Tag Archives: Ottawa

“EMPIRE DAY” – A GREAT LOSS FOR THE WORLD

Empite flags

I meant to post this article on Tuesday the 24th but it was delayed by the arrival of our latest grandson, Hayden Hilario Rhodes Garza.  The baby was due to arrive June 9th.   Mother, father, brothers, and new little son are all doing well.   The grandparents are delighted.

Yesterday, May 24th, was Empire Day.

It’s no longer observed because there is no empire.

But, at one time, not so long ago, it was celebrated by people in more than a quarter of the world’s countries.

Seventy years ago, on June 8th, 1946, the British Empire celebrated one of its greatest moments, the victory one year before over fascism and Japanese imperialism.   Troops from all over the world were in London for a victory parade.   It was to be the Empire’s victory swan song.   As with other empires before it, it was broke after fighting two global conflicts, militarily over-extended and tired. We see a similar scenario today with the United States.

Empire Day began in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1901, the same year Queen Victoria died.  It was started by a local headmistress, Mrs. Clementine Fessenden, who wanted the children in her school to remember the deceased monarch and give thanks for all the achievements of the Empire during her reign.   They also chose Queen Victoria’s birthday, May 24th, to celebrate it.  One of those achievements was Canada’s independence in 1867.   Queen Victoria herself chose Ottawa as the nation’s capital.

In recent decades I’ve been able to visit many of Britain’s former colonies and lived in two of them.  I’ve always made it a point to ask older people how things compare now to the way they were prior to independence.   Without exception, everybody has replied that things were better under British rule.   They give different reasons. The lack of corruption in colonial times often comes up as many today are living in very corrupt societies.

I remember, almost forty years ago, listening to an elderly man in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) lecturing myself and my colleague on how the British Empire was the prophesied Kingdom of God.  It wasn’t, of course.  It was not perfect.   But many believed, including some in Rhodesia, that it was the fulfillment of biblical prophecies about Ephraim becoming “a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48: 19).   According to one historical account, this was widely believed in the trenches of World War One.   Ironically, it was that conflict that shattered faith in Empire.

Internationally, the end of the empire has left an incredible vacuum. Note the following prophetic paragraph written by America’s pre-eminent historian of the 1930’s, James Truslow Adams.   This paragraph concluded his history of “The British Empire 1784-1939.” It’s particularly interesting because it was written in the year that the British Empire went to war against Nazi Germany, while the United States remained neutral. Mr. Adams showed Americans what was at stake.

“In this world crisis, we in America have a great stake.  We know that stability is impossible without respect for law and order, for the honesty of the written and spoken word.   Without liberty of thought, speech and press, progress is impossible.   What these things mean to the world of today and tomorrow has been amply demonstrated by the negation of them in certain great nations during the past few years.  Different peoples may have different ideals of government but to those who have been accustomed to freedom of person and of spirit, the possible overthrow of the British Empire would be a catastrophe scarcely thinkable.   Not only would it leave a vacuum over a quarter of the globe into which all the wild winds of anarchy, despotism and spiritual oppression could rush, but the strongest bulwark outside ourselves for our own safety and freedom would have been destroyed.” (page 358)

This is exactly what has happened.   This paragraph helps us understand the world we have been living in.   During the last seventy years, as the Empire fell apart, we have witnessed a world of endless upheaval and increasing threats to our own freedom and security.

Two regions in particular were kept in relative peace by British rule.   The Middle East was one; the North-West frontier of the Indian Empire, the Raj, was the other.   Today, these are areas where the peace of the world is constantly threatened.

Queen Victoria’s passing was a great loss for the Empire; but the collapse of the Empire itself has been a disaster every bit as great as the fall of Rome.

CLUELESS CANADIANS . . . AND EVERYBODY ELSE

Canadian election day

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an election going on – in Canada!

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the election a couple of weeks ago, allowing 78 days of campaigning before the general election.   Many Canadians are not happy about the grueling eleven weeks of electioneering.  Normally, an election is held 35 days after being called.  They should try living in America – here, 78 days would seem merciful!

