Sunday, November 09, 2014
A whole army of "peaceful" multiculturalists in Britain
Until last night, the Libyan flag was still flying at full mast over Bassingbourn Barracks. Before it was lowered, it was perhaps the most visible sign, at least from the outside, that things have been far from normal at this military establishment for some months.
Inside the 200-acre site near Cambridge, an old aircraft hangar has been converted into a mosque. Signs are displayed in Arabic. The living quarters have been refurbished to reflect Muslim religious and cultural sensitivities (individual shower cubicles replacing open-plan washing facilities because Islam forbids a man from seeing another man naked).
Even a monument erected in honour of U.S. servicemen — who took off for sorties over Nazi-occupied Germany in B-17 bombers from the former RAF base — was fenced off when cadets from post-Gaddafi Libya arrived in Bassingbourn in June.
Why? Because it was thought the statue, featuring the propeller of a B-17, would upset them; U.S.-Libyan relations have been strained since President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes on Tripoli back in the Eighties.
It has been five months since the tricolour flag of post-Gaddafi Libya was first hoisted alongside the Union Jack at Bassingbourn, to mark the start of a training programme to give leadership skills to a total of 2,000 hand-picked Libyan cadets to help their war-torn country. Until yesterday, there were 236 Libyans at the base. But far from teaching leadership, it seems their sojourn to the UK had the opposite effect.
Drunkenness, theft, violent clashes with British troops and in-fighting between the Libyans themselves had become an almost daily occurrence. More disturbing, allegations of a male rape and sexual attacks on three local woman are now being investigated. Meanwhile, the lanes and cul-de-sacs in the vicinity of the barracks have been teeming with police dispatched in an attempt to allay local fears.
It was easy to forget, as yet another squad car and marked van passed along the quaint High Street this week, that this is Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth (pop; 3,500).
This village is often described as one of the most peaceful in the country. It is a place where the theft of a bike, say, or a potted plant, would most likely make headlines in the local newspaper. Could anyone living here ever have imagined a scenario where a sensibly-dressed young woman would be advised to ‘cover-up’ her bare arms when she bumped into a group of Libyans at the bank in the middle of the afternoon? Well, that is exactly what happened a couple of weekends ago.
Perhaps most extraordinarily, the suggestion to cover up was made by a British soldier — a member of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, in charge of the Libyan party.
Could anyone have imagined, either, that a girl living near the barracks would be told, by British military police one morning, to stay at home for her ‘own safety’? Or that police armed with Heckler & Koch submachine guns and Glock pistols would be spotted standing near Hattie’s coffee shop in the early hours of the morning?
One local who saw them as he drove through the village said they were the kind of officers you’d normally expect to see at an airport or the scene of a terrorist alert.
The situation in Bassingbourn made headlines this week when shocking details emerged of the behaviour of the Libyan soldiers.
An angry David Cameron told the House of Commons that the Libyans’ conduct was unacceptable and insisted none of the cadets should be granted asylum here. He then said the Government programme to train Libya’s army would be scrapped and all the trainees deported.
The head of the British Army, General Sir Nicholas Carter, admitted the behaviour of Libyan soldiers who went on the rampage outside their barracks was ‘beyond the pale’. But behind the heightened security, behind Mr Cameron’s stern words, behind the decision to finally send the Libyan troops home in disgrace, is a story of betrayal and broken promises.
Residents say they were given cast-iron assurances by the Ministry of Defence last year that the soldiers would not be allowed off the barracks (there is a shop and other facilities on the huge site) during the rolling programme of 24-week courses in basic infantry and command training for up to 2,000 Libyans.
We now know, though, that the rules were relaxed — without consulting the local community — to allow recruits out on ‘carefully- managed daytime escorted trips’.
This is Whitehall parlance which in practice meant the Libyans being driven in a minibus to Cambridge, or another nearby town or village, and then being told to be back at the bus at a certain time. Residents were also assured the men had been ‘vetted in advance for medical, physical and behavioural suitability’.
We now know, however, from a senior Libyan officer, that some of the young men — who hail from remote areas — had never seen a woman before other than their mothers and sisters and were totally unprepared for life in Britain.
