Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Muddle East

“No one has any idea what the Middle East will look like next year, much less in five years — especially the revolutionary players themselves.

There are not even the old familiar fault lines this revolutionary time around. Are the Sunni Gulf kingdoms eager to support revolutionaries in Syria and North Africa? Perhaps and perhaps not — given that the fall of strongmen like Mubarak, bin Ali, Qaddafi, and Assad may lead to Muslim Brotherhood–inspired Islamist governments, which would like to see the oil-rich monarchies become less Western and more theocratic. Or — though this is less likely — if pro-Western reformist movements were to prevail, such governments would like to democratize and secularize the Gulf. Who are our best allies in breaking up the dangerous Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis? Islamist extremists who want to kill the hated Assad slightly more than they do us — at least for now?

Who can sort out Lebanon? Are Christians and Shiites there sympathetic to the tottering Assad dictatorship for protecting religious minorities and, in the case of the Shiites, helping to arm Hezbollah? Or do non-Sunnis also favor reform movements that seek the ouster of a despised police state, one that has a long history of killing Lebanese? Does a grateful Iraq feel that Syria has been more sympathetic to its Shiite government than its Sunni neighbors have been, or is it experiencing schadenfreude that its terrorists are now doing to Syria what Syria’s used to do to Iraq?

Will new Arab Islamist governments seek solidarity with the anti-Western Persian theocracy, or will they fall back into their religious and ethnic fears of Iranian Shiites? No one has ever quite fathomed whether Shiite and Sunni extremists hate Westerners more or less than they do each other. Does the supposed Arab Street desire to be free, especially in the age of globalized instant communications, and given its general repugnance for the sheer corruption of the moribund Arab dictatorships? Or will the Muslim Brotherhood simply tap that popular anger to abort the delivery of constitutional government — whether overtly, as in the case of the Iranian revolution and the one-vote-once Hamas takeover of Gaza; or more insidiously, as in the current Turkish government’s war against freedom of the press and independent opposition movements, or in the Karzai-Maliki paradigm of constitutional kleptocracy?

Amid this chaos there are a handful of constants that can guide U.S. foreign policy.”


The Olympic and Paralympic Games Military Connection

There is a long relationship between sports and military service in our country. Canadians serving in the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War often took part in ‘games days’ and other official and unofficial athletic contests. This military/sport connection has continued in the post-war years. Not surprisingly, some of these ‘soldier-athletes’ have worn both a military uniform and an Olympic athlete’s uniform for our country. You can read some of their stories by exploring this Web site.

The origins of the Paralympic Games are closely tied with military service. In the years after the Second World War, some Allied servicemen and servicewomen who had been seriously injured in duty began turning to sport to help in their rehabilitation. This modest beginning has grown into the worldwide competition the Paralympic Games are today.

The peace and freedom we in Canada enjoy today is only a dream in many of the countries that compete in these international games. These privileges are ours because generations of Canadians, like the people mentioned here, have defended them over the years.

Murderers of Israeli athletes thank IOC for refusing Munich victims memorial

The Palestinian Authority has thanked the International Olympic Committee for refusing to hold a minute of silence at Friday’s opening ceremony in London to mark the 40th anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Games.

‘You’ve been kidnapped’: Egyptian TV show ‘terror pranks’ celebrities

An Egyptian show is taking entertainment to another level by duping celebrities into believing they have been abducted by terrorists.

Thank Heaven (and Israel) that Syria’s Assad Doesn’t Have Nukes

As the death toll mounts in Syria and the country slides deeper into civil war, the world should be thankful that the Assad regime never succeeded in developing nuclear weapons — which almost happened in 2007.

It’s that time of year again: Filthy Islamonazi Day at Queen’s Park

The savages are at it again. Will they be stopped from vomiting their poison on public property this year? Actually, I hope not. It’s high time they faced some strong opposition.

Helping baby bears