Tag Archives: Eilat

Price of freedom

What is exactly the price of freedom? We hear it all the time. Certain things must be done so that we can remain free. You can hear it in the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Australia even in New Zealand it can be heard (not just from the sheep). No, it is that currency, freedom that is the question. You see, what exactly is that price and what does every nation have to pay, so that they can be free. When was the last time you considered that part?

When was the last time you got a clear instruction on how to launch a missile so that it lands EXACTLY in what the Houthi’s call “Two ballistic missiles were fired on Saturday evening from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, allegedly targeting Khamis Mushait, a city in the south-west of the country, the coalition forces announced“, whilst in the Saudi Gazette we see: “the other failed to target any populated areas of the city after landing in a desert area“. Now consider the claims we have seen in the past weeks on how they were targeting specific places in Riyadh, which is several times the distance that we saw approached now and the Houthi’s cannot get that right 50% of the time. So when we see “Missile launched at Saudi capital, Houthis claim responsibility“, what are they actually targeting, are they targeting anything? I believe that there are two kind of teams working in Yemen, an Iranian and a Houthi; the better shots were clearly Iranian and with the quote ““This hostile act carried out by the Iranian Houthi militia proves that the Iranian regime is still providing the terrorist Houthi armed militia with qualitative capabilities…with the main objective of threatening the Saudi Arabian, regional and international security,” Al-Malki stressed in the statement.”, the statement is not wrong, but it is not correct either a I personally see it. I think that the Iranians are actively training Houthi troops, so when we realise that they are intentionally firing into dense populated civilian areas. Why is there not a much stronger response from Europe? It was only yesterday that the independent reported (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-latest-eu-donald-trump-sanctions-miguel-arias-canete-a8359126.html), that ‘it remains committed to accord despite Trump’s withdrawal‘, so that is the price of freedom, a nuclear deal with a nation committed to act in terrorist ways via puppets. The question becomes, what is this so called freedom worth to you, because when you are called on the accountability of what your politicians are doing, are you ready to pay that bill?

In this regard, the Conversation (at http://theconversation.com/trumps-high-stakes-gamble-on-the-iran-nuclear-deal-could-work-96449), offered an interesting thought. With “Though Israel provided a great deal of proof that Iran had lied about its nuclear program in the past, no evidence was offered that Iran was continuing the past record of deceit. The vast majority of experts agree that there is a greater likelihood of an arms race in the Middle East without the agreement than with it“. The statement is more important than you think. You see in the first we get ‘Iran had lied in the past‘, we also get ‘with a nuclear deal there is a smaller chance of nuclear arms acceleration‘ and ‘there is currently no evidence that Iran is currently acting in falsehood‘. They are important because if they lied then, what is stopping them from lying now? There is evidence of Iran acting in falsehood when we look at Yemen, now we have a ballgame, because any evidence of any level of nuclear advancement is a signal for Saudi Arabia to do the same thing, they clearly stated that. The conversation is in the belief that a nuclear deal is better, yet they call this not on the setting it is in, they are now about: ‘There is a chance the re-imposition of sanctions could work. However, it is a high-risk gamble‘, it is set as ‘a possible defence of withdrawal’, it was not about the withdrawal, it is about the nuclear setting where Iran will do what it pleases as it has done so in the past, allowing Uranium into Iran, whilst all players agree that monitoring precise Uranium numbers is not an actual reality, and with both Saudi Arabia and Israel on the firing line, it is not a high stakes gamble that they are willing to make. And leaving the decision of such a gamble with people who are not on the firing line is folly, because they pretty much have nothing to lose, in the worst case, their ego’s get to take on for the team. Explain to me how that was ever going to be a good idea? It gets even worse when we consider that President Rouhani is only in charge as long as the clergy and military agree on his actions, how exactly is that called being in charge? We get this from the NY Times on May 9th, where we see “Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday hinted that his country might step up its nuclear program, signalling a possible escalation in an already volatile relationship with Washington after President Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal”. So that is an outcome that the clergy decided on (apart from their advanced degrees on nuclear physics)? The stated issue by Ayatollah Khamenei is a dangerous one, in light of other materials, there is an increased issue that this deal was not a good idea from the very start.

I still believe that removing the Iranian navy is a first move, not only does it hurt their morale, it sets the Iranian clergy directly in opposition against the military, merely because the clergy thought their side to be invulnerable, there is nothing as uncommunicating as a clergy that knows that they are a direct target. They become the axial in a blame game, a good place for Iran to be in internally (for us). The biggest Issue I saw was not on some Iranians, merely on that a future president could end up being another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and as such the escalations begin again, yet now that person has nuclear options not a thought you would ever be willing to give any extreme Iranian president.

The issue is not merely the nuclear deal, it is Europe as a whole. When we see “Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for energy and climate, said the 28-nation bloc, once the biggest importer of Iranian oil, also hoped to boost trade with Tehran“, they are ‘hoping‘ to boost trade. This is merely an economic necessity, the European economy is reported to be good, but now consider, it is 1941 and you are willing to deal with Nazi Germany, just to look economically better. Make sure you see the 1941 reference; this is no reflection on today’s Germany. Boosting trade with Iran comes at a price. Now consider that this has been going on for a year and now Iran states: “I would love to do this another three years, yet my good friend Turkey should be allowed in the EU“, now what will happen? A nation that should by the EU’s own standard never be admitted is now optionally a new EU nation. In that part when we consider the quote: “Mr Salehi said Iran had several options, including resuming its 20 per cent uranium enrichment if the European countries failed to keep the pact alive. He said the EU had only a few weeks to deliver on their promises“, this alone is an issue, because it is feasible that Russia has been delivering the hardware needed to an undisclosed location, now setting a different stage. In all this the EU is so willing to set the price of freedom in the basement, whilst knowingly endangering both Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The nightmare scenario

The nightmare scenario is not that Iran becomes nuclear; no it is the same issue when we look back to the era of Nazi Germany. I still personally believe that the State If Israel got created in an effort to get the blood rage that would have haunted Europe for decades off the streets, that danger was very real in 1945-1948. The Dutch NSB members, the Germans in general, we also get the quote “This was a time of often enthusiastic collaboration with the Third Reich, as French police and paramilitary organisations were among the many who rounded up ‘enemies of the state’ and sent them to Germany for extermination.” (I think that this was merely part of occupied France), or what we get from historian Jan Grabowski “‘Orgy of Murder’: The Poles Who ‘Hunted’ Jews and Turned Them Over to the Nazis“, at this point we have 4 countries where a people in utter rage could have persecuted Europeans for decades, that ugly reality alone and not even considering Belgium, Denmark, Italy and a few other places, on how long restorations would have additionally lasted. I am close to 100% certain that it would still be going on by the time I was born, so that image is part of all this.

The reason is that once this goes wrong, when we are optionally going to be a witness to a lynching unlike we have seen for 350 years. When this goes pear shaped and it is close to a certainty that it will go wrong, those who politicised this to happen, might in person feel what it was to be like Cornelis and Johan de Witt, who both got lynched and mutilated by the angry mob on August 20th 1672. These politicians will hide behind complications and mere uncertainties, but so did those who opposed the house of Orange, it did not end well for them.

When that happens, Europe will fall into anarchy, it will happen not because it is destined to do so, but because too many politicians have been trying to sell a bill of goods and there will be escalating levels of mistrust and anger. In this it will not matter whether Saudi Arabia or Israel will get hit, the hit will be enough to make every European politician a valid target for hunting and lynching. Their entire approach to keep every deal going whilst there is too much overwhelming evidence of the unacceptable acts by both Turkey and Iran will be the fuelling cause for it all.

After that I have no way to make any predictions, some politicians will take a long vacation in a nation without extradition the moment things go massively wrong, or try refugee status in America, but those who do not get out in time, will not have any options, they will, due to their own stupidity get hunted down.

