Tag Archives: Oman

A day of fun

Some people are just too funny; yes this is about yesterday’s blog. I have been accused of having moments of grandeur, well yes, we all have those, but the setting I described is not new, and it is happening right now (not by me alas), there are people who take all that feigned ability for ‘no guns to Saudi Arabia‘ and turn that into a business in their need for green, in this 4 places were historically plentiful, I mentioned three but I left Guernsey out of consideration, it has a few benefits, but it is still a commonwealth nation. So it cannot indiscriminately deal with everyone from there, even in transit law application.

It is also why I laugh at places like ‘Campaign Against Arms Trade‘, the government stops dealing directly and starts dealing indirectly, the only thing that places like CAAT guarantee is that the government gets a smaller piece of the pie, It is a laughing situation and the people are not getting informed because the media will not inform them. Do I want to be a part of it?

Of course!

This is an industry that gets the top dog $100M plus (annual) and his disciples (hopefully at some point me) will get around $25M a year for all the hard work, which is about 50% less work then I do for $65.800, so presently there is all the reason to be of service to people in that business. Let’s be fair, with their work and these invoices, when you get the chance between $66K and $25M, what will you choose?

And that is merely when you look at 1-3 customers, there are close to 3 dozen customers and you could get the up and up for up to 2 years, so you won’t get a job afterwards but you retire with an amount that could be up to $55,000,000 (and a house, and a boat, and a model and a car) which is by the way $54,000,000 more then you ever would have made in any other way and more importantly you are not breaking (bending extraneously most likely) any laws. Transit laws are all about location, location, location and location. So you optionally get to redo it three times afterwards, park the money in a nice account and live the life of non-stop being lazy eating 5 star meals.

That is your life in a republic, monarchy and a corporatocracy. Their laws tend to be the same in all nations and the nice part is that it pretty much always works, so why I am not doing it? Without a first contracts and a first contact there is no starting this solution.

So moving to a place like Monaco without any contacts and business on your way, you will end up having no options. You have better options in Lichtenstein and Andorra, whilst living expenses are a lot lower, the amount of contacts will also be close to zero. Guernsey is the one out of bounds, it has commonwealth laws, and even as it has tax benefits, it does have a few setbacks in the arms trade, not for traders initially.

Then there are a few other places where you can trade like there is no tomorrow, yet you need to have your lawyer on standby 24:7 (which is tedious, let me tell you). Still Monaco is a great place for all this, as long there is no transit VIA Monaco you are doing fine, in the past the Netherlands were a great transit nation, but I am not sure if their laws have been adjusted in the last two decades. There is a lot to get through, and that is at times part of the joy to get to the juicy bone. You see, it is not only the Middle East that needs help, there are a whole range of issues with American arms dealers, There are Russian oligarchs that cannot show their face in certain places and they all need dealers, the money will remain good for a long time, because they end up making a lot more and that is the central nail in the coffin, as long as they make good money, you get to make scraps (in their eyes $25 million a year is a scrap). As such you can have the lifestyle you want providing you can swallow that BS agreement called morality. Consider CAAT your destination for the data. They have (at https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/export-licences-eu/licence.en.html) for 2017 $159 billion, now a lot of that is normal arms trade yet there is nothing stopping you from being an in between for 2017 $295 Million, 2018 $260 million and 2019 $305 million (expected). You are basically in a place where you could get 0.1%-0.2% of the arms trade agreements and that is slightly optimistic, you’ll end up with $55M-$65M in 2019, would you not do that? I would!

And in all this, the top 6 recipients are Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India, the US, Egypt and the UK, all decently rules nations, all with a normal seat of power, all needing to defend their borders, that is the Wacky part of CAAT, even as India, the UK and the US are allowed to defend their borders, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are not?

That’s just dealing in double standards. Oh and when it comes to double standards, in that list Iran has less than 1 billion and Lebanon was the destination of 2.2 billion, so what about all the rockets they fire at Israel? As far as I can see it, CAAT has no records of them, is that not interesting as well. OK, I am not counting the 350 missiles they send a week ago as this charter has no 2019 data, but Gaza has been firing rockets on Israel for years now and they cannot build these themselves, so the data is already flawed. That is the problem with CAAT, their idealism is out of whack, for people like me that is a good thing down the road (If I ever get hired) for the arms makers it sucks a little as I am getting part of their profit share, yet in the long run, those board directors would have spent it on blow and hookers (suggested speculation) so it’s good that they lost it (for me in more ways than one).

When you travel the field of import and export and you can handle transit laws the road might seem bumpy yet it still leads to a road giving you 100,000 times the amount you could have ever earned. And this field is not over, because even as we check out the need for arms, we see that several nations have a much larger need for pharmaceuticals. To be the small independent trader seems to be an interesting time, all because we had morals, you tell me how good morals are when you knowingly are not stopping anything, you only indirectly hurt the national product.

Yes it is a fun day.

Oh and Oman, Lithuania, Kenya and Pakistan need hardware too, my day is looking up already (when I get any of these calls that is).

 

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Desert for breakfast

There are moments where you see the road unwind in front of you, I am not meaning in some imaginary way, but in the real sense. Consider Highway 40 from Riyadh to Dammam, and you are on the road getting there, for whatever reason. Now as a driver you see the road ahead of you, yet at some point you do not merely see a mile or two miles ahead, your focus increases and suddenly you see 10-15 miles ahead, you sense all that is coming your way and whatever is driving in front of you. Ask anyone who drives a lot; it happens to all of us. A similar stage is unfolding now and in a different way. The first article in the Arab News gives us: ‘King Salman calls Aramco attacks a ‘cowardly act’ aimed at destabilizing Saudi Arabia‘, it is an important piece in all this, because in very unexpected ways, I believe that his royal highness was incorrect, specifically the part of ‘destabilizing Saudi Arabia‘, as it seems Iran pushed the wrong buttons and achieved the opposite.

We see this in the second part (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1558581/middle-east), where we see ‘Aramco attacks solidify Iran’s ‘enemy’ status among young Arabs‘, it is not only there, we see that as the media is showing us more on the evil that Iran is doing, we see a movement where consideration towards Iran is waning and the politicians trying to broker selfish deals are now in a stage where their careers are now in question whenever they are talking about finding some political deal. The voices are changing the clearest in France, Britain and Germany, and this implies that not only is the nuclear deal coming to a clear end, there is the additional impact that the Saudi opposition we have seen over the last 6 months are waning as well. I believe that the quote “According to the Arab Youth Survey, which was published in May by the PR consultancy ASDA’A BCW, 67 percent of the region’s youth saw Iran as an enemy, as opposed to 32 percent who saw it as an ally” will shift within the next two weeks, as the Saudi Arabian population is getting more and more of the acts that Iran has been involved in, especially abroad, gives rise that the group seeing Iran as an optional ally will degrade to a mere 25% (or even lower) soon enough, as Saudi International students give rise to the acts of Iran will also give rise to contemplation to other local students wherever they are.

