Wouldn’t it be nice?

Yesterday I merely focussed on the Mining incident, now as we see a lot more damage, it is time to consolidate certain levels of knowledge. Gulf News (at https://gulfnews.com/opinion/editorials/world-should-help-stop-tanker-attacks-1.64638787) gives us: “Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Saturday has called upon allies to help confront regional threats through peaceful means“, it is an important view, especially as I disagree with it. Yet the quote: “The attacks on four oil tankers in the UAE’s territorial waters are evidence that we have identified as underwater explosions, utilising sophisticated technologies. These capabilities are not present in illegal non-state groups. These are disciplined processes carried out by a state” is a lot more correct, yet still wrong. So let’s go over it, starting with the second quote. The one adjustment that needs to be seen here is: ‘carried out by a state player‘, it is one word, but it carries a lot of weight. The weight we saw before as we consider the actions available to proxy wars. It is there because Houthi forces were eager to take ownership of previous actions; as such the current solution is a lot less likely to work.

In that same phase, I am happy on the approach that Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan takes, yet I believe that it is too late for Iran here. They will never stop playing their games, so we should play ours. In the first stage is a canal from somewhere between Al Aqah and Al Bidya to somewhere around Al Jazirah. It would be a construction achievement that has seldom been achieved.

A stretch that allows two tankers to pass each other and also be a route for the super yachts, making the solution interesting for dozens of marinas down the coast as well. In addition to that should Iran misbehave, the straight could be to a larger degree be blocked, making the Iranian troubles rise, more important, if that part gets shut, Iran will have no options and the city of Bandar Abbas becomes the most expensive worthless piece of real estate soon thereafter, that city and its airport relies on international commerce, so let’s take that off the table shall we?

Iran only has itself to blame here and even as there are still valid questions on how guilty they actually are, they enabled their ‘allies’ through proxy warfare and as such they have no clean hands and should not rely on any equitable solution coming their way. It becomes a money game, considering the fact that the 9K32 Strela-2 was used and these puppies go for $93,000 each. Someone is funding them as the Houthi forces have no real assets to work with, so someone is paying for all that bacon, the question becomes who is the banker? Iran is the most likely candidate, however, a more likely play is to work with an in-between like Hezbollah, Lebanon or Turkey that is the first ring of cash to deal with. When we path is clear, the actions become clear too and over time we can see results, however whilst Iran keeps on having options, getting a canal in place that takes the straight out of the options is a first part. Optionally, a blockade could then set further pressures, especially if there is an alternative canal route available.

We should agree that the canal is a step towards war and not towards peace, yet Iran has no interests in any peaceful settling of their affairs, 4 tankers are enough evidence for me, and even as I myself want to see better evidence proving that it was Iran, I have close to zero doubt that they were involved indirectly, it is the direct actions that matter, especially in the Iranian situation. You see the doubt comes from a few years ago when we saw statements that two Iranian officers had decided to arm Hezbollah, seemingly without permissions from their superiors. Now, I have no doubt that it got their blessing, but not on paper that is the pretended ghost we fight, it is what we can prove that matters and at present we are lacking in that department.

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Yes, we all are hoping for some peaceful solution, a solution with a state that has so far never ever honoured one (as far as I can tell). Even as we saw last week: ‘Iran has followed through on a threat to accelerate its production of enriched uranium‘, the fact that all the equipment was already in place suggests that preparations to braking the agreements were started many months before that, so all the rattling of some agreement with Europe was never ever going to be honoured, that is what we are up against. Now we need to find a way to keep Saudi Arabia on top of this as well, the moment they fall behind Iran will indiscriminately attack both Saudi Arabia and via proxies Israel as well. When that happens, we will see all politicians run for cover, pleading for some peace summit as the radiation is in the air and they will force the military to oblige, it will be too late then. Even now that game is in action as we see: (at https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/15/world/iran-far-hitting-cap-enriched-uranium-diplomats-say/) ‘Iran is far from hitting cap on enriched uranium, diplomats say

Based on what evidence is that?

There is close to no reliability to either quote. The first: “Iran is likely to hit the deal’s 202.8 kg limit on its enriched uranium stock in around two months. Its stock was 174.1 kg on May 20, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency’s last quarterly report said“, this report is debatable on several sides; there is no way that Iran would have given an actual look into the cards they hold, so the chance that they have surpassed 200Kg is not that far-fetched, implying that the agreed limit is at best days away, more likely merely hours.

The second quote “Diplomats in Vienna who monitor its progress closely say Iran is capable of hitting the uranium ceiling in as little as 10 days” is based on equally shoddy intelligence, an issue that has plagued the anti-Iran intelligence community for far too long and now there is a long lasting danger. My issue is that the players who are trying to find a dialogue are not the targets, so they have little to lose, if they lose they merely point at Iran for being ‘naughty’, Israel and Saudi Arabia have direct losses to deal with and they should not be in these levels of danger for any reason and now we see why Iranian actions are months overdue. The fact that this stage is now in play is optionally evidence that the economic sanctions were never going to work. Iran merely needs to get the first explosion in for all those bitches to fall in line pleading for a summit. Neither the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, nor the State of Israel signed up for this. In the end a nuclear explosion would not be essential; a dirty bomb in either large enough city will pretty much achieve the same goal.

The problem with saber rattling is not that it is done, the politicians who start that often cannot wield a saber and want to parlay the moment it backfires, and at that point the initial damage is accepted as the cost of doing business, yet for the victim? You know the place that was used for the demonstration? Yes, those politicians will want to wield a large carrot, but we have come to the stage where a carrot will no longer suffice and the players are in denial that is why we can no longer play to the tune of Iran and we need to turn the tables on them, we actually do not have a choice anymore. We saw for over 4 years how Iran was playing the cards anyway they saw fit and for too long everyone shrugged their shoulders stating that it would be fixed down the line, well this is down the line and nothing was fixed, so we either alter the game or pronounce Iran winner (which is utterly unacceptable to me).

