Tag Archives: Hajj

Corrosion or corruption in media?

We see more and more evidence that the media is by their own hand corroded, the word which comes the Latin word ‘corrodere‘, means ‘gnaw through‘. I have given the limelight to several events where Houthi forces attack with drones into Saudi Arabian civilian targets. We can argue on the validity of the attack, yet the part that is not in dispute is that the Western media is not giving any light to the attacks at all. Despite the clear evidence that someone is supplying Houthi forces with military drones. One of the missiles was headed to Khamis Mushayt, whilst the destination of the third was not the same, but Saudi forces have been speculating that the target was al-Jawf, a city in northern Saudi Arabia and as far as I could tell at best a civilian target with no military or strategic economic targets. The issue here is not the target, it is that the Houthi forces are trying to show that it could hit a target 1400 Km away, which is already a challenge for high end drones with a well-trained pilot. It shows that the ante is up and it limits the optional source to only one, Iran. The western media was extremely able to not report on any of that.

Colonel Turki Al-Maliki was able to tell that one of them was fired from Sanaa. I reported earlier this week on “On Sunday, coalition forces also destroyed a drone and intercepted six ballistic missiles targeting Jazan in Saudi Arabia’s southern border with Yemen“, the Arab News gave another mention of that, yet the western press is clearly of the mind that this does not need to be reported. The problem in all this is that Houthi forces do not have any infrastructure to create this; neither do they have the technical expertise to make them. This is all via Iran who either delivers directly or uses Hezbollah to deliver. There is also additional shallow evidence that Houthi forces do not have the ability and expertise to fly these drones with such precision. To illustrate this consider your child (if you have one) a nine year old and let that kid fly a predator drone over Europe, no automatic pilot and let it fly into the Eifel tower. There is one guarantee, that drone will crash, it will fly into something, just not the Eifel tower that is the stage we are in. Even as we are given from other sources “A Houthi supporter wears a headband praising the Houthi movement for making drone aircraft as he attends a pro-Houthi rally in Sanaa“, showing us merely a push for fabricated marketing. There is no way that Houthi forces can make them. Even now, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq have drones, but they mostly come from places like China. When we look at drone builders we see: Israel, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom and Iran. These are the makers of drones, Yemen and Houthi forces are not creating them and the media is not looking into it. The fact that the media ignores this is also an indication that the media is no longer corroded, it should be considered to have become a corrupt vessel for whatever facilitators need. Most likely to appease their own governments that need some Iranian deal, or needs to adhere to American policy so that they can push an Iranian deal. Even the Hill (not the most neutral player) is giving us: ‘EU still hasn’t stopped trying to appease Iran‘, all playing their game and they are willing to keep quiet on drones attacking Saudi Arabia to the largest degree. Is it not weird that the last two attacks within a week were not covered at all?

This is not about G7 coverage; this is about the option of meeting after the G7 with Iran, the most likely perpetrator in delivering drones to Yemen (Houthi forces).

the Washington Post gave us: ‘Saudi Arabia, UAE vow to back Yemen war effort amid cracks‘ three days ago, yet nothing on drones, the BBC gave us ‘Wingsuit scientist dies in Saudi Arabia base jump‘ a week ago and nothing on drones, the Guardian gave us ‘Walking through a war zone: Ethiopians heading for Saudi – in pictures‘ 13 hours ago and nothing on drones, the list goes on and on and it is time for us to recognise that the western news has degraded to nothing more than a media outlet facilitating to others, not informing the people of what is actually happening. Why is that?

Forbes gave us different news (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2019/08/26/saudi-arabias-100-billion-tourism-pipe-dream/#4dd68b561367), but they are Forbes, their focus is different. There we see: “Now the government is touting its plans for a new tourism industry with an announcement alongside the CEO of Six Flags and an exclusive for CNBC. The kingdom released a grand vision, but with no substance and a disappointing look at unrealistic goals“, I believe that the choice made was a partial mistake.

There is nothing wrong with 6 flags, yet when you consider the excellence and amazing rides that the Dutch Efteling offers, there is also Universal Studios Hollywood, both offer a range of rides that will take the breath of people away. The issue with 6 flags is that they are all about rides, yet a theme park needs to be about a lot more to keep interest high, the Efteling figured that out decades ago and they achieved just that, whilst also creating the Python (a really intense ride) in 1981, the interest in that ride never faded and was upgraded and renewed in 2005 (trains) and tracks in 2017. Yet I believe that his is only the start. The Efteling had from the very beginning stories from 1001 Arabian Nights in their fairy tale land, I personally believe that if Saudi Arabia wants to become international they cannot merely have another version of existing rides; they would need to get a creative team and create their own.