As the stage unfolds towards perceiving Iran as an enemy and a threat to stability in the Middle East, we see a larger group of people advocating harder acts against Iran. I personally believe that the US putting boots on the ground will also help the Saudi population towards the understanding that there is much larger unity against Iran, even as I noted and reported in the last two months that Saudi Arabia had been deserted too often when they were attacked, the last attack had international repercussions and it seems that more and more eyes are looking at what Iran is doing to others, giving a much better view of Saudi Arabia after all the targeted bad events view that the media in the west had been giving Saudi Arabia since 2018 (well, it was since before that, but it became a lot more negative since 2018).

There is an additional reason for a larger unification. As we look at the news, we see CNN report 5 hours ago that “Iran’s foreign minister has raised the prospect of a new agreement with the United States that would see permanent sanctions relief exchanged for Tehran’s permanent denuclearization“, whilst Reuters gives us an hour ago “Iran ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with major powers“, in this we see Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the two faced monster, merely seeking the limelight at every opportunity he gets. All whilst the Washington Post reports 9 hours ago ‘Iran’s foreign minister says diplomacy with the U.S. is over‘ with the leading quote “any prospect of direct interaction between U.S. and Iranian officials is now officially eliminated“, I personally believe that the people have had enough of the banter by this petulant toddler named Iran, in addition we see that the Media is taking a less positive stance towards Iran, all these elements are seemingly polarising at the same time. Not only is there stronger unison within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is also a larger awareness that stronger ties with Saudi Arabia could also result a much larger play towards actual Middle Eastern stability.

Yet the battle is not over, only 25 minutes ago, the Financial Times reports (at https://www.ft.com/content/1e818d2e-de30-11e9-9743-db5a370481bc) that ‘France and Germany add backing to call for new Iran nuclear deal‘. Clearly there are mutters in the ranks all over Europe and making sure that everyone knows what games are played becomes essential in stopping Iran. The becomes a larger issue when we see “If it was a bad deal — and I’m willing to accept that, it had many, many defects — then let’s do a better deal,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. The problem with that statement is that the EU will have to give in towards Iran to some degree and when we consider that Iran has violated conditions of the nuclear pact 4 times already, we see a larger failing. Even as we accept the larger view that the Financial Times gives with: “The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear programme as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles programme and other means of delivery” (a part I do not deny or oppose) the issue is not the media, when you consider the timeline.

Mixing the message

It was interesting to see that the Arab News was on my side 3 weeks before I got here. Arab News (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1548681) gives us in the article ‘Iran’s mixed messages on negotiations with US‘ several issues and is goes beyond the US, Iran is doing a similar tactic with the EU, the media in the last 24 hours ago are a decent indicator of that.

In the article Dr. Mohammed al-Sulami gives us: “It asserted that Zarif’s attendance provided further proof that it is actually the US president who is suffering diplomatic isolation, as it had previously claimed. Rouhani also announced that he too would not mind meeting with any foreign official, so long as this meeting would bring benefits to Iran and serve its national interests“, as well as “However, the supreme leader has found a possible way out of the current impasse by launching a new slogan, “heroic flexibility,” under the pretext that any negotiations that take place with the “Great Satan” within the framework of aiding Iran’s nuclear program could be allowed if they meet certain objectives“. These parts come to blow when we consider the final quote: “Arab countries should learn the lessons of the recent past and seek to play an effective role in any future negotiations to maintain their own interests, given the fact they are the ones most directly affected by the Iranian regime’s behavior in the region” there is a larger play and even as the limelight is on a nuclear deal and an optional deal with the US, the game that is unfolding is mixed messages that are on the second level aimed at the neighbours of Saudi Arabia.

How did I get there?

There are a few parts in this, first it is the speech by President Rouhani which is the given in the headline ‘Iran asks West to leave Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions‘ with added text “Rouhani separately promised to unveil a regional peace plan at this week’s upcoming high-level meetings at the United Nations“, with all due respect, asking a proxy war player like Iran to handle a peace plan is like asking Mr. Fox whether he could watch your chickens whilst you go out to have lunch, Mr Fox ends up getting a much better meal in the process. I believe that part of this scenario involves Bahrain and the UK Royal Navy base at Salman Port. With the British SAS now upping security, the IRGC would not be able to carry out any actions against targets, they are no match for the British SAS, it would not be a war or a skirmish, and it would merely end up being an exercise in IRGC troop extermination. It is merely one of a few handles that the mixed messages from Iran open. The mixed messages also increase pressures and stress levels in Qatar and the UAE, not to mention Oman.

How wrong am I?

That is up for debate, the entire matter is still moving along and in the end it depends on the moves and actual tactical moves that Iran will make, more important, they will not make a move until the final moment. In all this, as the Arab News reported less than an hour ago (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1558801/business-economy) where King Hamad of Bahrain denounced the “serious escalation targeting the security and stability of the region”, I believe that this is still true, not in regards to the stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet it is my personal view that the mixed messages is about creating inactions against Iran. It is an intelligent move, with the number of opponents that Iran faces; it wants to keep Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE out of the mix for the longest of times, whilst using the non-aggression pact of Oman to keep waters as traversable as possible. All the indicators I see is that Iran is very much ready for hit and run attacks where it can and when they do take this journey they want local waters (Oman, UAE and Qatar) to be a hindrance for the non-Middle Eastern nations participating in the actions against Iran. It is my personal view and optionally in incorrect one, but I do remember my maritime training and when we take a look at the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, Part III), we get to see in Article 41 we see that ships in transit to respect applicable sea lanes and traffic separation schemes. Such a scheme does exist in the Strait of Hormuz, adopted by the International Maritime Organization, which directs westbound traffic within the strait through Iranian territorial waters. It’s not clear where in relation to the outer limit of Iran’s territorial sea the Stena Impero was when the Iranian action took place, but Iran is not alleging the ship had no right to be where it was, and now we see that when article 41 is applied any military vessel obeying that would become a juicy target for Iran, if the bordering nations demand that sea lanes are respected and no transgressions in their local waters will be tolerated, that situation becomes very real; the NATO fleet and US fleet could optionally get stuck in the Gulf of Oman, as such, my view on trying to keep Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE on the fence would be a larger tactical problem soon enough and whilst Iran plays their mixed messages game and there is no state of war in play, Iran gets to have (for a limited time) a tactical advantage in the Sea of Dammam (aka Persian Gulf).

Basically we would all like desert for breakfast so that the day seems more sweet, however if it was up to Iran, porridge would be the only acceptable dish, salted porridge, served in the Gulf of Oman.

