Tag Archives: Gaza

A change in reporting

An event has taken place, the event is out there, yet the day it is reported gives rise to a much larger problem and it is time to make sure that it is highlighted. In this case it is a story from Oliver Holmes (Jerusalem) and Hazem Balousha (Gaza) and the article was printed in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/13/gaza-death-toll-rises-israel-confronts-islamic-jihad-militant-rocket-fire) last night. The article relies on ‘Gaza death toll rises to 21 as Israel confronts militant rocket fire‘ (a truth with ‘confronts‘ being the only operative word), as well as ‘Islamic Jihad fire 250 rockets at Israel from strip in heaviest fighting for months‘ (truth) which follows “Two days of Israeli airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants have killed 24 people in Gaza, in some of the heaviest fighting for months that resulted in widespread bombardment and more than 350 rockets launched from the strip into Israel” (a truth), so why is this an issue?

For now I will refrain of what is written after this, the essential issue is that the reader is only warned that the Israeli actions are a direct result from 250 rockets fired at Israel. (a half-truth). To see the overall picture we need to take a look at CBS news that gives us: “The military said more than 250 rockets have been fired at Israeli communities since the violence erupted following an Israeli airstrike that killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander accused of being the mastermind of recent attacks” (at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-gaza-strikes-islamic-jihad-rocket-launches-palestinian-death-toll-over-20-today-2019-11-13/)

So basically:

  1. Israeli uses aircraft’s to kill Islamic Jihad commander.
  2. Well over 250 rockets are fired at Israel.
  3. Israel responds to well over 250 rockets fired at them (according to one source over 350 at present).

Israel has the rights to do what it believes is fair, it has the right to respond to missile fire and the Guardian should not print the way it should. Even as the quotes are in light of the events completely true, even as Gaza hides behind “The dead included a 7-year old boy and two other minors, according the Palestinian ministry of health. More than 70 others were wounded, including 30 children and 13 women.” In the article, the clarity of the story is not merely who was hit and where the collateral damage is, but the fact that CBS gives us ‘Israel hammers Iran-linked militants in Gaza Strip “without mercy” – at least 21 dead‘ in the headline, as well as “Israel has stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region the appointment of new, hardline defense minister Naftali Bennett. After the deadly targeted strike on Tuesday, an Israeli military official said the country had had “no choice” but to kill the Islamic Jihad commander” we see a much larger picture. It is even larger when we accept the words given to us by the Times of Israel. here we see: ‘Iran agreed on Gaza front in case of northern war‘, so when I was of the mind that something needed to be done about Iran in ‘When you get played‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/11/08/when-you-get-played/) we see two parts, the first is Iran and their need to start wars whenever and wherever they can and the second one is that all this was known in Intelligence services, this is not new, so WHY did the EU do nothing?

That so called lighthouse of freedoms is ‘hiding’ its inaction regarding Iran, why? Well, my view is that it only seems to be in a good place, but the debts of the EU have turned the EU into a corporatocracy and in such a state of government only losses are visible in any war, large corporations will not allow for wars to deal blows to their bottom line, as such for historic reasons the EU should turn their running language to German (a WW2 pun).

In addition to all this, the Times of Israel also gives us “Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri said that Hamas and Iran stand on “the same path” in fighting Israel, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported at the time” giving us a stage where the issues in Gaza will escalate, not diminish. In addition to all this, there is a larger issues down the road, If Iran gets Hezbollah to also do its attacks, Israel might be backed into a corner to attack both fronts and after that make a direct attack on Iran, Iran will only have itself to blame at that point and whomever gives support to Iran at that point forward will find themselves the focal point of Israeli Intelligence operations.

My issue with all this is why these two reporters in the Guardian missed all that? Some of the reports came before their piece was written and some of the open source intelligence was already leaning this way, the fact that my article from a week ago gave sight to the actions against Israel give rise to these questions. It becomes a much larger issue when we consider the quote in the Times of Israel quoting Haaretz “The Haaretz daily quoted a senior security official as saying the intelligence establishment estimates Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group will try to force Israel to move forces and air defense systems to the south at the expense of troops fighting in the north“, OK, I will agree that Haaretz might not be the least biased source, but the information contained in its publication (much earlier) gives rise to officials seeing the movement of Islamic Jihad and Hamas, as such why is all that missing? Because it was not about the rockets, or the bombings? I think that they are all related and the article is what I would call a clear setting towards rise (and additional rise) of anti-Israel feelings, consider the quotes you saw and can check with the larger extent of the Guardian article relying on one word ‘confronts‘ do you still think there is nothing wrong? Especially in light of all the other media we see a larger need to find the truth and this is probably the first time (as far as I can tell) that the Guardian masked an issue to this degree.

And we wonder why Israel is considering the validity of national sources of intelligence? Hah!


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Terrorism is OK

How is that for a title? Is it nice, cool, rad or merely scary? One would think that people wake up at some point, especially when we see the condoning of terrorism because of the ‘signs’. It is in that light that we need to see the New Yorker and what it brought to the people (at https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-ceasefire-in-gaza-a-turning-point-for-hamas-and-netanyahu). Here we see the writing of Bernard Avishai, a man who teaches political economy at Dartmouth, Dartmouth being a private university in Hanover, New Hampshire. It does not matter where he is teaching, from my personal point of view; the man has been in a stage of historic denial. You see, over the ages Hamas has only ever agreed to a cease fire when the ammunition was lot and they would only keep it until the stocks were back up. In this stage we need to consider what the impact is. You see, the issue is not that missiles were fired on Israel; it is the fact that 400 were fired. The storage for this would have been pretty enormous. This also implies that for the most, the rocket fire is done with the ‘blessing’ from the Palestinians to a much larger extent than we ever considered before. The even more hilarious view is given by the Washington Post with: “Why did Israel carry out this military operation at a time when many were heralding novel progress in diplomatic steps toward alleviating tensions between Israel and Hamas?” My response would be: ‘Didn’t you guys lose a temporary reporter recently? How much of a stink did you kick up over that one? So when 400+ missiles get fired at civilian targets in Israel, we see clear cause and even the consideration that the response was disproportionate (too light), in this that for every 10 missiles one building van get flattened, Israel can still lower the maximum altitude towards zero for at last 35 buildings at present‘.

From my point of view is that we need to hunt the money. These were not some 400 garage band projects, they were ‘commercial’ products (and not cheap) and there should be a trace on where they are from. 400 missiles, even over 10 months is just too much of an amount. There will be a trace and that stuff needed storage, even if it is after the fact, we need to look at the options at what could be backtracked. There is also debate over ‘Israel risks igniting a war that no one can win‘. I agree that there is a partial truth in all this, yet the risk is already ignited as the premise of premeditation that it takes to launch a 400+ missile attack, yet the Washington Post is not really that interested in giving us that light, merely keeping the darkness alive in hindering the light to shine on the truth of attacks against Israel. We can argue that Boaz Atzili has a point or two and he does have them, yet the lack of illumination on the actions of Hamas is also leaving me with a question mark in all this. In addition, the news (very generic) giving us Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi downplaying the rockets is also an issue, let’s be clear that it is a valid political play, but the stage with 400+ missiles is a changed stage and the denial over that is a little too weird for me. You see as a national security expert he knows better, the storage, the preparation to get this done was decently impressive. The timeline before this will be equally important. No matter how many rat tunnels are drowned. There is a direct need to look into the trace these missiles back as this will happen again and again and the next time it could optionally hit the wrong place (what Hamas calls the bullseye) and at that point the fence comes of and we do get a full scale war. We could consider that the pressure is removed as Gaza becomes part of Israel, yet another option would be preferred by pretty much every party (including Israel). It is there where we see the agreeing light to the statements by Dr. Mordechai Kedar. He gave us (more than once): “What would the UK have done to anyone who launched 400 rockets at its civilians? How about just one rocket? What would France do to anyone who dared launch one single rocket at its territory? What would any US president do to Mexico if it dared launch one mortar shell at America?” The bulk of the world has had enough of the mind games that Hamas and Hezbollah plays (as well as Iran and to some degree Turkey too) and the people are getting angry, they want it resolved it in any way that takes Hamas and Hezbollah out of the equation permanently. If anything that feeling is mostly fuelled by the images from Yemen, a situation that Hezbollah was a much larger part of than the news is letting on and the people are realising that too, hence the increased anger and frustration from the civilians in nations all over the globe.

Then we get one accusation that is a much larger issue. When we see: “Qatari money is being transferred at Iran’s behest. Iran’s rulers, under severe economic sanctions at present, do not want peace and tranquillity between Israel and Gaza. On the contrary, they want the smoke rising from a war between Israel and Gaza to divert media attention from Iran and the “deal” which granted the Ayatollahs 150 billion dollars in cash with which to destroy the Middle East. Qatar, a long-time supporter of the terror espoused by organizations whose ideology originated in the Muslim Brotherhood, backs Hamas publicly. It has, for the most part, built the infrastructure, including the military one, for a Hamas state in Gaza.” It is an issue as the evidence is required. It will not only end any nuclear deal, there would be enough public outrage that any politicians who was connected into diminishing this part in the equation, that person will be an outcast, the people will demand that person to be removed from office for life and the media is actually aiding some of these connected politicians. Certain people in the EU will see another light if we can ever clearly show evidence of their ‘assistance’ in feigned opposition to Hezbollah and Hamas, as it comes with a large consequence. One that needs to be put in legislation, yet the calls for an adjustment that a political voice is set to zero if any terrorist assistance could be clearly proven. To get there it is more and more important to trace the missile attacks not merely before the attack, but collect the evidence after the attack so that a much better case could be made against those supporting Hamas and Hezbollah through military hardware. I make it sound easy, but it is not, the water is deeply dark and there will be no clarity, not for a long time. Yet identifying the players in all this is becoming increasingly important., and there is a call to expose those who seemingly hide behind a humanitarian political cloak, and let’s face it the people have a right to know, do they not?

Yet the issue remains clouded and it will do so for some time. So as we see innuendo, gossip and covered information take the central road in all this, we need to consider the impact that inactions have. Even as we see US actions with: “The U.S. Department of State announced on Tuesday rewards of up to $5 million each for information or identification leading to the capture of the following terrorist figures: Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri, and Hezbollah leaders Khalil Yusif Mahmoud Harb and Haytham ‘Ali Tabataba’i” we need to wonder if it has any impact at all. A Dark web ‘source’ made mention that one of them (Hezbollah) is supposed to be at a place called ‘مسجد الإمام الهادي يحيى بن الحسين’ either within the next 72 hours, of was there in the last 36 hours (the text was ambiguous and the translation by Google did not make any sense at all). Parts of the other text translated to a mosque supposedly in Sadat, which is in Egypt and that made even less sense to me. So relying on Google translate does not seem the best idea in any of this (as well as the fact that I cannot decipher the native Arabian alphabet), yet the exercise was important. Knowing the elements you cannot fathom in the first place is a first step in finding the limitations of a thought process. Data is the foundation of creating the timelines we need down the track and the lack of effort that are seemingly in place is impressive.