So the game where we see that Iran is accused, yet actual evidence cannot be presented is a dangerous stage and former CIA director, now US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knows this. Even as we get via NPR: “The intelligence community has lots of data, lots of evidence. The world will come to see much of it, but the American people should rest assured we have high confidence with respect to who conducted these attacks as well as half a dozen other attacks throughout the world“, yet until that evidence is scrutinised the US remains to have a problem, their track record on handling evidence is just as shoddy (a silver briefcase with WMD evidence anyone?) Even as we saw the over optimistic ten days stretch for enriched Uranium, I am not convinced that either Israel or Saudi Arabia have that time span. Should Iran decide to play the proxy game again, what will be done when Hezbollah or Houthi start a dirty bomb tactic? Will we state caution or state the demand for War?

Knowing politicians especially the spineless ones, yet here the strong ones too, they will all shout: ‘One more summit please!‘ Will we then give in? Can Israel or Saudi Arabia afford to give in, or do we make sure that Tehran is bombed until the Iranian population is at least 22% lower?

Can we even afford to consider a peace talks with someone like Iran at that point? You tell me, because I am convinced that talks are no longer an option at that point and I am 99% certain that whoever gets hit will agree with me. This has seemingly become a game where Iran requires a win and we cannot afford for them to have any victories, the realisation that there should never be any gain on a proxy war almost demand that setting. The fact that the drone went down in Yemen is no evidence, the fact that Houthi force did it is accepted, yet can Iranian action be proven whilst there is a decent chance that the instructors and support groups are send by Hezbollah. The fact that there is no proof which team supported the Houthi forces is part of the problem and even though we accept that Iran supports Hezbollah that in itself does not make Iran guilty of this act and that is exactly the complication we face at present.

 

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Blackadder to the rescue

Yes, now for something completely different. Today only partially continues yesterday’s conversation. The article ‘Iranian puppets‘ gives us (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/14/iranian-puppets/) where I mention: “I will never proclaim myself towards Iran“, I also made mention of the 15 bitches and a serve of coffee (between the lines), yet I will always proclaim towards evidence. Evidence is everything and even whilst Iran is the most likely guilty party, I tend to follow the evidence. The evidence puts us with Houthi forces, optionally there is enough circumstantial evidence involving Hezbollah, however, this seemingly changes today as more than one now give us: ‘UK joins US in accusing Iran of tanker attacks as crew held‘, here I remain cautious. You see, the US had graphics in the Iraq WMD part and that got us in different waters, even as much better questions should have been asked with that clusterfuck in the making. The UN secretary general António Guterres called for an independent investigation, a part I very much support.

The intelligence suckers tend to be driven by EGO and whoever their Commander in Chief is and that tends to be needlessly politically driven and there the not guilty tends to be a target, this is not the same as the innocent, but you see the impact I am referring to. In the UK the Foreign Office is giving us: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible“, I am willing to agree with this, however we have seen decently clear evidence that in more than one case Iranian flag officers acted on their extreme self, not with the official support from the actual government. It is the consequence of the Iranian clerics having direct access to Iranian generals and acting on what they proclaim is the will of Allah. Those who do not grasp that part are out in the cold, pointing at the wrong party and creating escalations.

So whilst the world goes with: “Iran did do it. You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it … You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off – and that was exposed” that is one view to have and it might be the correct view, yet we already have two parts here. The fact that the mine did not work implies that Iranian hardware has additional issues (or optionally a non-trained individual had access to that hardware and did not set it up correctly, which is actually more likely). The second part is that the act was about deniability, giving more need to point at a state actor, but was it one with clearance or one deciding that they had to make their government look good? The issue around deniability is set not in stone, but it seems to be on a tablet where someone else has the erase function active. And in this the US and the UK have played similar games over the last 10 years. So let’s set this in a speculative example.

The Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation is run by Ali Nikzad. He decided that the boats were transgressing on Iranian sovereign waters and ships are transport, so Ali Nikzad decided to give these transgressors a lesson, he gets a hold of officers who are eager for promotion and he plays the ‘I need to test our equipment for transportation of dangerous goods’, he gets mines (plural) and he tests the mines with an engineer who is not really qualified to operate mines. The attack works, but one mine was not set properly. Now he has a problem, because even as he got the equipment, he was not allowed to operate in the way he did as that was a military action, and he is merely a lowly Minister of Roads, commercial shipping lanes and Transportation, he now has to resolve the issue before it taints him and he gets someone to remove it (most likely the engineer who wrongly set the mine).

In addition to this, when we see how Belgium defused a mine situation according to the Dutch, will we see more or less reliability? Was it the image that made for the change?

All this a speculation, but the play is not that speculative, several players have engages in similar games, optionally the IRGC knew of the operation, and they did not act because their fingers were not in the cookie jar; they all have a scapegoat and there is no physical evidence to support any story that anyone tells.

This is one of the intelligence games that are out there and now we have a state actor and everyone (led by the US) are now pointing at the wrong state actor and the evidence is out there proving some right as the involved person is seemingly Iranian, but wrong as this is a bogus action in the first place. Now we see Hamid Baeidinejad (Iranian ambassador to the UK) all huffy and puffy because he is doing what Tehran told him to do and the game he plays looks good, because he truly believes that he is playing the proper game as instructed by Tehran and let’s face it, the US does not have a great track record when it comes to Intelligence data and parsing intelligence data to create actual verifiable data, do they. When in doubt, call the NSA at +1-301-688-6311, ask for Deputy Director Barnes (General Nakasone is often too busy according to his personal aide).