 

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Be the bitch

We are confronted with all kinds of changes, some are trivial, some are important, but when do we get to decide what is what? Consider that Iran is now stating ‘Iran says it is ready to enrich uranium beyond nuclear deal levels‘, the news (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/06/iran-says-it-is-ready-to-enrich-uranium-beyond-nuclear-deal-levels), it is all under the guise of the reality. When the main players (the US and Europe) are showing to be the bitches of politics, what are we supposed to do? Trump talks a lot, he yells loudly (adapting poor grammar) but in the end, the US is not acting, neither is Europe, they are trying to remain delusional into the air of ‘saving’ something that had been lost some time ago. In the meantime, as no one acts Iran continues not merely by enriching Uranium, it is the other part, the ‘Saudi Arabia intercepts drones launched by Houthi militia from Sanaa‘ (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1521686/saudi-arabia) that shows a much larger danger. Even as we heard: “the drones actually destroyed in the air by systems belonging to the Arab coalition“, the fact that is being ignored by the media to the largest degree is that these drones come from Iran, there is also still the issue that there is no real evidence that Houthi forces are up to controlling them, yet that part cannot be proven at present, a proxy war that is getting more and more out of control and in this when we add the Uranium pressure, there is every chance that both Saudi Arabia and Israel will have no option but to take this to the next level and whilst the bitches of politics (USA and the EU) are sitting on the sidelines complaining, reeling and dealing for delusionary deals, Iran plays its game and even as we see that the game is badly played, we need to acknowledge that they are getting shit done because they properly anticipated that neither the US, nor Europe would actually act, indecision and incapability to act are at the centre of these non-moves.

For the US it becomes even worse as we see that there is every chance that the denial is likely to grow when we see the CBS news quote: “Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard believes that war with Iran would be “far more devastating” to the U.S. than the war in Iraq was, saying in an interview with CBS News that President Trump was “pushing us closer and closer to war with Iran”“, she is on the European side of inaction, when we see: “that nuclear agreement prevented war“, it never stopped it, it merely delayed it so that Iran could get ready and that part has been shown in several ways over the last three years alone, now that the pressure is growing we need to consider that no one wants a war, but Iran made it impossible to avoid and as they make tally of all who are willing to become the bitch by not acting, that is how we might lose this upcoming war, not merely by inaction of them, but the mere fact that these politicians are willing to grab their ankles and let happen what would happen next. They will call it: “We have reached an immediate cease fire so that a diplomatic agreement can be drawn” that will be the second sign that the war was won by Iran, if that is what you want to happen, then go ahead, but also realise that you lose whatever rights you have. I for one will align with Israel and Saudi Arabia and go to war, because that is how evil is defeated. No matter how decorated Tulsi Gabbard got to be by the Hawaiian National Guard. The world is adhering to terrorist factions too quick and too much, in all this delusional acts by humanitarian laws are becoming a joke and that needs to stop.

When the news becomes about lashing out to a rapper named Nicki Minaj, have we not lost the plot? Oh and before I forget, the fact that we saw only 18 hours ago that ‘Houthis Commit 18000 Human Rights Violations in 6 Months‘ and the fact (as far as I could tell) that only the Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper is giving the world that part, is that not a first indication on how the world has lost the plot on Human rights? And it links because Iran and Hezbollah are directly involved in funding, training and assisting Houthi forces to do that part, but these Human rights bozo’s are really not up to the part to report on that, yet their adversary (Saudi Arabia) is getting the front seat for getting a rapper perform in Saudi Arabia. It is in the realisation of these issues that we see that America and Europe have both become the bitches of others to a much larger degree than most can even fathom.

So when we see (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1800416/yemen-houthis-commit-18000-human-rights-violations-6-months) the stage of “the number of kidnappings and imprisonment of women and children escalated this year, accusing Houthis of systematically and physically torturing women, defaming many of them, and accusing them of unethical charges contrary to Yemeni custom and traditions” we see a much larger stage that requires intervention, but where are the Americans? Where is Europe? They cannot act because they have their own clever plan involving Iran and it is backfiring fast and much harder than they realised (failure usually does that).

How long until they comprehend that you cannot reason with a rabid dog, you put it out of its misery plain and simple. And most people are part of the problem, they elected the politicians in Europe not doing anything and in America they are optionally selecting a Democratic president who wants to talk a little more, I wonder what happens when the others are no willing to talk, when these politicians are placed on the sidelines not allowed to speak at all, how fast will the media suddenly acts as some delusional conscience? we know that they are merely the bitch of big business, but for now they are all in denial of that reality and I wonder how many people will accept that delusional stage, because when Iran gets in a first strike the caused war will be much larger and there will be no negotiating with the ones they stuck against, as well as the neighboring countries, that is the impact of a dirty bomb, it freaks out everyone, especially those living next to the place that got hit. so it will not only affect Israel and Saudi Arabia, it will then suddenly impact Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE, and that by all definitions implies the start of World War 3 when one of these nations get involved.

In the end it started not by started a war, but by refusing to act when action was essential, I wonder how the politicians will validate their own existence at that point. Yet there is a bright spot at that point, when it happen, the human rights organisations will not have any reason to be around, because the impact that we get to live through will be a clear indication that talking solves nothing and Human Rights organisations will end up being in the same stage that they were in the 17th century when the VOC was a global power, the HRA organisations will become non-existent.

Could I be wrong?

Well, that is up to you people, check your local news, your local newspapers and what they give you, who else had the Yemen story on Houthi Human Rights violations? As far as I was able to tell, not one of them had it, but several of them all had something on Nicki Minaj, some merely gave view to that UN speaker Eggy Calamari and her accusations (that so called essay) regarding Jamal Khashoggi, the media has become that polarised on the political needs for Turkey and Iran to be cut as much slack as possible and most of us are enabling this to continue.

So when that enabling attitudes starts open hostilities against Iran by Israel and Saudi Arabia, how will the news be reported, or will it at all? Will we merely see some top line report trying to make Israel and Saudi Arabia look as bad as possible as long as Iran signs some fake nuclear deal?

The pressure is rising and there is not much time before things go out of control, all because of inactions, and you better realise that really really fast.

 

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The Yellowback politician

There is a phrase I initially heard on an episode of Star Trek (decades ago), the phrase goes “Do I detect a streak of yellow across the good fellows back?“, it was Dwight Schultz (aka Howling Mad Murdoch) as Reginald Barclay in an episode where he pretends to be Cyrano de Bergerac in the episode Hollow Pursuits, and weirdly enough, it all seems to fit, I know that it is just crazy coincidence, but that is just what it is, coincidence (and crazy to boot).

So when we see (in the Guardian at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/eu-powers-resist-calls-for-iran-sanctions-after-breach-of-nuclear-deal) the quote: ““Today I call on all of the European countries: stick to your commitment,” he said. “You committed to act as soon as Iran violates the nuclear deal; you committed to activate the mechanism of automatic sanctions that were determined by the Security Council. So I’m telling you: do it. Just do it.”” yet it seems that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is talking to a room full of deaf people, it is exactly as the headline states: ‘EU powers resist calls for Iran sanctions after breach of nuclear deal‘, you see, no matter how it falls, the initial target is not Europe, it will be Israel or Saudi Arabia, I reckon that it is 4 to 1, 80% chance Israel cops it first and only a 20% chance that Saudi Arabia does. In those odds, Europe does not have any risk and playing the waiting game and merely act out to some degree if one of the two is hit will be fine by them, it is the usual response from those graced with the constitution of a weasel. Even as we see the hollow ‘Focus is on averting further breaches and UK says it remains committed to 2015 deal‘, they merely prefer there not be any additional breaches. They ignore the fact that Iran could have temporarily halting production, they ignore that the reporting moment does not coincide with the moment Iran officially transgressed that line, they ignore that there is credible intelligence (OK, more wild rumours) that there is more than one additional unmarked enrichment site, that is all ignored, merely they prefer not to see additional breaches. When there is no skin in the game, when the economy has no real suffrage, the inaction game can be played, no matter who gets hurt.

