Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The aid package

People on a global scale, no matter what religion they preach, they have an inherent need for humanitarian action. It shows that people remain people, they have feelings and emotion. Especially now, in the Muslim month of Ramadan, which according to the Britannica is “a time for Muslims to practice self-restraint, in keeping with ṣawm (Arabic: “to refrain”), one of the pillars of Islam (the five basic tenets of the Muslim religion). Although ṣawm is most commonly understood as the obligation to fast during Ramadan, it is more broadly interpreted as the obligation to refrain between dawn and dusk from food, drink, sexual activity, and all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts.” Yet Time.com (as well as other sources give us: “Muslims believe that following these practices during Ramadan will lead to self-purification, self-control and bring them closer to Allah. Many Muslims also attend special prayer services, read verses of the Quran and engage in charity“, these are words I read before in other places. Yet it is here that we see the questions rise. First is Qatar with ‘Qatar to send $480m to help Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/07/qatar-send-480m-help-palestinians-west-bank-gaza-israel-ceasefire), this sounds all on the up and up, and I have no reason to give doubt here, and with “Qatar’s foreign ministry said $300m would go towards supporting health and education programmes of the Palestinian Authority, while $180m would go toward urgent humanitarian relief, UN programmes and providing electricity” we see this reinforced. Yet the article also gives us: “Although Qatar does not give money directly to Hamas, its support since 2012, totalling $755m, has been a vital lifeline for the cash-strapped group, relieving it from having to fund civilian and infrastructure projects“, which now brings to bare the issue of other funding as Hamas was able to afford missile barrage after missile barrage. I am not placing blame on Qatar, or other Islamic charities, but I am left with the thought. If you give any junkie money for food, and he then uses his other funds to buy drugs because the junkie knows that he will get the charity for food, are we as a people inflicting harm and additional hardship on the junkie? It makes me reflect on the act through ‘refrain from all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts‘. It also gives rise to the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48147066) where we see: ‘Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan‘, and as we are given: “President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”. But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.” does the month of Ramadan allow for this? If not, does that make them bad Muslims? I am not stating it, I am asking this.

Why is this so important?

To comprehend certain parts of Islam we need to dive deeper in what we do not know and even if there is no direct requirement to know what the Taliban does (most of us do not care), the news has been giving us other versions. The Express (at https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1122649/isis-news-latest-terror-france-jihadist-police-elysee-palace) gives us that the French stopped an ISIS attack. With ‘ISIS planned ‘violent’ attack on French palace say police‘ we see “According to AFP, the suspects had several targets, the unnamed source said, but their overall objective was to launch an attack on security forces, namely those “standing guard outside the Elysée Palace”. The men, arrested last Friday on suspicion of acquiring weapons “with a view to committing a terrorist act” are currently in provisional detention and awaiting trial. The would-be terrorists, who had been under police surveillance since early February, were spotted outside the Elysée Palace in central Paris on a reconnaissance mission shortly before their arrest“, whilst the Malayan version of the Daily Express (at http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/134811/no-hate-speech-during-ramadan-mosques-told/) gives us ‘No hate speech during Ramadan, mosques told‘, as well as “We will act firmly the actions of labelling a person as deviant and calling others infidels because mosques must be free from political party ideologies. “We must guard our mouths from uttering slander during Ramadan because it can create numerous problems which can break up families,’’ he told a media conference after launching a Let’s Celebrate Ramadan programme in the compound of the Kerian district mosque, here, Saturday.” An American might trivialise it as seeing someone from ISIS as a fake Muslim, I merely wonder on the application to Islam and Muslim faith in this case.

It is also increased pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We read (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1494481/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures‘, these people under the guidance of Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defence in Makkah are prepared through 38 fixed civil defence centres, supported by 24 seasonal centres, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defence posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims. And when you think that this is a lot, consider that the mataf area would accommodate more than 107,000 people per hour, there will be 500,000 headsets for worshippers getting access to 10 languages of the 679 lessons and lectures that are to be delivered during Ramadan. I have seen a few Christian places, I have been to Lourdes, yet I have a problem trying to comprehend the concept of 100,000 people an hour. It amounts to the entire population of Adelaide (Australia), Birmingham (UK), Dallas (US) or Calgary (CA) EVERY day for a month. For the pilgrims this has not gone unnoticed, as there was high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan. Yet a lot of this is merely seen in the Arab News and Gulf News, even as plenty of respectable papers give light to this, we see a movement as the number of respectable papers is winding down, so is the amount of information given to non-Muslims. The Sydney Morning Herald also gives us: “just as Christian holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter have become commercialised, Ramadan is increasingly associated with night-time festivities and binge eating. While, traditionally, the fasting day ends with a feast, in modern times people often attend Ramadan events at hotels and restaurants and, combined with the lower activity of fasting days, can even find themselves gaining weight during the holy month“, which is fair enough and not to be seen in a negative light, I found the images from the Four Seasons hotel lightly overwhelming, almost like a Victorian Christmas diner setup. For me, the entire issue is not an issue, although I see (read: expect additional) danger of not drinking water during the day a health issue (from my non-medical view), the Sydney Morning Herald reinforced that with: “In the Gulf states, a spike in attendances at hospitals has been reported, with problems ranging from dehydration to uncontrolled diabetes, as well as injuries from traffic accidents attributed to drowsiness“.

Errors in thinking

The first thing I accept is that I am looking at Muslim matters with a Christian eye, that is my background and I know that if I wonder about things plenty of others got at that point long before me, it is the educational part that remains lagging for me, I am not a Muslim, yet at the same moment, the image and message from one, whilst we see issues handed to us in opposition. One such view was given to me from Kuwait by Al Waqyan, in a nation that is 99% Muslim. There I was given ‘Kuwaiti journalist criticizes ban on ‘public eating’ during Ramadan‘. Now, from a Christian point I would agree, yet knowing that 99% of that nation is either fasting or trying to fast, would his view not allow for a larger pressure on those fasting? Perhaps the old movie example where a prisoner in the age of the crusades are watching the jailer just outside of reach have a large feast whilst the prisoners are begging for food. Would it not be cruel and unusual punishment to be faced with a large meal when a person should be fasting? I understand that there are conditions when a person cannot fast, yet is it too much to ask for that person to do it in private or not in view of other people?

