Monday, February 28, 2011

What a Megalomaniac!!

Gadhafi clings to power amid growing support for protests
"Told by the BBC's Jeremy Bowen that he had seen demonstrators in the streets that morning, Gadhafi asked, "Are they supporting us?"

"They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to protect me, my people," he said."
Well, he got that last part right. They are dieing to protect him.

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Maybe the Old Goat... this video ain't so bad after all. If this article is to be believed.

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I Will Confess...

...I have never read any of Edward Said's work, but this article, is largely about Said, his outlook on the history and condition of the Arab peoples, and his critique of the West's approach, widely viewed as "Orientalism".

Libyans failed by Left orientalism

If the author's description of Said and his impact is accurate, wow, without even knowing it, the author nails my views to a T. Take this, for example:
"Nowadays the late American literary critic Edward Said passes for a moral authority on the historical relations of the Arab and Western worlds, and every single month a multitude of clever, ambitious, wind-sniffing young academic researchers pay homage to his memory. Said fitted himself perfectly to the needs of our era: though his entire adult life was spent in Manhattan, he purported to present the authentic voice of Arab victimhood to an intelligentsia yearning to reject everything their own countries stood for, as an act of spiritual self-purification. Like his soulmate Noam Chomsky, Said presented a political perspective of almost child-like simplicity: the West, in its domineering ignorance, was forever doomed to "other" the Orient, and to treat it as its inferior, even while Said and his disciples blissfully "othered" the Middle East themselves, as a sepulchre of Arab suffering, in a mirror-image of those they deplored. Said's acolytes are probably less familiar with the articles he wrote over many years for the Egyptian state press - articles devoid of the criticism of any existing Arab government; (least of all Mubarak's); and which reduce all the problems of the Arab world to the actions of those two familiar pantomime villains, the US and Israel. You will not be surprised to hear that Said had nothing whatever to say about Libya's absurd Mussolini imitator, Gaddafi - except to heap abuse upon the US when it responded to the colonel's various terrorist provocations.

Said reserved special contempt for brave Arabs who criticised the region's political, economic and social backwardness. As he wrote, in his customary lachrymose tones, in Egyptian state weekly Al-Ahram in 2003: 'I recall the lifeless cadences of their sentences for, with nothing positive to say about their people, they simply regurgitate the tired American formulas: we lack democracy; we haven't challenged Islam enough, we need to drive away the spectre of Arab nationalism.'"
Several years ago, I came to that conclusion myself, without reading anyone else's assessment. That IS what ails the Middle East.
"These ideals Said found aesthetically repugnant, since they offered the possibility that the Arab world - that shimmering ideal about which he knew so little and spoke so much - might become more like us. Instead, like any good Orientalist, he wanted the Arab world to remain pre-modern, atavistic, romantic - a figure out of his own fervid imaginings. You can search Said's articles in vain for the words now on the lips of young people across the region: democracy, freedom, women's rights. Instead, like earlier colonialist bromides they are souvenirs of pure social and political reaction.
And that, my dear friends, is a mirror image of Canada's Indian Industry, and likely the Industry the race hucksters in the US.

The article also ends on a somewhat upbeat note:
"What seems obvious about the young Libyans in the streets of Tobruk, Benghazi and Tripoli - like young Iranians and Egyptians, and quite possibly many Syrians and Saudis too - is that they no longer want any truck with those miserable self-serving fantasies of Arab victimhood and Zionist sorcery. Instead, they merely want to live - as Said was lucky enough to do - in a "normal" country, where their persons will be treated with dignity and their views with respect. But about how to create such a country, beyond toppling statues and setting fire to police stations, they have been left almost totally in the dark - partly through the agency of their own rulers, and partly by us."
RTWT Libyans failed by Left orientalism

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Regarding Fake News,...

...I take it back. Lorne Gunter has the real story.
"Just look at the headline to start with: “CRTC ditches bid to allow fake news.”"
The "headline" of a Flop and Flail story was the same one the Vancouver Sun used, and although the telling of the stories are sightly different, they are about the same thing. Gunter continues:
"That isn’t what they are doing; not a bit. There is no push to allow “fake” news. That’s what lib-left politicians, editors and reporters had convinced themselves the broadcast regulator is doing. Some had even gone so far as to insist the CRTC is looking to allow false news on behalf of the Harper government so the soon-to-launch SunTV can propagandize for the Conservatives. But not even all the anguished, conspiratorial imagination of the left-leaning elites in Canada makes something true – it merely makes it something our smug elites all reassure one another is so. Not the same thing.

Late last year, the CRTC, at the behest of a joint Senate-House of Commons regulatory committee, announced it wanted to change the rules governing news broadcasts on radio and television. The current regulation bars stations from broadcasting “any false or misleading news.” Concerned that this rule would never withstand a Charter challenge because it is too vague and broad, the joint committee told the CRTC to change the regulation so that it applied only to a licensee who “knowingly” broadcasts news that is “false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.”"
That's quite a different thing, isn't it. It seems to me the Flop and Flail and the Vancouver Sun are guilty of spreading false news. And shame on me for falling for it. Gunter's piece is also a stellar analysis of leftwing lunacy, which he, Gunter, believes is behind this.

But do read the whole article. There's a Sun TV element in it.

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Oh Dear! We Can't Let This Continue.

Protesters: “Not Gaza or Lebanon! Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran!”

That's the chant heard on the streets in Tehran a couple of weeks or so ago. Hmmmm. Let's see. Just a few days ago Ahmadinejad said something like that didn't he? No wait!

Ahmadinejad says Egypt, Tunisia were inspired by Iran's anti-Western protests

Uh, what anti-Western protests?

And speaking of Ahmadinejad, seems he gets his speaking notes from our very own leftards:

Western-made weapons killing people in Arab countries: Ahmadinejad

Read the article. Iamadinnerjacket's exercise of his usual loopy logic is on full display.

Further reading on Iran's protests and freedom movement:

Police shut down Tehran protest
"Dozens of Iranian opposition supporters were arrested Monday while taking part in a banned rally in Tehran to support popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, an Iranian opposition website said."
Hmmmm. Sounds like those Middle East tyrants, no?
""Witnesses say in some parts of Tehran, security forces arrested dozens of protesters," opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi's Kaleme website reported.

Security forces fired tear gas to scatter thousands of people marching toward a Tehran square, a witness said. There were also clashes between police and demonstrators, and dozens of arrests, in the city of Isfahan, another witness told Reuters.

"Death to the dictator," some of the Tehran protesters chanted, though other demonstrators marched in silence. Some chants drew comparisons between the Iranian leadership and the autocrats deposed in recent weeks in Tunis and Cairo."
Oh dear.

Ahmadinejad claims  Iran protests are futile

Yup. You gotta shout anti-Israel, anti-American, pro-Gaza, pro-Lebanon slogans in order to accomplish anything. Those damned subjects just will not learn.

Iran Is Closer to Imploding
"Although Iran is an Islamic dictatorship that controls its news, certain things are leaking out. The revolts in the Arab world are making them very nervous."
Perhaps that's because they are a sign the Mahdi is about to return, and he will not be amused.