What they fail to see is that no matter who gets hit, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have no options but to strike Iran, perhaps that is why all the arms deals were stopped? One could argue that the quote: “European leaders had urged Iran not to breach the deal, but the focus may now be on dissuading Iran from taking further, more serious steps away from the terms“, it could optionally be seen as a soft approach towards containing the fallout, quite literally so, and yet there is a first. It will be the first time when Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel as well as the true allies both have the stage where they all unite in a single need, the destruction of Iran, part of me hopes that this happens, it will be the first signal towards the EU to clean their house, it will be the first time that this union will bring fear to the heart of Turkey, they bet the wrong horse and now they become a target right next to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Whatever proxy path was optionally in play will now fall away because no nation has ever faced the wrath of both Israel and Saudi Arabia at the same time. Those who played games in that fashion have no place to run to, they have no borders to hide behind, whatever small options these players have, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Egypt and whatever sympathisers are out there in these nations, facing the wrath of both sides of borders is not a game they signed up for, as such the escalation will be swift and very violent. At that point it will be the first move of Iran to ‘suddenly’ give way to emergency meetings and sit down for some agreement, at that point the EU better sit on the side and not interfere, at that point the race will overtake manners and devour Iran. It is at that point that people like Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani will make some hopeful statement on errors made within the rank and press for a diplomatic deal and some peace conference, but it will be too late, we should not hear of it and those so called European leaders who resisted calls better get out of the way at that point, they missed the option, they scathed their duty and the should remain silent, run and become a barber or an uber driver, it is basically all they have left.

I would prefer to avoid all these complications, but the inactions of those relying on gravy trains and non-commitment have burned their own boats and their own bridges, Iran will not learn one way, so they will have to learn another way. It took me a few hours to design an optional solution to cripple their navy, I feel certain that I could take a look at their air force and airfields and give some additional fun (solving puzzles is actually a lot of fun).

And it goes beyond that, even as we see: ‘Israel preparing for possible military clash between US and Iran‘, it is more likely than not that US will halt its stance before the military clash happens, it will run to the border with all might, but not commit to an armed exchange, it will however not stand in the way of Israel and Saudi Arabia when they do strike, this differs them from the EU, the EU will do whatever they can to force any negotiation, even after a first strike by Iran, optionally via Hezbollah or Houthi forces and that makes this game a lot more dangerous this time around. As no one was able to stop Iran arming the other two, we are in the dark on how much was delivered and how these two will strike. Houthi forces will strike Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah will strike both Israel and Saudi Arabia, yet Hezbollah will more likely than not hide behind Houthi outfits, the rest is still open. As CNN reported hours ago, “Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack Tuesday on Abha International Airport, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels confirmed the drone attack and said it believed Tehran was involved in the operation“, the problem is not merely the attack on the airports, it seems that Houthi (or its Hezbollah/Iranian operators) are getting more adapt at their actions implying that the targets might change soon enough, the fact that Iran is out of options also implies that they need Houthi forces to hit Saudi Arabia harder and that is more likely than not going to happen. Until the shipments stop Saudi Arabia is facing a battle on 2-3 fronts, a third front will happen if Hezbollah openly commits towards Iran and the Al Qurayyat region. There is no intelligence to prove that, but tactically Hezbollah could use that stage to also increase pressures on Jordan and Saudi Arabia at the same time; I cannot help but wonder on how far this could escalate and I cannot stop but wonder how the ignorant inactive politicians in Europe let it come to this. They all knew what was at stake; they all left it to some proclaimed expectation of ‘US actions’ who in their current state could not even afford to go to war with the 17th century VOC (and a 17th century technology navy), their state is pretty bad. Even if they score immediate hits on Iran, it will escalate and until they get direct fire support from both Saudi Arabia and Israel, this could escalate out of proportions giving rise to serious damage to Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE to boot. Iran will avoid pushing Qatar, but there is no guarantee that they avoid damage. It is a mess that could soon become uncontrollable; the inactions of Europe push for that scenario more and more.

I personally believe that it will come to blows within the next few weeks. I would be extremely happy if it could be avoided, yet as the present stage is, I am uncertain as to how it can be avoided, the best chance would be a first strike on Iran and see if Iran realises that they pissed off too many sides at the same time, but that is not a given. They might not have any chance to win, but they can still do loads of damage to several players and there is no denying that the IRGC is ready for battle, making a quick victory over Iran extremely unlikely, or perhaps it might be more correct to state that a quick victory is only possible through a severe impact on all fighting sides, a cornered party will do weird jumps and that has been a truth in life and nature like forever, so the entire situation is not out of reach and let’s not forget, Iran had the option to create a stage by temporary halt enrichment and they decided not to do that. As such the escalation has clearly be on their side and no matter how the stage with America was, by surpassing enrichment amounts they have clearly given the indication that they care not for the accords and they are calling the bluff of the EU and America to escalate issues further whilst ignoring the danger that either Israel or Saudi Arabia is, as such they only have themselves to blame when the damage in Iran takes on a much larger proportion than they anticipated, the question then becomes will the attacking nations stop, or will they to prevent Iranian attacks continue until Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani and their inner circles are completely removed from power. We might think that this is the best outcome, but it is not. The devil you know beats the devil you do not and in Iran there will always be another Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waiting to take the highest seat of Iranian office.

One would have hoped that the yellowback politician was an extinct breed, but that is not the case and I fear that their damage will be visible for decades to come, no matter where that damage is.

 

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$40 per pound

The price of delay is set to $40 per pound, did you realise that? Because in the mind of some, you do not go to war over $80-$800, you give a fine, but what happens when we realise that the mentioned $800 is 10 Kg of enriched Uranium? Then how do we react?

That is the harsh reality that Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister is playing. Not only is the headline insincere and optionally an outright lie, the notion of ‘Iran says it will never build a nuclear weapon‘, is the dream response of any politician siding with the acts of the ostrich and the possum. Playing dead or putting your head in the sand is now the most dangerous of all actions. Even if there is optionally some truth in ‘Islam prevented the country from doing so‘ (no judgment here) there is enough reasonable intelligence that the amount of enriched Uranium in Iran has now surpassed 180 Kg, and that is merely from the sources that can be traced, I feel certain that there are 1-3 sources that remain hidden and there is no way to tell how much there is in these locations, but it is safe to set that amount to at least 2Kg per site, implying that Iran has surpassed the 93% marker. Iran needs time; this is the one moment where they are actually vulnerable. The moment that the first dirty bomb is ready, that is the moment that the window has closed and the countdown begins for some high ranking Iranian officer to do something really stupid as he becomes a self-designed ‘martyr’, at that point it is too late for all of us. At that point Saudi Arabia and Israel have no options left but to wage open war, leaving the UAE, Qatar and Oman in the middle of that mess.

