Friday, February 24, 2006

The Gathering Storm

The signs are there to see. An Islamic storm gathers and will break upon our shores at some point. Are we prepared? A prudent people faced with such portents in the natural world will batten down hatches, board up windows, and move to higher ground. Those of us faced with hard political choices are seldom so immediately moved to action.

In Iran, the mullahs are racing to produce an atomic bomb. The mullah currently in charge of the country says that Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth. The Israeli government and military is beyond question, prepared to turn a goodly portion of the Islamic Middle East into glass should the Iranian try and make good on that threat. Europe is nervous. The United States is nervous. Blustering noises are heard on the diplomatic circuit. Bunker buster bombs are mooted about as a solution. But the disbursement of the Iranian nuclear weapons program makes tactical solutions very difficult. You should be nervous too, but you probably aren't.

In Iraq, Islamofascists have blown up an 1,100 year old Shiite Muslim shrine which, is the burying place of two of the most revered Shiite clerics. This action was calculated to precipitate civil war between the Shiites and the Sunni Muslims. The tactic is probably going to work. Daytime curfews are being imposed, folks are being dragged from cars and shot and dozens of Sunni mosques are being torched in retaliation for the Askariya shrine bombing. The newly elected Iraqi government is nervous. The United States and it coalition partners are nervous. They should be. This is going to get really ugly.

In Afghanistan, the Canadian army is in the process of assuming command of the NATO Forces in the Kandahar area. In the past couple of weeks our troops have come under fire from jihadists. Some were wounded. The troops are worried, but continue with their mission. That's what good soldiers do. Meanwhile, today's release of a CTV/Globe & Mail poll indicates that 62% of Canadians oppose sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan. Oops. My friends, it's too late. They're already there; having been deployed oversees by the former Liberal government, which was no doubt trying to keep our soldiers' combat boots and guns from sullying the streets of cities here at home.

The Danish cartoon fiasco goes on and on and on and on. Pakistan is under virtual military lockdown, (that is to say, those areas of the country under the control of the military government are in lockdown). Apparently, the regime initially supported the street protests, until the street protesters turned against the regime. It is an open question how far this will go.

In northern Nigeria, home to the majority of Muslim Nigerians, Islamic mobs protesting the Danish cartoons, saw no contradiction in demanding greater religious sensitivity by burning Christian churches and murdering Christians. Danish intolerance apparently cannot be tolerated. Nigerian Christians must suffer.

In Canada protests by Muslims over the cartoons received little media attention because they were peaceful. In my view that circumstance was very newsworthy, but I am not a member of the main stream news oligarchy. After all, I only have around 40 visitors a day. Wait a minute. Those numbers must rival the number of viewers of CBC TV. Maybe I am a media oligarch after all.


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