Tag Archives: Riyadh

And the news is where?

Well there was the news this morning ‘World leaders return to ‘Davos in desert’ a year after Khashoggi boycott‘, but I dealt with that 4 days ago during ‘When we say ‘Ney’ to an event‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/10/24/when-we-say-ney-to-an-event/), complete with the summit time frame, seems like such an interesting delay. Perhaps the entire Nikkei setting is rather more interesting than that. Nikkei review giving us “Mizuho and SMBC among 15 names planned for historic listing“, whilst also giving us “The roster of underwriters could change depending on where Saudi Aramco goes public“, that part will get more visibility in the stage where ‘Aramco proposes two-stage IPO, shunning London and Hong Kong‘, that partially made sense, especially as HSBC took a flounder in the last year, by itself it is not a explanation, yet the events that overlap Jamal Khashoggi and certain times events in that light have not been considered ‘fair play’ by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in that light the events shunning London would make sense. And this is the direct consequence of certain tasks made by certain elements who thought that jerking off the market because the going was good some kind of thing. Well, yes, that is exactly how I would phrase it, especially over the year when we saw Saudi Arabia being hunted and nagged in three different ways; I think it is fair to call it that. I see no reason to call it any other way. Now that the initial plans for a petrochemical location in China is ready to be mapped out at $10 billion, China will have new options whilst Saudi Arabia is opening a new vat of tactics, the US is now up in arms to sooth their longtime partner and they better pucker up. The US made sure that the Khashoggi matter got light and then the lost track of their novelty, they were not prepared for the windfall others made of it and now we are given: “The crown prince denies involvement, but told US TV last month that he took “full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia”” an issue that was out in the media, but did you not consider the cost involved? Did you think that this comes for free? Even as we were given “it triggered Saudi Arabia’s biggest diplomatic crisis since the 9/11 attacks as world leaders and business executives sought to distance themselves from Riyadh“, it does come at a cost and Aramco is the first to exact the cost of doing business, it is the first of several steps, the deals with India and China are too soon, too visible and it shows a Kingdom who was sick and tired of two faced options in oil, now that we see that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has options, now that the west is about to learn that you cannot play certain games, now they will all be about the ‘miscommunication’, they will be all about the freedom of the press even as we see that the freedom of the press is some convoluted story, some story that we tended to warn scholars about, like we see in Umberto Eco, the name of the Rose (post-glad infringed upon for this event) ““Until then I had thought each preacher spoke of the events, human or economical, that lie outside books not told of. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of white papers: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the gathering seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, annual murmuring upon an imperceptible dialogue between one vision debated on and another ones paper, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by any human mind, but the cistern of wealth merely a treasure of ill spoken events emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.”

I recently had to revisit an abbey in northern Italy so it made sense as well and the years are actually in several ways applicable. The Divine Comedy (Dante Aliegieri) finishes at this stage, the era was founded by double entry bookkeeping, the Italian bankers who designed it had no idea what impact it would have on accountancy or that the practice would survive until today. Yet, Umberto Eco placed his novella in an interesting time, Yet that time 680 years later we see that the question of wealth is very much at the heart of the matter, yet not in hands of the Christian church, it is there that we see the actions of certain members of coinage to be handled from. Feel free to disagree with me, but when you place the events as they were played over the last year and who exactly started these accusations, with the preemptive part of evidence that cannot have any further meaning, including the UN Essay by A. Callamard, can we answer in any other way that something is apparently wrong?

We merely need to look at the impeachment of a Trump card, a mere clown in the entire financial orchestra, when we see the steps allocated by intelligence and civic groups, whilst a Crown Prince was indited on paper with no resulting evidence, do you really think that it is merely a farce? Now that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has met with two events, it is stronger than ever to settle Aramco, to settle oil disputes and America might not care, but now that their own surpluses and their own economic value is now under attack, its 21 trillion dollar noose will become more than just the chain around a junkyard dog seeking a larger yard to bark in. And now it is only just that I include the bank that was around in the beginning of Umberto Eco’s tale, in 1327, from brothers financing governments the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) would grow and from its acquisitions in 2008, the hidden losses and the bailout in 2013 it never stopped being the BMPS, J.P. Morgan, Mediobanca, Banco Santander, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs had signed a pre-underwriting agreement with BMPS in July, with all kinds of assurances, several of them all now shunned in the Aramco deal.

There is part of it that I cannot prove, I am not stating that I found certain links that are personally as shallow as it gets, yet certain people made transfers to other avenues, and in those positions they would if that deal went through made huge waves, if nothing happened, then they would be in an interesting place, so we cannot go on anything that flimsy (I don’t work for the UN after all), but the time line is weirdly skewed in certain visibility graphs, one would consider that certain acts would have been ‘concidental’ top a fault if it would have happened and it would have been the savior of what would be the “the industrial plan of the bank was approved, which the bank would be re-capitalized for €8.1 billion, but only €3.9 billion would be underwritten by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (excluding additional shares that would be buyback from retail bondholders by the government), with the rest were the “bail-in” of bondholders, mandatorily converted the bond of the bank to shares” Some would ask questions on the grounds of Margrethe Vestager, yet they would be wrong, I believe that certain matters had been in the frying pan a lot longer than that. And the entire Saudi Arabia matter does not stop there, where it stops is up in the air, because both Wall Street and a wealth banker that is above all this would prefer it this way, so when some are stumping their chest giving you the goods on some deal, just be thankful that it is not your coinage that is depending on this deal.