No one wants it, but the politicians are giving us little choice soon enough. The actions against Iran have failed to the larger degree. Even the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/25/iran-says-us-sanctions-on-supreme-leader-means-permanent-closure-of-diplomacy) is set to some level of denial (or contemplated avoidance) with “Iran has said it will breach the uranium enrichment limits set out in the 2015 nuclear deal on Thursday, but that does not imply the country is on the path to building a nuclear weapon

USA GE (or is that usage?)

So what else can this be used for. That is an important question because even as it is essential for a nuclear weapon, it is not the only use. Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) can be used in civil reactors. Yet the danger is not merely that, when it is used and called spend fuel, it can still be used for bombs. In the past we ignored it because handling is critically dangerous on the person handling it. Yet with suicide bombers that danger is negated as they blow themselves and half a city to rubble. The issue is that HEU is not essential for power creation making a lot of the conversation moot. The alternative usage is Medical Isotopes (one Kg would suffice for decades) and as a fuel source for icebreakers (loads of those in Iran) and space propulsion (in light of the current Iranian space program it seems the most feasible one), so as…., oh darn it, Iran doesn’t have an actual space program. Well they do, they were actually one of the earlier players 15 years ago, alas as its budget for the Iranian Space Agency has been lowered to below $5 million, we can assume that they are saving up to launch one in 10 years, so now the USA General Electric reference. In May 2018 we got “General Electric Co. is planning to end sales of oil and natural-gas equipment later this year in Iran, people familiar with the matter said, illustrating how U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal is shutting a narrow window of opportunity for some American businesses there” (source: GE), Yet when I searched deeper, I found references (references, not evidence) that there are links between Enrichment Technology Company (ETC, Enritec), towards Areva (source: Le Monde) and when we see the desperate need of €7,000,000,000 there is an opening, and as such, as I found “With a view to cooperation in the field of uranium centrifuge enrichment, AREVA signed an agreement on November 24, 2003 with Urenco and its shareholders under which AREVA will buy 50% of the share capital of Enrichment Technology Company Ltd (ETC), which combines Urenco’s activities in the design and construction of equipment and facilities for uranium centrifuge enrichment, as well as related research and development. The acquisition was submitted to the European anti-trust authorities, which gave their official approval on October 6, 2004. The quadripartite treaty among Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France was ratified on July 3, 2006, allowing this agreement to be implemented“, I found what might be regarded as a staged setting, not anything tangible. As we get to the stage of Espionage we get: “In the 1970s, Pakistani Abdul Qadir Khan spied on the Urenco office in Almelo. Thanks to the knowledge that Khan obtained from Urenco, among others, an enrichment plant for uranium in Kahuta (Pakistan) has been replicated using Urenco’s ultracentrifuge technology. This knowledge has also been disseminated via Khan to Iran, Libya, and North Korea“, I personally believe that this was also shared with Iran (at some point), giving them what they need to achieve their goal. It was not done in the 70’s, yet the shifting of funds gave rise that there was a purchase around 2011, yet not merely goods (this is highly speculative), information was optionally bought as well, so even as there is no direct proof, there is the implied stage where under Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad all the knowledge that Iran needed was available. There are also links to a firm called Nuovo Pignon (Florence), yet to what extent was not clear and there was but one small reference towards “The other shareholders of Eurodif SA are Synatom of Belgium, Enea of Italy, Enusa of Spain, and Sofi dif, a company owned by French and Iranian interests. AREVA NC has a 60% stake in Sofi dif” which we see from 2007 to 2012, so the timeline still fits, in addition to that, when I look at the ‘Report And Recommendations Of The Nevada Commission On Nuclear Projects‘ at [nv1012comm] we see the players like Areva, Synatom as well as Arjun Makhijani, whose name makes perfect sense, yet from page 52 onwards, in his paper ‘The mythology and messy reality of nuclear fuel reprocessing‘, we see the mention of the PUREX process, yet at this point, the fact that Iran has chosen this process 14 years ago is missing completely from the report which is now regarded as odd. This is not some classification issue, it is an intentional omission. We might consider part of this as in page 29: “The Iranian example of building a large gas centrifuge plant secretly provides an example of what could happen in the plutonium arena once the size of reprocessing plants is greatly reduced“, This report from 2010 surpasses the fact that the PUREX process was already in place for 6 years, and it now gives the added speculative option that Iran has already surpassed the 200Kg limit, implied is not proven we accept that, yet when we consider the ‘weight’ of the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects and that information is missing or disregarded (optionally reclassified) gives rise that the pressures in Iran are a lot larger, and that problem will not go away by sticking your head in the oil enriched sand, or playing possum.

 

Now, the next part is highly speculative, so feel free to reject or ignore it.

I believe that the Natanz Uranium enrichment complex south of Tehran was the ruse. It did everything it needed to there, but there was at least another place (still speculative) where enrichment was set to surpass at least 60%, I remember the article (at https://www.nti.org/gsn/article/iran-activate-thousands-uranium-enrichment-centrifuges-ahmadinejad-says/) well, yet I was misguided that this was an ego boost for pride, I never considered then that it was misdirection to not look at another place.

Could I be wrong?

Absolutely!

I very much doubt my own views in this, yet the play by Javad Zarif gives rise to the stage that things are not that simple and that their twist to buy time might not be on the up and up and can we afford that mistake knowing what is at stake?

That is part of the problem in all this, we must recognise that America lost credibility for the longest of time (The US and the case of the Silver briefcase), Those who blindly followed it are in not a much better stage and for the longest time, especially in light of the proxy war, the word of Iran cannot be taken as evidence or blindly be trusted. These are all elements influencing the current stage and as the center of attention is Highly Enriched Uranium, the stakes are very much too high.

So when we see: ‘Iran says it will never build a nuclear weapon‘, we have to go with the premise that this is exactly what they are willing to do, even if it means handing of the result to a player like Hezbollah, it makes for a much more dangerous setting that has no resolve but go boom at some stage, and no one can afford to wait for that.

All this comes to the larger orchestral finale when we consider Haaretz (at https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran-and-trump-in-nuclear-standoff-what-s-next-for-the-nuclear-deal-1.7406005), where we see: “Iran announced in mid-June that by the 27th of the month it will exceed the uranium stockpile limit set by Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, pushing tensions with the U.S. into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory“, so as they claim to reach the maximum tomorrow, I see enough speculative evidence that they already surpassed it by a fair bit, the problem is not on how to act and react, but in this (personal speculated) view (a speculative amount of) 5-35Kg is unaccounted for and there is no guarantee that Iran did not give it to Houthi and/or Hezbollah forces making matters worse by a lot. In all this Russian Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov is making matters worse through “Russia and its partners will take steps to counter new sanctions that Washington has said it will impose on Iran“, this stand off for time is what Iran wants, so that they can point at their proxy players when something goes boom and these parties should at that point all be held to account, the problem is that the only way of doing that is to start a war no one wants. The Middle East escalation strategy is in full effect and until we deal with Iran we cannot diffuse the situation, and the fallout of that situation will haunt everyone for decades if it comes to blows. I expect the economy would not survive such a blow.

