Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

Just Saying “Haachoo”

We all get it, there is an overreaction at present, the overreaction (for the most) is people buying too much of whatever they do not need. So Saturday I saw a person getting back to the supermarket who wanted to return some of the toilet paper he had bought, I wonder if second hand toilet paper sells. He didn’t go to see if he can offload some of the toilet paper to his neighbours and break even that way. I did because 36 rolls is all they sold and 12 should keep me in shitty paper for at least a month, keeping more than that is a little excessive. My neighbours did not mind, they both paid their $5 and as such I broke a little better then even, I made $1 and created two happy neighbours. In my  case, 36 rolls was the only option. Yet as we see the supermarkets, we see empty shelves of toilet paper, tissues, pasta and a few more items. It is panic buying in a Coronaviral atmosphere, even as Coronabeer is not sold beyond the normal amounts it does.

Why is it overreaching?

I get it, we want assurances, yet consider the numbers. Around 170,000 people got it at present. Until last week, 93% of ALL cases were in China, Italy, Iran and South Korea. As such over 3 billion people got overly angst in regards to an optional infecting 1,000 people, that was then. Now we see that Spain (7,845), Germany (5,813) and racing to the top 6 positions France with 5,423 cases. We get it, it is the flu and this one is growing fast, but in the end, France is looking at a 2.3% mortality rate, which is still better than the 3.6% that is the global number. Italy with a whopping 24,747 cases see a rising 7.3% death rate. 

Now, I get it, it is scary, yet here in Australia, the mortality rate is set to 1.67%, a lot lover and now we see the stage where fear is more likely than not killing us before the flu will.

Yet the numbers show something else too, the numbers do not add up in all this. How did that one person in Suriname get infected? The one in Mauritania, Mongolia, or Gabon? There was one case in Gibraltar, but that person is now cured. We are all pointing at China, but the setting does not add up. There is even a case on St. Barths. How is this flu spreading, because all the information does not add up. It did for a while and now we see a pandemic and it is growing and growing in numbers on a stage that is not properly identified, as such the pandemic will only get worse.

For me I see one flaw, in all this there is no mention of Yemen, or Syria. I agree with anyone who states that they have enough problems, but this flu is larger than we think and these people need a lot, they do not need the Coronavirus to help a hand in killing them, yet that is also the larger issue. Two nations where the immune system is close to destroyed to bad water, no food and other means, the flu has a free reign in those places and even as the Middle East Eye gives us ‘Syria insists it is coronavirus-free‘, I believe that this is not the case and through there (and Yemen) it will spread further still. Beyond that, as we look at the numbers, the spread of the disease is largely uncontained as there are too many unknowns and as such when there is no containment, others will get infected, how? We cannot be certain.

It becomes a lot less certain when we consider the quote “Pakistani health officials said on Tuesday that at least five of their country’s cases originated from patients travelling to Pakistan from Syria via Qatar” as such, what else is being spread? And to what extent is Pakistan involved in the Syrian escalation? Because the last time I checked, refugees cannot afford a trip via Qatar, making Qatar also a larger target in other ways.

There is also the stage of consideration around “It was not immediately clear whether the infections could have originated in Qatar, where cases have risen to 337” (401 as per yesterday), even if that is a larger rise in the Middle East where, as per yesterday, Saudi Arabia had 118 cases, Oman had 22 cases, and Bahrain had 214 cases, the stage is larger than we realise because in a setting of non clarity containment cannot be reached. In all this, humanitarian help in Syria and Yemen could be spreading it faster, they have a better immune system and as such until they get noticeably sick they might be spreading the disease to dozens upon dozens more. and whomever they give it to, those infected will hit the mortality rate hard, they are malnourished, have underlying health issues, they tend to be dehydrated and have no way of keeping clean. It is a much larger stage that we cannot predict and it will hit every one of us in one way or another.

In all this, the mortality rate went from 3.4%, to 3.6% (last week) and is now set to 3.8%, as what stage will governments take the lead and have actual solutions in place? The fact that containment is not reached implies that whatever solution they think of is merely a non solving patch on a hole that hides a few other holes that are not patched at all. 

Am I exaggerating? 

Consider that last week 4 nations had 93% of all the cases, that has now dwindled down to 75.1%, the numbers and nations with cases are growing and we see no actual answers and no factual solutions other than post event considerations, giving a much larger rise to hysteria. and in all this the mortality rate does not add up. Globally it might be 3.8%, yet in Sweden it is 0.28%, in the US it is 1.83% and Italy wins with 7.3%, which is a lot higher than China with 3.9%, the numbers do not add up and the media is not informing a hysteria driven population, all whilst the guardian gives us ‘UK coronavirus crisis ‘to last until spring 2021 and could see 7.9m hospitalised‘, in this I wonder how spring 2021 is tested? There is enough doubt on the lack of containment, as such we have much larger fish to fry than ‘A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus‘ (source: NY Times).

The setting in any war and believe me, this is a war against the flu, we need to set the stage of containment, as this is not achieved we see that the flu will win in the end. Personally I am not fuzzed, I will be either dead or better employed, either way is a win for me, yet for the US government, the flu is not about the sick (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/business/economy/coronavirus-response-wall-street.html), it is seemingly about the volatility of Wall Street. And as we are being fed “The Federal Reserve, in a drastic attempt to ensure Wall Street remained functional as volatility roiled even normally staid bond markets, said it would promptly inject as much as $1.5 trillion in loans into the banking system and broaden its purchases of Treasury securities. But neither the Fed’s actions, nor a plan by the European Central Bank to offer cheap loans to banks and step up its bond-buying campaign, were enough to assuage investors, who sent the S&P 500 down 9.5 percent“, we need to consider that there is a mechanism to keep wall street afloat, even when the sick are being denied that. The lack of containment pretty much guarantees it.

And as we are being given (in this case by the Financial Times) “Spain has followed Italy’s lead in imposing a shutdown on its entire population to fight the coronavirus, while France is closing all non-essential shops and restaurants” in this we forget about one small little event. If there is no containment, how does it help and for the matter of imposing self isolation for two weeks, will that actually solve it? Consider that the people were infecting others BEFORE the disease struck them, is the idea that they are still contagious after they feel better two weeks later that strange? Consider that on  December 4th 1872 a ship was found its crew missing, we used that event (Mary Celeste) in several weird occurances, yet the idea that a cured population becomes a Mary Celeste, is that so far fetched? In this Live Science dot com (at https://www.livescience.com/can-coronavirus-be-cured.html) gives us “Currently, however, there is no cure for this coronavirus, and treatments are based on the kind of care given for influenza (seasonal flu) and other severe respiratory illnesses, known as “supportive care,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)“, and as we accept the numbers giving us that 77,450 have recovered, can we be sure that they are not still spreading the flu? I am not telling you, I am asking, because I do not know and it seems that there are plenty of medical specialists in the dark. The quotes we can consider in the article give a larger rise to it and as such the over acting governments are merely showing that they are at best partially limiting the events of spread of the virus implying that the virus could last a lot longer.

There are too many unknowns and the fact that the numbers show that there is no actual containment, are my thoughts out of bounds? It is in that path that I see the actions of the WHO (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/european-countries-take-radical-steps-to-combat-coronavirus), slightly out of bounds. I agree with the language, but it cannot be connected to actions, actions require us to acknowledge that we know how to contain this and the numbers show a different story, containment is not reached and as far as I can tell, it was never merely a Chinese issue. It might have grown there faster and more radical, but the rest of the world got infected in other ways, and the medical world is staring in one direction all whilst they have no clue on the powers and the spreadability of the Covid-19 virus. It became a pandemic too quickly and we are now getting the smallest confirmation that the movie by Steven Soderbergh called Contagion (2011) was optimistic, it seems that we have to learn that part the hard way. In those days Manohla Gargis of the New York Times gave us :”“Contagion,” Steven Soderbergh’s smart, spooky thriller about contemporary plagues, is a paranoid freakout for the antigovernment, Tea Party age“, I merely wonder how she will react when Covid-19 comes knocking on her front door.

