Tag Archives: Hassan Rouhani

Iranian decisions

At 00:10 Tel Aviv Time, roughly 07:10 here, the time of waiting was over, Iran has fired its missiles on Israel making the outstanding option of an impending war a lot more realistic. In this the Guardian gives us (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/09/iran-fires-20-rockets-syria-golan-heights-israel) “Iranian forces stationed in Syria fired approximately 20 projectiles at Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights just after midnight on Thursday, Israel’s defence forces (IDF) said“, in addition we see “Several but not all rockets were intercepted by Israeli air defences, an IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, told reporters“, whatever happens, will happen soon, because if sch a barrage cannot completely be stopped, we can deduce that it will not take long for Iran to take a more targeted notion, yes, my version is speculative, yet the warmongering words from the last weeks gives rise to take it all a lot more serious than it has been taken in the past. So when we see ““The IDF views this Iranian attack very severely,” Conricus said. “This event is not over”“, we better believe that more is to come. There is an additional setting, this attack could only have been done with the approval of President Bashar al-Assad, so he is feeling secure enough with Iran and Russia backing him, so the picture changes on a few fronts, this is no longer merely settling whatever Iran thought it was settling, this could have much larger repercussions. Turkey is already voicing support for Iran and siding with Russia (they are playing their hand cautiously, yet Turkey is all in with their anti-Israel views. It gets to be worse, because as the US pulled out of the nuclear Iran accord, we now see ‘EU rushes to arrange crisis meeting with Iran over nuclear deal‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/09/eu-moves-to-protect-european-firms-from-us-sanctions-on-iran), so even as we know that there are several things wrong, even as Iran meddled in other business and now is responsible for direct missile attacks on Israel, we see that Europe is still trying to make some level of a deal with Iran. It goes even further when we see “Work on the package being coordinated by the European Union is at an early stage, but the EU is being urged to warn the US it will impose countersanctions if the US attempts unjustifiably to cripple EU firms trading with Iran“, yet the foundation is that there has been more and more overwhelming evidence that Iran has not been dealing in good faith. When we consider the earlier settings that I mentioned 3 days ago in ‘Stopping Slumber, Halting Hesitation‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/05/07/stopping-slumber-halting-hesitation/), we can just quickly decide that they were prepping for all this, which would be incorrect, yet the fact that 20 missiles got there so quickly to be fired on the Golan heights also indicates that there was Iranian willingness to go that distance in several political branches and on pretty much all military levels, which is equally unsettling. The issue is that the EU remains a lot quieter when it comes to the involvement of Turkey. It is a personal view of mine, yet I believe that there will be diminished needs soon enough and there is a Turkey EU membership play coming. The beginning of ‘compliance delay messages‘ is merely an indicator, I believe that the fear mongering will get worse and too many parties are playing that game, that whilst the denial of Turkey into the EU should have been clearly made well over a year ago.  So when we are treated to “The European Union is scrambling to arrange a crisis meeting with Iran after Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement, as the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said Europe had a “very limited opportunity” to save the deal“, we also need to keep in mind that terms like ‘could’ connected to ‘shut down UK’ on EU laws, this level of fear mongering is just beyond acceptable and we might all be better off in a direct war and whomever survives will suddenly demand near draconian treatment of the media, even as Leveson 2 is (for now) off the rails, the next crises will not go that smooth for whomever is demanding greater accountability of the media. That is not the only part, the entire Turkish economy and the S&P decision to regard Turkey. As it junkified its currency rating from ‘BB/B’ to ‘BB-/B’, we see a larger impact and when we consider that the Turkish lira (TRY) has fallen 7.4% this year and in that setting, including the corporate debt problems that Turkey is facing, the entire blow hard whilst they are not producing any music is more than merely wind in the air, as Turkish economic growth has been fueled by cheap international credit, we still see the need to pay for all that and now as we see (actually it was last month) with “Yildiz Holding—owner of the brands Godiva chocolate and McVitie’s biscuits requires a complete restructure of $6.5bn of its total $8.5bn of debt by the end of this week“, a cookie factory having an eight billion dollar debt? What else is in such disrepair? That shows just how desperate Turkey is at present to get into bed with almost anyone, that is what we are allowing in our midst and there is no level of fear that seems to be reflecting off the sides of EU Brussels and Strasbourg, which is also unsettling, now as they are optional diplomats in a really bad case of reconsideration by merely the EU to get the nuclear deal going, now we see the rise of mentions and soft press tapping on Turkish doors.

That alone should scare us beyond measure!

There is no case against it all and whilst Turkey is at a stage what some call ‘Hostage Diplomacy‘ whilst they are now upgrading their arsenal with the Russian S-400, the game switches and none of this will end up having a happy ending. For now we can leave Russia out of this as its focus is merely the US, or intermittent board hugging to make the US look bad via the EU, yet overall the setting here is not too negative (for now), the issue merely becomes hoe friendly it needs to remain with Iran in the mix, because there is the game on a different level. From my point of view there is a certain level of polarisation, even as Europe should stand next to Israel, it seems intent on standing ‘diplomatically‘ alone so that they need not stand opposing Turkey, that is merely one view, yet in light of its financial hardships and Turkish needs to be seen positive towards becoming an EU nation is not a good combination. So when we see the EU with “As long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it has been doing so far and has been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 10 consecutive reports, the EU will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal“, which all might be very true, yet Iran has shown different colours in Syria and against Israel, so that stance is not merely wrong it promotes polarisation. On the one hand, the EU is not doing anything wrong from that one treaty point of view, yet in light of what we have seen in Syria, there are a lot more issues in play, not all are on Iran, some are allegedly issues for Iran to answer, but I wish to not use that in the examples, merely because they are allegedly part of anything, meaning they are part of nothing until confirmed and when we consider the utter uselessness on the last chemical attack reports, certain Syrian issues cannot be labelled to anyone but Syria itself. So as things in Syria escalates and as Iran is escalating them, or at least actively part of the escalation, the EU will need to take a stance sooner rather than later, they prefer later, yet when they are forced onto a corner and they select Turkey and Iran over Israel, the game will quickly change and not only is Europe feeling that drain, the impact that will happen in the middle East, is one that Europe will suffer for a much longer time than they bargained for and there is no quick solution for the wrong decision. That will be evident pretty soon at this stage.