In all this, there is a surprising realisation, you see, the opposite is also an option and I wonder why it is not actively investigated, there is an opposing solution that takes Iran out of the equation and it is a solid solution that stretches 74,967 meters in length and could change the game, in addition to that it could hinder Iran to the larger degree, basically to the degree where Bandar Abbas would financially be decimated, its economy would plummet to below basement levels.

I wonder how willing the UAE would be to change the game to benefit their economy. Oman could optionally benefit as well, so there is a solution that could propel two nations, whilst freezing the Iranian economy twice over. You see, as I look at the state of play, a proxy war can go in two directions; you can be in denial as there is no proof, or you can go into proclamation to set the stage of something that is legally allowed, people look at the first and then ignore number two. I let you work out the puzzle and let you figure out what some never considered.

A Monty Python solution presented by Blackadder gives us the second option in two ways (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzXhLp2wLQo) we see the approach to a literal following of orders then (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBhN28eTuP8) we see the application of intelligence: “I beg leave to commence a private prosecution the accused for wasting the courts time“, and in all this, the stage is set and optionally correctly set, yet there is a range of issues that have not been addressed.

Some will go with the smoke and fire part and that is all good and fine, yet when did we get a proper investigation before pointing the finger (optionally through the slipping them the bird)? To let this sink in, let’s take a look at American accusations: “By labelling some of the high-level waste as low level, the US would save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The waste which has been stored in South Carolina, Washington and Idaho would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas“, whilst the clear danger of radioactive waste has been out in the open for decades we are confronted with: “This administration is proposing a responsible, results-driven solution that will finally open potential avenues for the safe treatment and removal of the lower level waste. DOE is going to analyze each waste stream and manage it in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, with the goal of getting the lower-level waste out of these states without sacrificing public safety“. In this application of rules, we are not merely rephrasing the stage of what is regarded as ‘safe treatment‘, it changes the face of danger by diminishing risks on the need for cutting 40 billion. Now we can agree that 40 billion is serious cash, yet after it passed the facilities in Utah and Texas, what damage will be left behind because standards and definitions were changed by people who desperately need things to get cheaper? And when this backfires, how will the US afford the reparations that will be in excess of a trillion dollars easily? saving $40 with a decent certainty that it will cost you $1,000 around the corner is not clever, it does not save anyone anything and it decimates the quality and value of living in Utah and Texas, so how good is that step once the proper denials are in place?

The same can be said in the UK and their approach of Fracking, shale gas options. In a stage where the Netherlands has had: “A total of 127 damage reports were received after a fracking earthquake in Groningen on Sunday morning“, in addition “the TCMG receives around 200 damage reports per week. Over the past two weeks, the committee received at least 200 reports per day“. Also before I forget, when I was young and living in the Netherlands, Groningen was plenty of things, there was even a rare occurrence of an earthquake (once ever whilst I was in primary school), the entire stage of living in Groningen changed after Fracking, a clear change in values and cost of living as properties have diminished and the entire area is now a minefield of accusations and litigations, how much will that cost the government in addition to the claims they get? There is a second danger, if any of those chemicals ever make it into the groundwater; the Netherlands has some options, whilst the UK as an island does not. Dangers that we see give the rise towards people and politicians seem to regard the element of denial, a dangerous stage on two fronts, in the UK the danger for living expenses as it goes up by 1500% when UK tap water is no longer safe to drink; in the US where radiation contamination when found too late will have new long lasting disastrous effects.

Merely two elements that have the same stage; the stage of denial can be a very dangerous one and in Iran we see a stage where we cannot afford to give in to that danger. We need to be certain, an actual war, one that Iran will lose regardless will still impact and optionally disrupt crude oil paths for decades, consider the next decade when oil returns to prices like $163/barrel. The restoration of any economy becomes close to nil, unless you make money from the oil industry. That is why I want to make sure that Iran is properly dealt with and in all this, my plan B remains valid and an optional alternative path to increase pressure on Iran.

Nobody is saying, stating or implying that Iran is not involved, the issue is WHO placed the mine and there is where we get the issue. The US and the UK clearly know this. In case of the US we have Timothy James McVeigh. Now consider what would have happened if that attack was post 9/11? I am not stating that anything wrong was done by the FBI, I am however decently certain that the entire investigation would have had a dozen other turns and double turns. There is absolutely no guarantee that the same result would have been presented. I am not stating that the FBI did anything wrong, I am not stating that anything else happened.

To look at this setting we need to consider a quote by Counterpuch.org. Here we see: “The FBI suffered another debacle last Friday when an Orlando jury returned a not guilty verdict for the widow of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 in his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June 2016. The biggest terrorism case of the year collapsed largely thanks to FBI misconduct and deceit” there are more sources. NPR Radio gives us: “the prosecution had withheld crucial information for the development of their argument. It was not until after the prosecution had rested its case, nearly two weeks after the trial opened, that prosecutors disclosed the information in an email last Saturday“, as well as “federal authorities had also opened an investigation of Seddique Mateen after the shooting, basing the probe on a series of money transfers he made to Turkey and Afghanistan not long before the massacre. The defense argued that without those details, the defense had been unfairly hamstrung — an assertion that Byron rejected. He denied the motion earlier this week and allowed the trial to proceed” denial of facts as well as denial access to facts, denial of due process in light of whatever reasoning was given and as denial of circumstances. At this point the widow of Omar Mateen was regarded as not guilty and there is no way of knowing whether this was just, correct or merely the consequence of stacking the deck knowingly and willingly.

