Haskell: EU asylum and war criminals – No place to hide (5)

NEW YORK – In the 1980s and early 1990s, a large number of Afghans fled to the Netherlands to escape the dire situation in their own country. But they weren’t the only ones who left.

Senior government officials, including agents of the secret service – the dreaded KhAD – who had engaged in human rights violations also landed on Dutch soil.

Imagine escaping torture in your home country for exile far away, then suddenly crossing paths with the person responsible for your suffering. Dutch media reported in 1997 that at least 35 Afghan war criminals had sought asylum in the country and were walking around freely – at times coming face-to-face with their victims.

The article caused a public outcry and led the Dutch government to create a special unit within its immigration service to identify people responsible for serious international crimes.

The “1F Unit,” a reference to article 1F of the UN Refugee Convention, had a clear mandate: keep the Netherlands from becoming a safe haven for war criminals.


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#5 — EU hails Scotland vote as boost for ‘united’ Europe

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McCarthy: The Islamic State . . . of Saudi Arabia

Between beheadings, they’ll help train the “moderate” Syrian rebels.

The beheadings over the last several weeks were intended to terrorize, to intimidate, to coerce obedience, and to enforce a construction of sharia law that, being scripturally rooted, is draconian and repressive.

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . . our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.


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Mizokami: Don’t Buy Your Aircraft Carrier from Russia

India learned the hard way with INS Vikramaditya

Like a lot of countries, India wants the best weapons it can afford. But ideological and financial concerns mean there are a lot of things it won’t buy from the United States or Europe. That pretty much leaves, well, Russia.

India has been a big buyer of Russian weapons for 50 years. Those haven’t been easy years for New Delhi. India’s defense contracts with Russia have consistently suffered delays and cost overruns. And the resulting hardware doesn’t always work.

Of all India’s Russian procurement woes, none speak more to the dysfunctional relationship between the two countries than the saga of INS Vikramaditya. In the early 2000s, India went shopping for a new aircraft carrier. What followed was a military-industrial nightmare.


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Simons: Whiplash Jim rewrites policy so fast, the civil service can’t keep pace

EDMONTON – Call it the harvest of low-hanging fruit.

Or, if you prefer, a wholesale, high-speed reversal of many of the Hancock and Redford governments’ most unpopular policies.

First, Premier Jim Prentice grounded the government’s elite air fleet. Then, he cancelled plans for tacky new licence plates and prorogued the legislature, quashing the Hancock government’s controversial public pension bills.

On Friday, he took the most dramatic step of all. With almost every elected official in metro Red Deer standing by to cheer him on, Prentice announced the immediate halt of plans to close the Michener Centre, a home for the developmentally disabled in Red Deer.

“All the residents will be permitted to live out their remaining years in this special place,” said Prentice, calling plans to force the residents, many of them elderly, out of the facility, “inhumane.” Those who had already been compelled to move, he said would be given the option to return.

“We will not close this facility on my watch,” he said emphatically, to warm applause.

They were stirring words.


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Murphy: Dalton McGuinty comes back to Ontario to cash in

It is truly a wonder the press picked it up at all. Toronto has been utterly mesmerized by the most recent and sorrowful instalment of the Ford-family saga. And the world beyond Toronto (if we may admit to the existence of such a thing) has been a tempest of alarms and upheaval: Ebola, the terrors of ISIS, the maraudings of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, Scotland meditating separation, Parliament’s return (and, with it, premature election fever) in Ottawa.

Amidst such a welter of news, who could be expected to note or remark upon an event so incidental to the happiness or grief of the globe as the return to Toronto of a mere temporary visiting lecturer from the shelter of Harvard University’s accommodating bowers?

Fortunately the journalistic bench in Ontario is a deep one, and the actions of this former Premier did not utterly escape its Argus eyes. Dalton McGuinty’s return did not agitate the trumpets, but a few flutes did give a toot.


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Buckley: Why we shouldn’t empower MPs

American authors can be too easily impressed with what is taken as Europe’s superior culture. There’s a name for that. It’s called cultural cringe, the tendency to tug at one’s forelock before the more sophisticated writers of England and France.

Some Canadians have a similar cultural cringe, when it comes to what they see as the superior political institutions of the United States. We’ve seen that in the calls for Senate reform, and more recently in proposals to empower backbench MPs. What that would give us is something closer to the American congressional system, where congressmen have a power base separate from the national party.