There is the story of the Jinn (Afreet), we all remember Aladdin. Yet how many remember or even know about ‘the Sage and his three sons‘? What if that story is presented not unlike the Efteling ride ‘Haunted Castle‘? Part of the story we walk through and the second part is a show, there are many options for Saudi Arabia to consider the way they grow their theme parks (plural), I merely hope it will be a lot more than merely another 6 flags. Yet it must be said that Forbes also raises valid points, with: “much of Saudi Arabia is prohibitively hot in the summer months, with average high temperatures of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Florida is part of the U.S. and thus an easy destination for over 300 million Americans. Florida allows alcohol. Florida has gambling through American Indian casinos. Florida allows men and women to dress and interact freely. Florida allows churches, synagogues and general freedom of religion“, as well as “in 2017, total tourism spending in Florida was only $88.6 billion“, what it does not mention (optionally a mere oversight, with no accusation towards Forbes) is the small fact that in 2015 an estimated 1.8 billion or about 24.1% of the world population is Muslim. That does not mean that they all want to go to Saudi Arabia, yet in combination with the Hajj, there is a larger interest in Saudi Arabia and that too needs to be accepted. If only 1% visits Saudi Arabia we see that this represents 18 million tourists, in light of all the anti-Muslim minded nations, these people might really like the consideration of a large theme park that is mostly visited by Muslims, all kinds of food worries would fall away, all kinds of direct Muslim needs would be attended to, and that is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Yet all this was limited to Forbes, many others have taken documents towards Neom City (like the Wall Street Journal) where from one source we get: “While construction has started on Neom, there are concerns that not all of its technology (which Neom chief executive Nadhmi al Nasr told WSJ “is cutting edge and beyond — and in some cases still in development and maybe theoretical”) can ever make it out of science fiction” is a view that comes across as trivialisation. Interesting that the Wall Street Journal as one source was willing to go into that direction whilst well over $500 billion has been made available for the creation of Neom city, as I personally see it, there is a clear larger need to know and illustrate on Wall Street. The end will be more and there had always been a clear path towards high tech future. so whilst the Wall Street Journal gives us: ‘Flying Cars, Robot Dinosaurs and a Giant Artificial Moon‘, we see an utter lack of the planned intertwining of 5G, from the very beginning it will be 5G and faster, so why is the Wall Street Journal trivialising a planned path that will surpass most construction feats over the last century alone?

Is this corrosion or corruption? I cannot tell and it is likely to be a combination. The fact that Neom is to be well over 20 times the size of New York and will include a bridge connecting Saudi Arabia to Africa is another matter not covered to the degree it should.

There is a lot wrong and it merely shows us that the media can no longer be trusted; whatever they claim comes with a side story a business connection and more often political policy in the making. And this matter stretches far beyond the topic of Saudi Arabia. If we look at the word news and accept in part ‘newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events‘, yet when we start looking for ‘age discrimination in Australia‘ we get very little, there is an abundance of evidence especially as close to 20% of Australian workers is over 55, we see very little of them in Apple, Google and a whole host of other players. In a test the same application from the same person got immediately hired in Greece and Portugal, yet bounced for the same position well over 75 times in Australia. Yet the media is shunning it to a much larger degree, I speculate that these publications rely on Apple and google advertisement to some degree and it is not merely them, the problem is a lot larger, but the media can no longer be trusted to give light to this. So if the media is super corrosive on national issues, what chance does a place like Saudi Arabia have to get a fair shake from the media?

It is funny, but Women’s Agenda had the same idea I had 22 hours ago, there we see ‘This government wants to blame ‘choices’ over discrimination‘ and “In “Towards 2025”, the word discrimination appears just four times, one time in reference to age discrimination and three times in the footnotes in reference to other documents where discrimination appears in the title“, from my point of view it implies that a non-youthful lady doesn’t have a chance in hell to get a job, how is that NOT discrimination? When we demand that all the large corporations give a top line report for all non-board members and non-senior management staff to present a staff review of age and gender hires with age brackets ‘up to 25′, ’26-49′ and ’50+’. When this is part of their tax audit we might end up getting an actual clear view. The results will be more likely than not scary be slightly too read and governments (not just the current local Australian one) will have a lot more to explain that they are willing to do at present; their anti-discrimination acts all failing and visibly no action taken for a much longer time. In all this the failing is a much larger one and the media is, as I personally see it, a direct player in not showing the people what is going on.

Corrosion is already a dangerous path, but when there is a much larger implied level of corruption in place (they won’t call it that), we see that the news has become a much larger problem that before, they will trivialise it towards time, space to publish and they will steer clear from directives that include shareholders, stake holders and advertisers. Yet that is the larger truth as I personally see it. more and more of the media can no longer be trusted to give us what is actually going on, we merely get what they consider is the news that 70% of us wants to learn about, there was a lack of resources. We accept that in the printed word, yet in the digital age where space is never a shortage of, we see publications willing to filter diligently what they are willing to show us. And there is still the worry of all the matters that we are not being informed on, it should worry you too.