I found the fact that there is a level of polarisation interesting, not because of what I believe, but the fact that it is in a stage where all the contestants are seemingly Muslim. I would personally be on the side of: “some believe it’s appropriate to apply it in Muslim majority countries“, there are plenty of moments when no one can see anything and having a quick sip of water then would be acceptable. It is perhaps the only part that I see happen, there is absolutely no situation where a person should be able to eat in public view anywhere, not when a person could be at home to have a bite to eat.

The opportunity

This is where we see the opportunity, when we are given ‘Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry launches new interactive portal‘, we see the place that gives us (at present) “The new portal will provide more than 30 services for pilgrims, available in Arabic, English and French, with an average of 55 pages per language. Four more languages will be added in the near future.” Most people, especially 100% of the pilgrims will see this as an excellent idea and it is. What it allows for is a much larger option; it could become a start for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam, to learn more on what is unknown. When we consider that optionally in western languages there are ‘the 679 lessons and lectures‘ that shows the spirit of Islam in the stage where it is all about the season of inner reflection, forgiveness and spiritual renewal. As such the sacred month of Ramadan might open a moment to introduce to those unaware of Islam the resources that allow us to oppose Islamophobia as well as diminish the options that anti Islamist groups like pagida and others are growing all over Western Europe, the US and the Commonwealth nations. I personally believe that education is a first step in diminishing the powers that they have. It does not requires us to become Muslim, it does not require us to agree, but at least we will be properly educated and informed and history has shown that this is a first step in slowing down and stopping the haters, and that is never ever a bad thing. Knowledge can be an exemplary aid package, it is time we all used that option to the fullest.

 

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How Americans lose wars

There is a clear setting of war; the Americans have their articles of war in this. Yet is that enough?

Some stare at Article 10 of this, which gives us:

Every non-commissioned officer or soldier, who shall himself in the service of the United States, shall, at the time of his so enlisting, or within six days afterward have the Articles for the government of the armies of the United States read to him, and shall, by the officer who enlisted him, or by the commanding officer of the troop or company into which he was enlisted, be taken before the next justice of the peace, or chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, not being an officer of the army or where recourse cannot be had to the civil magistrate, before the judge advocate, and in his presence shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of the United States.” Which justice, magistrate or judge advocate is to give to the officer a certificate, signifying that the man enlisted did take the said oath or affirmation. (* By Section 111 of Chapter 42 August 3, 1861, the oath of enlistment and re-enlistment may be administered by any commissioned officer of the army.)

Yet is that enough?

You see, this article was the first one that came to mind when I was confronted with the Washington Post who gives us (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-special-forces-soldier-once-lauded-as-a-hero-faces-murder-charge/2018/12/13/bb4a11ee-ff10-11e8-ad40-cdfd0e0dd65a_story.html) the headline ‘Former Special Forces soldier, once lauded as a hero, faces murder charge‘. Here we see the mention of U.S Army Capt. Mathew Golsteyn. The article gives us in several cases “the suspected bomb maker“. The question is not merely regarding that captain, it is regarding the political cloud over a theatre of war. When we are confronted with: “The suspected bomb maker was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill, according to Army documents” when we place this next to “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines. Golsteyn said that they brought the suspected bomb maker back to their base“. When we see the clear state where US troops are in a stage with an enemy of their nation and forces, we get to go to the articles of war “I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever“, from my point of view, a point of view shared by many, we get the condition that a bomb maker is that, we also get that this was a clear enemy, even if there is a setting of “was not on a list of targets that U.S. forces had been cleared to kill“, we have the clear setting of an enemy and when the strategical status changes where the existence of the bomb maker can upset a much larger territorial field, it is my personal belief that killing the target is not merely warranted, it had become essential. One would expect that an Army Captain has the rank to clearly set that field. We might argue that optionally that those who managed the “list of targets” could have been inadvertently asleep at the wheel.

It also makes me oppose the state of “demonstrating conduct unbecoming of an officer“, if anything he showed the balls (an element most flaccid US politicians are lacking) to do something essential. In this war, we have been confronted with a shifting of values by the enemies attacking America and as such, other considerations should be made in all this.

It becomes merely an administrative exercise when we were offered “found materials needed to make bombs like the one that had killed the Marines”, which alone would have been sufficient to take actions that might have resulted in enemy fatalities, optionally disregarding the circumstance.

When we are confronted with this stage we see the setting on why American forces might end up losing. I do not argue that there has been a clear path of transgressions by others as we are exposed to: “another officer, former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on village elders in Afghanistan who were approaching his unit while they were on patrol. Several member of Lorance’s platoon testified against him after being offered immunity.” In the case of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn we see a very different stage and here we see a failing; a failing by the army, a failing by the American politicians and the quote by Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R.-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee giving us: “Matt Golsteyn is an American hero. Matt Golsteyn does for the American people what we ask him to do, and the Army is screwing him again, and they ought to be embarrassed“, which seems to fit the bill in all this.

We also see another part; at the end of the linked article we are given: “A senior Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said a request for information on the Army’s handling of the case has been filed with the Defense Department Inspector General. Until that is resolved, the official said, the case is on hold“. I can only partially accept that. From my point of view a clear documented path should be presented to the people showing what the soldiers fighting for America have to go through. When I see “the Army’s handling of the case“, I see the need that there needs to be more clarity for these people in war time conditions and whilst in a stage where they can be part of a live fire exercise at any given moment. As I have the ability to kill anything within 800 meters (with the proper rifle), considering the damage I could do, knowing that there were plenty of people in Afghanistan imparting such damage on American troops, does the Pentagon or the political engine have any clue that any holier than though stage is not merely dangerous, it has the danger of losing an enormous amount of additional troops killed by leaving them in such a dangerous stage of uncertainty?

There is every case for the prosecution of former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, yet is there any clear stage of transgression against then Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn? The fact that this entire matter has been going on for 5 years gives clear voice that some people are seeking something else; that conclusion comes to me when I see that the finding in 2014 was that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Yet that too leaves us with questions. Because we need to recognise the difference between ‘insufficient evidence to prosecute‘ versus ‘cleared as no wrongdoing was found‘.

