Tag Archives: Charlie Hedbo

The French way

We all accept it, but at times we are blind to the setting. The French do things different, it is as basic as rain is wet. There are parts I do not agree with. French secularism is deeply overboard. We get it, there is history there. Hugh Jackman sang about it in the Incredibles 2 (the miserables). Centuries of deep cultural impact is not wiped away and I believe that is not needed. Yet the BBC gives us ‘Anger as ex-generals warn of civil war in France’. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56899765) also gives us “Two immutable principles guide the action of members of the military with regard to politics: neutrality and loyalty,” tweeted the minister in charge of the armed forces, Florence Parly”, yet the power players are forgetting that there is a problem and the military are not willing to stand by, you see these same power players will use the military as canon fodder just for them to look good, and which soldier ever signed up for the function of ‘cannon fodder’? France faced the Hedbo event, the November 2015 Paris attacks, and now ‘Killer of French Police Officer Was a Radicalised Islamist, Prosecutor Says’ (source: New York Times). There we see “The attacker watched videos ‘glorifying martyrs and jihad’ immediately before the stabbing, the official said”. France has a problem, one from the past (secularism) one from the present (political indifference and pussyfooting around the issues that are too serious). It results in a military system that is not willing to see their country to go to waste and in all this they are getting political support from Marine Le Pen. The situation for Emmanuel Macron is turning from not so good to deeply dire in in swipe and the political grounds are shifting. So as other newspapers give us “French President Emmanuel Macron’s government reacted furiously to an open letter from 20 retired generals warning of a possible military takeover and bloody civil war in response to what they characterised as the disintegration of a country under Islamist extremism”, you see we tend to wipe aside the soldiers complaining, because the political power players will make claims like ‘You do not understand this, or my favourite ‘This is a complex situations and we are walking the best path as the party sees it’, yet a general, or 20 generals in this case is a different matter, generals know what goes on in their nation and 20 of them is a powerful voice and now the dire part starts making sense. You see some will adhere to government created flames regarding ‘discrimination’, yet when we see “Members of the French military, whether actively serving or reservists, are forbidden from expressing public opinions on religion and politics, and Ms Parly has called for those who signed the letter to be punished” and we realise that these 20 are retired, we see a military consensus and that is bad breakfast, which will be followed by lamebrain lunch and dreaded diner. I am not judging the military, a consensus of 20 retired generals is a big thing. So when we get back to ‘Ms Parly has called for those who signed the letter to be punished’, Ms Parly needs to realise that the matter is a lot larger than she is making it out to be. The stabbed police officer might also draw in the police services, even as they will not openly revolt, they are in a stage where they feel that the present French government is no longer to be trusted. It opens all kinds of avenues for Marine Le Pen and in a setting that she did not have before, the larger parts of the police and military on HER side, how many votes is that? Do you think that these 20 generals stay quiet? That is 370,000 military votes, optionally taking family and friends with them and Emmanuel Macron was not in a safe political position in the first place. As such, when the police joins that group his retirement from the Élysée Palace will be close to certain.

So how will this end?
That is unclear. Ever since 1961 (Algiers) when President de Gaulle faced a coup d’état. It failed but that was 60 years ago, now it is not a civil war, 20 retired generals will have the ability to change the minds of millions of French people, which will start to favour the path of Marine Le Pen. From my point of view, the stage of secularism and islamic insults due to secularism is a stage that cannot be won, France will have to make choices and none of the paths are nice to observe, but is there an alternative? Emmanuel Macron will have to make choices and having a serious conversation with these retired generals might be the path of least resistance for now. head banging would result in Marine Le Pen becoming President of France and I am decently certain (roughly  99.54476%) that the path trodden then will be a lot less enjoyable. 

Can it be avoided?
I am not sure if this is possible, the power players sat on their hands for too long, the fact that 20 retired generals in a stage where they embraced neutrality and loyalty their entire life is not to be underestimated. How much did this political group let things waiver? That is the question, and it is not about 1 or 2 generals that have issues, 20 of them have issues and that is a group that represented the French defence forces for well over a decade, that matters, these people know things, they see things and they are objecting. Something that has not happened in 60 years and as I see it Florence Parly and Emmanuel Macron need to take this seriously, as I see it that signal is a sign that time has run out. As I see it having immediate consults with Directeur-Général Général d’Armée Christian Rodriguez (CEO of the French Gendarmerie) might be a first step, optionally seeing if he might be able to start a conversation with the 20 members. If the military in France is in distrust of politicians to the degree that this globally plays (exception Myanmar), it might be one of the few steps he has left, but at this point neither of these two can afford to sit on their hands. And the claim by Florence Parly to “those who signed the letter to be punished”, she could better forget about that part. If this goes any further she will have a mere one year until she is out of a job and you better believe that there is no place for her in a Le Pen cabinet. 