Yet there is a larger play for Australia as well. That is seen when we consider the news that “On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced we would join the US-led mission to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow sea strip that serves as one of the region’s most important choke points”, now consider that Houthi forces have attacked Saudi tankers in the Persian Gulf (May 2019), Iran Backed Houthi forces made the attack, so already the Australians are left in the dark on these attacks and we are sending a frigate, surveillance aircraft and troops. All optionally relatives of ours and the news decided not to inform us on the drone attacks. Do you still think that I am exaggerating on the danger that the media now represents by keeping us all in the dark?

This game is a lot larger than we realise, and it is larger than we know it is because the media has seemingly decided that informing on plenty of issues us was not essential.

 

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In light of faith

We all have faith to some degree, the atheist believes in himself (or herself) and believes in science, the agnostic accepts that there is something more, optionally there is a god (the dyslexic one totally believes in the existence of ‘dog’) and the believers, where do they stand?

I grew up being a Catholic, when the news from the Boston Globe reached the world, we became confused, the matter did not help when we watched the movie Spotlight and got a better view on a global scale just how corrupt the world facilitating to the Catholic Church had become. The 2005 movie Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scott did not help the Catholic case either.

Now, we accept that the premise of the movie is not real, but the background is and there is plenty of supporting evidence. The Council of Clermont (November 1095) gives a lot to consider, the words by Pope Urban “a barbaric fury has deplorably afflicted and laid waste the churches of God in the regions of the Orient” has been accepted as a undisputed truth and for the longest of time (almost a 1000 years), we have been taught from primary school that the Saracens (Arabs) were the great evil, yet after the entire cold war and the Vietnam war, the word by government is no longer readily accepted and as the entire Catholic abuse stage has been evolving over the last decade those believing in something larger are in a internal fight of faith. Even in historic ways our place in the world is debatable. It is shown going back to the Treaty of Clermont 1095, when Georg Strack from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich gives us in his article ‘The Sermon of Urban II in Clermont and the Tradition of Papal Oratory‘ the larger issue: “Since we only have the reports of chroniclers and not the manuscript of the pope himself, each analysis of this address faces a fundamental problem: even the three writers who attended the Council of Clermont recorded three different versions, quite distinctive both in content and style, even there the scribes were all about paraphrasing giving us no clear report, a failing to be sure. Even beyond the Crusades, the Catholic Church has been the driven power to lay waste to dozens of civilisations, eradicating them all.

Fulcher of Chartres

When we look at the very first crusade we see: “a cleric who took part in the First Crusade and was probably present at the council itself. At least he asserts in his prologue that he has recorded only those events which he saw with his own eyes. Even though it has been argued that personal experience was of less importance in crusading chronicles, it is noteworthy that Fulcher explicitly mentions this topos and other sources do not“, in addition to this, we are given “he reports not only a call for the crusade but two speeches by the pope. According to this source, Pope Urban first admonished the clergy and declared the official causae of the council in an opening sermon. Probably on the first day, he addressed the gathered ecclesiastical dignitaries with an ‘eloquent address’ (adlocutio dulciflua) about the necessity of Church reform. Firstly, the pope exhorted the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities. He explained that they were called shepherds and should, therefore, ‘guard on every side of the flock entrusted to them (John 10. 12–13)’” A stage that could be seen in a few ways, but there is a call for the stage where we see the need of ‘the assembled bishops and abbots to meet their responsibilities‘ and there we see the problem, the nobles pillaged the realm of Saracens to the maximum, there are indications, but no witness reports to the degree we would accept. Yet the stage between 1095 and when Jerusalem was handed to Saladin (An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub) in October 1187 (after a siege that lasted two weeks), was only the beginning, even as the Kingdom of Jerusalem shifted its capital, in the end Saladin took control of Acre, Nablus, Jaffa, Toron, Sidon, Beirut, and Ascalon, with only Tyre remaining because of the arrival of Conrad of Montferrat. In all cases those fleeing the cities took whatever of worth they could carry. It also gives more on the status of Balian of Ibelin (played by Orlando Bloom in Kingdom of Heaven), even as he was nobility, the Muslims regarded him as a king.

The movie gives a background, yet remains highly fictional, what does come to the foreground is that the pillaging by Christian nobility was almost a given, and the quote: “Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory rejecting and removing Byzantine control whenever possible. Intolerance of other faiths and traditions increased, particularly with Jews and those considered heretics. Muslims were murdered in their thousands on several occasions, as were non Catholic Christians” all this is now coming to blows in a different way.

Hajj

As we witness the Muslim Pilgrimage (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2HTiOUY8Mc), we become witness to well over 2 million pilgrims, Shia and Sunni Muslims next to one another, one Quran identical for all. One source gives: “Saudi Arabia announced Saturday that the total number of pilgrims reached 2,489,406, increased 117,731 individuals than last year“, it seems to me that we should take a closer look into Islam, not to attack it, but to learn from it. Earlier this year we were able to see the Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast), you can see the event in Mecca (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs8obP4uRa0), showing me more religiously connected people than the Vatican (read Christians) ever showed.