To support it we get Warner Brothers giving us: “the film ranked 270th in views in the company’s catalog at the end of 2019, when the existence of COVID-19 was not yet public knowledge. Now, it’s the second most-watched movie, bested only by the Harry Potter films“, it seems that the people are being made aware of what was out there and the fact that it is becoming reality will fuel more than a few wandering minds. We might all see this as providence, but it isn’t (at present), apart from the mortality rate not being on par, we have another consideration. It is the fact that there are cases in Mauritania, Mayotte, Mongolia, Suriname, Eswatini, St. Vincent Grenadines, Honduras and the Channel Islands, all with less than 5 cases, yet how did THEY get it? Containment is almost non existent and that is a larger need, when we walk the street we see 50-150 people, and there is every chance that up to 10 have Covid-19, up to ten in every street, that is the reality we face, not now, but in a weeks time? Who knows?

In a setting of non containment, the flu gets free reign, we have known that for decades, and often in the workplace.

 

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Who is Miss Calculation?

There is something happening in the Middle East (there is always something happening in the Middle East mind you), yet the events of last week are seemingly larger and I am not sure in what direction it is heading.

There is a much larger stage and even as the media informed us on ‘Saudi royal arrests: Why top princes have been silenced‘ (source: BBC), we get “Prince Mohammed (commonly known as MBS) has displayed a ruthless ambition to force his way to the very top of the political tree“, as well as “The unfortunate subjects of MBS’s ambition this time were other members of the Saud family – most notably one of his uncles, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, a former interior minister; and a cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (known as MBN), a former crown prince and interior minister – who were detained for questioning and placed under investigation for treason, although no charges have been made“, this issue is that this does not add up. In the first, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that was never in question and there is no opposition in open play, as such the BBC statement (which is the same as almost every other statement in the media) is seemingly faulty. So why do I believe that I am correct and all the media is wrong? 

It is an important question as it gives rise to something much larger. In all this the intelligent part comes from Al Jazeera who gives us ‘There is a perfect storm brewing in Saudi Arabia‘, with the important byline “But why now?” it is the part that most media circumvented. 

The first we see is “Two separate issues are at play here. First is the sense of a crown prince on a mission to eradicate all forms of dissent and to ensure a smooth transition to becoming king“, I would want to question that, yet I know that I am at a loss in part as I am a non-Muslim, there might be parts of Islamic Law that I am unfamiliar with (as I am completely in the dark on Islamic law), as his father proclaimed him the Crown prince, I am at a loss why anyone would oppose the wishes of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud? As such the ‘why’ part is under scrutiny. 

Yet Al Jazeera has something to tell us, it starts with “Facing a range of parabolic pressures from domestic and international sources, the Saudi state is in a precarious position, with much at stake for MBS, the architect of the kingdom’s future trajectory” and it gives strength to the ‘Why Now’ part. We get a few “That this did not happen has been seen as a sign of weakness on MBS’s part” statements and the entire issue that revolves around Eggy Calamari (aka Agnes Callamard, the UN essay writer) should not be ignored. There are several players on the world stage shouting anti Saudi rhetoric, all whilst these people are not scrutinised on any issues that involves issues like evidence or supporting evidence. Yet the people who get the anti Saudi filtered news accept these accusations like gospel.

As such we see “these questions mean little domestically, outside the kingdom they contribute to perceptions of MBS as a reckless leader, prone to rash moves” and these issues keep on adding up, whilst the media refuses to scrutinise the information handed to them.

As such, as Al Jazaeera is stating the article by Simon Mabon, we get at the final end “The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance“, as a Middle Eastern expert Simon has achieved a lot and knows a lot more than me, yet I have analysed data for over 30 years in all matters of complacency and the data does not add up. In all this we need to see ‘Behind the Russia-Saudi Breakup, Calculations and Miscalculations‘ (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/russia-saudi-oil.html), tere we see “With oil prices plunging and Russian state television blaming Saudi Arabia for the collapse of the ruble, the kingdom on Tuesday signaled what seemed to be an escalation. Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, said that on April 1 it would start providing customers with 12.3 million barrels a day. That is a 26 percent increase on its output before the deal with Russia collapsed” yet in all this, we see no reference on Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz (former Interior minister), Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (former Crown Prince) and their Russian Links or any other international links, which in light of everything is equally wrong. Not that it was not reported by the Saudi Government but that the international media failed to investigate it. Even the Guardian revolves around “allegedly aimed to block crown prince’s accession“, all whilst Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been clearly and accepted as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in all this the lack of questions is astounding, but I guess that an inflammatory essay by that French girl at the UN will follow shortly. 

All whilst the New York Times is sitting on the one gem that mattered, it is “Russia is now calculating that many companies cannot survive as prices fall below their break-even point“, both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia have the air to hold out on the events, yet it seems that the lungs of Saudi Arabia are larger and have the stability and long term sitting that Russia has not, in all this the two arrests are optionally the Russian council that cannot be accessed by Russia any more.

Am I correct?

I do not know, but the investigation in his area is not done and that makes for a much larger failing. And whilst the media wakes up and looks into “Russia is also worried that other high-cost producers, among them companies pumping off the coast of Brazil, would cut into European and Asian markets” a much larger stage is overlooked, so whilst too many stare at “State television stations blamed Saudi Arabia for the ruble collapse and offered as solace expert commentary that the United States and Saudi Arabia would ultimately suffer more.“, I merely glance at ‘expert commentary‘ and find it lacking. 

I believe that there needs to be a unified Saudi front against all other players, I believe that there could optionally be more arrests and it has nothing to do with the needs of MBS, and everything to do with those advising others where the goal is to harm the needs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia has to avert that. In addition, the entire NSO matter (now being gagged) is also not a sitting pretty issue, it allows for more and more media attacks on Saudi Arabia, all whilst the media does not scrutinise the materials received. So as the media goes with “A report published by the security forensics firm FTI Consulting concluded with “medium to high confidence” that was the case“, the larger issue that is seen is that the origin of the hack cannot be established and is conveniently left out of the media. No one denies that Jeff Bezos has a phone that was hacked, yet who did it is undetermined and the report that followed is abundant in links to opinion pieces and other non valid urls to sources where the determination is open to all kinds of supposition and indeterminate forms of questions, all whilst the UN uses it like gospel. A report that uses language like “While the possibility exists” we see the media merely publishing and not asking the questions that matter. It is a created stage where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has little choice but to create a unified front. 

In a stage where plenty of Cyber experts have question marks in the report that is ‘exclusively’ given out. It is one of several attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince, it is this stage that matters, as it is a doubling of the Khashoggi stage (a journalist no one cares about) and the linked stage of embargoes against Saudi Arabia, whilst no one is asking the questions that matter “Who gets that income now?” We all ignore that part and so does the media, yet there is every chance that with the Russian links out and the American links in question, there is a larger chance that communications and weapons design will fall towards China more and more. And as we are in doubt of one, we get to see “Saudi Arabian Military Industries is prepared to move forward with product development“, a stage where China is optionally the larger winner in all this and the debts of Germany and the US will get a larger boost in all this, that is the price of removing the freedom of Choice (of Saudi Arabia), the data is simple and readable on that front, even as the media remains in doubt and removes all events of these actions.

