Tag Archives: UK trade secretary

Raging against the media

Last night I lost it, I will be honest, at roughly 02:23 I went slightly berserk. You see, I have had the longest of issues with the media for the longest of times. The media has no interest in you or me, it does not care about the individuals, whenever they say so, and they are lying. You see, the media has shown to care for 4 allegiances

  1. the shareholders
  2. the stakeholders
  3. the advertisers
  4. themselves

In that order of business! I will disregard actual investigative reporters here; they hunt the story, some of them really good. Overall this is about money and journalists are in that regard, merely catering to the economic three and after that person called self. It does not matter whether you are in the US, UK, Australia and to some degree even most European countries. The reverence of journalists is no longer valid for well over 90% of them.

The entire Jamal Khashoggi event escalated. Now, I am not stating that nothing happened; I am not stating that Saudi Arabia in innocent, but their guilt has not been clearly established. All the actions so far seen were aimed at the clear exploitation of the audience to increase circulation and keeping the webpage clicks high. Some (like the BBC for example) are doing their job and asking questions, the right questions. The entire matter is more of an issue as it is a person that matters in this case, if it was a reporter from the Daily Mail, no one would give a fuck (pardon my French), no, it was a reporter (or columnist) for the Washington Post, and actually really good newspaper, and of course the ante goes up by a fair bit.

According to BBC News, the so called recording of his torture (according to Turkish sources) has been requested. We see the quote “Mr Trump said America had already asked Turkey for a recording said to provide strong evidence that Mr Khashoggi was killed inside at the consulate” and that makes perfect sense. So why has it not arrived at the White House? If I can mail a MP3 in 17 seconds, why has it been 17 hours and why have we not heard or seen anything acceptably reliable concerning the evidence?

In my speculative view, the statement of the recording is a fake and the media has been playing with ‘Journalist Jamal Khashoggi ‘butchered while still alive’, horrific audio of his murder allegedly reveals‘ (NZ Herald), as well as ‘Audio Offers Gruesome Details of Jamal Khashoggi Killing, Turkish Official Says‘ (NY Times), the list goes on and on. Now we get that some titles merely seem unacceptable. Yet the misrepresentation through flawed reporting is still on the papers even the New York Times. The Washington Post should get a pass on this as they seemingly lost one of their own.

Why is it an issue?

You see, Saudi Arabia is in a proxy war with Iran and Turkey as a puppet of Iran is getting into the good graces of Iran as much as possible. that part is not shown in ANY of those newspapers. Then we get the kill squad references. references like: “A still from surveillance camera footage shows a man thought to be a member of Mohammed bin Salman’s security detail“, really? Based on what? You see if these reporters had done their job they would have added footage from that person in the details of the crown prince. I have not seen that footage, have you?

Then we get to the Guardian. there we see “Over the past two weeks Turkish officials have leaked increasingly shocking evidence that they say proves that the journalist, who was critical of the Saudi crown prince, was tortured and killed inside the building and his dismembered body driven to the nearby consul general’s house where it was disposed of“, here the Guardian is also in a questionable stage. You see, the link there merely gives us the recording request that no one can produce. In addition, we see ‘Turkish officials have leaked increasingly shocking evidence‘, so exactly what evidence was released? Is that not a valid question?

Now, we can all accept that something happened, that there is a more than likely chance that Jamal Khashoggi is not in a good place, the chance that he is optionally is dead is also not lost on me, and I can accept that, yet the media is pushing it into a frenzy of speculations and allegations with no support, or at least support of the most dubious kind, that whilst the tether between Turkey and Iran remains unlit and no one mentions that Turkey has reasons to be set in a anti-Saudi Arabia stage, we see none of that.

In addition, over all this we have been given “Liam Fox, the UK trade secretary, and the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, joined key European partners in pulling out of a major economic forum in Saudi Arabia nicknamed Davos in the desert“, ok that is fair. It is their choice. So exactly what actions were taken against Iran regarding Syria, what actions were taken against Iran regarding Yemen? We were treated to “Iranian and European officials are meeting at the United Nations to try to salvage a nuclear deal that the US pulled out of” less than a month ago, in light of the hundreds of deaths in Yemen, a slaughter that Iran is part of, why are they even talking to Iran?

