Tag Archives: BAE

A stage of Ethicality

In this, we first need to set the proper stage, for example the notion that we are going into a boxing ring, and it is square no less. As such we are told to be ethical, which is a habit of conduct with regard to right and wrong or a body of such rules and habits. But in all this, for the last 400 years, it was the habit to make as much money as possible without breaking the law, and yes, the second part is actually important. 

This reflects (on me) that I would be happy to sell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia either the BAE Tempest, or the Chinese Chengdu J-20. One gets me less than the other, but I will not care. On a personal note. I will prefer the BAE Tempest, because that might score me an OBE in the future besides my commission, but I can live happily without the OBE. My grandfather didn’t get one in WW1, so why would I need one, I feel certain he would have earned it more than me.

This now reflects on the article by the NOS (Dutch news, at https://nos.nl/artikel/2383223-van-ark-herhaalt-mondkapjesdeal-met-van-lienden-voldeed-aan-voorwaarden)  that is optionally flaming the people to have a go at Sywert van Lienden. The news reports {De medische mondkapjes die opiniemaker en ondernemer Sywert van Lienden verkocht aan het ministerie van VWS hadden een redelijke prijs, waren van voldoende kwaliteit en konden snel geleverd worden. Daarom werd de deal, ter waarde van ruim 100 miljoen euro, gesloten} “The medical masks that opinion maker and entrepreneur Sywert van Lienden sold to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport had a reasonable price, were of sufficient quality and could be delivered quickly. That is why the deal, worth more than 100 million euros, was closed”, the Dutch government has embraced for well over 25 years their ‘subsidised dealings, the company I worked for in the 90’s had a deal (a very nice one), and others have too. The Dutch will embrace manufacturing, reporting, and enhancing whatever they can and they will pay, so stop crying.

It is when you realise {Van Lienden leverde twee soorten mondkapjes, voor 2,26 euro en 2,78 euro per stuk. De gemiddelde prijs die op dat moment werd gevraagd door aanbieders was tussen de 2,50 euro en 3 euro} “Van Lienden supplied two types of mouth caps, for 2.26 euros and 2.78 euros each. The average price asked by providers at that time was between 2.50 euros and 3 euros”, that in hindsight against what I can buy now per piece $2 (€1.26) or per 10 for $1 (€0.63) each, the writeup is seemingly quite remarkable when we compare it to the now, and that is what the consumer sees. I guarantee you that these pharmacies are not working for free. So what did Sywert van Lienden do wrong? I do not believe that he did anything wrong, he saw a market and he got right there on Day Zero (implying someone whispered that news to him). The news implies all kinds of political connections on both sides of the aisle. Does that matter? The EU floats (and thrives) on Nepotism, I have seen and felt that for well over 27 years and I got the short end of that equation many times, do I cry? No I don’t!

And perhaps my ship will come in, perhaps it will not. Over those 25 years, I have worked, wrote articles, created technology (mostly 5G), created data solutions, wrote files for dozens of corporations and I am dubbing over a TV series (two actually), I got the idea out there for at least two movies and I had an additional idea for a third movie (thanks to Dwayne Johnson and John Cena), not to mention several video games. So in the end I made a decent creative footprint, but will that digress me from making $65-$121 million if I get the chance? Hell no! Are my chances good, not really. This world was altered to adhere to the exploitative, the openly short sighted (age discrimination) to give the exploitative even more options. 

We all have that moment when the jewel in your crown is just there for the taking, in this we are handed two setbacks. The first is the direction to look in, so the wider the view, the better your chances. The second is to recognise the jewel from the truckloads of Coprolite floating around it, so you need to be fast, precise and accept the consideration that you will grasp the wrong thing. That is life gentlemen (ladies also)!

 

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Is it good news?

Yup we all see it at times, we are offered an apple, all whilst it is not, it could be an apple and some will say it is an apple, but the judges are our whether it is fruit at all. I get it, there are some speculations on a few items in the pond, but how did we get there?

BAE Tempest

These are a few of the thoughts I got when I was confronted with ‘RAF Tempest jet will ‘add £1bn to East of England economy’’ yesterday. You see, I am happy for the RAF, I really am, but when we look at the news, we get to see “A project to develop the RAF’s new fighter jet will bring at least £1.1bn of added value to the East of England economy”, as such we need to consider that in one place we see “added value”, that is not really the same is it? Adding to the economy and added value to the economy are not the same thing, should you wonder, ask the grocer, the baker and the milkman in the east of England, they will wonder as well, because if it actually boosts the economy, their business will get better, added value does not, it infers that change, but it will not.

Then we get to “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) report said the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” in the region”, 22,000 if supporting work until at least 2035 will imply 1466 job years per year. Yet it is all speculation. It is a big deal, but it would have ben better if we would have gotten “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) report said the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” up till 2045 at present expectations in the region”, this would give us a timeline with the expected setting of 880 jobs a year at present, but for some reason PwC was intentional vague here, so hw much jobs are saved and how much workforce are the people behind all this trying to import? 

So why does it matter?

It matters when you are considering “Leonardo UK already employs 1,000 people at its site in Capability Green in Luton researching and manufacturing advanced electronics for combat aircraft such as the RAF’s Typhoon fighter jet. Missiles expert MBDA has a workforce of about 3,000 in Stevenage and both firms said they were looking to increase the size of their local workforces”, it matters that one side gives us that there is expected space for for 880 jobs, all whilst the Typhoon is winding down and there we see 4,000 employed people, we do get that there is a mention of ‘they were looking to increase the size of their local workforces’, yet is that accounting for “The aircraft is being designed to include technology to provide pilotless flying”? It is a side that the Typhoon never had and we get that, but where will that part come from in the Tempest? So when you look at the stage, there is something off in ‘the project would support a minimum of 22,000 “job years” in the region’, as such, especially as that part took 15 seconds for MY brain to work out, I wonder what the BBC writer was thinking, who was also unmentioned in the article, I wonder why? 

