Tag Archives: Istanbul

The shores I see from here

OK, I am not beating around the bush, I have given my point of view on several matters and I have always stated that I have always been driven by evidence. As such I have opposed the views of Agnes Calamard, not for Saudi Arabia, but because of the debatability of the evidence, so as we now see ‘Trump boasted he protected MBS after Khashoggi hit: Report’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/trump-boasted-protected-mbs-khashoggi-hit-report-200910195007682.html), all whilst there is no actual evidence of the hit. Now, I get it, I understand that you would doubt me, I would doubt me as well, but perhaps the following will convince you. When we see the quote “Trump bragged that he protected the Saudi crown prince from consequences in the United States after the assassination of Khashoggi in October 2018, the news outlet Business Insider reported on Thursday. “I saved his a**,” President Trump said about the US outcry about Khashoggi’s killing, according to Business Insider, quoting from a copy  of Woodward’s book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to  stop,” Trump said.” What do we see? Basically, the only action we see is ‘I was able to get Congress to leave him alone’, my question becomes, what evidence is there for congress to rattle Saudi Arabia with? When we re-open the report I spoke about yesterday we see at [6] “the Special Rapporteur was not provided with any information regarding the evidence they may have collected during this period.” Which is funny when we see at [8] “The Special Rapporteur found credible evidence pointing to the crime scenes having been thoroughly, even forensically, cleaned”, here we get the issue, they claim guilt on the setting that the room was clean, it is like you getting found guilty of killing your mom and dad because the house does not contain evidence of their death. OK, a small exaggeration, I get that, but the finding of guilt due to no evidence is the setting and she was kind enough to create doubt by ‘found credible evidence pointing to’, so the stage of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ is avoided, added to the facts that there was no credible evidence that any order was ever given to kill Khashoggi and the Crown prince was roughly 12,756,587 meters away from the crime scene. Yup, that evidence is so overwhelming isn’t it? So how come this US president is that stupid to alienate his allies? And that is merely the beginning. As we are given “US and other foreign intelligence services have reportedly concluded that MBS directed the killing” we are drawn to the report that gives us at [39] “At some point, there comes a time when an intelligence service or operative simply has to make a stab at assimilating what all this means. There is rarely space for scrutiny from anyone outside the intelligence system”, which is interesting against the ‘concluded’ part earlier when it is about “make a stab at assimilating what all this means”, which is not evidence and is nowhere near ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, did anyone consider this? The report has plenty of issues that could be speculative gems of fingering any party as guilty, but is that what a murder investigation is supposed to be about? And in this mess we see ‘Trump boasted he protected’? What is this, an episode of Comedy Capers? And the article goes on giving us “Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of Saudi agents while his fiancee waited for him outside the consulate building”, all whilst there was no evidence retrieved in any way that there was a killing and there was no evidence on dismembering, it is all speculation.

You see the claim of dismemberment implies that there is a body, there is forensic evidence and that is disputed in the report starting at [8], it is not about what might have happened, it is about what can be proven and there is no evidence, there is merely speculation through the expensive words like ‘credible evidence’ and ‘may have been collected’, the lack of ‘evidence that can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt’ and ‘collected evidence’ is missing making the issue moot and it makes the statement by President Trump one of the least intelligent boasts that any US president has ever made. But there is an upside, I needed EU 324,000,000 for a project, so I am willing and willing to offer myself as an in-between to other arms dealers to set up office with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as such I would be willing to find another party to offer the “$8bn in precision-guided missiles and other high-tech weapons”, let’s face it, fair is fair, right? Boasts on one side (especially those linked to a lack of evidence) should be countered by economic deals to other parties on the other side. That is what Wall Street taught us all and we are all willing to learn (especially when we earn a few coins), so that is that state of matters and I will be taking calls from the BAE as per direct. Raytheon eat your heart out!

Suddenly the shores I see from here don’t look so bad, what should I do, play hard to get? I think not!

 

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A mere warning

The Washington Post gives us an interesting article today. It is not really about Jamal Khashoggi, even if it is about him. You see, the headline gives us: ‘U.S. spy agencies sued for records on whether they warned Khashoggi of impending threat of harm‘, with that stage the University of Columbia is being set up for a rather weird trip. When we get “The Knight First Amendment Institute on Tuesday sued the U.S. government to learn whether agencies complied with what the institute asserted was a duty to warn journalist Jamal Khashoggi that he faced a threat of harm. Khashoggi, who lived in Northern Virginia, was killed Oct. 2 by a team of Saudi operatives soon after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his impending marriage.” They were kind and accurate enough to add the text, oh they actually were not. You see, Journalist or not, Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi Arabian citizen. In addition, he was not in America at the moment it happened, which might be merely a consideration. The third part of the equation is that the alleged act was done on Saudi soil, making it an internal Saudi matter, so, where do we stand?

Well, the WP gives us the Directive 191 reference, so that is where I will go next. The directive in the definitions do tell us “Duty to Warn means a requirement to warn U.S. and non-U.S. persons of impending threats of intentional killing, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping.” There is one issue that I cannot comment on as F.10 of the directive has been redacted; as such I am not certain if the situation had changed. You see, it is the implementation regarding an optional targeted person that matters now. From my point of view, the onus is now on the Washington Post to show part of F2, where we see: “IC elements shall designate senior officers responsible for reviewing threat information initially determined to meet duty to warn requirements to affirm whether the information is credible and specific, so as to permit a meaningful warning. IC clements shall also designate senior officers responsible for making waiver determinations based on criteria identified in this Directive. The senior officers designated for affirming that duty to warn information is sufficient for a meaningful warning and for making waiver determinations should not be the same individual.” It is the Washington Post that needs to prove at this point that ‘threat information’ was clearly available with the senior intelligence officer(s). Merely the notion that a journalist’s life might optionally have been in danger does not hack it. If so, let Martin Baron be a kind boss and give the world notice on the 214 media people in Turkish prison, please please, pretty please?

