the special needs of Canada’s diverse regions. Overall, how would you rate the performance of the CBC in fulfilling this mandate?"

This is again a fair question, but what I'd really like to see is a question meant to gauge whether or not there is widespread support for the mandate itself. In fact, it would be nice to know if there ever was widespread agreement with it.

Moving on to the next section of the survey, the mask slips further off and the underlying assumptions are further strengthened:
  • How much confidence or trust do you personally have in the CBC to protect Canadian culture and identity on television. Please use a scale of 1 meaning very low trust and confidence to 7 meaning very high trust and confidence.

This question assumes you agree not only with the mandate, but with the idea that Canadian culture and identity is under threat, and is likely meant to solicit ammunition to hurl at the government for not funding the CBC well enough to meet its mandate and thereby protect Canadian culture and identity. What a load of set-up crap. But there's more:

Which of the following statements do you most agree with?

  • The CBC is Canada's broadcaster. It's a shame it lets other networks do its work for it.
  • I don't care which network I watch, so long as it's Canadian.
Again, there are important options missing. What if you don't care whether it's Canadian or not? What if you don't care for TV period? How do you expect the results of such a manipulated survey design to yield usable, valid information. If I were to deal with this question honestly, I couldn't answer either of them and would skip them. What then would the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting do with that response? And more:

Which of the following statements do you most agree with?

  • The CBC has a special responsibility: providing not only national, but also local and regional broadcasting.
  • The CBC is not the only one who has a responsibility to cover local and regional issues: all Canadian broadcasters share this responsibility.

Okay. These ones gets a little closer to questioning the mandate, but doesn't quite come to the real question, which is, is the mandate necessary or justified? There are not only alternatives in the local television market, but alternatives in other media, such as radio and online versions of newspapers.  What's so special about the CBC?

Moving further along:

Please tell us how much you agree with the following statements.

Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Undecided / Agree / Strongly Agree

  • Canada's cultural sovereignty is under attack. What's next? Ads on CBC Radio? The way things are going, the CBC will be sold off to the highest bidder. Then the Americans will really take over.

Oh, how I wish. I would love to see the elitist snobs squirm, spit and howl as they rush over the cliff.  And finally, the mask falls right off and crashes on the floor:
  • "In Canada, Stephen Harper decides who runs the CBC. Harper appointed a President with no experience in radio or television broadcasting. Other countries leave the appointment decision in the hands of those with experience in broadcasting and radio. It's time to take the political manipulation out of the management of the CBC."

Complete dingbats, these friends. The whole structure of CBC is that it is state created, state funded and state regulated via Acts of Parliament. Yes. It is the Prime Minister who appoints the President and all the members of the board. That doesn't change just because the Prime Minister happens to be the leader of the Conservative Party. It would be the same under a Liberal Party. And that's the biggest problem I, and thousands of other Canadians, have with the Corpse.

It's very foundational documents set it up to be a stooge for the sitting government, and whether or not the Ceeb pays tribute to the party in power is not so much the point as it is that the party in power has too much influence and in order to maintain a semblance of separation, the Ceeb bends over whether the Prime Minister swallowed or pocketed a communion wafer, and, conversely, ignores things that are of interest, like the AGW fraud.

Rather, they focus on things that serve the goal of keeping themselves employed.  There's nothing wrong with that in the real world. In the real world, you want to keep yourself employed by doing a good job for your employer, or, if you are in business, by doing a good job for your customers.

But in the case of CBC, they do this by whipping up enthusiasm for causes that are more likely to be within the purview of the political party most likely to endorse those causes and most likely to reward the Corpse with adequate funding.  It's a marriage made on a slippery slope. That slope leads to it becoming an official organ for the dissemination of not just state propaganda, but liberal/left propaganda. And to keep the spotlight off that fact, there exists a group calling itself the "Friends" who are all to happy to act on the Ceeb's behalf, even to the point of attempting to keep other Canadian broadcasters from competing with her.

So it really doesn't matter who resides at 24 Sussex Drive, the CBC will cater to whichever party and which ever causes it thinks will ensure its continued survival, and given our history, that means the Liberal Party of Canada and general left-wing causes.  In fact, the Liberal Party's success is in large part due to its capitalizing on the CBC's leftist slant as a propaganda tool.

The Conservatives are far less likely to find the Ceeb a willing propagandists, and, conversely, the Ceeb is far less likely to advocate for its own fiscal starvation by endorsing Conservative ideology.

