Tag Archives: Martin Griffiths

Ceasing not firing

The mess in Yemen has not stopped escalating; it is a situation that is not even close to a surprise. Yet what is a surprise is the large level of denial that the media has on the matter. There are a few that do cover it, but the amount is way below what is to be expected from a humanitarian disaster like this one. The Guardian gave us two days ago: “Deadlines for a retreat of Houthi troops in Yemen, agreed in talks last month, have had to be delayed, the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has said. He also conceded plans for prisoner exchanges have not gone to plan.” In all this is it easy to point the finger at the Houthi side of it and for the most that would be correct. The entire matter follows “Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra said there were doubts from the very beginning about the feasibility of the ceasefire agreement being implemented” and in all this Hashem Ahelbarra has been correct in that assessment. I will not make any consideration whether Major General Patrick Cammaert, a retired Dutch general who served as the United Nations Force Commander for the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo was the right call, I have no way of giving a good unbiased overview on that level, my mention is to make clear that I do not support that the media has been living with their shallow innuendo assessments, they are shallow as I personally see them, and I am personally convinced that they are utterly wrong on many fields. In all this I see the absurd absence of holding the Houthi forces to account. Even as it was a day ago, when some sources gave us ‘Seven killed in Yemen market bombing blamed on Houthi rebels‘, the rest of the media remained silent and that is definitely not OK.
So as we were treated to: “A bomb attack in a market killed seven Yemeni civilians including a photographer for a UAE television channel in the government-controlled town of Mokha“, as well as “A photographer for Abu Dhabi TV, Ziad al-Sharabi, was among the dead, the official Saba news agency quoted information minister Moammer al-Eryani as saying. A correspondent for the same network, Faisal Al-Zabhani, was among the wounded, he said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Saba blamed it on the Iran-aligned Houthis. From my point of view, there is unlikely to be any claims coming. The Houthi forces are on the way out and they are trying to make sure that the death count, the logistical damage and the destruction of infrastructure is all that is left for them that is until we kill them and hold Iran directly accountable. Even as we were informed four days ago on ‘Mortar attack on the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah started a fire in silos holding tonnes of wheat‘, most of the other media remained silent. So as we were informed (at that point) on “The sources said Houthi representatives on a joint committee to co-ordinate implementation of the truce were refusing to honour the agreement to open safe passages and allow mine-clearing operations along routes for distribution of relief“, we see just how sore the Houthi forces are when they lose, they were never realistically going to win, but to willingly leave millions to die of starvation shows just how soft we have become when it reflect on our willingness to protect the actual victims in all this. My view might not be completely helpful as (from my point of view) I would assess that the actions by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths should be seen as cowardly ones. When I am treated to: “he said he “categorically rejected” calls to name the party obstructing the Stockholm agreement“, I personally do not consider ‘dealing with a complex situation on the ground‘ a valid excuse, even if it is an accurate one. The setting is simple, in all this we state that Hodeidah is simple, all armed events are off limits, an armed response is required to anyone breaking that cease fire and in addition, any proven involvement of Iran allows for additional sanctions, I would state that all 8 remaining parties are no longer allowed to get Iranian fuel, breaking that agreement will force economic sanctions on that front too.

You see, America will never go for that one. It is India that is their nightmare, not the cheap Iranian oil, but it is the pharmaceutical patent agreements that the US desperately needs, their own need of protectionism is in place and showing the larger impact is not what they want. Yet, we have no choice, if we are to salvage any lives currently on the edge of dying in Yemen; we have no choice but to set the grinder to the meat and bones of the transgressors in this.

