Tag Archives: Human Rights watch

When the joke is on us all

We all have moments where we imagine that the dice is cast, yet we play roulette, we think we have the numbers down, yet did you know that the roulette number sequence is different in Europe compared to America? These are all elements in a play of high stake gambling. That same setting returns when we look at the Guardian article ‘Campaigners head to court to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia’. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/06/campaigners-court-bid-to-stop-uk-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia) holds two sides (apart from it being partially a joke in my eyes). You see, I have no issue with people who have the principle of being against weapons. That is their prerogative. What does bug me is that these same people will suddenly blame the government for all kinds of issues and they will scream that they want higher taxes for the rich, ignoring the fact that they are the cause of several issues that are the consequence of some faulty misdirected version of ideology.

So even as I am happy to step in and take over the arms trade to Saudi Arabia, mainly because I do not have the luxury of walking away from a multi-billion pound deal, you see the rent is due next week and I would like a nice mince pie after I pay my rent, the £3,576,229,000 will enable me to get both. OK that amount would not all be mine, but 20% could be and that is still £715,245,800.

My entire pension issue solved overnight. The article takes us a step further. With: “The UK court case comes amid the continued fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured and assassinated by Saudi agents“, I am fine with that step for the mere reason that there are too many question marks in that case. The evidence on several levels is missing proper scrutiny, the fact that Turkey has other agenda’s in play is ignored, and the involvement of Iran in all this is ignored on several levels. I am not stating that things did not happen, there is clearly a massive lack of proper scrutiny and people like the Campaign against Arms Trade are fuelling my opportunity and I am fine with that, if stupid people enable me to become wealthy, why would I oppose?

How Come?

Well, we are decently certain that something happened to Jamal Khashoggi, yet to what degree can government actions be proven? That is the issue, there is no evidence and as such can you, or should you stop dealing with a sovereign nation with a lack of evidence? In addition, in the other direction, we have seen a massive indecisive move towards Iran whilst Iran fuelled activities go on in Europe, October 2018, January 2019, covering Denmark, France, Netherlands, and the UK. Yet over at that point, we see an utter lack of actual actions (merely considerations).

Does it matter?

Well that is in part the question, we can accept that Campaign against Arms Trade wants it all to stop, but what is ignored is that merchants have markets and the UK cannot evolve next level defences if they cannot be sold. So whilst places like Saudi Arabia are still opening their internal market to have quality defence gear, places like the UK, Russia and America are looking to sell defence solutions to places that can afford them (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Taiwan, South Korea and a few more players), yet the well is drying up, more and more countries have their own solutions and the size of the cake is getting smaller.

The next part is seen where we get Andrew Smith of Campaign against Arms Trade giving us: “This case could set a vital precedent and end UK complicity in the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.” In that I respectfully disagree, the catastrophe was that too many people sat on their hands for too long, the fact that Yemen is not just the Saudi-led coalition, the other side, the terrorist side is more than Houthi fighters, it includes Hezbollah as well as Iranian forces, by leaving that out, we see an unbalanced stage and in all this we see a deterioration of events, so even as we accept (to some degree) “civilian targets in Yemen have regularly been hit“, in addition we need to accept the Human Rights Watch who gives us clearly: “Houthi forces have repeatedly fired artillery indiscriminately into Yemeni cities and launched indiscriminate ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia. Some of these attacks may amount to war crimes. Houthi attacks have struck populated neighbourhoods in Yemen, having a particularly devastating impact on Taizz, Yemen’s third largest city.” There is more than one player, yet these focus groups have merely looked at the Saudi side and that needs to stop, not because of what they are trying to achieve, but because the actions are much larger then they proclaim and there are two sides. In addition to what was given we need to consider the fact that Houthi forces have been staging some of the events. Al Jazeera gave us more than once: “The war has been at a stalemate for years, with the coalition and Yemeni forces unable to dislodge the Houthis from the capital, Sanaa, and other urban centres.” This indicates that the Houthi forces are in-between the population, with 16 million on the verge of death by starvation, is inaction even a problem?