So as we see one side evolve, we see in similar news from the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/missiles-fired-at-saudi-arabia-signal-support-for-iran-by-its-proxies-1525886469) the mention “Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a barrage of missiles into Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, an early indication that Iran’s allies in the Middle East are likely to flex their muscles in a show of support for their patron—risking a wider conflict“, I think that these events which were apart by merely a few hours had some levels of coordination. So when we see “Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have fired a salvo of domestically-designed and -developed ballistic missiles at “economic targets” in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh in retaliation to the Al Saud’s devastating military aggression against their impoverished country“, we need to keep a clear mind. The missiles are said to be Yemeni (Borkan H-2 missiles), yet the information on the H2 is that it is said to be a short range ballistic missile with normally a range of about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) or less. Even as we see it is almost capable of making the 1,036 km to Riyadh, the setting that we see with ‘economic targets‘, whilst at the maximum distance, the chance of actually hitting what is aimed for at the maximum range is a lot less likely or possible, not without and ace rocket and ballistic expert at the missile site; the Houthi’s are a little short on both, so we have, in my personal opinion, either Houthi’s that want to hit any part (mainly civilian parts) of Riyadh and they merely claim to be aiming for a bank, or the optional more likely setting is that Iran has been directly involved in training the Houthi’s or firing the missiles themselves. Now, we can opt for option one, yet the training curve would be a little devastating on all minds involved (even if you use targeting computers and software, yet they have had the time to train the Houthi’s for months, so it is possible, yet I personally see it as less likely (again merely speculation from my side), so when we consider that Iran is waging war on two fronts, so far (as far as I can recall) only Napoleon and Adolf Hitler were that stupid and how did it end for them? There is an optional thought that Iran will be hiding behind European coat tails in the end, but that is still speculation without evidence (at present), perhaps that is why Turkey is in a desperate state to become part of the EU?

I am merely asking, because the Iranian decisions we are seeing over the last 24 hours give rise not to the US, but to other players hoping to wage ‘extreme’ solutions to make things go forward for them, whilst the opposing player has no intention of playing nice, the US can’t start another war and Iran might be hoping that the EU is too unwilling to see its economic setting dissolved through armed conflict. It would be a decent tactic to play, but for now it merely remains a setting of speculation. Yet, in all this, there is more than just saber rattling. When we look at Reuters we see “Turkey will continue its trade with Iran as much as possible and will not be answerable to anyone else, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal“, so we see Turkey with an utter lack of accepting accountability for the economic paths that they are trying to get on (aka the EU gravy train). How can anyone expect Turkey to have any level of civility in the setting of economic partnerships? Because in the EU setting, we have seen more than one play where such acts would not have been allowed, yet Turkey is setting the pace to do just that. It is an important setting as it gives Iran a green light they should not have had, it is merely the outspoken voice to set the colour of options, and that colour is the one of explosive red. That is shown by others as the setting that is not to be allowed. Even as we understand that there is a setting that Italy, Germany and France do not want these sanctions to happen, we see that their voice gives “Patrick Pouyanné, the chief executive of the French energy firm Total, has already called for the EU to pass a blocking statute“, which makes perfect sense, and it is likely to happen, yet when we see the Turkish response with “Turkey will continue its trade with Iran as much as possible and will not be answerable to anyone else“, it merely shows that they are nowhere near ready to be allowed into the EU as a member state, because when they do something like this after they are admitted, the game changes by a lot and from that moment onward Turkey becomes merely the liability of the EU, not a member of the EU and there is a large distinct difference, even as we see them in the current setting for now, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will not continue on the undermining path that they are on, we have seen too many instances of Turkey acting that way that way in the last few years.

When we return to Iran we seem to be in deep water, not healthy waters by the way, the Riyadh/Golan actions are debatable at the very least and the fact that they are being mixed gives light to the dangers that are upcoming. Can they be avoided is the larger question, I am unsure of an answer, the fact that Yemen and Syria happened at almost the same time is a larger issue to contemplate and I have no factual useful response. Waiting for now is pretty much all we can do. I don’t think that we have to wait for too long as Israel has already announced retaliatory strikes a mere 15 minutes ago (source: Haaretz). So this cookie will not merely escalate, it is certainly the setting where other cookies get crumbled as well, the mere question is: “What are our options as per tomorrow, or the day after?

I do not know, when it comes to Yemen, we all (mainly the EU, NATO and USA) sat on our hands for far too long and they have made it part of the package deal. So the first act (at present) might just depend on how much Saudi Arabia feels threatened.

 

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SW2, not WW2

Is there a Syrian War 2 brewing? That was the initial thought I had when I got exposed to the ridiculous claims from Turkey this morning. There are two parts. the first comes from the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/19/turkey-warns-assad-not-intervene-kurdish-enclave-afrin), the quote is “Turkey warned the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad that it risked a military confrontation with Ankara if it intervened in an ongoing war in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, in a further escalation of tensions that hint at the possible widening of an already complex conflict“, now, just to make sure you get this. Turkey invaded Syria for the alleged reason of coming to aid towards Assad, or perhaps merely to ‘fight ISIS‘ in a presentation attempt to silently start the second genocide, the genocide of the Kurdish people. So Turkey goes invades Syria and now states: “Turkey warned the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad that it risked a military confrontation with Ankara if it intervened“, so how is optionally opposing an invader ‘intervening‘?

The second part comes from the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43107013), where we see basically the same with ‘Afrin offensive: Turkey warns Syria against helping Kurds‘. So when we read “Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Turkey’s operations were going ahead as planned and it would be a “disaster” if Syrian troops were to intervene“, should we deduce that a failed introduction to genocide is a ‘disaster‘?

Even as we see the similarities, we see that the issue is larger than merely a scuffle between the Turks and the Kurds, the way we see the quotes and the way that they are reported give rise to the fact that there are other issues below the waterline. It is not merely semantics, it is the interaction that Turkey has been having with several nations gives that rise and the optional viewing of that should make plenty of people worried at the very least and decently nervous in the nominal setting of international relationships.

