Tag Archives: reuters

Pray for the incantation

As we prayed in the circle of light, we were given the clue we needed to proceed. Yet, for a lot of people that does not make sense and it does not need to be the case. Those who ever played the RPG Ultima 3 will know what I mean. It was an ‘other’ action that was required. It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw ‘Saudi Arabia suspends prayer in mosques, exempts holy Makkah and Madinah sites‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642761/saudi-arabia),in this I wonder what the churches are contemplating. We see ‘Most Vatican offices open, but adapting schedules in wake of pandemic‘, it is there where we see the first iteration of who prays towards the need for greed and who does not. Even as we are informed in the very first paragraph to “Vatican offices will remain open to ensure “essential services for the universal church,” but each office is being asked to evaluate the best ways to provide those services while observing health precautions and guidelines on safe distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus“, it is nice that the clergy is adapting towards ‘evaluate’ even as we all realise on how they are absent of medical knowledge, they are also a little unaware of the cases in their surrounding Italy with 31,506 cases and 2,503 non-living people, increasing their nonliving population by 345 in the last 24 hours. All this whilst the Vatican has a reported 1 case of the disease and as far as we can tell that person is still alive, yet in that given environment “Pope Francis ignored the lockdown of Italy amid the country’s severe coronavirus outbreak, and shocked two churches with a special visit to soothe fears and pray for the end of the disease spreading across the planet“, what can I say? The man is a proven ideologist.

Yet we see the sober act in Saudi Arabia “Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend congregational prayers across all mosques in the Kingdom, except for the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah“, it is an act that makes sense. In addition we see a second part that makes sense “Mosque doors will be closed temporarily but they will be allowed to recite the call to prayer“, OK, I understand that, if there is one part that the Vatican and Saudi Arabia have in common it is their approach to faith, and as such we see “an amendment has been made to the call in which the usual phrase “come to prayer” in the Arabic call has been replaced with “pray at home”. The new phrase can also be translated as “pray where you are”.” It makes sense and the fact that I got this almost only from the Arab News gives rise to how large the cliff between christian media and other media is. This is all being written by me as I am listening to ‘Wish You Were Here‘ by Pink Floyd, mind and ears are in sync and we are all giving welcome to the machine that is within us. Even as we see that, we see the beginning of a new problem, one that I saw coming (ha ha ha) ‘UK mobile phone networks report problems as Brits start work from home‘, they might be the first, but they are not the only ones. I reckon that some of the networks all over Europe,all now pushed to the brink of maximum, they are all in a stage where they are close to the point of buckling. And in that light where we see governments shouting to firms that they should embrace ‘working from home’, we will see a much larger collapse. And as we are being told “Customers of all the major networks including EE, O2, Vodafone, Three and GiffGaff, reported problems. Downdetector, which monitors network problems, said outages were in cities across the UK“,
I see a much larger collapse. Even as Reuters gives us ‘Can networks cope with millions working from home? So far, yes‘. I am doubtful, when the work from home takes on larger proportions, the German and French networks will buckle like a 90 year old with a bad back. In the middle of the 5G push no one has a seemingly sober head in making sure that one does not replace the other at this stage. The timing for them is too much out of balance and it is more likely then not that we will see larger interruptions in the big 4 economic nations of the EU. 

And this is merely the beginning. Stephanie Kirchgaessner (the one that made Saudi accusations on Jeff Bezos) gives us “Google has been accused by two US senators of seeking to exploit consumers fear over Covid-19 for profit following allegations that the company is targeting “predatory” and “price-gouging” ads for scarce goods, including protective masks and hand sanitiser, to vulnerable users“, one of them Mark Warner gives us screenshots and even whilst I am not saying that he is intentionally misinforming us, my search gives us [see image], and even as I am not saying that he is misinforming us, the images are part of a much larger issue, it is the issue that some people do not understand the mechanics of a larger system, the abusers do and it seems that certain politicians (some journalists too) will always be outfoxed by abusers of any system. 

It is in that ‘christian’ view that we do not understand the setting we see in Saudi Arabia and even as I access the ‘Work-from-home policy set to help contain virus in Saudi Arabia‘ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1642931/saudi-arabia), that part and the ‘Saudi health minister outlines Kingdom’s preventive measures against coronavirus‘, I personally belief that we all have a lot more to learn, and even as some are in prayer (both Christian and Muslim) for optional wisdom, we ened to wonder how many politicians are in it for the common good and not for personal gain, as I personally see it, there is a larger drive towards factual information, in this I am not stating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia give out more information, but they do seemingly give out less misinformation, which is a win for all who read it, no matter what your religion is. The lack of greed is seen in “Pregnant women and new mothers, people suffering from respiratory diseases, those with immune-system problems or chronic conditions, cancer patients and employees above the age of 55 are to be given 14 days compulsory paid leave, which will not be deducted from their annual entitlement“, which companies in the EU, US or Commonwealth give that as an option? A few do, but that list is really limiting to see. 

In all this Saudi Arabia is still important, when we realise that they have 171 cases (38 more than yesterday) and no reported deaths, it seems that whatever track they have in place is seemingly delaying the larger impact on the people, even as Iceland has no fatalities, that isolated island already has 247 cases (48 more than yesterday). So something is working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and perhaps it is merely the dry heat, we just do not know at present. 