Andreas Schwer stated (at the Dubai Airshow) “We have signed more than 25 agreements with foreign partners, so we have multiple opportunities to acquire alternative technologies from other partners where there are no limitations. There is no risk that any limitation of a single country or government can block Saudi Arabia from getting a full localized portfolio of products“, so tell me, how many media outlets had that bit of news? Defence News might be one of the few and that has a limited readership, so how many newspapers had that? 

I personally believe that after the events mounted up towards the Vision 2030 act of Saudi Arabia, there has been an attack after attack on Saudi Arabia, yet the verdict of evidence remained away for the longest time. And as the media looks at the figures for the Miss Calculation votes, we are left in the rear not getting any data that matters. 

It is seen in the 5G spot where Zain KSA gives us “Zain KSA has launched 5G in Saudi Arabia, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities in the Kingdom“, that was last year in October. So how much 5G do we presently see in Europe, Australia or the US? Not that much, I can tell you that, all whilst the US parts have NEVER shown any 5G speed that surpasses the 4G systems. All issues largely unreported on, so as such How happy are we when we see that we are  member of the Miss Information group? 

How correct am I?

That remains to be seen, yet the media gives out close to nothing on the history of actions of Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, we see accusation after accusation on the actions of ‘purge of relatives’ whilst that information remains debatable (when you consider how large that family really is). Even if we would accept that, where is the evidence, it has never been produced, displayed and scrutinised. I could not find more than a thousand links on the first name and well over 50% was about the first name and for the most they are all stating the same thing with references of ‘purge of relatives’ and no evidence to support this. There were a lot more links on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (over 13,000), yet there too, the links I saw were lacking in evidence. Now we can agree that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia likes to wash its laundry out of sight, but the media is faltering again and again in showing us any acceptable evidence, or showing us supported evidence. In the end, we see a few mentions of “allegedly planning a coup“, which might be enough reason, yet the media shows no evidence of any kind, and this is the media claiming to be on top of matters, as the Khashoggi and Bezos events showed us, the media is merely on top of spreading gossip and showing us debatable documents (one of them with highly debatable links). 

So as we go into a phase where we switch the auction from Miss Information to Miss Calculation, we should wonder why we have to reside our beliefs in either of the two. Al Jazeera states: “Such misjudgements have prompted some in the kingdom to question whether MBS is the right person to rule the Saudi state“, yet at present the pressures are applied from the outside and are seemingly applied as the powers outside have too little impact on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and that worries these people. In a stage where Saudi Arabia is visibly surpassing other nations in 5G, bringing Vision 2030, which is a vision surpassing any vision the US has given us in 50 years and a stage where too many companies have  need to become active in Saudi Arabia and they are limited for what they can do, it seems that the need for Saudi Arabia is greater than most expect and that is what is feared in both the US and Europe. Both players need Saudi Arabia and it seems that Saudi Arabia needs neither, not whilst China is actively seeking expansion of technology and it finds Saudi Arabia wanting. As we now see the impact of all these embargoes against Saudi Arabia, the EU nations are learning the hard way that the deals they had with Saudi Arabia was a good thing and now that Iran is buckling its nuclear pact, the EU is left with nothing and the US with even less. And all this as presentation managers relied on bullet pointed presentations, all whilst Saudi Arabia requested a finished product, the entire slamming Saudi Arabia seems to be founded on the principle that anyone on the defence, staged on a fence is malleable and now as we see that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not playing along with that requirement, we see western desperation set in. As we are given “recent advances in defense equipment have enabled Chinese defense contractors to compete more effectively while retaining lower prices, making Chinese arms an increasingly attractive choice for customers worldwide” (source: National Defense), we need to understand that certain matters are linked. Even as China pursued smaller projects, the option to get the largest arms importer in the world is tempting, a nation that is set to stability and has a need for its growth of SAMI still means that China can gain a decade of important sales. That part is now set in motion and could improve Chinese salespaths by 30%-50% in the years to come, all by gaining one customer. All funds that the west will miss out on and the two players that were optionally internationally a beacon of information, are now arrested. I agree that it relies on the two players to be the ones that have international allure, yet as I stated, the intelligence is lacking on every angle, and what we need to see is where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to go and where it needs to go to get to where it wants to go, as I personally see it, the EU and the US are more and more lacking and that will have far reaching repercussions.

So whilst the people are treated to “US lawmakers and tech experts want a strong American competitor“, we see that the essential path is that it is about Anti Huawei, we see that Huawei has little to fear as it now has a much larger grasp on the Middle East and it is removing the options that the US used to have (mainly by US actions), and even as the US still gives us “the U.S. and other countries are concerned that Huawei poses a national security risk due to its reliance on the Chinese government and its leaders’ own ties to the country’s Communist Party“, all whilst Huawei has openly disproven the “reliance on the Chinese government” more than once, it is still phrased. Just as that same media phrases MBS and its connections to Bezos hacking and Khashoggi, all whilst those accusations cannot be backed up by evidence, when we see these elements in actions we see the first line that gives us the larger image.

The first line is that the US 5G plans are still evolving and for now largely failing (source: 5Gradar.com). Here we see “A new Opensignal report shows T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T ranking poorly for 5G across different metrics“, as well as “5G networks in the US are failing due to a lack of mid-band spectrum“, that was last week and the news is not picked up by any of the large media groups, it is n my personal opinion only reporting on what its shareholders and stakeholders want and as they are also (more often than not) advertisers, we get to see almost nothing on this. It is an essential element, they require us to take notice of both Miss Calculation and Miss Information, yet will not support evidence, evidence that holds up in court. In all this a place like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a much larger pool of evidence on all the achievements that Huawei is making and therefore a problem to the United States. As such, I personally expect that the focal point of the attacks are launched against the Crown Prince and against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Let’s be clear, it is not merely the attacks, it is the lack of acceptable evidence that is part of all this. To a much larger degree the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is surpassing the US in several fields and the US wants that to go away, in addition the EU is pussyfooting to much around Iran and as it is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, we see too much that is about filtering out Saudi Arabia whilst we see several key elements of filtering down the danger that Iran poses and it is filtered by people linking their ego’s to the benefit of Iran, a double whammy that will work against them soon enough. As such, how much real information on the acts of Saudi Arabia and specifically Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is out there and actually being scrutinised? The media is not giving us any information on that are they? Even now (7 hours ago) Al Jazeera gives us “The latest arrests within the Saudi royal family show the young crown prince still feels insecure about his position“, yet the ‘evidence’ is limited to “rumours of an alleged coup plot in Riyadh” no reporting or evidence on the acts and actions of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz or Prince Nawaf bin Nayef are shown, we see “along with a number of high-ranking officials“, I merely wonder if it would help me to walk the streets in Riyadh to find more information than any news agency is giving us. Whilst we are given “another attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to consolidate power” we are not given any evidence one side or the other. We are merely treated to the implied “these developments show that the young royal still does not feel fully secure in his position“, treated with the complete absence of evidence. We also get “he launched a war in neighbouring Yemen without consulting senior royals” without the clear information that is out there “answering a request by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, Saudi Arabia began a military intervention alongside eight other Arab states and with the logistical support of the United States against the Houthis” a part that we had seen again and again from Reuters and Bloomberg, even Al Jazeera made mention of this, as such this article gives a much larger setting in creating emotion whilst the linked evidence is forgotten to get mentioned.

As such, whilst the media is all about the Legitimacy of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, we see a lack of evidence, the simple evidence (and outspoken evidence) that the current king, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the statement that Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would become his successor, I fail to see the wisdom in avoiding that part, a nation where the line of succession is determined by the King of its kingdom, can you explain the logic of ignoring that part? 