This does not make me a Muslim, but learning more about Islam and Muslims is an essential first. When we can no longer trust the Catholic Church, when we see now over the last two years alone on how the abuse by the clergy was seemingly tolerated up to the highest level, we need to find a balance, we need to learn what faith is, and we need to learn what it is. Even as people like Charles Stanley make speeches like ‘The Stages of Our Faith‘, where we are shown what faith is, but does Charles actually know what it is? When we hear ‘It is clear in the scripture‘, yet it is not, and more precisely, which version? The Catholic and Protestant versions are not the same. When it is followed by ‘Jesus honours faith‘, we wonder if that is true. Even if some person named Jesus of Nazareth stated somewhere between 25AD- 30AD that he honours faith, I wonder how much value it has to the sexual abuse victims his preachers created (in the US way above 100,000) it does not seem to voice and show any level of honouring faith, In Europe these numbers are a lot higher giving us a mountain of victims, in all this how can any person who accepts that the protection of children is a first remain a Christian?

I do not have all the answers; I never claimed to have them. Yet it seems to me that those in doubt of faith need to find their faith. Whilst the Christian documentation has several versions and several relations in a stage of not knowing, it seems to me that a nation like Saudi Arabia, where the Hajj is visited by all Muslims nations, including Iran has something that many cannot ignore, even this year in light of the Iranian – Saudi issues we are given that ‘Iran opens mechanized catering center in Mecca‘, it is seemingly without issues, there is a clear indications that there are no acts against people who are there for their faith, something that we have not seen in the western world ever!

These steps are now more than ever essential, as we have been sold a bag of goods again and again, and as our need for the actual truth increases, we need to start showing which sources are trustworthy and which ones are not.

Two Days Later

Today, several sources give us: ‘Muslim pilgrims pray in Mecca as hajj winds down without incident‘, the quote “Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall. Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, and its organisation of the pilgrimage. It hopes to continue expanding attendance to help to build its tourism industry“, during this event that ends after a week, we find that 88,000 Iranians attended the event. A stage where Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a proxy war, a stage where the mistrust between two nations is great, the 88,000 were able to perform their Hajj without incident. There is something wrong, it is not with them, or with Islam, it is with us and it is time that we start recognising it.

The heretic burnings in the UK (1532), the Protestant & Catholic wars in Ireland (up to the late 70’s) are two of the most visible ones, then there was the Spanish Inquisition (not the Monty Python edition) and the list goes on, versions of the same faith trying to remove the other ones, this in opposition with the versions of Islam where they all use the same Quran and as we see that they all pray side by side, no fighting. We need to take example from this, in a stage where Christians are more and more regarded as the violent ones, where we see how the Catholic church was given reprieve again and again, protecting a quoted 7% of all Catholic priests being involved in the act of sexual abuse, we need to start accepting that not only can we no longer tolerate Islam phobia, we need to start learning the simple truth that the Islam is not the evil here. We see all the humanitarian shouting is out of balance, the equal silence form these people as loud outrage is absent whilst thousands of children were sodomised is equally astounding. That evidence was shown on August 8th 2019 with the headline: ‘Paul Muschick: One year after explosive Catholic Church investigation in Pennsylvania: 300 priests, 1,000 victims, no state action‘, what do you do when you wake up in the morning, only to realise that we are the evil supporters? How would an American react when he/she is woken up in 1947, only to be told that they actively supported Nazi Germany? Is that offensive? It better be, because this is worse. We have instigated and supported a form of government and jurisprudence that refuses to prosecute a criminal clergy, whilst a homosexual population in America is prosecuted and vilified without evidence.

We as a people, we as Christians have failed humanity and we need to accept that and live with the evil that we created. Yet do not take my word on this, find out yourself and consider one source (from TEDx) which discusses ‘What I Learned by Converting from Christianity to Islam‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1yKKGchRcc), a small 11 minute video that might open your eyes.

