Tag Archives: Jordan

A Syrian Reality

Another day, another mention of Aleppo, Syria and events. Hilary Benn speaks of the shame we all should feel. Yet, here we have an issue. Not with his sentiment, but with the clarity of who or what is in charge. Now that the UN has another meeting, labelled as ’emergency’, it is time for people to realise that labels are no longer things to see You see, CNN states ‘descent into hell‘, I say ‘the reality of choice‘. As we now see that Assad, with Russian aid secures the news like ‘Syrian Government Forces Are Close to Full Liberation of Aleppo City’ and ‘Syrian army gaining control of Aleppo eastern quarters’ we need to realise that America is no longer the leader of the free world, that it is too bankrupt to be calling any shots other than commercial deals (read: trade agreements) to feed its own greed. The fact that Libya has now asked Russia to intervene on its behalf. As General Khalifa Haftar is meeting with Russian minister to seek help, we now all need to realise that we are chasing the consent from an empty bag names America. Only now, well over a year too late are pundits all over the media field considering a change. Those who some consider to be half baked evangelical procrastinators of social sciences are now considering that Frexit ‘might’ happen. The data was clearly there for well over 26 weeks. Just like they were trying to stay buddies with those running the gravy trains, Brexit was ignored for too long and Frexit is very nearly a given next. When you consider the quote two weeks ago in the Guardian “Kenny’s administration in Dublin to strongly back any French attempt to gain more concessions from Brussels to prevent a possible ‘Frexit’“, we can now start quoting South Park (Oh my god, they killed Kenny) whilst Ireland is considering the dangers it is manoeuvring itself in.

What about Syria?

Yes, that is the question, because for the most, no one gives a dams about Syria! This is a harsh reality. When you look at the cold reality for Syria, you will consider that the natural resources of Syria include iron ore, crude oil, phosphate rock, manganese ore, asphalt, marble, rock salt, and gypsum. Most can be gotten in many places, whilst oil value is in the basement and iron ore is in an even worse place. The large corporations do not care for any of these substances, so as such The American Congress is speaking a lot, not saying much and acting even less. The evidence is all around you. This outgoing Democratic failure has done next to nothing substantial. We see mention of weapon support. It is less than it should be and likely done to write off old equipment or get some parties a tax breaks (personal assumption), it never amounted to anything serious. The same could be stated for the United Kingdom, who with the US was involved with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, because the growth of ISIL is scary for both of them. In my view, if there is any hero to be laureled in this mess than it would be the doctors who despite this level of ignoring are still trying to aspire the best the medical profession has to offer, in my view, most of these doctors are worth of any recognition that equals the Victorian Cross (American equivalent: Medal of Honor).

The grim reality of life set to value is that the morality of the things that President Assad was accused of. Perhaps some people remember how a little over 5 years ago, the unrest of the 2011 Arab Spring escalated to armed conflict after President Bashar al-Assad’s government violently repressed protests calling for his removal. Soon thereafter we had the issue that the government of a sovereign nation retaliated against those who were seeking to overthrow that government. This is the issue, you see, many of these nations had to deal with massive gaps in quality and quantity of life. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction that led to opposition and uprising against these governments and as such things escalated. There have been widely distributed claims that the US government’s support of the uprisings fuelled actions, funded largely by the National Endowment for Democracy (www.ned.org). This in an age where people in non-governmental places seem to think that whatever they do the US government had its back. Yet the outgoing Democratic Party had no money left, even worse, the total national debt is expected to hit 20 trillion just when President-elect Donald Trump gets into office. He gets a building to temporary live in and a debt that will take more than 3 generations to remove. Whatever happens, their choice will be American based, American focussed and there will be no space for any military action of any kind unless it is due to a direct attack on America. In all of this Syria is not mentioned, because for the players at large, it has no value, not the living, the dead or the national resources. For the next 8 years at least there is every indication that Russia will get a near cart blanch to grow its influence and after this December 2016 there is plenty of evidence that this will come with full Syrian backing, and likely Libyan backing too.

So this now ups the ante for Israel and in addition, it will require the allies and friends of Israel to up their game by a lot, because this game implies that the next cold war comes with one player short, an empty intelligence coffer and a much wider supported Russia. I reckon that Alexander Bortnikov will be having some very comfortable lunches with Sergey Lavrov. I can only assume that black bread and borscht will not be on the menu, Pancake! (Internal FSB translation joke).

These events are very much at the core because the US security council has the US and Russia in opposition, so that part is not expected to get into action, the only benefit here is that China could side with US, not because of any Syrian humanitarian need, but if the US gets committed here, the US economic prospects go down further, which would suit China just fine. In my view, if there is anything to be salvaged, than it needs to be Jordan, not Syria. If we actually have any regard for lives, than the support for Jordan, for its infrastructure and resources is essential as it has been trying to give support to 1.4 million refugees (Syrians and officially registered refugees).

Let this sink in readers, we are bickering all over the world on how many refugees we should take and Jordan has added 25% of its entire population from refugees and Syrians. That whilst Jordan has always had a shortage of water and a few other resources. In my view, the actions of King Abdullah II of Jordan seem to me to be more worthy of a Nobel Peace prize a lot more than the one given to President Barack Obama ever was. I am not ignoring the issues at the Jordanian border, the given fact by Al Jazeera et al that there tens of thousands of refugees stuck in no man’s land. Yet Jordan already has 1.4 million, 25% of its entire population, they have done more than most nations have considered. That part, will be opposed and countered by nearly every nation, but that is the grim reality. I feel certain that Jordan was not working with open arms, yet when we see the few thousand that are in Greece (OK, a little over 10% of those in Jordan), the fact that Syrians (as reported by Ekathimerini) have been quoted that compared to life as a refugee in Greece, they would have preferred to have stayed in Syria. Tell me, when a person prefers to take their chances and live in an active war zone, how bad are you as a nation? Now, we can agree that Greece was in a really bad place before the Syrian refugees arrived, so that did not help the Greeks any, also their lack of any infrastructure to deal with these amount of refugees must also be accepted.

In all these matters discussed, big business have remained silent, inert and lacking actual action that make a difference. In addition, as Donald Trump is stated to make a policy change that it will be ‘America First’, which under their economic climate is fair enough, when the dust settles and President Bashar Hafez al-Assad sits on his ‘throne’ as victor, how many nations will move forward trying to do ‘business’ with Syria? How many will enter the quote ‘moving forward’ in their speeches and statements? You see, the reality of any nation has forever been that those with empty coffers do not govern, the US is figuring that out the hard way, because its actions and messages on a global scale are ignored by too many players for it not to be the case. In the end, these trade deals have a one sided benefit for American companies. They would still get to sue other governments, whilst the President-elect is moving towards the tactic of: “Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores“, and here I will be honest, it is pretty much the only option that the US has and no one can fault America for that, just realise that those who would have enacted the TTIP/TPP would have learned the hard way that American corporations would have sued governments for the mere profit of it. That too would bring money to America, and their board of directors. In all this, in light of Brexit/Frexit and now these trade deals, we see a massive lack of national legal protection in these ‘deals’, this whilst these corporations have only consented to continue certain factories when the tax breaks are juicy enough. When that falls away, those claimed economic national benefits fall away too and even today, certain taxations that wold have been seen as fair as those places took away billions, now that the economic weather changes, nations at large need to consider where to move to next. It is that weather that made me evangelize stronger bonds with the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Most nations have a growing need for generic medication and places like Syria, Jordan and Greece even more. Yet the people who should have realised this seem to be pushing for any pharmaceutical deal with America, whilst the players all know that there will be no local benefit, none at all, so again we see now that the Trump thinks like a business man, which is what the social left is not getting (read: comprehending), whilst they ignored the tax reform essentials, they keep on giving money from empty coffers, that party is over and those not adjusting their view will be in the cold soon enough. This also means that certain values change. This is the grim reality for Syrians, their value is none and have been so for some time. Not on a humanitarian scale, but the nations at large have no funds there, so we see that we turn our backs on a situation we cannot change and we cannot influence, in my personal view, mainly because some lawmakers were asleep at the wheel in setting up trade deals and certain tax loop holes (read: these loopholes were purely incidental and coincidental, not in any way orchestrated). Now we have to choose between economic hardship and humanitarian ‘sound’ suicide, how is that a choice?