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The disagreement on solutions

There is an issue that came to the forefront yesterday, as we read about ‘Jeremy Corbyn: the war on terror is simply not working‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/26/jeremy-corbyn-the-war-on-terror-is-simply-not-working). Now, I have gone against JC more than once. Yet in this case, this simple statement is a correct one. The statement “UK needs ‘smarter way’ to reduce terror threat” is the one that is correct, yet it entirely depends on the point of view you take on how complete it is. When we look at the quote “The Labour leader said there must be more money for law enforcement, as he suggested Britain’s intervention in wars abroad had fuelled the risk of terrorism at home” we need to be a little more cautious. All parties agree that there is a lack of police, nurses and doctors. Yet in equal measure none of them has an actual point or policy option to rectify this without plunging the UK into deep extra debt. In this the problem is that the extra police officers will not get the job done either. You see, we need to be willing to change that war entirely. The response towards the accusations against Jeremy Corbyn was well stated. As JC states: “terrorists were entirely to blame for their own actions but that governments must also examine the effectiveness of their policy decisions“, he does not have it wrong, yet the issue as I see it will not be resolved any day soon.

My reasoning is a tactical one, I stated certain issues in 2006, 2009 and again when Islamic State started its funnel of activities. To deal with these people you do not require an entire police force, you need a few small groups that has all the access and their requirement is simple. Hunt down the two layers for the Lone Wolves and execute them, yes, not some lame idea of trying to make an arrest and get a conviction. This situation requires targeted killing, yet politicians, the soft belly almighty proclaiming, stating and blaming group does not want to get caught in the shallows of targeted killing, their stomachs just lack the required strength to do this. Two days after Manchester I was proven correctly again. Not for the simplicity of the solution, but the fact that there was an early indicator that this Salman Abedi had support, which took me less than 30 minutes to figure out. I am not in agreement (at present) with the Manchester Evening News that this was planned for a year. The indications of Salman Abedi are of such that he might have been travelling (allegedly), that he might have been intent of the act. Yet when you consider the optional amount of issues to consider implies that he had either advisors, or someone prepped the event for him. Consider the information available for yourself. Imagine ANY event in your city, or any concert you could have attended. Getting past security, with a ticket, with pushing fans around you, with CCTV and other elements. Many would not have attempted it at all (thank heavens), but the chance of such a streak all falling correctly into place (like metal scanners and gates larger concerts tend to have, with the fact of hiding the device on you. That is not something that anyone but a calculated stone cold killer can achieve and most stone cold killers want to get out alive. There are enough flags and considerations raised that there is an active preparation or support team. Yet how to catch those? Because as we might consider the Lone Wolf to be a tool for ISIS, tools can’t get all the elements done and there is an equal risk that such a person has second thoughts. Consider that he was a University drop out? Getting into University is still a big thing, it gives you the clear feeling that you have a future to look forward to. So, when we consider the future he was going to such a person would not have been the extremist of the bat, yet not making it, seeing your dreams shattered, the depression that follows could easily make him the mental punching bag for ISIS, they need tools to send out self destructive messages that go boom. It does not make Salman Abedi innocent, it merely changes the game on how we deal with ISIS. Now, lets also remember that there are unknown issues, especially as the media has been all about any hear say, so a lot of information is decently unreliable. The timeframe when he dropped out and when he decided to go this extreme way. Now consider one source, a source that is reliable. The Guardian in a separate article states: “In an interview, Abedi’s father said he did not believe that his son could have carried out the attack and said he had told him he was going to Mecca“, that would make perfect sense. As a Muslim he would go to Mecca, each Muslim is supposed to do that at least once in his life. Now as I personally see it, it would make perfect sense that he would seek inspiration after dropping out of University. Any person going through that would seek answers. Perhaps he thought that this was his solution, to travel to Mecca. Now that does not make him innocent, but that opens up an entirely different door. You see, when people are on a similar path, they talk. He could have told the wrong person about his ‘failure’. When you know that places like the Vatican, Lourdes, Mecca and Lumbini. When a religious person is in distress, does it not make sense to consider a pilgrimage? The amount of people who take a road trip for whatever reason cannot be counted, there are so many of them. Not all go on a pilgrimage mind you, but Salman Abedi might have.
