Tag Archives: House of Saud

The Persian Gulf match

We are on the edge of what we know, mostly of what we are infromed about and it seems that it is n the interest of the US to focus on Saudi Arabia. Al Jazeera starts with ‘US senators seek to block Trump arms sales to Saudi Arabia‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/senators-seek-block-trump-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-190605154958283.html). The sub line gives us “Senators to try to pass 22 resolutions that’d halt Trump’s plan to bypass Congress to complete arms sales to Saudi, UAE“, it seems that with the effort of getting 22 resolutions passed, there is cause for concern, not merely for the one side where the US is seemingly a lesser ally than they are claiming to be. The problem is that there is actual sense in play. when we see the quote by Senator Todd Young giving us: “Congress has an essential oversight role in the decision to sell weapons and we must ensure proper procedures are in place in any weapons transfer“, I would counter that with the notion that proper procedures should have been in place for decades, in addition, the fact that Saudi Arabia has never been the enemy of the United states (as far as I know), makes it weirder. It is at that point where Senator Todd Young goes from simplistic to stupid bordering on moronic. With: “In light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, we have an obligation to ensure the adequate guardrails are in place and that weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates do not exacerbate the conflict“, so how about taking Hezbollah and Iran out of the equation? Had the Senator for Pennsylvania considered that part? The issues around Senator Young do not improve when his lack into Yemen is shown. With: “Selling more bombs to the Saudis simply means that the famine and cholera outbreak in Yemen will get worse, Iran will get stronger, and al-Qaeda and ISIS will continue to flourish amidst the chaos of the civil war” he shows just how little he is aware, the fact that there is no mention of Hezbollah is one part, the additional stage given to us less than 24 hours ago (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-wfp/yemens-houthis-and-wfp-dispute-aid-control-as-millions-starve-idUSKCN1T51YO) with ‘Yemen’s Houthis and WFP dispute aid control as millions starve‘ is not because there is no resolution, it is because the Houthi forces do not want a resolution, they are awaiting Iranian hardware and Hezbollah troops. So as we see: “the U.N. agency, which feeds more than 10 million people a month across the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation, said last month it is considering suspending deliveries due to fighting, insecurity and interference in its work“, we see just how dumbfound the status of Saudi Arabia is in the US Congress. The issue of the international press going out of their way not reporting on Hezbollah activities in Yemen is just a little too weird, and seemingly no one takes notice.

Saudi Arabia will have to consider other options soon enough (more to follow at the end).

In the second part of one side we see the report from CNN (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/05/politics/us-intelligence-saudi-arabia-ballistic-missile-china/index.html) the headline: ‘US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China‘, we need to realise two elements, the first is that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, a sovereign nation with the rights to defend itself. It has been in a proxy war with Iran for years and Saudi Arabia must prepare any way it can, apparently the United States is not there for the nation they call an ally, and as such China would easily step in to facilitate (Russia seems to have lost out on it). With Saudi Arabia in a stage of 5G thanks to Huawei, the Chinese government is (according to CNN) in the article. Even as we are given: “While the Saudis’ ultimate goal has not been conclusively assessed by US intelligence, the sources said, the missile advancement could mark another step in potential Saudi efforts to one day deliver a nuclear warhead were it ever to obtain one” implying that they actually do not know, the vague ‘were it ever to obtain one‘ should be seen as an article presently dipped in speculation. And as the one truth is given through “the Saudis have consistently taken the position that they need to match Iran’s missile capability and have at times sought help on the side from other countries, including China, which is not a signatory to the pact“, so the actual issue is that Saudi Arabia is in a stage where they will not accept being under defended when Iran is on a clear path to increase its ballistic missile setting. A clear setting that has been known for years and no one does anything valid or actual about Iran, that part is not set in the lime light is it. In all this I found the premise of Tom Udall senator from New Mexico the most hilarious one. With “citing the Washington Post report on the satellite images, asked what the US was doing to prevent foreign sales of ballistic missile technology to Saudi Arabia“, the direct and not too diplomatic answer would be: ‘It is none of your bloody business what Saudi Arabia buys from whomever they want to‘ (there is some diplomacy as I avoided using the F*** word). The truth is that they no longer matter; US Congress seems to be forgetting that they are no longer a superpower. 21 trillion dollar debt did that to them. Their utter inactivity in Syria and Yemen shows that they no longer really matter and the actions by both Turkey and Iran shows that they no longer have the balls to actually interfere and act. Their actions are now limited to economic sanctions and that tactic is becoming less and less efficient.

