Tag Archives: Qatar

The aid package

People on a global scale, no matter what religion they preach, they have an inherent need for humanitarian action. It shows that people remain people, they have feelings and emotion. Especially now, in the Muslim month of Ramadan, which according to the Britannica is “a time for Muslims to practice self-restraint, in keeping with ṣawm (Arabic: “to refrain”), one of the pillars of Islam (the five basic tenets of the Muslim religion). Although ṣawm is most commonly understood as the obligation to fast during Ramadan, it is more broadly interpreted as the obligation to refrain between dawn and dusk from food, drink, sexual activity, and all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts.” Yet Time.com (as well as other sources give us: “Muslims believe that following these practices during Ramadan will lead to self-purification, self-control and bring them closer to Allah. Many Muslims also attend special prayer services, read verses of the Quran and engage in charity“, these are words I read before in other places. Yet it is here that we see the questions rise. First is Qatar with ‘Qatar to send $480m to help Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/07/qatar-send-480m-help-palestinians-west-bank-gaza-israel-ceasefire), this sounds all on the up and up, and I have no reason to give doubt here, and with “Qatar’s foreign ministry said $300m would go towards supporting health and education programmes of the Palestinian Authority, while $180m would go toward urgent humanitarian relief, UN programmes and providing electricity” we see this reinforced. Yet the article also gives us: “Although Qatar does not give money directly to Hamas, its support since 2012, totalling $755m, has been a vital lifeline for the cash-strapped group, relieving it from having to fund civilian and infrastructure projects“, which now brings to bare the issue of other funding as Hamas was able to afford missile barrage after missile barrage. I am not placing blame on Qatar, or other Islamic charities, but I am left with the thought. If you give any junkie money for food, and he then uses his other funds to buy drugs because the junkie knows that he will get the charity for food, are we as a people inflicting harm and additional hardship on the junkie? It makes me reflect on the act through ‘refrain from all forms of immoral behaviour, including impure or unkind thoughts‘. It also gives rise to the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48147066) where we see: ‘Taliban rejects calls for Ramadan truce in Afghanistan‘, and as we are given: “President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”. But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.” does the month of Ramadan allow for this? If not, does that make them bad Muslims? I am not stating it, I am asking this.

Why is this so important?

To comprehend certain parts of Islam we need to dive deeper in what we do not know and even if there is no direct requirement to know what the Taliban does (most of us do not care), the news has been giving us other versions. The Express (at https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1122649/isis-news-latest-terror-france-jihadist-police-elysee-palace) gives us that the French stopped an ISIS attack. With ‘ISIS planned ‘violent’ attack on French palace say police‘ we see “According to AFP, the suspects had several targets, the unnamed source said, but their overall objective was to launch an attack on security forces, namely those “standing guard outside the Elysée Palace”. The men, arrested last Friday on suspicion of acquiring weapons “with a view to committing a terrorist act” are currently in provisional detention and awaiting trial. The would-be terrorists, who had been under police surveillance since early February, were spotted outside the Elysée Palace in central Paris on a reconnaissance mission shortly before their arrest“, whilst the Malayan version of the Daily Express (at http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/134811/no-hate-speech-during-ramadan-mosques-told/) gives us ‘No hate speech during Ramadan, mosques told‘, as well as “We will act firmly the actions of labelling a person as deviant and calling others infidels because mosques must be free from political party ideologies. “We must guard our mouths from uttering slander during Ramadan because it can create numerous problems which can break up families,’’ he told a media conference after launching a Let’s Celebrate Ramadan programme in the compound of the Kerian district mosque, here, Saturday.” An American might trivialise it as seeing someone from ISIS as a fake Muslim, I merely wonder on the application to Islam and Muslim faith in this case.

It is also increased pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We read (at http://www.arabnews.com/node/1494481/saudi-arabia) ‘Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures‘, these people under the guidance of Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defence in Makkah are prepared through 38 fixed civil defence centres, supported by 24 seasonal centres, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defence posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims. And when you think that this is a lot, consider that the mataf area would accommodate more than 107,000 people per hour, there will be 500,000 headsets for worshippers getting access to 10 languages of the 679 lessons and lectures that are to be delivered during Ramadan. I have seen a few Christian places, I have been to Lourdes, yet I have a problem trying to comprehend the concept of 100,000 people an hour. It amounts to the entire population of Adelaide (Australia), Birmingham (UK), Dallas (US) or Calgary (CA) EVERY day for a month. For the pilgrims this has not gone unnoticed, as there was high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan. Yet a lot of this is merely seen in the Arab News and Gulf News, even as plenty of respectable papers give light to this, we see a movement as the number of respectable papers is winding down, so is the amount of information given to non-Muslims. The Sydney Morning Herald also gives us: “just as Christian holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter have become commercialised, Ramadan is increasingly associated with night-time festivities and binge eating. While, traditionally, the fasting day ends with a feast, in modern times people often attend Ramadan events at hotels and restaurants and, combined with the lower activity of fasting days, can even find themselves gaining weight during the holy month“, which is fair enough and not to be seen in a negative light, I found the images from the Four Seasons hotel lightly overwhelming, almost like a Victorian Christmas diner setup. For me, the entire issue is not an issue, although I see (read: expect additional) danger of not drinking water during the day a health issue (from my non-medical view), the Sydney Morning Herald reinforced that with: “In the Gulf states, a spike in attendances at hospitals has been reported, with problems ranging from dehydration to uncontrolled diabetes, as well as injuries from traffic accidents attributed to drowsiness“.