We might be able to agree that the stage of Army Captain Mathew L. Golsteyn is one that required scrutiny, yet the fact that the finding of 2014 should have been accepted (even though I have an optional issue regarding the stripping of his Silver Star, however as I am unaware of the findings or the reasons on exactly why he was stripped, we need to keep that part in the air. If we consider the phrase ‘conduct unbecoming an officer’ we need to consider that “He launched an 80-man mission to hunt the shooter down, slogging through a muddy field under fire to help a wounded Afghan soldier“. One case is not another and in this the uncertainty that American troops are implied to be exposed to is also a much more dangerous setting, not merely in morale, but in the dangerous stage that until clear documented orders are given to soldiers on a battlefield, they might not act in fear of prosecution and that is deadly dangerous, which is a clear setting of defeat!

When we see in the official document: “CPT GOLSTEYN related he trusted Mr. [REDACTED]’s intelligence and had always given him credible information which saved lives and prevented attacks“, my mind would have been made up and clear. So whoever has been stretching and reactivating this investigation for 5 years needs to (in my most diplomatic posture and voice): “Fuck off and become a barber, hairdresser or taxi driver“, so there!

I admit that I might spend a day checking the validity of the report, yet it took 10 seconds to make up my mind in all this. War is war, it does not change; it does not compromise or play nice. For a lot of people the contemplation of wars changed. It was initially on the 9th of August 2001 at a place called Sbarro in Jerusalem. A month later we got two buildings in New York on September 11th (you might remember that) as well as the earlier bombings on four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk between September 4th and September 16th 1999. It changed the stage of war. It was an intentional war against civilians, a war that should have been made unacceptable from day one.

From my personal point of view, the direct killing of a terrorist should be unconditional and non-prosecutable. We might argue that not all those wearing explosive vests do so of their own accord, yet at that point we need to avoid optional additional deaths a kill shot might be required. Yes, at that point we need to investigate if avoiding collateral damage can be proven to have been avoided and that is exactly what then Captain Golsteyn did.

I think that the US (as well as other nations) has ventured too much towards the facilitation of terrorists with the visible exception of France who knows just what to do with those unpleasant individuals (aka ‘fuckers’).

I also found the additional information (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/05/19/see-document-excerpts-in-the-armys-war-crimes-case-against-a-green-beret-war-hero/) interesting here is the additional: “In December 2011, a special agent contacted Bing West, a bestselling author who spent time with Golsteyn’s unit around the time of the alleged killing. He said he wouldn’t assist investigators unless he was subpoenaed, and had never seen them do anything inappropriate.” This too is interesting for a few reasons. There is ample evidence that the media and the news steered around the events to the largest degree, those without knowledge, voices and with degrees in journalism have millions of words on Jamal Khashoggi, even if there is no evidence, yet when it comes to the work and dedication of Golsteyn, they all remain silent, this too is a level of hypocrisy I find hard to swallow. I do not run away from the issue and my findings on what I have been able to ascertain. So when I see ‘leaked report’ I have questions, questions that those leakers will not like (like the need for their identity) and the need to hold these people to account or their actions. So when I am treated to “Golsteyn “was not remorseful as he had solid intelligence and his actions protected the safety of his fellow teammates,” it said“, I merely see it as the required consequence of war. I also feel the need to make clear to feel my urge to make the not entirely proven claim that most likely someone at the CIA leaked it, to state to Director Gina Haspel (who was not in charge at that point): “Gina clean up your house, or I will do it for you and I won’t be nice about it!

OK, that was a little over the top, yet am I wrong? We see all kinds of leaked reports left right and centre, yet when it comes to Jamal Khashoggi we get no leaked tapes, we get no leaked reports or photographs, we merely get 57,000,000 search results, most of them misinformation, repeated unsubstantiated rumours and debatable facts that are anything but confirmed facts. When we look for Matt Golsteyn, we merely see less than 190,000 results and most repeat each other and also hiding behind “suspected Taliban bomb maker” (which is not completely unacceptable) , so how much effort did Sam’s uncle show to check the validity of that part and the parts found? It seems to me that a mere confirmation of that would have resulted in a dismissal of all charges, or am I making the challenge too simple for the Pentagon (and/or) the CIA?

Before you all consider that it was a complex issue, I can give you the rough estimated 98.43356% certainty that it was not rocket science. We now see that President Trump is looking into the matter and that is a good thing, although in opposition, I personally believe that it should never have reached his desk, it should have been solved within the Pentagon walls in 2014, and it did (the outcome remaining partially debatable as I personally see it).

In the end, this is merely one case and there have been plenty, I will also admit that in many cases the US did not show to have its finest hour or that the actions of a few have been acceptable, yet in the case of then Captain Golsteyn, I would have done the same thing again, and again and again, no matter how the aftermath outcome was. The now Major Golsteyn response: “he couldn’t have lived with himself if [the suspected bomb maker] killed another Soldier or Marine“, he had the proper mindset to keep himself and his brothers in arms away from harm. So let us all hope that the House Armed Services Committee has more people like Duncan D. Hunter and less people who go ‘miaow’ day and night, because as I see it the people of a feline distinction will cower when it comes to the light of day and plead for a compromising solution with whomever achieves victory over America and in light of certain events that is not an unrealistic future that America is moving towards.

When we see people like Maria Butina having (via the NRA) sway over politicians and attempting to set an alleged Russian agenda, allegedly advocating the needs of Alexander Torshin, how much more important is it now to set the stage for a strong and committed defence force (and optional a strong intelligence force). Do you really think that the events surrounding Matt Golsteyn will get America there?

I very much doubt it!

 

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The Saint’s parcel

Today it is December 5th, in the Netherlands that means it is St Nicholas day. It is the Dutch version of Santa Claus, but with a difference. The story goes back to the Greek bishop of Myra, what is now known as Turkey (270-340 AD). Saint Nicholas is the patron Saint of children and the day preceding his birthday (6th December) it is the evening of presents and all the kids (until a certain age) will receive a present.

As you might imagine the week before all this, things can get really hectic, especially in the toy stores, on a global scale when we see Thanksgiving, St. Nicholas and Christmas, the numbers given to us by power retail ‘Cyber Monday Breaks Record, Becomes “Biggest Sales Day Ever”‘, these numbers makes sense as moments like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other deal moments with discount sales is what people look for globally so that they can show their kids that there are happy times, even if it is just for a day or two. Variety gives us (at https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/nintendo-switch-sales-holiday-sales-figures-1203038569/) even more. With their headline ‘Nintendo Sold $250 Million in Products from Black Friday to Cyber Monday in U.S.‘, they are showing a setting that is awesome.