The additional fact that this is still connected to a dead journalist no one cares about is further evidence still. You see if it was actually about that than the US government and Global media would have illuminated the actions of Turkey and its incarcerated and murdered journalists every single day and that has not been happening at all, again more evidence that this is all about posturing and imagery but nothing on creating actual lasting results.

In all this I am happy that Democrat Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey gave us: “Failing that, I am prepared to move forward with any and all options to nullify the licenses at issue for both Saudi Arabia and [the] UAE and eliminate any ability for the administration to bypass Congress in future arms sales“, I will use that shortly, thank you.

On the other side

The other side of the Persian Gulf has other issues. Less than 14 hours ago, the Japan News (and several others) gave us: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran would not be “deceived” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile program” the entire stage of peace, or some way of moving forward was dependent on that part, the fact that it was never adhered to and the only part we get is US saber rattling gives light that the US has no actual solution here. Even as some Senators made the claim that any war with Iran would be a short one can no longer be proven, the engineering joke that is now known as USS Zumwalt is one part, the fact that Congress never approved a budget for its cannons to be fully armed is a second part and the failings that is this $21 billion project and is showing to be close to disastrous is further evidence that the US has no real modern navy to fight Iran with, it is at best at par with Iran and in an actual war setting without the ability to ‘hide’ within Saudi waters gives rise to the fact that a direct war (which Iran would lose) will not be a quick one and the casualty list would be massive. A nation that is basically bankrupt is now limited to saber rattling, it is sad.

A similar quote was seen in TV7 Israel News where we get: “Ali Khamenei said: “We can see that today, in the defense and military arena, we have reached a point of being able to deter our enemies. And the fact that you see they insist on (curtailing) our missile program, is because of this (deterrence). And they want to deprive us of this capability. And of course, they will never succeed.”” the stage is accepted but the premise is not. The Iranian missile program has never been one of defence, it is an offense stage with possible nuclear ramifications and there are indicators that there is more, one unconfirmed source (reliability unknown, language implied it to be American) gives us: “Iran in mid-May presented the IAEA with a comprehensive report on all aspects of its nuclear program, which comprised over one thousand pages. The D-T procurement was not mentioned in the. “comprehensive” report. It is not alone in this regard: since June, a large number of Iranian nuclear activities not admitted to by Tehran, have been reported, notably the attempts to sanitize a suspected nuclear facility in the neighborhood of Tehran” another dark web source gave mention of deuterium-tritium gas earlier this year crossing into Iran at Bājgirān. I partially took notice but ignored it as I had no real idea what it was used for (I am not a chemist), in light of the two it is not an indicator or any actual evidence where Iran is at, but it does give reason for Saudi Arabia to increase its capabilities regarding ballistic missiles. The fact that Iran has the muscle to move options here implies that it has access to funds it should not have, for the mere reason that whoever is doing it will not be doing it for anything less than an 8 figure number. I am decently certain that Russia (and most other nuclear players) would never be willing to give a Trump card like that into the hands of Iran, not when they have other needs to milk Iran for as long as they can. That is merely my personal view on the matter.

Iran does have other options, as Janes reported yesterday: “Iran launched a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) in December 2018, the Israeli representative to the UN told the Security Council in a letter released on 5 June“. My issue is not Jane, they are established as a reliable and accepted military source of information, the fact that this issue has been known for 6 months and the fact that at present there is no real exposure of the Khorramshahr with its range of 2,000 km with a 1,800 kg warhead, we see that no part of Saudi Arabia cannot be reached, giving a much larger pressure on Saudi Arabia and that is before you realise that the news included: “Iran has transferred technological knowledge to enable Iraq’s Technical Directorate for Military Production (TDMP) to produce the Mohajem-92 unmanned aerial vehicle“, that so called UAV is one of the drones that have been deployed against U.S. and coalition targets (Source: Al Jazeera June 21st).

These drones are optionally also in the hands of Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation, as such the pressure is on in several ways and there is more than one indicator that the US remains where it is, sitting on its hands merely because it seemingly ran out of budget.

Image of a Paper Tiger

In conclusion: I believe that the media and the US government have been hiding behind excuses and counter acting actions as it cannot afford to be in anything for any price. It has no ability to enforce any actual rules and when we see the egocentric call: ‘what the US was doing to prevent foreign sales of ballistic missile technology to Saudi Arabia‘, we see what was once a superpower is now optionally nothing more than a Paper Tiger.