There is a larger story and it comes from a few, not just me. The conversation (at http://theconversation.com/what-islamic-hygienic-practices-can-teach-when-coronavirus-is-spreading-133221) gave us 2 days ago “The recent Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” illustrates how the Islamic ritual washing, known as “wudu,” may help spread a good hygiene message“, and I am reminded on how my ‘accusation’ on how pragmatic Islamic law is, I actually did not see this coming. the fact that the pragmatic approach to Wudu is still in a stage of superiority over the Coronavirus. Is that the wrong thought to have? Perhaps, but the health experts (I am not one) are agreeing on the factual benefit that Wudu has. It is almost the stage where the Wilder humor takes over the stage (as seen in Blazing Saddles): “Now go do that Wudu that you do so well” and it becomes a much larger stage to behold. If the cleaning of one has a much larger benefit, what else did Christians optionally get wrong?

So as we are told “Wudu is to be performed, as was done by the Prophet Muhammad, in a specific order before praying, which takes place five times a day. Before each prayer, Muslims are expected to wash themselves in a certain order – first hands, then mouth, nose, face, hair and ears, and finally their ankles and feet“, we (most christians) are in the belief that we are right and others are wrong (even the ones they removed from existance), in all this we see the effect that the Coronavirus has and fear takes over, as such, is this the time to see if we can cross the gap between Christianity and Islam? Even Muslim institutions are open to adjustment. That part is seen in “Muslim institutions have begun to recommend that people make sure to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap before doing wudu. Emphasizing that wudu alone cannot prevent the virus from spreading, other Islamic institutions recommend that mosques supply extra soap and hand sanitizer near the washing area“, they never claimed to be the wisest, merely that they were as wise as anyone can be, and in that light the Christians sneering at this part should consider ‘KENTUCKY MAN WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS GUARDED AT HOME BY POLICE AFTER HE REFUSED TO QUARANTINE‘, as such we see that there is a larger stage of stupidity and it is not limited to politicians, anyone can get on that stage. it seems interesting that the law allows for this and then sets the stage where a police force is required to stop this person from infecting others, was the bible his inspiration? 

No matter what faith we have, we can only hope to hear an inner voice when we pray for wisdom, whether you have a faith or you are an agnostic, we all have a need for wisdom. And in that light, when we see the clear benefits of Wudu, how much time the western media took to give the light to this practice? 

There is a much larger disruption and I believe not illuminating the things we can properly do is at the heart of this disruption. We see governments dousing panic driven flames, yet the larger fire is unattended, please feel free not to believe me, but this article is riddled with optional evidence. I say optional, because a lot of it is fueled through a lack of clarity, as I personally see this Mark Warner being one of them. When 144 characters is the maximum for an accusation, and what he sees as a ‘Google Search’ all whilst we see “These ads, from a range of different advertisers, were served by Google on websites for outlets such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, CNBC, The Irish Times, and myriad local broadcasting affiliates,” in this we see the accusation, yet not the critical look that the mentioned “a range of different advertisers” are set to, the lack of Google Ads knowledge is at the heart of that foundation. 

The image I am showing is in none of the Wark Warner images, is that not weird too?

 

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You become what you are

I stumbled upon news a mere two hours old, now this is nothing special, but the content was. It came from Reuters and even though I cannot tell who the writer was, it is not about the writer. For the most it is an account of details that had passed, it is the accumulation of acts by people so intensely short minded, that is what baffled me. As such you become what you are, you become dead as your brain was dead. 

In the first we see Stephanie Simpson, no idea who that is, or who she thinks she is, yet the situation is given that she is from Essex. This is not against her, she might be an expert in the hiking field and for those feeling frisky and having an attempt at hiking in the  Mount Aspiring national park I have one small advice, I have never been there, but hiking, climbing, diving and a few other options, YOU NEVER EVER DO THAT ALONE!

Nature does not budge, it does not give in and it does not compromise, the smallest kindness shown by nature could be the start of its next serious attack on your body and senses. This is not negativity, this is reality. Even when it is a fluke event like “Flash floods and incessant torrential rains hit New Zealand’s South Island last week leaving several hundred tourists stranded for days and forced many residents to evacuate their homes“, in these matters the expression changes, it becomes pain shared is optionally pain avoided. In natural places like New Zealand, that is very much the centre of the hurricane.

I even have some issues with the statement “In 2016, a Czech women spent nearly a month alone in a warden’s hut on a remote hiking trail on South Island after her male partner was killed in a fall“, I am not denying this, yet the larger truth is ‘How many deaths did this Czech women avoid whilst her husband was alive?

I got it, she made it and I am happy for her and sad because she lost her husband, yet as they were together, how often was stated ‘Watch out, that looks lose!‘, or ‘That road seems dodgy, let’s take the other direction?‘ for the simple reason that 4 eyes see more than two, gender was not part of this equation, nature does not care about gender, in its eyes both genders are equally worthless.

So even as we see: “Thousands of hikers visit New Zealand each year to explore its mountains and wildlife“, in this we do not get to see the parts that matter, even as there are dozens of pages with ‘Hiking Solo‘ some giving us their goods with “Adventure, depending on your taste in activities, is supposed to be exciting and fun! It should get you out of your comfort zone, get the blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping, and maybe if it’s really scary, make your heart pound and your stomach jump into your throat. Adventurous activities are not usually for the faint of heart. But they also aren’t just for a certain group of hardy people either. Everyone can be adventurous. It just takes the right people connecting, an open mind, an adventurous attitude, and responsible planning! Anything is possible when you make up your mind!“, we also need to realise ‘It just takes the right people connecting‘ which infers that they get their solo and hooked up, which makes perfect sense. Other places give us “Saying that, hurting yourself, getting lost and getting caught out by the weather can happen, so you still need to take proper safety precautions when hiking, especially if you are going it alone“, and when you go this trail, ‘take proper safety precautions‘ will be everything. 

