Thursday, November 30, 2006

2,100 yr-old Antikythera mechanism

"After a century of study, scientists have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious 2,100-year-old device known as the Antikythera mechanism, showing it to be a complex and uncannily accurate astronomical computer. The bronze-and-iron mechanism...could predict the positions of the sun and planets, show the location of the moon and even forecast eclipses. The international team of scientists reported today that the 1st century BC Greek device, the earliest known example of an arrangement of gear wheels, shows a technological sophistication that was not seen again until clockwork mechanisms were introduced in the 14th century. The results "imply that Greek technology was much more advanced in this area than was previously thought," said the team's leader, physicist Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University in Wales."

"If they could do this, what else could they do?" More.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Canada rebuilds Afghanistan

Approximately 2,300 Canadian Forces personnel are deployed with Task Force Afghanistan on Canada's renewed commitment to the international campaign against terrorism known as Operation ATHENA . Task Force Afghanistan's mission is about Canadians and their international partners helping Afghans rebuild their lives, their families, their communities and their nation. Canadian operations will work to improve the quality of life of Afghans by providing a secure environment in which Afghan society can recover from more than 25 years of conflict.

22 Nov 06, Kandahar, Afghanistan: Visit to the Shaheed Abdul Ahad Khan Orphanage in Kandahar City to drop off items donated by the Assistance to Afghanistan Fund. PRT Military Police PO2 Bryon Dempsey mugs for the camera with children at the Shaheed Abdul Ahad Khan Orphanage in Kandahar City. The PRT delivered a washing machine, winter coats, hats and mittens, drinking glasses, teapots and school supplies as well as treats.

The PRT consists of Canadian Forces members, a civilian police contingent led by the RCMP, representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency. The PRT conducts coordinated interdepartmental operations to promote good governance and assist the Government of Afghanistan to extend its authority in the province of Kandahar, to facilitate the development of a stable, secure and self-sustaining environment for the Afghan people..Photo Capt Dave Muralt

At the scene of the aftermath of a suicide bomber the Provincial Reconstruction Team Quick Response Force (PRT QRF) responded to to secure the site along Highway 4. Photo Capt Dave Muralt

Visit to the Shaheed Abdul Ahad Khan Orphanage in Kandahar City to drop off items donated by the Assistance to Afghanistan Fund. WO Sean Chase, Cpl Ashley Brace and Cpl Dean Shavalier, all from the PRT, discuss the next visit to the orphanage as they prepare to leave. Photo Capt Dave Muralt

Major Erin Savage, Officer Commanding, Health Service Support Company (HSS Coy), 1 Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group (1 RCR BG) shows Afghan children the photograph she just took of them. Elements of HSS Coy travelled to various villages west of Kandahar Airfield (KAF) to conduct a Village Medical Outreach (VMO). VMO security was provided by A Flight, 2nd Royal Air Force Regiment (2 RAF Regt). Photo Capt Edward Stewart

Leopard C2 Tanks of B Squadron (B Sqn) 1 Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group (1 RCR BG) roll out of their tank park in Kandahar Airfield (KAF) to conduct security tasks on Highway 4 in Kandahar Province. Photo Capt Edward Stewart

13 Nov 2006, Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan: Corporal Yun Lin (left), from 192 Airfield Engineering Flight (AEF) in Abbotsford, BC and Corporal Clarence Parnell, from 143 AEF in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia assemble the new accommodations for the soldiers at the Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Approximately 40 engineers from all across Canada are employed at the Kandahar Airfield to construct a variety of projects such as the building of a new Canada House, gym, accommodations and other structures around the camp. Photo by Sgt Roxanne Clowe

Afghan children pose for the camera at a Village Medical Outreach (VMO) west of Kandahar Airfield (KAF). Elements of Health Service Support Company (HSS Coy) travelled to various villages west of Kandahar Airfield (KAF) to conduct a Village Medical Outreach (VMO). VMO security was provided byA Flight, 2nd Royal Airforce Regiment (2 RAF Regt). Photo Capt Edward Stewart.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Violent + Regressive Islam

+ 64-year-old female suicide bomber attacks Israeli troops in Gaza
Enraged Shiites burned people to death, torched mosques and denounced Sunni leaders and the United States a day after a bloody assault on Sadr City, the Iraq capital's Shiite bastion
Lebanon death may herald coup +++ US forces kill 22 insurgents in Iraq +++ US: Iraqi bomb factory destroyed
Turkey Puts Two Christians on Trial For Evangelizing
The death toll in Thursday's Baghdad bombings rose to 202, police said as another 22 people were killed in a double suicide attack in northern Tal Afar city, heightening fears Iraq is sliding towards civil war.
Iraq: Threats Force Closure of Catholic Charity to Muslims
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan to buy two marine container terminals in the New York area. Well, I guess it's better that we Canadians buy them instead of a middle eastern country. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has $84 billion in assets under management.