And then we get the good stuff, the reason why the University of Columbia has signed on for a see-it-all tour of the ocean floor on the USS Titanic (drinks on the rocks will be served). The wavers are almost passed; there is no setting where we see that Jamal Khashoggi was any of that by the American definition. It is the ‘almost’ that gets us to F3e. Here we see: “The information resulting in the duty to warn determination was acquired from a foreign government with whom the U.S. has formal agreements or liaison relationships, and any attempt to warn the intended victim would unduly endanger the personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations of that foreign government;” How was the clear and present danger to Jamal Khashoggi acquired? Was it ever acquired? More important, if CIA clandestine services got the intelligence as part of internal Saudi acquisition, we might actually stumble on the waver activated through section F3d.

If we go by the innuendo, a group of a little over a dozen flew in, were ALL those people tracked? If there was a call for execution, how did it come into the hands of the intelligence agency? All elements that cannot be answered, so unless the University of Columbia has a clear inside source, the entire exercise was debunked in 414.2 seconds (roughly). All this is even before F8 is seen. The mention of: “Communication of threat information to the intended victim may be delivered anonymously if that is the only method available to ensure protection of U.S. government personnel, sources, methods, intelligence operations, or defense operations.” implies that anonymous delivery would not have been an option, making matters more compromising for the intelligence individual given this part of canine excrement (a paper shaped one mind you). So not only are we in a stage where anonymous delivery is not an option, there is the clear requirement that the intelligence had been weighted, disseminated for wavers and at that point this point would be acted on. Also, we see 63 million articles on Jamal Khashoggi, yet which ones give us a timeline of his whereabouts from September 1st, to October 2nd? At what stage and exactly when was there a credible threat to his life? I am not saying that this was not the case; I am saying that I do not know and whilst we have millions of articles from all kinds of sources playing parrot on innuendo, yet the entire timeline is not shown, as far as I was able to tell, not even in the Washington Post, the American paper he worked for.

The one part that we do not look at is the purpose in all this. When we consider the purpose where we see: “This Directive establishes in policy a consistent, coordinated approach for how the Intelligence Community (IC) will provide warning regarding threats to specific individuals or groups of intentional killing, serious bodily injury, and kidnapping” we need to wonder if the intelligence agencies have any chance of getting anything done, basically any journalist and opposition of drugs in Latin America is basically in danger at this point. For me, I see the entire University of Columbia action academically sound, yet loaded with political oppositional premise. The action in opposition comes from “The lawsuit states that before Khashoggi’s killing, “U.S. intelligence agencies apparently intercepted communications in which Saudi officials discussed a plan to capture Khashoggi.”” This is indeed part of the directive. Yet the timeline is not clear. The intelligencer section of the New York Magazine (at http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/report-the-u-s-heard-saudis-talk-about-capturing-khashoggi.html) gives us: “The Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, this person said. It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him“. We need to consider two parts, Jamal Khashoggi was on Saudi soil (consulate when the events happened), in addition, there is also still mention that we see the optional ‘the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi‘, which also implies that danger to life was not a given and Saudi Arabia has every right to arrest its citizens, especially on Saudi ground. We cannot merely state after the fact that it was ‘to kill him‘, there were too many unknown parts and intelligence agencies acting on too many unknown parts tend to drop the ball, foil their own plot and moreover tend to imply more controversies on themselves. Oh, and did I mention that part of it happened in Turkey, a place that has arrested and jailed well over 200 journalists?

It is also reflective as they quote the WP in this. That article gives us again: “Before Khashoggi’s disappearance, U.S. intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him“, yet a clear timeline is missing. How much time was there and consider that the intercepted information does not imply killing, more important, when a government takes a person into custody it is not kidnapping, it is called arresting nullifying Directive 191. What is interesting that no one in that entire intelligence structure decided to act by themselves (or directed to do so), walking up to Martin Baron (sometimes doubled by Liev Schreiber) and tell him that there is a credible issue with one of their journalists. As the issue at that part was not national security. That one call and his rapid ‘relocation’ to: İstinye Mahallesi, Poligon Cd. No:75, 34460 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey where quick travel arrangements could be made. Is that absence not interesting too? So when we consider that part, was there any time at all?

I am not saying that this is the case; I am merely framing the questions.

So when we see all that, I am considering that this in the end goes nowhere, yet the activity to open Directive 191 to scrutiny was not wrong, not wrong at all. I reckon that the Law Faculty of the University of Columbia will have handed out, or soon will hand out to their freshman students an essay assignments of 1,500 words asking them: “Argue the situation where Directive 191 could have preventive, or would be ineffective in preventing the alleged killing of Jamal Khashoggi“. I think that Martin Baron should publish the best entry as a column entry in the Washington Post with a supporting by-line by Gillian Lester the Dean of Law of Columbia Law School. Scrutiny is always good, especially when it has the option to become an exercise to educate people. I wonder what the take by Mark M. Lowenthal is, the man behind ‘Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy‘, and is it not interesting that he is (or was) an adjunct professor in that very same University? This part is actually important as the entire setting is precisely the stage that we saw in 2009 (at https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/09cia.html), it is a different stage quoted as: ““If Panetta starts trying to feed people to that commission, his tenure at C.I.A. will be over,” said Mark M. Lowenthal, a former senior C.I.A. official and an adjunct professor at Columbia University. “If it happens, C.I.A. people are not going to start plotting against the president, but they are going to withdraw from taking risks, and then the C.I.A. becomes useless to the president,” Mr. Lowenthal said.“, yet the impact of Directive 191 becomes a near identical spotlight and it might end up setting exactly the same premise that Mark warned us for in 2009. My idea that someone gets a whisper to talk to Martin Baron and give him the heads up would have been the zero pain and least effort required solution. It is my idea, yet I am 99.3224% certain (roughly) that there are people more clever than me in the Intelligence branch who would have had that very same idea leaving me with the speculation that there merely might not have been enough time; with tens of thousands intelligence snippets arriving at https://www.cia.gov/cgi-bin/forlang_form.cgi every hour (and many more intelligence snippets from all over the world, as well as from Flat 3b, 3 Hans Crescent, London SW1X 0LS) there is every chance that the message might not have been read in time, or merely that other matters mattered more and in that we should optionally thank the University of Columbia for their optional assistance of upping the CIA budget by a speculative 42.3% (minus $7.49 for my venti cappuccino and a toasted blueberry muffin).