And so, the Ceeb puts a muzzle on the party selected by a healthy plurality or an outright majority of Canadian voters and the Conservative Party behaves accordingly, playing their cards close to their chests, being careful what they say or do for fear of being destroyed by the media.

The CBC is in a perpetual bind, from which it cannot, and apparently does not want to, escape. Other than through privatization, any threat of which, of course, will have them whipped up into a frenzy, there is no way for the Ceeb to escape this conundrum. In order to assure the funding continues, it must favour left-wing causes.  But there were no questions on the Friends' survey hinting at anything close to that nasty little factoid.  Pravda they are and Pravda they must remain - until and unless there is a grassroots revolt.

The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting then asks the participants to indicate their level of income and their gender. It's generally not a good idea to ask personal questions like that without a good reason, so I have to wonder why they need to know it.  Could it be they want to know who to aim their propaganda at? Is it the young angry male? The older worn out socialist whose youthful enthusiasm kept him from climbing the ladder or obtaining credentials that would earn him a good living?  Is the privileged list of elites entitled to take the Friends' surveys about to become even more narrowly defined?

And finally, they provide a spot for survey participants to comment. These are the comments I made, but since I wasn't one of the privileged few who got an invitation, I doubt they will count.
"How does one get "invited" to participate in this survey and how do you expect to pull the wool over the eyes of anyone with more than a grade school education. This survey was the most poorly designed survey instrument I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of them.

Like the CBC does on a daily basis, you have just thoroughly discredited yourselves as an organization that can be taken seriously. What a self-serving bunch of crap."
Anyway, well done Friends. With "friends" like you, the CBC hardly needs any more enemies.

Privatize the damned thing now!!!!

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I keep getting hits on my blog entries about Julian Assange by people using interesting search terms. Today, it's "julian assange castrated". They'll have to find his balls first. I believe his testicles have yet to descend.

(And another for "Julian Assange creepy")

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Julian Assange's Syphilitic Dick

...is supposed to start dripping this weekend, according to the Telegraph. It seems everybody on the planet is going to be "embarrassed".

Canada is going to be embarrassed about our "inferiority complex" aka "penis envy". Oh the humanity!

This one promises to be a colossal bore.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Time For Another Trip Down Memory Lane

(With thanks to EBD at SDA) When I first heard this guy, so many, many years ago, I instantly fell in love. I believe I was stoned at the time, but he sounds just as sweet with my senses fully intact.

And my very favourite:

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CRTC gives green light to Sun TV

Sun TV News to cater to conservative viewers, new channel's head says

Sun TV's conservative 24-hour news service gets the green light

Sun TV to be blue-collar and right wing, but no Fox News North: official

 Sun News receives CRTC's approval for a broadcasting licence

CBC and their groupies will be crying in their beer while the rest of us will be popping the corks on the champagne bottles. Free speech in Canada lives!!

According to CBC this is Arts and Entertainment, not news. Well, he who laughs last, laughs best. So BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Waiting for CBC to visit my blog. They were here a few hours ago. Must have been when they got the news.



To you too, Peggy Atwood!!! Up yours!!!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

You Know What, Julian?

UPDATE: Mitch Potter of the Toronto Star has a very even-handed analysis of the probable impact of WikiLeaks pending big blunder:
"Sources in Washington speculated that in the event that Afghanistan figures prominently in the Wikileaks dump, any undiplomatic mention of Canada is likely to pale against disclosures of U.S. views on various European NATO allies who have abstained from combat. But U.S. displeasure at the uneven workload in Afghanistan is hardly new; a rash of U.S. officials have said as much on the record, year after year."
I really doubt there will be anything that will seriously damage US-Canada relations, especially considering the reinvention of NATO that was just agreed upon. Or, for that matter, any of America's allies.

CBC will salivate, of course, as will all their lunatic leftie fans, but there is too much at stake right now to allow the words expressing private frustration to derail any of America's allies right now. There may be some hard truths to swallow, but so what. Adults inhabit the diplomatic corp. Those adults know what is at stake and do not play childish games. Not so with CBC and its rabid frothing at the mouth fans, nor with poor Julian.

In fact, I can't wait to see how CBC handles the latest batch. The leak known as ClimateGate was an "illegal hacking into private emails" that revealed the true nature of one of CBCs pet causes, but when it aids the Corpse's anti-American agenda, they'll be all over it as manna from heaven.  Just one more reason to kill that beast.