Is my speculation that ISIS has people preying on tools on such roads so far fetched? In addition, when you consider the actual facts, not those speculations from places like Sky News, where we see: “Counter-terrorism sources tell Sky News there was a “significant” connection between Salman Abedi and IS recruiter Raphael Hostey” as well as “Hostey is thought to have been killed by a drone strike in Syria last year at the age of 24“, so within 4 days, there is suddenly a link? When we see “a huge cache of documents obtained by Sky News – shows how a baby-faced IS fighter called Raphael Hostey, from Moss Side in the south of the city, sponsored hundreds of terror recruits“, obtained how? The fact that both seem to have been from Manchester is what we call really thin evidence. I cannot state whether the link was real, yet the fact that Hostey was killed a year ago makes all the issues thinner and a little too circumstantial. In addition, with the claim of hundreds of recruits sponsored makes it all a little too shallow. I feel 100% certain that the Intelligence Branch would have acted long before that, hundreds tends to get out there. Even shallow connection tend to gain reliability and that stuff tends to not end up in the hands of a pace like Sky News. The Guardian gives us “There are several reports that Hostey, 24, was a friend of Abedi’s“, you see that I can believe and that makes to some degree sense. Muslims tend to stick together and as both attended university (not the same one) they would at some point meet at some University social event. The second part the Guardian gives is “The key element in any radicalisation is usually exposure to extremist activities and ideas through peers“, that too makes perfect sense. Now we have two elements, the acceptable chance that Raphael Hostey was a recruiter, yet to get shifted to extremism would require a person Salman Abedi could look up to, an imam of sorts. We now have a decent acceptable scenario that there was a turning and training stage in place, it also gives additional reliability that there would be an explosives team ‘in place’ one small group, possibly even just one person preparing the bombs for those lone wolves. We now have a situation that gives credibility to my solution. These people work in shadows, behind screens. That cannot be done by a police force. there are too many elements that allow them to slip through the nets. This is not a statement of negativity towards any Metropolitan Police organisation. The people they are up against are predators, they must be hunted by the proper hunters and even if there is a credible chance of an arrest, the premise must be not to arrest them and put those extremists in the limelight for more to become ‘martyrs of insanity’, we hunt them down and make them disappear, as the counteroffensive is to remove those people, those supporting them will fear arrest or worse more and more, degrading and disrupting their activities. To make any insistence of resolving lone wolves is just insane, because these outliers in activities will always exist, but by removing their support engine and taking away the extremist support for such a lone wolf to go forward, would push that person to truly act alone and the chance for that person to succeed will now instantly be reduced by 60%-80%. I like those odds a lot better.
Beyond that, Jeremy Corbyn had one valid point, yet what he will never do is what needs to be done, actively set up the need to hunt those extremist supporters down, he will believe, that what he would call a ‘sane and humane solution‘ into action, one that costs a lot and will not work. A lesson Theresa May already knows and soon after the elections would need to act on, that makes all the difference between a viable and non-viable choice for Prime Minister. Should you doubt me (which remains forever valid), then take a look at photos of the Sbarro bombing of August 9th 2001 in Jerusalem, the Charlie Hedbo attack January 7th 2015 in Paris and the bombing in Baghdad December 31st 2016. Take a good look at the people who survived and those who did not. Most will not because they do not want to consider such images (which is fair enough), these extremists think of nothing else, that is what makes the difference, that is why other solutions are called for. Jeremy Corbyn might be correct with the statement “We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism“, the truth is that the actual solution is one that he will not ever enact, because it would not be humane or socialistic. I wonder how much humanity these people showed the 130 murders in Paris on the 15th of November 2015. In addition, the responsible planner of the Paris attack Fabien Clain has been active for years and such people will continue doing this until their dying day. So why would you want to endanger innocent people by allowing him to grow old?

It is one of several solutions, the question becomes, when you cannot live with one solution that works, do you have any valid case to blame or point at anyone at all? Not all solutions are once we find acceptable, some are merely the ones remaining to stop the body count from continuing.

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Was there a clear failure?

There was an article that crossed my eyes as I was preparing to have another go at Microsoft (likely tomorrow). With Paris clearly on the retina of all who open their eyes, those who hear the word Paris, will not think of Miss Hilton (except for one Journalist), they will not think of the city of love, or the city of lights. They will think of the 6 terror attacks that have dealt a massive blow to France and those living in Paris, which is to be expected. The French have nothing to be ashamed of, they have a proud heritage and a few mad man tried to deal it a body blow.

