Tag Archives: Hezbollah

Groping in the dark

Yup it happens, we are sometimes caught without a clue and at that point some of us enter the blame game, some of us get emotional and shout at everyone who dislikes us and some try something else, like investigate for example. So even as we should feel sorry for Iran, we definitely feel sorry for all the innocent people in the crossfires, as well as the children caught in the event. We need to critically look at Iran and the choices that they are making.

You see, the attack did not wake me up to the event, I reckon that all the events by Iran in the dar in Yemen gave light that this event was always going to happen, how was of course not known. What woke me up was not on their professionalism, it was the lack of professionalism that got my attention.

Even as Al Jazeera gave us a lot of information, we see the headlines all over the media:

  • UAE official denies Iranian allegations of links to military parade
  • UAE dismisses Iran’s allegations on terror attack
  • Iran’s Khamenei says the attackers were paid by Saudis and UAE
  • Iran warns U.S, Israel to expect a ‘devastating’ revenge: state TV
  • Iran blames the US and Saudi Arabia for Ahvaz military parade attack
  • Iran blames US and Gulf allies for Ahvaz parade attack

All different headlines appearing within hours from one another giving us the insight that not only is stability absent in Iran, it might be missing a lot more then we bargained for. Even as we realise the setting of ‘Ahvaz military parade attack‘ as well as the statement given “Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the 2018 Ahvaz military parade attack without providing evidence, the Ahvaz National Resistance is an ethnic Arab opposition movement in Iran which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province” it is seemingly cast aside by the Iranian National guard (who seems to be missing a few members as per last Sunday).

Consider the smallest optional truth, the fact that there is an ‘Ahvaz National Resistance‘, as well as the part where we see ‘seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province‘, would that be the perfect place for a ‘show’ of strength? Even as Al-Jazeera gives us the voice of Yacoub Hor Al-Tostari claiming it was them and them alone, it seems interesting that Iranian officials are claiming that this is all due to financial support from the ‘outside’.

As we should argue whether any of it is true, we cannot deny the impact that a reported amount of 4 gunmen had on the entire event. The France24 English gives us a little more (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agwNNpiU-uo), there is an additional part. The Claim by Islamic State, and as given from this source is the part that two of the gunmen resembles and that is optionally a setting, with the inclusion of the channel was an Islamic State channel, yet they do not speak about Islamic State, two were speaking Arabic and one Farsi, none of them refer to Islamic State by name, giving us not intelligence, but merely question marks. That is the setting that you need to consider. Even as they speak ‘Jihadi’, the language is oppositional, merely oppositional to Iran. Yet when I consider the facts, I see an optional new danger. With the separatism in Ahvaz, there is every chance that Islamic State will use this staging area to propel their needs. As there has been clear mention of support to Islamic state in Ahvaz, we see not merely an Iran that is in a state of lessened stability, it is in a state of internal turmoil. I would think that Iran would have been less likely to get hit by Islamic State ever, yet the attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard implies the weakness and the attacker, whether it was Islamic state or not have exploited that weakness and it is unlikely going to stop at that part.

And for these attackers, there is a benefit, as Iran is not merely accusing, but also setting cogs in motion to optionally stage settings against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US and Israel, they will open themselves to additional attacks as the IRGC will be looking and focusing in the wrong direction. Even as I have some issues not merely on the Abadan training base, but also its location, as well as its function. It seems to me that if the images were of an actual trainings base, it seems to be the weakest of stages and the easiest one to take on if they can get the timing right. Any successful attack would have a much larger impact as any successful event against 2 bases in Khuzestan could also start a level of demoralisation that the IRGC has not had before. A similar issue exists for the Semnan base. Even as we realise where the helicopter landing pad is, I see the setting where 2 sets of two jihadi teams could bring a level of devastation to the base, a level that Iran had never faced before giving more and more rise to more than mere destabilisation. And that is where this all starts, not with the accusations from Iran, but the active level of the accusations form Iran that gave rise not on who was guilty, but on the setting that Iran is weaker then it pretends to be. We can accept that any government will boast strengths they do not have, that is mere ego. The fact that the reported 4 gunmen did this attack and Iran decides to look into other directions is where we see their weakness, as well as the consideration that they are in denial on who could have attacked them, that was the element of the war that they just lost. You see, the Art of War (Sun Tsu) gave us: ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles‘ and that is the first part of the stage that they lost, not merely do the not know their enemy, they seem to be in a stage where they no longer really know themselves and that leads to ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. The revelation surprised me, because before last weekend I considered that they were still a force to be reckoned with. Even as they hid behind Houthi’s and Hezbollah, using them as told to do their bidding, there is now a much more realistic view that they are at present limited to proxy wars. Yet it is not enough to merely look at Sun Tsu. Carl von Clausewitz in his work On War gives us “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will“, a path we can accept, yet it also shows the wisdom of Sun Tsu more clearly. To compel your will on your enemy is one path that requires clarity of vision. If you yourself cannot focus that vision the result is not merely chaos, it is as I see it the limitation that chaotic and non-engagement will be the result of both a lack of vision and a lack of will, so why Carl von Clausewitz? Well, he does give us a more modern part and one that is highly essential here. When he gave us: “No one starts a war — or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so — without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. The former is its political purpose; the latter its operational objective“. So as we consider the response on the attack, we see the following elements. The first is ‘being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve‘, even if this is a war in defence against the attackers, there is no clarity of mind. The senseless accusations are clear evidence of that reflection. The promise of retaliation might be the political purpose in all this, yet it is not aimed at its attacker, merely at those not friendly to Iran (for whichever reason), basically it could end up being senseless accusations against most nations except Pakistan and Turkey. Oh what a ‘bad web’ some people weave, right? The operational objective is not merely acting against the actual attackers, but properly preparing for these attacks and now we see the larger flaw. As I saw the staged weakness in two IRGC facilities, it is my personal belief that there are a lot more (I never saw all the data on all bases), but the optional of hitting half a dozen infrastructure points in several bases means that 4 facilities could optionally end up in lock-down, draining not merely resources, but in addition draining operational staging options for a much longer time. Consider that part. In any base, when you need to keep an additional 20% ready to actively defend a stronghold, how much operational activities will be available? when that sets in and local uprising start the IRGC will have a lot less abilities at their disposal as it requires to increase its foundational defences to be up and running around the clock. I think that Islamic State is starting to figure out that weakness (OK, that last part was highly speculative). When you consider that part, can you now also see on how Abadan is a much more appealing target in the near future?

Even as we accept that there is no evidence truly supporting Islamic State claims, we need to consider the Iranian News from August 29th (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min). It is not the news reported that interested me, it is on what was missing that was of value. When we see: ‘One ISIL member arrested in S Iran: intelligence min.‘ (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min), it gives us not merely that one member was arrested; it gives us not where it was. You see Southern Iran is not a small place. So when we see Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi giving us that this one person was arrested and that “Around 32 terrorist groups and 100 grouplets in various sizes which are supported by foreigners to create insecurity in the country“, as well as “In the past year we have delivered blows to 269 groups, squads, and networks which were supported by terrorist groups like Kurdish Democrats, Komala Party and other similar groups“. So we see all these ‘successes’ and we see that they got one person. The imbalance in it all is just too hilarious. Now also consider that we see: “This shows the intelligence dominance of the intelligence ministry which does not allow the enemies to create insecurity in Iran“. He might claim that, yet the 25 dead and 70 wounded gives he shining light that not only does Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi not have a handle on things. The fact that the attack was ‘successful’ implies that he has less then he thinks he does and that is where the teachings on Sun Tsu and Carl von Clausewitz come into play giving us a much larger stage of limitations on the side of Iran.

Yet there is also additional victory for the enemies of Iran in all this. The NY Times gave us that (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/24/world/middleeast/iran-attack-military-parade.html). If we accept the used quote from Al ahed News (Hezbollah, Lebanon), we see: “In a speech on Monday at a funeral ceremony for the victims of the attack, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, said: “You have seen our revenge before, you will see that our response will be crushing and devastating, and you will regret what you have done”” Yet the actions of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Brigadier General Hossein Salami accuses US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which in light of decently reliable intelligence and evidence is now more in doubt and there we get back to the words of Sun Tsu: ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. That is now partially the staging area that the enemies of Iran are given with the damage of 4 shooters against a military parade. If we optionally add the lack of results by Hezbollah/Houthi with at present 198 rockets fired implies not merely that the proxy war was an extremely bad (read: expensive) idea, when we consider the thought that Iran is limited to these actions because of the brewing instability, we see another stage, a stage where Iran either changes their direction by a lot, or we might witness the beginning of an essential regime change as the current one has little left to work with, either way, the issues involving the Ahvaz attack will worsen before the entire stage could optionally get better.

