Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Post

Eighty-four people have been confirmed dead in yet another terrorist attack in France.

The use of cars as murder weapons is not only approved by ISIS but has been done in previous attacks:

Supporters of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group praised the attack Friday, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The militant group has called on supporters to use any means possible to strike at its targets. Attacks inspired by terror groups in recent years have involved planes, bulldozers, tractors, guns, knives, machetes, bombs, explosives and vehicles.

In France, there were two other recent attacks using vehicles, but it was disputed whether the assailants had links to terrorist cells. On Dec. 22, 2014, a man ran over a group of pedestrians at a Christmas market in Nantes, killing one and injuring nine others. That attack came a day after a similar one in Dijon when a motorist also struck pedestrians, injuring 13. Both suspects, who survived, have histories of mental illness.

In Montreal, a vehicle was used to kill a soldier in October 2014; a year earlier, attackers used a car to run over an off-duty soldier in London before stabbing him to death.

I'm surprised that mounds of Chinese-made toys, lit candles and leaflets of bad poetry haven't stopped these wheeled battering rams.

The killer was Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French-Tunisian national.

Insert one's own commentary here.

There was an as-of-yet unnamed hero who made an attempt to stop Bouhel:

Thursday night’s Bastille Day attack in Nice would have been much worse had a brave man not directly confronted the attacker, eyewitnesses say.

Survivors of the attack say the man, who hasn’t yet been identified, jumped into the truck’s cab, wrestled with the driver and grabbed his gun, which significantly slowed the attacker.

Police officers in Nice confirmed that the man’s intervention helped prevent more carnage, The Independent reported on Friday morning.

Local politician Éric Ciotti, who witnessed the attack, told Europe 1 radio that the man helped the police stop the attacker.

A military coup crippled Ankara:

Turkish officials said Saturday morning the government had appeared to have repelled an attempted military coup following a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital that left at least 17 dead, according to state-run media.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview over FaceTime with the CNN Turk station, dismissed the military action as “an attempt at an uprising by a minority within our armed forces.” His office declined to disclose his whereabouts, saying only that he was in a secure location.

Turks took to the streets of cities across the country waving national flags throughout the attempted coup to show their support for the government.

By Saturday morning, a top Turkish official said the coup attempt appeared to have been repelled. The senior official told The Associated Press that all government officials were in charge of their offices. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

More to come.

Oh, I'm sure that will work:

A Toronto man arrested over police concerns he would travel abroad to engage in terrorism agreed Friday to the terms of a one-year peace bond that requires him not to communicate or associate with ISIL.

An Amber Alert was lifted after finding the body of a five year-old girl - Taliyah Marsman - days after her mother was found murdered. A man has been charged for both crimes:

The body of five-year-old Calgary girl Taliyah Marsman has been found days after her mother was discovered dead. 

Police later charged 46-year-old Edward Downey with two counts of first-degree murder.

We don't hang enough people.

Yet another reason why we should not only withdraw from the UN but that everyone who calls him or herself a citizen (or at least gets the benefits thereof) should adhere to one law:

Jody Wilson-Raybould, the justice minister, spoke at the AFN’s general assembly in Niagara Falls Wednesday, where she dropped the bombshell that adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Canadian law is “unworkable.”

She went further. “Respectfully, it is a political distraction to undertaking the hard work required to actually implement it,” she said. ...

In her speech, the justice minister omitted perhaps the most influential actors on the stage — the courts.
Section 35 of the Constitution has evolved into a duty to consult native populations. Yet the UNDRIP goes further and requires governments to secure “free, prior and informed consent” in any given area of policy. As retired Supreme Court justice, Frank Iacobucci, noted this week, “future legislation and judicial interpretation” will determine wither UNDRIP … differs significantly from Canada’s existing jurisprudence on duty to consult.”

Cathy McLeod, the Conservative indigenous affairs critic, welcomed the news the Liberals have recognized that implementing the UNDRIP might not be quite as simple as the government had first claimed.

“The fact remains that certain provisions cannot be reconciled with the existing Canadian legal framework, specifically if ‘free, prior and informed consent’ is advanced as a right of veto,” she said.

