Tag Archives: Osama Bin Laden

Removing the right of choice

Fox News had an opinion piece 2 days ago that only now met my eyes. Now, for the most, apart from some Guardian opinion pieces, I tend to stay away from them. Yet, this one caught my eye because not only was the situation upsetting. The issue that Americans use their right to free speech to deny others the right to choose (to some degree) is another matter and it became clear that I should give my view in all this.

The title ‘Is the West finally pushing Saudi Arabia to squelch its version of radical Islam?‘ First off, why on earth do we see the need ‘forcefully silence or suppress‘ the choice of Islam? Now, I am merely a Christian in this, but I do not see any reason here. In the second, the setting of ‘radical Islam‘ is equally an issue. What makes it radical? That is not me being clever, it is an actual question. When does any religion become ‘radical’?

Now, I am merely quoting Wiki here (just the easiest part), and important that as a Christian and not armed with a knowledge of Arabic, I might wrongfully quote her, so be aware of that. With: “In the 18th century, a pact between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and a regional emir, Muhammad bin Saud, brought a fiercely puritanical strain of Sunni Islam first to the Najd region and then to the Arabian Peninsula. Referred to by supporters as “Salafism” and by others as “Wahhabism”, this interpretation of Islam became the state religion and interpretation of Islam espoused by Muhammad bin Saud and his successors (the Al Saud family), who eventually created the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932“, you see, my issue, perhaps partially better stated as my grievance with Nina Shea is not that she is a lawyer or a Christian, but that she is both. That one nation that has been hypocrite towards empowering outspoken Christians and Christian puritans at nearly every twist and turn of every American administration since WW1 is now speaking out against another puritan based religion? How screwed up is that?

And the fact that we also see in the Fox News pages that she currently is a leader of a campaign for Christians threatened with genocide by ISIS, is even worse. As American Presidents have refused to name the Armenian Genocide as such because of concerns over alienating Turkey, with former president Barack Obama being the latest weakling in that long line of individuals in denial. And when we get to alienating Turkey? Turkey alienated them self for a long time, going all the way back to 2001 and they only alienated themselves stronger with nearly everyone after that. So genocide is only recognised when it is in the interest of US political policies? How hypocrite is that? So even as this happened less than a year ago, we see: “But although ISIS’ genocidal intent has long been clear, the extent of the group’s atrocities has remained murky. Local authorities and human rights organizations have made some attempts to compile lists of victims. According to those lists, between 2,500 and 5,000 Yazidis had been killed by ISIS while over 6,000 had been kidnapped. But the UN has not yet been able to independently verify these figures” (source: www.foreignaffairs.com), so how should we see these differences?

Personally I have no issue with people and their religion, you see they can be a puritan as they want to be, and until they start pushing that onto us (read: me) they are fine. I have absolutely no regard for any Christian pushing their values onto others, in that I am quite happy to see the separation of state and church to be forever. There is in equal measure another issue, you see, puritan is often seen as ‘against pleasure‘, which is not always the case and that makes that discussion a lot harder, for what sets the definition of Puritan?

So when we see the quote from Nina Shea that gives us: “Now Europe is finding its voice with a new willingness to pressure the Saudi Arabian government to end its spread of extreme Islamic ideology, known in the West as Wahhabism“, so she has set ‘puritan‘ as ‘extreme version of‘. The question is on one side is what constitutes a puritan version as such and even if so, the Vatican forced Christianity into the world, whilst under its flag committed genocide by removing no less that 11 civilisations. The church and greed have gone hand in hand for centuries whilst the nobility, or should that be in modern tongue ‘Big Business’ have not been held accountable since before World War 1. The bible approved of slavery and in Matthew 19:14 and Mark 10:13 stated ‘Let the children come to me‘, Catholic priests saw that as an optional clear signal to fuck every young boy in town (whenever possible). So as the Holy See was considering thousands of priests actively taking the cherry from young boys for over 50 years, how many went to prison? In that light the media is equally to blame, until the movie Spotlight got the limelight in the Academy Awards, millions of Americans remained in denial. Even as the Boston Globe exposed it in 2002, it would take 13 years, until after the movie was released that the larger part of the media changed their tunes, the church still has that much power. So as we oppose one form of puritan religion, we see the outrages acts of our own religions and in that regard I have an issue with certain settings.

In addition we see: “As I told Congress in testimony last July, 16 years after the 9/11 attacks – led and carried out primarily by Saudis” we see yet another issue. In the first, this attack was done by Al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, who was indeed born Saudi, yet he was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, 9 years before the event. More important, their family came from the Yememi Kindah, so another ‘faith’ altogether, in that regard, when we consider that Kindites converted to Judaism following the conversion of the Ḥimyarite kings, which happened roughly 1500 years ago, so why is she not blaming Israel in all this? It seems to me that Nina Shea has no religious agenda; she has a political one and is willing to play Saudi Arabia towards her needs. In the part that we accept that Al-Qaeda was made up from Islamic Extremists and Salafists, there is the legitimate question on how many of the members of Al-Qaeda are (still) Saudi, but is that even possible to grasp? There are so many splinter organisations, active all over the Middle East, In Yemen is gets even more of an issue where they are fighting the Houthi’s. The New York Post gave us two weeks ago: “An immigrant from Saudi Arabia suspected of applying to join an al-Qaeda training camp has been arrested on a visa fraud charge in Oklahoma, according to a report. The FBI recently discovered Naif Abdulaziz Alfallaj after his fingerprints matched those taken from a document found in Afghanistan“, it makes matters worse and less clear. It is not a clear picture for those getting all the information, for people like Nina Shea who are willing to ‘filter’ data before their presentation make matters worse, we do not only get a distorted picture, we get more non-truths (at times non-verifiable truths, or speculations) and as such the picture shift a little more. We can argue that to some Saudi citizens desire a life of ‘action’ in perhaps the wrong direction is preferred over whatever they had before. We have all had those moments. I myself have argued within myself to find 1-2 paedophilic priests and hang them in the nearest tree without trial, so should I join some anti-religion and blow up churches? Of course not, that would be just insane, but some might do just that.

So when we consider ‘members of the Ku Klux Klan planted and detonated dynamite at the 16th Street Baptist Church‘ we also need to see that J. Edgar Hoover had secret recordings that proving the involvement of guilty parties (according to some sources), he also ensured that a court could not use them as evidence to prosecute the attackers, making it more difficult to convict. For 14 years after the bombing, none of the men were prosecuted for their crime. The first one to be arrested (and convicted) was Robert Edward Chambliss in 1977. So we, Americans and non-American Christians alike have closets full of skeletons, perhaps when it comes to certain matters we should not be the judging or reforming parties in the matters of other nations.

Now, there are a few sides that do bare consideration.

Even if we agree with: “In 2010, a top U.S. Treasury counterterrorism official warned that without Saudi education reform “we will forever be faced with the challenge of disrupting the next group of terrorist facilitators and supporters.”“, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state, it has its rights and it has forever been a Muslim state. You see, until the oil prices went down and the profits declined, America remained unwilling to hear any level of criticism on Saudi Arabia, making a lot of the matters in play hypocrite at best.

