Tag Archives: Al Jazeera

When the joke is on us all

We all have moments where we imagine that the dice is cast, yet we play roulette, we think we have the numbers down, yet did you know that the roulette number sequence is different in Europe compared to America? These are all elements in a play of high stake gambling. That same setting returns when we look at the Guardian article ‘Campaigners head to court to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia’. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/06/campaigners-court-bid-to-stop-uk-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia) holds two sides (apart from it being partially a joke in my eyes). You see, I have no issue with people who have the principle of being against weapons. That is their prerogative. What does bug me is that these same people will suddenly blame the government for all kinds of issues and they will scream that they want higher taxes for the rich, ignoring the fact that they are the cause of several issues that are the consequence of some faulty misdirected version of ideology.

So even as I am happy to step in and take over the arms trade to Saudi Arabia, mainly because I do not have the luxury of walking away from a multi-billion pound deal, you see the rent is due next week and I would like a nice mince pie after I pay my rent, the £3,576,229,000 will enable me to get both. OK that amount would not all be mine, but 20% could be and that is still £715,245,800.

My entire pension issue solved overnight. The article takes us a step further. With: “The UK court case comes amid the continued fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured and assassinated by Saudi agents“, I am fine with that step for the mere reason that there are too many question marks in that case. The evidence on several levels is missing proper scrutiny, the fact that Turkey has other agenda’s in play is ignored, and the involvement of Iran in all this is ignored on several levels. I am not stating that things did not happen, there is clearly a massive lack of proper scrutiny and people like the Campaign against Arms Trade are fuelling my opportunity and I am fine with that, if stupid people enable me to become wealthy, why would I oppose?

How Come?

Well, we are decently certain that something happened to Jamal Khashoggi, yet to what degree can government actions be proven? That is the issue, there is no evidence and as such can you, or should you stop dealing with a sovereign nation with a lack of evidence? In addition, in the other direction, we have seen a massive indecisive move towards Iran whilst Iran fuelled activities go on in Europe, October 2018, January 2019, covering Denmark, France, Netherlands, and the UK. Yet over at that point, we see an utter lack of actual actions (merely considerations).

Does it matter?

Well that is in part the question, we can accept that Campaign against Arms Trade wants it all to stop, but what is ignored is that merchants have markets and the UK cannot evolve next level defences if they cannot be sold. So whilst places like Saudi Arabia are still opening their internal market to have quality defence gear, places like the UK, Russia and America are looking to sell defence solutions to places that can afford them (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Taiwan, South Korea and a few more players), yet the well is drying up, more and more countries have their own solutions and the size of the cake is getting smaller.

The next part is seen where we get Andrew Smith of Campaign against Arms Trade giving us: “This case could set a vital precedent and end UK complicity in the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.” In that I respectfully disagree, the catastrophe was that too many people sat on their hands for too long, the fact that Yemen is not just the Saudi-led coalition, the other side, the terrorist side is more than Houthi fighters, it includes Hezbollah as well as Iranian forces, by leaving that out, we see an unbalanced stage and in all this we see a deterioration of events, so even as we accept (to some degree) “civilian targets in Yemen have regularly been hit“, in addition we need to accept the Human Rights Watch who gives us clearly: “Houthi forces have repeatedly fired artillery indiscriminately into Yemeni cities and launched indiscriminate ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia. Some of these attacks may amount to war crimes. Houthi attacks have struck populated neighbourhoods in Yemen, having a particularly devastating impact on Taizz, Yemen’s third largest city.” There is more than one player, yet these focus groups have merely looked at the Saudi side and that needs to stop, not because of what they are trying to achieve, but because the actions are much larger then they proclaim and there are two sides. In addition to what was given we need to consider the fact that Houthi forces have been staging some of the events. Al Jazeera gave us more than once: “The war has been at a stalemate for years, with the coalition and Yemeni forces unable to dislodge the Houthis from the capital, Sanaa, and other urban centres.” This indicates that the Houthi forces are in-between the population, with 16 million on the verge of death by starvation, is inaction even a problem?

Yet, from one point of view, I do not mind. If I get the option, I will sell it to the Saudi government and I will send Andrew Smith an authentic Fortnum and Mason hamper, just so that he knows I appreciate him enabling me to write a multi-billion pound invoice. Of course, the optional impact that the UK faces if the profitability of Britain’s largest defence company, BAE Systems is set to zero. I feel certain that Andrew Smith can explain it to the thousands of workers out of a job if I am given the assurance that I can get a much better margin by selling the Saudi government 47 Mikoyan MiG-35, complete with training and proper service level agreements. That puppy is a direct superior option against the Typhoon, the Super Hornet and a few others; my upside is that if I get Saudi Arabia on board, I am likely to get additional requests from Pakistan and at least three other governments.

So at that point, how exactly did Campaign against Arms Trade achieve anything (other than making me filthy rich and I will thank them in person for that). In this day and age where the markets and economies cannot take these hits, it is the ability of Andrew Smith that Europe fears, you see commerce is at the heart of the matter, and at this point, any nations bringing in bad news will stop being an asset, that is the Wall Street premise we all signed up for in 2005 when things started to get bad, we never corrected for any of it.

Distasteful like a Vegan

We can all consider where our ethical boundary is, yet in all this, we seem to forget that any sovereign nation has the right to self-govern, Europeans with their gravy train, ECB and shallow morals seem to have forgotten that. In all this having commerce allows diplomats to find a path that steers some nations away for certain practices and that path will be denied to them soon thereafter. Consider that I am all about profit and the Campaign against Arms Trade allowed for that change, how did they achieve anything? Because the UK misses out on have a dozen billions a year less? How many projects and funding issues will dry up the year after that starts? We have settings and measurements, most do not deal with terrorists, most do not sell to individuals, and the Campaign against Arms Trade is starting to allow for the return of those markets.

Sidestepping into art

Consider John Wyndham’s 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids. Some saw the movie, some read the book. Yet what happens when the sequel is a direct horror story? What happens when the sequel gives us the stage where the Triffids land on a planet ruled by vegans and vegetarians? How scared will they be (the Triffids that is)? This relates to the setting we have, you see, we seem to push towards everyone becoming a vegan and vegetarian (non-weaponised), because that is what their norm states, yet what are we going to do about the hunters (lion), the carrion eaters (Hyena) and other non-vegetarians? What do we do when people have certain norms and will not be told by anyone how to act? Is that such a weird issue?

You merely have to look at football hooligan UK to see that part of the equation, and there is no end in sight. It is a shallow connection, I agree, yet that is the ball game, someone wants to pressure towards an ideology whilst the other players are not interested. Now that does not invalidate the ideology, yet the fact that the reasoning is one sided, whilst the entire economic premise requires selling to other governments is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Who are we to dictate rules and manners? I get it, by denying the Saudi government one’s own screwed up values is all good, yet when the act does the opposite of what they are trying to achieve, can we agree that the action is not that bright? I am not comparing the Saudi people with either the Lion or the Hyena. I am merely stating that there is more than one option and that is fine for all concerned. How can any nation, most of them either dealing with their own levels of corruption, or facilitating to massive corporate tax evasion, as these elements also impact whatever was to be part of a government budget, do we have any business impeding the other paths that were available? Consider that we were treated only a month ago to ‘HMRC’s first probes into corporate tax evasion facilitation‘, the stage where we are seeing “HMRC has confirmed that it has opened its first investigations into the corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of UK tax evasion, using new powers to tackle corporate fraud contained in the Criminal Finances Act, introduced in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks“, an event that is close to 15 years late. How can we see the actions of a group stopping billions the UK government desperately needs? Don’t worry, in the end I might be ecstatically happy regarding their act, I am not so certain the British people will love the impact of what Campaign against Arms Trade invoked to happen. We can see that there is a lot that needs fixing, I am not sure that international arms trade to other governments no less is a first problem to solve, not with the competition and not with much larger issues in play.

And it is here where we see the delusional part of Andrew Smith, with “BAE’s solution will always be the same: it wants to sell more weapons, regardless of the atrocities they are enabling. Wherever there is war and conflict, there will always be companies like BAE trying to profiteer from it“, we get to see just how whacked his view is. Well, to be honest, he is allowed to have that view, it just does not add up. You see, the actual premise is: “BAE’s solutions are designed to keep Britain safe. Yet the development will cost 155 billion, to assure the top state of defence for the UK, who will only buy for up to 100 billion requires additional sales to global governments who could need that solution, even as the US buys a lot, it is not enough to fill the gap and that is where other nations come in. There is the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and a few others. In addition Andrew Smith seems to forget (or he does not care)that others like the US, France, Italy and Russia all have solutions to sell, so we need to ensure our survival for the need of growing British defence and keeping it as high as possible. This part is extremely important, because whoever has the best deals with places like Saudi Arabia is also in the best position to aid and guide international development in places like that. As Saudi Arabia is about to become a 5G powerhouse, that path is more and more important for everyone. Consider the impact if Campaign against Arms Trade is successful. Do you think that British Telecom has a chance in hell to grow the 5G options to the degree they could if their portfolio is auto rejected in several Middle Eastern nations, or only accepted at a mere 2% margin? Commerce is so intertwined in so many ways on a global level that the entire premise Campaign against Arms Trade is to regarded as too ideological, whilst ignoring common sense; it would be nice if this was a setting where there was only the US and the UK, yet there is a strong defence field that includes Russia and China, whatever the UK loses, China and optionally Russia will gain and in that regard, how did that help the British people?