Even when we accept: “Qatar played a bad role in supporting the Houthis, especially after having already fought them as a former member state of the Arab Coalition, is self-destructive behavior, “ Al Adini said while explaining that Qatari leadership fully understands that Iran’s agenda in Yemen threatens both Arab and Gulf security“, we are seemingly missing a larger element in all this. You see, Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi forces, Qatar and Iran are all elements in all this. They are all elements in a progressing destabilisation and money is the central key here. The issue has been going on for a year when we were first treated to “Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain have imposed a near-total embargo on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations of Doha supporting radical groups and seeking closer ties with Tehran“, I always have doubts, but the given links are becoming overwhelming. It is not merely ‘where there is smoke, there is fire‘, it has evolved into: ‘There is so much smoke in this room, I can no longer see the walls‘, ignoring this and ignoring the games that Iran is playing in all this is becoming a very dangerous stance to maintain.

I did do some (highly speculative and debatable) research in this and there is more and more alleged links towards bitcoin exchange on the dark web. This leaves me with the worry that there are even more Qatari links active as there would be an easy method for Saudi’s to use their banks as they do not reveal anything to anyone ever, so whoever is using this path is requiring an almost total level of isolation. I am not stating that Saudi Arabia is innocent, but the implied facts give more and more rise that other players are using the dark web to launder money and make payments as well as supportive accounts. This is a stage that cannot be proven as any link will never go towards any source that has any value, yet I searched as 400+ missiles represent value and deployment of such resources will cost a fair bit too. So I looked into whatever dark web search I could. Now, there is no way to get anything remotely reliable and my method was as plain as it was useless. I merely looked at the haystack hoping I would see anything metallic (optionally the needle we all seek). That is as good as it gets and even as I got more and more details on optional events, finding the wheat from the chaff is unlikely to happen. I reckon me winning the lottery has better odds. Yet the idea that this path has been taken makes more and more sense so even as we cannot find the relative data, finding the relative data becomes increasingly important because there is every chance that places like Iran would use it to fund events for Hezbollah optionally all over Europe and finding the money is a top priority. Just on the side of all this, the fact that I (as a mere exercise) would have been able to get a Glock 17 & silencer for $1149 (and an additional $49 for two extra clips with a box of 50 rounds delivered to a drop place in the UK, and you still think the entire Novichok issue in Salisbury was as clear cut as everyone thinks? If I was able to find this, then the GRU would have known about it, that entire situation never did make any sense.

There were links that offered something more exotic, but I was unable to get there (reason unknown), so in all this there is a reason to check the links and there was even more reason to pursue or is that peruse the information? I believe that the dark web is the Chinese wall that both Iran and Qatar are allegedly using (extremely speculated by me at this point) to keep insulated from any accusations and therefor that data will become increasingly important. There was more, a Dutch Freelance (detective or Journalist) found an extremist with: “an .onion link in their bio. I thought, Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a jihadist group using an onion link. So I opened it, and I was blown away. I sent the link around to a few different friends with similar interests, and they were also blown away. We wanted to think it was a scam, but there were just too many factors ruling against it being a scam“, I personally believe that the issue is larger and even as some can be stumbled upon, there is a growing trend to use .onion links like burner phones. To be merely there for a short time (a speculated 96 hours) and then abandoned. Yet in those 96 hours, traffic of goods and finances could have been completed. It would be the operations equivalent of an entire lone wolf operation with no chance to find it in time. That too gives rise to the need to start tracking with a long term need after the fact. Even as prevention should remain the initial need, the data could down the track be enough for conviction and that too is important. Yet, for the most I cannot prove any of this. There is a lot of implied and even more speculation linked in all this (as I stated earlier) yet the connections are too realistic and probable to ignore. If people like Ben Strick are correct and there is an actual setting of: ‘jihadi crowdsourcing‘ then the impact of escalations in Europe will only escalate with all the issues that follow, which is an additional reason to stat mapping all this. So unless we want to start living with the slogan: ‘Terrorism is OK‘ we need to start to think about creating solutions that can deal with inverted data funnels with an optional stage that an inverted funnel leads to 3-4 other inverted funnels. This is not an easy path and there is no real direct answer, because it is not merely which inverted funnel it goes into, it could be that the third tier is a funnel where the path is not where it leads to but where it went when the data bounced, that too is a destination and that path that skill will become increasingly important. To illustrate this is a lot harder, but I will try though market research. Consider an interview; it is a mere one on one event. Now we assume that the interviewee was the jihadi crowdsourcer’s data point. So we begin with a few simple narrow, closed-ended questions. From there on we move to broader, open-ended questions. This gives an optional pattern and we move from both specific and general questions. When we have asked enough questions (collected enough data), we enter a stage with Diamond questions, which is a combination of Funnel and Inverted Funnel questions.

Consider the image, we see inverted funnels (yes, go with it), so as we go from A, will B be the exclusion, or did it enter the funnel? If it entered, C is out of the question, so if F, yet E remains a player. This is near impossible and it is not in one transaction, it is over hundreds of connected transactions that certain players will be excluded, even more events are needed to find a group, yet there will be a pattern over time and that is what is needed. Yet if C is not an inverted funnel, but a funnel, or it as an inverted funnel and the traffic went through C, we now see that F remains an option and B, D and E were excluded. It will be a data collection over a much larger time frame that will prove this and time is what is needed. Most Jihadists will not care to live, yet the people behind it will always prefer to outlive events and it is the only way to get to them. You see, when we look at history, we all know Ghandi, many, especially Hindu will know that he was murdered by Nathuram Vinayak Godse. Yet the movie (by Sir Richard Attenborough) implies someone behind the screen and those are the people we need to find. It starts by proving that there was a person behind the screen. In case of Hezbollah that is actually decently simple as the amount of Yemeni missiles required is impossible Hezbollah to afford (or produce) in any way shape or form and it is easy to state that it was Iran, but we need the individuals to connect to it all and that takes time. ‘Follow the money’ is the most realistic path to take in this case. It is more realistic as Mossad has been unable to find actual missile traffic for the longest of times, and even if they did, it would be for one shipment. That too is still important as it links goods and money, so that path must not ever be abandoned, yet conviction without the money path proof is pretty much impossible and the time is now as we see more and more events leading to Europe and to a larger stage, so this path is becoming essential. If we translate the events to marketing (or market research) the same paths can be used. Whether we go via vendor, via drop point or via the path of the funds and buyer, we have the elements of awareness of what to get where, interest to get what is needed, choice of goods and purchase to go through and unless every stage was another person (not enough people) there is still a path. The unaware cannot purchase, the unaware cannot choose, the interested part is aware, a choice was made, it does not matter whether online or offline, it is not virtual, so there was traffic in some form. Even if the first two stages are negated a specific person has made the choice of goods to purchase, so now we have inverted or not a much smaller funnel to work with. In the end at the bottom we have the point of purchase (or point of sale) and there is a connection there. Something was bought/sold and funds are linked to that, so that part is optionally set in cement, the rest is not, yet the deployment path is still ‘riddled’ with actual people as well making the picture more complete. Now we need to find their optional connections to the dark web, if it is web and not dark it becomes increasingly easy, yet this is not a path where we bank on too much good news and there is in the end the question if convictions will be possible. Even if the path is an inverted funnel (showing what some call a Customer Experience Funnel view), we can see that the jihadists unite in certain views and if they were the advocates in this, it stands to reason that they try to engage to increase their footprint (and attempted funding). Finding that point will give optional identification of channels with an optional overlap to people linked to the buyer and/or shipper. It is a slow path, yet as time progresses an essential one. It achieves two parts, the first the optionally linked people, yet it also shows that those not linked to anything can optionally be excluded freeing up resources to refocus in this path, because this path drains resources and whatever resources there are available will be stretched. It is precisely the view we need to have as more data means more efficiency. One could argue that it could make it an optional track to find links to servers that have remained invisible for the longest of times, because if two people are found, there is the optional chance that they have gone to a .onion link that we have never noticed before and that would be a first true victory, yet in a short term span, if temporary is the name of the game, it becomes a near impossible task, should we therefore not do it? Are we ready to admit defeat by stating: ‘Terrorism is OK‘, or will we get the notion to get clever about it and limit the dangers we are exposed to. For this we can actually quote Tom Cruise (the Firm): ‘If you want the criminals, go after their lawyers‘, in the case of Hamas and Hezbollah, we need to go after their accountants and contributors, and optionally their military goods distributor as well.

If you truly want to decrease pressures in the Middle East, this will be the only path that really works. If you are delusional enough to consider peace talks, consider how many there have been since 1982 and how often it worked (as well as the cost involved). It is a discouraging picture that makes depression look like a healthy positive look on life.

Oh, and should you consider Europe to be completely innocent in all this, consider that Bloomberg gave us: ‘U.S. Warns Europe against Iran Payments after Austria Bows Out‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-15/u-s-warns-europe-against-iran-payments-after-austria-bows-out). The quote: “Austrian officials rebuffed entreaties from France, Germany and the U.K. to host the so-called special purpose vehicle, a system that the European Union sought to handle payments to Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions” has absolutely no bearing on terrorism or fuelling terrorism. Yet it does show a desperate need to keep a level of facilitation to keep some Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in play, a situation that has not been realistic for several months now. The issue optionally becomes a much larger vessel. Even as we see: “EU nations have identified Austria as the best candidate to host a special purpose vehicle that could handle payments to Iran, according to three people familiar with the negotiations. Austria itself is not so keen. Belgium, Luxembourg and France have also been identified as potential venues but Belgium and Luxembourg have declined while France is looking to Austria“, we see a nation not interested and an EU ready to take a desperate step, in all this, when we see the earlier quote ‘France, Germany and the UK‘. Why isn’t France, Germany or the UK doing this? It is that setting that shows a political game of facilitation on too large a field. From my limited knowledge, I feel that the EU is all about non-accountability yet the impact will be felt in Europe. Unless direct evidence can be produced by all EU signatory nations that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action could prove to be an actual solution. And in this I mean that politicians have to put their name under it and live with the consequences of being cast out of politics (for life) when it backfires, at that point we will end up seeing that no one would have been willing to put their name under any of this and you still think that Iran is merely sitting on the sidelines?

