Target Centermass

8/1/2006

Castro Hands Power to Brother During Surgery

Filed under: — Gunner @ 1:06 am

Is Fidel at death’s door, or will the bastard resume his reign over Cuba?

Cuban President Fidel Castro was undergoing intestinal surgery and provisionally handed over power in the Communist island nation to his younger brother Raul, according to a statement read on Cuban television Monday night.

Fidel Castro, 79, has led Cuba since a 1959 revolution. Raul Castro, 75, is the first vice president of the country, and as such, the designated successor to his brother.

Castro’s secretary, Carlos Balenciago, read a letter he said was from the president in which he said stress had forced him into surgery and that he would be in bed for several weeks after the operation was complete. Castro turns 80 on August 13.

Raul Castro also assumes control over the armed forces and the leadership of the Communist Party, according to the statement.

Last week, Fidel Castro joked that he had no plans to still hold power when he turns 100, Reuters reported.

Well, that not being in power at 100 looks pretty much like a lock right now. Is it too late to take the under? Dean Esmay has a personal issue with the news of Fidel’s troubled health.

It is probably not right in the Christian, Muslim, or Jewish faiths to pray for bad things to fall upon the ill. But of the over 6,000,000,000 people on Planet Earth, if there are 10 whom we should pray bad health to, Fidel Castro is one of them.

As an atheist, I face a similar crisis — Fidel does not deserve to become the same dust as good men do. No, this would be a fine time to have a belief in the concept of an eternal Hell.

From the original story, the following got me thinking in a slightly tangential manner:

Castro’s surgery came just weeks after a U.S. government report called for the United States to have assistance in Cuba within weeks of Castro’s death to support a transitional government and help move the country toward democracy.

The report was prepared by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, an interagency group co-chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a Cuban-American.

President Bush created the commission in 2003 to “help hasten and ease Cuba’s democratic transition,” according to its Web site.

What if a democratic Cuba decided it wanted to try to become the 51st of the United States of America? I know it’s far-fetched for such an independently minded people, but … what if?

1/24/2006

Mexico Denies Soldiers Involved in Drug Standoff

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:29 pm

After a dangerous showdown at the West Texas border between the long arm of the local law and drug-lugging interlopers donning military uniforms, Mexico has issued the expected denials of involvement by actual soldiers.

Mexican soldiers were not involved in a standoff with law enforcement officers from the United States on the Rio Grande near Sierra Blanca, Texas, on Monday, Mexican consul Juan Carlos Foncerrada Berumen said Tuesday.

Berumen said Mexican military uniforms may have been used by drug smugglers to confuse “public opinion” and damage relations between the two countries.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said his deputies along with officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety were on patrol at about 2 p.m. when they began chasing three vehicles they suspected were carrying illegal drugs.

The officers chased the vehicles to the Rio Grande when they came across several men who appeared to be soldiers “in a Humvee with what appeared to the officers as being 50-caliber machine guns,” officials said.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported, but the lives of the law enforcement officers were threatened, officials said.

Officers, who responded to the scene, said when they arrived at the border the men dressed in military uniforms drew their guns and pointed the automatic weapons toward them.

Officials said one vehicle that was being chased was seized and that 1,400 pounds of marijuana was left behind by the driver, who fled across the river. Another vehicle made it back into Mexico. The third vehicle became stuck in the river and set ablaze by the men dressed as soldiers after people dressed in civilian clothing unloaded bundles of drugs from the vehicle.

[…]

In November, the Hudspeth sheriff’s department reported a similar incident involving soldiers from Mexico. Whether the men on the Mexican side of the border were soldiers from the Mexican military remains in dispute.

The Mexican border is an ongoing, make that growing, problem for the U.S., with pockets of lawlessness spreading while most American politicians continue to treat the matter as a political hot potato. See also the following:

Please don’t think that my only concern about our southern border is crime, drug trafficking and illegal immigration. No, my major concern about the sieve that is our border is its possible exploitation by our radical Islamist enemies. I hope you haven’t forgotten this story, and have given thought to what may have already successfully penetrated into the U.S.

The border must be secured, and it may very well mean a very visible presence of our own military.

12/19/2005

Islamic Troubles Link Dump, 19 DEC 05

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:29 pm

So many stories, so little time on my accursed dial-up connection.