Yet if Neom is pushed through, if it becomes a reality, the IT infrastructure and interne options could optionally represent between $2-$5 billion a month if the full coverage is obtained after 2030, and a lot more besides that, such values and some people are walking away form that table? It seems hypocrite and it does not make any sense after the willingness shown to make deals with Iran. In addition the notion of walking away from serious cash and walking away from that ‘on principle’ whilst that same principle stops them from properly taxing the FAANG group is just a little too hypocrite to stomach. If I get the option, I would move in in a heartbeat, even mere crumbs from a $2 billion a month pie is still serious cash to many players, and as we are told: “Bruno Le Maire said on French TV channel Public Senat that “I will not go to Riyadh next week” for the conference known as Davos in the desert“. Russia will not have that issue, they will most likely state: “Who the fuck was Jamal Khashoggi anyway, and who do we thank with a bottle of Vodka for ignoring such massive economic opportunities?” There are plenty of players who will think the same. Some will state that it is a good thing to take a distance and set the stage in a less friendly way, yet they never had that consideration after Wall Street made millions of Americans live the life of destitution, did they?

ABC News added flavour to it all with the report: ‘Pompeo listened to an alleged recording of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish Source‘, yet the article also gives us: ““The secretary addressed this yesterday. He has not heard a tape,” his spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News in an email. Asked about receiving a transcript of the recording, Nauert told ABC News: “I don’t have anything on that.”“, so is there a recording? Why is no one jumping on that story plane hitting Turkey with that question EVERY HOUR? The story is 24 hours old and inaction on the truth prevails whilst actively pushing the alleged unconfirmed reporting is winning; it is that part of pushing hype towards emotion and not true journalism, keeping the emotions high, instead of properly informing the people. Last night that stage just got to me.

That whilst we understand that governments are walking away from economic events, yet they do not get to cry on the entire Brexit setting either, at that point their useless and fear mongering attempt to fill the bucket with false staging needs to be met with the very same tenacity, but that is not going to happen, is it? Wall Street will not allow for it, will it?

So as the New York Times gives us: “Investors raised concern that if Saudi Arabia were sanctioned, it could restrict oil supply and prompt a rise in energy prices. “As soon as the news came out it increased the selling,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York. “Anything that has a semblance of the possibility of trouble, people in this environment see it as a much larger problem than it may really be.”“, the article (at https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/10/18/business/18reuters-usa-stocks.html) will get a twist or two before the end of the weekend and when we contemplate the message from Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York. The answer is simple, you have the media to thank for that (as I personally see it)!

so when we are in a stage of what happened, I wonder how many of these reporters remember the entire Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles case and how it all came to an end after 30 years, or did it?

In the end, it is the lack of journalistic integrity that gets to me. It is all about staging the story; it is no longer about reporting the news. There will be the players that do the right thing and the BBC is currently topping that list, but the issue is that this list of better journalistic publications is shrinking and it is not getting better or larger.

One of the players who set me off was TalkRadio (UK), she is not the best soul on this planet (in more ways than one). I think that when Tweeting a bombing pic as satire is just as low as any person can get and I do not fault her for being stupid, but she should not be that blatantly obvious about it, and in her defence that she is a staunch republican, I would say that so am I, yet I try to push for higher values within my own party and other parties. that does not mean that I am absent of humour, mine can be direct and perhaps to some offending at times, but it is never done in malice, Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted in malice, which is not the same. Perhaps it was not satire, but sarcasm and when it bites back, it will merely be irony.

The example is actually important as we see at times the satirical presentation of events, and making sure that this is filtered out is equally important. In addition there have been places like Today, where we saw former CIA director John Brennan. Here we see direct answers on good questions, yet here we need to see another filtering. Here the filtering is that this is a former operative who was in Saudi Arabia, who knows the country and the people. It is a much better level of reliability and we should not ignore that, in opposition to other reporters who are unlikely to find Saudi Arabia and Riyadh on a blind map. In addition the other reports never added any reliable parts like John Brennan to the equation, merely their anonymous source, one that has more likely than not an anti-Saudi state of mind.

Whatever!

