Tag Archives: Oman

A political Chucky

I love cricket, I played it and loved it. That is as long as I was not bowling. There is no point in handing 10 overs to the opposition when Chucky (me) is bowling and I am happy that I am not considered outside of the field or batting. Some things should not happen, so, what do you do when your own party (the conservatives) considers chucking as a valid tactic in a game where it has been an illegal action?

That is what the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/24/tory-islamophobia-row-15-suspended-councillors-quietly-reinstated) informs us on in ‘Tory Islamophobia row: 15 suspended councillors quietly reinstated‘, and the fact that it is openly and ‘quietly’ done implies that my own party does not seem to grasp the educational need of the matter. We have all made ‘questionable’ considerations. I have on occasion noticed a lady who had an amazing * (assterix). I did not state that out loud, but optionally whispered it as softly ass possible (pun intended). It gets us to the old situation ‘If you are alone in a forest and no woman can hear you, are you still wrong?

So, when we see: “More than a dozen Conservative councillors who were suspended over posting Islamophobic or racist content online – with some describing Saudis as “sand peasants” and sharing material comparing Asian people to dogs“, when we see this, this is not whispering. This is loudly proclaiming, shouting even as it happened online. This is stupidity of a whole new level and there needs to be an investigation. It is not merely for the norm of the PC of it all. This has business impact. We can consider that the Middle East will be funding hundreds of billions in business decisions and the UK would want as much of it as possible. And in that is Mohammed Amin wrong? When we see the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum for the publication of set of formal disciplinary processes that far off? When discrimination is condoned to the degree that it is, should we not expect a much larger impact? When we see Islamophobia and anti-Semitic issues, we need to remember that there is a larger impact. If parties are rejected from consideration, it shows that political players are dismissing optional best solutions from the political arena because they are wearing filtering glasses, implying that the cost of doing business is optionally increased due to unacceptable practices and as the article implies that it has transpired 15 times, we see a systemic failure of a political engine that besides doing things wrong is optionally transgressing into the field of criminal acts. So even as James Cleverly claims that that swift investigations was made, the stage of quietly adding them back to the party gives light of more than Islamophobia, it gives light to the acceptance of racism within the party and that is not a good thing.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of emotion regarding the Middle East, yet anti-Semitism and Islamophobia will never solve it, it merely polarises issues beyond repair. I wonder what happens when Huawei and Saudi Arabia complete their initial setting and Saudi Arabia becomes a 5G powerbroker? Some analysts made the claim that there will be 30 million subscriptions in the Middle East by 2024. I believe that to be wrong, Huawei is not the only player and Ericsson is showing to be almost as capable as Huawei (driving competition and innovation), giving Saudi Arabia an option to drive partnerships to nations including the UAE, Oman and Egypt. OK, we admit that Egypt is Africa, yet the light that Saudi Arabia could grow subscriptions towards 60 million upwards when they get to include Egypt, and set the stage for Telecom growth a lot wider than that. A speculative step is seen in the Arab News on March 4th. When I looked at the complete language regarding Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir, I noticed that the statements were precise (read: too precise). So when I saw: “ruled out restoring diplomatic relations with Syria or reinstating Damascus to the Arab League without progress on a political process to end the eight-year-old war“, as well as: “Riyadh will also not take part in any reconstruction efforts until stability is restored in Syria“. Yet in this, 5G and creating options for communication is not reconstruction, or political progress. Yet it facilitates for both when the innovative players are allowed for a push towards global 5G considerations and it is my believe that Adel Al-Jubeir could use it to set an increasingly larger stage for the KSA.  I admit that my speculation is based on text (and interpretation) that is super thin, you could not skate on it, but you might lie down on it and cautiously create forward momentum. In light of the optional growth all over the Middle East and Africa, Saudi Arabia (read: Huawei business partners) are all gaining an advantage that allows for multiple conversations on a much larger board. The direct impact being that the setback for American corporations will increase larger and faster.

The 5G push would also allow options towards Jordan and now we see that Saudi Arabia (via Huawei and Ericsson) has created a much larger bond for future options for all these players. Now we see an optional line through Saudi Arabia to Oman, Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and optionally Yemen to follow. A big chunk of the Arab league, basically the big 5 all connected in 5G together making one voice more and more powerful. And with every victory there, the US gets pushed into becoming less and less relevant in 5G in that same wave. In that stage, when we see these steps unfold, do you really think that keeping racist and Islamophobic politicians is serving anyone’s purpose other than fear mongering and extremism?

So when we see the Guardian quote: “When CCHQ has been made aware of the small number of such cases we have acted swiftly, suspending members and launching immediate investigations, in sharp contrast to other parties” my issue here is that it is the exact party line that James Cleverly gave us. It sounds like a Microsoft sound byte, a claim made when they cannot solve a problem and they need it to be put into a drawer for well over a full upgrade. The fact that the Guardian treats us to: ‘quietly reinstated‘ gives rise to a systemic failure, one that can cost the UK many opportunities down the line and should we allow for that?

The Middle East is currently actively investing funds in excess of £1.4 trillion (not billion) on numerous projects in constructions, ICT, telecommunications and infrastructure, do you think that the UK has a chance of scoring any jobs when these contractors ask for a clarification on the application of ‘sand peasants‘? I also wonder what we will find when we read the transcripts and investigation papers regarding the 15 members that had been ‘quietly reinstated‘. How loud are we allowed to be when we look into this? The UK has enough worries with new Brexit fear mongering and a non-accountable ECB as Europe is about to get several trillions deeper in debt (because they found a miracle formula that explains it all. source: Bloomberg), digging our own graves by not acting against racism and discriminating phobias seems to be a problem we can avoid from the start.

When one of these Middle Easters investors asks feedback from Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain, what would these people hear? Quietly allowing chuckies to be set up as bowlers whilst we know that they will (through inadequacy, insensitivity and lack of professionalism) optionally knowingly instigate an illegal play is not common sense at all.

Any cricket captain should know better than to allow any chucky to bowl, but that is exactly what is seemingly happening right now.