The BBC article ends with “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russia’s Vladimir Putin that Damascus would face “consequences” if it struck a deal with the Kurds, CNN Turk reported on Monday“. So, Erdogan, President of Turkey, a person with not much diplomatic skills or powers outside of Turkey for that matter, is telling Putin….? Oh, sorry, I nearly lost my breakfast laughing myself into several layers of bellyaches. It is almost as impactful and powerful as me calling Alexander Bortnikov, telling him to give me access to all his data, or he is going to hear ‘stuff he will not like‘ (most likely me calling him a pussy). Yes, people like the President of the Russian Federation, or the director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ)) getting told by the likes of President Erdogan (or me for that matter) is something they should take extremely serious (sorry, second laughing attack, I will be back shortly). So, after I had my second laughing attack that lasted close to 611 seconds, I got back into my seat and decided to take another gander at a few parts. You see, the nice part of such short sighted actions is that it alienates the players Turkey actually desperately needs. Which in turn is making Iran more and more nervous, which is good news for several countries in the Middle East. The interesting part in all this that he BBC reported “During the course of the Syrian war, pro-government forces have largely avoided direct conflict with the YPG, but they have had sporadic clashes“, which now gives the optional food for thought that Syria might actually set some resources that way with the optional thought that they will not be targeting the YPG, because if we agree that direct conflict was never a real necessity, the Turkish forces changing that by sticking their short stick in a hornets nest, that part would be the greater threat to Syria, which now gets them into hot water is a few places and on several ways. In addition, it will also change the conversation that is going to happen in Kazakhstan in two weeks, giving more questions if there is still going to be a summit in Istanbul on Syria. The changing pressures are by no means a way to get things talked about and smoothed over. Even as Reuters gives us: “The three countries are working together to try to push the troubled Syrian peace process forward“, we need to also consider the mandate that Tehran gave to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the outbursts from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing its own agenda whilst at the same time causing chaos towards the plans that Iran seemed to be having in all this, his self-serving hatred of Kurdistan is making the creation of coalitions next to impossible. With the Netherlands adding fuel to the fire of Turkish non-diplomacy, as they have now voted to recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915, pressures are growing there too, at a time when Turkey needed every European nation to be on his side regarding the non-realistic approach to becoming an EU nation, we see that the gap is increasing beyond the chance of that ever becoming a reality. The Turkish parties kicking every hornets nest in the Middle East is not very useful. On the other hand, Turkey could decide after Kicking both the US and Russia, to see if this level of craziness is useful in Beijing, which it is unlikely to be unless they open up all kinds of open trade paths which might actually be a lot less interesting to Turkey, especially at a time when Turkey is trying to get increased Cherry exports to China in time for the next harvest, the need to grow their export which according to some is in excess of 80,000 tons, they are now in a stage where they can no longer afford to get on anyone else’s wrong side, which must be a novel experience for the Turkish Diplomatic Corps.

All this whilst the issues in Greece and Cyprus are at present still unresolved, with the Ekathimerini making a connection between the report published on March 28, 1897 in Empros newspaper where we get: “referred to a foreign diplomat who described Greeks’ behaviour in relation to Turkey as that of a dog that barks, but does not bite. We all know what followed, but we still tend to forget how bad it is in international affairs when you bark, but no one really feels any threat“, and the escalations on gas resources at present, that whilst there is a certain logic to make the statement, especially when we consider Europe, NATO and the UN is seen in relation to: “where tensions broke out between Greece and Turkey, these organizations never really offered anything more than carefully worded statements“, that is the situation when we rely on the paper tiger to get things done. So when we read: “Athens must be very careful in weighing its next moves. It’s a balance of terror. If it shows compliancy, one can’t be certain where the other side will stop“, whilst we all know perfectly well that Ankara will not stop until forcefully halted. As the article ends with the absence of emotion in the Turkish-Greek debates, the issue is that the theatre is getting prepared to get very emotional from more than one side. Turkey almost has no options left after kicking all the wrong shins. In my view, when Syria escalates and escalates in one wrong direction we will get a flood of orchestrated news (whilst journalists have been sentenced to life in prison) and from there onwards it becomes a long winded marketing campaign, because Turkey seems to be realising that the US, the UN and Europe are all about statements and statements alone. Which is a dangerous game as it could press towards a second Syrian war where the Syrian Kurdish area could get annexed into Turkey and its population would optionally somehow mysteriously vanish.

So, how should we see the optional threat of a second Syrian war? that is hard to see, with too many high level meetings, with the latest addition being one with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet in April in Turkey, there is no telling what it will actually be about. Even as we have seen from enough sources that it will be about Syria, there is in my personal view absolutely no way that it will just be about Syria, especially as the meetings are going to be behind closed doors. That view is made stronger when we consider the news merely a few days ago when Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told CNBC “We’re at the breaking point in positive territory of this relationship … We really embarked on an amazing positive journey“, that in light of Iranian issues and the fact that President Putin’s face is on the homepage of the RFID gives enough indication that nothing happens there without the explicit approval from more than one key member of the Kremlin and there lies the complication, The meeting around Syria is set in a stage where all three have separate agenda’s. Turkey has the Kurdistan region, Russia has a truckload of billions it can win with Saudi Arabia and Iran is extremely opposing anything pro-Saudi Arabia, as well as having a few additional issues regarding Yemen, who would really like Russia to become a mediator here, so the Syrian talks will come with close to half a dozen unscheduled stress points. So, when we see these issues in the lights that can be confirmed, will Syria see more or less stability?

Less stability is not a given, but the premise of it happening is actually more realistic than I would have foreseen less than a year ago.

 

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Your GCC resume

Qatar remains in the news, some are looking at the $5.9 billion deal in Italian dinghy’s, others look at the cancelled deal to become an American Airlines stake holder and others like me are focussing towards the GCC futures. According to the Defence minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah this setting is not in an increasing danger. The problem is not merely the GCC in itself, it is what you will not see in many newspapers, it is the overhanging impact on OPEC. The news given by Oilprice.com is “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts. Doha will be able to sabotage the current 6+3 production cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members. If Doha decides to join the ranks of Iran and Iraq, OPEC’s future will be in doubt” it is at the very end of the article (at http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/Clash-Between-Qatar-And-The-Saudis-Could-Threaten-OPEC-Deal.html), yet that in itself is not the bacon maker, or if pork is taboo, it is the lamb to the slaughter. When we see: “The Arab criticism may have been less harsh if U.S. officials would not have put oil on the fire. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis openly warned Qatar that it should change its support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mattis also stated that U.S. president Trump is considering classifying the Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization, which could have a very negative impact on the U.S.-Qatar economic-military cooperation in the coming months“, this reflects right back to the pressures that the American players where trying to establish through pressuring the WTO issues as written yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2017/08/02/a-big-tree-in-the-desert/). Another source (Leaprate.com) gives us the links to Iran and re-elected Hassan Rouhani. Here we see “America’s new-found protectionist outlook and open contempt for the JCPOA, has put a question mark against its future, while Iran’s ties with Qatar, currently the subject of embargos by many neighbouring states, is a further concern for investors“, this is the part that most do not get informed about. Partially the US has a valid point as the previous president of Iran was openly waging war towards the US and against the state of Israel. The dangers as I gave them years ago, especially in the light of the nuclear treaties is not how good or how reforming the newly elected President Hassan Rouhani was, it is the issue about the next person, who will get the presidential trophy in 2021 and what happens then? This is the long term worry, most will agree that one extreme leader on the edge of insanity is good enough and keeping that person in North Korea is for now the best place.

Yet, that was not what this is about, when we consider that the JCPOA (also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), we see the given by Ali Akbar Salehi with ““After JCPOA, our oil production has soared from 1 million barrels per day to 3.9 million bpd,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying on Sunday, two days after the two-year anniversary of the action plan. This marks a success for Iran’s oil-based economy in reclaiming its market share lost over the years of sanctions“, the issue is that this directly opposes OPEC with “All GCC countries depend on stability in the oil and gas markets, which is evident from the recent OPEC deal. A full-fledged confrontation will, without any doubt, put pressure on the current compliance rate of OPEC members to production cuts” for the UAE and Saudi Arabia that is a problem, as Iran has increased its production by nearly 3 million barrels a day, the other players have to decrease even more, which means that they are hurting well $150 million a day or we will see the pressures shift all over the Middle East, which is not good for America (or the UK for that matter), because that impacts what Saudi Arabia can buy, and the monthly $4.5 billion is partially for the hardware delivered and expected before December 2017, so as these sales paths are impacted, we will see a level of hurt all over the weapons of mass consumer requirements market.