We need to figure this out before the Middle East destabilises close to completely and we are running out of time, if we have to choose, I personally see no other option but to openly side with Saudi Arabia in all of this, they might not be perfect, but with Iran as an alternative, we are basically ending up not having any options for any stable future at all. That part of the equation was given to us by the SMH merely a few hours ago (at https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/us-eyes-ways-to-remove-erdogan-foe-to-appease-turkey-nbc-20181116-p50gew.html). when we see that the US allegedly accused through: “The Trump administration is exploring possible ways to remove US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a foe of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, NBC News reported on Thursday“, Turkey an open ally of Iran, as they are openly strengthening trade relations, giving even more pressure to the European union in all this, when the US ends up handing over the ‘enemies’ of President Erdogan to Turkey, so that they can be lost forever, at what point was Iran even a choice?

How much longer must we wait until we make hard and essential choices in setting a path that actually stops terrorist actions, because 400+ missiles can be considered as actual evidence that there is clearly a lack of actions on that front by way too many political players and governments as a whole.


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Humble Pie

Merely a few hours ago, Bloomberg gave us ‘Iran Is Ready to Discuss Yemen Conflict with European Nations‘ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-28/iran-says-ready-to-discuss-yemen-conflict-with-european-nations). You might think that this is a good thing, but it is not. Iran is caught in a two side war, just like I predicted in the previous 3 weeks. Just like that, they are willing to talk. They have suddenly realised that time was up and now they are grasping at any side that will be willing to facilitate for them at a price. It is linked to a few escalations on more than one side. Even as we read here: “Iran will be holding a new round of talks with Europe on the Yemen conflict, negotiations that have taken on greater significance as the sides try to salvage a nuclear agreement“, the start gives the goods, Iran wants to protect the nuclear agreement at all cost. Their high farting like sounds of political boasting is coming to an end, there was never any option and now they must concede on several sides. Even as one side is taken from them, they are willing to concede on the Yemen side as it was never going to be a realistic option and as Hezbollah has failed again and again in their pursuit of successful strikes on Saudi Arabia, none happened and now they need to find the one war they might actually have a chance of winning, it is the Nuclear agreement and even that will backfire soon enough. So when we read: ““Iran, like the EU, is unlikely to want to mix fate of the nuclear deal with that of talks on other issues,” said Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “At the same time, it is important for them to keep a channel of communication open with the EU, whatever happens on the nuclear deal, and the best dossier to do so is Yemen for them.”“, I tend not to be in agreement. You might think that it is all the same, but it is not. It is not about ‘whatever happens on the nuclear deal‘, it is about making sure that this agreement is salvaged, Iran overplayed its hand and now that there will be hell to pay, they need to find a way out, if only they can find the right greed and ego driven Europeans to make a quick deal, at that point the media can reflect on some victory, whilst there is no actual victory. You see, there is a second side that is part of this. Iran has figured out that the only interests that Russia has in Syria are Russian ones and in that picture there is no space for Iran, Israel has made that abundantly clear and as such Iran stands alone and with the hits that Israel has been making in Syria on Iranian troops and the strike last Thursday as well as the silence (or better stated lack of loud boasting) by the Syrian governments indicates that the absence of Iran is well liked, even though they are not willing to state it out loud. Syria wants to get the most out of the Russians and Iranians as it can get, which is perfectly fine, yet Iran is too much of an issue for Israel, after years of boasting and threatening, Israel decided to act; the political field was ripe for that. With both America and Saudi Arabia opposing Iran and Russia not really caring about Iran, Iran is in an unwinnable situation, the Iranian coffers drained by enabling Hezbollah as well as the actions in Syria have drained a large chunk of their reserves, Iran need to cut its losses and it is doing so with the gesture we see in the Bloomberg article, one of many to follow I reckon. That truth becomes a lot harsher when we see: “Chagai Tzuriel, director general of the Israeli ministry of intelligence, said he believed that Moscow realised that fighting between Iran and Israel could undermine gains made by Russia during the Syrian civil war“, we know that there is no hiding for Iran, they played the game as far as they could, now that option after option falls away, they are determined to hold on to the Nuclear agreement. This also opens the second stage for Israel; they can now more effectively take care of Hezbollah, now that there is an open season on Iran, Hezbollah can (hopefully permanently) be dealt with. In that regard there is no lack of either Israel or Saudi Arabia to hunt them down and without Iran that might well happen. For Russia it is not over, you see, the Jerusalem Post gives us “Lavrov’s comments are part of an understanding reached between Israel and Russia to keep Iranian and Hezbollah forces away from Syria’s border with Israel on the Golan Heights“, that sounds nice in theory, yet over the years Hezbollah has shown never to keep any agreement (when they were not out of ammunition), so there is a setting where it is very realistic that Hezbollah will do whatever it wants and puts Russia in a pickle, as such both sides agreeing to get rid of Hezbollah makes perfect sense as such Iran is really not willing to stay there as a piggy in the middle. In addition Russia stands to make a lot of plus points in the Saudi Arabia side of things, not just by pushing Iran away from where they are, but to push Hezbollah away from Syrian and Jordanian borders which gets them nice points at the Jordanian royal court as well. In all this there is actually not one part of Hezbollah that has any redeeming value at all, and the worst part is that Hezbollah knows this too (yet they do not care).

There is one additional side that Iran needs to worry about. As Saudi Arabia has given to Germany to be the aggrieved party in Germany’s support in favour of the nuclear deal for Iran is already costing Germany a lot, the German giants who were tenders on several projects for the Saudi government are seeing them being cut from consideration, with Neom and Vision 2030, both projects totaling in value at well over 800 billion, the German economy will take larger hits, other EU nations might find themselves in a setting where they have to choose to go for a really bad nuclear deal, whilst there is no evidence that it will result in a better position and good economic settings in the longer run (more then 3-5 years) whilst Saudi Arabia is growing a setting that is getting closer to a trillion dollars over 12 years, there is no way that Iran can rely on any level of serious support, not after all the stunts they played. Their actions made it impossible and their boasting made it close to intolerable. In addition with Iran cut in every way, Turkey will now need to realise that they played the game wrong in other ways as well. Even as some might cry over the Russians not getting the F-35 due to getting culled from the program, Russia sees a second option to not just sell Turkey missiles, they could optionally sell them the SU-57 as well, which will get Turkey a new loan agreement for a few billions and let’s face it America needs to test the F-35 anyway, whether they test their F-35 against a Sukhoi, does it matter whether a Russian or a Turk is flying it? (Howls of deriving laughter in the background)

You see, they are doing this whilst their currency is at an all-time low, some might think that it is a great time to buy, yet with their economy in shambles and there should be no chance of them ascending into the EU in the next few years, the setting of spending billions on a new Sukhoi squadron (perhaps even two) seems to be folly to me. Even as there is some good news (read: numbers) coming from Turkey, its unemployment rate is still a little over 10.5% and seems to be rising over the next quarter, surpassing Italy in unemployment statistics. It is there where we see another issue. This matters as there has been a link between Iran and Turkey, so as the pressure on several sides is on Turkey, the economic pressures might force Turkey to make any deal they can, even if they have to break connections to Iran, which would for the most isolate Iran at that point, an option that both Israel and Saudi Arabia would enjoy. Israel especially as Turkey was threatening Israel with all kinds of sanctions (source: Haaretz).

So as Turkey is imposing sanctions on those deciding to recognise the Armenian Holocaust, we see the active economic impact that Turkey faces by being in denial, not the worst day in many lives.

In this there is a reflection that must be noticed, In Al Arabiya, there was an article (at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/05/25/Bitterness-confusion-among-Saudi-Arabia-s-foes.html), an opinion piece that matters. You see, the writer Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi (Twitter: @abdullahbjad) gives us “Enemies are upset and confused and the world is recalibrating its power equations so that each knows its place and capabilities. Also, so that each country can reflect on its policies and alliances through the power of politics, diplomacy, boycott and sanctions, as well as with the power of armies and weapons“, he is correct, President Donald Trump might have kicked it off with “America First“, it is a truth we have been forced to face for well over 5 years. It does not matter whether you are in the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Australia, Canada or New Zealand. As citizens and politicians we have a duty to protect our national interests and set that as a first essential need. When we look from that angle we get to reflect on how bad Iran is, we cannot fault Turkey for taking its national interests first, yet they did it by not honouring the allies they had for decades and that sets the sliding acceptance (towards rejection) of Turkey in all this when you consider the events from 2001 onwards.

In this his view: “Big European companies are fleeing Iran at a fast pace and everyone who has dealt with Iran, whether banks or companies, are looking for a safe way out of any ties they have with Iran, its parties, militias and ideology. Everyone now accepts the facts about Iran’s crimes such as its sponsoring of terrorism, drug dealing and money laundering in the region and the world” is not incorrect, yet the issue is that this sets the stage on greed influencing the national interest in the stage of big business versus government, a setting that Europe, the US and the Commonwealth have had for the longest time. In addition there is now a small opposition from my side. I agree with part of his statement “They have done so through the Palestinian cause which they have, from Iran, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, managed to exploit to serve their interests and fulfil their ambitions“, there is a side I cannot completely agree with (actually there is more than one side here). Not because I think he is wrong, but because there is data missing, data I never had access to, or was given by a reputable media source to the degree that there is enough shown to see it as an actual issue.

This is seen in the parties Iran and Qatar. Now, we accept the puppet game that Iran has played, we do not deny that in any way, but in the end Iran was merely playing the hand it had to show Iranian interest. We can agree that it was done badly, yet they did do this for mere national interest (or so they say). In the second part there is Qatar. I agree that there are questions, yet overall, I have not seen the evidence, the allegations going back to 2014 have been loud, yet the media and others have not given a clear path of evidence that gives light to the wrongful opposition by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, we can agree that there are some terrorist financiers, that was never in question, yet Qatar seems to have tried all legal ways and did not get anywhere, in addition the US state document (at https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258249.pdf) does not give the goods either, we are confronted with “Qatar is a partner in the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and has provided significant support in facilitating critical U.S. military operations in the region. Terrorist activity historically has been low in Qatar“, this does not make Qatar innocent; it merely shows that without better and more data, they remain ‘not guilty‘, which is not the same. The document is 3 years old, yet there is no new information that truly sets Qatar in a bad light (for now). In addition we see that Qatar State Security is aggressive when it comes to monitoring internal extremist or terrorism-related activities. Interestingly enough, the players from ‘team’ Qatar State Security seem to have a much better handle on internal extremism and terrorism-related activities than most European countries, so there is that to consider as well. The second issue I had with the statement by Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is the reference to ‘the Palestinian cause‘, which is not wrong to make, yet for many of us, especially those outside of Saudi Arabia, Palestine or the Middle East, we no longer know what ‘the Palestinian cause‘ actually is. You see in its origin it is directly linked to the 1948 Palestinian exodus, yet the entire Palestinian cause seemed to have been presented, projected and covered by the media in almost any setting that covered news in Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip. The entire definition has shown to have shifted over the decades and I still believe that it is shifting, even today. In addition the fact that western media over the years seemed to have made ‘the Palestinian cause‘ and ‘hatred of Jews and the State of Israel‘ close to interchangeable does not help matters either.