So here we are, seeing another iteration of ‘boo hoo hoo’ Syria, we all know it, we all agree and we cannot do anything, mainly because those who could, gave away the keys to the castle and the executive washroom. Those who are now in charge are setting the pace and none of them want a war where they get nothing out of. This is the mere reality of an economic driven political society of elected officials. No monarchy would ever abide by that. Should you see that the Libyan and Syrian deal have no influence, when you hear someone preach just that, and how America will get on top soon enough, also feel free to investigate the connections that are now happening between Egypt and Russia. A new air base on the Mediterranean close to the Libyan border, so as America moved out, Europe is getting surrounded by Russian bases, if we include the now permanent Russian Naval base in Syria. This is why Israel needs to change its game, because it is not outside of the realm of issues that Mossad now needs to refocus their attentions to foreign operations and data gathering. A field that the Russian have been decently good at. They do have one advantage, Sergey Yevgenyevich Naryshkin might be highly intelligent; he lacks experience and is relatively new to the job. If he ends up relying on the heads of Political Intelligence and Illegal Intelligence, the game changes, because those two are not the newbies we would want them to be and the Middle East desk will be the new hot potato for Intelligence Officers with a scent for promotion for at least 5 years (read: Mossad will have to deal with Intelligence ego’s from all over Europe). My weird sense of humour would try to push those two into the marching path of General-Lieutenant Igor Valentinovich Korobov, a proud man and as per 2016 the new head of the GRU, pride is something that often be used against that very same person.

Why mention these matters, what is their impact on Syrian refugees?

No matter what happens in the coming 3 weeks, when the dust settles, most nations would want these refugees to return to Syria, many Syrians want to return to Syria, but that place is in rubble and those people have nothing left. Syria will be a construction heaven for Russian entrepreneurs for decades to come, also meaning that the economic times will change and the Middle East picture we had of it will have changed more than many understand or want to take for granted. The Arab spring will soon be seen as a temporary thing that was not the success people wanted and proclaimed it to be. Some in those fields will object and counter with all kinds of manipulated data, in addition the press will give a few more articles on how the Arab spring was the only way and it was a good way, yet when we see that Russian influence is rising all over the Mediterranean, and now with Morocco raising the tourist numbers for China and Russia, it could be interpreted that a first signal is given to Sergey Lavrov that a conversation of interest is soon to be an option. In my personal view, one of two corridors of travel for ISIS ends up being in Russian hands. If not correctly countered we will see a radically shifted view of northern Africa with America no longer being any form of player there. This also reflects on Syria, because these nations will allow Russia to set up an empty trade house where they are merely the middle man in commerce between Syrians and Northern African partners, so suddenly there will be large economic growth (moving from zero that will always be the case) and it will push a shift in other ways too. It is the Grim reality we face, because the actual culprit was greed and we have seen how both America and the European Economic Community was unwilling and unable to act against it, which is why we will only see a stronger push for Frexit and Brexit. A move that scares the US, because the Euro and the Dollar are too closely tied and this dissolving action will be seen as the nightmare scenario by the IMF and Wall Street, where the question now becomes: who is speaking for whom?

 

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A New Disney

There was an Italian, who has been famous for over 125 years, he is not the first or the only famous Italian. There was this guy who came up with Pizza, There was this other Italian who thought fast Ford cars were a joke and he created Ferrari, then there was this other Italian, who made tractors, disagreed with the previous Italian and created Lamborghini. It is actually none of those. It is Carlo Lorenzini who was born 190 years ago. You might not know the name, perhaps his alternative name? Carlo Collodi! If you are still in the dark, than remember the story of a wooden boy who wanted to become a real live boy. Steven Spielberg used the notion in AI, but the original remains the best, namely Pinocchio!

Yes, the story of a wooden boy going into the world, yet as a wooden boy he was not alone, there was a little Cricket accompanying him and he would be a lot more important than your average Cricket, Jiminy was his name. Today the story is even more relevant, you see, the name Yemini Cricket might be ringing bells, but the truth of the wooden boy is there. The question becomes, who is the wooden boy?

So when I read ‘US, Britain and UN demand Yemen ceasefire within days‘ (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/10/16/us-britain-and-un-demand-yemen-ceasefire-within-days),

Yet when I read “The United Nations envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said: “We are here to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which will be declared in the next few hours.” Cheikh Ahmed said he had been in contact with the rebel Huthi militia’s lead negotiator and with Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government“, my recollection does not go towards the classical story, it goes to a reference a little closer to the present (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFZrKOCdHFs), the laughter applies to both the sketch and reality. Aleppo is a great example, how 5 years and 400,000-450,000 fatalities later, no solution is there, but they are still flying to places like Switzerland to talk. I wonder when we add up all the costs, how much did the taxpayer pay for this play?

A number of civilian casualties that have now surpassed the total US Military casualties, of those who died during WW2. Doesn’t that look like a clear message that massive change was required a few years ago? I reckon all the players know that, yet, having long conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose only concern is to stall so that the population can be made extinct before the resolution passes, reads a lot more like the Friends edition of Pinocchio, than the original by Carlo Collodi, where we see the conscience that is Jiminy Cricket.

So as we see the beginning of the same slow train in Yemen, I have to wonder if creating a new version of Pinocchio with Yemini Cricket is the way to go. It educates politicians as well as bring some hard needed cash towards Hollywood (or Bollywood).

So why is this different?

To one degree it is not, towards the other degree it is very much so. The problem is that both Syria and Yemen could be on the same page, no degrees of separation. In this case there are two at least. You see, Yemen has limited ties to Russia, making it less complicated, what is the issue is that the Houthi’s are actively shooting missiles at the US Navy complicating matters a lot more. It only takes one direct hit, and Yemen would technically be in a state of war with the US. Now, normally, a bankrupt nation is not that much a bother, but Yemen is not an economic or military superpower, so going against America sounds like a PR approach to get them ‘involved’. What is an issue is that Yemen, the neighbour of Saudi Arabia could get lucky at some point, what happens after the hit will be an issue, because Americans tend to get cranky when you successfully blow up something American. Interesting is that there are now multiple sources claiming that Iran is now moving towards the Red sea. An interesting story as the Red sea is on the other side of the Persian Gulf and Iranian war ships have no actual business there (which could also apply to the Americans). The question becomes how is Saudi placed into all this? Here there are issues too. There is no stating if there is even any link but the changes and the Attention that members of the Saudi government are drawing attention to themselves become a factor (speculation from my side).

One part is from the Australian Financial Review (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/middle-east/saudi-prince-mohammed-bin-salmans-shatters-decades-of-tradition-20161017-gs3yt5), where we see the title ‘Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s shatters decades of tradition‘, is not giving us the ‘goods’. The first quote is “He has slashed the state budget, frozen government contracts and reduced the pay of civil employees, all part of drastic austerity measures as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is buffeted by low oil prices“, which would be quite acceptable in one view, at least it appears that one government in this world is dealing with its budget issues, although not in the most ‘desirable’ way, when a nation is so dependent on oil, there might not be too many options. The second quote is “While vacationing in the south of France, Prince Mohammed spotted a 134-metre yacht. He dispatched an aide to buy the ship, the Serene, then owned by Russian vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler. The deal was done within hours, at a price of approximately €500 million (roughly $720 million today)“, which implies the opposite. The question is not the cut-backs or spending spree, the issue is neither quote, it is the quote I will give now “Many young Saudis admire him as an energetic representative of their generation who has addressed some of the country’s problems with uncommon bluntness. The kingdom’s media have built his image as a hardworking, businesslike leader less concerned than his predecessors with the trappings of royalty” as well as “Others see him as a power-hungry upstart who is risking instability by changing too much, too fast“. So is the prince a go-getter or power-hungry? I cannot tell as this is all based on third degree of information, what matters is how the view and the actions will reflect the counteractions of the US and Iran in regard to Yemen. The moment the conflict results in a direct attack on Saudi grounds, what then? Iranian warships in the Red Sea would only complicate that, making a harsh response from the Saudi Military even more destabilising.

