Tag Archives: Middle East Eye

Conjecture

To understand this piece, we need to consider the meaning, when we use conjecture we imply and mean “an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information”, the media tens to be in this state well over 90% of the time. They call it something else, something like ‘from sources who revealed this under condition of anonymity’, or perhaps you have heard the statement ‘people close to the matter revealed to us’, yet it remains conjecture, the information was not complete, it almost never is. So when the Middle East Eye handed its readers the headline ‘Can Saudi Arabia develop a major domestic arms industry by 2030?’ Early this morning (18 hours ago), I had to think this through. I saw the setting last year, or the year before and I shrugged at it. You see ‘a major domestic arms industry’ is generic, too generic. Yet the setting is interesting as it will remove billions in revenue from the EU and the US. This after all the BS the US and the European nations gave them is actually refreshing. But the generic side remains. It is hand weapons, armoured vehicles, naval vessels, airforce crates (an old term for airplanes) the list goes on and they cannot have it all, but a nation like Saudi Arabia could set in motion armoured vehicles and hand weapons. I want to continue, yet lets take a look the article (at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-develop-national-arms-industry-vision-2030) first. We get to see “Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) – a state-owned defence company – set up a joint venture with the US aerospace and defence giant Lockheed Martin, which, according to a SAMI statement, “will develop localised capabilities by transferring technology and knowledge, and by training a Saudi workforce in manufacturing products for, and providing services to, the Saudi armed forces”” is point number one. Then we get “Riyadh has successfully been able to divert some money formerly earmarked for imports to developing domestic alternatives and has reaped the benefit in terms of Saudis employed, but the goal of going from two percent domestic spending in 2018 to 50 percent domestic spending by 2030 is unrealistic if Riyadh wants to maintain its capabilities and maintain an arsenal of the best equipment,” she said” which they get from Emily Hawthorne, Stratfor’s Middle East and North Africa analyst. Yet I am not entirely convinced. I agree that 50% will be a tall order, I am not sure if 50% can be reached by 2030, too much needs to happen. Yet 2035? Is that out of reach? I am not convinced. You see, we all focus on one side, but this entire enterprise has two sides and we seemingly forget that. You see point one gives us ‘training a Saudi workforce in manufacturing products’,  my issue is that this is a focal point not a destination. You see, the military is a destination, The focal point of that workforce needs to grow beyond that. To see this we need to look back at WW1, yes that long back! You see no matter how amazing the Sopwith Camel was (I think the New Zealand Airforce still might have a few), it came from the Sopwith Pup. A plane that was introduced by Sopwith Aviation Company in 1916, during the war, yet the company was founded  on 15 December 1913 before WW1, implying that the design was altered for war, which makes perfect sense. That timeline shows that there is a larger stage to any plane, often used for war later on, that premise changed as the arms industry saw the massive benefits of wealth during WW2. It changed nearly everything. The arms industryu continued, but came from something else and it also came from a direct need. For the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (as my personal conjecture goes), it is in one part to strengthen national defence and it needs to diminish import in this area. A stage the others never had, they were always about the export. I tried to hide that clue in an earlier story named ‘The impact of insanity’ on January 20th 2019 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/01/20/the-impact-of-insanity/), the clue was “The idea came from a famous Dutch bank robber named Aage M (70’s)”, it was a clue, because outside of the Netherlands this man and his book would be widely unknown. I used an engineering solution and made it into a stealth weapon (we all have a bit of Alfred Nobel in us). The secondary clue is seen now (which was unintended), but in the original story I did write “Yet, the brain needs nourishment, in my case it is music, I found out that different scores, will set my mind in different directions and it is not set in the style of music, Whilst one album gave me the brain jump to get me to find the Zumwalt pounder (initially merely a solution to take down the Iranian navy), it was David Bowie, and his album ‘the Next day’ that pushed me to make an initial design of the Elder Scrolls X (formerly known as ES6). I never figured out why it happened, merely that it does”, the underlying part I that other elements drive us to push other areas forward, the Military push is NEVER from the military, it comes from somewhere else, and in this case it is most often civilian needs. We look at the internet and decentralised computing (as DARPA brought it), but the stage is almost never in that direction. It is a business need that fuels a consumer drive and it then becomes a military option. That is more often the case. So look and consider Saudi Arabia, or as the fat cats say, a lovely large sandbox. This sandbox has it own approach, its own needs, elements and drives. We in the west think we know, but there is too much we do not and cannot know. 