It is merely my view and optionally all very incorrect, yet the pieces are there for everyone to see.

 

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Blackadder to the rescue

Yes, now for something completely different. Today only partially continues yesterday’s conversation. The article ‘Iranian puppets‘ gives us (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/14/iranian-puppets/) where I mention: “I will never proclaim myself towards Iran“, I also made mention of the 15 bitches and a serve of coffee (between the lines), yet I will always proclaim towards evidence. Evidence is everything and even whilst Iran is the most likely guilty party, I tend to follow the evidence. The evidence puts us with Houthi forces, optionally there is enough circumstantial evidence involving Hezbollah, however, this seemingly changes today as more than one now give us: ‘UK joins US in accusing Iran of tanker attacks as crew held‘, here I remain cautious. You see, the US had graphics in the Iraq WMD part and that got us in different waters, even as much better questions should have been asked with that clusterfuck in the making. The UN secretary general António Guterres called for an independent investigation, a part I very much support.

The intelligence suckers tend to be driven by EGO and whoever their Commander in Chief is and that tends to be needlessly politically driven and there the not guilty tends to be a target, this is not the same as the innocent, but you see the impact I am referring to. In the UK the Foreign Office is giving us: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible“, I am willing to agree with this, however we have seen decently clear evidence that in more than one case Iranian flag officers acted on their extreme self, not with the official support from the actual government. It is the consequence of the Iranian clerics having direct access to Iranian generals and acting on what they proclaim is the will of Allah. Those who do not grasp that part are out in the cold, pointing at the wrong party and creating escalations.

So whilst the world goes with: “Iran did do it. You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it … You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off – and that was exposed” that is one view to have and it might be the correct view, yet we already have two parts here. The fact that the mine did not work implies that Iranian hardware has additional issues (or optionally a non-trained individual had access to that hardware and did not set it up correctly, which is actually more likely). The second part is that the act was about deniability, giving more need to point at a state actor, but was it one with clearance or one deciding that they had to make their government look good? The issue around deniability is set not in stone, but it seems to be on a tablet where someone else has the erase function active. And in this the US and the UK have played similar games over the last 10 years. So let’s set this in a speculative example.

The Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation is run by Ali Nikzad. He decided that the boats were transgressing on Iranian sovereign waters and ships are transport, so Ali Nikzad decided to give these transgressors a lesson, he gets a hold of officers who are eager for promotion and he plays the ‘I need to test our equipment for transportation of dangerous goods’, he gets mines (plural) and he tests the mines with an engineer who is not really qualified to operate mines. The attack works, but one mine was not set properly. Now he has a problem, because even as he got the equipment, he was not allowed to operate in the way he did as that was a military action, and he is merely a lowly Minister of Roads, commercial shipping lanes and Transportation, he now has to resolve the issue before it taints him and he gets someone to remove it (most likely the engineer who wrongly set the mine).

In addition to this, when we see how Belgium defused a mine situation according to the Dutch, will we see more or less reliability? Was it the image that made for the change?

All this a speculation, but the play is not that speculative, several players have engages in similar games, optionally the IRGC knew of the operation, and they did not act because their fingers were not in the cookie jar; they all have a scapegoat and there is no physical evidence to support any story that anyone tells.

This is one of the intelligence games that are out there and now we have a state actor and everyone (led by the US) are now pointing at the wrong state actor and the evidence is out there proving some right as the involved person is seemingly Iranian, but wrong as this is a bogus action in the first place. Now we see Hamid Baeidinejad (Iranian ambassador to the UK) all huffy and puffy because he is doing what Tehran told him to do and the game he plays looks good, because he truly believes that he is playing the proper game as instructed by Tehran and let’s face it, the US does not have a great track record when it comes to Intelligence data and parsing intelligence data to create actual verifiable data, do they. When in doubt, call the NSA at +1-301-688-6311, ask for Deputy Director Barnes (General Nakasone is often too busy according to his personal aide).

In all this, there is a surprising realisation, you see, the opposite is also an option and I wonder why it is not actively investigated, there is an opposing solution that takes Iran out of the equation and it is a solid solution that stretches 74,967 meters in length and could change the game, in addition to that it could hinder Iran to the larger degree, basically to the degree where Bandar Abbas would financially be decimated, its economy would plummet to below basement levels.

I wonder how willing the UAE would be to change the game to benefit their economy. Oman could optionally benefit as well, so there is a solution that could propel two nations, whilst freezing the Iranian economy twice over. You see, as I look at the state of play, a proxy war can go in two directions; you can be in denial as there is no proof, or you can go into proclamation to set the stage of something that is legally allowed, people look at the first and then ignore number two. I let you work out the puzzle and let you figure out what some never considered.

A Monty Python solution presented by Blackadder gives us the second option in two ways (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzXhLp2wLQo) we see the approach to a literal following of orders then (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBhN28eTuP8) we see the application of intelligence: “I beg leave to commence a private prosecution the accused for wasting the courts time“, and in all this, the stage is set and optionally correctly set, yet there is a range of issues that have not been addressed.

Some will go with the smoke and fire part and that is all good and fine, yet when did we get a proper investigation before pointing the finger (optionally through the slipping them the bird)? To let this sink in, let’s take a look at American accusations: “By labelling some of the high-level waste as low level, the US would save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The waste which has been stored in South Carolina, Washington and Idaho would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas“, whilst the clear danger of radioactive waste has been out in the open for decades we are confronted with: “This administration is proposing a responsible, results-driven solution that will finally open potential avenues for the safe treatment and removal of the lower level waste. DOE is going to analyze each waste stream and manage it in accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards, with the goal of getting the lower-level waste out of these states without sacrificing public safety“. In this application of rules, we are not merely rephrasing the stage of what is regarded as ‘safe treatment‘, it changes the face of danger by diminishing risks on the need for cutting 40 billion. Now we can agree that 40 billion is serious cash, yet after it passed the facilities in Utah and Texas, what damage will be left behind because standards and definitions were changed by people who desperately need things to get cheaper? And when this backfires, how will the US afford the reparations that will be in excess of a trillion dollars easily? saving $40 with a decent certainty that it will cost you $1,000 around the corner is not clever, it does not save anyone anything and it decimates the quality and value of living in Utah and Texas, so how good is that step once the proper denials are in place?