That’s a terrible idea. The broken American system is the last model Canada should follow, and empowering backbenchers is no exception. What powerful congressmen have given the United States are pork-barrel earmarks. They’re great for the congressman’s district, but wasteful for the country as a whole. What one gets is the nearly empty John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, PA, or the 50-odd Robert Byrd Institutes in West Virginia. This explains the paradoxical polling figures about Congress and congressmen. We all hate Congress, pollsters tell us, but love our individual congressman. We love his ability to bring home the bacon, even if we recognize that the system that permits him to do so is corrupt.


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Lifson: Susan Rice bolts from podium

The National Security Advisor of the United States did something astonishing yesterday. In the middle of a reporter’s questioning, she bolted from the podium of the White House pressroom, saying, “Nice to see you,” fleeing a situation she evidently was unable to cope with.

The question that caused Ms. Rice to flee was a fairly simple one: whether or not the president has authorized the bombing of targets in Syria. Rice responded multiple times that the timing of strikes would not be released, but that was not the question at hand, and reporters pressed her on whether her boss had authorized strikes. This she could not answer. Did she not know? Or had he not bothered to sign the authorization? Or did she get her information from Valerie Jarrett and not know the details? We don’t know because she ran away. See for yourself via Breitbart.

Ponder this for a moment. The National Security Advisor is the one person in a White House who is required to have nerves of steel, the person who places the 3 AM phone call waking up the president in a time of crisis, the person who is expected to have options and plans available for the the POTUS. The person who takes the measure of the enemy and explains to the nation’s chief executive the risks and the possibilities in a situation of extreme peril.

And the current incumbent, when she has a difficult question being pressed by a reporter, flees, as in turns tail and runs away.


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Williams: Multiculturalism Is a Failure

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has “utterly failed.” Both Australia’s ex-prime minister John Howard and Spain’s ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar reached the same conclusion about multiculturalism in their countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that multiculturalism is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to homegrown Islamic terrorism. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the United Kingdom’s push for multiculturalism has not united Britons but pushed them apart. It has allowed for Islam to emerge despite Britain’s Judeo-Christian culture. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the roots of violent Islamism are not “superficial but deep” and can be found “in the extremist minority that now, in every European city, preach hatred of the West and our way of life.”

The bottom line is that much of the Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. There’s no question that the West has the military might to thwart radical Islam’s agenda. The question up for grabs is whether we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation.


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Morning Update September 21st, 2014 (10)


#1 — CNews | Time to confront terrorist threat, Baird tells UN Security Council

OTTAWA — It’s time to show ISIS terrorists “they are more vulnerable than they realize,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told the UN Security Council during an address Friday.


#2 — CTV | Doug Ford kicks off Toronto mayoral campaign

TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s brother begins campaigning in earnest today for his brother’s job.


#3 — Globe | Parizeau says Quebec sovereigntists ‘stand before a field of ruin’

Quebec separatist leaders went to Scotland to find inspiration from the Yes campaign of their nationalist counterparts, but now they jet home to face the harsh reality that the fundamentals of their movement have not been worse in 40 years.


#4 — Postmedia | Canada revoking passports of those who join extremists

The government has begun invalidating the passports of Canadians who have left the country to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander revealed in an interview on Friday.


#5 — Sun | Mothers sue Alberta over deaths of girls in provincial care

EDMONTON – The mothers of two Edmonton girls who died while in the care of the province have filed separate lawsuits alleging the deaths were wrongful and caused by negligence.



#6 — BBC | New Zealand’s National Party wins re-election

New Zealand’s governing National Party has won an emphatic victory in general elections, near-complete results show.


#7 — CNN | Man barges into White House after jumping lawn fence

Washington (CNN) — A man jumped a fence at the White House late Friday and made it through the North Portico doors into the building before he was captured, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told CNN.


#8 — Fox | Sierra Leone capital at standstill as Ebola lockdown begins

Sierra Leone began a three-day lockdown on Friday in an effort to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, as President Ernest Bai Koroma urged residents to comply with the emergency measures.


#9 — DM | Beleaguered head of social services at Rotherham Council finally quits

The chief of Rotherham children’s services finally stepped down yesterday, three weeks after the publication of a damning report into child abuse in the town.


#10 — WT | Former Obama secretaries Panetta, Gates criticize president on Islamic State handling

Two former defense secretaries who served under President Obama are now criticizing his latest strategy to combat Islamic State militants.


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