So is it good news, or is it orchestrated bad news? The issue is that this was screaming from the moment I saw it and the BBC is not setting a stage with follow up questions? I would have thought that the Martin Bashir case was a rude awakening for the BBC, but no, I was wrong, this article shows that deception is still at the core of a few people, especially when the identity of the writer is missing. The Tempest could be good news on a few fronts, but in all this, it seems important to give out ALL the relevant information on matters that affect the people in the East of England, and it matters, as far as I am concerned, it will inflict levels of insecurity, especially when some of the parameters that make for the “job years” would have been added. 

What will happen in the East of England? Apparently, we will have to accept that time will tell, whether that telling is a good thing or an increasingly negative one has yet to be determined.

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The deal compared to morality

There we have it, several sources voiced it yesterday. I wanted to answer then, but I wanted to look at it a little more. There is no reason to stop it, there is no reason to avoid it, it is a false setting of morality, nothing more. 

As President Biden has stated that they will ‘Biden administration pauses weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE’, now in itself that they can do that, but it is the by-line that caught my eye “arms sales aims to ensure they advance US ‘strategic objectives’”, I am on the fence there, I accept that the American have an agenda, they always do. Yet what about the agenda to allow the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to defend itself? In addition, is there an acceptable stage where ‘strategic objections’ will overrule basic needs? The US has a 25 trillion dollar debt, to alienate  basic source of income seems extremely counterproductive. I am very willing to step in and set a stage where the KSA will consider the hardware, consultancy and support from the UK and the BAE. I will happily take the 3.75% commission, even if it is initially only over $1,000,000,000. That still means I end up with a taxable $37,500,000, I’m not greedy, merely facilitating. And that amount is a decent amount to set retirement to. Now, is this merely greed driven?

No, I believe that any sovereign state has a basic right to defend itself, and even as we to some degree understand that the anti-war people who are in London Ontario and CAAT in the UK trying to stop the arms deals, I believe that they are misguided, they are, so that they are stating that this is fuelling the Yemeni war, In comparison we should see them as allied pacifists opponents of WW2, stopping the allies from continuing war in Europe, whilst Europe is being attacked by Germans and no one does anything there. In this setting Germany is played by Iran, Iran is continuing to fuel Houthi forces with weapons, weapons that are aimed at Saudi civilian targets and that is a big no-no in my book.

The second part is that I prefer to capture the revenue in western ways, because there pacifists seem to be ignorant of the setting that China or Russia will deal with Saudi Arabia, with the future investment that they have set both nations want to have a slice of that pie and even more, they like it just fine if the west (UK or USA) will not get that revenue. That is the setting we seem to face, billions of revenue will go towards the west, Russia or China and the media is seemingly unable to properly inform us, more important I have spoken in the past on the setting that western media remained SILENT on several attacks by Houthi’s on Saudi civilian targets, more important they have downplayed the acts by Iran, even though it is blatantly obvious that Yemen has no infrastructure, no trained users and no way to properly guide drones. Yemen lacks that ability and some sources have clearly stated that. I see the essential need to stop Iran by making sure that the KSA is able to stop Iran, the stage that we are informed on is the need for ‘strategic objectives’, perhaps destabilisation is what the USA needs in the Middle East, and is that not worse than prolonging one war that the KSA never started, but was asked to assist in by the legitimate government of Yemen? 

So when Arab News gives us ‘Are Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis firing warning shots across Biden administration’s bows?’, yet the Sydney Morning Herald gives us ‘Economic profiteering is fuelling the war in Yemen: UN panel’ which was yesterday, with two mentions of Iran, one being ““an increasing body of evidence suggesting that individuals and entities” in Iran supply “significant volumes of weapons and components to the Houthis””, a stage that has existed for well over 5 years, so after that time we see ‘an increasing body of evidence suggesting’, how deranged is that level of filtering? All whilst we are told “the Central Bank broke its foreign exchange rules, manipulated the foreign exchange market and “laundered a substantial part of the Saudi deposit in a sophisticated money-laundering scheme” that saw traders receive a $US423-million windfall”, so traders walked out with part of the $2,000,000,000 deposited by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to “intended to fund credit to buy commodities – such as rice, sugar, milk and flour – to strengthen food security and stabilise domestic prices”, all whilst the Central Bank of Yemen had its own path to set the needs of that money, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the painted bad person? (At https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/economic-profiteering-is-fueling-the-war-in-yemen-un-panel-20210127-p56xar.html)

So in all this, me taking a stance for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or perhaps better stated a stance AGAINST Iran is greed driven? We need a stable strong nation in the Middle East and we have 8-12 years of data that Iran will never be that player, all in a stage where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a plan to evolve towards a non oil driven economy, how is this a bd thing? How is the simple fact that Saudi Arabia is trying to make Neom City, a place 20 times the size of New York, a feat never ever done before by any nation and all I see is trivialisation and downplaying by other media, how is that an act by any evolved nation? That plan gave me the idea to create the 5G IP I have and as such Neom City is a start of innovation, and in that stage if Huawei completes that level of innovation all whilst at present 5G in Saudi Arabia is 725% faster than the 5G in the USA, the difference is that much and when Huawei sets that stage in Neom City, we lose, in that stage I would rather see Saudi Arabia as our friend than our enemy.

The world stage is changing and the greed driven iterative idiots in the US and the EU are setting a stage where we are left with no options, at that point where will you run, because if it is up to China, we are left with nothing, so is it that much a stretch to set a stage where preferably the BAE sets a larger stage with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a larger player? Consider that the stage changes, where do you want to be, in the arms of filtered news creators who hide the facts, or drive innovation? Because I can tell you where Saudi Arabia and China want to end up, they want to be on the far end of innovation, when the Chinese apps come at the uberspeed that Huawei can deliver, we lose and we lose a lot. It is a simple equation, and the western media telling you that it is more complex will add all kinds of actors that given to them by their stake holders, and guess who they are?

We are running out of time, the entire Corona setting did that to us, it forces us to make a choice much earlier than most wanted to and the US and their friends at Ericsson and Nokia are out of time and options. 