You see, we seem to forget that New Zealand is not rugged, it is not unexpected, it is sturdy as a rock, the weather breaks its back on New Zealand and with that crushing anything in its way as well. We oversimplify matters too often, we think of an earthquake and firmly believe that it does not hit us, yet in New Zealand the Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island, and we know that the last 7.8 was in 2016 and at that time “the recent massive earthquake pushed a chunk of coast several feet up“, yet a much smaller one (like a 4) could loosen a rock that shatters your leg, or if you are lucky your skull. Now, this is not some scary story telling, it needs to be firm that there is an important reason to be aware, nature will not give in. Consider “Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt“, a rock needs not feel, it merely needs to move, at times merely an inch. Still, from all pictures and accounts, New Zealand is more than just beautiful and the appeal to go there is there, I feel it too, but I feel that something like that is never ever to be done alone, it does not matter if you hook up with a team there, or if you follow a group, even a small tour, just do not do that alone. I also need to be clear, I am not talking about hiking tracks like the Queen Charlotte Track, or the Routeburn Track. They are hikes, yet it is different when you are alone, one of 10-20 alone on a clear given track, in the unspoiled terrains it is a different setting, the hiking places where others do not go. I get it, it is like skiing on fresh snow, not a piste, it is for many an overwhelming desire to do so, but at that point it is you alone and in nature, a little snow can become a blizzard, some rain becomes a flood or a flash flood, nature simply does not budge.

I have an additional feeling, the idea that an entire rescue team needs to become active for one useless person (me), offends me too and I used to be a rescue worker when I was younger. I have seen the impact of the sea and the ocean. You see on a large cruiser it seems harmless, on a fishing boat the ocean is something else. I personally still believe that of the three gods, Poseidon got the best deal of all three and I respect the ocean, it is not my element, as such one could argue that  have no business being near it, but the call to the sea is strong.

I write this with a special view on the last part of the article, which was “a 22-year-old British backpacker was murdered by a man she met on dating app Tinder. A jury convicted the man in November and he is to be sentenced on 21 February“, which is (as I personaly see it) a different level of stupid. As such we need to realise that New Zealand is a safe place, it has been and optionally always will be, at times people are not safe and the weather is never ever safe. As such look at Australia, first that island scorches through the kind assistance of the sun and 11 million hectares was burned, including 23 people and over 2,000 houses, then the rain helped out flooding thousands (me included), and left 100,000 houses without power. I had rain damage, but not as bad as some who had to throw out the bulk of their living room, my landlord found a new way to live green, he ended up with a tree in his living room. 

So lets realise that nature will NOT compromise and if it is devastating in a city like Melbourne, how bad can it get in rural conditions? Yet I still stand still with the Tinder girl, it is my personal believe that Kiwi’s (New Zealand natives) are not homicidal, they have been around a long time and tend to be friendly and at times direct and even now, this act stands out, it stands out a lot more than the people trying to hike in Australia (the movie Wolf Creek is based on it), to see such an event in NZ is weirdly uncanny to say the least. 

So no matter if you agree and how you feel, remember that when you are alone, it is the weather you must fear and the moment you take your eyes of it, it swamps you. It stands out against something that happened a year ago “both men were experienced climbers, active in the Canberra Climbers’ Association. They were attempting a challenging route across the top of the Remarkables mountain range” this is not the same as hiking and we can speculate on the exact issues as much as we want, in these places we are out in the open, we are where we do not belong and nature does not believe in capturing or taking a prisoner, it merely kills you or it optionally makes you stronger. It has nothing to do with gender and nothing to do with expertise, in a match between you and nature, you will always lose, that is the reality of it all and whilst New Zealand has the most beautiful sites any place on earth offers, being overwhelmed by it is a dangerous stage to be in. My point of view was partially seen last September “Two tourists ignored advice against hiking the Routeburn Track in winter, and went out under-prepared for the conditions they faced, a Coroner’s report has found“, I see it as a double whammie, overestimating your own abilities and forgetting the power of nature, oh and there is also the stupid factor as ‘ignored advice‘ is part of all this, and they went to see the Department of Conservation (DOC) centre in Queenstown to get information before they went. As they were told “not to go because it was winter and there would be winter conditions“, so how high does ‘giving it a go‘ rank in stupid levels? As I said Nature will not care, it will simply carelessly kill you. Even as Stephanie Simpson took all the precautions, did everything right, she was seemingly alone and there was no one to raise the alert, give a hand if she slipped on wet rocks or chase her if the water caught her, all speculated options in what might never be known, my personal view is never go alone, even if it is just you and the guide, he/she can still take pics of you for you to show off when you get home.

I do feel sorry for Stephanie Simpson, it doesn’t matter who she is, her age, her interests, getting stuck alone in nature is perhaps the harshest death there is (apart from a rock pushing you in a crevice instantly killing you), being helpless and crushed by nature is something overwhelming, because you tend to have no hope at all to survive that.