 

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The other view

The Guardian had an interesting view yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/03/people-in-christian-majority-countries-values-clash-islam-poll). The article starts off with a high when we see: “Large numbers of people in Christian-majority countries in the west see a fundamental clash between Islam and the values of their nation, according to a survey“. I honestly do not get that. I have started (a few months ago) to get acquainted with the Quran. I have been looking at 5G opportunities (mostly) in Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, a Muslim monarchy. As such I believe that it is important to be aware of the rules and events in such a nation. Even if I am still a Christian, I feel it is important to be aware of things so that we do not cause unintentional grief or friction in any place, which means that I will have to adjust to Muslim life. Anyone who is not willing to do that is better off staying at home. The same rules apply to many other nations (Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc. etc.)

If we ‘expect’ an acceptance of ‘our’ values and culture in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and so on, should the reverse not apply as well?

In the article I particularly liked the quote: “When asked the same question about Christianity, 25% of people in Saudi Arabia and 22% of Algerians said there was a clash with the values of their country, but the proportions fell to 13% in the United Arab Emirates and 7% in Egypt“, it seems that acceptance increases in places with more international exposure, which was a nice thing to learn.

When we see he links to YouGov dot UK and we see: “YouGov was recently commissioned to conduct a multi-country study on attitudes to religion in the West and Middle East/North Africa region“, we see that Dr Joel Rogers de Waal has the goods for an interesting piece of publication in his hands. The article (at https://yougov.co.uk/topics/international/articles-reports/2019/02/03/westernmena-attitudes-religion-portray-lack-faith– ) is even more interesting when we see the issue of ‘fundamental clash’ where Christianity is a lot less ‘accepting’ than Muslims are, which is something that actually surprised me.

It also opened the issue of consideration we look at “Campaigners for religious freedom are highlighting the significance of the historic papal visit to the birthplace of Islam, and hope Francis’s message of peaceful coexistence will be heard in other countries in the region, where many Christians are denied rights or face persecution and death.” Here we see the link to an article from December 26th stating: “The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has ordered an independent, global review into the persecution of Christians of all nationalities amid claims that not enough is being done to defend the rights of nearly 200 million Christians at risk of persecution today“. Consider the following: “Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly. Because of that Christians generally only worship within private homes” This is not a hidden event, this is not some made up rule, this is Islamic law, a person either abides or finds their fortune somewhere else, so Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE, Qatar and Oman) could be a haven for wealth opportunities for the atheists and of course Muslims, this is not some hidden idea that you can flunk with, this is clear established Islamic law, so when Jeremy Hunt is making some case of persecuted Christians on boxing day, I have no idea where he is coming from. Islamic law is also really present in Pakistan and many other places, so why are non-born national Christian there is the first place, to convert people? There is clear Islamic law against it, it is strict and it can result in capital punishment.

These were not blatant forms of misdirection, this is known and clearly stated laws in these nations, so at times, I have no idea where some people come from.

Can there be adjustment?

I would go with yes, if there is a simple infraction that can be clearly be seen as an error by the person and it can be proven to be unintentional, the courts might be lenient (I cannot speak for Islamic courts). Yet, the diligence of a person should be clearly shown. As such the entire Anti-Mariah Carey part is also a little bit of a mystery. We can accept that people feel that there is a “poor human rights record in Saudi Arabia“, yet from what point of view? Saudi Arabia is an Islamic law nation, it is a monarchy where Islamic law is rule and everyone (even the royal family) adheres to Islamic law. Let’s not forget that Saudi Arabia had established high end culture and architecture in an age where the people mixed faeces and clay to make the walls of their houses in the larger area of Western Europe, so most houses did have a shitty smell to it, and those people thought it was OK. So as In Arabia and Babylonia there were sewers close to 15 centuries ago, whilst only 9 centuries ago, the western civilisation used shit in the building of the walls of their houses and for the most sewers were a non-issue, there were none. How is that for generics in civilised life?

And as we see: “human rights campaigners have urged the pope to use his landmark visit to address the war in Yemen. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led military coalition that has been accused of human rights violations in the country” we need to realise that these same people seem to lack the commitment to do the same against Hezbollah and Iran who are in the thick of it, is that not an interesting one sided part in all that? And it is not limited to the visit of El Papa Vaticano either. Even the UN has been accused of ignoring Iran’s role in all this, so there is a larger issue at play which is also fuelling the mistrust in the Arabian Peninsula nations. In addition to this I would tell people to start following Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on LinkedIn, Royalty and the current Vice President of the UAE, we can accept that he has people managing that account like any other big CEO or entrepreneur (like Bill Gates and Richard Branson), you will see that this man, this Vice President is actually really inspiring that alone should open the eyes of many to adjust the cultural glasses we wear now and learn more about Islam and Islamic law, for the simple reason that if a devout Muslim like Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum can be inspiring, what other revelations are we denying ourselves?

I learned early in life that closing your eyes to other views is ALWAYS debilitating. I have been around the planet twice now, I was never rich, yet I have seen so much and I never regretted my choices (well, actually perhaps 3), which is a decent achievement to have.

So when I see the entire alleged issue regarding Saudi Arabia PR offices in London mentioned in a few places, I am at a loss why they do not get 50-200 open resume considerations a day (perhaps they do, I am merely phrasing the question out there).

So when we were told last October “British firms earning millions of pounds from efforts to improve the image of the kingdom and its regional allies in recent years, a Guardian investigation has found” I am wondering why their competitors are not fighting harder to offer to do a better job.

I digress

True, I was digressing, as I was moving towards the profits there, which is not incorrect, but it was not what the article was about. We can argue that the best opportunities are for those accepting the values of others and that is what is in play for now. You see, it is not about becoming Muslim, it never was about that; yet having a decent comprehension of Muslims and Islamic Law is merely a consideration to have, an essential consideration when you accept opportunities there, it is the only way to move forward. I reckon that I will never truly get accepted to the barrel of cream as I do not speak Arabic, yet those now about to no longer be a teenager, consider getting that skill. As economic growth in the Arabian nations is close to 500% of what America could present, as the same is pushed for China, having these skills in language and culture is an essential step in anyone’s future, even if you decide to not go there. When a place like Salini Impregilo is merely one of several companies growing multi-billion dollar contracts in that region, one after the other, when you are not a University engineer, do you think that they will offer contract work to any talented person, or to the talented person with at least a minimum knowledge of Arabian language and culture? When the option for a good future is understanding, as well as acceptance of others is the stepping stone to a bright future, why not consider that step?