That is the underlying sound of more than just an Aramco deal, it is all over the place and even if my view is not to be seen as the correct one, consider what evidence you are going from, I never told you the little evidence that I have based this on, for the mere reason that two or three memos could be seen as mere typo’s, but how could my story exist?

Consider that I gave visibility to certain parts weeks ago, and that I was ahead of the curve for some time, after which my interest merely grew in other directions, I had finished the puzzle, I had no real reason to watch it unfold until completion, it was merely an exercise at that moment and like all other people, I hate exercises.

Yet I left two parts out, it is not important, but it gives a larger play towards the entirety, consider Davos in the Desert 2015, who was there and who absconded, consider that this was BEFORE Khashoggi and who came out of the woodwork? That is one part; I let you figure out the second hint. Now consider what options the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has left when the table is spread the way it is, I wonder if you can see the irrefutable acts of discrimination.

 

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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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What mattered most

I refrained from giving a view for two days, I saw the attacks on Sunday and I was ready to give voice, but then something happened, a change in the wind was there and it was important to look at that side of the equation. It all started on Sunday (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49699429) with ‘Saudi Arabia oil facilities ablaze after drone strikes‘, yet that was not the real trigger for the west, there had been other attacks and the west ignored them, as I reported in several articles. It was: “Oil prices ended nearly 15% higher on Monday, with the Brent benchmark seeing its biggest jump in about 30 years” that woke people up, now there was finally a reason to report it, not the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had been under attack for a month, it was the fact that fuel prices were going to rise.

And of couirse, the US ever willing to be late to a party gives us: ‘Attack on a major Saudi oil facility originated in Iran, U.S. intelligence indicates‘, which is weird as I had handed out evidence out weeks ago to show that Iran had been facilitating resources to attack Saudi Arabia, yet for me it is nice to know that I am more able in intelligence after 3 decades than the US has ever been. As such it is not interesting to read: “American intelligence indicates that the attack on a major Saudi oil facility originated in Iran, three people familiar with the intelligence told NBC News“, that part is not interesting, it is the part where we have known that Iran had been supplying drones to Houthi forces for the longest time, for many months, it would have been nice for US intelligence to hand out that information months ago, but I reckon until the prices of fuel soared there was no reason to show support for an ally, they claimed to be an ally of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, yet they never released the intelligence giving rise to lash out at Iran to any degree. That does not make for an ally that is the foundation for being an exploitation tool (at best).

And it gets to be worse, when you consider NBC News. The quote: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Saturday that Iran “launched” what he called “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”” seems nice, but it only seems so. I wonder if the US officials are really about the ‘world energy supply‘ or the consequences of oil price hikes and the increased value it has on Aramco? It is the impact of the headline ‘Saudi Arabia oil and gas production reduced by drone strikes‘ that is scary to Wall Street, as production reduces, prices go up, the need increases and it changes the economic models for Wall Street, so again it is not really about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or about being their ally, is it? It is about the profit margins everywhere else that is the actual debate behind closed doors.

So when the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tells-saudi-arabia-oil-attacks-were-launched-from-iran-11568644126) gives us ‘U.S. Tells Saudi Arabia Oil Attacks Were Launched From Iran‘ we do not see anything new here. The issue is how the drones get moved from Iran to Yemen. We also see through the faded “Monday’s assessment, which the U.S. hasn’t shared publicly, came as President Trump said he hoped to avoid a war with Iran and Saudi Arabia asked United Nations experts to help determine who was responsible for the airstrikes“, just a moment to delay moments of decision making. The culprits are known. It is not the real fear, the real fear is “Higher fuel prices pose another threat to the world economy” and that is the real issue for the US and for Europe. The response: “Saudi officials said the U.S. didn’t provide enough proof to conclude that the attack was launched from Iran, indicating the U.S. information wasn’t definitive. U.S. officials said they planned to share more information with the Saudis in the coming days” makes perfect sense. As the attack was claimed by Yemeni Houthi, the proxy war stage stays intact, it is the intelligence on how the drones get into Yemen that counts and so far (until now) the US, UK and French have not been overly willing to keep closer eyes on it, they all need degrees of freedom to deal with Iran and their so called Nuclear treaty, that has been in the way for the longest of times.