Why?

That question is actually a lot more important than you might think. There has been an interaction of politics and media, that has never been a secret, yet in the past there was a level of balance, now, in the age where it is all about commerce and circulation, we see a different setting, the media at large are for the lack of a better term no more than a concubine, who splits her attention between the advertiser, the shareholder and the stakeholder. None of those three are the reader by the way; they merely get introduced to what we now call ‘stories of eventuality‘, which is different from actual news. Most papers merely use what Reuters offer and work with that foundation in any way that they can. This is not a national issue; it is a global one, so when something is not actually nationally set (apart from big events), we do not get the news we get some paraphrased context. Now consider that we have had that for 3-4 days and suddenly there is a nuclear explosion in Riyadh, Jeddah, Tel Aviv or Eilat. When that happens, do you think that the people will remain calm? No, they will be scared out of their minds and all the pretty stories that the news gave, and all the politicians who hid behind ‘we do not expect this to happen’ or ‘it could be so good for us all if it works out’ will not stop a group of people who will add up to many millions, their fear will catch on and they will hunt down anyone related to the Iran Nuclear deal and the messages that they handed out. Like Johan de Witt, they will be trying to get away, but an enraged crowd of that many people cannot be avoided, the only issue is, can those who signed it see that danger in time?

Is there real danger?

That is the part no one, especially me can predict. There is too much not known and even more at times misrepresented, so it is not likely but that merely is set to the foundation of facts, and we are often not given facts, merely speculations (even I am to some degree speculating), I am trying to stay as real as possible, but in light of what I just gave, based on the founding facts that we all have been able to see around us for a few years now. When the fears of nuclear events become reality, which person will not go into fear driven panic? All that, because the politicians of today are set in a battle arena where it is all about the economy and anything that can contribute to that economy must be embraced no matter how the political setting is. That is the setting and even as there is no real stability in that setting, as we see pressure on more than one currency, we will also see the need for intense economic growth and some will give representation that Turkey give options in this, that is the first moment where failure will translate to pressure, when that happens all bets are off and in light of those sliding values, should Iran (yes, I stated ‘should’) do one stupid move in any nuclear setting we will see a different kind of fallout, we will see the kind where the bulk of 740 million Europeans will all pretty much lose it on the spot, that is the moment where we will see on how ‘speech making’ will be a hangable offense to those people, no courts, no judges, millions of hysterically enraged (enraged through fear) who will seek people to hold accountable (the blame game), that is the wrong day to be a politicians, let me tell you that much.

Now, I do not think the danger is that big, although it is directly linked to the acts of Iran, so it is not zero. The real danger is grown with the moral setting of both Iran and Turkey, the fact that some want to keep the discussion going, whilst it should have been discontinued a long time ago will also count. We are heading into murky shallow waters and the end game cannot be predicted, merely because of the amount of players and they all have their own needs. Yet the one part that I do not fathom is that some are willing to add the ‘price of freedom‘ as a currency to calm both political and economic waters with people who have no regard for either element in that setting, a dangerous precedent I think, but that might merely be me.

 

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Tubing it along

There is news, news that has been about a few weeks and I have kept an iLook on it. In one part it is as techofreak as it gets, so I should be on board the moment it launches, it is so versatile that it has no other option than to change lives on a global scale, yet there is the issue that it is so new that it is a little scary. That is the reality of all new technology; consider the first 10,000 Facebook accounts, the first 100,000 internet users. It all starts in a small geeky way and this will be no difference. It had more presence in the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, so that is why I took another look. You see, the entire matter is not merely where it is, but it is how the technology is adapted, that is the first part in all this. To set this in the proper light, we need to take a step back. In the UK they have the HS2. So when we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16473296), we see “The initial plan is for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains with as many as 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 250mph – faster than any current operating speed in Europe – and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction“, so when we consider London – Birmingham we see ‘1 h 25 min’, as their fast option at present, which at 117 miles, makes the HS2 a 45 minute saving, so how many billions is that going to cost? Now consider that each one technical glitch will cut the 45 minutes. Now, I am all for progress, now when we go by two numbers we see “a projected cost of £56 billion, up from the initial cost of £32.7 billion in 2010“, we see that 8 years ago, they had it wrong by close to 100%, so we see a waste of £56 billion plain and simple. The UK could fix its schools for that amount of money and overall, there is absolutely no reason to go that distance, it is just too short. Now we get to the next stage of travel.

Welcome to Hyperloop!

Now as we see this in the Saudi Arabian setting it changes, you see when we look (at https://www.tahawultech.com/news/virgin-hyperloop-one-unveils-vision-2030-pod/) we see ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilising the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning KSA as the gateway to 3 continents‘ as well as ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours)‘, so here we see a clear forward momentum. Not merely 45 minutes gain, but gains that take away 90% of the travel time, now we are talking improvements! I never quite understood the HS movement, not in the UK (where there is some benefit) and even less in the Netherlands where the improvements are as shallow as it gets, all this ‘good for the economy‘ whilst I think it greased the careers of certain people, and in the end nothing for the citizens, and the less stated on the Dutch government joke called Fyra at a mere €11 billion loss, it is not a lot if you say the amount fast!

So even as we are burning ourselves all over Europe on high speed trains Hyperloop technology is different, you go by tube (as literally as it gets) and within that tube you have the option to truly accelerate, the nice setting that this will reflect on cargo and passengers alike, so it is also versatile. So when we read “The hyperloop-enabled transportation sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stimulate economic growth and diversification of Saudi industries, according to Virgin Hyperloop One. It will also nurture the manufacturing and innovation sectors, and spur job growth in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom“, we are not seeing the whole picture. You see it is almost a lot bigger than that. The currently planned £380 billion mega city Neom would be an optional first as well, so Riyadh would be linked to Neom, which now is set to connect Egypt and Jordan, it also opens the doors almost directly to Sharm-El-Sheik as well as the Israeli city of Eilat, all golden opportunities which allows Saudi Arabia to grow the economy in Riyadh on a much larger foundation than ever before. In all this Cargo and passengers are set to near exponential growth, especially in the short term. So we have near direct connections between Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the centre of all this. It will not take long for these nations to grow all kinds of alliances and commerce will flourish like nothing we have seen before and Virgin, with its Hyperloop One is in the centre of this growth. Even as Europe is trying to get something similar rolling, we see that France is alas out of cash for such an endeavour (at present) ‘Hyperloop gives cash-strapped French cities hope‘ (at https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/hyperloop-gives-cash-strapped-french-cities-hope-1.726967), it is a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense for France to get involved in all this, in their setting Hyperloop makes sense, especially regarding cargo (cheese and wine settings anyone). So when I see “TransPod’s technology is based on magnetic propulsion and electrified tracks, moving pods through a vacuum tunnel designed to reduce friction. As with most Hyperloop projects, the bulk of the estimated costs are for deploying infrastructure. Co-founder Sebastien Gendron estimates his company needs €20 million (Dh88.1m) in financing to complete the Limoges project at the current stage, and says he’ll raise half of that from private investors“, in all this, I am surprised that no one there called Ubisoft (more specifically Christian Guillemot, Claude Guillemot, Gérard Guillemot, Michel Guillemot or Yves Guillemot), they have the cash and more important, to be the founders of something this futuristic that will be moving through France with the Ubisoft symbol would be worth its weight of a train in gold I’d imagine.