Playing dirty, Middle-Eastern style.

Sunnis and Shiites continue to butcher, shoot, bomb and burn each other to death in Iraq. Even THEY don't believe this has anything to do with "western interests in the middle east." Did they lose their humanity? Is poverty the answer? No, those are easy answers...and false ones. Here's the real answer (thank you Louise):

"I've heard this poverty nonsense time and time again from Western apologists for Islam, most of them not Muslim by the way. There are millions of passive supporters of terror who may be poor and needy but most of those who do the killing are wealthy, privileged, educated and free. If it were about poverty, ask yourself why it is middle-class Muslims -- and never poor Christians -- who become suicide bombers in Palestine."

His analysis is fascinating. Muslim fundamentalists believe, he insists, that Saudi Arabia's petroleum-based wealth is a divine gift, and that Saudi influence is sanctioned by Allah. Thus the extreme brand of Sunni Islam that spread from the Kingdom to the rest of the Islamic world is regarded not merely as one interpretation of the religion but the only genuine interpretation. The expansion of violent and regressive Islam, he continues, began in the late 1970s, and can be traced precisely to the growing financial clout of Saudi Arabia.

"We're not talking about a fringe cult here," he tells me. "Salafist [fundamentalist] Islam is the dominant version of the religion and is taught in almost every Islamic university in the world. It is puritanical, extreme and does, yes, mean that women can be beaten, apostates killed and Jews called pigs and monkeys." More.

Friday, November 24, 2006

In Memoriam: Alexander Litvinenko

"(Alex) Litvinenko, a vociferous critic of the Russian government, suffered heart failure late Thursday after days in intensive care, London's University College Hospital said. Doctors said the cause of his illness remained a mystery.
Friend Andrei Nekrasov, who spoke to Litvinenko just before he lost consciousness, said the former KGB agent had accused Russian intelligence services of poisoning him. Friends said Litvinenko had been on a quest to uncover corruption in Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, and unmask the killers of another trenchant critic of the Putin's government, investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
"He was completely convinced it was the FSB. There was no doubt in his mind who it was," Nekrasov told The Associated Press.

Nekrasov said Litvinenko had told him: "The bastards got me, but they won't get everybody."

+ Poisoned Russian implicates Putin in statement dictated before death
+ Police hunt radiation after Russian death
+ From Russia, minus love

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pierre Gemayel

Pierre Gemayel was anti-Syrian and pro-Western. He paid for that with his life. This is the fifth murder of an anti-Syrian figure in Lebanon in two years and immediately drew condemnation from all quarters. The United States denounced it as an act of terrorism. President George W. Bush accused Syria and Iran of trying to undermine Lebanon's government but stopped short of blaming them. Syria, too, condemned the assassination and denied any role in it.

In his TV address, Saniora linked Gemayel's slaying to the issue that sparked the crisis with Hezbollah: a plan for an international court, just approved by the UN Security Council, to try suspects in the Hariri assassination. He said Lebanese should rally behind the government's backing for such a court. Anti-Syrian factions allied with the Phalange party have planned a huge turnout for Thursday's funeral in central Beirut, intending to show their strength as they wage a power struggle against Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian parties.
Hezbollah and its Shiite Muslim allies have threatened to call mass demonstrations to topple the government, unless they receive effective veto powers in the cabinet. Saniora's government is dominated by opponents of Syria.

+ Assassins claim Pierre Gemayel in broad daylight. Gunmen also kill 1 bodyguard, wound another and at least 1 bystander +++ The official site of the Authentic Lebanese Forces

"The name Gemayel is inextricably linked to the rightwing Maronite Christian party, the Phalange, founded by his grandfather (also named Pierre) in 1936 and one of the main players in the bloody civil war that gripped Lebanon through the 1970s and 1980s. The Phalange has a controversial legacy from the war, during which it was allied to Israel and struggled to maintain the Maronite Christians' domination of the Lebanese political scene." More

+ Lebanon's Kataeb Party (The Phalange) +++ Christian Falangist Party of America

Attacks in Lebanon Since the 1970s ~ By The Associated Press 11.21.06
Attacks that have targeted prominent Lebanese, most of them opponents of Syria:

_ Feb. 26, 1975: Maarouf Saad, 46, a Sunni former parliament member from Sidon, is shot to death while leading a fishermen's demonstration. His assassination was among the causes of the civil war that broke out April 13, 1975.
_ March 16, 1977: Kamal Jumblatt, 62, a leader of the Druse community, is killed by unidentified gunmen who attack his car in the Druse-controlled Chouf mountains. He was leader of the Nationalist Movement, an alliance of Palestinian, leftist and Muslim groups.
_ June 13, 1978: Tony Franjieh, 34, oldest son of former President Suleiman Franjieh, a Maronite Catholic, is slaughtered at his home in the Cedar Mountain resort of Ehden with his wife, their 3-year-old daughter and 30 aides.
_ Sept. 14, 1982: President-elect Bashir Gemayel, 34, is killed by a bomb that demolished Phalange Party headquarters in Christian east Beirut three weeks after his election.
_ Oct. 7, 1986: Sheikh Subhi Saleh, 60, deputy chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council, the highest Sunni Muslim authority in Lebanon, is shot in Beirut by two masked assassins who escape on motorcycle. The sheikh was an outspoken advocate of coexistence between Lebanon's Muslim and Christian communities.
_ June 1, 1987: Prime Minister Rashid Karami, 64, is killed in an explosion aboard an army helicopter. A Sunni, Karami was serving as prime minister for a 10th time in 32 years. He had been a member of parliament since 1951 and served as a minister in several Cabinets.
_ Aug. 20, 1987: Mohammed Shokair, 70, political adviser to former President Amin Gemayel, is killed by gunmen who storm his home.
_ May 16, 1989: Mufti Sheik Hassan Khalid is killed by a bomb placed in a parked car in Beirut.
_ Sept. 21, 1989: Nazim Kadri, a 74-year-old Sunni lawmaker, is killed by gunmen.
_ Nov. 22, 1989: President Rene Mouawad, 64, is assassinated after only 17 days in office. Mouawad had hoped to form government of national reconciliation.
_ Oct. 21, 1990: Dany Chamoun, a 56-year-old right-wing National Liberal Party leader and a prominent Maronite Christian clan member, is killed along with his wife and two sons at their east Beirut home.
_ Aug. 31, 1995: Sheik Nizar al-Halaby, 43, a founder of the fundamentalist Habashi group, is killed by gunmen.
_ Jan. 24, 2002: Former Lebanese militia leader Elie Hobeika, 45, is killed in a car bombing. Hobeika had offered to testify in a Belgian lawsuit seeking to hold Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responsible for a massacre of Palestinian refugees.
_ Feb. 14, 2005: Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, tilting toward the opposition, is assassinated in a massive bombing. Opposition blames Syrian and Lebanese governments, charges both deny.
_ June 2, 2005: Anti-Syrian journalist and activist Samir Kassir is killed by a bomb placed under his car.
_ June 21, 2005: Anti-Syrian politician George Hawi, former Communist Party leader, is killed by a bomb placed under his car.
_ July 12, 2005: Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Elias Murr survives a car bombing that targets his vehicle as he drives on a north Beirut suburban street. Although pro-Syrian, Murr later says he was threatened by Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon.
_ Sept. 25, 2005: Prominent anchorwoman May Chidiac of the leading anti-Syrian TV station LBC loses an arm and a leg from a bomb placed under her car.
_ Dec. 12, 2005: Gibran Tueni, prominent anti-Syrian newspaper editor and lawmaker, is killed in a car bomb that destroys his vehicle.
_ Nov. 21, 2006: Pierre Gemayel, 34, the industry minister and a prominent Christian politician, is shot to death by gunmen in a Beirut suburb.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Germany uncovers plot to blow up El Al plane

"BERLIN (Reuters) - German authorities are investigating a number of people in connection with what they suspect was a foiled plot to smuggle a bomb onto a passenger plane...German newspaper Die Welt cited security sources as saying the target was a plane of Israel's El Al airline...Several of the suspects had approached someone during the summer who had access to the security department at a German airport and who had expressed willingness to smuggle a suitcase or bag onto a plane for payment, a statement said...The suspects repeatedly made contact with the person but were unable to agree on a price for planting a bomb...

"The men are suspected of being members of a terrorist organization, the office said. It did not explain why the suspects, who remain under investigation, had been released." More.

Alexander Litvinenko in his hospital bed in a photo taken November 20, 2006. The former Russian intelligence officer fighting for his life in a London hospital after being poisoned was the target of a Kremlin-backed plot, a close friend said on Monday. It is a claim Moscow called "nonsense". Alex has publically said on numerous occasions that Russia's Federal Security Service still operates a secret Soviet-era poisons lab in Moscow.