Now round two begins and the Guardian gives us: ‘How French intelligence agencies failed before the Paris attacks’, and article by Ewen MacAskill (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/19/how-french-intelligence-agencies-failed-before-the-paris-attacks). Of course the title woke me up, because it is interesting that the limited Intel is already leading to the blame game.

The first blame part is given: “In other words, the failure of the French intelligence agencies is not that they did not have enough data – but that they did not act on what they had“, yet is that correct? Let’s take a look at a few facts.

  1. The lack of cooperation between France and Belgium, where some of the attackers were based“, so is that a failing for France or Belgium? Let’s not forget that Belgium houses the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), so as blame goes, the fact that these extremists could decently freely plot next to one of the biggest military big wig places in the world is reasonable cause for alarm.
  2. The police had a file on Omar Ismaïl Mostefai even before he traveled to Syria in 2013“, there are two issues here. In the first not every Islamic person is a terrorist, so there is one issue, yet what was known of his move to Syria and how did he get back? Did he get back to France or was he also in Belgium, or did he return via Lyon from Stockholm? There are loads of questions and not enough data. I know at least half a dozen ways to not create flags whilst travelling. In all these situations Omar Ismaïl Mostefai would not have landed on the grid and as such French Intel would remain in the dark for a longer time frame, was this properly investigated by Ewen MacAskill?

Now for his jab against data collection: “Tracking such suspects does not require the collection of the communications data – phone records, emails, Facebook postings, chat lines – of every French citizen, only the suspects“, the problem is that there is no way of knowing, who was in contact with whom else. That data is lacking, in addition, the way the average boy and girl regards their mobile phone, the simple act of stealing a mobile phone is not that much a stretch, so how will data then be available?

  1. lack of cooperation between European intelligence agencies“, which is actually a fair point, yet it is not just the lack of cooperation here, in addition there was the statement by Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, which is still remaining unattended by journalists all over the place. Now, in my view the statement was stupid, but was it incorrect? The danger that Jihadists are getting into Europe vie Greece or Italy is a realistic threat, but how to deal with them? The fact that one has a Syrian passport is also a tinderbox as it could light up many national borders at present. Which goes far beyond the French borders.

In addition the last paragraph is also an issue: “Such failures are where the French and US intelligence agencies should be looking, rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, let’s take this to the rationale. 150,000 refugees have declared asylum in Europe, finding 10-20 people within that lot is impossible without a massively improved data capturing system, as well a good support system from their partners all over Europe. That list becomes a lot more complex once we look beyond for these people on less stable parameters, so the French can’t really continue without a massive overhaul of DGSE and I don’t mean this in a negative way. The UK has a much more compartmentalised system. The UK, just like Australia is ‘home is girt by sea’, which gives them an advantage. France does not have this and as we realise that Belgium intelligence is not that operational, additional methods must be employed. Even as GCHQ is in service towards both MI5 and MI6, the French system (DGSI and DGSI) need to merge with a more powerful version of their ‘upgraded’ version of GCHQ. So as Ewen MacAskill, as the intelligence correspondent of the Guardian fails to enlighten its readers of that part, as well as smooth over the European terrain by leaving out the Panos Kammenos we must all consider these parts. Now in this case it is not about having a go at Panos Kammenos (even though it is good fun to do that), the issue Greece does have is not one they can counter because of their weakened economic state. It is a side we cannot ignore. Greece is not alone, as hundreds of thousands of refugees cross the borders all over Europe, the reality of hundreds of Islamic state passing the borders in similar ways is a given. The first issue is data, it starts with collected papers and biometrics. Ewan fails in addition with the statement “rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, I am willing to entertain the thought, but data is key here. Not just on the people involved, but also on the people they interact with.

That part can be found when we consider the events around the honourable Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks. In his YouTube speeches, in one of them we see: ‘Microenterprises projects due to the importance of these enterprises in the future of the Arab region‘, which is an essential need, because all nations need growth, and if the Arabian nations become stagnant, we will see an escalation that Europe cannot counter. Yet there is another side here. This was shown by the Egyptian Daily News (at http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/09/19/concerns-over-islamic-state-funds-entering-arab-banks-for-terrorist-operations-uab-secretary-general/), where we see the quote: “The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) is worried about militant ”Islamic State” (IS) funds entering banks and being used to attract young people to carry out terrorist operations, said Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary-General of the UAB“, in addition there is “the movement of funds across the border is uncontrolled, due to a lack of international laws to regulate this process“, so again, here is where Ewen failed. In all his rhetoric regarding French Failure, the fact that this needed serious funding, the fact that the funding crossed several European borders, an issue given to us by at least two white haired lame duck presidents who did not achieve ANYTHING regarding serious overhaul of banking and finance laws. They cannot be held responsible for Europe, but Europe took their pages from Wall Street, where the US presidents (plural) could have made a massive impact (but did not), in the state of debt the US is, this would never be a successful venture. These elements are all affecting France, because the money flows and it flows in many unmonitored ways, which is also part of the problem.