When you consider that personal ego made these leaps of consideration, and we see the impact, the need for higher intelligence usage and the better investigation of what is happening in Iran and by which person becomes a lot more essential. When we see three players all in a stage to wage war on Iran (an idea that I do not oppose) lets at least do it for the right reasons. Doing the right thing based on flawed and incorrect intelligence corrupts the act and over time degrades the reasoning of the act. It is important to see that difference, and whilst there are optional paths to making the Iranian economy tanking it to the bottom of the Strait of Hormuz, I will remain in favour of doing that. You need to have seen war in all its majesty of cadavers and victims to appreciate alternative parts, only those who played call of duty might like a direct war, which will only last until you actually get to wash the blood out of your hands, that sweet smell of blood will follow your nose until the day you die.

Iran might be going into a wrong direction, yet we do not have to follow them like stupid lemmings, as I stated, I am not against setting a war against Iran, I merely want alternatives that gets us the same result. A proxy war goes both ways, we merely have to alter the signs on the entrance door; it is our door, so we get to do that.

 

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Iranian puppets

Saudi Arabia has been under attack for a while, yet the latest one has been the hardest hit for now. 26 people were injured in a drone attack on Abha Airport. The fact that it is 107 Km away from the border gives rise that this is not the end. Even as we see: “a late-night cruise missile attack by Houthi rebel fighters”, I wonder if they were really Houthi or members of Hezbollah calling themselves Houthi. In addition, when we see: “the missile directed at the airport had been supplied by Iran, even claiming Iranian experts were present at the missile’s launch” as the Saudi government stated this, I am not 100% convinced. The supply yes, the presence is another matter. There is pretty hard evidence that Iran has been supplying drone technology to Lebanon and they have been training Hezbollah forces. I think this is a first of several operations where we see Hezbollah paying the invoice from Iran by being operationally active as a proxy for Iran. It does not make Iran innocence, it does change the picture. the claim by Washington “Iran is directing the increasingly sophisticated Houthi attacks deep into Saudi territory” is more accurate as I see it. It changes the premise as well as the actions required. From my point of view, we merely need to be able to strike at one team, if anyone is found to be Lebanese, Saudi Arabia can change the premise by using Hezbollah goods and strike Beirut – Rafic Hariri International Airport with alternative hardware. Lebanon stops being the least volatile country in the Middle East and it would stop commerce and a few other options at the same time. I wonder how much support they get from Iran at that point. I believe in the old operational premise to victory

Segregation, isolation, and assassination, the tactical premise in three parts that is nice and all solving; It can be directed at a person, a location, or even an infrastructure, the premise matters. It is time to stop Hezbollah, that part is essential as it does more than merely slow down Houthi rebels, it pushes for Iran to go all in whilst being the visible transgressor, or it forces them to back off completely; that is how I personally see it.

So as we see the Pentagon rally behind diplomatic forces, I cannot help but wonder how it is possible for 15 dicks to be pussies? For the non-insiders, it is comprised of the 7 joint chiefs of staff, the septet of intelligence (Army, Navy, Air force, Marine, FBI, CIA and NSA) and of course the National Security Advisor. It is time to change the premise, it really is. It is also a must to proclaim ourselves to either the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or Iran and I will never proclaim myself towards Iran (a man must keep some principles).

We can be all angry find a solution to erase them. As I see it, my version is more productive in the end. They are targeting close to the border as much as possible, this implies that their hardware has limitations. Even so to merely rely on anti-drone and some version of an Aveillant system is economically not too viable, it will merely make some places (like airports more secure). When we look around we see that there are 6 ways to take care of drones.

  1. Guns, which requires precision and manpower
  2. Nets, same as the first, yet a net covers an area better chance of results and a chance to get the drone decently unharmed, or retrieve enough evidence to consider a counter offensive
  3. Jammer, a two pronged option, as the connection fails most drones go back to their point of origin giving the option of finding out who was behind it.
  4. Hacking, a drone can be used for hacking, but the other way is also an option if the drone lacks certain security measures, optionally getting access to logs and other information
  5. Birds of Prey (Eagle, Falcon), A Dutch solution to use a bird of prey to hunt a drone, an Eagle will be 10 times more deadly than a drone, Eagles are a lot more agile and remaining as fast all the time.
  6. Drones, Fighting drones with drones is not the most viable one, however these drones have paint guns which would hinder rotor function and speed, forcing gravity and drag to be the main issues for the drone.

The issue is not merely how to do it, but the specifics of the drone become a larger issue. An Eagle and most solutions will not work against the MQ-9 Reaper drone (to name but an example), yet Hezbollah and Iran rely on the Qods Mohajer (optionally the Raad 85), which when considering the range is the more likely suspect. What is important to know is that these devices requires a certain skill level, hence there is no way that a Houthi forces could have done this by themselves. It required Hezbollah/Iranian supervision. There the option of jamming and drones with a paint gun would work, if a jammer gets shot onto the drone, it will give them a way to follow, paint can have the same effect whilst at the same time limit its capabilities. If the drone is loaded with explosives and set for a one way trip there is a lot less to do, yet the paint could still impact its ability if there is enough space left, if the paint is loaded with metal it could light it up making it a much better target. All options that have been considered in the last few years in anti-drone activities, the question is how to proceed now.

I believe that inaction will no longer get us anywhere, especially when Hezbollah is involved. That is the one speculative part. There is no way that Houthi rebel forces have the skills; I believe that Iran is too focussed on having some level of deniability, hence the Hezbollah part. It is entirely probable that Iranian forces are involved, yet that would be the pilot and with the range, that pilot would have been really close to the Yemeni border making Abha airport a target, yet unlikely that more inland another target would be available to them.

Knowing that gives more options, but also makes it harder to proceed, the earlier five methods mentioned are direct, there is one other option, but I am not discussing it here at present as it optionally involves DoD classified materials (and involves DARPA’s project on Machine learning applied intelligence to the radio spectrum) and lets not put that part out in the open. It is actually a clever program conceived by Paul Tilghman, a graduate from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), an excellent school that is slightly below MIT and on par with UTS (my creative stomping grounds).