All these issues matter as they are connected. that connection is also part of the problem and reason why I am partially in opposition, now, I am fully aware that my opposition is wrong, or better stated incorrect, yet I am like most sensible people, I rely on data, and data is either reliable or not and I tend to regard shifted data as not that reliable, which is why I had the cause for opposition.

So as we see that Iran is facing humble pie on several fronts, we need to realise that our views and more important the views we get from information we accept as reliable is also filtering the view we have, it might be correct, or wrong. In the end we do not know and restoring our filters by attending our national interests first is not the worst place to start, as a citizen we need to do that, because when we look to our nation, our national needs and attend to that, we ground ourselves and perhaps as the economic settings have shifted, so will the national need and that is OK, as long as we do not tend towards corporate greed and consider the needs of our neighbours, we might get through the bad times in a much better way than we thought. In the end it is not about serving Iran Humble Pie, which would be the right thing to do, we need to consider when we are rightfully served Humble Pie, will we eat it when we realise that we were wrong?

That includes us all and it includes me, I have never shied away from optionally being wrong. I merely reacted to the verifiable data that I was served and I made the best of it and tried to remain true to the data based views offered and I reflected on those insights, it is the best we can do in this modern world.


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Pussies, Cowards or Other? (updated)

On the 23rd of December a resolution passed against Israel. It is Resolution 2334, which is attached at the end of the story. 14 votes for, one abstained (USA), we need to ask question on why the 14 nations voted in favour. China, France, Russia, UK, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. The paper is of course legally speaking an excellent piece of work. Yet let’s take a look at several parts: “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice“, in that same stride ‘Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War‘, in answer to Palestine, in support and active assistance of terrorist forces, namely Hamas, who has fired well over 8000 rockets into Israel in the last decade alone, with a clear indication that they were send towards civilian targets, as such these hits require compensation in the form of land and as such a case could be found in support of settlement building.

In addition, there have been issues with article 19 of the Palestinian charter for the longest of times. The fact that the latest news regarding of the ethnic cleansing of Jews on the west bank, this was September 9th 2016 (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-world-silent-as-palestinians-seek-ethnic-cleansing-of-jews-in-west-bank/). In all this other media remained silent. There were strong rebukes from the US State Department. So, should we accept that the comments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is incorrect? The literal quote that SBS Australia gave was “US State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, has described Mr Netanyahu’s language as “inappropriate and unhelpful”, saying settlement activity continues to hamper the peace process“, ‘inappropriate and unhelpful‘ is not stating that it was incorrect, so here the question becomes was it correct? The Washington Post analysed the video (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/09/watch-netanyahu-says-palestinians-want-to-ethnically-cleanse-jews-from-west-bank/), we see the quote ‘The Israeli media mostly ignored the Netanyahu video‘, yet the news made it to Haaretz and the Times of Israel, in addition, there is no evidence given that it was not happening, which is interesting to say the least, in opposition in the same WP article we see: “the Palestinians today cannot “ethnically cleanse” any Jews. The Israeli settlements are all in the 60 percent of the West Bank called Area C, which is under the complete control of the Israeli army“, which carries its own brand of validity.

So, as the world news seems to genuinely ignore events on the West Bank, as the call of Hamas in its charter gives “On the Destruction of Israel: ‘Israel will exist and  will  continue  to  exist  until  Islam  will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’” Hamas, a clear terrorist organisation, as seen supported by Palestinian officials, give rise to the dangers that Israel has faced and opposed since 1987. It still is not recognising the state of Israel, which the then Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal stated as “the Charter is ‘a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons’“, which we see as part of the problem, an unadjusted charter is either irrelevant, or illegal. In that same light we see Prof. Robert Pastor from Columbia University state “Pastor surmised that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements use it as an excuse to ignore Hamas“. Something he said in 2010, a statement that is proven to be false when we consider the well over 6000 missiles fired by Hamas on Israel since his speech.

If we want to be fair and balanced, we need to look at both sides, and in that case we must admit that wrongdoings from both sides have been done. Yet, that does not excuse either side. If the state of Israel had been accepted this situation would not have existed, in addition, after the Jewish population had been near decimated during Adolf Hitler’s European Tour, the Jewish population had a primary duty to protect itself from extinction, no one can deny that need. We can accept Reuters when we read “Hamas has observed a de facto ceasefire with Israel since 2014, when 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed in a war over the territory. But small jihadist cells in the Gaza Strip occasionally fire rockets across the border“, that innocuous statement ignores a basic part. Someone supplies these cells with rockets and I feel personally certain that these cells are still proclaiming to be ‘real Palestinian Hamas members‘. In that light, the support that the UK is giving this resolution is becoming a bit of an issue. Did it not learn from its earlier mistakes? In addition, as the UK now sees British soldiers being charged in regards to the death of an IRA leader in 1972, whilst the members of the IRA cannot be prosecuted due to earlier agreements. I reckon the UK has its share of issues, giving rise to the support of an Egyptian bill in regard to areas Egypt pretty much abandoned half a century ago. I admit that the last statement is rather dramatic in flavour, yet not incorrect.

So let’s get back to the resolution. When we see “Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines“. How is ‘viability‘ an acceptable word as we have seen acts of terrorism in name and in implied concession of the Palestine ruling administration for decades, with thousands of rockets fired towards civilian targets. That verse gets even more visibility when we see “Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001“, where the same defense can be given that resolution 1515 is no longer in play as the rockets kept flying for well over a decade. It is a personal view, yet the fact that the lands could be seen as possibly to be annexed by the state of Israel is not that far-fetched. It is unlikely to happen, yet the fact that the Palestine leadership has never truly acted against the terrorist organisation Hamas is more than questionable regarding the validity of any Palestine solution.

In regards to France we can speculate that they agreed as they have their own share of issues, the idea that Hamas turns its attention to France must be unsettling to both DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) and ANSSI (Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information), it is one headache the French at present do not need, although, I reckon they could have merely abstained their vote.

The resolution takes a swing when we see “Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution” and “Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism“, this gives way that the taste of war is changing. It gives way that the Palestinian leaders are in serious trouble. Not only do they have to deal with the danger of Islamic State, as ISIS has been reported a week ago to be ‘choking Hamas’ we now see the resolution in a different light. As ISIS is implied to be soon unopposed in Gaza and Sinai, Egypt is about to get a situation a lot less appealing. Especially if the thousands of Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers see an option to find a common goal with ISIS. This last part is my speculation, even as they have opposed each other, their common hatred of Israel is one part they both ‘agree’ on. As the Palestine elders of Gaza panic, trying to find any solution as their funds run dry (apparently the lack of rockets this year was mainly due to sponsors placing their funds somewhere else) and the reality that the middle east economy is in the biggest dip of their existence, not in the least due to the pressures that the Syrian war has placed on all the neighbouring countries is a clear sign that there are issues all over the place.

I think that this resolution is one of desperation, when the economy gets its second earthquake in the form of an economic crash (expected Q2-Q3 2017), places like Palestine will see the deterioration of all support as those who were willing to fund will see a desperate need for funds at the home front, this includes the Muslim Middle Eastern Nations. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE and Egypt will be in a long time crunch, not only today, yet as the Euro destabilises due to the Euro issues and exit referendums, both America and Japan will see their economies under severe pressures. The statement by President elect Donald Trump (read: ‘so, I’ll bankrupt America’) didn’t help either. With the economic pressures we see that Japan is also eager to get something moving here. Out of the 14 nations, we could only argue that New Zealand has the cleanest reasons (neither anti-Israel nor selfish reasons), that is unless they got a call from London to vote in a certain way.

In all this Israel is not in a good place and one could argue that Israel is starting to get anger management issues (considering the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is contemplating. Or as the Times of Israel article stated “still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts“, (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-goes-to-war-with-the-world/). With political pressures rising, not in the least due to cancelled visits, we see the summoning of Israeli ambassadors. Currently only the Ukrainian one, but that is unlikely to remain the only one. In a time when the Ukraine needs positive visibility, the cancelled meeting to Israel might be seen as a body blow to the Ukrainian administration. Yet, in all, this will be regarded as a failure on the side of Prime Minister Netanyahu, an act from emotion which now prevents a show of information that could have seen other resolutions, especially against Palestine regarding the actions of Hamas, that opportunity will now no longer be an option. Again, it is just speculation from my side, yet the emotional reactions by Benjamin Netanyahu could bring delays to whatever data Mossad is trying to collect. Svoboda has its anti-Semitic elements, which could fuel growing of extremisms. Ukraine is too far from Israel to be a direct threat, yet the chaos in Turkey implies that any journey via Cyprus makes these extremists a larger threat than previous considered. However, this is not about that.

The resolution shows that the document as one sided as it is opening really dangerous doorways in whatever future we would like to see, in addition, ignoring certain elements from the past by the 14 vote casters will have longer consequences. We all accept that the Middle Eastern issue is not easily answered, there might not be an answer at all. Yet the reality is that Resolution 2334 should not have been given the light of day, especially when we consider the acts of Hamas and their decades of acts of terror. The fact that the Palestinian councils have never truly acted against Hamas making this resolution an issue. All peace options offered in the past were disrupted by more attacks, in the past Hamas has only ever offered a seize fire when they ran out of rockets and ammunition. Now that they realise that this is not a dry spell, their support is waning in a faltering economy, now we see their need to get the best deal possible starting with Resolution 2334. Which is as I personally see it, the worst action possible.

If this continues, it will be a signal for extremists all over the place that their method works, which under this economy isn’t the worst strategic assumption to make.

