What Difference Does Syria Make?

Syrians killed in the ongoing civil war will be just as dead tomorrow whether their lives were extinguished by beheading, bombing, shooting, stabbing, defenestration or gassing with chemical weapons. “What difference does it make?” is to borrow an infamous question from one of the New Left’s most prominent of sacred cows, Hillary Clinton. Of course she was referring to the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi affair in which four Americans were killed nearly one year ago. Today still there are no reasonable answers to the embarrassing questions some were asking and which led to her hectoring outburst. Was the US secretly … Continue reading What Difference Does Syria Make?

Islamic Hope and Change

How is it that the American government got caught so flat-footed on 11 September 2012? As Americans observed the eleventh anniversary of the worst terror assault in their country’s history plans were being implemented half a world away for violent protests against anything American. The US State Department had overlooked the seemingly obvious precaution of bolstering security in world trouble spots around this important date. Intelligence failures would appear to be at issue as well. Why has this happened? Out-of-context “hope and change” is not enough to protect civilized people from the savages who crawl over this earth. Pretext For … Continue reading Islamic Hope and Change

SOS: Stay Out of Syria

Unwittingly, Turkey and Syria collaborated to give the west more reason to stay out of the Syrian civil war. Syria, accidentally, deliberately or in outright blunder shot down a Turkish jet fighter that entered its airspace last Friday. Turkey is a NATO member and is entitled to call upon its partners to respond to an attack against one as an attack against all. A NATO conference has been called to craft a response to the incident. Harbouring defectors leaving the Syrian regime, Turkey may have presented itself as a provocateur. Syria was entitled to engage an aircraft entering its airspace, … Continue reading SOS: Stay Out of Syria

What Would the Ayatollah Do?

A Reuters story in the National Post (23 March)indicates that various intelligence sources “agree” that Iran does not have “the bomb”, may not even want one, and in any event is years away from developing a deliverable weapon. In the context of recent talk about pre-emptive strikes this relaxed position seems to be predicated largely on “what would the Ayatollah do” in this situation. Iran Does Not Have a Nuclear Weapon Let’s have a look at the points of agreement. First, it is agreed that Iran does not have a nuclear bomb now. That’s pretty believable. If it did, this … Continue reading What Would the Ayatollah Do?

An Arab Winter

The promise of an “Arab Spring” may yield a “winter of discontent”. In Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) continues the dictatorship after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Democratic elections promised by August are delayed to November 28. SCAF used some of the extra time to unilaterally write the rules governing the election process. Voting will take 6 months, allowing plenty of time to manipulate the outcome. Further facilitation will be provided by the absence of any international observers to witness the elections. SCAF has banned them. Free Expression The Egyptian military … Continue reading An Arab Winter

Standing Tall

Once again, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes it clear why he is a man to respect, and even more unusual, that he is a politician who tries to avoid prevarication. At the current G8 summit in Deauville, France Mr. Harper stands tall as the only leader refusing to embrace the US President’s position relative to restarting the perennially fruitless peace negotiations involving the Israelis and Palestinians. US President Barack Obama has come out asserting that the 1967 pre-existing borders of Israel ought to be the starting point for negotiating a peace deal between Israel and the proposed Palestinian state, … Continue reading Standing Tall

Oil Prices, Gas Prices and Government

Every spring it seems we hear the same old refrain about higher oil prices and higher gas prices. Government and media advise that the price of fuel at the pump is going up; there may be shortages in oil supplies leading to higher gas prices just as we head into the summer driving season. In the wake of this noise comes a chorus of calls for more government regulation of the oil industry and of oil traders, paying particular attention to “obscene” oil company profits and speculators. Cutting through the fog of political rhetoric and media hype, the fundamental issue … Continue reading Oil Prices, Gas Prices and Government

Unfit To Lead

Mu’ammar al-Qadhdhāfi is a thug. The Libyan kleptocracy is based on his personal brand of Islamic socialism through military force, utilizing tactics of terrorism and bribery. Financed by wealth stolen from its producers by nationalization, this philosopher-despot has spread money far and wide, although ensuring that his extended family and hired elite are particularly aggrandized. Possessing little taste personally for barbarous acts (according to Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, to whom I also owe the correct spelling of the thug’s name) Qadhdhāfi has proven skilled at hiring others to do the dirty work. Mercenaries recruited from poor African nations form … Continue reading Unfit To Lead

Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian

(N.B. Within hours of posting this article came news that President Mubarak might step down. This does not fundamentally change anything. -EP) Cairo is in turmoil and the West is transfixed. The West has a long fascination with Egypt, land of Pharaohs and Great Pyramids. From the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which allowed for the translation of previously indecipherable hieroglyphics, the fascination has continued to even include popular culture. For example, in 1986 the Bangles, a British band, recorded a “one-hit-wonder” called “Walk Like An Egyptian”. Politically, Egypt is a “one-hit-wonder” as well—authoritarianism all the way. Seven millennia of … Continue reading Don’t Walk Like An Egyptian

Terror Tactic

From Stockholm a Reuters story speculates about connections to an apparently foiled attack by a suicide bomber last Saturday. A premature detonation caused an explosive-laden vehicle to burst into flames killing the bomber, Taymour Abdulwahab. A local security spokesperson was reported to have said that a team of investigators, including the FBI, was looking for “links with blasts elsewhere”. Initially, Swedish authorities speculated that Abdulwahab had accomplices and was possibly targeting the central railway station or a large department store. Looking for links to blasts elsewhere? The article contained the following statements: “…Middle East-born suicide bomber Taymour Abdulwahab…. “Abdulwahab’s family … Continue reading Terror Tactic