Yet, from one point of view, I do not mind. If I get the option, I will sell it to the Saudi government and I will send Andrew Smith an authentic Fortnum and Mason hamper, just so that he knows I appreciate him enabling me to write a multi-billion pound invoice. Of course, the optional impact that the UK faces if the profitability of Britain’s largest defence company, BAE Systems is set to zero. I feel certain that Andrew Smith can explain it to the thousands of workers out of a job if I am given the assurance that I can get a much better margin by selling the Saudi government 47 Mikoyan MiG-35, complete with training and proper service level agreements. That puppy is a direct superior option against the Typhoon, the Super Hornet and a few others; my upside is that if I get Saudi Arabia on board, I am likely to get additional requests from Pakistan and at least three other governments.

So at that point, how exactly did Campaign against Arms Trade achieve anything (other than making me filthy rich and I will thank them in person for that). In this day and age where the markets and economies cannot take these hits, it is the ability of Andrew Smith that Europe fears, you see commerce is at the heart of the matter, and at this point, any nations bringing in bad news will stop being an asset, that is the Wall Street premise we all signed up for in 2005 when things started to get bad, we never corrected for any of it.

Distasteful like a Vegan

We can all consider where our ethical boundary is, yet in all this, we seem to forget that any sovereign nation has the right to self-govern, Europeans with their gravy train, ECB and shallow morals seem to have forgotten that. In all this having commerce allows diplomats to find a path that steers some nations away for certain practices and that path will be denied to them soon thereafter. Consider that I am all about profit and the Campaign against Arms Trade allowed for that change, how did they achieve anything? Because the UK misses out on have a dozen billions a year less? How many projects and funding issues will dry up the year after that starts? We have settings and measurements, most do not deal with terrorists, most do not sell to individuals, and the Campaign against Arms Trade is starting to allow for the return of those markets.

Sidestepping into art

Consider John Wyndham’s 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids. Some saw the movie, some read the book. Yet what happens when the sequel is a direct horror story? What happens when the sequel gives us the stage where the Triffids land on a planet ruled by vegans and vegetarians? How scared will they be (the Triffids that is)? This relates to the setting we have, you see, we seem to push towards everyone becoming a vegan and vegetarian (non-weaponised), because that is what their norm states, yet what are we going to do about the hunters (lion), the carrion eaters (Hyena) and other non-vegetarians? What do we do when people have certain norms and will not be told by anyone how to act? Is that such a weird issue?

You merely have to look at football hooligan UK to see that part of the equation, and there is no end in sight. It is a shallow connection, I agree, yet that is the ball game, someone wants to pressure towards an ideology whilst the other players are not interested. Now that does not invalidate the ideology, yet the fact that the reasoning is one sided, whilst the entire economic premise requires selling to other governments is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Who are we to dictate rules and manners? I get it, by denying the Saudi government one’s own screwed up values is all good, yet when the act does the opposite of what they are trying to achieve, can we agree that the action is not that bright? I am not comparing the Saudi people with either the Lion or the Hyena. I am merely stating that there is more than one option and that is fine for all concerned. How can any nation, most of them either dealing with their own levels of corruption, or facilitating to massive corporate tax evasion, as these elements also impact whatever was to be part of a government budget, do we have any business impeding the other paths that were available? Consider that we were treated only a month ago to ‘HMRC’s first probes into corporate tax evasion facilitation‘, the stage where we are seeing “HMRC has confirmed that it has opened its first investigations into the corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of UK tax evasion, using new powers to tackle corporate fraud contained in the Criminal Finances Act, introduced in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks“, an event that is close to 15 years late. How can we see the actions of a group stopping billions the UK government desperately needs? Don’t worry, in the end I might be ecstatically happy regarding their act, I am not so certain the British people will love the impact of what Campaign against Arms Trade invoked to happen. We can see that there is a lot that needs fixing, I am not sure that international arms trade to other governments no less is a first problem to solve, not with the competition and not with much larger issues in play.