So when you are confronted with: “In Germany, 53% of respondents were unfavourable towards Islam, compared with 10% to 22% who were unfavourable to other religions. In the US and Britain, smaller proportions (37% and 32%) were unfavourable towards Islam, with a similar range viewing other religions negatively“, are we accepting that 53% has ‘conservative’ values, or are we realising that 53% is throwing away a culturally driven well served lifestyle?  In the end money is always important (that pesky thing called rent comes around), yet what is your spiritual life missing out on by not knowing more about a cultural way of life that could be inspiring in several ways. When we merely a day ago:

نرحب بزيارة البابا فرانسيس لدولة الامارات  .. زيارة تاريخية هدفها تعميق قيم التسامح والتفاهم والحوار الديني … تجمعنا الإخوة الانسانية .. وتجمعنا الوصايا السماوية المشتركة .. وتجمعنا نوايانا من أجل مستقبل أفضل البشرية .. أهلا وسهلا بك في عام التسامح على أرض الإمارات

Which is translates by Google as: “We welcome the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE. A historic visit aimed at deepening the values of tolerance, understanding and religious dialogue… We are gathered by human brotherhood. We bring together the common Heavenly commandments. Our intentions are gathered for the future of the better mankind. Welcome to the year of tolerance on the land of the Emirates

So at that point, do you think there is any place left for the like of: ‘the anti-Islam party of Geert Wilders‘ (to coin but one example)? There will always be opposition to any view, both Christian and Muslim, yet opposition is not ‘anti’, the moment we learn that lesson too late is the day we realise that we wasted the life we had before that realisation. It is actually that simple most of the time. As such it is my personal view that the article by Harriet Sherwood in Abu Dhabi is a lot more important than most of us realise, to learn that simple part is an initial first step for many, be not afraid to take a step outside of your comfort zone, you might learn more than you bargained for, from others and also about yourself.

 

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The Iranian escalation

We know that their nuclear accord is not worth the paper it got printed on. We also know that the involvement in Yemen is a lot larger than anyone has been able to illuminate on (especially the media). Yet the cupcake of the day goes to the Times of Israel (not the most neutral party in all this). they gave us mere hours ago ‘We bought spares for nuke equipment we agreed to destroy‘ (at https://www.timesofisrael.com/irans-nuclear-chief-we-bought-spares-for-nuke-equipment-we-agreed-to-destroy/). It is ‘supported’ with the by-line Ali Akbar Salehi says supreme leader was convinced West would renege on 2015 pact, so replacement tubes for nuclear reactor were secretly purchased‘. We get this part, whilst a mere 4 days ago the Financial Times give us: ‘EU seeks to keep Iran nuclear deal alive despite US pressure‘, a policy state of mind that I called reckless and not too bright close to 5 months ago. So now we see that not only did Iran have no intention to keep its word, it is actively setting the stage of being a danger to a lot more than merely Israel. Has anyone considered the dangers when one of the warheads goes missing, gets an added dirty load and both elements miraculously in the hands of Hezbollah?

This is not a fictive danger!

Consider the following ‘facts’:

  • Article 151 of the Constitution obliges the government to “provide a program of military training, with all requisite facilities, for all its citizens, in accordance with the Islamic criteria, in such a way that all citizens will always be able to engage in the armed defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • General Qasem Soleimani is in charge of the IRGC army, his direct inner core has direct control of the Basij and they protect and reinforce several locations where nuclear materials can be found. In addition there have been several pieces of evidence that the support of Hezbollah by the IRGC goes beyond simple funds and hardware, hence the danger I am illuminating is not the weirdest one, or the least likely one.

So when the Financial Times gives us: “We need to accept that the [nuclear deal] is important and it has been a signal achievement“, we also need to consider that this is merely what Iran wants you to think. It is a stage that is too dangerous for some ‘peace for our time‘ moment as the UK thought to have in 1939, it did not end well then and it will equally not end well this time either. The trouble here is not merely what is in store for Israel, the defeat that they currently face opposing Saudi Arabia in Yemen (via Hezbollah), it also implies that there is every indication that proxy strikes against Saudi Arabia are not out of the question. I am not talking about the two fired on Saudi Arabia 4 days ago (source: Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi). The quote “According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, their rocket battalion fired two Badr-1 ballistic missiles towards the Asir and Jizan provinces of southern Saudi Arabia. The Houthi forces said that one of their ballistic missiles managed to hit a Saudi military gathering near the Yemeni border with the Jizan province.” gives is that Houthi forces are upping the game. Whether Hezbollah is directly involved is unknown at present, yet the danger is that Hezbollah makes for a decent Iranian mule and as such a dirty payload is not out of the question at present. The part that none are giving is that both the Asir and Jizan areas are predominantly civilian and that with the lousy aiming abilities of both Houthi and Hezbollah forces we can speculate that the only way for these two to hit a military target was done by aiming for civilian targets. No matter how it turns out, Houthi (and optionally Hezbollah) forces are waging war on Saudi civilians which is a big no-no and as the Western media stays out of it (to a larger degree) the Saudi coalition will be forced to strike hard and harsh against the enemies of Saudi Arabia. The important part here is that this is no longer merely Yemen, at some point in the near future a meeting and decision will be made to actively engage Iran and that is when all bets are off for Tehran. the evidence shown in regards to the Nuclear deal as well as their involvement in Yemen, we see that both the EU and the US have no other option but to stand by Saudi Arabia in all this, decency would demand it from them and by not doing so, we will see a very different stage and Russia is only one step away from enabling themselves into a political stage of becoming best friends with Saudi Arabia. So as we saw three days ago the statement “Iran has not been invited to a global conference on the Middle East in Warsaw next month and Russia has declined the invitation“. The question in my mind becomes, is that truly the reason for declining, or is Russia playing a larger game? I will emphasize at this point that this is pure speculation from my side, yet if there is chance to get a much closer relationship with Saudi Arabia and get that achieved by ‘seemingly remaining friendly with Iran‘, we see a Russia that has plenty to win with this path. Unlocking the ties between Saudi Arabia and the USA would be one of the greatest wins of the decade for Russia and that danger should not be underestimated.

In the end Saudi Arabia and the Saudi coalition needs to do what is best for them and the events of the last two years give rise to the stage that America has merely been thinking of their own needs in the last 3 years and most allies have had enough of that.