It is not the attack; it is the ‘groping in the dark’ hoping to get a bite that showed their weakness. And when we consider ‘If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned‘. That wisdom could have been available to both Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and Brigadier General Hossein Salami, it did not come from either The Art of War, or On War. It is evidence in both books, but the clearest wisdom that the aftermath of the attack brought was neither of these books, it came from the Art of Fishing, a wisdom that every fishermen in Iran could have told them, if only they could have separated the noise from within and the wisdom on the outside could they have figured that part out, especially when you consider that Iran exported almost 250,000 tonnes of fish in 2014, we see that the Iranian hierarchy has stopped listening to the right people, who those right people are is a puzzle they get to figure out themselves. Watching their failures is just too entertaining to me to see that stop any day soon, I can’t wait to see the media conversations when they get to report on the intelligence that the commander of the Bandar-e Jask naval base had been missing out on for quite some time.

#ReturnOfThePranker

 

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When math is no solace

There are times when facts and logic prevails; in most cases math and logic tend to be the cornerstone of our decision making. Even if the calculation is horrible, even when sheer numbers dull us from the contemplation of what we see, the math and numbers becomes a shield, a level of protection against the sheer insult of the moment. We might realise that, we might not. Yet that is the setting we all face.

So when sources gave me ‘Hezbollah to Israel: ‘Precision’ missiles now obtained‘, I was merely curious. It was the quote “The Israeli military has said Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred longer-range missiles” that started it all. You see, when we consider that a short range missile costs somewhere between $25K and $40K, we see that the lowest ballpark in one setting is already $2.5B, and the value is up to an estimated maximum of $4.8B. In that sense, can anyone explain to me the sanctity of the UN when it receives $100m in new funds for Palestinian aid? This is not some charity thing. Even Iran is not merely giving away $2.5 billion like that, this comes at a price and why should any UN funds, given or not, be handed to Palestine in this setting? As we were given merely last December: ‘Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah vows to focus on Palestine‘, whilst we were treated to ‘Taunting Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasts about armed group’s upgraded military capabilities‘? You do realise that short range missiles have no defence foundation, the use of short range missiles in for offensive actions only, and even when we accept that missiles can be used to destroy a tank, which is a valid defence. There is no need to have 75 missiles for every tank; 2-3 usually can do the trick. the matter complicates even further when we realise that clear evidence was shown (multiple sources) that Hezbollah is directly involved in Yemen, the place where 5 million children face starvation, we see prolongation of a proxy war and Hezbollah is very willing to be the tool in that case, so why are they given any consideration when they have a direct involvement in prolonging the biggest humanitarian disaster in history? A setting where 5 million children are now in a direct setting of death by famine and/or disease, even the Nazi Germans never went THAT far.

It is in this setting that I have to raise an article that is about 3 hours old. It was available at Arutz Sheva 7 (at https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22760). I think this is the first time I go there and therefor I cannot comment on the channel, but the article came from Prof. Louis René Beres. He is Swiss, graduated at Princeton (which I will not hold against him), with an additional truckload of publications in some of the most prestigious places. He gives us: “While the jihadist terrorist courageously claims to “love death,” this necrophilious announcement is an evident lie. Paradoxically, the self-proclaimed “freedom fighter” actually kills himself (or herself), always together with certain innocent others, to ensure that he or she will not die, that there will take place a sacralized transcendence of personal death“, the additional part I needed here was “Whether we are willing to accept it or not, these corrosive wars are usually focused upon mere symptoms of enemy pathology and not at the underlying disease itself. Regrettably, these “wars of defense” are unlikely to make any substantial dent in jihadist thinking; hence, they can be expected to exert only minimal interference with any derivative jihadist harms“. You see, the statement in the article ‘For them, the obvious oxymoron is a simple example of deductive “logic.” Ultimately, this sort of “sacrifice” is their immutably overriding objective‘. This now relates directly to Yemen, with the food, water and medication shortage. Mothers can be offered a life time of all three for their children, if only they would….. (You can fill in the rest). This is exactly why a decisive victory in the Battle of Al Hudaydah is so essential. When these mothers realise that there is a place where there is medication, food and drink, the setting shifts away from terrorist consideration. And whilst humanitarian solutions are implemented, the so called big boys of Intelligence can start tweaking their Palantir Gotham and start figuring out, where 100,000 missiles are, because there is absolutely zero chance that a chunk of that is not on route to Yemen. Even 10,000 of them, that is still a truckload of containers and they need to be found and destroyed now, because once these missiles are placed in Yemen, the setting of a prolonged war is not merely a certainty, it will be a certainty for several years. The chance of these children surviving that timeframe is close to nil. And even as the Iranian PressTV is now flaunting ‘Yemeni ballistic missile hits military base in Saudi Arabia‘ (they were the only ones giving us that), we know that it will be a problem, one of many. So even if we consider that part, it is Asharq Al-Awsat who gives us (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1401871/150-turbaned-houthis-schools-recruit-students) the issue on recruiting children, the exact issue that I gave in ‘Lying through truth‘ a month ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/24/when-drought-sets-in/). Here I emphasized “The clothes are too clean, the weapons too shiny and there is a cameraman on the car. I have an issue with the picture. Yet the article is all about ‘Houthis Exploit Poverty-Struck Children as Cannon Fodder‘, an accusation that has been seen in more than one place“, it was the setting of a recruitment drive. The headline shown earlier, and even the Iranian news seems to be offended on this when we see: “Hezbollah was found to be recruiting children as young as 12 into their armed units in the Syrian Civil War just last year, according to Human Rights Watch“. The question is no longer merely on how fast we can act. There is now a growing concern that it might already too late for too many children.

Where is the math? You see, if we are confronted with 5 million children, the math tells us that that there are no less than one million mothers involved (if they are still alive), that means when we ‘aggregate’ the settings shown so far and if we are to accept the scenario presented by Prof. Louis René Beres with: “This still-expanding network of orchestrated homicides now generally represents an au courant form of religious sacrifice, a long-standing practice that stems from distinctly pre-modern customs (not necessarily Islamic) and that links each applicable suicide’s “martyrdom” with a “properly” designated victim“, then we need to consider that if the stage of Battle of Al Hudaydah needs to be completed fast, because the unthinkable setting of math the setting that is an insult on life where the Saudi coalition could be facing up to one million martyrs. This now takes me back to the initial part. When we consider the statement of 100,000 and 120,000 short-range missiles and rockets, we tend to think in one direction. Yet, when you remove the casing and the propellant, you end up with something mobile that can explode easily enough and cause a lot of damage. The issue is not that this is done, the case becomes that you suddenly have 10,000 (or more) suicide vests, a setting that is emotionally a nightmare, because the timeline between creating one and retrofitting the other is quite the leap.

It is my unfounded and speculative (extremely speculative) part where there is an optional setting that Hezbollah (optionally via Iran) is setting the stage that the Japanese Imperial army had in 1944 when it created the Kamikaze (Tokubetsu Kōgekitai), a stage that is optionally the stuff that nightmares are made of. So what if I am wrong? That is the whole part that matters to merely some degree. If the story that Hassan Nasrallah told us was a lie, we win. If the Battle of Al Hudaydah is settled, fired up because of the lie by Hassan Nasrallah, we win. If we strike a definite blow against Hezbollah, we really win and if we can set the stage for true humanitarian aid to start in Yemen, we also win. We only lose if Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthi’s are successful in prolonging the Yemen war. I see no downside in any of the scenario’s on our side in all this. I think that we need to realise that cutting all aid to some of the players hiding behind hardship and then casually informing us that they now have an additional $2.5 billion plus in missiles and rockets, they would not really have any need for aid in food, clothing and medicine, would you not agree?

When the people have to choose between firing offensive missiles against a non-enemy, or choose for food, water and medication (optional clothing too), what would you choose?

It seems easy enough to me and it was merely the use of common sense, without the required need of math (in the final decision).

The entire Yemen is about numbers, yet any math involving this is unlikely to bring solace to anyone hoping to find a shield in that math.