I doubt it!

 

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Mere numbers

Yes we all have mere numbers, and it is nice that some are advocating the lack of numeric connections on the news. Consider that we are being confronted with a disease with an optional  death rate of 3.4%, however the news is being brought like that is not the death rate, it is the survival rate. From ‘Murder inquiries could be hit if coronavirus reduces police numbers‘, to ‘WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought‘, in all this we see a massive level of overreaction by all (including media), why? Lets face it, it is a flu and 3.4% in fatalities is still lower then your chances to cross the road whilst the crossing light is red in Manhattan, Regent street London or Parramatta road in Sydney. The overreaction I see is just staggering, even now we see ‘Wall Street slides after Federal Reserve makes emergency US rate cut‘, all as we see the numbers that give us “Coronavirus Cases: 92,880 Deaths: 3,168” and this is all before you realise the slight side factor “Recovered: 48,589“, so as the amount of people are restoring it and as we see a level of fear mongering whilst the amount of people not alive is a mere 3.4%, in addition, as we see the small realisation that in a group of thirty including me, i would feel that I was the one not making it, that is until I realise that one of the other thirty is Rupert Murdoch, which would make him the unlucky fellow, age is apparently a factor, the young have a much better chance, so there you have it, playing Russian roulette with thirty others and one gun, making it one out of the thirty not making it, and when you realise that a pistol has 6 options, we see the overreaction. Age is a factor, making it a setting where the bulk of the people will end up having to pay their taxes. I did have fun last week, as i was in a train I stated on my mobile (with no one at the other end) “I’ve had the sniffles ever since I came back from China“, within a few minutes I was alone in that carriage, that will teach people lo listen to other people’s phone calls. Over reaction can work for you, I learned that a long time ago and I do have a flaky sense of humour to boot (every now and then I should just kick myself).

Even in the UK with now 51 cases, the UK still has no fatalities, we get it, it is a disease with an optional not happy ending, but we need to realise that so far the death toll is a mere 3.4%, some nations have a larger death population by drinking water. When you consider “Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year” and you consider that this flu virus has only taken the lives of 3,168 people, the overreaction by others is just a little too much. So as we are treated to adjustment in interest levels and we see US rate cuts all whilst the death toll in the US is so far 9 people, we see a massive overreaction, and it is time to call the media and governments to attention. In the US Heart disease will kill 165,000 people, cancer 152,000, no one cares, yet this flu that has killed 9 shows an overreaction that is uncanny, it is lower than diabetes, yet we overreact, all whilst sugar intake is off the charts.

Caution and the wind

We all need to take caution, I am not stating that this is the case, but the overaction seen all over the media is just stupid, a disease milked for circulation through the use of implied danger, not shown danger. The best headline is seen with ‘Corona Causes Stupidity To Go Viral‘ (at https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2020/03/01/corona-causes-stupidity-to-go-viral-n2562371), here we see “the United States has excellent care everywhere. While there is no “cure” for a virus, we have the ability to treat the symptoms more readily available than any other country in the world. And we also care to administer that care. Most of the rest of the world: not so much” for the most, the issue is spot on, even as we now see that the US has 9 fatalities, the media is all to happy about keeping people in the dark on the 3.4% fatality rate (at best), 

Still, we should not throw caution in the wind, yet between that status and the mediated one where we see “80pc of Scots could get disease“, all whilst no national numbers in any country show any numbers that could give rise to such a blatant form of miscommunication. I think that the danger of Scots becoming British nationalists is a lot higher, if you catch my drift.

Even if we for whatever reason ‘hide’ behind the numbers, we all take a position, the media as mostly fear mongering, the governments in easing whatever economic pressures there are and even me, as to the overreaction of so many others. A disease with a death rate of 3.4% gives a different optimistic side, my survival rate on most cardiac options I could get hit with is a lot lower than 96.6%, so I have a better chance to live longer if I get the Coronavirus, how sic is that?

China, South Korea, Italy and iran, all  have thousands of actual cases and there we see that ONLY China and Italy have a percentage of non-living that is at the 3.4%, South Korea has a fatality rate that is less than 1%, so 99% survives there, 32 deaths in 5,328 cases, as such Australia with one kill out of 39 is not in any danger of being an issue, especially as 21 cases have made a full recovery. Yet the media does not give us that part, does it? And when we see how it hits the places where poverty is a danger, is that because there are no cases in Monte Carlo? (fingers crossed), or perhaps it is because Saudi Arabia currently only has one case? 

No matter how we slice it, we need to sit down and take a sober look at the numbers, in the first it already is a pandemic, in the second we see the cold numbers give us that 96.6% will merely get sick and recover without dying of the disease. There were 4 flu viruses in the past, the avian version (1957) killed around 2 million, the manana virus (Spanish flu) killed 50,000,000. the other two killed a million each, this Coronavirus does not add up to anything serious, the numbers prove me right. There is a massive overreaction, especially when you consider serious diseases like Ebola, or HIV. Their death rates are indeed serious, this Corona event does not add up to much at all and it is time that we take that into consideration.

By the way what was the rate cut by the federal reserve when HIV became an issue? It seems to me that this is an event that the media, especially the financial writers seem to have forgotten (read: ignored). So whilst the media is giving us ‘Washington state residents frustrated over obstacles to get coronavirus tests‘, or even ‘WHO warns of protective gear shortage as global recession fears mount‘, in a case where we see proven that 96.6% will not endure any fatalities, the overreaction is clearly seen, yet the lack of governments making sure that all people realise that there is too much overreaction in the midst of a generic flu season is a little staggering. All whilst the headlines are spiked with phrases like “its battle against the deadly virus“, I personally believe that the fatality rate needs to be a lot larger than 3.4% before we have a viral publication of “the deadly virus“, at least that is my take on it, call me crazy, but a situation where a virus optionally kills 3,200 all whilst traffic kills 1,250,000 people annually is a stretch, especially when you realise that the virus could have been a mere complicating factor in several deaths, the elderly die for all kinds of non-natural causes, the virus is a given complication here, but there will be some debate whether the complications, or the virus was the killer remained to be seen and the elderly will get hit harder, no doubt about that.

When we consider the mere numbers, the ado about Corona becomes much about nothing, even if it does kill, 3,200 deaths does not amount to anything when we compare it to the lack of life through survival in Syria (Idlib, Aleppo) or all over Yemen, did you consider that?

 

 

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Some small bits

We all see them, we all face them and even as there is no overwhelming story out there, I think it was time to set up a look at the small bits, the parts I have already given view to and now I am adding to them. 

Huawei

The first part is ‘Huawei row: Trump chief of staff to meet Dominic Cummings‘, here we see another media driven attempt to ban Huawei from the UK, the UK is now as much a bitch as the Australian government. So far the US has not given any evidence that the Huawei hardware can be used to spy on people by the Chinese government, so far the US is not even sending that person with a really bad haircut, so that he could compare barbers with Boris Johnson, no he is sending his acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. Even after Richard Grenell gives us “to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level“, in my response ‘what intelligence?’ at present the CIA is regarded as one of the least trustworthy intelligence providers, we could argue that Facebook has better intelligence than the CIA does (hurts doesn’t it?)

Now, if the US had provided intelligence on Huawei several Cyber experts would nitpick that intel, yet the setting is out there, there is no evidence whatsoever, the US is fearing for its life and its economy. The backdraft is also there, any nation will get an advantage over whatever paperback spinal cord is supporting the US without evidence. All because the US cannot control its national corporations, we all must pay.

