Monday, 14 January 2013

Will there will be peace in our time?

Dear Readers,

This evenings article, verbatim is an update on the latest front in this war on terror as 'Harper sends C-17s military cargo plane to Mali after request from France as campaign against Islamist insurgents intensifies', as reported in the National Post with files by the Canadian and Associated Press. Below is my response and below that, room for your comment, unless you prefer to send an email but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack others personally, and keep your language decent.

A public transport minibus is stopped by Malian soldiers at a checkpoint at the entrance to Markala, approximately 40 km outside Segou on the road to Diabaly, in central Mali, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. Despite intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, Islamist insurgents grabbed more territory in Mali on Monday and got much closer to the capital, French and Malian authorities said. In the latest setback, the al-Qaida-linked extremists overran the garrison village of Diabaly in central Mali, France's defense minister said in Paris                                                        photo by Harouna Traore / AP

OTTAWA — Canada is contributing one of its large C-17 military cargo planes to deliver supplies to the capital of Mali after a request from France. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists no Canadian Forces personnel will be involved in any combat action in the landlocked West African country.
French fighter jets bombed rebel targets in a major city in Mali's north Sunday, pounding the airport as well as training camps, warehouses and buildings used by the al-Qaida-linked Islamists controlling the area, officials and residents said.

An al-Qaeda linked group has taken control of the northern part of Mali and is making gains towards the south. The Canadian plane will be used to assist in the transport of equipment into the Malian capital of Bamako, which is not in the combat zone.France, which began air strikes last week against insurgents in the north, has ordered the immediate evacuation of all French nationals living in Malian town of Segou.

The loan of the Canadian aircraft is for one week.
“The government of Canada is deeply concerned by recent events in Mali,” Harper says in a statement.

 This Sunday, Jan.13, 2013 photo provided by the French Army shows French Rafale jet ighters being prepared before heading to Mali from the Saint Dizier airbase in eastern France.  AP / Handout / Laure-Anne Maucorps   

 “The establishment of a terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of grave concern to the broader international community, including Canada and our close allies.” Harper says the government received a specific request today from France for a heavy-lift aircraft. “At no time will Canadian Armed Forces members be participating in direct action against insurgent forces in Mali,” Harper says.

Despite intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, Islamist insurgents grabbed more territory in Mali Monday and moved closer to the capital, French and Malian authorities said. In the latest setback, the al-Qaeda-linked extremists overran the garrison village of Diabaly in central Mali, France’s defence minister said in Paris. Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday the rebels “took Diabaly after fierce fighting and resistance from the Malian army that couldn’t hold them back.”

The French government has ordered the immediate evacuation of all French nationals living in the Malian town of Segou. The evacuation order was confirmed by a French citizen in Segou, who insisted upon anonymity because of the security situation. With the seizure of Diabaly the militants are within 80 kilometres of Segou and within 400 kilometres of the capital, Bamako.

French President Francois Hollande authorized the airstrikes last week after the Islamists began their push south. The Malian military is in disarray and has let many towns fall with barely a shot fired since the insurgency began almost a year ago in the northwest African nation. The Islamist fighters control the north and had been blocked in Mali’s narrow waist in the central part of the country. But by seizing Diabaly, they appear to have now succeeded in a flanking move getting around the 300-kilometre long belt, opening a second front in the broad southern section of the country, knifing in from the west on government forces.

Mauritania lies to the west of Mali and its armed forces have been put on high alert, said a military official there who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters. To the south, the nation of Burkina Faso has sent military reinforcements to its border and set up roadblocks. The French military, which began battling in Mali on Friday, expanded its aerial bombing campaign of northern Mali, launching airstrikes for the first time in central Mali to combat the new threat. But it failed to halt the advance of the rebels, who now are only 400 kilometres from the capital Bamako, in the far south.

Before France sent its forces in on Friday, the closest known spot the Islamists were to the capital was 680 kilometres away near the central belt, though they might have infiltrated closer than that. France is urging the “Africanization” of the conflict, encouraging African nations to send troops to fight the Islamic extremists. There have been promises, but no troop movements have yet been publicly announced. Early Monday, an intelligence agent confirmed that shots rang out near the Diabaly military camp in what was still nominally government-held territory and that soon after, jets were heard overhead, followed by explosions. The agent insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

A Malian commander in the nearby town of Niono said the bombardments did not stop the Islamist fighters and that they occupied Alatona, and on Monday, they succeeded in reaching the north-south road which connects Diabaly to Segou, the administrative capital of central Mali.

                                                          WW2 Hero, Winston Churchill
                                                                                  photo Toronto 1954

my response.....

Is ''Let's kill people, because they aren't fair towards islam.'' the rallying cry when we relive the Toronto Terror threat in the following video?

                           Iran 1970
Does this video graphically illustrate the mindset of bigots and racists as they plotted to kill innocent Torontonians? This report on CNN about the counter-terrorism raids in the Greater Toronto Area resulted in the June 2, 2006 arrest of 18 people (dubbed the "Toronto 18") alleged to be members of an Islamic terrorist cell plotting a series of attacks against targets in downtown Toronto and as far away as Ottawa.

                           Iran 2012
The terrorist act was to be dubbed "The Battle Of Toronto" but thankfully, these folks were arrested before they could roll-out their plan due to some excellent Police work and a concerned citizen who went undercover to provide sufficient evidence to convict the ringleaders of planning to detonate truck bombs, to open fire in a crowded area, and to storm the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, the Canadian Parliament building, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Parliamentary
Buildings' Peace Tower, to take hostages and to       behead the Prime Minister and other leaders.
                          Amsterdam 1980
The fact that these ringleaders received relatively light sentences of 14 years for planning to kill thousands is maybe a testament to our justice system which some may say is justification for an elected judiciary. Without a doubt, our elected officials are responsible for creating laws for our judiciary and are in dire need of a review but maybe that is a topic for another day! Too highlight the burgeoning impact this challenge is bringing to a few places around the world, a reader was kind enough to send me some pre-dated images, current and historical to illustrate the change in what women wear in Europe and the Middle East. What is the significance of the full covering? What happens when women refuse to wear it? Isn't this taking a patriarchal society to an extreme?

                                                                                                             Amsterdam  2012
Anyway, seven years later and now the next front of this challenge is in Mali, Africa as these folks attempt to establish another front. It is truly unfortunate that this conflict has already caused the death of a French Pilot and while some may hold Prime Minister Harper blameless for trying to avoid this conflict like the plague that it is, in all fairness there may be no running from this threat. Like Hitler in the '30's, this megalomania knows no boundaries and cares little about collateral damage.

Will there will be any Neville Chamberlain's grabbing the microphone to announce, 'there will be peace in our time' after giving away prized territory or could this could very well be be a battle fought on many fronts for a very long time? If yes, who will emerge as our Churchill?

 bio at
twitter chatter....
Peace in our time?  
or will there be blood, sweat and tears? 

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