July 31, 2006

July 31, 2006: Various

The link is only for the first item.

IDF: Qana building fell hours after strike Hanan Greenberg

(VIDEO) IDF continuing to check difficult incident at Qana village, and attempting to account for strange gap between time of the strike on the building – midnight – and eight in the morning, when the building collapsed

VIDEO - An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF

[....] The IDF believes that Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse.

Another possibility is that the rickety building remained standing for a few hours, but eventually collapsed. "It could be that inside the building, things that could eventually cause an explosion were being housed, things that we could not blow up in the attack, and maybe remained there, Brigadier General Eshel said. [....]

The Qana tragedy National Post editorial, July 31, 2006

Some are calling this a war crime, and they're right. But the culpable party is Hezbollah, not Israel.

While it was Israeli planes that launched the missiles, these attacks did not materialize out of thin air. Since this conflict began on July 12, about 150 rockets have been fired from the vicinity of Qana, with the launchers hidden among civilian targets in the town itself. Speaking to reporters on Sunday evening, Israeli Air Force Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Amir Eshel produced video footage showing the launchers being driven into Qana following fusillades. [....]

[....] ".... The use of human shields is a war crime."

Israeli army telephoning bomb targets before striking -- 'I thought it was a prank' Selim Saheb Ettaba, Agence France-Presse, July 29, 2006

Robert Fulford: Lebanon according to Hezbollah July 29, 2006, NatPost

[....] CNN leads the coalition of the gullible. A CNN correspondent, Nic Robertson ....

[C]hallenged by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post on another CNN program, Reliable Sources, Robertson acknowledged that Hezbollah told him where to shoot and allowed no time to investigate what the bombed houses held. He said there was no doubt that Israeli bombs were in fact hitting Hezbollah facilities, a point he didn't make on the news.

Hezbollah grants or withholds permission for any journalistic visit, then supervises it. [....]

Robertson admitted that Lebanon stories should be treated with "more than a grain of salt."
But that's what he and others don't provide. During this entire crisis I have not once heard anyone on TV say: "All facts and pictures I have just delivered are Hezbollah-approved, so treat them warily." [....]

George Jonas: The UN is the more dangerous enemy National Post, July 29, 2006

[....] Not just a worse enemy of Israel than Hezbollah, the UN is a worse enemy of civilization and its values. Less open in its hostility to Western-style democracy perhaps, but for that very reason more dangerous.

What limits the menace of groups like Hezbollah or al-Qaeda is the lack of respectability that attaches to their names. What increases the menace of the United Nations is the residual respect its name commands. It is, after all, an institution whose aims and principles, as laid down in its Charter, embodied the finest thoughts and best hopes of mankind. Pronouncements from such an institution carry some moral clout even after it has been infiltrated, permeated and finally hijacked by thieves, terrorists and (at best) their appeasers and apologists. [....]

Mark Steyn: Professionalization of war is ghettoization of war July 30, 2006, Chicago Sun Times

[....] We live in an age of inversely proportional deterrence: The more militarily powerful a civilized nation is, the less its enemies have to fear the full force of that power ever being unleashed. They know America and other Western powers fight under the most stringent self-imposed etiquette. Overwhelming force is one thing; overwhelming force behaving underwhelmingly as a matter of policy is quite another.

So even the most powerful military in the world is subject to broader cultural constraints. [....]A nation that psychologically outsources war to a small career soldiery risks losing its ability even to grasp concepts like "the enemy": The professionalization of war is also the ghettoization of war. As John Podhoretz wondered in the New York Post the other day: "What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?" [....]

CTV.ca July 31, 06 Poll

Why do you think Stephen Harper is skipping two international events this summer: Outgames in Montreal, AIDS conference in Toronto?