Consider that the Czech republic has quality snow, harsh ice and real winter conditions to read “they had underestimated the snow conditions” is simply a new level of stupid (like flying from the UK to NZ to meet a tinder guy). And my view is not the only one, the SCMP (South China Morning Post) gives us “A growing number of tourists are getting into trouble while hiking in New Zealand. Local knowledge could help prevent these incidents” anyone needing a travel guide? We also see the Kiwi preemptive stage of “New Zealanders are being called on to talk to tourists in hotels, pubs and shops to educate them about the dangers of the nation’s countryside, after a spate of emergency rescues and fatalities“, which is awesome, it might not save the stupid ones who are willing to ‘give it a go‘ but those with genuine self interest (on living) might take notice that New Zealand nature is like a Cobra, it looks amazing in many ways, yet too close and it can turn deadly in seconds. Remember that nature never cared about you in the first place, so accept that there are no dangerous snakes and spiders in New Zealand (unlike in Australia), in New Zealand nature and its weather is a much larger danger and those unprepared pay the price with their soul, so never ever go it alone, even if the second person can only call for help, you could not move as you slipped on a wet moss covered rock and fell the wrong way. Yes you might walk alone on certain trails, but that is because there are well over a dozen on that trail and you will most likely be spotted, hopefully in time.

Even as we are given “the second preventable death“, it was not the fault of any Kiwi, it was the fault of the tourist not comprehending just how dangerous nature is and how deadly the weather can become in seconds.

That is how I see it!

My bucket list still has the need to visit Antarctica, its unreaped snow fields, the azure freshwater lakes and the direct view on a complet nature and weather setting has its appeal (and the appeal to photograph it), but I too know that it could kill me when I am alone. So just me and a local guide it will be, I prefer to be around one day later, that’s how I roll.

 

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As the house comes down

There are two articles in the Guardian, both are mere hours old and it shows the impact that bully tactics have. In the first it is the EU who starts with ‘EU trade commissioner ‘will call Trump’s bluff’ over Huawei security‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/16/eu-trade-commissioner-will-call-trumps-bluff-over-huawei-security), where we also see ‘Phil Hogan convinced US president will not withdraw intelligence cooperation with UK and EU‘, it appears that Mr. Andrew Parker was right as I expected him to be. The text “The EU trade commissioner has said he will call Donald Trump’s “bluff” on threats to withdraw the US’s cooperation with the UK and the rest of the bloc on intelligence and security over Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant” and it is important to note that the US has still not shown one lick of evidence that Huawei is under the intrusion thumb of the Chinese government. It was an odd situation, do you think that the Chinese government would interfere with such a large setting of income, whilst the data will be coming to them already through the direct means of applied usage of social media? However, we need to recognise that the US is n a worse state now, even as direct numbers are not given, the political hounding of Facebook and Google, could see a much larger jump of people to Harmony OS and as such these companies could lose a large stage of data coming their way. I personally believe that this is the direct impact of electing into the oval office a man who is known for the one-liner ‘You’re Fired!‘, but that is just me.

There is also the given part of “Phil Hogan has also risked the wrath of the US president by declaring that the EU is not, in principle, opposed to giving the Chinese tech group access to 5G plans. At a press conference in London he said the US did not have exclusivity on safety and security of its citizens, and predicted Trump would come round to the EU view that they had shared interests in that regard“, I believe that Phil Hogan is right, the foundations of the threats were not based on evidence (as I see it), in addition as the US is losing more and more ground in intel gathering in the Middle East, they will become more and more dependant on the EU and UK sources out there and not sharing is really disadvantageous for the US, it will take well over a decade to regrow the size and quality of sources they had. 

The second issue is seen (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/16/iran-says-it-is-enriching-more-uranium-than-before-nuclear-deal) in the article ‘Germany confirms Trump made trade threat to Europe over Iran policy‘, as we are introduced to ‘Defence minister says Trump threatened to impose 25% tariff on European cars‘, here the stage is different, it is not Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, it is the larger EU political community that is the danger. Iran is a clear and present danger, it was so before America offed Qassam Soleimani and Iran will remain a threat after. The media on a global scale has been all about minimising the impact on Iran, even as there was no way that some nuclear deal would ever make it, but the political hacks in the EU had the arrogance to think that they could (a valid option), yet even now, well over a year later, there is still nothing there. Even now as we get from various sources in the media that Iran is presently enriching more Uranium than ever before, we are given the raw dangers. Even as the EU members are in denial through “In invoking the dispute mechanism for the Iran nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – in other words, in deciding to hold Tehran to account for its breaches of the deal – the UK, France and Germany insist that they are still firmly behind the deal” we see a dangerous escalation delusion from the EU side. the problem is that if Iran makes a false move on willing to talk, we get the same situation that America faced when Japan stated that they were willing to talk in the months before Pearl Harbour, the problem now is that the target is Israel and optionally a scare tactic towards Saudi Arabia and for some reason people are oblivious to the fact that if the ground of one nation is radioactive, that dust is likely to spread to neighbouring nations. As I see it, Iran will not care about what happens to Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, optionally it will cross the mediteranian and impacts Italy, Spain, Turkey and Greece for generations. If the radioactive matter hits the sea that will happen for certain. Yet the arrogance of the EU politicians that a place like Iran will talk whilst their Uranium enrichment is running at full force is a dangerous precedence. I do believe that America is doing the wrong thing for the right reason and when (not if) that first missile mysteriously makes it into Hezbollah hands, the denials from Iran will be as loud as possible as it will ‘hide’ behind the military power of Russia, I am just not certain if Russia will be willing to be part of that mess.