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When drought sets in

That is the moment that is feared, it happens all over the world. The drought in Australia had been close to legendary, and then there is New Mexico, Texas, small parts in Oklahoma, as well as Missouri. Europe is also facing issues of drought with crop failures and loads of farmers now facing bankruptcy. Countries like Spain, Greece, even parts of Southern Sweden now having more than just a dry spell. After a summer of record wildfires that burned roughly 250,000 hectares of forest, we see that the Swedes are slamming down on the change of lifestyle that has squarely hit them in this green jewel called Sweden, they record the worst drought in 74 years.

Drought is a way of life in some cases and depending on the situation you bank, drought becomes a game changer. So when we are introduced to ‘Hezbollah turns to charity amid economic woes‘, we see that it is not merely a dry spell. We are faced with the quote “Iranian excess wealth, which has funded the group with hundreds of millions of dollars a year, appears now to be drying up“, it is in line with “Hezbollah officials have been scrambling to put a lid on the aforementioned “crisis” as its coffers have been depleted in the wake of its large outlays on fighting in Syria and from the increasing squeeze of U.S sanctions on its patron Iran“. Yes there we have it, when we see ‘its patron Iran‘, we see the setting of Hezbollah, the ‘bitch’ of Iran, a tool to be used and discarded when the situation requires and it seems that Hezbollah is a tool that can no longer be afforded and now we see “resorted to the more traditional means of fundraising through its Islamic Resistance Support Organization and Imdad Committee for Islamic Charity“. It seems that those opposing Hezbollah and Iran are making gains in this path, as Hezbollah is now in an economic crises, they might consider that for every missile fired on Saudi Arabia, a thousand people need to abandon a week of food for a thousand persons. Consider that 165 missiles have been fired, where does that leave Hezbollah? OK, that was a wrongful setting, because the missiles are seemingly coming from Iran. We see more and more evidence that this is the case, yet how exactly has remained in the shadows of speculation for now. The biggest issue is not the fact that they rely on charity, it is “Nasrallah seems to understand the severity of the problem, telling members of the group’s Education Unit, which provides scholarships and operates schools, that the crisis would “endure as long as U.S President Donald Trump is in office,” sources told Annahar“. I would think that their involvement in Yemen, being one of the main causes of the absence of humanitarian aid would be a much bigger issue. In this, the National gives us “Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington has set out evidence of Hezbollah’s deep involvement in the war in Yemen, including footage of commanders directing training for Houthi rebels“. In this, I personally do not think that the fact that they are a mere Iranian tool matters, their involvement is a key part in the extensive hardship on the Yemeni citizens. That part is shown in several sources giving us: “Because terrorists use human shields to protect themselves or cause civilian casualties “without facing consequences,” it is imperative that “terrorists and their sponsoring regimes must be held accountable for their brutal practice of using civilians as human shields,” argued two experts in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal“. In this Hamas and Hezbollah seem to take the same approach. When we are introduced to the Hamas side with: “they exploited “the bodies of our women and children,” in the words of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar, to protect its fighters as they attempted to infiltrate Israel. Though Salah Bawdawil, another official of the terrorist group. later admitted that most of those killed by Israel were indeed members of Hamas, Dubowitz and Kittrie observed, “the television images had already done the intended damage to Israel’s reputation.”“, so tell me, what happens when the drought of human shields sets in and the lack of children cadavers becomes overly visible? What remains at that point?

This is the setting and whilst Hezbollah is seeing its drought into new requirements for other tactics, we must ask ourselves, why was the entire Iranian-Hezbollah link allowed to continue in the first place. You see, when we are ‘treated’ to “the television images had already done the intended damage to Israel’s reputation“, we are not told that the media will not correct for the exclamatory statements that they make, they will not correct for the howling negligence or incompetence towards the true setting, because the emotional feed is too useful, as they merely focus on the needs of the shareholders, the stake holders and the advertisers.

That jump makes sense in a moment. As we were given (from various sources) “Over 1.4 million people have fled their homes in Yemen and are now struggling to find food and water. There are additional food shortages because farmers are unable to pump water to their fields“. In all this, with all the shortages we see that the Yemeni’s have to make very different decisions. When we see this pristine child, clean clothed, looking not hungry or thirsty, whilst in opposition we see levels of severe malnutrition, we need to reconsider what drought actually means.

You see the dictionary gives us “a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water“, yet it also gives us, the version we forget about. With: “a prolonged absence of something specified“. That is the version we need to focus on. As I stated it a few days ago, we might see the setting of those clean kids, new clothes, shiny rifles and a cameraman, but in that setting, in a prolonged absence, we see that they are the most vulnerable, the easiest form of extremism, kill and you do not go hungry (for a while at least).

It is a setting that Hezbollah has used over time again and again. I will say that there is no evidence that this is a specific Hezbollah setting. They might be on the sidelines using whatever tools handed to them and these kids, optionally for the first time in years with new clothes, a proper feed, we see the setting that radicalisation is getting too easy for the players and that is also why Humanitarian help is essential. When we dig deeper, we see the amount of sources, photographs and videos pile up, a proxy war that seemingly has children on both sides, where will it end?

So as we get back to Hezbollah and its patron needs; when we consider: “the party has attempted to implement de facto austerity measures, cutting certain social programs it provides to large segments of Lebanon’s Shiite community yet preserving the payments to the families of dead and injured fighters“. When the issue becomes ‘payments to the families of dead and injured fighters‘, it is their choice, yet in a stage of a drought of basic needs as we see that “its donations have maintained funding to around 40 percent of its needs“. Perhaps setting different priorities like for example, stop being the tool for Iran is a first step in all this. Especially when we see that the funds are drying up. the idea of Iran having to step in and actually do the fighting themselves is a first step to recognising that Iran is no longer in a proxy war, but in an actual war theatre where they are clearly seen as the warring party that they are. I wonder how many European nations would be willing to continue the setting of “The European Commission unveiled Thursday a first tranche of 18 million euros ($21 million) — 8 million for the private sector, 8 million to cope with environmental problems and 2 million for drug abuse“, in some misguided Iran aid deal whilst we see that the involvement of Iran in Yemen is basically part of the children dying through proxy wars and barred humanitarian aid, as this benefits Iran to a much larger degree. So whilst we have seen all kinds of attachments to laws, Is there any clear attachment to the ‘50-million-euro effort to help Iran cope with economic and social challenges‘, with the setting that its involvement in Yemen, once proven will slice funding by 90%, or were the big business people of Europe unable to concede to the idea that there should be some level of morale in all this? This setting is important, because if the Iranian funds are going dry, it equally means that Iran is out of options and in that light we need to consider that Europe had more options to get a much stronger humanitarian based agreement, yet these steps are not done, is that not equally strange?

In all this, whilst the clear diminishing funds are shown, we are also treated (two weeks ago) to the ‘Hezbollah’s Ababil drone on display in Mleeta‘, as well as the misdirection of “the Pentagon estimates that each UAV can cost as little as $200 and will be used by Hezbollah in other combat fields“, It is my personal view that this is clear misdirection as the systems contain at least $300 in metal and $500 in optical parts, the electronic are close to another $1500. So someone at the Pentagon seems to be buttering someone’s sandwich in all this.

Yet the story is clear, it seems that Hezbollah is another player where hunger is inferior towards its hatred of Israel and its facilitating displeasure of Saudi Arabia through Iran, and we must recognise that in all this the US is equally guilty to some degree. Instead of the statement from John Bolton: ‘Hezbollah forces in Syria must go back to Lebanon‘, he should have clearly stated: ‘Hezbollah forces in Syria and Yemen must go back to Lebanon‘. It would have been a first step is setting the stage that Iran would be left with less and less options, by not addressing this we are faced with a Hezbollah who is now eagerly awaiting charity funding to prolong the Yemeni situation (among other options), a situation that needs to get cut short and right quick.

In the end, when the drought does set in and you are still all about a continuing war that was not about you in the first place, at that time when you rely on charity and donations, merely to pay the ammunition and drone bill, isn’t it time that a harsh look at ones priorities becomes more and more essential?

#59HoursUntilMondayMorning

 

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Lying through truth

It is a sad day, it is sad for several reasons. The first is because the Press is now intentionally misleading the public. The second is that the press now decides the scope of information that the people are allowed to have, by spoon feeding us part of the information. It is about emotional impact at the expense of the truth, truth through omission whenever needed.