Man Accused of al-Qaida Link Admits Gun Buy

A Canadian terror suspect confessed to buying guns and rocket launchers for al-Qaida to use against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, according to a court filing Monday.

In an affidavit submitted to the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, where Abdullah Khadr appeared at a preliminary hearing, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Konrad Shourie said Khadr admitted ties to senior al-Qaida members and confessed to buying guns and rocket launchers for them in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Khadr also admitted to a role in an unspecified plot to assassinate Pakistan’s prime minister, Shourie wrote.

Khadr, 24, who entered no plea at the hearing, faces extradition to the United States on charges of possessing, and conspiracy to possess, a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston, where the charges were filed. He faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

Khadr was arrested Saturday. A bail hearing could come as soon as Wednesday.

He is alleged to have bought AK-47 and mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and containers of mine components for al-Qaida. The weapons purchases were made at the request of his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, an Egyptian-born Canadian who was killed in 2003 when a Pakistani Cobra helicopter fired on a house where he was staying with senior al-Qaida operatives, authorities said.

Abdullah Khadr was born in Canada in 1981 and settled with his family in Pakistan in 1997.

The U.S. attorney in Boston said he received military training at a camp in Afghanistan for four months in the mid-1990s. Pakistani intelligence officers picked him up in a car in Islamabad on Oct. 12, 2004, and he was returned to Canada in early December.

Some may ask Abdullah why he deals with terrorists. Well, it’s a family tradition.

All three of Khadr’s brothers have been detained at various times and linked to terrorism.

One brother, 19-year-old Omar Khadr, is the only Canadian detainee at the U.S. camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. He faces trial on charges of murder and attempted murder for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. army medic.

Spain arrests 15 suspects involved in Iraqi insurgency

Spanish police arrested early Monday 15 people suspected of recruiting fighters for Iraqi terrorist groups, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The suspects, arrested in coordinated police raids in several provinces across Spain, were accused of belonging to a group which recruit, train and send fighters for Iraq to fuel the insurgency.

Police also seized a great amount of documents, fake credentials, cash and components for explosive devices in the raids.

According to the statement, eight of the 15 are Moroccans, and the seven others include an Iraqi, a Saudi Arabian, an Egyptian, a Belarussian, a French, a Spaniard and a Ghanaian.

The group, led by a 25-year-old Iraqi who had close contact with al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was well-organized, the statement said.

Police intelligence showed that the suspects themselves had also been engaged in terrorist activities in Iraq and other Islamic countries, but there was no sign they had any plans to launch terrorist attacks in Spain.

This is not a new thing, as Spain has earlier claimed to have cut terrorist pipelines to Iraq. After an earlier Spanish round-up, I blogged the following:

I would like to point out, however, that the success probably is not nearly grand as it sounds — the country is merely treating symptoms of the Islamist movement within its borders, having already run away from the attempt in Iraq to provide an alternative to the Arab world, a possible last ditch to salvage a huge chunk of the world’s population from falling hopelessly into sheer barbarism and madness.

This kind of success, while dramatic and helpful, is fleeting. Al Queda will find other ways to move its jihadists, much as the human nervous system can sometimes find alternate routes when nerve pathways are severed. Unfortunately for Spain and the rest of Europe, other paths already exist and this one will be replaced, thus making it obvious that simply treating local symptoms of radical Islam while ignoring the global disease is not enough.

The Spanish have yet to heed my warning.

Video ‘shows cold-blooded killing of kidnapped US contractor’

A barabaric video believed to show the killing of Ronald Schulz, an American security contractor kidnapped in Iraq two weeks ago, was released on the internet yesterday.

It depicts a man with his hands handcuffed behind his back and blindfolded by an Arab headdress kneeling in an empty, open area of dirt.

A gunman standing two yards behind him then shoots him in the back of the head, toppling the figure to the ground, before his body is then shot repeatedly.

Although the victim cannot be identified, any hope that the former US marine may still be alive appears extinguished by a picture of him alive that appears on a split screen as the footage is aired. His identity card is shown briefly.

The Islamic Army in Iraq claimed responsibility for his death.