Could I be wrong? Of course I could be, but I added the directive for you to consider yourself and in the end when you put the elements on a row, how likely was the fact that there was a clear plan in place from the beginning? the entire Khashoggi mess, and the nonstop innuendo and lack of evidence given to the media and others, whilst we see a lack of scrutiny and a lack of commitment form the governments in all this gives rise to a lot more issues than the one I showed, making me wonder whether Jamal Khashoggi was important or merely became important after he allegedly died, showing the additional pressures that Iran is trying to push for via Turkey, oh and all those Turkish imprisoned (and optionally alive) journalists, how much media coverage are they still getting at present?

Did I oversimplify the matter for you?

Cool bananas and have a great Thursday!

Directive 191

 

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Consideration for dinner

It is Monday, Monday morning and I am in a stage of contemplation. There are all these events going on and for the most they are hollow, empty and merely the setting for the next stage for whatever the staging area needs to be. It is at this point that the Guardian gives us: ‘Two images that show we need to be sensitive about our photos‘, or perhaps the article started the contemplation I am in, it works either way!

The article was actually a quite excellent read, so well done Paul Chadwick!

Where’s Wally (Khlalid Masood)?

The article discusses Khalid Masood, who killed 5 people in March 2017 at Westminster. Now we get the goods. We are offered: “Over several days of covering the hearing, Guardian editors had access to a limited range of images of Masood. For one report they used a photo of him taken in the Great Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site“. We are then treated to: “From an editorial standards perspective, there was nothing wrong with the image. Legitimately obtained, it depicted a smiling Masood dressed in the traditional white, and behind him the Kaaba, the great cube, around which pilgrims walk seven times. Conscious that the Muslim community can suffer discrimination when terrorist acts are committed in the name of a political ideology that feigns religiosity“.

My thought becomes: “How many criminals and murderers were photographed in a church, or cathedral?” That does not seem to happen either does it? Of course in that specific example Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals were taken away from consideration in this case. I searched Google and a few other sources and I could not find an example. So when I see: “as a gesture of goodwill the editors replaced the photo for another image, a police mugshot. Muslims who had raised the issue were appreciative“, I do accept that the Muslims are appreciative of the gesture, yet the question remains how many criminals were photographed and observed in church? It also gives me the question on how they were able to identify Khalid Masood in that picture to begin with. I understand that the photograph exists; I reckon that the hearts of Muslims will flutter at the sight of being able to see the Grand Mosque of Mecca on the inside to begin with. I myself am struck with wonder, amazed to see this image. Not for the religious reason, but the fact that the original parts were build 1380 years ago is important. You see, it would take centuries until the Netherlands had decent housing (places not made from wood, or a mixture of shit and clay). The oldest house in the Netherlands is almost 500 years younger than this mosque and only parts of a wall in that Dutch building are that old, the rest of the house would not be build (or restored) until 230 years later. When we consider that, seeing the grand Mosque of Mecca should have an impact on anyone, Muslim or not. So as we realise that the building is not merely a beautiful building, it is a millennia old marvel for all the religious reasons, we understand that anyone would want to be photographed in that place and be recognised, but as you take a look at the inserted photograph (click on it to see the full version), finding that person, considering the resolution of the film remains a slight miracle at best. So what would have been the value of showing thousands of Muslims in that one place whilst we cannot tell with any certainty who exactly Khalid Masood is there. Yet, the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/14/sensitive-images-upsetting-photos-essential-truthful-account), is still important. We see that with: “Coverage can justifiably include images of perpetrators but should take care not to glorify them. Had the photo related directly to evidence given in the inquest it might have been necessary to retain it“. I personally do not completely agree. If we accept that a picture is 1,000 words, which photograph ads a 1,000 words or more to the story? Is it the one in Mecca, or the photograph of the scene (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/12/westminster-bridge-attack-khalid-masood-lawfully-killed-inquest-concludes). I like it that Paul Chadwick makes us consider the use of a photograph and when not to do it. It gets us to the linking of another event. You might have heard of a disagreement between the elected government of Yemen and Houthi’s which has since spilled over into a much larger disagreement. the amount of times where the western world trivialised the attacks on Saudi Arabia whilst Iran backed Houthi’s were firing missiles into Saudi Arabia has been too large to ignore, In addition the Washington Post gave us a mere two days ago (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/foiled-paris-bomb-plot-raises-fears-that-iran-is-planning-attacks-in-europe/2018/10/11/2ccf8d0a-c8b9-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html). Here we see ‘Foiled Paris bomb plot raises fears that Iran is planning attacks in Europe‘. In this article, the use of the image of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) supporters makes perfect sense. In light of “The diplomat, based at Iran’s embassy in Vienna, had been under surveillance for some time and was suspected of involvement in a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian dissidents in Paris. Despite his diplomatic status, he was arrested and extradited to Belgium, where two others, suspected of planning to carry out the attack in France, were detained”, yet would the image of the ‘Iranian diplomat’ not have made more sense? The fact that he is not mentioned anywhere by name is also a consideration in all this. The fact that this indirectly links to the proxy war that Iran is having with Saudi Arabia is linked in all this. So when we consider these elements. So as we get back to the Diplomat named Assadollah Assadi, we need to some degree also look at Jamal Khashoggi. You see, you cannot turn a page in any paper and Jamal Khashoggi shows up. Probably best known as a contributor to the Washington Post, we wonder why he ended up MAAC (Missing as a contributor). ABC gives us: “But his troubles began later, when he was fired from his post as an editor at the Al-Watan newspaper just two months after he took the job in 2003. The country’s ultra-conservative clerics had pushed back against his criticism of the powerful religious police and a medieval cleric viewed as the spiritual forefather of Wahhabism, the conservative interpretation of Islam that is the founding tenant of the kingdom“, and the question becomes not merely did he vanish because he was a critic of ruling Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. I reckon that the Crown Prince has been surrounded with people disagreeing with him, as such Khashoggi might not have been a blip on his radar. Yet, when we see the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/06/read-jamal-khashoggis-columns-for-the-washington-post) we see a different story, one that opposes mine and I am fine with that. Yet consider that the people in charge in Riyadh are actually decently intelligent (compared to me) and the entire event in the embassy does not make sense. Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan is not stupid, he is a general and he has been around the war time sandbox long enough, to just let a person vanish in an embassy, whilst there are dozens of cameras pointed at it is not seemingly the brightest act. This leaves me with the setting that there is either orchestration, or someone not as bright listened to the wrong person and acted individually. The quote in the Post, which was “Dozens of Saudi intellectuals, clerics, journalists, and social media stars have been arrested in the past 2 months — the majority of whom, at worst, are mildly critical of the government. Meanwhile, many members of the Council of Senior Scholars (“Ulema”) have extremist ideas“. So here we have a setting that certain people are seemingly opposing the forward drive that HRH Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud is trying to move towards. The post mentions both Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan and Sheikh Saleh Al-Lohaidan and also we see “protected by royal decree from counter argument or criticism“. Yet when I search for these two men, I find close to nothing at all in the present media. Now, that is not an essential part, but in light of the Washington Post articles, I wondered what would drive an implied assassination this short sighted. Whether you agree or not, targeted killing is both an art and a skill and in the digital age, the skill outguns the art by a lot. There are additional parts that do not make sense, yet when you look at the larger picture, there is (highly speculative by me mind you) an active stage of attacking Saudi Arabia any way possible. the overly leftish liberal side to break up US sales to Saudi Arabia, the UK is on a partial similar setting, yet they trivialise any attack on Saudi Arabia (I did filter for the fake news from places like PressTV and a few other sources), yet the attacks are quite clear and even as I understand that the press at large (in more than one way) would want to be protective of fellow journalist Jamal Khashoggi and I get that, yet the absence of critical questions is also a larger issue. When you see this, does the openly defensive stance of Saudi Arabia not make sense?