That is at the centre of all this and I cannot comprehend why this is continuing in this way. The articles part of this are ‘US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus‘, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/19/us-supplied-bomb-that-killed-40-children-school-bus-yemen), in addition it links to an article called ‘Yemen school bus bombing ‘one of 50 strikes on civilian vehicles this year’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/16/yemen-school-bus-bombing-one-of-50-strikes-on-civilian-vehicles-this-year). In all this you are deceived by Julian Borger in Washington and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in London. Now, before I continue is that the part “The bomb dropped on a school bus in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition warplane was sold to Riyadh by the US, according to reports based on analysis of the debris” is not a lie in itself, it is a lie, but that is what we will look at in a moment.

You see, the more complete truth (as I personally see it) is: “Saudi-led coalition forces attacked a Houthi stronghold; the bomb either directly or indirectly hit a bus, which later turned out being a school bus with children on board. As far as the information gives us the warplane was sold to Riyadh by the US, according to reports based on analysis of the debris“. This difference matters because the attack, from several sources was a Houthi stronghold. The photo that I discussed on August 13th in my article ”Is it mere wording” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/13/is-it-mere-wording/),we see the ABC article gives us the footage where we see a non-scourged bus, implying that the bus was indirectly hit. The white paint of the bus was still intact. We admit there is total devastation, but this is the first part of the deception by Julian Borger in Washington and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in London. The second part is the fact in what I would regard as intentional omission. In addition, Al Jazeera gives us: “a Saudi-Emirati coalition air strike has killed dozens of children in a Houthi stronghold“, an unconfirmed part (apart from Al Jazeera) and in all this there is no mention of that part in there?

As for the setting of “US supplied bomb“, we have to realise that “As of April 2016, Saudi Arabia’s 2016 defence budget has decreased only by a relatively small amount from 2015 levels, as the government appears determined to support the economy and focus on economic diversification. Military and security still comprise 25 percent of the total budget, representing a sizable opportunity for U.S. aerospace and defence companies“, so this is a spending and investment that has been going on for years, hence the chance was great that it was American equipment that would be used. I think it is slightly hypocrite that the papers (dozens of them) on where the missile came from whilst the US economy has been barely surviving and with those dozens of billions a year the US would have stopped some time ago. In addition, if you want to go for the source, ask the people in London how they feel about the French Exocet missile, it took out the HMS Sheffield. These things happen and the fact that there was a bus full of children that was most likely indirectly hit is still really sad, no one denies that. Yet what were they doing in a Houthi Stronghold? No one really has that answer, do they? The Houthi’s have taken on board the Hezbollah and Iranian advice to hide within the population, that is a setting where plenty of innocents will get hit and the fact that this is done whilst even now we see that last Friday missiles were fired, aimed at the population of the city of Najran is not mentioned. Now, I accept that this is not part of the bus news, but several other parts were. The fact that Houthi’s have launched 176 ballistic missiles towards the kingdom so far is also a fact that is part of all this (not of the news article though). Yet the Saudi-led coalition will act in reprisal, who will get hit next? The Deutsche Welle also gives us: “arms researcher Pieter Wezeman told DW the missiles were likely not in Yemen before the war“, I am personally decently certain that they came from Iran, but how is still a mystery.

We also see important news that is clearly given by the Guardian where we see: “according to an analysis by Human Rights Watch (HRW), out of 75 incidents where civilian casualties were reported, JIAT has admitted Saudi rules of engagement may have been broken in only two“, I am willing to go as far as stating “2 out of 75, is still two too many“. The problem is how preventable were the two issues, was the bus incident avoidable? When I inspect the image again I see the white bus frame totally non burned, a direct hit would have set it on fire and there would have been no white paint left, that gives indication that the bus was indirectly hit (but still got slammed massively), I also (personal speculation) surmise that a direct hit and fire would have ended the life of the left rear tires, which is not the case. In this, there are a lot more questions in all this and the focus on the dead children is understandable, yet what were they doing in a Houthi stronghold? I equally oppose to some degree Jim Carrey’s setting. Now, the man is entitled to his opinion, and it is not a wrong thought to have, but was it the correct setting? When we see “The United States actor and artist Jim Carrey blasted on Aug. 17 the deadly airstrike in Yemen last week that reportedly killed 40 children on a school bus, calling the incident “Our crime.”” I cannot agree. You see several nations sell defence solutions. The US a lot more than most others, but the US, China and Russia all sell their governmental goods. Just like I will not blame France for selling the exocet missile to Argentina (the USS Sheffield incident), I cannot blame those three when the buying governments use them as actionable goods, for good or for bad. In this, I have always lived with the setting that bullets do not kill people, people kill people. So yes, there is a setting where the Saudi government should consider the investigation. Perhaps they do not have all the answers; equally it might never be resolved in a satisfactory way. The Houthi’s also have the setting to deal with that in a warzone children should have been clearly directed on safer roads. You cannot fire 176 ballistic missiles and expect this not to be answered. Like in any warzone, mistakes will be made, sometimes they are misguided setting of what was a valid target, sometimes it is mere technology that is off by 15 meters (whilst flying 160Km an hour, or faster, over a valid target) and sometimes it is the choice of blatant stupidity. Yet I can give you now that there is no way to prove which of the three options the case here was. We can only speculate and let’s be honest no one wants to admit to a mistake of this size.

We were also informed on “The Bellingcat report cautioned that the bomb fragments had not been photographed where they had fallen, but had been gathered together, leaving open the possibility that they had been planted“, yet that is still an option, but somehow the parts were still acquired, how is unlikely to be proven.

Even though the Guardian is one of the better newspapers, I have to question “Statistics collated by an independent monitoring group, the Yemen Data Project, suggest that the targeting of the school bus was part of a wider pattern. According to its records, there have been 55 airstrikes against civilian vehicles and buses in the first seven months of this year – a higher rate than in 2017“, the issue is that it is important to see where those buses and vehicles were. You see, a bus is not merely a vehicle; it is also a decently effective shield against missiles. We get to the setting that the bus might not have been as important as knowing what building it was parked in front of. As that data is not available, we might accept the top line event of number of buses hit, but until we know more of the vehicles surrounding there is no way to tell on what the target was.

I equally object to the statement “Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said “the complicit silence from No 10 is a clear case of arms company profits being put above human rights and Yemeni lives“, They are separate issues, yet people like Andrew Smith will never see it that way. Yemeni lives have been declared null and void when Iran began its proxy war, but we see little of that part of the equation.

In all this there is another part, a part that is not exposed. The source (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1364036/exclusive-houthis-exploit-poverty-struck-children-cannon-fodder) is questionable; I will be honest about that. Yet the article has images, images that are debatable as the kids are all wearing really clean clothes. Even as we see that the images are from Reuters. The text ‘Child soldiers with Houthis hold weapons during a demonstration in Sanaa on March 13, 2015. Reuters‘ is illustrative, and also questionable. The clothes are too clean, the weapons too shiny and there is a cameraman on the car. I have an issue with the picture. Yet the article is all about ‘Houthis Exploit Poverty-Struck Children as Cannon Fodder‘, an accusation that has been seen in more than one place. So was the bus with children a military target at that moment? It is unlikely to be ever proven. When we see: “Rehabilitating child soldiers has proven to be the most difficult challenge faced by the internationally-recognized Yemeni government headed by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. “The rehabilitation of children recruited and participating in the war costs over $200,000 for 80 children in one month,” government sources said. The Hadi administration is already trying to balance a depreciating national currency in hopes of improving one of the worst economic crises ever known to the war-torn country” should cry for anger. Yes, we need rehabilitation of children, yet the Houthi’s are using children in their war and that should stop all support to the Houthi’s as well as stop whatever consideration you had for Iran as they are part of this proxy war. So when we see (at https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/05/12/yemen-houthis-send-children-battle), the same image as Asharq Al-Awsat had, we need to re-assess a few things. For example the statement of Andrew Smith, who is playing stupid, but he is not stupid. You know what I am saying? There seems to be clear evidence that this was going on since 2015, which means that in all this, from multiple sources the intelligence on non-adult combatants has been ignored from several sources. There is an abundance of images available all over the place and it seems that this was left from consideration, in some cases they are children holding weapons that are way too big for them (an AK-47), ‘his’ weapon is well over 50% the size of the child. Information that is kept from the readers, so when we are confronted with ‘US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus‘ and not ‘40 child soldiers were killed in an airstrike‘ is equally an issue and the fact that we are not confronted with the complete setting here is a much larger problem. The fact that Reuters, Asharq Al-Awsat and the Human Rights Watch had this makes it a lot more debatable on why the people seem to be misdirected and misinformed on events.

