Tag Archives: Deutsche Welle

Pasta Politica Rifugiata

Yes, Italian politics is at times like an Italian meal, chaotic on all levels and that is before the neighbours drop by to quickly say ‘hello’. So as the associated press is informing us on how the G20 members and their spouses are enjoying: “turbot fillet from the North Sea with spinach followed by fillet and cheeks from Friesian beef and for dessert, the guests could choose cheese or raspberries“, we see on the other side of the coin both “the European commission offered to resettle some 37,000 migrants, and relocate about 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece. However, the Estonian authorities didn’t refer to this latest call, but rather focused on another way to deal with the issue” as well as “health workers, volunteers and police officers in southern Italian ports scrambled to identify, assist and send over 10,000 newly arrived migrants to reception facilities, the Italian government threatened to stop allowing NGO rescue ships to disembark migrants at its ports. The EU and its member states acknowledged that Italy’s capacity to host those attempting the sea crossing from Libya is reaching its limits, but did very little to help beyond pledging some additional funds and endorsing an Italian proposal to draft a code of conduct for the NGOs“, we see that the media has been lacking to commit to a decent amount of illumination of events. The latter quote from the EU Observer is directly in opposition with the Deutsche Welle as they give us “The Italian government threatens to close its ports and insists on NGOs signing up to a ‘code of conduct‘.“, so as one tells us that a code of conduct needs to be drawn up, the other one states that the NGO’s need to sign up for one. The BBC is clearly reliable and on the side of the EU Observer as they give us: “A deal has now been reached between France, Germany and Italy to tighten regulations on NGOs and develop a code of conduct” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40505337), yet this is not enough, the BBC also gives us: “Ambrogio Cartosio, the chief prosecutor in Trapani, said he felt that the NGOs were somehow encouraging the people smuggling trade. ‘It pushes the traffickers to load the migrants on ever more precarious vessels. They can be sure that after a few miles, they will be picked up by the ships,’ he told me. The buying and selling of people is big business and the human trafficking trade continues to become more sophisticated and organised“, which gives the alarming notion that the NGO’s are propelling human trafficking as the flesh dealers need not concern themselves with the ‘whole trip‘ maximising their profits even further.

In all this Italy, a nation that seems to be ‘jet set’ is stricken by hardship and poverty. As Italy is dealing with a youth unemployment rate of 36.9% and a total unemployment rate of 11.3%, the Italians are feeling the crunch of the cost of living. Even as the search engines are giving us on how ‘affordable’ life in Italy is, we get the clear view that it eludes these people that to meet the cost of living, one needs to have a job. The refugee crises is draining resources even faster than ever before and Italy has no clear option to deal with these 200,000 mouths to feed, with 10,000 arriving merely a week ago. So as we understand that there is a need for a code of conduct, we also need to realise that a man bleeding from the jugular might not have the strength to go over the papers before signing. Even as the amount of refugees getting in via Greece is slowing down, the rush to Italy is only picking up. The BBC article in addition shows on how massive the rivers stream of refugee is through Africa. From Somalia and Senegal, all bound for Libya and then Italy. There is in addition the security factor to consider, with this many refugees, there is no telling how many people of ill will are coming through as well. Even at 0.1% that is an optional 200 extremists. In this we see that the issues involving AISI are now escalating as well. The reality is that even as Sicily is in the Italian south, the lacking administration to register, tag and identify these thousand plus arrivals a day is now compromising the security of Italy. Let’s be clear here! I am utterly convinced that well over 99% is merely trying to escape utter poverty in Africa, that is not in question, yet the rest is optionally not and who are they? With the current situation, once in Italy their path is open to Rome and the Vatican, France, Austria and Switzerland. From there they could vanish into the wind. Apart from the need for a tagging system, there is an additional need. Not merely the need for registration, but the need for identifying the streams of how they got there and how. You see, we are all concerned about the short term issues, that most are forgetting that the facilitators of all this are in it for the long haul. We might not see any results for now, but in the long term we will get a pattern which will aid us in not merely finding the facilitators, but finding out whether it was merely cash or extreme ideology that is driving them. You might think that this is nothing and that I am making a big wind, yet am I? Consider the events of Paris; the moment any extremist would successfully create damage in the Vatican, how long would it be before someone wants the head of the head of AISI staked on a pike on the wall of the Castel Sant’Angelo?

