Thursday, May 21, 2015

But Wait! There's More!

There often is...

Ten would-be jihadis were prevented from joining ISIS:

Canadian police arrested 10 young people from Montreal suspected of wanting to leave the country to join militant Islamist groups in the Middle East, officials said on Wednesday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the 10 were detained last weekend at Montreal's international airport. No charges have been laid, and police declined to give details.

"We have reason to believe that the young Montrealers wanted to travel abroad to join jihadist groups," RCMP spokesman Constable Erique Gasse said.

Police said the passports of all 10 people were confiscated. Four of the 10 were attending College de Maisonneuve, a Montreal college that came under scrutiny earlier this year when another four of its students disappeared from Quebec and are believed to have travelled to join Islamic State.
Once more and with feeling: culture matters and Islamism is a very real and prevalent threat, despite what some wags think.

If you were Stephen Harper, would you waste an hour of your life listening to some CBC hack verbally massage Justin Trudeau?

The opposition parties might have agreed to a national English debate broadcast by the major TV networks, but the Conservatives aren't budging on their decision to skip it.

The NDP, Liberals and Green party reached an agreement in principle Thursday with the television consortium that has traditionally organized the election debates, for two national broadcasts with simultaneous translation.

The consortium includes CBC's French and English channels, Global News and CTV. ...

The Tories had emphasized the need for the debates to be available on different broadcasting platforms. The consortium responded to that by announcing a partnership with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube.

Yes, Liberals and NDP. Why not get with the twenty-first century? Are you afraid that Twitter will be most unkind to your idiocy?

Obama has declared that the American strategy against ISIS has been a success:

On the day that ISIS captured Iraq’s tenth-largest city, President Obama said it was a “tactical setback” for the U.S. war and “I don’t think we’re losing.” Obama was speaking to The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg in a wide-ranging interview about the Middle East. (Palmyra, Syria fell to ISIS the next day.) Obama explained that “Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced.”

Yes, about that:

Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defences east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier.

Islamic State militants have killed at least 17 people including members of the Syrian security forces and pro-government civilians in the city of Palmyra which it seized from the army this week, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

One could conclude one of two things about this. First: that like Kanye West, Obama is a mentally unstable eight year old boy trapped in a man's boy. Second: that Obama has no intention of ever defeating ISIS.

I would say it is the second thing. After all, he loves the sound of the Islamic call to prayer and doesn't believe anyone has the right to slander Mohammad, a prophet of some note in some circles.

Yes, about that:

The United States vowed on Thursday to keep up air and sea patrols in international waters after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a U.S. surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea.

The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the crew of a U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which was aboard the U.S. aircraft.

When the American pilots responded by saying the plane was flying through international airspace, a Chinese radio operator said with exasperation: "This is the Chinese navy ... You go!"

The Poseidon flew as low as 15,000 feet (4,500 meters), CNN said, and video provided by the Pentagon appeared to have been taken from directly above one artificial island.

The incident, along with recent Chinese warnings to Philippine military aircraft to leave areas around the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, suggested Beijing is trying to enforce a military exclusion zone above its new islands there.

Map of Spratly Islands (none)

 Spratly Is since NalGeoMaps.png

Curious how China's territorial waters extend to Vietnamese and Filipino coastlines. Just as curious that China always seems to have historical reasons for owning not only the Spratly Islands but even what is in the Korean Peninsula. And let's not contest Vietnam's claims unless it hurts the "integrity" of China.

Japanese historians decry the white-washing of Japanese atrocities during the Second World War:

A group of Japanese historians plans to issue a statement in Tokyo next week to voice their opposition to their government's attempts to whitewash Japan's World War II atrocities.

The historians in a press release Wednesday said they prepared for almost six months to deliver their view on the Abe administration's attempts to deny Japan's responsibility of forcing women, mostly Korean, to serve as sex slaves for its troops during World War II.

They plan to stress that Japan's imperial army was deeply involved in abducting and trafficking women to serve as sex slaves.

The historians said they hope that their efforts will prevent Japanese officials from making further irresponsible comments that are not based on historical fact and hopefully ease misunderstanding between Korea and Japan. 

This is a remarkable and long overdue sea change in the culture and modern Japanese identity. What the Germans have been made to own up to, so, too, might the Japanese.

And now, a real Captain America:

Captain Steve Voglezon, US Army, was in Chatham County, North Carolina on Sunday when he saw a horrible head-on car collision. The cars caught on fire while two people remained inside, trapped and unable to escape.

Most people run away from fires, but Captain Voglezon ran toward the burning cars. He didn’t have a vibranium shield, or even a firefighter’s protective clothing—just a Captain America shirt. He used a fire extinguisher to smash open a car window, then dragged the two occupants to safety.

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