There are two parts in this and both came from CNN. Part 1 gives us: “A Yemen armed forces spokesman was quoted by the agency as saying the Houthis successfully carried out a “large-scale” operation with 10 drones targeting Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais“, part 2 gives us “CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said there have been more than 200 drone attacks launched by Houthi rebels from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, and none have been as effective as Saturday’s attack, lending credence to the belief that the attack did not originate from Yemen“, I personally agree with both. From my point of view the attack on Khurais has too many issues. It is close to twice the distance getting the attack from Yemen instead of from Iraq. It is dangerously close to Riyadh and when we look at the track record from Houthi attacks, we see a very different pattern. There are more reliable parts in all this when we consider Hezbollah or Iran to be the direct acting agent here. I have to mention Hezbollah as they have been involved in the past with attacks on Saudi Arabia. Abqaiq is right on the border of Bahrain and close to Qatar. The Houthi skillset does not give us any credibility on their actions, yet they claimed it, as a tool for Iran that could have been done to muddy the waters more, yet there is another matter in all this. I believe that there is a larger concern that is not open for viewing. We see this in the quote: ““It is quite an impressive, yet worrying, technological feat,” he said. “Long-range precision strikes are not easy to achieve and to cause the substantial fires in Abqaiq and Khurais highlights that this drone has a large explosive yield.”” The part not seen or spoken of is not that the attack happened, but it was completed with assistance nearby. The precision is not from the drones, it was most likely achieved as someone used a laser to paint the targets (one of a few optional examples) in the final minute. If the laser was small enough it would not be noticed, but for the drones it is like a searchlight guiding them to the explosive points. That part would make sense in more than one way, and it is the foundation that counts. The claims that were made by Yemen make sense and grow in validity when they have resources on the ground. That part is not merely on the stage of drones, there is a larger concern for Saudi Intelligence now. When they accept that the drones got their final guidance on the ground nearby, we see the impact that explosive drones would have and will have again. Iran has been staging this proxy war for the longest time and it is time for us to consider doing something about it in a more serious way (that is when Canada is done selling intelligence data to interested third parties that is).

There is additional support for my view and it comes from the BBC. They gave us: “One official said there were 19 points of impact on the targets and the attacks had come from a west-north-west direction – not Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, which lies to the south-west of the Saudi oil facilities” to be this precise requires drone technology only the largest players have (like the US and the UK), Iran does not have software that sophisticated and to succeed to this degree required the most likely culprit Iran to have assistance nearby. Painting the targets makes the most sense, but it is not the only option, merely the most likely one. It there were 19 base stations guiding a drone, it would require resources Yemen does not have, it has merely attacks in small clusters of less than 5, the images from the US government satellites involved showed the spread and size of the targets, when you consider resources required to be this precise and the pilot skills involved the shift towards support teams nearby becomes a clear issue. Still there are gaps in the intelligence I admit to that, however, when we look at the maps, the size of the attacks and aligned parameters, an attack from Iraq or Iran are the only options remaining. That in itself is not evidence, yet the premise of what was required is clear and even as we can prove that more basic drone attacks could not have been done by Houthi forces because they lack all levels of infrastructure to create and guide drones to the degree required, we see Iran to be guilty by elimination of other players. The precision requires well trained pilots which the Houthi are not; again we are left with Iran. Actually Iraq might have been party to this, but their drone abilities (read: with additional lacking skill sets to consider) are nowhere near the level required.

This now gets us to the New York Times part which gave us: “Administration officials, in a background briefing for reporters as well as in separate interviews on Sunday, also said a combination of drones and cruise missiles — “both and a lot of them,” as one senior United States official put it — might have been used. That would indicate a degree of scope, precision and sophistication beyond the ability of the Houthi rebels alone” it is the ‘a combination of drones and cruise missiles‘ that pushes Iraq out of the consideration circle leaving Iran all alone. We should consider the skills Iran shows here, and it will also be their undoing. When we consider that only Iran remains as an optional player to do this and when we see that Europe and the US will not actually act, but ‘force’ talks, that is the first instance when Saudi Arabia needs to consider that their allies are nothing more than paper tigers, pussycats that make a lot of noise, but when you know they are sculptures the enemies will come, Saudi Arabia needs to realise this fast and we need to consider that the EU, the US and the commonwealth needs to create an actual plan of attack on Iran. This evidence was handed to us almost 2 weeks ago when we were given ‘Iran puts pressure on Europe to save nuclear deal within 60-day deadline‘, Iran keeps on holding the Nuclear deal as a juicy carrot and will use it to stop a direct attack on them, a path that should now be considered to be totally unacceptable. I for one would like to ‘loan’ a Saudi Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000) and see if all my hours on a Microprose flight simulator (knights of the sky) were well spent and let’s face it, I do have a quirky sense of humour. I would be able to test my knowledge in guiding that Typhoon to Tehran and level a military building or two, on the other hand seeing their oil fields burn might feel equally rewarding. And there is the optional reward to answer the eternal outstanding question: Can you hear the GBU-16 Paveway II bomb explode whilst you fly a plane?

You think that I am making light of the situation and to some degree I am, the basic need for everyone to realise that Iran has been steering towards war whilst employing the oldest Italian excuse (read: It was not me, I know nothing); This stage has been months in the making and now that the drums of combat are approaching, we will see more and more politicians peaking up offering to start talks. I believe it is too late for that, it is almost 6 months too late for that, but that might just be me.

