Via Mister Sinister: Our no-longer-progressive Conservative government took advantage of diverted media attention late Wednesday night to announce the imminent closure of 12 local Status of Women Canada branches. The move follows a 40% cut of SWC’s administrative budget this past September.
According to Status Report, the Tories will ‘replace’ the offices, scheduled to shut down April 1st, 2007, with ‘regional centres’ located in 4 cities: Edmonton, (to service Western Canada, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon); Montreal (representing Quebec and Nunavut); Moncton (to oversee operations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador); and Ottawa (to handle Ontario and all national organizations).
Heritage Minister Beverly Oda tried to defend the closures today with typical anodyne euphemisms like ‘streamlined’ and ‘inefficiences’, but she also expressed what is likely the government’s primary motivation behind the cuts:
“We don’t need to separate the men from the women in this country. . . This government as a whole is responsible to develop policies and programs that address the needs of both men and women.”
MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP, London-Fanshawe), had harsh words for Oda:
“These closures will not improve women’s status in Canada, nor will it make Status of Women more efficient. This is part of a wider assault on ordinary Canadians and will result in numerous job losses.
“This minister is not fulfilling her mandate. She is not protecting Canadian women, nor is she pushing for their equality. Rather, she is abandoning them altogether.”
On Monday, one or more “senior intelligence officials”, speaking “on condition of anonymity” leaked secret information to the nation’s two major newspapers. The Bush administration, which has stated it’s intention to pursue leakers vigorously, hasn’t said a word about these leaks.
The two stories went out in the Tuesday editions and were met by immediate interest from conservative pundits who retold, by and large, the obvious narrative. That narrative being that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would hand Anbar to Al Qaeda, that any hopes of getting Iran to help stabilize Iraq were misplaced because that nation was not acting in good faith, that pulling U.S. troops out anytime soon would be a disaster.
Then, hours after the stories broke and just as the blogs and pundits talking up the narrative peaked…
…Bush used his world-stage speech in Latvia to say that a withdrawal from Iraq would hand a safe haven to Al Qaeda and that Iran couldn’t be trusted to negotiate in good faith since it was meddling in Iraq already – and so U.S. troops would stay until the mission was accomplished.
And still no-one made the obvious connection. That these “leaks” were deliberate administration manipulation of the media to set the narrative for Bush’s speech.
The official leaks and arranged stories fit the usual Bush administration pattern. They are almost supernaturally prescient in their timing – as they would be since their timing is arranged to suit the White House. They don’t actually tell outright falsehoods, but instead point up and highlight those areas the White House wants highlighted while glossing over any contrary opinions. And most importantly of all, no-one in the mainstream media is willing to call them for what they are.
This past Veterans Day weekend, according to my sources, almost the entire Bush national security team gathered for an unpublicized two-day meeting. The topic: Iraq. The purpose of the meeting was to come up with a consensus position on a new path forward. Among those attending were President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor Stephen Hadley, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.
Numerous policy options were put forward at the meeting, which revolved around a strategy paper prepared by Hadley and drawn from his recent trip to Baghdad.
Flipping the bird to Mark Steyn and the ‘Eurabia’ theory, marginally insane uber-hawk Ralph Peters decides hatin’ on Euro-weenie welfare statists trumps trendy Islamophobia:
Don’t let Europe’s current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.
From the French expulsion of the Huguenots right down to the last century’s massive ethnic cleansings, Europeans have never been shy about showing “foreigners and subversives” the door.
And Europe’s Muslims don’t even have roots, by historical standards. For the Europeans, they’re just the detritus of colonial history. When Europeans feel sufficiently provoked and threatened – a few serious terrorist attacks could do it – Europe’s Muslims will be lucky just to be deported.
update: Peters’ column gets blithely dismissed out of hand by blustery fellow traveller Dan Riehl (favourite pot-meets-kettle moment: “For all of his bluster, Peters has never impressed me as much of a thinker”), who doesn’t think (real) Europeans have the balls to commit genocide anymore:
One can’t invoke history if the population you are talking about is detached from it. Only here a few hundred years, the US is already losing touch with the rugged individualism that helped make it such a great Nation. I imagine European education is providing the same disservice to young Europeans, in spades.
It’s hard to look back to one’s history for inspiration when you’ve been taught to detest, not just it, but the principles for which it stood. Europe is increasingly multi-cultural and Peters doesn’t account for that watering down.