Errors in thinking

The first thing I accept is that I am looking at Muslim matters with a Christian eye, that is my background and I know that if I wonder about things plenty of others got at that point long before me, it is the educational part that remains lagging for me, I am not a Muslim, yet at the same moment, the image and message from one, whilst we see issues handed to us in opposition. One such view was given to me from Kuwait by Al Waqyan, in a nation that is 99% Muslim. There I was given ‘Kuwaiti journalist criticizes ban on ‘public eating’ during Ramadan‘. Now, from a Christian point I would agree, yet knowing that 99% of that nation is either fasting or trying to fast, would his view not allow for a larger pressure on those fasting? Perhaps the old movie example where a prisoner in the age of the crusades are watching the jailer just outside of reach have a large feast whilst the prisoners are begging for food. Would it not be cruel and unusual punishment to be faced with a large meal when a person should be fasting? I understand that there are conditions when a person cannot fast, yet is it too much to ask for that person to do it in private or not in view of other people?

I found the fact that there is a level of polarisation interesting, not because of what I believe, but the fact that it is in a stage where all the contestants are seemingly Muslim. I would personally be on the side of: “some believe it’s appropriate to apply it in Muslim majority countries“, there are plenty of moments when no one can see anything and having a quick sip of water then would be acceptable. It is perhaps the only part that I see happen, there is absolutely no situation where a person should be able to eat in public view anywhere, not when a person could be at home to have a bite to eat.

The opportunity

This is where we see the opportunity, when we are given ‘Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry launches new interactive portal‘, we see the place that gives us (at present) “The new portal will provide more than 30 services for pilgrims, available in Arabic, English and French, with an average of 55 pages per language. Four more languages will be added in the near future.” Most people, especially 100% of the pilgrims will see this as an excellent idea and it is. What it allows for is a much larger option; it could become a start for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam, to learn more on what is unknown. When we consider that optionally in western languages there are ‘the 679 lessons and lectures‘ that shows the spirit of Islam in the stage where it is all about the season of inner reflection, forgiveness and spiritual renewal. As such the sacred month of Ramadan might open a moment to introduce to those unaware of Islam the resources that allow us to oppose Islamophobia as well as diminish the options that anti Islamist groups like pagida and others are growing all over Western Europe, the US and the Commonwealth nations. I personally believe that education is a first step in diminishing the powers that they have. It does not requires us to become Muslim, it does not require us to agree, but at least we will be properly educated and informed and history has shown that this is a first step in slowing down and stopping the haters, and that is never ever a bad thing. Knowledge can be an exemplary aid package, it is time we all used that option to the fullest.

 

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Education off the grid

We have been watching all the impacts (250 from the west bank) and a few impacts (by the Israeli air force, but when we look outside the things the media wants you to notice and the side that they want to give to you for emotional impact. We see that there is a side that we are not made aware off, or being made aware of a little as possible. In light of all we see this is a much larger issue than you think. If you are to go beyond the sides you need to go, if you want to grow in any way, you need to reach out and start looking at things that are not usually seen.

It is a form of ‘off the grid’ education. Now, this can be done with almost every subject. There are millions of eager students when it is about biology (reproduction and fornication), and there are plenty of people when it comes to science experiments that are cool, and actually give additional respect to the creator of the golf ball. In this first example let’s look at SmarterEveryDay (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT0wx27J9xs), I will not tell you too much, because what you see is pretty amazing and in this episode he gets assistance from Mark Rober, an engineer, who is as daft as a door nail (in a good way), which is probably why he ended up being the perfect fit for NASA. And as the video shows that manpower did not do the trick, they decided to let Mark make them a rocket powered golf club (for real), it is like watching roadrunner come to life and whilst there was no obvious Wile. E. Coyote swinging the club, the results are there to be seen. We see the engineer (Overconfidentii vulgaris) take a swing at records and watch the movie to see how they go at that in test 3, it will stay with you for a long time. Long before the end of the movie, I ended up having massive respect for the golf ball and the person who invented it. The YouTube video is playful and still extremely informative and educational in an area where I had a little knowledge.

Yet is it not about Mark Rober or SmarterEveryDay (even though you should check them out). It is about learning and in this specific case learning more about culture. I have been learning more about Islam and Saudi Arabia, mostly because the large 5G opportunities will be there over the next few years and I never shy away from a challenge. Yet, as a Christian in a Muslim nation you have little options and more important, there is every risk of a person unintentional insulting the wrong person, it is a danger not unlike someone from western Europe going into Japan and thinking he can present his PowerPoint at a CEO thinking that his sense of humour get him the deal. Even in Europe, I once witnessed a large deal going sour because the person slipped up and accidentally said ‘pour toi‘ instead of ‘pour vouz‘, it translates exactly the same, but mixing up the formal and informal is a dangerous step to do in any condition.

So I started to become a lot more Islam aware. This gets us to the entire issue at hand that Gulf News gave me (at https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabia-has-most-beautiful-ramadan-experience-1.63611502). Most people know about Ramadan, we hear it around us in Muslim areas that observe it. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. I also learned that Ramadan is a lot more strict in Saudi Arabia and if caught in public eating and or drinking during the day there are indeed harsh punishments, including flogging, imprisonment and, for foreigners, deportation. So there is your step to get a chance at great fortune and you get put on the next plane to London because you had a drink in public when the sun was up.