So even as we see: “Iran initially denied responsibility for the crash, but three days later admitted that it had downed the plane believing it was an incoming US missile. An Iranian national security commission is investigating the episode“, it does not mention that the person releasing the video is now arrested for matters of Iranian national security. Still the EU politicians think that they can weave some kind of deal and the months of delay is working into the Iranian hands as well and those politicians need to be woken up as soon as possible, because once it is too late, the costs will be beyond comprehension and at that point the EU politician will hide behind ‘fair play’ and ‘unforeseen complications’ all whilst history has seen these issues all before. And in all this, the one part that matters is not addressed. Even as we see and are told that Uranium enrichment is at an all time high, the method of how they are doing it is ignored. Thousands of centrifuges were under critical eyes disposed of, so how were they replaced so easily? With the response as to the killing of January 3rd, we now see that there are Iranian claims that enrichment is back, yet how was this done in under two weeks? It could only have been done if the hardware was already there and if enrichment was the main agenda point from before July 2019, and that means that Iran intended to break the Nuclear accords long before they lost one general, is no one seeing that part?

The media is certainly not making any mention in that direction. The fact that one part of the deal was the reduction of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,104 (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/16/middleeast/rouhani-iran-uranium-enrichment-intl/index.html). So how can they be back to enriching so quickly? The second part is that enrichment would stop at 3.67%, there is no clear word on how rich their uranium is (at present), but there is also the locations, only Natanz was supposed to be active, but the implied amount stated gives rise to the importance of the fact that there is no way that Natanz can produce that much, implying that Arak, Ishafan, or Bushehr is either back online, or that the EU missed a few places (not entirely improbable).

The second part is that the only registered mine is Bandar Abbas, to continue on the track they are now, the traffic there would have increased massively and no one noticed? An optional issue is that there is MORE than one Uranium mine in Iran, this has two distinct issues. In the first it would mean that Iran has a much larger Uranium consideration, the second is that another mine has been largely unnoticed. It all adds up that in the first the EU dropped the ball to a much larger extent, in the second that the EU was unaware and therefor unable and unwilling to be a true investigator. Now we see the bully threat that America wrongfully made for the right reasons. My small speculation becomes, what is happening to the South, South West and West of Tabas (South Khorasan Province)? And in addition, why is there no open awareness in the EU in these matters? 

It gets to be worse, but I will spare you that part (for now). 

There is another side to all this, it is the financial side. All these actions are costing a boatload of money, money that Iran should not have and that implies that it is getting fueled to some extent from somewhere. Even as we are treated to ‘Defying U.S. sanctions, Iran boosts gas oil sales to neighbours‘ (source: Reuters), we are looking at a larger Iranian infrastructure need, and as far as I can tell, gasoil sales will not fuel that need, and even as we are given “more than 80% higher than the previous quarter and nearly four times higher than the first quarter, data from consultancy FGE showed“, the math doesn’t add up.

So either Iran had the means hidden, or there is a larger play going on. Consider that Iran had to replace well over 5,000 centrifuges to make their setting truthful, these things each costs a bundle, the mining operations needed to be ‘upgraded’ through manpower and that is another infusement of funds, last we see the missile and drone programs, it all adds up to the costs that they cannot afford, someone has handed Iran a credit card, or made funds in other ways available and I cannot see where it comes from (which makes sense as I do not walk in those lanes), yet the media is also not reporting on any of that and finding this would be a massive scoop for any paper, so why is there nothing? Is there nothing? If that is so then the nuclear threat from President Rouhani is hollow and empty, but I do not believe that to be true (personal conviction). 

The main problem for all nations is that Iran has an advanced weapons program, one that does NOT include nuclear weapons, yet the technological knowhow is largely there, as we see enrichment continue, the setting for a dirty bomb is merely months away, so Iran could use a dirty bomb in 2020 if it chose so, an actual nuclear weapon is less likely, yet not impossible. The problem that a weapon like that would be developed in unknown (read: unvisited Iranian) locations and the trigger would be part of a non-nuclear bomb, even if there was nuclear fission, they need the bare minimum to test that, hence hiding a 1Kg bomb in 3 tonnes of TNT would be easily hidden. 

When we go by “The total radioactivity of the fission products is extremely large at first, but it falls off at a fairly rapid rate as a result of radioactive decay. Seven hours after a nuclear explosion, residual radioactivity will have decreased to about 10 percent of its amount at 1 hour, and after another 48 hours it will have decreased to 1 percent. (The rule of thumb is that for every sevenfold increase in time after the explosion, the radiation dose rate decreases by a factor of 10.)” (source: Britannica) and a weapon with less than one Kg would be acceptable for testing, Iran has plenty of places where this would happen unobserved and within hours the larger extend would not be registered, the only path is the EMP, as long as there is no measurement around, it will go unnoticed if the bomb is small enough, so as Iran tests its nuclear detonation options, it can go a long way in staying undetected end the nuclear trigger is pretty much the same for a 400Gr and a 10KT bomb, so that is the danger and we have no idea where Iran is at at this point. Yet the latest info is still that Iran has NO nuclear weapons technology. However, if it can create the amounts of fission that Iran is claiming to be making, they might not be far off, in the most positive scenario they are at best a year away from that.