In equal parts, there is no evidence that these 40 children were ‘soldiers’ for the Houthi’s and I accept that, as well as the fact that I am not willing to call them that until there is a lot more evidence. Yet I will inform you on those elements, giving additional questions on how the Saudi’s can find their valid targets. Yet in all this, we see the lack of completeness of the information (to some extent) and that is equally a worry, because it all boils down to setting public opinion, emotional setting to shape policy whilst misinforming the audience, so how is that going over with you?

This now gets us a little away from the story and gets us the UN setting, where we were treated in 2017 to ‘Confidential U.N. Report Accuses Saudi Coalition of Killing Hundreds of Yemeni Kids. Top U.N. advisor to recommend coalition should be put on the black list of countries that kill and maim children in war‘, a United nations setting where we see the consideration: “The current standoff has its roots in the 2001 adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1379, which mandated a senior U.N. official to produce a report each year documenting attacks against children in armed conflicts, including an annex that serves as a blacklist of governments, terrorists and armed groups that kill and maim kids. But it has proven highly controversial among states, who resent being publicly singled out and placed on a list that includes some of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State“, that whilst in this we see that the information of children used in battle by the Houthi forces was already established for two years. I am the first to admit that this does not excuse the deaths of well over “600 children were killed and 1,150 injured in Yemen between March 2016 and March 2017, according to UNICEF“, that is appalling and no one denies it. Yet the information was incomplete and that is not merely the setting of the stage, it is filtering the information giving a sleight of hand view of what was going on. The mere part that Houthi’s and Hezbollah were using the population as a human shield is equally missing here. So how is there a proper setting of information?

That whilst last month was reported “Hodeida: The Iranian-backed Al Houthi militia, yesterday, bombed two schools in Al Tuhayat district in Yemen’s Hodeida Governorate“, which was not the first time it happened, so there is additional settings of the stage where we see that some parts are not even due to the Saudi Coalition. It does not make them innocent, merely that there is a lot more blame to go around and those seeking the limelight are conveniently forgetting certain established facts. We see even more debatable sides in the staging that we see (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhdZbszAekU). The start all ‘happy’, it seems genuine, but there is a part that calls into question certain other parts. Let’s be clear. I did this with the naked eye; I did not scoop this through professional equipment. In this the chairs seemed a little too dark, which could be shadows versus sunlight. In addition the outside of the bus is remarkable white. A fire would not have left it in that way. I am not stating that there was no hit, merely that it is more and more unlikely that it was a direct hit. Also the load of Unicef bags at 00:49 give additional rise to a few more questions, especially when you see that there is an utter lack of that blue in the first 21 seconds, mere staging for emotion through misdirection.

In all this we need to go back to the statement by Pieter Wezeman in the Deutsche Welle, where we see: “The missiles which have been used appear to be a type that was not previously known to be in the arsenals of Yemen before the current conflict broke out“. It is more important than you think. You see, if that can be part of the evidence that the missiles come from Iran, we need to accept that there is no nuclear deal with Iran and anyone trying to save that deal must accept the fact that they have blood on their hands, optionally the blood of Yemeni children. I wonder how many European politicians will be willing to accept that part of the equation. You see my reasoning in this is that when we accept ‘Iran Mulls ‘Solutions’ to Sell Oil Bypassing US Sanctions‘ we must also consider that part of these proceeds will fund the next shipment of missiles towards Yemen, which can then be fired on the Saudi civil population. At that point, how do you expect the Saudi government to react?

I believe that there is a much larger setting of pushing international policies by lying through partial truths and what is even worse, that the number of players is not large, it is basically a lot larger than most are willing to consider or accept, making the issue larger in some ways and unacceptable in other ways. I get it that people like Andrew Smith have a narrow vision, a vision of focus and basically his only setting is the ‘Campaign Against Arms Trade‘, it makes him an ideologist, which is not essentially bad, yet in all this the missed part are part of the true scope and in this Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan made the wrong call by leaving out certain parts. In addition, stating ”The bombing of a bus full of schoolchildren last week was just one of more than 50 airstrikes against civilian vehicles by the Saudi-led coalition” whilst hiding behind “according to new data” is increasingly deceptive, especially when there is no way to tell whether the vehicle or the building or the street was the target, especially the ‘civilian vehicles‘ part. When we consider that an armed Houthi vehicle could have been part of this and as we saw that they tend to be armed, there are enough images of Houthi Toyota’s with a .50 on it, so ‘what a feeling‘ that gives is basically depending on whether you are the driver or the gunner. In one case, the one I show here, it is able to counter a lot more, so you tell me on how ‘according to new data‘ should be seen, as I am bound to find a decent amount of glitches in that new data. Yet that will not be questioned, or the initial quote by the reporters, which should have been a first.

With the subtext on the photo stating “A military source said in a statement to “Al-Akhbar news” that the army’s national army repulsed an attack launched by the Huthi militia coup on positions in the outskirts of the Directorate of Khadir, southeast of Taiz province” (source: al-ain.com), I will not state the validity or deny it, basically the fact that this is in all setting likely to be seen as a civilian vehicle. So how accurate is the data if the AA-gun had been removed after it was hit (which would be a first requirement even if it was merely needed for spare parts)?

 

#ATruckIsAHummerWithoutHorsepower

 

 

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Is it mere wording?

That is where I am at. The issues are still escalating in Yemen, the issues are a given escalation and no one is proclaiming that either side, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are both innocent. Both made choices, both decided on choices that also clearly indicate that errors were made. Some will call them judgment errors, some will call for perspectives. I tend to call for facts and evidence. Yet we can all agree that no matter how right and just your setting is, in any war, in any act of war, things go pear shaped. Errors will be part of that and the instigator of that error will have to live with that.

It all started Friday morning, when ABC (one amongst many) gives us (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-10/yemen-air-strike-dozens-killed-including-children-on-a-bus/10104136) the simple setting: ‘Yemen: Children on a bus among dozens killed in Saudi-led air strikes, Red Cross says‘. We might get angry on this; we might get the feeling that children should always be avoided at all cost. Yet the ABC does not give the people the issue that is at the centre of it, besides the mention of: “It accused the Houthis of using children as human shields and said the strikes were carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law“, and let’s forget the setting of ‘strikes’ and ‘in accordance with international humanitarian law‘ for a moment, I just can’t laugh at his now (mainly because I was at the dentist this morning). You see, Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/didnt-find-remains-yemens-survivors-deadly-bus-attack-180812062952530.html) gives us the additional part. The missing part is “a Saudi-Emirati coalition air strike has killed dozens of children in a Houthi stronghold.” Now the fact that Al Jazeera had the news 18 hours ago and ABC gave it on Friday morning, I partially pass for ABC, because information might have been missing, which tends to be the case in the first hours. Yet the setting: ‘dozens of children in a Houthi stronghold‘, so what the EFF were children doing in a Houthi stronghold? If that can be confirmed, it does not merely give rise to the human shield part, it might be evidence and that makes the setting a very different one.

In addition, the Canberra Times gives us 11 hours ago the setting (at https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/saudi-bus-bombing-marks-a-new-low-in-yemen-20180810-p4zwsm.html) “The bus, which is reported to have been taking a group of children to summer camp, was travelling through the crowded Dahyan market in Sa’ada, the capital of Sada province. The region is the traditional homeland of the Houthi rebels who rose up against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government in 2014“, it sounds innocent enough. Yet in a war, taking a bus full of children THROUGH a Houthi Stronghold shows a massive lack of insight, does it not? The fact that several newspapers lack that information seems more deceptive conduct than journalism, which is merely my view point on all this. In addition, the Canberra Times, makes light of this with “bombing of a school bus in Yemen probably doesn’t qualify as a war crime because the Royal Saudi Air Force is so incompetent the odds are it just made a mistake“, so the Canberra Times hides behind ‘Credible commentators, including a leading German analyst‘ (no names though, odd is it not?) No, it becomes some ‘silly Arab not knowing how to use a bomber or fighter jet’ anecdote. Yet when we dig deeper, we see all kinds of information that require scrutiny, on both sides, mind you. Another comment here is “the Saudis, even with the active assistance of the Americans and the British, can’t differentiate between hospitals, schools, orphanages and school buses on one hand, and missile launching sites on the other“, this sloppy comment is all absent from a few facts, how were the missiles fired? In addition, the fact that the missiles were fired towards Riyadh and civilian targets is also brushed aside. In addition, the entire setting of how the missiles are fired into Saudi Arabia as well as the fact that both Iran and Hezbollah are part of those firing teams are just as easily brushed aside. So a terrorist organisation is firing missiles at Riyadh and we seem to focus on the most emotional part in the aftermath. I personally call that really bad journalism, I call that emotion creation on a false premise, and now that Fairfax is part of Channel Nine, not that big a surprise, is it?

