Back in August 2013, when Obama entertained the White House press corps in the Rose Garden to explain that he wasn't quite as eager to upbraid Bashar Assad as he might have inadvertently led them earlier to believe, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees counted about two million Syrians in its refugee statistics.
In 1988, federal data showed a modest China-trade surplus of $1.6 billion in Canada's favour.
Chia Chang, the Washington correspondent for the privately owned Taipei news organization 'United Daily News,' was told to leave the ICAO building after producing a Taiwanese passport to ICAO media accreditation officials. Canada recognizes Taiwanese passports. Beijing does not.
As late as 2009, 90 per cent of Afghans reckoned Karzai's performance was excellent, good or fair.
Argentina has elected a centre-right president, Mauricio Macri. Bolivia's Evo Morales, having lost a referendum that would have allowed him a fourth presidential term, spends his time muttering about CIA plots and issuing threats to jail journalists who persist in reporting influence-peddling scandals. The economy is a sputtering shambles.
Chinese President Xi Jinping says that if Canada wants free access to Chinese markets, Trudeau should first ram a pipeline to the B.C. coast on China's behalf.
The Canadian economy relies on foreign trade. Nearly three-quarters of Canada's exports go south.
Obama has refused to equip, or to arm, any rebel groups fighting Assad or his forces.
There is often little to distinguish what Beijing wants from what Canada's foreign affairs mandarins want out of the Canada-China relationship, which is in any case rarely even close to what Canadians want – like some demonstrable public benefit for once, the opinion polls consistently show.
About 3,500 years ago, when a patriarch called Moses was supposed to be leading a tribe of Seth's descendants out of the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula, another tribe of shepherds and pastoralists had already established a small kingdom for itself at Balkh.
It wasn't until the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was ratified by the United Nations in 1948 that Lemkin's proposed law was given at least the appearance of force and effect.
While Labour Party orators readily remember the 1980s for Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's free-booting variety of entrepreneurial meritocracy, what gets forgotten is that Thatcher also gave the heave-ho to the old establishment's notion of merit – good breeding, a posh school, and so on.
It was commonplace to hear it said, after the Bosnian genocide kicked off in 1992 and the Rwandan genocide erupted in 1994 and the Darfur genocide began in 2003, that the 'international community' had learned nothing since the Holocaust.
Cain slew Abel. On that much the Torah and the Bible and the Qur'an agree, although in the Qur'an these first sons of Adam and Eve are Qabeel and Habeel. Cain, which is to say Qabeel, wandered eastwards from Eden to the Land of Nod with a mark of some kind on him, a curse.
Balkh is now little more than a sleepy Afghan town of overgrown ruins forgotten by the world. On market day, down lanes that wind through apple orchards and cherry orchards, merchants slowly make their way to the central bazaar, their wares teetering on donkey carts.
Afghans long ago resigned themselves to this sort of thing. Compromises must be made. Deals with the devil are better than ceaseless butchery. In the exigencies of post-conflict bygones, against the threat of collapse into more terrible bloodletting, the ugliness of realpolitik is the lesser evil.
The anti-war politicians who have risen to power in Washington, London, Ottawa and Brussels have never had to explain why they were offering the persecuted people of Iraq nothing that was in any way more useful to them than the shoddy, outrageously ill-planned intervention that was on offer from Blair and Bush back in 2003.
Among the fables that inspired the British Admiralty's cartographic assignments to Captain James Cook in the 1770s and Captain George Vancouver in the 1790s was a 1640 account under the name of Bartholomew de Fonte that appeared in a journal with the delightful title 'The Monthly Miscellany, or Memoirs for the Curious.'
In the case of non-signatory states like Syria and Iraq, the U.N. Security Council is mandated with enforcement of the International Criminal Court's jurisdictions in matters of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
A notorious network of violent Islamist hoodlums, concentrated in the rough-and-tumble district of Molenbeek in Brussels, has been operating in plain sight since the 1990s, planning, plotting and carrying out dozens of elaborate jihadi missions from Afghanistan to Algeria.
Patrick Pearse – who set the events of 1916 in motion when he read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin – is not exactly an unfamiliar name to the Miramichi Irish.
To fans of British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Chilcot report should be read as a kind of Rorschach test – those experiments psychiatrists sometimes use to determine what their patients imagine they are seeing in the shapes of inkblots.
Canada's total exports into global markets reached a record high of $528.8 billion in 2014, the last year with fully available figures. A mere $18.8 billion of those exports went to China.