+ From ice axes, to poisonous umbrella tips, deadly cups of tea and toxic sushi, Russia's spy service has often been the prime suspect in outlandish assassination attempts.
Bush Won't Commit to Iraq Troop Changes +++ Afghanistan's fledgling army needs greater Western help to boost firepower, air support and communications gear to enable the country to fight off a rising Taliban insurgency +++ Canada: Taliban in Kandahar area set to bounce back ++
Egyptian police found 2-1/4 tonnes of explosives and large quantities of weapons, including anti-tank mines and rocket-propelled grenades in central Sinai ++
A British man survived a knife attack on Monday in Saudi Arabia, state media said, but it was not clear if the incident was linked to militant attacks against foreigners

Cpl Nathalie Leclerc from Montreal, Que., a medical technician with the Canadian Forces (CF) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), treats a young boy with a fractured arm at the Canadian field hospital in Garhi Dopatta, Pakistan. The 200-member DART was deployed as part of Operation PLATEAU, the CF contribution to earthquake relief efforts in the Pakistan-administered region of Kashmir - where a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan on October 8, 2005 did the most damage.

The DART provided primary medical care, temporary shelter, production of safe drinking water, and a limited specialist engineer capability prior to the onset of winter in the region. The DART coordinated its efforts with the government of Pakistan and the other aid agencies involved in the relief effort.

Photo by Sgt Frank Hudec, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Alexander Litvinenko

"Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian security agent fighting for his life in a UK hospital after allegedly being poisoned, has been a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin since before he became president in 2000. Mr Litvinenko is thought to have been close to journalist Anna Politkovskaya, another opponent of the Kremlin who was shot dead last month, and said recently he was investigating her murder.

It was after being handed documents apparently relating to the case that he was taken ill more than two weeks ago. But he is perhaps best known for a book in which he alleges that agents co-ordinated the 1999 apartment block bombings in Russia that killed more than 300 people. He now appears to have fallen victim to the kind of plots which he wrote about. "

Russian Secret Services' Links With Al-Qaeda: "The right hand of bin Laden, the Number Two in "Al-Qaeda" was trained at the secret base of the Russian secret services on Caucasus, the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Litvinenko told the Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper." More.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Cold War never ended.

Canada arrests Russian spy:

The man, who was detained Tuesday, allegedly posed as a Canadian citizen named Paul William Hampel. He is accused of "engaging in an act of espionage" and being a "danger to the security of Canada." The Russian government is not commenting. "We've seen this in the newspaper and we have nothing to say," said Alexei Lisenkov of the Russian embassy in Ottawa. "This is speculation about his identity."

" would be 'a nice little coup for CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), because those kinds of spies are probably the most difficult ones to catch.'

Canadian Security Intelligence Service home page.

Other news:
Americans seized in Iraq convoy hijack +++ US Troops hunt for kidnapped contractors +++ Darfur conflict spreads as Annan announces deal +++ Canada says could help patrol seas near N.Korea +++ Canada to run checks on some, not all port workers

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

NPR's Afghanistan Coverage

National Public Radio's coverage of Afghanistan is excellent:

+ NPR's Afghanistan home page

+ U.S. Leads Efforts to Transform Afghan Police Force
Five years since coalition troops invaded Afghanistan, NPR profiles three of the country's most important national institutions -- the police, the courts, and the national army. A three-part series examines whether they can be useful building blocks for the future of Afghanistan.

+ Afghanistan Works Toward Stability
The police, courts and national army are institutions that must function well if Afghanistan is to grow into a stable democracy

+ Safety, Prosperity Return to Afghan Village
Renee Montagne returns to Istalif, a place she reported on in 2002, six months after the fall of the Taliban regime. The village is an hour north of Kabul -- up a mountain road above the vast, fertile Shomali Plain, which, at the time, was a ruined place. The people there had fought alongside the Northern Alliance.

+ U.S. Officials Assess Afghanistan Progress
Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry talks with Renee Montagne about the challenges American troops face with the Taliban. Montagne also talks with Ronald E. Neumann, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Gen. Karl Eikenberry (right), commanding general talks with Afghan National Army soldiers at their remote firebase near the Pakistani border in Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2006. AFP/Getty Images

These NATO convoys are a familiar sight in the village of Panjwai. The district's assistant police chief says he doesn't have enough policemen to keep the peace without international forces and the Afghan National Army.

Two Kabul policemen patrol near the site of a suicide bombing that targeted police officers. More attacks were expected on this road near the airport, but none of the policemen there had guns. One officer uses a switch snapped from a nearby tree to discourage curious onlookers from congregating around the bomb site.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

50 abducted in Baghdad

This was the initial story: Armed men in Iraqi police uniforms have abducted dozens of men from a government building in central Baghdad. An interior ministry source said that 20 employees from the higher education ministry were seized, but a spokeswoman for the department itself said "100 or maybe 150" had been taken, including visitors to the building. More.