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Sunny side up

Yup, its like the eggs, I like my eggs in different ways, sunny side up, scrambled and poached. The poached ones I tend to prefer with Salmon and sourdough, yet I remain optimistic. Today is a stage of a lot of optional optimism. You see, like the eggs I am faced with a few scenario’s

Scrambled
There is more than one setting, there is the stage where we make our way quickly or awkwardly up a steep gradient or over rough ground, it is what the US is enabling me to do. You see, it is well over a week and there is still no result from Georgia, North Carolina and Wisconsin is under review and recent soon enough, the 0.2% advantage the Biden has in Georgia guarantees a recount. With another state in question there is a lot happening and they opened the for buy continuing in a media takes all frenzy that makes certain allies nervous, yet the American setting is all about media proclaimed superiority, yet the BBC give us ‘US election: Gulf Arab leaders face new reality after Biden victory’, all whilst 5 states remain in question. Even now, North Carolina and Georgia have not been called. Wisconsin is in the wind and Arizona, no-one knows what will happen there and it is making more than a few people rather nervous.

Poached
As such, when we see (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54904874) “Mr Biden’s victory could now have far-reaching consequences for Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arab states”, in all this, I am not sitting by, with a $8,500,000,000 deal that could fall in the water I could look at 3.75% of that amount if I poach it. It would give me $318,750,000 and I need to pay rent. You want to be delusional? The is fine with me, I prefer to do it via the BAE, get the UK the arms deals, but in the end, I actually do not care whether it is them or China, you wanted greed driven? I wonder if you still like it when the shoe is on the other foot. And lets be clear, Saudi Arabia wanted (read: preferred) the American product, but certain delusional congress and senate members had this overreaching idea of whatever they were thinking and I do not mind, I saw a nice house and I do not mind spending my retirement there. It was only last march when we were given ‘Wall Street Poaching Season Stalls as Virus Curbs Interviews’, as such, if poaching is so acceptable, you do not mind me taking away business, do you? Even now when we see “President Barack Obama, under whom Mr Biden served as vice-president for eight years, was increasingly uncomfortable about Saudi Arabia’s conduct of the war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. By the time he left office, the air war had been going for almost two years with little military success while inflicting enormous damage on civilians and the country’s infrastructure”, we understand part of it, yet the stage remains unbalanced, the atrocities of the Houthis remain unmentioned, as dos the actions of Hezbollah and Iran in Yemen, but remain in denial, I will look after that multi-trillionaire client of yours. And whilst we now see “This lifted sanctions on Iran in return for strict compliance with limits on its nuclear activities and inspections of its nuclear facilities. President Trump called it “the worst deal ever” and pulled the US out of it. Now, his successor looks set to take the US back into the agreement in some form”, as the stage of denial of Iran becomes more and more visible, we will see that additional business opportunities become mine (read: wishful thinking), yet that is the setting of poaching, closing your eyes to pragmatism and reality works for Mme in this case, so I will take it.

Sunny Side Up
Yup, the yoke is on the people of the US. When they lose an additional $8.5B, more and more infrastructure will not be affordable, a stage they made for themselves, we can warn them again and again, yet at some point I will take the money, what was theirs is now mine, they set the stage for me to walk on and dance I will (that much money and they can see me do a jig). And when the people in the US finally wake up, finally realise that some games come at a price, we will see them cry foul (or fowl), yet they called for their chickens and they merely turned into turkey’s. 

Of course I know that my chances are slim to none, but in that setting I will take slim anyway and as I see it, my chances here are better than the lottery and the price is a hell of a lot more rewarding. So whilst Al Jazeera gives us ‘‘Relationship reassessed’: Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia relations’, I say “reassess all you like”, and the quote there is “We should not overestimate what the Biden administration can do in relation to Yemen’s war,” Nadwa Dawsari, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, told Al Jazeera. “A political settlement under the current circumstances would further complicate Yemen’s war and play into the hands of the Houthis and, by default, Iran” and the is where Saudi Arabia becomes more and more nervous, more and more needing an alternative. It is not ego, Iran is becoming a much larger problem all over the Middle-East and Saudi Arabia is not in a good place, they feel even less certain whether the egotistical democrats realise just how much of a problem Iran really is. The media has been keeping silent over so much events, there is a general distrust here and I am very (read: extremely) willing to step in and get a few coins out of it. Now, I am no Nicholas Cage, but I do get the part when he states (in Lords of War) “Without operations like mine it would be impossible for certain countries to conduct a respectable war. I was able to navigate around those inconvenient little arms embargoes. There are three basic types of arms deal: white, being legal, black, being illegal, and my personal favourite colour, *grey*. Sometimes I made the deal so convoluted, it was hard for *me* to work out if they were on the level”, and that works for me in this case, the fact that I take $8.5 billion and give it to the UK is merely icing on the cake (as long as I get my 3.75% or more).

You might think that I am deplorable, but if I do not step in, the Russians will and I have something against giving free money to them (its an old cold war thing). A stage where the US is finagling billions in 5G, optionally more, a stage where their close rich allies are turning away all because thee media cannot be bothered giving all Americans the proper picture as such I see no reason not to step in and after that I can fund my IP into products the will make me rich beyond belief. Yup, as I see it, 2021 might be sunny side up, although I do admit that 2020 was mostly about scrambling and poaching. But that is partially due to those willing to let it all happen.

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The seventh guest

Yes, it is a game, but this is not about gaming, it is the game we detest, but it is being played and we sit in the middle, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sits in the middle and the Trump administration is uniting behind “the shooting down of a US drone could have been carried out by a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer without authorisation from Tehran“. So good morning it is Friday, no throw back Thursday for us, just the start of meaningless banter from the political isles.

To get to the 7th guest, you have to understand the content. It was a brilliant puzzle game released by Virgin in the 90’s. The story was over the top but cool, it was a journey to stay alive until the next morning. The house was filled with puzzles that needed to be solved to continue. It was a little more like an interactive movie (in those days). The first puzzle was to carve a cake in equal pieces, there were 6 guests to each person and the cake was 6 by 5 squares. Simple you think, but the clue was ‘2 skulls and 2 stones, the rest is just icing‘, and now cutting the cake was not as easy as initially seemed.