But what of our poor narcissist, Julian. Once it occurs to him that the adults have better sense than he does, his low self-esteem will dip even lower. Someone needs to get that boy a good shrink. He'll need one when the international arrest warrants start to multiply. In fact, I'm salivating at the prospect.

And I'm in awe at how the US is handling this.

Diplomats fear WikiLeaks will expose U.S. brickbats aimed at Canada
"The potential that secrets ranging from war tactics to intelligence-sharing could be revealed sparked concerns Thursday from Defence Minister Peter MacKay and U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, who said it was an irresponsible attempt to “wreak havoc” and “destabilize global security” that will put lives at risk."
"In Ottawa, there is speculation that the documents could reveal private accounts of U.S. pressure on Canada to extend its military mission in Afghanistan, or criticisms that Canadian intelligence agencies, hamstrung by legal concerns, aren’t reliable intelligence-sharing partners because they might reveal U.S. sources and feel unable to share wanted information.

Around the world, unconfirmed reports suggest that the documents will include U.S. diplomats’ accounts of the corruption of foreign leaders, or covert U.S. support for Kurdish separatists in Iraq and Turkey.

Canadian government figures insist they have not seen the documents WikiLeaks will disclose, but Mr. MacKay said he will be concerned if they reveal elements of military operations.

“What I can tell you is if there’s anything in there that endangers soldiers or speaks of operational detail, then I am worried,” he said."
Many Canadians will agree with him.

And very likely Australians will, too.

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I'm Betting this Whole Thing...

...will blow up in his pretty little face.

After all, he has seriously miscalculated on every count he's done so far. I mean what government relishes the prospect that their top secret documents will be released by some seriously screwed up misanthrope. I swear, some day soon this child trapped in an adult body is going to receive a bullet in his head.

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Forty Down, Thirty-Seven to Go!

Not that it will make much of a difference, but given the current climate in the Middle East, this could be a major shape shifter in places like Lebanon and Iraq.

Ahmadinejad's Days are Numbered
"Iranian lawmakers—including former supporters—have moved to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for law violations that could land him in prison. Reza Aslan reports on the bombastic leader’s flagrant missteps."
"And while it seems that, for the moment, the president can rely on the supreme leader for protection, his enemies in parliament are feeling increasingly emboldened by Ahmadinejad’s fading popularity. Indeed, on Monday, lawmakers started circulating a petition to begin openly debating his impeachment. They need 74 signatures to proceed. Thus far, they have received 40, and counting."
If The One wants to take credit for it, let him. As long as Iamamadjerk is eliminated, the whole world will be able to breathe a little easier.

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Or Jason Kenney

Vic Teows for Prime Minister!

Don't you just love how the lefties consistently misconstrue the Conservative agenda? Who in their right-wing mind is thinking of prison terms as deterrents? That's a Liberal view of the purpose of our criminal justice system. The purpose of prison terms is to keep dangerous people off the streets. Period! And the longer the better. And another thing. Thirty years ago DNA evidence didn't exist. Wrongful convictions are much less likely because it does exist now.

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Another First for Iraq

Al-Maliki named Iraqi PM
"Nouri al-Maliki has been offered a second term as Iraq's prime minister, and has one month to form a new cabinet and end the eight-month political deadlock.

The naming of al-Maliki by Jalal Talabani, Iraq's president, to another term in office follows the conclusion of a power-sharing deal between the country's divided factions sealed two weeks ago.

"I charge you ... Nouri al-Maliki to form the new government, which we hope will be a real national partnership government which will not exclude any faction," Talabani said at a ceremony at Al-Salam presidential palace in Baghdad on Thursday.

"You have 30 days to form the cabinet."

Since the poll on March 7, Iraq set a new world record for the longest period between an election and a government being formed.

Thursday's formal nomination, delayed to give al-Maliki as much time as possible to negotiate with his political rivals, signals an end to the protracted political battle between Iraq's factions.

Al-Maliki called on the Iraqi people to support the security forces as they fight the insurgent threat, and called for political blocs to present candidates for the cabinet who had "experience, loyalty and integrity".

"The coming government will be committed to reconstruction and providing services," al-Maliki said after his nomination, according to media adviser, Yassin Majid. "It will be a government of partnership, no one will be neglected.""
Good luck Mr. Maliki. You're going to need it. The first thing you'll need to tackle is interference from Iran and Saudi Arabia and the rabid left in the free world. The world will be watching and, remember, a free press is essential to achieving democracy.

