Tag Archives: Abu Dhabi

A National Brand

Today’s story comes from LinkedIn of all places perhaps that is not quite correct, the story got a foothold there; it is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum that gave the story the light it deserved. His call to form a team, 7 from each emirate, 49 in total and that gives us light to a part most of us did not ever consider, the UAE, the United Arab Emirates is indeed truly a union, a unions between 7 Emirates, each with its own flag.

Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain, each with its flag, its capital and all united under the UAE with its capital Abu Dhabi. Four of its voices are less than 5%, Umm al-Quwain (0.8%), Fujairah (1.6%), Ajman (3.9%) and Ras al-Khamain (4.3%), these 4 represent less than 20% of the UAE population (10.6%) yet they will be fully represented and the UAE went as far as local, global and social media to spread this word for a gathering towards a national brand.

It is interesting to see such a wide announcement to make proclamation towards an idea that will take months to fulfil. We are so used to social media being a vat for dishing out information that such a call is a nice change of pace.

I hope that this gets all the attention by national subjects on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and so on, because it seems like a worthy cause to give out such recognition in the end to 49 artists, an assignment to ‘to design the UAE’s new nation brand logo, before the end of this year‘, something that is usually in the hands of a chosen few, a chosen group of people high in the ranks of some government or corporate side.

And it was equally nice to see the usage for social networking being used in this way, it is not often, it is actually way to little that we see a request like that from any government to its citizens far and wide, perhaps that was the part that hit me first, a global stage created for a national product from its citizens. I for one hope that this will be the start of something beautiful, not for me, even though I would prosper in finding out how knowledge in this way would push boundaries.

I would love to see the connections and the creation that the UAE called for, to see what the nationalistic intentions are towards created artwork, towards arts propelled in such a way, I reckon that the creations that this call made, even though it would be on a national floor could get a global exposure, optionally propelling the artists aiming to the national floor on a global floor. In my purview for no other reason than to see the mindset of someone connected to the arts and a national frame of mind.

I personally am as curious as can be to see the results of such a call. There is a pride, a nationalist pride in anyone who is working abroad, it does not matter whether you took up another nation to fly your wings, a career in another place or merely a student that is out of once nation, the bulk of them will remain proud towards their station of origin. It is different with refugees at times, but they too will have a personalised setting towards the place they come from. You can ask any Armenian outside of Armenia (well you can ask nearly anyone), a lot of them will always keep the flag of their original country high in mind and soul.

 

 

 

 

 

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Analyzing Intelligence

What is given to us is behind a veil, we accept that and at times we accept that the media does not give us everything. It is however weird when the change is slightly larger than we expected and in a direction we did not see coming.

This all started almost three days ago when Iran ended up with a tanker, the news (several sources) gave us: “Tracking data shows an oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates traveling through the Strait of Hormuz drifted off into Iranian waters and stopped transmitting its location over two days ago, raising concerns Tuesday about its status amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.” we all have issues and we all thought about the big bad Iranian doing things that are unacceptable. In light of everything that happened, this is a fair point of view to have (you know that Iranian tanker in Gibraltar).

Yet now, CNN gives us (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/18/middleeast/iran-tanker-intl/index.html) “Iran has seized an oil tanker it claimed was carrying 1 million litres of “smuggled fuel,” state news agency Press TV said on Thursday, before later releasing a video purporting to show the tanker.” we all want to think the worst of Iran (still a valid point of thought), yet that premise changes when we also get the following quotes: “US intelligence have been investigating what happened to the Panamanian-flagged tanker M/T RIAH. The ship-tracking website Marine Vessel Traffic has not had a current location for the tanker since July 7“, as well as “It remains unclear who owns the ship. While the initial US intelligence suggested that the tanker was UAE-owned, the United Arab Emirates has said that the tanker in question was “neither owned nor operated by the UAE. It does not carry Emirati personnel, and did not emit a distress call,” according to state-run WAM

And now we have an actual problem

To begin with, with all the digital options, and registries we get: ‘It remains unclear who owns the ship‘ are you flipping kidding me? In a time when both the Sea of Dammam, as well as the Strait of Hormuz are an absolute tinderbox, you have no idea what is going in and out of that place, you cannot tell who owns a million litre tanker? This is not some $27,000 Glastron poaching lobsters, too small to be seen by radar, this is a piece of metal the size of 500 40 feet containers this puppy is really visible! So not only does it imply the incompetence of the CIA, it shows that there is a larger facilitation at play.

When we consider the political and intelligence pressures in the Middle East as they are presently presented; the quote: ‘The ship-tracking website Marine Vessel Traffic has not had a current location for the tanker since July 7‘ reads like an absolute joke. When we consider intelligence pressure, the CIA, DGSE, MI-6 and optionally Mossad should have had an alert within 24 hours that any tanker vanishes. More important depending on where that happened red flags should have been raised all over the place and now that we see: “US intelligence suggested that the tanker was UAE-owned, the United Arab Emirates has said that the tanker in question was “neither owned nor operated by the UAE. It does not carry Emirati personnel, and did not emit a distress call” we see a much larger failing. There are programs in place to check ships registries, there are systems that can check the moment any blip is added or removed on the website Marine Vessel Traffic (and several places alike), in addition the fact that the UAE now gives us that an apparent UAE ship is not and neither does it have UAE staff is a failing on several fronts. I personally wonder what excuse Lloyds registry gives us soon enough. We cannot fault them for not being aware of facts, but the fact that a ship of this size cannot be identified as being owned is a failing, it is a tactical one to a much larger degree.

Overreacting much?

Is it? when we see the attacks in Yemen and other places, we see a tanker that could do massive damage to any harbour and for 9 days we had no clue that something was wrong, perhaps we did not care, but consider that a tanker like this could destroy in several ways a harbour and the environment in either Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar or the UAE, yes that is a large issue. A floating fuel bomb (a slight exaggeration) with one million litres of oil is a large issue. At the top of my head, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riffa, Manama, Dammam, Kuwait city, as well as several Iranian villages, any of them could have been a target leaving any of these places in ruins for at least a decade. So yes, the intelligence community failed, moreover, at present with the presented awareness the IRGC did nothing wrong. The fact that in opposition the stage where US intelligence has nothing credible to offer is a larger failing still (yes more to come).

You are who?

When we consider that awareness of Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah could have been found in minutes is one part, the fact that the implied owner UAE is not gives us a larger doubt on intelligence data. Now data is dependent on vetting and checks and we cannot check it all, yet when we consider the registry, the owner was someone, who is not implies it was sold, so basically 40 hours ago, that part could have been verified and none of that seems to be the case (or it is classified beyond my eyes, which is weird, right?)