It is a roadmap that needs to be followed, I am all for bombing Hezbollah sites, unlike the earlier mentioned group of 15, I prefer my level of evidence to be a little higher as such the Tilghman solution is called for, after that, when we get that we can address the viability of Beirut and Tripoli with 2500 lbs hardware donations, depending on the evidence found mind you, we can make adjustments, as some materials would have needed to be shipped to Yemen either directly or via Lebanon and in all honesty, I am of the mind that Iran would not have done this directly. Proxy wars require a higher level of deniability to remain proxy wars; as such we need the hardware as evidence.

And even as we see: “Mohamed Abdel Salam, said the attack was in response to Saudi Arabia’s “continued aggression and blockade on Yemen”. Earlier in the week, he said attacks on Saudi airports were “the best way to break the blockade”” (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/12/yemen-houthi-rebel-missile-attack-injures-26-saudi-airport) we need to realise that this is growing and potentially a lot larger than before. Even as we acknowledge that the forces have withdrawn from the harbour, we have no insight on where they went, there is no indication that they have stopped fighting, merely that they are at the moment inactive, a status that can change at any given moment.

Add to that the threat (or is that the promise) by Tehran who decided to “threaten to resume enriching uranium towards weapons-grade level on 7 July if US sanctions are not lifted or its European allies fail to offer new terms for the nuclear deal“, here my answer is ‘What deal?‘, there is enough indication that enriching never stopped, but was merely scaled down to 95% of previous effort, as such there is no need to offer more incentives that will only be broken. As such my strategy to seek out Houthi (and optionally Hezbollah forces) to take away the proxy options of Iran, they must either commit 100% or back down, at present their fear is having to commit fully to this and change the stage of proxy war to actual war, and as such my strategy makes sense. They have no hope of winning as too many government would be willing to align with Saudi Arabia (that might make them surprised and happy as well), and a united front against Iran is what Iran fears, because Turkey would have no option but to cut ties out of fear what happens when we are done with the other Iranian puppets.

It is perhaps the only side where I disagree with James Jeffrey (US special representative for Syria engagement), I do not believe that it is a “hegemonic quest to dominate the Middle East“, I believe that Iran knows that this is no longer an option, yet bolstering foundations of a growing alliance is the best that they hope for and here Iran merely facilitates in the urge to state to Syria (the government and its current president) in the voice of ‘You owe us, we helped you‘, it is slightly pathetic and merely the voice of a used car salesman at present. As more of the proxy war becomes open and proven Iran is backed into a corner, it makes Iran more dangerous, but it also forces them to act, not through proxy and I am decently certain that Iran has too much to lose as present, especially as Russia denied them the S-400 solution.

Even as Gevorg Mirzayan (an expert in Middle East and a leading analyst at the agency Foreign Policy) is getting headlines with ‘‘Dumping’ Iran Would Be Mistaken, Since Russia Doesn’t Know What The US Will Offer In Return‘, we see that the stage is a valid question, but there we also see the answer. the direct (and somewhat less diplomatic) answer is “Never set a stage where a rabid dog can call the shots“, the more diplomatic answer (by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov) was “Russia has not received any requests from Iran for delivering its S-400 air defense systems” is nice, and it puts Iran in a space where they need to admit to needing this kind of hardware, yet on the other side, Russia realises that Iran is driven to flame the middle East and down the track if its alliance is too strong, takes Saudi Arabia out of consideration for several lucrative Russian ventures and they know it.

All these elements are in play and in place, so segregating and isolating Hezbollah limits the options of Iran, making it an essential step to pursue. Interesting is that these steps were firmly visible as early as last year August, and that group of 15 did little to bolster solutions towards truly isolating Iran, that Miaow division was optionally seeking milk and cream and finding not that much of either.

So the time is now essential moving to critical to take the options away from Iran, we let Lebanon decide whether they want to get caught in a room painted in a corner with no directions remaining, at that point they become a real easy target.

That was not hard was it?

Happy Friday and remember, it will be Monday morning in 60 hours, so make the most of it.

 

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The 11th hour of Chapter 11

It was around 01:00 this morning when a ‘recommended video’ made it to my stream. Now, I am known to have a sense of humour, a flaky one at best and to see the name Jon Stewart (yes the comedian) to be on that ‘recommended stream’ regarding a PBS News hour was something new to me, but I was a little curious and I took a look.

What I was confronted with did not merely blow my socks off; it gave the impression that America is currently in such a bad state that it makes me wonder why at present this issue does not grace the front page in EVERY NEWSPAPER on the planet.

I have seen my fill of political windbags, their past acts gave Chicago the name ‘the windy city’, it gave the impression that a cocaine dealer has seemingly a higher regard for ‘their word’ than most members of the US Congress. Still, there was no stopping Jon Stewart as he gave his view in congress.

The story (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5FTrIZN-E) shows that Jon Stewart is not merely a person with a sense of humour, the man talks up a storm, not a windy one, but a perfect storm. You need to hear it to believe what America and American politics is doing to the first line of defence of the city of New York, what has been done to those running into the area where the World Trade Centre, to give aid and to save as many people as possible. In a room that was filled with first responders, a room that is filled with the pain and agony of what they had gone through and the members of US Congress (the bulk of them) are not there, not there to stand protecting the first responders of America, not there to protect the first responders of America and not there for those putting their lives on the line for the annual amount that is less than 0.1% of what an average Wall Street banker takes home on an average month.