A lot of that was unknown to me; I have had almost no exposure to that knowledge. I was amazed how little exposure to Muslim culture I seemingly had as a Christian. From my point of view, accepting that there are Muslims around me is one thing, to remain ignorant of any of the cultural issues is just stupid. Australia is not a Muslim nation, the United Kingdom is not a Muslim nation and neither is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Sweden and so on, does that mean we need to remain ignorant of other cultures?

So as I took in ‘Saudi Arabia has most beautiful Ramadan experience‘, I became curious as I knew that Muslims have a month of fasting, but that fasting was a ‘beautiful experience’ was a new label to see. The reality is that I am almost a real seal (I have a coat of blubber to protect me from the arctic cold). The quote “Gulf News spoke with expatriates who have experienced Ramadan in the kingdom and are now missing the infectious festive spirit in their home country” was interesting as I never saw fasting as a moment to rejoice, or as something beautiful. So as I was introduced to “The Ramadan vibe is almost non-existent in London. It’s so difficult to maintain the spiritual mindset that one usually tries to adapt during the holy month because of the busy hustle of London life. The fasting hours are long and coupled with the regular school routine, it’s also draining. There’s a rush to finish work, to finish eating, to reach night prayers and then get up again at the crack of dawn to resume work,” that did not make sense to me. You see there are close to 700,000 Muslims in London, it boils down to roughly 13.1% of the London population, as such there should be a decent Ramadan population, if we believe is freedom of religion, should that not matter? If we see that places in Burwood Australia (decent sized Muslim group) banks on the Ramadan event in their shop, it makes no sense that London is so largely absent of it. And let’s face it, should we feel threatened by such an event?

In the Netherlands the newspapers are full of extra protection of Mosques, yet almost nothing on the religious impact and reason for Ramadan, merely “extra attention and vigil is kept at the Mosques after the events in Christchurch“. Even as we see that acts are claimed by Pegida, we see little action to aid in lowering fear and tension to the Muslims visiting mosques. So as the reach of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) is now clearly in the Netherlands as well, we see an absence of cultural education to the people at large via media and newspapers. As we see the party created by Lutz Bachmann giving us: “Pegida believes that Germany is being increasingly Islamicized and defines itself in opposition to Islamic extremism.” we see too large a lack of countering anti-Muslim events. I believe that educating the people is a first. As a Catholic, I need not be anti-Muslim; we do not need to be anti-Muslim culture driven people. I find it hypocrite in the extreme of those claiming to be Christians, being nothing more than hooligans and criminals, people that often not having seen the inside of a church more than 4 times a year feeling threatened by a Muslim holding a Quran. In my personal view that speaks more about their lack of faith than the implied intention of a Muslim. I believe that fear is negated by information and education, when the ignorant are seeing that culture and cultural knowledge is a positive thing, they will learn more and see that there is no fear but the fear that grows within the part of you that does not know.

In the end it is up to you what you do, I am not telling you do read it all and follow it all, I am merely asking you to consider not to turn away when the information and knowledge is offered to you. We all accept that people like Mark Rober and the people behind SmarterEveryDay make knowledge (read: science) more fun to watch, it is at times harder to find that motivation when it is cultural or sometimes even religiously based, yet that does not make for an event that is less informative. Consider that Saudi Arabia is in a stage where $1.2 trillion is spend on construction and infrastructure, would it hurt to know more so that you have an option to make some serious cash? And it is not just Saudi Arabia (they are the biggest though), together with the UAE and Qatar they represent opportunities that are well over 600% of what the US and the UK combined are doing over the next decade. Cultural ignorance is but one, yet optionally the largest hindrance to connect to these opportunities. I am not stating that acquiring knowledge needs to be profit based; I have however seen over the decades that this motivates a lot more people, so should I avoid such an obvious selling technique? To be honest, I should not take that step, yet as anti-Muslim sentiments are flaring up on a global scale, upping the ante in all this is a valid point with the hopeful result to lower tensions (I might be up for the Nobel peace prize if I achieve the impossible here).

To get the smallest view, we (non-Muslims) will appreciate the evening meal that is enjoyed by the people during Ramadan (after sunset). The movie (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ev1OLMgrbo) gives a mere glimpse not only on the preparation of the meal; the end shows how thousands are enjoying a meal seemingly in silence together. In this case it is the Iftar in the UAE. I had hoped to add one from Riyadh, however I could not find an English version (or one with English subtitles). And consider the other side of all it, if our creativity is awakened by learning new things, what could we consider when we start looking into a direction that most people have never looked?

Education off the grid can be amazing, when you feel the internal motivation to learn more you tend to learn more easily, optionally not better, but there is a lot to be said for the enthusiasm factor when acquiring knowledge, you merely need to connect to the best information source you can.

 

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As perception becomes awareness

That is the stage we often face, we perceive we acknowledge, we become aware and that awareness becomes the reality we face towards the new reality we did not comprehend before. It is usually not that great a path to be on, especially when you see that the path you are on has a distinct route taking you to exactly the place no one wanted you to be.