As with all elections, there are many issues to be discussed.   But one is national security and here the three main parties are very different.  Canada has already been attacked by al-Qaeda operatives and those inspired by ISIS – there was a threat to behead Mr. Harper himself, then last year an attack on parliament in Ottawa.   A Canadian soldier at the War Memorial in Ottawa was killed.   A few days earlier, two members of the Canadian Armed Forces were deliberately hit by a vehicle in Quebec, causing the death of one.

So, it’s not unsurprising that Mr. Harper takes national security seriously.  Even without these incidents, he might have done anyway, as he had already boosted the armed forces and committed Canada to further involvement in the wars on terror.

Sadly, the other two party leaders are clueless on this issue.

Tarek Fatah of the Middle East Forum wrote an article in the Toronto Sun August 11th, titled “Why Canada’s Left has lost my vote.”   Accompanying the article was a photo of New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair.   His socialist party is now the main opposition party to the currently ruling Conservative party.   Mr. Mulcair believes that the war against ISIS “is not our fight.”

“This political cowardice within the Left, camouflaged in a burka of anti-war rhetoric, is visible right here in Canada.   Both New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have demonstrated the symptoms of appeasement,” writes Mr. Fatah, who is a Muslim.

In a televised debate, Mr. Mulcair also remarked that:  “(W)e know that a lot of the horrors that we are seeing are the direct result of the last misguided war (U.S invasion of Iraq).”

Fatah adds:  “Mr. Mulcair thinks it is America’s fault that ISIS beheads fellow Muslims, pushes homosexuals off roofs and enslaves women.”

In rejecting the idea that everything going on is America’s fault, Mr. Fatah’s most telling comment is follows:  “Nonsense, jihadis have been doing this since the dawn of Islam.”

The Liberals, in recent decades the dominant party in Canada, are also clearly out of touch with contemporary reality.   “As for that other man seeking to replace Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s positions on Canada’s and the West’s national security reflect his fear of offending Islamofascists.

“When CBC’s Terry Milewski asked Trudeau, “If you don’t want to bomb a group as ghastly as ISIS, when would you ever support real military action?” Trudeau’s response was shocking. “That’s a nonsensical question,” he retorted.”

It seems that only Mr. Harper lives in the real world.

However, this does not mean his party will win the election.  The electorate throughout the western world is just as clueless as most Canadians.   It seems unlikely to change.

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In the neighboring land of never-ending elections, the term “War on Women” is not being applied to ISIS, but rather to the Republicans, whose leading candidate Donald Trump has made some very unwise and tactless comments on the female sex.   Conservative columnist Cal Thomas had this to say in today’s Lansing State Journal:

“The real war on women is an economy that has left a record 93 million people out of the labor force; 56 million of these non-workers are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The war on women is also about the 56 million aborted babies who will never have a chance at life thanks to the lies Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers tell women about their babies.”

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The war on women continues to be vigorously pursued by ISIS.   Rape has become a recruiting tool.   It’s not surprising that ISIS keeps growing.

Meanwhile, from the UK comes the following report, sent to me by one of my brothers:

“Religious sectarianism is on the rise in Britain’s Muslim community and threatens to spill over into violent crime and terrorism, leading clerics warned yesterday.   An investigation by The Times has found a sharp but largely hidden rise in sectarian tensions between the minority Shia community and the dominant Sunni groups, driven by the long, bitter war in Syria.  Ill-feeling is being stoked by vitriolic preachers on both sides of the divide — including some who lecture at British universities — and incidents such as assaults, attacks on buildings and intimidation online.   Sayed Ammar Nakshwani, one of the world’s leading Shia clerics, revealed that he recently left Britain for the United States after enduring years of intimidation from hardline Sunnis who allegedly threatened his life, followed his parents and vandalised his car.”

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USA Today disclosed yesterday that there are 12,800 transgendered people serving in the US military.   Their treatment costs $5.6 million a year.   The number really surprised me.