We can treat “A group of backbench Conservatives also wants Johnson to commit to remove all Huawei kit from British phone networks over time” with optional disgust as well, even as there is no stage set on ‘over time‘, as I personally see it these acts are profit driven, not national security driven, even as some will make a claim in that direction. 

Jeff Bezos

You know the man, the intelligent man with the really long forehead (read: bald), was hacked, it happened in 2018 and the media keeps on blaming the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, yet there is no evidence. In light of all that had happened, the idea that any Crown Prince is THAT hands on with an issue is overlooked on several levels. The FTI report reads like a joke and personally, if Mr. Bezos pays THAT much for what I personally see as trash, than I have optionally 4 IP stages, one unfinished book and over a 1000 articles for same for the mere price of $50,000,000 post taxation (50% for the IP and the rest is a gimmick), you see at least I am willing to say that upfront. In addition, his own paper gives us on January 28th “Indeed, in October 2018, Michael Sanchez and AMI entered into a nondisclosure agreement “concerning certain information, photographs and text messages documenting an affair between Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez,” according to three people who have reviewed the agreement. The existence of the contract was first reported by the New York Times. One of those people also confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that federal prosecutors who are investigating whether the Enquirer tried to extort Bezos have reviewed the text messages that Lauren Sanchez allegedly gave to her brother and that he then provided to the tabloid.” as I personally see it several parties owe Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a few apologies and all kinds of Saudi catering hoping that it will appease his royal highness. On a personal note, I reckon he will be jealous of my yacht by the CRN ship wharves, so as we see the wealth of Jeff Bezos, he might just want to say ‘Sorry!’ to his royal highness and spend 0.5% of his wealth to appease that rather rich party with a yacht (so that mine will remain optionally safe, when it is completed). And no matter how it all get spinned, the UN report needs to be nitpicked and rather quickly, too many questions remain and even as we see that a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly about its progress, or as the Washington Post is skating around the trandsetting term ‘anonymous source‘, which would place them on the same scale as the Enquirer, they give us “It’s possible that the Saudis hacked Bezos’s phone and Michael Sanchez independently got the photos from his sister and some people were trying to get paid and some people were trying to get Bezos,” all whilst there is no actual evidence that the hacker was Saudi, I did away with that quite nicely in ‘6 Simple questions‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/6-simple-questions/), whilst the 6th question ‘Why on earth is the UN involved in an alleged Criminal investigation where so much information is missing?‘ was never answered by any media EVER! (OK, as far as I know).

Yet there is a reason why we bring this all, it is seen (at https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/facebook-says-apple-is-to-blame-for-hacking-of-jeff-bezos-phone.html) where we get introduced to ‘Facebook Says Apple Is to Blame for the Hacking of Jeff Bezos’s Phone‘, with the optional part “Nick Clegg, said that the hacking of Jeff Bezos’s phone wasn’t the fault of WhatsApp, pointing instead to the Apple iOS that powers the iPhone X Bezos was using. Or, at least, that’s presumably what he was trying to say, though his answer when asked by the BBC was largely incomprehensible“, as well as “he argued, “It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself.” To be clear, he didn’t specifically mention Apple by name, however it had been previously known that Bezos was using an iPhone X at the time he was hacked“, I find it debatable, but it takes the court away from the Saudi Crown Prince and a few others, if that hack is not one that NSO Group’s Pegasus or Hacking Team’s Galileo uses, then we have a much larger issue, one that is not identified and even as it takes the Saudi players off the board, it does not take the issue away. The NSO group has loudly denied the entire issue and this gives them the option to do that, so far the FTI report is too shabby, it does not seem to warrant or deny the optional allegations. So as we see: “someone actually took advantage of a vulnerability that WhatsApp itself has already acknowledged was an issue and issued a fix. It’s even more confusing that he attempted to pass the blame to Apple“, I personally feel in agreement with the writer, the entire WhatsApp feels like to comfortable solution, yet that vulnerability was out in the open and there is still no evidence that it was done by Saudi hands, even now, the list of perpetrators is growing, pushing the optionally (and alleged) Saudi players to the bottom of that list. I would advise Brainy Smurf Jeff Bezos that he pays up as fast as possible (and sizeable) before it becomes a behemoth of an issue that a mere sorry and a box of chocolates will not solve. 

Yemen

You might have heard of that place, apparently there are a few humanitarian issues playing and even as we now see ‘UN Condemns ‘Shocking’ and ‘Terrible’ US-Backed Saudi Coalition Bombing That Killed 31 Yemeni Civilians‘, we are given “Those who continue to sell arms to the warring parties must realize that by supplying weapons for this war, they contribute to making atrocities like today’s all too common“, yet the EU and the US are happy that this all continues. My evidence? Well consider that we see today ‘The EU has agreed to deploy warships to stop the flow of weapons into Libya‘, all whilst a similar action in Yemen would have diminished the dangers over two years ago, so how many ships had the EU to set up a blockade to stop weapons going into Yemen? As far as I can tell, there is an unwritten consensus to give as much freedom to Iran as possible. I gave that part in ‘Media, call it as it is!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/11/03/media-call-it-as-it-is/) almost 18 months ago, so why exactly is Yemen not an issue and Libya is? It is oil and everyone is dancing around the stage hoping for a barrel full of the substance. Yet the Yemeni don’t matter, if you doubt that you merely have to read the articles, all about complaints and condemning, not about action packed events, are they? And in all this Xavier Joubert, director of aid group Save the Children Yemen is equally to blame, does he give the stage in a proper setting? Does he give any information on the actions that Houthi forces have been eager to take forward (including those on children)? Nope! So when we see “after Houthi rebels claimed to have shot down a Saudi Tornado jet Friday in Al-Jawf province“, as well as ““possibility of collateral damage”—a common euphemism for civilian deaths“, yet how many enemy troops were there? that part is not given as it takes the power away from their own story, yet the story they give us is out of whack. So whilst people like Lise Grande come up with “it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustified“, all whilst for well over two years a blockade could have optionally limited the damage that could have occurred, yet no one is willing to skate that track, are they?

All whilst we see (at https://www.timesofisrael.com/pompeo-calls-for-action-against-iran-after-us-navy-seizes-weapons-sent-to-yemen/) ‘Pompeo calls for action against Iran after US Navy seizes weapons sent to Yemen‘, a stage that was set this week, we see the laughingly entertaining ‘World’s silence has emboldened Saudi-led war crimes in Yemen: Iran‘, all whilst we see Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi giving a speech on what he calls War Crimes, at the same stage where they send hundreds of missiles into Yemen, there is only so much hypocrisy I can stomach and Iran is handing us way too much. So whilst the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to defy the UN Security Council, we need to start being honest about the Yemen situation, the EU does not care about Yemen, it has nothing to offer, yet the US has on this occasion stopped one of several Iranian supply ships. I wonder how many were missed, the ongoing war clearly gives rise to the fact that this war will not be over soon and as such more civilians will die, it is the clear consequence of a war.

These are three of the small bits that I am adding today, there have been a whole range of issues I touched on in the last few days, yet these small bits are important parts to other information I gave out. 

Have a great day, see you all tomorrow

 

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6 simple questions

I have written about it before, yet the article last friday forces me to take more than another look, it forces me to ask questions out loud, questions that should have been investigated as this case has been running for two years, lets not forget the hairy Amazon owner had his smartphone allegedly hacked in 2018.