Not all the soldiers were to blame for recent events. But five cadets are in police custody following a series of sex assaults in Cambridge last month. One in ten of the men, by the MoD’s own admission, refused to obey orders.
A culture of what can only be described as near anarchy seems to have prevailed inside the barracks — as evidenced by the compelling testimony of the wife of a British soldier based at the camp.
All cleaning brooms, for example, were removed from the establishment, she told us, because the Libyans began taking the broom heads off and using the handles as makeshift weapons against each other in mass brawls, which frequently broke out inside the base.
In addition, extra personnel had to be brought in at mealtimes to stop the Libyans repeatedly trying to steal knives from the kitchen.
Female British soldiers boarding at the barracks had to be accompanied at all times by male colleagues. ‘The women soldiers on site couldn’t be left alone,’ said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. ‘It was not considered a safe place to be.’
The decision to allow the Libyan contingent to leave the compound unsupervised seems particularly scandalous.
Nor, insists the soldier’s wife, was it just women who were potentially at risk at Bassingbourn Barracks.
One young, slightly-built British soldier serving in the canteen attracted the attention of a group of his Libyan counterparts. They approached their translator with a question: Could they ‘buy him?’
‘They wanted him for sex,’ said the soldier’s wife. ‘They kept asking the translator how much “he” would cost so they could have him and rape him. I don’t know whether that is something that happens in their culture or not, but there just weren’t enough British soldiers at the base to cope with or control all of the Libyans.’
An extraordinary claim. And in the febrile atmosphere of Bassingbourn Barracks it is very possible that exaggerated or even baseless rumours have gained currency. However, the very fact they are believed reveals how serious the situation at Bassingbourn has become. Remember, too, that allegations of a male rape are among those known to be under investigation involving the recruits.
Only last Sunday, Libyan troops are alleged to have started a blaze in the supermarket inside the base. Firemen spent an hour at the scene.
The central question, however, remains what happened outside the camp. Why were these men who came from a country that resembles the set of a Mad Max film allowed to come and go almost as they pleased?
Until recent days, security was so lax, even those who did not obtain permission to leave the camp found no difficulty in ‘escaping’. Resident Carol Saunders, 50, told how she saw cadets jumping into taxis from the front of the barracks. On another occasion, she had seen them stocking up on bottles of high-strength vodka in a nearby store.
Down the road in Royston, more than £1,000 was reportedly spent on alcohol on a single visit to Tesco.
‘I know people who work in that branch and they told me Libyan soldiers sometimes take alcohol without paying for it,’ said one young woman. ‘They put the drinks under their arms and walk out.’
A few streets away, we met the young girl who had that encounter with a group of Libyans outside Lloyds bank last month.
The petite brunette, 24, who works in a cafe, was wearing the same work clothes as she was then: baggy pantaloons, crew neck top and short-sleeved cardigan. ‘One of the two British soldiers who was with the Libyans came up to me and said, ‘You might want to cover up because the Libyans are coming out,”’ she said.
‘Moments later, they did come out and they began looking me up and down as if they had never seen a girl before. They were ogling me, one also staring at me angrily. ‘So I don’t know if it was sexual thing or if he thought I should be wearing a burka or something.
‘It wasn’t even as if I was wearing anything provocative. Only my arms were exposed and some of my neckline. But I found the experience very intimidating.’
The incident occurred just days before another group of Libyans left the barracks and went to Cambridge, where they are alleged to have raped a man and sexually assaulted a string of women.
Two have already pleaded guilty to the assaults on the women. The men are said to have behaved ‘as a pack’ as they hunted down their victims, before groping them and attempting to put their hands up their skirts, magistrates heard last week.
News of what happened soon spread through Bassingbourn. On Facebook, a message from one resident read: ‘There has been an escape. Lock your doors and windows.’
Shortly afterwards, the barracks was put into lockdown. Units of the 2 Scots, the Royal Highland Fusiliers, were sent to restore discipline at Bassingbourn and the perimeter fence was lined with prison-style razor wire.