In my view there are two sides within Saudi Arabia, yet how they should be seen is another matter. I do not claim to have a proper view. I have questions. You see Mecca is an Islamic Holy city (the most important one) and it is part of Saudi Arabia, so as Saudi Arabia is the caretaker of this holy site, the involvement if Iran is more than just a small issue. Whatever they decide to escalate could have large repercussions all over the Middle East. The Sovereign State of Saudi Arabia has every right to defend it in every way possible, so Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also Minister of Defence and the youngest one in the world, which as a stat sounds nice, yet it also means that in light of other decisions, he is ready to do that what the US has been unable to do, declare war on its enemy by actually acting against them! Not that the US needed to declare war, but in light of Syria, doing anything actively would have been nice, an absence of resolution that His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud is less likely to show.

What is a problem is the fact that the complications are more and more likely as days go by and that is the one spark that this powder keg does not need. Iran cannot be denied access to international waters, which will not lessen the impact. One of the elements in all this is seen in the second quote regarding the ‘power hungry’ side of it. You see, the AFR article is also mentioning “Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister and longtime counter-terrorism czar“, which is now an element in all this. You see, whatever happens next is all surrounding the need for intelligence. So whatever issues there are between His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud gives wake to the Disney sequel, a tale of two princes. A new approach to the classic Dickens story where the plight of two members of the Royal family of Al Saud are protecting the Sovereign state of Saudi Arabia as well as the safety and security of all Muslims that are in and nearby Mecca. Even as the papers are expecting a ceasefire, the issue is that stalling is equally a tactic here. There is no way of telling why Iran is involving its warships in that region, other than trying to complicate matters and demanding a seat at the table of decision, which would only change the time table in the worst of ways. What the Deutsche Welle did give was the quote “the Saudi-led coalition has blamed an airstrike that killed over 140 people at a funeral ceremony in Yemen on “erroneous information” received from a “party” affiliated with the country’s embattled government“, it matters, because it gives light to the essential issue that the two princes need to rely on quality intelligence, sources that can be scrutinised. And in this matter, mentioning the yacht was to iterate that spending that money on a satellite over the area might not have been the worst personal idea I am having. And let’s face it, any prince that can claim that he has his own satellite wins the discussion with any other prince relying on yacht and status. So many have a yacht, but how many of these rich individuals (very wealthy people in general) would own their own satellite? Especially if it becomes a source of intelligence.

Of course there is a lot more to owning one’s own satellite, but I hope we can all agree that intelligence will be key in whatever escalates over the next week. My issue is that too many players have their own agenda, yet would those agenda’s be truly 100% be focussed on whatever is best for Yemen and/or Saudi Arabia? You see, oil prices are down now, but why and for how long? What happens when prices go through the roof again? What happens then? Suddenly all these political issues are all linked to the price of Oil and the profit it brings?

I do not claim to have these answers, but the fact that too many sources are not asking the questions that require asking is troubling, yet the AFR article gives us a lot more, even more than I bargained for, which is comforting to say the least. What becomes a matter of discussion is the one quote that shows the elements “People who have met Mohammed bin Salman said he insisted that Saudi Arabia must be more assertive in shaping events in the Middle East and confronting Iran’s influence in the region – whether in Yemen, Syria, Iraq or Lebanon“, giving the links that require addressing and the prince is not afraid to do just that, however it take two to dance rings around Iran and taking away its influence in the Middle East. As I see it, Riyadh will have to make changes to some degree. Counter-Intelligence will be key in dealing with Iran and the impression I get when I see a quote like “has deep ties to Washington and the support of many of the older royals” shows the speculative possibility of the older ‘let us see how this plays out‘ against the younger ‘let us get this party started through action‘. It is not about the balance, but about what works best. In that regard both princes might have to make changes a lot faster than they are comfortable with, because if the news is correct, the Iranian ships and submarines will soon be active in the Red Sea, but active to what extent is something that remains speculative, whatever they do, the fact that it includes Iranian submarine presence (as reported but not confirmed), will also raise tensions with Israel.

As I see it, the biggest issue is Iran and what they are trying to get out of it. Putting themselves in the middle of a conflict where they are now trying to imply that it is all about them (especially as they are in the Red Sea), yet is their presence less valid than that of the US? It seems to me that we are creating a new Vietnam, just not with the Russians involved (like Syria). So there are two solutions to consider. One is that the US is replaced by for example the Commonwealth, or France, which takes away the Iranian-US issues. That is, if Saudi Arabia would be willing to consider that move. No matter what, the navy that does that, could find themselves in an armed conflict with Iran, so it better be a competent and modern Navy which leaves not that many options. The Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea and India. Giving the option to either South Korea or India would benefit, as Iran cannot spin some NATO link story. In addition Iran cannot afford to piss of too many additional nations as either could make short work of the ego of Iran as these navies decide to sink Iranian war vessels like rubber dinghies, because they pushed one button too many.

No matter what happens, Saudi Arabia must do what it can to keep safe and the Yemeni issue is one that tests many sides of those who see and witness it, because there is a dilemma in conscience. A revolution that got out of hand, a set government overthrown with its own agenda. When we see the Houthi’s slogan “God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam“, can we really show any kind of support or sympathy?

The most important part to realise is that we need to set aside our version of what is acceptable, we have seen the US and Europe at large impose their version of ‘civility’, whilst bending over, grabbing their ankles and let the financial industry quite literally get away with murder in many ways. We impose rules and expectations, whilst having no clue how to manage a budget or how to stem greed to the point of strangulation. In all this, we have given up the high ground in several fronts, so we are no lecturer with any level of confidence. It is my opinion, that the Middle East can only be decently governed by someone in the Middle East. I personally believe that Saudi Arabia should be at the centre of it, there is no doubt that it would beneficial that a coalition that would include Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, but I am not knowledgeable enough to see whether it is just them, or that other players should be seriously considered. What does matter is that both General Intelligence Directorate (GID, aka Mukhabarat) and Jordanian General Intelligence Directorate would be important in ascertaining Iran’s hostile actions and if need be counter them. From my academic point of view is the challenge that the SIGNT of the three would pose to get one coherent reporting and analytical solution on Iranian intelligence. One that would definitely benefit all three nations. Yet perhaps that will evolve into a third Disney project, which could be the next big thing. It’s all just a thought, but think it over for yourself and ask yourself the question you did not hear voiced, this is important, because this stage could get ugly in a hurry and possibly before Christmas this year.

 

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Frexit Down Under (2nd attempt)

What is about to come was written several days ago. I stopped the article as there was too much speculation (read: claims by unreliable sources) and I prefer facts over scaremongering. Yet the initial views were not invalid, but must be taken in stride, taken with critical consideration. I am not stating that you should believe me, it is much better to see other newscasts and rank their views against the information I gained. Because over several national papers and sources, I see a pattern, but that pattern is subjective to the quality of the data that is linked to the issues. So the new parts are added within the original parts, see what you make of it.

11/5
Just as I was about to start reading Iran: Politics, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman, other news reaches me. We could Katzman do be the writer of suspense. Some see him as the new Kazuo Ishiguro, another version of ‘Remains of the State’. You see, the banks want to talk about Iran. The quote “There are now opportunities for foreign banks to do business with Iran” is one that Sky TV had. The story by Katzman gives us “Sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. CISADA bans accounts with banks that do business with the Revolutionary Guard and sanctioned entities and the Department of the Treasury in November 2011 declared Iran’s financial system an entity of primary money laundering concern“, which is now an issue on more than one level. When I state story, I do not mean that Katzman fabricated anything. It is a good read, in light of a few issues, it is almost a mandatory read if you need to be aware of certain events. You see, the paper even though decently up to date remains absent of clear Hezbollah facts. The fact that the area near Baalbek is now Hezbollah grounds due to a municipality election is the smallest of the problems. You see, the Shahab-3 seems to have been made ‘available’ for Hezbollah, this gives them direct intervention capabilities for both Syria and Israel. This is not in the light of Katzman (it was not his focus), but Michael Rubin gives us the goods in Joint Hearing on “Israel Imperiled: Threats to the Jewish State”, which was meant to be for the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-proliferation, and Trade Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. It is a mouthful, but so is the Shahab-3 (please do not swallow that load).