Regime Change Ripe in Iran Say Former Military Officials

If the Mahdi can do it in the Arab world, why can't he do it in Iran? Be careful Iamadinnerjacket. Be very careful.

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The Rantings of a Madman

One day he says he has no position so cannot resign, the next day he compares himself to the Queen of England and the King of Thailand. Make up your deranged mind, Mr. Daffy! (Must be the pills)

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Thank you world media"

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What Happened to the Berlin Wall?

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Damned If You Do...

...and damned if you don't.

Call for US to bomb Gaddafi's compound
"Abdul is leading a medical convoy into Libya and he spoke to us about that a few days ago. He said people in Benghazi want the US administration to follow the former US president Ronald Reagan's approach and bomb Colonel Gaddafi's compound."
Sorry, Abdul. Ronnie's dead, and The One, well, don't hold your breath.

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Further Thoughts on Egypt's Proposed Constitution

UPDATED AND BUMPED: This article says that "Committee members defended the reform process, saying their proposals are meant as a temporary measure before parliamentary elections, tentatively scheduled to be held in about four months. The popularly elected parliament is then expected to select a constitutional congress of about 100 people to draft an entirely new document. "Making a new constitution is not the role of eight people," said Atif Al Banna, a committee member. "This has to be with the participation of the political parties, political powers and civil-society organizations."  Good!
My previous thoughts were here. Some of the elements of it are described here, from which I quote:
"The proposed amendments, outlined on Saturday by a judicial committee appointed by Egypt's ruling military council, will be put to a referendum ahead of elections that will hand power back to a civilian government."
"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says it hopes to hold the elections within six months."
What if the referendum rejects the proposed amendments? Wouldn't it be better to promise elections within six months of the passage of the constitution by the electorate?
"The proposed terms for candidacy are also looser than current requirements.

Under the proposed rules, candidates would need the support of 30 parliamentarians, opposed to the former requirement for the backing of 250 members from a range of elected assemblies, including 65 MPs.

Alternatively, they could run as representatives of registered political parties which have at least one member elected to either the upper or lower house of parliament."
Way too restrictive! Almost guarantees that no new ideas or fresh perspectives will be brought to the table. And besides, there is currently a dirth of viable political parties. Voters need to have ample choices.

And here's another rundown of what's in the proposal:
"The new proposed amendments also sets a minimum age for the presidential candidate of 40 years with no maximum limit."
No way. The voters can decide for themselves whether a particular candidate's age is an issue.

"I still have reservations on the amendments. I ask to have an elected vice president. There should be a change to give political parties freedom to be formed and there should be a limitation on the powers of the president."


"These are acceptable changes given the limited time, but I wish that the second article of the constitution could have been changed to make Islamic law one of many principles for legislation and not the principal one."
Hear! Hear!!


"It would have been better to draft the whole constitution rather than to limit the work of the committee. This would have required time but it would have been better to prepare a new constitution that would endow Egypt with a constitution with a respect for human rights and which establishes the proper balance between the three branches of government.

"The constitution provides for the right of Egyptians to establish political parties according to the law but the law restricts the right to establish political parties."

"It could have been simply said (in the amendments) that Egyptians have the right to establish political parties, with founders simply informing the authorities."

"We need to change this law.""
Hear! Hear!

Lets hope these voices get ample opportunity to participate in the debate. I hope Egyptians reject the proposed amendments and send it back to the drawing board WITHOUT the participation of army. Individual members of the armed forces, of course, can and should be allowed to participate freely, but not on an officially delegated capacity. The army has no business writing constitutions.

Moreover, simply removing offensive clauses, as demanded by the protesters, is rather uninspired. Egypt has an opportunity to remake itself. Unless there are other amendments that haven't made the headlines, this one will not likely provide the spark that is needed.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned in any of the articles I've read is whether and how future amendments can be made. Perhaps the referendum should specify that if these amendments are rejected, a broadly based committee of knowledgeable citizens should be charged with rewriting the whole thing.

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Quelle Surprise!

Searchlight poll finds huge support for far right 'if they gave up violence'
"Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.

A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race."
No shit, Sherlock!
"According to the survey, 39% of Asian Britons, 34% of white Britons and 21% of black Britons wanted all immigration into the UK to be stopped permanently, or at least until the economy improved. And 43% of Asian Britons, 63% of white Britons and 17% of black Britons agreed with the statement that "immigration into Britain has been a bad thing for the country". Just over half of respondents – 52% – agreed with the proposition that "Muslims create problems in the UK".
"The poll also identified a majority keen to be allowed to openly criticise religion, with 60% believing they "should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion". By contrast, fewer than half – 42% – said "people should be allowed to say whatever they believe about race"."
What a racist lot!!

A link to this story was in the comments under a Flop and Flail story about Libya. The person who posted it said: "The forced balkanization/demographic timebomb leftists were planting under Our Feet has blown-up in their faces!!!" LOL!! So true, and not just in Britain.

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Peter MacKay Explains the Evacuation Kerfuffle

...none of which will satisfy Flop and Flail or CBC fans, of course, which is fine with me as it will only bolster support for the Conservative Party. Poor Libs and Dippers have such lunatics on their side.

Craig Oliver was amazingly polite and non-confrontational with him, too, unlike his counterparts at the CBC.

I'm betting the No-Fly zone resolution will come after all foreign nationals have been evacuated. No point risking an evacuation flight being shot down by mistake.

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16 Point Plan for Islamist Parties to Gain Legitimacy

1.  Renounce violence in the strongest terms
2.  Renounce anti-Semitism in the strongest terms
3.  Renounce the Islamist regime in Iran
4.  Renounce Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, CAIR and similar organizations operating in the West or anywhere else in the world
5.  Renounce individuals practicing such expressions of hatred as those mentioned in #1 through #4
6.  Recognize the right of the state of Israel to exist
urge Muslim states throughout the world to enter into peaceful, amiable relations with Israel and lead by way of example
7.  Renounce and reinterpret passages in the Koran that inspire violence toward and hatred of non-Muslims
8.  Renounce the several and severe instances of oppression and mistreatment of girls and women and other barbaric practices, such as stoning and chopping off the hands of common thieves
9.  Renounce those states which fund Islamic organizations that practice and promote hatred
10. Renounce the Ground-Zero mosque project
11. Renounce the teaching and preaching of hatred in mosques and schools
12. Renounce the use of civilian populations as human shields during conflict
13. Renounce the continued use of the history of European/American colonialism and the Christian crusades as an excuse for every sort of vile behaviour on the part of individuals and organizations, including governments throughout the Muslim world
11. Apologize for the Muslim crusades and the atrocities therein committed during the spread of Islam following the birth of your new religion in the seventh century
14. Expunge and denounce the Islamic practice of taqqyia and hudna
15. Expunge and denounce the severe punishments meted out to apostates
16. Disassociate yourselves from any and all Western leftists organizations

Repeat all of the above over and over and over and over until the message is heard by each and every person on the planet in the languages that they understand by any and every means possible, including, but not restricted to:

a) Dissemination via printed tracts, radio and television spots, facebook, twitter, websites and other electronic forms of communications
b) The preaching of sermons in mosques urging reform and introspection
c) Levying severe and consistent punishment of those who do not comply
d) Committing to and following through on an open, genuine, respectful dialogue with the State of Israel and the Jewish people wherever they are found, and Christians, too, and for that matter, Buddhists, Bahai's and Hindus and any other religions;
e) Organizing mass rallies and marches for the express purpose of renouncing these atrocious practices and inculcating the practice of principles that truly do promote, reflect and respect human rights of all peoples, including fellow Muslims.