The next ‘wrongful representation‘ is “The West seems to be finally waking up. The new assertiveness shows official recognition of the link between Islamist ideology and terror, and our governments must keep it up“, you see, I see this as “as the profits are declining and as Saudi Arabia is now set to be a growing force beyond the petrochemical industry” we see issues because the ‘link between Islamist ideology and terror’ has been known for a long time and seen as such. Hamas, Hezbollah are the clearest ones. There is the Muslim Brotherhood, and plenty of others, whilst the PLO was delisted as a terrorist organisation is now again rearing its tail by no longer recognising the state of Israel, so that could escalate again. In addition we see that only the UK saw the Orange Volunteers as a terrorist organisation, I wonder why the US did not see it that way. So whatever makes that list is also very dependent on how they cross the United States of America (speculation on my side), so as the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia is becoming a growing centre of commerce and an economic power we start seeing more anti-Saudi events. Yet the US will happily sell all the weapons and planes they can for now. Nina also refers to a report that was classified and forced into the open in 2016 regarding the Saudi textbooks (at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/17/international-home/document-state-dept-study-on-saudi-textbooks.html), it is 148 pages, so read it there (the PDF was too large to place here).

My issue in this is not the paper; it is the chance of comprehending it all, it is linked to hundreds of books, to hundreds or issues all linked to the Koran and to the rights that Saudi Arabia has as a sovereign nation. We might not agree and as Christians we might to a certain degree oppose outside of Saudi Arabia, but its sovereign rights are as they wanted it, linked to the Muslim faith. We need to recognise that we are not all alike, that others have their rights and they need not be based on democracy. However we must also recognise that ‘democracy’ in America and largely in Europe is set towards what the rich and powerful want it to be. If you disbelief that then try to change laws in America that makes Wall Street criminally accountable. Good luck getting that done within the next 50 years!

You see, in support of my view, I would like to call attention to page 3, where we see “The national identity of Saudi Arabia is deceptively simple. It is an absolute monarchy“, so what makes a monarchy absolute? The Netherlands is a monarchy, so is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain and a few others. So as these are predominantly Christian monarchies, are they not absolute or dangerous? Perhaps they are merely seeing eye-to-eye with the US and not that much of an economic threat? The EU and the ECB simmered down the European nations as threats is another view and it is for people with better economic degrees than mine to make a call on that. Again a speculation from my side, but it seems to me that the US would prefer every nation to be a republic, so that the larger corporations can sweep in and reduce that national population into a spreadsheet and reduce the abilities of those being a hindrance, a non-consumer or a liability.

We can take any view on these matters, but in the end we see a person with a rightful opinion get the centre stage all the way to the US Congress, whilst we consider her quote: “Germany finally pressed Saudi Arabia to close the King Fahd Academy in Bonn in spring 2017, according to a 2016 Deutsche Welle report. It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda“. The question that is here is ‘It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda‘, so was that ever proven? That is the part that Nina Shea does not want you to know; in addition there is the part that was in the Deutsche Welle. ‘Now, the King Fahd Academy is about to close its doors of its own accord‘, which she did not mention. In addition (at http://www.dw.com/en/controversial-saudi-school-in-bonn-to-close/a-19511109), we see the clear mention of ‘Moving beyond oil‘, it seems that Europe and the US stayed very silent whilst the oil profits were flowing their way making a lot Nina states even more hypocrite. So as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing stronger towards his “Vision 2030“, we see that slowly his reforms are catching hold, there is momentum and there is additional evidence that it is a worry for the United States, particularly the people who were having benefits on the matters before Vision 2030. When we consider the rumour from last month when we were introduced to “The new policy means Apple is administering collection and remittance of tax to authorities at a rate of 20 percent in Armenia and Belarus; 5 percent in Saudi Arabia; 18 percent in Turkey; and 5 percent in United Arab Emirates” we see the clear benefit for Apple to grow in Saudi Arabia, yet in that it could cost the US 20 cents to every dollar pushed to Saudi Arabia and as Apple tends to think in tens of billions, the US is about to lose out of a pretty penny they desperately need. In addition with Amazon and Google gaining tech hubs there, the loss of revenue and data is about to cost the US a lot more and in this greed driven economy that is what has been setting plenty of people over the rails and into the sea of chaos, frustration and outcry. So as Saudi Arabia ends up getting 5 data centres, how many will not be upgraded in the US or Europe in the near future? How much is that going to cost them?

These are all matters linked to the opinion of Nina Shea, because if that was not the case we would not have seen “These events are being driven by Western governments that are now pushing hard for the government of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to pull back from Wahhabist support – a push that appears to be working“, you see, the fact that (some) schools closed on their own accord was not mentioned, neither is any part of Vision 2030 which has been on the front page of the Saudi plans of actions for almost 2 years now and in addition, when we see “For decades European and U.S. leaders bit their tongues while the Saudi governments spent billions of dollars indoctrinating Sunni Muslim communities“, whilst not stating that the oil money flowing into these places was too good to ignore is equally an issue because it shows us to be hypocrite and it shows Saudi Arabia to be business oriented. OK, I will give you that the last part is not entirely correct, but why did Europe and the US bite their tongues? If they were so morally high we would have seen a lot more, an issue that never happened.

So who will Nina Shea blame for that? I reckon we will leave it non-mentioned (for now).

Finally we need to look at her statement “Tiny Belgium, population 11.27 million, has sent more Islamic fighters to Syria per capita than any other European country“, so when we see the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-balks-at-taking-back-isis-fighters-1518557328) where we see the quote “An estimated two to three dozen Belgian foreign fighters are in detention in Syria and Iraq, another Belgian official said“, so as we consider an unrelated statistic like “Hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s 700 people per day, notes Steve Swensen“, the fact that we see the mention of 36 Belgium fighters in Syria in a pool of 5000, seems to be too irrelevant to use as a focal point in her presentation, whilst in the US 700 people a day die in Hospitals through mere errors. She has the wrong focus as illumination in her presentations. You see, it would not have mattered if she had mentioned the number of Belgium fighters and the total pool of ‘extremists’ but she did not want that, she wanted the hypocrite limelight, so I will happily keep a focus on her and how she tries to misinform the people around her next.

In all this Fox News should get an equal share in the blame by not setting the stage properly. By leaving too much unstated we should consider that the reliability of Fox News and what they present is equally taking a turn downwards.