If only the cheese eaters still read their history books…
As I’ve said innumerable times, the native European population is split three ways: some will leave, as the Dutch (and certain French) are already doing; some will shrug and go along with the Islamization of the continent, as the ever-accelerating number of conversions suggests; and so the ones left to embrace Fascism will be a minority of an aging population. It will be bloody and messy, as I write in America Alone, but it will not alter the final outcome. If you don’t breed, you can’t influence the future.
Exactly. That’s why I propose the organisation of a ‘Mark Steyn Vasectomy Fund’ ASAP. Please, do it for the children.
TBogg lays into Steyn’s warped sexual pathology here.
From Iraqi message boards (courtesy Healing Iraq):
A Mujahid for Allah – Baghdad of Al-Rashid:
In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.
They want it a war, so be it. We are up to it, God willing.
My brothers, heed these recommendations:
1- Prepare weapons and ammunition.
2- To avoid their mortar fire, do not gather in large numbers at one place in your areas.
3- Spread out in small groups, and assign a commander to each.
4- Always take cover behind a barrier (anything that can protect you from enemy fire).
5- If there is an attack against your area, try not to waste your fire (make maximum benefit from the ammunition you have available).
6- Assign duties to your brothers.
7- Maintain communication with other groups in your area so you can respond to any breach of the area by the attackers.
8- Have courage and patience when you face them. They are cowards and will be defeated.
Remember that your brothers, the Mujahideen, will be with you in your fight against the murderous criminals. May God save us and save Iraq.
Abdul Rahman – Iraq:
For the brothers who have not used weapons before, please take this advice:
1- Check your weapon if you have not used it before. You can ask your neighbour to teach you how to attach the magazine and to load and fire. Do not be ashamed that it would be said you don’t know how to use a weapon, as many people have not had a chance to.
2- Choose the appropriate spot on your roof that can provide you with cover and make it hard for the enemy to target you.
3- It is best if every two families gather in one house when the alarm of an attack is raised to keep spirits high.
4- When you shoot, try to make it intermittent so you do not waste your ammunition. Be patient until more fighters arrive and your neighbours start shooting too.
5- You may feel fear upon using a weapon for the first time or that something bad would happen to you, but think of your family and what awaits them if you are hesitant. Keep your honour and your children in front of your eye, and remember that they have burnt children with kerosene.
6- Make sure that you have an extra magazine because in the midst of action you may take away your weapon and forget your extra magazine. It is preferred that you tape two magazines together. Ask your neighbours how to do that. Practice with it several times.
7- Fear of using weapons will disappear with the first shot. Do not hesitate to pull the trigger and concentrate on hitting the enemy.
(The Washington Post has more).
McClatchy reports that Sadr partisans took over state-run Iraqiya television for two hours Saturday, further illustrating just how marginalized and ineffectual Maliki has become:
Al-Maliki’s administration acknowledged it was powerless to interrupt the pro-Sadr program on the official Iraqiya channel, during which Sadr City residents shouted, “There is no government! There is no state!” Several speakers described neighborhoods and well-known Sunni politicians as “terrorists” and threatened them with reprisal.
“We’ll obviously try to control them as much as we can, but when they (kill) more than 150 people in bombings, they have the right to speak,” said Bassam al Husseini, one of Maliki’s top advisers. “What are we going to do? We can’t stop this. It’s too hot right now.”
Sunni politicians vowed to file complaints against the channel for inciting sectarian violence. Ordinary Sunnis were shocked to hear their neighborhoods singled out for attack on the government’s station.
“I got four phone calls from friends telling me to change the channel to Iraqiya and see what’s happening,” said Mohamed Othman, 27, a Sunni resident of Ameriya, one of the districts mentioned in the program. “I think this is an official declaration of civil war against Sunnis. They’re going to push us to join al-Qaida to protect ourselves.”
With violence on a dangerous upward curve since Thursday’s deadly coordinated bombing attack in Sadr City, Shiite lawmakers aligned with Moqtada al-Sadr are threatening to walk out of parliament if Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki meets with Bush next Wednesday:
““The occupation forces should shoulder the full responsibility for these deeds, and we call for them to end their rule in Iraq by withdrawal or at least setting a timetable for withdrawal,” said Saleh al-Iqaili, a Sadr legislator. “If the security situation does not improve, as well as the issue of basic services, and if the prime minister does not retreat from his intent to meet the criminal Bush in Amman, we will suspend our membership in the Iraqi Parliament and the government.””