Scheduling conflicts

Unlikely to win any votes

One obvious possible answer has been omitted:

Maybe PM Harper has the common sense and courage to say I would rather do something with my family or do something else just as or more important. Remember the photographs of Joe Clark joining a past gay parade, the parade with the naked men on a balcony photographed? They might not have been in the same photograph as Joe but the photos were from the same "pride" parade. Is that extreme behaviour what we want our PM to support? Is it not enough that gays are not discriminated against? Should Canadians have to cheer too? If it is normal, why would Canadians have to prove it year after year? If homosexuality is normal, why have a parade to celebrate it?

Along with most of Canada, I didn't attend the parade; does that make us bigots or anti-gay too?

Related: Treated with respect by our MSM, Muslims' attitude toward gays and women does not make the MSM news:

Within this post Frost Hits the Rhubarb June 28, 2006: Aly Hindy, MSM Omissions & "Activists" , scroll to:

Jane Perlez The New York Times: Women caught in a more radical Indonesia They want Shariah Law in Ontario -- posted on CNEWS Forum: toryblue, 6/27/2006 19:06:49 and timwest, 6/27/2006 11:23:42

All of us are considered immoral, including gays.

Ex-Min. Bill Graham attacks PM's response on UN bombing

He juts his jaw and says ... STOP all this nonsense ... We need the UN's direction again.

He is so nakedly anxious to get back into perqs land. Remember the Gomery Inquiry?

An Israeli Soldier's Opinion

This is a letter from a young Israeli soldier to his mother. I got a copy of it as a member of Naomi Ragen's e-mail list.

I strongly urge you to read the letter to get an understanding of the Israeli-Hezbollah-Hamas conflict. I was particularly impressed by the description of Israel's "don't shoot first" policy:

Do you know why so many soldiers die in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon? Not because the enemy's army is better, they are not even close to the IDF. We have better equipment, more equipment, better training, so how is it that soldiers are kidnapped and killed? That's a good question. It is because the left and the international community is keeping such a close look, and bias toward Israel's defense tactics, that are (sic!) hands are tied in defending ourselves properly. We take so many dangerous steps in order to protect civilians, that in return, we are killed and kidnapped. Did you know that at the Lebanon Border for the last ten years, because of "International" pressure, that if you see 500 Hizbollah terrorists with AK47's and rocket launchers and missiles coming up to the actual border fence, 50 feet from the Israel soldiers, 50 feet from Israel's soil, that the IDF cannot fire unless they fire first! They can aim, set up shop 50 feet from you, but until they fire and shoot at you, the Israeli soldiers cannot defend themselves. Is that logical? No, it is insane. The only reason why so many Israeli's both civilian and military are dying is explicitly the fault of the International Leftist agenda. The Left likes to see the minority win, even if it is Hamas and Hezbollah. [....]

Oilsands damage control National Post, July 31, 2006

[....] But getting oil from Alberta's oilsands involves a heavy cost in terms of destruction of forest habitat, use of water, dangers of air pollution and acid rain, and production of greenhouse gases.

One example: Oilsands companies currently use 20 billion litres of groundwater a year to get the bitumen out of the ground and process it. They are licensed to use 75 billion litres a year, and as more projects come onstream, groundwater use will escalate.

Yet the Alberta government doesn't have a good inventory of the province's groundwater. [....]

Mark Steyn: Mark Steyn on the speed the world is changing. The Hugh Hewitt Show, 11-27-2006 at 06:07 PM

[....] HH: Now do you think that these papers could be saved with editorial energy and vision?

MS: Yes, I think so, because I think in a sense, this is beyond politics. Yes, there is bias in American newspapers. But beyond the bias, they're unreadable. I love the English language. No one who loves the English language could enjoy reading the Los Angeles Times or the Boston Globe, [....]And nobody who enjoys the vigor of language is going to want to ploy [plow?] through that stuff.

[....] I interview Peter Baker next hour, Washington Post White House correspondent. And I challenge him at the end of that, I recorded it already, that the guild has taken over, and the guild never self-criticizes, and as a result, I don't think they've got any fresh air in journalism.