The headline pretty much states it with: ‘Congress ‘should be ashamed’ over inaction on helping 9/11 first responders‘, but that would be a disservice, US Congress failed on a much larger scale than that. The members of congress did not even have the respect and courtesy to show up. And during all this is the voice of Jon Stewart advocating for these people intentionally forgotten. Stated is that one member got there as he is up for a 69th round of chemo. I cannot even fathom anyone living past 2 dozen treatments, let alone an additional 45 treatments past that point. I personally have never felt such pride in being a witness to a person like Jon Stewart, what some would call merely a comedian standing up and advocating for a group that should have been protected by 320 million Americans calling and shouting at their senators, their congress representatives, their governors and their alderman to fix this immediately. Is America this broke, this bankrupt that denial of an essential and required need for first responders to be given at any given time? As Jon states, they were there in 5 seconds, the first responders were actively aiding and assisting the fallen and the wounded in 5 seconds. And it gets to be worse!

FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, EMS responded they all did and Congress is now holding the implied ‘were out to lunch’, ‘we are currently unavailable, have a nice day’ signs, in my view every American should stand shoulder to shoulder with Jon Stewart making their voices heard making sure that first responders get better service and better protection than any member of congress every could hope to get. We are after this exposed to details that I have (to the best of my knowledge not seen anywhere, not to the degree it should be exposed to). The never ending waves of denial from those who should have been a circle of protection is not merely baffling, it should be beyond shameful. Anyone on that track should be barred from public office. that is how it should be, but it is not. It merely shows that government is not in charge, Wall Street seemingly is and these people have become too expensive to the American way of life.

Consider this

Even in the wildest time when the US was merely known as part of the British Empire, these people had a better standing and better protection than they now have in American society. Can you imagine the shame where rescue services as a member of the British colonies, serving the British Empire and the King of England in 1760 would have been treated better than those of the United States of America in 2001-2019?

Can anyone imagine the shame of it all?

Then optionally making an attack on America a New York issue, I wonder how congress would have treated this if the jets had flown into Mount Rushmore, would that have been an unfortunate collision with a shaped hill? The fact that the ‘pile’ had such dire issues to the health of first responders is also a much larger concern. Evan as ABC news gave us (at https://abcnews.go.com/US/911-toll-growsl-16000-ground-responders-sick-found/story?id=57669657) “Twenty-three NYPD officers were killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In the 17 years since, the department says another 156 have died of illnesses contracted from their time on what was then known as “the pile,” the mountain of toxic debris from the fallen towers.” the fact that there is every indication that the number of people dying of disease directly due to the toxic elements of the WTC debris is staggering, the fact that 23 NYPD members died on the day and 156 died of health related issues, directly related to the WTC toxicity events since is a much larger concern. How did all that toxicity be part of that building in the first place?

Last august to total tally was a mere 28 people difference, there is every indication that the total deaths since 9/11 will surpass the first responders casualties on the day it happened in early 2020 and they did not go direct, instantly and gently, they were hollowed to nothing by toxicity and left to their own devices. How can any nation stand by and let this happen?

And when Jon Stewart mentions the hundred, nay thousands of tweets by officials giving us ‘Never forget the heroes of 9/11‘ and we now see that they are shunned and ignored, we see the anger that every American should have, because who will you count on when this happens again? Do you think that under these conditions first responders have any actual responsibility when their government, their congress abandons them?

It is hard to not be hit by the directness of Jon Stewart, I is hard to ignore that what Jon Stewart brings, but for the most, the media was silent, but not anymore, only a few hours ago I learn that ‘House panel unanimously passes 9/11 victims fund bill after Jon Stewart bashing‘, this is great in some respect, but why was the international media silent for so many years, and why did it take so long for this bill to pass? I reckon that the success that Jon Stewart booked will be reason enough that the global media picks up on this story, but as I personally see it, that act is a decade late and for the world of me, I cannot fathom why the media stayed silent on the plight of first responders for to the degree it did for such a long time, can you?

The only remaining part is now, why was action absent for that long, is America truly broke? If so should catering towards large corporations not end, or better stated has facilitation to this degree and for this long not been one of the most shameful acts? Who is to blame for such levels of denial and facilitation? Just image the reality of what I say and what I just proved. In one month we got close to 70,000,000 articles filled with speculations (often absent of actual facts) on what happened to one reporter no one cares about (harsh but true), yet how much awareness and articles were created since 9/11 2001 on the plight and hardship of first responders? When we realise this, how big was the failure to American first responders from 9/11 2002 onwards?

 

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The shows on E3 (final part)

Time for part 3, this time it is Nintendo that makes the waves and they did make waves. Right off the bat, my first issue was a slight lack of game play, but that is not quite fair, there was plenty of gameplay, it was so mixed in with the other parts that it was at times impossible to tell what part was game play and what was not.

Smash bros got the highlight in several ways and the arrival of everyone’s favourite bird and bear gives us that there will be Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a very long time to come. It has been nominated for 20 awards these last two years taking home 6 of them and Metacritic gave the game 93% (Ubisoft please take notice of this part). Lisa Dahlgren reported recently that the game had sold over 13.81 million copies worldwide in March 2019, making it the best-selling fighting game of all time and still Nintendo adds more.

Then the focus goes to Luigi Mansion 3 giving us a lot more in a new game, with local and online co-op play that you can do alone, or with a friend, (Gooigi), optionally known as per today as the Google Janitor.