So how does this get us from where we started?

There are two parts here. The first is the image of the Grand Mosque, whilst we know that Saudi Arabia is its protector, and the view from Paul Chadwick makes perfect sense. Yet, here too we should take caution on certain notions. Mind you, I am asking the question, I am not implying that there is more. that part is seen when we look deeper into the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event of September 19th and when we search the international news bringers, the shiploads of newspapers that would strike out against Saudi Arabia and others in what I perceive to be non-hatred stories, yet they are certainly not pro Saudi Arabia, or pro Muslim, they did not show up in any google search when I look for the ‘Cricklewood mosque’ event, not at all. That too is important, whilst some are taking down the steam a notch, the opposition events are also ignored to a much larger degree. It leads us to the question, was the mosque image not added as it made for an overly clear anti-Muslim article?

The second part is the setting of events and more importantly how certain parties decided to illustrate them. Anything that is about Jamal Khashoggi carries his photograph and that makes perfect sense, no one debates that, yet when we seek Khalid Masood, we see no image of him in several Westminster attack articles, merely the stage and the victims. Now, here we see clearly that some will say that it might glorify him. There is equal voice not to give Islamic State any kind of visibility. I do not totally agree, but I understand the logic behind it. Yet the article I mentioned earlier, ‘Westminster attacker lawfully killed by minister’s bodyguard, jury finds‘ shows no mention of Islamic State at all, which is actually a little weird. all the other parts are there, the justification of the protective units, the victims, the stage as well as the attack on Sir Craig Mackey, which gets more light in another Guardian article with “The Express front page on Thursday read “Police hero who put his boss to shame”, comparing Mackey’s actions unfavourably with those of the armed protection officer who shot Masood dead, while an article on the Sun website was headlined “Mark of cowardice”“, the actions of Sir Craig make perfect sense and the Express, not the most intelligent player in the news world under the most optimal conditions was left in a clueless state aiming for (a speculated) increased circulation that day, whilst the actions of Sir Craig made tactical sense to say the least, cowardice was not a factor here as I see it. Mind you, getting fired at is unnerving under the best conditions, seeking out a hair storm of lead is just stupid to begin with and Sir Craig staying out of the way, especially as he had no useful gear makes sense. Yet the Independent gave us in March 2018: “A review by Mr Hill’s predecessor found that neither MI5 nor the police had any reason to anticipate the attack, concluding that Masood was “a long way from the top of anyone’s grid”“. From the little that I was able to access, all the elements make sense, the Guardian article leaving Islamic State mention out does not.