Later, it turned out to be about 50 people who were kidnapped, but still one of the largest mass abductions in Iraq: "There were varying estimates of the number of people kidnapped, but it appeared that at least 50 were seized — one of the largest mass abductions in Iraq. Authorities said as many as 20 were later released, but said a broadcast report that most hostages were freed appeared to be false. The assault came on a day that saw at least 117 people die in the mounting disorder and violence gripping the country." More.

Newly-arrived soldiers with the Canadian International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, listen to a threat assessment briefing at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.
Newly-arrived soldiers with the Canadian International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, listen to a threat assessment briefing at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.

Newly-arrived soldiers with the Canadian International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, listen to a threat assessment briefing at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.
Over 500 soldiers of Joint Task Force Afghanistan assemble near the Canadian memorial at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) for the Remembrance Day ceremony. Present was Chief of Land Staff (CLS) Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie, Army Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Lacroix, Commander of Canadian Reserve Brigadier General (BGen) Tabbernor, Joint Task Force Afghanistan Commander B Gen Tim Grant and Joint Task Force Afghanistan CWO Kevin Patterson. Joint Task Forces Afghanistan is part of Canada’s contribution to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This mission is about Canadians and their international partners helping Afghans rebuild their lives, their families, their communities and their nation. Canadian operations will work to improve the quality of life of Afghans by providing a secure environment in which Afghan society can recover from more than 25 years of conflict.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

US Elections. Cat Stevens.

The American elections from a middle eastern perspective...

Mohammed's bang on in his analysis on

"...there's kind of a warning tone that suggests that "nothing has changed" and that US policy is one and no elections can change the large image. Media and politicians are back to reminding the public that democrats are even better friends of Israel than republicans are. This, I think, is an attempt to put America as a whole back in its place as the enemy regardless of who's in charge in Capitol Hill, which means the regimes and their media here had to put the people back "on track" so they don't go far in their expectations or prepare to deal with anything American...

I would like to remind again that claiming that America's policies are the cause of anti-Americanism is crap, because the hatred is for the nature of the American democratic system which contrasts the nature of regimes here.That explains why there's rarely an opposition to China or Russia in the middle east and that's because neither has a systems that threatens the totalitarian ideology of governance that prevail in the Arab world."

Thanks to for this on Cat Stevens:

“The Jawa Report has obtained evidence that Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, was once connected to radical clerics Omar Bakri Mohammed & Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. According to at least one credible source, he was also involved in terrorist financing. In an online voice chat from exile in Lebanon where he fled after British authorities banned several groups connected to him, Bakri told followers that various prominent Muslims would once frequented his office. Among those listed is Cat Stevens.

Bakri Mohammed has urged Muslims in the U.K. to fight British troops in Iraq and elsewhere, justified the 7/7 London bombings, and has publicly called for the murder of all who blaspheme the Muslim prophet Muhammed. Several followers of Bakri Mohammed have been arrested for their public calls for the murder of blasphemers. At least one has been recently been convicted.” + The Jawa Report article. +++ See also CAIR's defense of Yusuf Islam here. ++

+ You can download the audio of Omar Bakri Mohammed tying Cat Stevens to terrorist activities here [right click and "save as"].

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Pittance of Time ~ Lest We Forget

(scroll down for recent posts)

+ Why Terry Kelly produced this video. +++ Veterans Affairs Canada

"It takes courage to fight in your own takes courage to fight someone else's war."

Dear Western world: Fuck you.

Kriss Donald's mum last night revealed her anguish at his abduction and violent death. And Angela, 43, spoke of her pride at the way her 15-year-old son faced up to his murder. She said: "They'd stabbed Kriss 13 times and set him on fire, but still he fought hard to save himself.

"...Zeeshan Shahid...savage rascist murder. He drove the Mercedes in which Kriss was abducted and driven around for four terrifying hours. He then drove Kriss to the Clyde Walkway in Glasgow's east end where Kriss was stabbed and set on fire while still alive.

Zeeshan Shahid, 28, was jailed for a minimum of 23 years; his brother, ringleader Imran Shahid, 29, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years. Mohammed Mushtaq (pictured), 27, will spend 22 years in jail. More

+ Terror attacks For the Past 4 Months +++ Terror attacks first half of 2006 +

Canada's intelligence service, CSIS, tracked 274 terrorism suspects last year. 19 suspects are facing trial in two Canadian terrorism cases. In Britain, 99 suspects face terrorism charges in more than 30 cases.

"It began before Iraq...Afghanistan and...9/11"

"'War brides train' arrives in Ottawa for Remembrance Day ceremonies; poll suggests most would support state funeral for last WWI warrior...The country's top soldier and Ontario's premier paid tribute to the province's fallen soldiers today." More.