More important it is their e-commerce sales of games that is partially taking the cake with the statement: “The Nintendo Switch is now the best-selling Nintendo console in U.S. history for that five-day period, surpassing even Wii system sales, the company announced Wednesday.” Even as we see “Nintendo’s overall goal for the financial year of 38 million units sold, though analysts are still predicting it will fall just short, hitting about 35 million“, yet in all that the analysts are eager to avoid the one setting that matters, in under two years the Nintendo Switch is about to equal the lifetime sales of the Xbox One, a number that is very impressive as the Xbox One had 300% of the time frame to get to this point. And overall the entire Microsoft issue is expected to hit a few more bumps in the road. Software was the key in all this and Nintendo does comprehend quality software. The curve is changing for the better for Nintendo as their demo stations are all over game shops like EB Games. Parents can see how amazing it looks and as the kids are having a go at playing kart and playing Mario Odyssey, we see (as I saw) that the parents are getting a smile on their faces. It is a family friendly system, where violence is limited to a paint gun with a colour. And as we see the greats (Diablo 3) added to the Switch, we see an amazing list of games titles we see a system that is more and more overwhelming when it comes to quality gaming. A game setting where quality is not the silly notion of high level graphics, no! Quality gaming is the level of fun you get out of it and Nintendo is turning heads around and for the first time in history Sony is starting to get worried as the setting now is that this year Switch surpassed the Sony PlayStation. Now that does not means that Sony is number two, they have well over 250% in number of consoles in the field, yet the fact that Nintendo is closing the gap slightly and surpassing Microsoft has never been seen before in the age of gaming. I loved my GameCube (I still miss Mario Sunshine even today), I loved the games I had and when I saw that the Wii was backward compatible I did not hesitate, yet the Switch is showing to be up to the challenge of equalling this in quality gaming. In this we see that Nintendo is getting it right and even as I questioned the stupidity of analysts with their ‘predicting it will fall just short‘, I believe that their entire setting is bogus. Nintendo has the goods and is showing it has equaled the challenge gaining on the larger advantage that Sony has and surpassing what was once the great Microsoft console and the most powerful console? It might be, yet when it offers a mere 25% of the family fun, I wonder what some people choose.

Now, we do not state that the Xbox cannot deliver the goods, yet we have always known that Nintendo was a family and younger player system. Now that we can be on the road, play on TV (via dock) and have access to some of the most addictive games (Diablo 3, Mario Kart, Skyrim, Minecraft, Rocket league) and so many more titles we need to wonder what the others did wrong.

Well they didn’t!

They made a choice and they continued on that path, Microsoft thought what it had to compete with Sony and they did not end up doing that, they soured their own milk from the very beginning in policy and hardware, they refused to listen to their gamers and they are still losing traction in the process. Even as some corrections and some really good ideas have been launched (Game Pass), they have too much to catch on. Nintendo remained on the family fun and family friendly path and they merely gained speed, and within a year they pushed for a speed that would surpass Sony annual sales and they seemed to have done it in 2018 (the official numbers are not out yet). However the consoles and the quarter of a billion in online store sales in under a month is now showing to become the monster truck of revenue. So as I personally sneer at “Nintendo stock hit a five year high of $58.45 a share this year, only to shed more than 40 percent of its value this month, with a year-low of $33.90“, I see clear numbers that do not support the actions and recommendations of these analysts. The titles Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2 represent 40 million copies sold. This implies that every Nintendo Switch has at least one of these games and that is an amazing result. Now set this against a company like Ubisoft (as a mere example) with Assassin’s Creed, 100 million copies over 11 titles on 3+ systems, Far Cry, 25 million copies over 6 titles on 3+ systems and Watch Dogs with 2 titles on 3 systems, 10 million copies sold. These are all decent games and when compared to four titles on one system, we start seeing the first part where the others seem to be getting it wrong. That is the comparison that some analysts do not seem to grasp. In addition, the close to flawless results against other titles on other consoles show and we have not even started with the millions of players playing Pokemon on Nintendo handheld systems.

On the day of Saint Nicholas we look at these kids and we see the overwhelming need and desire for gaming, consoles and handhelds. For the next 4 weeks it will be about that group and I predict that Nintendo will be looking at another half a billion if the previous record is anything to go by. It is likely that Boxing Day sales will add to that revenue surpassing my prediction. Clever grandparents adding an optional $30 gift card for their grand-kids to get several games cheap on boxing day sales, adding even more to the Nintendo profit coffer.

Even Forbes gave me the thumbs up (virtually that is). They had the top purchase mention with Nintendo as one of the titles and the PS4 as the most talked about, no mention on Microsoft. Even as Apple got a few mentions, the words ‘Microsoft’, ‘Surface’ and ‘Xbox’ were absent in that view (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2018/11/12/5-best-headphones-under-100/#47cb25aa5239), in addition the aggressive discount that the Nintendo gives with their Switch plus Mario Kart in the Netherlands is seeing its own fair share of mentions. If the feast of Saint Nicholas has one drawback then I would think it is the longer absence of board games. Playing a game like monopoly whilst unwrapping a present whenever one player passes go was heaps fun. There was the tension which name was drawn and as present by present was opened; whilst we played monopoly and had hot chocolate milk (it is cold in the Netherlands in December) was a level of fun I still miss.

Yet, we must not forget the hardship either, and there is a lot of that and a lot more coming; in the last year over 50,000 children died in Yemen from hardship, disease and famine. I expect that in 2019 we will see that the 2018 numbers will surpass the passing of 100,000 children. The children are too young to face what other children have to go through in other places, yet we adults cannot afford to do that. If I had to forego my optional Nintendo Switch for one child in Yemen to have a decent meal, I will end up not playing a Nintendo Switch for some time to come, even as the child still dies and I merely prevented it from dying on an empty stomach, I would do so. Even as the peace talks are being held, I fear for the lack of progress, as this is not in the interest of Iran. It is still progressing on arming Houthi; it is still facilitating via Hezbollah and the children are merely in the way there. From my point of view Europe is enabling it as they want their nuclear accord, an accord that is not likely to be the value of printed paper, the Iranian missile tests can be considered proof in this. In this part Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is actually in a very dangerous place. Even as he is with an ally, as the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, we see that the danger is twofold. As more and more US politicians are seemingly ‘bashing’ Saudi Arabia, yet they seem to ignore the danger that Hezbollah is there, we see the start of imbalance, and as this imbalance continues, so do the events in Yemen killing even more children. The hollow words like ‘Iran has praised Yemeni peace talks scheduled to take place soon‘, they want their version in charge in Yemen, not the elected one and they are willing to let millions of kids die to get that done. So whilst the US gives us “The United States has displayed pieces of what it says were Iranian weapons deployed to militants in Yemen and Afghanistan“, whilst at the same time US politicians are unbalancing their allied commitment to Saudi Arabia, we see that in the end it is a political stalemate with the lives of all the Yemeni children in the balance and there is no reasonable chance that the children there will get a better deal out of it.