For those still ignorant of the bloody, cowardly nature of our enemy, the Jawa Report is always a good place to find such videos. As for me, I don’t need them and see no need to host them. Those who are blind will still refuse to see and continue to shriek “Abu Ghraib” as they try to demonize any allegation of atrocities thrown against American soldiers.

‘Dr. Germ,’ Others Released From Iraq Jail

About 24 top former officials in Saddam Hussein’s regime, including a biological weapons expert known as “Dr. Germ,” have been released from jail, while a militant group released a video Monday of what it said was the killing of an American hostage.

[…]

An Iraqi lawyer said the 24 or 25 officials from Saddam’s government were released from jail without charges, and some have already left the country.

“The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn’t been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq,” said the lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref.

Among them were Rihab Taha, a British-educated biological weapons expert, who was known as “Dr. Germ” for her role in making bio-weapons in the 1980s, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known as “Mrs. Anthrax,” a former top Baath Party official and biotech researcher, Aref said.

“Because of security reasons, some of them want to leave the country,” he said. He declined to elaborate, but noted “some have already left Iraq today.”

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, would say only that eight individuals formerly designated as high-value detainees were released Saturday after a board process found they were no longer a security threat and no charges would be filed against them.

It may take years to correctly judge the wisdom of these releases. Because of that, I’ll refrain.

EU May Cut Aid if Hamas Wins at Polls

Europe’s top diplomat warned Sunday the European Union might cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas militants win next month’s parliamentary election, reflecting international alarm over the Islamic group’s strong showing in West Bank local voting.

Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said during a tour of the region that European taxpayers would have a hard time supporting the Palestinian government if it included a party that supports violence and advocates Israel’s destruction.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a similar declaration Friday. The Palestinian Authority counts on foreign aid for half its budget.

[…]

The main challenge facing the Palestinian Authority now is the Jan. 25 election for parliament, where Hamas is fielding legislative candidates for the first time to challenge Fatah, which has ruled Palestinian politics for decades.

Last week, the younger generation of Fatah leaders split from the party and formed their own group, Future, leaving Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other Fatah old-timers with a candidate list filled with Fatah veterans that many Palestinians consider corrupt.

The split was expected to weaken Fatah just as Hamas got a large boost its string of victories last week in West Bank local elections.

Hey, why foot the medical bills when the lunatics are running the asylum? Still, I have little faith in Europe to actually enforce such a strong stance at this time.

11/28/2005

Canadian Gov’t Falls on No-Confidence Vote

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:50 pm

On what otherwise seems a relatively slow news day, it seems a big winter political storm is brewing in the Great White North.

A corruption scandal forced a vote of no-confidence Monday that toppled Prime Minister Paul Martin’s minority government, triggering an unusual election campaign during the Christmas holidays.

Canada’s three opposition parties, which control a majority in Parliament, voted against Martin’s government, claiming his Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to lead the nation.

The loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet would continue to govern until then.

Opposition leaders last week called for the no-confidence vote after Martin rejected their demands to dissolve Parliament in January and hold early elections in February. Monday’s vote follows a flurry of spending announcements in Ottawa last week, with the government trying to advance its agenda ahead of its demise.

Martin is expected to dissolve the House of Commons on Tuesday and set a firm date for the elections. Under Canadian law, elections must be held on a Monday — unless it falls on a holiday — and the campaign period is sharply restricted.

“The vote in the House of Commons did not go our way,” Martin said. “But the decision of the future of our government will be made by Canadians. They will judge us.”

The Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper joined with the New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties to bring down the government — prompting the first Christmas and winter campaign in mostly Christian Canada in 26 years. Recent polls have given the Liberals a slight lead over the Conservatives, with the New Democrats in third place.

[…]

“This is not just the end of a tired, directionless, scandal-plagued government,” Harper said after Monday’s vote. “It’s the start of a bright new future for this country.”

The opposition is banking on the public’s disgust with a corruption scandal involving the misuse of funds targeted for a national unity program in Quebec.

An initial investigation absolved Martin of wrongdoing, but accused senior Liberal members of taking kickbacks and misspending tens of millions of dollars in public funds.

Canadian Damian J. Penny of Daimnation! suggests his personal six-part strategy for the Conservatives in the pending elections. Here’s a little taste (hat tip to Viking Pundit):

The Conservatives are behind in most of the polls, but this election is ours to win. My advice:

1. Don’t let the Liberals set the agenda. They have betrayed the public trust, and the onus is on the Martin government to show why it deserves to stay in power – not on Stephen Harper to prove he isn’t “scary”.