Yet there is one other voice we need to consider. It is the voice of Fabian Hinz, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Monterey (via the Washington Post). Here we get: “photos of the remnants of a missile in Saudi Arabia show a weapon both too sophisticated to be produced domestically by the Houthis and never seen in Iran“, I only partially agree here. ‘Photos of the remnants of a missile‘ is merely partial evidence that should not be ignored. A multi-tiered attack makes perfect sense, it is the scope of the attack and patterns used that makes Iran stand out; it also gives a larger consideration that their new drones are a lot more powerful. There is also his quote “Is Iran secretly designing, testing and producing missile systems for exclusive use by its proxies?” A quote that is not accurate and not wrong. I believe that earlier evidence showed the need for Iran to scrap all identifiers form their electronics, make clean system boards, in addition, it altered the export drones to trade accuracy in for yield (which maximises the Houthi outstanding debt to Iran), in addition to that they had to make a more idiot proof operating system (the Yemeni are nowhere near the academics they need to be to pilot drones). This is not because I want Iran to be guilty; this is because the elements are so overwhelmingly clear that Iran could not be innocent. There are too many parts in play that require the war machine that Iran has to develop what we see in action at present. And there is every indication that the 60 day nuclear deal deadline is used to stage more and more attacks whilst the indecision of Europe and the US remains in place. If there is one small blessing than it is the stage where the Israeli Defence Forces have even less consideration for Iran than Saudi Arabia has and there is every indication that what is created now in Iran will be shipped to Hezbollah soon enough; forcing Israel to act as well.

When this escalates beyond a point of no return the people in Washington, Wall Street, Brussels and Strasbourg need to consider that when they have no options left and they are no longer considered a voice on the issue: ‘What mattered most to them?

Because these considerations with the inaction we see is what drives the war no one can prevent. Saudi Arabia has a clear right, Israel has a duty to its citizens and Iran never cared for anyone but themselves. So when we see cries for talks when the bombs fall, remember that this did not start last Sunday, this has been going on for well over 6 months. The news merely decided not to report on much of it that was until the fuel prices went up, now they are all over it, but way too late.

 

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Beirut Graffiti

Yes, Beirut tends to rely on Graffiti at times. One could argue that this is the place that got the reputation that things happen, where the writing is on the wall. The city of Beirut, which was once part of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, (around 300,000 days ago) with a border to the county of Tripoli to the north is now in a repeated dangerous position. The placement as well as the situation is very apt and very applicable. You see, as the situation evolved in 1198, ‘Duke Henry of Brabant their commander and the crusaders proceeded to Tyre, initiating a campaign to expel the Muslims from Beirut and to subject the Levant coast up to Tripoli‘, it made for the change where King Amalric of Cyprus became King of Jerusalem, yet that was not the end of the story. 16 years later the impact is seen in other ways. As German troops under Archchancellor Conrad of Mainz and Marshal Henry of Kalden were not accepted, the troops ended up going to other places, seeking other alliances. 12,000 to 15,000 men; mostly disbanded and most did not end up going back, they stayed in Crusader territory, Acre, Jaffa, and Caesarea. The events seem trivial, but they are not. It is because of that event that the Battle of Bouvines those 16 years later and optionally a generation later was a speculated direct cause where 5,000 French infantry were able to do in 7500 German infantry. Even as Germany had up to 200 additional knights close to 200 knights were killed, over 100 captured (for Ransom most likely) with a large chunk of the Brabantine infantry slaughtered. The 3rd Crusade had a larger impact than most saw.

Yet how does that relate to today?

Well, the setting is similar, As Palestine could not contain their Hezbollah troops, their allegiance to Iran now has a much larger cost that is coming to bear. The Jerusalem Post reports: ‘Palestinians in bid to avert ‘real crisis’ with Saudi Arabia‘, and it seems that “the Saudis are not responding to Palestinian requests to arrange such a visit”, well, is that not a big surprise? No it is not, it is the direct cost of doing business and facilitating to Iran is about to cost Palestine more than they are willing to admit to.

So when I see: ““We’re in the midst of a real crisis with Saudi Arabia,” a PA official told The Jerusalem Post. “They seem to be very angry with us”” (at https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Palestinians-in-bid-to-avert-real-crisis-with-Saudi-Arabia-597538), I wonder if they had ever considered muzzling Hezbollah? We see more escalations with: “The assault on July 23 by Palestinians on a Saudi blogger during a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount has further aggravated tensions between Ramallah and Riyadh. The blogger, Mohammed Saud, was part of an Arab journalist delegation invited by the Foreign Ministry to visit Israel“, yet the interference where Hezbollah facilitated for Houthi troops by firing on Saudi Arabia is largely left untouched by the Jerusalem Post, why was that?

