Tag Archives: United Arab Emirates

The seventh guest

Yes, it is a game, but this is not about gaming, it is the game we detest, but it is being played and we sit in the middle, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sits in the middle and the Trump administration is uniting behind “the shooting down of a US drone could have been carried out by a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer without authorisation from Tehran“. So good morning it is Friday, no throw back Thursday for us, just the start of meaningless banter from the political isles.

To get to the 7th guest, you have to understand the content. It was a brilliant puzzle game released by Virgin in the 90’s. The story was over the top but cool, it was a journey to stay alive until the next morning. The house was filled with puzzles that needed to be solved to continue. It was a little more like an interactive movie (in those days). The first puzzle was to carve a cake in equal pieces, there were 6 guests to each person and the cake was 6 by 5 squares. Simple you think, but the clue was ‘2 skulls and 2 stones, the rest is just icing‘, and now cutting the cake was not as easy as initially seemed.

Now we get to the icing of Yesterday (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/20/the-ice-and-the-icing/) where I quoted in response: “It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk?” It seems that boar mongering President Trump is now trying diplomacy, to not let things escalate too much. The biggest bully on the block is eager to not get into a fight, when did logic ever prevail?

So when we see: “We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference,” Trump said. Asked how the US would respond, he said: “You’ll find out.”“, as well as ““I find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth. I think it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it

This is how Iran has ‘sanctified’ the weapon deployments to Hezbollah, is Mr. Bad Hair Cut really going to play the card that enables Iran? Apparently these $120,000,000 drones are well insured, or is he taking the loss out of his own pay check?

I can only wonder how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia feels after the disappointing support that both the United Kingdom and United States are giving them at present. So as we see that the allies of Saudi Arabia are backing down when the drums of war are sounding with the increased cadence of (what they call) vigor by Iran, Saudi Arabia needs to reconsider who their real allies are. I am certain that Russia and China will use this opportunity that opened up, I just do not know how at present. In addition now that we know that President Trump is not about sticking to his guns, I wonder how long his own party will suffer the blunders he makes day after day, it will optionally be the first impeachment that gets full support from BOTH the Democrats and his own Republicans.

How to continue?

That is the larger question and I feel certain that this is on the mind of the ruler in Riyadh as well. Saudi Arabia must do what is best for Saudi Arabia, Israel needs to do what is best for Israel and so does Europe and the US, yet in this there is no real skin in the game for Europe and the US. Iran will strike at Israel and Saudi Arabia when it can and keeps the other two at bay with fear and both are now facilitating towards Iran through the fear of removing all diplomatic options.

CNBC gives us that a mere 5 hours ago with: ‘EU top diplomat says Europe will try to make sure ‘escalation is avoided’ between US, Iran‘, there is a time and place when avoiding escalation is the best of all options, I personally feel that it is way too late for that, again, the proxy war utilising the terrorist organisation Hezbollah is evidence of that. And the escalations are still going on, the strike a mere 12 hours ago as we are told (by Al Jazeera) that ‘Attack by rebel group on facility in southern province of Jizan the latest in string of attacks on Saudi targets‘ gives rise that Iran is actually still playing both an offensive game optionally with their offensive group Hezbollah and a defensive play where officers get a bonus and a promotion if they hit an American drone. Yet when we see: “The Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks amid rising tensions throughout the Middle East fuelled by a bitter standoff between Iran and the United States” no one is asking how these drones are paid for, because Yemen is out of money and has no technological stage to make them. I wonder how to see the statement: “US, Iran and Saudi Arabia have all said they do not want a war to break out in the region“, in my view Iran is telling any story that the others are willing to swallow, America is broke and Saudi Arabia has no real allies to rely on, the weapon case in the UK and the US president doing a 180 degree direction on previous statements, It puts Saudi Arabia in a poor place, that is unless Germany and China get out of the dug-out and properly give support to Saudi Arabia.