So for no less than 35 hours certain escalations seem to have been the case and CNN ignored that part, which might be a valid embargo, these things happen, yet the global news is propagating facts that are not and facts that are nowhere and none of it has any validation. This now sets a larger stage, in the eyes of the world Iran did nothing wrong (which does actually happen), but this floating tinderbox should have received a lot more visibility with credible and verified data, which is not the case and a lot of missing data in the last 24 hours ago implies that there is a path and that path is about something we are not informed on (which is still valid and credible) but in light of the fact that only 5 hours ago Reuters merely mulls data that has been known for well over 36 hours implies that there is a larger play and for whatever reason we see the absence of awareness by the news and those claiming to inform us leave us with the stage of “Iranian state TV aired footage of a vessel called “RIAH” that it said was seized by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards for smuggling fuel” and was all they gave us 5 hours ago, whilst I gave a dedicated list of actions that could have been followed up on by actual journalists in the three minutes it took me to digest the data available. Is that not weird?

It gets to be worse

That is seen when we look at UK Reuters. We search of all news gives us: ‘US demands Iran free seized ship, vows to protect Gulf oil lifeline, In-Depth-Reuters UK‘ a mere three hours ago, yet the article it links to is all about ‘U.S. says Navy ship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone in Gulf‘, something here does not belong, this is not a simple error and Reuters does not usually make these kinds of blunders, this is about something more and even as we all want to point fingers at Iran, we now have a larger stage and the US loss of credibility (that famous silver suitcase) gives us more to worry about, this is a set stage of pushing awareness and whilst the Europeans are all about saving a nuclear deal and the fact that (what I predicted) the surpassed transgressions of Iran on nuclear terms are now trivialised imply that there is a theatre going on, I merely wonder who the players are an which government ends up playing the court jester.

We might think about trivialising the entire matter, but consider that the ship optionally was smuggling merely $250K in crude oil, someone is not really getting rich, not in the larger scheme of things, so what was this actually about? Is it not interesting on how the media is not all over this, especially as it could escalate gulf pressures to a much larger degree?

 

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The other view

The Guardian had an interesting view yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/03/people-in-christian-majority-countries-values-clash-islam-poll). The article starts off with a high when we see: “Large numbers of people in Christian-majority countries in the west see a fundamental clash between Islam and the values of their nation, according to a survey“. I honestly do not get that. I have started (a few months ago) to get acquainted with the Quran. I have been looking at 5G opportunities (mostly) in Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, a Muslim monarchy. As such I believe that it is important to be aware of the rules and events in such a nation. Even if I am still a Christian, I feel it is important to be aware of things so that we do not cause unintentional grief or friction in any place, which means that I will have to adjust to Muslim life. Anyone who is not willing to do that is better off staying at home. The same rules apply to many other nations (Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc. etc.)

If we ‘expect’ an acceptance of ‘our’ values and culture in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and so on, should the reverse not apply as well?

In the article I particularly liked the quote: “When asked the same question about Christianity, 25% of people in Saudi Arabia and 22% of Algerians said there was a clash with the values of their country, but the proportions fell to 13% in the United Arab Emirates and 7% in Egypt“, it seems that acceptance increases in places with more international exposure, which was a nice thing to learn.

When we see he links to YouGov dot UK and we see: “YouGov was recently commissioned to conduct a multi-country study on attitudes to religion in the West and Middle East/North Africa region“, we see that Dr Joel Rogers de Waal has the goods for an interesting piece of publication in his hands. The article (at https://yougov.co.uk/topics/international/articles-reports/2019/02/03/westernmena-attitudes-religion-portray-lack-faith– ) is even more interesting when we see the issue of ‘fundamental clash’ where Christianity is a lot less ‘accepting’ than Muslims are, which is something that actually surprised me.

It also opened the issue of consideration we look at “Campaigners for religious freedom are highlighting the significance of the historic papal visit to the birthplace of Islam, and hope Francis’s message of peaceful coexistence will be heard in other countries in the region, where many Christians are denied rights or face persecution and death.” Here we see the link to an article from December 26th stating: “The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has ordered an independent, global review into the persecution of Christians of all nationalities amid claims that not enough is being done to defend the rights of nearly 200 million Christians at risk of persecution today“. Consider the following: “Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly. Because of that Christians generally only worship within private homes” This is not a hidden event, this is not some made up rule, this is Islamic law, a person either abides or finds their fortune somewhere else, so Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE, Qatar and Oman) could be a haven for wealth opportunities for the atheists and of course Muslims, this is not some hidden idea that you can flunk with, this is clear established Islamic law, so when Jeremy Hunt is making some case of persecuted Christians on boxing day, I have no idea where he is coming from. Islamic law is also really present in Pakistan and many other places, so why are non-born national Christian there is the first place, to convert people? There is clear Islamic law against it, it is strict and it can result in capital punishment.

These were not blatant forms of misdirection, this is known and clearly stated laws in these nations, so at times, I have no idea where some people come from.

Can there be adjustment?

I would go with yes, if there is a simple infraction that can be clearly be seen as an error by the person and it can be proven to be unintentional, the courts might be lenient (I cannot speak for Islamic courts). Yet, the diligence of a person should be clearly shown. As such the entire Anti-Mariah Carey part is also a little bit of a mystery. We can accept that people feel that there is a “poor human rights record in Saudi Arabia“, yet from what point of view? Saudi Arabia is an Islamic law nation, it is a monarchy where Islamic law is rule and everyone (even the royal family) adheres to Islamic law. Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia had established high end culture and architecture in an age where the people mixed faeces and clay to make the walls of their houses in the larger area of Western Europe, so most houses did have a shitty smell to it, and those people thought it was OK. So as In Arabia and Babylonia there were sewers close to 15 centuries ago, whilst only 9 centuries ago, the western civilisation used shit in the building of the walls of their houses and for the most sewers were a non-issue, there were none. How is that for generics in civilised life?

And as we see: “human rights campaigners have urged the pope to use his landmark visit to address the war in Yemen. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led military coalition that has been accused of human rights violations in the country” we need to realise that these same people seem to lack the commitment to do the same against Hezbollah and Iran who are in the thick of it, is that not an interesting one sided part in all that? And it is not limited to the visit of El Papa Vaticano either. Even the UN has been accused of ignoring Iran’s role in all this, so there is a larger issue at play which is also fuelling the mistrust in the Arabian Peninsula nations. In addition to this I would tell people to start following Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on LinkedIn, Royalty and the current Vice President of the UAE, we can accept that he has people managing that account like any other big CEO or entrepreneur (like Bill Gates and Richard Branson), you will see that this man, this Vice President is actually really inspiring that alone should open the eyes of many to adjust the cultural glasses we wear now and learn more about Islam and Islamic law, for the simple reason that if a devout Muslim like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum can be inspiring, what other revelations are we denying ourselves?