The fact that this article does not have a name and is merely from ‘the Canberra Times‘ is equally a worry, is it not? The end of the article giving us “are some innocents more equal than others?” is an interesting side, especially in the trivialisation of Iran as well as the absence of Hezbollah, the utter absence of missiles being launched towards the Saudi Capital is also worth noting. In all this, what has the Canberra Times shown other than its sliding regard for journalism?

If we dig, we see that Gulf News gave last Thursday: “165 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition“, that is a lot of damage fired, whether they made it or not does not matter, they were fired. The Deutsche Welle gave us last December (at https://www.dw.com/en/how-did-yemens-houthis-obtain-ballistic-missiles/a-41873594), a few niceties. With “The missiles which have been used appear to be a type that was not previously known to be in the arsenals of Yemen before the current conflict broke out. It is known that the previous Yemeni government had invested in different types of ballistic missiles. For example, some were delivered from North Korea, some 15 years ago or so. But it’s not those missiles that appear to have been used right now. The images and information we have shows that this is a different type of missile“, so the Houthis are clearly supplied in some way. A few sources state the ‘evidence’ from the US that the missiles are from Iran. It is indeed most likely, yet not unlike the Deutsche Welle, there is no clear independent confirmation and that is equally important. We can accept that we know (from several sources) that Iran and Hezbollah joined the Houthi ranks, but that does not give rise to the evidence regarding the missile, until an actual missile is independently tested. Several sources show that the Houthis are firing the Burkan 2-H, it is shown to be Iranian (or Yemeni), but no evidence can be shown ruling out (or in) the direct involvement of Iran shipping the missiles in all this. It is more likely than not, yet still unproven.

Now we get to the good part. You see, to fire one of them bad boys, you need a decent launch pad. the more stable the setting, the better the result. We need to realise that a static launch setting is not possible for the firing party, so they need to have something really sturdy, something decently large and metallic. I have not specific details, and as it is based on the Qiam-1, an 11 meter long missile, the setting of a bus being used as a launch platform is not the silliest idea. In addition, there are some issues with the entire smuggling setting, in this Jane’s Intelligence review stated: “it would be difficult to ship entire ballistic missiles to Yemen, suggesting the Burkan-2 is a Scud modified in Yemen for longer range“, that is certainly one setting. The other version (my version) is that it was shipped in 2-3 parts and assembled in Yemen by parties unknown. There is some intelligence that this is why Iran is there, equally reasonable is that engineers are there to teach both Houthi and Hezbollah troops to do these actions, giving them a better bang for the buck (as well as the fact that Houthi forces need to shell out a hell of a lot more towards Iran in the end), all optional settings that have evidentiary support, but not enough to state it as a fact or as a given truth.

All issues linked in all this and all missed by the former Fairfax outlet. In addition, several other sources, merely skated over the facts and the stopped the icing at ‘children dead’. We all agree that this is not a good thing, but the answer on what those kids were doing in a Houthi stronghold is equally important and avoided. That all reeks like Hezbollah and what they have been doing for the longest time (as well as Hamas), Israel has plenty of evidence on that matter.

In this, we also need to set the stage against Al Jazeera in all this. Especially when we see: “Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports from neighbouring Djibouti on what has been described as the worst attack on Yemen’s children“. In this I question the voice of Mohammed Adow in this. I do not doubt his view, but when he stated ‘the worst attack on Yemen’s children‘. Were children the target? That part lacks evidence as they were, by his own admission ‘in a Houthi stronghold’; one does not mix with the other, does it? When I see: “It targeted a bus carrying children“, was that the case? I am assuming that optionally the bus was the target, yet the wreck shown is that it was right next to a building, it was in a setting where (a little unlikely) missiles were fired from, it was a Houthi stronghold, all parts shown from more than one source. I did state ‘a little unlikely’, for the mere reasons that all missile launches, the ones that made it to YouTube and likewise sources were fired from the open area setting. That does not mean that they all were, but until evidence is given, I am not merely accepting that the bus was a launch platform, merely that a bus could optionally be one, which is not the same. And I am making that distinction, as it matters as a distinction.

Even as several sources are stating that the missiles have too many Iranian ‘Characteristics’, we need to realise that Industrial espionage is not a non-option. (it is extremely unlikely), the fact that none of the parties involved has been able to give enough evidence (real physical one) that these are Iranian missiles, and in this regard I mean independent evidence, the setting is a twofold one and even as we say that when it walks, quacks and swims like a duck, there is still some regard whether it could optionally be a small goose. I know, it is far-fetched in a few ways, but evidence of this nature needs to be beyond all reasonable doubt, making it a lot harder, yet equally more essential. A setting that the press has been skating around for the longest of times and with certain ownership of certain papers changing, that setting will not change any day soon.

From my point of view the setting has changed where we need to distill the truths form several sources, not from one source, it seems that there is enough evidence that one source will in the end intentional or not, not inform you at all. Not even ABC, for whom I have had a much higher regard then most other news media providers. Yemen shows that there is a larger issue in all this and the media seems to cater to the need of emotional imprinting at the cost of the quality of journalism, but that too is merely my own personal view on the matter and I personally do not believe that I am the most impartial source in all this, I will admit to that too.

 

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Sleeping with the enemy

We have heard the expression; most will remember the movie with Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin. The expression is slightly harsh and a little over the top for the setting that I find myself presently in with PwC. You see, some people are playing a dangerous game. So when I see ‘UK firm PwC criticised over bid for major Saudi Arabia contract‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/31/uk-firm-pwc-criticised-over-bid-for-major-saudi-arabia-contract), I find myself on the side of PwC supporting them. The article is an issue on a few levels. I touched on a few two days ago with: ‘Oman’s neighbour‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/07/30/omans-neighbour/), so this setting is actually most informative when we consider the issues seen here. I objected to the setting that Amnesty International gave a consequence, yet the original setting that started it was missing, in all this, the fact that the Houthi forces are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, as is Hezbollah and Iran is the puppet master behind all this, so when I see “Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK’s economic affairs programme director, urged PwC to explain what due diligence it had undertaken before pitching for the work“, I wonder if Peter Frankental has done its due diligence into the situation where a terrorist organisation (with evidence from several sources) is operation on Yemeni soil with full backing of Yemeni officials, who are also extremely aware that they are facilitating for Iran. That part is missing from the charade that Amnesty International states is ‘the humanitarian nightmare‘. We agree that too many Yemeni are in the middle of this, no one denies that, yet the actions by Iran via Hezbollah and the Houthi’s are an issue and in this they merely ignore the founding factors.

In addition, the UK, with a desperate need to improve the economy has options and opportunities in Saudi Arabia, creating a dialogue, helping Saudi Arabia move forward. We admit that it will not be fast, it might raise obstacles, which is a fact of life. So when Peter Frankental sets ‘due diligence‘, I am of the mind that he clearly did not proceed with that duly noted diligence to a rather large extent.

So when I see “The United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights make it clear that a company may be viewed as complicit if they are seen to benefit from abuses committed by another party“, in that view, Frank please explain to me how you will prosecute Northrop Grumman, Palantir, Blackberry, Dell, Pelican and Apple? I would really like to know that at present. I am going to grasp back at an expression that we get from Robocop, it was spoken by Kurtwood Smith: ‘Good business is where you find it!‘ and Saudi Arabia has business settings for up to £825 billion, so PwC is getting vetted for a chunk of business that could optionally keep thousands employed, grow optional new businesses and industries. In addition, when exactly did Peter Frankental set the stage for a similar attack on Virgin? Are they not setting up the first Hyperloop there? So where is Frankie boy in all that? Now, it is not my intent to slam out at Frank, he seems to have his heart in the right place. Especially when we look at a paper by the House of Lords called: ‘Any of our business? Human Rights and the UK private sector‘, it seems that he has forever focussed on this, the paper (Attached) is from 2009, where we see on page 15 “In particular, we contend that the UK state could and should play a greater role in the governance of corporations so as to contribute to the protection of human rights from corporate abuse, whether the abuse occurs in the UK or abroad“, that is fair enough, yet he is setting now the acts of an attacked government into a corporate right, in that same setting all exports to the US should in that light be equally questioned and regarded as illegal, you basically can’t have it both ways Frank!