What will happen in the end is not to clear, not whilst there are gaps in either path of allies and whilst Russia is playing its own cards close to their chest, the Americans have been too clumsy for close to two years. The Khashoggi and Yemeni events have clearly shown that part. The media gives us even more when we consider Al Arabiya. There we see: ‘Orchestrated media, political campaign to damage Saudi-US ties, says analyst‘. The quote “I strongly believe that Qatar, Turkey, and certain Muslim Brotherhood proxies in the West are involved in funding a media campaign and political operations to discredit Saudi reforms and the government in general” by Irina Tsukerman (at http://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/01/10/Orchestrated-media-political-campaign-to-damage-Saudi-US-ties-says-analyst.html) is as I personally see it incomplete. She is looking at one part, but there is a second stage. Not unlike the UK actions in the 70’s against the Cairo-Tel Aviv attempts for a peace, we see another stage here too. You see, the events from Saudi Arabia regarding Neom City have been so overwhelmingly progressive that larger US industrials are now worried, they cannot live with the fact that they are soon to be less impressive than the Saudi advances in 5G, it goes further, large players like AT&T are now openly deceiving the people with their 5G Evolution, a product that has been heralded all over the media as a fake product. The Register, USA Today, Android Police, TechCrunch and many others are seeing this as deception. The idea that Saudi Arabia beat them to the punch was too unacceptable to these people. They are increasingly worried that every win towards Neom City will be regarded as a loss towards their own economy, which is the America the allies of America face. It also fuels the entire recession mess that is upcoming, merely because corporations can fund one place and whatever goes towards Saudi Arabia is not going towards other places and in all this, the UAE will benefit to some degree as well. As Saudi Arabia is facing down it’s not so hidden enemy Iran, Saudi Arabia will face opportunities as well as challenges and its allied neighbours will have positive waves of economy going their ways too.

Yet before there can be a positive outlook on it all, the global players will have little choice but to put down Hezbollah as soon as possible. No matter how they try to commit to peace, there is enough evidence that Hezbollah is still committed in wars against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Even as we see “Tens of millions of Iranian dollars have gone to Yemen“, we see that this image is also incomplete. That part is seen when we consider the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46958455). When we consider the fact that ‘Pro-government forces removed 300,000 landmines laid by the Houthis between 2016 and 2018‘, the numbers do not add up. the value of the mines, the time required to place them as well as the manpower required to place them we get the clearer picture that the entire funding goes well beyond ‘Tens of millions of Iranian dollars‘. That part as well as the missile costs, the Hezbollah support and other goods imply a financial support that implies close to 1000% of the support that is claimed by some. The found number of mines implies that Yemen required placing 200+ mines a day every day. That require a much larger workforce and support engine (including some form of logistics and communication) than anyone could possible consider. That requires no less than two regiments placing mines 24:7. That is the number that does not make sense in all this and Yemen is not known for soft sands, there are plenty of rocky surfaces to content with. The numbers do not add up and it seems to me that the media has been ignoring those facts to a larger degree, making the Iranian involvement a lot larger than anyone expected, which also implies that the commitment by Hezbollah was a lot larger making them a more essential enemy to get rid of and that part is not limited to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Europe and America have every interest in dealing with Hezbollah with extreme prejudice. Well, that is if they ever want to see true peaceful balance in the Middle East, because with Hezbollah (and Hamas) that will never happen.

In all this Iran has been the catalyst to escalation and it is high time that the global media is taking a very serious look and openly reports on the actions that Iran has been an active participant in, do you not think so?

 

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Nationalisation, the second tier

The news is fresh, it is new news, yet it was foreseen, it wasn’t really news, but the drive has come visible, much more visible than most expected. As some might focus on the Guardian and the image of a beautiful young lady as she is afraid for her life, as she seeks refugee status in Australia, we see all the men and many women feeling sorry for Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun. It might be correct, it might not. I do not know, yet what the Guardian is not telling you is seen in the Arab News (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1431206/saudi-arabia), there the news is: ‘Saudi Arabia goes full steam with Saudisation of sales jobs‘. I think it is good that any nation pushes for national held jobs, no matter what country it is happening in. So as we read: “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced on Sunday that it would be providing citizens with job opportunities in an attempt to reduce unemployment. The job opportunities will be in sales roles, including medical equipment stores, construction and building materials shops, car spare parts shops, carpet shops and sweets shops, according to Saudi state news agency, SPA.” I think it is good that the news is seen, yet what about the impact? It is not a national thing, it is regional, Oman is doing the same, Qatar has been doing it for a while and the UAE is on a similar trend. If it works it is great, yet what everyone forgets is the announcements of 6 months ago, this basically impacts Google, Apple and a few other players (the FAANG group as a whole) as they were opening their offices in Saudi Arabia as well, so from the Saudi view it is great to be Saudi. Many people all over the world dream of a Google job and now we see that Saudi’s are added to that knowledge pool. And that is what it is a knowledge pool that can drive Arabian IP to a much larger extent. In light of Neom City, in light of new Financial Districts in Riyadh, we see the opportunity for growth, yet do these events constitute actual growth as that question is equally important.

If we accept the same news two days ago (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1430961/business-economy), we see that the headlines might give us ‘CEO of Saudi Arabia’s newest technology investment fund STV shoots for the moon‘, we might giggle, yet perhaps that same feeling came upon us when in 2001 a man named Mark Zuckerberg had an idea, how did that end? We can also consider that as Abdulrahman Tarabzouni is a MIT graduate, so he optionally has a better education than Mark Zuckerberg had (Harvard), which is me, myself and I starting a competitive flame between those two schools. The nice part here is that the STV (the investment fund) has half a billion to start with, so they can cream the best start-ups to truly grow their perspective and turn it into billions of wealth, if properly set their idea of a hundred times over might be conservative. We tend to not look into those directions, yet the ownership of IP is not merely an essential it is a wealth maker and a wealth breaker and as an MIT graduate he would (read: should) be able to see the difference between the wheat and chaff, it makes for all the difference.

Even as the Arab News introduces in opposition: “Some analysts point to two difficulties in the STV strategy: The high valuations of the global technology sector, and the comparatively high levels of geopolitical risk associated with the region, and the Kingdom, in the minds of some foreign investors.” We need to recognise that being first implies the avoidance of ‘high valuations of the global technology sector‘, the second part is ‘geopolitical risk associated with the region‘; that second part might not be zero, yet there is no clear danger to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in addition as the footing of Iran diminishes the growth of Saudi Arabia will flourish, as well as the fact that the involvement and connections of Abdulrahman Tarabzouni with Saudi Aramco, Careem, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Microsoft, Syphir tech company, Google, Member of investment committee, Middle East Venture Partners, as well as advisory roles at public and technology institutions in KSA, it would be my personal believe that if this person cannot navigate the rivers of political risk, no one would ever be safe to invest in Saudi Arabia and as we see billions from the FAANG group go that way soon enough, we can pretty much consider the second risk a dud in all that (for now).