In the end, we need to look into ourselves too, I am doing just that and even as I understand why I was in a rage, I am still looking into the matter how that rage got to me. Just an hour ago, we see the BBC giving us: “The Turkish authorities say they have audio and video evidence of the killing – although these have not been made public. Turkish media with close links to the government have published gruesome details on the alleged audio, saying screams, and the voice of the consul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, could be heard in the recording“, yet the latter part cannot be proven at present, can it? that remains at the heart of the matter and as the BBC adds: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is a pity that Mr Khashoggi has gone missing, but that Russia cannot damage relations with Saudi Arabia without hard facts” we are again confronted with the issue, there are for now no facts, nothing tangible and that is what matters, the additional disregard of the media because they are no longer trustworthy is making matters worse, they are worse as they could have been prevented. For us we are lucky that BBC news is still there to give us the quality goods.

There is one ironical part in all this, the final column by Jamal Khashoggi give us: “it left Saudis “either uninformed or misinformed”“, we are for the most in that very same position, in our case it is not the freedom of the press, it is the overly large freedom that allows the press to play with us for their direct needs and the need of the first three priorities that leaves us either uninformed or misinformed by making us ‘informed’ allegedly and though insinuation, which in the end is still misinformation.

Even now in the last hour, we get: “But a steady stream of unconfirmed leaks from officials to Turkish media have painted a detailed and horrifying picture of Khashoggi’s last minutes, allegedly at the hands of 15 Saudi agents waiting for him when he came to the consulate for paperwork”, all about unconfirmed, yet the setting that Turkey is an Iranian puppet is still kept out of the entire equation, is that not interesting too? How far can we be deceived and when it falls to holding the media accountable in all this, when we force that discussion to the table, how will the media react? How many politicians will suddenly take a step back and forget to voice concerns on properly informing the public?

 

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How to pay for it?

Yesterday’s news is not new. We have all heard the options, the opposition and the recrimination. Yet the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/23/uk-arms-sales-to-saudis-continued-after-airstrike-on-yemen-funeral) gives out more to ask of those who are on the moral ethical high ground and as such we need to make considerations, from within ourselves and towards others choosing for us.

You see, I am not stating that they are wrong, or that there isn’t an issue. We need to ask ourselves whether we should take blame of responsibility of the actions of other governments. So consider the £283m. When we consider the 2017 spring budget, that one sale takes care of the Education and health bill for spring 2017 and potentially leaves us with enough to pay the Debt interest for that quarter. So, what will these campaigners do when they are opted for one (the deal) or the other which would be no health or education money? I always love campaigners who in a downed economy make demands and have no clue or no solution on how to pay for it all. It is a really lovely group of non-deciders in most of the events.

What would I do?

I would happily go to Riyadh with my new BAE business card and sell them whatever systems they need to keep their nation safe. You see, it is the right of any nation to defend their nation. The application of the weapons purchased is up to them. Guns do not kill people, people kill people, it is basic and as I see it the correct dimensionality of a situation.

So when I read “the UK trade secretary, Liam Fox, delayed signing a set of export licences and his officials prepared for sales to Saudi Arabia to be suspended. However, documents obtained by the Guardian revealed that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, advised him that the sales should continue, as he judged there was no clear risk that British weapons would be used for serious breaches of international humanitarian law“, like Boris Johnson, I see no real issue. The fact that he added: ‘serious breaches of international humanitarian law‘ as a condition was politically fair enough and perhaps a definite essential condition. It seems a little cowardly, but at what point would there be a serious consideration there? Even Iran might not fall into that category, leaving us with only North Korea, Al-Qaeda and ISIS as actual risk factors and we do not deal with these three anyway.

When someone states that I am wrong and there is a clear risk with Saudi Arabia transgressing there, my question would be: ‘Show me that evidence‘. After which I get a lot of speculative mumbo jumbo and no evidence at all. In this day and age we need to consider the choices to select which is fair enough, yet to give rise to campaigners on speculative events whilst they are willing to give silence in the case of Javier Martin-Artajo, Julien Grout and Bruno Iksil, willing to shrug the shoulders and walk away without anger or indignation. Such persons are all about feigned morality because there was no blood. So how many people lost their quality of life for a long time whilst JP Morgan Chase & Co lost £4.7 billion? You think that this was merely printed money, people lost all levels of hard worked gains, pensions, savings and other losses were endured. So as we read in that case “the Department of Justice said it “no longer believes that it can rely on the testimony” of Bruno Iksil, the trader dubbed the London Whale, based on recent statements and writings he made that hurt the case” (source: the Guardian), I feel like this was an orchestrated event. First get the accusations out, make a final thrust for your own acquittal and then write a little more making it all unreliable? Consider not what he lost (stated at 80%), but that he got to keep 20% of some $6m a year (paid more than one year), in addition, whatever the DoJ agreed to in 2013, which might be his house and a few other things. So he got to keep an amount that is exceedingly more than whatever I have made or will make for my entire life, a mere 2 years of his. So as we see about extradition issues, we now see that all three walk away.

