Tag Archives: Antonio Guterres

Hezbollah, an ignored danger

It has been around for a while. There has been a clear view on how we perceive things, it is in part fuelled by the media and in part through governments that use the flim flam artist approach of ‘watch here‘ whilst the action has been ‘there‘. We have seen a larger growth of anti-Semitic and even anti-Saudi ‘presentations’ and articles. Even though there has been a clear issue with several sides towards the ‘unnatural ending’ of Jamal Khashoggi, the media was way too eager to merely use Turkish innuendo, whilst to a larger extent no verifiable evidence has been produces, even some of the claims have been contradictive. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is innocent in this, but the critical questions had remained absent to a much larger degree and that too is being swept under the carpet. Yet there is a lot more in all this and it’s important to look at one of the larger puppets Hezbollah. You see, they are very much connected in all this.

Historical

For me personally there is history, I was never part of UNIFIL, yet I was part of the United Nations Security Council and I knew people who were part of UNIFIL, so when I was exposed to ”One year later, following a comprehensive operation by the institute and due to growing international attention to UNIFIL’s failures – and despite EU pressure to prolong the UNIFIL commander’s term – his term was discontinued“, as well as ““The European continent has turned into the lifeline – the oxygen line – for Hezbollah’s terrorist activities,” said Prosor. “If Germany, and then the European Union, would designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, it would suffocate part of the organization’s ability to function.” For more than a year, the institute researched and produced an investigative documentary on Hezbollah activity in Germany. The film was produced entirely in the German language and with German and international experts“, I was decently shocked. The Jerusalem Post gave us in addition: “the lack of professional background of the commander who was leading the force and his blind eye toward Hezbollah’s violations on the Israel-Lebanon border, deeming them as activities of “shepherds and hunters.”“, the fact that there was this level of complacency was just unheard of. The fact that the other media is seemingly ignoring parts of this is just way too weird. Now, we can consider that the Jerusalem Post is biased, yet when we consider both The documentary was first shown at the 2018 International Conference on Counter-Terrorism and at the presentation to the German Parliament at the end of this month, we should realise that this is a much bigger issue, in addition UN Nikki Haley publicly criticized UNIFIL at the UN, one would think that this is due more visibility then we have so far seen, and when we also see: “while it seems obvious in Israel and America that Hezbollah’s military and political arms are both sponsors of terrorism, in Europe this is not so obvious. There, they make an artificial differentiation between the military arm – a designated terrorist group – and the political arm“, It is almost like the entire IRA issues we saw in Europe in the 80’s and 90’s and whilst Europe remained cautious in regards to the IRA, it is seemingly willing to embrace the political arm of Hezbollah that is every bit as dangerous as its military counterpart.

A facilitating gravy train

There are two additional parts here. The first is less than a day old when we are ‘treated’ to: ‘Hezbollah money laundering has a ‘safe home in Germany”, again from the Jerusalem Post, that even whilst we are given “Lax German illicit terror finance policies permitted Hezbollah to run a vast enterprise to raise funds through a money laundering operation in Europe and South America. French prosecutors put 15 members of the criminal organization on trial last week in Paris. According to three German media outlets – NDR, WDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung – two of the accused men lived in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and an additional two men who were charged lived near the city-state of Bremen in northern Germany“, I could not find any references in other large media (outside of Germany and France). If they have it, it was hidden pretty efficiently. It seems to me (very speculative) is that there is optionally a growing link between the political branch of Hezbollah and the secular press as the Americans call it and that is pretty dangerous. When we consider that Hezbollah is directly engaged in Yemen, the ignoring of such events is a lot more damaging than you could imagine.

There are additional sides in this, yet most of this is given in opinion pieces, which is a factor that we must take into consideration. The first comes from the Khashoggi family (aka The Washington Post), who (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/to-rescue-yemen-the-us-must-end-all-military-support-of-the-saudi-coalition/2018/11/12/aca29358-e6ad-11e8-b8dc-66cca409c180_story.html) gives us ‘To rescue Yemen, the U.S. must end all military support of the Saudi coalition‘, now, it is a viewpoint that a person should be allowed to have. I do not think it is a realistic one, apart from the fact that ‘Houthi’ is mentioned twice and Hezbollah does not get any mention and they are both firing missiles into civilian areas of Saudi Arabia (and that is all besides the absence of Iranian activity fuelling it all). Yet the passing of a ‘blogger aficionada‘ (aka Journalist) takes front seat to a setting where that person should not really be an issue to the degree he is shown. The stage gives us “in which more than 16,000 civilians have been killed or injured“, yet the mention of 50,000+ deaths from disease, famine and other means where Houthi’s are allegedly using Hezbollah tactics does not get any mention either.