"We are at war. Maybe you don't think we should be at war. Maybe you do. Maybe you deny we are at war at all. None of it is important this day. We are at war."
Rick Bell, Calgary Sun

"...Britain's top spymaster raised eyebrows in Canada and around the world by painting an alarming picture of the threat from home-grown terrorism, saying her agency is tracking at least 1,600 terrorists, involved in as many as 30 plots meant to 'to kill people and to damage our economy'...CSIS (the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service) is known to have been tracking 274 terrorism suspects last year, a number proportionally far lower than Britain. While CSIS doesn't say how many active plots it might be tracking, 19 suspects are facing trial in two Canadian terrorism cases. Significantly, the lead suspects in both of these groups stand accused of hatching plans with people in Britain, a country where 99 suspects face terrorism charges in more than 30 distinct case..."
More. +
"...tomorrow's threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology...Let there be no doubt about this...the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan and before 9/11" -- Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of MI5

"It is not just the U.K. of course...Other countries also face a new terrorist threat, from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.” -- Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of MI5

"A brainstorming session in Kabul, Afghanistan has resulted in a flood of cash in support of Afghan women, and three Canadian Forces majors have marked International Women's Day in a big way."
More. +
Patriot Act prompts institutions to switch to Canadian server for online research to hide work from American eyes. More.+

+ Terror attacks For the Past 4 Months + Terror attacks first half of 2006
"This week, the chill down my back and the emotion I and all of us feel across the country is greater than it has ever been."
-- General Rick Hillier, the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces

“As those whose freedom, safety and prosperity is so often purchased by the sacrifices of others, we owe a great debt...It must be honoured, even though it can never fully be repaid.”
-- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal).

General Hillier and some friends. (Kabul, Afghanistan)

Canadian Forces female personnel of the International SecurityAssistance Force (ISAF) stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Canadian Soldiers return from Vimy Ridge in this May, 1917 photo. On November 11, 1918, the First World War officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Canadian Soldiers return from Vimy Ridge in this May, 1917 photo. On November 11, 1918, the First World War officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pakistan-Afghan border: Terrorists kill soldiers

After the Pakistani Army's strike on a religious school (madrassa) last week in Bajaur, in which 80 terrorists were killed, this was to be expected:

"A suicide bomber has killed at least 35 soldiers at an army training school in north-west Pakistan, officials say. It is the deadliest attack by militants on the army since it began operations against pro-Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters close to the Afghan border. " More...

One of terrorists known to have died in the attack in Bajaur is Maulana Liaqat, the head of the madrassa that was targeted by the Pakistani Army's missiles. Maulana Liaqat was a leader of the pro-Taliban movement, Tanzim Nifaz Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM), that spearheaded a violent Islamic movement in Bajaur and the neighbouring Malakand areas in 1994. The TNSM also led some 5,000 men from the Pakistani areas of Dir, Swat and Bajaur across the Mamond border into Afghanistan in October 2001 to fight US-led troops.

Another local cleric, Maulana Faqir Mohammad, currently heads the TNSM in Bajaur. Mohammad was also wanted by the Pakistani government for harbouring Taliban terrorists and training fighters for the war in Afghanistan. It was thought that Faqir Mohammad had also been killed in Monday's attack but he later turned up at the funeral where he made a speech condemning the raid and vowing to continue support for "jihad against the Americans" in Afghanistan.

"...a sign of the attention that the Mamond valley is receiving from the US and Pakistani authorities. The valley, which constitutes an administrative sub-division of Bajaur agency, has housed training camps for both Afghan and Kashmiri militants in the past. The local population hosted a large number of Arab mujahideen during 1980s and 1990s, and opened up to the influence of some extremist factions of the Islamic Brotherhood. The area served as an important staging ground for Afghan and local mujahideen to organise and conduct raids as far afield as Kabul during the days of the Soviet occupation.

The area was targeted in air raids by Soviet jets and helicopter gunships which aimed for mujahideen camps but often hit civilian targets. It still hosts a large Afghan refugee population sympathetic to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a mujahideen leader ideologically close to the Arab militants. A one time protégé of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency, Mr Hekmatyar is still reported to be operating in the area. The US says militants based in Bajaur launch frequent attacks on American and Afghan troops in the adjoining Afghan province of Kunar. " More...

Note: many of the terrorists in Bajaur managed to escape by taking shelter behind women.

Monday, November 06, 2006

From Hindu schoolboy to Islamic terrorist

Al Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot Bilal aka Abu Musa al-Hindi aka Abu Eissa al-Hindi, 34, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to murder in connection with planned attacks in the United States and Britain -- the latter including the use of a "dirty bomb" laced with radiological material. He watched impassively in court on Monday as prosecutors played shaky hand-held video of the New York Stock Exchange and other U.S. financial targets he has admitted planning to bomb.