The fact that we see a one-sided part against Saudi Arabia, whilst there is a large and utter denial (or silencing) on the acts from Hezbollah and Houthis firing Iranian missiles into the Saudi population is not mentioned. The article (at https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi) gives more, yet leaves the atrocities of the Houthi and Hezbollah terrorists out of that equation, that part alone should be cause for concern. The small fact that at present there is no evidence, evidence that could stand up in court giving us a clear path that the Saudi government murdered Jamal Khashoggi, is also part of concern. As I stated earlier in other articles, I am not stating that they are innocent, I am stating that the evidence has gaps, large ones and the conviction through some political hacks came via a CIA report stating ‘high confidence‘, which is not the same. When did we allow the courts to decide on ‘confidence‘? The fact that the acts in all this (Yemen and Jamal Khashoggi) from both Iran and Turkey is largely ignored is making the entire stage even more appalling.

Yet, I will thank Andrew Smith in person when I get to deliver the goods making me rich, I do however expect him to be not so appreciative of it all in the end, even less so when others with no scruples at all (like myself) start delivering goods instead of BAE Systems, and deleting the job security of 83,200 employees? Well, it is ideology, is it not? They will just have to find another job.

 

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Saudi Arabia stands alone

I have seen hypocrisy in my time, people selling others down the river for the mere pleasure to afford their share of cocaine and hookers, or as they state it themselves, extra bonus for a family house. The benefit of selling whatever needs be short to afford a lifestyle their ego demands yet, it is a style usually preserved for CEO’s and higher.

It is not always the case, not 100%, sometimes people get ahead because they know someone; they have friends in housing, perhaps a police commissioner who gives them the goods in advance. These things happen. That is not corruption; that is at times merely a small advantage and we can agree that no hard was done, these things just are.

I have always believed that we need to do something when something wrong is done. Yet, what happens if we get played? What happens when there are too many questions and we see governments act on half-baked information? That is at the core of it all. This all started three days ago when I decided to write (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/03/28/because-skills-lacked/) ‘Because skills lacked?‘, It was all about the arms embargo for Saudi Arabia, enforced by Germany making both the UK and France uneasy. Yesterday (at https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-extends-saudi-arms-embargo-with-concessions-to-allies/) we saw that it was extended by six months, even as concessions have been given to UK and France, the issue is actually much larger and it is time to call for evidence.

In the first, my emotional response to issues is the question whether Agnes Callamard knew what she was doing. You see, Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/rapporteur-khashoggi-murder-perpetrated-saudi-officials-190207171824211.html) gave us a few things, issues repeated by many news casters. First there is “her three-member team had access to part of “chilling and gruesome audio material” of the murder obtained by Turkish intelligence agencies“, it is important we see no establishment of identity, we see no mention on authentication as that is unlikely to happen. Then there is “Woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation“, as well as “US intelligence agencies believe Prince Mohammed ordered the assassination“, and finally there is “His body has yet to be found“.

Her report might end up being more likely than not a failure (I have not read the full report as I have not been able to obtain it at present, and I might not be able to until the presentation this upcoming June. The initial issues seen at present are (with a lot more when we dig deeper):

  1. The authenticity of the tapes have not been verified, Turkey has been facilitating to Iran to the largest degree (who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia), in addition several published quotes give a different light of the activities of Turkey (see previous blogs on the matter).
  2. As I mentioned, there is an issue on Turkey and Iran, making Saudi Arabia a little hesitant to give any credibility to Turkey. In addition to all this, the Consulate is Saudi grounds, It is Saudi territory, as such Turkey has no rights on those grounds. Three weeks after the event refused to share all Khashoggi evidence with Saudi Arabia. If it was actual evidence sharing it would not have impacted the evidence, the fact that it was not shared implies optionally that it did not exist. In effect the Saudi prosecutor did not have access to all evidence.
  3. Are those the same US intelligence agencies that vowed that there were WMD’s in Iraq? What evidence did the US intelligence submit? When we consider the Washington Post, we get: “the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so. It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.” I am not stating that this is false or inaccurate, yet the parts ‘according to the people familiar with the matter‘, as well as ‘he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call’; these two parts call doubt into the complete stage.
  4. The absence of a cadaver also implies that there is no forensic evidence of any kind (at present or ever).

These four parts do not make Saudi Arabia innocent, yet the guilt cannot be established to any definite degree. I am not trying to twist anything, anyone on a jury in a capital crime knows that the establishment is ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ and that cannot be proven, even manslaughter cannot be proven at present. Consider that there was a beating, perhaps interrogation with a heavy hand; can we see evidence that this was the case? The audio is not evidence by itself, the simplicity is that we do not know whether the tape is a fake, is there any way to tell that the person in discomfort was Jamal Khashoggi? I have not heard the tape, I cannot tell, how was Agnes Callamard able to tell? In addition, if Turkish intelligence is so good, how did they get the body away and out of sight? The fact that the Turkish intelligence remained clueless should be an answer by itself. The newscasters go all out to contain people on their page, so when the Daily Mail gives us (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD06WLJH3Wk) ‘Khashoggi’s body parts carried into Saudi Arabia’s consul residence‘, what evidence is there that it was what they claim it to be? I cannot even tell whether they are carrying trash or books, let alone optionally part of a cadaver. CNN at least used the optional word ‘may’, there have been so many speculations, that and the fact that the Turkish government seemingly did not share all the evidence makes this a lost case.

And now for Germany

So in a stage where something went optionally wrong, yet no way to tell how far it actually goes, the Germans started an embargo on a non-event. There is no conviction, there has been no court on the matter, but for Germany it was enough to set the stage for the embargo. For me it is great, I need a second income and I will happily sell any weapon system to Saudi Arabia if that pays the rent. I see no problem to sell any weapon system to the Saudi government that I can lay my hands on. It is the simple application of American entrepreneurship: Ca$h is king!

So when I see: ‘Riyadh denies the powerful prince had any involvement, alleging “rogue” Saudi elements acted on their own accord‘, I am not willing to dismiss it, the optional evidence does not allow me to do so. In addition, “A confidential report prepared by Kroll, a large private security firm, for the Saudi public prosecutor found that none of the WhatsApp messages exchanged between Prince Mohammed and his top aide, Saud al-Qahtani” I see the reinforcement of that part. I wonder if the actual people who optionally caused the passing of Jamal Khashoggi will ever be found, the media made that close to impossible and Turkish posturing helped in the event, the fact that they have the most incarcerated journalists in the world does not help their attempts for the limelight and the Turkish use of the New Zealand tragedy is further evidence still that the Turkish government cannot see the difference to posturing and doing the right thing, making all the evidence they present even less valued and requiring more and more scrutiny to optionally see it as valid and not tainted.

It is the simple application of the Evidence Act 1995. When we look towards Ellis v Wallsend District Hospital 17 NSWLR 553, we see that it was: ‘open to a Court to disbelieve evidence tainted by hindsight‘, it is not about the case, but on the state of the evidence and there is a massive wave of actions giving a large rise to the fact that evidence is optionally tainted. I use the word optional as it would be to a judge to state it to be so, but the quotes and the application of what is not presented makes it optionally so. Time is the tainting factor on all the evidence. The Washington Post adds to this when the readers are treated to: “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved“, ‘Accepted position‘? By what standard, what definition and on what premise and applied evidence is that? The overall usage of ‘people familiar with the matter’ makes the issue worse. The stage of manslaughter and higher requires ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘, whilst in the current state it is becoming less and less likely that the Torts premise of ‘is it more likely than not‘ would be reached.

And that is the foundation of Germany to stage an embargo? Well, if that is to be the case, than for the next 6 months I will try to find a way to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia. I have rent to pay, taxes to pay and I need a wardrobe as well as a new desktop (and iPad), all these things cost money and I have no issues to sell to most governments if the opportunity arrives.

As the media is showing us how Saudi Arabia stands alone, all whilst they seem to overlook the Iranian actions, they are ready to pound others whilst there is a lack of evidence, seems odd does it not? Although, according to the Hollywood Reporter, people in Saudi Arabia have nothing better to do than hack the phone of some Amazon CEO and gives us: “Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details” less than a day ago (at https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeff-bezos-investigator-claims-saudi-arabia-behind-leaked-texts-1198348). I have absolutely no idea where that came from, it is not like that guy Jeff Bezos is a famous person, is he?

So is it about that optional famous person, the event, the leak, or is it about the new application of ‘several experts concluded with high confidence‘, exactly like the CIA used. It is a claim that cannot be vouched for; cannot be proven (or disproven) and no evidence is there, but the finger needs to be pointed at someone and the FBI learned the hard way on how blaming North Korea on Sony events was a bad idea. It is basically the Dutch building fraud example of: ‘Dat meen ik mij niet te herinneren‘, which means ‘I don’t think I can remember that‘, the trained response of a politician facing governmental scrutiny in a commission. That is the one sentence they had down perfectly (the Dutch denial version of a 5th amendment), and we see it applied in too many fields. So especially as it impacts larger government concerns, it seems that we need to take a look at the application of evidence towards assigning blame and guilt. Although, if this gets me my retirement fund of $24,445,000, so that I have a golden parachute. I would personally like to thank the German government, as well as the participating media for being this short sighted.

Saudi Arabia does not stand alone, there is always a person willing to facilitate to any government. It was the basic lesson Mossack Fonseca left the people on a minimum income, when a firm is facilitating within the confines of legal structures for 45 years, do you think that governments did NOT know? Give me a break, they merely played the flustered emotional card to keep the people at peace, in the end nothing changes and a new player takes over from the previous one.