I reckon that call comes within 24 hours of any successful event. The issue is that this situation has been around in Greece as well and so far it seems that there is no effective system in pace and all this has been going on for a few years now, so I reckon that there has been too much short term thinking in all this. So as we consider “The rest of the EU should step up to help Italy host the migrants and asylum seekers, but there is little willingness across the bloc to do this” (at https://euobserver.com/opinion/138458), as we see this, we see yet another failure of the EU, when we read: “Policymakers in Brussels grumble that the men, women and children arriving in Italy are not “real” refugees, but economic migrants – despite the fact that 43% of them are being granted protection on asylum or humanitarian grounds“, it is like watching the pot calling the kettle charcoal on ground of politically correctness. In all this Giulia Lagana is correct on several levels, yet from her point of view forgets a few sides (on perfectly valid grounds), as she looks at the facts and numbers as the senior EU migration and asylum analyst at the Open Society European Policy Institute. There are other considerations that are not on her desk, which is fair enough. In all this, as @laganagan she remains actively tweeting on a daily basis.

So what is to be done?

You see, before you can control a situation, you need to comprehend it. Now, whether the refugee is economic migrants or refugee does not seem to matter much, that person wants a better deal than they have and they will move mountains to get to a place where they could have a future. You the facilitators in all this are another matter. They have goals, and for a person to get from Senegal to Libya requires a massive trip under, at times, the deadliest of conditions. So either there is a support system in place to transport people and it is way too big a trip for one player. Or we are seeing the growth of prostitution through human trafficking in a way we have not ever see organised crime do before. Without data there is no way to tell and without tagging and identifying these people, all the people who arrive, the chances of mapping the options and possibilities, the EU targets will merely be dealing with the consequences until the stream runs dry and the EU as a whole does not have that amount of time.

So as we now see wave after wave of media stating that EU politicians are claiming that Italy is not alone, we need to wonder on what the hell they have been doing in actuality for the last 2 years. You see, Greece was already past the point of buckling and duplicating a police of Greece towards Italy should have been nearly as easy as pie, yet as we see, that was not the case. So what were they doing? So when we read as yesterday’s news that “EU interior ministers on Thursday pledged to back an urgent European Commission plan to help crisis-hit Italy, which has been overwhelmed by a wave of migrants arriving by sea from North Africa“, can we agree that these people have seemingly been doing fuck all?

In this same source (the Local Italian), we see “Central to Thursday’s talks was a European Commission plan which earmarks 35 million euros ($40 million) in aid for Rome as well as proposals for working with Libya and other countries to stem the flow of migrants“, which is a joke to say the least. In addition we see “While no new measures were adopted at the meeting, ministers expressed support for a “plan of action” presented Tuesday by the European Commission which puts in place, “better and more quickly”, certain elements previously agreed upon, according to a European source“, which reads to me like: “we need to get a plan of action, we have not put anything decent in place, but we word it to such complexity to leave the impression something had actually been done“, the media overreaction in all this is as I personally see it a mere facilitation for EU-flaccidness

In this Italy is also making mistakes. This starts with Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. We see this when we see “In order to lower the number of people arriving here, we must reduce the number arriving in Libya“, which is not incorrect, yet the BBC clearly shows that people are coming into Libya from Senegal and Somalia, making the issue a lot larger and cannot be done by just a group of people, this needs support from organised players. If this is not the case, that path would be covered with the cadavers of hundreds of thousands of people who did not survive the trip, which is a mere adaption of applied logic.

The second quote that does not make the cut from the same person is “If border controls in transit countries are effective, then the ‘tickets’ sold by the biggest criminal travel agency in history would lose their value and if the traffickers can’t guarantee an arrival in Europe, their travel agency would go bankrupt,” he said. So in that instance we look around corruption in Africa as well as the fact that these refugees have no internet, are in the dark, so that means that these travellers will continue to come for now. By the time there is an actual impact of incoming refugees these facilitators will have left the shores with a trunk full of cash, living the life people in Europe have not been able to afford for the longest of times.

So to some degree Angelino Alfano is correct, he just has no idea how to go about it for now and that is not something we can blame him for, yet the utter failure the EU is showing to be, there is plenty of blame that can be placed, because when we see a need for a ‘code of conduct‘ for NGO’s whilst this mess has been going on for years and with the issues shown in Greece, it seems that several members of the EU councils have been asleep at the wheel. Is that what they get paid for? #AnyoneForBrexit