And it is here where we see the delusional part of Andrew Smith, with “BAE’s solution will always be the same: it wants to sell more weapons, regardless of the atrocities they are enabling. Wherever there is war and conflict, there will always be companies like BAE trying to profiteer from it“, we get to see just how whacked his view is. Well, to be honest, he is allowed to have that view, it just does not add up. You see, the actual premise is: “BAE’s solutions are designed to keep Britain safe. Yet the development will cost 155 billion, to assure the top state of defence for the UK, who will only buy for up to 100 billion requires additional sales to global governments who could need that solution, even as the US buys a lot, it is not enough to fill the gap and that is where other nations come in. There is the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and a few others. In addition Andrew Smith seems to forget (or he does not care)that others like the US, France, Italy and Russia all have solutions to sell, so we need to ensure our survival for the need of growing British defence and keeping it as high as possible. This part is extremely important, because whoever has the best deals with places like Saudi Arabia is also in the best position to aid and guide international development in places like that. As Saudi Arabia is about to become a 5G powerhouse, that path is more and more important for everyone. Consider the impact if Campaign against Arms Trade is successful. Do you think that British Telecom has a chance in hell to grow the 5G options to the degree they could if their portfolio is auto rejected in several Middle Eastern nations, or only accepted at a mere 2% margin? Commerce is so intertwined in so many ways on a global level that the entire premise Campaign against Arms Trade is to regarded as too ideological, whilst ignoring common sense; it would be nice if this was a setting where there was only the US and the UK, yet there is a strong defence field that includes Russia and China, whatever the UK loses, China and optionally Russia will gain and in that regard, how did that help the British people?

The fact that we see a one-sided part against Saudi Arabia, whilst there is a large and utter denial (or silencing) on the acts from Hezbollah and Houthis firing Iranian missiles into the Saudi population is not mentioned. The article (at https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi) gives more, yet leaves the atrocities of the Houthi and Hezbollah terrorists out of that equation, that part alone should be cause for concern. The small fact that at present there is no evidence, evidence that could stand up in court giving us a clear path that the Saudi government murdered Jamal Khashoggi, is also part of concern. As I stated earlier in other articles, I am not stating that they are innocent, I am stating that the evidence has gaps, large ones and the conviction through some political hacks came via a CIA report stating ‘high confidence‘, which is not the same. When did we allow the courts to decide on ‘confidence‘? The fact that the acts in all this (Yemen and Jamal Khashoggi) from both Iran and Turkey is largely ignored is making the entire stage even more appalling.

Yet, I will thank Andrew Smith in person when I get to deliver the goods making me rich, I do however expect him to be not so appreciative of it all in the end, even less so when others with no scruples at all (like myself) start delivering goods instead of BAE Systems, and deleting the job security of 83,200 employees? Well, it is ideology, is it not? They will just have to find another job.



1 Comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, Politics

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics

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)?





Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

At these shores

We have been ignorant, we have been in denial, and now we get to pay for it. it comes in a currency that we have not considered ever before. ISIS has arrived at the shores of Australia and we are seeing it just across the waters of the Philippines. The Guardian gives us ‘How and why Islamic State-linked rebels took over part of a Philippine city‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/29/explainer-how-and-why-islamic-state-took-over-part-of-a-philippine-city), there is no reply from me on how right or how wrong, I myself have been ignorant of the dangers in regards to the Philippines and perhaps our ignorance whether it will affect Indonesia in a similar manner. I can sum up the elements, but you are better off to go to the Guardian link I provided and go over the facts there yourself. The article is an excellent source of information, yet there are other elements that require attention. One part is seen in “his year-long presidency characterised by bloodshed, with a “war on drugs” that has left thousands of alleged drug addicts and suspected dealers dead. He has been condemned internationally for supporting vigilantism“, we see ‘condemned‘ whilst those other governments have not ever found any form of solution to settle the war on drugs. We can debate the ‘alleged drug addicts‘ to some degree as there is an alleged elements, yet he decided on a course no government has ever been willing to do, to make dealing and addiction both a crime, one that can be solved through execution. Is there a truth that when someone sees all those dead people taking drugs might be less interesting? We have to consider the issues as the Philippines has had its economic turmoil and bad times does impact anyone’s quality of life and we do know that drugs gives any person an escape from that. In addition, he has according to the Guardian made an appeal to other organisations to take up arms against Maute, it is the mention by Sidney Jones, the Jakarta-based director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict that gives us the impeding optional dangers to Indonesia as well. The quote: “In an October report, Jones predicted the current tumult. Facing losses in Syria and Iraq, Isis have increasingly looked to the Philippines to establish a province or “wilayat” in the region, the report said“, the question becomes: ‘Just the Philippines?

