MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – January 7, 2013
- More Mali (1) “The head of the African Union, Thomas Boni Yayi, is set to visit Ottawa Tuesday and his visit with Prime Minister Stephen Harper could bring a request for Canadian troops to be involved in an international mission in Mali. The United Nations Security Council backed a proposal in December to send an African-led force of 3,300 soldiers into the country. But the resolution also called for broader international assistance. A military coup last year created a power vacuum in Mali that’s led to the rise of armed groups linked to al-Qaeda in the country’s northern region. Defence Minister Peter MacKay said last week that Canada could be willing to send troops to help train African forces. As the president of the African Union, Boni Yayi was instrumental in convincing the United Nations that international intervention was needed ….”
- More Mali (2) Some of the reasons to think hard about sending troops over “…. Shall we send a few hundred Canadian troops to patrol it? Ah, but that’s not the point. The latest UN/EU plan has Western nations simply training the locals to be like us. Trouble is, they may not want that. Mali is one of the last places on Earth with large-scale slavery, apparently with considerable popular support. As many as 200,000 people are still slaves, ex-slaves suffer terrible discrimination and, as in the 2012 Tuareg Rebellion, their former owners may grab them back given half a chance. This truth is only whispered with respect to Afghanistan because conservatives don’t want to tarnish our troops’ performance and progressives don’t want to admit culture matters. But “training” Afghan security forces, as though their main problems were technical ones like literacy or radio repair, has not worked because too many Afghans are Islamists. Go ahead. Say it out loud. Too many Afghans are Islamists. So are too many people in Mali. And too many others hold scarcely less appalling beliefs and habits incompatible with prosperity and human dignity ….”
- More Mali (3) More on whazzup in Mali here (Google News) and here (European Commission news aggregator)
- Meanwhile, southeast of Mali…. “Is Nigeria on the brink of a religious civil war?”
- Afghanistan Taliban promise to continue the fight if U.S. troops aren’t out by 2014 (links to non-jihadi site)
- Way Up North “As Canada heads into 2013, many of the country’s political and policy talks are expected to look in a new direction: North ….”
- “Canada’s largest veterans facility has lifted its ban on a woman who complained about bedbugs and a threat to a resident’s safety. Following a weekend meeting, Sunnybrook said Jackie Storrison could see her aging dad at its veterans centre, from which police escorted her more than a week ago. The facility did insist security was on hand when Storrison went to see her father on Saturday. “To have security sitting outside the room was beyond humiliating,” Storrison, 61, said Sunday. “I felt as though I was under house arrest. I felt like I had been convicted of a criminal offence and basically given probation with the condition that I attend mediation.” Sunnybrook banned Storrison, who has spent most evenings over the past three years caring for her 91-year-old father at the veterans centre, after nurses apparently accused her of going on a “verbal rampage for hours on end”. Storrison, who denies being abusive, said the allegation came after she alerted staff to an elderly resident wandering down the hallway alone and on another occasion to bedbugs in a patient’s room ….”
- Meanwhile, in Coast Guard shipbuilding news, “The 4th Hero Class Mid Shore Patrol Vessel, CCGS Constable Carrière (Above) was rolled out (this weekend) at (H)alifax ship yards. To date 2 have been completed and turned over to the coast guard, and CCGS Corporal Teather C.V is nearing completion at pier 9 ….”
- “Canada has relatively few terrorists behind bars, but an expert on prison radicalization says the problem of Islamist ideology spreading among inmates is a real one. “This isn’t to say that all inmates will become radicals, or even that many will,” said Dr. Alexandre Wilner, a Research Fellow with the Mandonald-Laurier Institute and a terrorism expert. “But it is to suggest that prison represents a potentially good window of opportunity for spreading radical views and recruiting others to a violent cause.” Wilner’s comments follow the release of a highly censored CSIS threat assessment that confirmed that Sunni Islamist radicalization is taking place in Canadian prisons, within families and through jihadi websites. The parts of the assessment that the public has been allowed to see don’t indicate how large a problem Islamist radicalization is within Canada or offer specific examples of cases ….” – more on rehabilitating extremists in prison here.
- Starting tonight on History Channel – “Air Aces“, starting off with the story of George “Buzz” Beurling.
- “Much has been done to commemorate and preserve HMCS Sackville, the Second World War navy corvette that is berthed on the Halifax waterfront and is Canada’s naval memorial. Now the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, the group that restored the ship after saving it from the scrapyard, is embarking on a much bigger project: a complete naval heritage centre built around the vessel. The promotional campaign and request for proposals to design Battle of Atlantic Place will be out soon, with a short list of architects ready in about four months and a design, hopefully, by the end of the year, said retired navy captain Ted Kelly. “The architects are salivating,” Kelly said of early interest in coming up with a design for the project, which will include a protected dry dock around the ship. The trust also wants a building that will portray the story of Canada’s naval history, including its role in the Battle of the Atlantic, in an interactive way ….” – more on the idea here.