2. Don’t be afraid to run as Conservatives, not a “Lite” version of the Liberal Party of Canada. Canadians are much more open to new ideas in areas such as health care and immigration than the CBC or Toronto Star would have you believe.

Go give the rest a gander.

Meanwhile, nearly-Canadian Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters (hey, Canada, Minnesota, same thing from a Texas vantage — besides, the good captain has had the blogosphere’s best coverage of the recent Canadian Adscam scandals) thinks he has divined the Liberal’s strategy for the upcoming campaign.

I’m listening to the aftermath on CPAC, where the Liberal apologist wants to tell Canada that Adscam involved “a few Liberals”, but that “no one believes that it involved the party as a whole”. That apparently will be the line that the Liberals take in this election, along with a scolding tone about all of the great work that the Commons could be doing instead of holding another election seventeen months after the last one.

I’m still holding out for reaction from two of my favorite bloggers from our neighbor to the north: Small Dead Animals and Angry in the Great White North. If we’re truly lucky, Damian Brooks of Babbling Brooks will briefly rouse himself from his blogging hibernation.

8/31/2005

You Want Links?

I got links.

Carnival of Liberty IX

I’d like to point that the latest installment of the Life, Liberty, Property community‘s Carnival of Liberty. Go read another fine collection of posts from a libertarian slant.

US air strikes on Syrian border kill ‘known terrorist’

The United States launched air strikes near the Iraq-Syria border yesterday, destroying three houses and killing a “known terrorist”, according to the US military.

Iraqi authorities said fighting had broken out in the area between a tribe that supports foreign fighters and another that backs the government.

The attacks by F-16 jets began in a cluster of towns along the Syrian border, near Qaim, 200 miles north-west of Baghdad. The US said four bombs were used to destroy a house occupied by “terrorists” outside the town of Husaybah. Two further bombs destroyed a second house, said to be occupied by Abu Islam, described as “a known terrorist”.

Scratch at least one bad guy. However, I find it interesting, in a disturbing kind of way, that we have identified a tribe that supports foreign terrorists and haven’t hit it with an iron fist.

Sunni leap of faith

Iraq’s proposed constitution can be faulted for its contradictions and ambiguities. If those were its only problems, however, the outlook for this democracy-founding document would look a lot better than it now does, for constitutions the world over share these characteristics.

The greatest flaw is not what’s in this draft, but how it was handled: presented to Iraq’s National Assembly on Sunday over the objections of Sunni negotiators. In effect, one of the major groups in the three-legged stool that makes up Iraq is missing.

A constitution derives legitimacy and power from national consensus. The document hammered out in Baghdad this summer rightly declares it is “the people” who are “the source of authority” for constitutional rule of law. No consensus, no country.

Leaders of the minority Sunnis, who ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and who make up about 20 percent of Iraq’s population, now vow to wage a campaign of opposition to the constitution, which comes to voters for approval in October. If two-thirds of voters in three Iraqi provinces reject it, then a newly elected parliament would have to write a new document. With enough votes this fall, the Sunnis could indeed put the process back at square one.

But it’s not too late for a Sunni buy-in. And surprisingly, it’s the contradictory and ambiguous nature of the proposed constitution that could help bring Sunnis on board.

It’s an interesting look at the proposed Iraqi constitution and what it’s wording may mean to the Sunnis. Although I have not perused the constitution yet, I see that Sunnis as having two choices: mildly support the document and become more of a player on the scene or oppose it outright. Should they oppose it and it is still ratified, the Sunnis run the risk of perpetuating their errors of turning out in low numbers in January’s elections.

Arroyo likely to escape ousting

Lawmakers in the Philippines are due to resume their deliberations about which of three impeachment complaints to take up against President Gloria Arroyo.

They are expected to choose the weakest option, and are then highly likely to vote it down, effectively thwarting any attempt to oust her from office.

Mrs Arroyo faces accusations of corruption and electoral fraud.

She denies any wrongdoing but admits to a “lapse in judgement” in phoning an election officer during the 2004 poll.