The EU grave train provides one way or another, yet in the end it will provide and not to the people the taxpayers believe it does, on the larger international scale, especially in light if so much evidence failure, it was up to all of us to ask the hard questions but the media prevented it, the emotional curve are all the shareholders and stake holders required.

I think I will start Chapman Calibre Ballistics (CCB) and offer my services to the Saudi Arabian Defence Forces procurement division, so that others will readily confuse my acronym it all with either Child Care Benefit or China Construction Bank, giving the media more things to blame China for, because that is apparently how the game is supposed to be played.

 

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Why the objection?

We all have it, we all object at times. I am not stating that an objection is irrelevant, wrong or short sighted, because as we might not know all the fact, no conclusion can be due to a lack of data. Yet, the objection of Jordan seems wrong to me, especially when we consider the quote ‘Jordan’s state-run media said the new Israeli airport near its border violates the kingdom’s sovereignty‘. The article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/israeli-airport-open-jordanian-border-190121102753669.html) gives us the goods on the newly opened airport, soon also to be an international airport is from my point of view a really good idea in more than one way. You see, Ramon Airport gives people a direct option to Eilat, a wonderful place to behold (I was there in 1982). It has the views, the water, some entertainment, a nice aquarium and a few other parts that make it to be a very nice holiday destination.

In addition, it opens up tourism dollars to Aqaba (Jordan), as well as dollars to Taba (Egypt). Las but not least, the new city of Neom, which end just to the south of there will be easily reachable. It will further growth to Neom and Eilat, as well as commerce in that region going all the way to Sharm-El-Sheikh. There is close to no valid reason to oppose it. There might be unknown reasons to me, I just cannot tell at present.

Ben Gurion airport needed an alternative for the longest of times, and now there is one. In light of the activities by Hamas, Ramon airport is a good thing to have. To be quite honest, whilst I am typing this, i am thinking back to the lovely days I had there as well as the great shoarma’s I had at a gas station near the aquarium. It has been 36.5 years and I still remember those shoarma’s.

There is another matter that will rear its head soon enough. As the completion of construction continues, the need for a new digital marker in visibility is of equal importance to Eilat, Neom, Aqaba, Taba and Sharm-El-Sheikh. You see, they will only get visibility if they raise awareness and that is seemingly not happening.

To get the two at the top when we seek “Eilat Tourism” is nice, but nowhere near good enough, your business is only as good as the awareness you create and or the most, and there is not a lot of awareness. the fact that there is an Irish place there (at http://www.paddys.co.il/), and they are not above the fold and not bidding on the keywords is quite honestly a mistake, in addition, the website looks good on desktop, but well over 50% is searched via mobile and at that point there website requires an overhaul on a few levels. The switching to the English site was amazingly slow and that is just for starters. As tourism grows it will be about who knows you and how easy people can find you, awareness is everything. It is not too late, it is merely January so they have time to repair what is there, but it needs to be done and this is the one that was visible. There are many that are not even visible and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.

There is a lot more, but that is not important right now.

The message for Aqaba is not much better, we can argue that Aqaba was never intended as a touristic place, which makes perfect sense, but why not profit on the back of all this? This proclaimed jewel of the red sea is there to be an asset for Jordan, and as such people need to know that this is an important place to consider, especially as they are a short bus ride from Eilat. I found their Tourism site more appealing, yet also slower. The webmaster was trying to be clever about it and basically shot himself in the foot in the process. If it is slow on the desktop, it will be a nightmare on the mobile (and it was) and as such they lose a lot more visibility. As stated before well over 50% is sought via mobile and these places are mobile unfriendly. I get that they might not have been ready in 2015, yet in 2018 it is an essential path to consider, especially in tourism, the digital footprint is close to everything there.

Both Aqaba and Eilat know that the digital life is important, yet why they failed to the degree that they have remains a mystery for now. In all this, it is my view that Taba scores to low to have an actual digital footprint, I reckon they could have done better and have a better tourism return, yet with Taba being in the Sinai, there might be additional problems for them. Almost the same could be said for Sharm-El-Sheikh, but they started to grow visibility in the early 80’s, it also had other hardships to deal with, yet as they are opening themselves for business, having a proper digital footprint is essential and they do not have one. So even as ABC news gives us: ‘Egypt welcomes back tourists after seven years of political instability despite security concerns‘, it seems to me that they are nowhere near ready at present and there is no direct consideration whether this is due to ‘security concerns’ or if there is another cycle of changes required. No matter what they are waiting for, the digital footprint will be essential to gain growing levels of awareness in that region. I know from others and from the past that diving and water activities used to be decently high, so regaining that footprint should be an essential first step. In addition, even as we agree with the ABC headline ‘Any help on tourism front is a positive for Egyptians‘ without a growing awareness element, it will not matter too much down the road. They can hope for a large infusion as Neom grows, but that would be disastrous too as we see a much more eager growth in both Aqaba and Eilat, if people need to make a choice, the size of Sharm-El-Sheikh dwarves to the visibility in offers that the other two have at present. Even as we saw Reuters treat us in mid-2018 to: “an 80 per cent increase in revenues from the previous year“, the direct reality is that 80% more of little is still not a lot. It is more visible when we consider: “However, for many working in the industry, including in South Sinai, the official increases are not quite paying off yet, as direct flights from places like Russia to Sharm El-Sheikh are yet to resume“, I see the lack of a digital footprint as a direct result of the lack of growth for the moment (I am not ignoring the security issue).

What is lacking in one will benefit the other and that is where larger options for growth in both Aqaba and Eilat become apparent and both could profit. Also, as the entire region is linked more and more to Neom, we see additional options for growth for all concerned, yet none of it matters when awareness is kept to a minimum. No matter how we slice it, the tourism will be on the rise in Eilat soon enough, it will rise enough for Jordan to find cooperation there and grow tourism to both Aqaba and Wadi Rum, both are within 35 Km and as such taking an additional day to see both places will be well worth the effort for all tourists visiting the Gulf of Aqaba. When that starts happening, Haql, who will be on the northern border of Neom City, which is only 30 Km from there would benefit greatly in that regard. Consider any tourist and the option for them to go home stating that they went sightseeing in Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia within a week, remaining close to the beaches and enjoying the sunshine almost every moment in this, who would not be envious hearing those words?

From my point of view, growing the business will take time and it all starts by having a clear digital footprint, without it these places will remain lost and unfound, it is a solution that could be done by most web designers and proper SEO consultants overnight. I merely wonder why no one looked at this before; because there is no way that I was the only one noticing this.

I wonder which of the three will catch on the quickest in 2019. I am not dismissing Sharm-El-Sheikh, I merely remain aware that they have a lot more elements to overcome at present.

 

 

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We are merely Tools

This is not a nice piece; this is not even a kind piece. It is a piece on reality, a reality that most people embrace. Yes, you, my readers and even more those who do not read this blog, they are all part on the setting of tools. In this case a tool named Jamal Khashoggi, a person who ended up being more useful after life then whilst he was still alive.

If we were to ask anyone on October 1st and before: ‘Do you know Jamal Khashoggi?‘ The response in 99.6% would have been a clear No! Even among the Washington Post readers, many will not have known him. Yet now, the numbers are reversed 0.4% will not know him, a number that is actually a lot lower lower than the world percentage of dyslexic people on the internet. So as a tool he has been useful.

Even now, when looking at the last few days of news we see:

  • Findings point to Jamal Khashoggi’s ‘body parts being melted’ in acid – News.com.au
  • Jamal Khashoggi killing: Turkish President claims ‘highest level of Saudi government’ behind murder – Nine.com.au
  • Who ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi? – Al Jazeera
  • One month after Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, these key questions remain unanswered – Washington Post
  • Khashoggi’s fiancée vows ‘there’ll be no cover up’ as claims emerge his body was ‘dissolved’ – SBS News
  • Khashoggi murder: Turkish leader blames Saudi state directly – BBC

And an overwhelming amount of articles are laced with ‘inside sources‘ and people like Yasin Aktay stating: “he believes it was dissolved in acid after being cut up“, yet these articles and the statements are absent of evidence, absent of clear documented and collected evidence giving rise to the quote made, merely people hiding behind ‘inside sources’ and ‘innuendo’, Nine News and others add a picture of the smiling Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whilst there is no evidence of any kind that he was involved. So again we see “A Turkish official said he believes after Khashoggi was killed while in the consulate to pick up marriage documents, his body was dissolved in acid or other chemicals“, whilst three weeks ago, the Turkish government claimed to have audio tapes with evidence that he was cut up into pieces. So which version is true and why is the Turkish government not giving out all the evidence to show that they have it? Because the Turkish government does not really care, does it?

We see: “Turkey’s close ties to Saudi Arabia“, yet no one gives light to the fact that Turkey is for the most merely a puppet for Iran (my personal view in all this), that part is left out of the equation, the fact that Iran is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia could pop up and that diminishes the use of this tool called Jamal Khashoggi.

Even as Nine News does give us at the very end: “Netanyahu said at a news conference that Iran is a bigger threat than Saudi Arabia and those who want to punish the Middle East kingdom need to bear that in mind. “A way must be found to achieve both goals, because I think that the larger problem is Iran,” said the Israeli leader, who attended a meeting of the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania and the president of Serbia at a Black Sea resort.”“. I believe that the statement at the end is pro forma only. All the networks want to use the emotional barrage of Jamal Khashoggi as much as they can. Most of the articles are absent of critical questions that for now, for the most have never been answered. The failing here is actually larger when you consider that for the most the failing is even increasing. Yes, that is actually possible at present, even a month after the event.