If I have to give any official advice to the House of Saud then it would be:

Your Royal Highness and members of the royal family,

I believe that it is now more and more important to seek unity and actual commerce with providers that will enable you to properly defend yourself against the unacceptable danger that Iran has become. I believe that trade with the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China should replace your American portfolio. Each of these four have technologies and military solutions that would equal the solutions that America has offered. I believe that there is no one solution, by gaining the hardware from all three (each their own field) it would be optionally quicker to get the essential defence materials that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs to keep its nation safe. The American position after the attacks by Hezbollah through Houthi forces give rise to the additional dangers that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia faces by not seeking a more powerful defence. The actions of the American US Congress have shown that what they regard as being an ally is not what an ally is; it is not even what a wannabe ally would consider to be.

As such apart from your advancement in technology and infrastructure a much larger foundation for your national defence is seemingly essential in the immediate future. The shown delays that the European Union have shown to be regarding Iran, Turkey and terrorist organisations like Hezbollah give rise to the essential need of China to become part of that solution.

With highest regards,

Lawrence van Rijn

Finale

I believe that the inaction’s have gone on for way too long, even as some state that there are diplomatic options, the realisation that Iran hid themselves through the terrorist organisation Hezbollah and the fact that this has been known in intelligence circles for years is clear evidence that there is no push for a solution, merely a need for a standstill, or stalemate at best. It never resolves anything, it merely decimates the Yemeni population through Houthi blockades a small issue killing thousands and Reuters gave us that news, but no, plenty of media ignore that fact and keep on pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia and shouting ‘Jamal Khashoggi’ whilst no one cared about him to begin with (exception of Washington Post people noted).

The idea of politics through inaction an stalemate has created more damage than anyone realises and the inaction on matters has the dangers of creating cogs of war that will ruffle both sides of the Persian gulf to the largest degree is now too dangerous. The inaction on Hezbollah, the inaction by the US and Europe now have a lasting impact on the Middle East. When this comes to blow, there is no doubt that Iran will lose, and anyone pushing for stalemate tactics will be recognised and removed from consideration for what could be the largest impulse to a global economy in history, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are part of that economic pulse and those not part of that will end up going through 2-3 iterations of recession lasting 20+ years. The others will find themselves on an improving economy track and enable themselves on a larger economic scale than before. There is now ample view on the matter to consider that America is steering away from that option for no good reason. When that happens, those who get to be enabled will end up being in a much stronger position. I personally prefer the United Kingdom to be part of that, yet in the end that is a decision they will need to make for themselves.

 

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Within the Entitlement of Relevance

Very early this morning an article made it into the Guardian. The title ‘David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia‘, (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/david-cameron-brilliant-uk-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-bae), which is fair enough. The UK is one of those nations that actually has an arms export option. It is nowhere near the size of the US, but that is not the point here.

When we read: “on the day the European parliament voted for an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen“, we should be asking: ‘and why do we care about that?‘, yet this is not the case. We see both “At almost the same time, the European parliament voted in favour of an EU-wide ban on arms being sold to Saudi Arabia in protest at its heavy aerial bombing of Yemen, which has been condemned by the UN” as well as “The vote does not force EU member states to comply but it increases pressure on national governments to re-examine their relationships with Riyadh“. Which is a joke of sizeable proportions (reasoning will follow). Finally we see: “The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been extremely critical of Cameron’s relationship with Saudi Arabia because of its human rights record, prompting an angry response from Riyadh“, which could be seen as a humorous climax in labour less form.

We need to deal with the quotes so that it all makes sense to you, but there is one more element in that story. That we see from: “Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s arms controls director, said: “The ‘brilliant things’ that David Cameron says BAE sells include massive amounts of weaponry for the Saudi Arabia military, despite Saudi Arabia’s dreadful record in Yemen“. I needed to add this to all this, because there is the start.

You see, I am on the fence here. I will happily support Amnesty International, because for the most it is a force of good. When I see the title ‘UK’s arms controls director‘ I wonder if AI lost the plot a little. Let’s be clear here. It makes sense that AI has people on the payroll who understand weapons, understands mines, chemical ordnance. That makes perfect sense. AI is in need of knowledge on many levels and plenty of their work is in places where people tend to passionately not like each other (as in: with clubs, machetes and automatic weapons). Yet, when AI is wasting time on a valid business deal, we should ask a few additional questions. Now, we should quickly mention another side. At https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/amnesty-expert-barred-london-arms-fair, we see ‘Amnesty expert barred from London arms fair‘ as well as his quote “They’ve kept me out, but the question is: what has DSEi got to hide?” Let me answer that instead of the DSEi. You see, I could with my own expertise attend that event, and like him, I will equally hear “alas sir, you didn’t meet the criteria for registration“, even though there should be a few around in that field who know my skill levels in that regard. It is not skill or expertise, you see, it is about CLEARANCE LEVELS. These events are frequented by a massive who’s who of unregistered events, with a decent amount of government employees who need to talk shop, having non-cleared people on that fair tends to be a little unsettling for several reasons. In part because this world has its own rules, you obey those rules or you stop functioning in that world. There is every chance that I could accidently make the mistake whilst Oliver Sprague would intentionally do these things. Most of these people shy away from cameras (apart from those special social functions), they are there to talk shop!