Full implementation of the declaration is not just problematic from the point of view of constitutional and judicial niceties. As a report for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute by former Plains Cree chief, Blaine Favel, and Canada Research Chair, Ken Coates, pointed out, it could make the country ungovernable.

United Nations peace-keeping missions are not only tremendously useless but they are costly, as well:

The country’s top soldier says Canadian Forces will soon be bound for Africa, prompting speculation that Canada is about to fulfil the Liberals’ election promise to renew Canada’s role as global peacekeepers. 

To wit -  one of Canada's successful peace-keeping missions:

The United Nations launched its peacekeeping mission for Rwanda in October 1993 to monitor a cease-fire agreement between the Rwandan Hutu government and the rebel Rwandese Patriotic Front. The mission, which was not allowed to use military force to achieve its aims, was limited to investigating breaches in the cease-fire, helping humanitarian aid deliveries and contributing to the security of the capital, Kigali. The mission proved insufficient after the government launched the slaughter of an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus following the downing of the Rwandan president's plane on April 6, 1994. 

The report faulted the United Nations in several key areas leading up to that date, including its failure to act on a now-famous cable sent by the force commander, Canadian Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire on Jan. 11, 1994 warning of the risk of genocide. The cable was received by Annan and wasn't shared with the Security Council and didn't receive the follow-up such an important piece of evidence deserved, the report said. In addition, the United Nations and Security Council virtually ignored a groundbreaking assessment by the UN human rights investigator for Rwanda who raised the possibility in August 1993 that a genocide might occur. 

But the report points most of its criticism at how the United Nations - and in particular its Security Council members - reacted to the killings once they started. There was little political will within the council, particularly from the United States, to authorize a robust peacekeeping force in the months after the failed Somalia mission, that left 18 Americans dead. After rampaging killers in Rwanda killed 10 Belgian peacekeepers at the beginning of the genocide, there was little will to keep the peacekeepers in place, much less strengthen their mandate

The departure of peacekeepers from a school where thousands of civilians had massed hoping for protection was cited by the report as one of the main reasons for the enduring bitterness Rwandans feel Thursday toward the United Nations because of the ensuing massacre there. "The manner in which the troops left, including attempts to pretend to the refugees that they were not in fact leaving, was disgraceful," the report said.

And now we get to do it all over again.

The placement of THAAD in Seongju has ired its residents

Angry residents in a rural South Korean town threw eggs and water bottles at the prime minister and blocked him for more than six hours Friday to protest a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defence system in their neighbourhood.

Earlier this week, South Korea announced that the missile system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, will be placed in the southeastern farming town of Seongju by the end of next year to better cope with North Korean threats. Seongju residents launched protests, saying they fear possible health hazards from the missile system. ...

South Korean officials have dismissed as groundless a belief that THAAD radar systems emit electromagnetic waves that can cause health problems. Defence officials say the U.S. system is harmless if people stay at least 100 metres (yards) away from it.

Seongju residents criticized the government for unilaterally deciding on the deployment without consulting them. About 200 Seongju residents made a protest visit to Seoul's Defence Ministry on Wednesday, and some wrote letters of complaint in blood. A group of 13 local leaders went on a hunger strike.

The recent ruling in favour of the Philippines' claims in the South China Seas still puts South Korea in an awkward position:

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin suggested Wednesday that the air defense zone could be an option and said the decision “depends on the level of threats” the country faced.

To Seoul, this would mean an intensifying dilemma between its traditional ally and an increasingly interdependent neighbor.

With its strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. has repeatedly been raising the need for South Korea to step up its response to China’s assertive push in the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama said after his summit with President Park Geun-hye last October in Washington that he expects Seoul to “speak out just as we do” when China fails to follow international norms and rules.  

Even if Obama wasn't such a useless piece of crap, South Korea would still have to form its own political and military response to China.

I keep saying this: pan-Asian alliance.

And now, some feel-good items:

Political bullcrap always looks more impressive in Russian:

советский плакат постер
In Russia, lies tell you!

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