Did Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not realise that facilitating to the Iranian proxy war would bite them at some point? Why on earth would the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia facilitate to any Palestinian needs? Palestine is now willing to talk as Iran is about to drop them like a bad habit? The attacks by Israel on Iran is also an initial indication that Iran is pulling back on all fronts to be ready for what comes next and some would argue that this leaves Palestine deservingly out in the cold. It is at that point that we see Rawafed bin Saeed, a Saudi national who described himself as a poet, author and journalist making the claim “Why don’t the Palestinians demonstrate against Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey?” and that claim leads to larger issues. Palestine made the largest mistake by becoming the tool of Iran and now that the issue is spawning a larger concern, Palestine is worried, because they wrongfully thought it would all blow over and it seems that Saudi Arabia does not agree with that point of view. So when we see: “Scores of videos and comments ridiculing the Saudis and denouncing the royal family as “traitors” and “puppets” in the hands of the US and Israel have filled Facebook and Twitter in the past few months“, we should see a larger issue, it is seen in one word that is linked to it all. The word ‘smear campaign‘, implies orchestration and more than merely the voices of individuals, that in light of the Facebook revelation a little more than two days ago where we were treated to ‘Facebook bans ‘Saudi Arabia-linked propaganda accounts’‘ implies (implies set to speculation) gives light that Palestinians voices are optionally not silenced and now we see half-baked censoring becoming a larger issue. If Palestinian smear campaigns were not muzzled, we see an imbalance fuelling the anger of Saudi Arabia and that becomes a larger issue soon enough. So when we see the quote: “There’s a feeling that things are quickly spiralling out of control. If we don’t fix the situation, the Palestinians in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries will pay a heavy price“, did Hezbollah not advice Palestinians to move to Iran as fast as possible? You cannot facilitate to another party in a proxy war and think that the rest remains the same.

I find the idea that “the Palestinian Authority is considering dispatching a senior delegation to Riyadh for urgent talks with members of the Saudi royal family and government officials on ways to avert a further deterioration” slightly delusional. You cannot back Hezbollah and allow them to be Iranian tools and then accept that Saudi Arabia remains nice, the Palestinians allowed for the deterioration and the rising of pressures. Now that Houthi forces are a larger problem, moving out comes with a price and as such the larger deterioration that we see where Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE will turn on Palestine and Iran to a much larger degree is a mere consequence of proxy wars. Even as we see the impact of what some called ‘ordinary Saudi and Palestinians‘, the link to ‘smear campaign‘ implies levels of support and I am perfectly willing that both sides as engaged in this, yet the technology sector has decided to move against Saudi Arabia, whilst there is little support that Palestinian voices are censored to a similar degree. It changes the balance of the seesaw and now we see a larger discontent on all levels. It is at that point where we see that “Saudis opposed to normalization with Israel have come out against the Palestinians” has a different tune, just as there was an impact in the crusades due to the Arch chancellor Conrad of Mainz and Marshal Henry of Kalden, in similar steps Palestinian acts are no longer accepted by more players than just Israel and now they have a problem, and one might voice: ‘and rightfully so’, just like the Germans learned the hard way in the Crusades, Palestine will soon face a larger issue as Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel optionally close all taps that fill the cups of opportunity, it is merely the impact of actions and now that more nations demand actions against Hezbollah, Palestine is now with their back against the wall and their earlier claims and disregard will now lead to loss of options and talking parties, the talking parties that they desperately need, and as Iran is pushed, they will hang a ‘do not disturb‘ sign on their embassies and talking partners. That part is growing and as the NY Times reported on ‘sanctions on Wafiq Safa, Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and Amin Sherri’, the state of Hezbollah support to Iran is now starting to cost them a lot more and Palestine gets to learn this the hard way, all the talking partners are stepping back and soon enough they will face the lack of discussions through Moscow as well, as far as all can tell, a Hezbollah tainting is giving the tainted a global disadvantage, I always expected it to happen, but with the Saudi tensions the upcoming problems to Palestine are a lot closer than I expected them to be.

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There is a start

Yes, there is a start, yet it would be presumptuous that the race has started. The news (from CNBC) gives us: ‘Verizon’s new 5G network is ‘confusing’ and ‘difficult,’ according to early tests‘, in addition we are given: “Early tests by tech publications CNET and The Verge of Verizon’s new 5G network in Chicago suggest it’s not fully ready yet“, as well as “The network is brand new and rollouts take time. It took a few years for 4G LTE to become widely available, for example“, I have been warning people on this for months, going back to 2018, now we get to see how USA is no longer in the race for anything. The entire ‘National Security’ issue on Huawei was bogus from the start and now that the goose has come home to roost, we will see a political stage to roast the goose before it has roosted.

American 5G speed

It gets to be worse when we consider: ““Even carefully positioned a few feet away from the 5G node, the large on-screen icon exclaiming Verizon’s 5G network toggled back and forth from 4G to 5G,” CNET said. “After two hours, we had run maybe one clean Speedtest.net app side by side with the Galaxy S10 Plus.” Samsung’s phone is a 4G LTE device” and finally: “CNET found download speeds for a game took about the same on 5G and LTE networks, and downloading a movie on Netflix didn’t work. The site said the network felt like a “rush job” and called the experience “frustrating,” “confusing” and “absolutely insane,” even though it noticed download speeds coming in toward 600 megabits per second at times, on par with what Verizon is promising.” It is a system with proper infrastructure in place, and it gets to be worse, most infrastructures that are NOT Huawei are massively inferior (at present), so the long term issues remain and they will get worse. This level of setback, once congestion sets in because of a lacking infrastructure will drive potential customers away, the very first rules of commerce were ignored from the start by sales people with dollar signs instead of pupils and now that they entire matter is polarising, we will see more issues, and we will witness more frustration.