MS: No, I think it's a very closed...it's an unusually closed world, compared with media groups and media cultures in other countries.


The Folly of Talking to Syria [TB] Blog Foundation for the Defence of Democracy

Over at Across the Bay, I discuss the folly of the calls to "engage" Syria over the Lebanon crisis.

I particularly note the positions of people who have dealt with Bashar Assad in the past and went away with a bitter taste in their mouth, and a decision never to trust him or work with him again.
One such person is French President Chirac, who talked to Le Monde about this issue. He said that he "realized that nothing would come out of it [dialogue with Assad]. [I realized] that the regime embodied by Bashar al-Assad appeared to me hardly compatible with security and peace." Chirac also thinks, as I have argued before, that Syria is actually a secondary player in this case. The real player is Iran. Syria is just trying to get as many scraps off Iran's table as it can. We should not fall for its bluff. [....]

Hizballah Attacked UNIFIL Twice This Week July 27, 06

Neither the mainstream media nor Kofi Annan have mentioned it, but Hizballah has attacked UNIFIL observers twice this week. (Hat tip: Larry.)

From the UN’s own press releases:

24 July 2006:

One unarmed UN military observer, a member of the Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), was seriously wounded by small arms fire in the patrol base in the Marun Al Ras area yesterday afternoon. According to preliminary reports, the fire originated from the Hezbollah side during an exchange with the IDF. He was evacuated by the UN to the Israeli side, from where he was taken by an IDF ambulance helicopter to a hospital in Haifa. He was operated on, and his condition is now reported as stable.

Notice: in this instance, the UN observer was injured badly enough to be evacuated to an Israeli hospital. Where they saved his life.

Not a word of condemnation from Kofi Annan for Hizballah. And not a word of gratitude for Israel, for saving a UN peacekeeper’s life.

I'm just guessing but ... considering the level of truth in the Muslim Middle East, would it be too far afield to suggest that it would have been to Hezbollah's advantage to bomb and then blame Israel? Certainly, the MSM would always be happy to pick up on the story and disseminate it.

Mounties admit: 'We're outgunned' -- RCMP constables go public with plea for more firepower Gary Dimmock, The Ottawa Citizen; with files from National Post, July 28, 2006

In their daily pursuit of criminals at a time when frontline Mounties are being wounded and killed in the line of duty, two officers -- including one who came under fire himself --yesterday said the force is simply "outgunned" by the bad guys.

"They've got the big guns and they're not afraid to use them," said Const. Rip Mills. "So you go to a gunfight with a pistol and the bad guy has a rifle. What do you do with a pistol? Duck and take cover?" [See article below this.]

It is rare for Mounties to speak out publicly, but with the rash of gun attacks against them, Const. Mills and Const. Pete Merrifield broke ranks yesterday in a public call for greater firepower. They said the national police force is outmatched by criminals and that frontline officers need more than one trip a year to the shooting range to keep up their skills.

"We've got a pistol and a shotgun. That's not going to cut it. How many more lives need to be lost before we change?" Const. Mills said. [....]

Memory Lane: Gangs, Drugs, Guns & Death

He ran a death squad Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun, Friday, September 17, 2004. There are several articles in the series here.

Former gangster Bal Buttar reveals how he arranged the murders of Indo-Canadian rivals in a brutal, drug-fuelled underworld that has claimed dozens of young lives.

In exclusive interviews with The Sun's Kim Bolan, he warns teens not to be tempted by the promise of wealth and power into a world where gangsters betray their best friends. [....]

Frost Hits the Rhubarb: October 10, 2004
Written by Julian Sher and William Marsden, the book explains how the RCMP in BC had ... "Bal Buttar, now a 28-year-old blind quadriplegic" has "found God", ...

Photos: Bay of Fundy at low tide by Elwood_P_Dowd


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