This is clearly the age of sexual confusion, most probably the result of the breakdown of the family.

It brings to mind the last words in the Old Testament:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”  (Malachi 4:5-6)

A father’s role is so important in the raising of children. Yet so many are not involved in the lives of their boys and girls.

I would like to think that we are close to the return of Jesus Christ. Certainly, world conditions, particularly in the Middle East, indicate this is the case.   However, I do not believe these two verses have been fulfilled yet – and that must come first.

Any thoughts?

(A big thank-you to those who have contributed to the costs of my blog in recent weeks. I really appreciate the support.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARISIAN AFTERMATH

hebdo

It really is a dialog of the deaf!

I’ve just been listening to a discussion on the World Service of the BBC.   The program was Newshour, one hour of serious world news, the best available.

The discussion was about the cover of this week’s Charlie Hebdo satirical paper.   Only last week ten members of staff, including four cartoonists and the managing editor, were all killed when terrorists invaded their office. Their motive was revenge, to kill those who had insulted the prophet Mohammed by depicting him in their paper.

In defiance, the paper’s staff, now temporarily housed in the offices of Liberation, refusing to be intimidated, have again depicted the prophet on their front page, holding up a sign saying “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie).   Interestingly, not one of the 200 members of staff of Liberation disagreed with the decision to house those from Charlie Hebdo, even though they clearly endanger themselves.

The BBC presenter was interviewing two female journalists, one a practicing Muslim of Algerian origin and the other a journalist with Liberation.

The Muslim explained to the BBC’s worldwide audience how deeply offensive the cartoon is, that it is, in Islam, blasphemy.   The other journalist countered by explaining that France has freedom of speech and that they are expressing their highly valued freedom.

What was particularly interesting to me was the Muslim saying she is deeply committed to freedom of speech but that does not extend to insulting somebody else’s religion.

It reminded me of a segment on the same program two or three years ago following the Arab Spring, a period of time when western countries thought they were witnessing the flowering of western style freedom in the Arab world. The interviewer then was talking to Tunisians who were anticipating democracy in their country.   They were asked a number of questions and gave the same responses as most people in the West would give.

That is, until the interviewer asked if their vision of democracy extended to allowing people to choose their own religion.

That was a definite no-no.   Nobody could ever renounce Islam

A huge gulf separates western thinking, which is based on individual freedom, and Islam, which means “submission.” They are two opposites.

This is not only a dialog of the deaf; it is also a clash of civilizations.

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The clash between these two worlds is going to be the defining conflict of our age, just as the Cold War was for over forty years.

Tom Rogan, a writer for National Review and an expert on Islamic terror groups, said on the latest McLaughlin Group that there are three types of terrorists now operating in the West.

One group is the al-Qaeda operatives, who have been around for about twenty years.

Secondly, we have those returning to the countries of their birth, from Syria and Iraq.   They have been trained for conflict and encouraged to stage terror attacks in their home countries similar to what we saw in Paris last week.   All western countries should expect to see a surge in such attacks in the foreseeable future.

The third group is made up of those influenced by “YouTube.”   These are often the lone wolfs we saw recently in Ottawa, Sydney, and New York. They keep an eye on terrorist websites, which encourage them to stage terror attacks, especially on police, security personnel, and government buildings.

Mr. Rogan predicted that we will see more attacks this year.

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While we are on the subject of terrorism, it should be noted that while the world’s attention was on the 17 deaths in Paris, an estimated 2,000 died in NE Nigeria when Boko Haram attacked a small town. Most of those killed were women, children and the elderly who could not run fast enough to escape from the terrorists.

The BBC has not been able to verify the figure because it is impossible for anybody to get nearer than 200 kilometers to the area. Boko Haram also destroyed the cell phone tower in the town, so that nobody living there has been able to communicate.

People who escaped ran to the nearest big city of Maiduguri. All told the same story of countless numbers of dead within and outside of the town.