No matter how this wind blows over, the fact that Palestine is now in a state to get whatever it can get, also shows that the breech of confidence with Hamas is a lot more brittle than many are assuming, whether this means that ISIS is in charge cannot be made without more data, what has been confirmed are the execution of Hamas officials as well as the drained budget of Hamas shows that the dynamics have changed to such an extent that Egypt is now moving to get whatever solution possible in place, because it is seeing the impact that the ISIS attacks have had over the last two months alone. It cannot be denied that Resolution 2334 is a method to stop the changing dynamic and see if this change can alter the path of ISIS, again, this is a speculation from my side. Without more data there is no viable credibility to these acts. Yet the issues are clearly connected, the voiced acts by ISIS shows increased pressure on both Egypt and the West-Bank, to see them as unrelated whilst they are pretty much next to one another is equally nuts. with ISIS proclaiming a mere 5 days ago that it is closing in on Israel’s borders give way that the pressures in this region are about to rise a fair amount (Source: Jerusalem Online). Abu Hajar also called for new recruits to join the ISIS branch in Sinai, this whilst he states that the Israeli air force is ineffective. The latter is not a given, but the fact of small cells constantly in motion will delay Israeli actions a fair bit. The fact that Abu Hajar is addressing Hamas members is a larger issue, not just for Hamas. From my point of view, the issue is not Israeli Intelligence, it is the timeline of processing. In the hour that intelligence is disseminated, the mobile units could have gone 30-50 miles, making a valid target much harder if not impossible to set. It is in this active environment that Resolution had been voted on, the fact that 14 voted in favour implies that it was a one sided political view, not set on the premise of any solution, it is not a crucible, it is merely a loom holding a one-sided weave, in the days to come some of the voters in that resolution will be scrutinised and several not in a good way.



So, as we now get to the ‘Other’ part, we get to a different part then I had originally imagined. You see, after this blog went live, a development was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/obama-and-allies-seek-to-isolate-netanyahu-before-trump-takes-office). Not only is this current US Democratic party a collection of losers, they have gone to such desperate acts in the 11th hour to prevent the media to state that they have become the worst administration in American history. They have decided that 5 days before the end of the administration, they will push through a 2 state ‘solution’. The subtitle gives us ‘John Kerry to propose principles for two-state solution in Middle East at conference next month in wake of UN resolution’, so even as such principles take months and months to design, requiring legal expertise to mull over such papers, we now see their act of ‘abstain’ was nothing less than the cowardly act of a traitor selling Israel down the drain by literally setting an agenda with a terrorist organisation (Hamas) and letting Egypt blow the clarion, making them an American vassal, which should go over really well with both the ISIS elements next to Egypt as well as the Muslim brotherhood. This level of orchestration is the most dangerous and as I see it, the most stupid of all. So, if, I say again IF other buildings start falling down like the song ‘London bridge…..’ implies, the American Democratic Party will only have themselves to blame and they will be utterly alone should that happen. To push a two state principle down the throats of a global community so that some individual can state ‘we brought peace to the middle east’ like it is a cheap infomercial just before they get kicked out of their office. This is really bad and the fact that other papers are not full of the political analyses of the dangers that the American Democratic Party created, after they got their nation bankrupt is just beyond words. The initial quote I saw yesterday and initially ignored was from the Israeli Prime Minister: “Netanyahu claims there is ‘ironclad evidence’ Obama administration plotted to promote the UN resolution”. The info seen was the Egypt came with it (no way that America was not involved), yet the statement seemed a little too ‘conspiracy theory’ to me. Now it seems that the reality of it all is actually a lot worse.

Now consider the following: “The UN resolution and Kerry’s speech represent an attempt by the outgoing Obama administration and the rest of the UN security council to box in and isolate the Israeli government before Trump, a fervent supporter of the Israeli right, enters the White House”. If so, there is now a possible case that Barack Obama President of the United States and John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State could find themselves prosecuted for Malfeasance in office. This is seen when we take a look at the case Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) where we see the following quote: “Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do;
as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law;
as an act which a person ought not to do;
as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful;
as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful;
and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do”. So now the part that matter, how come that this is in play, how could they be regarded as prosecutable before the law? Well, that is seen when we consider that any deal of this magnitude will take months, sometimes years to properly set. The fact that a departing administration does this in their final week, means that they are taking away the freedom of action by the legitimate elected office. They are already being replaced by another party and as implied, the fact that they know that their path would not be followed, forcing their path on others could be seen as both Malfeasance as well as Misfeasance in nature. It can be seen as intentional harm from an act improperly performed, that part is pretty adamant when we see that this is forced down the throats of several people in the last 5 days of office, an act that will very likely have years of consequences as such an intentional act to prevent the next in line from properly conducting the state of the American union. I will not go as far as to see this as an act of treason by public officials, yet I feel certain that many, especially the republican side will call this act a lot harsher than I just did.

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In the lull of news

As people brace themselves for the outcome of another Greek deadline, the US army will find itself cut by 40,000 troops and there seems to be ongoing talks between Iran and interested parties. The last one is the one that feels like it is largely ignored. There is nothing sexy on nuclear talks and unless you are Israel, most people do not care. Yet, is that the clear truth?

This is what the BBC gives us (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33424502), “The so-called P5+1 – the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany – want Iran to scale back its sensitive nuclear activities to ensure that it cannot build a nuclear weapon“, which sounds of course really nice on paper (and in theory). Yet, when we look at the quote “The sticking points are said to include the duration of limits on Iranian nuclear research and development, guidelines for international inspections and how sanctions will be lifted. Tehran is also demanding that the UN ban on the import and export of conventional arms and ballistic missiles be lifted as part of any deal

We have to wonder for how long this ‘agreement’ will last and why we see ‘export of conventional arms and ballistic missiles‘, why is that? Perhaps certain Middle Eastern parties have been waiting on a Misagh-2 delivery? It might just be another model, so as we might understand that Iran would want to open options for import, the reasons for export are a little fuzzier as well as who would buy them? Russia? They have excellent missiles themselves and they supply them to nations all over the world too. So the question becomes, why allow for export? Especially when a captured stockpile of IS showed “26 of the recovered shells were made in Iran, an ally of Assad’s, and 18 were made in Syria itself, the report states” (at http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/06/where-does-the-islamic-state-get-its-weapons/). So certain parties are already getting arms somehow under an embargo, when the floodgate opens, the balance of power will shift in the Middle East, especially as certain parties are getting funded somehow (reference to Hamas). So even as we might not like, but could not openly object to Iran improving its defences (from Russian Stockpiles) there should remain a strong vigilant approach to not letting them export weapons of any kind.

In the Jerusalem Post we see the headline ‘Iranian official: US will remain our enemy despite emerging nuclear deal’, which is fair enough, and the quote “”Our enmity with them is over the principles and is rooted because we are after the truth and nations’ freedom, but they seek exploiting nations and putting them in chains” he explained further” is fair enough, we can’t all be friends, yet the problem is that its military commander stated ““This is the duty of the Muslim world to obey the order of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Khamenei) and arm the Palestinian people so that a powerful response will be given to the Zionist regime,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Army Ground Force” not too long ago (august 2014), which beckons the dangers of letting Iran export weapons. Consider that a mere lieutenant or a master sergeant can lose certain items in his depot at times, so how much can get ‘lost’ in a depot when a General is calling the shots?

Is that so far-fetched?

This is at the core if the issue, the heart of the matter is quite a different thing here.

You see, the core is about the enrichment. LiveScience had an interesting quote “Separating that type of uranium from the more common variety requires a great deal of engineering skill, despite the fact that the technology needed to do it is decades old. The challenge lies not in figuring out how to separate uranium, but in constructing and running the equipment needed for the task“, so if we accept “The key to their separation is that atoms of uranium-235 weigh slightly less than atoms of uranium-238” so if the approach of a centrifuge gives us “Each centrifuge pulls out a little bit of uranium-238, and then passes the slightly refined gas mixture onto the next tube, and so on, until many hundreds of thousands of spins later, the gas remaining in the tube is almost entirely composed of uranium-235” a clear explanation by Jeff Binder, the isotope production program manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Yet is that the only way? Stanford University has a course called Physics 241, where we see Uranium Enrichment by Misam Jaffer, who also gives us “Laser separation: The use of laser separation for uranium enrichment is based on the principle of differential photoexicitation of isotopes of uranium by the use of monochromatic radiation. One such process is the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) in which the laser light used photo ionizes a particular isotope while not affecting the others and changes its physical or chemical properties which are then utilized to separate the desired isotope, which in uranium enrichment is U-235. In doing so, the U-235 ions are positively charged and hence are attracted to a negatively charged plate and collected“, we will get all kinds of ‘experts’ telling us how this is not as efficient, or other words added into telling us on how this is not good enough. Yet, with Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan in charge in Iran, ‘good enough’ is not the issue, the issue becomes, is it good enough to make a dirty bomb?

That is the fear Israel has been dealing with, because when missiles start flying from around Rafah, they will not need a hit, it just needs to get close enough to Beer Shiva, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv to make the issue evolve into something truly terrifying for the middle east, because at that point the US has absolutely no chance of getting a hold of the situation. the fact that some of the negotiating players have no clue (or do not care) regarding that danger is seen in the quote “Foreign ministers of the other powers started to return to Vienna on Sunday to help push for a swift deal“, please give me one example where a nuclear ‘swift deal‘ was ever a good idea, and in light of the glow in the dark consequences, should the word ‘swift’ be allowed to be used?

You see, the end quote “US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that reaching an agreement is possible this week if Iran makes the ‘hard choices’ necessary, but if not, the United States stands ready to walk away from the negotiations” sounds nice, yet the reality is, is that the US has not had any clear defining diplomatic victories for a long time, in that light, the word ‘swift’ is not that reassuring and I feel 99.53324% certain (roughly) that it leaves Israel with not such a good feeling either, especially that any lifting of the embargo means that their Iron Domes might have to work overtime soon thereafter.

The last part is not just an assumption, with many newsreels on missile attacks on Israel in 2015 alone.

So how did we get from Iran to Israel? Simple, Iran is an open supporter of Hamas. In addition, the top leaders of the Iranian military are eager to carve their names in history in anti-Israel acts and Hamas is eager to oblige. The fact that ISIS is all over Gaza and the Sinai only makes matters worse. So as some might strip away parts of any embargo on Iran, they should also keep a keen eye on what they give away, because it seems that the issue is not just ‘what could aid Iran’, but these people are also contemplating (on a daily basis) ‘what could hurt the US and its ally Israel’, there is not too much on that side of the equation, which makes any ‘swift deal’ a worry for several players (read victims) involved.


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Fur ball?

OK, I thought I was done for the year, you know, the last article when I threw a little lob ball in a less serious approach to reporting events. However, that part threw me a little fur ball, almost like coughing up the Cheshire cat.