And in that environment the EU politicians rely on ego and arrogance that Iran will play ball, I might not agree with the bully tactic, but in this case the US and all others have very little to go on. My issue is that I personally believe that anyone (including Iran) is innocent until proven guilty, yet as we witness the statements by president Rouhani and the actions by Iran, can we afford to take that path? Can we actively set the stage of endangering the State of Israel (the most likely first target) to this level of danger? And when that happens, what are the levels of danger that Saudi Arabia faces? More importantly, depending of the first blast, what are the dangers of the surrounding nations of the target? Lets not forget that the Suez Canal goes straight through that area, not only destroying an economy, but endangering the economy of the entire EU. 

When we are in a house as it is coming down on top of us, we need to see what our options are and that part is in no way clear, all whilst we know that running out of the house will bring new and other dangers.

 

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It took one funeral

In the left corner

Iran is in all kinds of problems, there are a few issues all playing at the same time, yet the one that is satisfying me the most is the news on Al-Jazeera where we see ‘UN monitors say Houthis not behind Saudi Aramco attacks: Report‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/monitors-houthis-saudi-aramco-attacks-report-200109062732396.html) It is here that we see “The investigators, who monitor sanctions on Yemen, also said they do not believe that “those comparatively sophisticated weapons were developed and manufactured in Yemen.” They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible for the Saudi attack” in this it is interesting that it was merely about identifying that houthis were not responsible and the added ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ merely shows a larger failing for the UN. Of course they might use the same approach in falsely accusing the murderers of Jamal Khashoggi, but the UN cannot get what it wants, it is now a political engine trying to be the vice for the EU to get Nuclear accords. What took them a month to figure out was within my grasp within hours when I wrote ‘Government? Censorship?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/18/government-censorship/), the data was available and even as the UN might set ‘standards’ for their information (the UN-essay by Agnes Callamard debates that), the setting of a destroyed Yemen making advanced weaponry like the drones, all whilst they never had the people to make them before the war was not a part that they took for granted? The fact that years of war show a rather large lack of accuracy whilst the pinpoint accuraccy of the attack on Aramco was almost surgical. No, none of that mattered to the UN, even as they had months to look into the matter ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ rears its ugly head. Al Jazeera then gives us “Adel al-Jubeir, signalled in September that Riyadh was waiting for results of UN investigations before announcing how his country would respond. UN experts monitoring UN sanctions on Iran and Yemen travelled to Saudi Arabia days after the September attack. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, told the Security Council in a separate report on December 10  that the UN was “unable to independently corroborate” that missiles and drones used in the attacks “are of Iranian origin”“, the UN did its job and prevented a war at the expense of credibility and trustworthiness. I had by that date in December established via several sources that only Iran could have done what was done and I even looked at other Saudi Allies as optional aggressors, only NATO and Iran remained as optional aggressors, I wonder if we get a NATO brief next week with an apology? The matter is actually larger than merely hardware, Houthi forces also do not have the ability (read: people) to properly control drones, I would argue that my ability (I’ve never managed a drone) with mere Flight Simulator experience would make me a better drone operator than any Houthi. 

In the right corner

Now we get to the fun part (for me that is), the news of ‘Catastrophic failure of Ukraine jet in Iran suggests missile strike‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/09/catastrophic-failure-ukraine-jet-iran-suggests-missile) with added photo of a Tor-M1 part gives a rather nasty setting, it is the news that comes with “Fail-safe systems that would have allowed the aircraft to get back safely in the event of engine failure appeared to have been compromised in an instant. Others pointed to what looked like penetrating holes in the airframe, leading some to compare them to the damage suffered by the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile five years ago“, yet I was not convinced, if I slam Iranians (which is always fun) I want to keep a rather high level of evidence in play. I am also unwilling (after three CIA bungles) to go with “the US had picked up the signature of an anti-aircraft missile battery locking on to the Ukrainian plane, and then the infrared heat signal of two missile launches followed by that of an explosion on the plane“. I even debate the intelligence implied by prime minister Justin Trudeau (most likely relying on US-CIA intelligence) that it was an Iranian surface-to-air missile. I am however taken with the independent part of “the aircraft landed safety with only one death, thanks to the significant “redundancy”, or fail-safe designs, built into modern planes to allow them to land safely after an engine failure“, you see, no matter what happened after that, the plane would be in a largely controlled crash drive and there would be communication, there would be updates by the pilot, no matter what his or her nationality was. In addition there is: “Here we had some kind of event that knocked the transponder off the plane. Some kind of event that disabled the electronics to that system. It takes a lot to disable the electronics on a sophisticated aircraft like the 737-800“, I get that and that is very acceptable and from that we get back to the quote ‘Experts say debris fragments and sudden loss of fail-safe systems point to missile‘ and “while some apparent evidence of fragment damage to the aircraft turned out to be debris from the ground, other images showed ragged holes in one of the engines and scorching to one side of the cockpit, and other parts of the aircraft“, this all point towards the use of a missile and I agree with the statement of implied convenience “the unverified picture of the seeker head of the Tor-M1 missile seemed to some to be too good to be true, lying on the ground and largely intact“, I would like to know the source of that image, it is not Iranian, that much is certain, and any person ‘on the ground’ there finding that part is just too much of a happy go lucky lottery winner for me to have faith in (yes, I tend to not trust anyone). The issue remains, Iran is screwing up, in massive ways, the overreaction towards a civilian passenger carrier implies that the people there cannot distinguish between optional targets and that implies a lack of push on the iranian side, if they go to war whilst their people cannot tell differences implies that they are open to much larger flaws when tactical issues cannot play out because they cannot tell the difference.