So I give you an alternative, we tend to seek an understanding of what is available, yet what is the stage of observation? We look at planes, we look at drones, but what if we take this in another direction? What if we redesign a much older concept?

So consider the previous image and consider the Battle of Fleurus (1794) where they were used first. In those days they had to be big, but today, with what we have in electronics, we could suffice with something that could be found at Toys-R-Us. Did SAMI ever consider (perhaps they did) to use a whole range of stealth kites? We tend to look at it as something like 

Yet that was then, that was civilian, so who considered redesigning that kite in dark colours, make it more stealth like and give it its lightweight electronics that allow for a 25 mile observation with a 5G connection to its base station? No fuel, a silent observer in the night and one most ground forces will not see until it is too late. The Middle East is a different stage, its theatre of war is on grounds seldom seen in the west, as such different solutions will work. A thought that I have not seen explored by DARPA (speculatively) and Raytheon/Northrop Grumman (less speculatively). We all need to consider that the offered information comes from conjecture (even mine) as such I have n clear image of what actually is, but I can see where others did not look (which gave me my 5G IP) and now SAMI has another venue for investigations on what could be done to spend less in other nations (feel free to financially support this poor poor blogger) and consider what else no one has been looking at, because in one of the other stories I left another link, which involves two valves that apparently do not yet exist and that opens up other venues of export. It even gave me a third idea just now. It reflects on an old premise that started the origin of Ceramic glaze, it had different functions, now consider the two-part epoxy adhesive, consider that if it is in two parts, it is an adhesive, yet what if the container it holds has two liquids as well, separate innocent, but if you remove the separation you get a secondary reaction, a chemical reaction that does something else, we now have a nice little chemical detonator, no danger there, until it changes the compound it reacts too, we now have a different setting. All elements that have been abandoned for larger and more accurate electronics. Yet what happens when we change the need of electronics? They need batteries and they tend to have their own flaws, chemicals do not, we are all about relying on the latest ‘electronic’ solutions all whilst the people forgot to look at the other solutions. You see “It has some disadvantages too, e.g. higher cost per detonator and the need for intensive training for users”, when timing is not essential, chemical detonators have their own benefits and in mass production they are cheaper and the need for a larger trained workforce and assembly environment becomes less so, all elements that are not what the seller wants to give you, but the buyer can rejoice when it is faced that way. It does not apply all over the place, but the question becomes, what allows for a different curve that allows for a real application of reducing the investment a cost of developing an arms industry that is applicable to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by 2030, there were two elements, the first is ‘develop a major domestic arms industry by 2030’, the second is ‘spending around 50 percent of its military budget on local sources’, yet that could be seen in two parts as well, spend 50% less of its budget and spend amount X on local sources. If $10B is spend in the US and you can reduce it by Spending $7B less and $2B on local sources the trip is near complete. Consider in that the cost of a US drone (like the MQ-1 Predators) all whilst a refurbishes Kite might cost no more than $15,000. So we get $40,000,000 versus $15,000. Yes the MQ-1 Predators can do a lot more, but how effective is that in Saudi Arabia? Most look at how cool you can fly for $40,000,000, all whilst 15 kites can cover a lot more ground and these groups merely have to observe and guide the MQ-1 Predators to its destination. It is conjecture that we know what is out there, all whilst the term conjecture implies we never knew. Be honest, how many of you considered the deployment of a stealth Kite? A device that uses no fuel, makes no sound and in the dark desert is seemingly as invisible as the night. 

All this whilst we need to consider that as SAMI becomes more successful, the US and the EU will miss out on billions each year, a station that they themselves had a hand in creating. In that time I came up with two additional novel ideas (that might not work). Have a great day!

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The big match

Yes, most of us can relate to sports, I am all about the biscuit (NHL puck), most are about the balls, some round, some oval, yet in all this we tend to be able to connect to sports, it is almost a global thing. When it is not Chess or Go that is. As such I am keeping an open mind towards the Iran-Saudi Arabia talks. I do hope that Saudi Arabia gets the peace it is entitled to, but personally. In light of all that has transpired, I am not really optimistic that Iran will keep its word, but that is my view of the matter and at present I would be happy to be wrong. 