So back to Saudi Arabia, the one part I do disagree with is ‘in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom‘, you see, once the line is in place, it will spur the economy in more ways, beyond tourism and beyond cargo, for close to double that prediction. A system that far ahead will also spur infrastructures growth as the rest of the world will be lagging behind, especially where engineering is concerned. They all claim they have ‘the technology‘ yet at present there is a lot more reliability that under these settings it will only be running in the KSA in a more serious setting in the foreseeable future and that is where the advantage grows, in addition, when the travel times are shifted to those degrees, emergency surgeries, medical disasters when Hyperloop technologies transfers and adjusts in more than one perk, we will see both the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centres in Riyadh and Jeddah grow abilities to attain options because they are now less than 2 hours apart. That transfers to all manner of services, when they are no longer separated by time to that degree, it will drive a lot more than the ones we see at present. and let’s not forget, this is merely the first degree of Hyperloop, as the engineers figure out a lot more than is currently possible, the growth will blossom further, and as we see forward momentum on this scale, we understand that there are risks, you when the gain is not 45 minutes, but 90% travel time is reduced the picture shifts a lot further on a larger scale. Even as we were introduced to ‘tube’ transport in Logan’s Run in 1976, we never imagined that it would be an actual solution, not until now do we see that there are places where it is more than a solution, it is the drive to move forward on nearly every field.

So even as I accept that we are not there yet and there are all kinds of issues down the line, movement is now a given, and even a some used the London underground map and added some Hyperloop fun to it, the setting is not that impossible on some part of those tracks. It is a part where all technology can move forward, we merely have to adapt parts of it. Consider that change as new venues of technology open will up, and there is serious cash to be made for all the players in this field, you merely have to find the niche where your solution fits.

That is where Vision 2030 is now becoming a driving force, not merely because there is $500 billion to be found, but because those who do get their working solution in place, for those there is a lot more to be made over time, Saudi Arabia is merely the pilot, it is the global setting where profit becomes a very serious opportunity, it will drive the now nearly born new Nouveau Riche generation to a very new level with amounts the previous generation never ever dreamed of.

When you sit down and consider the map, we do not merely see Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, we see that Saudi Arabia has the opportunity become the axial for those three continents, an option we never would considered as realistic when Vision 2030 launched 10 years ago, now that picture is shifting and with the growing technologies as Saudi Arabia is embracing these new opportunities we see a shifting picture, even as oil might be funding this, the reliance on it is fading a lot faster than we thought possible, not merely through Hyperloop, but through the changes all the technologies enable one another with and that also gives new directions, because it is no longer about volatility  (as Saudi Arabia was accused of by others in a previous blog), it is about stability and the enabled stability that these solutions bring.

For in the end making money will always win over waging war, that has been proven for the longest of times.

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Mouseketeers are Go(ne)!

Yes, we are today looking at the four small people who seemingly form the three musketeers thunderbirds style. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/03/four-men-given-life-sentences-for-plotting-lee-rigby-style-terrorist-attack) gives us a few items and it is interesting how the article does not mention certain items. They are Tahir Aziz, 38, Naweed Ali, 29, Mohibur Rahman, 33, and Khobaib Hussain, 25. Yet, ever as we see that they are from ‘the Midlands‘, yet we see no mention of any nationality. Is that not an interesting oversight? We see that two have met with Anjem Choudary, who is all about serving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Yet here the Guardian remains down to the ground with a mere mention of Islamic State. The Daily Mail and the Stoke Sentinel are even less useful with their mention of ‘bought £20 samurai sword from Hanley sex shop‘, for the record, a samurai sword cannot be bought for £20 and the fact that a sex shop sold it is even more irrelevant. Here we ‘suddenly’ see ‘details’. The massive lack of facts is upsetting to me. The media is slowly becoming an increasing joke; in this even the Guardian needs to get scolded here! It is interesting as it was in equal measure that the opinion piece in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/07/anjem-choudary-hate-media-al-muhajiroun-london-bridge-terror-attack) gave voice to the issues with this certain social activist. It is the subtitle that gave us ‘Long before the attention-seeking al-Muhajiroun leader was linked to the London Bridge attack, Muslims despaired at the platform he was given‘. It is the start of the article that gives the goods that is one of many articles that tend to give the Guardian its value. With: “He wasn’t the infamous preacher of hate the media wanted him to be. He was a scrappy street agitator. Or, he was, until he got his big break“, we see that many see the difference, of what is truly an activist and what is merely a shouting bag of hot air. So as we see the four names with no nationality information, we see not merely the first issue, we see a collected set of facts not given to us, which in light of escalations in the middle east is important. For days we get the he said in Qatar versus they said in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. These four might not even be any of those, they might be of Iranian or Pakistani origin, it is so interesting how the press suddenly forgot the catchphrase on people and the right to know. So even as “The UK Sun, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Star and the Mail Online, tabloids prone to fits of sexism with some regularity. They all ran stills of Whittaker either naked or topless in earlier roles“, we see that according to what some laughingly refer to a journalistic integrity seem to regard the breasts of Dr. Jodie Who as ‘important facts‘ yet the full nationality (or nationalities) of the 4 with serious intent to blow people up, that part is not a given need, how revolting is that?

With the BBC giving us at least “They had attempted to join an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in 2011“, we might imply (speculative) that they were Pakistani. Yet are they merely Pakistani with UK residency, or with Citizenship. These details matter! They matter because it gives light towards and weight into the issues of home grown terrorism. With their not so bright approaches we might not see them as actual dangers as assumed to be Lone wolf terrorists, but with the fact that plans were underway, there is a clear case. It is nice to see that MI5 was on the ball and prevented it all (which is always good to read), yet the issue remains that certain ‘unknowns’ should never be so. As for the upcoming political excuse that they might have been trying to protect ‘innocent Pakistani’s’ is not entirely invalid, but the people need to know where the dangers are coming from. Now in the end, there is not a lot that the people could have done, yet when we watch the news and we are confronted with the nations banned by the Trump administration, and in succession, when we learn that the many terrorists who made it to their intended nations of target are not from those nations at all. Pakistan was not on that list, was it? Neither is Egypt who still has their fair share of Muslim Brotherhood extremists and in equal measure the few people in Jordan who are now starting to embrace Islamic State? They have options to move to America, not getting banned at all. All this we see and none of it makes the news. I know it is important to see that the bulk of Pakistani’s are not extremists or have terrorist tendency. The issue is that the press is keeping us in the dark too often and they are losing both integrity and are no longer regarded as reliable when it comes to the news. In all this the politicians have their part to play as well and are directly responsible for some of it. If they had the balls to actually stop the tabloid from being GST exempt because they should not be regarded as ‘newspapers’ we might have seen an increase of reported quality of events and as such would have had a dampening effect on the levels of fake news and innuendo in their version of reported events (the version the tabloids give us).

The media has let the people down on a global scale and that has to stop!

At present several media sites are giving us more and more information on the fact that Islamic State is now trying to increase pressures by attacking the Iraqi borders with both Syria and Jordan, meaning that we all have additional responsibilities. As Jordan was one of the first and in addition has grown into one of the largest support pillars for Syrian refugees, we can no longer sit idle. According to the United Nations, the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan has surpassed 5 million. The immediate danger is not merely disease, hunger and lack of basic needs to survive; it is the dangers that those joining Islamic State for merely a meal could topple the Jordan government in several ways. The moment that this happens Islamic State will be at the borders of both Israel and Egypt, whilst Israel will be required to send part of its army to the farthest region of Israel to protect Eilat, which would also place two basis of the MFO in direct danger. The Italian contingent who patrols the waters there could become a target as well as SCC4 a mere 8Km from Eilat could be changed into an Islamic State staging post, one that has a large radio at its disposal, so there are certain dangers to be reconsidered as I personally see it.

How realistic is all this?