Another truth comes from Salem Baobaid (coordinator Islamic relief) as he informed us of “Until now, little has changed for ordinary people. After the months and months of bombing, shelling and starvation, it will take much more than a ceasefire to start breathing life into people who have been living on the edge of death for so long. Things are so bad that large groups of people have started living in squalid, toxic conditions on the edge of the city’s main, highly contaminated garbage dump – just so they can forage for scraps“, he is absolutely correct and I feel that we passed that point already in October 2018, so as I am treated to: “He said members of his aid team had been killed by stray bullets and shelling was continuing” I am not overly surprised, I am surprised that the media is steering clear too much on these events. So even as we relish the fact that his team was able to save on child, the fact that there are 400,000 more that they have been unable to safe at present should be the largest reason to get the blue berets involved as soon as possible. In this regard I wonder if we need France to step in. From my point of view, the only ones truly properly trained for this is the French Legio Patria Nostra. The French foreign legion (or Étagère) is close to the only force on the planet that could set the stage to protect the people of Yemen against the Iranian backed Houthi forces. It might also be the first time that Iran gets the clear message that their lives are no longer regarded as valid at present. It will also be a clear message that the Houthi stall tactics should be cut short and be ended in any way that we can as the blood of millions of civilian Yemeni’s would be on our hands, inaction makes us not indifferent, we become complicit in the act of murder, that is a clear message that we have to accept, the inaction of us should have held us to account at least a year ago, but to some extent we were unaware, the media kept us in the dark for too long on too many issues.

The problem is not merely the manpower that is active, the problem is that Iran is funding too much there. The landmines, the missiles and the weapons show that Iran has a massive vested interest in all this, yet the media does not call them to account. The evidence should have upped the ante by every western nation against Iran, yet they are not acting. The fact that the Associated Press announced merely two days ago ‘Germany says EU soon to launch Iran funding scheme‘ (at https://apnews.com/d72d2d8b4ee0458b9c6acda9f7787eed) shows quite clearly that the EU is all about keeping the Iranian events in Yemen in denial. So whilst Iran is pumping tens of millions into Yemen and Hezbollah, we are treated to “The European Union is on the verge of launching an alternative channel to send money to Iran that would sidestep U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic, Germany’s foreign minister said Monday” exactly how does that assist anyone, especially the starving Yemeni’s?

So as Heiko Maas is giving us “We don’t want Iran to leave this agreement and start the enrichment of uranium again,” whilst we accept that the likelihood of happening in some secret lab is close to 95% certain should not be considered? How is denial a reward for spending billions that goes straight to the war chests of terrorists?

Are these outlandish questions?

You see, it is not merely me in this. When we see: “We assess that Iran will attempt to translate battlefield gains in Iraq and Syria into long-term political, security, social, and economic influence while continuing to press Saudi Arabia and the UAE by supporting the Huthis in Yemen.” A report by Dan Coats, the Director of National security, released yesterday to the Senate Select committee on Intelligence, we see the clarity of the evidence given by several sources, and several verifiable sources. Yet the EU is adamant on their denial tactics regarding Iran, making issues worse s it allows Iran to continue its current path for a lot longer, optionally killing millions of Yemeni’s, blood that must be shown to be on the hands of the EU commissioners allowing for this, making Heiko Maas an optional complicit mass murderer.

Does it sound better now?

Does it sound better when the contributing politicians get the cloak of guilt added to their name, their career and their function? When the tactic continues of ‘ceasing not firing‘ on others, we need to see what contributed to that and we need to put it out in the open. We need to push for a stage where the people allowing for Hezbollah, Houthi and Iranian interests to be placed in the limelight and showing what they enabled to happen. No matter how complex it all is, tainting can oversimplify the solution and optionally show the world and many parties what they are privy and complicit towards, simplifying one element can have a much more powerful impact than some realise.

Even as we accept the words by Director Coats, he made one mistake with: “Iran’s regional ambitions and improved military capabilities almost certainly will threaten US interests in the coming year, driven by Tehran’s perception of increasing US, Saudi, and Israeli hostility, as well as continuing border insecurity, and the influence of hardliners“, you see from my point of view, the passage should read: “Iran’s regional ambitions and improved military capabilities almost certainly will threaten US interests in the coming year, driven by Tehran’s perception of increasing US, Saudi, and Israeli hostility, as well as continuing border insecurity, and the influence of hardliners, whilst we see documented events of continued financial support towards terrorist groups that is directed towards the US and its allies” reads mostly the same, yet the ‘missed’ events that is seen towards Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthi forces are evidence of that part. I found it slightly odd that this part was ‘missed’ in that report, especially as there has been documented evidence around since August 2018, so in that regard the US is also playing a game, not merely one founded on intelligence, but one that allows for conversation with smaller parties, and for the life of me I cannot fathom why, especially when we hear the US state again and again ‘we do not negotiate with terrorists