 

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Borderlines are not borders

Yes, that is the setting we seem to forget at times. You look at google Maps, look at the country/location and at times you forget that one country is not limited to the borderline you witnessed. Some will Google ‘boobies’ and ‘bikini’ and look in amazement on how good thing seem to be North of the border. Yet, we forgot that there is still a trap. That it is for the most an imaginary line. Birds never seem to see one and diseases notice it even less, so as we got exposed to Cholera this week, we see “RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed one cholera case and said three others were suspected in an area bordering Yemen, where an epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, Saudi state TV said, citing a health ministry official” (at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/saudi-arabia-reports-cholera-infection-in-southern-province-10727266), yet do we comprehend the danger that is evolving? You see, we can rely on numerous sources and accept: “Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae“, we seem to forget too often that ‘infectious disease‘, ‘leads to dehydration and even death if untreated‘. The treatment is actually simple. We are also given: “you can protect yourself and your family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically disinfected, or bottled water“, that part is important right now. You see, antibiotics ‘reduce the duration of diarrhoea by half and also reduce the excretion of the bacteria, thus helping to prevent the spread of the disease‘, yet the true treatment is Hydration and that is where the problem starts. Yemen is in a state of famine and shortage, so not only is there almost no water, there is in addition no way to boil that water, continuing a cycle of symptoms and a spread of the bacteria (and so the disease). At that point, dehydration becomes the killer leaving death in its wake and in Yemen that is unlikely to be mere dozens or hundreds; it will be killing thousands of people. So they are not too fearful of bombs and war slaughter, cholera is much more certain to kill them and do it at a slower pace, ensuring that suffering is maximised. So even as one case is found in Saudi Arabia, it is in my personal view running rampant in Yemen where more than 2,000 people have died of cholera at present and the estimated 5.2 million children that are in danger of dying of hunger, measles, or diphtheria are at present more than likely on the death list of cholera. Making the Battle of Al Hudaydah not merely an essential one, but making it imperative that it is won by the Saudi-coalition as soon as possible.

As we see the outspoken lies of the Houthi’s claiming that they are defending Yemen from a ‘US backed invasion’. That whilst they are knowingly, willingly and intentionally letting the Yemeni population die in the most horrible way imaginable, we need to wonder how much humanity we need to show the Houthi’s in all this. You see, the alleged Houthi in the image, an image merely 16 hours old (if the source it to be believed) does not seem to look that hungry, making the issue of who gets fed more important, and beyond that, if the Cholera treatment (hydration) is not made openly available Yemen could become the biggest graveyard in history. It is there that the setting of the Battle of Al Hudaydah is clearly shown and it is about to get worse. You see, as more and more refugees flee Yemen into Saudi Arabia with their malnourished and dehydrated children and babies, they will also push Cholera into Saudi Arabia. Even as we know that Antibiotic treatments for one to three days shorten the course of the disease and reduce the severity of the symptoms, and therefor lessen the dehydration, the setting is now also that there are sources that have given view that resistance against antibiotics have been reported, making matters less easy to resolve and therefor more water is needed to remain hydrated, and that is not even including of the backlash of other diseases in younger children because of the Cholera impact. DA Sack, RB Sack, GB Nair, and AK Siddique in their January 2004 paper in The Lancet “Cholera” give us the frightening part: “If people with cholera are treated quickly and properly, the mortality rate is less than 1%; however, with untreated cholera, the mortality rate rises to 50–60%“. Here we have the larger setting, you see cholera does not give a hoot about borders and now that the first cases have been reported, we see not merely the danger of the disease, we see the dangers that if any of these refugees would make it to a city like Khamis Mushait they would have passed half a dozen smaller places like Al Masgi, that is if they even maker it that far. For me 80 Km is a stroll, for a lot of others it is a mountain and refugees, even if given assistance, caring Muslims, giving them a ride on their trucks towards a decent hospital, or even trying to treat these people (especially when it was not clear that it is Cholera) might see a larger problem evolve. Even as we accept that Cholera is rarely spread directly from person to person, which is a good thing. I wonder how dangerous the disease is when we accept that bodies are working in a state of lowered hydration. You see the Arabian continent has dealt with water shortages for the longest of times. Over generations these people learned to deal with less hydration (personal assumption), yet in that light does cholera not become a lot more dangerous and could that optionally make these people more susceptible to cholera? I am not stating that this is so, I a merely asking (as I never qualified for a medical degree).

It also gives us the setting that as cholera cases grow, the issue around the Battle of Al Hudaydah will show to have a nasty aftershock. it will no longer be a mere case of humanitarian aid and treatment, there will be a much larger need to set up emergency treatment posts, especially North of Saada. In my personal view, a place like Baqim is directly connected to Saudi highway 15 after you pass the Saudi port of Warcraft, going directly to both Al Hayat National Hospital as well as AlKhamis Maternity and Children Hospital giving Baqim a possible lifeline for treatment, medication and most important clean water (food too). Even as we accept that antibiotics are essential for the younger children, the reported resistance against antibiotics might become a much larger complication down the line and realising that danger now is important too.