Yet, until recently, Bassingbourn Barracks was at the heart of the community. Thousands of people a year used the facilities on the 200-acre site, including a fishing lake, golf course, hockey pitch, badminton court and a winter sports centre.
Peter Robinson, head of Bassingbourn Parish Council, says: ‘The Ministry of Defence closed all facilities on site to local people on security grounds in March 2013, long before the arrival of the Libyans.’ Yet recent events, he says, have proved ‘their own security was leaky as a sieve’.
‘I think the MoD have handled the whole thing appallingly. They’ve lied right from the start. They always knew, presumably, that they would let these trainees out on their own, but we were told from the very beginning that they would never be let out unaccompanied.’
The MoD declined to address the specific allegations in this article, but said ‘appropriate measures’ have been taken to tackle the disciplinary issues.
Three coaches with the remaining recruits left the barracks in the early hours of yesterday. As the convoy disappeared, the Libyan flag was lowered for the final time.
At least four of the Libyans have claimed asylum, but the Prime Minister has indicated that this would not be granted. But, while their application is being processed, they will remain here.
Among the departing Libyans was Omar Al-Mukhtar, who was not one of the accused soldiers. This week he gave an interview to the BBC portraying the men arrested in connection with the sex assaults in Cambridge as the real victims. ‘They (the Government) didn’t tell us about British law and what’s the difference between right and wrong,’ he said.
“I'm 83 and I'm Tired"
by Robert A. Hall, a former Massachusetts state senator and U.S. Marine Corps veteran
I'm 83. Except for brief period in the 50's when I was doing my National Service, I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for some serious health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. Very tired!
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Sharia law tells them to.
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand UK, America and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach love and tolerance.
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.
I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?
I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.
I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20's be-deck themselves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.
Yes, I'm tired. But I'm also glad to be 83... Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I'm on the way out and not on the way in.
Confirmed: Foreign aid fuels corruption - Official watchdog's verdict on aid spending that British government has defiantly ring-fenced
The billions Britain pours into foreign aid are actually doing harm by making corruption worse in many parts of the world, a damning report reveals.
It says projects funded by UK cash are increasing opportunities for bribery.
In some areas, they are even pushing poor people ‘towards corrupt practices’. After we spent millions on a scheme to tackle police bribery in Nigeria, locals said they were even more likely to have to pay backhanders, the report found.
It concluded that huge amounts of UK aid money is being wasted because we are either funding corrupt programmes directly or not doing enough to tackle the culture of bribery in many countries.
The findings come just days after it emerged human rights abuses in Ethiopia – where security forces are accused of burning, torturing and raping citizens – had got worse during a four-year period when the UK gave the country more than £1billion.
They will be hugely embarrassing for David Cameron, who has repeatedly been forced to defend his controversial commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid despite fierce opposition from his backbenchers.
The report was carried out by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, the watchdog set up to scrutinise the Department for International Development.
Giving DfiD a poor ‘amber-red’ rating, it criticised the fact that only £22million of its £10.3billion aid budget was targeted specifically at fighting corruption.
The study found the department was not ‘up to the challenge’ of tackling corruption and, in many cases, help was not effectively targeted at the poor.
In Nepal, it said the poor were being ‘pushed towards corrupt practices’ by having to pay bribes or forge documents to receive funding through a local governance project backed by British aid.
Labour accused Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for International Development, of being ‘asleep at the wheel’.
Graham Ward, chief commissioner at the ICAI, said: ‘We saw very little evidence that the work DfID is doing to combat corruption is successfully addressing the impact of corruption as experienced by the poor.’
The Coalition has massively increased Britain’s aid budget in recent years in a bid to plough 0.7 per cent of national income into overseas development. This happened despite savage cuts to public services at home and opposition from Tory backbenchers.
The ICAI report found corruption blights the everyday lives of the very poorest and thwarts global efforts to lift countries out of poverty. It said while DfID claims to recognise the need to tackle corruption, it ‘has not delivered an approach equal to the challenge’.
The study also found the department was often lax in tackling corruption as it was worried about offending local politicians. ‘DfID’s willingness to engage in programming that explicitly tackles corruption is often constrained by political sensitivity,’ it said.