In opposition

The Saudi Gazette gives us (at http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/569469) ‘STC officially launches 5G service‘, as well as “In the first phase, the 5G network will now be available in the Kingdom in specific areas in a number of major cities using home routers that will be available at specific STC outlets in accordance with customer needs. Al-Nasser said the launch is an affirmation of Saudi Telecom’s pioneering role in delivering innovative technologies and services to customers across the Kingdom.” Yet let’s not get overly optimistic. There is also “By the end of February 2018, the telecom operator inked a deal with Huawei to collaborate in the field of 5G wireless networks and technology. In the beginning of March 2018, STC signed a memorandum of understanding with Cisco Systems to develop the 5G networks across the Kingdom. STC has subsequently completed the first global Multi-Vendor-Integration-Verification (MVIV) for its Huawei and Cisco core infrastructure with Ericsson and Nokia supplied 5G Radio Networks“, and that is just the beginning, yet how does it work? What has been achieved (speed, reliability)?

To see this we start in April when Arab News gave us: ‘Super-fast 5G mobile to launch in Saudi Arabia within months‘, as well as “Saudi Arabia has about 1,000 telecoms towers already supporting 5G and the super-fast mobile services will be available within months, a senior government official said. The next-generation networks will allow smartphone users to download a movie in seconds“, so far it is marketing, we all heard it before in several nations, it is the realisation we see with: “The STC launched the service after completion of its experiments for the first time in MENA region since launching the test drive in 2017 and this was in cooperation with the telecom giant’s strategic partners” and Huawei was at the centre of that. It is the two year head start that everyone ignores, even as we have no real numbers to work with, Saudi Arabia, like all other nations are stating they have 5G and it is commercially available, there are no tests showing just how fast and how reliable their network is, but they do have a two year head start and if what we see with Verizon will last at least two years, their start of 5G is not a great one. The sales need for getting their first, whilst ignoring the support and customer care issues is just baffling. STC reported: “the STC 5G services are available in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam (Eastern Province), Makkah, Taif, Madinah, Abha, Jubail, and Tabuk” Which is close to a complete urban 5G coverage, the US and many other nations are nowhere near that ready.

I keep a reserved distance in light of “STC did not share specific details but said that the service has been made available to customers“, so until benchmarks and speed tests have been shown, there is every chance that it possible that we see 4G+ instead of true full 5G, but until the facts are known, it is all speculation, what is a given is that the two year head start of Huawei is showing and in that regard, the short sighted American point of view regarding the unproven National Security allegations will remain allegations that slows US innovation down, and it will cost them, because the 5G pioneers that are not in the US are about to have a field day. My own IP is about to go through the roof (which is fine by me), the only consideration I am left with, is that I would have to consider an upgrade from a 55 meter yacht to an 85 meter yacht, the cumbersome burdens of an innovator with the ability to dream never ends. And there too I found new wisdom, a market that Huawei forgot about (or never considered in the first place), what a lovely Saturday it is and it is only 7 degrees at present.

Even when we consider the complications that the US is pressuring on other nations, when we consider another light towards “The complications referred to probably mean the ramping of political and intelligence pressure from the US and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the UK eventually do what it’s told with respect to Huawei“, as the UK becomes Americas bitch, if Huawei gets Oak OS right, the UK, Europe will have new problems to consider, in addition, if Google is placed out of bounds, those not strapped to Google will optionally lose a lot more than they bargained for. Let’s be clear, we do not need Facebook, most of us need LinkedIn and Indeed, yet we can access Gmail from our computers, we don’t need a smartphone for that. So at that point, when we consider the open shift that would optionally come in a different way. Google is brave to miscommunicate part of the issue they face. As several sources give us: ‘Google: Cutting Us off from Huawei Is a Security Risk‘, no it is not (not really)! You see, it is not a security risk, what is the clear danger to Google that their value is data and this situation allows Google to miss out on millions, if not hundreds of millions of phones, all lost data, data that goes nowhere (or somewhere else). The Trump administration did something really stupid here and we will see that impact within a year. Millions are questioning Google and their data, Facebook and their data and now Huawei offers an option that have neither. People might actually embrace Huawei and that danger scares Google. Its granularity is based on the data they collect and now, they will lose up to 35-95 million data points within 2 years alone and a lot more thereafter, a loss they never faced before. And as China diversifies ad as its non-Chinese customers get used to Baidu and Sogou, how much relevance would Google (and Bing) lose over time?

All elements that have an impact, all elements that Google will not voice and others are intentionally walking away from; these are questions that cost advertisement, a nightmare they all face now.

All issues that will impact in the 5G era, the fact that my IP gives power back to the shop owner and not their IT providers will make matters worse (and I do not care). The power needs to go where it needed to be, with the customer, the consumer and the factual user, all elements Google never wanted to touch, You cannot facilitate when the data is not there. It is the old premise of a system missing and a user missing and most people still do not comprehend the full impact of system missing information.