It is that filtered view that is giving light to a behind the curtains support setting to Palestine and Hezbollah. Now, to be fair, a person should be allowed to be pro-Palestinian, if people are Pro-Israel, the other should not be denied, yet Pro-Hezbollah, to be in support of a terrorist organisation is a much bigger issue and that hidden part is becoming a lot more visible, especially when the news is shown to be so unbalanced, even when it is ‘fronted’ as an opinion piece. so when we see the links (as an image), whilst it is almost all openly ‘anti-Saudi’, yet the fact that the atrocities that Houthi and Hezbollah have been largely the cause of, that absence is making the news not democratic, but a shadowy version of niche events presented as factual truth, whilst the given view on the larger scale shows this absence to be close to utterly unethical, especially for a paper like the Washington Post, whether they are now staff-1 or not.

1982 kilometres from Beirut

So how should we react to: “Even U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres submitted evidence to the Security Council that Iran was supplying ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in defiance of U.N. resolution 2231“, which links to a 2014 article, yet the truth is that this has been ongoing and even as Western Europe is puckering up towards Iran to a much larger degree, leaving the political response against Hezbollah unanswered and more important Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is not seen as the guilty party he should be seen as. It is often stated that any aspiring tyrant will consider peace on the eve of defeat and that is what we see now. Even as we are treated to ‘Arab coalition to allow Al Houthi medical evacuations from Yemen: UK‘, we also see ‘Wounded Al Houthi rebels to be evacuated‘, yet what about the 80,000 children on the brink of death due to famine? Even as some might applaud the Saudi Coalition victory, seen though: “Recent high-ranking defections among erstwhile allies of Al Houthis signal further such splits as the Iran-aligned militia suffers setbacks at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, experts said. This week, Abdul Salam Jaber, who had served as the information minister for Al Houthis, defected from the militia and fled the Al Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a for Riyadh. He said the rebels were “breathing their last”“, the biggest responsibility should be to the Yemeni civilian population in such distress through famine and disease alone. Even Deutsche Welle reported ‘Yemen Houthis seek truce with Saudi coalition‘, yet nothing on those starving to death and even as the Deutsche Welle gives us “The three-and-a-half-year-war has pitted forces loyal to President President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led bombing, against Houthi rebels associated with Tehran. Saudi-led coalition has recently intensified the bombing in the key strategic area of Hodeida. A blockade of the port city could trigger unprecedented famine“. Even as the blockade might be tactical, the fact that food has been withheld from the civilian population to a much larger degree through the Houthi whether or not employing Hezbollah tactics is also absent here.

For me the problem is a lot larger, as we clearly see the impact of Hezbollah and the absence in the media, the media is becoming less and less reliable, especially as the stories remain one sided. There is a larger part in all this. Personally I am not convinced that this is the complete picture, and I need to make it clear that this is speculative. It is my personal belief that when we consider The National (at http://www.thenational.ae) and some of its unconfirmed articles, some might have seen: ““This was no rogue operation but, rather, a function of Hezbollah’s “financial apparatus,” which “maintained direct ties” to both Hezbollah commercial and terrorist elements,” he wrote in a report published by the Washington Institute of the US Treasury designation of Nourheddine, which preceded the arrests. “Within days of this designation, Noureddine was arrested in France along with several other accused Hezbollah operatives“, as well as ‘Operation Cedar—of which the Treasury designation was just one part‘. I am amazed that the Netherlands were not more visibly mentioned in all this. It seems weird, almost unfathomable that this was all achieved without the use of Rotterdam as a point of transit. Even as transitional cargo is not really looked as, as the Netherlands was not the end destination, it is the biggest world hub in getting containers and bulk cargo from anywhere in Europe towards Asia and the US (and vice versa). This implies that Hezbollah political players are seemingly active there too. The article does mention the Netherlands, yet in a much more ‘timid’ capacity. We see: “Cash was dropped off at hairdressers in Antwerp in Belgium, a large hotel in Paris, a restaurant in Montreuil or a café in Enschede in the Netherlands. Transcripts showed that Mr Noureddine would hand out orders for the collection of as much as 500,000 euros at a time. Six figure sums were often delivered in small note denominations” and that makes sense for the German part (Enschede – Germany) is a distance you can walk (4.5 km) with a highway to Gronau, so that is a place to easily get into Germany (and the opposite direction), hundreds of containers a day take that route. when we consider the news a month ago, when the Dutch were confronted with: ‘Dutch politician praises pro-Palestinian kite show featuring Nazi symbols‘, my assumptions and speculations might be shown as correct, yet is that the actual part in that? So when the Dutch were treated to: “Rens Reijnierse, a lawmaker from the southern city of Vlissingen” and his Pro-Palestinian view “Kites at Pool Beach. Beautiful autumn day in Vlissingen. No wind so the kites won’t fly but the project for Palestine still succeeded,” he wrote” as it was tweeted gives light to not merely a Pro-Palestinian view (which should be allowed) to an optional facilitating Pro-Hezbollah view (a speculative view by me), which is another matter entirely, if that would prove to be true, and even as I mention one person, I am convinced that the anti-Semitic vandalism as shown 6 months ago in Amsterdam was recorded to have risen by 40%. From my speculative mind, there is no way that this does not include a wave of Pro Hezbollah people giving light to a much larger danger on a global scale.

