Daily Roundup Feb 16, 2008
After the Read More! British troops killed 'by lack of basic equipment' in Afghanistan. A Whitehall study blames 'multiculturalism' in the UK for weakness against terrorism. A Canadian Anglican congregation who voted to leave the church is told it can't take the church property with it. President Bush says the US is less safe against terrorism because Congress failed to extend a domestic wiretapping law. A home belonging to an Islamic Jihad 'militant' blows up in Gaza. Saudi Arabia adds the threat of terrorism to its business negotiating arsenal. Plus, a doctor looks at the World War 2 generation: "soon to be gone, soon to be forgotten".
A coroner's report investigating 2 British Army combat deaths in Afghanistan cited the lack of equipment as a contributory factor. The Telegraph noted troops were "forced to share three Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) between at least 20 men before being ambushed in June 2006."
The British Armed Forces have been shrinking continuously over the years. The Telegraph claims "defence spending as a proportion of the UK's gross domestic product is at its lowest since 1930, before the UK recognised the rising threat of Nazi Germany."
The IHT summarizes a report by the Royal United Services Institute.
Britain could reduce its vulnerability to terrorist attacks if it stopped its Muslim minority from retreating to ghettos that become breeding grounds for Islamic extremists, a think tank said Friday.
The report, published by the Royal United Services Institute, said Britain allows such isolated communities to form out of the mistaken belief that it is promoting humanism and multiculturalism.
"One reason that the United States does not suffer from homegrown terrorism is that it is the world's melting pot, where immigrants are Americans, salute the flag, and obey the constitution and the law," Gwyn Prins, one of the report's authors, told The Associated Press.
"The U.K. should have the self-confidence to do the same, but we don't," said Prins, a specialist on international security at the London School of Economics. "We don't insist they learn English, that they fully and properly integrate into our society as a whole. So we have these ghetto societies where Islamist extremists can create a narrative of resentment and recruitment."
It's hard to imagine that 64 years ago this song was in vogue. It evokes not just a vanished place but a community of feeling; of things shared and worth cherishing. Are there still angels dining at the Ritz? And does a nightingale still sing in Berkeley Square?
The controversies now rocking the Anglican church are descending into the sordid realm of money. CBC news reports:
On Feb. 13, the congregation of St. John's Shaughnessy in Vancouver voted more than 90 per cent in favour of leaving the church over doctrinal issues, including the blessing of same-sex marriages. The same day, the head of the church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, warned in a letter that Anglicans who leave the church must give up any claim to church property or assets. A copy of the letter was posted Friday on the church's website. "Individuals who choose to leave the church over contentious issues cannot take property and other assets with them," Hiltz wrote.
In other but related developments, "Leaders from five Anglican provinces said Friday they will boycott a once-a-decade world Anglican summit because the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained a gay bishop. The five leaders from Africa and South America said they could not share communion with Episcopal bishops who in 2003 consecrated V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire."
Though you can describe the problems of the Anglican church in terms of conservative versus liberal it is also valid to characterize it as north versus south. Thus Rowan Williams has his own Sharia law problem, but not the one he thinks. The Third World members of his own flock are demanding to live by the old rules within the Anglican Communion and may find that they cannot. Lambeth now faces the problem of how to reconcile those tendencies within the framework of church authority. Rowan Williams may discover that 'shared' and 'compelementary' rites, far from creating 'social cohesion' can lead to a loss of common culture and finally schism. Fortunately for the Anglican communion, the Christian traditions mean that any split will be amicable. Decapitation is off the table. But in the case of wider British social conflicts, they are not.
Although President Bush says the lack of authority to wiretap will endanger national security the LA Times says Democrats argued otherwise:
Temporary provisions in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are set to expire this weekend, but Democrats -- dismissing Bush's offer to delay a six-day trip to Africa in hopes of winning a legislative compromise -- argued that the basic law remained in effect.
Ironically the very successes at preventing a repetition of 9/11 attack has removed the edge of urgency that was felt in those days. Mark Steyn touches on this phenomenon in his article The Big Question. The Big Question? He goes on to remind us what the Big Question should be: 'Who would you like to be in the White House if Pakistan fell to al Qaeda and the Islamists gained control of its nuclear arsenal?' But in fact the question Americans are asking themselves who can make it all "go away". And the best man to sell you that dream is ... well you guessed it. But it only takes one catastrophe to remember that dreams can become a nightmare.
The militant's home in Gaza apparently blew up from a mishandling of stored weapons. According to the AP, "witnesses reported seeing fragments of what looked like locally produced rockets at the scene, suggesting the house may have been used to store arms. Islamic Jihad said Fayed was among the dead, and that the group would carry out reprisal attacks against Israel."
Islamic Jihad's policy of carrying out reprisal attacks against Israel even if their 'militants' died from their own stupidity is counterproductive. Since it's always the Jews' fault there is no incentive for Israelis to negotiate. One day the Jews may realize that and it will be a dark day for Islamic Jihad.
British court documents show "Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted," according to a report by the Guardian (Hat tip: Jihad Watch).
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family. ...
Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the government appeared to have "rolled over" after the threats. He said one possible view was that it was "just as if a gun had been held to the head" of the government.
Without oil, terrorism and Islam -- Saudi Arabia and several other places too well known to mention -- would be complete nonentities. Therefore control over the tap which controls the flow of these exports becomes not only the source of riches, but of power. Petroleum and the Jihad become the natural levers of their foreign and business dealings.
Prince Bandar was the former Saudi Ambassador to America and was widely described as urbane, Westernized and sympathetic. Yet his actions, if the British court documents are to be believed, would qualify him for persona non grata status all over the Western world. If he's the best, how are the worst? But it's academic. Prince Bander will not be considered persona non grata; not in Britain or anywhere else. The reasons? Oil, terrorism and Islam.
Dr. Stephen Ellison describes the World War 2 veterans he sees clinically. Injured or fading from old age. He was there when Roy Benavizdez came into the emergency room.
It has become my personal endeavor to make the nurses and young enlisted medics aware of these amazing individuals when I encounter them in our Emergency Dept. Their response to these particular citizens has made me think that perhaps all is not lost in the next generation.
My experiences have solidified my belief that we are losing an incredible generation, and this nation knows not what it is losing. Our uncaring government and ungrateful civilian populace should all take note. We should all remember that we must "Earn this."