A Brit Victory

April 30, 2007

Today’s conviction of 5 intended mass murderers shows Brit security in good shape – the Security Service did a great job, and vigilant citizens alerted the cops.

The leader of a British al Qa’eda cell has been jailed for at least 20 years for plotting a bombing campaign to rival the September 11 terror attacks…

Omar Khyam was an associate of July 7 plot ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and boasted of taking orders from al Qa’eda chief Abdul Hadi, number three in the terror organisation.

Khyam, 25, and four others were found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions today following a record-breaking year-long trial at the Old Bailey.

His four co-accused were also given life sentences for their part in the terror plot and warned that they may spend the rest of their lives in jail…

Although the…gang was under surveillance, police only became aware that they had stored 600kg of fertiliser when Emma Wallis, a worker at Access Self-Storage in Hanwell, North West London was chatting to her boyfriend at a pub…

The couple were talking about unusual items stored in the lock-up and he told her that fertiliser could be used for explosives, persuading her to contact the police.

It would be nice if the organizations claiming to represent Brit Muslims were to offer their thanks to Ms Wallis and her boyfriend – but based on this example from LGF, Brits should not hold their breaths (my ellipsis):

…here’s video of Abu Izzadeen speaking inside the Regent’s Park Mosque, followed by MPACUK’s (Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK) reaction to his arrest.

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EU Lessons In Democracy

April 29, 2007

The Portuguese gent who runs the EU says Brits don’t get to vote on ceding more powers to the EU, because the Brit Parliament is supreme.

So when the Brits elect a government reflecting their dislike of the EU, and it withdraws, the EU will just accept it.

The Portuguese, based on his nation’s 30 years experience of democracy:

“I am astonished that people in the UK think that ratification by Parliament is ratification by the back door,” he said.

“Your Parliament is not the equivalent of a back door – it is the mother of all Parliaments. This is the country which invented Parliamentary democracy. You cut off your King’s head to establish the sovereignty of Parliament.

“To say your Parliament is the back door is to say it is not representative – and I have to say, I personally find that rather incredible.”

Mind you, the beheading was 358 years ago, and we’ve improved the model since then, for example adopting the rule that no Parliament can bind its successors. And Brits don’t like the EU:

A new poll has found that 69 per cent of Britons would like to vote on the proposal that the UK should have a looser relationship with Europe, maintaining free trade and co-operation on common policies, but opting out of political and economic integration.

Only 27 per cent said they wanted the UK to stay a full European Union member on current terms, participating in further integration, according to the ICM survey for the Centre for Policy Studies.

Asked to chose their “ideal relationship”, 36 per cent said that the UK should have a looser arrangement with Europe and 29 per cent said the UK should withdraw from the EU altogether. Asked whether there should be a referendum on loosening ties, 69 per cent said yes and 22 per cent said no.

Sometime soon the Brits will elect a Parliament that does what they want, and cut the ties.

It’s good to hear the EU won’t make a fuss.


Soft Target

April 28, 2007

The UK has become a soft target – its criminal justice system lets foreign terrorists stay in the UK, and its pols won’t interrogate the alleged 7/7 mastermind because he’s in Gitmo.

The foreign terrorists:

Two Libyans found to pose a danger to national security are likely to be released on bail next week after a court ruled that they could not be sent back to their own country.

Siac, the special anti-terrorist court, said it was “quite satisfied” that one of the men, an Islamic extremist identified as “AS”, would resume terrorist violence when he was able. The other, “DD”, was also unlikely to modify his behaviour, Siac added. A map in a car at his home had marks on footpaths under a flight path to Birmingham Airport.

But the court found a “real risk” that the two men could be tortured or ill-treated in breach of the European Human Rights Convention if they were deported, despite an agreement with Libya signed in 2005.

Siac warned that if they were put on trial there was also a risk of their being denied a fair hearing.

I’d have thought these nutters would get medals from Qaddafi.

The alleged 7/7 mastermind (my ellipsis):

The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein’s army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the “high-value detainee programme” at Guantanamo Bay…

In late 2004 Abd al-Hadi met Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, from Leeds, at a militant camp in Pakistan and, in the words of a senior investigator, “retasked them” to become suicide bombers.

They were sent back to Britain where they led the terrorist cell that carried out the 7/7 bombings, killing 52 Tube and bus passengers…

However:

The (Brit) Government’s recently adopted position in favour of closing Guantanamo Bay is likely to act as a bar on agents travelling there. British Intelligence would have to rely on relaying questions it would like asked by American interrogators.

So the Brit judiciary frees terrorists, and their government won’t interrogate the man who orchestrated the murder and maiming of hundreds of Brits.


How Cricket Makes the World Safer

April 28, 2007

Many Americans find the wonderful game of cricket too complex and long winded. But it turns out this Brit invention accounts for the success of UN peacekeeping around the world.

I confess my own cricketing skills are weak. My bowling is devastatingly fast but no more accurate than a Russian ICBM, and my batting is similar – I either hit boundaries, or miss.

Gandalf Junior extended this inadequacy, gaining a school report that said “He Makes a Mockery of the Game of Cricket”.

Still, a first class match is a pleasure to watch, demonstrating advanced strategy, tactics, athleticism, and courage. International matches are painful, since England almost invariably loses.