"Al Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot - who was raised a Hindu but converted aged 20 - planned a series of atrocities to 'commit mass murder' in Britain and the USA using radioactive bombs and a petrol tanker...plans to drive explosives-packed limousines into underground car parks and blow up a series of five star hotels in London's West End, including The Ritz...blowing up the Heathrow Express rail shuttle and a devastating plan to Tube train travelling through a River Thames tunnel.

"Imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here and actually rupture the river itself," he wrote in one chilling note. "This would cause pandemonium, what with the explosions, flooding, drowning, etc that would occur...

...intensive training in various aspects of terrorism' for at least five months. Police recovered copious notes made by Barot - hidden in a garage in North West London in 2004. The jottings contained detailed information about machine guns, grenades and poisons. By the time Barot had finished his time in Pakistan, he possessed a vast array of military skills. Much of his time there was chronicled in a book 'The Army of Madinah in Kashmir' - published in Britain in 1999...

Analysis of Barot's notebooks revealed a terrifying list of ways in which to inflict mass murder. It was, said Mr Lawson, a 'catalogue of weaponry' and even contained recipes to inflict 'germ warfare' on the West. He was told how to use Kalashnikov rifles, AK47 assault weapons, and was even given advice on 'how to bow up a bridge'. There were 'standard notes on various types of grenades'. A chapter headed 'The Specialist' told the reader how to run a fully functioning chemical laboratory. Chemicals, such as sulphuric acid were identified, as were methods for making explosives and poisons. "

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein's crimes against humanity

Repression, imprisonment, torture, deportation, assassination, and execution. That's how Saddam's regime dealt with the Iraqi people. Arrogance and aggression. That's how Saddam's regime dealt with it's neighbours. Saddam's regime was a dictatorship which lacked constitutional legitimacy and real popular base inside the country. Since the 17-30 July 1968 coup of the Ba'ath Party, the numbers of prisons and the amount of oppressive and intelligence apparatus had steadily increased. There have been hundreds of decrees issued by Saddam or the Revolutionary Command Council which sentenced to death anyone who criticized the brutal regime in any way (such as writing slogans or delivering speeches) . The list of crimes committed by Hussein and his thugs seems endless, however here are a few examples:

  • The killing of Sunni religious leaders such as Abdul Aziz Al Badri the Imam of Dragh district mosque in Baghdad in 1969, Al Shaikh Nadhum Al Asi from Ubaid tribe in Northern Iraq, Al Shiakh Al Shahrazori, Al Shaikh Umar Shaqlawa, Al Shiakh Rami Al Kirkukly, Al Shiakh Mohamad Shafeeq Al Badri, Abdul Ghani Shindala.
  • The arrest of hundreds of Iraqi Islamic activists and the execution of five religious leaders in 1974.
  • The arrest of thousand of religious people who rose up against the regime and the killing of hundreds of them in the popular uprising of 1977 in which Ayatollah Mohamad Baqir Al Hakim the leader of SCIRI was sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • The arrest, torture and executions of tens of religious scholars and Islamic activists in such as Qasim Shubbar, Qasim Al Mubarqaa in 1979.
  • The arrest, torture and execution of Ayatollah Mohamad baqir Al Sadr and his sister Amina Al Sadr (Bint Al Huda) in 1980.
  • The war against Iran in 1980 in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis AND Iranians were killed, and many doubles of that number were handicapped or missed.
  • The arrest of 90 members of Al Hakim family and the execution of 16 members of that family in 1983 to put pressure on Ayatollah Mohamad Baqir Al Hakim to stop his struggle against Saddam's regime.
  • Using chemical weapons in the North and the South.
  • The occupation of Kuwait which resulted in the deaths of many in both Kuwait and Iraq.
  • The assassination of many opposition figures outside Iraq such as Haj Sahal Al Salman in UAE in 1981, Sami Mahdi and Ni'ma Mohamad in Pakistan in 1987, Sayed Mahdi Al Hakim in Sudan in 1988, and Shaikh Talib Al Suhail in Lebanon in 1994.
  • The execution of 21 Bath Party leaders in 1979 in Iraq , the assassination of Hardan Al Tikriti former defence Minister in Kuwait in 1973, and the former Prime Minister Abdul Razzaq Al naef in London 1978.
  • The deaths of 148 villagers from the town of Dujail, where torture and executions followed a failed assassination attempt on Saddam in 1982.
Please feel free to add to this list. In other news:
+ Defence Department nixes proposal to buy slightly used A-4 and A-5 versions of the Leopard-2 tank from Germany and Switzerland
+ Cpl. Michael Seeley, 27, of Fredericton, a Canadian Mi’kmaq Native Indian and U.S. Marine, was killed in action in Iraq. His mom says he never questioned the war or his participation in it.
+ Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said today that the Israeli military would not halt its offensive in the northern Gaza Strip until Palestinian terrorist rocket fire is significantly reduced.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

3rd Battalion PPCLI in Afghanistan

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) is an infantry regiment in the Canadian Forces (CF), belonging to 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG). It is one of the most decorated regiments in the CF. It currently consists of four battalions, three in the Regular Force and one in the Reserve Force (militia).