A few days later, in the same region of Nigeria, a ten-year old girl, used by Boko Haram as a suicide bomber, blew up a market, killing twenty people.

It’s not surprising that the local archbishop has called on the US and other western countries to intervene to save the people from the Islamic onslaught.

The Nigerian army seems to be doing very little.   Neighboring Cameroon claimed today that is has killed 150 terrorists belonging to the organization.

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FOOTNOTE:   Sky News has just said that 5,000 EU citizens are now fighting in Iraq and Syria with ISIS.   What will they do when they return to their home countries in Europe?

Clearly, President Obama was wrong when he said a few months ago that the War on Terror was over. It seems more likely that it’s just starting.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Paris        Mumbai

At first glance, Mumbai and Paris may not seem to have much in common.

The first is the biggest city in India, formerly called Bombay.   The second is the capital of France.

Mumbai has seen a number of terrorist attacks in recent decades.   One of the most memorable was a series of attacks that took place on 13th July 2011.   On this day, there were three different attacks in three separate parts of the city, all within the space of a few minutes.   The bomb explosions targeted the Opera House, a bazaar and another locality.   They left 26 dead and 130 injured.

Western anti-terrorist experts have long feared something similar in a major Western city.

Paris may now be experiencing something very similar spread over three days.

Just two days ago, the offices of a French satirical magazine were attacked. Twelve people were killed, including two policemen.   A few hours later a separate attack on two police officers took place elsewhere in Paris, leaving one policewoman dead.   Reports are now coming in of a third attack, this time on a Jewish kosher supermarket. Speculation is that it’s the same gunmen (one man and one woman) who killed the policewoman.  They were holding at least five people hostage.  The city is now on edge. Jewish supermarkets are closing, fearful of further attacks.

Reports are now coming in of a possible fourth attack at the Trocadero Center near the Eiffel Tower. The Metro is no longer stopping at the center.

There are increasing fears that all of these attacks are a distraction and that something bigger and far worse is about to take place, involving mass casualties.

Why would Paris be the preferred target?   Why not London or New York?

No city is immune. Both London and New York have been attacked before. They have also thwarted many other attacks.   Recently, there were Islamic extremist attacks in Ottawa and Sydney.   All five countries mentioned are participants in the campaigns against ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Additionally, France has the highest number of Muslims of any European country and the satirical magazine has caricatured Islam and its founding prophet.

To what extent the terrorist attacks are coordinated is not known.   The attack on the magazine’s offices seemed very professional, but an interview this morning with a French neighbor of one of the perpetrators emphasizes the normality of the killers.   The neighbor commented on how one of the attackers was a good neighbor, always willing to help and particularly caring of the disabled and the elderly.

Certainly, so-called “lone wolf” attacks are being inspired by terrorist websites.

It maybe that the lone wolf attacks really are committed by individuals who do not work with each other. But a lot of lone wolves soon add up to a dangerous pack.

French police have just announced that all the terrorists involved in this week’s attacks belong to the same jihadi group.

No matter how good the security forces are in any country, terrorists still have the advantage of surprise.   Additionally, they have no fear of death. The two men who are on the run outside of Paris, not far from Charles de Gaulle international airport, have both expressed the desire to die as martyrs. Inspired by thoughts of instant entry to paradise and the promise of 72 virgins, they simply want to earn their reward by killing as many infidels as possible.   The writers and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were particularly reprehensible to Muslims who believe that it is a grave sin to depict the prophet Mohammed in any form.

Nothing should surprise us. Except, perhaps, the continuing naivety of western liberals, who are always quick to defend Islam in general and extremists in particular. When a presenter on the BBC’s Newshour (Thursday) talked over the phone with a resident of Paris, he asked the man in France what he thought was behind the terror attack that killed twelve French nationals. The man replied that it was due to France letting so many Muslims into the country. The BBC presenter was quick to interrupt and point out that the perpetrators were just two men and that the majority of Muslims could not be held to blame.

This misses the point.