The issue is twofold!

In the first the direct powder keg is that the Shahab can now hit Israel (most important Eilat, which has rarely been a real target), Cairo as well as Amman. If the delivery becomes fact, the Hezbollah dynamic will change a lot of issues, all at the same time. These issues are not massive, they seem to be scaremongering for the most, even if that is a position that Israel cannot support, she does recognize the low reality of it happening initially, that is until there is a stronger Iranian presence, Hezbollah is unlikely to push this strategical issue.

15/5
In the previous parts I had considerable open sources of information, yet there was an issue that did not ring complete. I had access to other sources in the past and in combination this gets a lot more reliability. For this we need to take a step back and look at my article from September 2014 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/09/19/to-be-deserted. Yes, that long ago!) Here we see “There are a little over 3 million Syrian refugees, they are placed all over Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Sweden, Bahrain, Germany, Libya and a few other nations. During all this time, these places had casualties too and they are not part of the 160,000 casualties, which is why I think the Syrian death toll is a lot higher. In all honesty, did you remember these refugees? I feel 100% certain ISIS has not forgotten them and if they are recruiting there we are in for one hell of a wake-up call soon enough. If there is any strength in number then these new ISIS members will be most likely in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey“, which implies that I was correct to some extent. You see I expected ISIS to be he recruiter and perhaps they are. Yet when we consider the quote “Terje Roed-Larsen expressed serious concern that not only have Hezbollah and other militias continued their activities since the Security Council ordered them to disband in 2004, “but if anything they have expanded.” He also expressed concern at the reported expansion of extremist groups, mostly in Palestinian refugee camps“, Terje Roed-Larsen is a UN envoy, which now gives a lot of weight to these events (source: Ynetnews.com). This now gives additional weight to the issues that are playing. The smugglers in Turkey, the paths towards Europe and the now viable dangers that refugees are in Europe, especially France. Consider the issues that the Intelligence branch will end up with soon enough. Refugees that are radicalised, basically Lone Wolves with assistance from every bleeding humanitarian group on social media. The additional hardship will be that they will cry foul and failure when things blow up in their face.

11/5
In the second we have the Hezbollah and France issue. There is a storm brewing and the quote ““This is a problem that Israel is creating and it may spark a war,” a parliamentary source told Lebanese news site Naharnet” is only one part of it. The second part is “The meeting between Hollande and Lebanese MP Mohammad Ra’ad, which had been requested by Hezbollah, was cancelled over “conflicts” with the international community“, which is linked to all this. Now we have all kind of ‘statements’ by middle level people, usually for the realm of seeking the limelight and get some home front votes. This gives rise to the situation that Hezbollah is not a situation, yet that is not true either. The UK is starting to be a cesspool of approaching extremism. As security issues evolve in Europe and the UK, we will see conflicts and escalations. There is no way to predict the direction this is taking, tactically France will become a strategic target, the reality of how much of a target they could become cannot be predicted at present. Yet, it is not just Hezbollah by themselves, how far is Hezbollah willing to take their friendship with Iran?

15/5
The previous part was one that I was very willing to throw overboard. Yet in all this there is a snag, a snag that might have been used before. The Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/after-splitting-with-al-qaeda-al-nusra-is-being-presented-to-the-west-as-a-moderate-force-it-s-a7022271.html) gave me this, which I did not attach for more than one reason initially “Al-Nusra is being presented to the West as a moderate force. It’s nothing of the sort” as well as “Nusra, according to Lister, is “rebuilding a military coalition and plans to soon initiate major offensive operations south of Aleppo” in order to spoil US and Russian efforts for a truce in the city. The best way of thwarting Al-Qaeda’s ambitions “is to dramatically scale up assistance to vetted [sic] military and civil components [sic, again] of the mainstream opposition inside Syria,”“, it becomes a part when we consider the quote from Terje Roed-Larsen (the UN envoy) “Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflicts in Syria and more recently Iraq risks a spill over of sectarian tensions into Lebanon where the Islamic State extremist group and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front are reported to be expanding“, this gives weight to an option I considered, but with other players. It is not too far a jump to consider that Al-Nusra is sending radicalised refugees in France and sour whatever Hezbollah has been trying to build. A tactic that would please Iran as it gives Hezbollah only one path and all at the back and call of certain Iranian players.

11/5
There are issues and France winning a billion plus deal for Australian submarines is where the plot thickens and where we see that no one is truly happy to be alive over the issues rising in the Middle East. Only now do we see in the news how Brexit will accelerate other nations leaving the EU. Something I clearly foretold months ago, actually, the better part of a year ago. These issues now call Australia into the game and that is where things tend to get complex fast. You see, this 40 billion dollar deal is one both sides want to maintain, so Australia is about to get involved in the Frexit mess, because when that goes and the French Franc returns, the price of those waterproof dinghies will go up by a fair bit, second, in this deal Australia becomes a stronger target for extremists, so now we get another petulant extremist child to deal with.

This is where I was on May 10th, one day later we get (20 minutes ago, at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/67466/israel-reportedly-targets-hezbollah-weapons-convoy-along-lebanon-syria-border), the quote “Unconfirmed reports indicate that Israel has targeted Hezbollah terrorists and a weapons convoy along the Lebanese-Syrian border” has one specific word you must not forget, namely ‘unconfirmed‘. When we consider that Iran has been found engraving missiles with the phrase that translating as ‘Israel must be wiped out‘, it is clear that there is an issue. That part has been discussed at length in the past year. The issue is now not just what the missiles can hit, it is the distance that they can travel to and the shipment of the missiles. The airstrike is only an indication of a possible threat (small arms versus missiles), the continued escalation in Aleppo, that whilst America is now trying to rely on diplomacy (it is likely the only option they can afford), seems to be a not so great a choice. I am careful to phrase it in that way, because so far, there is no evidence that an abundance of American Troops in the Middle-East was ever a decent solution past World War 2, but that could be my wrongful insight.

Now we get to France. This is a hard one to sell, you see there are a few sides here, but there is also a negative implications in this place. From my point of view there is a stronger escalation because of two reasons. The first is the now growing demand that is founded on anti-Islam growth. At present 47 percent of France believes that Islam is cultural harmful to France and the French. That number is not making the immigrated Muslims into France feel any better. The fact that France arrested Lebanese money launderers for trying to up their visibilities remains an element, so we can easily conclude that this issue is far from over.

Now the final part, how does Australia fit? Consider the 40 billion involved and France is making them underwater dinghies. What would be a bigger target than a 40 billion product which could massively impact French industrialisation? Now let’s be clear, an issue as it exists is not a prelude to organised violence, I will be the first one to admit that. What is a given is that the escalations that involve the Arab League is still evolving, with the ties that Hezbollah has with Iran, that issue will not go away any day soon, not to mention the other players growing their line of support.

So, how does Australia fit in all this?

It does not fit into it as a nation, but if I was working for the other side, it would be the submarines (aka them underwater dinghies) that I would target. This is not a secret, it makes tactical sense, so for the time being France will have new levels of security requirements in Lorient, Brest, Nantes and Cherbourg. These places only seem isolated! With the growing concern of refugees comes the issue that 0.1% could be travelling with ulterior motives, now apply that issue with any ship yard or industrial site. Good luck with the idea of ‘security’ in such a place! That concern is not just a figment of my imagination. France is facing issues it never faced before and as such, no matter how well its security teams are trained, the environment is working against them. The openness of a shipyard has always been an issue on a global scale, the fact that the negative elements are in France and could be targeting the French economy was never an illusion. Whether such an attack can be solved is not the question. The question becomes can all attacks be stopped 100%, which taking the locations in Brest alone is already a trying exercise. It is not just the shipyard, it is what is across the ‘narrow’ stretch of water is an equal source of concern. Cherbourg has partial dangers and in addition the concerns of ferries to deal with. This has made it a target for refugees, so security now has the additional challenge of finding the difference of a person praying for humane treatment and an optional few looking to exploit the humane treatment by the local population. The other two has equally concerns on several levels.