So after one week, we see pain, anguish and blame, the only resolve is coming from the French who are standing up proudly for THEIR France, Christians and Muslims alike, or did we all forget that it was 24 year old Muslim Lassana Bathily who kept the customers safe during the Charlie Hedbo attacks!

Yes, I believe that France must overhaul its systems and data is at the centre of it all, because if both DGSI and DGSE are working on the premise that their neighbours are unable to keep their streets clean, France better get prepared with a better data system, in that bulk data surveillance will be an essential need. In addition, that need is escalating because there is a second side to all this. There was a reason that Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh and Wall Street were mentioned. You see, three weeks ago the Financial Times reported on the break-up powers regarding banks (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/06d6f790-7e53-11e5-a1fe-567b37f80b64.html). The quote “A controversial European Union bid to hand regulators more power to break up big banks has been given a shot in the arm after Brussels legislators agreed a preliminary deal following months of deadlock and fierce lobbying from the financial industry“. This is a problem on a few sides when we regard the lack of scruples bankers tend to have. If they are pushed in a corner they will take any deal that brings them wealth. If that requires an ISIS brokerage, the chance that some banker will take his 13% is not that far-fetched and as ‘easy’ as it was not for those funding ISIS, it seems to me that they will get additional options in the future, something Ewan did not reveal (which was not what his article was about), yet in light of the French events that item is a lot more important and visible than the emotional fishing expedition regarding a French failure, something I am not convinced of, even less when we watch the Belgium intelligence failure (the fact that Belgium never detained some of the French terrorists, nor did the Belgians inform French authorities of their concerns), a fact that we get from the quote: “We knew they were radicalized, and that they could go to Syria,” said Eric van der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. “But they showed no sign of possible threat. Even if we had signaled them to France, I doubt that we could have stopped them” (source: politico.eu), I reckon that a hundred plus fallen French citizens might disagree with Mr van der Sypt there.

My assessment is that there was no clear failure from France, there was a European Failure to properly communicate issues across borders, which is a lot more dangerous when we consider the 150,000 refugees all over the place, not to mention the 2 million plus in refugee centres all over the Middle East. So when I stated in 2014 that there is a clear and present danger in Jordan, I was not kidding. Too bad certain elements are not considering the whole picture, just the part that can be fingered for a few quick points, which will get plenty of other people killed sooner rather than later.


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As the mood changes

There is always a mood change, sometimes it is for good, on other occasions less so. Like a metrometer from one side to the other, in some illusion that we remain neutral, a foundation of somewhere in between. Our daily mood a mere form of aggregation as we decide how we feel. This all relates to politics. It has been tradition in many houses to keep two elements off-topic. The first is religion, the second is politics. It is the second one that is now escalating in Europe. There is no way that people can keep it off the table, because there is a realistic risk that the EEC will not continue. There is a real risk that the EEC will come to an end. We are now at a stage that the EEC will face true hardship in 21 months.

The first element is France. French politics is a mess on the best of days, yet at present they are about to have a European impact. The big player here is Marine Le Pen. National Front is very much on the right side of right as such they have been all about national pride (which is fair enough) and the current mess as France finds itself in, is one that the people are not happy with. Debt is at an all-time high, jobs are low, immigration issues as well as low expectations for the immediate future. Actually, make that an issue for the next 3 years, which means that current President Hollande does not really have too great a chance of getting re-elected. EU Inside (at http://www.euinside.eu/en/analyses/francois-hollandes-battle-for-a-second-term) gives us the following four points that Hollande needs to agree to (they call them conditions).

  • Improvement in economic performance and most of all a drop in unemployment
  • Lack of serious competition in the left
  • Nicolas Sarkozy as a candidate of the right
  • A second round against Marine Le Pen

The first one is a dud as I see it. The only way to pull that off is to massively cut into the budget on nearly every level. French’s debt being 50% larger than that of the UK is not one to sneer at. Cutting in the UK is already hard beyond believe, so I do not envy President Hollande on that. In addition, whoever voted for him, when they feel the cutting pinch, they will not vote for him as I see it. The second one is a little different, it is not that Hollande is leading, he remains for the most unopposed in this, which is not the same. His current opposition has cushy jobs and going against Hollande for a second term is wasting massive amounts of energy that will not add up to enough. Martine Aubry is mentioned as an option, but the Asbestos debacle and the fact that she is not the favoured choice of the unions will stop this from happening. Lille has a decent economy, is high on the political list as a region, but still without strong Union support, Martine Aubry will not go anywhere. She gets additional visibility through the achievements of the University of Lille in Science and Technology. They are globally renowned, which helps getting an influx of international students through the Erasmus program, an element that does additional good to commerce in that region.