That is the issue with the speculation I bring. As the news of Islamic State gaining strength in Jordan grows, that threat would be very realistic. So the direct need for the UN to step in and set a lot of goods to these refugees becomes increasingly immediate. In addition, the Jordanians have been under increased pressure to deal with the refugees (feeding them mostly), as well as the impact on their own storage of mainly water. It is high summer there now and water has always been scarce in Jordan. It is driving local tension up by a lot. Now, for those not in the know (a perfect valid situation) water was always a scarce item in Jordan, so the opening of the first desalinisation plant in Aqaba was a relief for the Jordanians, especially as the Jordanian population was set at 9.5 million, now add 50% to that population (the refugees) and you’ll see that water shortage becomes an almost immediate issue in Jordan. The UN has been trying to assign $4.6 billion for support to Jordan in January this year, that whilst some parties know that it is a mere 70% of what they need. In the end, I am not sure how much has been achieved, yet as the news made no report of any success, we can assume that to some extent there has been no success for now and to the larger extent, we see that there has been no achievements at all, which is an immediate issue. So it is not the worst idea to send 250 containers and fill them to the brink with C-rations. Now we have all heard the news on that history and I actually lived on those C-Rations for a few days (I enjoyed them). The issue is that there is no food (read: actually there is a large shortage); there is real hunger, so I would think that sending food that will not go bad immediately would be at least a first step to lower tensions to some degree. Now, I agree we can all do better, but at present NOTHING is achieved and instead of having the conversation again and again is merely a joke, something needs to be sent, it needs to be done now. In addition, getting 50 bladder tanks with water over there whilst we seek longer term solutions is also a requirement. All these actions show the refugees that even if not perfect, things are getting done (to some effect), which leaves the people with hope and that diffuses the Islamic State recruitment drive, which is what this was about. So as we see that the NY Times is stating that Climate change and the Islamic State are the greatest threats, one of them can actually be dealt with to some extent in the short term, so in this I now claim that I made an initial step to solve 50% of the World’s Largest Threats. I also designed the concept of a new video game, but that seems a little over the top after solving a threat the world apparently fears.

So even as the India West reported 2 weeks ago “Shivam Patel, a Hindu sympathizer of the Islamic State, has been arrested on charges of making false statements on his application to join the U.S. military. The Indian American told FBI undercover agents he wanted to do “something bigger, better, and more purposeful,” including “dying in the cause of Allah” to support the terrorist organization“, I found a simple way to deprive Islamic State from gaining a thousand of more recruits. In finality to get it actually done, some governments need to actually act on certain needs!

All this by being direct, outspoken and precise, all things that the articles regarding the 4 arrested terrorists is not being done by the media. As we see the list of newspapers grow whilst they all merely mention things like ‘UK Court Sentences 4 Men to Life Imprisonment Over Preparing Terror Attack‘, in one case I see “plotting “Lee Rigby-style” attack on police or military, referring to the murder of a UK fusilier, who was stabbed to death in London by two Islamist terrorists of Nigerian descent in 2013“, we see no such descent on the 4 perpetrators. Is that not a nice oversight, the fact that they ALL did it, whilst the verdict has been given, and the rest of their details are missing is a larger matter of concern.

You see, it is not merely about the ‘musketeers’ in all this. Like common cyber sense, people need to start evolving observational skills. You see, the need here is actually a double edged sword in more ways than one. For this I need to quote from the Israel Institute of Technology. With the course sharpening observation skills we see “Skill at discovering new ideas, and delivering them, may be one of the most important practical job skills, in today’s and tomorrow’s job market. Creativity is an acquired skill, one that improves with practice. This course aims to empower individuals who believe they have lost their innate creativity, because they, their employers or teachers prefer the three R’s: replication, repetition and rote, to innovation” we see that there is a need to become more creative all over the UK, whilst the skills would also be the way where we start noticing the things around us that do not make sense. The UK government is relying on https://www.gov.uk/terrorism-national-emergency/reporting-suspected-terrorism to get there, but there is a larger flaw in the path currently in place. Too often the people are not aware because they were kept in the dark. Now, this path will means that it comes with leagues of incorrect reports, but in equality reports would be coming from places that were previously not flagged by the Police and/or MI5. As I see it there is a growing need that students as early as Year 12 where they start to be taught the observational skills that could lead to unforeseen innovation, it is the one need the UK has an actual dire shortage of. I have always and will always believe that the true innovator is merely around the corner as he/she did not consider something. When we see people like Jack Ma, David H. Murdock and Richard Branson, none of them ended up with any A-levels, but they had an idea, they noticed a need and as such they got cracking and are now on top of the world. These are three extreme, there are thousands more who got to a much higher point than most of us (including surpassing me) because they were observant to the need of those around themselves. It is this skill that is actually not taught at all (or at times incorrectly), often because it is not a business subject, yet the art of observing is in the foundation of resolving issues on EVERY level. It is a skill that should be harnessed for the upcoming generations, because it is the first one that gets the bacon and the niche market. It is that growth that we need and as such, it is equally a skill that helps prevent the larger harm to others becoming a success by all the unknown upcoming musketeers that are currently still at large.

I would offer as a thought that if the data offered by the news and other sources can no longer be regarded as reliable; we will need to learn to find the truth, the data and the insight ourselves. This thought is merely a thought, yet it needs to be taken a lot more serious than you think. In finality that evidence is seen through the Bloomberg article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-25/u-k-s-terror-insurer-says-new-threats-create-gaps-in-coverage), you see, as I see it, the foundation of a stable life is becoming more expensive. With ‘U.K. Insurers Told to Adapt to Lone-Wolf Terrorism‘ we see “the view of Julian Enoizi of Pool Reinsurance Co., the U.K. government-linked body that backstops insurers against terror-related payouts. The spate of recent attacks in the nation’s capital and the suicide bombing of a Manchester pop concert in May highlighted shortcomings in coverage that need to be addressed, he said” it partially makes sense, yet I remember that in my policy there is no payout due to damage from unlawful combatants (or a nuclear explosion for that matter). The quote “Broadening cover would mean higher reinsurance premiums for Pool Re’s members, which include the local units of every major non-life insurer from Allianz SE and Aviva Plc to Zurich Insurance Group AG” gives rise to issues like premium rises, because as there would be payouts to lost earnings whilst there is no damage is one that insurance companies are dealing with and in fairness it has in impact on them. So as we see that insurances are evolving, e ourselves need to bolster new skills, not in the least to alert the right parties to take action and prevent serious losses to ourselves. Is that not fair too? You see let others solve it all is fine, yet if you remains ignorant to the largest degree is your anticipation of safety through ignorance valid? It might have been in 1969 where the greatest danger for a man in a park was a confrontation with a woman seeking love and sexual satisfaction whilst sharing a joint, those days of innocence are definitely gone, yet to us, we have not been asked and educated to step up to the plate. Many merely limited to be trained for a workforce of deadlines and the facilitation of greed. Now we see that the removal of creativity and the contemplation on the paths of innovation come with a much larger deficit. We can no longer meet the changed need and we move into the blame game. We see people blaming the police, because it happened, they blame MI5 because there were signals, whilst the people tend to ignore the optional part whether Jeremy Corbyn could be a larger threat to the UK than Salman Abedi was. In the end, it will be for others to decide. Yet if the people had better observational skills, is there a decent chance that the police would have been better alerted to the danger that Salman Abedi became? If the UK is valued at 68 million people, should the thwarted danger be merely dependent on 127,000 police officers and the 4,000 members of MI5? Or is the increasing need of properly informing the 68 million people and teaching them how to spot danger a much better solution as the years pass us by? If the world becomes more and more polarised in the application of terror and mass casualty methodology, is depriving options not a much better solution? Consider the simplicity of fighting fire. You do that by removing the fuel (flammable objects), depriving growth by not allowing it to breathe freely (replace oxygen with CO2) or covering the danger (powder extinguisher), lowering temperature is also an option (drowning with water). There are plenty of options yet it requires a clear mind and a trained mind to act. As we get Jordan the water it desperately needs we lower the temperature and the stresses that come with it, as we make sure there is food, the flames of hunger remain absent and as we are trained to spot things we allow for the actions to come earlier and prevent the damage to us and what is ours (generically speaking). Yet trained to spot things is also at times dependant on getting all the information and getting properly informed, so now consider the newspaper title I mentioned earlier. The mention of ‘bought £20 samurai sword from Hanley sex shop‘, has a few more implications. When you consider the BBC (at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7331099.stm), the press did not inform us that any people from the shop were arrested, especially in light of “Legislation against selling, making, hiring or importing samurai swords in England and Wales has come into force. Those breaking the law face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine“, so as we assume that the sex shop did not have a receipt informing us that they sold Tahir Aziz a 24 inch Japanese steel dildo, can we assume more arrests will be made in the very near future?