The first issue
There are a few issues that intertwine and they are not up to Saudi Arabia, the first player is Hezbollah who has been accused a few times to give support to Houthi forces after an alleged call from General Qasem Soleimani. There are a few speculations attached to it, yet the larger stage remains. Iran directly and allegedly indirectly via Hezbollah decided to attack the citizens of Saudi Arabia and engage in a long term proxy war. This issue will resolve itself over time, yet for the tool in that conversation (Hezbollah), we might take notice of ‘Stockpiling fuel from Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah braces for state collapse’ (source: The Arab Weekly), with supporting text “The plan chimes with worries in Lebanon that people will have to rely on political factions for food and security, in the way many did in the militia days of the 1975-1990 civil war. In response to a question about Hezbollah’s plans, Leila Hatoum, an adviser to the caretaker prime minister, said the country was “in no condition to refuse aid” regardless of politics.The sources from the pro-Hezbollah camp, who declined to be named, said the plan for a potential worst-case scenario has gathered pace as an end to subsidies looms in the coming months, raising the spectre of hunger and unrest”, a stage that has one side, yet when Iran has to collapse its assistance, the stage there changes, Hezbollah will no longer be regarded as a local asset, it will be regarded as a larger national liability and that is not a good place for Hezbollah to be in. It is a win-win for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, if this part is not met, Iran will show itself to be a non-peace driven party to the world. If it does, support in Yemen toward the houthi forces becomes a non option quite soon. 

The second issue
The second player in all this is Turkey, it has sided with Iran too often and they are seeing the larger impact, so I was not surprised to see the Middle East Eye give us ‘Turkey’s foreign minister to visit Saudi Arabia, a first in four years’, it is a personal view, but I reckon that they want to get ahead of the curve, kicking the one player that is vocation stability is not a good thing and the larger stage as well as the blatant openly inaccuracies and pushed mis representations regarding a journalist no one cares about (Jamal Khashoggi) will be the larger noose they need to avoid. We might think that there is a focus around “Cavusoglu is expected to make attempts to repair bilateral ties during the visit, but the closure of Turkish schools will be a top issue, sources told MEE. Last week, Turkey’s education ministry said it has been informed by the Saudi authorities that the eight schools, which have a total of 2,256 pupils, will have to close at the end of the current school year. Last month, the education ministry said there were 26 Turkish schools in Saudi Arabia”, yet I believe that this is a ruse. This minister will have some form of apology package with all kinds of considerations. Turkey has no choice, their crypto currency collapse (Thodex and Vebitcoin) with bosses running for the hills (at least one with $2,000,000,000 plus in its USB pockets) and the people angry with losing all they have is the larger setting for civic unrest to a scale they never faced before and that requires all kinds of sides to reduce pressure wherever they can and both Turkey and Iran are happy to let Hezbollah drown on its own. Yes, this is my speculation, but if you followed the news in the last two years, you would end up having similar thoughts.

The third issue
The third issue is Yemen, there is no way around it and these two players are on opposite sides. Even as the media has avoided to a larger extent to show and to report on the unacceptable acts by Houthi forces, the UN who was the target on several occasions has not and that is where Iran find itself at a much larger disadvantage. They might have options if General Qasem Soleimani had been around the last 6 months, but someone solved that problem for many and now the less experienced players have painted themselves in corners and that works to the advantage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well. It is more against Iran but that might be mere semantics. Here we see France24 giving us (at https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210506-saudi-walks-diplomatic-high-wire-on-iran-yemen) “Saudi Arabia’s secret talks with arch-rival Iran signal a high-wire diplomatic act as it scrambles to rein in Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels”, as I see it, if Iran wants clear resolutions of the outstanding issues in play they would have to back down to a larger extent, optionally an openly extent to denounce the Houthi forces, but that would be an unrealistic expectation. And I do not disagree when we see “The Houthis would prefer to be their own interlocutor with Saudi Arabia and will not want Iran taking their place in that,” Elana DeLozier, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told AFP”, Elana DeLozier, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has a clear point there, but these forces will not get too much of an option when Iran walks out, when that happens before the Houthis get any talks going they might end up being on their own and that pretty much ends the Houthi options in Yemen as I see it. As such the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a lot to gain, and with Iran being on everyone’s display they have a larger chance of getting a lot done.