We need to see on how we can stop all the diseases but Cholera is now the most impactful. That is shown when we realise that the WHO reported in 2016 a total of 132 121 cases, with 2420 fatalities. We now see that with the Yemen fatalities, we get to report that close to 50% of all cholera fatalities were in Yemen, how does that go over with you all? That is besides the setting that Yemen alone will be likely the reason that cholera cases will more than double and if something is not done soon, with well over 200% additional fatalities, which is not a good statistic to work with. We can argue on where the treatment needs to be and i merely took a look at the map, yet the idea of getting as many children as far away from Sanaa and Sadah seems to make perfect sense. I am also very accepting of the statement “The WHO said on Monday the origin of the current cases was not yet known but the outbreak was not expected to spread given Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure“. I get that, Saudi Arabia has a good infrastructure and is equipped for matters like these, especially when you consider the Hajj and the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is always prepared for that. Yet, when it is not a mere handful, when the sick refugees are not merely a few, but a few hundred, we will see more complications and moreover an increasing amount of people hiding in fear, fear of disease, fear for their families and fear of others after they witnessed nears of Houthi brutality. Setting up something sooner rather than later on the Yemen side of the border is becoming increasingly pressing as I see it and not merely for the cholera risks. Diphtheria is a much larger problem if it gets a foothold, not merely from the infectious of the disease, the fact that Diphtheria grows its population through coughing, sneezing and sharing water bottles makes it a much nastier issue. It is fatal in 20% of cases in certain age groups, and guess what, children up to 5 are definitely in that risk group making the issue bigger and even as it can be treated with antibiotics, the reports of resistance become a much larger issue at this point. In addition its symptoms are easily mistaken by non-medical professionals as merely a sore throat for too long making matters worse faster than anticipated. with the fact that it spreads easily we get the state where every day not acted is one that is basically too late and we have seen the inactions in this regard for months now making matters not merely worse, it sets the stage where famine is merely the final straw that could get the largest child population in history killed. So at what point did we think that indifferent from the 22nd March 2015 was a good idea?

It makes for the saddest epilogue of the modern era: ‘We merely did not care enough to achieve something in Yemen‘.

So when you see the news and you feel that the EU is doing OK as it talks with Iran via: “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged European countries to take practical steps to keep Tehran in the nuclear deal“, consider that Iran is directly involved and responsible for this by making Yemen a proxy player, arming them and supplying them, prolonging this war, the last missile Iranian sponsored missile was fired by Houthi’s at Jizan city almost 6 hours ago.

You should wonder on how the EU could even contemplate continued talks with Iran under these conditions. Where was the borderline there?

 

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A big tree in the desert

It started a little while ago, 4 nations got angry at Qatar, I wrote about it earlier. There were issues on both sides and there were intelligence considerations as well. In this Germany intelligence decided to shed light on the matter by investigating certain sources. A path I reckon that until now has not been too successful. A path that was equally a given not to be too successful, yet what was not expected was the issue shown a few days later when on July 16th The Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/uae-hacked-qatari-government-sites-sparking-regional-upheaval-according-to-us-intelligence-officials/2017/07/16/00c46e54-698f-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html), the issue shown with “The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials“, in addition there is “In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post article was “false.”“, which is to be expected. Finally we get “Qatar has repeatedly charged that its sites were hacked, but it has not released the results of its investigation. Intelligence officials said their working theory since the Qatar hacks has been that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt or some combination of those countries were involved. It remains unclear whether the others also participated in the plan“, which is an equal truth. In addition, we need to realise that this is not some fake news site, this is the Washington Post, America’s answer to The Times, and its high ethics in journalism have been established for the longest of times, so when we see a mere 2 hours ago (at http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/qatar-diplomatic-crisis-latest-updates-170605105550769.html) the update “Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt say they are ready for dialogue with Qatar if it shows willingness to fight ‘terrorism’” a quote given after we see the headline ‘The latest news after some of the Gulf states and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade‘, yet in light of the found hack(s), how valid are these blockades? In addition we see in regarding the Hajj pilgrimage that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are in a he said versus he said situation, a side we would not have expected from these two evolved nations. There is a larger drawback in all this, as Turkey is trying to ‘ingratiate’ their own agenda, they are now becoming a stronger middleman for anything Iran has in mind, whilst not being connected to the action and in addition to that, the pressures at present are also enabling abilities in Palestine. There is no clear intelligence that is in the open that should be regarded as reliable, yet the ‘watercooler chats‘ seem to imply that calls between the PSS and Hezbollah wave allegedly been happening with some ‘regularity’ in the last 4 weeks, if that is so, than additional pressures on Israel cannot be far away.

Back to Qatar, the latest news gives that according to Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State that Qatar has met with the commitments that they were promising, there is a given that when Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with three allies that are not the smallest, any nation under pressure would be willing to comply with any reasonable demand that does not impede national pride to get in the way. Yet, what has the opposition offered at present? In my view the German promise seems unlikely to result to be any form of a working tactic to get some kind of resolution in play. You see, if there was any actual support being given, it would not be registered. I hope that the Americans learned that part when they found Osama Bin Laden a mere one mile from an elite Pakistani military academy. In my view there is no way that those involved with the security there had no knowledge of EVERY building within two miles of the academy. In that same air, you might think that Qatar is aware of any terrorist involvement, that is not the case, but there is ample proof on a few levels that it is utterly impossible that no one knew. The issue becomes how high does it go?