It is the illustration by the news that matters, because it causes a lack of illumination and more important we see the shifting balance of a seesaw in the direction of emotional acts, which has never been a good thing. There are questions regarding Jamal Khashoggi no one denies that, yet the stage we see ourselves in is expanding. We see this with: “The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to withdraw“, as well as “US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend an upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, but White House aide Larry Kudlow said Mr Mnuchin had not yet pulled out.” Now I understand that such a situation would not have been expected, or even anticipated. Not by me. Yet, do you think that this was not on the mind of Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan? when we see settings that are adding up to half a trillion dollars, do you think that a Saudi event like the one we see now regarding Jamal Khashoggi would not have been looked at from every angle? And in light on how highly regarded journalists are in Turkey, the overreaction by turkey is equally unsettling (or let’s just call it suspicious). In the entire setting towards the consulate, we see that the one event now taking shape is a direct win for Saudi’s indirect enemy (Turkey as a supporter of Iran), no one seems to look too deeply there either. It does not mean that Turkey was involved, or that Turkey did anything. The mere absence of looking is an issue and that would drive the defence from the side of Saudi Arabia high up, all this in an action on Saudi soil (the embassy) where there would have been absolutely no tactical advantage for the Saudi government by acting in a building everyone is watching 24:7.

The elements do not add up and the photograph of the Grand mosque brought it to light (read: the forefront of my mind). You see, in opposition to the Christians and their bible (they have over 40 different versions), we see that there is ONE Quran, Sunni and Shia they all have the same Quran, exact to the letter, yet their split happened as you can see in the New York Times (at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/world/middleeast/q-and-a-how-do-sunni-and-shia-islam-differ.html) through: “A schism emerged after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, and disputes arose over who should shepherd the new and rapidly growing faith. Some believed that a new leader should be chosen by consensus; others thought that only the prophet’s descendants should become caliph“, I am not wise enough to give any level of wisdom here.

I do feel I am wise enough to look into the matters we currently face. Until the press has a more balanced view of the matters in the Middle East, specifically the acts by Iran and the acts by Houthi’s in Yemen, we will see a prolonged level of distrust. Let’s not forget that the building of Neom in Saudi Arabia continues and that it is the utter need of American stability that requires cheap oil. In all this, merely going back to 2017 levels will drain the American economy to the levels if cannot sustain and its need to do business with Iran at that point will be the largest moral defeat the US has ever faced. In addition, the Saudi coffers are getting $73 per barrel against the optional setting that the prices return to $121 per barrel, as winter sets in the US (UK too) that impact will be felt by these populations to a much larger degree, so in all this an optional demand from Saudi Arabia to get the news more balanced is not the weirdest request. Yet the foundation of issues giving rise to the price of oil next month by a mere 2% is not out of the question, and that is not all. The overreaction by President Trump with: ““severe punishment” if Khashoggi, who has been critical of Bin Salman, has been killed“. Fair enough, yet in all this, he has been merely setting the stage where Russia comes for a visit and is the reason for cancelling orders, whilst Saudi pilots are suddenly optionally ‘retrenched’ to get better in using the Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F), and a few other alternatives. Shutting down options for American business seekers in Neom is not a good step to take either; no one can afford walking away from 1,000 billion dollars in projects in this day and age. In addition, for Saudi Arabia having a united technical air force corps with Egypt might not be the worst consideration either, and as ties with Egypt and Russia optionally strengthen in Saudi Arabia, the US will be finding itself on shallow ice with fewer options for their economy and even less possibilities over the next 10 years. All elements out in the open and it would be a strategy that Iran would love to see happen, whether it was to weaken Saudi Arabia or to kick the US where it really hurts, it would be an Iranian victory either way.

So when you consider these elements as well as the notion that for the most there is not a high regard for journalists in the first place (for a few years now), do any of the overreaching actions by certain players make any sense? It is there that we see the consideration for dinner.

Yet I could be wrong in all this. I openly admit that. I have had the longest issues with the entire Skripal setting, the Novichok debacle in Salisbury. Yet there is no denying the Reuters article that gave us ‘Russian website names third GRU officer involved in Salisbury poisoning‘ 4 days ago. With: “The Russian news website Fontanka named on Wednesday a third GRU military intelligence operative, Sergey Fedotov, as having been involved in trying to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury“. You see, the facts did not add up, there was too much noise and too little reliability. I have no reason to doubt Reuters, yet I still have issues with this. I do acknowledge that they name a Russian site, yet I know next to nothing about the Fontanka online news agency. When I read (yet again) on this, and the fact that they all seem to know the staff directory of the GRU, as well as the setting of travel, there are things not adding up. Not the travel, that part can be verified in several ways. The fact that we now have a third player, one that apparently did not show up in all those CCTV stills, the fact that three people were involved in a failed attack does not speak highly of the abilities of the Russian GRU, is that not weird either? The fact that humidity decreases the potency of the Novichok, but the perfume was dumped in the trash, not merely ‘accidently’ dropped in a pond, where retrieval would have been unsuccessful and the lethality of the Novichok would have been close to nullified. So with Salisbury basically surrounded by the Avon, they did not consider dropping the ‘perfume’ in there? How badly are these ladies trained (me stating the need for a well-paid job and replacing Colonel general Igor Valentinovich Korobov), I mean, I could hardly do any worse, could I? Let’s face it, in Australia a general’s pay starts at $235,595 with 0 years of experience in that rank. I’d accept that as a starting wage (LOL), even if it turns out to be merely for a year.

Getting back to the Russian stage, Bellingcat gives us (at https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/09/26/skripal-suspect-boshirov-identified-gru-colonel-anatoliy-chepiga/) the goods which are hard to deny, but it is merely their word against others. Yet they also become the doubt in this. Even as we accept: “The suspect using the cover identity of “Ruslan Boshirov” is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have confirmed the suspect’s identity“. When we add “Anatoliy Chepiga graduated the academy with honors in 2001. He was then assigned to serve in the 14th Spetsnaz Brigade in Russia’s farthest-eastern city of Khabarovsk, one of the elite Spetsnaz units under GRU command. Chepiga’s unit (74854, formerly 20662) played a key role in the second Chechen War, and was also observed near the Ukrainian border in late 2014“, we see an optional picture of a dedicated Russian officer, no one questions that, yet in that light, how come that he was involved in active failures of this degree and in the end a second event caused the death of an innocent bystander?