So as we see the independent giving us the goods and the stage of truth last week with: ‘US struggles to find footing on Yemen, as Iran increases influence‘, we see (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-yemen-civil-war-iran-influence-saudi-arabia-bombing-trump-weapons-houthis-rebels-a8661546.html) that the US and mostly its politicians seem to have lost their perception on the larger game. the quote “The US Senate, angered in part by the White House response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, on Wednesday voted in a surprise move to advance a bill that would cut American participation in the Yemen conflict“, the emotions towards a previously unknown journalist (and ignoring all those imprisoned and dead journalists in Turkey) is setting the stage of enabling the Iran agenda. Vetoed or not, it will up the pressure on Saudi Arabia and in all this, the populist pressure is one that historically has turned anti Saudi more often than not, increasing the larger issues towards Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in other directions as well.

In all this does America even know who their allies and enemies are? The question is more important than you think, as we see on the feast of Saint Nicholas that millions of children in Yemen are abandoned. So what did this have to do with games?

When you watch your child play some Call of Duty game and you realise that it is not Battleground 5, it is not Call of Duty, or Fortnite, but it is the game ‘Holy Defense’, created by Hezbollah to let gamers and players kill ISIS members. When we are treated to: “Hezbollah has developed a 3-D computer game to capture the minds of its youth, while showing them a good time.” When you see your children play this free downloaded game in Europe and America, how much safer was the Nintendo Switch with their family values to begin with?

I agree that this is not a fair remark for Sony and Microsoft and they are not part of this in any way, but when it comes to First Person Shooters, can parents even tell the difference anymore? And when it is getting to close to the factual truth, can they even perceive how many children are getting killed in the process whilst Yemen is facing delay after delay? Should that not be the central issue on the day of the patron saint of children?

 

 

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The target is killing me

The BBC gave the news 4 hours ago. We are treated to ‘Men planned ‘driverless car’ attack‘ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-45409925). In the article we are also given “She said both men supported terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State (IS). The two had decided that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) could be made and used in the UK in a way which would spare their own lives but harm others they considered “infidels”, she said.” At this point three red flags went up. Then we see “In November he is said to have shared a propaganda video showing warfare and beheadings “to inspire supporters of IS [and] frighten those who do not support IS”“, which is red flag number 4.

Finally we are treated to “When the pair were arrested in the early hours of 19 December police seized three air rifles, two Samurai swords, a wine bottle of sulphuric acid, homemade fireworks, and “a variety of improvised homemade fuses” at Mr Star’s flat“. These are not Jihadists. They are losers in the first degree and they are playing the decoy in the second degree. When you see ‘My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left‘ do you not get that?

The problem is not that they were caught; the issue is that they are draining essential resources. You see, from the early view (optionally not the correct one) we see the clash of ‘martyrdom operation‘ against ‘spare their own lives’; you see martyrdom opposes sparing one’s life. It is nice to see that Islamic State people are implied to be this stupid, because that is a war we can easily win, yet the reality is far from this. Some IS people are actually really intelligent and resourceful and lowering our guards will be the one fatal mistake we cannot walk away from. So the makers of ‘were trying to make an explosive device’ whilst the police went home with ‘three air rifles, two Samurai swords, a wine bottle of sulphuric acid, improvised homemade fuses‘, yes those people are indeed all kinds of dangerous, are they not? Even as this case is in the trial stage, we need to realise that the danger is still out there. Those people are not the ones in the dock. Al Bawaba gives us ‘ISIS militants in Afghanistan are still posing a potential threat to carry out attacks in the U.K. and Western Europe as they are in communication with cells there, British government warned Monday‘. That news less than 6 hours old is a more directly drastic given in this. The article gives (to the smallest degree mind you), the indication that British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Andrew Parker, director general of the MI5 are not entirely up to speed on the levels of danger. Now, coming from an outsider that is quite the accusation and it is not meant to be as such. When we see: “intelligence work had thwarted 20 plots in the last four years“, I would sincerely hope that the two earlier mentioned losers are not part of that equation. You see, I look at issues in a different way and something that I was ‘accidentally’ made aware of, merely because I am from that area and I speak the local language, and it gave rise to another thought. The article (at https://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/containers-in-water-door-menselijke-fout~a8e56404/) gives us “Forty sea containers fell from an inland vessel into the water on the Second Maasvlakte. Employees of the Port Authority pushed the containers out of the navigation channel“, let’s be fair here, mistakes will be made at any given day of the week, yet the math does not add up, not even if there is a human entry error. This was not merely one or two containers; it was a bunch of them (40 to be more exact). They were empty and when we see “The seaport police is researching the matter“, I have full faith that this is being done. Yet, will they find something? You see, these were 40 empty containers, what if the weight system had been intentionally ‘offset’ to give an additional 200 Kg to the empty weight of the container and the transgressor had forgotten to properly reset the system after they were done. Take that by 40 and we now get an 8 tonnes error; now we have a setting of a game; now we have the foundation of the problem. You see, I kind of remember (I am pleading the fifth here children) that the transport options for the people engaged in discrete entry and removal operations tended to have really good options if they could only get the goods to the UK and for the most, the police would concentrate on the Belgium and German borders. UK Customs tend not to dig too deep into any container and the weight would have been the trigger in those cases. Now we know that container weight and cargo weight makes for the total weight. We know the trailer weight, we know the cargo weight and the rest is computer calculated in an instant when the truck goes over the scales. So as the offset of 200 Kg was achieved there will be no alert. When you consider that a full 40 ft. container can be anywhere between 18 and 23 tonnes, the mindset will be set on only the ones raising flags and then more often than not only when the provider is an unknown one. So ever since the 90’s there has been a setting of partial containers (a container with 2 or more users), and adding a pallet of flat screen TV’s is an easy thing, and 50 displays per container leave no mark and when packed on a pallet and foiled all around leave no mark at all, an easy 25K, adding a bag of the white stuff (more risky) allows that profit to go to 2.5M, yup that is the easy money and now that we see that Some ISIS and IS supporters are willing to dish out serious cash, we see that an almost empty display with 1Kg of C4 is at present almost as rewarding as the white stuff and cannot be detected in similar ways. Add one container in the entire bunch set to setting off the alarms and not offsetting that container means that the basic defences seemingly work, everyone feels like a champion and 4 containers with C4 got through. That is an actual danger and many of the playing parties are still a bit in the dark whilst too many people focus on Andy Star and Farhad Salah. So whilst these individuals are stating that they supported ‘the so-called Islamic State‘, whilst in fact they are all about singing the song:

I love the limelight
I want to nooky
whilst I’m creaming the ground, oh yea.