It all started with the Jerusalem Post today, at least that is when I noticed the message. The title states: ‘Israel expects world community to oppose Palestinian efforts at UN, Netanyahu says‘ (at http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-expects-world-community-to-oppose-Palestinian-efforts-at-UN-Netanyahu-says-386058), true, there are issues with the entire UN debacle to some extent; my emphasis is regarding the use of ‘some’. You see, as much as I oppose the entire anti-Semitic approach towards Israel. Having a strong anti-Palestinian view seems equally wrong; however, Palestine has created this issue whilst condoning whatever Hamas did to the largest extent, which is completely unacceptable either, none of those actions make sense. The quote “Israel will oppose conditions that will endanger our future” is very much central into this. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very correct in that statement. Hamas has always and remains ‘dedicated’ to wiping out Israel, which beckon the thought why the EEC courts would rule against giving Hamas the ‘terrorist’ label. We could argue and speculate on how this is even acceptable. Did this grow out of fear on the Islamic state presence in both Gaza and Sinai? The fact that they are growing in Libya and even in other parts of North Africa is a nightmare scenario coming true (at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/27/islamic-state-opening-front-in-north-africa/). There have been unconfirmed reports of Islamic State in Algeria, but if so, if they could start getting any level of hold in Morocco, then they are just a footstep away from Spain. That should scare the EEC plenty, they have no funds left to manage any event, and giving up Israel means that they get a little time to ‘clean up’ their border issues. This would be a step that is delusional in many ways. You see, Israel remains essential to balance in the Middle East. The Economic Judges took little notice of that part of the equation; just on the formality of what a terrorist is, (apparently blowing up Sbarro filled with civilians is not a terrorist act). By the way, did anyone notice how there dos not seem to be any paper explaining the formality in that legality? Just the fact that is was ‘a formality’.

The second quote is the one that seems to be a little debatable: “Netanyahu said that Israel and western civilization were under attack from Iran and Islamic radicals, and that this attack also included Palestinian efforts to impose a solution that would endanger Israel’s security and place its future in danger“, one part should be (as I see it): “under attack from extreme supporters within the Iranian government and Islamic radicals“, which would be more correct. I do not believe all Iranian (at present) are like that, yet open support from Iran towards Hamas has been seen, these military elements seem to get some political protection, which proves my point (to some extent), yet I am not certain (or there is at least a decent level of doubt) that it does not blanket all political Iran as I see it. The fact that President Obama announced the possibility of an American Embassy in Tehran is not a bad thing, but these developments should be closely watched, because there is an issue. It is not the fact that this meeting was with Indiana Governor Mike Pence. The act that he is a Republican and that this meeting was absent of Democratic heavy weights might be fuel for speculation were the current Democratic administration stands. Especially as the White house was unwilling to confirm or deny it stance towards Israel. This has all the makings of a political issue that should be a moral one. Israel remains under siege from rockets on a nearly daily basis, it seems that people forget how the US reacted when there was some demolition going on in New York close to the corner of West Street and Liberty street. Let us not forget that this was ONE event. Israel has remained under attack for decades. Israel now has two generations under attack from rocket fire. These events cannot be compared, but perhaps the Americans can remember their anger on September 12th, which is the feeling Israel has had for a long time. It wants to survive plain and simple. It’s neighbour will continue to attack Israel, whilst Israel wants to survive, yet, in fairness, I must look towards the other side too. I believe there can be a Palestine WITHOUT Hamas. That is an option, but Hamas does not want it, it wants to lead and to do that, it must remove Israel. It is not a puzzle, it is a simple equation, one denies the existence of the other solution, so I must side with Israel and as such, as long as there is Hamas, there can be no Palestine. A situation now worsened with the existence of Islamic state in that area.

There is another view that I must bring forth. I am not sure if I can agree with it as there are a few parts that touch on items I never looked at (it is not a small document at http://www.academia.edu/5145129/Gunning_-_The_Conflict_and_the_Question_of_Engaging_with_Hamas_in_EUISS_CP124_European_Involvement_in_the_Arab-Israeli_Conflict), but it has views that are not invalid. As such, I call to attention to the following part “They could, for example, spell out the rewards that would be forthcoming for a new unity government that would share responsibility for delivering basic services and the rule of law in both the West Bank and Gaza“, this is found on page 41. I am not stating that this is happening, but when we consider the events, it is not that far a stretch to see that this might be part of a path that the EEC is currently treading. If so, they will soon see the other side of a terrorist organisation. It remains nice and talkative as long as steps in their direction are made; when that stops when THEY need to show progress there will be delays, miss-communication and other events. Then those big business judges will see innuendo towards ‘give us the rest or else‘, then what? When THEIR ego is in play, what will they decide then? Let us not forget that they are gambling with the existence of the state of Israel. When they are told, there are 10 solutions to this and ‘no’ is not an option, whilst they contemplate what the other 8 options are, when they suddenly realise it was a binary question with a ‘no’ and a ‘yes’, the other 8 solutions never existed in the first place, then what? They might not have pulled the trigger, but they are skating towards the end of Israel for the simple comfort of mind that never existed. You see, terrorists are extremists, they only cater to the view of ‘self’, with no regard of any other view. Israel is trying to survive, plain and simple, a war that continued from 1945 onwards.

Yet, there was also a spark of visibility (in other areas), that gave me pause to consider other dimensions. Not in regarding to what goes boom, but in another direction. In the same way that we look at the EEC decision of Hamas, there is a Jewish issue that the Jerusalem post shows, which gives us another part of this cloak. It is seen at http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Rabbi-Meir-Mazuz-responds-to-Rabbi-Cohens-attack-on-Yishai-385989. As we see a needed separation of politics and Law, we see an equal need to separate state from church (as many have always seen it in the US and other places). The quotes were “Rabbi Shalom Cohen, he should be well, is a great Torah scholar, a righteous man and a great intellectual, but he does not come down to the people and, therefore, he does not understand the common people”, “He has never held public office and served most of his career as a rabbi in yeshiva and a yeshiva dean, not as a halachic arbiter dealing with the questions of Jewish law that are brought to senior rabbis for a ruling” and “Mazuz seemingly referenced one of Cohen’s recent outbursts in which he said during a prayer service at the Western Wall for the welfare of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge that Israel did not need an army because “It is God almighty who fights for Israel.”“. Now I am not debating the issues as they are, I feel not qualified to do so, but there are issues as they have always been in almost any religion. I would not elect a Rabbi to political office, for the same reasons I would not vote for the election of a Catholic in that same category, each having a slight radical, absolute view. A woman’s ‘right to choose’ abortion would end pretty much immediately, also, there would be a diminished view for defence and an increase or humanitarian needs and diplomacy. Yet, Diplomacy without military power could be regarded as either pointless, or useless. Diplomacy requires a stick to fight with when ‘the’ word is ignored. It is counterproductive when we know that the stick remains ignored and the diplomatic view is ignored completely when we know that there is no stick in the first place. This is the damage that Julian Assange created, which too many ignored. The anti-American league had a field day when they saw WHERE the US had made commitments, knowing where the stick was, toppled many American diplomatic endeavour, whilst they remained in the dark where the other sticks were. That view is only emphasised when we see the Jewish elections. How can the people be served without their military need for defence? Is that not counter to the Torah? If we know that the IDF abides by what is seen as “The Torah establishes the boundaries of what is permitted and forbidden in war for both individual and for society“, which gives us how Hamas waged war, yet the ‘legalised’ view of the EEC disregarded that overall view and reacted to, what I regard to be an economic view of judgement, which gives us the escalating issues. The added incentive here is that no one has actually give any visibility on how the ruling was made, on what legal premise is was founded, is this not strange too?

So, as we consider on who makes rulings on how judiciary choices are made, we must consider that the players have their own agenda. Whether we should consider how the law is seen (by some) and when we see how economies ad terrorists make decisions, in a morally biased way how, is any of it regarded as legal? Is there a boundary between those who fell from a rocket and those who fell through economic ‘treason’? How does that reflect differently on the victim? There is a famous quote we see Lee Marvin make in the movie ‘The Big red one’ (one of my five all-time war movies). There he states “We don’t murder; we kill“, I am certain that it did not matter to the one whose live we end, only to our own morality to pull the trigger. A morality a terrorist or a stockbroker for that matter does not seem to have.

You see, the sniper kills (or murders) for the protection of others, the terrorist and stockbroker acts for the wealth (or survival) of self at the expense of (all) others, elements of the same sides of two different coins.

So as the fur ball coughs up a Cheshire Cat, we must worry for the future, we all seem to disregard certain values and adhere to choices of our own survival, even if that requires us to realign our morality, just the slightest. As Saruman the White becomes Saruman of many colours, we see the fading of white, the finding of what was actually right and we lose ourselves into a world where we remove the fences that were there to protect us all. What happens next? I do not know, or even pretend to know, but I do worry, because 2015 is likely to be a year of turmoil, a year where we had to focus on a better economy, a side that might be pushed aside for whatever escalation comes next.

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If it is your child?

This is the thought that is foremost on my mind as I was reading the article ‘EU court says Hamas should be removed from terror list’ (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/17/us-eu-hamas-courts-idUSKBN0JV0S020141217), when we read the quote “The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the European Union’s terrorist list, an EU court ruled on Wednesday“. I wonder if Israel would be willing to give housing to the children of these court officials, preferably in an area between Nir Oz and Ein Habsor, you see, these children would have an additional 32% chance of getting killed by Hamas rocket fire. I feel certain that the European court judges are truly dedicated to prove that during the coming year that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation and they should be willing to sacrifice their own children in the process, seems fair doesn’t it (especially as at present the second generation of children are now under daily threat of fire)?

If there is an unfortunate accident, we can send flowers stating that it was a mere industrial accident and we will be so sorry for their loss!

But that is not the reality, it seems that the thousands of missiles shot at Israeli citizens is just a simple show of… affection? So, when people try this in places like Strasbourg, will the 275,000 people consider it a sign of affection, or will they call it an act of terror? If we see the fallout in Martin Place, Sydney, where we watched a mere crazy person with a gun take hostages, where fatalities were found, the un-relentless reaction to innocent Muslims have not been in small numbers, how will the reaction be when we use the Hamas numbers? Some sources (unconfirmed) states that over 160 rockets were fired into Israel in August towards the Eshkol region (a decent reason to house the children of these judges there for a while), how would the people of Strasbourg or Sydney react at that point?

Israel has been faced with these attacks for years, the people in the EU court know that too, so how is it possible to use legislation to scrap Hamas from the terror list. Can we remove the Taliban or Al-Qaeda from that list too? I mean Al Qaeda only hurt two buildings and what are two buildings between two potential economic alliances? A building can be rebuilt, can’t it?

If this level of sarcasm upsets you (which it should), then consider how Israel feels as a terrorist organisation is removed from the terror list, For if Hamas does not need to be on that list, then neither should the Taliban (just ask the Pakistani parents who lost 132 children) and Al Qaeda (numerous family victims).