My article ‘The incompetent view‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/01/28/the-incompetent-view/) was written on January 28th. I kept it alone for the longest of times, yet the accusations against Saudi Arabia, especially as that French Calamari UN-Essay writer is again involved forced my hand and the article last friday gives me the option to lash out and ask certain questions that the investigation optionally cannot answer, as such two years by these so called experts should be seen as 2 years by whatever they are, but I have doubt that expertise was part of the equation.

as such we begin with the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/31/jeff-bezos-met-fbi-investigators-in-2019-over-alleged-saudi-hack), here we see the following

NSO said: “we have not been contacted by any US law enforcement agencies at all about any such matters and have no knowledge or awareness of any investigative actions. Therefore, we cannot comment further.”“, which is a response towards the FBI who had been investigating NSO since 2017, which is based on the setting of “officials were seeking information about whether the company had received any of the code it needed to infect smartphones from US hackers

Yet it is the quote “Two independent investigators at the United Nations, Agnes Callamard and David Kaye, revealed last week that they have launched their own inquiry into allegations that Bezos’s phone was hacked on 1 May 2018 after he apparently received a video file from a WhatsApp account belonging to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince“, in this, can anyone explain to me why the UN is involved? I do not care how wealthy Jeff Bezos is and this has nothing to do with the Washington Post, either way this would be an initial criminal investigation, optionally running through the FBI.

  1. Why is the UN involved?

In defence we must observe “WhatsApp has said it believed NSO has violated criminal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal law that is used to prosecute hackers. WhatsApp has claimed 1,400 users were hacked using NSO technology over a two-week period in April-May last year, after NSO was allegedly able to exploit a WhatsApp vulnerability that was later fixed

And again, we see that NSO technology is involved, yet FTI Consulting makes no mention of that part of the equation, more important whether the same atack was used, and in light of all this, we might see ‘NSO was allegedly able to exploit a WhatsApp vulnerability that was later fixed‘, yet when exactly was it fixed? That too is part of the equation.

When we look at the FTI report, other issues become surface materials. Like the quote “The phone maintained an unusually high average of 101MB of egress data per day for months thereafter, including many massive and highly atypical spikes of egress data. Forensic artifacts demonstrated that this unauthorized data was transmitted from Bezos’ phone via the cellular network.” What data was sent exactly? The report gives us: “they provide the ability to exfiltrate vast amounts of data including photos, videos, messages, and other private or sensitive files. It should be noted that spikes resembling these might occur legitimately if a user enabled iCloud backup over cellular data service. Bezos. however. had iCloud backups disabled on his device. Other legitimate causes of spikes in egress data could be if a user willingly uploaded or transmitted large amounts of data via a chat or messaging app. email client, or cloud storage service, but none of these activities were corroborated by GDBA or Bezos.

As such, as FTI Consulting gives us “Advanced mobile spyware. such as NSO Group’s Pegasus35 or Hacking Team’s Galileo,36 can hook into legitimate applications and processes on a compromised device as a way to bypass detection and obfuscate activity in order to ultimately intercept and exfiltrate data. The success of techniques such as these is a very likely explanation for the various spikes in traffic originating from Bezos’ device.” Yet is that what happened? lets not forget that the FTI Consulting report on page 16 states “The following investigative steps are currently pending.

  1. Intercept and analyze live cellular data from Bezos’ iPhone X“, as well as “2. Jailbreak Bezos’ iPhone and perform a forensic examination of the root file system.” steps that are seemingly incomplete and optionally not done at all, as such how did anyone in Saudi Arabia get fingered as the guilty party? It could be the German Cracking Service for all we know stating to Jeff Bezos ‘Copy me, I want to travel‘.
  2. Where is the evidence on the hack and the destination of the hacked data?

There are two parts in this, as I explained earlier, Vice.com gave an earlier consideration with ““Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see”” yet the stage that we see here, is merely a footnote in the FTI Consulting report and is given no weight at all.

This leads to the question 

  1. How was the phone of Jeff Bezos infected and where is that evidence?

This could lead to 3a. Who actually infected the iPhone of Jeff Bezos?

Which leads to the last part of last friday’s article and perhaps the biggest smear of all time “New revelations about the alleged hacking of Bezos’s phone have caught the attention of a handful of politicians in Washington who have sought more information about the alleged hack, including whether there was any evidence that Saudi Arabia had infected phones of any members of the Trump administration.” and because of this (as well as more) we get to:

  1. What exactly are the new revelations, as the FTI Consulting report is incomplete.
  2. Where is the evidence that Saudi Arabia infected ANY phones?

You see, someone infecting another person by claiming that they are someone they are not is at the core of this, as such any person in the room could have infected Jeff Bezos’s phone and optionally other phones too. Claiming to be MBS and being MBS are two separate parts. 

In this it was CNN who gave us “The report’s limited results are a reminder that it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker” and if hat is the setting, we again get to the stage where we cannot tell who infected the system of Jeff Bezos in the first place. As such Kenneth White (formerly with DHS) as well as  Chris Vickery (Director UpGuard) who gives us “other evidence provided by FTI increased his confidence that Bezos was being digitally surveilled“, we do not question that, we merely question the lack of evidence that points to Saudi Arabia as a perpetrator, basically the guilty party is not seen, because no evidence leading there is given, the fact that essential tests have not been done is further evidence still of the absence of any guilty party.

As that stands I merely end with the question:

  1. Why on earth is the UN involved in an alleged Criminal investigation where so much information is missing?

When we realise the small line in the Guardian “An analysis of the alleged hack that was commissioned by the Amazon founder has not concluded what kind of spyware was used” we are given a much larger consideration, if the spyware used is unknown, how can the data spy be seen? This gets an even larger mark towards the question when we consider “Check Point Research, however, recently unveiled new vulnerabilities in the popular messaging application that could allow threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both private and group conversations, giving attackers immense power to create and spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources.” (at https://research.checkpoint.com/2018/fakesapp-a-vulnerability-in-whatsapp/), and another source (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/whatsapp-vulnerability-allows-attackers-to-alter-messages-in-chats/) gives almost the same information and also has the text “Using these techniques, attackers can manipulate conversations and group messages in order to change evidence and spread fake news and misinformation“, the FTI Consulting report gives us nothing of that, and as it does not set the stage of disabling that these were options that were disregarded, we see that this mobile situation might not now or not ever see the light of day with an actual reference to an attacker that will hold water in any court. 

As such the UN will have a lot to explain soon enough, I got there through 6 simple questions, 6 questions that anyone with an application of common sense could have gotten to, I wonder why the UN did not get there, I wonder why FTI Consuilting handed over a report that was failing to this degree.

 

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The emergency meeting on doing nothing

Isn’t that the reality we all face? We are called into the office of the boss, we get some high winded tale of how things have to be better, we have to get better and we need to do better, and after that meeting we get word that he will overlook our actions in the coming month. It tends to be that meeting that takes an hour, the boss highlights anekdotes that have little to no bearing and it is a waste of an hour, make that a lot more, because the group is about 6-8 people, as such one working day was lost on absolute nothing.

That is how we need to see ‘Yemen rise in violence threatens to derail peace moves, UN warns‘, and comes with a call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Yes, the coloquial anekdote of “We have to get the genie back in the bottle” is also present. Martin Griffiths talks nicely but he is basically wasting everybody’s time for the simplest of reasons. There is no peace process and there never actually was one. When I see the Houthi situation I see a situation that reminds me of Hamas v State of Israel, Hamas will only open for peace talks when their ammo levels are low. And they bicker over every point until the next shipment comes in. As such all the metaphors like the wheel is coming off, the genie back in the bottle and Everyone wants de-escalation is all talk around a setting that is not going to satisfy anyone and even when some accord is finally brokered, when the Houthis have a decent supply of cannon fodder and ammunition they will start all this all over again. 