So we have valid and greed driven concerns regarding Iran, in this the Qatar issue does not help and the play that the US is making as we see it should not be considered as a beneficial path. No matter how valid the present situation is as we see it given through the Russian Academy of Sciences, Stanislav Ivanov is giving a present truth with “The main line of Tehran’s policy is to get out of sanctions and gradually restore its economic and financial potential“, we do not deny this, yet the past decades was about setting the pressures to Iran as the western nations had to deal with extremism, in addition to the funding that Iran gave Hamas as it kept on attacking the State of Israel, there are ample issues in all this as the strategic setting before 2021 (Iranian general elections) could face the US, Israel and Western Europe with an economic revitalised Iran, which will be pushing the players back to square one if that seat will become the sitting arrangement for another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which is not out of the question.

When that happens, those with a GCC resume, with or without references to OPEC might wonder where their employability resides. Now, if they have been smitten with a 7 figure annual income, they might not care, yet those without that part for at least 4 years might need to scrape by, having to live on $40K a month for the rest of their lives. I can advise these people that it can be done, if they shed the 4 luxury cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Bentley), give up their membership in the Yas Links Golf Club, Almouj Golf and The Majlis, Emirates Golf Club as well as their 4 bedroom apartment in Riyadh and they are already half way there. So how serious is this? Well, it is actually a lot more serious than most people realise. When we consider that the GCC is a realistic target for cyber-attacks and cyber terrorists, Raytheon is setting up technological barriers to thwart to some degree these plans. the issue is not what the presentations give, whilst we do not oppose of attack the stance that CEO Thomas Kennedy has, the quote (source: Raytheon) “It has since reinforced its cybersecurity capacity with the purchase of 14 companies. In 2015, it acquired a company called Forcepoint (previously known as Websense and Raytheon|Websense) to enhance its commercial presence. This is now the world’s second-largest privately-held cybersecurity firm. Raytheon recently secured a five-year, $1bn contract for the US Department of Homeland Security to help defend “.gov” websites from cyber-attacks. Now the goal is to bring that working knowledge to the Gulf” is merely showing a deficit in the technology. Acquisition is a partial solution to any cyber given industry, the given premise to survive is not what can be bought today, but what must be developed for tomorrow. You see the firms that have that focus tend not to be for sale in the first place. Whilst Raytheon’s focus is very valid to catch up, it is much less a solution for those who are arming themselves for tomorrow, their own missile system department can teach them that part. It is not merely about the technology, it is the development of new systems in cloud and non-repudiation that will give the GCC and other gulf places the edge to be ahead of the cyber-attack curve. A partial issue is found with “We have one of the best data-leakage protection systems in the entire cybersecurity field, and we combine this with our insider-threat behaviour system, which detects suspicious activity and ensures IP and data is not compromised“, which might be non-false, yet the events as Sony has seen shows that the reflective comments are from a behind the wave assessment, with HBO being an example as they were hacked a few days ago. The one provider that relies on cyber security as it sells its value through Netflix is now giving Vanity Fair “When Netflix was hacked earlier this year, the cyber-criminals behind the attack demanded a ransom. But there was no such demand in the hack that struck HBO over the weekend, and the sheer amount of compromised data has led some to believe that video footage, internal documents, or e-mails could be leaked next. The premium-cable giant is working with the F.B.I. and cyber-security firm Mandiant to investigate the breach, in which hackers claimed to have stolen 1.5 terabytes’ worth of data“. This is what Raytheon is up against, not some access issue, but stopping the drain of terabytes, basically every part of the GCC removed in mere hours, whilst the cyber minders were in the dark until after the event and the quote that follows (at https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/08/hbo-hack-seven-times-larger-sony) “A traditional business-grade D.S.L. link would take about two weeks at full blast to exfiltrate that much data,” Farsight Security C.E.O. Paul Vixie told T.H.R. “If not for video and sound, a corporation the size of HBO might fit [entirely] in a terabyte, including all the e-mail and spreadsheets ever written or stored.” Another expert added that the entire Library of Congress contains an estimate of 10 terabytes of print material—so it is almost certain that video and/or audio were stolen“, this directly reflects on Raytheon. It is not what we know it is what others have figured out that is the issue. Whether it was through frame leaking, through cloud replication, there are issues that remain non-secure, even as security is at the top of the salespersons mind. There is a need for a new designed system no longer merely on access, but on ‘bio wired’ non-repudiation that is driving the need for evolution and these sales forces have remained in denial as it is something that they cannot offer at present, so they reflect on it as being a non-solution, a non-reality. They stick to the solutions that they can sell now and that is where the GCC finds itself, the lack of visionary evolution of data systems.

So when Raytheon gives their next presentation and someone at the GCC asks “How can we assure that the Bolero electronic Bills of Lading are not stolen or corrupted?” what happens then? Will that person at GCC need to write his resume tout suite, or will his superiors realise that the question was valid and that this situation is an immediate threat to the GCC members? Because in this day and age where extremists are all about the attack on infrastructures, the Bolero Title Registry, the repository and application that manages the transfer of title of the eBL is a clear weak point. Ones the recipients are scrapped and the cargo gets locked down, the ship will have two issues. The first being that the ownership cannot be transferred, you might think that this could be solved in a few days, and that would be right. The direct consequence is that the transfer of oil stop would cost an additional $578,000 in port charges, twice the amount in addition for pilots and towage fees. And as they are moved around additional costs will be incurred, that is apart from the issue that the delays bring and when a visionary does find the way to reset ownership, the delivery of 1 million barrels comes down to a nice $50 million fee, that optionally went somewhere else.