Since I don't want to die of asphyxiation, I won't be holding my breath, but should you pleasantly surprise me, I may just drop dead. If it will help, you can make that one of your objectives.


Absurdities From a British Leftist

Tunisians know Ben Ali was not democracy's only block

This is one of the most sickening example of apologetics I have ever read.
"As the revolution gathers strength, an old Islamist party looks likely to win any election – if the west respects its legitimacy"
"The rising temperature has not escaped the United States' attention. Rightwing senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain were here a week ago, and last Thursday the state department's top Middle East official, William Burns, held talks with Ghannouchi, who served in the same job for more than 10 years under Ben Ali. Although all three men hailed the Tunisian revolution, there is little doubt they want to keep it – as far as possible – in check."
Unfreakin' believable!
"After Ben Ali fled, Ghannouchi's government was given two months to implement reforms. With the deadline of 15 March nearing, two broad approaches have emerged. The conservative one, backed by the old political and business elite and most of the print media, is to extend the interim government's term until presidential elections in July. France and the US are thought to be pressing for the formation of a new centre party that will absorb leading members of the old ruling party, the RCD, and provide a good candidate for the presidency."
...for which he offers no evidence whatsoever. None. Zero. Zilch. A big goose egg.
"The secular left and the Islamists want deeper change. Along with the main trade union federation, they are displaying remarkable unity and recently formed a National Council for the Defence of the Revolution (NCDR)."
I'll bet they have. This is an in-the-raw example of the old saw "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
"The establishment newspapers and some secular politicians are trying to raise the alarm about the Islamists and sharia law, but Rached Ghannouchi (a leading opposition figure) and his colleagues insist they want a broad-based coalition to reflect all the movements that toppled the dictatorship. They say arguments over whether policies should be secular or non-secular are a diversion. The main issue is democracy."
Ala communist style, I presume.
""After suffering under a presidential dictatorship and de facto one-party rule, most leftists and Islamists are calling for a parliamentary system," says Radhia Nasraoui, a lawyer who heads the Association against Torture in Tunisia. Her husband, Hamma Hammami, leads the Tunisian Workers' Communist party (yup) and was only released from prison when Ben Ali was toppled."
"There is a widespread consensus that the old Islamist party, al-Nahda (Renaissance), is Tunisia's strongest political force. It is more powerful morally, [riiiight] if not yet organisationally, than its Egyptian counterparts because so many hundreds of members suffered torture and exile under Ben Ali, unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt which was banned but not brutalised (apart from very few)."
"In Tunisia things look different. They see a west that supported a string of Arab dictators and they remember how western countries led the boycott of Gaza after Hamas won the 2006 election."
Truly bizarre. As if Hamas is a shining example of democracy and human rights!
"Western leaders like to think that they are bringing democracy to less enlightened parts of the world."
Huh? Again, no evidence.

In fact, the only thing he gets right is this:
"These elections should be for a constituent assembly that will work out a constitution that enshrines all the basic civic freedoms as well as mechanisms to prevent or punish torture in prisons and police stations."
Indeed, that should apply in every country now witnessing mass protests.

Take a look at some other themes this old commie has written about. Now, pardon me while I go hurl. When I come back, I'll tell you what I think Islamist parties need to do earn "legitimacy" from the West.

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Back Where It All Began

Tunisians celebrate prime minister's ouster
"Less than a minute after Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigned Sunday in a speech on national television, the massive crowd filling this city's Casbah Square suddenly halted the angry chants that had continued around the clock for days. There was silence, and then cheers, chants and circles of ecstatic dancing."
"Ghannouchi, 69, quit because he had been unable to overcome his past as part of fallen president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's government, and the peaceful demonstrations that forced Ben Ali out had turned violent and police seemed unable to control the crowds, according to activists in several newly formed political parties.

"He had to go," said Abdelaziz Belkhodja, a publisher and novelist who is a founder of the new Republican Party here. "But the real worry is that there is so little time to arrange for elections and political structures."

Tunisia's constitution gives the interim government only 60 days to hold an election."
The timing of proposed elections in several of these countries where uprising are taking place is problematic. The weakness of opposition parties is just one of the problems. I hope they find a way through this, otherwise we may witness a "one election, one time" scenario, similar to Gaza, which is NOT democracy.

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Now Oman!

Deaths in Oman protests

I'm wondering if Saudi Arabia is next?

UPDATE: No sooner asked than answered, sorta.

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Libya Update

Opposition forces at Tripoli's doorstep
"Reuters news agency is now confirming that opposition forces on Sunday were in control of Zawiyah, a city about 50 km west of Tripoli. A crowd of several hundred had assembled in the city centre waving the red, green and black flag of the pre-Qadhafi era. It quoted a man who was present there as saying “Zawiyah is free like Misrata and Benghazi”, referring to the two cities to the east of the capital. Al Jazeera confirmed that Misrata, Libya's third largest city, was also under opposition control. The dissidents were making progress, because civilians and defected military units were combining well to propel the advance."
"Protesters have been heartened by the imposition of United Nations sanctions on Libya on Saturday, but some are apprehensive that these restrictions may not go far enough. Hana Elgallal, a legal and human rights expert in Benghazi, said she was disappointed that the U.N. did not impose a no-fly zone. “We will not be able to move and help Tripoli because of the fear that he [Qadhafi] will use his planes,” she was quoted as saying. Adding a word of caution, the “The Network of Free Ulema — Libya”, which claims it is a coalition of Muslim religious scholars and intellectuals, has welcomed humanitarian aid, but has rejected international military action against Libya."
Media trip backfires for Libya officials (Video)

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Alternate Government to be Set Up in Benghazi

I don't know about you, but this guy sounds more than a bit scary, as in dyed in the wool Islamist. That little swipe against Italy as an imperialist power is good clue. Italy's empire is long gone. It's been fifty years. Time to quit flogging that dead horse.

More information here and here.

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If It Passes Through All the Hoops

...this will be very good news for Canadians.


Canadian Election Talk

Now, Howzabout a Protest in Gaza

Iraq Takes a Giant Step Backwards

12 die in Iraq amid Arab world protests

More deaths and clashes follow Iraq protests

Iraq 'Day of Rage' protests followed by detentions, beatings

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urges reform after protests
"Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on Iraq's government and parliament to take serious steps in improving electricity services, providing jobs and fighting corruption in the country, where progress remains slow eight years after the U.S. invasion."
"Sistani urged politicians to speed up reforms and warned them of consequences "which could result from a lack of speed in providing radical solutions to citizens' problems, who have been patient for so long."