In the end

In the end this was less about speaking for Saudi Arabia (they can do that themselves perfectly well), then speaking against Nina Shea. I find this a hatched job that should not have been placed on Fox News the way it was. Whatever points she could have made was drowned out by the misrepresentation that I see them to be and in several fields in many ways. This requires me to add her mention of ‘Islamist terror has replaced chocolate as Belgium’s best known export‘, you see the best export the Belgium ever had was beer, the finest in the world. And even as we agree that their chocolates are the best, we need to see that terrorism is not their export, or their best known export. Perhaps their flaw was to have the most cordial of borders in Europe, together with Sweden, yet as Sweden is up in the north and Belgium is caught between the Netherlands, Germany and France, there is no doubt that whatever they get came initially from one of the three other nations and guess what, Nina made no mention of that either. Perhaps because she was in doubt whether it was a good idea to piss the other three nations off? Again, merely speculation from my side, but in the end, we have seen in evidence from reputable sources that the economy has been a central reason in creating extremism, a part that has hit Belgium and several other nations. That too remains unmentioned.

 

 

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On the first day

On Friday Jonathan Freedland published an article on the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/01/disaster-texas-america-britain-yemen), the article is excellent. He is speaking his mind and rightly so. All the facts are correct and he is not playing some word game. Like other stuff he wrote top notch. Yet, I oppose him. Why?

Well, we can go from “it surely represents the most fundamental form of discrimination one can imagine: deeming the lives of one group of people to be worth less than those of another – worth less coverage, less attention, less sympathy, less sorrow“, he is right and it would be easy to just blame the media, like I have done on several occasions in the past. Yet the quote “The scale of the suffering in the Arab world’s poorest country is clear. Since it became the site of a proxy war in March 2015, 10,000 people have been killed, with 7 million made homeless. The UN is especially anxious about cholera, which has already killed 2,000 people and infected more than 540,000. It threatens to become an epidemic. That’s no surprise, given that sewage plants have been among the infrastructure bombed from the sky“. This is followed by “On the contrary, the Saudi government is armed to the hilt with weapons supplied by the UK and the US: £3.3bn worth of British firepower in the first year of this vicious war alone. And yet Yemen has barely registered in the western consciousness, let alone stirred the western conscience“. These two matters are merely the top of the iceberg. When we go back to 1957, we get the attempted assassination by MI6 and what was then laughingly known as the CIA. They fail. All British and French assets are nationalised. The UK intervention in early peace processes between Israel and Egypt. Iran 1953, we might see two sides in the story, one side is that US interventions caused the creation of the Islamic revolution and the blood baths that came afterwards. Is this the correct version? There are too many events involved, but it is a given certain that the events followed. It is merely a factor in a sea of events. Sudan 1998, here the Clinton Administration justified the attack by falsely claiming that it was a chemical weapons factory controlled by Osama bin Laden. Though the United States blocked the United Nations from investigating, independent reports leave little doubt that the plant was solely used for civilian medical items and there was no connection with the exiled Saudi terrorist. All speculations go out of the window; I find it interesting how it was the US that stopped the investigation. Equally the Obama administration refused to properly investigate the chemical attacks in Syria, willing to accept half-baked excuses, unwilling to get to the bottom of it all. This all is now starting to give us a pattern that related to the story.

So when we see “warnings that Yemen risks becoming the next Syria: its soil soaked in blood, rendered fertile for the next generation of violent jihadists” as well as “the children of Yemen are dying cruel deaths, while the rest of the world ignores them. They are not drowning in Texas or Mumbai. They are dying under a hot desert sun, killed by our allies – and by our inattention“, Jonathan is speaking the truth, yet I oppose!

You see, when we see in addition to the previous parts: “The collapse of leftist and nationalist Lebanese forces as a result of the U.S. intervention and the U.S.-backed Israeli invasion led to a power vacuum filled by extremist Islamic groups from below and an overbearing presence of the anti-American Syrian government from above. Combined with resentment at the enormous human costs of these interventions, Lebanon has turned from a staunchly pro-Western country to a center of anti-American sentiments“. Now, we must be honest in that when a glass is half full, it is equally half empty, so we can focus on one side or the other side. Yet the overbearing knowledge from the past is that the UK and US have been in a war for control. Either they were or no one else was. This is the setting we have seen for decades. As such we need to be aware of the ‘other’ side of the equation, but in my view the interventions of decades have been nothing but a failure and soon we will see that US and UK public opinion will shift against Saudi Arabia, merely because any long term success they book now will be counterproductive to anything these two players are trying to achieve. The UN has been privy and part of it to some extent. We could focus on resolution 425, when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978, later it did it again in 1982, I personally remember those days, I was in Israel when it happened. The interesting part was that the acts of the terrorist organisation and their movements were largely ignored by the UN and certain other officials, as well as the press. The report from Director Nahum Admoni of Mossad in 1983, who was seen as the ‘bad boy’ as the British press got a whiff of the Israeli nuclear plan, yet the fact that the Jonathan Pollard debacle where “Pollard was the only American who has received a life sentence for passing classified information to an ally of the U.S. In defense of his actions, Pollard declared that he committed espionage only because “the American intelligence establishment collectively endangered Israel’s security by withholding crucial information”. Israeli officials, American-Israeli activist groups, and some American politicians who saw his punishment as unfair lobbied continually for reduction or commutation of his sentence. The Israeli government acknowledged a portion of its role in Pollard’s espionage in 1987, and issued a formal apology to the U.S., but did not admit to paying him until 1998“, He was eventually released on Released November 20, 2015, after 28 years. Beyond that he had been denied basic rights between 19:00 and 07:00 every day since. In this we can draw two conclusions, not only that this involved a case with what the US calls ‘an ally’, it gives rise that on one side actual traitors have way more rights and that those actually in assault of the US like Bradley Manning, served less than 4 years and Edward Snowden who is still not in prison, not prosecuted or convicted. So either we can go all out and see how weird the US system is, or we can accept that the US (and UK) have been playing a very dangerous game in the middle east and anyone interfering there is locked up for life. So this is not about espionage, it is not about terrorism, it is about holding part of the power of the middle east, and so far the USA and the UK have shown just how illusionary it is to be involved in matters in the Middle East. Even if we start to consider the damage caused and inflicted, the game goes on there.

So on the first day of September Jonathan correctly shows us how little the media and all others care about Yemen, whilst in the same air partially ignores that Yemen is not even a player for the power plays on who has the right to speak at the power table of the Middle East. Both the USA and the UK want to have a permanent seat at that table and anything opposing that will be dealt with or ignored. By the way, when we look back at the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings and the optional Mossad report, who in the end had been dealt with for that? Perhaps one of them became the current Minister of Defence for Iran (Hossein Dehghani Poudeh)? Yes, when it comes to terrorism and Hezbollah, we need to make certain that we have all the facts, so as we are told how bad things are in Yemen, we concur and do not disagree, but the 241 U.S. and 58 French peacekeepers who got blown up are perhaps sitting on a cloud wondering why France, the UK and the USA are talking to the current Defence minister of Iran. In addition, why a certain report from their ally Mossad director Nahum Admoni was just as easily cast aside and forgotten a little over 33 years ago.

I am merely speculating here!

