Wednesday Night #1778

Written by  //  March 29, 2016  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

David’s 84th birthday was on Easter Sunday, not a good day to celebrate, so you are invited to join us on Wednesday Night for a modest gathering to raise a glass in his honor. It isn’t a milestone – except that at 84, one is allowed to consider each year a milestone. Your presence is all the prezzies he wants or needs.

Least of all would he want to interrupt the flow of Wednesday Night, so herewith a few items for your consideration.

The news that the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra had been recaptured from ISIS brought mixed reactions. Certainly everyone is pleased that ISIS no longer controls the city – and the world is rejoicing that despite ISIS AND the bombardment by Russian planes, a number of treasured antiquities have not been destroyed. [The National Post carries a story from the UK Telegraph:  Syria secretly worked to convince ISIL against destroying all of Palmyra’s ancient ruins ]
However, those who believe that Assad should be removed from the scene by whatever means are leery that, as Robert Fisk put it: “ In the end, it was the Syrian army – and its Hizballah chums from Lebanon, and the Iranians, and the Russians – who drove the Isis murderers out of Palmyra.” Martin Armstrong pointed out  in his Saturday  piece on Al Jazeera: “Wrestling control of the ancient city from ISIL could strengthen the Syrian government’s perceived credibility in the eyes of the international community, not only as a force of moderation in Syria, but as one capable of collaborating with anti-ISIL coalition forces, analysts say”

As the news continues to flow about the aftermath of Terrorism in Brussels, that attack was swiftly followed by the Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore where the victims were mainly women and children. Amidst the grief and outrage, some reports are suggesting that Pakistan’s politicians also to blame for Lahore attack,

Two days earlier, and buried under coverage of Brussels, Terrorists Detonated Two Bombs Killing At Least 22 People in Maiduguri, Nigeria prompting some to ask: “ will CNN treat this like suicide attacks when white people are killed? Only time will tell but it’s safe to assume this will be swept under the rug per usual.”
Meanwhile in Cameroon, a Would-be suicide bomber says she is kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirlif that is true, there is some hope that she may be able to supply some information regarding the whereabouts of the others.
On Saturday Kyle Matthews spoke to Global news on Montrealers and the Brussels attack while the other half of the dynamic duo, Céline Cooper, addressed a very different Montreal topic in her most recent column:  Living in Montreal takes passion and patience, a response to Neil Macdonald’s gloomy explanation of why he would not be settling in Montreal Corruption probes, broken bridges, the sad decline of Montreal. Both are good reads.

Justice Delayed, Not Denied, in Bosnia
David Scheffer, former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, writes on Project Syndicate  that  the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)’s sentencing  of Radovan Karadžić – the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the 1990s war in the Balkans – to 40 years in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes  is a judgment that will profoundly influence international law, deter those who might otherwise commit atrocities, and open the possibility of political reconciliation in Bosnia. Lawless leaders, such as those in Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Russia, and the Islamic State, have just been reminded of their vulnerability to international justice. PBS Newshour also featured an interview with Julian Borger, longtime correspondent and editor at The Guardian newspaper, and author of a new book, “The Butcher’s Trail: How the Search for Balkan War Criminals Became the World’s Most Successful Manhunt.” [How Balkan war criminals were hunted down and brought to justice]

We will leave aside the U.S. political scene – although it is bound to come up anyway, and limit ourselves to this explanation of  Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, for those not following closely – it’s an excellent piece in the Washington Post.

 

Not our usual focus, but as the Everest climbing season starts again,  the NYT article Sherpa: They Die, We Go Home casts light on the disgraceful situation of the longstanding and pervasive exploitation of Sherpa by the international climbing community.

Concluding on a lighter note:

As the world continues to go mad, Scientists are Slowly Reintroducing s Small Group Of Normal, Well-Adjusted Humans Into Society – we could not wait for April 1!

And a delightful Canadiana story:  Mountie halts highway traffic for stubborn beaver

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