It is now Monday morning and the news that we see next was already out but I decided to let it simmer.

The headline giving us: Gates Foundation ends $5 Million Pledge Partnership with Saudi Crown Prince’s Charity over Khashoggi Killing. So in all this, Bill Gates walks away from business, now that is his right and his purse would not even feel the impact of those 5 million, but in all is this a wise thing? I mean when we look at it, the man (Gates) optionally deserves the death penalty for what he made his users go through. The Daily Mail claim “Microsoft claims Windows 10 deletion bug is FIXED but won’t release it” should have long lasting repercussions should it not? One life versus the long-time torture of millions, how does that relate? Or perhaps the report from last week: ‘Another Windows 10 bug lets UWP apps have access to all your files‘. So as it comes down to standards Bill Gates really does not have the best track record does he?

No one denies that something went bad and there are government officials involved, but who, or whom? We have yet to be presented with any evidence. The known factor that Turkey is appeasing Iran is left out of the media for 99%, the issue that the Saudi Consul general left for Saudi Arabia and no one is asking questions there is also a factor. I am not proclaiming that this man is guilty of anything. Yet there were two versions; one of them the media informing us that he ‘fled’, the other one is the Turkish President, giving us in regards to Mohammed Al-Otaibi: “a phone call he had with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz a few days after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul. “The Consul is not efficient and I have told King Salman of this” and he is suddenly relieved from his position. The issue is that he media is not giving us anything, they are making it worse. The less than a dozen true journalistic sources are overwhelmingly repeating things like they are all copy/pasting Reuters and other vanilla sources.

The final straw in all this is actually his fiancée, who I will give a pass in all this. Yet the Independent gives us the headline ‘Khashoggi murder: Trump administration ‘devoid of moral foundation’, killed journalist’s fiance says‘ and the quote: “‘Some in Washington are hoping this matter will be forgotten with simple delaying tactics,’ Hatice Cengiz writes“. Both are optional truths, they are emotional ones and she might be the only person allowed to do that (apart from some co-workers at the Washington Post perhaps). There needs to be no moral foundation in America, the man is a Saudi Citizen. The second part in all this is that the optional crime was never done on American soil, or within American territory. This gives us that America is not even a factor here apart from the fact that Jamal Khashoggi worked for an American company. So do millions of others and I do not see that government speak out for them, or there neglected rights, do we? Why do we care about this journalist?

Several sources give us that 14,000 people died in armed conflict in Yemen, in addition over 50,000 died of disease and famine, where is your outrage against Iran and Hezbollah there? I agree that Saudi Arabia is part of it, yet that coalition was there on request of the duly elected government, the Houthi rebels have received ‘assistance’ from a terrorist organisation and a terrorist supporting nation and the lack of outrage here is disgusting!

And even as we see America taking charge, the news we saw hours ago (Source: GulfNews) when they gave us the quote: “Iran enters a challenging new phase in its economic activity and international relations, with the imposition of a series of tough sanctions on the regime for its failure to fully satisfy Washington and its allies over the intentions of its nuclear programme. But the sanctions too are being imposed on the Tehran regime that continues to flout international norms by arming, aiding and abetting the militias and armed groups from the Bab Al Mandab to the Mediterranean who further its sectarian and seditious agenda“. I cannot vouch for Gulf News merely because I do not know them that well, yet the absence is other news cycles to a much larger case makes it a worry. In addition, we saw the inclusion of Bab Al Mandab. The point becomes is this merely Yemen, or is there more to the story that involves an (extremely unconfirmed) setting of Moulhoule, Djibouti. And if that is so, one of the most prominent targets there is Oilibya, are they at risk? It is also a stage for moving both towards Eritrea and Somalia. Eritrea is less likely between the two, but a terrorist with options is never a good thing. We also see UAE tycoon Al-Habtoor stating that Hezbollah needs to be a prominent target. He voiced it as: ‘Hezbollah needs to be eliminated‘, which might be actually a little too diplomatic, but the story is clear there are two players in all this, who have been waving the Khashoggi flag, yet no one is really asking questions, questions that matter, are they?

There is more to this, there is a side that I have mentioned several times before, and here we see it clearly in ‘print’. The quote: “Frankly, I am worried! ‘America First’ is a slogan that inspires patriotism. Every nation has to put the interests of its people first. That is normal. However, actions taken by this administration under that slogan are alienating America’s friends. No country is an island by itself. We share one planet. We are all responsible for finding solutions to common threats. We need to be partners in the decision-making.” I am not against nationalism; it is a statement of pride (for the most). In France there is Marine Le Pen and there is no doubt, she cares about France and France alone, it is not a bad thing. The Trump administration is doing the same in the US, the problem is that in the EU, those commissionaires are mostly in it for themselves, and their cause. That is how I personally see it. Not some nationalistic pride, but the cohesion of continuing something that profits them and not the European civilians as a larger whole, that is one of the stages and it is an important one. You see the press in Europe has been going soft on Turkey, on Iran and on Hezbollah and that is impacting all other avenues. Yet they have slammed Saudi Arabia at every turn and a lot of it through innuendo and ‘unnamed sources’.

And in part Al-Habtoor is right, the problem is that Iran gets to continue to play their game through proxy and the payoff for Hezbollah is nice as it gets missiles to fire into Israel giving a rise of escalations is several places. Taking Hezbollah out of the equation makes sense on several levels. The world is a better place without Hezbollah and in addition as Iran cannot continue to act in proxy they must either enter a full-fledged war or back down and hope that Turkey will do their bidding. It is my personal believe that Turkey is not willing to get the limelight there either, not in that way.

The press is massively void of those elements that have been proven on several levels by a few sources, so tell me how weird is that?

Even now, in the last hour we see the Australian, the Business Times (41 minutes ago) and Haaretz (32 minutes ago), so in this Jamal Khashoggi is still a media bankable currency. Yet those sources have remained quiet on the Hezbollah activities in the last 24 hours, so you tell me on how Jamal Khashoggi has not been devaluated to a mere media tool, all having their own goal, yet I personally believe that the critical truth is not on their mind at this point, that story was old the day after he passed away.

And there are still people confused on why we stopped trusting the bulk of online news and the media as a larger whole. I believe that to a much larger degree we can no longer see the difference between fake news and the overwhelming amount media (and their) presentations that also print a newspaper.

 

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Media, call it as it is!

I saw the news yesterday and I initially decided to ignore it. It was not really ‘news’ news if you know what I mean. It is sad, it is not a surprise and it was always going to happen. The dice were rolled and the children in Yemen rolled two ones. Some call it snake eyes, but the impact is severe, you automatically lose with that roll and that was the state of things from the very beginning. We start with CNN (at https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/02/middleeast/yemen-famine-amal-hussain-intl/index.html). We see the direct truth with “The three-year conflict between the US-backed Saudi-led coalition and the Iranian-aligned Houthis has devastated Yemen and reportedly has killed at least 10,000 people“. CNN does not mention that Saudi Arabia got involved when the deposed elected president called for help, no we do not get that. We get “the international furor over the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul“. We get no information that Iran and Hezbollah have directly intervened in making Humanitarian aid utterly impossible there. One Quote gives us: “Yemen’s information minister called on the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah supporting Houthi rebels, insisting the group’s activity will prolong Yemen’s war. On Sunday, Moammar Eryani said Hezbollah was providing the Houthis with logistical and military assistance, turning Beirut’s southern suburbs — known collectively as Dahiyah — into a centre for media attacks against the Arab-led coalition“, in this CNN decided not to go there. We also get Yemen’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Marwan Ali Noman giving us: “the Yemeni suffering is caused by the Houthi militias, which are executing the agenda of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party in the region. He added that the militias practiced all kinds of murder, torture and forced displacement in all Yemeni cities that they invade“. CNN had no issue using the Khashoggi incident to present an anti-Saudi Arabia view, but fell silent on the actual issues in Yemen, yes: ‘That was CNN!

The New York Times gives us (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/world/middleeast/yemen-starvation-amal-hussain.html), and after that blazingly stages “The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere“, yet it merely gives one mention of Iran in: “Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Houthis, an armed group professing Zaidi Islam, an offshoot of Shiism, that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, views as a proxy for its regional rival, Iran“, and in all this we see ZERO mention of Hezbollah, is that not strange? Neither is the part where the Firing of missiles is a direct result of Hezbollah and Houthi forces firing missiles into Saudi Arabia towards civilian targets. One source giving us that as per yesterday over 200 missiles have been fired into Saudi Arabia. Would you not think that this element is equally important? Let’s be honest it all started with the death of a toddler, but that was not what it was really about for the New York Times, was it? Yet they do give us “THE SAUDI COALITION IS NOT solely to blame for Yemen’s food crisis“, yet goes a little short in pointing on where blame, a much larger blame lies. It lies with Hezbollah, the tool and puppet of Iran provoking Saudi Arabia as much as possible.

The New York Times also gives us: “Tensions reached a climax this summer when the head of the United Nations migration agency was forced to leave Sana after clashing with the Houthi administration. In an interview, the Houthi vice foreign minister, Hussain al-Ezzi, denied reports of corruption, and insisted that tensions with the United Nations had been resolved“, it is a stage where Houthi officials are now enriched. It is a stage where we see that halting towards humanitarian aid and preventing the other 20,000 children from dying too. In this we see one additional quote that is identical in nearly all the newspapers I saw: “In an interview, the Houthi vice foreign minister, Hussain al-Ezzi, denied reports of corruption and insisted that tensions with the United Nations had been resolved“. My question becomes, was it an interview or was it merely a presentation by Hussain al-Ezzi finding a moment to state: ‘I’m not a crook!‘, which he probably learned form an American, namely former president Richard Nixon to be more precise.