I learned early in life that closing your eyes to other views is ALWAYS debilitating. I have been around the planet twice now, I was never rich, yet I have seen so much and I never regretted my choices (well, actually perhaps 3), which is a decent achievement to have.

So when I see the entire alleged issue regarding Saudi Arabia PR offices in London mentioned in a few places, I am at a loss why they do not get 50-200 open resume considerations a day (perhaps they do, I am merely phrasing the question out there).

So when we were told last October “British firms earning millions of pounds from efforts to improve the image of the kingdom and its regional allies in recent years, a Guardian investigation has found” I am wondering why their competitors are not fighting harder to offer to do a better job.

I digress

True, I was digressing, as I was moving towards the profits there, which is not incorrect, but it was not what the article was about. We can argue that the best opportunities are for those accepting the values of others and that is what is in play for now. You see, it is not about becoming Muslim, it never was about that; yet having a decent comprehension of Muslims and Islamic Law is merely a consideration to have, an essential consideration when you accept opportunities there, it is the only way to move forward. I reckon that I will never truly get accepted to the barrel of cream as I do not speak Arabic, yet those now about to no longer be a teenager, consider getting that skill. As economic growth in the Arabian nations is close to 500% of what America could present, as the same is pushed for China, having these skills in language and culture is an essential step in anyone’s future, even if you decide to not go there. When a place like Salini Impregilo is merely one of several companies growing multi-billion dollar contracts in that region, one after the other, when you are not a University engineer, do you think that they will offer contract work to any talented person, or to the talented person with at least a minimum knowledge of Arabian language and culture? When the option for a good future is understanding, as well as acceptance of others is the stepping stone to a bright future, why not consider that step?

So when you are confronted with: “In Germany, 53% of respondents were unfavourable towards Islam, compared with 10% to 22% who were unfavourable to other religions. In the US and Britain, smaller proportions (37% and 32%) were unfavourable towards Islam, with a similar range viewing other religions negatively“, are we accepting that 53% has ‘conservative’ values, or are we realising that 53% is throwing away a culturally driven well served lifestyle?  In the end money is always important (that pesky thing called rent comes around), yet what is your spiritual life missing out on by not knowing more about a cultural way of life that could be inspiring in several ways. When we merely a day ago:

نرحب بزيارة البابا فرانسيس لدولة الامارات  .. زيارة تاريخية هدفها تعميق قيم التسامح والتفاهم والحوار الديني … تجمعنا الإخوة الانسانية .. وتجمعنا الوصايا السماوية المشتركة .. وتجمعنا نوايانا من أجل مستقبل أفضل البشرية .. أهلا وسهلا بك في عام التسامح على أرض الإمارات

Which is translates by Google as: “We welcome the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE. A historic visit aimed at deepening the values of tolerance, understanding and religious dialogue… We are gathered by human brotherhood. We bring together the common Heavenly commandments. Our intentions are gathered for the future of the better mankind. Welcome to the year of tolerance on the land of the Emirates

So at that point, do you think there is any place left for the like of: ‘the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders‘ (to coin but one example)? There will always be opposition to any view, both Christian and Muslim, yet opposition is not ‘anti’, the moment we learn that lesson too late is the day we realise that we wasted the life we had before that realisation. It is actually that simple most of the time. As such it is my personal view that the article by Harriet Sherwood in Abu Dhabi is a lot more important than most of us realise, to learn that simple part is an initial first step for many, be not afraid to take a step outside of your comfort zone, you might learn more than you bargained for, from others and also about yourself.

 

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Groping in the dark

Yup it happens, we are sometimes caught without a clue and at that point some of us enter the blame game, some of us get emotional and shout at everyone who dislikes us and some try something else, like investigate for example. So even as we should feel sorry for Iran, we definitely feel sorry for all the innocent people in the crossfires, as well as the children caught in the event. We need to critically look at Iran and the choices that they are making.

You see, the attack did not wake me up to the event, I reckon that all the events by Iran in the dar in Yemen gave light that this event was always going to happen, how was of course not known. What woke me up was not on their professionalism, it was the lack of professionalism that got my attention.

Even as Al Jazeera gave us a lot of information, we see the headlines all over the media:

  • UAE official denies Iranian allegations of links to military parade
  • UAE dismisses Iran’s allegations on terror attack
  • Iran’s Khamenei says the attackers were paid by Saudis and UAE
  • Iran warns U.S, Israel to expect a ‘devastating’ revenge: state TV
  • Iran blames the US and Saudi Arabia for Ahvaz military parade attack
  • Iran blames US and Gulf allies for Ahvaz parade attack

All different headlines appearing within hours from one another giving us the insight that not only is stability absent in Iran, it might be missing a lot more then we bargained for. Even as we realise the setting of ‘Ahvaz military parade attack‘ as well as the statement given “Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the 2018 Ahvaz military parade attack without providing evidence, the Ahvaz National Resistance is an ethnic Arab opposition movement in Iran which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province” it is seemingly cast aside by the Iranian National guard (who seems to be missing a few members as per last Sunday).

Consider the smallest optional truth, the fact that there is an ‘Ahvaz National Resistance‘, as well as the part where we see ‘seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province‘, would that be the perfect place for a ‘show’ of strength? Even as Al-Jazeera gives us the voice of Yacoub Hor Al-Tostari claiming it was them and them alone, it seems interesting that Iranian officials are claiming that this is all due to financial support from the ‘outside’.

As we should argue whether any of it is true, we cannot deny the impact that a reported amount of 4 gunmen had on the entire event. The France24 English gives us a little more (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agwNNpiU-uo), there is an additional part. The Claim by Islamic State, and as given from this source is the part that two of the gunmen resembles and that is optionally a setting, with the inclusion of the channel was an Islamic State channel, yet they do not speak about Islamic State, two were speaking Arabic and one Farsi, none of them refer to Islamic State by name, giving us not intelligence, but merely question marks. That is the setting that you need to consider. Even as they speak ‘Jihadi’, the language is oppositional, merely oppositional to Iran. Yet when I consider the facts, I see an optional new danger. With the separatism in Ahvaz, there is every chance that Islamic State will use this staging area to propel their needs. As there has been clear mention of support to Islamic state in Ahvaz, we see not merely an Iran that is in a state of lessened stability, it is in a state of internal turmoil. I would think that Iran would have been less likely to get hit by Islamic State ever, yet the attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard implies the weakness and the attacker, whether it was Islamic state or not have exploited that weakness and it is unlikely going to stop at that part.