In all this it is important to realise that Hezbollah denounced the Paris attacks, that Hezbollah was not part of the attacks on France in recent history, this makes the statement that we got from Naharnet not less real, this factor is still an ‘option’ as each party in the Middle-East has their own levels of extremist leaders and the fact that there is pressure on France is an absolute given, yet in what shape such attacks would/could take shape

These escalations are only increasing as France is now moving towards Frexit. If Brexit becomes fact the pressures in France will only sharply increase.

 

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Was there a clear failure?

There was an article that crossed my eyes as I was preparing to have another go at Microsoft (likely tomorrow). With Paris clearly on the retina of all who open their eyes, those who hear the word Paris, will not think of Miss Hilton (except for one Journalist), they will not think of the city of love, or the city of lights. They will think of the 6 terror attacks that have dealt a massive blow to France and those living in Paris, which is to be expected. The French have nothing to be ashamed of, they have a proud heritage and a few mad man tried to deal it a body blow.

Now round two begins and the Guardian gives us: ‘How French intelligence agencies failed before the Paris attacks’, and article by Ewen MacAskill (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/19/how-french-intelligence-agencies-failed-before-the-paris-attacks). Of course the title woke me up, because it is interesting that the limited Intel is already leading to the blame game.

The first blame part is given: “In other words, the failure of the French intelligence agencies is not that they did not have enough data – but that they did not act on what they had“, yet is that correct? Let’s take a look at a few facts.

  1. The lack of cooperation between France and Belgium, where some of the attackers were based“, so is that a failing for France or Belgium? Let’s not forget that Belgium houses the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), so as blame goes, the fact that these extremists could decently freely plot next to one of the biggest military big wig places in the world is reasonable cause for alarm.
  2. The police had a file on Omar Ismaïl Mostefai even before he traveled to Syria in 2013“, there are two issues here. In the first not every Islamic person is a terrorist, so there is one issue, yet what was known of his move to Syria and how did he get back? Did he get back to France or was he also in Belgium, or did he return via Lyon from Stockholm? There are loads of questions and not enough data. I know at least half a dozen ways to not create flags whilst travelling. In all these situations Omar Ismaïl Mostefai would not have landed on the grid and as such French Intel would remain in the dark for a longer time frame, was this properly investigated by Ewen MacAskill?

Now for his jab against data collection: “Tracking such suspects does not require the collection of the communications data – phone records, emails, Facebook postings, chat lines – of every French citizen, only the suspects“, the problem is that there is no way of knowing, who was in contact with whom else. That data is lacking, in addition, the way the average boy and girl regards their mobile phone, the simple act of stealing a mobile phone is not that much a stretch, so how will data then be available?

  1. lack of cooperation between European intelligence agencies“, which is actually a fair point, yet it is not just the lack of cooperation here, in addition there was the statement by Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, which is still remaining unattended by journalists all over the place. Now, in my view the statement was stupid, but was it incorrect? The danger that Jihadists are getting into Europe vie Greece or Italy is a realistic threat, but how to deal with them? The fact that one has a Syrian passport is also a tinderbox as it could light up many national borders at present. Which goes far beyond the French borders.

In addition the last paragraph is also an issue: “Such failures are where the French and US intelligence agencies should be looking, rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, let’s take this to the rationale. 150,000 refugees have declared asylum in Europe, finding 10-20 people within that lot is impossible without a massively improved data capturing system, as well a good support system from their partners all over Europe. That list becomes a lot more complex once we look beyond for these people on less stable parameters, so the French can’t really continue without a massive overhaul of DGSE and I don’t mean this in a negative way. The UK has a much more compartmentalised system. The UK, just like Australia is ‘home is girt by sea’, which gives them an advantage. France does not have this and as we realise that Belgium intelligence is not that operational, additional methods must be employed. Even as GCHQ is in service towards both MI5 and MI6, the French system (DGSI and DGSI) need to merge with a more powerful version of their ‘upgraded’ version of GCHQ. So as Ewen MacAskill, as the intelligence correspondent of the Guardian fails to enlighten its readers of that part, as well as smooth over the European terrain by leaving out the Panos Kammenos we must all consider these parts. Now in this case it is not about having a go at Panos Kammenos (even though it is good fun to do that), the issue Greece does have is not one they can counter because of their weakened economic state. It is a side we cannot ignore. Greece is not alone, as hundreds of thousands of refugees cross the borders all over Europe, the reality of hundreds of Islamic state passing the borders in similar ways is a given. The first issue is data, it starts with collected papers and biometrics. Ewan fails in addition with the statement “rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, I am willing to entertain the thought, but data is key here. Not just on the people involved, but also on the people they interact with.

That part can be found when we consider the events around the honourable Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks. In his YouTube speeches, in one of them we see: ‘Microenterprises projects due to the importance of these enterprises in the future of the Arab region‘, which is an essential need, because all nations need growth, and if the Arabian nations become stagnant, we will see an escalation that Europe cannot counter. Yet there is another side here. This was shown by the Egyptian Daily News (at http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/09/19/concerns-over-islamic-state-funds-entering-arab-banks-for-terrorist-operations-uab-secretary-general/), where we see the quote: “The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) is worried about militant ”Islamic State” (IS) funds entering banks and being used to attract young people to carry out terrorist operations, said Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary-General of the UAB“, in addition there is “the movement of funds across the border is uncontrolled, due to a lack of international laws to regulate this process“, so again, here is where Ewen failed. In all his rhetoric regarding French Failure, the fact that this needed serious funding, the fact that the funding crossed several European borders, an issue given to us by at least two white haired lame duck presidents who did not achieve ANYTHING regarding serious overhaul of banking and finance laws. They cannot be held responsible for Europe, but Europe took their pages from Wall Street, where the US presidents (plural) could have made a massive impact (but did not), in the state of debt the US is, this would never be a successful venture. These elements are all affecting France, because the money flows and it flows in many unmonitored ways, which is also part of the problem.

So after one week, we see pain, anguish and blame, the only resolve is coming from the French who are standing up proudly for THEIR France, Christians and Muslims alike, or did we all forget that it was 24 year old Muslim Lassana Bathily who kept the customers safe during the Charlie Hedbo attacks!

Yes, I believe that France must overhaul its systems and data is at the centre of it all, because if both DGSI and DGSE are working on the premise that their neighbours are unable to keep their streets clean, France better get prepared with a better data system, in that bulk data surveillance will be an essential need. In addition, that need is escalating because there is a second side to all this. There was a reason that Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh and Wall Street were mentioned. You see, three weeks ago the Financial Times reported on the break-up powers regarding banks (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/06d6f790-7e53-11e5-a1fe-567b37f80b64.html). The quote “A controversial European Union bid to hand regulators more power to break up big banks has been given a shot in the arm after Brussels legislators agreed a preliminary deal following months of deadlock and fierce lobbying from the financial industry“. This is a problem on a few sides when we regard the lack of scruples bankers tend to have. If they are pushed in a corner they will take any deal that brings them wealth. If that requires an ISIS brokerage, the chance that some banker will take his 13% is not that far-fetched and as ‘easy’ as it was not for those funding ISIS, it seems to me that they will get additional options in the future, something Ewan did not reveal (which was not what his article was about), yet in light of the French events that item is a lot more important and visible than the emotional fishing expedition regarding a French failure, something I am not convinced of, even less when we watch the Belgium intelligence failure (the fact that Belgium never detained some of the French terrorists, nor did the Belgians inform French authorities of their concerns), a fact that we get from the quote: “We knew they were radicalized, and that they could go to Syria,” said Eric van der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. “But they showed no sign of possible threat. Even if we had signaled them to France, I doubt that we could have stopped them” (source: politico.eu), I reckon that a hundred plus fallen French citizens might disagree with Mr van der Sypt there.

My assessment is that there was no clear failure from France, there was a European Failure to properly communicate issues across borders, which is a lot more dangerous when we consider the 150,000 refugees all over the place, not to mention the 2 million plus in refugee centres all over the Middle East. So when I stated in 2014 that there is a clear and present danger in Jordan, I was not kidding. Too bad certain elements are not considering the whole picture, just the part that can be fingered for a few quick points, which will get plenty of other people killed sooner rather than later.