Now we get to the icing of Yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/20/the-ice-and-the-icing/) where I quoted in response: “It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk?” It seems that boar mongering President Trump is now trying diplomacy, to not let things escalate too much. The biggest bully on the block is eager to not get into a fight, when did logic ever prevail?

So when we see: “We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference,” Trump said. Asked how the US would respond, he said: “You’ll find out.”“, as well as ““I find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth. I think it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it

This is how Iran has ‘sanctified’ the weapon deployments to Hezbollah, is Mr. Bad Hair Cut really going to play the card that enables Iran? Apparently these $120,000,000 drones are well insured, or is he taking the loss out of his own pay check?

I can only wonder how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia feels after the disappointing support that both the United Kingdom and United States are giving them at present. So as we see that the allies of Saudi Arabia are backing down when the drums of war are sounding with the increased cadence of (what they call) vigor by Iran, Saudi Arabia needs to reconsider who their real allies are. I am certain that Russia and China will use this opportunity that opened up, I just do not know how at present. In addition now that we know that President Trump is not about sticking to his guns, I wonder how long his own party will suffer the blunders he makes day after day, it will optionally be the first impeachment that gets full support from BOTH the Democrats and his own Republicans.

How to continue?

That is the larger question and I feel certain that this is on the mind of the ruler in Riyadh as well. Saudi Arabia must do what is best for Saudi Arabia, Israel needs to do what is best for Israel and so does Europe and the US, yet in this there is no real skin in the game for Europe and the US. Iran will strike at Israel and Saudi Arabia when it can and keeps the other two at bay with fear and both are now facilitating towards Iran through the fear of removing all diplomatic options.

CNBC gives us that a mere 5 hours ago with: ‘EU top diplomat says Europe will try to make sure ‘escalation is avoided’ between US, Iran‘, there is a time and place when avoiding escalation is the best of all options, I personally feel that it is way too late for that, again, the proxy war utilising the terrorist organisation Hezbollah is evidence of that. And the escalations are still going on, the strike a mere 12 hours ago as we are told (by Al Jazeera) that ‘Attack by rebel group on facility in southern province of Jizan the latest in string of attacks on Saudi targets‘ gives rise that Iran is actually still playing both an offensive game optionally with their offensive group Hezbollah and a defensive play where officers get a bonus and a promotion if they hit an American drone. Yet when we see: “The Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks amid rising tensions throughout the Middle East fuelled by a bitter standoff between Iran and the United States” no one is asking how these drones are paid for, because Yemen is out of money and has no technological stage to make them. I wonder how to see the statement: “US, Iran and Saudi Arabia have all said they do not want a war to break out in the region“, in my view Iran is telling any story that the others are willing to swallow, America is broke and Saudi Arabia has no real allies to rely on, the weapon case in the UK and the US president doing a 180 degree direction on previous statements, It puts Saudi Arabia in a poor place, that is unless Germany and China get out of the dug-out and properly give support to Saudi Arabia.

I don’t get it, what purpose is served to cater to the needs of a child called Iran to this degree? I stare at the maps and I look at the places being hit, and to be honest, for the life of me, I do not understand how Saudi Arabia is able to keep calm at present, the moment highway 30 is hit in multiple places, the direct threat to Riyadh will be visible and all options will be taken off the table and I fear that this is sooner than we think, giving Iran more time to use the misdirection to finalise their Uranium requirements. At that point WW3 is almost the only step left to us, there is no way that Saudi Arabia and Israel will accept such a threat.

Yet there is an upside, with 5-9 million dead Iranians, the carbon footprint goes down a little, a small victory for the environment, you see, give me a lemon, some water and I will sell you a melon juice smoothie.

If that is what is required to play the game, I am in!

I will end this part with a personal message to Chinese President Xi Jinping (and to Chen Wenqing: ‘No, I am not trying to corrupt him with western ideology‘).

Dear Sir,

I would like to discuss the purchase of 20-30 Chengdu J-20 fighters. In light of both a first order discount, as well as a student discount (we are all students on the path of life), I believe that should the talks be successful, that 20-30 planes at a unit cost of $27.35 million (with rebates, discounts and commission applied), in addition the 2 years of full service with no regards to hours flown, mileage traveled or missiles fired. This is based on 2016 flyaway cost. The benefit is that these fighters will be directly engaging Iranian forces and as such you will have access to a massive amount of data enabling you to start on the 6th generation fighter, optionally making you the first country to have one. We would also be interested in the testing of the Xian H-20 prototype that is now nearing completion. If the specs are as they are claiming to be, it will help us in removing morale from Tehran and from the IRGC as a whole. In this the unofficial word is that the sky is the limit as regarding to the price of this place (my 2.17% commission still applies). My client is ready to upgrade several army based parts (both light and heavy guns), however I hope that this part can be tabled until Iran decides to attack directly, at which point Saudi Arabian boots on Iranian ground becomes a direct first.

Kindest regards,

Lawrence van Rijn

I look forward to a mutually fruitful support towards presenting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a proper defense option that will result towards strength and stability in the Middle East region, under the guiding lights of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

That was not hard was it?

So in one strike the BAE loses 2 years of commerce, but the British anti-weapon league is happy, the UK loses well over $4 billion in business opportunity in the long term but you can get the green party to sell grass to a place called whatevernation, can’t you? The US loses its arms options overnight and enables China to economically grow 9%-12%, and as other options fall away for Europe and the US to a much larger degree, Russia will be ever ready to pick up a few scraps in the process.

It was a really simple equation and by choosing the facilitating side of a route that goes nowhere, other options came out to play. Let’s be honest, in light of what has happened, does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have any cause to trust the US or Europe in any of this at present?

In the end the 7th guest was about another person in the house (hint) that only showed 6, it makes the game decently apt to the situation the Middle East faces at present. The question is that when that puzzle is solved, will some of the political voices in Iran, Europe, America, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Yemen stay in denial?