They will find out within the next 2 years, I look forward to the transformation and the long term impact that short sighted policies bring. So when you see the new Huawei phones, do not just wonder if you should get one, wonder how much better your life optionally becomes by having one. It is a loaded question, I get that and it pays to be a sheep in a really large group, but when you consider the hundreds of notifications that were useless, the massive amounts of Facebook notifications that kept you from work and promotion, consider that 5G amplifies that part by 300%, do you really want to remain a sheep , or jump the fence and see what Oak OS could bring? I am on the fence too, I have to choose, yet at present I see America pressuring everyone to become Huawei haters and there is no logic to their path, other than that I hate being a follower, I prefer to wander on the innovation line and that has risks, but it also has lucrative rewards, often resulting in a much better quality of life.

Sometimes choices are hard, and whichever path you choose, remember that it was YOUR choice, not the one others told you to go, you only get to blame yourself (or not) at this point. And I assure you when you blame yourself for making the good choice is also rewarding no matter which of the two (three if you consider IOS a choice) you make, make sure it is yours, not the needy direction of some marketeer or salesperson.

 

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The political winds

It all started nice and slow this morning. I had one task that is due in 4 hours and 34.3 minutes (roughly), so the unnatural act (for me) of sleeping in commenced and it was nice. So there I was morning ritual all shot to smithereens and it was 2 hours until zero hour. My ritual of checking breaking news gives me the BBC and the Saudi Tankers, an interesting part, but the intelligence on the events are missing, even in open source intelligence it is too much on ‘decent confidence’ and ‘statistical probability of certain parties’. One source gives an implied presence of Hezbollah in Shinas (Oman), yet there is zero reliability as well as the fact that any attack would have required different tools as well as location does not add up, as it is at that point that Israel Hayom gives me ‘Saudi Arabia retaliates hours after Houthis attack oil facilities‘, the fact that we see “Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, claim attack on Saudi oil pipelines“, this is indeed a different status and I will dig into this when i get more data, this event could escalate matters fast. As such the defence needs of Saudi Arabia will explode (pardon the pun) soon enough.

Yet this is about UK politics and the issues will relate soon enough. The Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-conservative-party-wall-street-journal-london-a8914171.html) gives us ‘Jeremy Hunt appears to struggle for an answer when asked why people should vote Tory‘, you see as a conservative (yes, I am a Tory) I struggle too. There is no shame in this, we need to walk a tightrope and keeping balance is actually a lot harder than you might imagine. So when we see Jeremy Hunt give us: “Because we are not going to solve this problem by retreating to populist extremes” he has a point, it is clear and he is correct, yet the problem is that we are looking at the wrong extreme. Nigel Farage is not the populist extreme, the European Central Bank is the populist extreme, just not a populist extreme for the people, they are the populist solution for the IMF, Wall Street and American commerce, three that they were never supposed to cater for and the European ignorance is just amazing. Also, the view that the media remains silent on many issues involving the ECB, Mario Draghi and their acts of non-accountability have become too staggering. And as the media is in denial in one side and then bashes Nigel Farage at every opportunity gives additional light to the fact that the media botched plenty of issues.

The people have been misled to a much larger degree and now they are willing to try Farage and the Brexit party, not because they like him, but because they largely mistrust all other parties including my own conservative party. That is the realistic stage, so why vote Tory?

The problem is not easy but the biggest issue is the debt, both sides (mainly the Labor party) have pushed again and again and left the British nation with 2 trillion pounds of debt. Even in the most optimal stage it will take well over a generation, it is passed in two parts. The first is no less than £20 billion in interest payment and an optimal £20-£50 billion in annual debt decline; if this is not done soon it will be too late for everyone. The benefit is that the UK without the Euro can steer shallow and deep waters, all having their own risk (and rewards), all having options, but the drag of the Euro 27 nations and their bad choices as well as the ECB and their unacceptable acts will no longer be part of it. It will be the first clear stage of resolving the issues that politicians are too hard to solve. Still, it will take a generation, perhaps two to resolve it and when there is momentum in the first 5 years that will signal economic improvements as well as economic opportunities.

Immigration

If that was not the case, do you think that the refugees would be racing and running to make it to the UK as fast as they possibly can? No, the people in the lower tier are actually seeing the lack of progress for the people all over Europe, and for now the UK is in a similar stage, but it could improve, the UK is in a stage where it could improve faster and better than anywhere else in Europe. Do you think I would sit on billions of IP if any official in the EU27 could be trusted? The EU27 and America are all in the stage to fill their pockets as much as possible before it is too late, I would rather make all my IP public domain and watch them all fight each other on claims that they were first and not giving actual evidence. That is why Google, Huawei and optional Saudi Arabia are seemingly the few parties worth talking to at present.