And for these attackers, there is a benefit, as Iran is not merely accusing, but also setting cogs in motion to optionally stage settings against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US and Israel, they will open themselves to additional attacks as the IRGC will be looking and focusing in the wrong direction. Even as I have some issues not merely on the Abadan training base, but also its location, as well as its function. It seems to me that if the images were of an actual trainings base, it seems to be the weakest of stages and the easiest one to take on if they can get the timing right. Any successful attack would have a much larger impact as any successful event against 2 bases in Khuzestan could also start a level of demoralisation that the IRGC has not had before. A similar issue exists for the Semnan base. Even as we realise where the helicopter landing pad is, I see the setting where 2 sets of two jihadi teams could bring a level of devastation to the base, a level that Iran had never faced before giving more and more rise to more than mere destabilisation. And that is where this all starts, not with the accusations from Iran, but the active level of the accusations form Iran that gave rise not on who was guilty, but on the setting that Iran is weaker then it pretends to be. We can accept that any government will boast strengths they do not have, that is mere ego. The fact that the reported 4 gunmen did this attack and Iran decides to look into other directions is where we see their weakness, as well as the consideration that they are in denial on who could have attacked them, that was the element of the war that they just lost. You see, the Art of War (Sun Tsu) gave us: ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles‘ and that is the first part of the stage that they lost, not merely do the not know their enemy, they seem to be in a stage where they no longer really know themselves and that leads to ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. The revelation surprised me, because before last weekend I considered that they were still a force to be reckoned with. Even as they hid behind Houthi’s and Hezbollah, using them as told to do their bidding, there is now a much more realistic view that they are at present limited to proxy wars. Yet it is not enough to merely look at Sun Tsu. Carl von Clausewitz in his work On War gives us “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will“, a path we can accept, yet it also shows the wisdom of Sun Tsu more clearly. To compel your will on your enemy is one path that requires clarity of vision. If you yourself cannot focus that vision the result is not merely chaos, it is as I see it the limitation that chaotic and non-engagement will be the result of both a lack of vision and a lack of will, so why Carl von Clausewitz? Well, he does give us a more modern part and one that is highly essential here. When he gave us: “No one starts a war — or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so — without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. The former is its political purpose; the latter its operational objective“. So as we consider the response on the attack, we see the following elements. The first is ‘being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve‘, even if this is a war in defence against the attackers, there is no clarity of mind. The senseless accusations are clear evidence of that reflection. The promise of retaliation might be the political purpose in all this, yet it is not aimed at its attacker, merely at those not friendly to Iran (for whichever reason), basically it could end up being senseless accusations against most nations except Pakistan and Turkey. Oh what a ‘bad web’ some people weave, right? The operational objective is not merely acting against the actual attackers, but properly preparing for these attacks and now we see the larger flaw. As I saw the staged weakness in two IRGC facilities, it is my personal belief that there are a lot more (I never saw all the data on all bases), but the optional of hitting half a dozen infrastructure points in several bases means that 4 facilities could optionally end up in lock-down, draining not merely resources, but in addition draining operational staging options for a much longer time. Consider that part. In any base, when you need to keep an additional 20% ready to actively defend a stronghold, how much operational activities will be available? when that sets in and local uprising start the IRGC will have a lot less abilities at their disposal as it requires to increase its foundational defences to be up and running around the clock. I think that Islamic State is starting to figure out that weakness (OK, that last part was highly speculative). When you consider that part, can you now also see on how Abadan is a much more appealing target in the near future?

Even as we accept that there is no evidence truly supporting Islamic State claims, we need to consider the Iranian News from August 29th (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min). It is not the news reported that interested me, it is on what was missing that was of value. When we see: ‘One ISIL member arrested in S Iran: intelligence min.‘ (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min), it gives us not merely that one member was arrested; it gives us not where it was. You see Southern Iran is not a small place. So when we see Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi giving us that this one person was arrested and that “Around 32 terrorist groups and 100 grouplets in various sizes which are supported by foreigners to create insecurity in the country“, as well as “In the past year we have delivered blows to 269 groups, squads, and networks which were supported by terrorist groups like Kurdish Democrats, Komala Party and other similar groups“. So we see all these ‘successes’ and we see that they got one person. The imbalance in it all is just too hilarious. Now also consider that we see: “This shows the intelligence dominance of the intelligence ministry which does not allow the enemies to create insecurity in Iran“. He might claim that, yet the 25 dead and 70 wounded gives he shining light that not only does Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi not have a handle on things. The fact that the attack was ‘successful’ implies that he has less then he thinks he does and that is where the teachings on Sun Tsu and Carl von Clausewitz come into play giving us a much larger stage of limitations on the side of Iran.

Yet there is also additional victory for the enemies of Iran in all this. The NY Times gave us that (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/24/world/middleeast/iran-attack-military-parade.html). If we accept the used quote from Al ahed News (Hezbollah, Lebanon), we see: “In a speech on Monday at a funeral ceremony for the victims of the attack, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, said: “You have seen our revenge before, you will see that our response will be crushing and devastating, and you will regret what you have done”” Yet the actions of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Brigadier General Hossein Salami accuses US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which in light of decently reliable intelligence and evidence is now more in doubt and there we get back to the words of Sun Tsu: ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. That is now partially the staging area that the enemies of Iran are given with the damage of 4 shooters against a military parade. If we optionally add the lack of results by Hezbollah/Houthi with at present 198 rockets fired implies not merely that the proxy war was an extremely bad (read: expensive) idea, when we consider the thought that Iran is limited to these actions because of the brewing instability, we see another stage, a stage where Iran either changes their direction by a lot, or we might witness the beginning of an essential regime change as the current one has little left to work with, either way, the issues involving the Ahvaz attack will worsen before the entire stage could optionally get better.

It is not the attack; it is the ‘groping in the dark’ hoping to get a bite that showed their weakness. And when we consider ‘If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned‘. That wisdom could have been available to both Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and Brigadier General Hossein Salami, it did not come from either The Art of War, or On War. It is evidence in both books, but the clearest wisdom that the aftermath of the attack brought was neither of these books, it came from the Art of Fishing, a wisdom that every fishermen in Iran could have told them, if only they could have separated the noise from within and the wisdom on the outside could they have figured that part out, especially when you consider that Iran exported almost 250,000 tonnes of fish in 2014, we see that the Iranian hierarchy has stopped listening to the right people, who those right people are is a puzzle they get to figure out themselves. Watching their failures is just too entertaining to me to see that stop any day soon, I can’t wait to see the media conversations when they get to report on the intelligence that the commander of the Bandar-e Jask naval base had been missing out on for quite some time.