The one place where cyber security was essential is as given in indications running behind and not catching up; the only way to do that is to get ahead of it all. Now, as stated, this is not an attack on Raytheon, this is merely the direct issue on the business need to set serious cash into evolving the new systems to be ahead of the curve and be in a state where the hackers learn that it is not merely about access, the nice part of adding a new ‘language‘ to the plot is not to delay their invasion, it become to take away their comprehension of what they see (hopefully for longer than short term). You see, I have loved Cisco solutions, but they all talk the same language and their precise documentation have been a real assist on those with no-good intentions, we merely need to ask Google ‘what does a cisco frame look like?‘ and we get so much information, enough for too many to get to the heart of the matter and in the early stages of the internet that was a really good thing, we need to move beyond certain settings and push towards dedicated systems that have additional layers of protection, now that might be a mere delay, yet consider what is being protected. How willing are you to keep data safe? Not merely oil data of ownership, in the age of Netflix whilst hackers are streaming the episodes by the dozen, depriving places like Sony and HBO from valid revenue, revenue they invested in, the game needs to be changed. We have seen the uselessness of some governments as they were facilitating towards the communication sellers on bandwidth; we need to change the game regardless of those players. One way to do that is remove their existence to impact. Google did that to some extent, but not to the extent needed. As we realise that providers are 15 dimes to the dollar, we need to set a different scope, not merely in the cloud, but in the need for dedicated non-repudiation. Only then can we make a first effort to push the boundary towards a safer zone. And perhaps Raytheon will bring that to the table, the fact is that we do not know the player that delivers the need of tomorrow today, we merely know that it will not be Beaker bringing it (a Muppet Show reference). In this the ‘evidence’ can be seen when we realise that Raytheon gives us John D Harris II and his view on how forward thinking Talon laser guided rockets are. Yes John this was really the need for Cyber safety! As we consider the issue beyond point-to-point communication. In addition the $100m development program reads sexy for your bonus, yet the issue is data, both at rest and in transit. There are the issues, not in the rocket man shooting by a member of the UAE air force. So as we moved from certain parts of the GCC, via Iran to other providers, we need to see and comprehend that there are several players, all with their own agenda, a perfectly sound and valid situation, yet when we see that stability is centre in all this, destabilisation will impact both the GCC members, the OPEC members and when the overlap is shown (those in both), we need to realise that Iran and Iraq will not care about the needs of the GCC, they are not part of that, which ties hands of the six GCC players and in that Qatar is the centre of the seesaw that the 6 members prefer to have in some level of balance, yet the issues as we are seeing them escalate will impact all the given needs for all the players having their ‘own’ needs to satisfy. None of that is likely to happen any day soon. We could see the US and both their needs towards JCPOA and the WTO as an opposing issue, one that is not beneficial to the GCC or the Qatar issues as they are playing. I cannot say what the GCC members should do next, but it seems to me resolving some parts and creating a new initial balance is the best way forward. This gets me back to the question phrase yesterday. If each of the 4 members could phrase one issue to resolve by Qatar, what would that be? If Qatar can get the conversation started on that, as merely a first show of good will, yet from my point of view, if they Promise to have a good look at Al-Jazeera and do some immediate reforms there as a first step of good will towards the four opposing parties, it might just be enough to reduce tensions and give time for non-escalations to settle and as such forward momentum in resolving issues will be found. In my view it would leave Qatar in a much better view by all other players and global non players. It will open the doors and perhaps that is a good beginning, merely a good beginning, but more than we have now.

And none of this, none of my views were set to painting any of the players as the bad people, merely a path to find the track towards profit and growth, profit for all the players and economic growth for all of them. In all this the one question that is forming in my mind is that Oman has been the one GCC member that is outside of the equation to some extent, could they be a mediating party in all this? I actually do not know the answer; I am merely voicing the question that I have not seen in the news. You see when you realise that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been the driving force behind Vision 2030, the economic diversification strategy. Is that something that a nation like Oman could see benefits in, when we consider diversification, when we realise that this impacts range of products as well as field of operation. Would it not be interesting how this view could be beneficial to the Middle East as a whole? In all this, as the driving force surpasses boundaries, is that not a field of economic diplomacy to see it grow? To push forward momentum is to find a place and subject of discussion, in my view it would be to find a topic many can agree on, a topic that is always a hard sell in most occasions and it seems to me that oil dependency is always a good option for those realising that it is the only thing they offer, by adding more options, any nation connected is merely opening paths to more stability and more opportunities, especially when these paths can be sold to nations seeking more than oil, which is close to every nation on the planet. Finding a place of stabile growth is the best product any player is ever likely to sell. In this stability is a lot more sexy than quick gain, especially on Wall Street and they are having too often too much to say on that matter. As we need a different language in the cyber world, it is clear that outside of that world a common language is the only solution. The question becomes what language and how to start the conversation, even those setting up their GCC resume right now. That is a fact as it is a resume that they want everyone to read, a comprehensible common ground is the first step in this.

 

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A traitor as an ally

This was the first thought I had when I saw the news on the Iranian nuclear deal as it is being ‘stamped’ out. First let us take a look at some of the information, so that you all can see how I got to the conclusions I got to. The first one is the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/iran-nuclear-deal-negotiators-announce-framework-agreement).

So let’s take a look at the miscommunicated truths we can clearly see. The first one is “In a joint statement, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, hailed what they called a “decisive step” after more than a decade of work“. There has not been a decade of work, the ‘work’ has been no more than 20 months. Before that, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in office, the man was such a sociopath, that he makes the average British skinhead sound like a docile conservative. So, this is not a plan of a decade, this is, as I see it a situation that has been a bad idea for well over a decade. Now we get to the Kerry sound bite: “The test is whether or not it will leave the world safer or more secure than it would be without this agreement. And there can be no question that the comprehensive plan that we are moving toward will more than pass that test” You see, as I see it, it will not leave the world safer and it currently puts Israel in clear and present danger, in addition, the danger to Europe will be illustrated as well.

The quote from the New York Times is “The president promised to increase security consultations and cooperation with Israel to “remain vigilant in countering Iran’s threats”“, when? You see, the issue is not just Iran, it is the Iranian military, who have been openly supporting Hamas. The news (at http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.646624), shows us the title ‘Hamas and Tehran boost ties as Meshal meets Iran’s Larijani in Doha‘, this is not a secret, the quote “Meanwhile, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview two months ago that Hamas sought to re-join the Iranian-Syrian axis” could be discusses in how good those relations are, but in this there is one non mentioned fact. The fact that these officials are talking is also a clear path that military officials will have been able to meet with them too. It only takes one ‘misplaced’ shipment for many houses to come crashing down. You see, some will state on how weird it is that only Israel is reporting on this, my issue is that the meeting between these parties was open, there were photos taken on March 10th through March 12th, which implies (no evidence), that they had all the options to meet with some of the ‘assisting’ military too. Is that such a far-fetched assumption? That news was shown by RT, IB Times and a few others, including American, yet the American sources all stopped around July 2014. It seems that freedom of information comes at a price there too. Now, there are plenty Israeli sources, all with photographs. It includes Debka (http://www.debka.com/), who had additional news recently regarding arms deals, but in light that one localised source is always debatable, I am willing to remain cautious on this. Let’s not forget that Israel also has a political path to walk, to state America has one and Israel does not have one is just ludicrous.

As for the current situation, I have no doubt that Hassan Rouhani is a decent person, who has the best intent for Iran in mind. Yet, in this situation, we must not forget that Iran has a ‘democratic’ election system, which means that in no more than 5 years a new president shall be elected. There is no guarantee that the next elected person will be a former diplomat and a moderate. If the next elected president is an extremist like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, than the future of Israel will move from debatable to non-existent in soon thereafter. Is it not interesting how a proclaimed axis of evil is suddenly an optional choice for between the sheets? Is that what American bankruptcy is getting us?