Dark Crystal Tactics did not give us much, but it looks good and it is based on the famous movie by Jim Henson, so there is plenty already and that was just the start. Now I have to make a sidestep to something I wrote in May 2013 in the article ‘Previous Generation towards future Games‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/09/previous-generation-towards-future-games/) where I stated “They were able to deliver a game that was able to run on a 640Kb system (yes, I know that most do not even have a memory card that small). So, consider how the bulk could be transferred to something as ‘simple’ as the Nintendo DS. Add slightly better graphics and several of these titles will soon be more coveted then several high marketed products on the game store shelves today. After 20-25 years that is some achievement” and now we see that Nintendo is doing just that. Not merely a new Trials of Mana (2020), but in addition to that we got collection of Mana which were the previous three and they are now available as per today, some of them were never released outside of Japan, the digital version is available as per today, there is a limited version that is physical, so if you see it, buy it immediately! It goes further the remastered games kept on going Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil four, five and six. And the avalanche just kept on going, Dragon Quest Builders 2, AI: The Somnium Files, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Daemon X Machina, Grid Autosport, Spyro Trilogy, Witcher 3 and many more.

We got very little regarding Pokémon sword and shield in the presentation, but there were playable versions at the Nintendo stand (bastards!). We can even do some predictive steps as Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is all about Tokyo 2020, but coming to us in November 2019. Seeing that gameplay made me think back to the days of Epyx and the summer games on CBM-64. These graphics were truly new and amazing, yet that playful competitiveness is something that had been missing and Nintendo must have noticed it too apparently. We also got some Animal Crossing on Switch, so almost all the big hitters of the previous console are now on Switch.

I had to re-watch the show more than once, there was so much information and even if not everything is for all (we all have different tastes) there is no denying that Nintendo is about to unleash a tidal wave of games over the coming 52 weeks alone, and that is besides all the games that Bethesda, Ubisoft and Square Enix announced for Switch.

My final rating for Nintendo is 92%, making it the best E3 presentation in 2019.

There is more on the E3, but mostly now Steam, PC gaming and a few small ones; I will let the gaming community reviewers like Eurogamer work on that. As I see it, for gamers this will be a decent year, if you have a Switch as well, it will truly be a fantastic one.

So in the end, the trophies for best E3 show go to:

Gold: Nintendo

Silver: Square Enix

Bronze: Ubisoft

Honourable mention: Microsoft for Cyberpunk 2077 (the Keanu Reeves surprise) and the three WW Superstars under the podium.

To all, have a great year of gaming and let’s see what E3 2020 brings, because that one will have a lot, a lot more than we saw in these four days, that is an absolute guarantee.

 

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The shows on E3 (part two)

It was time for Microsoft to give us the goods and they started really well. The Outer Worlds (by the makers of Fallout New Vegas), Minecraft Dungeons, Blair witch, and a few others giving the intro towards 60 games, 14 by Microsoft Studio (implying 14 exclusives) and 30 gamepass titles. Then we got to see a new side to Cyberpunk 2077 and it looked amazing. That part ended with Johnny Silverhand, who looked a lot like Keanu Reeves, at that point Keanu Reeves walks on the stage and the roof came down, the crowd went insane and rightfully so. Eurogamer took a moment to highlight that (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2qAUP1m_vE), see event two for that part, it is so worth it. We get to see that the flight Simulator is coming to Xbox One, which is pretty cool and a whole range of other news. At this point I rated the show at 97%, it was that good. There was plenty of stuff I did not really care for (like Gears 5), but there are plenty of fans of that franchise and it seems that they are upping the bar on that game so gears fans will go nuts soon enough. This is when they screw it up at the end on going towards Project Scarlett. As we hear ‘It is all about choices’, yet are there? The Verge also noticed something I picked up on, but I thought it was just me. the Verge gives us ‘Microsoft’s new Project Scarlett console is now a key part of xCloud‘ (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/10/18659448/microsoft-xcloud-game-streaming-e3-2019) and we get that, yet they also give us: “If Microsoft sticks with its Xbox One S hardware for xCloud, then it won’t be able to immediately compete with Stadia’s promise of 4K gaming at 60 fps. There are still far too many games that only run on an Xbox One S at 30 fps, and the console won’t even support most AAA games at native 4K.” I believe that Microsoft has the same premise to face as Google Stadia, but Google is playing the long game and they know what they are in for, something Microsoft did not grasp in time (or too often for that matter) and they are keeping quiet as a previous president loudly boasted ‘always online‘ and nearly sunk the entire Xbox One before it had been released. For me the giggle came when I got told ‘up to 120 fps‘, ‘8K capability‘, ‘the combination of SSD and Solid State Drive are really what is giving you a totally new experience‘ was the one that did it for me, was this not properly vetted, were these actors or engineers? The presentation just went down to 80% and that is where it stayed at, silly move Microsoft!

There was no reprise of two step in models (the low and high end as stated a year earlier and all these catchphrases are given by different people, so you can more likely than not forget about 8K and 120 fps, all hype giving comments but totally wasted on the people who want clarity beforehand. It is true that there is still a full year, but the Microsoft method of trying to create hype has backfired too often and now I hope it will do so again. Even as the console is not coming until holiday 2020, giving clear information on storage and several other parts would have been nice at this point. I personally believe that this will be a total push to XCloud and streaming your games, there will be some storage for older games and the fact that optical drive is there implies that there is still physical storage, as direct to cloud installation seems meaningless and it would be too cumbersome, but that is what it feels like, when I am clearly proven wrong I will give you all the goods. for now, the realisation that 5G becomes essential and the congestion issues that many will face between 2020 and 2022 will be a sight to watch, just you wait.

Bethesda

Bethesda was a solid 80% from beginning to end. there is more for the games with Fallout 76 (year two) added options, as well as a battle royale mode and additions to rage 2 we got the largest part, there will be two Wolfenstein games, but we knew that last year. The big parts were that the Wolfenstein games are coming to Switch too, which was nice as well as the fact that the mobile Game Blades was coming to Switch and just like Fallout shelter it was going to be free. The part that I like the most is that there is an option for micro transactions, yet I have never had to spend a dime on Fallout shelter to enjoy it, if Blades continues that, it will be an amazing ride. New is Ghostwire Tokyo which looks pretty good, but it was an intro movie only. Some new Commander Keen, Deathloop which is coming from Arkane, as well as a new streaming technology called Orion, optionally making bandwidth a lesser issue, and Doom Eternal was given a first light. Finally we got a little more Elder Scrolls Online, now with Elsweyr and that wrapped it up. I would have liked more actual gameplay which was missing too much as I personally see it and that is why Bethesda only gets 80% this time around, still a solid presentation.