 

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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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Your GCC resume

Qatar remains in the news, some are looking at the $5.9 billion deal in Italian dinghy’s, others look at the cancelled deal to become an American Airlines stake holder and others like me are focussing towards the GCC futures. According to the Defence minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah this setting is not in an increasing danger. The problem is not merely the GCC in itself, it is what you will not see in many newspapers, it is the overhanging impact on OPEC. The news given by Oilprice.com is “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts. Doha will be able to sabotage the current 6+3 production cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members. If Doha decides to join the ranks of Iran and Iraq, OPEC’s future will be in doubt” it is at the very end of the article (at http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Clash-Between-Qatar-And-The-Saudis-Could-Threaten-OPEC-Deal.html), yet that in itself is not the bacon maker, or if pork is taboo, it is the lamb to the slaughter. When we see: “The Arab criticism may have been less harsh if U.S. officials would not have put oil on the fire. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis openly warned Qatar that it should change its support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mattis also stated that U.S. president Trump is considering classifying the Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization, which could have a very negative impact on the U.S.-Qatar economic-military cooperation in the coming months“, this reflects right back to the pressures that the American players where trying to establish through pressuring the WTO issues as written yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/08/02/a-big-tree-in-the-desert/). Another source (Leaprate.com) gives us the links to Iran and re-elected Hassan Rouhani. Here we see “America’s new-found protectionist outlook and open contempt for the JCPOA, has put a question mark against its future, while Iran’s ties with Qatar, currently the subject of embargos by many neighbouring states, is a further concern for investors“, this is the part that most do not get informed about. Partially the US has a valid point as the previous president of Iran was openly waging war towards the US and against the state of Israel. The dangers as I gave them years ago, especially in the light of the nuclear treaties is not how good or how reforming the newly elected President Hassan Rouhani was, it is the issue about the next person, who will get the presidential trophy in 2021 and what happens then? This is the long term worry, most will agree that one extreme leader on the edge of insanity is good enough and keeping that person in North Korea is for now the best place.

Yet, that was not what this is about, when we consider that the JCPOA (also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), we see the given by Ali Akbar Salehi with ““After JCPOA, our oil production has soared from 1 million barrels per day to 3.9 million bpd,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying on Sunday, two days after the two-year anniversary of the action plan. This marks a success for Iran’s oil-based economy in reclaiming its market share lost over the years of sanctions“, the issue is that this directly opposes OPEC with “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts” for the UAE and Saudi Arabia that is a problem, as Iran has increased its production by nearly 3 million barrels a day, the other players have to decrease even more, which means that they are hurting well $150 million a day or we will see the pressures shift all over the Middle East, which is not good for America (or the UK for that matter), because that impacts what Saudi Arabia can buy, and the monthly $4.5 billion is partially for the hardware delivered and expected before December 2017, so as these sales paths are impacted, we will see a level of hurt all over the weapons of mass consumer requirements market.

So we have valid and greed driven concerns regarding Iran, in this the Qatar issue does not help and the play that the US is making as we see it should not be considered as a beneficial path. No matter how valid the present situation is as we see it given through the Russian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav Ivanov is giving a present truth with “The main line of Tehran’s policy is to get out of sanctions and gradually restore its economic and financial potential“, we do not deny this, yet the past decades was about setting the pressures to Iran as the western nations had to deal with extremism, in addition to the funding that Iran gave Hamas as it kept on attacking the State of Israel, there are ample issues in all this as the strategic setting before 2021 (Iranian general elections) could face the US, Israel and Western Europe with an economic revitalised Iran, which will be pushing the players back to square one if that seat will become the sitting arrangement for another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which is not out of the question.

When that happens, those with a GCC resume, with or without references to OPEC might wonder where their employability resides. Now, if they have been smitten with a 7 figure annual income, they might not care, yet those without that part for at least 4 years might need to scrape by, having to live on $40K a month for the rest of their lives. I can advise these people that it can be done, if they shed the 4 luxury cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bentley), give up their membership in the Yas Links Golf Club, Almouj Golf and The Majlis, Emirates Golf Club as well as their 4 bedroom apartment in Riyadh and they are already half way there. So how serious is this? Well, it is actually a lot more serious than most people realise. When we consider that the GCC is a realistic target for cyber-attacks and cyber terrorists, Raytheon is setting up technological barriers to thwart to some degree these plans. the issue is not what the presentations give, whilst we do not oppose of attack the stance that CEO Thomas Kennedy has, the quote (source: Raytheon) “It has since reinforced its cybersecurity capacity with the purchase of 14 companies. In 2015, it acquired a company called Forcepoint (previously known as Websense and Raytheon|Websense) to enhance its commercial presence. This is now the world’s second-largest privately-held cybersecurity firm. Raytheon recently secured a five-year, $1bn contract for the US Department of Homeland Security to help defend “.gov” websites from cyber-attacks. Now the goal is to bring that working knowledge to the Gulf” is merely showing a deficit in the technology. Acquisition is a partial solution to any cyber given industry, the given premise to survive is not what can be bought today, but what must be developed for tomorrow. You see the firms that have that focus tend not to be for sale in the first place. Whilst Raytheon’s focus is very valid to catch up, it is much less a solution for those who are arming themselves for tomorrow, their own missile system department can teach them that part. It is not merely about the technology, it is the development of new systems in cloud and non-repudiation that will give the GCC and other gulf places the edge to be ahead of the cyber-attack curve. A partial issue is found with “We have one of the best data-leakage protection systems in the entire cybersecurity field, and we combine this with our insider-threat behaviour system, which detects suspicious activity and ensures IP and data is not compromised“, which might be non-false, yet the events as Sony has seen shows that the reflective comments are from a behind the wave assessment, with HBO being an example as they were hacked a few days ago. The one provider that relies on cyber security as it sells its value through Netflix is now giving Vanity Fair “When Netflix was hacked earlier this year, the cyber-criminals behind the attack demanded a ransom. But there was no such demand in the hack that struck HBO over the weekend, and the sheer amount of compromised data has led some to believe that video footage, internal documents, or e-mails could be leaked next. The premium-cable giant is working with the F.B.I. and cyber-security firm Mandiant to investigate the breach, in which hackers claimed to have stolen 1.5 terabytes’ worth of data“. This is what Raytheon is up against, not some access issue, but stopping the drain of terabytes, basically every part of the GCC removed in mere hours, whilst the cyber minders were in the dark until after the event and the quote that follows (at https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/08/hbo-hack-seven-times-larger-sony) “A traditional business-grade D.S.L. link would take about two weeks at full blast to exfiltrate that much data,” Farsight Security C.E.O. Paul Vixie told T.H.R. “If not for video and sound, a corporation the size of HBO might fit [entirely] in a terabyte, including all the e-mail and spreadsheets ever written or stored.” Another expert added that the entire Library of Congress contains an estimate of 10 terabytes of print material—so it is almost certain that video and/or audio were stolen“, this directly reflects on Raytheon. It is not what we know it is what others have figured out that is the issue. Whether it was through frame leaking, through cloud replication, there are issues that remain non-secure, even as security is at the top of the salespersons mind. There is a need for a new designed system no longer merely on access, but on ‘bio wired’ non-repudiation that is driving the need for evolution and these sales forces have remained in denial as it is something that they cannot offer at present, so they reflect on it as being a non-solution, a non-reality. They stick to the solutions that they can sell now and that is where the GCC finds itself, the lack of visionary evolution of data systems.