#ReturnOfThePranker

 

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A different day

This is a different day. It started bright and early when I woke up at 06:30 thinking of a new movie, an anti-anti-Islam movie. The idea I started with a few days ago called ‘How to assassinate a politician‘ is now called ‘The Essay‘. A setting in regards to what some people call ‘Freedom of speech’ and whilst some are calling it debatable by organising a cartoon competition, where the best drawing of the prophet Mohammed wins, the entire matter is in even worse taste as the event is taking place on the grounds of Dutch parliament.

The setting is so disgusting because Muslim faith is clearly defined as that there will be no image of Mohammed ever. We get from various sources “The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures. It is agreed on all sides that there is no authentic visual tradition as to the appearance of Muhammad, although there are early legends of portraits of him, and written physical descriptions whose authenticity is often accepted“, even as Wiki gives us the goods; they refer to the quality stuff we require. In this Sahih al-Bukhariis one of the Kutub al-Sittah of Sunni Islam. Bukhari finished his work around 846/232 AH, and spent the last twenty-four years of his life visiting other cities and scholars, teaching the hadith he had collected. In every city that Bukhari visited, thousands of people would gather in the main mosque to listen to him recite traditions. Bukhari finished his work around 846/232 AH, and spent the last decades of his life visiting other cities and scholars, teaching the hadith he had collected. In every city that Bukhari visited, thousands of people would gather in the main mosque to listen to him recite traditions. The authenticity of his work has been widely accepted by Islam scholars. So in light of this, we need to consider that certain actions are just not acceptable. Even as a Catholic, I have for the most little knowledge of Islam, but the little I know clearly shows the Dutch Politician to act in intentional travesty and hides behind what some refer to as ‘freedoms’ to insult Islam religion and whilst that is happening the Dutch government is still trying to wield ‘diplomacy’ to gain large multi-billion euro contracts all over the middle east, in Muslim nations, yielding to ‘it is out of our hands‘ whilst letting the parliament building facilitate to such biased events of hatred. So at this point, can anyone explain to me why Egyptians are considering the Dutch in ‘Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal‘, there are several alternatives available and they are willing to give Islam the respect it deserves. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Indonesia and several others are confronted with the insults against Islam like the Tweet shown here. Even as we accept that there will always be people who are not merely biased, they tend to be individuals, yet when Dutch Parliament is used as the host of such an event, what does that say? Why would you want to cater to a nation that willingly allows its governmental buildings be used for anti-Islam events? The fact that the official complaint by Pakistan was kept out of the large papers for well over 2 days is also a clear setting that they are setting the stage of what is a very Dutch setting of ‘toleration policy‘ of anti-Islamic events. Dutch politicians like Stef Blok who seems to embrace (to some extent) the bluntness of Geert Wilders. A larger population is now being made aware (they already knew it) that to some extent a multicultural society is for the most a dream at best, yet ‘hallucination’ is actually more appropriate in this environment.

The Dutch newspaper gives it best in an article by Hakan Kulcu. Here we see ‘Ik ben bang voor het Nederland van morgen. Zullen mijn kinderen hier nog welkom zijn?‘ (Translate: I am afraid for the Netherlands of tomorrow, will it be a welcoming place to my children?), it is a little paraphrased. The setting is that there are more and more indicators that multicultural are no longer a given, they are at best a hopeful dream. But do you feel that you are investing in what was to be an acceptable setting for the future?

In this the foreign office ‘El Jefe’ Stef Blok is making his bluntness and open wound and a drastic mistake for whatever policy seems to be in effect. So when we are treated to ‘unfortunate and careless‘ speech bubbles of non-consideration, we must accept that there is a larger issue and that is going on whilst the Dutch are hiding in their PowerPoint on settings of tolerance and multi-cultural events. A presentation in falsehood, is that not a decent reason to change that 9 figure contract to someone who is honestly merely about the money (America), or at least trying to be truly multicultural (Sweden and Switzerland)?

In all this my brain is still processing the setting for the movie concept of ‘The Essay‘. Perhaps that idea could be sold in Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, plenty of rich fish in the sea who would love to be a movie producer. A movie part tongue in cheek, so that there is plenty of satire in consideration (when assassinating a politician), having alternative explanatory paths is a good thing. Some politicians look very Arian and we can use that Germany concept easy enough. o, and I must be certain that their movie states at the beginning: ‘Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental‘, which works with the Arian look works especially well as every German dreamed of being one and there are 83 million Germans, so I should get away with it 50% of the time.

The setting should be like …better keep the rest to me, myself and I for the movie sale. That is unless I can get 3.75% of 16 billion Euros in Dutch international contacts. If I pull that off, I will just finance the movie myself. Yet even as I check, the newspapers in many nations are still taking a large detour away from Geert Wilders and the cartoon competition. I reckon that they are hoping that it passes with anyone noticing. The Dutch Parool gives us an actual view that is a lot better, an opinion piece by Frits Bosch. Here we see: “It is brewing under the shiny surface of our prosperity. The elite withdraw into a bubble and deny all existing social problems“. That is actually a lot more accurate than I expected, yet the so called powers that be, the decision makers are for the most these people in a bubble, they include the one percentage incomes and the politicians who seem to be hiding away in The Hague after they got elected, it is in this atmosphere where anti-Islam can grow unchecked and for the most unopposed.

Why should I care as a catholic?

That would be a good question; you see I believe in fair play, for the most i have always adhered to it. I was never greed driven, but the times are not merely changing, the times were never fair, so it is only fair that those hiding behind intentional miscommunication, those hiding through greed driven Status Quo are put into the limelight. Those big businesses that hide behind the corporate cloak whilst whispering at governments via facilitators need to be given the limelight. And if that deprives them of close to 17 billion so much the better. As it is essential for them to be given the option to speech on lost revenue due to ‘unfortunate miscommunications‘, it is fun to see them having to grovel to the settings of their actions and inaction. It will give me more entertainment in the end, because they now facilitate to nations willing to spend close to a trillion dollars in several fields whilst their own wells dried up long ago. Would it not be fair that those knowingly linked to anti-Islam events; that these places are now denied a seat at the table in the Middle East? It seems only fair to me, does that seem fair to you?

Consider that the Catholic bastion Italy, that nation has close to 2 million Muslims, yet in all this, I cannot be anywhere in metropolitan Italy without any church, chapel or cathedral to be within 500 metres, yet in all Italy there are only eight official mosques in that country, does that not seem odd to you?

Why should the Middle East cater to anti-Islamic presence in their country when plenty of other many not anti-Islamic are willing to cater to them?

The world is upside down, so I think it is time that we inform the people on what is actually up and what is actually down, let’s start doing that through a movie, a movie that I call ‘The Essay‘.