Ubisoft

We start off with the Assassins Creed Symphony. A decent start for the mere reason that the music of Assassins Creed has been pretty amazing from the second game onward and never stopped being inspiring and extremely amazing. Watchdogs Legion kicks off with actual gameplay and a display of Permadeath in action, so there is that. Plenty of sarcasm and a super granny (retired assassin) that makes any bull look like a calf with snow peas instead of actual balls. Stealth looked decent and that was the Ubisoft intro to the presentation, which gives me the consideration that Ubisoft has gone serious on Watchdogs and it is seemingly taking Legion to a higher place than Watchdogs two was.

After that the presentation starts and Mythic Quest is first, and that presentation needs to be seen to be believed (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9mRj_tzNH4) starting at 25:10. After that more Rainbow Six, Adventure in Time, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, at which point Jon Bernthal walked in (the Walking dead, Punisher) and gives us his intro to the game. He did well; he is a charismatic presence as he gives the talk on the game and challenged the gamers to take him on. At this point we had not seen a lot of games, but the intro’s, the views (legion) and new reveals on AI with solo play we see that the focal points were stronger. Then we get elite squad, a mobile game, and more of Just Dance (10 years), with a funny video. Just Dance 2020 is coming to all systems, after which For Honor took over and gave us a new addition named Shadows of the Hitokiri, and another Rainbow six option coming, this one called quarantine and the Division 2, Kenly college, and in the fall episode two, the pentagon (a big building in Washington DC with 5 sides), with a second raid which have 8 player action. More games and at the end a new game called Gods and Monsters.

I give the presentation 86%; I would have added 4%-5% if there would have been more actual gameplay shown. Still the first part showing us Legion was pretty overwhelming and it took that wow through most of the presentation.

Square Enix

They start with the Final Fantasy VII remake, I remember playing that puppy on the PlayStation, I was never a big fan, yet I was overwhelmed on those days on the depth of the story and the intuitive side of the game play. The part here iis that we are casually introduced that this game will be on 2 Blu-ray discs gives rise to the fact on just how huge this game will be. Here we get to see active and tactical play and just how evolved this game is. This might just call over all the players who never got into the game originally (me included). After that Life is Strange two makes an appearance and a new Chrystal chronicles, a game I loved on the GameCube, now on mobile phones, so there is the option to relive a few lovely moments. Some Octopath Traveler, a dash of the last Remnant remake which is available now for Nintendo Switch, a look at Dragon Quest builders 2, a PS4 game that seems to combine RPG co-op with elements of Minecraft, making it an interesting and optionally an addictive one straight off the bat. As the game is seemingly in game footage, we get to enjoy more playtime than expected. Then we get Luminary on Switch aka Dragon Quest XI; after which Square Enix focusses on indie developers. There were more intros and videos coming, Shadow bringers (FFXIV) and an extended intro to Dying Light 2, now with the launch date of spring 2020. It is clear that the entire Final Fantasy universe will get a lot more games on consoles soon enough.

Ending the presentation with the announcement of FFVIII remastered coming, we see that this year will be nearly all about the Final Fantasy universe and the remastering of the IP they had, and on all platforms, and as such the Switch is gaining even more momentum. Then the crowd goes wild, Marvel Avengers makes its entry showing us a little of what is to come, the game will have additional element over years (at no additional cost), the ‘no loot boxes ever’ statement made people go wild. The game will release in May 2020. Like Ubisoft it would have been nice to get a little more actual gameplay, yet overall the presentation rocked and it gets a solid 91% making it the best presentation of the show at present, now only Nintendo remains and that is for tomorrow.

 

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The shows on E3 (part one)

Jedi Fallen order, which looked pretty amazing, I saw several parts, a few questions did rise, but as this is merely a pre alpha part, I will wait until there is a final version. It did what it had to do, amazed gamers and as such Fallen Order succeeded 100%. A little additional caption is that the droid is the cutest Star Wars droid ever.

There was more Battlefield 5, FIFA and Madden 20 and Sims 4. Basically more of the same and for the fans of that type of game, that is good. With FIFA it came across as a lot of bla bla consistency bla bla technical improvement on one on one with keeper bla bla bla. OK, I am not a FIFA fan (no soccer fan either), what I took from the game that the claimed in game capture did look better than previous versions of FIFA. Graphically all these games looked top notch, there is no denying that.

Madden_Cover_SocialI will not touch it further was my initial setting; however that was before the Madden 20 presentation was given. There we see a lot more than just good graphics.

Abilities, X-Zone, The fact that a signature is linked to one quarterback is not just a game changer, it makes for choices to stage the gameplay you want and then you still need to be good enough to make that play. It will raise the game and to get such a surprise after 20 years of Madden is pretty impressive. So, ever as EA did not have a lot to offer, what they offered was up there.

Still, when we look at the overall part EA did not overwhelm, and with one actual new game (Fallen Order), it seems that there is not a lot to look forward to, in my case the absence of NHL20 is a little lame, but that is the nature of the game. With a presentation set around 6 titles where 4 are merely expansions or annual renewals gives us not a lot to work with. The presentation was too much of a ‘Yo Bro!‘ gig, which is a choice. Overall I will give that presentation a solid 70%.

Next will be Microsoft and after that Bethesda so this article will be updated on Tuesday.

 

 

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