These issues will impact the general elections that are now less than a year away, even as we recognise that the only EU-exit party is Northern League with Matteo Salvini, we see in equal measure that his party has no chance of winning so that risk is currently not in play, yet equally no less anti-EU Beppe Grillo is for now still a contender, yet there is no way to see how that goes and unless the refugee is properly dealt with his 5 stars will rise. Still the chance was not as high as it was in France and with their Frexit averted; Italy might not be willing to go there. In the end, Mario Renzi and Berlusconi are not willing to get out of the EU, so the refugee issues will impact them both. It the EU does not decide to get of their fat asses, things might still go wrong in a few ways for the EU, that much is at present a given, as more and more people are realising that the media is playing them for whatever reason they do, we will see a polarising view of the people and consumers. As there is a rising view of ‘Broader questions on distribution of wealth and power are being considered‘ as well as ‘voters are no longer buying the free-market talk‘ we now see that other elements will have stronger influence and in this, the people are becoming more and more distrustful of what the media regards as ‘the news’. This is not the setting of mainstream news media and these so called iPhone reporters. It is the shifting view that we get from often too carefully phrased issues, which are now more and more recognised as generalist speaking of ‘remaining casual‘ and a lack of ‘clearly communicating issues‘. Weirdly enough, that is a side that could impact Italy to a stronger degree. If either Mario Renzi or Berlusconi wants to get a landslide victory, they would merely need to drop youth unemployment rates by 3%-5% before the election that would seal the deal for them.

It will be a messy dish of grub to achieve, yet the need to get something massive done in this Italian Spaghetti drama is requiring no less. A meal might impact it, but the guarantee of a job sets food on the table for a longer time, a growing essential issue for Italians.

In this finality I go back one more time to the Deutsche Welle article. There we saw a few days ago “Joining Cochetel at the report’s launch was Eugenio Ambrosi, director of the International Organization for Migration’s Brussels office. “Let’s not forget that member states in Europe have also a code of conduct – it’s called European law,” he said, “which entails a variety of things, which includes – and I will not stop repeating it – which includes the duty and obligation to show solidarity [with refugees] in fact and not just in words.

As such, we see a clear given quote, which might be seen as evidence given by Eugenio Ambrosi that the EU has been lacking the required need to act in several fields regarding refugees. Even as some claim that the Migrant Crises started in 2015, there is plenty of evidence that the stream started in 2011 when Syrians were trying to flee the Syrian war. The UNHCR reported that refugees exceeded 750,000 by December 2012. So where did the overpaid people working for the EU in Brussels think that these people were going? Not to the places of plentiful Europe? Who were they kidding? So as this mess has been escalating for well over 5 years and there is a shown lack of infrastructure and support systems to deal with the escalations (as I actually also wrote about a few years ago), we see that there is a growing need for the news and the media to take an actual serious look at some of these players. They have been paid extensively until now, which would beckon even more questions.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

A New Disney

There was an Italian, who has been famous for over 125 years, he is not the first or the only famous Italian. There was this guy who came up with Pizza, There was this other Italian who thought fast Ford cars were a joke and he created Ferrari, then there was this other Italian, who made tractors, disagreed with the previous Italian and created Lamborghini. It is actually none of those. It is Carlo Lorenzini who was born 190 years ago. You might not know the name, perhaps his alternative name? Carlo Collodi! If you are still in the dark, than remember the story of a wooden boy who wanted to become a real live boy. Steven Spielberg used the notion in AI, but the original remains the best, namely Pinocchio!

Yes, the story of a wooden boy going into the world, yet as a wooden boy he was not alone, there was a little Cricket accompanying him and he would be a lot more important than your average Cricket, Jiminy was his name. Today the story is even more relevant, you see, the name Yemini Cricket might be ringing bells, but the truth of the wooden boy is there. The question becomes, who is the wooden boy?

So when I read ‘US, Britain and UN demand Yemen ceasefire within days‘ (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/10/16/us-britain-and-un-demand-yemen-ceasefire-within-days),

Yet when I read “The United Nations envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said: “We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours.” Cheikh Ahmed said he had been in contact with the rebel Huthi militia’s lead negotiator and with Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government“, my recollection does not go towards the classical story, it goes to a reference a little closer to the present (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFZrKOCdHFs), the laughter applies to both the sketch and reality. Aleppo is a great example, how 5 years and 400,000-450,000 fatalities later, no solution is there, but they are still flying to places like Switzerland to talk. I wonder when we add up all the costs, how much did the taxpayer pay for this play?

A number of civilian casualties that have now surpassed the total US Military casualties, of those who died during WW2. Doesn’t that look like a clear message that massive change was required a few years ago? I reckon all the players know that, yet, having long conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose only concern is to stall so that the population can be made extinct before the resolution passes, reads a lot more like the Friends edition of Pinocchio, than the original by Carlo Collodi, where we see the conscience that is Jiminy Cricket.

So as we see the beginning of the same slow train in Yemen, I have to wonder if creating a new version of Pinocchio with Yemini Cricket is the way to go. It educates politicians as well as bring some hard needed cash towards Hollywood (or Bollywood).