Now consider the Guardian quote: “Iran will cut its nuclear infrastructure to the point that western governments are satisfied it would take a year to ‘breakout’ and build a bomb, if Tehran chose to follow that path“, so this American administration is willing to be on a one year deadline, whilst they know that whatever hits next will be on the plate of the next administration? How is that anything less than treason? Are you the reader not aware that Iran got more done while it is a clear threat, whilst thawing between Cuba and America took decades, which in light of other events calls for additional questions!

So now we get to the good stuff, because I made a claim and it is important that I show reasoning, if not, it is just noise. You see, the danger from Iran goes a lot further then just Israel. Until recently, my mention would have been ‘If Hamas’, but now, as things escalate, we get ‘When Hamas successfully detonates a dirty bomb’, we get a different picture. What do you think will happen? If the wind is towards the west, which it most likely would be, we get a radioactive cloud that will hit all over the Mediterranean. Now we get a direct danger to the fishing industry for Greece and to a smaller Italy too. Greek tourism will be non-existent for decades to follow, the ‘glow in the dark scare’ will do that to tourism, which might be nice for Portugal. Turkey will also see the fall out here, but not as much as Cyprus and Crete. Once the current spread the radioactive love, there might be larger implications. Then we will suddenly see all kinds of phrased denials, but then it will be too late for Israel and America will get its low cost oil for decades. They only had to be willing to sell their ally Israel down the river.

So is my view too extreme? Not if we believe the New York Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/world/middleeast/arab-leaders-agree-on-joint-military-force.html). The first paragraph is already a clear notion “The Arab states said on Sunday that they had agreed to form a combined military force to counter both Iranian influence and Islamist extremism“, in addition to this we see “While the Houthis have received financial support from Tehran, the Iranians do not seem to exert a strong influence over the group as they do, for example, with Hezbollah in Lebanon“. It is in part all about the financial support, the Arab league needs to counter extremism, that is getting support from Iran, and now, in the same breath America is seizing the pressure that could have made a real difference. I reckon we all have the same question, ‘what gives?’ which is a statement that is not asked my many in press positions. Is that not odd?

Yet, these thoughts alone are not enough and the facts are not all in my favour. You see, many (including me) would see the previous president Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami as a moderate too, but the danger that another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gets elected is too great to suddenly ease on any nuclear deal. Instead of the Cuban approach that is all about reducing tension, we see an unacceptable willingness to just cast it all aside, hoping that Iran keeps a decent form about it all and as such, Israel is placed in immediate harm. That, in my view is not an acceptable act from a true ally. The linked truth to this is that the pressure also includes to the other Arab nations, so what game is America playing, what does it have to gain and why, as such is it willing to risk its ally Israel? No one has a clear answer here!

Another linked statement from the Guardian is “The smiles in Lausanne are detached from wretched reality in which Iran refuses to make any concessions on the nuclear issue and continues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East“, the person speaking this was Yuval Steinitz, as both Minister of Strategic Affairs and Minister of Intelligence. I wonder what former Mossad director Nahum Admoni would think of all this? He was at the helm when Israel had its ‘lunch’ displayed all over the British press through Mordechai Vanunu. There is however another side to this, one quote from Yuval was “Israel cannot place its security in the hands of international forces instead of relying on the presence of IDF soldiers“. I partially have an issue there too, even though I very much understand the position Mr Steinitz has, the European community at large has felt diplomatically negative about that statement, diplomatically speaking it was the wrong thing to say, tactically speaking, it is an understandable quote, as in the last few decades parties all over all Israel’s neighbourly borders have been single minded regarding the annihilation of Israel.

These are all clear facts, we know that Iran, might be on an improved path, but there is no guarantee passed 2020, so why so eager to give them nuclear freedom? That is a plain reality, the information stated “There is a very rigorous transparency and inspection regime with access for international inspectors on a daily basis, high-tech surveillance of all the facilities, TV cameras, electronic seals on equipment, so we know remotely if any equipment has been moved” sounds nice in theory, but remotely, errors, failings and other issues would not be unheard of, in that ‘confusion’ many acts and miscommunications could and with some degree of certainty WILL happen, then what?  What options would be left to Israel? As stated, my issue is less with Iran and more with the willing extreme military officers that have been and are still supporting Hamas and as I see it, any other linked party willing to go against Israel. That path will become a lot clearer as the Arab axis becomes more visible against Iran, let’s not forget that Egypt is next to Israel so a dirty bomb would most definite have the consequence of a panic attack on Egypt too.

Even in America there are sides that to some extent agree with my views. The guardian had this quote “Republican senator Mark Kirk compared the agreement to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler” (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/03/obama-republicans-iran-nuclear-deal). Now if you think that Mark Kirk is so out of centre, then think again. He is Senator of Illinois, a state, where the Daley family stands strong, two of them former Mayors of Chicago for almost half a century, in addition to several other high placed governmental officials, so we can state with certainty that the Daley family does not suffer fools on any side of the political isle; In that environment Mark Kirk survives, so he is no loon! Another quote is “Tehran would have to remove the core from its heavy water reactor in Arak, making it inoperable. It would have to dilute or export at least eight tons of low-enriched uranium, leaving it with only 300 kg“. Here is my issue, at least 8 tons, means that numbers this inaccurate allows for a few hundred kilo’s to be shipped or stored in non-visible places, one of the fears that Israel validly has. In addition, Iran has played fast and loose with lives in the past. What happens when someone figures out to shift the core from steady state to mobile? Yes, the core can be removed, but the supporting system, the steam system and the cooling system will still be there. So what happens when someone MacGyver’s a removable mobile solution? Is that so far-fetched? It took me 10 minutes to come up with that idea, so is Israel that far out of bounds? When we look at the info from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Conversion-Enrichment-and-Fabrication/Uranium-Enrichment/, where we see “the centrifuge process uses UF6 gas as its feed and makes use of the slight difference in mass between U-235 and U-238. The gas is fed into a series of vacuum tubes, each containing a rotor 3 to 5 metres tall and 20 cm diameter. When the rotors are spun rapidly, at 50,000 to 70,000 rpm, the heavier molecules with U-238 increase in concentration towards the cylinder’s outer edge. There is a corresponding increase in concentration of U-235 molecules near the centre. The counter current flow set up by a thermal gradient enables enriched product to be drawn off axially, heavier molecules at one end and lighter ones at the other“. A tank engine is mobile and has the power to get the power shifted, it just needs to get shifted into a carbon coated caboose. Of course it is in reality not a simple 44 minute episode of MacGyver solution, but the overall view of static equipment is relied on too eagerly. My issue remains not with what is now, but what comes next in Iran and it seems to me that Israel is keeping that in mind, but why Is America and why are the European partners at large ignoring that?