The other choice is Manual Valls, who is considered to be a social liberal, with a whiff of Scandinavian-style social democracy and Blairism, making him a little of everything. This is nice to be accepted on the larger field, but the left (as does the right) has all levels of niches to which he might end up being less of an appeal. Yet the news in the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2015 gives us “Mr Valls was starting a speech to about 700 people in support of his Socialist party’s candidate for a by-election on Tuesday night when the lights went out and his microphone turned silent. The electricity stayed off for about an hour, not just at the venue, but in the whole neighbourhood in Audincourt, eastern France. Mr Valls resumed his speech once the power had come back on” (at http://www.smh.com.au/world/unions-turn-lights-off-on-french-prime-minister-manuel-valls-20150128-130jjl.html), which is not a biggie, but it does imply that unions and Valls are not on the best of turns, all elements taken into account gives us that Manuel Valls could be a replacement, but only if current President Hollande messes things up with the unions, one step he is not likely to make at present.

The third issue is fine with me, we can argue on the qualities of Nicolas Sarkozy, or the desire some voters have to see a lot more of his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, former model and songwriter. He remains a highly experienced politician, so there should not be any issues. Whomever wants to dig up the affair again, better realise fast that France remains the only European nation where Crime Passional gives the slaughterer of an adulterer an acquittal, justice does find a way!

Now we get to the good stuff, the rest was not mere foreplay, but if we do not set the stage, we will not get the right view we need to have. The fourth issue was ‘A second round against Marine Le Pen‘. This is the mother lode, because Marine Le Pen has been growing her influence. National Front has been growing its army all over France and if Marine Le Pen becomes president of the Calais region, it will start changes, more important she will grow influence in Belgium too. Any economic victory she can score in her first year will count twice, it will give her one credit, whilst also removing a credit from Hollande, so two for the price of one. In addition, any moves by Hollande against Calais will not hurt Marine Le Pen, but will count against Hollande. Again, adding hardship and reducing his changes. Yet, these are not the only two players. The Republicans, the Union of Democrats and Independents as well as the Greens. Yet none of them have been loudly fighting for a stronger France (read less dependent), President Hollande has not done enough, or better stated, whatever he did, for the most failed. There is over two point six trillion euro in evidence there. Marine Le Pen should be regarded as a serious contender here.

So how does the mood change?

Whatever France does, is on the turf of France, but there is no secret that Marine Le Pen is all for Frexit if certain essential changes are not made almost immediately. Her move to secede from Shengen and her request for a hearing in these matters. She had gained traction during the Charlie Hedbo events, but now as issues escalate in Calais, her chances increase and this will change the game a little. It is only a little, but it starts the change in moods. You see, there is Frexit and Brexit. We had Grexit, but the people forget (and remain uninformed by the press) that this was never a possibility. I raised them in ‘The mere legality‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/06/the-mere-legality/). How many newspapers and news blogs were there to properly inform you on how expulsion is a near legal impossibility? They all danced around the matter of Grexit, something I personally regard as a big ‘No No’. Now things are different, you see both Brexit and Frexit are voluntary, this means that a massive can of worms will open, as the British referendum will be held in 2016, before the French elections and that will impact the French elections too. Hollande and others have been in favour of staying in the EEC and in the Euro. Yet both Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage have given their views. Now that the Greek crises (which was never much of a crises) is ‘presented’ to be over, we must acknowledge that Greece still hasn’t made all the preparations. We see terms like “in the final stretch” and “a complex, three-year deal“. When we look at Reuters, we get language like “Athens is racing to wrap up the bailout agreement of as much as 86 billion euros ($94.35 billion) by as early as Tuesday in a bid to get the first disbursement of aid by Aug. 20“, yet what reforms has Greece delivered? It seems that 86 billion is a sexy topic to have, but on the other side of the fence we now have France and the UK. If Tsipras makes any kind of a gesture towards ‘re-negotiation’ that price will be a very high one. Many nations have had enough of Greek antics and the concessions made are not the kind that the European nations will allow for, because the people are in a clear state of mind, it is coming out of their payment one way or another. This gives strength to both Brexit and Frexit issues. That view was clearly shown last week by Nigel Farage (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33715160). The language remains simple, read: “Nigel Farage has told No campaigners to “stop moaning, stop bitching” or risk losing the EU referendum“, he is clearly ready for war, because whatever victory he gets now, will largely contribute to the 2020 elections. They are still far off, but the Liberal Democrats are basically no more and British Labour isn’t getting its act together. All votes that UKIP could pick up and Nigel seems to be very driven to do just that. In addition, he has France to deal with now too. If the referendum fails and France does move out, the UK will be in a bad spot for at least a year after that, giving the people that fear is what Nigel will be all about and it would be a valid strategy.