Yet for the CAAT (Campaign against the Arms Trade), especially Andrew Smith, and optionally both Martin Chamberlain QC and Liam Fox as well. It is important to see that these people are not evil, they are not delusional and they are not entirely wrong, yet the reality that was given by CNBC half a day after my article ‘When the joke is on us all‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/04/07/when-the-joke-is-on-us-all/) is now entering a new dimension. As CNBC gives us ‘Russian expansion in the Middle East is a ‘clear reality on the ground,’ WEF president says‘, we are also given: “Moscow has signed technical agreements and memoranda of understanding to sell its S-400 and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar“, there is now optional noise that this could include a nice batch of shiny new MIG’s, as well as a few other items where we see that the UK is soon to lose the option to make £5 billion for its treasury giving the BAE Systems now headaches to content with. Anything that is related or connected to the UK facilitating to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia could optionally not happen, or will be receiving the standard ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you‘ status. Isn’t ideology great?

We might all (including me) accept the quote: “There is “overwhelming evidence” of violations of human rights law by both the Saudi-led coalition and other forces in Yemen, lawyers for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) told the court on Tuesday.” Most will be forgetting that to all interpretation, the Houthi forces are terrorist forces. Their connection with Hezbollah and Iran is not enough, the short and sweet is that they were not an elected government, they merely moved towards a coup d’état and instigated the war we see now.

So there we are, I now have to talk to the United Aircraft Corporation, owned and founded by Vladimir Putin and the parent organisation of the makers of the MIG, so as I try to get a meeting with the ‘Pоссийская Самолетостроительная Корпорация‘, on being their new exclusive contact for sales to Saudi Arabia (yes, I know, I have no chance in hell there, but I remain an eternal optimist), we see on how the high nosed ideologists are costing the UK billions, all that whilst the opposite of what the Saudi coalition is facing has been ignored or trivialised by a lot of people. You merely have to see what you can on Al-Manar (Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon) to realise that Hezbollah is still a player there, it is less visible when it comes to Iran, Iran is playing the field low key and on what some call the down low. Even as the evidence is clear that Houthi forces have Iran drones, the way they got them remains unclear, speculated, but not proven and that too must be noted.

Yet in this era, and under these settings we now see that due to the CAAT, the UK will lose more footing and will have less of a voice at the grown up table that is trying to resolve the issues in Yemen. In the end the CAAT achieved nothing but the dwindling revenue stream for the UK, yet the Russian Federation will be grateful and if I get the job, I will send a huge hamper to the three parties involved (after my first bonus payment that is), the voice makers so to say.

This is the setting that governments and large corporations created form 2004 onwards, we all might have a huge national pride, but in the end, we need to sell, we need to make the cash that is required for rent and food and those in a stage where they set high moral borders in places where the impact is actually zero, you have no value, you have no gain, you merely end up with unpaid bills.

Now if governments had done something about the FAANG group 15 years ago, it would be different, but that is not the case, that is not the reality we face. You see, the fighters are just the start, as we enabled the Russians to get a foot in the door, they now have a direct path to both Syria (they already had options there) as well as Saudi Arabia (and optionally Qatar) to start deploying (read selling and training) these nations on the Altius-M drone. Especially in places where the price of a fighter is basically the same as three drones, drones will be the path many nations go and even as the America Predator looks leaner and meaner, the acts of US Congress as well as that from UK Parliament is now opening the doors for Russia, which is not a good thing (except if I get the job, it will be awesome at that point).

It goes from Bad to worse, especially for America. You see, the MIG-35 and the Altius-M are merely the start. In the end, the gold is found (for Russia that is) with the Sukhoi Su-57, I know little about that plane, yet the stories that it can outperform the F-35 are from sources that are not to be ignored, so even when we hear that the US has plans to counter that, in light of their failed USS Zumwalt comedy caper, those plans can be sneered at until they prove to work. And in the end it is almost as simple as: “Do you want this flag to be on a British, American, or Russian product?

This all matters!

You see, the arms race is important not because they are weapons, but because the economies get huge incentives through those commercialised items. The fact that at present 6 nations are on the list for that new gadget and in light of the high winded American response in the past on who was allowed to buy a F-22 Raptor and it was vetting its allies in a crazy way. Now, in all truth there might be a case for that (I honestly cannot tell), but now that we see that Russia is willing to sell to sovereign states and they have no bar, whilst we see the unconfirmed part of: “State-run Chinese media is claiming that the People’s Liberation Army has been able to track the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor” implies that the stealth part is less stealthy than we thought it was, and any evidence will drive sales towards Russia too. All parts that had much less chance of happening as the UK systems were proven, they were great and now, or optionally soon, we get the resolution that sales to Saudi Arabia are off. Whether that is right or wrong is not for me to decide, but the fact that the £5 billion loss of revenue is triggering a $12 billion shift in other directions, optionally towards Russia is a part that most ignored to the larger extent, a sales path denied because people forgot that in any war, especially against terrorist forces, the people will always be in the middle. Oh, and if you think that it is all bad, consider that the makers of the F-22 Raptor (Lockheed Martin) also has other paths, so the F-22 profits also forges upgrades and new options in commercial flying, cyber solutions, Radar solutions, Communication platforms and a lot more, in that we see BAE Systems that has services in finance, Cyber security, Compliance solutions and a lot more. Now, the one sale towards Saudi Arabia might not impact it to the largest degree, but a change has been made and the competitors now get a larger slice to play with, and it can lead to additional repeat business, it is not a secret, it is not even an unknown, any person with a decent knowledge in Business Intelligence could have told you that and there is the problem, the one-sided ideology of CAAT is now optionally going to cost the UK a lot more than anyone bargained for.