So as we see certain changes in the alliance between Iran and Qatar, we see also that the game played there is becoming slowly but certainly a more hazardous situation, not just locally there, as Qatarians (or: stake holders from Qatar) seems pushed to sign over bank stakes to China (read: Chinese investors) we see that one wave is feeding another one, in what way? That I cannot really predict, the data is presently missing to make any speculation or assumption in that direction. What is a given is that the people with a seat at the table will be part of the profits when the Saudi privatisation waves hit and that is where actual power and wealth is handed out. An event that both the USA and UK are desperate to attend as it will dwarf what happened in Russia, the hundreds of billionaires created in Russia were nothing compared what Saudi Arabia will bring and the power players in the west hopes that those hundreds are friends of the west, not those embracing a strict Islamic way of life.

Greed is the eternal opponent of opportunity, never more so than at present.

So on that first day, who do you think will be trying to advise others on where to place their privatisation bets, it won’t be in Yemen, that’s for sure!

 

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A big tree in the desert

It started a little while ago, 4 nations got angry at Qatar, I wrote about it earlier. There were issues on both sides and there were intelligence considerations as well. In this Germany intelligence decided to shed light on the matter by investigating certain sources. A path I reckon that until now has not been too successful. A path that was equally a given not to be too successful, yet what was not expected was the issue shown a few days later when on July 16th The Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/uae-hacked-qatari-government-sites-sparking-regional-upheaval-according-to-us-intelligence-officials/2017/07/16/00c46e54-698f-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html), the issue shown with “The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials“, in addition there is “In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post article was “false.”“, which is to be expected. Finally we get “Qatar has repeatedly charged that its sites were hacked, but it has not released the results of its investigation. Intelligence officials said their working theory since the Qatar hacks has been that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt or some combination of those countries were involved. It remains unclear whether the others also participated in the plan“, which is an equal truth. In addition, we need to realise that this is not some fake news site, this is the Washington Post, America’s answer to The Times, and its high ethics in journalism have been established for the longest of times, so when we see a mere 2 hours ago (at http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/qatar-diplomatic-crisis-latest-updates-170605105550769.html) the update “Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt say they are ready for dialogue with Qatar if it shows willingness to fight ‘terrorism’” a quote given after we see the headline ‘The latest news after some of the Gulf states and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade‘, yet in light of the found hack(s), how valid are these blockades? In addition we see in regarding the Hajj pilgrimage that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are in a he said versus he said situation, a side we would not have expected from these two evolved nations. There is a larger drawback in all this, as Turkey is trying to ‘ingratiate’ their own agenda, they are now becoming a stronger middleman for anything Iran has in mind, whilst not being connected to the action and in addition to that, the pressures at present are also enabling abilities in Palestine. There is no clear intelligence that is in the open that should be regarded as reliable, yet the ‘watercooler chats‘ seem to imply that calls between the PSS and Hezbollah wave allegedly been happening with some ‘regularity’ in the last 4 weeks, if that is so, than additional pressures on Israel cannot be far away.

Back to Qatar, the latest news gives that according to Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State that Qatar has met with the commitments that they were promising, there is a given that when Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with three allies that are not the smallest, any nation under pressure would be willing to comply with any reasonable demand that does not impede national pride to get in the way. Yet, what has the opposition offered at present? In my view the German promise seems unlikely to result to be any form of a working tactic to get some kind of resolution in play. You see, if there was any actual support being given, it would not be registered. I hope that the Americans learned that part when they found Osama Bin Laden a mere one mile from an elite Pakistani military academy. In my view there is no way that those involved with the security there had no knowledge of EVERY building within two miles of the academy. In that same air, you might think that Qatar is aware of any terrorist involvement, that is not the case, but there is ample proof on a few levels that it is utterly impossible that no one knew. The issue becomes how high does it go?

In that same light we need to look at another source. In this case I am looking at a piece by Sami Moubayed. The title ‘Qatar PR blitz is fooling no one‘ (at http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/qatar-pr-blitz-is-fooling-no-one-1.2067427) is not the part that matters. We might wonder why he focusses on the amounts like $150,000 a month for ‘research, government relations, and strategic consulting services‘, which might also include ‘communications with members of Congress and Congressional staff, executive branch officials, the media, and other individuals‘, the second cost at $2.5 million for former US Attorney General John Ashcroft who would be auditing Qatari efforts at halting terrorism funding. It is interesting how he is going to achieve that as the scope of monitoring and verification is close to impossible when we consider the rogue spears we have seen in Iran in the past, a mere general was able to give the largest level of materials and support towards the enemies of Israel. In this I saw that over that they missed out on options to increase visibility of close to 75% for a mere $10,000 a month (excluding my commission mind you), in light of the mentioned $138,000 not the greatest expense. Yet the important truth is given soon thereafter in “This is where the problem started and where serious work needs to be done to rebrand the country’s political orientation. No PR firm can do the job — it can be done by one person only, being Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani“, which is only partially true. They still need a facilitator to give a wider voice, or better spoken a channel to transfer the words of Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to a much wider audience.

Sami is right when he states “Only he has the power to change his country’s image in the eyes of its neighbours“, and in this I am not even mentioning his valid reason of “All Qatar needs to do is walk away from Hamas and Yousuf Al Qaradawi“, which would have been a good idea any day of the week. Qatar has a few more options, options that they did not even realise that they had. There is a case to be made to revamp Al Jazeera TV’s editorial policy. Yet as it is speaking to the hearts and minds of Muslims (to a larger extent), I would not be able to give proper advice in that place, what does matter is that non-Muslims know what Al-Jazeera is, yet in reality those people do not know what EXACTLY Al-Jazeera is and that could be a small task, easier rectified and it starts on their own website. Not the flaccid minute under the heading of ‘about us‘. That current part of 200 words with the ‘Who we are‘ is so minute, so none telling that is overlooked with the mere blink of an eye. The words there “Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera Arabic was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate“, is laughter incarnate in my personal opinion! I am willing to bet a building on the fact that their 1996 was a challenge worthy of a small novel to say the least, so why not properly introduce Al-Jazeera to Muslims and non-Muslims alike? If Al-Jazeera is truly in 100 countries, the cheapest of solutions (read: SAP Dashboard) could add visibility to what is being offered, the network could grow through offering visibility using a mere BI consultant, which in all likelihood is already walking around in at least one of their 100 offices. In similar visibility they are presently (as their website indicates) not in France or the Netherlands, and perhaps at least in one office in one of the Scandinavian countries with the ability to offer local language support to thousands of Muslims. To the extent that this is PR that is massively cheaper than some PR offices offer and that is something Qatar would have in their own hands, working a social network with localisation. Interesting that that was not mentioned anywhere.

My ideas are directly reflective of the words of Sami Moubayed as he states “Somebody needs to whisper in the ear of the emir — and senior management at Al Jazeera — that they need to do a better job to polish their image; rather than spend millions on agencies in London and Washington, it’s far more urgent — and less costly — to do the job at home“, yet he does it in absence of directness or direct ideas on how to do it. I reckon that is fair enough, the man is a historian; he mostly lives in the past, not in the tomorrow. That is not an accusation; it is merely a factual realisation.