In all this the stage will soon change and I reckon that there was a reason that Mevlut Cavusoglu (Turkish Foreign minister) used the Schools as a reason, The Arab Weekly gives us ‘May 20 deadline to register for Ithra conference in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran’, which is seemingly also a beautiful place to be and get some informal settings, especially as it is away from Riyadh and has the nice extra to be a setting where the Turkish schools can be discussed openly and optionally talk about a few more issues less openly. As such, If I am correct a few larger issues will be on someone’s table in August so that they might be discussed in September. I reckon that this is the time that both Hezbollah and Houthi forces have left. In 8-12 weeks Turkey might need to get baubles for Euros to avoid a much larger negative national setting and I reckon they are willing to sell a few issues down the river for their own good. It is a personal speculated vision, but I feel that I might be onto something here, Iran will try to avoid making quick decisions, which makes perfect sense, so Turkey needs to get ahead of ending up being the piggy in the middle chasing after the ball and the goods. If Iran gives in too soon Turkey will end up holding the bag and in either scenario Hezbollah will merely forfeit whatever it thought it had in the first place, and there ‘thought they had’ was the operative part in all this and the Houthi forces merely lose. Optionally they will lose twice, because they made enemies of the local population all over the place as well and without Iranian funding these people will be running for the hills all whilst they know that everyone in Yemen will be out to get them. 

Game, set and match for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which comes with a dose of highly needed stability as well. And Iran? That leaves us out in the open, the people might accept a few parts, but the Nuclear deals are still there and Iran is delusional to think that Saudi Arabia (or Israel for that matter) will allow them to continue on the nuclear path they are.

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The emergency meeting on doing nothing

Isn’t that the reality we all face? We are called into the office of the boss, we get some high winded tale of how things have to be better, we have to get better and we need to do better, and after that meeting we get word that he will overlook our actions in the coming month. It tends to be that meeting that takes an hour, the boss highlights anekdotes that have little to no bearing and it is a waste of an hour, make that a lot more, because the group is about 6-8 people, as such one working day was lost on absolute nothing.

That is how we need to see ‘Yemen rise in violence threatens to derail peace moves, UN warns‘, and comes with a call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Yes, the coloquial anekdote of “We have to get the genie back in the bottle” is also present. Martin Griffiths talks nicely but he is basically wasting everybody’s time for the simplest of reasons. There is no peace process and there never actually was one. When I see the Houthi situation I see a situation that reminds me of Hamas v State of Israel, Hamas will only open for peace talks when their ammo levels are low. And they bicker over every point until the next shipment comes in. As such all the metaphors like the wheel is coming off, the genie back in the bottle and Everyone wants de-escalation is all talk around a setting that is not going to satisfy anyone and even when some accord is finally brokered, when the Houthis have a decent supply of cannon fodder and ammunition they will start all this all over again. 

So whilst Martin gives us ‘tragic, egregious and inexplicable‘, and the added ‘did not directly attribute the Marib attack to the Houthis‘ we get a Griffiths that goes into “My job is to find areas of commonality rather than judging parties. But we need to understand why it happened“. It is all flavoured BS. This flourishing civil war is not going away and if there was not a large group of hesitation in this, the war would have been settled well over a year ago, now the UN gets the bill (which they do not pay) for up to 9.8 million people in Yemen and they are all in need of health services. This is (when you consider) in light of the total population that is at almost 25 million, a rather large chunk (almost 40%). 

Yet there is also some clarification required, if the Houthi’s actually wanted ANY peace then there would be humanitarian aid, there would be a system of health care that the UN could set up, but this has been halted every time. Even now (from Associated Press) we see: “Peter Salisbury, Yemen expert at the International Crisis Group, said the Houthis may be using their military successes to gain leverage before talks resume next week in Oman” and as I personally see it, this game is replayed again and again and people like Martin Griffiths are part of the problem, until this civil war is dealt with, and until they AGREE COMPLETELY to stop all blockades to Humanitarian help, there is no solution, and there will not be any solution until well over 40% of the population is dead.

Even as we are told (at https://apnews.com/2ead3437db66e3d539d421561a85f7ee) “Following intense international pressure on the Saudi-led coalition, the foreign ministry announced on Monday that for the first time in years, Yemen would start direct flights for seriously ill patients seeking medical treatment in Egypt and Jordan“, we are told a bag of goods, one that is settled in rhymes of BS, and do you know why that is? It is because the text absolves the Houthis and in this also Iran from any involvement and they are very much involved. That is why this will not be resolved. 

It is interesting on how this article is so absent of Houthi and Iranian involvement. The fact that Houthi’s have been blocking humanitarian aid for months is not mentioned, in addition, the involvement of Iran had been shown in several ways through missile and drone strikes, two technologies that Houthis cannot create themselves, not with the equipment they have at their disposal. So why would there be any success in Oman? I personally do not see that happen and whatever will be agreed on, will be broken before the agreement ink properly dries.