Oh. And among those factions are Iraqi Christians. What's left of them. Don't do to them what previous Iraqi governments and your fellow Arabs in other countries did to the Jews.
"It is estimated that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Jews were forced or fled from their homes in the Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970s; 260,000 reached Israel between 1948–1951, and 600,000 by 1972.

A significant proportion of Jews left due to political insecurity and the rise of Arab nationalism. Almost all were required to sell or abandon their property for state.[3] By 2002 these Jews and their descendants constituted about 40% of Israel's population."

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Putin Comes Is Allowed In From the Cold?

Part of NATO's realignment?

Putin calls on EU to determine visa scrapping terms and schedule

Putin Proposes European Trade Zone Stretching `From Lisbon to Vladivostok'

A very interesting analysis: Western views of Russia take a turn to reality
"The West has not had a very good record of seeing Russia as it is; more often it has been a palimpsest on which the visitor has written his notions. I recommend Martin Malia’s Russia Under Western Eyeswhich starts with Voltaire’s imaginary ideally-governed Russia or David Foglesong’s The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' which details a century of American obsessions about a Russia seen as a disappointingly stubborn and backwards twin brother.

But it is certain that change there has been since August 2008. Here are some indicators.

* The famous “reset” of the Obama Administration. Some of the fruits, apart from a new nuclear weapons treaty have been:
o The US State Department finally put the leader, but not the organisation itself, of the Caucasus Emirate on its terrorist list (the jihadist foundations of the second war in Chechnya has been one of the West’s persistent misunderstandings).
o The abandonment of strategic missile defence in Poland and the Czech Republic. Although the deployment had little support in either Poland or the Czech Republic, it was strongly supported by the political classes in each country. Another example, it seems, of democracy becoming geopolitics.
* The air crash that killed Polish President Kaczynski and the open and sympathetic reaction of Russians has opened possibilities with Poland, previously one of Russia’s most implacable opponents inside NATO.
* The financial crisis has hit many of the former post-USSR success stories quite hard and made them re-think relations with Russia. Latvia is a pertinent example.
* Relations with NATO are changing rapidly. NATO expansion has been dealt a blow: it’s clear that Ukraine will not join and no one wants to share a table with Saakashvili. But more to the point, NATO has, after a dozen years of treating Russia with contemptuous indifference, realised that it needs Russia in Afghanistan. While the General Secretary of NATO says different things to different audiences (for example in Tbilisi saying that Georgia will be a member of NATO one day), he has also been making overtures to Moscow, calling a few weeks ago for a “true strategic partnership.” I suspect that Paris and Berlin (and perhaps now Warsaw too) are pushing him.
* For several years, President Medvedev has been calling for a re-think of the European security system. At first dismissed as “an attempt to split Europe” his idea is receiving better reception.
* Crying wolf – what more ridiculous example can there be than this hyperventilation: “Putin’s shadow Falls over Finland” – is losing its effect. Russia’s neighbours have not been bludgeoned into slavery by the “gas weapon”, Russian troops did not “conquer Georgia” and annex the pipelines. After these and (many) other predictive failures, new doom-filled warnings are that much less believable.

The metaphorical sweater is unravelling rapidly. If Ossetians and Abkhazians regard Russians as their protectors, one cannot believe the story Tbilisi has been telling us for years. If Yanukovych won a fair election, perhaps it was the “Orange Revolution” that was the fraud. If Armenia has had its gas prices go up as much as Ukraine, then it can’t be a “gas weapon” to reward friends and punish enemies. What was stopping Russian troops from seizing large parts of Georgia proper? perhaps Putin neither wants the empire back nor to control the pipelines. If Russia’s principal enemy in the North Caucasus is a “terrorist”, then what’s really going on there? If China and Zimbabwe are members of the WTO, why isn’t Russia?

Paris and Berlin continue to lead: at the three-way summit in Deauville, overtures were made as was clear from the press conference. President Sarkozy said “We are certain that Russia, Germany and France share common positions in many respects” and that “we live in a new world, a world of friendship between Russia and Europe.” Chancellor Merkel said “we need to put relations between Russia and NATO on a rational track. After all, we face some of the same threats in the world today.” Medvedev, for once not the suppliant, was less forthcoming but made it clear he was listening.

These are, to be sure, straws in the wind but there are now quite a few of them and more come every day. Barring some unexpected catastrophe, I expect this development to continue. Paris and Berlin (and perhaps Warsaw) are leading developments but others will join in. The coming NATO summit will move the process a step further.