I am merely posing this question for your consideration, have a great weekend all!

 

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Looking for the rocket man

Yes, there is an issue in the Sinai, Sharm Al Sheik no less. It is not news, I have known about it for a while as has most people. It is in the news, it is in the pages, there is gossip and there is much speculation. In the end another plane went down, this time it is the Russians who get to deal with this. Now, I am not a man to hold a grudge, but has anyone barred their access? It is not like MH17, yet still to give the Russians direct access after they did all; they could to stop the Dutch from getting access to evidence and the victims is a bit of a no no, nothing personal Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!

The news from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/07/new-era-airport-security-sinai-terror) gives us “Fears focus on screening of baggage handlers as aviation experts demand new global response“, you see that could also be seen as “Fears focus on screening of baggage handlers as aviation experts, demands for new global response“. What a difference a comma makes eh?

This calls a few issues into question. Let’s face it, after someone got rid of those two slightly less appealing buildings roughly 5163 days ago, we still need to see issues with quotes like: “A fundamental overhaul of global aviation security is required“, how bloody moronically stupid does a community get to be? From what I can tell, the overall ‘security’ at the slot machines in Vegas are a lot better than in well over 40% of the airfields, so what gives?

In addition, we now see: ‘British Sharm Al Sheikh flight in ‘missile’ incident‘ (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34754577). The response there is “A spokesman said the incident had involved ground-to-ground firing at a military base a few miles from Sharm-el Sheikh airport, and that no plane had been in danger” what ground to ground firing and who was firing? By the way, a flare is not ground to ground and it is not a flare either.

I am not opposing the article or the response, yet overall the BBC article is decently less then clear whilst the Egyptian response might not be reliable as they have a few more ‘presentational issues’ to deal with. Yet if it was all about ‘routine military activity and was not a targeted attack‘, why did the flight deviate? There must have been a decent level of perceived danger for the pilot to do this. I will readily accept any pilot stating ‘better be safe than sorry‘, which means that he/she saw a possible danger. And even though this was in August, it gives clear evidence in connection to what is about to follow.

So is this a mere trivial event? Not that downing a Russian flight is trivial, but is this a possible escalation for Saudi Arabia? You see, the airport has resorts to the north and the south, so there should be no threat there (we hope), yet to the west of the Ring road what is there? There seems to be a military compound with blue rectangles (possibly water purification) but there is no way to tell for certain), from there it is a mere 8 Km to the airstrip, so was the pilot jumpy or are events downplayed? I am happy if it was a mere jumpy pilot, who I would instantly support for any choice he made to keep his passengers safe, but can we agree that if ground to ground fire is visible to the pilot that the explosions were really big, or that the events were a lot closer to the airport? My issue here is not that the event took place, but that it gets reiterated to hell at this point 7 weeks later. The mention “A missile that came within 300 metres of a plane carrying British tourists to Sharm el-Sheikh was “probably a flare”, found investigators“, should remain an issue, because why fire flares at a commercial plane? Also, those buggers are not that fast, or do not tend to go so high, which means that there is a little more to the story. In addition, we get “Another Thomson plane was also flying into [Sharm el-Sheikh] at the same time and saw the rocket” as well as the fact that flares tend to really light up in a way similar to ‘here comes the sun’, so what gives? In addition the final fact, if both planes saw the ‘light’ and both remain consistent about a ‘rocket’, in my view the issue remains. Yet the final quote here is “Thomson said there was “no cause for concern” for further flights“, which means that it could be a flare, but in all this better visibility and more open response, especially in ‘light’ of what blew up afterwards would have been better (at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/07/missile-thomson-airplane-flare).

You see, this is all speculation on my part (yet I try to be as cold and as logically as possible) something you will not likely find in the Daily Mail or some Murdoch publications. They will all be about fear and about emotional speculation. In equal measure of worry, the MFO South Camp should be no more than 35 Km to the South of the airport, so if there was ground to ground action was the MFO informed, were any activities spotted by them? More info that did not make the papers or the Tabloids. This is all nice and speculative, but in the end, this is all an escalation of what happened to Russian flight 9268, yet there is no overall evidence at this point. Some of the photos show that shrapnel holes are from the inside out, which gives weight to the UK claim that it was a bomb on board of the plane. That evidence comes with the support that the cone of firing a Stinger, or even a stinger alternative like the Igla-S seems unlikely. Only a more modern version like the Starstreak or an alternative would then be the consideration, but for ISIS to get something like that is even less likely, make that extremely unlikely. If it was a Stinger or alike it had to be fired either from the sea, or from the Sinai itself, but that requires the terrorist to be too close to the Sharm Al Sheik – Dahab ring road. This might give more weight to the ground to ground firing, but also gives weight to the UK pilot to take a very quick gander somewhere else. All this remains speculation!

If the bomb was on board, we get back to my initial issue ‘how bloody moronically stupid does a community get to be’, you see, Egypt requires tourism to go on, to go on successfully. So why is there not more stringent security? With roughly 10 million tourists bringing 6 billion in revenue, security should have been on the forefront of the minds of the Egyptian ministers of both tourism and Intelligence. Which impacts me as I laughingly read the headline ‘Egyptian foreign minister claims allies not sharing intelligence on possible Isis bomb plot’. Yet there is one other alternative. It is shown by the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/sinai-plane-crash-egyptian-foreign-minister-claims-allies-not-sharing-intelligence-on-possible-isis-a6725236.html). The alternative is that mechanical malfunction from the tail is still not impossible, however, in another article we see ‘Black box data ‘reveals Metrojet A321 was brought down over Egypt by explosion’’, which is also from the independent. The quote “tests carried out on the cockpit voice recorder show the tragedy could not have been caused by either a technical fault or an error by the crew” could be regarded as significant here.

So as I go back to my moment of hilarious laughter (I do sound like a Hyena at such moments), the first one is “Sameh Shoukry said no other countries had given the Egyptian government access to their information” My thoughts on that can be seen in a number of ways. Sameh Hassan Shoukry must and does realise that Egypt still has a corruption problem. One side is lighted by Georges Fahmi in the Carnegie Middle East Center. Here we find the quote from a statement from Mahmoud Hussein, the former secretary general of the Brotherhood that said: “The Brotherhood operates with its apparatuses and institutions in accordance with the regulations and with the members of the Guidance Bureau. It has supported its work with a number of assistants in accordance with these regulations and the decisions of its institutions; its deputy leader accordingly acts as a general guide [head of the organization] until the general guide is released [from prison] God willing, and the Guidance Bureau is the one that manages the work of the organization” (at: http://carnegie-mec.org/2015/07/14/struggle-for-leadership-of-egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood/idbr).

It is ‘with the members of the Guidance Bureau‘ that gives pause. I have no evidence in support, but I believe that they are either still partially part of the police apparatus, or they are getting support from sympathetic people in official offices giving them the heads up when to relocate. I think that in their desperation to survive a few of the Brotherhood sheep are actually ISIS wolves. If they are all over Sharm Al Sheik, than they could be some friendly tourist officials, is that such a stretch?