All this, especially in light of CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/19/middleeast/yemen-houthi-attack-intl/index.html) last week where we were treated to ‘80 soldiers killed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen‘, and as we are given “At least 80 Yemeni soldiers attending prayers at a mosque were killed and 130 others injured in ballistic missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels“, we might see one thing, but the clarity is that this setting is larger. Even as we accept “The Houthis did not make any immediate claim of responsibility“, which gives an indication (but not verified) that this went beyond Houthi actions, the entire proxy war in Yemen is taking larger tolls and larger changes and the UN ignores those as it is all about “find areas of commonality“. Austin Carson is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago states this as “By maintaining plausible deniability, Tehran can signal its displeasure at American policies while giving opponents a face-saving way to avoid further reprisals, thereby dampening the risk of further escalation“, yet no matter how it halts escalations, it also halts any chance of a working peace process. An actual partial working solution would be to stop smuggling of drones and missiles into Yemen, by having a NATO fleet on the South coast and sinking any ship defying searches. There is almost no other option and even in that case, some will still get through with military hardware. 

As such whatever they are meeting on, it will be on doing nothing regarding the peace options and the continuation of 10 million corpses all staged towards disease and famine, as such two of the horsemen of the apocalypse will be jumping for Joy. And in all this, the (what I personally see) as a short setting by Martin Grifiths is aiding in all this. Now, I am firmly stating here that this is NOT his fault. His approach is one path to take and he took it, whether or not under orders from the security council. Yet there is enough evidence all over the field that this will more likely than not be a fruitless exercise into talks and ending up with merely a delay towards more violence and more cadavers.

As we go into more talks and more talks, we get the news (yesterday) that “rebels capture strategic road connecting Sanaa to provinces of Marib and Jawf“, in that light as the Middle East Eye reports, how will it be possible to get any level of actual peace going? It is also here where we see that  the International Crisis Group reports “if the renewed fighting spreads, it would represent “a devastating blow to current efforts to end the war”.

My simple response would be: ‘You Think?

 

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The public and facts ignored

Yup, this is all about the public, and a little bit about the media. The centre of attention of all this is Qasam Soleimani, as the weekend hit us, the US decided to hit Iraq and specifically Soleimani, They got lucky and got another two hit value targets in the process, yet let it be clear that Soleimani was the direct target. Over the weekend I have seen loads of rubbish in particular a tweet from Rose McGowan apologising to Iran on behalf of the American people and that got me furious (not just me). The media has been so successful in hiding the actions of Iran, especially during the Yemeni events that it is time that the public gets a little history lesson on just what Qasem Soleimani got done. In the last 20 years he has made more unwritten deals (especially with Hezbollah) than any other Iranian general in history. Over the last few years Iran has been in two proxy wars, one with Israel via Hezbollah and one with Saudi Arabia (in Yemen) with Hezbollah and Houthi forces.

There are two important issues in the Saudi efforts [against the model of Iran’s Islamic Republic]: First, they spend a lot of money; second, they sow the seeds of problems throughout the Islamic world using the Salafiyya. They do all this because they are afraid that the model of the Islamic Republic will have an influence on them – and this is actually happening… The most important principle of the Rule of the Jurisprudent, where a wise and God-fearing man rules, should be the red line for us all [that we must never relinquish]” (source: MEMRI, 2014)

The once reclusive head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force has emerged from a lifetime in the shadows directing covert operations abroad, to achieve almost celebrity status in Iran. The man who, until a couple of years ago most Iranians would not have recognised on the street, is now the subject of documentaries, news reports and even pop songs” (source: BBC, 2015).

In neighbouring Syria he is widely credited with delivering the strategy that has helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tide against rebel forces and recapture key cities and towns. Iran has always denied deploying boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, but every now and then holds public funerals for security forces and “military advisers” who were killed in these two countries” (source: BBC, 2015)

The main purpose of his visit was to discuss new delivery routes for shipments of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, sources said. Several sources also said Soleimani wanted to talk about how Russia and Iran could help the Syrian government take back full control of the city of Aleppo” (source: Reuters, 2016)

Photos have emerged claiming that Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) elite foreign operations unit, the Qods Force, is in Aleppo, Syria. Soleimani leads Iranian strategy in Syria in coordination with both Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s government. He commands the IRGC-led Shiite expeditionary force there, which includes the Afghan Fatemiyoun, Pakistani Zeynabiyoun, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Iraqi Harakat al Nujaba” (source: Classified, 2016)