As I said, I have nothing against ideologists and ideology is great when it can to some degree adhere to commercial reality, and selling to a sovereign nation is intelligent and common sense packaged together, yet when soft-hearted people overreact on events in Yemen, whilst the stage comes from Iranian funded terrorism, how can we go against that? The fact that 16 million Yemeni’s are in danger form several sides (disease and famine) whilst the Houthi terrorists are depriving these people of food, whilst they do everything to stop humanitarian aid via Hodeida and other places, are we not buttering the bread of terrorists?

How can you sleep knowing that this is happening?

BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and United Aircraft Corporation are not evil, they are not a danger, they sell to governments and all three want to sell to the same governments making this a buyers’ market. The moment you forgot about that part of the equation, that did not make you an ideologist, it made you short sighted and that is my largest concern on CAAT, the fact they are needlessly depriving the UK government of treasury income, yet speaking for selfishly coated me, if it pays my bills, I am all fine with that in the end.

 

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The other view

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can there be adjustment?

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

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

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

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

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

I digress

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Facebook Folly and 5G

There was an article in the Guardian last Thursday. I had initially ignored it for all the usual reasons, yet when I sat down this morning, there was something that made me take another look and the article is actually a lot more important than most people would think. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/31/apple-facebook-campus-permissions-revoked-teens-access-data-iphone-app) named ‘Apple leaves Facebook offices in disarray after revoking app permissions‘ shows a different side that goes a lot further than merely Facebook. We see this with: “We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organisation. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple”, this statement alone shows the failing of their legal department, as well as their senior board that works under the strict sense of assumptions. We see this not merely with ‘Facebook had allegedly exploited a loophole in Apple’s approval system to bypass rules that banned the harvesting of data about what apps are installed on a user’s phone.‘ We see another level when we reconsider “Facebook Research, an app the company paid users as young as 13 to install that routed their iPhone traffic through the company’s own servers“. This is not merely about hijacking data; it is about the fact that both the IOS and Android paths are a little too transparent. Academically speaking it would be possible for Apple to distribute a similar app guiding Android people to the IOS data path.

The fact that we now see that others are affected through: “According to an internal memo, obtained by Business Insider, apps including Ride, which lets employees take shuttles between buildings on the company’s sprawling campus, and Mobile Home, an employee information portal, were down“. And it is not merely the Guardian, the Apple Insider gives us: “A report from December claimed Facebook had made special data sharing arrangements with other tech companies, enabling Facebook to collect more data on its users generated on Apple devices, without either Apple or the users’ permission or knowledge.” This now gives the setting that Facebook is getting desperate, when any company needs to rely on Data snooping to keep their momentum up that is the moment we see that any tower, data based or not will fall over.

Part of that came from an article last December giving us: “A damning report on Tuesday provides further details on Facebook’s shady data sharing practices, already under intense scrutiny for the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, suggesting the social media giant enabled Apple devices to surreptitiously collect information about users without their — or apparently Apple’s — knowledge” and the nightmare scenario is not merely that Facebook is gathering data, it is the ‘data sharing‘ part and more important, who it is shared with. This has over the last two months changed my position from waiting what is actually afoot into investigation into actively prosecute Facebook for their actions.

I am certain that the prosecution goes nowhere, mainly because the legal departments allowed for the loopholes to get into position in the first place. It enables the train of thought on how involved Apple was in all that. That train of thought continues when we revisit the Apple Insider quote: “It was revealed yesterday Facebook paid users $20 to sideload a VPN onto their devices, allowing the social network to monitor what participants aged 17 to 35 did online. Claimed to be a “social media research study,” the Facebook Research iOS app took advantage of Apple’s Enterprise Developer Certificates to allow the apps to be distributed separately from the main App Store, as well as effectively providing root access to a user’s device.” In all this the legal teams did not consider the usage and installation of linked VPN applications? Is that not weird?

Bloomberg is trying to water down the event with “Facebook seems clearly to have earned its latest privacy black eye, but it’s important not to overstate what’s going on here. This is essentially a contract dispute“, is it? It seems that the users are victims of deceptive conduct; it seems to me that root access clearly implies that all data and content of the mobile device was made available to Facebook, was that ever clearly communicated to the users installing that?

It is my sincere belief that this was never ever done. So as Bloomberg in trying to add more water to the wine with “Apple’s concern about it’s “users and their data” might well be sincere, but this particular dispute isn’t about the fact that Facebook collected user data; it’s about the way that Facebook collected user data.” Here we see more than merely deceptive conduct, or to use the quote: “I’m not suggesting that what Facebook has done isn’t serious. But neither is it the end of user privacy as we know it“. You see, when you had over root access it means that you had over everything and at that point you have revoked your own right to privacy. And at the top of the watering down of wine, making it impossible to distinguish between the taste of either we see: “But users seemed to know what they were getting into — and were also paid for the privilege“, likely to be Bloomberg foulest statement of the day. Not only do they knowingly hide behind ‘seemingly’ they know for certain that no one will ever knowingly and willingly hand over root access to an unknown third party. It also tends to introduce security flaws to any phone it was installed to, when exactly were the users informed of that part?

So whilst we get another version of: “Twenty dollars per month might not sound like a lot to, say, the typical Bloomberg reader. So imagine Facebook instead had promised one free local Uber ride per month” you all seemingly forget about the international community, who like all others will never get to cash in on those events, or paid responses or alleged dollars for donuts deals. That becomes for the most direct profit for Facebook, access without a fee, how many of those people were part of that event?