 

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And so it begins!

Even though Marine Le Pen still has to deal with her daddy, the one person who seems intent to drown the part his daughter was able to make a reality. His extreme approach was never going to work, now that she has shown this, his intention of making that future a non-possibility. Of course her opponents are happy as can be that Jean-Marie seems to go on tantrums making National Front seem too extreme, but the National Front members know better and soon Europe will know this too. What I predicted well over a year ago is still on course, and now, finally the press seems to take a little bit of notice. The quote in the French RFI is “French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called for an end to all immigration to France, legal and illegal. In a speech aimed at rallying her Front National (FN) ahead of regional elections, she failed to mention her father’s expulsion from the party but did lay into immigrants, Islamists and President François Hollande” and “They don’t tell you this but the immigration situation in France is totally out of control,” Le Pen said at a meeting to mark the start of France’s new political season. “My aim is clear: to stop immigration both legal and illegal. The FN’s programme officially calls for immigration to be limited to 10,000 people per year but Le Pen went further, declaring, “We need national borders for France”“. Of course there is an issue getting this to move as Hollande is still president, but the clarity is a fact. National Front is now on the move, the data as given shows that the anger after the 21 August failed attack on a high-speed train from Belgium to France, France itself is becoming more and more extremely unaccepting regarding Islam extremists and foreign Islamists. Marine Le Pen called for “all foreigners on file for links with radical Islamist movements to be deported“, adding that ““radical mosques” should be closed and their imams be thrown out of the country if they are foreigners“. The French are realising that they got lucky, according to CNN “The three men — a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian” stopped what could have been a massacre. The French have had enough and so they should. This view, partially due to what seems to be President Hollande’s inaction. Whatever actions he undertakes now will only fuel the Le Pen campaign.

Now we have a problem, one that hits many others. If France remains on this course, England have no other option but to invoke Brexit. It needs to do so before Frexit becomes a reality. My reasoning is that whomever goes first will have the best options, not the worst options, after that the curve goes down fast. It is for that reason that I oppose the view from François Heisbourg in the Financial Times (at http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/20eb52bc-4cb1-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html) the quote “It has a xenophobic and illiberal force all too keen to take advantage of popular fears about the impact of migration in the shape of the National Front (FN), Europe’s largest extreme right wing party, with a base representing some 25 per cent of the electorate. But, until now, Paris has not indicated that it has any clue how to cope“. You see, some might call it ‘xenophobic‘, yet this is the second attack within France and this one was almost successful. We should regard the circumstances a miracle, most will downplay the events into ‘the public can protect us‘ but in all, the governments failed and an open Europe is a dangerous situation, not all nations have the benefit of a tunnel and 5 ferries. Many other places are leaky as a sieve. France has entry points from many overly liberal nations, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy. Belgium also gives access for the Netherlands and the boats are pouring into Italy. France no longer feels secure and yes, it is clear that National Front is pressing that issue as the Financial Times states, but is that fear incorrect or inaccurate? In addition the quote “Europe’s leaders need to live up to our responsibilities as humans and as neighbours, assume part of the burden, and talk straight to the electorate. Continued European and French fecklessness will only improve the far-right’s prospects of success, and will deepen what is already an unprecedented crisis“. This sounds very logical and ‘civil’, but Mr Heisbourg forgets that as the Chairman of the IISS and of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy he lives a nice sheltered life in the areas of far higher income then most others have. I will immediately agree that the bulk (let’s say 99%) are true refugees hoping for a better life, it is the 1% that is a problem, moreover, if we should learn anything it is the fact that most European nations do not have any level of infrastructure to take care of these refugees. That is the part many are ignoring. It is a direct consequence of bad budgeting. France and Italy are direct examples of evidence here. The UK and Greece are also in a place where funds are lacking. Together we are looking at close to 7 trillion in debt, in all that those governments are seeing an influx of thousands of refugees trying to find a future whilst support is no longer a financial option. Interesting how so many players ignore that part in all this. Yet the people of the UK, France, Italy and Greece see the immigrants for what they perceive them to be: “a direct threat to liveable income” any refugee who is sincere in his travel is also sincere in finding a job, a way to support their family. One in 10 in Europe does not have a job, any job given to them will be another job not going to their own citizens. This is a warped number as these people are often not equipped to do most of the jobs but the low schooled ones, bring a wave of fear to those in lowly paid jobs, fuelling places like UKIP and FN, which is why the French issue is escalating. What is not clearly shown is the effect that 270,000 refugees in Greece and Italy alone have on the EEC. I understand that people like François Heisbourg have an idealistic view. For the most people like him truly believe in that vision, but as governments cannot maintain their budgets, as large corporations are paying less and less taxation and as they fuel their own board of directors, governments at large no longer have any proper means to support such an influx. Whatever these people tell you, whatever fairy-tale you get told, realise that 270,000 people will cost us between 270 and 500 million each month. So this takes up to 6 billion a year and that is just from the present group, now add the 2014 group and in addition the people that will come in until December. Now explain to me how these nations who are already missing out on billions a year will add that to their invoice?

In all this, the people all over Europe see their cost of living rise, their past income is not coming back and the financial troubles for Europe are only just beginning. The Chinese market is a mess and it will influence the American market too. To what extent? I cannot tell, I actually do not know, but what I do know is that any change in the EEC will have a massive influence on the American bubble and the American way of life. Most of these facts have been ignored by many players of the media, there was always a whiff of ‘prosperous foresight‘, followed soon thereafter by ‘managed bad news’. Now as more and more people feel the pinch of non-sustainable cost of living, their Samaritan tolerance went straight out of the window.

With the Chinese market in turmoil, Germany, France, the US and the UK are now feeling the dangers that a collapsed Chinese market brings. The 0.7% growth in the UK could soon become a negative number, fuelling fears for the people who are not even close to move out of the valley of debt. With that fear in the UK, the fear in France will grow even faster and Germany will soon fill the ranks. We are so willing to be Samaritan when our lives are decently secure, but that is no longer the case and François Heisbourg should know this. Yes, they are correct that some places like Calais are incidental, but overall 270,000 people are not incidental and that number is only a small part of the entire collection.

These ignored facts and half-truths all moved under some rug is part of all the events that allow for groups like National Front to grow the way it does. This all falls into nothingness when we realise the millions, yes millions of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. If you think the price from Europe is high, then what is the price that falls in those two nations? Even if we do not completely ridicule the statement in the Sydney Morning Herald, where we see “Alarmists overstate risk of deluge in West from refugee ‘flood’“, we see a flood of ’emotional’ statements like “Australia could relieve some of the pressure on Europe by taking in several thousand genuine refugees to resettle here” and “Everyone has the right to seek asylum, the hysteria over the tiny minority around the world who do so by sea is bewildering when we consider people have been sailing around the world for centuries” (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/alarmists-overstate-risk-of-deluge-in-west-from-refugee-flood-20150828-gj9urp.html), all nicely ignoring the fact that this planet is not at 5.7 billion as it was in 1995. No, 20 years later when it is 7.3 billion. Nearly all the nations are deep in debt and their infrastructures can for the most not even contain its own population. If the people truly, really truly wants to be humanitarian, then get a majority to agree to a 10% rise in taxation. No, that will not do either, that money will have to come from the rich. 4,000-10,000 will have to pay for billions they do not have. A social structure that failed from the get go, because those so into support of that, have been unable to cull business by properly taxing them. Labour giving billions in subsidies, draining the treasury coffers. They did this in Australia, the UK, the Labour way and now as there is no money they all cry foul. Is that not weird?