Soleimani pointed to how this was already happening as the Revolutionary Guards “had been working around the clock to arm the Popular Mobilization militias” after its establishment. On the sidelines of his participation in the memorial service of one of the guards killed in Syria on Monday, Soleimani said that the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group has already provided support to the PMU militias, according to a statement published on Tasnim news agency” (source: Al-Arabiya, 2017)

Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the hugely popular commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, appeared to attack the spirit, if not the substance, of the government’s foreign policy by highlighting the role of the Qods Force – and the wider IRGC – in advancing Iranian strategic and foreign policy goals. Speaking on the 40th day of the “martyrdom” of Brigadier General Shaaban Nassiri – who was killed in late May during the operation to retake Mosul – Soleimani glorified the role of commanders like Nassiri who make the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of national prestige through the projection of complex forms of hard power. This is, of course, a swipe at the Rouhani administration which is perceived to favour softer forms of diplomacy to advance the Iranian position” (source: Middle East Eye, 2017)

Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds (Qods)Force, has called for the “eradication” of Israel in retaliation for the killing of a Hezbollah commander ten years ago. Speaking in Tehran at a ceremony commemorating the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution February 14, Soleimani said “The eradication of Israel would be the best revenge for the killing of Imad Mughniyeh.”” (source: Radio Farda, 2018) 

Soleimani’s message was in essence a warning to the US to stop threatening Iran with war or risk exposing itself to an Iranian response. “We are near you, where you can’t even imagine … Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war,” Tasnim news agency quoted Soleimani as saying” (source: SCMP, 2018)

The day after anti-government protests erupted in Iraq, Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani flew into Baghdad late at night and took a helicopter to the heavily fortified Green Zone, where he surprised a group of top security officials by chairing a meeting in place of the prime minister. The arrival of Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the architect of its regional security apparatus, signaled Tehran’s concern over the protests, which had erupted across the capital and in Iraq’s Shi’ite heartland, and included calls for Iran to stop meddling in the country” (source: Haaretz, 2019)

“Saudi Arabia is building its regional influence with money only. This is a false influence and a failure…We will take revenge for our martyrs…(and) it might be anywhere around the world,” Qasem Soleimani said, according to Tasnim. The Islamic Republic has accused arch regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of backing militants who carry out attacks on security forces in Iran. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have denied any connection with the attacks” (source: Radio Farda, 2019)

This is just a small grasp of a much larger problem, Qasam Soleimani has had a finger in the regional porridge for a much larger extent of time, and the absence of his acts in the Yemeni events is a much larger failing of the media, even as scores of experts clearly state that the drones that Houthi forces in Yemen could in no way be Yemeni, the media remained silent. There is no way that any of this happened without the approval and blessing of Qasam Soleimani. Even as the media had no issues stating numerous articles on Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia and hiding behind ‘alleged’, ‘seemingly’ and ‘from unnamed sources’, they stopped short on any reporting regarding Iran, the entire nuclear accords had too many eyes stopping the media doing their job. As such the people are largely unaware of just how involved Iran was in Yemen. As targeted killing goes, Qasam Soleimani was an essential target for the US and largely this man was a thorn in the side of optional Middle East stability, even now we see: ‘Hezbollah vows retaliation against US for Soleimani killing‘, yes the death of Qasam will be a problem for Hezbollah, under the table agreements tend to be absent of actual agreements and Hezbollah will need to ingratiate itself again to Iran. Consider the support that Qassam gave for a terrorist organisation to give out: “Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to target US forces in the region in retaliation for the killing of top Iranian and Iraqi commanders in a US drone strike earlier this week“. 

Most importantly, QS has been the centre of attacks on Israel for the longest of times, Hezbollah had (according to some) a stockpile of 130,000 missiles. I find that number largely exaggerated, yet even at 10% we see 13,000 missiles at $100K each, so where did Hezbollah get that money? My personal take is that there is a large financial debt on KLebanon in the forms of send missiles, Iran has nothing to lose in that way, they have someone else attack Israel and if that is concluded they will had over the invoice which must have gone into the billions at present, the orchestrator has been and was as always Qasam Soleimani.

Hezbollah will do whatever it can to let that invoice stand and continue, without it they run out and they will have to admit defeat to Israel (something they would never do). There is no denial that the impact of Qassam Soleimani has been seen and felt all over the Middle East, his links to Hezbollah, his actions in Syria and Yemen as well as his death leading to a rift in Qatar pushing some towards Iran is a larger issue that has not been dealt with. Only an hour ago did we learn “Qatar’s contradictory policy moves – at once hosting the aircraft that attacked the Iranian commander and then apologizing for it – demonstrate the Qatari leadership’s “extremely dangerous” drift towards Iran, according to expert Varsha Koduvayur, a senior research analyst at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “On the one hand, Qatar hosts US forces at al-Udeid air base. But on the other hand, they prop up and fund scores of terror groups throughout the Middle East diametrically opposed to US interests, and work hand in hand with countries that seek to damage the US’s interests in the region,” said Koduvayur in an interview“, a push that plenty did not see coming, implying that QS had larger links to Qatar, the place where in 2 years all football will be, happy now?