Even though some prefer the ‘wait and see’ option, it must be stated that not all is well on this front either. Many of the ‘wait and see’ group are looking nervously at France, the power of Marine Le Pen remains underreported, as well as Grexit was (the legal impossibility of it). Yet the dangers here is that if UK follows France, it will wield a high cost, so the UK must make up its mind on the dangers it faces and it needs to be a proper realistic view, which seems to be less possible as some have been managing bad news, scoring the news that the dangers are less severe. I do not believe that to be the case. More and more do we get to see articles like ‘Greece needs wide debt relief to avoid permanent depression, think-tank warns‘, basically telling us that Greeks debts need to be forgiven (for at least 50%), yet they will not arrest, prosecute or demonise the people behind this folly. They stood overly proud that this is not their fault. Blaming whomever they could. I think that until that moment comes the Greeks will just have to learn the hard way. In addition, who will deal with the losses of these hundreds of billions? Someone is not getting his/her money, how will that reflect on others having to pay? These elements will also fuel both Brexit and Frexit.

This upcoming mood swing is all about financial players trying to prolong the game, all trying to relief debt whilst giving out 86 billion more. Their own selfishness will be the foundation of Brexit and Frexit coming into reality. What excuses will these people give then? Or are they spiking the juice so that they can get their life’s ambition within the next 18 months?

I’ll let you decide on that.


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Yesterday has been a weird day for France, unlike here in Sydney; they had their dealings with terrorists. You see, I remain in the mindset that what happened in martin Place last month was a crazy person with a gun, the fact that he was a Muslim makes little difference. He was a mental health case with deadly intent, it got him killed, but only after he killed some of his victims. France is an entirely different kettle of fish. Here is the YouTube link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBGVwZyXYlQ (in French with English subtitles), I normally would not add something like this, but it is important to see the difference. This is not some hostage situation asking for a flag, this is almost military precision, it is direct, clean (pardon the expression), kill and get out! A policeman was on the scene and was executed without any consideration.

Here you see directly what Israel has faced on a daily basis; this is what the direct hatred of Jews looks like. Even though this is against a satirical cartoonist, the hatred of these extremists’ remains the same. The Guardian has an article by Jonathan Freedland that covers several parts of what bothers me. The article ‘Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/09/charlie-hebdo-cartoonists-paris-killers-fascist-death-cult) gives us a few views. The quote: “They hated the cartoons, we say. Free speech was the target, we declare. They wanted to silence satire and gag dissent“, this was not unlike my view. I find satire enjoyable, but when you touch religion (any religion), some people tend to get a little off the balanced sane side. Some get abusive, some get a little violent, yet as far as I know, none will act to this degree (although opposites in the India – Pakistan debates might not agree with me). No matter what I think or believe, Charlie Hebdo was in a place with free speech and he was entitled to it. The best comparison I heard was from an American Journalist describing Charlie Hebdo as the French version of ‘the Onion’.

When we see the following two quotes we get to the real stuff: “Then on Friday, a siege at a kosher supermarket, four hostages confirmed dead, the murderers apparently linked to those behind Wednesday’s carnage” and “Perhaps the murderers are bent on killing people not only for what they do, but for who they are“, this is at the centre of a lot of issues behind the objections against allowing Palestine into the UN and other places. I and many others have no hatred for Palestinians however, we will not accept Hamas to be allowed at any table for the terrorist organisation that they are. And so long as Palestine will not disavow Hamas and as long as Hamas calls the shots, there is no future for Palestine as I see it. This is at the heart of the matter, so when you think of these poor poor Palestinians, watch the uncensored shooting in Paris and now realise that this is what Israel faced for many years now, with added rockets and nail bombs!