So when we grasp at: “In particular, we do support the idea of some kind of international instrument for corporate accountability within the UN system, but we agree with Professor Ruggie that such an instrument would not exist to monitor the activities of tens of thousands of transnational corporations, that would be unfeasible, but it would exist to reinforce the will of states to hold companies to account within their jurisdiction” and set the dimensionality of a flaccid UN when it comes to the events in Syria, there is such overwhelming evidence of inaction (through Veto or not), which gives us that in the faced setting PwC should not even be a blip on his radar. Not when we compare it to “the US contractors are mostly focused on supporting the 2,000 US troops in Syria by delivering hot meals, gasoline and other supplies. More than 30% of them support logistics and maintenance, according to the quarterly Pentagon report, and another 27% help with support and construction of US military outposts in the region” (source: Al-Monitor, April 2018). So how much visibility did Frank give here? In all this, he does not get to hide behind the ‘It is not linked to the UK‘ you just cannot become a ‘local’ party towards a global event when you decide it is. It just does not work that way.

In this, we also see: “PwC already has a presence in Saudi Arabia, but it is the company’s UK operation that is behind the defence project“, which is true, because I applied and they were not taking any non-UK citizens. Darn!

In addition, with: “PwC has launched a “call for resources” – asking specialists and consultants in London whether they would be interested in moving to Riyadh to start the work – because, it has said, it is “currently finalising the deal”“, we see that PwC has the setting to move people to Saudi Arabia, more employment and in addition a sector growth that could lead to 10 figure long term deals, but fear not! Peter Frankental will be there to try and undo the economic boom that will benefit the UK (was that overly simplified?)

So with the upcoming opportunity and the subsequent quote “focus on how to reshape recruitment, resourcing, performance management and strategic workforce planning, and how to manage and communicate change“, it actually goes further than that, even as a lot more performance management is likely to be shown, it will also be about what is the hierarchy and what is not. In light of work safety and preparedness (yes, even in the military), the setting of ‘Own the challenge‘ is a lot harder to scribe into the soul of the person. To set ‘solving’ the issue as the forefront of ‘that what is my actual responsibility‘ tend to be a challenge even within the most flexible workers, so I predict that there is a shift that will soon be shown in places like Saudi Arabia as well. I will admit that having never worked there, that this setting is more speculative than anything else.

So when I see Frankie give us: “As any accountancy firm involved in work for the Saudi ministry of defence must know, the Royal Saudi air force has an appalling record in Yemen, with the Saudi-led military coalition having indiscriminately bombed Yemeni homes, hospitals, funeral halls, schools and factories. Thousands of Yemeni civilians have been killed and injured“, the equal question on how many missiles that Iran enabled the Houthi and Hezbollah forces allowed to be shot into Saudi Arabia, and there is the drone strike issues in the UAE to consider as well. In addition, it is called ‘Saudi Ministry of defence‘, not the Hezbollah missile strike team. It might be nit-picking on my side, but then, I was always willing to go for broke.

Then there is the setting of “the UK “should be focusing on trying to stop this terrible conflict, not assisting the Saudi government.”“, yes it is an interesting setting by Anna Macdonald (younger sister of Ronald). When we go to the site (at https://controlarms.org/meet-the-team/), we see Anna Macdonald, Raluca Muresan, Zoya Craig and half a dozen volunteers. Yet, lets also congratulate on the bang up (or is that blow up) job they did in Syria, as well as a few other places. So when I see: “a global coalition working for international arms control“, which is a good goal to have, the flow of missiles and arms from Iran into a few places was not really stopped was it? Iran has exported small arms and ammunition to Sudan and Syria, anti-tank missiles to Syria, Sudan and Somalia; rocket exports to Syria, Sudan, Libya as well as shipments to Hezbollah and Iraqi insurgents. So in that list, and the goal Anna Macdonald envisions is a noble one, no one denies that, in all that, with at least two dozen of export mentions excluded, I think that PwC should not be on her list either. Especially, as the Saudi Arabian civil population is still under threat of missiles from a terrorist organisation. No one denies that the Yemeni people caught in the middle are in a really unbearable place, but all these actions means that no actual actions are taken against Iran. So as we were given ‘the European Commission has moved to add Iran to the investment mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB)‘ a mere 18 hours ago, it seems to me that in all this Anna Macdonald and Peter Frankental should be setting their focus in a different direction, or perhaps that will merely not give them the limelight that they so desperately need (for all the right reasons mind you).

In all this, the defence from Saudi Arabia in the person of the foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir was reduced to a mere: “Judeir blamed the Houthi rebels for blocking aid and contributing to the humanitarian crisis“, is that not interesting too? The actual blockers of humanitarian aid was set into a mere footnote, a mere 14 words, so in all this, where is Peter Frankental at this point?

 

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Oman’s neighbour

You might remember the state of Oman, capital Muscat. There are several reasons to remember Oman, the fact that they got into the news last March with: “The Central Bank of Iran has allowed lenders to issue guarantees for Iranian businesses planning to invest in Oman or those who seek to take out loans from Omani banks” is merely one reason. The fact that they are next to Yemen is the actual reason to mention them. You see, when you look at Amnesty International, you see (at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/09/yemen-the-forgotten-war/) the quote “On 25 March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi armed group in Yemen sparking a full-blown armed conflict. Over the following three years, the conflict in Yemen is showing no real signs of abating. Horrific human rights abuses, as well as war crimes, are being committed throughout the country by all parties to the conflict, causing unbearable suffering for civilians” is the issue. Now, let’s be clear, Amnesty International is not lying to you, but the setting that led to it is equally important. The missing part is: “Houthi forces controlling the capital Sana’a and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden“, the setting is ‘former president Ali Abdullah Saleh‘ versus ‘deposed president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi‘, deposed by the Houthi’s who had instigated a Coup d’état. I will admit that it is more complex than that (or better stated there are additional unmentioned facts here), yet the forced deposing of the then president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi is still an issue; he went for help towards his allies.

That part is an important part that is missing. After that things went from bad to worse with on the frontlines Iran using Hezbollah enabling the deniable launching of missiles on Saudi Arabia, that is a clear setting and this escalation has no sign of letting up or slowing down.

Now we get the setting that Bloomberg is giving us. the setting (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-26/yemen-rebels-say-they-attacked-abu-dhabi-airport-with-drones), with the headline ‘Yemen Rebels Say They Attacked Abu Dhabi Airport With Drones‘, the issue is not merely that they have access to drones, the setting of the Iranian missiles and the fact that the Houthi’s are attacking both Saudi Arabia and the UAE (which is denied by the UAE) gives rise to other parts. with the quote “The source confirmed that the drone, Sammad 3, begun its operations by targeting Abu Dhabi International Airport with several raids, in response to the UAE crimes against Yemen” gives rise to the setting that this is no longer merely a Houthi versus the world setting, the entire premise that not only was there a new Drone developed, the Sammad 3 is also actively attacking the UAE, the question becomes is this done via Saudi Arabia, or via Oman, not merely transgressing on their sovereign land, but is it done whilst some in either government was aware? The direct path via Saudi Arabia makes more sense as there is a whole lot of nothing in that region. The second question becomes: why strategically deploy in this way? We might accept that whatever the Yemeni have is nowhere near what the US has, so it will be less than $12M per drone, but how much less is it?