Kurdish president Barzani condemns violent protests in Iraq
"We must respect the institutions and processes democracy provides us to negotiate our differences in a way that is peaceful and fair to all. The votes of our people determine the political faith of our country. These processes cannot be over- turned through violence or the irresponsible attempts of the few to impose their will by force. Doing so would fatally undermine the values we all hold so dear and jeopardize all of the other rights the practice of democracy grants us. Chaos or dictatorship is the alternative, where the desires of a few determine the fate of all. All people of Iraq know the outcome of such a system well and we will not return to it. In our pursuit of our common goals of progress and democracy, let us not trample the very ideals we aim to protect."
London shows solid support for Iraq protesters
"More than a 100 protesters descended on the US embassy in London today to show their solidarity for anti-government demonstrations across Iraq.

The noisy protest was organised by a coalition of British-based Kurdish and Iraqi groups to coincide with "a day of rage" in cities across Iraq and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against the US-backed dictatorship, corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services."
Just one problem. The US is not responsible for the corruption in Iraq. Go after your own people. They are the ones who are failing you.

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Ghadfi Controls 15% of Libya

And he an several members of his family will have to sit in Tripoli and rot.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is Interesting

Two members of the Anglosphere apparently think the UN sanctions are not enough:

Australia slaps sanctions on Gaddafi regime
"Australia will impose sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his inner circle, including bans on financial dealings with 22 individuals and bans on entering Australian territory, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said."
Canada readying Libyan sanctions: Harper
""Canada fully supports the United Nations Security Council on a resolution that could include an embargo on arms, individual sanctions against key players in the regime, as well as an asset freeze," the prime minister said."
Watch the CBC video at the second link, too, for a very interesting analysis of options by Major General Lewis MacKenzie. Basically, there are darned few options. We still wait for the imposition of a No-Fly zone resolution. Hopefully, it will come soon.

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Exiled in Britain

One of the reasons I believe this revolution sweeping the Arab world will not likely end badly (ie. with Islamists taking charge) is that fact that so many of the Middle East's leading intellectuals have spent much of their lives living in Europe or North America and thereby understand what democracy is all about. Some of them have been students. Some have been driven into exile by the regimes that crushed their homelands. Here is an article about one such exile living in Britain, a journalist, who has become a conduit for the voice of the Libyan people:

Libya: how an exile in Britain finds the chinks in Gaddafi's wall of silence

Of course, he has the advantage of technology devised by Westerners, which is certainly a critical sub-theme in this entirely astounding event unfolding across the Arab and Muslim world. These are some of his words:
"I only broke down once. And it was at a most unlikely moment. Not when someone was relaying some awful account of a massacre, but when one man in the middle of a demonstration congratulated me. It is the good manners of people facing death that gets you. He said "Hello" in that tone that over the past few days has become familiar to me, which says everything you need to know about the struggle between fear and hope, optimism and the abyss. When I introduced myself he said, "Congratulations, Mr Hisham, I hear you have a new book coming out."
Those, both his own and of the person he was speaking to, are words of hope.

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Saints Preserve us!

Assorted UN officials and delegates are starting to sound like they do believe in the UN's original mission!!

UN rights chief: Probe Libya for possible crimes against humanity
"UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay implored the UN Human Rights Council to use all means possible to establish an independent panel to investigate the alleged abuses by Libyan security forces and hold those responsible to account."
"Gadhafi, who has ruled for 42 years, appears to have lost control of large parts of the country. Pillay reminded the council that Gadhafi had urged his supporters to battle protesters and "attack them in their lairs," which she called a possible crime against humanity.

She said "any official, at any level, ordering or carrying out atrocities and attacks can be held criminally accountable."

It is the first time that the 47-nation Human Rights Council has held a special session to scrutinize one of its members. Libya's ambassador did not attend."
"Nigeria's ambassador, Charles Nduka Onianwa, said for the African group of council members that it "is obvious ... that the indiscriminate use of force against peaceful protesters should be condemned."

Pakistan's ambassador, Zamir Akram, said the 57 members of the Organization of The Islamic Conference "strongly condemn the excessive use of force" in Libya.

"Muslims will no longer tolerate inequalities and injustice," he told the council. "A new dawn has come. The rules of the game have changed. Those who do not embrace it will be swept away
Now, excuse me while I lift my jaw off the floor. Who wants to bet that this den of dictators will now practice what they have preached? Not me.

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Ever the Voice of Reason

Fouad Ajami pens a hopeful piece on the meaning of the uprisings in the Arab world:

Mideast unrest is a change the world should believe in, scholar says

For one thing, he believes Arab Nationalism is dead. Hallelujah!! And for another, he believes it was the scene broadcast round the world of a disheveled Iraqi dictator being pulled out of a hole in the ground that provided the catalyst. Double Hallelujah!!

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UN Security Council Passes Resolution on Libya

...unanimously! Which means even China and Russia agreed!!
"They backed an arms embargo and asset freeze while referring Col Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

US President Barack Obama has said the Libyan leader should step down and leave the country immediately.

Discussions on forming a transitional government are reportedly underway.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil - who resigned as justice minister in protest against the excessive use of force against demonstrators - said a body comprising military and civilian figures would prepare for elections within three months, Libya's privately-owned Quryna newspaper reported.

Libya's ambassadors to the United States and UN have both reportedly voiced their support for the plan, which was being discussed in the rebel-controlled eastern town of Benghazi.

The UN estimates more than 1,000 people have died as Col Gadddafi's regime attempted to quell the 10-day-old revolt.

The global body's World Food Programme has warned that the food distribution system is "at risk of collapsing" in the North African nation, which is heavily dependent on imports.

Struggle for control

Saturday night's vote was passed unanimously by all 15 members. Ahead of the vote, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had urged the Security Council to take "decisive action" over the Libya crisis.

The Libyan delegation at the UN had sent a letter to the Council backing measures to hold to account those responsible for armed attacks on Libyan civilians, including action through the International Criminal Court - which had been one of the main points of contention in the resolution."
Now, let's hope this resolution has more influence than the two dozen or so  that were passed against Saddam Hussein's regime before Dubya took it upon himself to enforce Resolutions 687 and 1441.

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Never Let It be Said

...that revolutions can't inspire some delicious humour:

Our own African Psycho Gaddafi deserves an Oscar
"Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been in power for 41 years, so the world knows he is a little mad. However, no one imagined he had so much more madness inside him.

Besieged, and having lost control of a large part of his country to protestors, Gaddafi entered a very dark place.

He became the first modern dictator anywhere to order his air force jets and navy ships to attack protestors in the street.

His faced distorted by botox, raving like a deranged man, Gaddafi has been a scary sight to watch on TV."
Too late for this year's Oscars, I guess, but there's always next year.
"However, in their moments of disgrace and humiliation, these dictators have still taught Africa a few key political lessons that needed good examples to illustrate them.

The first lesson is on the vexing matter of presidential term limits.

In the past 10 years, many African leaders have scrapped term limits so they can rig elections and continue in office. No region has been spared.

In the East African Community, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni did away with term limits in 2005.

What Ben Ali and Mubarak’s fates, and now Gaddafi’s troubles, tell us is that the people want term limits.

That if a leader resists having the term limits written into law, the people will eventually impose them from the street.

Secondly, that 20 years and beyond is a danger zone for any ruler. More often than not, it ends badly."
And I would add, if "the people" don't do that for themselves, don't be surprised if someone else does it for them, especially if the dear leader uses the nation's resources to abuse the West.