Yes it is a whole new day for those wannabe’s; they too could get lucky at some point. Yet the dangers remain and I am slightly more worried that the statistics are changing as we underestimate the actual IS threat because of people like these two.

Oh, and before you think that they had any brain cells, consider the earlier mentioned part with ‘he is said to have shared a propaganda video showing warfare and beheadings “to inspire supporters of IS [and] frighten those who do not support IS”‘, so as they wanted to have that Sci-Fi solution in place, they give visibility to themselves by sharing a video that screams ‘We are here!’, yes like that would be the best course on any given day. The fact that it took up to 5 weeks after the shared video to arrest them is an equal worry on a few levels, but let’s not go there for now, because in equal measure it took weeks to consider that the ‘three air rifles‘ might have been considered Weapons of Optional Destruction, which is a new acronym in all this and intelligence logistics would have been required to validate the WOD acronym is currently assigned to ‘Workout of the Day‘ confusing MI-5 to optionally walk into the wrong Gym during an operation.

Yet the setting is not merely eerie, we see in several ways that this is still going on in a lucrative scale. Even as the Dutch police was able to capture a corrupt harbour worker with 363 Kg of Cocaine, I remain in the setting that he only got caught as Greed became his middle name and at that point, the chance of exposure grows exponentially with every shipment. It is the patient one, the one with a setting of small portions, that is the one who does not get captured and let’s not forget, after the container makes it into the UK, after that, on route the seal can be broken and at that point, finding the culprit becomes the stuff of nightmares (aka not the one you will find). Now we get the good stuff, because if it is not the large option, we see that the additional danger is not the drugs, but the 4 displays having 1Kg of one of the 2 Novichok parts, so 4Kg of processed Novichok, that is the actual danger and even as we are treated now to the news that Charlie Rowley has lost hope and doesn’t have long left to live, we must equally realise that we still do not know the transgressors. I refuse to believe (without any actual proper evidence) that this was the Russian State, not whilst the Russian Mafia is ten times more likely and above them is the true optional culprit Islamic State, or Islamic State sympathisers (funding the facilitators mind you), willing to become the martyr, an ‘actual’ martyr, not one interested in the setting to ‘spare their own lives‘, that is the growing danger and in all this the proper solution is yet to be found. If there is one given at present is that the optional trial runs should have been considered a success from their point of view. The fact that something as fast acting as a Novichok is seemingly still instilling death 2 months later. So even as we have an issue with News.com.au giving us ‘Novichok victim Charlie Rowley ‘close to death’ in the UK‘, as well as ‘This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission‘ a mere 5 hours ago (at https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/novichok-victim-charlie-rowley-close-to-death-in-the-uk/news-story/549fb81c17db8ff0400cedf488b33abd), whilst (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/novichok-poisoning-salisbury-attack-russia-charlie-rowley-meningitis-loss-eyesight-a8522991.html), we see ‘Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley treated for meningitis and loss of eyesight‘, as well as ‘45-year-old hopes to be discharged ‘in next two or three weeks’‘ one hour ago. So if the media cannot get their fucking act together, how can we ever resolve the dangers to our nation when greed and circulation decides on what is true? In the end it is not whether Al-Qaeda and ISIS are trying to kill us, it is whether the media is enabling to do just that for them is becoming a much more important question. I personally have a lot more faith in the Independent than the other providers, but in all this someone needs to take a serious look at the news released and the factual setting o the stage, because being pointed at the wrong target is just as dangerous as ignoring that the target and method exists.

I will let you decide on where the danger is, but make sure that you choose wisely because in the end you might only get one shot at the factual danger, so make it count.

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Removing the right of choice

Fox News had an opinion piece 2 days ago that only now met my eyes. Now, for the most, apart from some Guardian opinion pieces, I tend to stay away from them. Yet, this one caught my eye because not only was the situation upsetting. The issue that Americans use their right to free speech to deny others the right to choose (to some degree) is another matter and it became clear that I should give my view in all this.

The title ‘Is the West finally pushing Saudi Arabia to squelch its version of radical Islam?‘ First off, why on earth do we see the need ‘forcefully silence or suppress‘ the choice of Islam? Now, I am merely a Christian in this, but I do not see any reason here. In the second, the setting of ‘radical Islam‘ is equally an issue. What makes it radical? That is not me being clever, it is an actual question. When does any religion become ‘radical’?

Now, I am merely quoting Wiki here (just the easiest part), and important that as a Christian and not armed with a knowledge of Arabic, I might wrongfully quote her, so be aware of that. With: “In the 18th century, a pact between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and a regional emir, Muhammad bin Saud, brought a fiercely puritanical strain of Sunni Islam first to the Najd region and then to the Arabian Peninsula. Referred to by supporters as “Salafism” and by others as “Wahhabism”, this interpretation of Islam became the state religion and interpretation of Islam espoused by Muhammad bin Saud and his successors (the Al Saud family), who eventually created the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932“, you see, my issue, perhaps partially better stated as my grievance with Nina Shea is not that she is a lawyer or a Christian, but that she is both. That one nation that has been hypocrite towards empowering outspoken Christians and Christian puritans at nearly every twist and turn of every American administration since WW1 is now speaking out against another puritan based religion? How screwed up is that?