So here we get the title, as Israel sees it, the nuclear changes pushed through, with so much ‘enthusiasm’ are more than dangerous and I reckon, when it goes pear shaped, in hindsight, when the event does actually happen, Europe at large will turn away from America for ever allowing such a dangerous event escalate to begin with. Then what will happen? Well, I can speculate on that (remember, pure speculation), whatever Global corporations that would like to remain in business will leave the United States, Google and Apple will announce themselves to be global and move to other shores. So Apple represented by 187 billion will move away, because the bulk of that is not coming from America, in addition Google’s 66 billion comes from all over the world. So a quarter of a trillion dollars will move away, whatever ‘deal’ America thinks it have will become obsolete and whatever economy it has will collapse overnight. I have not even considered another half a trillion that IBM, SAS and Microsoft represent. In a world of over 7 billion, 325 million do not add up to that much in the view of revenue eager corporations. When Europe sees the consequence of any fallout (pun intended) from this deal, how will they react? Nicely? 500 million that makes up the EEC and the Commonwealth that makes up for 2.3 billion, how incompetent, are the politicians pushing for this deal end up willing to be seen as?

Part of me, in all honesty would hope for the Iranian deal to work. All indication of Hassan Rouhani are positive. It is the person after this that is the problem. I am all for a better deal less restriction with Iran, as long as they are non-nuclear for the upcoming decades. That would already be progress. So as I see it, the administration on the way out, an administration that could go into history as one of the worst in recorded American history is playing a dangerous game, a game they will leave to others to pay for.

How is this the responsible act from any ally?

 

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Israel stands alone

I wish I had better news, but the situation as it deteriorates in the Middle East, might in the next immediate period give more pressure and dangers to the state of Israel then anyone realises. Is it more than Israel thinks it is? That is a little harder to see, but I feel certain that their bad case scenario had included options even worse than I would be able to foresee.

This is not just on the issues raised by the USA, or EU as published (at http://news.sky.com/story/1217922/us-and-eu-urged-to-halt-weapon-sales-to-israel), it is also the issues which will hit Israel as we see a deteriorating war theatre in Syria. When we see “Amnesty International criticises what it calls Israel’s ‘callous disregard for human life’ in its handling of Palestinian protests against occupation“. Is that the actual truth? Over 4000 attacks from Palestine missiles and mortars in the last 5 years against Israeli civilian targets, making almost 70 attacks a month for 5 years, so basically a little over two attacks a day, every day for 5 years (even more in the 5 years before that). These were almost all fired at civilian targets, which makes the Amnesty International report a coloured one. I am not just writing this from the back of the room. I have been there, I have seen the consequences and people that I know of have been in direct danger because of the acts of Hamas, Hezbollah and the groups acting in the Sinai. So, this is not just a far away from my bed situation (Dutch expression). When even today in 2014 see that the Palestine’s are stating “The Palestinian Authority adamantly rejects Israel’s right to exist” on a daily basis and the fact that this is still shown and proven at every turn. Is it a surprise that the tensions are not and will not be broken any day soon?

The second issue comes from State Secretary John Kerry, as mentioned by Sky News (at http://news.sky.com/story/1205342/israel-boycott-warning-dismissed-by-netanyahu),where we see the quote  “US Secretary of State John Kerry had suggested that a failure of peace talks with the Palestinians would accelerate calls for a ‘de-legitimisation campaign’ against the Jewish state

Is that so? The issue, as it has been known for decades is all about Israel’s right to exist. NOT ONE government has been able to swing this in favour of Israel EVER! So Mr Kerry, are you sure you want to be the one that is known as the person who acquired the label ‘the failed superpower USA‘ as we see not just the issues in Israel, but also the failings of campaigns involving Afghanistan, Syria and now the Ukraine? I am not stating that the last two should have been about military intervention, but diplomacy did not work. As the Syrian issues keep on escalating, the dangers that escalations move south of the Syrian border is not out of the question, when that happens the dangers for Israel will quickly increase. Even though many parties do not want the Syrian government to completely fall and left in the hands of several smaller extreme hands, the dangers, even if Syria moves on without President Assad will mean that pressures towards Lebanon will mean that the extremists now attacking Israel on a regular basis will end up with a lot more resources then they have at present. As we look at the mentioning of economic sanctions, the handling of it as we see in the newspapers about economic sanctions have for the most never ever worked.

Cuba is still there, even though it has been under massive economic pressure since 1962, the economic pressures against North Korea since 1950 also failed. They are still there; these two have nowhere near the resources of Russia, so how will the sanctions against Russia ever work? In addition, Russians are acquiring businesses all over Europe; the acquisition of Siebel in the Netherlands is one of the most visible ones lately. How will sanctions work in these cases?

This is all linked to Israel, let me get to that.

As we see the power of government (the US in particular) fall back because it has no power to stop businesses in many ways, we will see that governments are slowly losing power on a global scale (so not just the US). To some degree it will all be about the business and the local religion they depend upon, this evidence is seen as we see watch where big business remains and how it can deliver its projected forecast. This has been fact since the early 90’s. Now, as Europe needs and desires to do business all over the Middle-East, they will unite their view according to the need of their business. This does not make Muslims or Christians anti-Semites, yet the acts of individuals have been, especially when lacking moral and cultural insight, anti-Semite in nature. As long as the business makes that they need to achieve, they can get away with most acts of pro-profits. This places Israel, with a unique national religion in a dangerous place. When we see the article at http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jews-reluctantly-abandon-swedish-city-amid-growing-anti-semitism-1.301276, in addition the news at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4456356,00.html shows another side of one of the most liberal nations in the world. This is not a statement against Sweden, but the fact that this level of hatred goes on, even today, in several nations gives rise to the acts of Israel. Until the ‘right to exist’ is met by all its neighbours, and the Middle-East at large, this will go on and on. If anyone wants to make a statement on how it was ‘theirs’ in the past, then remember that the tribes of Israel were not just in Israel, they held parts of Palestine as well as a sizeable chunk of Syria as well. As this place became ‘slave shopping central‘ for both the Egyptians and the Romans, that area went from all to naught within 5 generations. So what is a solution? Well, as for the issues at hand, we could request two payments one from Egypt for 25 trillion and one from Italy for almost 50 trillion, not to mention the damage the Jewish population suffered from fanatical German acts. I am certain that Israel will make a deal to some extent. So if we go back long enough the issue could be settled, but the involved parties have nowhere near the funds to make restitution. In the end, is there a solution? It seems that there is, but not a peaceful one, not until the involved parties are willing to sit down and actually talk. In that regard, the US intervention has little or no power to hold any of it up. It is, especially at present, willing to sit at any table for economic reasons (not that this is a bad thing), but Israel knows that whatever deal will be gotten, it will not end good for Israel, the US knows this, it has always known this and at present, in their economic state of destitution they cannot afford to care about it. This is partially why the entire Iran situation will not be accepted by Israel, nor should it be by many nations. Be aware, I am not speaking out against Iran in this matter, but the issues as former president Ahmadinejad escalated them can easily happen again. Iran is the third largest nation in terms of oil reserves and this is why many parties are so adamant to make a deal with Iran (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/31/us-china-iran-zhenrong-idUSBRE9BU03020131231), as China is making new deals for oil, Iran will get an additional incentive of well over 80 billion, which the US is now missing out on. In an age of cash is king, the US is demoted from king to a mere tiny Earl and this is more than upsetting to these high and mighty US oil barons. Their business is wavering. So, as they will push for more and more business, the dangers Israel faces are also increasing. This is not about Hassan Rouhani, who so far is showing and proving to be an international diplomat. Israel fears what comes next in 2021. There is no indication that Hassan Rouhani is anything but a moderate, however the next one might not be like that and anyone who follows and is one step closer to a new Ahmedinejad will give the state of Israel a direct nuclear threat to deal with. They cannot allow for such a dangerous situation. It is all good and nice the things that John Kerry (as State Secretary) claims now, but when things go wrong, he will sit from a distance negotiating for talks whilst Tel Aviv partially glows in the dark. At that point those poor poor Iranians will be willing to talk (after the fact). When, at that point Israel stops existing, the Mediterranean is no longer a viable place and the fallout dangers to the eco systems of Greece, Italy and Spain will be regarded, by the US administration, as unfortunate. When a nation has no options, every step is one too many. Is my assumption a fair one? Consider the acts of former Iranian president Ahmadinejad; consider the acts of Hamas, Hezbollah as well as the Al-Qaeda groups currently in the Sinai. Mohamed Morsi was only just in office when Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood started staging anti-Israel rallies in Cairo.