The part that most publications are not giving us is that the death toll of children is roughly 130 children per day, in 2017 50,000 children died (Source: Al Jazeera).

The setting is not a nice one, on neither side. The Saudi Coalition includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Senegal. Al Jazeera also gives us: “Iran has denied arming the Houthi rebels, but the US military said it intercepted arms shipments from Iran to Yemen this March, claiming it was the third time in two months that this had occurred. Iranian officials have also suggested they may send military advisers to support the Houthis“, yet we have seen an utter lack of larger political activities by many nations other than the USA against Iran and Hezbollah, exactly how does that add up?

I particularly liked the quote “Commentators in the Arab Gulf States often claim that Iran now controls four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa“. I like it because it is the first part that gives the light of Iran, of what Iran is trying to achieve. The stage is not merely Hezbollah; it is not merely Turkey who has skin in that game too. It is the stage where we see the foundation of what Iran would call a holy war in defence of their sites. We are informed via “For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shi’ites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say” and most of the western media is not even trying to look into these parts, it is actively avoiding any coverage on Iran. From that side we do get “The European Union is trying to preserve a version of the nuclear deal, but the recent incidents in Denmark and France have heightened the tensions.” In this it seems that Denmark is the strongest pusher against the Iranian actions, with the aid of France. We are all treated to the arrest event that was about a failed operation to bomb a June rally organised by Paris-based Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), it is a stage of oppositions are to be killed, no negativity on Iran in Europe. This stage is now labelled by Iran as: “Iranian officials view the claims as designed to derail Europe’s efforts to salvage the JCPOA, particularly the planned European economic package for Iran“, the partial impact for now is that the Nordic parties who were initially extremely in favour of sustaining the JCPOA, are now less likely to fully support it.

What happened to the girl?

Well, the question is who cares? The girl is dead now! A photographer got his Pulitzer price, humanitarian aid in Yemen is a joke and the players behind the screen are all playing their own game. On both the Saudi and Iranian side there has been too little on humanitarian aid and that part must be clearly shown. Even as Saudi Arabia is much more on the defensive side of what they do, the clear staging where the work of Iran and Hezbollah is ignored by the media justifies the current position that Saudi Arabia is taking up. In all this the UN has blood on its hands too, even as it is through inactions. That part we get from the Irish Times (at https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-s-war-in-yemen-yields-hunger-and-devastation-1.3681488). They give us: “Only two famines have been officially declared by the United Nations in the past 20 years, in Somalia and South Sudan. An UN-led assessment due in mid-November will determine how close Yemen is to becoming the third“. Yet the Independent and a few other papers gave us almost a year ago: “More than 50,000 children expected to die of starvation and disease by end of year“. So I would think that the threshold for famine had been long passed. Would you not agree?

Save the Children gave us a little more a year ago, they also gave us: “an estimated 400,000 children will need treatment for acute malnutrition this year, the charity said“, at what point did it require an additional fifty weeks to get the label ‘famine’ attached?

Yemen, once the poorest country in the Middle East is about to become an extinct one. It happened as some nations were overactive in that region and the others are guilty through total inaction on almost every level. So even as we might feel for the title ‘Starving girl who became symbol of Yemen crisis dies‘, we should not be allowed to do so, our inactions give us that. And as the news staging goes on with Al Jazeera giving us: ‘US calls for the end to the Saudi-backed war in Yemen‘, we see again that the absence of Iran and Hezbollah in that equation might give the Saudi coalition additional fuel to continue. It might have been different if 100% of all support to Lebanon would have been halted until all Hezbollah troops have left Yemen, but Europe is not willing to go that far, are they? There are plenty of sanctions on Iran and I am not sure what else could be achieved there, yet barring Lebanon from EVERY negotiation table until Hezbollah is no longer in Yemen has not been attempted has it? It would force Iran to either engage of step back. In the second case the Yemen situation would be quickly resolved in the first case we would have a clear theatre of war with Iran, a war we might desperate need. Not for the fun of it, but until the hurt can be brought to Iran, they will continue their proxy war until they get lucky. Statistically speaking that will happen and the consequence of that will be a lot worse and it could have been prevented if the inactive players would have acted when there was a chance to limit the damage, for that it is far too late and the death on one 7 year old girl is merely the start for an optional 300,000 children to die within the next 30 weeks. Now you tell me, when we get to the 1st of June 2019 and you wake up to the statistics that in Yemen 453,261 children will have died at that point from starvation and disease, how happy will you feel? Will you have that Coffee with an Éclair? Will you have the steak or the fish that evening, optionally with grape juice? I cannot blame you for not caring, but I can point you out on the hypocrisy you let happen, the stage you allowed for and the media giving us half a story again and again is equally guilty in all this.

It is not merely an imperfect world. This world is descending from bad to worse at the same speed that is currently killing the children in Yemen. I think that we can soon state that we stopped being humanitarians in 2019, so feel free to box that thought wrap it in shiny paper with a bow and place it under the Christmas tree. Ignore that package and watch another version of a Christmas carol on TV whilst you deceive yourself that you are such a better person than Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Bah! Humbug!

P.S. Yet should you genuinely care (and you could optionally suffer to lose a few coins) then click on the link below and make a donation to Save the Children by pressing the donate button. You might just be the hero of the day and safe a life that way.

 

 

 

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The ethical threshold

When is it too much? That is the initial question I had. I am a tweeter, I love my twitter, I will be honest on that. I tend to merely be nice there, with all the negativity in the world thinking only positive there is merely a choice. Also, why would you want to waste time attacking a person there? OK, I have to admit, when Jimmy Kimmel decided to take the mean tweets as a segment, I ended up laughing out loud, especially the Marvel cast ones. Why would anyone do this? Why would Chadwick Boseman (Mr. Black Panther himself) get confronted with: “Okay, how did the coolest blackest dude in the galaxy end up with a whitebread-a– name like Chadwick” It was fun and he laughed too, but why do that? OK, if it was just a little friendly jab, I would get it, but why would you state to Scarlett Johannson: “emotional range of a f–ing celery”? It makes no sense to me. Sometimes we have an aversion to an actor, or perhaps more direct to the role that an actor portrayed, which makes perfect sense, but why vent it? I loved her work in many movies, and if there is one I did not like, then it is ‘The Other Boleyn girl‘, I personally believed it fell flat after the Tudors, which had nothing to do with her, Natalie Portman, or Eric Bana. In the end, it might not be the actors at all, merely the vision and choices of the director. It does not matter, I was no fan of that movie, yet to go out and tweet to her (or any of the other two) on how bad they acted seems like a waste of time and totally uncalled for. Many people feel that way, when we consider she gets hundreds of (optionally mean) tweet, yet each of them has tens of thousands of fans. Is it an ethical choice not to lash out? It might be, or it is merely good manners. Whatever it is does not matter, it is a visible part in all this.

In opposition, when do you professionally make choices based on morality or ethicality? We all do them and even as my threshold there is slightly higher than the Eifel tower, I do have them. I also believe in loyalty (even as some of my bosses have never shown that distinction themselves). There we have another setting do we not? So even as some might rage on how we need to make choices, as some rage against certain settings like playing hide and seek with the corpse of Jamal Khashoggi, whilst some claim to have evidence of recordings, that recording still has not been revealed to the world, these sources have now stopped mentioning that claimed piece of evidence, so when you seek political opportunity over a cadaver, how does that go over with some people? When you are merely an Iranian tool making claims and then leaving the accusation in the dirt, how does one ethically consider that person to have any intrinsic value or reliability?

So as Reuters gives us: “CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey to investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has sought to hear a purported audio recording of his torture and murder, four sources familiar with her mission told Reuters on Tuesday” and now a week after the claims, the evidence is not forthcoming, why consider that government to be any level of ally?

Yet that is another matter, the ethicality of this is part of it all, not the rest of that stage. The entire stage of ethicality is seen in fortune as we are faced with: ‘SoftBank’s CEO Won’t Speak at ‘Davos in the Desert‘ Even Though Saudi Arabia Put $45 Billion Into His Vision Fund‘. There we should have some issue, when you get $45B invested in, should there not be some ‘tit for tat’, or is that what they sometimes call in the UK ‘tits for dad’?

So when we see: “However, according to a Tuesday report, Son has now cancelled his speaking appearance, though he may still show up at the conference“, how does that go over? I had the idea for an alternate information system that is based on something that does exist, but now on a much larger scale, a new way of driving 5G data forward, a new information system. I even came up with a new 5G device type called the ‘dumb smart device‘, not only did I not get any penny of $45 billion (which would have been way too much), I also did not get an invitation of speaking option at “Davos in the Desert”, which in hindsight makes perfect sense as I never gave my email and phone number to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so it all partially makes sense. So as we see that list of important people like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and AOL founder Steve Case had pulled out in protest, we need to also realise that they are part of a setting where the pot is calling the kettle black. Remember JPMorgan’s and their $12 Billion Bailout? They want to talk morality? And in the end, we know that Jamal Khashoggi met his death in the consulate, we do not know the details, yet the people claiming to have evidence are not showing it and in addition those people are allied with Iran who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia. I know I have said that perhaps a little too often, yet the newspapers and online media REFUSE to add that truth to their articles, is that not strange? Yet this is about certain poor choices, however they were not the poor choices of those behind ‘Davos in the Desert‘. When I see the highlighted Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and how he is not speaking at a multi-billion dollar event, is he merely proclaiming that he has ethical boundaries? Let’s not forget that apart from the fact that a journalist died under weird conditions, we have seen no actual evidence of ANY kind. We have seen actions that imply a cover-up, yet there is still not one clear piece of evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did any of it, or even order it. That evidence was never shown and the Turkish claims have never been supported by evidence, was it? That part is more important than you know, because when we take ethical and morale based evidence from equity people like Jamie Dimon or Stephen Schwarzman we truly have gone off the deep end. So whilst he might be there, he is now optionally missing out on opportunities that go beyond merely Saudi Arabia, when we see that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of United Arab Emirates, you better believe that you are selling your investors short and how does that usually go over with those ‘return on investment chasing accountants‘?

