Short Takes and Quotes of the Week from- ( December 12th – January 2, 2020)

Flag of the Islamic State (IS), also known as “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) or “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL). This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. (Source:Wikipedia)


Quotes By: (ADRIAN MORROW Globe and Mail),  (Jennifer Medina and New York Times), (Stephen Fidler and Gerald F. Seib, The Wallstreet Journal), (CHRIS ALEXANDER, Globe and Mail) (GEOFFREY YORK, STEVEN CHASE, Globe and Mail)


You don’t have to support [Mr. Trump] withdrawing from the Iran Deal or his ‘maximum pressure’ campaign to support the proposition that planning, conducting, directing or funding attacks aimed at killing Americans merits a swift and decisive response,” he said, adding that “any other view is either a misinformed one or a lie.” – columnist Adrian Morrow quotes Republican Senator Marco Rubio who praised the President’s order to eliminate Iranian General Qassim Soleimani on Twitter – and blasted Mr. Trump’s critics. (Globe and Mail, Jan. 3, 2020)

“Evangelical Christians of every denomination and believers of every faith have never had a greater champion, not even close, in the White House, than you have right now. We’ve done things that nobody thought was possible. Together we’re not only defending our constitutional rights. We’re also defending religion itself, which is under siege,” – President Donald Trump told his Evangelical base in Miami.  This was his first public appearance since the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran. (NYT, Jan. 3, 2020)

“Afghanistan needs one thing: a peace settlement with Pakistan. Since 2001, nearly 2,400 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan – almost 1,900 in hostile action. More than 1,000 from other NATO countries have been killed, including 158 Canadians. Yet, we still refuse to hold the principal belligerent, the Taliban’s puppet-masters in neighbouring Pakistan, accountable for their two-decade-long proxy war, which is now escalating. … Every one of us who engaged deeply with senior Pakistani military and intelligence leaders over the past two decades can recount a similar story of troubled officers essentially seeking permission to continue unleashing terrible violence in Afghanistan, while reserving chaos, extrajudicial killings and dysfunctional government for the home front in Pakistan. We have to cancel that permission. Pakistan has to be held to the same standards we expect of other countries, especially after all that the world has invested in Afghanistan’s future. The time for incoherence and deflection is rapidly running out. If the UN and its members were today serious about peace in Afghanistan, their next Security Council resolution would be: “On the Situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan” – and it would give the existing Taliban sanctions regime the bite it needs. It’s never too late to do the right thing. “– former Canadian diplomat Chris Alexander writes. He served as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 2013 to 2015.  (Globe and Mail, Dec. 12, 2019)

“These conservative parties in the U.S. and U.K. are more and more throwing their lot in with working-class constituencies. That’s a wonderful development. That is the future of conservative parties,” — says Christopher DeMuth, a conservative scholar with the Washington-based Hudson Institute who worked in the Reagan administration.  He was quoted by columnists Stephen Fidler and Gerald F. Seib who argue that Conservatism is moving away from the traditional model of President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (WSJ, Dec. 17, 2019)




TURKISH COURT SENTENCES SIX JOURNALISTS, ONE OTHER INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER EMPLOYEE TO PRISON: REPORT (Ankara) — A Turkish court on Friday convicted six journalists and one other employee of an independent newspaper of aiding the network of a U.S.-based cleric who is accused of masterminding the failed coup in 2016, the state-run news agency reported. The seven were accused of supporting the coup through their work for the newspaper Sozcu, which has been extremely critical of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They all reject the accusations and are expected to appeal the verdicts. (Globe and Mail, Dec. 27, 2019)

ON ‘SHOESTRING BUDGET,’ TERRORIST GROUP AL SHABAB POSES DEADLY THREAT IN SOMALIA (Nairobi) — Almost a decade since African peacekeeping forces kicked Al Shabab the Al Qaeda-linked group out of Mogadishu, it has become deft in handling its operations, versatile in using guerrilla tactics and prolific in manufacturing bombs.  Over the past few years, the Shabab killed hundreds of people in attacks at home and on neighboring Kenya, assaulted an American military base outside Mogadishu and overran military bases of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. To finance itself, the militants have set up an extensive racketeering system that levies fees on sales of agricultural produce in southern and central Somalia — areas that are the stronghold of the group. They also tax imports into the Mogadishu port, according to the United Nations. (NYT, Dec. 29, 2019)

UN PROBING MONTREAL LOBBYING FIRM’S POSSIBLE ROLE IN SUDANESE TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN LIBYA (New York) — A United Nations panel is investigating whether a Canadian lobbying firm has played a “direct role” in the illegal deployment of about 1,000 Sudanese troops to reinforce a Libyan warlord’s assault on Tripoli. The Sudanese troops arrived in Libya in July, in defiance of an international arms embargo, according to a new report by the UN Panel of Experts on Libya. It said the troops belonged to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a notorious Sudanese militia that has committed atrocities in Darfur under its former name, the Janjaweed. The UN panel is trying to find out if the Sudanese troop deployment was linked to a US$6-million contract between Sudan’s former military regime and a Montreal-based lobbying firm, Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc. The head of the lobbying firm is denying any role in the Sudanese deployment. (Globe and Mail, Dec. 15, 2019)