In this, the strongest point he makes is seen with “After a wave of agony swept the Arab World since 2011, this doesn’t sell any longer throughout the region. In fact, it sounds and reads as cheap, cliché, and very outdated“, this is exactly why the entire dashboard is such a step forward, I noticed a few more issues. There would be a fair debate whether this is laziness, or mere editorial policy. A case could be made for either side, yet the issue remains.

As we say goodbye to the Al-Jazeera side, we need to embrace one more part in the article by Sami. When we revisit the title ‘Qatar PR blitz is fooling no one‘, I will argue that there is no fooling going on, the article reads nice, but it is not an ‘or’ situation, Qatar is in a ‘and’ situation, where they need to visit issues on inclusion and finding more options to visit, not choosing from some selection and there is a need to be clever about it because the cost and effect of $150,000 a month needs to be examined as how it was spend and what was gained. The question on rebranding politics is also up for grabs, is it about branding or making sure that the visibility is correctly vetted? These elements are not the same and the cause and effect here is also implicitly seen as we see the reactions from the 4 neighbours currently not happy with Qatar. In this, there is an additional part for me set in the issues from Saudi Arabia. I have not read the original reports (and my knowledge of the Arabian language can be rounded upwards towards 0%), yet the press on a near global scale have never given proper item by item view of all the elements, more important towards the evidence as the other 3 (minus the hacking UAE) have offered them with shown source intelligence. It would be so embarrassing if the other three plaintiffs are all depending on one and the same source (an unknown part and speculative from my side). I believe that open clear communication is a first step to resolve it. the fact that my glasses got initially tainted because Al-Jazeera was kind enough to start that day with voicing anti-Semitism through  broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, that was not a good day for Al-Jazeera in light of the stresses in Doha that day. This is exactly why reforming, or better stated editing the ‘powers to be’ within Al-Jazeera sooner rather than later.

For me, I have always been a fan of oversimplifying any issue, so when I look at the grievances now in play, if there could be talks and the three nations can name one item that would show the good intentions of Qatar, what would it be and could Qatar comply with these three items? You see, it might sound oversimplified, but the reality is that all large achievements start small, one step at a time. In that way, we are not enabling either Iran or Turkey (there are issues with some of their decisions), there is an open view of the matter at hand and there is movement in a stress reducing direction. If those three items would stop the blockades, there would be a first step in resolution and more important, as I personally see it, the risk of escalation, as two nations miscommunicate between two optional dinghies and send missiles in the wrong direction is definitely a good element to prevent. Consider the implications, if we see the choice from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Would the biggest issue of his kingdom be with the dissidents or with the Iranian connections?

I believe that certain actions are becoming increasingly important, not merely because of the pressures and stresses, the short term issue is seen as we read “The boycotting countries have previously told the WTO that they would cite national security to justify their actions against Qatar, using a controversial and almost unprecedented exemption allowed under the WTO rules” (at http://www.trtworld.com/mea/qatar-crisis-latest-developments-413572), the problem here is that if this element is accepted, the WTO is not merely a cannel of facilitation, it would leave Qatar with very little to work with, it would in addition leave Turkey with holding the bag as the shops are showing in big signs ‘From Turkey by air – New products‘, if those remain Turkey itself ends up in deep hot waters with all the repercussions that follow. As my Law classes included all matters Wise, Terrible and Obvious, the words as given in Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/03/01/trump-admins-yugely-terrible-trade-idea-to-ignore-wto-rulings-america-doesnt-like/#7edfa5103a9f)

With: “Not obeying WTO rules allows countries to close their markets to your exports, it doesn’t force them to open them up“, that would be a stage with issues on several levels we really don’t want to end up at.

This also gets me to the article for another reason. The March 1st article shows more than you expected. You see with “The Trump administration sent shockwaves through the world of trade yesterday when the Financial Times reported that it was looking for ways to bypass the World Trade Organization, the 22-year-old oversight body that adjudicates trade disputes, and which Trump has called a “disaster.”” we now get a second consideration, is the Trump administration using the Qatar strategy to try to thwart the WTO in another way, trying to take away the equality and fairness that the WTO had in the past to set a different set of rules. Did the White House legal team brief the four non-Qatari minded players to use this to put more pressure on Qatar? It might be a valid tactic, yet the US could have had other reasons for pushing the WTO, the question is whether that is equally in play here, if that is so (speculative from my side) than it is the US that has done more than increase pressures on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE. It is trying to change the global setting of trade in what I expect to be the most selfish of reasons, under those conditions, we might soon see that being a member of the EU is no longer a benefit, as it would become the anchor holding the other EU nations back in trade, merely for the reason that they cannot simply change trade rules for the EU.

So if Doha means Big Tree, we have to wonder what the board looks like at present, it seems that certain actions have been put into motion to set a season of drought for this big tree. We can argue that they did part of it to themselves, yet when we see that other players have had certain personal needs, who is actually trying to resolve the situation with a total absence of personal selfish needs? As I see it not the PR firms, in equal measure there are certain steps that Al-Jazeera could have put into place months ago, yet that too has not been achieved, so who on the side of Qatar is actually thinking of Qatar? I know it is not Turkey or Iran. I do not know who is, but as we see other sources state that “In a study by David Andrew Weinberg that was published in January by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) titled “Qatar and Terror Finance: Part II: Private Funders of [al-Qaida] in Syria,” he wrote: “Based on these cases, there is no persuasive proof that Qatar has stopped letting certain terror financiers off the hook.”” (source: Jerusalem Post), we see that Qatar needs to start considering what is important to Qatar, because in the end Hamas will not care, they merely continue with their path of hatred against that state of Israel with whatever funds they can lay their fingers on. With all the considerations we would want to give to Qatar, it is the actions of Qatar, shown by too many sources that they themselves are becoming (read: have become) their own worst enemy. The one question that Sami Moubayed leaves us with is any of this done (read: facilitated) with the clear approval of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar? That is the part that matters the most and that path also shows the path of least resistance in hopefully finding a solution to the matter for all the players involved.

 

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Statistical defiance

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

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

Way to go Andrew!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Blood

It’s nice to see the Guardian this morning, first there is the news on Alan Rushbridger who stops being a teenager and starts heading the Scott Trust the power that be, behind the Guardian and several other media companies. Why Teenager? Well, as I see it, when you follow your passion you tend to avoid having to grow up (a sort of Peter Pan syndrome) and this man has lived his dream as I see it. I have written against the Guardian more than once, but it is clear Alan knows what he was doing and he was doing it quite well. Lastly, the bastard looks 15 years younger than his actual age (geriatric envy).