In addition, what is the operational ability of the Sammad 3 (the speculated drone in question)? When you look into the timeline that one announcement comes after the announcement of the Sammad 2, whilst increasing the operational support 10 fold is also suspicious on a few levels. You see, every system increases as becomes better, but 1000% increase is a little much by any standard. Even as we accept that some strategies are better than others, Middle East Eye gives us: “Since the Saudi-led coalition launched its war in Yemen in March 2015, the UAE has been a key player. Yet, while Riyadh’s goal has been to restore President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power and crush the Houthi uprising, Abu Dhabi has focused more on the south, training security forces to secure its own geopolitical ambitions“, in this we might question some actions, and they are to some extent, yet the overbearing issue is that there is an Iranian finger in this pie. Only 14 weeks ago we were treated to: “The Yemeni government says that Iran supplied the Houthi rebels with drones used to attack Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, Riyadh said it shot down two drones in the south of the country and intercepted ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi forces in Yemen. The drones are “made in Iran”, said Yemen’s internationally-recognised government on Saturday. It added that the country’s military did not possess such aircraft and it was “impossible to manufacture them locally””, this not directly contradicts the Bloomberg news by Mohammed Hatem. You cannot erect a drone solution in this short a time span, not even if you had all the Viagra in the world, so the tool erected setting of Iran trying new tools in the political and escalating statement arena regarding ‘drone strikes’ is more than an issue. When we see the news given from Almasirah Media Network with ‘Air Force Unveils New Drone, Sammad 3‘, are they the tool or, was the statement by The National who by their own words are ‘committed to serving the local UAE community‘ misled and they are misleading the UAE community? You see one of the two is true, not both. No matter which path is the real one, it is my personal opinion that none of this existed without Iran, they are in the middle of this and the other media sources are trying to steer clear as some are trying to ‘save’ an illusionary deal with Iran that was never a real prospect to begin with. No matter which one is true, the Yemeni population remains in the middle of it all. there is a second side to this, the events in the red Sea where a tanker was hit is now stopping transfer of oil via the Bab el-Mandeb strait, potentially upping oil prices. It is a clear intentional push for the US to get involved, especially after we were told “A huge tanker with a shipment of oil from Saudi Arabia bound for Egypt was damaged by a missile attack from the northern Bab el-Mandeb strait in the Red Sea. The Houthi rebels in Yemen, armed and financed by Iran, were responsible for the attack. It happened in the wake of the renewed exchange of threats between the United States and Iran, which could also hurt the oil market” (source: Haaretz), in addition we got “Iran’s Quds force chief Qassem Soleimani said on Thursday that the Red Sea was not secure with the presence of American troops in the area”, so there is a much louder setting that Iran is willing to escalate towards direct outspoken war. I reckon that as Europe is becoming meaningless, the direct involvement of Iran will turn defeat to victory. That is not only not given, there is every chance that the UAE and Saudi Arabia will make a united front, in addition, the naval actions could be bad times for Egypt, so there would be additional support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The questions will soon become, where does Qatar stand in all this and what are their options. They have their own worries as accusations more and more ridiculous are hitting the media. It seems that the Sydney Morning Herald is becoming the joke of independent journalism, whilst merely parroting that idiot Martin Ivens (as I personally see him in all this) on “In article published by The Sunday Times alleges the Qatar bid team used a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, the United States and Australia“, whilst the Sunday Times still has not given the people the millions of documents he stated he had with the previous accusations, so we can all optionally agree that Nine Networks is now wearing the pants in the new merger. That matters, because some are not merely tailoring to the needs of places like (censored name of sponsor), they are setting the stage for unsolicited change and through these events they are adding needlessly to pressures in the Middle East.

Pressures that need avoidance because the expression ‘If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat‘ is a role that Qatar could be pushed into. I actually prefer the Dutch version of that expression which is ‘A cornered cat can move very unpredictable‘, that is more worrying, because the unsubstantiated accusation are an actual issue on a few levels now. so when we see “the alleged smear campaign included paying a professor $US 9,000 to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia“, we demand to see that report, as well as all other evidence; we need to be shown clearly where the lies in that report were as well as the other evidence. Is that not simple? Show us the ACTUAL evidence!

All these settings are important. We can vocally set the stage against Iran (like I am doing with both evidence as well as a comic look at the two images earlier), and I can look at the presented and i am using the published details available to me with all the settings that are open to the audience at large. I never proclaim to have all the wisdom in the world, yet hiding behind ‘unnamed sources’ and ‘unpublished evidence’ like the Sunday Times, whilst I regard them because of that as nothing more than a mere courtesan to sponsors, that is how I see their actions, when the need to investigate FIFA was there, these media buffs were all about the hooker in the bookcase, the entire setting of the media had become questionable. The setting of the Garcia report, whilst the newspapers and media failed to hammer down on Hans-Joachim Eckert, so when we got the ‘refused to publish on various legal grounds‘, who went after Hans-Joachim Eckert? the entire matter also involved the Qatar 2022 cup bids, so as it stands, we need to make sure that places like the Sunday Times and the SMH are now also optionally the spreaders of Fake News, but that is apparently not the case when they have their unnamed sources.

Even as I spoke out in the end against Qatar 2022, it is only because of the stage that Qatar found itself in. It is not up to me who got them there, some was all their own doing, but a larger part was the act of smear campaigns that we see now. Almost four years of smear campaigns. If we are to actually do something about it, then EVERY newspaper is to offer the 350-page report of Michael J. Garcia from September 2014 on their website with a full page 3 summary of the report. That is the first moment that we can start taking journalists serious again (possibly with the Sun as the one exception). It is my view that anyone who was part of misleading regarding Qatar, or in the other direction supporting in falsehood the Qatar bid should be barred for life from every official sport event. It is the only way and that is merely the one side-track that the Yemen situation now calls for. With Iran upping the stakes in Yemen and with alleged drone strikes on UAE and actual attacks on Saudi Arabia, how long until one of them sees a reason to lash out against Qatar? You see, the plot is also thickening when we see the Iran increasing non-oil trade with Oman by 136% in the last quarter alone. That is half a billion in value, now we can agree that every nation has and needs trade, so I would be the last one to state against it, yet there is every indication that Iran is trying to set the mood fir additional change. Some will remember the setting last year when we were offered “Bank Melli Iran and Bank Saderat Iran will resume their operations in the Omani capital Muscat which had halted during the sanctions that cut off Iran from the international financial network“, this is now seen against the news from March when we saw ‘Iran, Oman resolute to grow banking relations’ with the additional quote “Drafting an operational and practical program with opening joint accounts based on the national currencies of Iran and Oman, independent from foreign currencies, should be considered as one of the requirements of developing banking relations“, so what happens, when the setting of the national currencies becomes the foundation of a credit swap where oil is the determined value? It is merely one step away and the US crying for cheap oil is that one element that could make it happen. The US not acting against Oman, whilst knowingly allowing for the swapping of Iranian originated oil based CDO’s is not that far stretched, is it?

Now we have billions in funds, an operational drone team and additional Hezbollah populists trying to set the stage in Yemen. there is support for that view (to the smallest extent), Arab News two weeks ago gave us: “Yemen’s foreign minister has called on Lebanon’s caretaker government to “rein in” Hezbollah and its aggressive tactics in support of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia“, whilst in addition, whilst the National gave us last week: “The UAE Embassy in Beirut has denied claims made by Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah Al Akhbar newspaper regarding an “Emirates Leaks” report that says Abu Dhabi is applying pressure on Muscat over the Qatar crisis. The embassy has called the leaked diplomatic correspondence from the UAE Embassy in Muscat “false” and said that it was aimed at creating tension with Oman“. We need to realise that the two are unrelated articles are merely that. One has apples, the other pears and the fact that they both represent pieces of fruit is no evidence, changing one of them into oranges does not behold additional truth that should be clear. Yet the stage where Iran decided to increase trade by 136% is a shown fact and Iran has been doing something similar with Turkey which has not given Turkey an additional amount close to $5 billion in the last 6 months alone. Iran is setting a trade stage where in the end, in light of their devaluation and monetary value can soon (or already) only be honoured with oil, how quaint!

It is not merely the plans in place, it is the funding that these projects require, that is where it seems to make sense, but it is not a given that those are the only paths that are being trodden. You see, there is still the Uranium enrichment program that is worked on. With those in the works, we see the need for serious amounts of cash, skills and equipment, all that from a setting where the infrastructure was no longer able to meet the financial needs and the commitment from Iran towards Yemen by the Iranian commander in chief shows that the next step is not that far away, they will need resources and there is now at least a partial setting in place where the facilitation is close to complete. From my point of view, lowering the pressures on Qatar allows Qatar to walk away from Iran as far as possible limiting the options that Iran has, and that is an essential requirement at present.

Even as we see several sources give us lines like: ‘Oman and Kuwait has taken a neutral position in the dispute involving Qatar‘, I am actually less and less convinced that Oman is completely neutral in all this. Is the trade merely growing sympathy in Oman, or is news from places like Sarfayt and Dhalkut changing the sentiment that the people in Oman have? I actually do not know, but something seems to be stirring in Oman, perhaps it is not a pro-Iran feeling, merely a lessened anti-Iran sentiment, they are not the same. What does matter is that all this is escalating giving Iran more options in Yemen, to counter that outside of a full scale event in Yemen is to take away the available fuel that Iran has and I think that removing pressure from Qatar is a first step in all this. Should this be successful, we might see a setting where Oman feels less comfortable having strong ties with Iran, which seems to serve everyone’s purpose (except Iran of course).

 

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