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Egypt's New Constitution

Egypt proposes term limits, competitive elections
"An Egyptian panel tasked with amending the country’s constitution recommended Saturday easing restrictions on who can run for president and imposing presidential term limits – two key demands of the popular uprising that pushed longtime president Hosni Mubarak from power.

The eight-member panel also suggested limits on the use of emergency laws – in place in Egypt for 30 years – to a six-month period with the approval of an elected parliament, and beyond that period only if approved by a public referendum."
Also, the protesters are back in the streets.
"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forced issued a statement through the state news agency Mena, saying, "What happened yesterday during the demonstrations is an unintentional result of friction between military police and the sons of the revolution and that there has not been and will not be any orders given to violate the sons of this great people and that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure that this does not happen again in the future."

As night fell Saturday, many in the crowd broke into debate.

"We must give the new government a chance," urged Hussain Mohamed, 25. "I believe the military meant what they said today. And the new administration should have a chance to prove themselves."

Mohamed and a few others like him, however, were shouted down by many in the crowd. One man yelled: "You cannot fix one thing like Mubarak and leave the other things unfixed.""
As I said before, they can, and hopefully will, do it again and again and again.

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Even Viet Nam!!

Protest fever reaches Vietnam

No doubt it will be brutally crushed.


More Stuff That's "Harper's Fault"

Canada evacuates embassy staff from Libya
"Canada evacuated its embassy staff and suspended its diplomatic presence in strife-torn Libya on Saturday.

Dimitri Soudas, the top spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Saturday the decision was based on the recommendation of Canada's ambassador in Tripoli and in close collaboration with other countries.

A military plane carried the Canadian ambassador, five consular officials as well as 18 other Canadians out of the country early Saturday.

The C-17 also carried 12 British citizens and officials from Australia's diplomatic mission. In all, 46 people were evacuated. Soudas said it was impossible to obtain diplomatic clearances from the Libyans, but Harper ordered the plane to land regardless."

Canada suspends diplomatic ties with Libya

Couldn't we have just talked to them instead? I mean, where was the diplomacy?

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Multiculturalism: 24 Pages of Common Sense


...Iran suffers a setback - or engages in a bit of taqiyya.

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Living in a Cold Country...

...I know that the arrival of spring can be a slow and terrible tease. Just when we think it has at last arrived, we get yet another blizzard. I expect the same will happen for the Arabs.

Governments scramble to deal with anti-government protests across the Arab world

Too many of the blizzards are blowing in from the West with their forgone conclusions about the rise of Islamist regimes to replace the autocratic secular ones.

But still, they should not look back. Summer is always just around the corner.

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If Spring has Sprung in the Arab World...

...will it spread to Europe? If so, how soon? Or China? Perhaps some day it will the Arab world that exports democracy.

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I Wonder..

... what instructions The One will give his ambassador to the UN on this one?

Not that it matters. The UN is useless, anyway.

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CBC must be trembling in fear:

CRTC drops plan to allow fake news

Isn't it appalling that the CRTC was even considering this? There must have been some heavy lobbying from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. I'll betcha they're miffed.

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Egyptian Update: Where to Begin??

Things were changing almost by the minute, seemingly petering out one day, and soaring the next, but here's a day by day account of what has transpired, so far:

Feb. 4th:

Is It 1989 All Over Again?

At the end of last week, there was so much speculation and pointless attempts to find the appropriate past comparison, as though the revolution was over and it was already possible to parse the likely outcomes. IMHO, the revolution in Egypt needs to be judged on its own merits and, as far as that's concerned, it may take years before it's possible to say that any of those previous dates (whether it's 1979 or 2009 in Iran or the collapse of communism in 1989, or whatever) are comparable. My hunch is that this one is different than all of them, but only time will tell. But events since Friday suggest this is no mere flash in the pan, so whatever pivotal event one chooses to compare with, this will be a turning point in history.

Feb. 6th:

I especially liked what this guy had to say, beginning at 8:24, or so, and onward, because it's relevant to what's happening today.

The army seemed unwilling to crack down, more sympathetic with the protesters, than willing to exercise brute force for the regime, perhaps for the reasons given by Janice Stein in the TVO interview.

At Tahrir Square, Egyptian army feints and jabs

Feb. 7:

Released Google Exec Speaks on His Role in Egyptian Protests

An Inconvenient Sphinx

Clinic Near Baden-Baden Considered For Mubarak

Bloggers take campaign to Tahrir Square

Feb. 8:

The different shades of Tahrir

Egypt's Wael Ghonim

The west clings on to the old Arab order at its peril

Suleiman favoured by Israel

Egypt protests: Hosni Mubarak's concessions rejected

Emotional Interview With Freed Google Executive Wael Ghonim Inspires Egypt Protesters

February 9:

U.S. says Egypt failing to meet protest concerns

Egypt counts cost of turmoil, protesters undaunted

Egypt VP condemns calls for president's departure

Freed Google Exec: I'm Proud I Helped Spark Egypt Revolt

Google Exec Wael Ghonim Released by Egyptian Government

Google Executive Wael Ghonim Re-Energizes the Egypt Revolution

Powerful Interview of Google Executive/Egyptian Activist Wael Ghonim

Video: Google Executive Wael Ghonim

Feb. 10:

Anticipation High Among Egypt Protesters Ahead of Expected Announcement

Hosni Mubarak 'may step down'

Democracy in Egypt

Egypt's unfinished revolution

Feb. 23

Egypt's cabinet, under attack, meets for first time

Feb. 26

Egyptian Army apologizes for beating protesters

WOW!! Do you know how hard it is for an Arab to apologize?!! It's next to impossible.

Egypt proposes presidency reform

Please God, let me live long enough to see how this all turns out.


Obama is Getting Raked Over the Coals

Let's Have a "Read Hillary's Mind" Contest

Look at this picture and tell me what Hillary is thinking.

Hitch's clear mind nails it, too.
"The Obama administration also behaves as if the weight of the United States in world affairs is approximately the same as that of Switzerland. We await developments. We urge caution, even restraint. We hope for the formation of an international consensus. And, just as there is something despicable about the way in which Swiss bankers change horses, so there is something contemptible about the way in which Washington has been affecting—and perhaps helping to bring about—American impotence. Except that, whereas at least the Swiss have the excuse of cynicism, American policy manages to be both cynical and naive."
"Evidently a little sensitive to the related charges of being a) taken yet again completely by surprise, b) apparently without a policy of its own, and c) morally neuter, the Obama administration contrived to come up with an argument that maximized every form of feebleness."
"Libya is—in point of population and geography—mainly a coastline. The United States, with or without allies, has unchallengeable power in the air and on the adjacent waters. It can produce great air lifts and sea lifts of humanitarian and medical aid, which will soon be needed anyway along the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, and which would purchase undreamed-of goodwill. It has the chance to make up for its pointless, discredited tardiness with respect to events in Cairo and Tunis. It also has a president who has shown at least the capacity to deliver great speeches on grand themes. Instead, and in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided, we have had to endure the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock."
PS: Read the comments here.