And the fact that we also see in the Fox News pages that she currently is a leader of a campaign for Christians threatened with genocide by ISIS, is even worse. As American Presidents have refused to name the Armenian Genocide as such because of concerns over alienating Turkey, with former president Barack Obama being the latest weakling in that long line of individuals in denial. And when we get to alienating Turkey? Turkey alienated them self for a long time, going all the way back to 2001 and they only alienated themselves stronger with nearly everyone after that. So genocide is only recognised when it is in the interest of US political policies? How hypocrite is that? So even as this happened less than a year ago, we see: “But although ISIS’ genocidal intent has long been clear, the extent of the group’s atrocities has remained murky. Local authorities and human rights organizations have made some attempts to compile lists of victims. According to those lists, between 2,500 and 5,000 Yazidis had been killed by ISIS while over 6,000 had been kidnapped. But the UN has not yet been able to independently verify these figures” (source: www.foreignaffairs.com), so how should we see these differences?

Personally I have no issue with people and their religion, you see they can be a puritan as they want to be, and until they start pushing that onto us (read: me) they are fine. I have absolutely no regard for any Christian pushing their values onto others, in that I am quite happy to see the separation of state and church to be forever. There is in equal measure another issue, you see, puritan is often seen as ‘against pleasure‘, which is not always the case and that makes that discussion a lot harder, for what sets the definition of Puritan?

So when we see the quote from Nina Shea that gives us: “Now Europe is finding its voice with a new willingness to pressure the Saudi Arabian government to end its spread of extreme Islamic ideology, known in the West as Wahhabism“, so she has set ‘puritan‘ as ‘extreme version of‘. The question is on one side is what constitutes a puritan version as such and even if so, the Vatican forced Christianity into the world, whilst under its flag committed genocide by removing no less that 11 civilisations. The church and greed have gone hand in hand for centuries whilst the nobility, or should that be in modern tongue ‘Big Business’ have not been held accountable since before World War 1. The bible approved of slavery and in Matthew 19:14 and Mark 10:13 stated ‘Let the children come to me‘, Catholic priests saw that as an optional clear signal to fuck every young boy in town (whenever possible). So as the Holy See was considering thousands of priests actively taking the cherry from young boys for over 50 years, how many went to prison? In that light the media is equally to blame, until the movie Spotlight got the limelight in the Academy Awards, millions of Americans remained in denial. Even as the Boston Globe exposed it in 2002, it would take 13 years, until after the movie was released that the larger part of the media changed their tunes, the church still has that much power. So as we oppose one form of puritan religion, we see the outrages acts of our own religions and in that regard I have an issue with certain settings.

In addition we see: “As I told Congress in testimony last July, 16 years after the 9/11 attacks – led and carried out primarily by Saudis” we see yet another issue. In the first, this attack was done by Al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, who was indeed born Saudi, yet he was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, 9 years before the event. More important, their family came from the Yememi Kindah, so another ‘faith’ altogether, in that regard, when we consider that Kindites converted to Judaism following the conversion of the Ḥimyarite kings, which happened roughly 1500 years ago, so why is she not blaming Israel in all this? It seems to me that Nina Shea has no religious agenda; she has a political one and is willing to play Saudi Arabia towards her needs. In the part that we accept that Al-Qaeda was made up from Islamic Extremists and Salafists, there is the legitimate question on how many of the members of Al-Qaeda are (still) Saudi, but is that even possible to grasp? There are so many splinter organisations, active all over the Middle East, In Yemen is gets even more of an issue where they are fighting the Houthi’s. The New York Post gave us two weeks ago: “An immigrant from Saudi Arabia suspected of applying to join an al-Qaeda training camp has been arrested on a visa fraud charge in Oklahoma, according to a report. The FBI recently discovered Naif Abdulaziz Alfallaj after his fingerprints matched those taken from a document found in Afghanistan“, it makes matters worse and less clear. It is not a clear picture for those getting all the information, for people like Nina Shea who are willing to ‘filter’ data before their presentation make matters worse, we do not only get a distorted picture, we get more non-truths (at times non-verifiable truths, or speculations) and as such the picture shift a little more. We can argue that to some Saudi citizens desire a life of ‘action’ in perhaps the wrong direction is preferred over whatever they had before. We have all had those moments. I myself have argued within myself to find 1-2 paedophilic priests and hang them in the nearest tree without trial, so should I join some anti-religion and blow up churches? Of course not, that would be just insane, but some might do just that.

So when we consider ‘members of the Ku Klux Klan planted and detonated dynamite at the 16th Street Baptist Church‘ we also need to see that J. Edgar Hoover had secret recordings that proving the involvement of guilty parties (according to some sources), he also ensured that a court could not use them as evidence to prosecute the attackers, making it more difficult to convict. For 14 years after the bombing, none of the men were prosecuted for their crime. The first one to be arrested (and convicted) was Robert Edward Chambliss in 1977. So we, Americans and non-American Christians alike have closets full of skeletons, perhaps when it comes to certain matters we should not be the judging or reforming parties in the matters of other nations.

Now, there are a few sides that do bare consideration.

Even if we agree with: “In 2010, a top U.S. Treasury counterterrorism official warned that without Saudi education reform “we will forever be faced with the challenge of disrupting the next group of terrorist facilitators and supporters.”“, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state, it has its rights and it has forever been a Muslim state. You see, until the oil prices went down and the profits declined, America remained unwilling to hear any level of criticism on Saudi Arabia, making a lot of the matters in play hypocrite at best.

The next ‘wrongful representation‘ is “The West seems to be finally waking up. The new assertiveness shows official recognition of the link between Islamist ideology and terror, and our governments must keep it up“, you see, I see this as “as the profits are declining and as Saudi Arabia is now set to be a growing force beyond the petrochemical industry” we see issues because the ‘link between Islamist ideology and terror’ has been known for a long time and seen as such. Hamas, Hezbollah are the clearest ones. There is the Muslim Brotherhood, and plenty of others, whilst the PLO was delisted as a terrorist organisation is now again rearing its tail by no longer recognising the state of Israel, so that could escalate again. In addition we see that only the UK saw the Orange Volunteers as a terrorist organisation, I wonder why the US did not see it that way. So whatever makes that list is also very dependent on how they cross the United States of America (speculation on my side), so as the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia is becoming a growing centre of commerce and an economic power we start seeing more anti-Saudi events. Yet the US will happily sell all the weapons and planes they can for now. Nina also refers to a report that was classified and forced into the open in 2016 regarding the Saudi textbooks (at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/17/international-home/document-state-dept-study-on-saudi-textbooks.html), it is 148 pages, so read it there (the PDF was too large to place here).