The next part is actually at the centre to what we tend to feel and also how our civilised minds should be feeling. “For Muslims, that has meant spelling out that these killers speak only for themselves. Note the speed with which a delegation of 20 imams visited the Charlie Hebdo offices, branding the gunmen “criminals, barbarians, satans” and, crucially, “not Muslims”“, this makes sense in regards to the next part “Of course they should not have to do it. The finger-wagging demand that Muslims condemn acts of terror committed by jihadist cultists is odious: it tacitly assumes that Muslims support such horror unless they explicitly say otherwise“, this makes sense. Perhaps we all remember the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and white power groups against African Americans. We distance ourselves as Christians, because their acts are not those of Christians at all. They are at the centre of some agenda of hate that the boggles the usual civilised mind. Some cannot grasp the small mindedness of it. Yes, we all hate at times and we hate enough to kill, maim or harm, but that comes in defence of a rational against us, or our family when it is harmed. To blatantly hate is not within our power (it should not be), I will go one further, children when they are born do not have the capacity to hate; it is the one dark side that gets taught to us, which makes it so inexplicable to some.

Now we get to the parts that I do not completely agree with (even though what is stated is not wrong) “Wednesday’s deaths brought a loud chorus insisting that Charlie Hebdo was vulnerable because it had been left out on a limb. That was down, they said, to the cowardice of the rest of the press, lacking the guts to do what the French magazine had done“. The press has been many things (cowardly to some extent as well), when the press (globally generically speaking) started to cater to advertisers and circulation, many papers started to cater to the emotional reader “Flight MH370 ‘suicide mission’” (The Daily Telegraph, March 2014) and “Death Cult CBD Attack” (The Daily Telegraph, December 2014). It is only one of several papers, the public gets misinformed too often, too much innuendo. “Andrew and the under-age ‘sex slave’” from The Daily Mail, implying the Duke of York is just the most recent of revenue claiming headlines. When you rely on income in this way, we see the newspapers as they no longer are, they are no longer informing the people, hopefully setting their minds to a more informed stable position, we are left with groups of people getting angry on implied innuendo. It makes for revenue (but becomes non-informative). So how about we make it a little more clear? How about tax offices change that glossy magazines are not tax deductible as they do not qualify as ‘researchable materials’? The ATO states “Newspapers and magazines, you can claim a deduction for that part of the cost of newspapers and magazines that relates to your using them in researching a topic as an employee journalist“. When we remove glossy magazines and add the Daily Telegraph and sort minded groups on that list, perhaps they will clean up their act?

So as non-violent Muslims fear repercussions for emotional responses, we in general have a duty to shield them, but in my mind we have an equal need to hunt down these extremists. We need to become a lot less tolerant of hate crimes like we are seeing in Paris this week, but they must be held against the real threat, not the threat that some papers perceive to instil. So this is where my view slightly differed from Jonathan Freedland. The French issue should wake us up in other ways too. Not only should we regard the hate attacks Israel has been under for a long time, we need to notice that walk softly and ‘try to reason’ will not work. The policeman had little option but to talk the man into not shooting him, it did not work! I feel for his family, and for the family of other victims, but you all need to wake up now, terrorists are real, they are not some deranged Sheik with delusions of grandeur wanting a ‘Shadada’ flag in a chocolate shop. They are people with guns, with a tactical mind that tells them to kill that what they hate without hesitation or remorse, so as you keep on crying on ‘your’ privacy, whilst posting your ‘nightly’ achievements on Facebook, remember that limiting those who hunt these extremists, might get you or someone you know killed at some point.

Yet Jonathan’s gem is at the very end “Theirs is a dirty little war, a handful of wicked fanatics against the rest of us. And they must lose“, I could not have said it better myself, but with that comprehension comes a change to all our minds, not to our hearts! Our hearts must never embrace the acts and the violence needed; our minds must however accept that some need to do what they do to stop these people, preferably before innocent lives are lost. It must happen everywhere and it needed to start yesterday. So, as you ponder these ‘lost souls’ as they go Jihad in Syria, then also quickly realise that these people come back with the skill, the intent and the reasoning of the extremists that you saw in the YouTube video, so if you are a parent and you wave your hand to your little boy or girl as they go to school, you should realise that they might leave the house the last time that day. What are you willing to do to keep them safe?

I am not trying to quell you into emotion like the press so often does; I need you to comprehend what must be done by professionals to keep you and your family safe. Think it through and cast your vote! You need not act, you are not trained and not qualified to suddenly emotionally react to these extremists. Only the calm mind will know what to do and they must be given the option to win and to make sure that extremists lose, or we lose it all!

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