Google and Huawei have shown to be pushing innovation, not iteration. In addition, the acts we see in Saudi Arabia on renewal and Neom City are showing a push for larger changes, changes that the US and the European Economic Union is no longer able to make, they are stuck with a mountain of debt making everything a discussion, and no resolutions. The fact that for the most tax laws have NEVER been properly been adjusted so that the large corporations (FAANG group) make proper payment has never been addressed, it is a failing on both sides of the Isle, both Tories and Labour have fault at that. the BBC news in March 2018 gave us ‘Google’s tax bill rises to £50m‘, and we get two parts in addition: “The technology giant’s annual accounts show that the company will pay corporation taxes of £49.3m on UK profits of £202.4m” and “The total value of Google’s sales in the UK is about £5.7bn a year“, now I have nothing against google, as a matter of fact, I love Google (platonically mind you). Yet the numbers do not add up. When we consider that google is making 202 million out of 5,700 million, it amounts to a profit margin of 3.54%, considering that the Google Pixel 3 is well over £700 makes me wonder. Yet let’s not forget that Google is not alone here, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Facebook, Amazon all have profits that go into the billions (well the FAANG group players at least). So the tax image is wrong and the people get to pay for the cost of commerce, not exactly fair, is it?

This is the realisation that has been sweeping through the lower tiers of the population and they have had enough, and I get it. We see all these utter BS approaches on what we can sell to the government of Saudi Arabia and we cannot even sort out proper taxation to big business? Small businesses have been driven out of shops through large corporations working from abroad, the Britons have been dealt a raw deal and it bites, the Tories did way too little to deal with it (opposing the Labour party who did nothing at all when they were in charge). So the people have gotten to the point where they will try anything, especially give Nigel Farage and his Brexit party a chance.

Yes, how would I vote? Well, I am all for Brexit, yet I remain a Conservative. The issue is not Brexit, it will happen (read: it should), the issue will be about what happens after that, it will be a mess for close to two years and issues need to be resolved and it will take time and it will take serious discussions, Nigel Farage has charisma, he has knowledge yet what about his team? The players like David Coburn, Julia Reid, Nathan Gill, or Raymond Finch? I am not sure any of those people can hold proper seats like Home office, Foreign office, Defence, or Treasury. That is the problem the UK faces. Getting a proper government in place, Labor was never trustworthy and even as Tony Blair did a lot of good, he bungled plenty too. In that regard whatever came after Harold Wilson (1976) was pretty bollocks by the view of some (a view I only partially support).

These parts matter, the failings form the past are now part of the current battlefield and the failings are important to consider with a debt of 2 trillion, that is why the Brexit party is likely to be the biggest player, yet I remain a conservative, the mess needs to be cleaned up and whilst labour will indiscriminately spend money that they do not have, the Nigel Farage side lacks the true experience that the people need to clean the overall mess up, Brexit is an essential first, but the Brexit party is in my humble opinion not ready to properly deal with the 20 steps that follow.

Was there not a Saudi side?

Yup and we are getting to that now. You see the economy is only one side. Military hardware is only one part of optional commerce, the national growth of 5G will benefit the UK, yet these parts can also be sold to Saudi Arabia, there is more than Huawei and even as the UK needs to catch up, and catch up fast, the sorted problem is not merely military hardware, that part needs services and whilst the UK can be a push forward there, they are up against American Giants and it is a fight worth fighting. The infrastructure for Neom City and even beyond that all the way to Riyadh represents an initial £350 billion, with more on the horizon. When I set the stage for my £2,000,000,000 IP, one part was that I did look beyond one side and since then found four more avenues where people merely accepted certain solutions and never looked at what else was possible. From Marketing, Awareness creation, communication, applied applications on the setting of streaming (yes, that was a pun and a puzzle all at once). And the biggest parts are not big business, it is a small business approach with global ramifications, and the nice part is that Huawei was nice enough to implement part of it in their 5G prospective and not look further, so happy, happy me (for now that is).

This is not merely one part, all the players (and the FAANG group) all want access to Saudi Arabia, so who do you think they will hand options too? These hypocrites who decided to suddenly revoke export to Saudi Arabia whilst ignoring the activities of Hezbollah and Iran, or those who stood by Saudi Arabia and their right for defence? Let’s not forget that the aid of Saudi Arabia was called on by the legitimate government of Yemen, a part most seem to ignore again and again.

Saudi Arabia is trailing in technology on several ides and they are trying to address this and those who facilitate for the progress of that will find themselves with the sweetest deals. More importantly, the UK will need proper trade partners to a larger degree. The US is all about export and the fact that export needs to exceed import, several nations are in that stage. The list that place true value to import to goods and services is small, so having the proper foreign office in place is going to be essential in the next 5 years, the Brexit party cannot deliver on that and that will make matters much worse down the Brexit trail. The Conservative need is easily shown when you look a few degrees beyond the current point of exposure. It is when you look towards the applied stage of the long game, that is where you see that the bulk of all politicians fall short. They will merely tell you: ‘We will solve it when we get there‘, or ‘We have a plan and we will present it at the proper time‘ and it is way too late to take that approach, it is well over a decade too late for that.

If they cannot clearly show you a plan, they are extremely unlikely to have one, which is not a stage the UK (and many other nations) can survive on at present. As such the political winds are blowing, top some degree those who we are willing to trust lack the power and know-how to make it work long term, most of the others are no longer trusted to the degree that they need to. I remain conservative inclined, yet they too need to realise that not only is the party over, facilitating in that direction is no longer an option, making that heard loud and clear is essential.

 

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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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