You see, I have every respect for Amnesty International, they have done many good things in the past and will continue this in the future. For example stop torture makes perfect sense. There is also a questionable part from AI, it is nice to talk about the Human Rights Act, yet in the decades they have never succeeded in championing the need to add Spousal Abuse to article 3 of that HRA. Is spousal abuse not torture in its own rights? In that regard AI likes to be very visible, but in some way the big fights are never really fought (or better stated have not been fought for a long time). They have shown success stories every year, but landmark achievements have been absent for some time. Let’s get back to the initial story, but do not forget this part as it has bearing.

You see, the next part is slightly more entertaining. That tends to be the case whenever the honourable Jeremy Corbyn gets involved. Apart from the fashion comments we have seen in the last two days. The actual issue is his choice to get to the CND-rally, which is not a bad thing, but in light of timing, he decides to walk away from the national Labour campaign day, where he would be persuading voters to back Britain’s membership of the EU. This leaves to mind, is this a first inkling that even labour expects Brexit to become a reality? Whether that is true or not, this event has a direct bearing on the British population within this year, the CND rally has been going on for decades, so there would be another one next year. There is no other story beyond that. When you lead the labour party, it must be about the party, not about temporary ideology, because the CND is temporary at best and all ideological. I state that because there is no doubt that the UK would never instigate it, it would however respond if need be. Jeremy knows this (or he should not run the labour party). In all this I accept and understand that this is an option to rub elbows with people like SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. Yes, those meetings make perfect sense, yet that means that none of them are really there for a CND rally. That is not an accusation, it is not wrong, but it leads to questions; questions that can slow down any election for a massive amount.

Two events all with issues of relevance, relevance from within those people from their point of view.

Now we take another gander, a gander towards the path of Saudi Arabia. Most people refuse to understand (read: accept) two elements. The first is that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, a nation founded in 1932 by the House of Saud. The most important part here is that this is a Muslim nation, it is a nation of laws, in their case it was the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia in 1924 when King Abdul-Aziz made Shura a foundation of his government in order to fulfil the divine order by applying Shariah (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Shura as parts of it. So, we have a clear given, a monarchy that lives by Muslim rule of law, Shariah law. We might not comprehend, understand it or even accept it. But in the Nation of Saudi Arabia it has forever been law. I still do not understand how people go about trying to enforce their rules upon others. You see, when I hear these ‘moralists’ speak on how Sharia Law is so ‘barbaric’, they in equal measure forget that their own governments abandoned them as markets collapsed twice since 2004, no decent part of the involved parties went to prison and absolutely no laws were properly instigated and enforced against greed and in that regard, the least said about flawed corporate tax laws the better. In light of all this consider another fact that applies to the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, the previous assembly had 70% of its members with a PhD, 49% got their degree in the US and 20% from a University in Europe. So this is a group highly educated. Initially, going back to the beginning, the council was entrusted with drafting the basic laws for the administration of the country. Which is interesting as the US started in a similar way, a nation of laws under god (their Christian version). When we see the Shura council, we see in Article one “and following His Messenger Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) in consulting his Companions, and urging the (Muslim) Nation to engage in consultation. The Shura council shall be established to exercise the tasks entrusted to it, according to this Law and the Basic Law of Governance while adhering to Quran and the Path (Sunnah) of his Messenger (PBUH), maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety“, so as others judge the actions of Saudi Arabia, ask yourself, in the last 5 years alone, how many instances from large corporations and government have we seen, where ‘maintaining brotherly ties and cooperating unto righteousness and piety‘ were never part of any consideration? You only have to look at your pension plan, healthcare or deficits to see that ‘brotherly‘ is nowhere to be found.

This too is relevant to the entirety of the situation when we return to the honourable Jeremy Corbyn. Several sources stated “Jeremy Corbyn has called on David Cameron to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia after a United Nations report found the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had “conducted airstrikes targeting civilians”“, based on what evidence would be my first question (not stating the validity of the UN), apart from that, Corbyn has a direct responsibility, you see, the UK had coffers that need to be filled, the UK has product that can be sold. We have seen how UK Labour was willing to spend money they never had, leaving the UK in massive debt. The last thing he should do is call for a suspension. Let me explain that part.