TNR refugee Spencer Ackerman believes Sadr is making a major power play:
“Smart move, Moqtada. Leaving Bush high and dry in Amman would stick a thumb right in the White House’s eye — the government that nearly 3,000 Americans have died for would be snubbing its benefactors. It’s extremely hard to see how Maliki can acquiesce, which I gather is Moqtada’s ploy.”
An unstable (puppet) regime in Baghdad only adds to Bush’s domestic political woes. And all the strategic reassessments in the world aren’t going to make a lick of difference at this late juncture. As Arthur Silber said recently, “[The US is] no longer in control of events in Iraq. There is literally nothing we can do to direct a particular outcome.”
Nothing, except hope the unforgiveable hubris of the elite doesn’t lead to the spread of chaos throughout the region.
For more on Sadr, see the International Crisis Group report Muqtada al-Sadr:Spoiler or Stabiliser?
“I was against the war when launched. I didn’t think there was any evidence of a WMD. When the argument changed into “giving them democracy” I was still against the war because you cannot impose democracy. I am against the war still and want to see a viable exit strategy put in place, promptly. However, this does not mean that someone with my views cannot oppose what — and how — these “Muslim” insurgents are fighting.
The Sunni militants’ version of “insurgency” and “freedomfighting” is non-sensicial; they want not to fight the “occupier” but to kill the occupied. It is the most heinous and disgusting form of “resistance” I have ever seen in my life, or read about. Their strategy is: if we murder enough Iraqi elders, women and children, then the Americans will leave. I beseech Western Muslims to take heed of this. I know you are anti-war, and I know you wish that Americans left Iraq, and I know you think Bush is a liar. I think all these things. But please, for God’s sake, can you at least recognize, that the strategy of “resistance” being employed by the militants is barbaric. I challenge any person to find me any instance in the history of Islam where murdering civilians as a way to resist an opponent was considered legitimate under Islam. There is no such event.”
With apologies to Tariq Ali, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Realist logic should not be embraced simply because it is in opposition to neconservative/liberal interventionist apologia.
“A SENIOR diplomat tipped off wheat exporter AWB a year before the Iraq war that Australia would join the US-led invasion, new documents show.
The documents, released by the Cole inquiry yesterday, show Australia’s then UN ambassador John Dauth revealed the Howard Government’s position to former AWB chairman Trevor Flugge.
Mr Dauth briefed Mr Flugge in New York in February 2002 – 13 months before the invasion – and the details appear in minutes of AWB’s February 27 board meeting tendered to the inquiry.
“The ambassador stated that he believed that US military action to depose Saddam Hussein was inevitable and that at this time the Australian Government would support and participate in such action,” the minutes said
“The ambassador believed that the latest olive branch from the Iraqis was likely to stave off US action (for) 12 to 18 months but that some military action was inevitable.””
At what point do ‘birth pangs’ get diagnosed as a miscarriage?
“In the deadliest attack since the beginning of the
Iraq war, suspected Sunni-Arab militants used three suicide car bombs and two mortar rounds on the capital’s Shiite Sadr City slum to kill at least 145 people and wound 238 on Thursday, police said.
The Shiites responded almost immediately, firing 10 mortar rounds at the Abu Hanifa Sunni mosque as Azamiya, killing one person and wounding seven people in their attack on the holiest Sunni shrine in Baghdad.
Sectarian fighting also broke in another part of northern Iraq on Thursday, when 30 Sunni insurgents armed with machine guns and mortars attacked the Shiite-controlled Health Ministry building. After a three-hour battle, during which Iraqi soldiers and U.S. military helicopters intervened, the attackers were repulsed. But at least seven guards of the ministry were wounded, said police 1st. Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq.
The Sadr City and Health Ministry attacks were the latest example of widespread sectarian fighting involving Sunnis and Shiites that is leaving Iraq either on the verge of a civil war or already fighting one.”
This is turning out to be a banner week for dubious milestones; just yesterday the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released a report claiming 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed this past October, the highest toll since combat operations began in March 2003. Iraqis are fleeing the country at a rate of 100,000 each month.
But I’m sure they all appreciate the theraputic efforts of the US and UK.