‘In Nigeria, petty corruption touches virtually every aspect of life and is accepted throughout society as normal and necessary. We heard stories of parents paying bribes to teachers in order to educate their children; students paying bribes to administrators to take exams; workers paying bribes to get jobs and to receive their salaries; and pensioners paying bribes to receive pensions.’ The report found that in Nepal, there is a ‘growing sense of acceptance of corruption across society’. Where once bribes were paid out of sight, they are now paid openly.
Britain gives money direct to the Nepalese government, despite the risk of corruption.The report said: ‘This degree of engagement with a host government can be challenging, given the extent to which issues of corruption touch the government.’
It added: ‘Very few of DfID’s activities we reviewed in Nepal, Nigeria and elsewhere explicitly focus on the everyday corruption experienced by the poor.’
The report added: ‘Disappointingly, we found that at least one programme supported by DfID appears to have increased the opportunities for corruption in society.’
Alison McGovern, Labour’s spokesman for international development, said: ‘This damning report should send shockwaves through David Cameron’s government. Justine Greening should have zero tolerance of corruption – especially when it is hitting the poorest – but instead the Independent Commission has found her asleep at the wheel.’
A DfID spokesman said: ‘We have anti-corruption and counter-fraud plans for each country that we give bilateral aid to.
‘Additionally, DfID funds UK police units and crime agencies to investigate the proceeds of corruption by foreign officials through the UK.’
Gay Marriage Ruling Pressures Supreme Court
Appellate Decision Breaks With Other Courts That Invalidated State Bans
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld bans on same-sex marriage in four states Thursday, creating a conflict in the courts that puts renewed pressure on the Supreme Court to decide whether gay couples have a constitutional right to wed.
The 2-1 ruling, from a panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, breaks with other courts that recently struck down state bans on gay unions. Until Thursday no federal appeals court had upheld a law barring same-sex marriage, following the Supreme Court’s June 2013 ruling in U.S. v. Windsor striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal benefits for same-sex married couples.
The high court in October passed up the chance to review several rulings invalidating marriage bans in a number of states, in part, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said, because there was no conflict in the lower courts to resolve. Disagreement between federal appeals courts is a main reason the Supreme Court steps in to resolve a legal issue.
Thursday’s ruling allows Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee to continue enforcing constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.
Gay marriage supporters march from the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse Aug. 6, 2014 in Cincinnati. A divided Cincinnati-based U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld bans on same-sex marriage in four states.
Federal district courts had ruled for same-sex couples in all four states, where few marriages have taken place. County clerks in Michigan issued more than 300 marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the appeals court reinstated the ban while an appeal proceeded. Marriages haven’t take place in the other states, gay-rights groups said.
“Michigan’s constitution remains in full effect,” said state Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican. “As I have stated repeatedly, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word on this issue. The sooner they rule, the better, for Michigan and the country,” he said.
A spokesman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, said, “The governor agrees with and supports the court’s decision.”
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, in a statement, said, “I expect the plaintiffs to appeal this ruling quickly, and I urge the Supreme Court to take up this issue.”
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said: “The state has maintained that its democratically enacted marriage laws do not violate constitutional rights. We are gratified that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has now essentially agreed.”
The Sixth Circuit panel broke along partisan lines, with two George W. Bush appointees in the majority and a Bill Clinton appointee in dissent.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for the majority, said that while nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage seemed inevitable, it wasn’t the courts’ job to hasten it.
“Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue,” Judge Sutton wrote.
Governments “got into the business of defining marriage,” he wrote, “to handle the natural effects of male-female intercourse: children.” By legally binding fathers and mothers, the state promoted “stable relationships within which children may flourish.”
Other courts have rejected that argument, finding that denying same-sex couples and their children the legal benefits of marriage has no demonstrable advantage for heterosexual couples.
In dissent, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey said the plaintiffs “are not political zealots trying to push reform on their fellow citizens,” Instead, she wrote, “They are committed same-sex couples, many of them heading up de facto families,” who believe their constitutional rights are being violated.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.