The progress that Saudi Arabia is showing in 5G, now equalling the largest players on the western hemisphere shows not only the commitment for the Middle East, it shows that Saudi Arabia is taking the non-petroleum options extremely serious. It goes even further when we consider the news a mere 4 hours ago: “T-Mobile CEO to regulators: China is beating US on fast 5G wireless but our Sprint deal can change that“, how exactly will that happen? Merging Sprint and T-Mobile sounds nice, but they still lack higher technology equipment, Huawei beat them and the longer these players remain in denial, the larger the damage and that is where the STV can cash in. Any Huawei linked technology start-up has close to a 20% advantage over anything else. Let’s not forget that players like Verizon are not really using 5G, or as they say 5G Evolution, which I discussed in ‘Tic Toc Ruination‘, where we see: “We are given “Verizon’s network is not yet 3GPP compliant. It uses Verizon’s own 5G specification, but will be upgraded to be 3GPP compliant in the future“, so does that mean that it is merely a Verizon issue opening the market for Sprint, or are they both involved in that same pool of marketed pool to some form of ‘5G’ branding, and not the standard?” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/06/tic-toc-ruination/), something clearly seen from various sources a month ago, so how was their technology backdrop solved? It was not! I made additional observations in ‘That did not take long‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/12/22/that-did-not-take-long-2/) where we see: “we are (again) confronted with what Neville Ray CTO of T-Mobile calls: ‘duping customers into thinking they’re getting something they’re not‘, America will not end dead last here, but they will be trailing (as currently is implied) behind more than one Middle East Arabic nation“, an observation I made on December 22nd last year, so not only am I proven right a few times over, the fact that for what I observe to be high paid people hiding behind presentations and wording whilst not having the actual goods is merely the facade of defeat presenting itself as ‘innovative opportunity‘, so we are watching these people heralding their Edsel whilst it is about to go up against the Maserati Gran Turismo and optionally the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Sedan as well, and in what Universe does the Edsel have any kind of a chance? Parking perhaps (it is not that big) but how can you see innovative technology as innovation when parking is your only way to shine?

the sad part is that I have been talking to stone walls for 2 years now, the upside is that when they fail I have the documentation showing just how stupid they have been, and the end is nowhere in sight. I prepared issues on optional 5G tourism, cyber protection and a few other places that will really open up the valves of disgust from consumers when they are confronted with the impact on their daily lives. Even outside of governmental infrastructures Huawei is set in a stage where they have billions in optional business in both information and SME environment. The large presentation based players (like 5G Evolution) were so intent on pushing the large infrastructure that they forgot that actual business comes from other area’s and when the first sale is done, they are merely left with the stage where they wait for consumers to catch up, that part is no longer a given. We see part of that (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Trends/CES-2019-to-offer-glimpse-of-future-for-5G-AI-and-Huawei), where we are treated to: “About 4,500 companies are set to take part in this year’s CES, which continues to expand beyond consumer electronics as tech pervades once-mechanical industries like automotives. China now stands out in developing and applying both 5G and AI technologies. A decade ago, Japanese home electronics makers had a substantial presence in the Central Hall, an area packed with big-name companies. But as they have lost prominence, Chinese companies have emerged to fill the gap. Huawei Technologies, Alibaba Group Holding and Haier Group will all have exhibits in the Central Hall.” This matters as it is direct visibility; this is the direct stage in Las Vegas and its CES2019, people will get to see 4500 companies and some there proclaiming to equal Huawei, yet less than 5 will optionally have something to show the people on that level and I am speculating that they merely equal Huawei at best and this is one month before the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona where Huawei is set to take the centre stage and most of the attention. We cannot speculate what we will see exactly, but we will know on Sunday 24th February, and we will then optionally see the Samsung 5G router (not Mobile) and optionally several 5G mobiles, yet at that point we can use the dictionary torpedoes to sink that hype seeking content, contant that we have been exposed to from several sources. That part is not only visible, the results as shown by one source, gives us that AT&T is just not up to scrap at present.

Even as I have no real confirmation on how accurate the results are (so be aware of that), we are shown what PC Mag gave the people earlier and with the cautionary footnote (as would be appropriate): “remember that these are just test speeds ant that they will most likely improve with time. More importantly, there are still no 5G smartphones available yet, so these tests in the AT&T 5G network are just part of a process“, the fact that we see the results as in the image are bad, really really bad for a 5G environment!

From my point of view, test or not, their 5G should have knocked it out of the park leaving us with the entire 5G Evolution bit as what I personally would see as a sham, not a champ.

Nationalisation is only as good as the goods you have and in this the partnership with Huawei was essential and at present more and more technologists are stating the same thing. So those with a Huawei partnership will leave the others behind them on a larger scale in several layers and structural foundational flaws, the impact when the others cannot deliver will be fun to see, especially to mock on a daily foundation. I reckon that we have that right when we are treated to bloated presentations where we are left in the dust with the message: ‘It is great to be a consumer, in this age‘. Do not worry, we have his number and will point out that flaw soon enough several times.

We are finally seeing the impact of iterative technology versus frog leaping ahead. The iterative players will soon diminish, so from the Saudi point of view, they did bet on the right horse and that impact will give them multiple victories soon enough. You see, do you still think that the larger players will stay in a place with inferior abilities? When exactly was that ever an option for those who wanted to stay in the major leagues of technology?

 

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The economic insanity

We all have our limits, we all have parts we look at it and it just does not make sense. I am no different in that regard. I cannot fathom how a business survives at times. We all get that. I grew up having to walk to the grocer, the butcher and the general goods store when I was young. I got beef from one, I got cabbage from the other, we even had a potato vendor on a street called Vierambachtstraat (Rotterdam); this potato man had half a dozen of different kind of potatoes, sweet, non-sweet, large and small. We would pick up a bag 3-4 KG and it would be more than enough for a week (household of 5). At some point he left us, he stopped, the grocer remained for a while, yet I was still around when he left and it was replaced for a record store. The general goods store had already left. You see, a Supermarket called Albert Heijn had taken over and the other stores could no longer remain there. The butcher remained, yet over time he too would fall away it is now a furniture store I believe. My house is still there, yet none of the shops remained, over time they were replaced by other shops, a mere sign of the times.