The same can be said in the UK and their approach of Fracking, shale gas options. In a stage where the Netherlands has had: “A total of 127 damage reports were received after a fracking earthquake in Groningen on Sunday morning“, in addition “the TCMG receives around 200 damage reports per week. Over the past two weeks, the committee received at least 200 reports per day“. Also before I forget, when I was young and living in the Netherlands, Groningen was plenty of things, there was even a rare occurrence of an earthquake (once ever whilst I was in primary school), the entire stage of living in Groningen changed after Fracking, a clear change in values and cost of living as properties have diminished and the entire area is now a minefield of accusations and litigations, how much will that cost the government in addition to the claims they get? There is a second danger, if any of those chemicals ever make it into the groundwater; the Netherlands has some options, whilst the UK as an island does not. Dangers that we see give the rise towards people and politicians seem to regard the element of denial, a dangerous stage on two fronts, in the UK the danger for living expenses as it goes up by 1500% when UK tap water is no longer safe to drink; in the US where radiation contamination when found too late will have new long lasting disastrous effects.

Merely two elements that have the same stage; the stage of denial can be a very dangerous one and in Iran we see a stage where we cannot afford to give in to that danger. We need to be certain, an actual war, one that Iran will lose regardless will still impact and optionally disrupt crude oil paths for decades, consider the next decade when oil returns to prices like $163/barrel. The restoration of any economy becomes close to nil, unless you make money from the oil industry. That is why I want to make sure that Iran is properly dealt with and in all this, my plan B remains valid and an optional alternative path to increase pressure on Iran.

Nobody is saying, stating or implying that Iran is not involved, the issue is WHO placed the mine and there is where we get the issue. The US and the UK clearly know this. In case of the US we have Timothy James McVeigh. Now consider what would have happened if that attack was post 9/11? I am not stating that anything wrong was done by the FBI, I am however decently certain that the entire investigation would have had a dozen other turns and double turns. There is absolutely no guarantee that the same result would have been presented. I am not stating that the FBI did anything wrong, I am not stating that anything else happened.

To look at this setting we need to consider a quote by Counterpuch.org. Here we see: “The FBI suffered another debacle last Friday when an Orlando jury returned a not guilty verdict for the widow of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 in his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in June 2016. The biggest terrorism case of the year collapsed largely thanks to FBI misconduct and deceit” there are more sources. NPR Radio gives us: “the prosecution had withheld crucial information for the development of their argument. It was not until after the prosecution had rested its case, nearly two weeks after the trial opened, that prosecutors disclosed the information in an email last Saturday“, as well as “federal authorities had also opened an investigation of Seddique Mateen after the shooting, basing the probe on a series of money transfers he made to Turkey and Afghanistan not long before the massacre. The defense argued that without those details, the defense had been unfairly hamstrung — an assertion that Byron rejected. He denied the motion earlier this week and allowed the trial to proceed” denial of facts as well as denial access to facts, denial of due process in light of whatever reasoning was given and as denial of circumstances. At this point the widow of Omar Mateen was regarded as not guilty and there is no way of knowing whether this was just, correct or merely the consequence of stacking the deck knowingly and willingly.

When you consider that personal ego made these leaps of consideration, and we see the impact, the need for higher intelligence usage and the better investigation of what is happening in Iran and by which person becomes a lot more essential. When we see three players all in a stage to wage war on Iran (an idea that I do not oppose) lets at least do it for the right reasons. Doing the right thing based on flawed and incorrect intelligence corrupts the act and over time degrades the reasoning of the act. It is important to see that difference, and whilst there are optional paths to making the Iranian economy tanking it to the bottom of the Strait of Hormuz, I will remain in favour of doing that. You need to have seen war in all its majesty of cadavers and victims to appreciate alternative parts, only those who played call of duty might like a direct war, which will only last until you actually get to wash the blood out of your hands, that sweet smell of blood will follow your nose until the day you die.

Iran might be going into a wrong direction, yet we do not have to follow them like stupid lemmings, as I stated, I am not against setting a war against Iran, I merely want alternatives that gets us the same result. A proxy war goes both ways, we merely have to alter the signs on the entrance door; it is our door, so we get to do that.

 

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Just like TV

There will be a discussion soon enough whether TV gave the idea to fund extremism and terrorism. I am referring to Blacklist, an episode from season 3 called “Arioch Cain“. In this episode someone decides to use crowdsourcing to get the main character Elizabeth Keen assassinated and soon enough, through crowdsourcing a price of over $700,000 is on her head. That amount tends to attract all kinds of enthusiasts, especially as hardware relying on ammunition in the US is dirt cheap.

This gets us to two articles in the independent ‘British far-right extremists being funded by international networks, report reveals‘ less than an hour ago (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/far-right-extremism-terrorism-tommy-robinson-funding-international-a8937116.html), as well as ‘How crowd funding helps far-right extremism spread round the world‘ also less than an hour ago, but the same writer no less (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/far-right-extremism-crowdfunding-tommy-robinson-a8937311.html). The entire setting is not unexpected. I foresaw this to some extent in 2013 when I reported a certain stage where Facebook games had their own chat rooms and some chat rooms started to change languages. Now, I have no idea what was discussed, or even that anything nefarious was discussed, but the fact that some of these chat groups were private and the fact that they were close to 99% certain not monitored would give certain kind of people options, the fact that one could fund another through pay pal was a second stage in all this. The consideration that the episode was aired almost 4 years ago is also a factor, in 4 years people try alternatives and both the extremist as well as the terrorist population are always willing to try something that cannot really be monitored, so there.

The first article gives us: “Analysts at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that despite an increase in extreme right-wing attacks, efforts to disrupt terrorist financing were still focused on Islamists.

A report said a lack of work to find the source of money flows and stop them had allowed prolific extremists and groups to build huge platforms in the UK, US and Europe” as well as “the funds gathered allowed fringe groups to expand their reach with potentially deadly effect” cannot be ignored, and here we have the intersection. although let’s be clear I was looking at one source for very different reasons, I am now quoting: “I have had to clean up the mess of others for well over a decade and now it is time to give those people the exposure they deserve (my findings regarding Credit Agricole will have to wait for a few more days)“, Which I wrote in ‘The Scott Pilgrim of Technology‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/23/the-scott-pilgrim-of-technology/), it is indirectly linked as Rusi (at https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/201606_whr_3_16_countering_proliferation_finance_v2_0.pdf) gives us “Several other banks have faced smaller fines by US regulators for similar offences, ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars; they include HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays and Crédit Agricole.

I was looking deeper into Omani credit notes which were handed to Iran for goods, but at the current oil prices (the price then) the numbers were not adding up, it was like looking at 10 tankers being paid forward, or someone sold oil at $230 a barrel, which seems even less likely and at trade prices there is no tanker large enough to facilitate the oil. As I was aware and familiar with bills of lading, parts did not add up and I decided to dig deeper, only to find that I had forgotten to save the links and that virtual location was suddenly gone the next morning (that will teach ME being stupid). Somehow one of the links seemingly implied Credit Agricole (a non verifiable number) and that is where I was last week, now I see the Rusi paper and I wonder what their servers could teach me. It was by the way not a new issue for me, I looked into parts of this in June 2018 when I wrote: ‘The Iranian funds play‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/06/07/the-iranian-funds-play/).