The end result, for perhaps the first time in history, will be a Western view of Russia more nearly as it actually is; no longer an imagined reflection. As an important player with its own interests Russia will have to be accommodated. Not an enemy, not an opponent, not necessarily an ally, but an important player that, in fact, marches in the same direction most of the time. And when it doesn’t, disagreements can be discussed and reasonable compromises made. In short, a Russia that is seen to be “in the box”."
Yup. The Cold War is well and truly over. All eyes now on the Muslim world.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interesting Article

Another Week of Middle Eastern...

...hell, with only a little bit of intrigue:

Lebanese PM voices support for Hariri tribunal

...despite the fact that Nasrallah has called for him to "repudiate the trail."
"Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri expressed support Wednesday for a U.N.-backed tribunal's investigation of the assassination of his politician father, a process many fear could ignite factional violence.

Western diplomats and Lebanese political sources say expected indictments against members of Shi'ite guerrilla group Hezbollah in the 2005 killing of Sunni statesman Rafik al-Hariri could be issued by the end of this year or in early 2011.

The group, part of a fragile national unity government, denies involvement in the Hariri bombing and Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said he will not allow the arrest of any members. He has called on Saad to repudiate the tribunal."

Hezbollah official hints at group's involvement in Hariri murder
"The (UN commission's) findings and the imminent release of the UN report have sparked fears of a renewed civil war in Lebanon.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Beirut on Wednesday for a two-day visit that would include talks on the tense political situation in Lebanon, in an effort to keep the row from spiraling out of control.

Erdogan is to meet Lebanese government officials and lawmakers from Hezbollah, according to a government source.

The Turkish premier, in remarks published Wednesday in the Lebanese daily As Safir, said his country would not allow Lebanon to deteriorate into a civil war.

Erdogan said that Turkey would "do the necessary to fight signs of a civil war in Lebanon."

"Now is the time for unity in Lebanon," he said."
We know history doesn't repeat itself, but does it ever go backwards? I was in Lebanon waaaay back in 1973, before the Civil War. It was a beautiful place then.

Meanwhile, back in Hezbollah HQ, another curious movement is afoot:

Dozens of Iranian lawmakers demand Ahmadinejad be summoned for questioning 
"Dozens of Iranian lawmakers have signed a petition seeking to make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the first president to be summoned for questioning since the Islamic Revolution 32 years ago.

However the challenge looks unlikely to succeed because the numbers fall short of the constitutional requirement that at least one-fourth of the 290 parliament members must sign the petition before the president can be questioned."

Turkey vows to prevent war with Lebanon
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consulted with top ministers behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss concerns that Hezbollah could attempt a coup against the government.

Similar concerns were raised last week by Israeli chief of staff Lt General Gabi Ashkenazi during a visit to Canada. "There is a real possibility that Hezbollah will take over Lebanon," an army statement quoted him as saying."
It's like waiting for the earthquake to come so we can see what's changed. It can get a lot worse, or a lot better.

Something is afoot, if that powerhouse, Gambia, cuts ties with Iran, making for some embarrassing and revealing speculation.

And was it Stuxnet or was it not Stuxnet?

A summary worth reading: Iran: Things That Are Not Talked About
PS: One more article with a Canadian, but not CBC, element.

Nasrallah could seize power in Lebanon, Ashkenazi tells, MacKay, Canadian counterpart
"IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi warned last week that Hezbollah could sieze power in Lebanon.

Ashkenazi met in Canada with his Canadian counterpart, General Walter Natynczyk, the chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Forces. The meeting was held as part of a series of work-related meetings that Ashkenazi is holding during an official visit to Canada and the United States.

Ashkenazi told his Canadian hosts that he is concerned over the possible ramifications of the UN probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and said that the publication of the probe’s findings may result in Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah seizing power in Lebanon."
"During his meeting in Canada, Ashkenazi said that a small group within the Lebanese Army is assisting Hezbollah and mentioned recent visits by current Lebanese PM Saad Hariri (son of Rafik Hariri) and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to Syria for talks with President Bashar Assad as aimed at ensuring their “survival.”

Ashkenazi also mentioned what he called the “radical axis” in the Middle East, which he said is gaining strength, and praised Canada for its participation in training a future Palestinian Authority security force in Judea and Samaria."
My question is why is Turkey so concerned about the consequences of the allegation that Hezbollah was involved in Hariri's assassination? Is it the prospect of Hezbollah being in charge of the whole country of Lebanon, or does it have something to do with the new role and focus of NATO, or both? Or neither?

I'll have more on NATO in a day or two. The long war continues. Iraq was but the first battle.

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