So when I was confronted with ‘Interserve shares fall as growing debt sparks fears over its finances‘, I initially merely glanced. An outsourcer called Interserve; it seems to be something trivial. That is, until you realise the part “The Company, which carries out building work and provides services such as cleaning, said debts would be between £625m and £650m by the end of the year, having earlier said debts would be £575m to £600m“. So even if we would trivialise all this, in which universe would a company have any chance to survive with an initial debts of ‘£575m to £600m‘? The fact that it will be fifty million pounds more should be the fuel to the fire. A company will be in debt for well over half a billion pounds and people are worried? Why on earth were the members of that board of directors and their children (and grandchildren) not sold into white slavery on a market in Marrakech? You see, I get it, any company will have downturns and we should allow for repairs on that, yet when a company is the pressure on the existence of small companies, whilst it act as a behemoth with a workforce of an estimated 75,000 people worldwide, we need to up the ante. These people are pushing the envelope hoping that they would be like any bank ‘too big to fail‘ leaving it up to politics and wheeling and dealing to get them out of the hot waters, to save and saviour their hot potatoes some might say.

Even as we see: “It comes a week after Interserve was forced to comment on the state of its finances, after shares tumbled to a 30-year low over fears it was heading the same way as Carillion, the rival outsourcing firm that collapsed in January“, was that not a wakeup call to set the stage to push for oversight much faster?

We are also introduced by Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell to: “Chief executive Debbie White and her team are clearly doing their best to steady the ship at Interserve but the admission that net debt will end the year higher than expected, not helped by how the cash inflow from the troubled energy-from-waste business will be lower than hoped, means the company has yet to reassure shareholders and potential investors about the key issues that face it.” I am not sure how we should see this, in view of: ‘how the cash inflow from the troubled energy-from-waste business will be lower than hoped‘. When should we accept ‘lower than hoped‘? That implies speculative investment with funds that they never had and playing the gamble card in corporate expectations. So when these debts hit full on, who gets to pay for that, the taxpayer? It is my personal believe that until the debt is gone, none of the board of directors should be allowed any income above £100,000 with in addition all bonuses scrapped until the company goes out of the red. In addition, there should be no weight to the claim: “Interserve, which provides a range of services for schools, hospitals and government departments across the UK, agreed a £300m rescue plan in March, at a time of heightened pressure on the outsourcing sector and in the wake of Carillion’s collapse under a mountain of debt.” From my personal point of view, they took jobs and under-priced them forcing the small fish out of the water of revenue, and then they use that shortfall to push taxation to zero whilst walking that path too often in too many divisions. That is how I personally see this and I might be wrong. Yet in all this, that is seemingly the path too many large players play it, undermining services for the longer time whilst the others have no option to get into the business. The government might like the short sold services as it looks good on their costing spreadsheet, yet when group of 75,000 people end up to the larger extent being unemployed, the damage will merely increase for all the parties involved. Russ Mould also gives us: “some investors would wonder why Interserve was waiting until 2019 to unveil a new plan designed to reduce debt, whilst the share price slide suggests the company’s situation remains acute“. In light of that we see the urgent need for players like that to suffer a lot more oversight, the withdrawal of all bonuses and capping of income. In a state where we see an escalating stage of danger to staff members on almost every level (I did say almost), we see (at https://www.interserve.com/docs/default-source/investors/financial-reports/integrated-reporting/2017/2017-full-year-pdf’s/governance-report.pdf) the mention of something I will address shortly, whilst we see (at https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/companies/contractors/interserve/interserve-ceo-set-for-125-bonus-for-2017/10030955.article). Can anyone explain to me how well over half a billion shortfall gives rise to: ‘Interserve CEO set for 125% bonus for 2017‘, you might think that this was merely last year, yet consider that one company has a shortfall of well over half a billion in one year. That does not happen, this has been going on for a much longer time and whilst we accept that any company gets to have a hard time, it seems utterly unacceptable that its board of failures in managing that get to go home with £525,897 (the bonus of Chief executive Debbie White) for 4 months of work and if things go really south, to sit at home on the sofa optionally watching Netflix and porn for 5 years whilst the market ‘restores’ itself. It gets to be even less tasteful when we also see: “This includes an annual variable pay (AVP) bonus of £270,089, which is 125 per cent of her pro-rata base salary of £216,667 since she joined in September 2017 – the maximum available under the AVP scheme” are you feeling betrayed yet? She should be regarded as HMRC positive and kept in isolation, removed from income until the company is again in the non-red numbers zone.

Was that over the top?

When we consider the first report which is 62 pages, we see that plenty of space was used to give rise to bonuses where three people get to go home (in a best case scenario) with £2.555, £1.593 and £1.168 million. In a setting where we see that a company minus zero setting, towards the one billion mark in the red, how is there even a case for a best case scenario? How is it that we see all kinds of share and cash deals whilst there is a real issue with this type of company? Should we not see a whole range of other questions holding the HMRC responsible for allowing this situation in the first place? Whilst the cheapest of the three (other executive director), optionally being a figure of speech for a lot more than one person the issue merely intensifies. Their minimum pay is £380K, which is close to 1,800% of the average annual UK income; giving rise that one year would enable a person to afford a person to go on a holiday for close to 10 years. I never had that option, not in two decades of loyal service, interesting how some people are just not held accountable for bad turns is it?

So whilst these high and mighty desk jockeys get to relax over Christmas, considering on how to tackle it all in 2019, as per ‘Interserve to roll-out £650m debt reduction plan‘, they will leave staff in pressure and under threat of being laid off. It gets to be even worse when they ‘hide’ behind “This deepened due to additional cash outflows on Energy from Waste as well slow payments in certain Middle Eastern markets“. If they have been there they know what the cycles of payments are. They know on what is to be expected. So if there is plenty coming in, there should not be an issue. When jobs fall through, it is known as well, so even as there is a slack from the energy from waste, it seems that merely lose statements are given and they might not hold water under accountancy scrutiny here.