The size does not matter here, the fact that the media is allegedly shuffling this part to the bottom of the news pile is an issue and the few parts I have shown here, should also give rise that the media to a much larger extent is seemingly doing this. Merely Google ‘Hezbollah‘ for the last 24 hours and I see an absence of The Guardian, The Independent, the Times, and several other large newspapers in Europe. Do you really think I was making that up? It is not merely what we see; it is what we do not get to see that shows us that there is a much larger problem. Optionally there is a hidden danger, which is nothing to speculate or allege to. Those who are not in the news are often quickly forgotten and that is the true danger that Hezbollah is representing on a global stage. You merely have to view the thousands of images that show the nightmare that Hezbollah has been part of to see the danger that they pose, the fact that Iran is willing and has been shown to fund this is the icing on the cakes of Iran and Hezbollah, the fact that the media skates around it makes the cake more delicious for both these players as they are not given the limelight of their actions.

 

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It is done!

There are a few issues today and the first one is not really an issue, unless you are a movie producer and you are up against Infinity war. I just learned that it smashed the Chinese box office on Friday with an additional $76 million, which makes it surpass both Black Panther and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2. It is now the 8th most successful movie on the planet in the All Time Box Office and that is before the global Saturday revenues are known. I expect it to crush the first Avengers Movie and settle (during the week) on the 5th position. It is the fastest ascension of any movie ever. That is big news, so as per ‘today’ 40% of the top 10 movies ever worldwide are Marvel Productions. I think that the Legacy of Stan Lee is very safe for all time; in addition, I reckon that the Russo brothers will be walking around with that feeling of pride and accomplishment for some time to come. This will not be some DC Marvel comparing; this is a comic book victory that spans 3 generations, and perhaps the setting of an old truth that a dreamer with only $0.25 can conquer the world (small reference to Walt Disney there).

We watched for all kinds of reasons and none of us were disappointed, not even those who went to see it with the silent promise that they could see that Chris Hemsworth is merely slightly less than half the size of Peter Dinklage. We are not even at the halfway point yet! The pressure on part 2 will be overwhelming with every weekend we get towards that point of release, especially those who recognised the message in the teaser at the very end.

But our worlds do not merely revolve on Marvel Production (some need chocolates too), and if it was only so good, it is not, The independent gives us mere hours ago (updated) that in Iran the Clerics are shown to be as simple as one could expect. With the quote “Iranian senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said during Friday prayers that Western pressure will backfire, threatening that Israel will pay the price.” The holy system of Islamic Republic will step up its missile capabilities day by day so that Israel, this occupying regime, will become sleepless and the nightmare will constantly haunt it that if it does anything foolish, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” the hard-line cleric said. The warshippers chanted: “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel“.”, it is their invitation to War, they thought they were clever with their ‘Syrian‘ missile attack, but they now have the impeding wrath of the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who has had their fill of the Yemeni Issues, as well as Iran’s commitment to terrorism and Hezbollah and now that both parties know that the rest of the world is willing to united behind Saudi Arabia and Israel, now they need to cry and scream like little children. It is in that setting that I see the mention of “Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, asked for the halt to avoid “a new conflagration” in the region following the most extensive military exchange between Israel and Iran“, Iran did not listen for the longest of times, during the entire Syrian slaughter the UN was merely a lame duck, an expensive voice that was not listened to at all. So why should anyone listen now? So when we see “we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” the hard-line cleric said. The worshippers chanted: “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel”“, we see a part that they are still in denial of the Houthi situation. Yet now, after the years of their chants, many are sick of the Iranian debacle, option upon option were given, but the two players in charge of Iran, the clerics and the military are soon to be called to put their money where their mouths are and now, the game changes for them, because as far as I see it, they cannot deliver. The fact that I saw the flaw that ends their navy, they will be on an unbalanced setting, they still have plenty of air force and army, but that too falls against the naval settings of what non-Iranians remains in the Persian Gulf and in that setting they have a much larger disadvantage. Iran must rely on the puppets and tools they had and these players are no longer sure of Iran at all. Iran overplayed their hand!