 

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Oman’s neighbour

You might remember the state of Oman, capital Muscat. There are several reasons to remember Oman, the fact that they got into the news last March with: “The Central Bank of Iran has allowed lenders to issue guarantees for Iranian businesses planning to invest in Oman or those who seek to take out loans from Omani banks” is merely one reason. The fact that they are next to Yemen is the actual reason to mention them. You see, when you look at Amnesty International, you see (at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/yemen-the-forgotten-war/) the quote “On 25 March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi armed group in Yemen sparking a full-blown armed conflict. Over the following three years, the conflict in Yemen is showing no real signs of abating. Horrific human rights abuses, as well as war crimes, are being committed throughout the country by all parties to the conflict, causing unbearable suffering for civilians” is the issue. Now, let’s be clear, Amnesty International is not lying to you, but the setting that led to it is equally important. The missing part is: “Houthi forces controlling the capital Sana’a and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden“, the setting is ‘former president Ali Abdullah Saleh‘ versus ‘deposed president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi‘, deposed by the Houthi’s who had instigated a Coup d’état. I will admit that it is more complex than that (or better stated there are additional unmentioned facts here), yet the forced deposing of the then president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi is still an issue; he went for help towards his allies.

That part is an important part that is missing. After that things went from bad to worse with on the frontlines Iran using Hezbollah enabling the deniable launching of missiles on Saudi Arabia, that is a clear setting and this escalation has no sign of letting up or slowing down.

Now we get the setting that Bloomberg is giving us. the setting (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-26/yemen-rebels-say-they-attacked-abu-dhabi-airport-with-drones), with the headline ‘Yemen Rebels Say They Attacked Abu Dhabi Airport With Drones‘, the issue is not merely that they have access to drones, the setting of the Iranian missiles and the fact that the Houthi’s are attacking both Saudi Arabia and the UAE (which is denied by the UAE) gives rise to other parts. with the quote “The source confirmed that the drone, Sammad 3, begun its operations by targeting Abu Dhabi International Airport with several raids, in response to the UAE crimes against Yemen” gives rise to the setting that this is no longer merely a Houthi versus the world setting, the entire premise that not only was there a new Drone developed, the Sammad 3 is also actively attacking the UAE, the question becomes is this done via Saudi Arabia, or via Oman, not merely transgressing on their sovereign land, but is it done whilst some in either government was aware? The direct path via Saudi Arabia makes more sense as there is a whole lot of nothing in that region. The second question becomes: why strategically deploy in this way? We might accept that whatever the Yemeni have is nowhere near what the US has, so it will be less than $12M per drone, but how much less is it?

In addition, what is the operational ability of the Sammad 3 (the speculated drone in question)? When you look into the timeline that one announcement comes after the announcement of the Sammad 2, whilst increasing the operational support 10 fold is also suspicious on a few levels. You see, every system increases as becomes better, but 1000% increase is a little much by any standard. Even as we accept that some strategies are better than others, Middle East Eye gives us: “Since the Saudi-led coalition launched its war in Yemen in March 2015, the UAE has been a key player. Yet, while Riyadh’s goal has been to restore President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power and crush the Houthi uprising, Abu Dhabi has focused more on the south, training security forces to secure its own geopolitical ambitions“, in this we might question some actions, and they are to some extent, yet the overbearing issue is that there is an Iranian finger in this pie. Only 14 weeks ago we were treated to: “The Yemeni government says that Iran supplied the Houthi rebels with drones used to attack Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, Riyadh said it shot down two drones in the south of the country and intercepted ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi forces in Yemen. The drones are “made in Iran”, said Yemen’s internationally-recognised government on Saturday. It added that the country’s military did not possess such aircraft and it was “impossible to manufacture them locally””, this not directly contradicts the Bloomberg news by Mohammed Hatem. You cannot erect a drone solution in this short a time span, not even if you had all the Viagra in the world, so the tool erected setting of Iran trying new tools in the political and escalating statement arena regarding ‘drone strikes’ is more than an issue. When we see the news given from Almasirah Media Network with ‘Air Force Unveils New Drone, Sammad 3‘, are they the tool or, was the statement by The National who by their own words are ‘committed to serving the local UAE community‘ misled and they are misleading the UAE community? You see one of the two is true, not both. No matter which path is the real one, it is my personal opinion that none of this existed without Iran, they are in the middle of this and the other media sources are trying to steer clear as some are trying to ‘save’ an illusionary deal with Iran that was never a real prospect to begin with. No matter which one is true, the Yemeni population remains in the middle of it all. there is a second side to this, the events in the red Sea where a tanker was hit is now stopping transfer of oil via the Bab el-Mandeb strait, potentially upping oil prices. It is a clear intentional push for the US to get involved, especially after we were told “A huge tanker with a shipment of oil from Saudi Arabia bound for Egypt was damaged by a missile attack from the northern Bab el-Mandeb strait in the Red Sea. The Houthi rebels in Yemen, armed and financed by Iran, were responsible for the attack. It happened in the wake of the renewed exchange of threats between the United States and Iran, which could also hurt the oil market” (source: Haaretz), in addition we got “Iran’s Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani said on Thursday that the Red Sea was not secure with the presence of American troops in the area”, so there is a much louder setting that Iran is willing to escalate towards direct outspoken war. I reckon that as Europe is becoming meaningless, the direct involvement of Iran will turn defeat to victory. That is not only not given, there is every chance that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will make a united front, in addition, the naval actions could be bad times for Egypt, so there would be additional support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The questions will soon become, where does Qatar stand in all this and what are their options. They have their own worries as accusations more and more ridiculous are hitting the media. It seems that the Sydney Morning Herald is becoming the joke of independent journalism, whilst merely parroting that idiot Martin Ivens (as I personally see him in all this) on “In article published by The Sunday Times alleges the Qatar bid team used a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, the United States and Australia“, whilst the Sunday Times still has not given the people the millions of documents he stated he had with the previous accusations, so we can all optionally agree that Nine Networks is now wearing the pants in the new merger. That matters, because some are not merely tailoring to the needs of places like (censored name of sponsor), they are setting the stage for unsolicited change and through these events they are adding needlessly to pressures in the Middle East.

Pressures that need avoidance because the expression ‘If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat‘ is a role that Qatar could be pushed into. I actually prefer the Dutch version of that expression which is ‘A cornered cat can move very unpredictable‘, that is more worrying, because the unsubstantiated accusation are an actual issue on a few levels now. so when we see “the alleged smear campaign included paying a professor $US 9,000 to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia“, we demand to see that report, as well as all other evidence; we need to be shown clearly where the lies in that report were as well as the other evidence. Is that not simple? Show us the ACTUAL evidence!