He is important in more than one way. You see, he has been very active in growing the impact of the UAE on a global scale, the vice president is using LinkedIn at every option there is and his industrious nature gives rise to forwards momentum for the UAE and that means more investments and more optional profits, so why walk away from the opportunity to speak out, whilst the cold light of evidence has shown doubt on events, no evidence is presented, not even claimed evidence; when we abandon innocent until proven guilty in light of business we merely set the stage for bias, discrimination and abandonment of good business. That is the actual reality and the media is steering clear from that one as well. Even as everyone knows that the US is broke, it claims industrial momentum, yet it is not taxed momentum, hence where ever that profit goes is beyond the US government. They are desperate to get the money flowing their way, not the other way and we see now that the demise of the US is closer than we thought it was, as Saudi Arabia and its neighbours are steaming ahead, their footprint is pushing in positive technology ways and the rest is lagging behind. The ethical threshold is not who we do business with, it is becoming, what are we willing to accept as a norm and that is the baseline that follows us to a much larger degree, especially when you realise that the baseline of this norm is slowly moving towards an Islamic one. That part is scaring the people way too much, so even as these same people ignore the fact that the Vatican has no women in places of power and that the Reuters quote “Sister Sally Marie Hodgdon, an American nun who also is not ordained, cannot vote even though she is the superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery” gives clear indications that the Vatican is still as backwards as it was 920 years ago when it decided to take over the Middle East in a setting that we called the Crusades. So how far has our faith taken us? Even as we see that members of the clergy get off on Luke 12, Matthew 10 and John 11 (boys, not passages), we claim to protect children, yet the prosecution of the church members never got there, did it? So as most pushed for agnostic and atheist values, which makes sense to some, there is still a large part that drives their forward momentum through their inner faith and is there any evidence that Islam is evil? We get the ‘terrorist’ claim left, right and centre, yet how many are Muslims are truly evil? Now take the members list of the Ku Klux Klan, the member list of the IRA, White power and Neo-Nazi’s and set that in the scale against the names of terrorists that actually acted, suddenly Islam is not that evil anymore is it?

It is not important that we become Muslim, but would it hurt to learn about Muslim law and customs? If we embrace the next age of technology drive, having that knowledge makes us more and more valuable in places where the next trillions are actually spend, is that anything but our willingness to embrace some cultural change and adapt ourselves to the work sphere that we are ultimately confronted with?

How does our moral and ethical boundaries shift as we accept the religion of others, not to become Muslims, but to merely know enough to not cause offense, is that not a good first step? The BBC gave us less than a week ago the setting that we are now too poor to consider being ethical. They did that whilst posing the question: “Would you quit your job on ethical grounds?“, we are presented with Google employees who did that, yet the jackpot was gained with: “Research by Triplebyte, a start-up which recruits technical talent for technology companies, found 70% of those who get two job offers choose the highest paying one – exactly as our parents’ generation would have done“, if we accept that income is the driver, when we realise that ethics are almost no consideration in a job, would it matter if we embrace an Islamic employer? As we see that the answer is one we can live with a lot more than a job by ethically coloured and filtered Christian employer, can we truly ignore the optional long term life and security that some growing employers are giving us. That will be the driving factors to many and as such we will see that the Middle East influence will grow straight into the Common Law nations. When we realise that last year we were confronted in the UK with the notion that ‘Just one in five Muslims are in work as report finds they are held back by racism‘, what happens when the Muslim corporations see that this could be the driving force to open shop in a much larger audience all over Europe and even in the US. It is merely another facet in ‘the cost of doing business‘ versus ‘the cost of being in business‘. We have forfeited a large option by being choosy on who we choose, often on race, age and looks and that is how the cream evaded the corporations for a much longer time. Now as we see that the momentum is no longer in their corner, the work sphere will change a lot more than we ever could have realised.

A change we started in 1095 when Pope Urban II gave us: “calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of “Deus vult!” or “God wills it!”“, now that we are entering an age where the roles are reversed because we decided to focus on profit and greed, we have no one else to blame but ourselves and the people we ourselves elected. So when we accept the history channel with: “between 60,000 and 100,000 people responded to Urban’s call to march on Jerusalem. Not all who responded did so out of piety: European nobles were tempted by the prospect of increased land holdings and riches to be gained from the conquest. These nobles were responsible for the death of a great many innocents both on the way to and in the Holy Land; absorbing the riches and estates of those they conveniently deemed opponents to their cause. Adding to the death toll was the inexperience and lack of discipline of the Christian peasants against the trained, professional armies of the Muslims. As a result, the Christians were initially beaten back, and only through sheer force of numbers were they eventually able to triumph“. How does our morality fare at this stage? In the end, whether we call them nobility or captains of industry, how many of them walked away with the setting that the benefit of all was merely their bottom line, and after all these years are you still accepting that excuse of as their profit drive?

When we see that a mere 12 hours ago we were given a Microsoft issue through: “But there’s evidence that Windows Insiders knew about and reported this problem, and Microsoft didn’t follow up on it, apparently not realizing the severity of the issue.” (at https://www.extremetech.com/computing/279368-windows-10-1809-may-have-another-file-deleting-bug-problem), another setting of profit and time pressure over quality and reliability, and this is not merely one of a few issues, this have been going on for well over two decades and in the end we end up in the same place, with a more expensive device making no headway. That part alone is part of the success that Google and Huawei gave them the forward push via their vision, driving forward momentum, so why would we want to stay in a place where the ‘status quo’ (not the band) is considered sexy?

So if my views are evil, then I am the Ifrit, the rebellious spirit that yearns for change and momentum, something that has been lacking in technology for too long, as profit boundaries has replaced ethical ones and therefor iteration trumped advancement a race that is now pushing the advantage to the Middle East and let’s not forget that Israel is part of the Middle East and they are also pushing technology boundaries through a whole range of tech start-ups, another reason to accept a much larger range of changes in our lives.
In the end, it is not where we need to go, it is where the opportunities are grown, and when we consider that “Diane Green, the chief executive of Google Cloud, also pulled out on Monday, according to the company” and gave that ‘Davos in the Desert’ a miss, whilst in the end, no evidence was given on several parts of the now accepted act of manslaughter by unknown parties, so not murder as the legal difference is proven intent, we need to ask more questions, not on merely the guilty parties, but those acting on alleged accusations that have not been met with evidence three weeks later is a much larger failure by those same people who kept quiet on years of endangered data safety (The Google+ issue), those needing a dozen billion dollars for bailout (and therefor their poor judgement) all clearly shown and proven, they are claiming some level moral high ground whilst evidence of the other act is still not given, where is our fake sense of ethical borderline now?

I call to some degree that the ethical threshold is one we live by; it is one that others call us on; that distinction is large and ignored by a lot of players. So when Al Jazeera gives us: “Fadi Al-Qadi, a Middle East human rights advocate and commentator, also denounced the photo-op as “ruthless”“, as well as “And here is the video. Salah (#JamalKhashoggi son, banned from travel) had to shake hands with who is believed to be his dad’s killer. Ruthless. Ruthless. Ruthless #Khashoggi pic.twitter.com/EKS9UZQ8Jc” that whilst evidence of ‘his dad’s killer‘ has not been given in any way shape or form, mere accusations from one of the tools that Iran employs, and until the evidence is clearly brought, that is how I will remain to see it. I feel for Salah Khashoggi, I truly do, and the pain of losing his father would be there, but is he merely in pain because of the hundreds of unsubstantiated accusations in almost all the large media? Is that not an important question in all this?

So as we see the impact of the accusations on so many levels, yet all in a setting where no evidence is handed out and whilst the global media is still using the extensive news leaks alleging that Turkey has audio recordings documenting Khashoggi’s demise and even dismemberment, no evidence has been given to the people. Claims of handing out the evidence were knocked back again and again, so how long until we make the ethical demand: “Hand over the evidence now, or be ignored for all time“, that will not happen, will it. The EU is too desperate to keep any talks with Turkey and Iran going and Turkey is taking advantage of that situation, whilst many claims by the Turkish government are a joke on many levels, even legal ones.

When will we learn that ethical, moralistic and emotional considerations are not merely different coins, they tend to be different currencies as well.

We can only choose out own path and make it the best path as we can, we need to realise that the high ethical and moralistic path is not a comfortable one and for the most, we are all about comfort, we have been so for much too long and through that we forgot what true values are, the media merely made it worse.

 

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Consideration for dinner

It is Monday, Monday morning and I am in a stage of contemplation. There are all these events going on and for the most they are hollow, empty and merely the setting for the next stage for whatever the staging area needs to be. It is at this point that the Guardian gives us: ‘Two images that show we need to be sensitive about our photos‘, or perhaps the article started the contemplation I am in, it works either way!

The article was actually a quite excellent read, so well done Paul Chadwick!

Where’s Wally (Khlalid Masood)?