So whilst Martin gives us ‘tragic, egregious and inexplicable‘, and the added ‘did not directly attribute the Marib attack to the Houthis‘ we get a Griffiths that goes into “My job is to find areas of commonality rather than judging parties. But we need to understand why it happened“. It is all flavoured BS. This flourishing civil war is not going away and if there was not a large group of hesitation in this, the war would have been settled well over a year ago, now the UN gets the bill (which they do not pay) for up to 9.8 million people in Yemen and they are all in need of health services. This is (when you consider) in light of the total population that is at almost 25 million, a rather large chunk (almost 40%). 

Yet there is also some clarification required, if the Houthi’s actually wanted ANY peace then there would be humanitarian aid, there would be a system of health care that the UN could set up, but this has been halted every time. Even now (from Associated Press) we see: “Peter Salisbury, Yemen expert at the International Crisis Group, said the Houthis may be using their military successes to gain leverage before talks resume next week in Oman” and as I personally see it, this game is replayed again and again and people like Martin Griffiths are part of the problem, until this civil war is dealt with, and until they AGREE COMPLETELY to stop all blockades to Humanitarian help, there is no solution, and there will not be any solution until well over 40% of the population is dead.

Even as we are told (at https://apnews.com/2ead3437db66e3d539d421561a85f7ee) “Following intense international pressure on the Saudi-led coalition, the foreign ministry announced on Monday that for the first time in years, Yemen would start direct flights for seriously ill patients seeking medical treatment in Egypt and Jordan“, we are told a bag of goods, one that is settled in rhymes of BS, and do you know why that is? It is because the text absolves the Houthis and in this also Iran from any involvement and they are very much involved. That is why this will not be resolved. 

It is interesting on how this article is so absent of Houthi and Iranian involvement. The fact that Houthi’s have been blocking humanitarian aid for months is not mentioned, in addition, the involvement of Iran had been shown in several ways through missile and drone strikes, two technologies that Houthis cannot create themselves, not with the equipment they have at their disposal. So why would there be any success in Oman? I personally do not see that happen and whatever will be agreed on, will be broken before the agreement ink properly dries.

All this, especially in light of CNN article (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/19/middleeast/yemen-houthi-attack-intl/index.html) last week where we were treated to ‘80 soldiers killed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen‘, and as we are given “At least 80 Yemeni soldiers attending prayers at a mosque were killed and 130 others injured in ballistic missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels“, we might see one thing, but the clarity is that this setting is larger. Even as we accept “The Houthis did not make any immediate claim of responsibility“, which gives an indication (but not verified) that this went beyond Houthi actions, the entire proxy war in Yemen is taking larger tolls and larger changes and the UN ignores those as it is all about “find areas of commonality“. Austin Carson is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago states this as “By maintaining plausible deniability, Tehran can signal its displeasure at American policies while giving opponents a face-saving way to avoid further reprisals, thereby dampening the risk of further escalation“, yet no matter how it halts escalations, it also halts any chance of a working peace process. An actual partial working solution would be to stop smuggling of drones and missiles into Yemen, by having a NATO fleet on the South coast and sinking any ship defying searches. There is almost no other option and even in that case, some will still get through with military hardware. 

As such whatever they are meeting on, it will be on doing nothing regarding the peace options and the continuation of 10 million corpses all staged towards disease and famine, as such two of the horsemen of the apocalypse will be jumping for Joy. And in all this, the (what I personally see) as a short setting by Martin Grifiths is aiding in all this. Now, I am firmly stating here that this is NOT his fault. His approach is one path to take and he took it, whether or not under orders from the security council. Yet there is enough evidence all over the field that this will more likely than not be a fruitless exercise into talks and ending up with merely a delay towards more violence and more cadavers.

As we go into more talks and more talks, we get the news (yesterday) that “rebels capture strategic road connecting Sanaa to provinces of Marib and Jawf“, in that light as the Middle East Eye reports, how will it be possible to get any level of actual peace going? It is also here where we see that  the International Crisis Group reports “if the renewed fighting spreads, it would represent “a devastating blow to current efforts to end the war”.

My simple response would be: ‘You Think?

 

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The incompetent view

I’ll admit, there are other things to write about, yet this is a larger issue than anyone thinks it is. The previous writers did not ponder the questions that were adamant, and Stephanie Kirchgaessner follows suit (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/27/nsa-faces-questions-over-security-of-trump-officials-after-alleged-bezos-hack) when we consider that the focus here is the NSA in ‘NSA faces questions over security of Trump officials after alleged Bezos hack‘. You see, it is not merely the fact that they got the stage wrong, it is the fact that everyone is looking at the stage, whilst the orchestra is missing, so how about that part of the equation and that leads to very uncomfortable question towards WHY the US is tailing on 5G and why it is trying to tailgate into the 5G room. They forgot what real innovation is and Saudi Arabia is seemingly passing them by, a nation that has forever been seen as a technological third world is surpassing the US and it is upsetting more and more people.

The US National Security Agency is facing questions about the security of top Trump administration officials’ communications following last week’s allegations that the Saudi crown prince may have had a hand in the alleged hack of Jeff Bezos“, with this the article opens and basically nothing wrong is stated here, yet when seen in the light of the byline which was “Democratic lawmaker asks agency if it is confident the Saudi government has not sought to hack US officials“, as such it becomes an issue. first off, the question is not wrong, because the US administration has a duty to seek the safety of communications for its coworkers (senators and such), yet in all this, it does become a little more clear when we see “Ron Wyden, a senior Democratic lawmaker, asked the director of the NSA whether he was confident that the Saudi government had not also sought to hack senior US government officials“. You see in the first, Saudi intentional involvement was NEVER established, moreover, the report (I looked at that last week) has several hiatus of a rather large kind, as such the formulation by this 70 year old person is quite the other issue. 

It is my personal conviction that a Fortune 100 company should consider the danger they open themselves up to when letting cyber issues be investigated by FTI Consulting. The entire matter of how infection was obtained (if it was infection), and that the entire matter was instigated by any third party who had gained access to the phone of Jeff Bezos, and in all this enough doubt was raised who got access and more importantly that there was no evidence that this was ANY Saudi official, as such the short sighted “whether he was confident that the Saudi government had not also sought to hack senior US government officials” by a 70 year old who shows issues of lack of critical thinking, no matter what which school he went to when he was half a century younger.

And again we see the reference towards “The senator from Oregon is separately seeking to force the Trump administration to officially release the intelligence it collected on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist who was killed in a state-sponsored murder in October 2018“, which is another flaw as there was never any clear evidence that anyone in Turkey was “killed in a state-sponsored murder in October 2018“, more importantly, the French UN Essay writer who was seemingly involved in both reports is showing a lack of critical thinking all by herself.

All this whilst Paul Nakasone (director NSA) is confronted with “was believed to have been the victim of a hack that was instigated after he allegedly received a WhatsApp message from the account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman“, the problem is twofold, in the first I personally see the report by FTI Consulting as a hack job, not a job on a hack. There are several sides that give doubt on infection source and moreover there is additional lack of evidence that the source was a Saudi one. More importantly other sources gave away issues on WhatsApp some time overlapping the event, exploits that made it into the press from all sides giving the weakness that any unnamed party could have played to be a Saudi delivery whilst the file was not from that delivery point. Issues that were out in the open and the report gives that FTI Consulting ignored them. It could read that a certain French Essay writer stated ‘I Have a Saudi official and an American phone, find me a link, any link‘, I am not stating that this happened, but it feels like that was the FTI Consulting case. When was the last time you saw an intentional perversion of justice and truth?

