Tag Archives: Pakistani

The public and facts ignored

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Bells of Duty and Death

We have all heard it before, the clarion call, the bells are ringing and of course in 1983 the bells of St Mark were all ringing for Sheila E. So what happens, when you make that one mistake where your moment of non-concentration gets people killed, optionally a lot of people! That is what the Washington Post gives us (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/03/06/hundreds-immigrant-recruits-risk-death-sentence-after-army-bungles-sensitive-data/?utm_term=.d381e6f9d0ff)

The starter “Army officials inadvertently disclosed sensitive information about hundreds of immigrant recruits from nations such as China and Russia, in a breach that could aid hostile governments in persecuting them or their families, a lawmaker and former U.S. officials said.” is not a soft one. What the never explainable bloody hell is going on? When I see: “A spreadsheet intended for internal coordination among recruiters was accidentally emailed to recruits and contained names, Social Security numbers and enlistment dates. The list was sent out inadvertently at least three times between July 2017 and January 2018.” So over a period of 6 months, we see an optional 50% failure. I can see at least 4 solutions that could have prevented that. The issue of mailing spreadsheets with names is just a joke. If it is sensitive data, we can argue that it might be in a spreadsheet, yet the mailing of sensitive data has always required the need of vetting before pressing send. It is the one time when the military looks more evolved (‘used’ to being the operative term) than the leaking baboons of Wall Street.

So when we see: “more than 900 Chinese Mandarin speakers and dozens of Russian speakers are on the spreadsheet, according to a copy obtained by The Post.” We need to realise that some people are highly overdue for the loss of rank and even worse. It goes a lot further when we consider the quote: “Abhishek Bakshi, an Indian recruit, said he received the list by accident in July 2017 from an Army recruiter in Wisconsin who asked whether he wanted to schedule a security interview. The spreadsheet was disturbing, said Bakshi, whose name is on the list“, this sets the stage where people can be coerced and even blackmailed in several ways. When we also vet “received the list in December 2017, among other documents related to enlistment, after it was forwarded among a chain of recruiting officials“, we see a larger danger when we consider ‘a chain of recruiting officials‘, where we consider not only the validity of the people, the fact that it was a list of people, we need to worry on who they shared their list with. A chain implies the setting of multiple links, each and every one of them weaker than the preceding link.

The dangers actually exceed what the Post gives us. In case of Russian, Pakistani and Chinese setting, it is not out of the question that the acquired names and Social Security numbers can be used to create a trigger database to change the parameters of having a valid life. When those numbers are used to track locations (housing), assets (cars) and even financial gains (educational scholarships) the future of these people could be undone within a year creating all kinds of security hazards, not to mention a financial mess that the victim is unable to undo for months, even years.

It is even worse when we consider the quote: “In 2018 under the Trump administration, the Army began discharging soldiers who had enlisted under the MAVNI program. Most were reportedly not given notice of why they were being discharged, but their citizenship status was jeopardized as a result. Many of them had served honorably in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations around the world” showing that the United States has no intention of honouring its commitments, as such, when the next escalation comes, how will the US Military solve it? They are unlikely to be ever trusted again. Not only are hundreds in danger of being ‘chased’ out of the US, many of them with a honourable military roll call. the fact that these veterans are shipped out will set a most dangerous precedent down the line, and it does not stop there.

The homeless soldier

The issue that is rearing its ugly head is not new, there is more news now, but this has been going on for a long time, getting a lot of limelight in 2018. As we see (at https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/03/07/senator-involve-doj-military-housing-scandal.html), we see a dangerous stage with: “The U.S. armed services should consult with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the conduct of private companies hired to manage military housing“, I see absolutely no issue if the DoJ would start annexing these properties and making them part of the DoJ asset database. When we are confronted with “The contractors, he said, provided substandard, unhealthy and inadequate housing and ignored pleas to repair or service the homes“, I see a stage where it has become the responsibility of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn to move towards confiscation of property if a 100% adjustment has not been achieved within 60 days. So when I see: “in February, a survey of more than 14,500 residents of base housing found that 56 percent said they had “negative or very negative experiences” with their houses on military installations. Now we all have issues with housing at times, yet when that impression gets to be a zero positive view for 56% a much larger issue is in play and changes are essential. These soldiers are often underpaid, under-acknowledged and now even below substandard housed, we see the clear need to clean that mess up, annexing housing and removing ownership from these owners has become an essential first. So when we accept: ‘a baby who lived in the home developed pneumonia and later had a stroke‘ we see a clear case of reckless endangerment of life and that can never be accepted, I do agree that the establishment of guilt, as well as the need to ascertain whether the tenants had taken serious steps to diminish risk. In addition to all that these landlords need to be put into a database, the people have a right to know when soldiers get housing that a dog on a junkyard would not accept on a rainy winter day. The final straw is seen with ‘other concerns raised by senators was the relationship between base housing offices and the private management companies‘, in my view it does not matter whether it is a case of corruption or nepotism, it is the direct stage where the fighting force is disabled through greed driven facilitation and that cannot be allowed to exist in any way, shape or form. So when we see Sen. Martha McSally, R-Arizona giving us: ‘the two parties appear to be “in cahoots.”‘ we see an optional prosecutable form of what could be regarded as corruption. It is not always stated to be money that funds the prosecution corruption, enabling economic benefits, facilitation towards non accountability of services and quality are all issues that can be translated into monetary value, making it a larger issue for prosecution and in that case anyone found guilty will (read: should) be stripped of the land titles, the housing and the deeds to these places and placed directly with the Defence department at that stage. In that context there is one part I do not agree with. It is found at the end of the article where we see: “Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said he has lived in base housing for more than 50 years, including his childhood, and he wanted airmen to have safe communities where they don’t have to worry about their children’s health or about retaliation if they complain about the condition of their housing“, from my personal point of view, his actions are well over a decade late (even as we accept that he might not have been in an operational place to act earlier on, his predecessor clearly was).

In this day and age when the military needs to catch up on several fields, the last thing they should ever have to concern themselves with is the fact that their details are spread like wildfire by someone who has no clear regard for proper email and cyber security issues, besides that being in reliable housing is the clear responsibility of their CEO (aka the general of defense housing). It is not important whether your house is Air force blue, Army green or Naval grey, there will be a General, Air Marshall or Admiral in charge of that division and ringing their bell should at this point be the right of every enlisted man that is part of the US defense forces, however I might have oversimplified the matter.

We will have to see what extent Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut is willing to take the baton, if he does not make it to the final stretch, we can consider that the next senatorial elections are in 2020, so either he has a following of a million+ in 2020, or he could optionally consider his next job to be with Uber (yes, I do have a flaky sense of humour).

I personally think that making quick cash at the expense of servicemen needs to be looked at in much harsher ways and it is our duty to expose those who would want to exploit this group for personal gains to a much larger degree than has been done until now. It does not matter what country you are in, we do not merely have a decent responsibility to thank them for their service; we all have a partial a duty of care that they do not have to deal with this kind of shit in any way shape or form ever.

 

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