'The world's wealthiest failed state,' as it has come to be known, Belgium endured 589 days without a functioning elected government between June 2010 and December 2011 and remains a dysfunctional, linguistically divided waxworks of one federal and five regional-cultural parliaments.
What mattered about Alan Kurdi's photograph was that it made Canadians very angry, and the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats ended up competing with each other over which party was offering the most generous refugee policy.
Populated by the usual detritus of rabble.ca contributors, Canadian Peace Alliance retreads and Press TV dingbats, the Syria Solidarity Movement is unambiguously and unashamedly pro-Assad.
As far back as 2008, the Canadian Forces brass was explicit: drones with 'all-weather precision strike capabilities' were a 'requirement' for Canada's overseas operations.
During the post-Soviet anarchy and the rush for the spoils of war, Hekmatyar spent most of his time between 1992 and 1996 raining rockets and artillery shells on the people of Kabul, leaving the city a smoking tomb of as many as 50,000 corpses.
The United States is NATO's leading military power, and President Barack Obama has required NATO to align behind a doctrine that has amounted to the most disastrous American foreign-policy debacle since Vietnam.
It is an intellectual and moral vacuity that has crippled what the World Social Forum's founders sincerely hoped would produce some sort of democratic alternative to what they saw as the heartless corporate model of globalization.
There is much in the result of John Chilcot's seven-year inquiry into the decision-making that led to Britain's involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq that can be cited to excuse headlines that refer to his findings as 'scathing' and 'damning.'
The IIP had to be folded up by the Harper Conservatives after it became clear – and as it took the 'South China Morning Post''s Ian Young to reveal – that Canada's ragged refugee-class immigrants had contributed more to Revenue Canada than the IIP's big-spender immigrant investors did over the life of the program.
Armed drones have become Barack Obama's way to engage in terrorist-infested hellholes without putting 'boots on the ground.' For years, the CIA has been running a secrecy-shrouded program of targeted killings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, and more recently in Somalia, Syria and Iraq.
A former Erdogan ally, Gulen has been living in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, since 1999.
Xi has made plain that he will no longer tolerate hearing the words 'human rights' spoken out loud in the same sentence with the word 'China.'
It should tell you something that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency invented the Taliban in the early 1990s only because Hekmatyar, its primary U.S.-bankrolled proxy in the war for control of Afghanistan, had proved too bloodthirsty after the Soviets withdrew, even by the low standards of the ISI's ghastly generals in Rawalpindi.
Disaffection, alienation and conspiracy theories are commonplace among European Muslims, but dangerous Islamist radicalism and the Islamic State's 'foreign fighter' recruitment successes tend to be specific to certain European towns, districts and ghettos.
The kleptocracy overseen by Chinese President Xi Jinping is more vicious and brutally anti-democratic than any regime run by any clique the Chinese Communist Party's ruling elite has vomited up since the days of Mao Zedong.
Trudeau claims he's wary about Chinese espionage, but also says there's nothing wrong with Chinese state-owned enterprises buying up as much of Canada's resource sector as it likes.
The 'SAMS' study, titled 'A New Normal: Ongoing Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria', reveals that the Assad regime merely switched from sarin gas to chlorine gas in its bombardment of civilians areas.
The Haavara agreement allowed the escape of well-to-do German Jews in exchange for the liquidation of their property and the purchase and export of German goods to break the boycott of Germany's Nazi-controlled economy.
At the October 1933 proceedings of the League of Nations in Madrid, Lemkin mounted a valiant effort to persuade the gathered ambassadors to define and agree to punish the crime of what we now call genocide. He failed.
Remotely operated aircraft have been on the Canadian Forces' wish list since the 1990s. Trials of a variety of drone prototypes began at the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre in 2002.
It's true that since 9/11, the application of conventional military rules of engagement has gotten a bit foggy. The Taliban were not an 'enemy state,' but the Canadian Forces conducted its operations in Afghanistan as though the rules of war applied anyway.
When one's greatest 'world stage' ambition is a non-voting seat on the U.N. Security Council five years down the road, one would not want to say anything to hurt the feelings of the veto holders in Moscow or Beijing. We get it. But let's at least be honest about all this, please. Enough of the 'Canada is back' slogans already.
It isn't true, in any conventional meaning of the term, that the United States or its NATO partners 'invaded' Afghanistan.
If you rely on a more conventional understanding of the term 'left-wing' as being associated with gradations of socialism in the emancipation of the working class, the Leap Manifesto looks something more along the lines of what the great British socialist and essayist George Orwell was on about in 'The Road to Wigan Pier' in 1937.