Anyway, now that is out of the way, let’s focus on some first blood. Some will have missed it, but with this jab, President Obama has started his feeble attempt in getting the Democratic Party re-elected in 2016. He needs to get an early start, because if the House Elections are anywhere near an indication, the democrats will lose by a landslide as I see it at present. The Republicans now have 246 seats against the democrats 188, which means that minority speaker Pelosi needs to seriously woe the republicans to get anything sorted, this also implies that President Obama needs to get used to the word ‘No’ a lot more then that he is comfortable with.

So, as we look at the continuation of a white horse, we look at the latest article called ‘White House under pressure as calls for CIA accountability grows stronger‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/10/white-house-cia-torture-report). Now there is nothing really against the article itself, it is just a reflection for that what seems to be. But the following parts jumped out at me.

The White House is under growing pressure to hold individuals accountable for covering up the torture of terrorist suspects, with calls coming from a senator for a purge of top CIA officials and a furious row over whether the agency kept both Congress and the previous administration sufficiently informed of the program“, which senators? To give some of these people the label ‘pussy’ seems harsh but in effect that is the truth. These people are all about ‘not getting hands tainted’, ‘I still need to sleep at night’ and ‘as long as I am kept in the dark’. The real terror world outside the US is a nightmare realm, if you can stomach it, the consequences and the acts you have to live with you do not and never will belong on the hill and you belong as a part of the Langley brotherhood, likely trained or to be trained in Quantico or Lejeune. Going up against terrorists is a dirty business and it will damage your soul, whether you believe it or not. Now, I spoke out against the acts yesterday and to the major extent I believe that it was a flawed approach from the beginning. But the reality is that bringing a terrorist into the yard for a meeting with Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, having tea and a biscuit will not lead to information or determent. You must become the beast they fear. If there is one clear directive that we learned from the KGB (now the FSB) and how they dealt with the Russian Mafia, it is that a soft glove leads nowhere.

So which senator made that call? Well, the information is that it came from Senator Mark Udall from the state of Colorado, which seems to be predominantly Republican. By the way, how loud were some of these people before 2010?

The next statement: “When countries are threatened, oftentimes they act rationally in ways that in retrospect were wrong”, is one I can go along with, it is true that this happens, yet the one thing we still ignore is that the terrorist attack we saw had been so unprecedented, that any ‘rational’ response could be thrown out of the window. This compared to the Chechnyan act of parking trucks loaded with explosives next to apartment buildings and blow them (Moscow 1999), try that approach in San Francisco and watch millions go insane with rage. It is a mere and simple cause & effect. If you go into a war against such opponents you need to keep your cool and show that you are willing to do that what they could not fathom. In other words you need your own kind of monster available.

This does not change my premise that the intelligence gained from prolonged torture tends to be ineffective and mostly useless. Whatever answer in regards to state ‘we got Bin Laden this way‘ is on thin ice, regarding how many people it took to get any information on one person.

many insiders perceive as an attempt to isolate the intelligence community from Washington’s political leaders was also supported by former CIA director Michael Hayden“, which is exactly what I would consider to be a fact and the administration had some knowledge of what happened (like water boarding), yet they would never know, or want to know the details, they wanted to see results. Which calls the following to be called into question: “White House rejects claims agency misled President Bush“, which might be academically true, but ““That’s a point of some contention,” he said, when asked whether the CIA had lied to the White House. “There are some people who have said that that’s not true.”” here we see the crux, what EXACTLY was not true? You see, we get a number of ambiguous references, but did the CIA lie, or did they not reveal all facts? There is a large difference here, and as such part of this what we read becomes a deception on how ‘guilty’ the previous administration could have been. It is first blood, the Democrats seem to be pushing for a moral guilt call, in reflection on President Obama ‘stopping’ the torture procedures, yet, if we believe the Huffington Post (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/obama-black-sites-rendition-torture_n_1812578.html), we see that like the technical support of their phone lines, it had been outsourced. The headline that gave us ‘Obama Administration Outsources Torture: Can U.S. Ever End Human Rights Abuses?‘ also tells us: “Despite the closure of these facilities, the administration’s use of extraordinary rendition has outsourced human rights abuse to other countries. Will we ever get rid of torture?” It gives a whole new meaning to the claim ‘it was not us!’

Black water anyone, or do we call it coffee?

What is in a name, in an act and in any non-written, non-verbal agreement is being looked at, which means it is a discussion of innuendo, whilst the politicians hide behind ‘if it is not written down, it does not exist’, knowing that they play this game, selling whatever service they condoned for their own selfish need of re-election. That is how this reads between the lines. So when we read “Director [John] Brennan and the CIA are continuing to wilfully provide inaccurate information and misrepresent the efficacy of torture. In other words, the CIA is lying,”, we should ask certain questions of Senator Udall as well, The senator, who was before that in the House of Representatives, representing the community of Boulder (where Mork from Ork used to live), representing the Judiciary and Agriculture Livestock & Natural Resources Committees, can we all agree that litigating for cattle is not really the same as discussing the finesses of intelligence?

The final part is seen with “Yet Obama’s spokesman went out of his way to defend Brennan on Wednesday, denying that he had lied about any aspect of the torture inquiry“, yes, the President would not like to get his hands tainted on fingering guilt towards Director John Brennan, yet overall this entire article reads like the Democratic administration has started regaining votes and visibility through false morality by having a Minority Democratic Senator stand up and voice thoughts that are morally right, but for the morally wrong reasons. It is almost like the initial invasion on Iraq, when you do the right thing for the wrong reasons you corrupt whatever banner you wish to hold high. In a faltered economy, virtually boosted, the losing party of the next election will feel the consequences of this depreciated position. The democrats are desperate to make sure it is not them.

There is one more quote that calls it all into question. Consider ““The lines of accountability that needed to be set up weren’t always in place and that some of these techniques that were described were not only wrong were counterproductive.”“, it is so nice that President Obama is trying to fit this into the hands of the Intelligence community, like ‘vice holds’ and ‘muzzles’, would it not be nice if he had taken that approach towards the financial industry at least three years ago? If he had done that, America might not be in the desperate economic state it is now; moreover Russia might take America serious when they discuss the Ukraine. This article is all fine, but it read like the democrats will be using this for something entirely different, I hope the people can read between the lines here, because holding certain people to account after the fact, whilst the condoning politicians remain unaccounted for is more than just a little shady.

 

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The first horse

It is a strange day. Yesterday we saw the first mentions of caution, the first sign that there were issues at foot, the US government trying to elate caution towards those phrasing views. In light of 18 trillion of undebated and unconsulted debts, now we see words of caution. So what is going on?

In this light I will actually use the bible as a reference, not in regards to scriptures or in regards to what it could be, but regard that we have a view that has been grown from the past, now regard it to what might be.