I have no direct answer, because both countries have collections of islands where oversight would be hard to say the least. Both places have area and villages in turmoil and in disarray. When we consider “They have been convinced by Isis that the answer to Mindanao’s problems is Islamic law“, yet this is just Maute. Is there any intelligence on how the other groups react to that? There are additional concerns as Maoist-led rebel talks in the Netherlands have halted. The US has blundered here too (my personal view) as US restrictions on arms supply have forced the Philippines to seek these products from China and Russia (Source: Reuters UK). That also gives Russia additional options to offer the Philippines more lucrative commercial solutions on a long term basis. It seems hilarious that it is ISIS that will hunker down with some success on the list of allies that the US has. In all this, it seems that the Maoist-led rebels are getting new options and perhaps an optional Philippine future which is a bit of a new-age surprise in a time when we considered the rise communism and Marxism a thing of the past. The question remains, once the Maute have been dealt with, what happens after that. There is clear movement as the US bungled a few diplomatic steps in light of the ISIS rise in the Philippines. Yet we must understand that the diplomatic picture here is a lot more complex than the Maute incident is currently giving visibility to. The Diplomat (at http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/why-is-the-philippines-turning-away-foreign-aid/) gave us “The Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte recently rejected a 250 million euro ($280 million) foreign aid package from the European Union (EU) on the grounds that the EU is trying to enforce human rights regulations in exchange for its aid“, which is fair enough from both sides. Yet with ISIS trying to get ground here, why has there not been a stronger response from London/Canberra? With Australia now on the doorstep of ISIS, another solution would have been required. It makes sense that there are questions from both sides, and to give a view to the severity of either side whilst knowing all the elements would just be folly from my side. Yet there is now a start of the acceptance of ISIS by Maute, which changes the game to some effect. For one, US drones are off the table, as are several other options. As long as Maute is one this path, several players could end up with their options not on the table. As some try to impose what they call ‘minimum guidelines‘, we now call a hindrance to deal with ISIS, which means that the war on terror as some tend to call it will be minimised in efficiency.

Yet there is another side that Manilla needs to realise and it is stated by Chithra Purushothaman: “To think that foreign aid from China would be entirely altruistic with no strings attached would not be wise. While human rights regulations might not come attached to Chinese aid, there is the chance of slipping into a debt trap that Manila would find hard to escape.” We should argue in equal matter that Russia would have a similar approach and for them a foothold on the Philippines could be the new nightmare scenario for the US Navy.

So how will this move forward? The open direct and non-compromising statements from President Rodrigo Duterte might sound awesome to some, yet after the Maute incident, the Philippines would need to get back to any sort of business plan, meaning that the need for conceding in some way on pressures from the person who gave them the goods and the money would form a second wave of changes. In which direction could not be stated, but geographically speaking, the Philippines are too interesting a place to just ignore for both Russia and China.