So, why was this step taken in the first place?

Is that not at the heart of the matter? These rulings happened in a time whilst Hamas is firing rockets into Israel. The question becomes now why this step was taking in the first place?

The reasoning is unclear, yet when we consider the text “The text was a compromise, representing divisions within the EU over how far to blame Israel for failing to agree peace terms“, it is questionable what the reasoning is. When we consider the cease fires in the past, they have always been broken by Hamas again and again.

When we consider the following text “Hamas says it is a legitimate resistance movement and contested the European Union’s decision in 2001 to include it on the terrorist list“, we must also consider the following:

  1. Hamas has intentionally been shooting hundreds of rockets aimed at a civilian population.
  2. Hamas has broken nearly every cease fire.
  3. Hamas has fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel in 2014 alone.

So, as Hamas is pleading for all kinds of aid, we must question how they are running out of materials for food and medication, whilst having enough money to buy explosives and materials for purchasing/building rockets. This has been going on for a long time, yet the European commission has stated now that Hamas is no longer a terrorist organisation. It gets to be a lot more fun (read hilarious), when we consider the following article from August 2014 ‘UN: Israel’s Refusal to Share Iron Dome with Hamas a War Crime‘ (at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/19462/un-israels-refusal-share-iron-dome-hamas-war-crime/#4wYsjW25C8K9ZtWq.97), so not only is Hamas not a terrorist group, we should ‘share’ top tier technology with them so that their enemies can find a way around it? How is this even a sane idea? Remember, this is a group of people, hiding in schools and other locations that they share with civilians and they are firing missiles from public locations. Her quote “Pillay said that Israel’s actions in Gaza do not “absolve” Israel from what she deems legal violations“. When exactly would we, in general supposed to share technologies with those who attack us. I clearly remember Germany not sharing Enigma and the allies not sharing their radar technologies, perhaps that was a crime too? In that statement we also see “As of 2012, Iron Dome has a 90 percent success rate“, which implies that up to 400 rockets would not have been stopped, which had an impact on civilian casualties, would that not be a terrorist action?

But back to the European court, because the actual issue is still not dealt with. You see, they are bickering on ‘terrorist’ and ‘resistance’. In my personal view, Hamas might have been a resistance movement if they had attacked military objects, but I have some questions regarding these ‘European decision makers’. Perhaps they had forgotten, or people had hastily overlooked the events of Thursday August 9th 2001. Someone from Hamas went into Sbarro with a nail bomb and blew itself with 15 others up, 130 got injured, in addition public transportation was targeted (busses) and they were bombed in similar ways. The list goes on and on for a long time. So how are they not a terrorist group?

Perhaps it is about this part “It said if an appeal was brought before the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice, the freeze of Hamas funds should continue until the legal process was complete“, yes, perhaps it is about the Hamas funds that are frozen, how much is that in total? It does go deep into the millions, yet how many millions does not seem to be openly registered anywhere (in any reliable way). In my view, this escalation can only go into one direction, Hamas will act out, sooner rather than later, if it brings enough Israeli casualties, it will shift a massive demand for the unjust extermination of Palestine’s on a near global base, whatever excuse used, the option “a legal ruling of the court based on procedural grounds”, will be cast aside by many nations, not just Israel. What follows could have been prevented; one must wonder how this came about in the first place.

It is my direct personal fear that these events are not about ‘procedures’ but on the need of ‘wooing’ whomever is speaking on behalf of Hamas and in regard to what they are offering to certain parties out of sight. This is all pure conjecture from my side, there are no hidden files and there is no one whispering secrets in my ears. With ISIS/ISIL in the mix within Gaza, the waters are about to become a lot more murky, in that regard is it not interesting that this procedural verdict had been passed too?

For the benefit of whom becomes the question? I wonder if we get the answer when it is too late.


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Double Jeopardy!

Let’s take this article in a different, artistic, free for all spin, where we (reader and writer) need to look at the facts and see what seems to be behind it. Now we all agree that when I say ‘what seems to be’ is of course open to some interpretation and it is JUST one view. For example, if we take Dr Who and his TARDIS, or as some know it the story of a mad man and a box, we are left with two thoughts ‘Is it bigger on the inside?’, or is it ‘Smaller on the outside?’, so: ‘Run you clever boy!’ (girls too) and get to the end of this steeple chase!

When we look at how the news was given yesterday as voiced by Sarah Butler and Sean Farrell (not related to Gerard Butler or Colin Farrell as far as I can tell), we see a strange change in pace. Now the issues we see here call in for some additional worries and considerations.

Business for £100!

In light of the write off of 250 million, we see that a loss of 3 billion due to stock pressure has been found, whilst rating agencies like Fitch are now calling for a lot more transparency“.

Why must Tesco Reinvent themselves?” (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/sep/26/tesco-must-change-culture-reinvent-brand)

Yes, that was indeed the correct question. Now, we see that actions are getting taken and overall, the top dog (aka Dave Lewis, not related to Inspector Lewis of the Oxfordshire police department) has been on top of this since the earliest moments. Yet when we consider the quote “On Friday shares in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco all fell in response to further evidence of difficulties in the market and bearish comments from one of the UK’s most influential fund managers“. I have, to a partial degree, an issue with Woodford. Yes, he made billions and yes, he has called it a few times, yet overall, this came out of the blue (or so it seems). The fact that Woodford had no money in this does not make it a case, what is the issue is the entire trip of reinventing, whilst this was all an implied accounting irregularity. So is this more, or was that an assumption by some of the players? If the four managers are gone and this is about a lot more and for a lot longer, then the question become why? I stated before, what if this was not about the event, but about the orchestration? Investigations need to be completed before we can say anything of value here, but the facts seem to bear out that this, not unlike libor was about a few people and no transparency or oversight. This calls for alterations and modifications. When we hear the quote Dave Lewis made “Turning our business around will require change in our culture, as well as in our processes and our brand proposition. We want to work in a business which is open, transparent, fair and honest. We all expect Tesco to act with integrity and transparency at all times“, then we see an implied event that points towards the fact that there was more and must be dealt with too. The question then becomes what do we not know yet?

So, now we go to International politics for £250. “The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is calling for the UNSC to set a clear deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank

Why has Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) entered into a joint government with Hamas?” (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/26/mahmoud-abbas-un-israeli-withdrawal-occupied-territories)

Yes, that is indeed the question, although the answer is less simple, Mahmoud Abbas keeps on ‘ignoring’ the simple fact that Israel reacted to missiles fired from the west bank into Israel. This is at the core why Israel has had enough, when you get a barrage which comes down to well over 3 missiles a day for an entire year, at some point people have had enough and they come calling with a rather large piece of Willow (aka Cricketbat). When we hear Mahmoud Abbas talk about “a just peace through a negotiated solution”, I recall that man in Liverpool who claimed to have invented a game that in certain respects is a bit like cricket. What he doesn’t know is that the England team has been playing it for years. Mahmoud Abbas is so bend on getting into as many organisations within the UN as fast as possible, also calls for questions that many are not asking. My issues with all that is that at present, Hamas (or Abbas) have broken every seize fire, only when they learned that no one was interested in their insincere crying, did Hamas realise that their extinction had become an international acceptable solution, proving the target is a terrorist organisation. Now we get the speeches, yet the underlying issue of missile acquisition and delivering them through tunnels has still not been dealt with. The additional side is what has had Israel ‘upset’ for some time now. Iran who claims to be peaceful and is so ‘deserving’ of nuclear power, shows the side we knew would come. Even though they talk about Nuclear power for energy only, the fear Israel had is shown with the quote “Two senior Iranian officials told an Arabic-language television channel on Monday that Tehran has supplied missile technology to Hamas for its fight against Israel“, So as other players up the ante for Israel, the consequences for Mahmoud Abbas seems clear as well, especially after the quote “There’s a reason that Abu Mazen entered into a joint government with Hamas“, which leads me to the question Why is Mahmoud Abbas allowed into the UN building, or into America at all. Was there now a clear consequence to be labelled a terrorist? This part gets another uncomfortable side (at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4392/isis-gaza), I cannot vouch for the supplier of the news, so that part MUST be considered to be an issue. Yet, the quote “Hamas prevented local journalists from covering the ISIS rally in the Gaza Strip last month as part of its effort to deny the existence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip. But Hamas seems to be trying to cover the sun with one finger” gives ample weight to both the desperate (could just be frantic) acts by Mahmoud Abbas to get into bed with the UN as much as possible. If ISIS is indeed already active in Gaza, then the ante for Israel is now a lot higher than many thought it was (I am still having a question mark with the validity of that intelligence). I did cover the risk to some extent in ‘Puppet on a string!‘ on July 30th 2014, yet my disagreement with Lt. General Michael Flynn was not on that, the fact that he seems to have been spot on in regards to something worse is indeed coming to fruition, yet the fact that Hamas is losing to ISIS on their home turf is also a worry (one I did not see coming that fast), because we now see that changing the balance in the Middle East (or Arab Spring as some call it) seems to have had several adverse effects, changing the gameplay in a game many did not understand to begin with.

If this is all correct, then ISIS is now confirmed in both Gaza and Sinai, which means that the next step to this scenario is Jordan, before Israel becomes a target. Here we see a possible disaster in the making, as ISIS could have access to recruitment and slaughter of up to 600,000 refugees. The question becomes, how many would they recruit and where will they then head to next?

If this is a case of Double Jeopardy, then who is getting set on trial twice? The refugees, Israel of Palestine? In this game, people can get trialled twice, almost like a bad episode of Big Brother. The danger here is that the eviction will lead to housing in the cemetery, which might look cheap but the living space truly sucks!

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A time to breath

I am just now taking a few minutes (roughly 32.4) break from my UNI assignment. I have way to go and I should be OK to get it all done in time. These are also the moments when a person, no matter how driven to get the assignment done, will start worrying about the proper tense of it all. I procrastinate, he procrastinates, she procrastinates, we all look at Facebook, the Guardian, YouTube and whatever other non-University virtual place we can think of.

I do it every two hours to keep my mind slightly more alert than usual. Assignments can be dull dreary and often nerve wrecking and if we do not take a little look out of the window, we go bonkers (for Americans: that means ‘loony tunes’).

The topic of news are the beheading of a US reporter by ISIS, air strikes batter Hamas and something about Sainsbury and credit card fraud. If you do not know that ISIS is a massive threat, then feel free to hide back under your rock, if you think that there can be peace between Hamas and Israel, then please say hi to Professor Minerva McGonagall from me when you get back to Hogwarts and enjoy the ‘reality’ of magic, muggles and feast over the death of he-who-should-not-be-named.