Some history: In April 1951, 2nd Battalion PPCLI, with Australian and American units, held back a major Chinese offensive that had pushed through the UN lines and was heading for Seoul. The Regiment earned two additional Battle Honours in Korea.
Read more PPCLI history, dating back to World War I.

Current Operations of the Canadian Armed Forces (approx persons):

Operation ALTAIR Arabian Gulf Region (237) ~ OP ATHENA Afghanistan (2,286)
OP ARCHER Afghanistan (35) ~ OP ARGUS Afghanistan (15)
OP ATHENA Afghanistan (16) ~ OP FOUNDATION Tampa, Florida / Bahrain (8)
OP IOLAUS Iraq (1) ~ OP BRONZE Bosnia-Herzegovina (9)
OP BOREAS Bosnia-Herzegovina (11) ~ OP HAMLET Haiti (4)
OP GLADIUS Golan Heights (3) ~ OP CALUMET Sinai (28)
OP JADE Jerusalem (7) ~ OP PROTEUS Jerusalem (3)
OP SNOWGOOSE Cyprus (1) ~ OP CROCODILE Democratic Republic of the Congo (9)
CF Operations in Sudan: OP SAFARI (32) ~ OP AUGURAL Darfur: Western Sudan (African Union) (12)
OP SCULPTURE Sierra Leone (11) ~ OP SEXTANT: Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (309)

1st Battalion ~ 2nd Battalion ~ 3rd Battalion

"Army teams dominated the sixth annual International Sniper Competition, which ended Nov. 2, by sweeping the top five spots at the end of the intense six-day event" Read more.

13th — 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Canada. Names withheld.
22nd — 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Canada. Names withheld.

+ Canada says NO to US military deserter: Joshua Key, 27, a father of four, is the third high-profile deserter to be refused asylum by an Immigration and Refugee Board. The decision follows that of other high-profile deserters Jeremy Hinzman, 27, and Brandon Hughey, 20, who were refused refugee status and have taken their cases to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Canadian Forces - Out of My Way

YouTube user comment: "We can already kick as much jihadi ass as we need to, and no more than necessary. Quiet professionalism."

A Pathetic Protest

In a new poll conducted for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, 55 per cent of Canadians said they support "conventional combat missions," as long as the cause is just and progress is being made. The survey revealed Canadians, although divided, were willing to send troops into dangerous missions even where troops risked serious injury or death, as long as they believed in the military's goals. The survey was conducted by Innovative Research Group Incorporated.

"If Canada's pacifists weren't so wrong-headed, we would feel sorry for them.On Saturday, activists opposed to Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan staged protests in three dozen cities. The results were pathetic. In Edmonton, Calgary and Hamilton, Ont., respectively, 100 people showed up. In Halifax and Toronto, it was 200. Montreal and Ottawa did the best -- with a mere 500 each. The people of Afghanistan should be quite glad for this meager turnout: Right now, soldiers from Canada and other NATO countries are the only thing standing in the way of a total Taliban takeover of the country. We find it ironic that Jack Layton, who marched in Toronto, has lent his voice to Canada's pacifists. The NDP postures as a true guardian of women, religious minorities and other disadvantaged groups. Yet the Taliban, whose return to power Mr. Layton seems so eager to facilitate, constituted one of the most misogynistic and backward regimes known to humankind." Read more of the National Post story at "Military Mom At Home"

Lt. Col. Smyrski, the Task Force Wing Flight Surgeon, examines an Afghan child's eyes during a humanitarian aid and medical assistance visit to the.

The official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published a vicious anti-Semitic article last week that included many of the classic anti-Semitic libels and modern "updates":
- Jews start wars, including the war in Iraq, to promote Jews' power and control
- Jews are the dominant force in US policy
- Jews control international finance
- Jews control international media

In the article, Muhammad Khalifa, columnist from the United Arab Emirates, argues that the US is planning to control all of the world's countries from a single central government in New York. The Jews, who dominate or control every key element in the US, including the stock market, the media and international finance, have used their "custom" of starting international wars to cement this US control. Credit to Boker Tov, Boulder for this one.

  DO NOT SUBMIT    Canadian Women's Army Corps.