So when Raytheon gives their next presentation and someone at the GCC asks “How can we assure that the Bolero electronic Bills of Lading are not stolen or corrupted?” what happens then? Will that person at GCC need to write his resume tout suite, or will his superiors realise that the question was valid and that this situation is an immediate threat to the GCC members? Because in this day and age where extremists are all about the attack on infrastructures, the Bolero Title Registry, the repository and application that manages the transfer of title of the eBL is a clear weak point. Ones the recipients are scrapped and the cargo gets locked down, the ship will have two issues. The first being that the ownership cannot be transferred, you might think that this could be solved in a few days, and that would be right. The direct consequence is that the transfer of oil stop would cost an additional $578,000 in port charges, twice the amount in addition for pilots and towage fees. And as they are moved around additional costs will be incurred, that is apart from the issue that the delays bring and when a visionary does find the way to reset ownership, the delivery of 1 million barrels comes down to a nice $50 million fee, that optionally went somewhere else.

The one place where cyber security was essential is as given in indications running behind and not catching up; the only way to do that is to get ahead of it all. Now, as stated, this is not an attack on Raytheon, this is merely the direct issue on the business need to set serious cash into evolving the new systems to be ahead of the curve and be in a state where the hackers learn that it is not merely about access, the nice part of adding a new ‘language‘ to the plot is not to delay their invasion, it become to take away their comprehension of what they see (hopefully for longer than short term). You see, I have loved Cisco solutions, but they all talk the same language and their precise documentation have been a real assist on those with no-good intentions, we merely need to ask Google ‘what does a cisco frame look like?‘ and we get so much information, enough for too many to get to the heart of the matter and in the early stages of the internet that was a really good thing, we need to move beyond certain settings and push towards dedicated systems that have additional layers of protection, now that might be a mere delay, yet consider what is being protected. How willing are you to keep data safe? Not merely oil data of ownership, in the age of Netflix whilst hackers are streaming the episodes by the dozen, depriving places like Sony and HBO from valid revenue, revenue they invested in, the game needs to be changed. We have seen the uselessness of some governments as they were facilitating towards the communication sellers on bandwidth; we need to change the game regardless of those players. One way to do that is remove their existence to impact. Google did that to some extent, but not to the extent needed. As we realise that providers are 15 dimes to the dollar, we need to set a different scope, not merely in the cloud, but in the need for dedicated non-repudiation. Only then can we make a first effort to push the boundary towards a safer zone. And perhaps Raytheon will bring that to the table, the fact is that we do not know the player that delivers the need of tomorrow today, we merely know that it will not be Beaker bringing it (a Muppet Show reference). In this the ‘evidence’ can be seen when we realise that Raytheon gives us John D Harris II and his view on how forward thinking Talon laser guided rockets are. Yes John this was really the need for Cyber safety! As we consider the issue beyond point-to-point communication. In addition the $100m development program reads sexy for your bonus, yet the issue is data, both at rest and in transit. There are the issues, not in the rocket man shooting by a member of the UAE air force. So as we moved from certain parts of the GCC, via Iran to other providers, we need to see and comprehend that there are several players, all with their own agenda, a perfectly sound and valid situation, yet when we see that stability is centre in all this, destabilisation will impact both the GCC members, the OPEC members and when the overlap is shown (those in both), we need to realise that Iran and Iraq will not care about the needs of the GCC, they are not part of that, which ties hands of the six GCC players and in that Qatar is the centre of the seesaw that the 6 members prefer to have in some level of balance, yet the issues as we are seeing them escalate will impact all the given needs for all the players having their ‘own’ needs to satisfy. None of that is likely to happen any day soon. We could see the US and both their needs towards JCPOA and the WTO as an opposing issue, one that is not beneficial to the GCC or the Qatar issues as they are playing. I cannot say what the GCC members should do next, but it seems to me resolving some parts and creating a new initial balance is the best way forward. This gets me back to the question phrase yesterday. If each of the 4 members could phrase one issue to resolve by Qatar, what would that be? If Qatar can get the conversation started on that, as merely a first show of good will, yet from my point of view, if they Promise to have a good look at Al-Jazeera and do some immediate reforms there as a first step of good will towards the four opposing parties, it might just be enough to reduce tensions and give time for non-escalations to settle and as such forward momentum in resolving issues will be found. In my view it would leave Qatar in a much better view by all other players and global non players. It will open the doors and perhaps that is a good beginning, merely a good beginning, but more than we have now.