As Al-Arabiya gives us ““We consider ourselves on Iran’s side. We did not, at all, expect such a thing to happen, or that such a decision would ever be taken. Such actions are unprecedented, and we are very sad and concerned about this,” al-Thani, who also met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif, was quoted as saying“, we see a larger play and it seems that there are links that we did not expect to be, QS had a much larger role to play in Iran’s foreign policy than most analyst expected, there are seemingly larger connection where the military decided on policy and not President Rouhani, or at least that is how it appears. So anyone who wants to apologise for the targeted killing whilst ignoring the thousands of deaths that Iran has orchestrated for are out of their minds. The man who gave us (in May 2019) “Iran’s most prominent military leader has recently met Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for proxy war”, the Guardian has learned. Two senior intelligence sources said that Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s powerful Quds force, summoned the militias under Tehran’s influence three weeks ago, amid a heightened state of tension in the region. The move to mobilise Iran’s regional allies is understood to have triggered fears in the US that Washington’s interests in the Middle East are facing a pressing threat” has been stopped, there is no doubt that Iran will not stop and the devil you know beats the devil you don’t, yet the devil we knew was extremely adapt on the world stage, whomever replaces him will be nowhere as good as Qassam Soleimani ever was, of that I am decently certain.

 

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Questions on coming events

I have spoken out in favour of Saudi Arabia and the issues that were thrown at them. Yet, I too look at issues from all optional sides (or at least try to do so). So when I saw Al Jazeera give us (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/saudi-arabia-execute-scholars-ramadan-report-190521165816192.html) ‘Saudi Arabia to execute three scholars after Ramadan: report‘ I started to wonder what was going on. You see, I am a Christian (Catholic), as such I am currently trying to comprehend the Muslim state of mind to a much greater degree as I refuse to give in to Islamophobia.

And as I see: “Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari to be sentenced to death by Riyadh” I wonder why this is, as such my first issue was to look at who these people are.

Sheikh Salman al-Awdah

NBC News (at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/saudi-cleric-salman-al-awda-called-reform-now-he-s-n840916) gives us ‘Saudi cleric Salman al-Awda called for reform. Now he’s in solitary confinement‘, and I will get back to that. It is YouTube blogger NasirAlHanbali who gives us: “Look ant take into consideration that it is permissible for the Muslim ruler to incarcerate specific people or individuals if he sees that they are corrupting the lands and the Muslims“, yet that is not what NBS News gives us. they give us: “He has since called for greater democracy and social reform, and publicly denounced extremist violence. He has also been quoted as saying that gay people should not be punished — a remarkable statement for a Muslim cleric in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by death.” in this instance we see that Muslim law is not accepting homosexuality and as such it could be seen as ‘corrupting the Muslims‘, I am not stating that this is so, I am merely extrapolating the voices that publish and trying to understand the situation. So as I read (my Arabic knowledge is absolute nil) “it is permissible for the ruler to halt them or punish them with any type of punishment that has come in the book and the Sunnah. so then this ruling has come in the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his prophet“, in first 41 seconds NasirAlHanbali gave insight and some clarity on how things seemingly are (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOo9T1a0UqY), for all its good and decent reporting, the NBC gave a view on events that never explained the actions that lead to the implied death penalty as Al Jazeera gave the readers.

We can fight Islamophobia in two ways, through grandiose actions on how great Islam is, yet if we do not comprehend the actions as many grew up not being Muslim, we fall short because the media is not explaining matters, merely fitting what we call ‘Christian humanitarian values‘ in a setting that is not Christian. Sun Tzu taught the proper reader ‘Understand your enemy‘, this applies to many settings when we use Sun Tzu (and optionally The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli into ‘Comprehend the other party‘ (read: the other person). We always seem to tell others to adjust, but when was the last time that YOU adjusted your views and standards to understand the actions of other people? The video of NasirAlHanbali gives a lot more, most of it towards the interpretation of ‘Speech of falsehood‘, it is a trip into secularism, which goes too deep for me at this point, but for some it is an interesting view into learning more of a Muslim way of thinking. I particularly liked that he speaker was not merely droning Islam verses. The man gives view on what happened, what is stated as events and explains to the audience on why this should be regarded as wrong. We might not agree as non-Muslims, but it is their right to have their point of view and he brings the view in decent clarity (as I personally see it). The speaker also speaks out to the partnership with Sufi Islamic preacher Habib Ali al-Jifri, a man who seemingly polarises some views. I have even seen a Facebook comment stating: “I genuinely feel embarrassed for Habib Ali Jifri and his followers“, I did not understand the reason and that is part of the issue. There is a lot we do not understand and still we judge others by our ‘rules and values’ on how wrong ‘their view’ is.