  1. This arms deal is not with some organisation like Hezbollah, it is a legitimate sovereign government of an established nation. The UK has every right to sell products to this nation.
  2. Whenever the west gets directly involved in any Middle Eastern event, it becomes a massive mess, in all this after half a decade, the west has done next to nothing regarding Syria, Europe has to deal with massive waves of refugees and there is no end in sight. Amnesty International knows this. They also know that Sharia Law is another matter, it is not for them to judge; it is for them to accept that the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia has every right to keep their own set of laws.
  3. Hezbollah and other players in Yemen are not part of an established government, they overthrew governments and the mess that followed has been ongoing ever since. In that light, there are too many question marks in too many places.

I believe that any Middle Eastern issue should be resolved by the Middle Eastern nations themselves. With escalation on the south border and firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia, they have every rights to protect themselves in any way they need to. That is also part of the equation. In that regard Islam 101 gives us two parts “Fight against those who fight against you in the way of Allah, but do not transgress, for Allah does not love transgressors” as well as “Kill them whenever you confront them and drive them out from where they drove you out. (For though killing is sinful) wrongful persecution is even worse than killing. Do not fight against them near the Holy Mosque unless they fight against you; but if they fight against you kill them, for that is the reward of such unbelievers“. The next part is also from the Quran, but I am not sure whether this is Sharia: “The Quran sanctions violence to counter violence. If one studies history of Arab tribes before Islam and fierce fighting they indulged in one would be convinced that the philosophy of passive resistance would not have worked in that environment“. This is the kicker, we see that passive resistance was not a solution, because of the mess that Arab spring left the Middle East. In that Saudi Arabia has a right to counter its attacks, which means that we do not get to say too much on how a sovereign state defends itself. In addition, with the amount of ‘additional’ groups in Yemen, can we be certain who is who there?

But do not fear, Smith is here!

You see, I am very willing to join BAE and become ‘the’ sales person there (I know a person who would join me, so a team of 2 could be achieved), I will take a decent sales income and of course the 3.75% bonus on surplus sales and 3.25% bonus on sales targets reached. I reckon that I can sell the Eurofighter Typhoon military planes, with consultancy, training and guidance. In addition, I will be happy to provide for ammunition and ordnance. As stated, we Commonwealth nations need to stick together and I am happy to aid in the support and consultancy of those jets.

This now gets us to the final part ‘an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen‘. What data is there? What evidence is there? We know for a fact that Hezbollah is there, that the Iranians are all over this, which is interesting as they are supporting the party overthrowing the legitimate government. So is there more? Is this perhaps an organised annexing of Yemen for Iran? The elements that gives value to that are indeed in play, whether this is a factual interpretation is not clear, too much data is not available to me, as well as too much time has passed from the start of all this.

And the final part in all this is “The vote does not force EU member states to comply“, which makes the EU a lame duck organisation. All that time and all these events for something that holds no real value. Now let’s take the headcount for a second. Oliver Sprague, a civilian with no political power, a person who leads by instigating those who have power and only in events where it is beneficial to those people could something possibly happen (not in this case though). Jeremy Corbyn, a political headpiece, but not one that is currently in office, he is merely in opposition and as such he is about visibility and branding himself (politically plugging is also a term that applies in this case). These two non-deciders are opposing a nation that needs commerce that needs to export as many of their products as possible.

In the defence of the two non-deciders I must add, from our values, we might have issues and it is nice that the UN is also about values, yet in all this, apart from condemnation there has been very little against terrorist elements. Of all the condemnations we have seen since Syria has a little issue in 2011, how much actions have been taken and for how many millions of Syrians has it been too late? Too many speakers for inactions, too little actions on economy and actual actions on the HRA (like the little addendum to article three I mentioned earlier).

So within the title of relevance seems to apply to too many people, it includes me as well, for the mere reason that my blog has no effect on the actions of the UK Foreign Office. It is just my view on the matter, like it was the view of Oliver Sprague, Jeremy Corbyn and the EU parliament. We are all simply non-deciders. The deciders are the currently elected UK government headed by David Cameron as well as the Monarchy of Saudi Arabia, under King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They both get to look at the ‘toothless’ response from the EU parliament, who might be entering their final sitting soon enough.

Our voices might sound nice, our words might read nice, but neither bring food to the table, which is the concern of the Conservative Party, one that they are actually addressing.

 

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