Cnet phrases it a lot better with: “I think it’s highly unlikely that the vast majority of the people who went through this whole process really knew the kind of power they were giving Facebook when they clicked OK to install this (app),“, which we see (at https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-shuts-down-ios-research-app-it-used-to-access-user-data/) by Bennett Cyphers, a staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

And that is not the only part, not when we enlarge the circle. Two days ago, my predictions become fact after the Sydney Morning Herald gives us: ‘Optus concedes 5G service without best technology after Huawei ban‘, which is awesome, as the IP I came up with does not affect either and allows for Global Huawei (or Google) continued growth. So as we are treated to: “”From a pure technology perspective, Huawei is probably ahead of the other three “Mr Lew said after Optus unveiled plans for a $70-a-month unlimited service with guaranteed minimum speeds of 50Mbps. “But what we’ve got from the other suppliers will enable us to provide a globally competitive service.”” This is actually a lot more important than you think, when mobile app users seek the fastest solution, the more bang per gigabyte, the Huawei solution was essential in all this. So as Optus chief executive Allen Lew now concedes that those not using Huawei technology will be second best in the game at best, my solution will set a new level of e-commerce and information on a global scale and all I asked for was $25M upfront and 10% of the patents, the rest was for Google (or Huawei). It is a great deal for them and a really nice deal for me to, a win-win-win, because the consumer and SMB communities will equally profit. I merely circumvented paths that were not strictly legally required; merely a second tier to equal the first tier and when the speed map drives us forward, the players using second rate materials will end up losing customers like nothing they have ever seen. It’s good to use political short sighted policies against them. So whilst the world is listening on how Apple and Facebook values are affected, no one is properly looking on how Huawei and Google have a much clearer playing field on how 5G can be innovated for the consumers and small businesses. It will be on them to restart economies and they will. They are moving from ‘Wherever the consumer is‘ to ‘Whenever the consumer wants it‘, the systems are there and ready to be switched on, which will be disastrous for many wannabe 5G players. I am giving a speculative part now. I predict that Huawei holding players will be able to gain speed over all others by 0.01% a day when they go life. This implies that within 6 months after going life they can facilitate 2% better than the others and within a year is double that. These are numbers that matter, because that means that the businesses depending on speed will vacate to the better provider a hell of a lot faster than with other players. This effect will be seen especially in the Middle East and Europe. And before you start screaming ‘Huawei’ and ‘security threat’ consider that the entire Facebook mess was happening under the noses of that so called cyber aware place America. It happened under their noses and they were seemingly unaware (for the longest of time), so as security threats go, they are more clueless than most others at present. It boils down to the boy howling Huawei, whilst his sheep are getting eaten by fellow shepherds, that is what is at stake and it shows just how delusional the Huawei accusations have been form many nations. How many of them were aware of the Facebook data syphoning actions?

This gives us the final part where we see the growth of Huawei as we see ‘Saudi-based Telco opens joint ICT Academy with Huawei‘, you might not find it distinct and that is fine, yet this is the same path Cisco took a decade ago to grow the size it has now and it was an excellent example for Huawei to adopt. The middle East is the global 5G growth center and with Qatar 2022 introducing maximised 5G events, we will see that Huawei took the better path, feel free to disagree and rely on AT&T and their 5G Evolution, yet when you learn the hard way that it is merely 4G LTE and now that we also see that ‘Verizon likely halting its ‘5G Home’ service roll-out after test cities, waiting for 5G hardware to actually exist‘, we see the events come into play as I have said it would, America is lagging and it is now likely to lag between 12 and 18 months at the very least, so whilst the world is starting their 5G solutions, America gets to watch from the sidelines, how sad it all is, but then they could still intervene into the Facebook events. They are not likely to do so as they do not see that as a ‘security threat‘. So as we are given: “As reported by VentureBeat, Verizon has detailed that it won’t have true 5G hardware for its 5G Home service ready until later this year. That means expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston won’t be likely until the second half of 2019“, how many people have figured out that ‘expansion to more markets beyond Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Houston‘ implies the largest part of the USA and they are not up for anything before 2020 (and that is me being optimistic).

It is he direct impact of a stupid policy, which in the end was not policy at all, it was merely stupid and we all get to witness the impact and the carefully phrased political denials linked to all that; funny how evidence can be used to sink a politician.

This reminds me of my blog of August 2018 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/23/liberalism-overboard/) where I opened the premise of “the topic would be ‘How to assassinate a politician‘“, I should sell it to Alibaba Pictures or Netflix, it could be my Oscar moment (and cash in the wallet). So, it is true, political folly is good for the wallet, who would have thunk it?

 

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The Iranian escalation

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

This is not a fictive danger!

Consider the following ‘facts’:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Hezbollah Plus

As we look at the things we think are wrong (like UK housing), the things we know are wrong (Hezbollah in Yemen) and the things we claim are wrong, we are confronted with the things that are not making any headlines in the international news. We see a larger absence of Houthi transgressions and events that do get covering in the Middle East and in some local news procrastinators, but on the larger scale, there is an absence, I would almost as far as going with an orchestrated absence.

From my point of view, I see the ugly head of facilitation rearing the news on several levels. Now, to be fair, there is a larger issue, there is a lot of innuendo and no evidence, yet that did not stop the press pushing non-stop circulation over the innuendo regarding the cadaver of Jamal Khashoggi, did it?