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An Eye Witness Account of the Chaos in Libya

According to the fans who post comments on CBC and the Flop & Flail, all of this is Harper's fault. Cripes that man is powerful!!
"Meanwhile, foreign governments are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from a country with patchy communications, where pro-government forces are waging violent crackdowns and flights are often cancelled."
Well said, sir. But I wish you'd kept it a secret. I love watching the MSM fall on their own sword.

And poor old God Damned Daffy can't even rely on Libyan forces to protect him. I'm sure that's Harper's fault, too.

And don't you just love these headlines?

Tories surge ahead of Liberals

REID: Election charges undermine Harper legacy

Notice what the first link reveals about university types, who, of course are our betters.

The MSM is sooooo out of touch with reality. Their own blatant bias is coming back to bite them. I suspect the next election will really be about them. With apologies to Abraham Lincoln: "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people - except leftards" - all of the time.

And here's an excellent Op-Ed on the Canadian media:

View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Who’s Listening to Canadians? Is Anyone?
"The latest round of political opinion polls has a message for the opposition parties-focus on what matters to Canadians.

While the so called Bev Oda scandal allows opposition politicians to hyperventilate with outrage in Ottawa and the media and political pundits are beside themselves over how not answering questions that were never asked is unacceptable and the end of democracy, average Canadians are largely ignoring them.

If the opposition think Canadians driving their kids to a 6 AM hockey practice care about Bev Oda, they are wrong. Asking the Prime Minister (even when he isn’t there) virtually every question in Question Period and blaming him for every ill in Canada doesn’t work either. Canadians aren’t stupid, they don’t believe every mistake or issue is the personal responsibility of the Prime Minister, so why waste their time pretending that it is?"
"For far to long Canadians have watched the politicians in Ottawa kicking sand in each others face in our parliamentary sandbox. They are turned off. Whatever happened to Michael Chong’s suggested reforms? If some of his suggestions had been adopted the Oda saga might have played out quite differently. Simply put, Canadians don’t care about the issues our opposition politicians are telling them to pay attention too. The message from Canadians to the opposition politicians is that they should listen to us for a change."
Well said, sir. But I wish you had kept it a secret. I love watching the MSM fall on their own sword.

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Impassioned Plea From a Libyan Woman


h/t Spirit of Man


News From Libya This Morning

Gadhafi forces abandon parts of Tripoli

It's only a matter of time, folks. I can hardly wait to see what they do with him, once he's caught, if he survives. I hope it's a trial, like they did with Saddam Hussein.

Canada suspends diplomatic presence in Libya
"Six consular officials were among two dozen Canadians spirited out of Libya overnight, in a clear signal Ottawa is suspending its diplomatic presence in the embattled North African country.

The six officials and 18 other Canadian citizens were among a group of British and Australian nationals flown to Malta aboard a C17 overnight Friday.

"What this means is Canada has now suspended its diplomatic presence in Libya, following the example of the Untied States and Britain," CTV's Richard Maden reported from Ottawa Saturday.

The evacuation came just hours after Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada will enact strict new sanctions on Moammar Gadhafi's regime, echoing similarly strong words from White House officials, the United Nations and other countries around the world.

"I've instructed our officials to prepare a full range of sanctions against the Libyan regime, both in collaboration with our international partners or unilaterally if necessary," Harper said, emphasising that all options are being considered to dealing with both Gadhafi's regime and his family.

"No options have been ruled out."

The prime minister also suggested that any attacks on civilians within Libya could be cause for legal action at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

"Those responsible for ordering and carrying out atrocities against the Libyan people must be held accountable," Harper told reporters Friday night.

The prime minister added that Canada will support a push from the UN Security Council to enact an embargo on arms and to freeze the assets of the Gadhafi regime."
I have a feeling most of these measures will be sort lived, that is, if they are implemented in the first place. Ghadafi's days are numbered, and with him gone, these measures would be counter productive and there would be no point implementing or sustaining them.

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With Friends Like These....

...who needs enemies.

Michael Moore: Why I support the people of Thompson

Thompson is a single industry nickle mining town. I've been there several times. The place is cold and grimy. Being a six to seven hour drive North of the City of Winnipeg with not much in between, it's hell and gone from nowhere. It's a typical "company town".

I don't know much about Val-Inco, the company, but I do know that mining towns eventually have to face extinction 'cause the ore simply runs out. It may be Thompson's time to go. Shit happens. Michael Moore just made it worse.

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All Hell Breaks Loose

It's getting pretty bad for the Daffy one. Listen to his Deputy U.N. Ambassador:

Where is his Baghdad Bob? His Tripoli Ted? These people see the writing on the wall, and it's not in the Daffy one's favour. Instead, what he's getting is a Cyrenaica Cyrus.

US military advisers in Cyrenaica. Qaddafi's loses his air force

Libya Rebels Tighten Noose

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Latest Dispatch From the Sister

 Another installment from the latest round of email jokes:
"The Cowboy Boots

(Anyone who has ever dressed a child will love this one!)

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?

He asked for help and she could see why...Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. 

By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said 'Teacher, I think they're on the wrong feet'. She looked, and sure enough, they were.

It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on.  She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet..

He then announced, 'These aren't my boots.'

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream 'Why didn't you say so?' like she wanted to.

Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.

No sooner had she got them off when he said, 'They're my brother's boots. My mom made me wear 'em.'

Now she didn't know whether she should laugh or cry, but, she mustered up what ever grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again.

Helping him into his coat she asked, 'Now, where are your mittens?'

He said, 'I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots.'

She will be eligible for parole in three years."
Stay tuned. I'm sure there will be others. Not only do I have too much time on my hands, but it's f**kin' cold outside and my car won't start, even though it was plugged in. I'll trade places with that teacher.  I'm sure it's warm there.

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Turn That Face Around

..and let him take a bite outta that cheeky dude.

I wonder if he lived to rue the day he got that tattoo, or is its placement itself the message. After all, the medium IS the message.

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Reading the Arab Street

Below is my comment, currently pending approval, on Terry Glavin's otherwise excellent piece on Libya (and the great wimpish one currently sitting in the Oval Office wringing his hands and/or practicing his putt).
"Good on President Garcia, but I have to ask, how many Peruvian nationals are waiting in Tripoli or elsewhere (or trying to get to Tripoli) so they can be safely evacuated?

As we have seen, the Libyan regime has considerable control over the speed and efficiency, or even the very existence, of the process of evacuating foreign nationals.

They call the shots about who gets landing/docking rights and as such, they can delay the departure of foreigners and by extension, any overt action on the part of the countries whose people are stranded there.

And then there's the Skylink insurance thingy, just to make things interesting.

God-Damned-Daffy can do a lot of damage in the meantime, and can instantly declare hudna once every foreign national is out which could very well leave him lying in his luxurious tent until the next time the spirit moves him to crack down of the betrayers of the revolution.

It's all very fine to declare a no-fly zone, which will undoubtedly reduce Ghadafi's capacity to rape, pillage and murder, but the keyword there is reduce, not eliminate, and maybe just postpone.