This relates to the arms deal as the consequences of that part are merely speculative and it pays for a chunk of the government budget, so I will take a job there willingly any day of the week, presenting the technological marvels of the F-35 JSF missile which can be set to the bulk of the Saudi Arabian fighters. I will gladly take the reduced 1% commission and sell 5,000-10,000 missiles, after which I fly to Egypt and sell a few more. If that gets education and health funded in the UK for the entire year, so much the better! I will sleep like a baby knowing that education and health care are safe and set in stone to be funded. My presentations would be the best stellar presentations of them all. So F.U. (sorry for this instance of Post Enhousiastic Sales Drama) to both Raytheon and Northrop Grumman!

As we can imagine at times we need to take heed (read: listen to) campaigners, when the going was good (20 years ago) and we had several options to take a high moral stance, yet at present with a collapsing NHS, with politicians showing less and less backbone against large corporations on taxation issues, the United Kingdom has a responsibility towards its citizens, not just to keep them safe, but to offer some level of any future. Those campaigners seem to think that money grows on trees and have no idea on how to get things funded; in the UK the UK Labour party is perhaps the most striking evidence of all. As Jeremy Corbyn is now in denial on student debt issues, as he was intentionally vague during the election race. Of course apart from not winning (thank god for that), the realisation that he has no options, no methods and no way to get any level of budget done without raising the current debt by at least 50% and initially projected at 80%, the question becomes, how it would have ever been paid for as people like this, and campaigners against certain paths (read: perhaps for the right ideological reasons) have no way to deal with the national issues. Leaving people with much harsher debts, increased taxation and less social security as it can no longer be paid for.

I am not against ideology, I do not believe that dedicated pacifism is a cowardly stance; it is often quite a brave stance. Yet, it is equally often not a realistic one. We can all go to Hacksaw Ridge and be amazed of the events Andrew Garfield’s character went through, showing us some of what the real Desmond Doss went through, and we can admire his stance and his courage. Yet in the end, without the thousands armed forces in the 77th Infantry division, the battle would have been lost. It does not diminish the actions of this one highly decorated person, I am merely stating that the 77th held its ground and was victorious in the end, yet we should never forget that it is still regarded as the bloodiest battle in the history of WW2, with 50,000 allied lives lost and well over 100,000 Japanese casualties.

We make choices in war and in peace. I believe that every sovereign nation has its rights for defence, we cannot vouch for the articles of war in offense and that is not our responsibility. It is not for the salesperson of equipment to say and even the campaigner for peace needs to realise that there is a stance to take, even if it is a valid choice to oppose offensive actions, we must realise that any self-governing nation can deal with its enemies in the way they seem fit, when it becomes too unacceptable we need to accept that places like the United Nations will take the appropriate actions.

So how is this different?

It should not be, but it is. Ask yourself how you would act. We can always act holier than thou when we can afford it, yet when we are confronted with being hungry or to some degree making a questionable deal that is not criminal, and it is perfectly legal, but we cannot foresee the consequence. Is it still wrong to do it? Consider that we cannot predict the future and this is not merely a legal ‘more likely than not‘. It is about legally acting correct and morally acting optionally questionable, because that is where the stance is. Should we interfere with the right of Saudi Arabia to defend itself and act, or become judging and act towards denying them that right? This is the view I think that the campaigners are not taking correctly, too hastily and in judgement of ‘some’ moral principle. Now, I am not stating that they cannot do that, it is their right and their expression of free will, but in all this, they must also than accept the setting that they will have to voice: ‘We have decided to stop all NHS healthcare and education for the upcoming Autumn 2017, as we stopped the revenue that would have guaranteed it‘, that must then be in equal measure their acceptance in this. I wonder how the doctors, nurses and teachers feel at that point.

In this we now see another part grow. Even as we agree to some extent with the quote of “The terrible funeral bombing should have been a time for reflection and for the UK to reconsider its uncritical political and military support for Saudi Arabia“, we accept that ideologically Andrew Smith, spokesman for Campaign Against Arms Trade has a right and perhaps even a valid point, yet does he?