He could have used a knife, a mere piece of thin nylon rope, all methods that optionally makes finding evidence a near impossibility. Then we get the doubt again with “The research team was able to find Anatoliy Chepiga in two locations and time periods in the database: in 2003, in Khabarovsk; and in 2012 in Moscow“, you see, even by their own admission, heroes of the Russian Federation tend to be really well documented, so why do we see awards, failures and almost no documented admissions (even less photographs, beside the point that most photo’s never made it into newspapers)? It makes no sense and that brings us back to the Saudi Arabian setting. Even now as we are treated to so called audio evidence, evidence that was debunked by the BBC on more than one level, yet in all this Al Jazeera gives us: “Technology experts are sceptical that Jamal Khashoggi was able to sync recordings from his Apple watch to a phone in his fiancée’s possession from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The claim, as reported in Turkey’s pro-government media, is that Turkish officials have audio recordings from Khashoggi’s smart watch that prove the Saudi journalist was tortured and killed while inside the embassy. Saudi Arabia has called the allegations “baseless lies” and it is still unclear how Turkey would have obtained the audio evidence“, I personally believe that Al Jazeera is wrong here. The BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45857777) debunks that story via Rory Cellan-Jones, the Technology correspondent. He does it point by point and does it with clarity, so in all this, why would the pro-Turkish government media blatantly lie about this? that and the other elements give doubt to all this and when we consider that it was optionally not a Saudi operation at all, we might be treated to a setting where the Turkish government is optionally involved in making the trade waters murky, optionally merely as a tool for Iran. What do you think is more likely and when we look at the photographs and the choices made, it is not merely contemplation for dinner, the entire setting of doing what is correct sheds a light on the media that is not as great as we hoped it would be.

Yet the BBC also gave us: “it seems far more likely that they have other means of detecting what foreign diplomats are up to and the Apple Watch story is just useful cover“, that we can agree on, both Iran and Turkey have every interest in keeping ears on every room in the Saudi Consulate and there we agree is the option that technical solutions are in abundance but without the proper vetting of sources, it remains speculation to some degree.

Still the actions in the consulate are a question mark, a person that is watched to this degree, acting in the consulate only seems to be the safer option, ‘seems’ being the operative word.

We need to take all these elements into consideration, whenever we ‘actively engage’ in settings of consideration, the larger picture matters, it matters a lot and even as I spoke out against the guilt of Russia as a state operator in Salisbury, the Bellingcat part is seemingly more persuasive in voicing that there is an issue, yet what I personally perceive to be the stupidity levels of the Skripal operation (for lack of a better description) is one that we should also consider in the Khashoggi events in Istanbul. So until the Turkish government gives public access to their audio files I remain in doubt. Clearly something happened, but what exactly and by whom are still elements that cannot be answered for now, and when we contemplate things that needs to be on the forefront of our minds.

When confirmed the implied image of Khalid Masood in the grand mosque of Mecca is merely the fact that he is Muslim, we already knew that, yet the Guardian also gave us the goods that he converted no earlier than 13 years before the attack, so after his prison sentence in 2000, so he was optionally a Christian for the longest time of his life, another part that few news media looked at to a better degree, the Guardian fortunately did. We are also given that around 12% of home grown terrorists were converts, considering that there are billions of Muslims, that number is interesting. It might not merely be about the conversion; it could be that those doing the conversion might have optionally left converts at the mercy of extreme imams, which is a debate for another day. It merely shows that there is a larger issue I all this and before we contemplate what is the right course of action, we need to realise that certain acts to stop intelligence gathering has been the shackles that prevent the intelligence community and the police to effectively act against lone wolves, moreover, there is less evidence that it can be stopped, for that you merely have to look at the picture of Masood in his football team when he was young, even as the one non-white individual he does not stand out, giving MI-5 a much larger headache then they needed in the first place.

Yes we need to be sensitive about photographs at times, yet when they also reveal that they basically reveal nothing, how would their use have value in the first place? Setting a stage, setting an emotional bias, or merely an illustration to make the article readable?

 

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It started already

Even as we had seen all the plans regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their ultra-modern city of Neom, it was only last week when the geological studies were reported to have started for all the construction sites (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1390921/neom-begins-environmental-geological-surveys-construction-sites). Yet the placement of Neom goes a lot further than most realise. It will also be the gateway to the planned King Salman bin Abdulaziz Bridge, which will take 3 years, span a total distance of 10 miles and it will connect Saudi Arabia directly to the Sinai, to be more precise the bridge will connect to the Sinai a little north of Sharm-El-Sheik, opening up all kind of economic benefits for Egypt. Tourism and connectivity via Sharm-El-Sheik international airport will be boosted to well over 200%, it would also allow Saudi Arabia to delay its airport and use the bridge more effectively. It opens up a lot more when we consider that the setting now opens up directly to Kiev, Istanbul, Bratislava, Budapest, Brussels Talinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kuwait, Bagdad, Cairo, Algiers, Sofia, Minsk, and not to forget all the places that Air Cairo lines to, which is a much larger list. When you consider that the construction is about to start on a city well over 500 billion, how much unschooled labour will there be a need for? Did anyone that math in the equation? That is before projects are delayed and hit snags. Yes, Sharm-El-Sheik will prosper and gain a massive amount of value, because in a tourist place like that these people can get the entertainment they are unlikely to see in Saudi Arabia.