Even as we (to some degree) accept “US officials would not disclose the intelligence they claim to have that indicates an Iranian missile was to blame, they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communications intercepts and other similar intelligence“, there is a play in motion, now that Iran has torn up the nuclear accords, we see new actions on the table, yet these actions seem hollow. Actions like ‘Germany urges Europe to respond to Iran’s nuclear violations‘ (source: Reuters), where we see the quote “stopped short of calling for renewed U.N. sanctions“, an almost cowardly level of response whilst the transgressions have been going on since October 2019, I spoke about it in ‘The tradesman and the deal‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/11/05/the-tradesman-and-the-deal/), yet the EU still cannot find any solution that works months later and is refraining from ‘calling for renewed U.N. sanctions‘, it’s like watching a large neon sign ‘I saw a big pussy and it called itself EU‘, no wonder nothing gets resolved.

Yet no matter how it turns, Iran is getting more and more issues on its plate and there is a growing amount of international intelligence and evidence to really turn up the heat on Iran, the problem is that there are also an increased amount of players who want ‘their’ project to continue and that is the larger problem for now, when we look at the timeline and resolve the Aramco attacks at Abqaiq and Khurais first, we will see a much larger level of pressure against Iran, nuclear accords be damned, anyone thinking that Iran would abide by them is completely looney tunes, the news that Iran gave last year of transgressing its 300Kg limit by one thousand percent was (as I personally see it) a timed one, there was just not enough space to hide their transgression and the materials and hardware required for it and that part is just ignored by too many (mostly the 27 players in the EU), now one funeral later it all comes to blow, but not because of the funeral, the matter that people forget is that when you have an orchestra and you replace the conductor, we see that the orchestra is going through changes, it always does and as we see it now, the fact that Qassam Soleimani was juggling half a dozen issues at the same time, it is expected that his replacement will drop a few items as he does not know these issues 100%, as well as the fact that the people in that army are all vying for a better position, that is the benefit we now have and that is why we have to push. When Iran is exposed to the largest degree they will falter again and again until they have no credibility anywhere, that is the setting we need to go for, not because of people on a flight, not because of attacks of refineries or transgressions on accords, those are in the past, we need to do it because of the things that are still to reach the surface and there are issues that will still reach the surface, that is what will show Iran as the weak middle eastern bully it has been for the longest time, there is the victory of what is yet to come and that will set change, the problem is will the opponents of Iran be strong enough? Saudi Arabia and Israel are, the rest is open to interpretation, it is linked to the ego of the speakers and the win they still hope for, the EU is showing that all too clearly.

I personally wonder just how far certain players are willing to go to get their ego’s fixed, I feel certain we will see a lot more before the month is over.

 

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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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When the cure is part of the disease

Have you seen that issue in your life, the claim that the cure is worse than the disease, or perhaps that the cure is not worth the disease. There are medical situations where this applies and they are usually used in cases of huge risks, but it is always in a stage where it is about optionally curing the person who got that winning lottery ticket, and the cure will hit him or her full on. It happens, yet what is the stage where the cure is the disease? I am not talking about a vaccine where we are making the body stronger by fighting a weaker version of the disease, no this is a stage where we give the person Ebola or Hantavirus to let the body cure it. The problem becomes that once you have the virus you are actually sick and the complications start from that point onward.

This is the stage we are confronted with in ‘IMF accused of ‘reckless lending’ to debt-troubled states‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/07/imf-accused-of-reckless-lending-to-debt-troubled-states). It is not merely “the Fund broke its own rules by not ensuring sustainable debt burden“, I personally believe it to be a much larger problem in all this. It is also not merely: “encouraging reckless lending by extending $93bn of loans to 18 financially troubled countries without a debt restructuring programme first“, I believe it to be a larger play to push revenue away from vulture funds to create a systemic problem for these nations to become part of the consumer feeding frenzy to banks for generations. when we see: “Debt sustainability has come into the spotlight over the past year after the IMF controversially lent a record $56bn to Argentina even though its annual debt repayments far exceeded the Fund’s own limit” the given excuse ‘The IMF said Argentina, the second biggest economy in South America, was a special case‘ the handed excuse should be casted aside and given no value at all. the supporting evidence is seen in “The crisis intensified when, on 5 December 2001, the IMF refused to release a US$1.3 billion tranche of its loan, citing the failure of the Argentine government to reach its budget deficit targets” (source: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/11/business/argentina-scrambles-for-imf-loans.html). When I asked about the situation about 5 years ago from these so called Australian ‘economic reporters’, none of them had any level of a clear answer for me. The case was clear 5 years ago when certain vulture funds issues got to the surface, and now 17 years later they are giving out $56 billion, whilst refusing a $1.3 billion option 17 years earlier. There is a much larger flaw in all this and there have been whispers (read: gossip) that the IMF is very much into facilitating towards the needs of Wall Street and the financial operators out there. The bottom dollar line of Wall Street needs to be met and no one cares how it is done.

the stage becomes a lot less acceptable when we consider the stage Afghanistan; Angola; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Ecuador; Egypt; Ghana; Jordan; Mauritania; Mongolia; Pakistan; São Tomé and Príncipe; Sierra Leone; Sri Lanka; Tunisia; and Ukraine, all whilst Egypt, Pakistan and Ecuador are regarded as high risk, I personally feel that the risk factors of Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Jordan are also way above normal with only Jordan being in a better long term position however, if Jordan does not address its water shortage issues, Jordan could drop into the ultra-high risk group a lot faster than anyone could state: ‘Would you like a glass of water?‘, and in all this we see a larger failing.