The initial issue of budget, no one seems to be able to do it and now, as there is no money left, they all wonder where our humanity remains. Well, that went to the car factories so that they got to make a car $1900 cheaper and now they moved to Asia. The UK has the Flagship £1bn youth unemployment scheme, as well as the issue that Prime Minister David Cameron has failed to curb welfare spending. That is not an attack or a bad thing. It is a mere consequence of the economy in the UK that only appears to be growing but it is nowhere near where it was and the people in the UK are for the most down in their finances and will remain to be so for at least a decade. As such, the infrastructure suffers as loads of money basically go down a drain. In all this we hear about the need for humanitarian aid, but none of the treasuries has the funds to allow for this. It is the most basic of failings, perpetrated by governments on both sides of the isle for the better part of 2 decades. It is not about blame, it is about the reality that the bulk of people are ignoring. In the end most lives depend on what a spreadsheet allows and none of them have allowed for any substantial space for ‘the budgeting of refugees’ a massive failing. I wonder if the power players hoping for an Arabian spring had any idea the massive backlash their actions would have. Now well over 200,000 killed and millions displaced, with no end in sight. When the millions of refugees start dying of starvation, or disease, where will the humanity of our soul be budgeted?

 

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A dangerous escalation

This is a worrying moment, not just for me, but for everyone around, it should be a moment to worry. I am not talking about the Greeks (they have been extinct before), or FIFA (others are on the ball now). No it is a little more serious at present. You see last night rebels shot a scud at Saudi Arabia, which now ups the ante for all players and all allies involved. So as we see the BBC News (at http://m.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33033842), we also see “In a separate development, the Houthi’s have agreed to attend peace talks in Geneva“, which might be redundant now as a Scud has been fired. We can look at all the fact on how inaccurate these missiles are, but the straight complication is not just that a missile was fired, the question becomes what else do these Houthi’s have access to and at some point, We tend to get confused on what matters, I am not stating that certain elements do not matter (like humanitarian aid), but in the light of escalations, humanitarian aid seems to take a backdrop to it all. The issue of escalation will take another turn when Saudi would be forced to act in protection of its citizens. There are a few options and one of them could be the temporary annexation of Yemen as the House of Saud, in allegiance of deposed president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi takes a ground offensive. At that point, whatever cries for help the Houthi’s then voice, they might not receive too much support. As we look at the humanitarian part, have the involved support groups taken a census of how many of these civilian are Houthis? In addition, when this escalated further, what will be the consequences for Oman? You see, it is not just the players that are an issue, with the growing allegiance of Al Qaeda in Yemen, with the growth of Islamic State, we will see additional escalation both within Yemen, towards Saudi Arabia as well as towards the direction of Oman. What path will be taken is hard for me to tell without better intelligence on the events (there is a limit to the information that the BBC has in its possession). Beyond that is another danger that is now brewing for Saudi Arabia. No matter how they feel regarding the actions against Yemen, it has an effect in the refugee camps in Jordan, Islamic State is more and more active in recruiting the youthful adults there, with over 630,000 refugees, there is every chance that Islamic State has growing numbers not in the hundreds, but in excess of a few thousand. The additional actions of ISIS in Egypt, gives worry on the dangers for Saudi Arabia. Whether scuds are the least accurate missiles or not, it will take one missile from Eritrea to hit close enough to Mecca to make this tinderbox explode. ISIS has never made a secret regarding the capture of Mecca, the question is would they be willing to destroy it? It is an actual question, I do not know the answer. But in the time that several ‘anti-ISIS’ parties were sitting on their hands, escalations are now likely to be all over the filed, which could give Saudi Arabia the premise that they could soon be under attack from more than one side. What do you think will happen then? So, as Yemen has upped the ante with a failed missile attack, we will soon see a different theatre of War. You might think that this is the same as every other attack, but it is not. Reasoning is the following quote from Reuters “Yemen’s dominant Houthi group and its army allies fired a Scud missile at Saudi Arabia“, it is the ‘army allies’, whether valid or not, this now implies that the combatant forces of Yemen are now part of this. I used the work imply for a reason. You see, there is no guarantee that this is truly the case, it could be a collection of sympathising defectors, but Saudi Arabia does not need to take this into consideration, do they? Will it get worse? Most likely yes, but in all honesty, I expected these troops to make more active hostilities against Israel instead of escalating towards Saudi Arabia now. This thought was partially shaped by the incursions and the maintaining of presence of Islamic State in Sinai, with options towards Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State corridor becomes an economic worry for several players, least of all Israel. One source gave me “Muslim Brotherhood also offered to facilitate the entry of ISIS elements to the Egyptian territory, through the western and southern borders of Egypt, in return of ISIS helping Muslim Brotherhood to reach power again in Egypt till they control all country’s joints” I think it goes further than that, I think that there is a growing group of more radicalised members of the Muslim Brotherhood, joining the Islamic State in Sinai and from there move towards Israel and likely (based on the latest information) act against Saudi Arabia too. There is not enough evidence on how likely and how strong these actions would be, but this implies that Saudi Arabia is at least in indirect danger here, this means that Saudi Arabia has to connect with three sides. This also means that the escalations against the Islamic State members in Yemen would require a much harsher turn soon enough. The question will soon become one that America and its NATO allies must answer in more than one way. How much support will their ally Saudi Arabia receive, how much non-interference will be gained from the alliance as humanitarian aid in Yemen could be regarded as politically inconvenient. The only bright spot is that most Islamic State fighters tend to be extremely ad-hoc, so if one of them decides to make a name for himself in Israel, the Israeli air force might be forced to cut down the lifespan of Islamic State in Sinai, a chance that is not that high, whatever attacks Israel is more likely to come from Jordan, especially any attack on Eilat, which will cause other reasons of escalations all over the board. From here we must look at a BBC quote from last March. The quote is “Beyond Yemen, the Sanaa bombings underscore how the American strategy against Islamic State is lacking. The US is not degrading IS fast enough to stop its expansion, and it does not appear to have a plan for confronting IS branches in Sinai, Libya, West Africa, and now Yemen”, there are two problems with the quote. The first one is setting the quote like it should all be the US, or even about the US. This is not the case (only the premise), you see, Sinai is Egyptian turf and Egypt is not making headway here, for Sinai there is an additional complication that it cannot push its army into Sinai, because of the peace accord, which means that Islamic State can move all over buffer zone C, as long as they stay mostly out of sight. In Libya there are additional factors and Jordan is a sovereign state who is working together with the US, yet Islamic State remains a factor here. The biggest worry is that it will grow too large within the refugee community, which would escalate in many way that could cause a slaughter of many thousands of people at the drop of the wrong hat. At that point, the US will not have anywhere near the presence to act, and most likely neither will the Jordan forces. This gives us a map that becomes complicated. With Sheikh Omar Hadeed Brigade making new rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, we must also question who is in control there, because if these attacks continue, Israel would be forced to escalate even further, especially since Ashdod was hit in a missile attack. This is where we get the issue with the quote “scuds are the least accurate missiles“, it only takes one hit for this tinderbox to be in flames and as such, we should be careful on relying on ANY peace talks at present. In my view Islamic state sees it as a weakness and whatever they do there is only to give time to prepare the next assault. So as there is a chance that both Israel and Saudi Arabia will find the risks too unacceptable and we will see how both Yemen and Gaza will fall under increased air attack. Whatever happens next will also determine how the playing parties will deal with the threats they face. In all this the greatest threat is towards the innocent refugees in Jordan as they are very likely to be in the middle of two factions, who do not care about these ‘refugees’, in all this we must face the dangers to both an Israeli and a Saudi Arabia escalation. In all this, I will not point at the US, here I point at the other NATO players who should have become active long ago, but political pressures stopped several actions. If NATO had acted stronger in the very beginning, Islamic State might not have had the support it ended up having. In May 2014, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross stated the following: “Though NATO did its job extraordinarily well, an intervention whose main purpose was saving lives may have ended up claiming more lives than it preserved; and the war certainly helped jihadist groups who are hostile to the United States and its allies while setting back U.S. regional interests“, I think that this is at the heart of a few events. The political elements who remained on the side of caution have inadvertently given strength to the situation that is now escalating. They are not the only factor, but they are a factor. That same reluctance in Syria is now cause for major problems and escalations. It is hard to see whether it would have worked out in Syria, especially with Russia in the opposing way, but we see now that there are a few more escalation on the map, escalations that would not have been there if the Syrian situation had been resolved a long time ago (no matter in which direction it was resolved). The last one is a personal view and personal assessment, which could of course be wrong. Now we get to the quote by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. The quote was given a year ago, but the connection to now is clear when we consider the quote “He said the meeting would involve ‘consultations on implementing resolution 2216,’ which the Security Council passed in April, imposing an arms embargo on the Houthi rebels and demanded they relinquish seized territory”, which we get from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/06/dozens-killed-in-yemen-saudi-border-raids-as-peace-talks-momentum-gathers) this sounds nice in theory, but since when has Islamic State taken any notice of an arms embargo? Or taken any notice of the Security Council in any way shape or form? These ‘talks’ which basically delays definitive action will have a similar effect, no matter what the Council states, if even one missile hits a target with casualties, the Saudi air force will respond harshly and talks will break down almost immediately. So will Yemen escalate out of proportions? I reckon that answer is less than a week away, but no matter in which direction it goes, if even one of the neighbouring parties takes any action, escalations might not be impossible to stop and what happens after that will cause a Middle Eastern escalation unlike one we have seen before, as it is entirely possible that Iran will get involved undoing loads of talks in mere hours. The question becomes, who makes the first mistake here? A mistake with dire consequences for all players involved.

