People say, "Were there warning signs? Were there clues that this person was a dangerous monster?" Yes, always there are. Why were the clues and warnings overlooked, so that the monster got away with his life of crime for so long? It's simple: Most people do not think about crime and criminals in a realistic way. The reality can be expressed very simply: Who commits crimes? Criminals do.
True, any law-abiding citizen may decided tomorrow to stop obeying the law, commit a crime and so become a criminal. Yet in terms of law enforcement generally, a majority of really serious crimes -- murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery, grand theft -- are committed by a relatively small number of lifelong criminals. These people are characterized by their general anti-social personality; the criminal's contempt for decent citizens is expressed by his refusal to live by society's law. The habitual offender gets away with many small crimes (petty theft, breaking-and-entering, narcotics possession, etc.) and this confirms his view that people who obey the law are just chumps, or cowards who lack the boldness to defy the law.
This anti-social worldview is at the root of the criminal's persistence, and explains why some petty criminals continue escalating their criminality until they commit murder.
Perhaps this is the reason why our country incarcerates more people, as a percentage of our population, then the Europeans: we belatedly figure out that at a certain point a person isn't going to be "rehabilitated", and instead must be kept away from the rest of us. The Euros don't do that, and as a result they have more crime.
[DAWN] WHEN the army chief speaks, listening can be instructive, especially if the chief is dilating on issues of national security and foreign policy. In more normal times, Gen Raheel Sharif's speech to fresh graduates of the military academy in Kakul would have been a routine affair, but context can be everything. With violence along the LoC and Working Boundary having flared up recently, tensions with India still high, a military operation in North Wazoo looking set to continue into the winter, a new dispensation in Afghanistan and civil-military relations having taken more than a few knocks in recent months, Gen Sharif's words were all the more important. And it is more than likely they indicated state policy direction on key issues in the near future.
On India, the message was not quite a dismal one ‐ given the aggressive tone emanating from New Delhi under the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. But it certainly suggests that Pakistain and India are back to square one, with Pakistain insisting that normalisation and peace can only take place in an environment where the Kashmire dispute is placed front and centre. Yet, nothing Gen Sharif said suggests that the army-led security establishment is quite looking for a solution on an urgent or innovative basis. By reiterating that the Kashmire dispute must be resolved "in accordance with the will of Kashmiri people as enshrined in the UN resolutions" the army here has signalled that it is not in fact really seeking any forward movement on Kashmire. In reality, principled and legal as Pakistain's long-standing formulation on Kashmire has been, the original fair and just solution is a virtual non-starter now. Anything that does nudge the Kashmire dispute closer to resolution ‐ as opposed to a return to the non-violent impasse of the past decade ‐ would have to be the so-called out-of-the-box solution that Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... semi-championed. Clearly though, the army leadership does not believe ‐ and it may well be right ‐ that the Modi government is remotely interested in pursuing peace right now, let alone a resolution of the Kashmire issue.
On Afghanistan, meanwhile, Gen Sharif sounded a more conciliatory tone, essentially welcoming the Ashraf Ghani ...former chancellor of Kabul University. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. .. -Abdullah Abdullah ... the former foreign minister of the Northern Alliance government, advisor to Masood, and candidate for president against Karzai. Dr. Abdullah was born in Kabul and is half Tadjik and half Pashtun... governance experiment and even suggesting that the Pakistain Army will support the Afghan cops, despite long-held reservations about the size, purpose and viability of the foreign-funded Afghan National Army. While the army's Afghan policy may not fundamentally have changed as yet, there are signs that if the Afghans find a way to establish relative peace and stability in their country, Pakistain will not intervene against or scuttle an internal Afghan settlement. Finally, on internal security and Operation Zarb-e-Azb ..the Pak offensive against Qaeda in Pakistain and the Pak Taliban in North Wazoo. The name refers to the sword of the Prophet (PTUI!)... , Gen Sharif suggested that "cohesive, dedicated and timely involvement of all stake holders and state institutions is essential" for peace. But then, what has the army really done to encourage civilian input?
[DAWN] THE PPP rally in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... on Saturday demonstrated the party's enduring appeal in Sindh and established that Bilawal Baby Bhutto Zardari ...Pak dynastic politician, son of Benazir Bhutto and grandon of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. As far as is known, Bilawal has no particular talents other than being pretty and being able to memorize political slogans, but he had the good luck to be born into the right family and he hasn't been assassinated yet... at least appears to understand the basic fault lines and the existential challenges the country faces today. To the party's detractors, however, the memory of the disastrous governance between 2008 and 2013 is still far too fresh, and the Sindh provincial government's ongoing problems of administration render the party a part of the problem rather than the solution a change-seeking electorate wants. Yet, whatever the pundits on both sides of the PPP divide may believe, there are certain realities that transcend wishful thinking. For one, the PPP will command a winning vote bank in Sindh for the foreseeable future -- unless a new political alternative appears which can appeal to the needs of the Sindh voter. But there is no sign of that political alternative appearing, and one or two PTI rallies will not change the situation. For another, the country needs a political option that espouses the politics of inclusivity and is clear on the only way forward for the country -- a secular, liberal, constitutional and democratic polity.
Yet, for all that the PPP says right, it does twice as many things wrong. In speaking for the downtrodden, poor and oppressed, the party is a champion of a worthy cause. But should not the point of such politics be to afford opportunities to the disadvantaged so that the latter are able to socially, economically and politically move ahead in life? The PPP speaks for the deprived segments, but it does not seem to be too concerned with ensuring that they do not remain poor. Surely, even 10 consecutive years of rule in Sindh -- which is what will happen if elections are held on time in 2018 -- will not fundamentally transform a society with such deep-rooted and varied structural problems. But can anyone really say that the PPP is even on the right policy trajectory? Surely not. Therein lies the problem for Mr Bhutto Zardari: he will not be in charge of his party for many years it seems, but the intervening period could fatally damage the Bhutto and PPP brand he will inherit. Surely, there will always be some kind of a vote bank in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... and Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... -- but can it remotely be a winning vote bank if everything the party stands for is undone by its performance in office? The PPP needs to reinvent itself before it can aspire to save Pakistain.
[IsraelTimes] On October 14th, the British Parliament took a largely symbolic vote to recognize 'Paleostine'. The motion and the vote were largely symbolic, carried out by what are known as 'backbenchers', about one third of Parliament consisting of members of the House of Commons who are not in government, mostly from the Left wing Labour Party.
This followed the remarks of new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, head of a minority coalition of Leftist Social Democrats and Greens in his inaugural speech that "A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Paleostine."
The House of Common's vote that urged David Cameron
Despite appearances, this is not a hand-wringing complaint about how unfair and unwise the British Parliament, et al, are being. About halfway down the Page 49 continuation, the writer presents the thoughts that may have kept the government front benchers away from the vote.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.