As far back as Iran's aborted 'Green Revolution' in 2009, Obama's supplications to Iran's ruling theocracy have amounted to diplomatic shivs in the backs of Iran's youthful democratic insurrectionists, mash notes written directly to Khomeinist supremo Ali Khamenei and the scuttling of programs documenting the regime's human rights outrages.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has been resorting to the 'It's racism' dodge for years now in order to shut down scrutiny of his determined inattention to the catastrophe of Vancouver's housing crisis.
It was less in pity than in anger that the world was moved by the photograph of little Alan Kurdi, that dead three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose name we're all remembering now on the first anniversary of his drowning, along with his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rehanna.
It was Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez who benefited most from the World Social Forum's enthusiasms.
It might help to know that in Afghanistan citizenship papers and birth certificates and the official registration of births and deaths are the exotica of faraway places. One is born 'in the time of the pomegranate harvest' or some such thing or one's birthdate is recorded as the first day of the year if you are even aware of the year you were born.
It is from Shiith Ibn Adam that all humankind today is said to descend. It is also said that Balkh, the 'Mother of All Cities' as the first Arabs called it, a city once greater than Babylon and lovelier than Nineveh, is where Shiith died and was buried.
Under Xi, China has again become the world's top jailer of journalists. China's rank on the Reporters Without Borders index of press freedom is 176th out of 180 countries. China comes in dead last on the Freedom House 'Freedom on the Net' list.
Afghanistan's story, backwards or sideways, is not confined to the Americans or the English.
Now that the Liberal party has returned to power after nearly a decade of Stephen Harper's Conservative government and its on-again, off-again friendliness with Beijing, the propaganda line is that Canada-China relations are on the verge of a 'new golden age.' Count on it. There will be a price, and we will pay. We always do.
It has been almost three years since U.S. President Barack Obama pipsqueaked on his chemical-weapons 'red line' in Syria and joined with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in the pantomime that resulted in the Sept. 27, 2013 U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, which called on Assad to surrender his chemical weapons stockpile.
The term 'meritocracy' was coined by socialist theoretician Michael Young, who crafted the party's 1945 election manifesto.
In the three years since Obama invited Russia to help him renege on his 'red line' on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented 136 occasions in which the Assad regime has deployed poison gas in its war on the Syrian people.
Conceived as a short-term remedy to the occasional ailment of acute labour shortages in key industries, the indentured-labour service had to be dismantled by the Conservatives owing to its inevitably scandalous abuse by disreputable employers. By 2012, there were 338,000 temporary foreign workers in Canada.
After 9/11, Hekmatyar helped Osama bin Laden escape from the mountains of Tora Bora into Pakistan, and then decamped to Iran, until his presence there became a bit too inconvenient.
It was in Dara'a that Syria's non-violent democratic movement had begun in 2011, with schoolboys scrawling on a wall: 'The people want to topple the regime.'
The discovery of the Terror in, of all places, Terror Bay, on the southwest coast of King William Island, was the culmination of years of exertions by the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF) in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Coast Guard, Parks Canada, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, the Canadian Ice Service and other agencies.
Back in 2010, it didn't matter when it was only Cuban democrats, Zimbabwean dissidents, Afghan reformists and Russian bloggers whose lives and liberty were put at risk by Wikileaks' wilfully negligent data dumps.
Roughly nine of every 10 Syrian war dead since 2011 are on the butcher's bill accumulated by Assad and his friends in Iran's Quds Force, the Iran-allied Hezbollah, and the Russian air force.
Enough of the 'Canada is a modest country' boasts. Please. Just stop.
In Turkey, there are no 'refugee camps.' There are Turkish 'temporary protection shelters.' The Kurdis had no papers, no UNHCR refugee designations, and no passports, and therefore did not qualify for exit visas.
As with the Pacific Gateway, Canadians were similarly hoodwinked by the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP).
On Sept. 20, 2011, a year after I spoke with Rabanni, a couple of Taliban emissaries arrived at his Kabul fortress with a gift for his 71st birthday. It turned out not to be the truce offering they had claimed they were bringing: one of the Talibs had a bomb hidden in his turban.
It's known as the Livingstone Formulation. It's a cunning rhetorical device routinely deployed to shield avowedly left-wing establishment figures from any scrutiny that might expose their 'anti-Zionist' obsessions as redolent of a bigotry of that older and more unambiguously unsanitary type: antisemitism.
The overwhelming majority of Afghans are not tribal, and they're not Pashtun.