Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pipeline saboteurs in the media... and biblical solutions to WMDs

Experts at a national conference for emergency officials in Calgary yesterday were mightily exercized about last week's EnCana gas pipeline bomb attempts in BC. Well, not so much the actual bomb blasts themselves, but how they would play in the U.S.
The Canadian media played along :

Alberta ripe for attacks: experts - Economic terrorism would rattle U.S

Terrorists target U.S.A. via Alberta - Hitting energy supply seen as strike on U.S

Gas pipelines vulnerable to terrorism: expert

Yikes! Who are these experts and what are they saying?

"Alberta has become a "prime location" for terrorists looking to capitalize on shaky economic times in Canada and the United States, terrorism experts said"
"I think that the alarm bells are going off and that is indicated by the fact that the RCMP are bringing in the people who deal with terrorism to look at this," Mercedes Stephenson, a military analyst, told CTV Newsnet Sunday.
"You don't blow up part of a pipeline and kill lots of people . . . you disrupt the economy," she said.
She said that Alberta supplies more than 90 per cent of California's natural gas supply.
"You are not disrupting just Canada but you are disrupting Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego."

Mercedes Stephenson : 27 year old media/think tank whiz kid, has worked for the Pentagon, the Cato Institute, US Army Headquarters, and the Fraser Institute. A Koch Fellow, a master's student at the University of Calgary's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies where she wrote a thesis published by the Department of National Defence about the importance of Canada embracing the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence System, a frequent military analyst for CBC, CTV and Global News.

Note : According to Steve Staples of the Rideau Institute, U of C's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies is one of 12 university programs funded by the Department of National defence to "churn out 6oo articles a year which have to toe “a particular view” that subscribes to larger spending on the military."
“It’s not about scholarly journals, peer reviewed articles that they have written—it’s really about appearing in the mainstream media. What you tend to get as a general trend, is a steady stream of hawkish opinion from academics that are all linked together through Department of National Defence funding,” says Mr. Staples.

Alrighty then. Next expert :
"Longtime international foes of the United States are closely watching that nation's sharp economic decline, said Igor Shafhid, a world expert in nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
Financial instability causes panic and fear, said Shafhid, founder of Global Strategic Resources, which develops and teaches emergency-preparedness courses in the U.S. and Russia.

"Those are things terrorist states or countries will take advantage of," he said. "If it goes towards recession or depression in the United States, I suspect some activities might start happening in the next few years in the form of biological, radiological or who-knows-what-else terrorism."

However, he said there's no need to fear the world will be destroyed."

Igor Shafhid : author of "Inside the Red Zone", "his personal journey within a godless Russia to the classified operations of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Force where he trained as a military doctor in WMD deployment. Using his own life experience Dr. Shafhid brings answers to Russia's fascination with WMDs, the need for a solid civil defense program, and the importance of maintaining the Biblical foundation America was founded on."
Featuring "Biblical solutions to remain a safe-guarded nation under God"

Dear CanWest, CTV, Calgary Herald.
It would have killed you to include a little bio info on these experts to go along with your fear-mongering Terror! Terror! Terror! headlines?
For shame. Besides, where's your sense of fun?
Not one of you mentioned a single word about biblical solutions to WMDs .

OK, we'll provide our own expert then :
Here's Andrew Nikiforuk, author of "Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's War Against Big Oil".
He dismissed the RCMP's description of the saboteur as an eco-terrorist and said he doesn't believe the saboteur meant to hurt anyone.

"This is not the work of eco-terrorists, for God's sakes. This is the work of a pissed-off landowner who's probably a property-rights advocate, who doesn't like the fact that either his health has been damaged, or his property has been devalued by sour-gas developments."

"Whoever did this wanted to make the headlines, they didn't want to kill people. If you want to kill people up there with sour gas, it would be very easy to do. There are thousands and thousands of pipelines, wells, and scores of sour-gas plants up there," he said
"Whoever did this planned it very well, picked the locations very carefully, and seems to have been either skilfully adept at not rupturing a pipeline, or skilfully inept at not rupturing a pipeline -- and I suspect there are signs here of skilful adeptness."

It's a long shot, I know, given that Nikiforuk fails to make any mention of San Diego or biblical solutions to WMD, but I'm leaning towards his analysis here.

h/t Toe at Bread 'n Roses


Chrystal Ocean said...

So glad you blogged about this Alison. When I read Toe's contributions about the subject on BnR, I was hoping one of the sharp bloggers over there would pick it up. And one of them did. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, Alison
The blogs are peculiarly quiet about both the pipeline bombings and the crappy media coverage.
What gives?


Paul said...

Agreed about appreciating the attention to this topic. I've been uncomfortable with the rather liberal use of the label 'terrorist'. It's a powerful issue framer and for media and 'experts' to use the word in this context is so cheap.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Thanks for adding some sanity.

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