So as we see that ISIS is now an issue on the doorstep of Australia, we need to wonder how Canberra will react to the latest events and if they see it as a threat at all. With a Filipino population in Australia now approaching 200,000, both ASIS and ASIO would have their hands full on getting a hold of data that could enable them to figure out how large the risks would be for Australia. They might have had a good handle on the data in the past, yet the change in the Philippines to opt for vigilantism also includes an additional risk to ID Fraud and officially handed out incorrect passports, which does not help anyone, not even the Manilla government. Now, this last part is speculation from my side, yet when we see the messages as to the promises made by the president, if it is in the interest of President Rodrigo Duterte to hand out new identities to those who came to his ‘aid’, do you think that getting a new passport would be the hardest thing to get? The problem becomes what some extremists would do when they do get that new identity. That is the worry for those not in the Philippines. In the end, as the news is still escalating over the last week. We will not know what will happen next. Even when we realise that the ISIS claim for the suicide bomb in Indonesia is a real issue, the parts that remain an unknown for now is how large ISIS has grown in Jakarta and where they are growing towards. We get “President Joko Widodo said Indonesia needed to accelerate plans to strengthen anti-terrorism laws to prevent new attacks” from Asian Age, yet the reality is that the Indonesian president required more than a mere anti-terrorism law. They need an actual battle plan. If Mauta in Marawi is not actively stopped, ISIS would have a decent free go to anyone in the Sulawesi sea, which also implies that Brunei in play to some degree. We might be fooled by the Speech of President Trump to both Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and other distinguished guests, the ISIS issue is in South-East Asia and there is little evidence that it will let up soon. As President Trump gives a very different message to the Muslim nations (compared to former President Obama), there are indications that his version is more readily accepted. There is more as we see CNN, where we see an attack by Phelim Kline of Human Rights watch, which is her version and I am not stating that it is an incorrect one, yet when we read “Any assertion by any world leader, including US President Donald Trump, that Duterte is doing ‘an unbelievable job’ by cheerleading a murderous campaign that has killed more than 7,000 Filipinos is not only a gross insult to those victims and their family members, but sends a signal to Duterte and his willing executioners that their lawless killing spree can continue with a vengeance without fear of international criticism and repercussions“, I am not stating her version to be incorrect or inaccurate. Yet in this age, when we see that nobody can hold a budget, that services are denied more and more, and the people on a global scale have to accept that drug users are poor people who alas have a habit and they then take away services for thousands of people. The war on drugs has been a humongous failure on a global scale that is the denial of many people and even more politicians. Politicians who hide behind ‘a level of acceptance and tolerance‘, which is their right, yet some people have decided that enough is enough and started another path. The path that these politicians considered to be a non-option is being walked by one nation at present. Their fear is not how far will it go, their actual fear is what happens when it makes an actual difference. It takes one success for adaption to propagate a plan that is not humane.

As CNN makes a quick reference to a photo event (at http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/world/city-of-the-dead/), yet here we see part that the CNN people offered as evidence, yet did not talk about loudly in that opposition to the Philippine president: “Methamphetamine, or “shabu” as it’s known locally, is used by 860,000 — 49% — of the country’s 1.8 million drug users, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime“, 2% of the entire Philippine population is addicted to drugs! The CDC sets the Percentage of persons 12 years of age and over with any illicit drug use at 10.2%, which was a 2014 number, but it gives a rather large realisation, the US war on drugs has been lost on pretty much every field, the politicians are in denial because admittance is not just the only issue, the people would demand action and the US government has no options or funds for that. In addition, the stat is not entirely fair as the CDC goes for ‘illicit drug use‘ which is a much larger concept than the use of narcotics. So there is an unbalanced comparison. Yet when a nation has 2% of its population set to addicts, we need to accept that there is a much larger problem, it does not make the actions of President Rodrigo Duterte the right one, but I wonder if this at present is the only one remaining. When we consider the Netherlands with its population and its liberal approach of drugs, the numbers indicate that its narcotics addition is set to a mere 0.5%, I have no idea how reliable it is, yet the numbers come from the Dutch NRC, which is actually one of the much better national newspapers the Dutch have. So there the addiction numbers are a mere 25% of what the Philippines currently faces.

This all has an impact, because that would fuel the extremists agenda’s by a lot, in addition as we see that Islam prohibits all drugs that are not medically prescribed gives the drugs addicts even less options, so there is a growing concern to face.

This does not give acceptance of any party, and it will not give ISIS any additional options, the fact that Maute is ‘connected’ to them should fuel the fear of the other parties that are talking to ISIS at present. This gives light to the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte, we just do not know at present how this will play out. What is a given is that ISIS is stretching to the places a lot closer to home than we considered before, the question for us becomes: What are we willing to do to stop ISIS from actually landing here?

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Military, Politics, Science