As for the books

There we see that PwC are to be the financial advisors, some sources give rise to other parts. The independent report (at https://www.interserve.com/docs/default-source/investors/financial-reports/integrated-reporting/2017/2017-full-year-pdf’s/financial-reports.pdf) talks about ‘we’, but who is ‘we’? The report is 100 pages and it was set for the December 2017 point, yet there too we see a few things. If we are to accept certain previous statements, we see “We performed targeted procedures over component entities in Guernsey, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the United States of America. We performed analytical procedures over component entities in all other geographical locations“, so when we see the larger picture, how does the ‘Middle East’ reference hold water? This would imply they’re UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia customers. There are still plenty of other locations, even if it is largely weighted to those 4, the mention “as well slow payments in certain Middle Eastern markets” seems less valid. The shortfall of well over half a billion does not hold up, because if it was all due to investment, there would not be a shortfall to report, those debts are different. That is where the report on page 114 seems to give a little light. We see: “A further update was given to the market on 21 March 2018, indicating that short-term facilities had been extended for a further month to 30 April 2018. The Group announced that it had concluded refinancing negotiations and had arranged access to committed borrowing facilities of £834 million on 27 April 2018.“, on the other side of that page, we see: “assessing the appropriateness of sensitivities applied to the Adjusted Cash Flow Forecast to evaluate whether liquidity headroom and covenant compliance had been subjected to appropriate stress tests;” when they come up short by another £50 million, one might argue that either the stress test was wrong, or elements were unknown or merely ignored. I cannot tell what, why, who or which, yet it does not seem to add up.

So as that page ends with: “As a result of our work, we concluded that there were no matters in relation to going concern to which the ISAs (UK) require us to report to you“, I will offer that the news is giving us a £50 million reason proving that statement to be wrong (or at least partially). There is also increasing consideration that the auditing firms needs additional scrutiny, as jobs are handed over from one firm to another, there is the option that it speculatively gives rise to nepotism, as well as the danger that they all play the same game in what should not be required to be reported. The last is also highly speculative, yet the shortfall over 50 million as well as the debt surpassing half a billion proves me at least partially correct.

The question is how to move forward. There is a point of view that gives rise to a lot more than merely changing the laws towards outsourcing. There should be a long term accountability system in place, as it might all seem to be nice and correct on the balance sheet, the mere worry is that there is a long term impact. Should we see additional pressures where Interserve goes the way of Carillion, there might be a pressing point to start considering making that change. In an age of global accountancy where the costs are stored local, whilst indirectly the booked profits are staged to go to the land of the shareholder (wherever that is) we see an imbalance of accountancy that is seemingly all fine, yet makes no logical sense altogether. That might be one of the biggest settings that governments are facing in Europe and on a global stage.

Perhaps I will take tomorrow to give you a clear picture on what I mentioned here in examples. At that point I will be bringing graphics to the table as well.

 

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Groping in the dark

Yup it happens, we are sometimes caught without a clue and at that point some of us enter the blame game, some of us get emotional and shout at everyone who dislikes us and some try something else, like investigate for example. So even as we should feel sorry for Iran, we definitely feel sorry for all the innocent people in the crossfires, as well as the children caught in the event. We need to critically look at Iran and the choices that they are making.

You see, the attack did not wake me up to the event, I reckon that all the events by Iran in the dar in Yemen gave light that this event was always going to happen, how was of course not known. What woke me up was not on their professionalism, it was the lack of professionalism that got my attention.

Even as Al Jazeera gave us a lot of information, we see the headlines all over the media:

  • UAE official denies Iranian allegations of links to military parade
  • UAE dismisses Iran’s allegations on terror attack
  • Iran’s Khamenei says the attackers were paid by Saudis and UAE
  • Iran warns U.S, Israel to expect a ‘devastating’ revenge: state TV
  • Iran blames the US and Saudi Arabia for Ahvaz military parade attack
  • Iran blames US and Gulf allies for Ahvaz parade attack

All different headlines appearing within hours from one another giving us the insight that not only is stability absent in Iran, it might be missing a lot more then we bargained for. Even as we realise the setting of ‘Ahvaz military parade attack‘ as well as the statement given “Ahvaz National Resistance claimed responsibility for the 2018 Ahvaz military parade attack without providing evidence, the Ahvaz National Resistance is an ethnic Arab opposition movement in Iran which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province” it is seemingly cast aside by the Iranian National guard (who seems to be missing a few members as per last Sunday).

Consider the smallest optional truth, the fact that there is an ‘Ahvaz National Resistance‘, as well as the part where we see ‘seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan Province‘, would that be the perfect place for a ‘show’ of strength? Even as Al-Jazeera gives us the voice of Yacoub Hor Al-Tostari claiming it was them and them alone, it seems interesting that Iranian officials are claiming that this is all due to financial support from the ‘outside’.

As we should argue whether any of it is true, we cannot deny the impact that a reported amount of 4 gunmen had on the entire event. The France24 English gives us a little more (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agwNNpiU-uo), there is an additional part. The Claim by Islamic State, and as given from this source is the part that two of the gunmen resembles and that is optionally a setting, with the inclusion of the channel was an Islamic State channel, yet they do not speak about Islamic State, two were speaking Arabic and one Farsi, none of them refer to Islamic State by name, giving us not intelligence, but merely question marks. That is the setting that you need to consider. Even as they speak ‘Jihadi’, the language is oppositional, merely oppositional to Iran. Yet when I consider the facts, I see an optional new danger. With the separatism in Ahvaz, there is every chance that Islamic State will use this staging area to propel their needs. As there has been clear mention of support to Islamic state in Ahvaz, we see not merely an Iran that is in a state of lessened stability, it is in a state of internal turmoil. I would think that Iran would have been less likely to get hit by Islamic State ever, yet the attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard implies the weakness and the attacker, whether it was Islamic state or not have exploited that weakness and it is unlikely going to stop at that part.