Sinem Cengiz the Turkish political analyst in Arab News gives us: “Turkey will not be taking sides in the crisis as it is already dealing with the effects of the turbulence affecting its other neighbors, Syria and Iraq. So a third neighbor under sanctions will not serve Turkish interests in the region. A nuclear-armed Iran is not in the interest of Turkey either as it would challenge Ankara’s own regional-power position in the Middle East“, she is not wrong, but I personally do not completely agree. You see, Turkey moved itself into a much higher echelon for its own reasons on Kurds and Kurdistan and the setting in Syria remains provocative. Russia wants the middle mediation spot and Iran thinks that they could still push some for certain agreements. Turkey’s actions could push itself into either directly opposing Iran as it wants to soften the setting with European players, or try approach, which was to make Europe more lenient. I do not think either will work, yet with the US in play, they could be pushed into denying certain settings with Iran. Turkey might not want to take sides and for the short term (4-8 weeks) that could be possible, yet both US and the EU want commitments from the Turkish government, but one that is set against Iran (or at least withdraw completely form that setting), it might be one of the few paths remaining to avoid a direct war and in all that, the others want commitments. The path could be delayed when open hostilities against Hezbollah are chosen, because at this point, such actions need to go without any Iranian support, and in that Turkey would be willing to sacrifice Hezbollah for their own needs. Iran will at some point use them as martyrs, which is fine for some as martyrs can no longer hold guns that is the reality of war!

In this we see support from the Courier Mail, who makes mention of ‘Russia reeling in Iran’, which might prevent worse, which is partially true. The issue is not any of the outside players; the issue is that the Iranian clergy and military have been prepping for the longest time. Now they want to move in and look good, yet the starting signal was not given at the right time, so now their entire strategy is falling upon the floor with no one wanting the visibility of picking that trash up. In this CNBC has its own view (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/09/trump-iran-sanctions-give-saudi-arabia-and-russia-more-clout.html). With “Saudi Arabia said it will help meet world oil demand if President Donald Trump’s Iran sanctions create shortfalls, but analysts say it will do so only in conjunction with Russia, and the world may have to get used to higher prices as a result” they are correct, that is indeed the midterm play that we all face, increasing oil prices and the energy companies will try to cash in on this as soon as possible, even as they have been enjoying cheap oil for years. This strategy works for both Saudi Arabia and Russia on several fronts, there will be no opposing party ready or able to pick up that slack. Their only way to prevent worse is the action offered by Israel, If the Syrian president tells Iran to go home, it would relieve tensions. The question becomes if Syria willing to do just that? There are still scores of Russians there and perhaps Turkey has an option to show willingness to increase troops, which works for them on all but one front, Iran will see this as an act of desertion against the Iranian settings. Iran’s actions or responses cannot be predicted as present. Even a Syria has had issues with the Turkish ties towards the Muslim Brotherhood and as such, it might be the best option, but not one President Assad is willing to consider (personal speculation). It is a Gordian knot of complications at best, cutting it might be the best, but that too might not be seen as a solution for any of those players.

So where is the option to remove the pressures? I am not certain if there are any left, the issue is the pressures are coming from Iran and they are not willing to change for the time being.