There is an addition part in all this. The bridge will go via Tiran Island, I feel certain that a ramp to that place will be booming tourism as well. No matter how that fares, the first steps are now underway and when building starts, we will quickly see the overexcited steps from all kinds of companies trying to get in, because that 500 billion has to go somewhere, does it not? That is before some realise that having concrete facilities near Sharm-El-Sheik might be equally worthy of consideration, because when Neom is there, the shortages in Sharm-El-Sheik will become abundantly clear soon thereafter. When you see the issues in Sharm-El-Sheik, going back to 2015 and before, we get confronted with stories like ‘British passengers reveal Sharm airport staff are STILL taking cash to help them skip busy security queues despite bomb threat‘ (Daily Mail, November 5th 2015), as well as a few other sources, so as the economic footprint increases, the Egyptian government has to either increase their diligence, hire outside expertise or risk losing a lot of money in that entire process. Mainly because adding a few hotels to Neom will be much easier to consider than most realise and Saudi Arabia will be interested in setting a much larger tourism stage. Having a high tech city is one thing, having a truckload of consumers wanting to take some off it back home to show off is another matter on that very same coin.

In this we must also realise the size of Neom, the Neom site is large, large then anything ever seen before, it will stretch the western coastline to the proximity of Jordan, around 50 Km south of it, keeping it 75Km away from Eilat, giving Israel optional opportunities as well, I remember a Dutch guy who opened an ice factory in Eilat 40 years ago, the cubes for drinks, not the gelato. So there are options all over the place, all infrastructure needs that will not initially be available. Opportunities that some have no yet realised, all open for the investors who see the need for thousands of builders needing a watering hole, needing food and needing entertainment. This will enable places like the small city of Haql to experience a Gold Rush growth momentum.

From Haql to Hamid (where the bridge is likely to start) the distance is a mere 125Km, not the greatest road as it adds 10% to the trip, but the 392 will directly link to Saudi highway 5 getting you to Haql and that setting is merely a starter for plenty of other options. You see, when we consider that part, the bridge itself, when the final point gets a 4G tower, it would effectively cover Sharm-El-Sheik as well, I cannot say what the 5G coverage is as I do not have any reliable data on the range of such a tower. The same could be achieved from Tiran Island, covering the tourist spot and the southern part of Neom (based on 4G numbers).

No matter how it is all pushed, it has started, well, it started some time ago, but with the geological surveys a new chapter is starting, I reckon that when the first studies have been completed and accepted, the setting of concrete will not be far off. It is in this stage where we saw just a month ago (at https://neomsaudicity.net/), “Italian construction company Salini has announced plans to join NEOM project and expand into the Middle East, which includes project contracts in the Gulf, especially Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates“, and Salini is doing just fine. When we are given: “The company has also prequalified for the first phase of the $ 1 billion Avenues project, which is to be made up of two hotels, a shopping center, and an administrative building. It is part of 2,410 active projects in the Saudi Arabia since April, worth $ 190 billion“, we see that growth will be on the front bench of the board of directors of Salini Impregilo for years to come, which I expect will also come with additional growth projects in Sharm-El-Sheik. I reckon that this headway is the best news that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was seen in close to a decade, yet they are one of many, and all of them will be needing people, so as the billion dollar contracts are handed out, and when we consider the Business Insider headline: ‘a $500 billion mega-city that’s 33 times the size of New York City‘, how long will it take until these companies realise that there are deadlines and that they are understaffed? That’s not merely construction and engineering. How about all these Arkey systems, Autodesk and Autocad placements? What do you think will happen when the IT division shuts down for whatever reason and local IT support will be required? That is merely beyond the commonplace Office software, that part you can evade with cloud services and in a pinch rely on your Google account. CAD software and design software is another puppy and when the heat strikes the power falters and systems need ghosting and restoring, it will be all about local manpower and things will always go wrong at the wrong moment. So, when you score your billion dollar contract and the infrastructure takes a dive, how prepared are you? How strong are the infrastructure settings for replacing it all? So even as the Neom News site gave us in April “NEOM Announces first 6 Jobs“, we need to realise that they will need another 15,000 trained professionals in that location soon enough. I wonder where these people will go shopping for the shortage. There is every chance that some of them will rely on poaching soon thereafter, which optionally raise staff costing by 200%-500% (depending on expertise needed), at that point consider the other parts that every building, every mall and every infrastructure needs. Neom city will soon become one of the largest employer hotspots for the next decade.

 

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SW2, not WW2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Turkey shoot

There are these moments when we hear that term, especially in the US in October & November where the American dream for some is a father and son(s) trip get into the wild and shoot one of them Turkeys. It is nothing most of us are used to, but like the foxhunt, there is tradition. I am in favour of the Turkey hunt, because, for one, there are strict limits which usually tends to be 2-3 at the most. Meaning that in this case, the family has thanksgiving and Christmas covered. You see, in that case I am not against hunting.

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There is a wisdom to only shoot what you eat, which in my case is not an option because cannibalism is a crime under the NSW Crimes Act of 1900. Yet in this case it is not about such a Turkey shoot. Today is about Turkey as a nation. This turkey shoot started a few hours ago when (at http://www.businessinsider.com/40-turkish-nato-soldiers-have-requested-asylum-in-germany-2017-1), we saw the change with ‘40 Turkish NATO soldiers have requested asylum in Germany‘, with the quote “About 40 mostly high-ranking Turkish soldiers who worked at NATO facilities in Germany but were suspended after the failed coup in Turkey in July have requested asylum in Germany“, you see, this is a Turkey shoot of another calibre. One where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is continuing the strangest of policies. It is hard to draw and make distinction between what happened and what is publicly stating in Turkey that happened. There is too much going back and forth and unless you are there in Turkey, there is little hope of anyone getting straight facts. The Independent gives us “to establish an all-powerful presidency while seemingly Islamising Turkish society to a degree not seen since the fall of the Ottomans“, yet in all this, the stated quote “the sacking of 8,000 police and 30 governors as well as 52 high ranking civil servants. This is in addition to 70 admirals and generals along with 3,000 soldiers and 2,700 members of the judiciary fired“. This is not just an overhaul this looks like a national change one that is not unlike the changes Saddam Hussein started in 1968, yet in this case it is anything but bloodless and like Sadam Hussein, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also a Sunni Islam, giving us more issues down the line as the ties with Saudi Arabia will strengthen over time. This change will also impact Israel as there is every chance that cultural ties with Israel will dwindle more and more in the same way the cancelled military contracts in 2011 went the way of the Dodo. So as we realise within the quote “This coup may not have been as big as the Government now says it was in order to justify its crack down on all its opponents, but it was still impressively large and was not far from succeeding from seizing power for a few hours on 15 July” that the numbers were not there, yet success was inches away from getting the change made, we can sense the paranoid approach that President Erdogan is setting its mind to. Yet, will he undermine his own presidency? In a country with 79 million people. Its population is only slightly larger, yet land mass wise, it is 350% the size of the UK, giving additional issues over time. Turkey as a secular nation has had a freedom of religion in place, yet when we look at Saudi Arabia, where Muslim law is in place, these elements could fall away from Turkey down the road, which means that two events are likely to start over the next year. The first one will be a shift in investors as they see the investment waters turn muddy and none too friendly. This will in turn escalate a brain drain where the brighter Turkish minds will seek their fortune elsewhere and elsewhere in this case means nearly anywhere but Turkey.