My issue in this is not the paper; it is the chance of comprehending it all, it is linked to hundreds of books, to hundreds or issues all linked to the Koran and to the rights that Saudi Arabia has as a sovereign nation. We might not agree and as Christians we might to a certain degree oppose outside of Saudi Arabia, but its sovereign rights are as they wanted it, linked to the Muslim faith. We need to recognise that we are not all alike, that others have their rights and they need not be based on democracy. However we must also recognise that ‘democracy’ in America and largely in Europe is set towards what the rich and powerful want it to be. If you disbelief that then try to change laws in America that makes Wall Street criminally accountable. Good luck getting that done within the next 50 years!

You see, in support of my view, I would like to call attention to page 3, where we see “The national identity of Saudi Arabia is deceptively simple. It is an absolute monarchy“, so what makes a monarchy absolute? The Netherlands is a monarchy, so is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain and a few others. So as these are predominantly Christian monarchies, are they not absolute or dangerous? Perhaps they are merely seeing eye-to-eye with the US and not that much of an economic threat? The EU and the ECB simmered down the European nations as threats is another view and it is for people with better economic degrees than mine to make a call on that. Again a speculation from my side, but it seems to me that the US would prefer every nation to be a republic, so that the larger corporations can sweep in and reduce that national population into a spreadsheet and reduce the abilities of those being a hindrance, a non-consumer or a liability.

We can take any view on these matters, but in the end we see a person with a rightful opinion get the centre stage all the way to the US Congress, whilst we consider her quote: “Germany finally pressed Saudi Arabia to close the King Fahd Academy in Bonn in spring 2017, according to a 2016 Deutsche Welle report. It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda“. The question that is here is ‘It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda‘, so was that ever proven? That is the part that Nina Shea does not want you to know; in addition there is the part that was in the Deutsche Welle. ‘Now, the King Fahd Academy is about to close its doors of its own accord‘, which she did not mention. In addition (at http://www.dw.com/en/controversial-saudi-school-in-bonn-to-close/a-19511109), we see the clear mention of ‘Moving beyond oil‘, it seems that Europe and the US stayed very silent whilst the oil profits were flowing their way making a lot Nina states even more hypocrite. So as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing stronger towards his “Vision 2030“, we see that slowly his reforms are catching hold, there is momentum and there is additional evidence that it is a worry for the United States, particularly the people who were having benefits on the matters before Vision 2030. When we consider the rumour from last month when we were introduced to “The new policy means Apple is administering collection and remittance of tax to authorities at a rate of 20 percent in Armenia and Belarus; 5 percent in Saudi Arabia; 18 percent in Turkey; and 5 percent in United Arab Emirates” we see the clear benefit for Apple to grow in Saudi Arabia, yet in that it could cost the US 20 cents to every dollar pushed to Saudi Arabia and as Apple tends to think in tens of billions, the US is about to lose out of a pretty penny they desperately need. In addition with Amazon and Google gaining tech hubs there, the loss of revenue and data is about to cost the US a lot more and in this greed driven economy that is what has been setting plenty of people over the rails and into the sea of chaos, frustration and outcry. So as Saudi Arabia ends up getting 5 data centres, how many will not be upgraded in the US or Europe in the near future? How much is that going to cost them?

These are all matters linked to the opinion of Nina Shea, because if that was not the case we would not have seen “These events are being driven by Western governments that are now pushing hard for the government of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to pull back from Wahhabist support – a push that appears to be working“, you see, the fact that (some) schools closed on their own accord was not mentioned, neither is any part of Vision 2030 which has been on the front page of the Saudi plans of actions for almost 2 years now and in addition, when we see “For decades European and U.S. leaders bit their tongues while the Saudi governments spent billions of dollars indoctrinating Sunni Muslim communities“, whilst not stating that the oil money flowing into these places was too good to ignore is equally an issue because it shows us to be hypocrite and it shows Saudi Arabia to be business oriented. OK, I will give you that the last part is not entirely correct, but why did Europe and the US bite their tongues? If they were so morally high we would have seen a lot more, an issue that never happened.

So who will Nina Shea blame for that? I reckon we will leave it non-mentioned (for now).

Finally we need to look at her statement “Tiny Belgium, population 11.27 million, has sent more Islamic fighters to Syria per capita than any other European country“, so when we see the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-balks-at-taking-back-isis-fighters-1518557328) where we see the quote “An estimated two to three dozen Belgian foreign fighters are in detention in Syria and Iraq, another Belgian official said“, so as we consider an unrelated statistic like “Hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s 700 people per day, notes Steve Swensen“, the fact that we see the mention of 36 Belgium fighters in Syria in a pool of 5000, seems to be too irrelevant to use as a focal point in her presentation, whilst in the US 700 people a day die in Hospitals through mere errors. She has the wrong focus as illumination in her presentations. You see, it would not have mattered if she had mentioned the number of Belgium fighters and the total pool of ‘extremists’ but she did not want that, she wanted the hypocrite limelight, so I will happily keep a focus on her and how she tries to misinform the people around her next.

In all this Fox News should get an equal share in the blame by not setting the stage properly. By leaving too much unstated we should consider that the reliability of Fox News and what they present is equally taking a turn downwards.

In the end

In the end this was less about speaking for Saudi Arabia (they can do that themselves perfectly well), then speaking against Nina Shea. I find this a hatched job that should not have been placed on Fox News the way it was. Whatever points she could have made was drowned out by the misrepresentation that I see them to be and in several fields in many ways. This requires me to add her mention of ‘Islamist terror has replaced chocolate as Belgium’s best known export‘, you see the best export the Belgium ever had was beer, the finest in the world. And even as we agree that their chocolates are the best, we need to see that terrorism is not their export, or their best known export. Perhaps their flaw was to have the most cordial of borders in Europe, together with Sweden, yet as Sweden is up in the north and Belgium is caught between the Netherlands, Germany and France, there is no doubt that whatever they get came initially from one of the three other nations and guess what, Nina made no mention of that either. Perhaps because she was in doubt whether it was a good idea to piss the other three nations off? Again, merely speculation from my side, but in the end, we have seen in evidence from reputable sources that the economy has been a central reason in creating extremism, a part that has hit Belgium and several other nations. That too remains unmentioned.

 

 

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