In support I give that tactically ISIS needs direct access to Sharm Al Sheik should they ever truly decide to attack Saudi Arabia in a more direct way! An airstrip with planes is too tempting a target to ignore and a place devoid of tourists might make a better target.

The previous picture I placed, partially in speculation for the part that now follows. In the first the intended insincere response by Sameh Hassan Shoukry, who as a diplomat should have known better (he probably did), yet the second group of persons are another matter. Sedki Sobhi Sayyid Ahmed, minister of Defence is actually the smallest target here. In all this, the seemingly failed security at Sharm Al Sheik airport poses questions for the positions for Mohamed Hossam Kamal, minister of Civil aviation, as the Airport at Sharm Al Sheik is the foundation of 6 billion in revenue, so more diligence would have been expected, in that same light questions should be asked from Ashraf Salman, minister of investment as these events are never ever good for continued investments. Yet by far the biggest issue might be with Egyptian Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Administration (DMI), which at present should be Director Salah Al-Badri. Yes we get that Alexandria and Cairo are more juicy targets, but with ISIS in the Sinai, having a better presence in Sharm Al Sheik would have been essential and whomever was there seems to have blown their job away (one Russian plane at a time).

You see for Director Salah Al-Badri the issue is a lot more pressing, if ISIS is actually tactically active in Sharm Al Sheik, than in equal measure they could be active in El Tor, which means that they are within striking distance of both Ras Gharib and Ras Shokeir having any quality presence in Sharm Al Sheik was not that much of a stretch.

Beside the point of how the Egyptians perform maintenance on their house, a certain event 5163 days ago should have been adamant in overhauling security at their immediate airports and Sharm Al Sheik definitely qualifies here. Yet in here lies the speculation, if we accept a bomb, when was it added? If it was from a tourist it is one thing, if it got added to the load from another source we have a massive problem to consider, because if it happens there what other airports are considered dangerous? You see if this was a small flight to Eilat (which is currently not possible). What other options are there? You see the one event that does count is that any attack from ISIS in Sinai is also a direct danger towards Israel. Southern Israel has been under fire from ISIS last July, so the stretch that Sharm Al Sheik is a tactical point for attacks on Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia seems not that large. A place loaded with fuel, tourists (read propaganda lessons), possible planes (that could not get away) and moral visibility. So even if my speculation is really farfetched, is the needed for quality security and intelligence perhaps less of a stretch? That support can be found with CNN (at http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/04/middleeast/russian-plane-crash-airport-security/index.html), the quote “In May, a mentally disturbed man slipped through a hole in a wall and tampered with a plane, the Cairo Post reported, citing Egyptian newspaper Youm7. The man approached a plane sitting on the runway and tried to open a door to the aircraft, the article said. He was arrested after moving a block in front of the plane’s wheel, the article said” should be self-evident.

As we get to the end we need to ask: should we look for the rocket man? If the airport security outside the airport is so lacks, we must worry on the first premise that flights are in danger when we consider that security stops 100 meters from the fence and a Stinger, a 28 year old technology has an 8000 meter range. What else can they throw at the tourists there and as such, perhaps the evading UK pilot was in the end, the brightest person of the lot. If it turns out to be a bomb, than there are even more issues because that means that ‘wolves’ were on the compound and none of the sheep woke up, at which a stinger would be the least of their problems.

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The comeback that should not be

That is the consideration I was contemplating this morning. This is all about former Defence Minister Ehud Barak and his outspoken views. The issue all over the papers are that Israel had not proceeded three times to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities.

So is this freedom of speech, is this treason or is this something else? You see, as a former Defence Minister he has certain duties. One of them is defending and keep safe the state of Israel. So was this a ‘military men and cowardly politician’ scenario as some people report? Without all the facts it would be poor judgement on my side to continue some view. Yet, my view, like that of some others who matter. I have been there, I saw Israel in July 1982. I saw Israel on other occasions and I saw on TV, like many others how Sbarro became the place of slaughter. The Israeli army has been ever vigilant in keeping Israel safe. So, why was Iran not attacked?

It could be a simple as the tactical setback that an attack would bring, it would be a direct problem for any Israeli to get anything done in the UN building and at that time, there was not enough evidence that the enrichment of Uranium was a clear and present danger at that particular moment in time.

These are all issues that matter, as former Defence Minister, Ehud Barak knows this. If he does not, he should never have been elected into that position. But that is a mess Mossad can take a look at. You see I remember them from 1984. Nahum Admoni was someone to bring the deadly chill of fear into your heart. I do not know anything about Tamir Pardo, but I feel decently certain that he has a more relaxed job and he is watching both the Syrian and Iranian areas with due diligence on an hourly basis. So is this just about another comeback of Ehud Barak? That is what I suspect. Of course Ehud Barak making these claims just after the rocket attacks from Syria is only one side to it. If attacks are now coming from there, there is every chance that more attacks will also come from Gaza. I cannot state for certain that one means the other, but there is every chance that Israel could face attacks form Sinai, which would make Eilat vulnerable, whilst attacks happen to the north at equal pace. This is what I feared all along. I illustrated this in ‘ISIS is coming to town!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/06/23/isis-is-coming-to-town/). Yes, the article is a year old, but in my defence there was no clear reliable information on how strong ISIS was, what they had planned and what time line they used. So is there still a danger? Yes, there is and there always was. The issue is that pre-emptive actions will not make any difference, if anything, it could fuel extremist support. It could be for this very reason that the military held off. The main reason will remain that Israel is not committed to war, it is committed to peace and the defence of the state of Israel. Do you not think that Rafael Advanced Defence Systems could have come up with something a lot more offensive if war was on Israel’s mind? It has been the cornerstone of every issue playing. Israel only wants to stay safe, as such it has always been the Hamas covenant to eradicate the Jews that have been the foundation of the Gaza issues. After Adolf Hitler had his European tour 1939-1945, did you think that the Jewish people would ever accept such attack on their existence ever again? Think again, I say!

SO in that light, should Ehud Barak be regarded as a very dangerous man? A man who is willing to play fast and loose with the state of Israel, just to get one more comeback?

That is the part I am uncertain about without a lot more information, but consider the following quotes “For years, both he and Netanyahu issued veiled threats to attack if the world did not take action. Those threats, while often dismissed by commentators as bluster, were widely seen as a key factor in rallying international sanctions against Iran“. I was always in favour of an attack, should there be actual evidence that weapons grade Uranium was produced, but I was also adamant that Israel should not be the one doing the attack. In my view that would be the tinderbox that was not allowed to light the fuse. America yes (preferable no) and the EEC (or NATO) absolutely yes. The friends of Iran would have to see that the amount of nations willing to step in would make them reconsider alliances. The second quote is “Barak told his interviewer that both he and Netanyahu favoured an attack in 2010, but the military chief of staff at the time, Gabi Ashkenazi, said Israel did not have the operational capability“, which is very likely. You see in 2010, the Gaza area remained a growing concern, only an idiot starts a war on more than one front, so the assessment of Gabi Ashkenazi seems to have been the prudent one. Considering the growing attacks of missiles in 2010, 2011 and 2012 only gives additional evidence that not attacking seems to have been the wisest course of action. That view has not changed. As the dangers for Israel diversify, Israel needs to make changes to the policies they make, as such, any attack on Iran would have destroyed these options. Whatever aide might come from the NATO members after the missile launches from Syria, none of those would be an option if Israel had made any act of aggression against Iran. So in these views alone, I show the vision and deliberation Ehud Barak seems to lack even before he makes any headway towards a comeback, an issue I need not consider as I was never an Israeli elected official.