I feel certain that John Kerry has been aware of all these dangers, as have the members of the state departments all over the world. So, if any solution is ever to exist, then getting the ‘right to exist’ for Israel, will be a mandatory first step.

So when I stated that Israel stands alone, I was not kidding. For those who are eager to deal with the oil states, will have to deal with many who are opposed to the existence of the State of Israel (avoiding stating the term anti-Semitism here). In this era of government bankruptcies, the Cash is King approach is painfully visible and there is no clear solution in sight any day soon.

 

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Debt and …?

This is a story I find hard to write. Is it a story? That will always depend on your point of view. You see, there is a danger to blindly sight with one person, one group or one vision. We all have it. We think of a certain path being the only one and as such treading of that beaten path is always a dangerous one because we as people do not walk off the path. Some know the horrors that this beaten path protects us from.

This is the story of Israel and an ally, who due to impending bankruptcy had to make a leap of faith. This is how I see the Iran issue. Let me be clear. I have nothing against Iranians. I remain in the belief that Ahmadinejad was an utter idiot and as such no trust could go to Iran. The image of its current President Hassan Rouhani is entirely different, yet, I still have an issue with the dangers to Israel. No matter how good Rouhani is. He will be up for re-election and after two terms, what will Iran get? Will it get another Ahmadinejad? Until the Muslim nations all acknowledges the existence of the state of Israel, giving them nuclear abilities is just too dangerous in many cases. In my mind Ahmadinejad wanted immortality, to be remembered in prayer for all eternity. To get that, he only needed to destroy Israel, something that could be achieved with only one successful nuclear missile strikes. Would Ahmadinejad do this, if he had nuclear abilities during his reign? In a heartbeat! Now, I am fully aware that most Muslims are not like this. But it only takes one elected one to take that step. This is a very real danger! So, I personally do not expect that Hassan Rouhani is like that at all (it is just the image I have of that man). But if we consider that to be elected in Iran, that three of several elements are: administrative capacity and resourcefulness, a good past record, trustworthiness and piety. If Ahmadinejad passed these, then who else will be able to pass these checkpoints?

So what is this about debt?

Well, the US has too much of it and it needs billions each day to stay afloat because the US cannot get a grip on its spending. With an oil filled Iran, the US will be willing to do business and it desperately needs money! If you doubt that reasoning, then consider the Cuban issue. Why after decades is there still so much pressure, both economically and technologically? Consider this pdf from the US military: “Policy Options for a Cuban Spring” (at http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20120630_art014.pdf)

I wonder if this stand-off approach would be there if there were large oil fields under Cuba. A Cuban response, even though I find it slightly too ‘propagandistic’ (is that a real word?) is at http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/alarcon-tvi.html, where it states as they quoted US senator Warner “The current policy treats Cuba more cruelly than Iraq and North Korea, where US embargoes are less restrictive.” I cannot vouch whether that was said, whether that person quoted it, but there seems to be a ring of truth in the sentence. It seems that Iran still supports Hamas, a known terrorist organisation, but as this endangers Israel and not the United States, the US will deal with Iran. So, is this an act of betrayal against its long term ally Israel? That depends on several matters, but that is how many would see it. That view is endorsed even more if we consider that Cuba is still under the heaviest of sanctions.

So is the US being sanctimonious? Considering the pressures that remain it does look that way. Whatever you think of the Cuban regime that is in place. It has been there for 50 years. So, the approach of half a century that did not work has to change. There are additional questions. This quote gives one view “Human rights advocacy groups have criticized Castro’s administration for committing human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch stated that his government constructed a ‘repressive machinery’ which deprived Cubans of their ‘basic rights’ “. Another view could be that the US had strangled Cuban Economy for half a century and as such certain developments could never take place. It is possible that my view is the wrong one, yet as we see how the pressure on Iran is now faltering, where they endured economic sanctions less than half the time Cuba had, additional questions must be asked. Israel has been placed in a dangerous situation and I wonder what promises John Kerry will make on his visit when serious questions will be asked of him. I wonder if the Cuban situation will enter the discussion at some point.

As for my added label of ‘sanctimonious’?

Consider that the US Tax evasion law (FATCA) which was initially supposed to start in January 2013, has now been delayed until July 2014. There is an interesting read (at http://www.deloitte.com/assets/dcom-unitedstates/local%20assets/documents/tax/us_tax_fatca_faqs_061711.pdf). So as Reuters reported another delay (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/29/usa-tax-fatca-idUSL1N0IJ1N020131029) the question becomes, who does the US government serve? More and more evidence comes to light that it is not all US citizens, but mostly the Rich and corporate ones. So when things get out of hand, consider the reason why things got out of hand and not just the ‘who’ dropped the bomb (if that happens). Those who allowed for the dangers will have plenty of blood on their hands and history must record and openly name and shame those involved too.

It could be the only true historical manifest to stop greed (nothing else seems to work).

There is a third side to this, if America would be willing to allow for indirect terrorist support (Iran supporting Hamas) through economic windfall, then are we not obliged to pronounce the US bankrupt? If freedom is only gotten through ledgers and by approval of the banks and the wealthy, then how free are US citizen really?

 

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