When we see “‘Incorrect information’ meant hall in Sana’a was mistaken for military target, leading to 140 deaths, says US-backed mission” (source: the Guardian) we need to know a lot more, the actual Intel, the raw data and the decision tree. When we also see “The air operation centre in Yemen, it added, directed a “close air support mission” to target the site without approval from the coalition’s command“, we can argue and question a few issue, yet in all, who authorised the action? How was the coalition command set up? If there was an approval at any level it takes the pilot out of the equation (read: likely he was never a consideration in the first place), so even as we see questions on the actions, even when we read “Dozens of citizens fell as martyrs or were wounded in this attack by planes of the Saudi-American aggression“, whilst the actions of the Houthi rebels are left in silence by too many, including the indiscriminate shelling of places. Any war is a place where it took two to tango, which does not absolve any side of considerations, yet in all I see often a complete lack of complete information, or better stated more precise and more complete information to the extent that was possible. Even now as Yemen is using ballistic missiles attacking a Saudi Oil refinery, as Mines are killing Saudi Soldiers, we see that Yemen remains active, shooting missiles close to 600 miles into Saudi Arabia, so as such, I think that the time of recriminations are over, they have been over for some time. Even now, merely 5 hours ago, we see that Nayef al-Qaysi, governor of the central province of al-Bayda was removed from office because of his ties with Al-Qaeda. Now, the source here is the Miami Herald, and others are voicing pretty much the same article. I cannot state one or the other, yet when we see these events unfold, giving rise to one or the other without proper visible intelligence is not a given. Yet in all this, when we take the original title and make this: ‘UK approved £283m of arms sales to Saudis to fight Al-Qaeda‘ (read: personal merging of different timed facts), at that point how many campaigners would we hear? Can we agree that if Nayef al-Qaysi has ties to Al-Qaeda, they would have been there for some time?

A piece of intelligence that I and perhaps many others would not have had last October, so should I not have sold these weapons to Saudi Arabia? I do not think that I had any valid opposition to not sell and whenever we campaign (even for the best and most valid of reasons) is always a loaded gun and that loaded gun is always aimed at the victims of these actions. In my presented case it would have been the people in need of NHS treatments and students. Any person proclaiming that they have the whole picture is usually lying to you, apart from the General of the Saudi armed forces there would be almost no other person in possessions of all the facts and even then we can state with a certain level of certainty that this person did not have ALL the facts. This is what makes the opposition to any debatable act a dangerous path. We can at best hope for acting in a non-illegal manner and that is exactly what happened in this case. It was a legal transaction, one that was essential for the coffers of the United Kingdom.

We need to learn how to compartmentalise. It is in our best interest to do what is correct and to do what our bosses want of us. When we try to grow beyond that cubicle we tend to speculate on what is best and even if we agree that thinking things through is never a bad thing, unless it is our responsibility we have to act according to our better angels, which means no in opposition of law. Is it not interesting that when that happens, more often than not these actions were greed based and those transgressors should be prosecuted by law, which in the case of hedge funds traders is almost 0%, so if we want ideology, it should be on the evolution of legislation to stop economic exploitation. Yet at that point, how many campaigners remain? I reckon that list slims down a lot, because economic transgressions are not sexy enough, or it is like a happy lottery ticket that nearly everyone wants and in case of Bruno Iksil when it amounts to 20% of many millions, I would love to get that lottery ticket as well, I saw a nice place in Cognac, where I would happily retire to. A mere €850K, which would leave me well over €100K a year to live off for the rest of my life, whilst the house (read: villa) had been paid for. I admit it is a lifestyle I would embrace if it was limited to one questionable, non-illegal act. It will not make me a criminal, merely a person not hiding behind some hypocrite high moral code of conduct.

Until campaigners get in the stage of life on how to pay for their daily meal and proceed on that moral high ground, that is the first step in filtering the actual ideologists from the hypocrites, an essential first step, yet in the end, they too need to accept that some sides of life need to get paid for and they cannot vote to make thousands abstain from essential needs. It is not fair and not pretty but that is the place that deep debts have pushed us all into, the mere acceptance of our to the smallest degree of changed options in upholding any quality of life.

 

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