The article discusses Khalid Masood, who killed 5 people in March 2017 at Westminster. Now we get the goods. We are offered: “Over several days of covering the hearing, Guardian editors had access to a limited range of images of Masood. For one report they used a photo of him taken in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site“. We are then treated to: “From an editorial standards perspective, there was nothing wrong with the image. Legitimately obtained, it depicted a smiling Masood dressed in the traditional white, and behind him the Kaaba, the great cube, around which pilgrims walk seven times. Conscious that the Muslim community can suffer discrimination when terrorist acts are committed in the name of a political ideology that feigns religiosity“.

My thought becomes: “How many criminals and murderers were photographed in a church, or cathedral?” That does not seem to happen either does it? Of course in that specific example Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals were taken away from consideration in this case. I searched Google and a few other sources and I could not find an example. So when I see: “as a gesture of goodwill the editors replaced the photo for another image, a police mugshot. Muslims who had raised the issue were appreciative“, I do accept that the Muslims are appreciative of the gesture, yet the question remains how many criminals were photographed and observed in church? It also gives me the question on how they were able to identify Khalid Masood in that picture to begin with. I understand that the photograph exists; I reckon that the hearts of Muslims will flutter at the sight of being able to see the Grand Mosque of Mecca on the inside to begin with. I myself am struck with wonder, amazed to see this image. Not for the religious reason, but the fact that the original parts were build 1380 years ago is important. You see, it would take centuries until the Netherlands had decent housing (places not made from wood, or a mixture of shit and clay). The oldest house in the Netherlands is almost 500 years younger than this mosque and only parts of a wall in that Dutch building are that old, the rest of the house would not be build (or restored) until 230 years later. When we consider that, seeing the grand Mosque of Mecca should have an impact on anyone, Muslim or not. So as we realise that the building is not merely a beautiful building, it is a millennia old marvel for all the religious reasons, we understand that anyone would want to be photographed in that place and be recognised, but as you take a look at the inserted photograph (click on it to see the full version), finding that person, considering the resolution of the film remains a slight miracle at best. So what would have been the value of showing thousands of Muslims in that one place whilst we cannot tell with any certainty who exactly Khalid Masood is there. Yet, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/14/sensitive-images-upsetting-photos-essential-truthful-account), is still important. We see that with: “Coverage can justifiably include images of perpetrators but should take care not to glorify them. Had the photo related directly to evidence given in the inquest it might have been necessary to retain it“. I personally do not completely agree. If we accept that a picture is 1,000 words, which photograph ads a 1,000 words or more to the story? Is it the one in Mecca, or the photograph of the scene (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/12/westminster-bridge-attack-khalid-masood-lawfully-killed-inquest-concludes). I like it that Paul Chadwick makes us consider the use of a photograph and when not to do it. It gets us to the linking of another event. You might have heard of a disagreement between the elected government of Yemen and Houthi’s which has since spilled over into a much larger disagreement. the amount of times where the western world trivialised the attacks on Saudi Arabia whilst Iran backed Houthi’s were firing missiles into Saudi Arabia has been too large to ignore, In addition the Washington Post gave us a mere two days ago (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/foiled-paris-bomb-plot-raises-fears-that-iran-is-planning-attacks-in-europe/2018/10/11/2ccf8d0a-c8b9-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html). Here we see ‘Foiled Paris bomb plot raises fears that Iran is planning attacks in Europe‘. In this article, the use of the image of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters makes perfect sense. In light of “The diplomat, based at Iran’s embassy in Vienna, had been under surveillance for some time and was suspected of involvement in a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian dissidents in Paris. Despite his diplomatic status, he was arrested and extradited to Belgium, where two others, suspected of planning to carry out the attack in France, were detained”, yet would the image of the ‘Iranian diplomat’ not have made more sense? The fact that he is not mentioned anywhere by name is also a consideration in all this. The fact that this indirectly links to the proxy war that Iran is having with Saudi Arabia is linked in all this. So when we consider these elements. So as we get back to the Diplomat named Assadollah Assadi, we need to some degree also look at Jamal Khashoggi. You see, you cannot turn a page in any paper and Jamal Khashoggi shows up. Probably best known as a contributor to the Washington Post, we wonder why he ended up MAAC (Missing as a contributor). ABC gives us: “But his troubles began later, when he was fired from his post as an editor at the Al-Watan newspaper just two months after he took the job in 2003. The country’s ultra-conservative clerics had pushed back against his criticism of the powerful religious police and a medieval cleric viewed as the spiritual forefather of Wahhabism, the conservative interpretation of Islam that is the founding tenant of the kingdom“, and the question becomes not merely did he vanish because he was a critic of ruling Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. I reckon that the Crown Prince has been surrounded with people disagreeing with him, as such Khashoggi might not have been a blip on his radar. Yet, when we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/06/read-jamal-khashoggis-columns-for-the-washington-post) we see a different story, one that opposes mine and I am fine with that. Yet consider that the people in charge in Riyadh are actually decently intelligent (compared to me) and the entire event in the embassy does not make sense. Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan is not stupid, he is a general and he has been around the war time sandbox long enough, to just let a person vanish in an embassy, whilst there are dozens of cameras pointed at it is not seemingly the brightest act. This leaves me with the setting that there is either orchestration, or someone not as bright listened to the wrong person and acted individually. The quote in the Post, which was “Dozens of Saudi intellectuals, clerics, journalists, and social media stars have been arrested in the past 2 months — the majority of whom, at worst, are mildly critical of the government. Meanwhile, many members of the Council of Senior Scholars (“Ulema”) have extremist ideas“. So here we have a setting that certain people are seemingly opposing the forward drive that HRH Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is trying to move towards. The post mentions both Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan and Sheikh Saleh Al-Lohaidan and also we see “protected by royal decree from counter argument or criticism“. Yet when I search for these two men, I find close to nothing at all in the present media. Now, that is not an essential part, but in light of the Washington Post articles, I wondered what would drive an implied assassination this short sighted. Whether you agree or not, targeted killing is both an art and a skill and in the digital age, the skill outguns the art by a lot. There are additional parts that do not make sense, yet when you look at the larger picture, there is (highly speculative by me mind you) an active stage of attacking Saudi Arabia any way possible. the overly leftish liberal side to break up US sales to Saudi Arabia, the UK is on a partial similar setting, yet they trivialise any attack on Saudi Arabia (I did filter for the fake news from places like PressTV and a few other sources), yet the attacks are quite clear and even as I understand that the press at large (in more than one way) would want to be protective of fellow journalist Jamal Khashoggi and I get that, yet the absence of critical questions is also a larger issue. When you see this, does the openly defensive stance of Saudi Arabia not make sense?

So how does this get us from where we started?

There are two parts here. The first is the image of the Grand Mosque, whilst we know that Saudi Arabia is its protector, and the view from Paul Chadwick makes perfect sense. Yet, here too we should take caution on certain notions. Mind you, I am asking the question, I am not implying that there is more. that part is seen when we look deeper into the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event of September 19th and when we search the international news bringers, the shiploads of newspapers that would strike out against Saudi Arabia and others in what I perceive to be non-hatred stories, yet they are certainly not pro Saudi Arabia, or pro Muslim, they did not show up in any google search when I look for the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event, not at all. That too is important, whilst some are taking down the steam a notch, the opposition events are also ignored to a much larger degree. It leads us to the question, was the mosque image not added as it made for an overly clear anti-Muslim article?

The second part is the setting of events and more importantly how certain parties decided to illustrate them. Anything that is about Jamal Khashoggi carries his photograph and that makes perfect sense, no one debates that, yet when we seek Khalid Masood, we see no image of him in several Westminster attack articles, merely the stage and the victims. Now, here we see clearly that some will say that it might glorify him. There is equal voice not to give Islamic State any kind of visibility. I do not totally agree, but I understand the logic behind it. Yet the article I mentioned earlier, ‘Westminster attacker lawfully killed by minister’s bodyguard, jury finds‘ shows no mention of Islamic State at all, which is actually a little weird. all the other parts are there, the justification of the protective units, the victims, the stage as well as the attack on Sir Craig Mackey, which gets more light in another Guardian article with “The Express front page on Thursday read “Police hero who put his boss to shame”, comparing Mackey’s actions unfavourably with those of the armed protection officer who shot Masood dead, while an article on the Sun website was headlined “Mark of cowardice”“, the actions of Sir Craig make perfect sense and the Express, not the most intelligent player in the news world under the most optimal conditions was left in a clueless state aiming for (a speculated) increased circulation that day, whilst the actions of Sir Craig made tactical sense to say the least, cowardice was not a factor here as I see it. Mind you, getting fired at is unnerving under the best conditions, seeking out a hair storm of lead is just stupid to begin with and Sir Craig staying out of the way, especially as he had no useful gear makes sense. Yet the Independent gave us in March 2018: “A review by Mr Hill’s predecessor found that neither MI5 nor the police had any reason to anticipate the attack, concluding that Masood was “a long way from the top of anyone’s grid”“. From the little that I was able to access, all the elements make sense, the Guardian article leaving Islamic State mention out does not.