In the meantime, we have the world paralyzed due to their fear of being too much like the much reviled Dubya.  After all, Libya has oil and no blood for oil is the new modus operandi."
But once foreign nationals are out, all bets should be off, IMHO. I'm fully aware that many of my "right" thinking colleagues have long ago washed their hands of the notions that Arabs may actually want to modernize and live by and under that suite of contemporary enlightenment values we call human rights, equality, etc. etc., but I am not one of them. I've met too many Arabs in my life, including Iraqis and Egyptians, to know that not to be true. It's the thugs in power and the cozy arrangement they have made with Islamists, that have created the stereotype and benefit from our wholesale acceptance of it.

Next time the streets and rooftops of Tehran are filled with young people wearing green armbands, listen to what they are shouting.


That's right. "God is Great!!"

Given the fact that the people of Iran have lived under the pre-eminent Islamist tyranny for decades, that cry is hardly a rallying call to embrace Islamism, is it? What it is, is a cry for justice and freedom. The same can be said of those on the so called Arab street in Cairo, Tunis, Saana, Tripoli, Manama and elsewhere over the past few weeks. If we ignore it or mis-read it, it is to our peril - and our shame.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Back to Egypt

Here's a rather long article recapping some of the pivotal events and people in Egypt's revolution, or at least the opening round of it.

Behind the barricades: How Egypt was won

And a sample of what you'll read:
"Protesters in the Arab world's most populous country no longer occupy the streets. But as Mohammed tried to make clear to anyone who would listen, the revolution is far from secure.

The military ousted Mubarak on Feb. 11 after pro-democracy protests crippled the country's economy and grew larger by the day.

The same generals who long supported the former president now promise democratic reforms. But with 100 protesters still detained in military camps, and another 50 missing, many question the sincerity of a military that has backed autocrats since generals overthrew the monarchy in 1952.

The tens of thousands who made up the state apparatus of repression are keeping a low profile. It's unclear how they'll react, however, if a future civilian government tries to bring some to trial.

The generals have so far been reassuring. The most concrete step has been the military's appointment on Tuesday of a panel to revise the constitution. It's headed by a retired judge, Tarek el-Bishri, known as a critic of Mubarak's regime, and includes a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, long banned as a terrorist organization.

The panel is on a fast track to limit the number of terms a president can serve, to establish judicial oversight of elections, and to abolish the state of emergency, which allows detention without charges."
"Meanwhile, the informal youth network that propelled the uprising through Facebook pages has been meeting with an assortment of long-marginalized or fledgling political parties to hammer out a common position for the transition to democracy.

The meetings, with about 200 people, have been raucous affairs.

“There's a lot of shouting, and a lot of people being told to shut up,” says Ahmed Salah, a key organizer in the Internet movement.

In these and other talks, the Muslim Brotherhood is on its best behaviour. It's the best organized group in the country but was slow to join the uprising. In a bid to ease concerns of an Islamist takeover, it says it won't run a candidate for president and will only contest about a fifth of the seats in parliamentary elections.

What all agree on is the historic achievement of even this unfinished revolution. Removing an 82-year-old president responsible for a military-backed police state was no small feat.

Six decades of rule by military-backed strongmen — not to mention a history of colonial powers, sultanates, dynasties and pharaohs — developed a lethargic acceptance of widespread corruption and stunted futures, with 40 per cent of the population living on less than $2 a day.
Good luck folks. You're asking a lot, but you might just surprise us all.
"Egypt is a diplomatic heavyweight in the Arab world. Its young were inspired by the toppling of Tunisia's dictator on Jan. 14. But it is Egypt's revolt, more than Tunisia's, that has placed autocratic Arab regimes on notice.

The anatomy of Egypt's uprising indicates they have good reason to be afraid.

If there is a face to Egypt's revolt, it is printed on a white pillow that Laila Said can't seem to put down. It's the thin face of her son, Khaled, who witnesses say was dragged out of an Internet café last June and beaten to death by two plainclothes policemen.

“I see him among the people in Tahrir Square,” says Said, 67, sitting in her daughter's marble-floored penthouse condo in Cairo. “I think his death inspired many of them.”"
Be sure to read the whole thing....and don't be surprised if a Libyan version of Khaled Said or Neda Soltan appears.

In the meantime, I await with bated breath the results of Judge Tarek el-Bishr's panel's deliberations.

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Heavy Sigh!

Randy Quaid thanks Canada for 'opportunity to live in peace'
"Looks like Randy Quaid and wife Evi will be staying put in Canada.

Evi announced yesterday that she has received her Canadian citizenship and she filed an application to sponsor her husband. Evi proudly pinned her citizenship card to her lapel for a news conference in Vancouver.

As a result, Canadian border officials say they have ended their efforts to send Randy back to the United States, where he faces criminal vandalism charges in a property dispute.

Evi was granted Canadian citizenship because her father was born in Canada. A final decision on Randy's request will be made by Canadian immigration authorities, but he can remain in the country while that happens."
Where to begin?!?! Let's start with Evi. Her father was born in Canada and that puts her on a fast track???? I want to know how long her father actually lived here? Did he spend time as an adult exercising adult responsibilities? I'd like to know, because just being born here, isn't enough to pass on citizenship to your kids, as far as I'm concerned, if neither you nor your kid have ever really lived here. It would be nice to know if he grew up here, or at least, whether he lived in Canada as a responsible adult and demonstrated responsible citizenship, while he was here. I haven't read any news article that explores that angle, but I believe it's an important one to explore. If his daughter had to apply for Canadian citizenship, one would assume he was living in the U.S. when she was born. Did he move there as an adult or was he, himself, still in diapers? This seems to be an insane criterion upon which to base eligibility for citizenship. Her own history seems enough to prompt me to have grave concerns about granting her citizenship and since she seems to have left home at 12 years of age, I'd be a bit suspicious about the family as a whole, not just her. Where was her father and how is it that a 12 year old doesn't know her father was born in Canada?

And as far as Quaid himself is concerned, it appears the charges against him in California have been dropped:
"Canada Border Services said Randy Quaid was inadmissible to Canada because of the charges he faced in the United States, but the agency confirmed Wednesday that those proceedings against the actor have now been withdrawn.

The agency would not specify what led them to that decision but Quaid’s lawyer, John Shewfelt, said he believes the charges in the U.S. are not an extraditable offence and the agency likely withdrew after looking at the files sent to them by American prosecutors.

“I draw the logical connection between the absence of evidence and the withdrawal of the proceeding,” Shewfelt said.

The couple’s other lawyer, Catherine Sas, said both the sponsorship and refugee applications will continue but a refugee claim takes about 18 months, twice as long as sponsorship."
Surely to God, their "refugee" claim is bogus. I can't help but think that their arrival in Canada was solely to escape the charges levied for trashing the California hotel.

Something smells here. But you gotta hand it to them. They knew where to land in Canada. Our left coast has a lot in common with America's left coast. And "apparently Canadian citizenship doesn’t require a psych exam".

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Libya Without Ghadafi?

International response gathers pace after Gaddafi counterattacks
"No-fly zone or sanctions among options being considered as world bids to force Libyan leader to end the violence"
"But there was no sign Gaddafi was prepared to change course. In another semi-coherent and abusive speech on Thursday, he accused protesters of being drugged and agents of al-Qaida. "Their ages are 17. They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafé," he said in a telephone interview with Libyan state TV – suggesting he may already have left his heavily guarded Tripoli compound.

