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Monday, September 12, 2005

Russian Terrorists in Newfoundland Top Federal Agenda

You know, it’s funny sometimes how you can be heading in one direction and suddenly you end up going somewhere altogether different. Such is the case today.

Just as I was completing an article on a Coast Guard exercise off the coast of Newfoundland I received an email from one of our readers who wanted to bring a federal government press release to my attention. Amazingly, although the two items didn’t at first hit me as related, they are.

Initially I began writing about a recent news article on VOCM radio in Newfoundland and Labrador and ended up writing about Paul Martin’s upcoming visit to the UN. Go figure.

Anyway, according to the article, the Canadian Coast Guard and RCMP are conducting a search and rescue / terrorism exercise in Fortune Bay Newfoundland this week. The exercise will utilize Coast Guard vessels, a French Naval vessel and a Canadian Forces helicopter.

Here is the part of the story that immediately caught my attention: One of the scenarios involves a terrorism plot originating in Russia.

I have to ask, has anyone taken the time to inform the federal government that Russia is now an ally and that the cold war is over?

In an effort to help keep our federal leaders up to date, I personally searched the web for information on terrorist incidents stemming from Russia.

The results of my search show that yes, unfortunately terrorism is on the rise in that part of the globe, however of the 50 incidents which have taken place since 2000, none were on Western soil. In fact, they were all acts of domestic terrorism most of which were related primarily to Chechnya.

As unfortunate and heart breaking as these incidents are, they don’t appear to reflect a will by anyone in Russia to inflict pain and suffering in Western nations. In fact these incidents clearly show a country embroiled in an internal upheaval and a people much too pre-occupied to worry about attacking anyone in this part of the world.

It makes me wonder just how “on the ball” the Canadian government is when it comes to planning for these sorts of worst case scenarios. My thinking is that if anything ever did happen, by the time the authorities figured it out and responded, everyone involved in carrying out the attack would have died of old age. Does Air India ring a bell?

I also have to wonder how our new allies in Russia feel about being used in such a simulation. Did anyone discuss this scenario with the Foreign Affairs office? Surely it can’t be good for foreign relations between our two nations. How would the Canadian people feel if Russia began running exercises based on a scenario where Alberta cattle ranchers where invading the Russian steppes, or PEI potato farmers planned to blow up a consignment of Russian spuds?

In a post 911 world everyone needs to plan and prepare for a possible terrorist threat, but with so many terrorist organizations out there to choose from, couldn’t the brain trust in charge of this exercise have come up with a better scenario than a Russian incident off the coast of Newfoundland?

I just hope anyone covering this story gets the details straight about the fact that the plan and the exercise originated with federal agencies, not provincial ones. If they miss that point, this could turn into one hell of a newfie joke.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with Paul Martin visiting the UN. Not a lot on the surface, other than the correlation between the stupidity of the federal government at home and the even stupider (is that a word?) actions of our representatives when abroad.

You see according to today’s press release, Canada’s Prime Minister will be attending the UN 2005 World Summit being held in New York from September 14-16.

According to the release, Mr. Martin will press for Canada’s priorities:

Promoting human rights and the responsibility to protect;

Improving UN performance in peace building;

Counter terrorism;

Responding to global heath threats;

Reaffirming the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for development;

Improving UN management and oversight mechanisms; and

On September 14, the Prime Minister will sign the new United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

All pretty heady stuff, but I do have to wonder, as the reader who submitted this release to me also wondered, where is the high priority item that the Honorable Paul Martin always speaks about when pandering for votes in Newfoundland and Labrador? Pressing the international community to help protect cod stocks on the nose and tail of the grand banks.

This particular item, which according to statements from the Prime Minister during an international fisheries conference earlier this year, is a key priority of his government, appears to be missing from his agenda.

One has to ask why this is. After all, this is a prime opportunity to move Canada's fisheries issues to the front of the agenda at the UN. An opportunity to stop his dithering and take a strong action for once in his Prime Ministerial career.

It appears that instead for pushing this important issue, our great Prime Minister would rather regale his audience with stories of how Canada, (wait for it folks), is working on the nations counter terrorism planning by preparing for a Russian attack in Newfoundland.

Hey, we shouldn’t complain, we did elect him. (Well, I didn’t elect him, but someone out there must have voted Liberal right?)

Hopefully the Russians won’t get too upset with us and start sending vessels across the Atlantic to surround Newfoundland. Oh, wait, that’s right, they already have. Russia, along with a dozen other countries already have us surrounded, but don’t worry, according to the Federal government if we just ignore them they’ll eventually go away. Once all the fish are gone.

If you are interested in letting Paul Martin know how you feel about his chronic dithering over fisheries issues and if you would like to see him table the topic at the UN, you can do so at:
Martin.P@parl.gc.ca

It may just stop him from embarrassing himself publicly again and bye the way, our Foreign Affairs Minister will also be at that convention. Someone might want to pass along the word to him that Canada’s homeland security forces are planning for a Russian invasion.