This is truly looking like a shame. The Philippines are passing by an opportunity to remove a center of corruption. I will never forgive this woman, the Manila folder whose willingness to retreat from Iraq for one life while throwing money at the terrorists has quite probably cost lives, both innocent Iraqis and brave Americans.

Bush enters immigration debate

President Bush flew into the heart of the nation’s volatile debate over illegal immigration Monday and defended his administration’s efforts to control the nearby border with Mexico after a surge of criticism from across the political spectrum.

Two weeks after the Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico declared states of emergency along the border, Bush used a Medicare speech here to promise local residents an increasingly robust federal campaign that will deploy more agents and provide more detention space to stop those trying to sneak into the country.

“We have an obligation to enforce the borders,” Bush said to applause. “I understand it’s putting a strain on your resources. What I’m telling you is there’s a lot of people working hard to get the job done, but there is more we can do.”

Of course there’s more we can do. After this, I want a lot more done. Maybe it’s finally time we start considering our borders as one of the front lines in the war against radical Islamist terror.

8/16/2005

Arizona, New Mexico Declare Border Emergency

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:44 pm

Perhaps it’s time that the issue of the porous southern U.S. border, a problem long simmering but kept under the lid by many for fear of being trumped by the race card, can finally be faced.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has joined Gov. Bill Richardson in declaring a state of emergency along her state’s border with Mexico.

The order releases $1.5 million in emergency money for counties that lie along the border. Jeanine L’Ecuyer, a spokeswoman for the Democratic governor, said the money is intended for use by counties and municipalities to cover overtime pay for law enforcement officers, repairs of border fences and costs related to illegal immigrants’ deaths.

Richardson attracted international attention by declaring a state of emergency in four southern New Mexico counties last week. He spent part of Monday afternoon in and out of a TV production room at the state Capitol, which beamed his comments across the country.

The first-term Democrat said he had to declare the emergency, which provides $1.75 million in state and federal funding for additional law enforcement along the border.

“We’re talking about a violent situation,” he said between appearances. “We’re talking about illegal drugs coming in. We’re talking about kidnapping. We’re talking about police being shot at. We’re talking about a violent situation that has to be dealt with.

“Something like this is a wake-up call to the Congress that they need a federal immigration policy. They need to deal with issues of legal migration.”

I’ve pointed out the violent situation before; northen Mexico has essentially become a madhouse, and Nurse Ratched ain’t calling the shots.

Of far greater concern is the fact that our nation is overly concerned about political touchy-feely issues, knowing full well that neither Canada nor Mexico is willing and able to control who is using their country as a means to enter the U.S. And trust me, the radical Islamists know that too.

6/14/2005

Disorder Across the Border

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:56 pm

I suppose you could say that everyone has an El Guapo. For some, shyness may be an El Guapo. For others, lack of education may be an El Guapo. But for us, El Guapo is a large ugly man who wants to kill us!

—Lucky Day

Troops patrolling lawless Mexican city

US deplores border ‘corruption’

Two more deaths in Mexican town despite effort to curb violence

All 700 officers to be interrogated in crackdown on drug violence

US tourists desert town in Mexico drug war

Mexico’s Death City Police Ambush Their Own Agents

Wait for it … wait … okay, now:

Quagmire!!!

4/27/2005

Crying Wolf in the Land of the Mapleleaf

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:09 pm

Damian Brooks at Babbling Brooks been pointing out the shriveling of the Canadian military for some time. Now, in one thorough post, he collects a lengthy listing of evidence that is, to say the least, very persuasive.

You spot shadows in the woods and yell ‘wolf’. Everyone ignores you.

Read it all. Our neighbors up north have certainly taken a leisurely walk down the path of international obsolescence, whistling merrily along the way. Had the country a fraction of the love and respect for their military and its past glory that it did for hockey, Damian’s efforts would not be needed.

Also, read the comments for a good Tolkien analogy and this sad observation from Damian:

Our military is collapsing, and Canadians don’t seem to care.

3/24/2005

US Deserter Denied Canada Asylum

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:01 pm

I blogged in December about Jeremy Hinzman, the coward who had deserted his comrades as they went to Iraq, instead applying in Canada for refugee status. Well, Canada’s decision was handed down today, and Hinzman’s hopes of staying yellow in the Great White North were denied.