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Statistical defiance

There are mornings when you get the surprise of a lifetime. One version is when you are not actually awake; you look to your side seeing a smiling woman stating that she feels nice. Suddenly the phone rings and you wake up! In another version (where you are awake) you get of the subway, you see a ten dollar note. You see some worthy cause 20 feet down the road, easy come, easy go! You feel you did your civic duty and life goes on, the coffee you pay for after that with your own money still tastes a little better that morning. The power of Karma!

A third one is the one I saw this morning. It was on the Australian Channel 7 (Sunrise). The shining light was none other than Andrew O’Keefe. Whilst some dark haired woman from Melbourne was going on about vilifying the Muslim community, Andrew was not the voice of reason, but the voice of wisdom and insight. There is no denying that the Muslim extremists are getting a lot more attention, often through their violent doing but when we consider the acts of up to 50,000 people (the combined numbers of Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas and a few others), it is almost less than a drop in the ocean of the 1.5 BILLION Muslims. How much vilification did we see for those bombing abortion clinics? Or how much light was shone on the ordeal that the Muslims in Burma face whilst getting prosecuted by Buddhists?  It seems that there is an unacceptable unbalance and Andrew O’Keefe made sure that this was stated!

Way to go Andrew!

I have no issue hunting down extremists, not just for the dangers to Christians, but for the equal protection of Jews, Muslims and other religions alike. We should also clearly see that Christians have had their own groups of extremists and in several places including the US. We seem to forget that part. There is a lot wrong with all of us as we condemn a group because of the rotten apples in their basket, even though this amounts to a little less than 0.003% of that population. It is like sending 300,000 apples back to an orchard, because one had a worm.

Now you will state, where one has a worm, more worms will be found. Yes, that is not a wrongful assumption, but at what point will the purchased shipment be actually unworthy of purchasing? The fact that we condemn the apples for one bad one, is no reflection on the apples, it is a reflection on us! That part is at the core of the problem. Yes, we need to hunt down extremists and yes, we need not be nice about it. We do however have a sworn duty to make sure that the innocents are protected; no matter what faith they adhere too. Let us not forget that the shot policeman in the Charlie Hebdo case was a Muslim himself, a French policeman who died defending the freedoms he believed in. His name was Ahmed Merabet, let his name not be forgotten! So, extremists will not care! They care for the false image of self, a demonic view that does not even exists, because any view of self will always lack objectivity. We do not care if it is a person staring at their own reflection, but when that results in the hunt and killing of innocents, they cross lines and we need to accept that there will be a consequence to that. However, vilifying others will never be a good or acceptable point. Andrew O’Keefe gave good light to that part.

So it turned out that I was watching a nice morning unfold! An outspoken clarity of events, one that had gone missing on many fronts for too long.

Yet, there is more, I think that last week was the straw that broke the camel’s back in several places. For this I need to take a step back to September 11th 2001, you see, my personal interpretation of those events might not be the ones you have considered. You see, I think that the attack never succeeded. It is my personal believe that the intent of Osama Bin Laden was different. I expect that yes, the towers were to be hit, yet his intent was that the towers would burn all day and all night, like torches over New York, keeping everyone busy and the symbol become torches of fear in the hearts of Americans. When the towers collapsed his intent of fear became a consequence or rage, we know what happened after that and those who saw Zero Dark Thirty know how they got him anyway. Hiding in Pakistan, scared of the eagles circling ever closer until he was removed from life. The events last week in France might become the same point. I do not think that Islamic State ever considered that a ‘mere’ cartoonist would bring millions into the street in sadness, but thereafter in acceptance of the need to hunt these people down. Now it is not just the US, now it is the collected members of NATO, the EEC and the Commonwealth. In addition, Islamic State is now losing its hidden internal ‘friends’ in many of the Middle Eastern nations. This would always have happened, for the simple reason that history has proven that terrorism will never work and will for the bulk of events have a counteractive effect, yet as the Islamic State was still trying to grow, these events are now the cause that not unlike OBL, these members will now be forced to hide as they are hunted by too many players. Those with similar agenda’s had outgrown their welcome for some time, but now there is a resolute acceptance that people are willing to concede that reasoning is no longer an option with such groups. The benefit is that this could spell an actual increase of security for places like Israel, as the pressure will push for the hunt to continue in Jordan and Libya by its own local ‘population’ could spell a change of weather. Where they expected to bring fear failed, they achieved to anger a group of people who were up to the #JeSuiCharlie point hoping for a civil solution, that time has now passed. Even though these people are massively against violence, they are now to some extent conceding that action needs to be taken.

The Guardian had a piece in ‘comment is free’, where I saw the following quote regarding the polarisation of debate regarding Charlie Hebdo: “By framing events in Manichean terms – dark versus light; good versus evil – an imposed binary morality seeks to coral us into crude camps. There are no dilemmas, only declarations. What some lack in complexity they make up for in polemical clarity and the provision of a clear enemy“. I do not believe this to be correct. It is not untrue as a statement, depending on who this is regarded to, but I think the game is as per yesterday changing. As we see the move of #JeSuisCharlie for freedom and against violence, that move seems to be showing a below the surface change, the acceptance to some extent that simple talks are no longer an option, these people are now willing to accept that professionals need to do whatever they need to do to get these acts of violence stopped, in whatever way will stop the killing of innocents. It was not just the act, part of this equation is a person who filmed from likely a smartphone what was happening, the filmed part is less than a minute, but as thousands a people saw the cold headed execution of a French policeman, we now see a film, not unlike the film of the Kennedy assassination (the Zapruder film) that those who see it are no longer asleep, the presentation is like a bucket of ice water. Just like I woke up from the fake dream of a beautiful woman being happy in bed next to me, they too get a realistic vision and less optimistic view. The view that what they believed possible (civil talks) can never be. The evidence is too raw and too direct. Whatever notion they had of acting whilst a population remained half-awake is no longer, the people will allow such extremists to be hunted, the damage of the fake fears through Edward Snowden is now getting undone, the resolution of the people wanting this resolved allows for it.

So, as we will see, a weird twist of fate on how one act suddenly calls our attention to the craziness of what we allowed to continue for too long, we will soon see a change of venue, the hunters will become the hunted. It is not just Paris, even though this is event shows a visible support against extremists into millions, the view gets additional power through the alleged execution by ISIL of Journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari from Tunisia. The support here is showing that there is more than just a show against violence, we are slowly seeing a change where the shift is not where ISIL is, but the fact that there is no one left not willing to hunt ISIL down, a different perspective, one they had not bargained for. The second benefit here is that there is every chance that the people will now also wake up towards the issues involving Hamas. Even as Hamas thought it was relatively safe after the European voting events, it now must content with the fact that they are now very likely to be seen as unacceptable as ISIL is. I spoke before about the options for Palestine, providing its excluded 100% of Hamas that reality is now, due to the visibility of #JeSuiCharlie a lot more likely. Because as the House of Hamas is less seen as acceptable on a global scale, they will react in ‘fear of self’ and unite with the people who would not find them acceptable in the first place. It all might work out for peace in the end, how statistically weird is that for a change?

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