The paper also gives us on page 13: “Financial institutions rely on governments to be explicit about their expectations and to provide guidance on how best to meet these expectations“, which is not really realistic when they rely on ambiguity, but the setting is fair and as such we also see the failed setting to deal with extreme right players. I personally believe that when we consider: “FIs are thus faced with a dilemma, in that many wish to meet US expectations in order to avoid penalties, but do not enjoy advice or assistance from their home governments to enable them to direct their efforts appropriately. Most are largely left to determine on their own how to address risks associated with CPF or related sanctions, other than simply screening against UN sanctions lists“, I believe that some of the players considered the benefit of using players like Oman to set the stage of both deniability and facilitation via a fourth person (as the bank was the third piggie in the middle), they get none of the heat and all of the bonus that way. I believed that some French players found an optional resolution to keep their vineyards safe and well-funded. It works for me; I would love to retire in the Cognac area making my own grape juice ambrosia (aka: Jus de raisin maison). The fact that this is all about billions in the other setting, my 1% slice would look super dandy. In case of the Lizzie Dearden articles, we see that the anonymity allows those who shun the limelight to make an ‘effort’ to keep imbalance through extremism, or what some call the Tommy Robinson political resolution, The article gives us: “white nationalists Generation Identity and neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action among the British actors profiting from “international connectivity”“, do you really think that it is limited to that group? All those white collar board members who cannot be seen with their fingers in the cookie jar have no qualms about buying a bakery, so that they can have the jar at any given moment. At that point yesterday’s article also gets another dimension, when big players need to rely on consultants with a given for fear mongering, how did the media ignore that? Examples are abound, for example articles that rely on ‘should’ 9 times and “The primary danger is the repeat of the fears that many investors had to face in 2018” and the entire paragraph is in the article twice. It is ways like that fear is brought and reinforced, when this is done, there is no trail, no conversation and in the end the crowdsourcing methods are the best to keep it all anonymous. It matters, because the intelligent extreme right player works not through shouting, but through reinforcement of the argument, they aren’t all stupid!

When Rusi looks at Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) we get that: “he had profited from both significant support from foreign donors and crowdfunding from individual donors around the world” this does not come through shouting, it comes from enforcing fears and give examples that are current, does that sound familiar?

Do you think that a Philadelphia-based think tank spends £48,000 on silly shouters? Do you think that the quote: “Robinson was also a beneficiary of a “fellowship” from US tech billionaire Robert Shillman that bolstered his salary from Canadian website Rebel Media, where he worked from early 2017 until February last year” is unique? People like Robert Shillman are rich enough not to care, they are too rich and their view is often accepted because they are super wealthy, so they are regarded as successful, but there are dozens who still fear the limelight and crowdsourcing is a solution to fund many others (far right or far left) with an optional handle on extremism, Lizzie Dearden gives a good view on it. There is one part I do not agree with, even as nothing Keatinge writes is wrong. When I see: “crowdfunding allows extremists to build international platforms that spread hate to wider audiences“. I can tell that he is not wrong, but overlooks the optional larger issue. It is not spreading hate, it is illuminating through half-baked examples that the current solutions are not working. It is not the hate part, but the ‘your kid does not have a job, because an immigrant was overly happy to accept that job at minimum pay‘ that is what sells the larger imbalance. Ignoring the truth that every boss tries to cut costs any way they can, as they are misaligning the cost of doing business, we see that an entire generation is pushed to minimum income, even those with good degrees, add to that age discrimination and we suddenly see a shift that is much larger, it is not promoting hate, but caressing the frustrations of the working class that is much stronger and a larger growth concern. Most do not react to hate, but we will respond to the frustrations that they are hit with every day, that is the part Rusi missed (or so it seems).

There is also an issue with: “Crowdfunding is a vulnerability in the system, it’s a way the internet presents funding opportunities that have not previously been conceived” the issue is not that it is an option, it is that this ‘solution’ has been around for 20 years and no one took a hard look at the options that crowdfunding offered until it was too late. Even as we all seem to focus on Star Citizen (2015) that raised $77 million, the fact that the idea goes back to Auguste Comte (1850) gives rise to more issues. The internet might have made the idea global, but there was a larger issue for the longest of time and the fact that we see a project 4 years ago amass $77 million gives rise to larger concerns. Especially in light of lone wolf dangers that have been around a decade earlier. so even as we see the recognition through: “Senior law enforcement practitioners have suggested that non-violent extremism is often the first step in a process of radicalisation that ends in terrorism, which is why financial analysis into nonviolent extremism should not be overlooked“, the very notion of the text in the Rusi paper on page 17: “The only indicator that appears to be specific to proliferation financing risks relates to whether shipped goods are incompatible with the technical capabilities of the destination country. This highlights a third problem, which is that in order to be able to gain this understanding, an FI would need to: understand the precise technical nature of the item and its potential applications (information that may not be available with sufficient specificity); assess the industrial state of the destination country, including its possible nearterm expansion“, you might recognise two problems. The first is that ‘shipped goods‘ becomes a larger issue when they are spare parts. Consider that some caterpillar crane parts are strong and massive enough to create a stable multi scud launcher, more so when assembly and disassembly could be achieved in under an hour. What is Israel going to do? Bomb a crane? When you realise that the issue grows tenfold with electronics, some might see on how far crowdsourcing could finance a network in Europe and as this danger has been largely accepted since as early as 2012, the entire lack of activity in this realm of non-monitoring makes even less sense. The second part is ‘potential application‘, how many people look at a Caterpillar of Hitachi Crawler crane and considers the spare parts to be the foundation of an optional Scud launching solution? Let’s face it there is no flag that would be raised regarding a construction firm receiving spare parts for their crane.

Now we understand that Rusi made a paper that focusses on the issue, and there is nothing wrong with the paper, it is actually excellent. My issue remains and on page 20 we get the good stuff: “All FIs interviewed for this study said their institutions employed sanctions-screening software to check incoming and outgoing transactions against UN-designated entities, and all were doing so prior to the advent of FATF Recommendation 7.” when we get the ‘UN-designated entities‘ and not the check of facilitators, we see a large delay (in case issues are found), and we get a problem when the situation is not the designations, but the fact that both sides have a middleman and these people talk to the match makers, so we now have a party of five with a Chinese wall in place and the stage where more likely than not, the three in the middle are not on any list, especially the matchmaker, who uses a range of ‘middle man’ for each idea with each transaction, when the transactions become fragmented the chance of not revealed becomes a lot more likely than not and crowdsourcing enables this to a much larger degree, add to this the dark web and bitcoin and we get a mess we cannot decipher. If the facilitators go to the tax office and give them ‘I had a one off consultancy job for a year‘ and pay their taxation on time, it all goes into the IT revenue taxed and not one pig will be squealing, not even as it gets roasted whilst the ‘consultant’ brought home the bacon.

They merely need to consider the office location so that it aligns with: ‘due to the lack of legislation in some jurisdictions to allow an institution to support an asset freeze‘ and the solution is there. And that is when the amount is large enough, when it is smaller, almost never ever true action will be taken, the extremists, political or other can use that system any way it jingles to the beat they needed to hear.

It is a case of musical chairs where the rewards for some really stack up, just like on TV.

 

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