As for Iran getting less and less visibility as it funds Hezbollah, that might be the impact of America attacking Iran at every turn and that would stop the media from paying attention as well, yet there is a larger danger in play and we need to take a minute to realise the danger in play. In my case it is slightly easier as I am fluent in half a dozen languages, so I can compare the different sources in its native shape, and seeing that there is a growing issue and the media remains unaware, whether that is intentional or not cannot be proven.

That image gets a new level, a colourful 3d version when we take a tour via these publications. For this exercise we start at the Jewish News Syndicate (hardly the most unbiased source I grant you), yet when we start here (at https://www.jns.org/the-terror-threat-of-iran-and-hezbollah-in-europe/), we might see “Iran uses a wide network of the IRGC’s: al-Qods Force, the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and proxies like Hezbollah. Iran has an organized terrorist network established in Europe and the people who were arrested in connection with the terror plots lived and worked in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Norway and Denmark“, in addition we see “Despite the many terrorist attacks carried out by Hezbollah around the world and on European soil, so far most of the European Union countries have not put Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations“, these are mere printed facts, they are not that interesting to most media, it does not have the sexy flair of some Kardashian article, but not remaining aware is actually dangerous. You see, that list had two missing elements. The elements are Sweden and the Netherlands. The second one is immensely important as it has several options that lead directly to the UK, and from the Netherlands most of the western European nations are just hours away.

There have been issues in a few ways over time and in Sweden that seems to be limited to the Akalla region (outer suburb of Stockholm) where we see a dangerous mix of refugees and immigrants. This is no longer contained to Akalla, they are now growing in Kista, Sundbyberg and Solna, covering a larger part of Northwest Stockholm, a stage where optional and aspiring Shia extremists can move around reasonably safe and secure and there is every indication that there are numerous Hezbollah sympathisers there too. I remain with the word ‘sympathisers’, as there is no clear evidence that these are either lone wolves or actual active extremists. What is optionally an issue is that Stockholm has an amazing internet infrastructure; the people there tend to have better internet then the people in a Microsoft building. To illustrate that, in 2001, I had a home consumer internet connection in Kista with 100Mb lines, whilst most businesses in Europe could hardly get 10Mb, this gives these people a much larger advantage to spread the digital image of their groups and that is exactly what we have seen in the last 5-10 years. This does not prove that it is happening from Sweden, even as some sources give us: “In fact, not only is Hezbollah already engaged in plots in Europe, it dispatches dual Lebanese-European citizens (from Sweden, France, etc.) to carry them out. And yet, recent actions against Hezbollah by the United States, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Organization for the Islamic Conference have not led to increased Hezbollah plots against the countries involved. As for UN peacekeepers, the U.S. State Department has documented at least two instances where Hezbollah has already targeted European peacekeepers in Lebanon. Those lines have been crossed, the question now is what—if anything—will be done about it?” (at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/debating-the-hezbollah-problem) we see compelling, yet not completely convincing evidence in play. It gets to be a little more interesting when we slice and dice darkweb data and add the bitcoin events that can be traced (to some degree), there is a larger stage in play, but we are up against a clever opponent (claiming that they are not is exceedingly stupid) and it seems that there is growing support from Germany, especially in conjunction with anti-Semitic events.