So if a non-Israeli can see this, even one who supports the total defence of Israel, what else is Ehud Barak not seeing and is that not the greater cause for concern?

It is the final quote in one article (Yahoo News) that gives us the heart of what should not matter “Barak ‘wants to remind people where he was, what he did, how important he was, how rational he was,’ said Reuven Hazan, a political scientist at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ‘When Ashkenazi starts doing the political lecture circuit, Barak wants to be able to create and raise as many obstacles as possible.’” You see, as defence minister he was not that important, if push comes to shove, as a short term Prime Minister either Benjamin Netanyahu or Ariel Sharon would have surpassed him, as a defence minister he was passable, but in that light, both Meir Dagan and Tamir Pardo could have done his job too. Although in that light, Meir Dagan should have (if I noticed it correctly) gone slightly lighter on the pastries, he is likely to become his own worst enemy. I am willing to accept that this is the consequence of having a quick meeting at Gal’s bakery in Haifa every now and then.

In all this, the centre remains, Ehud Barak has been in a fortunate position, he was not unimportant for Israel. He was a civil servant, surpassed by many in their dedication to the defence of the state of Israel, in all this former Defence Minister Ehud Barak forgot that his biggest enemy was his own ego, a mistake that the media will take advantage of in the happiest method possible. The people of Israel and of other nations need to consider that Iran is, was and shall remain a danger to Israel. Knowing this is the most important detail here. What the press ignored is that possible aggressive actions would have been considered. Any nation, with any level of defence will ALWAYS consider an aggressive option, it is the quality of both its military and politicians at large to decide when such actions can no longer be avoided. As we see in the past, Israel never had to result to an all-out attack on Iran, which does not mean that this will not happen, it only means that when it does happen, no other alternative remained available. This is exactly why NATO must consider its actions in Northern Israel, for the mere reason to keep any offensive alternative at bay.

What a shame former Defence Minister Ehud Barak never realised this.

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ISIS is coming to town!

Many have seen the news. Iraq is facing another brawl between the Sunni and Shiite. I do not proclaim any side, or even to know and comprehend the difference between the two beyond a limited and basic level. Is it required? There is an interesting article on it all in the Huffington Post (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-barbanel/the-current-incarnation-isis_b_5509461.html), whether this is something you can connect to is up to you. It is the last paragraph that gives me pause and even some worry.

Unfortunately, what’s needed is for the West to man-up and send in a multi-national force (Americans, Brits, French, Germans, etc.) and squash ISIS (which has ambitions of spreading their Islamic revolution to London and New York). It won’t take many planes or drones. ISIS has no air force. It won’t even take many troops to confront the several thousand ISIS fighters. What it will take is will power and if there’s absence of that we will be left only with the words of the 18th Century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke: ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

First of all, the US has no intent of getting involved (at present), more important should they? Remember the old issue when between the 2nd and the 4th of August 1990, Iraq took over Kuwait? It was condemned and after a while the US instigated Desert Storm and it was in that time between 17th January and 28th February 1991 that Sadam Hussein was removed from Kuwait. It was after this when at some point Bill O’Reilly made mention that at this stage, the hold of Sadam Hussein was weak and the Iraqi people could have overthrown their government if they truly wanted freedom. He was correct in a sense, but was he correct overall? I did not consider that part until this week. You see, the issues around Operation Iraqi Freedom (a dubious choice of name to some extent), was that this situation was never completely and correctly resolved (I admit that my use of correct is debatable). So as the US established democratic elections and formation of new Shia led government, we should wonder, even though the Shiite is in a massive majority, how the Sunni’s would react. Last week we saw the escalation of that sentiment in all its brutality. Giving a lot more weight to the consideration Bill O’Reilly left me with when he made the initial statement.

I needed to get another view, so I looked and I found this statistic Shia Muslims constitute 10-20% of the world’s Muslim population and 38% of the Middle East’s entire population, So that is a sizeable chunk, another gave me: “Most Muslims are of two denominations: Sunni (75 – 90%) or Shia (10 – 20%)“, which makes me wonder at first, yet the view from Professor Sue Hullett gave me: “Let me review, while Shia Islam makes up only 10%-20% of the world’s Muslim population, Iraq has a Shia majority (between 60%-65%), but had a Sunni controlled government under Saddam Hussein“, As she is the Distinguished Professor and Chair of Political Science at Knox College, her numbers should be regarded as reliable and they are in line with other numbers I found.

This leaves me with a much clearer picture that we are facing a change where Iraq goes back into the shape it had under Sadam Hussein. More important, the Shiite majority seems to be unwilling to fight the Sunni’s in this matter. Linked to this is a second quote from the Huffington Post “Tens of thousands of Iraqi troops just ran away, abandoned their equipment and abdicated their duty. Had even a fraction of them stood and fought, ISIS probably could have been thwarted.

This is exactly in the light Bill O’Reilly stated several years ago. So is this a case of ‘Barbarians’ attacking ‘Pacifists’? More important, is it the job of the USA to just intervene every time? The issue of ‘deserting’ Shiite’s, for whatever reason, gives clear indication that not only was the exit strategy poorly chosen, an exit strategy should not have been considered. In other light, if the Iraqi’s are not willing to fight for their country and resources, what rights are they enabling themselves with?

Is there a solution?

I am not sure if there is. I have my doubts whether 300 advisors will help when troops run away leaving plenty of resources behind for ISIS, the fact that ISIS was active in Syria and is now armed to the teeth and entering Iraq should also give way to additional questions. The strategic position of ISIS at the borders of Iraq, Syria AND Jordan should also be seen as a dangerous escalation. The destabilisation of Jordan (if made threats are accurate), will push millions of refugees in all kinds of direction; none of them could be seen as a positive one. This is at the heart of the strategy of ISIS, which with my apology for a lack of better phrasing is actually brilliant. They have area control to move large amounts of goods and the US is not clear on what to do and where to do it. If they openly start an opposition war, whether from Iraq or not, they will derail whatever achievements the US state department had made with Iran, this will open up more options for Syrian escalation and the one almost ‘stable’ part there (Jordan), will now be in direct threat as well as its Royal family. Unless King Abdullah II of Jordan finds an acceptable alliance and added support, it runs the risk of destabilising really fast. Now we have ourselves a true Clambake as ISIS ends up with resources at the bulk of the Israeli borders. There is then a direct threat to Eilat (via Jordan) as well as the option to enter the Sinai with from there a path to Hamas. Israel could find themselves in a direct war on two fronts whilst having only limited options to reflect the invader ISIS without direct consent of Jordan, which ties the hands of Israel, with likely direct threats to the cities of Eilat, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva, which puts Israel in clear and present danger of having to instigate a massive offensive. This changes the Sinai into a powder keg and whilst there is no outspoken hostility against ISIS by Egypt, even if it was, Egypt will not allow an increased presence of Israel in the Sinai, making this “no man’s land” a good haven for ISIS, would they proceed in this direction.

ISIS is there for a massive danger for overall stability. That part is called to order even stronger when we consider the headline of the Financial Times ‘Diverse funding and strong accounting give Isis unparalleled wealth‘, by Sam Jones, Defence and Security Editor yesterday afternoon. This gives way to several issues. Not only are they a threat, they are a well-funded threat, which means that they could support Hamas with materials allowing for even more attacks on Israel, giving us an easy escalating situation. I reckon my initial advice for Israel to take back the Sinai in 2012 would have been the best course of action. Not in any anti-Egyptian way, but considering the pressures President Sisi is dealing with at present, having to deal with ISIS in his back yard might have been the one part he preferred not to deal with.

It would also have limited several explorations by ISIS, yet that did not happen, which means that unless a direct solution for Iraq can be found, we will see escalations all over the Middle East. If ISIS does get a hold of Iraq, the US will be forced into a financial and military corner, requiring a solution in a multinational way and very likely in several nations. Will that ever be an acceptable option?