The issue is seen in the article ‘Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about ‘ineffective’ program‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-released). Here we see the first issue: “a milestone report by the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday that concluded the agency’s use of torture was brutal and ineffective – and that the CIA repeatedly lied about its usefulness“. Really? The CIA being less than honest about its operations? That sounds like nothing we might expect from a government operation, is it? The second quote directly links to the events linking them both “It found that torture “regularly resulted in fabricated information,” said committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, in a statement summarizing the findings. She called the torture programme “a stain on our values and on our history”“, you see, perhaps someone wants to take a look back to 2003, but not to America, but to Russia

In early April 2003, we get information to some extent on Akhmad Kadyrov, the Chief Mufti of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the 1990s during and after the First Chechen War, suggested that Russian federal forces are behind breaking into homes at night and abducting people. “People continue to go missing in Chechnya. They are taken away in the middle of the night. Their bodies are not found and they are never seen again” (at http://articles.latimes.com/2003/aug/29/world/fg-chechnya29) Kadyrov said to reporters in Grozny. “Through their crimes, they maintain tension in the republic, and their hands are stained with the blood of innocent people. The force is made up of kidnappers in armoured vehicles. They are a death squad.” Yet, some claim (journalists and experts on Chechnya), that many such abductions are the work of the Kadyrovites – Chechen security police headed by his son, Ramzan Kadyrov.

So who is right? And moreover, we see that from several State Department key figures, there is a question on certain elements of intelligence that came forward as a result to these methods of torture. In addition we see ‘Confessions at Any Cost: Police Torture in Russia‘ a piece written by Diederik Lohman, especially on page 102, where we see Russia and a reference to the Leahy amendment. A U.S. human rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity, which should have been the crown achievement of Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont, seems such a shame that this application does not apply to the US as such at all.

Here we see the first reference of the White horse of the Apocalypse, Christ mounted on a white horse, appearing as The Word of God. Yet, who is this proclaimer of the word of god? You see, in all fairness Senator Patrick Leahy had in vision assistance under morale strength, I have no indication that he had anything but the noblest intentions in mind and no matter when it all started, these described acts continued for a long time, unmonitored by those claiming that it was counterproductive when the Russians were doing this. The alleged fact in addition we see at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-released-senate, give a worry as “The CIA and White House had tried to block some or all of the report“, why exactly was the White House blocking this? We need not ask the CIA, as they had plenty to lose, yet what was agreed upon by the White house? Consider the Events of May 25th 2011 “Tonight, President Obama addressed the Nation to announce that the United States has killed Osama bin Laden“, the Intel required could not have been achieved without torture, that much is a fairly accurate statement.

Yet overall the report shows the following “During the brutal interrogations, the CIA was often unaware the information was fabricated.” She told the Senate the torture program was “morally, legally and administratively misguided” and “far more brutal than people were led to believe“, in addition we now get “At least one prisoner died as a result of hypothermia after being held in a stress position on cold concrete for hours. At least 17 detainees were tortured without the approval from CIA headquarters that ex-director George Tenet assured the DOJ would occur. And at least 26 of the CIA’s estimated 119 detainees, the committee found, were “wrongfully held.”“, so as almost 1 in 5 is wrongfully held, how can there be any justification of that what had transpired? I personally see it as an event where the key players were so desperate for results that too many were thrown into this abyss, many wrongfully, when we get back to the first part regarding ‘fabricated information’ we see a need for what some need it to be, versus a majority who desire something to be, the acts against that what is, for the mere ‘show’ of success. How is this in any way, any kind of intelligence? It prolongs the need for a group of people the US should never have needed in the first place.

We now get to the second version of the white horse “the first horseman is called Pestilence, and is associated with infectious disease and plague“, so as the white horse approached, I saw a horse meagre, showing bone and rib, but standing tall holding its rider. As it past the people, any near enough would fall, the swells would give view to the boils and the eyes as they grew white, men devoid of life, but not dead; to suffer as their last breathe left them. The rider, showing sickly with yellow eyes, seated on the horse pointing at those who would then fall down to dying. His bow, would wield the green puslike arrows that could strike near and far in all, making them devoid of life. Without speed horse and rider would move forward for all to fall towards death crossing its path.

The third article linked to this is ‘Shock and anal probe: reading between the redactions in the CIA torture report‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/09/redactions-cia-torture-report-experts). When we consider the following: “If torture does not lead to actionable intelligence and does not stop terrorist acts, then why use it at all? Shouldn’t we have used traditional, rapport-based interrogation techniques such as the FBI agents who questioned Abu Zubaydah? The suspect was cooperating until the CIA’s contractors started waterboarding Abu Zubaydah in detention for 17 days, until he became “completely unresponsive”“. In addition there is “It’s as if the designers of the torture program deliberately avoided expertise that would have steered them away from coercive interrogation techniques. It makes me question whether the techniques were ever about getting intelligence – or just exacting punishment“, there is an implied issue here. The question I have is as we saw the need for these specialists; we also saw a budget that was suddenly pushed for hundreds of millions. We saw Field intelligence experts, whose value would suddenly double overnight. Is it such a far-fetched notion that this was about a group of people prolonging their gravy train?

Last we need to include “The Senate’s report confirms what we’ve long known: the United States systematically tortured detainees, sometimes to the point of death, and relied on the complicity of health professionals to commit and conceal these crimes“, which beckons another path, how can we rely on a group of people who have proclaimed so much to so many, whilst they were on the inside condoning acts that have never been regarded as humane, or humanitarian as such. In that light, how can any nation be regarded as trustworthy, when there is clear indication that several of its branches were protecting the transgressions they claimed to be inhumane as others performed them. That’s like a drug dealer calling a politician immoral; it is a tainted statement to say the least.

Here we have the final version of the first horse “One interpretation, which was held by evangelist Billy Graham, the American Southern Baptist, who casts the rider of the white horse as the Antichrist, a mere representation of the false prophet, citing differences between the white horse in Revelation 6 and Jesus on the white Horse in Revelation 19“, yet when we consider the head of crowns, whether it be one crown or a head with ‘many crowns’, we must also decide on the view we have of those involved. In my view, there is but one crown, whether it is righteous, or in judgement. We have the crown of our intent and as such we are there for judged by it. In my view there is no option for many crowns, as each crown is regarded as another personification, one cannot hold true to any of them as the heads wearing all of them has considered. We must accept that either we follow one crown (whichever it is), or betray all crowns in the process of aligning with one. Here we see the CIA, single focussed on one crown, yet using whatever hat (see: crown) they wear to get the ‘job’ done and in the process betray all values they held, or claimed to have held high. Is my stern view at fault, or is their polarisation of many hats a view that is corrupt, counterproductive and in the end fatal in the eye of all other beholders?

It is the one view of the Book of Revelation that I consider (in my mind as it evolved in the present) as wrong! If we accept that the crowns indicate total sovereignty and authority then one crown should have been the one, like any monarch, they have one crown, sovereignty sets authority and authority grows justice through mandate. Perhaps my view is a limiting one, but one action consequences into the follow up of actions as a rational of that what should be. At times Sovereignty calls for war as values are under attack, yet it is always from a moral and natural view, which is why I always opposed those with many hats, for those who follow everything do not value anything, it is a limited view, but if we accept a non-atheists view then we can accept that only our heavenly father knows everything, we, the rest just try to figure out 1-2 things, and be just in our lives. It is not much to ask for, but achieving this is still quite the victory.

