Tag Archives: ISIS

Canada Day in the Age of ISIS

imagesCanada Day is going to be hot and sunny in my part of the world. Living flags, obscure multi-cultural bands and, later fireworks with routine police checks of everyone riding the buses to make sure no one is actually carrying a beer to the festivities.

Sounds like fun and it is. But this year there is just a hint of caution. Do I really want to take my family into a crowded place? Sure, there is tons of security – those cops will take away your kettle bomb as well as your beer. Chatter is being monitored. CSIS and the Horsemen are on the job.

There is an argument that if you hesitate, if you alter your behaviour in any way, the terrorists have won. It is a good argument but unconvincing. Back in the day, a decade ago, rowdy teenagers were the only issue at Canada Day festivities. Hardly a big deal. Now we have the niggling suspicion that even with Canada’s excellent security services, whack job “lone wolves” are a live possibility.

Looking at the pictures and video from Tunisia, the carnage inflicted by one (or perhaps two) gunmen armed with automatic weapons is dreadful. But one evil Islamist in a F-150 pick-upĀ could do equal damage in a crowd.

Security is always a balance between resources and threat. In Canada, for the moment, the threat seems to be relatively minimal and somewhat contained. Yet I would have said the same thing before the Islamic terrorist shot up the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

Canada Day celebrations across the country are now targets and the security services wisely treat them as such. Which, I think, tells you how far our situation has deteriorated.

For a variety of reasons I do not like Bill C-51. It is too broad, it lacks essential oversight, it invites abuse. But I agree with the impetus behind the Bill. There are terrorists abroad in the Dominion. They are motivated by support for Islam. They need to be found, stopped, and their networks rolled up. The Tunisians knew where to look – they closed 80 mosques.

If we are going to have our security services deal with terror they need the tools to do it and they need strict oversight and real consequences if they abuse those tools. I wrote about that here. We also need to stop adding fuel to what, in Canada, is still a very small fire. As we lack the resources to positively vet immigrants from majority Muslim nations, we need to have a moratorium on immigration from those nations save for the minorities in those nations who are being slaughtered by ISIS and its ideological allies. And we have to stop pretending that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorists who commit their crimes in the name of Allah.

Canada Day celebrates the birthday of an extraordinary nation. A nation which has welcomed newcomers for its entire life. To keep that nation strong and free, we have to have the gumption to prevent its invasion by people who do not share our broadly held values and whose ideology (masked as a religion) means that they never will. Our security services can, I hope, deal with the potential terrorists who are already here; but asking them to deal with wave after wave of people who will not accept, much less share, our democratic commitments is too much. Sooner rather than later we need to understand and confront the Islamic threat to Canada and the West.

Meanwhile, enjoy the day!

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President Dumb

So Obama will not share information with the Egyptians bombing ISIS.

And, apparently, he was not willing to share information with Jordan either.

The dimwit holds a conference on “violent extremism” and avoids mentioning Islam.

Now there are righties who suggest that Obama is a Muslim, or that he has been captured by the Muslim Brotherhood; I don’t think so.

What I do think is that Obama, and his gang of soft power advisers, are in so far over their heads that they have not a clue what to do. What they are certain of is that “War is bad” and so they are trying to avoid war by being extra nice. I can’t help but think that death from laughter is taking its toll in ISIS.

There are a lot of things which America can and should be doing to deal with ISIS. One of those things is to provide a lot of material and intelligence support for the people willing to actually attack the beast. This, apparently, has escaped the dimwit in chief.

Counting the days until his term is over may be a luxury America cannot afford. Impeachment – for a variety of offences – may be the only solution. The only problem being that Obama gone means Joe Biden. Not a good choice but, perhaps, better than the present idiot.

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Burn Those Books Morons

One of the more basic arguments about the Middle East turns on the question of whether Islamic cultures are inherently pre-modern. One side will cite the glories of Islamic scholarship which preserved a good deal of the Western world’s knowledge (a claim which is contested). The other side will say that the real Islam of the Wahabbis is dedicated to the destruction of all that is not “Islamic”.

ISIS has cast its vote.