In that same light we need to look at another source. In this case I am looking at a piece by Sami Moubayed. The title ‘Qatar PR blitz is fooling no one‘ (at http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/qatar-pr-blitz-is-fooling-no-one-1.2067427) is not the part that matters. We might wonder why he focusses on the amounts like $150,000 a month for ‘research, government relations, and strategic consulting services‘, which might also include ‘communications with members of Congress and Congressional staff, executive branch officials, the media, and other individuals‘, the second cost at $2.5 million for former US Attorney General John Ashcroft who would be auditing Qatari efforts at halting terrorism funding. It is interesting how he is going to achieve that as the scope of monitoring and verification is close to impossible when we consider the rogue spears we have seen in Iran in the past, a mere general was able to give the largest level of materials and support towards the enemies of Israel. In this I saw that over that they missed out on options to increase visibility of close to 75% for a mere $10,000 a month (excluding my commission mind you), in light of the mentioned $138,000 not the greatest expense. Yet the important truth is given soon thereafter in “This is where the problem started and where serious work needs to be done to rebrand the country’s political orientation. No PR firm can do the job — it can be done by one person only, being Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani“, which is only partially true. They still need a facilitator to give a wider voice, or better spoken a channel to transfer the words of Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to a much wider audience.

Sami is right when he states “Only he has the power to change his country’s image in the eyes of its neighbours“, and in this I am not even mentioning his valid reason of “All Qatar needs to do is walk away from Hamas and Yousuf Al Qaradawi“, which would have been a good idea any day of the week. Qatar has a few more options, options that they did not even realise that they had. There is a case to be made to revamp Al Jazeera TV’s editorial policy. Yet as it is speaking to the hearts and minds of Muslims (to a larger extent), I would not be able to give proper advice in that place, what does matter is that non-Muslims know what Al-Jazeera is, yet in reality those people do not know what EXACTLY Al-Jazeera is and that could be a small task, easier rectified and it starts on their own website. Not the flaccid minute under the heading of ‘about us‘. That current part of 200 words with the ‘Who we are‘ is so minute, so none telling that is overlooked with the mere blink of an eye. The words there “Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera Arabic was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate“, is laughter incarnate in my personal opinion! I am willing to bet a building on the fact that their 1996 was a challenge worthy of a small novel to say the least, so why not properly introduce Al-Jazeera to Muslims and non-Muslims alike? If Al-Jazeera is truly in 100 countries, the cheapest of solutions (read: SAP Dashboard) could add visibility to what is being offered, the network could grow through offering visibility using a mere BI consultant, which in all likelihood is already walking around in at least one of their 100 offices. In similar visibility they are presently (as their website indicates) not in France or the Netherlands, and perhaps at least in one office in one of the Scandinavian countries with the ability to offer local language support to thousands of Muslims. To the extent that this is PR that is massively cheaper than some PR offices offer and that is something Qatar would have in their own hands, working a social network with localisation. Interesting that that was not mentioned anywhere.

My ideas are directly reflective of the words of Sami Moubayed as he states “Somebody needs to whisper in the ear of the emir — and senior management at Al Jazeera — that they need to do a better job to polish their image; rather than spend millions on agencies in London and Washington, it’s far more urgent — and less costly — to do the job at home“, yet he does it in absence of directness or direct ideas on how to do it. I reckon that is fair enough, the man is a historian; he mostly lives in the past, not in the tomorrow. That is not an accusation; it is merely a factual realisation.

In this, the strongest point he makes is seen with “After a wave of agony swept the Arab World since 2011, this doesn’t sell any longer throughout the region. In fact, it sounds and reads as cheap, cliché, and very outdated“, this is exactly why the entire dashboard is such a step forward, I noticed a few more issues. There would be a fair debate whether this is laziness, or mere editorial policy. A case could be made for either side, yet the issue remains.

As we say goodbye to the Al-Jazeera side, we need to embrace one more part in the article by Sami. When we revisit the title ‘Qatar PR blitz is fooling no one‘, I will argue that there is no fooling going on, the article reads nice, but it is not an ‘or’ situation, Qatar is in a ‘and’ situation, where they need to visit issues on inclusion and finding more options to visit, not choosing from some selection and there is a need to be clever about it because the cost and effect of $150,000 a month needs to be examined as how it was spend and what was gained. The question on rebranding politics is also up for grabs, is it about branding or making sure that the visibility is correctly vetted? These elements are not the same and the cause and effect here is also implicitly seen as we see the reactions from the 4 neighbours currently not happy with Qatar. In this, there is an additional part for me set in the issues from Saudi Arabia. I have not read the original reports (and my knowledge of the Arabian language can be rounded upwards towards 0%), yet the press on a near global scale have never given proper item by item view of all the elements, more important towards the evidence as the other 3 (minus the hacking UAE) have offered them with shown source intelligence. It would be so embarrassing if the other three plaintiffs are all depending on one and the same source (an unknown part and speculative from my side). I believe that open clear communication is a first step to resolve it. the fact that my glasses got initially tainted because Al-Jazeera was kind enough to start that day with voicing anti-Semitism through  broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, that was not a good day for Al-Jazeera in light of the stresses in Doha that day. This is exactly why reforming, or better stated editing the ‘powers to be’ within Al-Jazeera sooner rather than later.