All these settings are important. We can vocally set the stage against Iran (like I am doing with both evidence as well as a comic look at the two images earlier), and I can look at the presented and i am using the published details available to me with all the settings that are open to the audience at large. I never proclaim to have all the wisdom in the world, yet hiding behind ‘unnamed sources’ and ‘unpublished evidence’ like the Sunday Times, whilst I regard them because of that as nothing more than a mere courtesan to sponsors, that is how I see their actions, when the need to investigate FIFA was there, these media buffs were all about the hooker in the bookcase, the entire setting of the media had become questionable. The setting of the Garcia report, whilst the newspapers and media failed to hammer down on Hans-Joachim Eckert, so when we got the ‘refused to publish on various legal grounds‘, who went after Hans-Joachim Eckert? the entire matter also involved the Qatar 2022 cup bids, so as it stands, we need to make sure that places like the Sunday Times and the SMH are now also optionally the spreaders of Fake News, but that is apparently not the case when they have their unnamed sources.

Even as I spoke out in the end against Qatar 2022, it is only because of the stage that Qatar found itself in. It is not up to me who got them there, some was all their own doing, but a larger part was the act of smear campaigns that we see now. Almost four years of smear campaigns. If we are to actually do something about it, then EVERY newspaper is to offer the 350-page report of Michael J. Garcia from September 2014 on their website with a full page 3 summary of the report. That is the first moment that we can start taking journalists serious again (possibly with the Sun as the one exception). It is my view that anyone who was part of misleading regarding Qatar, or in the other direction supporting in falsehood the Qatar bid should be barred for life from every official sport event. It is the only way and that is merely the one side-track that the Yemen situation now calls for. With Iran upping the stakes in Yemen and with alleged drone strikes on UAE and actual attacks on Saudi Arabia, how long until one of them sees a reason to lash out against Qatar? You see, the plot is also thickening when we see the Iran increasing non-oil trade with Oman by 136% in the last quarter alone. That is half a billion in value, now we can agree that every nation has and needs trade, so I would be the last one to state against it, yet there is every indication that Iran is trying to set the mood fir additional change. Some will remember the setting last year when we were offered “Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran will resume their operations in the Omani capital Muscat which had halted during the sanctions that cut off Iran from the international financial network“, this is now seen against the news from March when we saw ‘Iran, Oman resolute to grow banking relations’ with the additional quote “Drafting an operational and practical program with opening joint accounts based on the national currencies of Iran and Oman, independent from foreign currencies, should be considered as one of the requirements of developing banking relations“, so what happens, when the setting of the national currencies becomes the foundation of a credit swap where oil is the determined value? It is merely one step away and the US crying for cheap oil is that one element that could make it happen. The US not acting against Oman, whilst knowingly allowing for the swapping of Iranian originated oil based CDO’s is not that far stretched, is it?

Now we have billions in funds, an operational drone team and additional Hezbollah populists trying to set the stage in Yemen. there is support for that view (to the smallest extent), Arab News two weeks ago gave us: “Yemen’s foreign minister has called on Lebanon’s caretaker government to “rein in” Hezbollah and its aggressive tactics in support of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia“, whilst in addition, whilst the National gave us last week: “The UAE Embassy in Beirut has denied claims made by Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah Al Akhbar newspaper regarding an “Emirates Leaks” report that says Abu Dhabi is applying pressure on Muscat over the Qatar crisis. The embassy has called the leaked diplomatic correspondence from the UAE Embassy in Muscat “false” and said that it was aimed at creating tension with Oman“. We need to realise that the two are unrelated articles are merely that. One has apples, the other pears and the fact that they both represent pieces of fruit is no evidence, changing one of them into oranges does not behold additional truth that should be clear. Yet the stage where Iran decided to increase trade by 136% is a shown fact and Iran has been doing something similar with Turkey which has not given Turkey an additional amount close to $5 billion in the last 6 months alone. Iran is setting a trade stage where in the end, in light of their devaluation and monetary value can soon (or already) only be honoured with oil, how quaint!

It is not merely the plans in place, it is the funding that these projects require, that is where it seems to make sense, but it is not a given that those are the only paths that are being trodden. You see, there is still the Uranium enrichment program that is worked on. With those in the works, we see the need for serious amounts of cash, skills and equipment, all that from a setting where the infrastructure was no longer able to meet the financial needs and the commitment from Iran towards Yemen by the Iranian commander in chief shows that the next step is not that far away, they will need resources and there is now at least a partial setting in place where the facilitation is close to complete. From my point of view, lowering the pressures on Qatar allows Qatar to walk away from Iran as far as possible limiting the options that Iran has, and that is an essential requirement at present.

Even as we see several sources give us lines like: ‘Oman and Kuwait has taken a neutral position in the dispute involving Qatar‘, I am actually less and less convinced that Oman is completely neutral in all this. Is the trade merely growing sympathy in Oman, or is news from places like Sarfayt and Dhalkut changing the sentiment that the people in Oman have? I actually do not know, but something seems to be stirring in Oman, perhaps it is not a pro-Iran feeling, merely a lessened anti-Iran sentiment, they are not the same. What does matter is that all this is escalating giving Iran more options in Yemen, to counter that outside of a full scale event in Yemen is to take away the available fuel that Iran has and I think that removing pressure from Qatar is a first step in all this. Should this be successful, we might see a setting where Oman feels less comfortable having strong ties with Iran, which seems to serve everyone’s purpose (except Iran of course).

 

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The Qatarian debacle

There is no denying it, we sometimes take the most stupid steps, even though it was for the best intentions. Yet when we are confronted with the reality, it becomes a different thing, especially when corruption and corporations intervene. First we were confronted with the prospect of Qatar 2022, I was actually pretty happy about it. To bring the enthousiasm of Soccer into the Middle East is a good thing, it opens all kinds of dialogues between Middle Eastern nations and as Europe has one universal event in common, soccer could have become the bridge between the nations in Europe and the Middle East. That’s how I naively saw it. But it took merely a week or two until suddenly the accusations of corruption came out of the woodwork. More and more news outlets have become the ‘whores’ of shareholders and stake holders, all in fear because it wasn’t merely about Qatar, it was the fact that it would be held in winter overlapping the normal soccer season, leaving us with the clear set that clubs could not play with their stars representing the national teams. With all that advertisement opportunity gone, they are all screaming like bitches. The biggest of them (Martin Ivens) is part of this (at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/plot-to-buy-the-world-cup-lvxdg2v7l7w), and when we see “revealed for the first time this weekend in a bombshell cache of millions of documents leaked to The Sunday Times“, the editorial has a clear duty to inform the public showing the evidence. The fact that ‘millions of documents‘ were parsed is close to impossible, but that’s going to be another story. Yet since June 1st 2014, we keep in getting more and more speculations, yet no evidence was presented. In the end, the FIFA corruption was merely parsed aside, no clear imprisonment, merely ‘a six-year ban from participating in FIFA activities‘, the corruption and the facilitation to the stake holders and shareholders have gone that far, yet no one presented clear evidence at any level to the public, partially my setting for demanding Martin Ivens that he gets the hell out of journalism.