And none of this, none of my views were set to painting any of the players as the bad people, merely a path to find the track towards profit and growth, profit for all the players and economic growth for all of them. In all this the one question that is forming in my mind is that Oman has been the one GCC member that is outside of the equation to some extent, could they be a mediating party in all this? I actually do not know the answer; I am merely voicing the question that I have not seen in the news. You see when you realise that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been the driving force behind Vision 2030, the economic diversification strategy. Is that something that a nation like Oman could see benefits in, when we consider diversification, when we realise that this impacts range of products as well as field of operation. Would it not be interesting how this view could be beneficial to the Middle East as a whole? In all this, as the driving force surpasses boundaries, is that not a field of economic diplomacy to see it grow? To push forward momentum is to find a place and subject of discussion, in my view it would be to find a topic many can agree on, a topic that is always a hard sell in most occasions and it seems to me that oil dependency is always a good option for those realising that it is the only thing they offer, by adding more options, any nation connected is merely opening paths to more stability and more opportunities, especially when these paths can be sold to nations seeking more than oil, which is close to every nation on the planet. Finding a place of stabile growth is the best product any player is ever likely to sell. In this stability is a lot more sexy than quick gain, especially on Wall Street and they are having too often too much to say on that matter. As we need a different language in the cyber world, it is clear that outside of that world a common language is the only solution. The question becomes what language and how to start the conversation, even those setting up their GCC resume right now. That is a fact as it is a resume that they want everyone to read, a comprehensible common ground is the first step in this.

 

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Within the Entitlement of Relevance

Very early this morning an article made it into the Guardian. The title ‘David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia‘, (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/david-cameron-brilliant-uk-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-bae), which is fair enough. The UK is one of those nations that actually has an arms export option. It is nowhere near the size of the US, but that is not the point here.

When we read: “on the day the European parliament voted for an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen“, we should be asking: ‘and why do we care about that?‘, yet this is not the case. We see both “At almost the same time, the European parliament voted in favour of an EU-wide ban on arms being sold to Saudi Arabia in protest at its heavy aerial bombing of Yemen, which has been condemned by the UN” as well as “The vote does not force EU member states to comply but it increases pressure on national governments to re-examine their relationships with Riyadh“. Which is a joke of sizeable proportions (reasoning will follow). Finally we see: “The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been extremely critical of Cameron’s relationship with Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record, prompting an angry response from Riyadh“, which could be seen as a humorous climax in labour less form.

We need to deal with the quotes so that it all makes sense to you, but there is one more element in that story. That we see from: “Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s arms controls director, said: “The ‘brilliant things’ that David Cameron says BAE sells include massive amounts of weaponry for the Saudi Arabia military, despite Saudi Arabia’s dreadful record in Yemen“. I needed to add this to all this, because there is the start.

You see, I am on the fence here. I will happily support Amnesty International, because for the most it is a force of good. When I see the title ‘UK’s arms controls director‘ I wonder if AI lost the plot a little. Let’s be clear here. It makes sense that AI has people on the payroll who understand weapons, understands mines, chemical ordnance. That makes perfect sense. AI is in need of knowledge on many levels and plenty of their work is in places where people tend to passionately not like each other (as in: with clubs, machetes and automatic weapons). Yet, when AI is wasting time on a valid business deal, we should ask a few additional questions. Now, we should quickly mention another side. At https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/amnesty-expert-barred-london-arms-fair, we see ‘Amnesty expert barred from London arms fair‘ as well as his quote “They’ve kept me out, but the question is: what has DSEi got to hide?” Let me answer that instead of the DSEi. You see, I could with my own expertise attend that event, and like him, I will equally hear “alas sir, you didn’t meet the criteria for registration“, even though there should be a few around in that field who know my skill levels in that regard. It is not skill or expertise, you see, it is about CLEARANCE LEVELS. These events are frequented by a massive who’s who of unregistered events, with a decent amount of government employees who need to talk shop, having non-cleared people on that fair tends to be a little unsettling for several reasons. In part because this world has its own rules, you obey those rules or you stop functioning in that world. There is every chance that I could accidently make the mistake whilst Oliver Sprague would intentionally do these things. Most of these people shy away from cameras (apart from those special social functions), they are there to talk shop!

You see, I have every respect for Amnesty International, they have done many good things in the past and will continue this in the future. For example stop torture makes perfect sense. There is also a questionable part from AI, it is nice to talk about the Human Rights Act, yet in the decades they have never succeeded in championing the need to add Spousal Abuse to article 3 of that HRA. Is spousal abuse not torture in its own rights? In that regard AI likes to be very visible, but in some way the big fights are never really fought (or better stated have not been fought for a long time). They have shown success stories every year, but landmark achievements have been absent for some time. Let’s get back to the initial story, but do not forget this part as it has bearing.

You see, the next part is slightly more entertaining. That tends to be the case whenever the honourable Jeremy Corbyn gets involved. Apart from the fashion comments we have seen in the last two days. The actual issue is his choice to get to the CND-rally, which is not a bad thing, but in light of timing, he decides to walk away from the national Labour campaign day, where he would be persuading voters to back Britain’s membership of the EU. This leaves to mind, is this a first inkling that even labour expects Brexit to become a reality? Whether that is true or not, this event has a direct bearing on the British population within this year, the CND rally has been going on for decades, so there would be another one next year. There is no other story beyond that. When you lead the labour party, it must be about the party, not about temporary ideology, because the CND is temporary at best and all ideological. I state that because there is no doubt that the UK would never instigate it, it would however respond if need be. Jeremy knows this (or he should not run the labour party). In all this I accept and understand that this is an option to rub elbows with people like SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. Yes, those meetings make perfect sense, yet that means that none of them are really there for a CND rally. That is not an accusation, it is not wrong, but it leads to questions; questions that can slow down any election for a massive amount.

Two events all with issues of relevance, relevance from within those people from their point of view.