6 comments:

sindaco said...

I'd like to thank Mr. Higgins for this article also published in canada free press.
I'm originally from russia and have not got any terrorist intends for sure. Such kind of scenario involving "russian terrorists" used by can. and fr. navy makes me worried. But following thing double up my concern. A well known islamist website "www.kavkazcenter.com" uses the content of this article (in extrem shorten form) on a russian website version to blame russian as terorrists as such.
quote: http://www.kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2005/09/13/37489.shtml
The pro islamistic readers of kavkazcenter.com who doesn't read the original article get also the confirmation based on a western media the russian were terroists indeed.

sindaco

NL-ExPatriate said...

Couldn't find the english version on that Kaz site? So I took the liberty of translating the article on freetranslation.com

Here it is, as per translation.

Canada and France carry out(spend) doctrines on struggle against Russian terrorists
As informed the Canadian site of a coast guard, now in a province Newfoundland, in bay Форчун, the coast guard and the Canadian royal mounted police fulfil a technique of search and destruction of Russian terrorists in case of their approach(approximation) and landing at the Atlantic coast of Canada. The ships of a coast guard of Canada, the French military ship and one helicopter of the Air Forces of Canada are involved in doctrines on struggle against Russian terrorists, the Canadian newspaper writes

I've done several UN tours with Russians and consider them to be friends!

Patriot said...

Thanks for the comments "sindaco" and thanks to Ex-P for the translation.

Stuff like this bothers me a great deal, unfortunately there is not much one can do about some nameless and faceless organization twisting ones words.

Our only hope is that anyone with even the smallest grain of sense will know that the possibility of Newfoundland being attacked by anyone from Russia is rediculous.

Myles

WJM said...

Have you never heard of Chechnya? Or Russia's rusting and poorly-secured nuclear arsenal? Did you see that Simon Reeves TV series, "Places that Don't Exist"?

Yes, it's far-fetched. Guess what? Most military planning scenarios are. But with countries like the US planning for unlikely attacks via ports, is it so unlikely that a suspicious ship, which originated, or took on a suspect cargo, in Russia, might get "pulled over" in a western country's waters some day?

Guess what: Russia may be friendly, but Spain, the UK, and the US are even friendlier, and they've been the loci situs of the past three major terror plots on western soil. Terrorists enter the US, attend US flight school, and hijack US planes, crashing them into US buildings... outlandish! The US are our friends!

By the way, how many damns are you willing to bet, that if the exercise had involved a fictitious Russian ship being pulled over in Nova Scotia or Quebec, that you'd be bitching that the exercise wasn't being done in Newfoundland?

keen ears small thoughts said...

overheard on a ship in the fog
(translation follows with profound apologies to both Russians and babelfish):

Boris к Nataha: Мы идем прокрасться в newfoundland и захватиться лоси и белка

Natasha: Вы знали и белок и лоси не прожить в newfoundland до последних 100 лет. Люди принесли их от остальноев Канады

Natasha: "и в чем время чем то, они имеют, котор стали бичи на острове, изменяя и валах и birdlife

Boris: "реально?.. Возможно когда мы убьем лосей и белки в newfoundland Канаде будут счастливы и мы будет heros

Natasha: "Boris вы будете дурачком. Ничего, котор мы делаем в воле newfoundland даже было замечено в остальноях Канады. до тех пор пока шутки newfie не находиться на русском языке "


Boris to Nataha: We're going to sneak into Newfoundland and capture moose and squirrel

Natasha: Did you know both squirrels and moose did not live in Newfoundland until the last 100 years.. People brought them from the rest of Canada.

Natasha: "And in less than time than that, they've become pests on the island, changing both trees and birdlife"

Boris: "Really?.. Maybe when we kill moose and squirrels in Newfoundland Canada will be happy and we'll be heros. "

Natasha: "Boris you are a fool. Nothing we do in Newfoundland will even be noticed in the rest of Canada.. until the newfie jokes are in Russian"

Yankee said...

"As unfortunate and heart breaking as these incidents are, they don’t appear to reflect a will by anyone in Russia to inflict pain and suffering in Western nations. In fact these incidents clearly show a country embroiled in an internal upheaval and a people much too pre-occupied to worry about attacking anyone in this part of the world."

You are either naive, or stupid.

There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that 2/3 main Chechen "rebel armies" are branch wings of Al-Qaeda, providing hands on training to terrorists from all over the world. Far from being simply "nationalism based terrorists" they are ideological warriors fighting for the Caliphate. At least 4 and maybe as many as 9 of the 9/11 hijackers had either fought in Chechnya or stated publicly a desire to do so, so don't put them in the same category as ETA or the IRA.

Islamic fundamentalism threatens all peace-loving, democratic free peoples, and needs to be treated for what it is - part and parcel of the war on terror that threatens all of us.

Even ignorant pseudo-journalists fromNewfoundland.