In all this, Qatar has remained the battered victim (in this instance) and I thought it was good for those shareholders and stakeholders to feel the consequences of diminished value for a change. Yet that is not happening. Still, we see is some olive branch towards soccer by setting the news as we saw it in the Washington Post with ‘FIFA could expand World Cup to 48 teams in 2022, ahead of schedule‘, either it is a 50% bigger strain for Qatar to keep up with the changes or it collapses and the torch quickly gets handed over to another soccer nation pleasing all stake holders involved.

Yet the issue is now escalating and not in a good way, it is also not on the soccer side that things are becoming a mess. In this case it is not about the article (at https://www.thenational.ae/world/britain-warned-over-qatar-s-london-intelligence-network-1.749819), where we see the quote “A group of Arab countries demanded action from the British government to restrict an expansion of Qatar’s intelligence activities in London, including surveillance operations as well as political and propaganda activity“, I am not sure if this is actually happening, but it is one part that increases the pressures going on. The actual dangers are coming from two siders, the first is seen in Haaretz (at https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/how-qatar-is-warming-ties-with-both-trump-and-iran-at-the-same-time-1.6247714), where we get ‘How Qatar Is Warming Ties with Both Trump and Iran – at the Same Time‘, it is the Iran side that is a worry. We might take notice of an old fact given in “Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of fomenting regional unrest, supporting terrorism and getting too close to Iran, all of which Doha denies“, yet that is not the danger (at present). In addition we see the actions (the clever actions) from Qatar with “A review on Monday of Foreign Agent Registration Act records show that since May 31, six U.S. companies or individuals have registered new Qatari lobbying contracts with the Department of Justice. That number includes the major firms Ogilvy (which is being paid $10,000 per month) and Portland PR ($20,000 per month)“, in addition, Ogilvy gives them full access to the Commonwealth, so London (as mentioned earlier), Canada and Australia are part of the setting to change public opinion, a task Ogilvy is very good at. The second part is different, when we look (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/135396/Iran-1st-quarter-export-to-Qatar-quadrupled-year-on-year), we see something that seems harmless enough, yet the fact that “In the first quarter of the current year of 1397 (March 21, 2018- June 21, 2018), 74 million and 61 thousand dollars of goods were shipped from Iran to Qatar, which has increased by 214 percent year-on-year“, seems innocent enough, yet it also gives us that with over $300 million of trade goods before the end of the year, a large amount of people go back and forth, which also optionally offers military advisors as well as people of the Hezbollah persuasion opportunities and now it becomes a very different game, now we have a setting that allows for the settling of units and their sole reason for playing possum the next three years is to go out with a bang in November 2022. Consider this setting against the Washington Post of April (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/hacked-messages-show-qatar-appearing-to-pay-hundreds-of-millions-to-free-hostages/2018/04/27/46759ce2-3f41-11e8-974f-aacd97698cef_story.html) where we see ‘Hacked messages show Qatar appearing to pay hundreds of millions to free hostages’, the operative word is ‘appearing’. When we see both: “with a half-dozen militias and foreign governments jostling to squeeze cash from the wealthy Persian Gulf state. “The Syrians, Hezbollah-Lebanon, Kata’ib Hezbollah, Iraq — all want money, and this is their chance,” Zayed bin Saeed al-Khayareen, Qatar’s ambassador to Iraq and chief negotiator in the hostage affair, wrote in the message. “All of them are thieves.” And yet, the Qataris were willing to pay, and pay they did, confidential documents confirm“, as well as “they appear to consent to payments totalling at least $275 million to free nine members of the royal family and 16 other Qatari nationals kidnapped during a hunting trip in southern Iraq“, there are issues that do not add up. Now consider that such a large group of dignitaries was too unprotected as well as the fact that this event did not become world news on every level!

Now we have a series of players like Kata’ib Hezbollah and Hezbollah-Lebanon ready for the next event. This they will play really clever, with $150 million ready, they have the time to prepare and truly make the beginning of Qatar 2022 go badaboom (big badaboom); Qatar gets to play the wounded victim and whatever happens will be in the news for years to come after that. The fact that this threat is actually growing and no longer unrealistic is also part of the issue now for considering the relocation of Qatar 2022 to somewhere else. That setting was not there in 2014, or not as far as I would be able to tell. What is now a given is that not only is there an actual danger here, the fact that this setting exists, is an additional threat to Saudi Arabia, if they will be able to attack the stadium as well as fire missiles on Riyadh, the stage changes as Riyadh is now a mere 449.23 Km, very much within range of several missile solutions. Tactically speaking they would come into Qatar into parts, like as spare parts for engineering equipment, most could be hidden in several ways and with $300 million in goods, the chance of finding even one part is close to impossible. They will have 3 years to assemble it all. Saudi Arabia is not alone, as this situation unfolds, we need to realise that the UAE and Abu Dhabi is a mere 200 Km away, an equally appealing target for Iran. You might think that it is not an option, yet the ‘goodwill’ that Iran bought with missiles for Hezbollah is exactly why it is an optional reality to face; it is the cost of doing business.

So, as we consider the cost of doing business we can only hope for the places like Ogilvy that if this happens that they have all the right paperwork ready for their presentations on what they facilitated for. It’s not like it might actually impact its parent company WPP plc, is it? We can only watch (and smile) from the sidelines when its £55.56 billion value starts fading like snowflakes in the summer sunshine. Should you think that I am kidding and my view is far-fetched? Consider what happens when 200 countries filled with an estimated 3.5 billion devoted soccer fans go berserk. I will be selling tickets and popcorn to that event and make a killing (figuratively speaking).

The Qatarian debacle was poorly set from the very start, it was a non-issue and whilst people filled their pockets we saw close to no concise actions against FIFA for decades. Now that the world stage, especially in the Middle East is polarising and escalating on several fields, we see that the allowed setting is becoming more than merely ‘optionally hazardous‘. The actions on several sides give a clear danger that no matter how you slice it Qatar 2022 is a clear tactical target, not only for the players, but the amount of dignitaries attending are now are set in a stage where the tiger gets offered a pound of flesh and everyone on the sidelines is considering that the tiger might be a vegetarian whilst it all gets aired in prime-time to every part of the world, you tell me who the short sighted player in that stage is.

 

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