A former US soldier who quit the army in protest against the Iraq war has been denied refugee status in Canada.

Jeremy Hinzman, 26, was the first to receive an answer from a number of US deserters seeking Canadian residency.

Mr Hinzman, who served in Afghanistan in a non-combat role, left the 82nd Airborne Regiment when he was deployed to Iraq.

Correspondents say the decision may affect eight other ex-servicemen, but improve Canadian-US relations.

In its judgement Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board said Mr Hinzman had not convinced its members that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if he were sent back to the US.

Board member Brian Goodman wrote in the judgement: “The treatment does not amount to a violation of a fundamental human right, and the harm is not serious.”

Mr Hinzman’s lawyer said he planned to appeal, and that they remained confident of success.

“He is disappointed. We don’t believe that people should be imprisoned for doing what they believe is illegal,” Jeffry House told Canadian TV.

Man, I really hope that is a misquote.

Mr House also settled in Canada after dodging the US military draft during the Vietnam War.

Well, maybe it’s not.

If Mr Hinzman’s appeal is not successful, his final option would be a direct plea to Canada’s immigration minister for leave to remain on compassionate grounds.

He faces up to five years in prison if he fails and is returned to the US.

Mr Hinzman fled his unit in January 2004, shortly before the 82nd Airborne was due in Iraq.

He had served three years in the army, but had asked to be classified as a conscientious objector ahead of deployment to Afghanistan in 2002.

Mr Hinzman now lives with his wife and young son in Toronto, where his case has been championed by Quakers and anti-war activist groups.

I have little sympathy for a volunteer who runs out on his fellow soldiers. Okay, maybe a touch of sympathy, as I’ll stand by my original conclusion from December:

Should any such deserters elect to return, I would like to see Hinzman and his ilk given a choice: prison or finish service in one of the historical roles of conscientious objector, such as a medic or chaplain’s assistant. See, I have a heart, especially for Quaker Buddhists.

See, I have a heart.

3/2/2005

Canada Expels Holocaust Denier

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:07 am

I’m all for free speech and against supposed “hate speech” laws, having faith in the market of ideas. That said, I see plenty in this nutcase to take in joy the action taken but still cannot yet call it justice.

A white supremacist from Germany who denies the Holocaust ever took place has been expelled from Canada after a two-year legal battle.

Ernst Zundel, 65, arrived in Germany on Tuesday and was immediately taken into custody by German authorities.

Germany was able to seek his extradition on the grounds that he was running a web site denying the existence of the Holocaust.

Zundel once described Adolf Hitler as a “decent and very peaceful man”.

Last week, a Federal Court judge ruled the his anti-Semitic and hatred-inciting activities were “not only a threat to Canada’s national security, but also a threat to the international community of nations”.

I have to question whether Zundel was really a threat to the community of nations or just an idiot a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

It took Canadian authorities two years to establish whether Zundel, who authored a book called “The Hitler we loved and why”, posed a security threat.

During that time, he was being held in near-solitary confinement.

Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany, where Zundel’s theories could be easily accessed and read through the Internet.

This enabled authorities there to open a case against him.

Zundel, who was born in Germany, moved to Canada in the late 1950s.

In 1988 he was convicted of “knowingly publishing false news” after issuing a leaflet carrying the title “Did six million really die?”.

But in 1992, the Supreme Court struck down the “false news” law on the grounds that it violated freedom of expression.

Zundel, who never managed to obtain Canadian citizenship, moved to the US in 2001 but was later deported back to Canada for allegedly violating immigration laws.

A group that led a campaign to have him extradited, B’nai Brith Canada, welcomed last week’s verdict.

“For decades, Zundel has spewed his venom and imbued his brand of hate in a new generation of white supremacist groups that had made him a hero,” the association’s vice president, Frank Dimant, said in a statement.

Zundel is now expected to be kept in custody while a German judge reviews his case.

Canada has every right to thrust this burden back upon Germany, as Zundel has no Canadian citizenship. While one could question Germany’s laws regarding denying the Holocaust, one certainly has to question their jurisdiction on internet postings from international sources. I’ll try to look more into this case tomorrow to resolve my qualms, but for now I’ll say pragmatically that Canada did well in getting rid of some trash.

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