The Sainsbury issue is however a massively different slice of pie, and I will take a bite out of that one. It is yesterday’s pie, but it seems to have the good taste of ‘are you for real?‘ whilst having a glass of ‘someone better start waking up soon there‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/20/sainsburys-bank-security-fraud-transfer-credit-limit).

The first quote that I have an issue with is almost at the end of that article, where it states “Sainsbury’s, which has run its own banking operation since 2013, might now want to look at its security measures“. How about “Dear Sainsbury bank, in light of the information we currently have, we will feel a sense of utter joy to permanently shut you down in 48 hours if you do not wake the flip up and get your hat on straight! Kind regards the office of common sense and persecutors of dumb, dumber and the flatulently moronic

This is not 2001 or 2003, it is 2013 and the dangers of cybercrime, identity fraud and other mismanaged works by those who acquire that what others own, has been in operation since the late 90’s and the article, if correct has all the makings of a new season of ‘the Office‘.

The quote “At no time was I asked the further security questions that only I could answer“, which implies that the security of ones birthdate is as dangerous as it is futile. Many people seem to hand over that information to Facebook (that open message and personal detail place which was created in 2004). The fact that the automation and security process of commonwealth welfare is stellar-sized more advanced above the implied security of the Sainsbury bank should give credit to levels of Howling laughter from Edinburgh (random place to the north), which the people in London would hear.

So, that’s enough rant for a few minutes!

The issue remains how ‘a bank’ had not been vetted beyond the points of common cyber sense, as well as allow certain changes (like increasing credit limit) other than in person to the place where the credit was offered in the first place. I must stress out here, that I am going by the Guardian article, so if their information is incomplete, then so will be the info you read here. Yet, if we see some place called ‘the northern echo’ (at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8423732.Sainsbury___s_hit_by_credit_card_scam/), then we see more issues with Sainsbury and well before 2013, which means that there is at least one watchdog that seems to be asleep at the helm. A quote from the echo is “The court heard that the scam was costing Sainsbury’s £12,000 a week in the North- East alone“, which implies that it is costing them a bundle, so we should take a step back and wonder how asleep some of these people are.

There is however WestpacSlota larger issue that is not being addressed. We have seen that ATM’s have been the target of several options. In Australia, Westpac came with a novel idea that prevents someone adding a skimming slot in front of the card reader of an ATM that is quite ingenious (see pic),

but overall the ATM has not been too overly developed. There was a time when I saw that the AMEX cards had a hologram, but the newer systems which are all about waving in front of a scanner open up many other criminal endeavours of exploitation of your bank account. The fact that seems to be implied is that Sainsbury, even today, remains a decade behind is cause for massive concern. This all will give rise to the question on how long it will take, before insurance companies take enough offense and no longer pay banks for their shortcomings, then what?

Here is see instant fortune for the one innovator that can truly show us a new way on digital transactions that allow for a new (or upgraded) system that is about safety and security, not about speed of transaction. Consider that golden idea that will keep trillions of transactions safe. Even if you only get $0.01 per transaction, you would end up wealthier then Bill Gates in less than two years (greed tends to be a great motivator).

Is there anything we can do? Well, the Sainsbury issue is a little extreme, but overall banks are getting better at upgrading security, yet there are a few things you can do. First of all, limit the location of your card, so that you can only use it national. Yes, it looks so cool that you can use it all over Europe, but if you are stuck in Stratford-upon-Avon and you have yet to write your first book, then it is highly likely that you cannot afford distant travels, which means that your card only needs to work in the UK (or whatever country you live in). Second, cyber criminals tend to spy on your computer if they can. So, when you are not using your computer, shut it down. It seems so cool to have it ready at a moment’s notice, yet that thing actually uses a fair bit of electricity and when you are not using your computer at night, it could be used to see if you have passwords and account details somewhere. Not the thing you want to leave unattended. Today, people leaving their smartphone unattended (I mean no pin or password), which is even more reckless nowadays. Even having more ‘renowned’ apps are getting to be more and more questionable (reference to my ‘No Press, No Facebook!‘ blog of August 10th), how long until someone slips in an app, to piggy onto some banks wave and pay app (a way to pay using the mobile phone by waving it in front of a scanner)? These are technologies that are possible today (whilst Sainsbury is an implied decade behind).

So, we should all take a moment to breath (except Sainsbury who apparently need to update their security) and consider the financial links we now have and when we last checked them for correctness of transactions, more important, what other card options do you have where people can too easily take your cash for a ride? I am referring to possible fuel cards, book club cards and other cards where you do not get the invoice immediately, so you might get a nasty sting when you open ‘that’ letter next week wondering when you had that complementary 50 pound dinner as a new member. It is the unspoken danger of having too much info on open social media, some banks seem not to have been updated and likely other providers could well be lacking in security procedures too.

Did you take time to breath?


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Hiding behind the bully

Again it is the Guardian the illuminates an issue that seems to hit the UK (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/17/sainsburys-removes-kosher-food-anti-israel-protesters). The header ‘Sainsbury’s removes kosher food from shelves amid fears over protesters‘. Let’s take a look at the sanity of this. First, about Kosher foods, if we accept this explanation: “Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with Jewish Dietary Laws“, which makes the act of Sainsbury an act of discrimination. These same protesters were actually quite busy ignoring events as Hamas was sending thousands of rockets into Israel; in addition, they seemed not to care about the acts of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine against Israel. No one seems to be asking the question how missiles weighing well over a ton (FAJR-5), and also not the cheapest of ordinance makes it into Gaza. The option where we suddenly see, but no serious questions are asked on how Iranian hardware gets there, in an age when there is a block on all things Iranian. It seems that big business has more than just a small hand in keeping the imbalance going. Yet, ‘these bullies’, is that even correct?

You see, Sainsbury acted preventively. There were protesters and I do believe in free speech, so there is nothing against protesters, as long as they respect the choices of others. There will always be the bullies in these places, who by their acts will escalate an issue into something more. It still makes the act of Sainsbury a discriminatory one and as such, there could be legal ramifications for Sainsbury.

The quote “Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP, accused Sainsbury’s of racism” is not incorrect, yet the information is slightly off the boil. I should also add the quote from Sainsbury “A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said it was ‘an absolutely non-political organisation’ and said the food was returned to the shelves ‘as soon as was practically possible’“. This has a ring of truth, so basically, we can argue that the store manager in question had made a bad call, but that is something for Sainsbury to address.

So why are we looking into the issue of hiding behind the bully. There is a sound to it, that links to it, that corrupts the nature of acts, which is not a good thing either. We act according to our values, our insights and often by our direction. It makes the act of the branch manager of the store in Holborn questionable, but not necessarily wrong, evil or racist. We are confronted with dilemmas in the face of a crisis and we all at times make not the best choice, which is not saying that we made the wrong choice.

And as we look through the coloured glasses we see a pattern, coloured by the bullies. In this case the accusation by Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP and Facebook user Gavin Platman who had a much more down to earth pragmatic response. He voiced a view that “move blurred the line between a political statement and a hate crime” was that so? Perhaps the store owner feared the consequence of vandalism with possible added dangers to his customers. As stated, the act remained questionable, but there is enough evidence that this was not an act of Malice, but simple fear and worry, enough doubt to state it was absent of political issues and absent of hate.

I have my views in the matter of Gaza, some formed whilst I was there in 1982, some formed by the news and some by other information. It is also important to show another side. Even though I have spoken out against journalists often enough, there is a view you must know about. There is a headline “Journalist quits Australian newspaper after suspension over ‘offensive’ response to Gaza column complaints“, this is because of the article the journalist wrote (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/israels-rank-and-rotten-fruit-is-being-called-fascism-20140724-zwd2t.html).

I do not agree with some of his views, but they ARE HIS views and he is entitled to them, plain and simple. The quote “Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerrilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation’s Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict” is one of the quotes I do not agree to. His facts are straight, yet this system was designed in 2005 and it had been in service since 2011. Yet, before that already hundreds of mortars and missiles had been fired upon Israel. The issue I raised in ‘Puppet on a string‘ on June 30th and in a few blogs before that. Consider the amount of missiles fired, who is supporting Hamas, because this entire mess is escalating because some people behind the screen are funding all this, the article NEVER goes into that. My issue is that the writer seems to rely on a missile defence system that is 3 years old, whilst the Israeli people had been under attack for decades. It seems that to the lesser extent, hatred for the Jews has never stopped, not since WW2. What we see now is a nation that has been under attack and in fear of extinction for 4 decades. The writer does touch on some of the events and also is adamant in calling both sides guilty, which is fair enough. The other quote is do not completely agree with is “The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self-defence“, yes, from the directness of what happens now he is stating the truth, yet decades of missiles has made Israel angry and perhaps worried and in fear. More than 1300 missiles were fired upon Israel last year. Someone with a massive fat wallet is funding Hamas, yet the Iron Dome also requires funds every shell Hamas fires requires another $25.000. How long until the funds runs out for Israel? These sides are not shown or talked about. He ends in “That is why the killing and the dying goes on. Ad nauseam, ad infinitum. And the rest of the world, not caring, looks away“. That I can partially agree with. The issue is still, until funding runs out for one of them. A side no journalist seems to be looking at. It is a simple view in any analytical premise. So is there a bully here?

Yes, I speak out against certain journalism, or better stated lack thereof. Mr Carlton was ‘judged’ as we see the quote “An Australian newspaper columnist has resigned after being suspended for telling people abusing him over a column on Gaza to ‘f*** off’” Is that reason enough? How was he wrong? Have you seen some of the trolls we see in social media? So he tells an abuser to (F word omitted) off. How does that even closely justify suspension? I might not agree with the view Mr Carlton had (at least partially), yet he had a right to his view. I might counter it, but I will not abuse him for it. Here it seems that the Sydney Morning Herald was hiding behind the Bully. The question becomes, who was that bully? The fact that Mr Carlton responded to the abuse was also not the greatest idea, but it was HIS RIGHT to do so, it seems that this side was also ignored, especially as we look at the weeks of suspension result.

So as we look for the bullies and look for the result of their acts, we should also realise that we all react to some extent here, not all in the greatest way, sometimes we think it was not important, sometimes to not rock the boat and sometimes because it seems like to only act available to us. But whether we give in to the bully, or hide behind the bully, we gave the bully that what he wanted and never deserved, so does the bully have an identity? To the Palestinians it is Israel, to the Israeli’s it is Hamas, and to Hamas they are the Jews. And as the vicious circle grows we see more players pointing towards their own demons, whilst the actual bully points towards his or her own ignorance and fears.


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