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A thought

The King of Saudi Arabia is dead. His successor is rumoured to be suffering from dementia. Saudi’s oil war is reducing revenue to the Kingdom. ISIS has already begun border attacks and there is rumour of fifth column activity in the Kingdom. Yemen is under Iranian backed Shi’te pressure with its capital overrun. In the Eastern province, where the oil is, there is a pro-Iranian Shi’te majority.

At this point the survival of Saudi Arabia in its current form is in some doubt. Certainly ISIS has no reason not to continue to attack. Running the table from Medina to Mecca looks like a stretch but that takes the loyalty of the Saudi Army and Air Force for granted. Are they loyal? And it is no stretch to note that the non-royal Saudis are not over enthusiastic about their lot in life. Less so when cuts to the Saudi welfare state occasioned by the reduction in oil revenues begin to bite.

ISIS is now in a stalemate in Iraq with the Iranian backed militias and the Iraqi army holding a line West of Baghdad. For ISIS to continue it needs to keep its momentum and wheeling south may be the best way to do that. Hitting the sacred territories of Islam could draw recruits and, weirdly, Saudi money from people who will back the perceived strong horse.

The derisory airstrikes of the anti-ISIS coalition have damaged but not destroyed ISIS. The logic of their strategic position combined with the politics of the Caliphate may make Saudi the right target at the right time. Which could make the entire situation radically more dangerous.

It might be time for the West to think more seriously about how and why it is conducting war in the Middle East. Air war is clean, low casualty and somewhat effective;it is not, however, decisive. Does it make sense to put boots on the ground and, if so, whose? Or are there other strategic options. China has a large Army. And buys a heck of a lot more Middle Eastern oil than the US.

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The Reality Deficit

Newly elected Premier Wynne is about to run into the fact the bond raters don’t think much of the most progressive budget in Ontario history.

It turns out that the Sunni Triangle never went away and the jihad is are taking full advantage.

The IRS has “lost” two critical year of email communications with external agencies on its targeting of Tea Party groups.

Surface temperatures are the wrong way to measure the effects of global warming/climate change (possibly because they don’t show any for the last 17 years).

The promise of amnesty, or even its discussion, leads to waves of illegal migrants.

Humans, especially well meaning, sincere, progressive humans, like to be optimistic believing that an appeal to our better angels will somehow change facts so as to fit the preferred narrative. They hope that human nature, and indeed mother nature, will see the justice of their cause and adjust itself accordingly.

Suggesting otherwise makes one a racist or a denier or an islamophobe or some sort of xenophobe. The bond raters and climate scientists and policy analysts rude enough to pay attention to reality are excluded, attacked and marginalised.

Which creates what I would describe as a reality deficit. It is very difficult to get big questions exactly right. Every answer to a big question will be a little bit wrong in its details. It will be an approximation subject to revision as more information and data is brought to bear on the question. Sensible people understand this.

However, when new information or data is ignored, suppressed or filtered through an ideological lens understanding is undermined. The narrative begins to depart from its underlying reality.

As the reality deficit grows the ability of policy makers to reach good decisions is diminished. In the long run this is a self correcting problem. But the cost and pain of adjustment back to reality is huge and grows with every decision made on faulty data or flawed premise.

Whether it is government spending, climate policy, the legal morass of the IRS or a pragmatic response to the jihad is the bigger the reality deficit the nastier the adjustment shock.

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ISIS

As I write this I suspect some other poor Shi’ite bastard is having his head hacked off by the charming men of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams continue their march on Baghdad. Where, apparently they will run into the equally charming hard men of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Two groups who deserve each other.

One hopes the jihadi/Guard fight lasts a long time with many, many casualties on both sides. But, when they have exhausted each other lets also hope that Obama is bright enough to send serious air strikes at the jihadi rear. And not just fighters. Send the B-2s with cluster munitions and by all means the AC-130s.

There is a kill zone which stretches from Syria to Iraq. The Kurds will hold the Western flank and the Shi’ites should be able to bottle up the jihadis to the South. American, Jordanian and Saudi forces should be able to hold the borders of those countries.

If Obama had the will he could kill or assist in the killing of the flower of the jihadi movement. In every crisis there is opportunity and the opportunity here is scorched earth in an area pretty much built for bombing, strafing and cluster munitions.

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