So when we get back to ‘ceasing not firing‘, whilst we know some of the elements are out in the open, why do we not openly attack those who do not abide by a cease fire? Every hour that we do not act, Yemeni civilians die and that is blood on our hands, all our hands at present.

 

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What surely comes next!

Today I took another look at what the Washington Post reported on Mark Zuckerberg, even as today will not be about that. It will however 100% for certain, soon be about 44 senators, I am collecting data on losers like Rep. David McKinley (W.Va.), who accused Zuckerberg and Facebook of “hurting people” by failing to thwart those who try to sell opioids on the site. So he will soon face my exposure on how Heroin-related overdoses in West Virginia have increased by 200% by Nov 2017 and even more at present since measures were implemented to limit prescription opioid use. In addition a recent source gives us ‘Drug companies shipped nearly 21 million opioid painkillers to a town with 2,900 people‘, which was 3 months ago, so as I see it, the republican loser from West Virginia can join the Texas ranks as one of the least useful persons in the USA. But do not worry, these senators have accumulated loads of visibility and I will save some space for all 44 of them. So as this is coming soon enough, let’s take a look what matters today.

You see, the issues in the Middle East are accelerating and the issues are becoming more and more extreme. Even as we saw “The announcement was made at the High Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen held in Geneva today, bringing total EU funding to Yemen to €438.2 million since the beginning of the crisis in 2015. Speaking at the event in Geneva today, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis” a mere week ago (source: EU News), the issue is not how much is going there, but whether that pays for any humanitarian relief. You see, Yemeni Houthi’s fired ballistic missiles at Riyadh, which according to Al Jazeera travelled more than 800 Km into Saudi Arabia (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/yemen-houthi-rebels-fire-ballistic-missile-saudi-capital-180411153418562.html), and when we see “Sharaf Lokman, a spokesman for the Houthis, said the attack came after Saleh al-Samad – president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other rebel-held areas – declared the start of “a year of ballistic missiles“, can we blame Saudi Arabia for whatever comes next? Whatever comes next is likely to be today and as the papers are all about how civilians were hit in all this, it seems to me that there is an unbalance in what is reported on several sides, giving rise to different levels of scrutiny and bias, whilst those needing to get all the news are blatantly ignored. When we see “the kingdom’s defence forces saying they intercepted missiles that targeted Riyadh and another city, and drones targeting an airport and an Aramco oil facility in the country’s south“, many people forget that all this requires technology, knowledge and heaps of additional logistics. So how are the Houthi rebels getting this stuff? Someone is supplying them and even as we realise that these puppies are not cheap, we tend to forget that the cost is rising quickly, especially when we see “a year of ballistic missiles”. Even under the best of conditions Yemen could not afford any of it, so they shouldn’t be able to get the mere fuel for these missiles, where is the rest coming from? When we consider the players who could afford it, how come the EU is all about “Martin Griffiths initial priority should be to listen rather than act“, whilst someone is ordering missiles by the dozen a day (an assumption from my side), where are these funds coming from? I think that the part “Martin Griffiths has an opportunity to serve as a bridge between international and regional actors and to benefit from European diplomatic initiatives” sounds slightly too much like a joke when we see the adverse actions taken. In this the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) might be a mere think tank, yet even they need to work on the premise of reality and achievability, two parts that are not coming to their doorstep any day soon if they keep on ignoring certain cash flow issues in all this. You see, Saudi Arabia almost has no option left but to strike back as hard as they can. If they do not, they are merely opening themselves to additional attacks from Hezbollah Al-Hejaz. A group that Iran planned to revive last year and as matters go, there is every chance that they have gone beyond the planning stage. If there is any truth to the entire “a year of ballistic missiles” matter, it implies (to some extent) that certain parts are in play and Iran cannot get caught there in any way. Having a resurrected puppet like Hezbollah Al-Hejaz is the most likely solution for them. Even as they know that it will be a signal for Israel to hit Hezbollah in their region, the outcome is a certain level of destabilisation, which is as I personally see it the first need for Iran. If they have any plans towards hurting Saudi Arabia, destabilisation is a clear first tactical need. In this Saudi Arabia has its work cut out in equal measure. It needs a few solid iron strikes against the Yemeni Houthi’s for Iran to realise that they are truly biting off more than they can chew and that is the only way (without a full scale skirmish) for Iran to reconsider the situation that they are on. In equal measure, Turkey is seeing the initial impact of its actions in Syria as the Turkey’s embattled lira hit a new low of around 4.14 to the US dollar. Turkey suffers from 10% inflation driven by an enormous internal credit bubble, a current account deficit of nearly 6% of GDP, and a US$220 billion corporate debt load in foreign currency. All this the Erdogan response is ““There are games being played on our economy,” he said in a speech in Ankara. “I call to those attacking our economy: You will not succeed. Just like you failed before, you will fail again”“. As I see it the idea that the cost of a war would largely impede ones economy as billions go to the cost of fuel for tanks and the ammunition for troops and tanks and even more resources for feeding the troops, all Trillions of Turkish Lira’s not going to the Turkish civilian needs and infrastructure probable has not yet sunk in with the President of Turkey, so that is that lack of insight to add to the tumbling Turkish economy as well? The good part here is that as they face those elements they need to shy away from becoming the Iranian tool in the Middle East outside of Syria, so that would optionally give Saudi Arabia more breathing space, how these acts could be used to stop Iran remains unclear at present, but there is every chance that Israel and the US are pissed off enough to do something silly like open up a full scale theatre of war in Syria (after the chemical attacks) and as such, if Russia does not respond with actual war and tries the diplomatic path to calm things down, Iran will not be left with any option but to wage war alone against Saudi Arabia, whilst Israel and the US will side with Saudi Arabia, the second part is that Yemen will suddenly lose all Iranian support which will change everything there as well.