For desert

The end of this should be something light and frothy, there is nothing lighter and frothy than a good game and in light of the upcoming war, is that such a bad deal? We have seen all kinds of allegations and leaks. Now that we see a few announcements, and now that we have seen a few things that Sony will be bringing, I am now at a loss how Microsoft will get anywhere with the uphill battle they face this year. It seems to me that the upcoming Book of the dead is doing to PS4 what the initial the Last of Us did to the PS3. It was overwhelming. In addition when we see the Last of Us 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Spiderman, Death Stranding and Book of the dead, realising that at least three of these titles will be released in 2018, one is extremely unlikely to come before 2019 (Death Stranding) and one remains an unknown at present, and that is merely the exclusives. Sony has remastered the Spyro trilogy which will entice a new generation and satisfy the ones who played it on the original PlayStation. There are loads more coming, but this is at present what Nintendo and Microsoft are up against, which in light of the results of God of War is not a good thing to be up against. Now that the Sony gamers have heard that the release of Subnautica on PS4 is more and more imminent; an unknown title (to many) that is merely one of the best survival adventures I ever played and original from beginning to end. So in that view, we see that the other brand has a diminishing level of unique games left and that was never a good thing for any console. In my personal view, there is now only one reason why I still have the Xbox One. It is the one game, the game that I revered ever since I got my fingers on the demo that was added to the PC Format disc, al little over 20 years ago. Take a look at the update of the remastered and remade System Shock (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKfnTnZuC5E) where you can see the game in progress and even as it is announced to come to PS4, it is for the time being a lot earlier on Xbox One and PC.

The advantage Microsoft once had is now pretty much gone.

Even as some are all about the gifting a game hype, from my personal experience most people have never given me anything correct when it comes to gaming. Now, in some cases it is indeed nice, but most people prefer to go to shop and get a physical copy of the game. We acknowledge that backward compatibility is a nice setting; there is no denying that, yet over the next year do you want to replay a few good games, or play amazing new games? Backward compatibility is nice to have and an asset, no one denies that, yet the setting of no amazing new games is not something you want to rely on. The Verge actually almost nails it with “The Xbox One is the best console if you don’t care about exclusive new games“, I do agree with the setting, but those exclusives that Sony has is just beyond amazing and Microsoft has nothing to counter that, that is the setting that does matter. Nintendo upped the setting even more with the leak of Pokémon Switch coming this year; this will get millions of 3DS players now update to Switch much faster than initially expected. It gets to be interesting when you consider that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon sold in excess of 7 million copies. With Pokken on Switch (originally a WiiU title) already out and now the new Pokémon’s coming (I expect at least two), we see that Nintendo is upping the score and the pressure on both Microsoft and Sony.

So even as Verge was almost correct, they missed it that the gamers love exclusive titles and the fact that the Sony players are getting the Switch on the side matters as well, apart from them not getting the XB1 on the side. With 26 titles announced by August 2018, the games list is also impacting the other two. Bethesda is giving Wolfenstein 2 a ‘switch’ over in 7 weeks, The Crash Bandicoot fans get to do it all over again on Switch as well and Capcom is breathing life to Streetfighter with a 30th anniversary edition this month on Switch, yes, my prediction that I made a mere two weeks ago is coming to pass, the worst nightmare for Microsoft is coming, Nintendo and Sony have upped their game and as it is less likely that Microsoft can equal that during the E3; by no more than late August will we see the setting whether the total Nintendo Switch sales will surpass Xbox One total sales by Christmas 2018, it is now becoming increasingly likely that Microsoft Xbox One will grace third position in the console race before December 31st 2018. Microsoft will have to produce a miracle by the end of the year and it better be a lot better than there marketing department hiding behind “All Xbox One games and Microsoft Store PC games are now eligible for digital gifting“, because when I look at AC Origin Gold (AU$145) and Shadow of War Gold (AU$158), I wonder if the people know that these games are around 40Gb to download and a 100% larger if you have 4K capabilities. So not only is it a massive download, the fact that these XB1 consoles have no more than 1TB is also a consideration. Nothing on any of this is a ‘pro’ gamer setting, merely a maximum exploitation setting from Microsoft. And that is even before you realise that a new Shadow of War Gold edition (with Steelbook) is a mere AU$99.95 at EB Games, so, do you still think I am kidding when it comes to Microsoft dropping the ball three times over? Are you kidding with downloading a game at a price that is 50% higher than a physical version in the shops?

Like Iran, Microsoft overplayed their hand way too soon and they are also in the venue of not being able to counter what comes. A setting that they should have avoided, in that light we can compare the Microsoft marketeers with the Iranian clerics, they shout from the highest peaks, but without the support of actual product you end up merely irritating people, which is how I personally see this all.

A desert that was a little less light on the bowels, but in all this we see that some games over the next month will be shown to be not up to the fight against reality and consumerism. Because both rely on smooth sailing and those who have never been hit by internet congestion have for the most never ever used the full setting of it. Until very recently, Sydney NBN users had 4 hours a week of congestion, now consider having to fetch your Sex in the city, the latest movie, download games, watch reality (kitchen) TV and focus on the big footy games. So how welcome was that digital download game to the internet welfare of the family in the end?

 

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