For me, I have always been a fan of oversimplifying any issue, so when I look at the grievances now in play, if there could be talks and the three nations can name one item that would show the good intentions of Qatar, what would it be and could Qatar comply with these three items? You see, it might sound oversimplified, but the reality is that all large achievements start small, one step at a time. In that way, we are not enabling either Iran or Turkey (there are issues with some of their decisions), there is an open view of the matter at hand and there is movement in a stress reducing direction. If those three items would stop the blockades, there would be a first step in resolution and more important, as I personally see it, the risk of escalation, as two nations miscommunicate between two optional dinghies and send missiles in the wrong direction is definitely a good element to prevent. Consider the implications, if we see the choice from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Would the biggest issue of his kingdom be with the dissidents or with the Iranian connections?

I believe that certain actions are becoming increasingly important, not merely because of the pressures and stresses, the short term issue is seen as we read “The boycotting countries have previously told the WTO that they would cite national security to justify their actions against Qatar, using a controversial and almost unprecedented exemption allowed under the WTO rules” (at http://www.trtworld.com/mea/qatar-crisis-latest-developments-413572), the problem here is that if this element is accepted, the WTO is not merely a cannel of facilitation, it would leave Qatar with very little to work with, it would in addition leave Turkey with holding the bag as the shops are showing in big signs ‘From Turkey by air – New products‘, if those remain Turkey itself ends up in deep hot waters with all the repercussions that follow. As my Law classes included all matters Wise, Terrible and Obvious, the words as given in Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/03/01/trump-admins-yugely-terrible-trade-idea-to-ignore-wto-rulings-america-doesnt-like/#7edfa5103a9f)

With: “Not obeying WTO rules allows countries to close their markets to your exports, it doesn’t force them to open them up“, that would be a stage with issues on several levels we really don’t want to end up at.

This also gets me to the article for another reason. The March 1st article shows more than you expected. You see with “The Trump administration sent shockwaves through the world of trade yesterday when the Financial Times reported that it was looking for ways to bypass the World Trade Organization, the 22-year-old oversight body that adjudicates trade disputes, and which Trump has called a “disaster.”” we now get a second consideration, is the Trump administration using the Qatar strategy to try to thwart the WTO in another way, trying to take away the equality and fairness that the WTO had in the past to set a different set of rules. Did the White House legal team brief the four non-Qatari minded players to use this to put more pressure on Qatar? It might be a valid tactic, yet the US could have had other reasons for pushing the WTO, the question is whether that is equally in play here, if that is so (speculative from my side) than it is the US that has done more than increase pressures on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE. It is trying to change the global setting of trade in what I expect to be the most selfish of reasons, under those conditions, we might soon see that being a member of the EU is no longer a benefit, as it would become the anchor holding the other EU nations back in trade, merely for the reason that they cannot simply change trade rules for the EU.

So if Doha means Big Tree, we have to wonder what the board looks like at present, it seems that certain actions have been put into motion to set a season of drought for this big tree. We can argue that they did part of it to themselves, yet when we see that other players have had certain personal needs, who is actually trying to resolve the situation with a total absence of personal selfish needs? As I see it not the PR firms, in equal measure there are certain steps that Al-Jazeera could have put into place months ago, yet that too has not been achieved, so who on the side of Qatar is actually thinking of Qatar? I know it is not Turkey or Iran. I do not know who is, but as we see other sources state that “In a study by David Andrew Weinberg that was published in January by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) titled “Qatar and Terror Finance: Part II: Private Funders of [al-Qaida] in Syria,” he wrote: “Based on these cases, there is no persuasive proof that Qatar has stopped letting certain terror financiers off the hook.”” (source: Jerusalem Post), we see that Qatar needs to start considering what is important to Qatar, because in the end Hamas will not care, they merely continue with their path of hatred against that state of Israel with whatever funds they can lay their fingers on. With all the considerations we would want to give to Qatar, it is the actions of Qatar, shown by too many sources that they themselves are becoming (read: have become) their own worst enemy. The one question that Sami Moubayed leaves us with is any of this done (read: facilitated) with the clear approval of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar? That is the part that matters the most and that path also shows the path of least resistance in hopefully finding a solution to the matter for all the players involved.

 

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