The torture program shows a lack of that doctrine and a total lack of whatever value natural law allowed for, not mentioning the brazen transgression on constitutional law. We must all accept that we are a witness to dire times. Some will grasp the bible, some (like myself) will try to figure out a solution to move forwards, holding those transgressors to account, a view that some will cry for but at present none will be witness to. This entire issue had been a managed view to keep the key figures of transgressors out of the reach of the many. A dangerous step to live for, but if it is true that the US economy is about to take another massive hit (in about 8-11 weeks), then the key figures in these events can be forgotten about as other issues will give raise to the worry others will get through the demise of America through its economy. That part is seen in its earliest version (at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-official-america-is-now-no-2-2014-12-04). This we see at “The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A. As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese“. You see, there is a link, it is not about the torture, but about those behind this, the report was never about to be ‘blocked’ some or all extent. This is about a massive need to keep eyes away from the economy. The same fear Australia has in regards to Mining, that fear the US has in abundance towards manufacturing. They, who had a 300% advantage over China, they are now behind on China and there is no option to change that at present, 18 trillion in debts gets you that. Consider how much China had to grow in only 14 years, how much the US had to ignore and neglect as American companies pushed themselves into a non US-taxed state of producing in China (iPhone anyone?); that change with non-taxable additions is what got US into this mess and there is no exit strategy, but the call for something else.

Perhaps I am nothing more than a diluted false prophet. Yet, I do not proclaim, I question, I call to attention the facts as they are presented by those having so much to lose, are my questions so far out of bounds? We will see in less than 12 weeks, consider at that point, the sudden amazing, so awkwardly bad news we will see on TV, you have seen it in 2004 and 2008, so who will you trust when you see it in 2015? We do not have to wait that long, because the article also tells us “China’s recent decision to bring gross domestic product calculations in line with international standards has revealed activity that had previously gone uncounted” and “These calculations are based on a well-established and widely used economic measure known as purchasing-power parity (or PPP), which measures the actual output as opposed to fluctuations in exchange rates“, it implies that US economists have ‘ignored’ purchasing power parity. As we look at international Business Times (at http://www.ibtimes.com/china-economy-surpasses-us-purchasing-power-americans-dont-need-worry-1701804), with the headline ‘China Economy Surpasses US in Purchasing Power, But Americans Don’t Need To Worry‘, that was on October 8th. So is this torture report truly a revelation, or was it torture for the US government to see themselves surpassed by China? That is, surpassed before Christmas, before Thanksgiving and before Chinese New Year, a population 4 times the size of America.

What bad news (read revelation through the press) will we see next?

 

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A spooky situation

It is another day and another article from the Guardian graces us. The headline ‘Isis beheading video brings calls for rethink of UK domestic terrorism fight‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/21/james-foley-isis-beheading-uk-counterterrorist-fight-in-crisis), was what called my attention. If ISIS events are now making Twitter change its policy, then I definitely need to take another look at the other articles. Yet, what is the Guardian article actually about? The article goes into several events, but has two parts that do matter. The first one is “The UK government was under pressure to rethink its approach to tackling domestic extremism as security services, led by MI5“, which is only part of an ’emotional sentence’ to rile the public. The second one was “Some 500 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq and joined Islamist groups fighting there. Some 200 are estimated to have returned to the UK“, the rest are nice titbits, but the meat is there, now for the funny part. I already highlighted that need and that issue on June 8th 2013 in my blog ‘Privacy and (fake) fears‘, where I wrote:

They need these abilities to fight the existing and growing threat called ‘the lone wolf terrorist’. These people are guided by sources like ‘Inspire’ magazine, which is created by AQAP (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula). It is however not that simple. The real lone wolves get their ‘guidance’ remotely from sources most do not know and all that under the eyes of the Intelligence Community. To have a grip on stopping these people, monitoring the internet is essential to keeping us the common people safe.

This is why all these false ‘privacy’ driven issues. I personally still believe that a fair bit is scared to be caught out as they are doing the girl in the office, the neighbour’s wife of have a few dodgy fake investments lined up. Lust and Greed tend to be excellent bringers of worries.

I did like this quote “Former officers from MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence service, have downplayed the threat to British security, while MI5 and the police have emphasised the threat“. I think they are both right, let me explain. ISIS has other fish to fry, for the most it wants to extent through Jordan into Sinai, when they have three sides pushing Israel and mounting up pressure to Egypt, possible hoping to radicalise the members of the Muslim Brotherhood that are in hiding now. That would be their first interest in setting off the ‘tinderbox of agony’ (sorry, I was playing Diablo 3 last night). So, that proves MI6, but what about MI5? Well, the 200 returned soldiers are still in the UK and it is very likely that part of that group is more in league with the vision of ISIS then the safety and comfort that the UK had offered them as they grew up in the UK. These people can convey messages, set up new ways to deliver news (like trough private channels in a MMORPG game in Facebook or freely downloaded, which is impossible to monitor) and recruit new people who have not left the UK, which would be a disadvantage to MI5. Now it is important to know that this is all speculation on my side. I cannot prove that this is happening, but is it not more likely than not that an extremist would like to propel his ‘rightness’ onto others? In that regards it might be nice to read ‘Avoiding the Traps of Extremism‘ by Samuel López De Victoria, Ph.D (at http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/10/07/avoiding-the-traps-of-extremism/). It is a decent piece, it is easy to read and it gives you a view that many can easily relate to. It also highlights on the dangers why extremism would be too easily brought to the hearts of the younger followers. No matter how much better life is in the UK, people there have had a very hard decade and only now, slowly is there the chance, not the assurance of economic relief. These recruiters are here in the twilight of a recession recruiting those who are at the end of their patience and that is what MI5 can clearly see (and with them a few others).

So they are both right, but there is a third part to this. This is again pure speculation, but from the events, when proven true, we could come to the conclusion that ISIS is playing a different game again. It is almost like someone took a look at American football and we see that they do not have one tactician in charge but two. Almost like offense and defence, but in the case of ISIS it is the daytime war commander for armies and open warfare and a night-time tactician, who is setting up the play for the lone wolf tactics. Perhaps the death of Osama Bin Laden taught them to not leave it all with one man and if that is true, what other changes did they make?

This is where I agree and disagree with Dr Erin Saltman who stated that the best way to identify the lone wolf is that if this person makes a mistake and tells one family member then they might call the police. I reckon that Erin is on the same train I am on. My disagreement is because I think that the chance of that is extremely unlikely and if we want to stop these lone wolves, we need an entirely new playbook, because the current approach is unlikely to work. I still believe that in the end it will be GCHQ that will need to bring forth the innovation that will allow MI5 to complete its mission, because message traffic has forever been the only weak link in any war that required communication.

A few come to mind, but none will be revealed here. Good hunting!

 

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