It is the illustration by the news that matters, because it causes a lack of illumination and more important we see the shifting balance of a seesaw in the direction of emotional acts, which has never been a good thing. There are questions regarding Jamal Khashoggi no one denies that, yet the stage we see ourselves in is expanding. We see this with: “The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to withdraw“, as well as “US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, but White House aide Larry Kudlow said Mr Mnuchin had not yet pulled out.” Now I understand that such a situation would not have been expected, or even anticipated. Not by me. Yet, do you think that this was not on the mind of Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan? when we see settings that are adding up to half a trillion dollars, do you think that a Saudi event like the one we see now regarding Jamal Khashoggi would not have been looked at from every angle? And in light on how highly regarded journalists are in Turkey, the overreaction by turkey is equally unsettling (or let’s just call it suspicious). In the entire setting towards the consulate, we see that the one event now taking shape is a direct win for Saudi’s indirect enemy (Turkey as a supporter of Iran), no one seems to look too deeply there either. It does not mean that Turkey was involved, or that Turkey did anything. The mere absence of looking is an issue and that would drive the defence from the side of Saudi Arabia high up, all this in an action on Saudi soil (the embassy) where there would have been absolutely no tactical advantage for the Saudi government by acting in a building everyone is watching 24:7.

The elements do not add up and the photograph of the Grand mosque brought it to light (read: the forefront of my mind). You see, in opposition to the Christians and their bible (they have over 40 different versions), we see that there is ONE Quran, Sunni and Shia they all have the same Quran, exact to the letter, yet their split happened as you can see in the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/world/middleeast/q-and-a-how-do-sunni-and-shia-islam-differ.html) through: “A schism emerged after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, and disputes arose over who should shepherd the new and rapidly growing faith. Some believed that a new leader should be chosen by consensus; others thought that only the prophet’s descendants should become caliph“, I am not wise enough to give any level of wisdom here.

I do feel I am wise enough to look into the matters we currently face. Until the press has a more balanced view of the matters in the Middle East, specifically the acts by Iran and the acts by Houthi’s in Yemen, we will see a prolonged level of distrust. Let’s not forget that the building of Neom in Saudi Arabia continues and that it is the utter need of American stability that requires cheap oil. In all this, merely going back to 2017 levels will drain the American economy to the levels if cannot sustain and its need to do business with Iran at that point will be the largest moral defeat the US has ever faced. In addition, the Saudi coffers are getting $73 per barrel against the optional setting that the prices return to $121 per barrel, as winter sets in the US (UK too) that impact will be felt by these populations to a much larger degree, so in all this an optional demand from Saudi Arabia to get the news more balanced is not the weirdest request. Yet the foundation of issues giving rise to the price of oil next month by a mere 2% is not out of the question, and that is not all. The overreaction by President Trump with: ““severe punishment” if Khashoggi, who has been critical of Bin Salman, has been killed“. Fair enough, yet in all this, he has been merely setting the stage where Russia comes for a visit and is the reason for cancelling orders, whilst Saudi pilots are suddenly optionally ‘retrenched’ to get better in using the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F), and a few other alternatives. Shutting down options for American business seekers in Neom is not a good step to take either; no one can afford walking away from 1,000 billion dollars in projects in this day and age. In addition, for Saudi Arabia having a united technical air force corps with Egypt might not be the worst consideration either, and as ties with Egypt and Russia optionally strengthen in Saudi Arabia, the US will be finding itself on shallow ice with fewer options for their economy and even less possibilities over the next 10 years. All elements out in the open and it would be a strategy that Iran would love to see happen, whether it was to weaken Saudi Arabia or to kick the US where it really hurts, it would be an Iranian victory either way.

So when you consider these elements as well as the notion that for the most there is not a high regard for journalists in the first place (for a few years now), do any of the overreaching actions by certain players make any sense? It is there that we see the consideration for dinner.

Yet I could be wrong in all this. I openly admit that. I have had the longest issues with the entire Skripal setting, the Novichok debacle in Salisbury. Yet there is no denying the Reuters article that gave us ‘Russian website names third GRU officer involved in Salisbury poisoning‘ 4 days ago. With: “The Russian news website Fontanka named on Wednesday a third GRU military intelligence operative, Sergey Fedotov, as having been involved in trying to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury“. You see, the facts did not add up, there was too much noise and too little reliability. I have no reason to doubt Reuters, yet I still have issues with this. I do acknowledge that they name a Russian site, yet I know next to nothing about the Fontanka online news agency. When I read (yet again) on this, and the fact that they all seem to know the staff directory of the GRU, as well as the setting of travel, there are things not adding up. Not the travel, that part can be verified in several ways. The fact that we now have a third player, one that apparently did not show up in all those CCTV stills, the fact that three people were involved in a failed attack does not speak highly of the abilities of the Russian GRU, is that not weird either? The fact that humidity decreases the potency of the Novichok, but the perfume was dumped in the trash, not merely ‘accidently’ dropped in a pond, where retrieval would have been unsuccessful and the lethality of the Novichok would have been close to nullified. So with Salisbury basically surrounded by the Avon, they did not consider dropping the ‘perfume’ in there? How badly are these ladies trained (me stating the need for a well-paid job and replacing Colonel general Igor Valentinovich Korobov), I mean, I could hardly do any worse, could I? Let’s face it, in Australia a general’s pay starts at $235,595 with 0 years of experience in that rank. I’d accept that as a starting wage (LOL), even if it turns out to be merely for a year.

Getting back to the Russian stage, Bellingcat gives us (at https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/26/skripal-suspect-boshirov-identified-gru-colonel-anatoliy-chepiga/) the goods which are hard to deny, but it is merely their word against others. Yet they also become the doubt in this. Even as we accept: “The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity“. When we add “Anatoliy Chepiga graduated the academy with honors in 2001. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia’s farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command. Chepiga’s unit (74854, formerly 20662) played a key role in the second Chechen War, and was also observed near the Ukrainian border in late 2014“, we see an optional picture of a dedicated Russian officer, no one questions that, yet in that light, how come that he was involved in active failures of this degree and in the end a second event caused the death of an innocent bystander?

He could have used a knife, a mere piece of thin nylon rope, all methods that optionally makes finding evidence a near impossibility. Then we get the doubt again with “The research team was able to find Anatoliy Chepiga in two locations and time periods in the database: in 2003, in Khabarovsk; and in 2012 in Moscow“, you see, even by their own admission, heroes of the Russian Federation tend to be really well documented, so why do we see awards, failures and almost no documented admissions (even less photographs, beside the point that most photo’s never made it into newspapers)? It makes no sense and that brings us back to the Saudi Arabian setting. Even now as we are treated to so called audio evidence, evidence that was debunked by the BBC on more than one level, yet in all this Al Jazeera gives us: “Technology experts are sceptical that Jamal Khashoggi was able to sync recordings from his Apple watch to a phone in his fiancée’s possession from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The claim, as reported in Turkey’s pro-government media, is that Turkish officials have audio recordings from Khashoggi’s smart watch that prove the Saudi journalist was tortured and killed while inside the embassy. Saudi Arabia has called the allegations “baseless lies” and it is still unclear how Turkey would have obtained the audio evidence“, I personally believe that Al Jazeera is wrong here. The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45857777) debunks that story via Rory Cellan-Jones, the Technology correspondent. He does it point by point and does it with clarity, so in all this, why would the pro-Turkish government media blatantly lie about this? that and the other elements give doubt to all this and when we consider that it was optionally not a Saudi operation at all, we might be treated to a setting where the Turkish government is optionally involved in making the trade waters murky, optionally merely as a tool for Iran. What do you think is more likely and when we look at the photographs and the choices made, it is not merely contemplation for dinner, the entire setting of doing what is correct sheds a light on the media that is not as great as we hoped it would be.

Yet the BBC also gave us: “it seems far more likely that they have other means of detecting what foreign diplomats are up to and the Apple Watch story is just useful cover“, that we can agree on, both Iran and Turkey have every interest in keeping ears on every room in the Saudi Consulate and there we agree is the option that technical solutions are in abundance but without the proper vetting of sources, it remains speculation to some degree.

Still the actions in the consulate are a question mark, a person that is watched to this degree, acting in the consulate only seems to be the safer option, ‘seems’ being the operative word.

We need to take all these elements into consideration, whenever we ‘actively engage’ in settings of consideration, the larger picture matters, it matters a lot and even as I spoke out against the guilt of Russia as a state operator in Salisbury, the Bellingcat part is seemingly more persuasive in voicing that there is an issue, yet what I personally perceive to be the stupidity levels of the Skripal operation (for lack of a better description) is one that we should also consider in the Khashoggi events in Istanbul. So until the Turkish government gives public access to their audio files I remain in doubt. Clearly something happened, but what exactly and by whom are still elements that cannot be answered for now, and when we contemplate things that needs to be on the forefront of our minds.

When confirmed the implied image of Khalid Masood in the grand mosque of Mecca is merely the fact that he is Muslim, we already knew that, yet the Guardian also gave us the goods that he converted no earlier than 13 years before the attack, so after his prison sentence in 2000, so he was optionally a Christian for the longest time of his life, another part that few news media looked at to a better degree, the Guardian fortunately did. We are also given that around 12% of home grown terrorists were converts, considering that there are billions of Muslims, that number is interesting. It might not merely be about the conversion; it could be that those doing the conversion might have optionally left converts at the mercy of extreme imams, which is a debate for another day. It merely shows that there is a larger issue I all this and before we contemplate what is the right course of action, we need to realise that certain acts to stop intelligence gathering has been the shackles that prevent the intelligence community and the police to effectively act against lone wolves, moreover, there is less evidence that it can be stopped, for that you merely have to look at the picture of Masood in his football team when he was young, even as the one non-white individual he does not stand out, giving MI-5 a much larger headache then they needed in the first place.

Yes we need to be sensitive about photographs at times, yet when they also reveal that they basically reveal nothing, how would their use have value in the first place? Setting a stage, setting an emotional bias, or merely an illustration to make the article readable?

 

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