It only boosted the growing impression that he is desperate and out of touch with reality. "This is the speech of a dead man," said Said el-Gareeny in the eastern city of Benghazi, which is now in opposition hands.

"People always warn about al-Qaida and say this will become an Islamic state ... to get support from western countries. This isn't true. The Libyan people are free. That's it."
Got that, my righty-tighty friends? I think your fears are causing you to back the wrong middle eastern horses.

Also from the same report:
"Reports from Libya said between 23 and 100 people had been killed in al-Zawiya, which controls the western approaches to Tripoli.

Medical sources in the capital reported that the corpses of those killed in recent days and injured patients were removed from the Tripoli medical centre and another hospital.

Witnesses said they had been taken to Mitiga military airport. "They are trying to hide the evidence and cleaning up the streets and telling people to go to work," said one man. "But from dusk onwards it's a ghost town."

In eastern Libya, many soldiers have now withdrawn from active service and some are supporting the revolt, with a former Gaddafi minister helping to organise the next stage of the uprising."
Unless he's completely barking mad, which could very well be, the last thing Ghadafi will want to do is order his troops to shoot down or at any vehicle carrying foreign nationals wanting to get the hell out of the country. Such an act could very easily be the catalyst that starts a full-fledged military engagement by NATO and/or other forces.

And it wouldn't take much to bring the regime to an end, as it seems the great majority of Libyans hate him, and are hoping other countries, specifically Western countries, come to their aide.

So, I would suggest, hope and presume, that the allies mentioned at the top of the story are considering just such scenarios, and very likely others. I highly doubt sanctions will have any effect on Ghadafi, although a no-fly zone could reduced his ability to slaughter his own people, but reduce is all it could do.

Indeed, I think Western Civilization stands at a crossroads and Ghadafi has just handed us an opportunity to do the right thing vis-a-vis the Arab world. Might not be so easy in other parts of that world, but here, in Libya, right now, is a opportunity to show that we side with the common man on the street. Over the past decade, Ghadafi has had enough time to show us his true colors and what we have seen so far is all there is to see. The curtains have come down. The game is over.

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Amazing Story

Remains of First World War Alberta soldier finally identified
"The remains of a First World War soldier from Alberta who died in France nearly 94 years ago have finally been identified, the Department of National Defence announced Thursday.

The soldier was identified as Pte. Thomas Lawless, a member of the 49th Battalion."
"Lawless’s unidentified remains were found in October 2003 by construction workers in northern France, near Vimy Ridge, and were returned to Canada because of metal insignia identifying his battalion.

Lawless was born on April 11, 1889, in Ireland but moved to Calgary before he enlisted.

He died during a two-day battle near Avion, France, which was a well-rehearsed raid that intended to move enemy German lines, said Hans Brink, a volunteer with the museum. There were many casualties during the confusion of the night raid, he said.

“At the completion of the raid, 16 members were missing,” he said.

One of those missing soldiers was Lawless, a fact which helped doctors and scientists narrow down their search when they set out to identify the remains."
"Pte. Lawless’s remains will be buried at La Chaudière Military Cemetery in Vimy, France, on March 15, with members of his Irish family in attendance."
I don't think I'm being too much of a sop when I say stories like this bring tears to my eyes.


Beautiful Sentiments, But...

...I'm skeptical. Now if Sandmonkey posted something about these videos, I might believe they are legit.

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Like the Cavalry...

...sweeping down over the hill:

Ottawa to send military plane to evacuate Canadians from Libya

And it seems to be a Canadian plane, too!!!

Some good stuff in the comments, too:
"This plane is the one that NDP & Liberal parties were against its purchase. How short sighted they are !!!!!!!!"
"When Paul Martin was at the helm, he depended on the Russians to supply LEASED air transport when the DART team's equipment was ferried to the tsunami stricken region of Asia."
"Last night I read on either Guardian or NYT that Gadhafi loyalists are manning the anti-aircraft missle stations near the airport and have orders to shoot foreign aircraft down. I am not sure that any landing rights permits really mean anything anymore. The situation is so volatile that those permits could be reneged on at any moment on Gadhafi's whim. No insurance company would underwrite a charter flight in and out of Tripoli under those conditions. Plans B, C, D, E, F etc are all necessary now and let's hope one of them works."
"The irony of the loons who oppose any and all military expenditure by Canada, are the same ones (on these boards) who are now calling for the instant dispatch of Canada's (mostly non-existant) military capability to rescue people 9000 KMs away!

Toooooo much."
Good luck. Evacuations have not gone well, so far.

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Yeah, But...

The West Dithers

...and dithers while issuing strong statements and pretending to collaborate:

World leaders unsure of how to respond to Gadhafi
"Every option from an embargo to military intervention is being feverishly discussed in diplomatic corridors, yet the reality is that any effective action is likely to be stymied by a lack of consensus among the key powers, despite their memories of their failures to prevent past massacres in Rwanda, Bosnia and elsewhere."
I expect Western leaders want to get all their citizens out, before pressing further. And that process isn't proceeding too smoothly, Western or otherwise, some aspects of which have nothing to do with their home governments.

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Gahdafi says bin Laden behind uprising

So, just whose ears is that statement directed toward? Does he want the West to believe that he is the only thing that stands between the West's interests and the Islamification of Libya?

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Fear and Loathing...

He's So Funny

Ahmadinejad: Anti-government upheaval will reach Europe, America

With all those evacuations and fleeing North Africans, I think it already has. Other than that, yes, there is room for some upheaval. Europe's resident Islamists might be in for a big surprise.

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Last Call of the Day

Libya at 11:30 PM, CST:

Gaddafi tightens grip on Libyan capital as rebels swiftly advance left

They're ripping the pages out of his "Green Book", the army has deserted him, and they're ripping down, stomping on and burning his omnipresent portrait posters.

It seems Tripoli may be the only place still holding. Meanwhile, abroad, another diplomat jumps ship. And the UN gives the Buffoon's daughter the bums' rush.

Evacuation of foreign nationals is proceeding somewhat chaotically.

Armchair experts are speculating on all sorts of things, ranging from who will replace Ghaddafi, to whether there will be a Libya when this is all over, to which historical uprising is the current Arab revolution most closely comparable. Candidates include:


As for me, I have no idea which is the best comparison. It's too soon to tell.

The more burning question for me is, how many ways are there to spell Ghadafi's name? Apparently, and appropriately (the man's ego requires it), there's 112.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Goodie from Barce Pundit

It Pains Me to Say...

I remember most of the songs from the fifties and sixties. Remember them very well, as a matter of cold, stark fact. And I have the aches and pains to prove it.

If you have an hour and twenty minutes take a stroll through the first five seconds of every #1 hit song from 1955 to 1992. I haven't got to the 1980s and 90s yet, but I'll bet I won't recognize very many of them. Sigh.

Five Seconds Of Every #1 Pop Single Part 1 by mjs538

Five Seconds Of Every #1 Pop Single Part 2 by mjs538

h/t Barce Pundit, where I was expecting to find some up close and more personal perspectives on what's happening just across that other pond.

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