Anyway, here’s the legacy:

Some 40 percent of UN peacekeeping troops come from South Asia, and the UN wishes it could get more. Currently India, Pakistan and Bangladesh each contribute about 10,000 troops to UN peacekeeping efforts…

The South Asian troops are noted for their discipline and skill in combat, and talent for the less violent aspects of peacekeeping…

But you never have to worry about the South Asian troops. They are always ready. One reason for that is a competitive spirit. The three nations have mutual antagonisms, and sporting rivalries (especially cricket), so none of them wants to be accused of making a poor showing while on peacekeeping duty.

I suspect the peacekeeping skills themselves stem from the essence of cricket – standing still while someone hurls a rock-solid ball directly at your head at a speed of 100 MPH. That’s how schoolboys play the game, and several of my friends lost many teeth as a result. That’s perfect training for steadiness under fire (or learning how to duck).

I suspect England tends to lose these days because its kids are now nannied with face protectors and body armor.

Anyway, the UN would work a lot better if its membership was restricted to nations that play cricket.

And baseball, of course.


Plucky Palestinian Olympic Dive Team

April 27, 2007

AP photo

AP

Into the Fire
Islamic militants train in Gaza City as exiled Hamas leader, Palestinian President Abbas hold talks in Egypt.

Hopefully, exiled Hamas leader and the wily Abbas will successfully persuade the Egyptians to donate these guys a real dive pool.


A Heartening Development

April 27, 2007

Although the fat cats of the World Bank and their Eurotrash supporters want Wolfowitz out, the African nations he’s been helping reform want him to stay. That’s because Africans want to live in decent, free, and prosperous societies, and from long experience are adept at spotting crooks.

The crooks:

Pressure has increased on Paul Wolfowitz to resign as President of the World Bank as 32 anti-corruption officials at the bank handed in a letter saying that he was a liability…

Some World Bank member countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Norway and Switzerland, have questioned whether Mr Wolfowitz can still lead the bank.

The Brits are on the crook list too, in the person of the lefty Hilary Benn, son of Anthony Wedgewood Benn.

The Africans (my ellipsis):

Here’s how Antoinette Sayeh, Liberia’s finance minister, responded:”I would say that Wolfowitz’s performance over the last several years and his leadership on African issues should certainly feature prominently in the discussions . . . . In the Liberian case and the case of many forgotten post-conflict fragile countries, he has been a visionary. He has been absolutely supportive, responsive, there for us…

The deputy prime minister for Mauritius, Rama Krishna Sithanen, then piped in that “he has been supportive of reforms in our country . . . . We think that he has done a good job. More specifically, he has apologized for what has happened.”

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s poorest region, and Mr. Wolfowitz has appropriately made it his top priority. On his first day on the job, he met with a large group of African ambassadors and advocates. His first trip as bank president was a swing through Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa. He also recruited two African-born women vice presidents, a rarity at the bank.

If you’re surprised by that last fact, then you don’t appreciate that the World Bank has always been a sinecure for developed-world politicians. They get handsome salaries, tax free, and their performance is measured not by how much poverty they cure but by how much money they disperse.

Mr. Wolfowitz has upset this sweetheart status quo by focusing more on results, and especially on the corruption that undermines development and squanders foreign aid. Yet many of the poor countries themselves welcome such intervention. At the same April 14 press conference, Zambian Finance Minister N’Gandu Peter Magande endorsed the anticorruption agenda:

“We should keep positive that whatever happens to the president, if, for example, he was to leave, I think whoever comes, we insist that he continues where we have been left, in particular on this issue of anticorruption. That is a cancer that has seen quite a lot of our countries lose development and has seen the poverty continuing in our countries. And therefore . . . we want to live up to what [Wolfowitz] made us believe” that “it is important for ourselves to keep to those high standards.”

If Wolfowitz goes, a corrupt European will likely take his place, in which case the US should abandon the World Bank and revert to bilateral lending to the likes of Liberia and Mauritius.

Because helping the honest African states out of poverty is one the most important duties of the free world – in practice now the US.


Giuliani And The Next 9/11

April 26, 2007

Giuliani is looking better and better – he just stated the obvious.

The former mayor said if a Democrat is elected, “it sounds to me like we’re going on defense. We’re going to wave the white flag there.”

But, he said, if a Republican wins, “we will remain on offense” trying to anticipate what the terrorists are going to do and “trying to stop them before they do it.”

Giuliani is correctly stating one of the central findings of Game Theory, namely that, for large targets, offense is a more effective strategy than defense. Thus defending all the targets in the US costs much more than destroying or disabling the smaller number of possible attackers.

Oddly enough, the above quote comes from a report entitled “Giuliani Rebuked” in which Clinton and Obama claim their party is not defeatist. Meanwhile:

The Democrat-led House last night narrowly passed a $124 billion war-funding bill with a timetable to pull out troops from Iraq, voting hours after top U.S. military commanders made a personal appeal to congressional leaders not to meddle in war strategy.

If the US runs from Iraq, it will consign millions of Iraqis, Israelis, Iranians, and others to a bloodbath. And America’s implacable enemies will attack it.

As they did on 9/11.