And when we see: “The issue is now the subject of an investigation by two independent UN investigators“, we see an almost completed path. When we see all this lets take a step back and consider. 

  1. An American Civilian had his mobile allegedly (and optionally proven) hacked.
  2. The hacker is not found, the one accused cannot be proven (at present) to be the hacker.
  3. This ends up with the UN?

And I am not alone here. Three days ago (after my initial findings) I see (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/24/tech/bezos-hacking-report-analysts/index.html) the headline ‘Bezos hacking report leaves cybersecurity experts with doubts‘, there we see “independent security experts, some of whom say the evidence isn’t strong enough to reach a firm conclusion” as well as “several high-profile and respected researchers, highlights the limits of a report produced by FTI Consulting, the company Bezos hired to investigate the matter“, so basically, the hair lacking CEO, who owns the Washington Post (where Khashoggi used to work) is allegedly hacked, he seemingly hires FTI Consulting on what I personally believe to be a hack job on hacking phones and the UN is using that biased piece of work to slam Saudi Arabia? Did I miss anything?

Yes, I did, the quote “The report suggested the incident bore hallmarks of sophisticated hacking software“, the problem here is that there is no way to see WHERE IT CAME FROM. Yet other sources give out several pieces on WhatsApp and how other sources could have a free go at infesting people. All whilst we also see “the paper revealed a lack of sophistication that could have been addressed by specialized mobile forensics experts, or law enforcement officials with access to premium tools“, all this whilst the entire setting went around the existence of cyber divisions. There is a link Jeff Bezos – Amazon – FTI Consulting – United Nations. At no point in this do we see any police department, or the FBI, why is that?

As such when we see “A key shortcoming of the analysis, Edwards said, was that it relied on a restricted set of content obtained from Bezos’s iTunes backup. A deeper analysis, she said, would have collected detailed records from the iPhone’s underlying operating and file systems. Other security experts characterized the evidence in the report as inconclusive“, I would state that this is merely the beginning.

Rob Graham (CEO Errata security) gives us “It contains much that says ‘anomalies we don’t understand,’ but lack of explanations point to incomplete forensics, not malicious APT actors” and Alex Stamos, the former chief information security officer at Facebook and a Stanford University professor gives us “Lots of odd circumstantial evidence, for sure, but no smoking gun“, in all this the extreme geriatric Ron Wyden (Oregon) is asking questions from the NSA with the text “asked the director of the NSA whether he was confident that the Saudi government had not also sought to hack senior US government officials” with the emphasis on ‘also‘, a stage that is not proven, and more importantly is almost redundant in the hack job we got to read about. As such I am not surprised to see “FTI Consulting declined to comment“, I wonder why?

It is even more fun to see the CNN article have the stage where we see “a research group at the University of Toronto, offered a suggestion that could allow investigators to gain access to encrypted information that FTI said it could not unlock“, as such we see that there are skill levels missing in FTI, for the simple reason that this report was allowed to leave the hands of FTI Consulting, a Firm that is proudly advertising that they have 49 of the Global 100 companies that are clients. If I had anything to say about it, those 49 companies might have more issues down the road than they are ready for, especially as they have over 530 senior managing directors and none of them stopeed that flimsy report making it to the outside world. I would personally set a question mark to the claim of them being advisor to 96 of the world’s top 100 law firms. I would not be surprised if I could punch holes in more cases that FTI Consulting set advice to, in light of the Bezos report, it might not be too hard a stage to do.

CNN also has a few critical points that cannot be ignored. With “The report’s limited results are a reminder that it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker, said Kenneth White, a security engineer and former adviser to the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security“, I do not disagree with that, but the stage where WhatsApp had a much larger problem, is a given, and the report does not bring that up for one moment, that report was all about painting one party whilst the reality of the stage was that there was an open floor on how it was done, yet the report silenced all avenues there. In addition, Chris Vickery (Director UpGuard) gives us “other evidence provided by FTI increased his confidence that Bezos was being digitally surveilled“. that is not in question, core information directs that way, yet the fact that it was a Saudi event cannot be proven, not whilst Jeff Bezos is around hundreds of people in most moments of the day, that part is the larger setting and FTI Consulting knowingly skated around the subject, almost as it was instructed to do so.

One expert who wanted to remain anonymous gave us all “There’s an absurd amount of Monday morning quarterbacking going on” as well as “This isn’t a movie — things don’t proceed in a perfect, clean way. It’s messy, and decisions are made the way they’re made“, that expert is not wrong, and he/she has a point, yet the foundation of the report shows a massive lack in critical thinking whilst the report relies in its text on footnotes (as one would) yet on page 3, the text is “Al Qahtani eventually purchased 20 percent ownership in Hacking Team, apparantly acquired on behalf of the Saudi government. 8

all whilst footnote 8 gives us “https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xvzyp/hacking-team-investor-saudi-arabia” so not only does the FTI Consulting Job rely on ‘apparantly‘, the article gives in the first paragraph “Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see” as such we see ‘spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see‘, how did FTI Consulting miss this? That and the WhatsApp issue in that same year opens up the optional pool of transgressors to all non state hackers with considerable knowledge, as such the amount of transgressors ups to thousands of hackers (globally speaking). 

FTI Consulting missed that! and it missed a lot more. The article also sets a link to David Vincenzetti and for some reason he is not even looked at, there is no stage in the FTI report that his input was sought out, which in light of all this is equally puzzling. He might not have had anything to report, or perhaps he had enough to report taking the focal point away from Saudi players, we will never know, the joke (read: report) is out in the open in all its glory on limitation. 

In light of all this, did the question by Ron Wyden to the NSA make sense? As far as I can see, I see several points of incompetance and that has nothing to do with the one expert stating that this is a messy, the entire setting was optionally incompetent and for certain massively incomplete. 

More importantly, the last paragraphs has more funny parts than a two hour show by Jimmy Carr. The quote is “Anyone who has had communication with either MBS or his brother Khaled should assume their phone is hacked. Congress needs to get answers from NSA on what it knew about the hack of Bezos phone, when it knew it, and what it has done to stop Saudi criminal hacking behavior” and it comes from CIA analyst Bruce Riedel. Now, the quote is fine, but the hilarious part is how it was phrased (expertly done). Lets go over it in my (super subtle) way: “Anyone who has had communication with either MBS or his brother Khaled should assume their phone is hacked by Saudi, US or Iranian officials. Congress needs to get answers from NSA for a change on a matter that they were never consulted on whilst the report ended up with the UN on what it knew about the hack of Bezos phone, a person who has a few billion and a lack of hair but beyond that has no meaning to the US economy, he keeps all his gotten gains, when it knew when the phone of a civilian was allegedly hacked and, and what it has done to stop Saudi criminal hacking behavior which is not proven at present other than by people who have something to gain from seeing the Saudi’s as the bad party (like Iran), all in a report that is lacking all levels of clarity and proper investigation“, this is an important setting here. Just like the disappearance of a Saudi columnist writing for the Washington Post (another Jeff Bezos affiliate), we do not proclaim Saudi Arabia being innocent, merely that the lack of evidence does not make them guilty, in the present the hacking issue does not make Saudi Arabia guilty, the irresponsible version of the FTI Consulting report shows a massive lack of evidence that makes any Saudi Arabian party more likely than not innocent of all this and as both reports have one UN Female French Essay writer in common, it is more and more like a smear campaign than an actual event to find out what actually happened. Who signed up for that? I wonder if the NSA did, I feel decently certain that until they get all the actual evidence that they do not want to get involved with political painting, their left foot is busy keeping them standing up in a world of hunkered and crouched idiots.

Yet that is just my simple personal view on the matter.

 

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