Now we take another gander, a gander towards the path of Saudi Arabia. Most people refuse to understand (read: accept) two elements. The first is that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, a nation founded in 1932 by the House of Saud. The most important part here is that this is a Muslim nation, it is a nation of laws, in their case it was the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia in 1924 when King Abdul-Aziz made Shura a foundation of his government in order to fulfil the divine order by applying Shariah (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Shura as parts of it. So, we have a clear given, a monarchy that lives by Muslim rule of law, Shariah law. We might not comprehend, understand it or even accept it. But in the Nation of Saudi Arabia it has forever been law. I still do not understand how people go about trying to enforce their rules upon others. You see, when I hear these ‘moralists’ speak on how Sharia Law is so ‘barbaric’, they in equal measure forget that their own governments abandoned them as markets collapsed twice since 2004, no decent part of the involved parties went to prison and absolutely no laws were properly instigated and enforced against greed and in that regard, the least said about flawed corporate tax laws the better. In light of all this consider another fact that applies to the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, the previous assembly had 70% of its members with a PhD, 49% got their degree in the US and 20% from a University in Europe. So this is a group highly educated. Initially, going back to the beginning, the council was entrusted with drafting the basic laws for the administration of the country. Which is interesting as the US started in a similar way, a nation of laws under god (their Christian version). When we see the Shura council, we see in Article one “and following His Messenger Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) in consulting his Companions, and urging the (Muslim) Nation to engage in consultation. The Shura council shall be established to exercise the tasks entrusted to it, according to this Law and the Basic Law of Governance while adhering to Quran and the Path (Sunnah) of his Messenger (PBUH), maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety“, so as others judge the actions of Saudi Arabia, ask yourself, in the last 5 years alone, how many instances from large corporations and government have we seen, where ‘maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety‘ were never part of any consideration? You only have to look at your pension plan, healthcare or deficits to see that ‘brotherly‘ is nowhere to be found.

This too is relevant to the entirety of the situation when we return to the honourable Jeremy Corbyn. Several sources stated “Jeremy Corbyn has called on David Cameron to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia after a United Nations report found the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had “conducted airstrikes targeting civilians”“, based on what evidence would be my first question (not stating the validity of the UN), apart from that, Corbyn has a direct responsibility, you see, the UK had coffers that need to be filled, the UK has product that can be sold. We have seen how UK Labour was willing to spend money they never had, leaving the UK in massive debt. The last thing he should do is call for a suspension. Let me explain that part.

  1. This arms deal is not with some organisation like Hezbollah, it is a legitimate sovereign government of an established nation. The UK has every right to sell products to this nation.
  2. Whenever the west gets directly involved in any Middle Eastern event, it becomes a massive mess, in all this after half a decade, the west has done next to nothing regarding Syria, Europe has to deal with massive waves of refugees and there is no end in sight. Amnesty International knows this. They also know that Sharia Law is another matter, it is not for them to judge; it is for them to accept that the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia has every right to keep their own set of laws.
  3. Hezbollah and other players in Yemen are not part of an established government, they overthrew governments and the mess that followed has been ongoing ever since. In that light, there are too many question marks in too many places.

I believe that any Middle Eastern issue should be resolved by the Middle Eastern nations themselves. With escalation on the south border and firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia, they have every rights to protect themselves in any way they need to. That is also part of the equation. In that regard Islam 101 gives us two parts “Fight against those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors” as well as “Kill them whenever you confront them and drive them out from where they drove you out. (For though killing is sinful) wrongful persecution is even worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Holy Mosque unless they fight against you; but if they fight against you kill them, for that is the reward of such unbelievers“. The next part is also from the Quran, but I am not sure whether this is Sharia: “The Quran sanctions violence to counter violence. If one studies history of Arab tribes before Islam and fierce fighting they indulged in one would be convinced that the philosophy of passive resistance would not have worked in that environment“. This is the kicker, we see that passive resistance was not a solution, because of the mess that Arab spring left the Middle East. In that Saudi Arabia has a right to counter its attacks, which means that we do not get to say too much on how a sovereign state defends itself. In addition, with the amount of ‘additional’ groups in Yemen, can we be certain who is who there?

But do not fear, Smith is here!

You see, I am very willing to join BAE and become ‘the’ sales person there (I know a person who would join me, so a team of 2 could be achieved), I will take a decent sales income and of course the 3.75% bonus on surplus sales and 3.25% bonus on sales targets reached. I reckon that I can sell the Eurofighter Typhoon military planes, with consultancy, training and guidance. In addition, I will be happy to provide for ammunition and ordnance. As stated, we Commonwealth nations need to stick together and I am happy to aid in the support and consultancy of those jets.

This now gets us to the final part ‘an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen‘. What data is there? What evidence is there? We know for a fact that Hezbollah is there, that the Iranians are all over this, which is interesting as they are supporting the party overthrowing the legitimate government. So is there more? Is this perhaps an organised annexing of Yemen for Iran? The elements that gives value to that are indeed in play, whether this is a factual interpretation is not clear, too much data is not available to me, as well as too much time has passed from the start of all this.

And the final part in all this is “The vote does not force EU member states to comply“, which makes the EU a lame duck organisation. All that time and all these events for something that holds no real value. Now let’s take the headcount for a second. Oliver Sprague, a civilian with no political power, a person who leads by instigating those who have power and only in events where it is beneficial to those people could something possibly happen (not in this case though). Jeremy Corbyn, a political headpiece, but not one that is currently in office, he is merely in opposition and as such he is about visibility and branding himself (politically plugging is also a term that applies in this case). These two non-deciders are opposing a nation that needs commerce that needs to export as many of their products as possible.

In the defence of the two non-deciders I must add, from our values, we might have issues and it is nice that the UN is also about values, yet in all this, apart from condemnation there has been very little against terrorist elements. Of all the condemnations we have seen since Syria has a little issue in 2011, how much actions have been taken and for how many millions of Syrians has it been too late? Too many speakers for inactions, too little actions on economy and actual actions on the HRA (like the little addendum to article three I mentioned earlier).

So within the title of relevance seems to apply to too many people, it includes me as well, for the mere reason that my blog has no effect on the actions of the UK Foreign Office. It is just my view on the matter, like it was the view of Oliver Sprague, Jeremy Corbyn and the EU parliament. We are all simply non-deciders. The deciders are the currently elected UK government headed by David Cameron as well as the Monarchy of Saudi Arabia, under King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They both get to look at the ‘toothless’ response from the EU parliament, who might be entering their final sitting soon enough.

Our voices might sound nice, our words might read nice, but neither bring food to the table, which is the concern of the Conservative Party, one that they are actually addressing.

 

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