So why is this different?

To one degree it is not, towards the other degree it is very much so. The problem is that both Syria and Yemen could be on the same page, no degrees of separation. In this case there are two at least. You see, Yemen has limited ties to Russia, making it less complicated, what is the issue is that the Houthi’s are actively shooting missiles at the US Navy complicating matters a lot more. It only takes one direct hit, and Yemen would technically be in a state of war with the US. Now, normally, a bankrupt nation is not that much a bother, but Yemen is not an economic or military superpower, so going against America sounds like a PR approach to get them ‘involved’. What is an issue is that Yemen, the neighbour of Saudi Arabia could get lucky at some point, what happens after the hit will be an issue, because Americans tend to get cranky when you successfully blow up something American. Interesting is that there are now multiple sources claiming that Iran is now moving towards the Red sea. An interesting story as the Red sea is on the other side of the Persian Gulf and Iranian war ships have no actual business there (which could also apply to the Americans). The question becomes how is Saudi placed into all this? Here there are issues too. There is no stating if there is even any link but the changes and the Attention that members of the Saudi government are drawing attention to themselves become a factor (speculation from my side).

One part is from the Australian Financial Review (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-shatters-decades-of-tradition-20161017-gs3yt5), where we see the title ‘Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s shatters decades of tradition‘, is not giving us the ‘goods’. The first quote is “He has slashed the state budget, frozen government contracts and reduced the pay of civil employees, all part of drastic austerity measures as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is buffeted by low oil prices“, which would be quite acceptable in one view, at least it appears that one government in this world is dealing with its budget issues, although not in the most ‘desirable’ way, when a nation is so dependent on oil, there might not be too many options. The second quote is “While vacationing in the south of France, Prince Mohammed spotted a 134-metre yacht. He dispatched an aide to buy the ship, the Serene, then owned by Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler. The deal was done within hours, at a price of approximately €500 million (roughly $720 million today)“, which implies the opposite. The question is not the cut-backs or spending spree, the issue is neither quote, it is the quote I will give now “Many young Saudis admire him as an energetic representative of their generation who has addressed some of the country’s problems with uncommon bluntness. The kingdom’s media have built his image as a hardworking, businesslike leader less concerned than his predecessors with the trappings of royalty” as well as “Others see him as a power-hungry upstart who is risking instability by changing too much, too fast“. So is the prince a go-getter or power-hungry? I cannot tell as this is all based on third degree of information, what matters is how the view and the actions will reflect the counteractions of the US and Iran in regard to Yemen. The moment the conflict results in a direct attack on Saudi grounds, what then? Iranian warships in the Red Sea would only complicate that, making a harsh response from the Saudi Military even more destabilising.

In my view there are two sides within Saudi Arabia, yet how they should be seen is another matter. I do not claim to have a proper view. I have questions. You see Mecca is an Islamic Holy city (the most important one) and it is part of Saudi Arabia, so as Saudi Arabia is the caretaker of this holy site, the involvement if Iran is more than just a small issue. Whatever they decide to escalate could have large repercussions all over the Middle East. The Sovereign State of Saudi Arabia has every right to defend it in every way possible, so Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also Minister of Defence and the youngest one in the world, which as a stat sounds nice, yet it also means that in light of other decisions, he is ready to do that what the US has been unable to do, declare war on its enemy by actually acting against them! Not that the US needed to declare war, but in light of Syria, doing anything actively would have been nice, an absence of resolution that His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is less likely to show.

What is a problem is the fact that the complications are more and more likely as days go by and that is the one spark that this powder keg does not need. Iran cannot be denied access to international waters, which will not lessen the impact. One of the elements in all this is seen in the second quote regarding the ‘power hungry’ side of it. You see, the AFR article is also mentioning “Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister and longtime counter-terrorism czar“, which is now an element in all this. You see, whatever happens next is all surrounding the need for intelligence. So whatever issues there are between His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud gives wake to the Disney sequel, a tale of two princes. A new approach to the classic Dickens story where the plight of two members of the Royal family of Al Saud are protecting the Sovereign state of Saudi Arabia as well as the safety and security of all Muslims that are in and nearby Mecca. Even as the papers are expecting a ceasefire, the issue is that stalling is equally a tactic here. There is no way of telling why Iran is involving its warships in that region, other than trying to complicate matters and demanding a seat at the table of decision, which would only change the time table in the worst of ways. What the Deutsche Welle did give was the quote “the Saudi-led coalition has blamed an airstrike that killed over 140 people at a funeral ceremony in Yemen on “erroneous information” received from a “party” affiliated with the country’s embattled government“, it matters, because it gives light to the essential issue that the two princes need to rely on quality intelligence, sources that can be scrutinised. And in this matter, mentioning the yacht was to iterate that spending that money on a satellite over the area might not have been the worst personal idea I am having. And let’s face it, any prince that can claim that he has his own satellite wins the discussion with any other prince relying on yacht and status. So many have a yacht, but how many of these rich individuals (very wealthy people in general) would own their own satellite? Especially if it becomes a source of intelligence.