In my mind, the most direct meed would not be Iraq, but Jordan. It is dealing with millions of refugee’s and a dwindling amount of resources. You should by now realise that until Iraqi’s pick up arms (instead of fleeing), that theatre could be lost. If we accept the roman principle of war (the installation of defences against enemy retaliation), then adding strength to the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as a massive increase of Humanitarian aid will be a first priority. It makes Israel less of a target and it limits the movement of ISIS in regards to Syria and Iraq. Yet in the end, until an offensive is launched, ISIS cannot be dealt with and that is something that needs to be done, the question remains: ‘how to do it?’

 

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More than just Syria

The news has started to illustrate the issue I expected. I stated in my blog on September 20th “What we know about AQ is that they are about them and their needs“. That part is now coming to fruition. As ISIL they are now the third party in a civil war between two parties. My initial personal view is for President Assad and his opposition to come to an agreement and unite in a hunt for the members of ISIL/AQ, paving the way to some form of a seize fire.

Not doing so, will escalate this civil war in a plain hunt for lives who did not agree with the sharia convictions of ISIL/AQ. As Sky News now broadcasts how the victims of Syrian events are smuggled into Israeli Military Hospital where these victims are receiving lifesaving first aid and operations. A Samaritan act that will never be voiced by the victims they saved in fear of deadly reprisals. (At: http://news.sky.com/story/1147748/wounded-syrians-left-bleeding-with-the-enemy).

Isn’t it interesting that these so called Muslim ‘warriors’ are there just to ‘support’ one very specific version of Muslim faith. More important, the acts give weight to actually start open military intervention. In response to the article by the BBC (at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23925037), which stand point I do support. We are now faced with their tactical blunder which we should exploit. This does however require the support of President Assad. My initial assessment is gaining weight, which was more on the side of the Russian stance that Assad was not the one firing the chemical weapons. As I had stated in my earlier blog, it would make sense that an AQ attack to draw America and Israel into this conflict was the fuse to a powder keg. As the initial attack did not happen, ISIL is now actively attacking ‘their’ enemies. When we consider the September 19th report by Reuters (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013_/09/19/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE98I0C120130919)

This ‘game’ had been about de-stabilisation from the very start. As stated by me “AQ only cares for AQ” and as such, any diplomatic option towards AQ should be classified as null and void.

Yet this will take orchestration of some size, yet as AQ made the mistake of getting too close to the Turkish border, the issues could change if any attack on Turkey commences. At that point the NATO members have no option but to come to the aid of Turkey, also, the Turkish President Abdullah Gul would gain massive support and popularity should it get forced into a direct conflict with AQ forces, now trying to overrun Syrian areas. These events also change the game in other ways. AQ has zero support from Russia (in light of their Chechnyan ‘friends’) and at this point the turning table exists for Iran. If they decide not to get involved, which would be fair enough, the end result remains the same; AQ would have to go it alone, with their former temporary friends as well as the Government forces of President Assad at their throats. The bottle neck comes as NATO/Turkey slam down the box in the final side. AQ will cause massive amounts of damage. That is unlikely to be prevented. This is also where I do not completely support the Guardian article by Sarah Margon (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/20/sarin-gas-syria-icc). The quote “Opposition forces have also committed serious abuses, increasingly resorting to executions and indiscriminate shelling of government-held areas.” might not be incorrect, but it might be incomplete. If AQ is part of the opposition, then we must see whether this was an actual act by what is called the ‘moderate’ opposition forces, or are these events the work of AQ and AQ minded opposition forces. So Syria is now clearly less clear cut. It is a civil war with three parties, each with their own agenda.

As such the question grows, why should we get involved? No matter how the Syrian civil war goes. If AQ is not dealt with, they will flame out wreaking havoc on both Jordan and Israel. In addition, AQ is pushing forward with pressures against Egyptian forces as well as attacks on Israel. Reuters reported yesterday the Sinai attack (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/28/us-egypt-sinai-idUSBRE98R09220130928). It will take massive amounts of discipline for Israel to keep their cool for now. Should the IDF face these attacks on the north side, as well as attacks on the Sinai Eilat side, then we, successful or not, will have to face the consequences. There are also financial repercussions. In a BBC newscast, from last November “This still means that as of Saturday night Israel had spent roughly $29m on interceptor missiles in three days.” The IDF has an Iron Dome presence, yet how much financial pressure is it under at present?

There is a linked view, which comes from the Heritage foundation, an American Think-tank. The article was by Baker Spring and Michaela Dodge. Baker is a Research Fellow in National Security Policy and Michaela is a Research Assistant for Missile Defense and Foreign Policy, so they do know their missiles. Their quote “Each Iron Dome Tamir interceptor costs more than $100,000 to produce. This is many times the cost of a Grad, Qassam, Katyusha-style rockets. But there is more to assessing the cost effectiveness of a defensive system such as Iron Dome than a simple calculation of the cost of an additional defensive interceptor compared to the cost of an additional offensive rockets.” is on target. Their assessment makes the issues not as clear cut, but what is clear is no matter which approach AQ is taking, Israel will feel tremendous pressures as these events drag on and they are not the only one.

Jordan is facing massive pressures through the Syrian refugees. The Guardian reported some of this (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jul/25/syrian-refugee-crisis-in-numbers-updated). This article is focussed on the numbers. It does mention the fact that Syria is short on roughly $2B to get anything done. What is less shown is that Jordan was never known for an abundance of resources, especially water. With an additional 3 million mouths to fill those resources will dwindle down to nil quite quickly. Consider that it will need an additional 2 million gallons of water a day, an amount that will run Jordan dry really fast. You can see how Jordan’s goose gets dry cooked. If these numbers mean little, then consider that with a water scarcity in place, their population due to refugees has grown by 50%, all because of the Syrian civil war. A possible solution would be if we could find some solution in Aqaba. It is not a quick solution, yet the option of running a pipeline from the Sinai through Eilat to Aqaba, giving all parties relief might be an option. As that part of the Sinai is in MFO buffer zone C, and if both Egypt and Israel would agree on it, then there would be an accessible place that is in ‘neutral’ space for now, allowing relief to both Israel and Jordan as they are trying to deal with water shortages for the Syrian refugees. This option might also allow for some agricultural solutions, which would deal with the long term issues that will pop up. The AQ would have to be hunted out of the Sinai, but in that regard both Israel and Egypt agree.

Why there? If that region is to have any future, then anything we start now; any action that allows for a growth of tourism in that region, like a second Sharm-El-Sheik, but next to (or close to) Eilat, could in time be the financial infuse that could grow that region to some level of prosperity. Europe and America are now in a low curve, but it will not stay that way. In addition, as tourism grows business. This option has all the makings for finding a long term peaceful solution. It could become an option which will always be a better one than non-stop flooding the region with money and goods.

In my mind (oversimplified, I admit), I see this as a solution. The Dutch are massive experts in Greenhouses. Consider that these are build close to a water plant in the Sinai, Around Eilat, Israel and close to Aqaba, Jordan. So if we can get the water there, in some form, but likely via tankers, there could be an actual push for peaceful reform. We need to get food there in several ways. Finding a way to grow some of it will down the track be the cheapest and it would start real change.

Even though this Powder keg known as the Middle East has been lit and AQ is the fuse, would it not be the master of all Ironies if Al-Qaeda becomes the glue that actually sets in place some lasting form of peace? As, whoever is running Al Qaeda, faces a possible future where a peaceful Middle Eastern alliance develops with Israel as an accepted partner by all and it was thanks to AQ. Would the howling laughter of people not drive him (or her) insane?

Graveyards and politicians both love irony in equal measure, let’s make it so!

 

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