Awad al-Qarni

The second name is one of controversy in a few ways. As we learn that he published several books, one is stated to be very similar to a 1948 publication of “Dale Carnegie,’How to Stop Worrying and Start Living‘, 1948“, as well as “Don’t despair” published in 2011 and is found to be a 90% copy of “Salwa Al-Ódaidan,’Thus overcame despair‘,2007“, he was found guilty of plagiarism and the book was withdrawn, in addition he had to pay for compensation to the original writer (at https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/5/10/%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%88%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B6-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B1%D9%86%D9%8A). In light of plagiarism, it is odd to see him lecturing at Western Mindanao State University on March 1st 2016 when he got injured. And as Gulf News gave us only this month: “he says that after reading interpretations of the Qur’an by classical scholars, after travelling to “40 countries” and having “read thousands of books“, as well as meeting intellectuals, religious scholars and poets, he now embraces the reformist Islam of crown-prince Mohammad bin Salman“, this now interacts with the previous part. We can do the 40 countries trip easily enough, yet the thousands of books take a lifetime, we see a scholar approaching western ’embossing’ of values, or perhaps better states, we optionally see the application of ‘Speech of falsehood‘ in another way. When we realise that his hard-line views were televised a mere 9 years ago (at https://www.memri.org/tv/saudi-cleric-awadh-al-qarni-fighting-jews-religious-islamic-duty) on Al-Resala TV. Also in light of what had transpired, to see Al Jazeera refer to Awad al-Qarni as a ‘academic and author‘ whilst we see at least one convicted case of plagiarism is also cause for debate on what sets him as an academic and more debatable an author here.

Ali al-Omari

There is very little I have at present; from all sources he is a popular Sunni cleric. Even as we see: “a famous Saudi public figure and cleric whose TV shows have called for more rights for women and campaigned against violent extremism. His TV and social media appearances, particularly on Snapchat, have gained him a large following among young Muslims across the Arab world“, it calls towards the initial YouTube part, it calls towards what some call the ‘speech of falsehood’, this is pure speculation on my side (I happily admit to that), Ali al-Omari is also a member of an organisation that the Saudi government labels ‘a terrorist organisation’, I cannot tell whether that is true or not, but in light of all the American actions against who they call ‘terrorists’ I would like to see more evidence before I cast my vote one way or another.

Even as the Saudi Public Prosecutor brought more than 30 charges against him, there is no way to tell how these stack up (I have no access to these papers), still 30 charges is a lot and even as the US convicted Huawei without evidence, I think we need to see the charges and evidence before we give a non-Muslim view to a sovereign state. The Middle East eye (at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudi-arabia-seeks-death-penalty-cleric-ali-al-omari) gave me most information, yet it is not my only source.

In the end there is a lot we do not get, but in the NBC article we see one part that does strike a chord for our way of thinking. It comes from Michael Stephens, research fellow for the Middle East at London’s RUSI think tank. As we see: “It is an assertion of power”, as well as “It is only reform if it is reform in MBS’s image“, is that not a truth and when we realise that MBS, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, is indeed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and future ruler of Saudi Arabia when his uncle Salman of Saudi Arabia, the current King of Saudi Arabia passes away.

We see the truth. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, it is ruled by the Royal Al Saud family and the future of Saudi Arabia is theirs to guide, is any opposition not treason? Saudi Arabia is not a republic with 10,000 voices; it is a monarchy with a family in charge, not unlike the Monarchy of Great Britain, the Monarchy of the Netherlands or the Monarchy of Sweden. The big difference between one and the others is that Saudi Arabia has set their rule not to their family needs (partially debatable), but to the Quran and Islam, they even state that on their flag: ‘There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of God‘, it is there plain and simple, it was never ever hidden, we tend to forget these parts of the equation a little too often.

I wonder why!

 

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