And for these attackers, there is a benefit, as Iran is not merely accusing, but also setting cogs in motion to optionally stage settings against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US and Israel, they will open themselves to additional attacks as the IRGC will be looking and focusing in the wrong direction. Even as I have some issues not merely on the Abadan training base, but also its location, as well as its function. It seems to me that if the images were of an actual trainings base, it seems to be the weakest of stages and the easiest one to take on if they can get the timing right. Any successful attack would have a much larger impact as any successful event against 2 bases in Khuzestan could also start a level of demoralisation that the IRGC has not had before. A similar issue exists for the Semnan base. Even as we realise where the helicopter landing pad is, I see the setting where 2 sets of two jihadi teams could bring a level of devastation to the base, a level that Iran had never faced before giving more and more rise to more than mere destabilisation. And that is where this all starts, not with the accusations from Iran, but the active level of the accusations form Iran that gave rise not on who was guilty, but on the setting that Iran is weaker then it pretends to be. We can accept that any government will boast strengths they do not have, that is mere ego. The fact that the reported 4 gunmen did this attack and Iran decides to look into other directions is where we see their weakness, as well as the consideration that they are in denial on who could have attacked them, that was the element of the war that they just lost. You see, the Art of War (Sun Tsu) gave us: ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles‘ and that is the first part of the stage that they lost, not merely do the not know their enemy, they seem to be in a stage where they no longer really know themselves and that leads to ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. The revelation surprised me, because before last weekend I considered that they were still a force to be reckoned with. Even as they hid behind Houthi’s and Hezbollah, using them as told to do their bidding, there is now a much more realistic view that they are at present limited to proxy wars. Yet it is not enough to merely look at Sun Tsu. Carl von Clausewitz in his work On War gives us “War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will“, a path we can accept, yet it also shows the wisdom of Sun Tsu more clearly. To compel your will on your enemy is one path that requires clarity of vision. If you yourself cannot focus that vision the result is not merely chaos, it is as I see it the limitation that chaotic and non-engagement will be the result of both a lack of vision and a lack of will, so why Carl von Clausewitz? Well, he does give us a more modern part and one that is highly essential here. When he gave us: “No one starts a war — or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so — without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. The former is its political purpose; the latter its operational objective“. So as we consider the response on the attack, we see the following elements. The first is ‘being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve‘, even if this is a war in defence against the attackers, there is no clarity of mind. The senseless accusations are clear evidence of that reflection. The promise of retaliation might be the political purpose in all this, yet it is not aimed at its attacker, merely at those not friendly to Iran (for whichever reason), basically it could end up being senseless accusations against most nations except Pakistan and Turkey. Oh what a ‘bad web’ some people weave, right? The operational objective is not merely acting against the actual attackers, but properly preparing for these attacks and now we see the larger flaw. As I saw the staged weakness in two IRGC facilities, it is my personal belief that there are a lot more (I never saw all the data on all bases), but the optional of hitting half a dozen infrastructure points in several bases means that 4 facilities could optionally end up in lock-down, draining not merely resources, but in addition draining operational staging options for a much longer time. Consider that part. In any base, when you need to keep an additional 20% ready to actively defend a stronghold, how much operational activities will be available? when that sets in and local uprising start the IRGC will have a lot less abilities at their disposal as it requires to increase its foundational defences to be up and running around the clock. I think that Islamic State is starting to figure out that weakness (OK, that last part was highly speculative). When you consider that part, can you now also see on how Abadan is a much more appealing target in the near future?

Even as we accept that there is no evidence truly supporting Islamic State claims, we need to consider the Iranian News from August 29th (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min). It is not the news reported that interested me, it is on what was missing that was of value. When we see: ‘One ISIL member arrested in S Iran: intelligence min.‘ (at https://en.mehrnews.com/news/137230/One-ISIL-member-arrested-in-S-Iran-intelligence-min), it gives us not merely that one member was arrested; it gives us not where it was. You see Southern Iran is not a small place. So when we see Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi giving us that this one person was arrested and that “Around 32 terrorist groups and 100 grouplets in various sizes which are supported by foreigners to create insecurity in the country“, as well as “In the past year we have delivered blows to 269 groups, squads, and networks which were supported by terrorist groups like Kurdish Democrats, Komala Party and other similar groups“. So we see all these ‘successes’ and we see that they got one person. The imbalance in it all is just too hilarious. Now also consider that we see: “This shows the intelligence dominance of the intelligence ministry which does not allow the enemies to create insecurity in Iran“. He might claim that, yet the 25 dead and 70 wounded gives he shining light that not only does Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi not have a handle on things. The fact that the attack was ‘successful’ implies that he has less then he thinks he does and that is where the teachings on Sun Tsu and Carl von Clausewitz come into play giving us a much larger stage of limitations on the side of Iran.

Yet there is also additional victory for the enemies of Iran in all this. The NY Times gave us that (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/24/world/middleeast/iran-attack-military-parade.html). If we accept the used quote from Al ahed News (Hezbollah, Lebanon), we see: “In a speech on Monday at a funeral ceremony for the victims of the attack, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, said: “You have seen our revenge before, you will see that our response will be crushing and devastating, and you will regret what you have done”” Yet the actions of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Brigadier General Hossein Salami accuses US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, which in light of decently reliable intelligence and evidence is now more in doubt and there we get back to the words of Sun Tsu: ‘If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle‘. That is now partially the staging area that the enemies of Iran are given with the damage of 4 shooters against a military parade. If we optionally add the lack of results by Hezbollah/Houthi with at present 198 rockets fired implies not merely that the proxy war was an extremely bad (read: expensive) idea, when we consider the thought that Iran is limited to these actions because of the brewing instability, we see another stage, a stage where Iran either changes their direction by a lot, or we might witness the beginning of an essential regime change as the current one has little left to work with, either way, the issues involving the Ahvaz attack will worsen before the entire stage could optionally get better.

It is not the attack; it is the ‘groping in the dark’ hoping to get a bite that showed their weakness. And when we consider ‘If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned‘. That wisdom could have been available to both Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and Brigadier General Hossein Salami, it did not come from either The Art of War, or On War. It is evidence in both books, but the clearest wisdom that the aftermath of the attack brought was neither of these books, it came from the Art of Fishing, a wisdom that every fishermen in Iran could have told them, if only they could have separated the noise from within and the wisdom on the outside could they have figured that part out, especially when you consider that Iran exported almost 250,000 tonnes of fish in 2014, we see that the Iranian hierarchy has stopped listening to the right people, who those right people are is a puzzle they get to figure out themselves. Watching their failures is just too entertaining to me to see that stop any day soon, I can’t wait to see the media conversations when they get to report on the intelligence that the commander of the Bandar-e Jask naval base had been missing out on for quite some time.

#ReturnOfThePranker

 

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It started already

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

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

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

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

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

 

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