The point is that France and other western countries did not have to fear terrorism from Muslim extremists prior to World War II as few Muslims resided in their countries. The current problems have been caused by lax immigration policies, whether in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or France.   Even now, this issue is not being addressed, in spite of huge demonstrations in a number of countries against growing Islamization.

It’s not only Paris that’s on edge.   The whole western world is on edge, fearful of when and where the next attack will take place. This is not only “A Tale of Two Cities” – dozens of cities will suffer terrorist attacks until our politicians wake up and effectively deal with the problem. Don’t hold your breath!

This is exactly what the terrorists want. They are trying to provoke a bigger conflict between Islam and the West, an escalated war, which they believe will be won by the Islamic world, soon to be united under a single caliphate!

TERROR ATTACK IN PARIS

BBC News photo
BBC News photo

Europe is the center of attention this week.

In Dresden, an 18,000 strong crowd demonstrated against the Islamization of Europe. PEGIDA (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) has been staging demonstrations in a number of cities. Counter-demonstrations are also being held by those in support of Muslims. How many of the participants are Muslims themselves has not been revealed.

PEGIDA has been condemned by the German Chancellor and President, along with many other prominent people, but the movement must be a serious worry to the establishment. A backlash against Islam has clearly started and is gaining momentum.

That momentum is likely to build with the terrorist attack in Paris today. Twelve people were killed and as many injured when the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were invaded by two or three gunmen. It’s of particular concern that the gunmen were asking for specific people who they named. The publication has satirized Islam in the past. It has just been revealed that the publication’s editor and two cartoonists were amongst those murdered.

This is a classic example of a clash of civilizations – whereas western countries appreciate satire, Islamists don’t. It remains to be seen what effect this attack will have on freedom of speech. This is the second attack on the publication’s offices – the first was in November 2011. One of the gunmen shouted, “The prophet has been avenged!” – clearly, any publication or writer who speaks out against Islam is in danger!

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the daily terror attacks that were taking place in France prior to the holidays. France may seem a long way away but the reality is that these attacks could happen anywhere. Ottawa and Sydney suffered terror attacks recently. In the US, one of the Boston Marathon bombers is about to go on trial.

Increasing concerns about the Islamization of Europe will also likely be boosted by a new best-selling novel in France, written by Michel Houellebecq, France’s most famous living writer. The novel’s title is Soumission (Submission), which is the meaning of the word “Islam.”   The book takes a look at France in 2022, not too many years from now, when the country is led by a Muslim who, amongst other things, orders women to stop working (thereby ending unemployment). The novel shows most French collaborating with the new regime, as most did in World War II when the country was invaded by Germany.

Attitudes toward Muslims may also be affected by Europe’s latest economic news. Today, it was revealed that the eurozone has entered a period of deflation, with prices dropping. Partly, this is due to the fall in the price of oil; but it also reflects other factors that show economies going down. There will no doubt be emergency measures taken to stop a deflationary spiral, which is one of the worst things that can happen to an economy. One likely solution to be tried will be quantitative easing, as applied in the US. Otherwise known as printing more money, this practice carries its own risks.

Rising unemployment and economies in disarray will only add to feelings of xenophobia.

Meanwhile, Greece may have a new left-wing government soon, which will increase the likelihood of the country withdrawing from the euro.   The majority of Greeks are angry that the country has gone through a period of severe austerity imposed from outside as the price of staying in the single currency.   The euro can’t be all bad – Lithuania has become the latest country to adopt the currency, which is now used by all three Baltic republics. The three countries, ruled by the Soviet Union before the collapse of communism, are anchoring themselves in the West.

Finally, staying in Europe, Germany’s Angela Merkel is visiting Britain’s David Cameron.   The UK wants to see some changes in the treaties that govern the EU, which Frau Merkel does not want. If those changes are not forthcoming, it’s likely that Britain will pull out of the Union. They will need the German Chancellor’s help whichever way things go, so the visit is timely and comes just before a British general election in May.

It’s going to be an interesting year in Europe, with a serious prospect of big changes.