It becomes a more visible issue when we see the IMF spin doctors at work. We partially accept the statement: “More than half that amount is accounted for by one programme – Argentina, which has unique circumstances“, yet I am much less forgiving when I see: “We have clear guidelines about not lending into unsustainable debt situations and all programmes require approval by the IMF’s executive board“. It is my response that they publish clearly all their guidelines (and policies), but we will not ever get that. In addition, the Argentina matter after the Vultures were done with it is also a failing of the highest degree, the fact that over 17 years $1.3 billion has required $56 billion implies more than merely 4,300% more funds needed. It gives rise that over 17 years a debt increase of 23% year on year was accumulated one way or another. It is a direct optional sign of complete and utter governmental financial malfeasance. It is a failure on a scale never seen before and the fact that no one stepped in shows the larger failure by the IMF. You see, the overall lack of illumination also constitutes evidence that the players wanted this to be kept out of the lime lights.

In addition, when we look at the 17 nations, when we ignore the obvious three, we see a larger issue in Jordan. Jordan stepped up and towards the issue that there are well over 1.4 million refugees in Jordan and Jordan was not ready in any way shape or form to deal with that. In their current state the Jordan desalination plants will not be able to keep up (so far it cannot keep up) and the fact that the Jordan population grew by 14% in 2-3 years due to the refugees was never clearly illuminated and now Jordan has a larger issue, even if another desalination plant is added in the Gulf of Aqaba, the issue will not diminish and the loans towards Jordan would become unsustainable. In addition, when you consider Sri Lanka, the newspapers all gave the same quote a month ago: ‘Sri Lanka’s economy has shown a ‘fair bit of resilience’‘, they quoted that to the letter, yet who was feeding them that information? Only 14 hours ago we see: “Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in September were down 27.2% from a year earlier“, those factors did not really change did they? When we consider a month ago, we see an economy that is getting hit hard, especially when Reuters gives us: “a sixth consecutive monthly fall“. It seems to me that Sri Lanka are betting on the required roll of the dice, when we get the clear indication that the dice are loaded and it seems that they are loaded towards the needs of the IMF/Wall Street and not in favour of Sri Lanka.

When we add the Reuters information: “Arrivals in the five months from May to September were down 44.4% to 468,737 from 843,569 a year earlier” we get a level of clear indication that the quote: ‘Sri Lanka’s economy has shown a ‘fair bit of resilience’‘ should be seen as media BS. And there is more regarding Sri Lanka, the quote less than 24 hours ago is “Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said all the money the current government has borrowed since 2016 was to repay the loans of the previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa“, if that is true, then there are additional questions towards the IMF in regards to their spin doctors giving us: “Our decisions to lend to countries are not simply based on numerical thresholds, but on comprehensive debt sustainability analyses and policies needed to address economic imbalances and debt burdens“, which in the case of Sri Lanka shows a much larger issue, the fact that the quote on repaying from a previous government and that loan has been in place for 3 years shows a larger problem, so how much was given to them? In addition to this I wonder how much of the $56 billion is going to Elliott Advisors, so much is the IMF helping out Manhattan bad boy Paul Singer? In my view, the question becomes: ‘How much of the $56 billion goes to Hedge funds manager Paul Singer?‘ Under those conditions I reckon anyone could get their fingers on the penthouse in Sky Lofts building in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood. If it is good enough for Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), it is good enough for the Lawlordtobe (Lawrence van Rijn), and I could do with a change of scenery, especially if Google buys my 5G IP portfolio.

So if my new address becomes 145 Hudson St New York, NY 10013, I promise that I will not consider the ’13’ in my zip code to be a bad omen and at least I will not have used the IMF to gain my fortune (although I will admit that I am perfectly willing to do that too #weallneedtoeat).

When we see these two issues and we see that I have not even looked at the 12 others (three were known issues) I wonder when any reporter will give us the entire down low on these so called analyses and policies that the IMF has in place, I feel with some level of certain ty that I will find a lot more issues under the waterline than the IMF spin doctors will be able to hide. Especially when we realise the quote in the Guardian: “concerns that a general election later this month will oust incumbent president, Mauricio Macri, in favour of the populist Alberto Fernández and his running mate, the former president Cristina de Kirchner, triggered a flight of investors, a run on the currency and sent the interest rate on the country’s publicly traded debts soaring“, more important, under that change the entire case which would have been part of the $56 billion ‘donation’ that we see through “Argentina agreed to reduce its fiscal deficit to 1.3% of GDP this year, down from 2.2% previously and a balanced budget next year“, especially when we see the required drop of 0.9% deficit, I cannot remember any elected official making that part of their campaign, it tends to leave them unelected at the polls, so in all this, not only does the JDC have a point, we see that Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign should be considered to be a lot more serious and is in my personal view entitled to massive dose of limelight from the global media, so that she can ask the questions that the IMF would have to explain in a clear and transparent way, would you like to take a bet on the chance of that actually happening?

I believe that people like Paul Singer will set that bet to an estimated 250:1 chance (of it not happening), and as he personally was able to acquire $3.5 billion, I am not putting my hopes on high here. I merely wonder if the people in Argentina have any decent level of Christmas to look forward to this year and the many years that follow.

 

 

 

 

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Desert for breakfast

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

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

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

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

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

Mixing the message

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

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

How did I get there?

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

How wrong am I?

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

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

 

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