Is this a given?

No, it is not, but overall they are the likely event that will come to places like Istanbul, impeding, if not stopping commerce and the Turkish economy. A massive slowdown will come and the Turkish borders are confronted with more and more radicalisation. On May 1st 2016, in my blog ‘Homerun by UKIP‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/01/homerun-by-ukip/) I gave a link to heavy.com where ISIS was making an appeal to Turkish sympathisers. Heavy.com is showing more and more extreme video’s where ISIS is giving a message of suicide attacks in Mosul, which is not that far from either Syria or Turkey. Three weeks later a similar video on actions in Sinai. There are indication that this level of radicalisation will deliver different flavours of Muslim faith to Turkey, the question becomes how realistic are these dangers? We can agree that there is a long way from Mosul to Istanbul, yet the people in the Istanbul nightclub who saw the attack on New Year’s Eve will not agree with that assessment. Even as many might agree that ISIS does not have the numbers in Istanbul, the 40 high ranking Turkish NATO soldiers are a first indication that as the top of the Turkish military falls away, there will be an increasing amount of chaos and more important a lack of military based support as the people are either not there, or the higher ranking troops require too much confirmation from too many locations before acting, giving ISIS a tactical advantage, in addition to the ones they already had. So as ISIS is inviting its followers to a Turkey shoot, it will be the bird population that will feel a sense of safety and security as they are not the target at that point. If you think I am trying to make a point, I am! The actions that ISIS is showing where people get casually decapitated by knife or by strapped on bomb, we have to wonder one element. You see, The Observer is showing ‘UK’s £100m weapons deal with Turkey ‘turns blind eye to rights abuse’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/28/100m-arms-deal-turkey-blind-eye-rights-abuse), what they are not mentioning is the ever increasing danger that business partner and NATO ‘ally’ will request (read: demand) assistance from its partners when it comes under more direct attack by ISIS. At that point what will happen? When NATO allies are thrown into that extreme mix? The French Legion Etrangere, the UK Marines/SAS and Dutch Marines might be trained up and ready for that fight, the rest of the Eurozone military is unlikely to be ready and partially too inexperienced. In addition, if some remember the January 2016 quote “Dutch police have arrested a former soldier suspected of killing Islamic State (Isis) jihadists while fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria last year, the prosecutor’s office said” (source: the Guardian). We need to consider how the law is impeding the fight on these Jihadists. We can all agree that the rule of law counts and as such it was legally the correct thing to do. Yet as ISIS becomes more aggressive in its inhumane actions, can we afford to remain this ‘legally minded‘ (read: politically correct in a legal way). I am not stating or inviting lawless acts, yet the law has ignored the fact that terrorists utterly ignore rule of law, in that regard, should they receive any consideration? In the view of some, the rights of non-combatants needs to cease in the eyes of prosecution, which in this view evolves as ‘if you go there to ‘hunt’ terrorists you might not be prosecuted, yet in equal measure you have no national protection to call on when things go south!‘, this is one approach and perhaps not the worst one, because when you consider that the Turkish diaspora in the top 5 nations, namely Germany, France, the Netherlands, the USA and Austria surpasses 4 million, most of them having ties of some sort to Turkey, the dangers of anti-Jihadi Turkey shoots in Turkey is not far-fetched. I am willing to go one step further, the amount of people signing up for that event would easily surpass the people who went to Syria to chip in, meaning that the Intelligence services will have an entirely new dimension of issues with radicalised returning veterans giving Europe at large more issues to deal with, that whilst certain logical systems are still not ready for the last three issues that plagued Europe and this too will drive nationalism and Eurozone rejection on larger scales.

In all this, we need to underline one issue in the entire alleged military plotter. the Quote “The German government has expressed alarm about the crackdown on alleged plotters linked to the coup while Turkey has criticised Berlin for failure to extradite alleged terror suspects“, is more than just a small issue (at https://www.thelocal.de/20170128/turkish-nato-soldiers-seek-asylum-in-germany-report), you see, this isn’t opening or closing doors between Germany and Turkey. It is merely handing opportunity to ISIS who will have options to cash in on the tactical advantages Turkey is handing to them. In that, the arrest of an ‘ISIS judge‘ around January 26th, implies that this judge remained around for 3 weeks after the attack, with possible more recruitment drives completed. The fact that his bum storage mobile was caught as well might assist the ISIS hunters (read: although it will be smelly data), the fact that ISIS has some level of organisation running on the European side of Istanbul should be seen as a worry and the current path President Erdogan is on might not be the best option, as it will very likely give way to more radicalisation, a path that ISIS has been exploiting a little too successful lately.

 

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