It goes further than the information that sources like Matthew Levitt, Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute. It becomes a really useable filter on events when we dig into the Dutch parts that involve Nasr el Damanhoury. You see, we might all react in outrage and there is plenty of indication, yet there is no evidence, not one part that has valued and valid use. The Dutch Newspaper ‘Algemeen Dagblad’ gave us (at https://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/bewijs-dan-eens-dat-wij-oproepen-tot-de-jihad~ab1cf89d/) gives us: “The Former School bought for €1.7 milllion, was bought on behalf of a German foundation with funds coming from Qatar“. There are all the flags, all the indication, yet not one bit of real intelligence, evidence or reason to act. And in this both the Dutch AIVD and German BND are able, well-educated and driven towards success and so far they have gone tits up in all this (for now). The Dutch situation is even more frustrating as everything points towards a very temperate environment, what some would call an optional tactic that is pure long term, and as such finding evidence of wrongdoing seems to be a foregone conclusion towards failure, of course this also optionally indicates that Nasr el Damanhoury could be completely innocent, at the most, the indication is limited to the fact that he might only be guilty of association with people of interest in all this. Yet the September 2018 event in the Netherlands, where we get “The suspects came from Arnhem, Rotterdam, and villages close to those two cities“, we get an optional link to certain events in the Rotterdam area of ‘Katendrecht’ where there are numerous of refugees and Middle Eastern immigrants, allowing optional or aspiring members of Hezbollah vanish into the background. There are a lot of indications, yet there is no actual or factual evidence to a prosecutable degree. Yet there have been a large amount of indicators that should not be ignored and with ‘Bolstered by Iran, Hezbollah ‘capable of destruction on a whole new scale’‘ (at https://www.france24.com/en/20181219-iran-israel-hezbollah-tunnels-missiles-lebanon-syria-nasrallah) we see: “A key element behind this is the fact that “Hezbollah is now way better equipped, so it has the capabilities to create destruction on a completely different scale from what we saw in 2006,” added Yossi Mekelberg, a Middle East specialist at Chatham House think-tank and Regent’s University London, in an interview with FRANCE 24“, we are merely introduced to the concept of optional danger, which is nowhere near the stage of ‘panic now, we ran out of coffee‘. Yet when we consider “The Lebanese armed group has also played a major role in keeping Tehran’s ally, President Bashar al-Assad, in power over the course of the Syrian conflict, participating in decisive victories over rebel groups, such as the 2013 Al-Qusayr offensive and the two 2016 Aleppo offensives” and we add “this increase in capability has taken place because of Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian conflict, where the Iran-backed group has its largest deployment outside of Lebanon (between 7,000 to 10,000 fighters) and is fighting alongside pro-Assad forces. According to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Hezbollah has increased its weapons reserves, better trained its members and improved its tactical and operational skills during the conflict” (source: Al Arabiya) we are now left with the state as Syria changes and as such there is an increase pool of Hezbollah members moving towards refugee centres, staying off the grid and preparing for activities in Europe. With the anti-Semitic support they get from Germans (read: Neo Nazi’s) there is an increased pressure on intelligence gathering and data comprehension required to make sense of all the information available. I am not talking about what the media gives us; it is a different stage of darkweb and crypto currency events. Over the last year we have seen “The Cyber-Desk of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) located a website named “isiscoins.com” on which these coins are sold. The site is presented as an official site of the Islamic State’s Ministry of Finance containing the coins minted by the Islamic State, in accordance with the specifications described in the film, “Return of the Gold Dinar”. Sets of seven coins are offered for sale on the site: two gold coins, three silver coins and two copper coins, at a cost of $950 per set, to be paid for using Bitcoin virtual currency“. This is not some sympathiser phase; this is recruiting and amassing funds for something much larger. The setup is set to remain invisible for a much longer time, and the methods of identification are close to useless at present. So when we see: “In summary, sporadic evidence of terrorists’ use of digital currency has been in existence since 2012 and there is no doubt that in recent months this trend has been growing and taking shape and now holds a prominent presence online. From the cases reviewed above, it is clear that the use of virtual currency is prevalent among activists at various levels, including the organization itself (the Islamic State), support groups and propaganda (Haq Web site, Akhbar al-Mulsilimin website, Jahezona group) and individuals (Bahrun Naim and Zoobia Shahnazi)” we cannot hide behind the statement ‘one is not the other‘ and in equal measure we can no longer rely on trivialisation of ‘six of one and half a dozen of the other‘, the truth of the second statement is that we have 12 angry men, deciding to become jury and executioners for whatever their cause is in Europe and that stage is growing not merely towards the UK, they are starting to be active all over Europe, there is enough indication that this is happening, yet finding the evidence who are the real extremists and who are merely advocating for Islam is not an easy task, as the Extremists are becoming more adapt in wearing sheep’s clothing, the task of finding the evidence merely becomes harder and harder.

That part was proven in January 2018 when the ICT (International Institute for Counter-Terrorism) could no longer test the Hezbollah CoinGate link. The result of the tests was that “the link no longer directs to CoinGate. Instead, the link redirects to an internal page on the site that was created on December 7, 2017 and every click on the site provides a different Bitcoin address“, it is speculative, yet there are enough indicators that Russian Organised Crime (or optionally Russian entrepreneurial criminal wannabe’s), as well as German Neo-Nazi’s are getting their 30 coins of silver facilitating for Hezbollah and their presented acts against the State of Israel and Jews wherever possible. I merely think that they are ways to push forward the Hezbollah agenda in every conceivable direction and until we get a better way to track these money trails most progress is hopelessly overestimated. You see, this is not new, this is not starting now. There are Bitcoin receipts going back to August 2016 and it is a clean method to disperse $100 million dollar via Iranian support all over Europe, and there are clear indications that a chunk is going in these directions.

As a final part (a badly translated text) gives us: “The campaign to collect donations in Bitquin: Below the title of the article is written (marked with orange): “Click to contribute to the site In Bitquin – no donation from the Zakat funds “(Akhbar al-Muslimin, November 27, 2017)“, their digital presence is growing, even in the streets and for now there is no clear plan of attack, for the mere reason that there is no visibility on how to attack Hezbollah in Europe. You see, ISIS, IS, Hezbollah and Hamas are all using similar tactics, they are teaching each other capabilities on the Darkweb, that if not for a lot more is what we learn from Canadian Journalist Martin Himmel. He gives us: “if authorities clamp down on Bitcoin, terror groups and criminal gangs move on to other crypto currencies, like Zcash and Monero. “It’s a constant catch up game,”” and the local authorities are unable to catch up, the resources are not there, so as players like Hezbollah are increasing their footprint all over Europe, we see that the danger is not merely that they are active and extreme, they are now outmatching the Europeans in cash and resources to a much larger degree making the dangers in Europe more and more evident. My views are not merely supported by Aisha Ahmad, a scholar from the University of Toronto. With “a strange mix of ideologues and hyper-materialists coming together for mutual interest” we see the reality where those needing cash for whatever they want are facilitating for the needs of these extremists. The Neo Nazi’s might be the clearest example, and they are not the only one, not even close.

So as Europe will at some point this year face at least one event involving Hezbollah Plus, we will see the impact and we will also be confronted with a system that is not ready, not educated and largely unable to counter such events. The technology is not up to speed and the technological knowledge of the opposition to Hezbollah is barely keeping up, not to mention laughingly understaffed.

This is soon no longer the stage of ‘bringing a knife to a gunfight’, it is staging the Neanderthal against a Gatling gun at 400 passes and it is not Hezbollah at that point who is the Neanderthal in all this. The difference is getting towards being that extreme.

So, when was the last time that Extremists had a technological advantage over governments? If there is even one example, how did that end?

 

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