Archive for June 25, 2014

A strange type of justice

South Africa

Strange type of Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A strange type of justice was reported in the National Post on Saturday.

A bizarre decision by a jury in Montreal convicted a woman of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

The woman stopped on the highway to help 2 ducklings on the side of the road. Now she could be facing a lengthy prison sentence.

A motor cyclist ran into the back of her parked vehicle killing himself and his passenger, his 16-year-old daughter.

It was estimated that the motor cycle had been travelling at between 113 and 129 kilometres an hour at the moment of impact. Over the speed limit and certainly a contributing factor in the accident.

This case is bizarre for several reasons.

There was clearly no criminal intent involved, carelessness, negligence, irresponsibility, poor judgement and skewed priorities, maybe.

She was neither behind the wheel nor in the vehicle when the accident occurred, how can she possibly be convicted of any driving charge other than illegal parking or stopping on a highway?

If in fact that is always an offence. Vehicles do break down and stop of their own accord in the most inconvenient places.

The motor cyclist was travelling above the speed limit, a contributing factor in the accident.

In every country in which I have lived or driven and in many cases I have read about in Canada, the vehicle which runs into the rear of another is always the guilty party unless either a third vehicle or major mechanical failure caused the leading vehicle to stop without warning.

The prosecutors desperate attempt to obtain a jail sentence and remark that “a clear message is sent to society that we don’t stop for animals on the highway” smacks of a more vindictive and strange justice system than is found in many third world countries.

It is a source of absolute incredulity to me that the Canadian justice system refuses to accept that accidents do happen, its determination to find someone guilty of the most serious offence it can in every incident and to impose draconian punishments for incidents that would not be considered offences in many other countries.

Adding to the incredulity is the reluctance of the authorities to take action and use the necessary force against certain groups of protesters, aboriginal people blocking roads and rioting students destroying property being two examples. Compared to its heavy-handed treatment of others. Particularly older, white, male, licensed gun and property owners.

A few years ago, a major oil company in Alberta was fined a million dollars because 100 ducks drowned in a tailing pond. That makes an Albertan duck worth $10 000, but trying to save a duck in Quebec results in a criminal conviction and a possible jail sentence.

Something is wrong with this picture.

peter-wright

 

 

Iraq in flames again

 

consequences

Iraq in flames – again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq was quickly overrun by Islamist rebels. A few weeks before, Falujah was captured and is still in rebel hands.

Today it is reported that the same rebels have captured the town of Tikrit and a major oil installation and that up to 500 000 people are fleeing the captured areas.

The Iraqi army has proved totally ineffective, abandoning their posts after only putting up a token resistance to their attackers. Reports of officers being the first to run, leaving their men to their own devices.

This is one part of a larger movement to establish a separate state across the North of Iraq and Syria. A state controlled by brutal Sunni Islamists aligned with Al-Qaeda.

A former US ambassador to Iraq today suggested that now is the time to support “moderate” Syrian opposition with weapons so that they can defeat both President Assad and the Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant.

This could be a huge mistake for two reasons.

The Syrian opposition is in disarray, it has lost ground to government forces and is split into various factions ranging from pro West to those linked to Al-Qaeda.

There is more than a fair chance that any weapons supplied to “moderate” forces would soon find their way into Islamic militant’s hands.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, there is no single strongman in the opposition camp to hold the ravaged country together should the campaign to oust Assad be successful.

Notwithstanding relative stability in Morocco and Tunisia, the failure of democracy to flourish in the countries affected by the turmoil of the “Arab Spring” indicates yet again that Western style democracy is not the best form of government for the countries in the region.

Under Mubarak, Egypt was more stable than it has been since he was overthrown. He was imprisoned because under his command some protesters were shot, but the new president is celebrated for squashing all opposition, while responsible for the deaths of greater numbers of protesters. Hundreds more have been sentenced to death.

Since the end of Gaddafi’s rule, Libya is fast becoming a failed state controlled by various militia. A threat to Europe because its lawlessness is providing a conduit for illegal migrants from across North Africa and beyond.

Before the civil war in Syria, there was relative peace and stability. Now there is chaos with millions of refugees creating huge problems for neighbouring states and hundreds of thousands of casualties.

If we turn a blind eye to the mass gassing of Kurds and a protracted war with Iran, Iraq under Saddam Hussein was fairly stable.

All those dictators were, by our standards, awful dictators, nasty and ruthless. But they kept control. What we consider “human rights” were denied to most citizens, but most of them stayed alive, had a roof over their heads and food to eat.

Thousands of American, British and other nations’ lives and billions of taxpayers dollars, pounds and euros have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to prop up systems that were doomed to fail.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that most of the countries now in turmoil need strong dictators, not ineffectual and unenforceable democracy, as unpalatable as that may be to sensitive liberals in the West.

Many of the borders in the region were lines on a map drawn by the colonial powers early in the last century. It seems that Al Qaeda determined to replace them with the originals.

The West does not need an unholy alliance between a strong Syria under Assad and a radical Iran with nuclear capability. It needs that and a new state controlled by Al Qaeda even less.

It’s time to put our Western arrogance aside and accept that peace and stability in the region will only come when strong, effective and probably ruthless, leaders fight their way to the top.

With hindsight, the West should certainly have propped up Mubarak and there is now a case for suggesting many lives would have been saved in Libya, Iraq and Syria if we had left the despots in place and not weakened by sanctions.

peter-wright

 

 

graphic courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Donald Stirling strikes a blow for common sense.

Last Laugh

Last Laugh

Media reports indicate that Donald Stirling has sold the LA Clippers for $2 billion – way above the $700 million bandied about when the NBA launched the crusade against him.

Now it appears that he is suing the organisation for $2 billion.

It might be unlikely that he will get anything like that amount, it doesn’t matter. Winning the case will be a huge blow for common sense and a clear victory over political correctness and the tyranny of the intolerant left.

It will also be a sharp reminder to pompous sports administrators that they do not get to play God and that private conversations are just that – private.

It is a sad day when we have to fear expressing our own opinions in our own homes.

Donald Stirling might still have the last laugh in this ridiculous saga.

Is this a sign that the pendulum is reaching the end of its swing towards intolerance of mainstream values, away from common sense and respect for individual rights?

For the future of Western society, let’s hope so.

peter-wright