Of course there is a lot more to owning one’s own satellite, but I hope we can all agree that intelligence will be key in whatever escalates over the next week. My issue is that too many players have their own agenda, yet would those agenda’s be truly 100% be focussed on whatever is best for Yemen and/or Saudi Arabia? You see, oil prices are down now, but why and for how long? What happens when prices go through the roof again? What happens then? Suddenly all these political issues are all linked to the price of Oil and the profit it brings?

I do not claim to have these answers, but the fact that too many sources are not asking the questions that require asking is troubling, yet the AFR article gives us a lot more, even more than I bargained for, which is comforting to say the least. What becomes a matter of discussion is the one quote that shows the elements “People who have met Mohammed bin Salman said he insisted that Saudi Arabia must be more assertive in shaping events in the Middle East and confronting Iran’s influence in the region – whether in Yemen, Syria, Iraq or Lebanon“, giving the links that require addressing and the prince is not afraid to do just that, however it take two to dance rings around Iran and taking away its influence in the Middle East. As I see it, Riyadh will have to make changes to some degree. Counter-Intelligence will be key in dealing with Iran and the impression I get when I see a quote like “has deep ties to Washington and the support of many of the older royals” shows the speculative possibility of the older ‘let us see how this plays out‘ against the younger ‘let us get this party started through action‘. It is not about the balance, but about what works best. In that regard both princes might have to make changes a lot faster than they are comfortable with, because if the news is correct, the Iranian ships and submarines will soon be active in the Red Sea, but active to what extent is something that remains speculative, whatever they do, the fact that it includes Iranian submarine presence (as reported but not confirmed), will also raise tensions with Israel.

As I see it, the biggest issue is Iran and what they are trying to get out of it. Putting themselves in the middle of a conflict where they are now trying to imply that it is all about them (especially as they are in the Red Sea), yet is their presence less valid than that of the US? It seems to me that we are creating a new Vietnam, just not with the Russians involved (like Syria). So there are two solutions to consider. One is that the US is replaced by for example the Commonwealth, or France, which takes away the Iranian-US issues. That is, if Saudi Arabia would be willing to consider that move. No matter what, the navy that does that, could find themselves in an armed conflict with Iran, so it better be a competent and modern Navy which leaves not that many options. The Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea and India. Giving the option to either South Korea or India would benefit, as Iran cannot spin some NATO link story. In addition Iran cannot afford to piss of too many additional nations as either could make short work of the ego of Iran as these navies decide to sink Iranian war vessels like rubber dinghies, because they pushed one button too many.

No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia must do what it can to keep safe and the Yemeni issue is one that tests many sides of those who see and witness it, because there is a dilemma in conscience. A revolution that got out of hand, a set government overthrown with its own agenda. When we see the Houthi’s slogan “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam“, can we really show any kind of support or sympathy?

The most important part to realise is that we need to set aside our version of what is acceptable, we have seen the US and Europe at large impose their version of ‘civility’, whilst bending over, grabbing their ankles and let the financial industry quite literally get away with murder in many ways. We impose rules and expectations, whilst having no clue how to manage a budget or how to stem greed to the point of strangulation. In all this, we have given up the high ground in several fronts, so we are no lecturer with any level of confidence. It is my opinion, that the Middle East can only be decently governed by someone in the Middle East. I personally believe that Saudi Arabia should be at the centre of it, there is no doubt that it would beneficial that a coalition that would include Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, but I am not knowledgeable enough to see whether it is just them, or that other players should be seriously considered. What does matter is that both General Intelligence Directorate (GID, aka Mukhabarat) and Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate would be important in ascertaining Iran’s hostile actions and if need be counter them. From my academic point of view is the challenge that the SIGNT of the three would pose to get one coherent reporting and analytical solution on Iranian intelligence. One that would definitely benefit all three nations. Yet perhaps that will evolve into a third Disney project, which could be the next big thing. It’s all just a thought, but think it over for yourself and ask yourself the question you did not hear voiced, this is important, because this stage could get ugly in a hurry and possibly before Christmas this year.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics, Religion