The only direct path at present (as I personally see it) is to find out how the missiles make it to Yemen and make sure that the next 3 shipments are scuttled in the Gulf of Aden or the Arabian Sea, making the entire endeavour way too expensive for those with additional agenda’s. Yet the reality is that there are unknowns at present. It is not the missiles themselves, but the support system behind it all. Someone is getting trained there and finding out by whom and how is actually more important, sinking a shipment is one thing, getting rid of the instructors through targeted killings makes the next 6 shipments useless and therefor a tactic to be favoured (if realistically possible). In all this the person(s) training the Houthi are likely to be shielded, but it seems to me that finding them might be easier in the long run. Any Houthi firing team that the Saudi military can dispose of would delay the “year of ballistic missiles” tactic by several months with each successful hit making the statement Saleh al-Samad an unrealistic boast that could drown moral the way it needs to be, because as long as this goes on in Yemen, the 850,000 half-starved children (as reported by Oxfam) will not get to have any chance of survival.

Yet that is the way of inaction, even as action might be worse in the short term, resolving the issue would also imply that humanitarian aid could be possible after that. In all this, no matter what we think might happen, we do know that death is surely coming for thousands, if not for hundreds of thousands of the civilian population, a population of 10 million of Yemeni who are currently out of food, water, electricity and medicine, and their chances for survival? When we consider the mere premise of “The World Bank predicts that Yemen’s oil and gas revenues will plummet during 2009 and 2010, and fall to zero by 2017 as supplies run out“, we might have to realise that the Yemeni’s need to consider not being alive, at the lives of Syrians were set to zero on the abacus of life due to a none economic value, the plight of the Yemeni people might be worse and that is not just in light of their value, that realisation also gives us that this nation has no funds to work with, so how would they be paying for their “year of ballistic missiles“? #JustAsking!

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