I don’t get it, what purpose is served to cater to the needs of a child called Iran to this degree? I stare at the maps and I look at the places being hit, and to be honest, for the life of me, I do not understand how Saudi Arabia is able to keep calm at present, the moment highway 30 is hit in multiple places, the direct threat to Riyadh will be visible and all options will be taken off the table and I fear that this is sooner than we think, giving Iran more time to use the misdirection to finalise their Uranium requirements. At that point WW3 is almost the only step left to us, there is no way that Saudi Arabia and Israel will accept such a threat.

Yet there is an upside, with 5-9 million dead Iranians, the carbon footprint goes down a little, a small victory for the environment, you see, give me a lemon, some water and I will sell you a melon juice smoothie.

If that is what is required to play the game, I am in!

I will end this part with a personal message to Chinese President Xi Jinping (and to Chen Wenqing: ‘No, I am not trying to corrupt him with western ideology‘).

Dear Sir,

I would like to discuss the purchase of 20-30 Chengdu J-20 fighters. In light of both a first order discount, as well as a student discount (we are all students on the path of life), I believe that should the talks be successful, that 20-30 planes at a unit cost of $27.35 million (with rebates, discounts and commission applied), in addition the 2 years of full service with no regards to hours flown, mileage traveled or missiles fired. This is based on 2016 flyaway cost. The benefit is that these fighters will be directly engaging Iranian forces and as such you will have access to a massive amount of data enabling you to start on the 6th generation fighter, optionally making you the first country to have one. We would also be interested in the testing of the Xian H-20 prototype that is now nearing completion. If the specs are as they are claiming to be, it will help us in removing morale from Tehran and from the IRGC as a whole. In this the unofficial word is that the sky is the limit as regarding to the price of this place (my 2.17% commission still applies). My client is ready to upgrade several army based parts (both light and heavy guns), however I hope that this part can be tabled until Iran decides to attack directly, at which point Saudi Arabian boots on Iranian ground becomes a direct first.

Kindest regards,

Lawrence van Rijn

I look forward to a mutually fruitful support towards presenting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a proper defense option that will result towards strength and stability in the Middle East region, under the guiding lights of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

That was not hard was it?

So in one strike the BAE loses 2 years of commerce, but the British anti-weapon league is happy, the UK loses well over $4 billion in business opportunity in the long term but you can get the green party to sell grass to a place called whatevernation, can’t you? The US loses its arms options overnight and enables China to economically grow 9%-12%, and as other options fall away for Europe and the US to a much larger degree, Russia will be ever ready to pick up a few scraps in the process.

It was a really simple equation and by choosing the facilitating side of a route that goes nowhere, other options came out to play. Let’s be honest, in light of what has happened, does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have any cause to trust the US or Europe in any of this at present?

In the end the 7th guest was about another person in the house (hint) that only showed 6, it makes the game decently apt to the situation the Middle East faces at present. The question is that when that puzzle is solved, will some of the political voices in Iran, Europe, America, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Yemen stay in denial?

 

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Awareness west of India

Awareness is a first need for anyone, there is no exception to this; a person looking for a job or a person seeking to sell a product, or a terrorist organisation. Without awareness they are all equally in the shadows, unknown and disregarded at the spot. So when we were alerted to yesterday’s airstrike by the Indian Air force on Jaish-e-Mohammed, most people had the response: ‘You who now?‘ The group which translates to ‘The Army of Muhammad’ is a terrorist organisation that operates out of Kashmir. Their goal is to relocate Kashmir from India into Pakistan and as such, it would cause great friction with India even under the most docile conditions. It is Al Jazeera, who less than a day ago reports ‘India foreign secretary says jets hit Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan, but Islamabad denies casualties in air raids‘, which is now also a much larger escalation in creating a more direct conflict between Pakistan and India. We also get: “Pakistan reported the Indian airspace incursion, with military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor saying its air force jets were scrambling to respond, forcing the Indian aircraft to “release their payload in haste while escaping“, I found the term ‘in haste while escaping’, that is no jest, even as the Pakistani air force is merely half the size of the Indian one, the insider gossip is that this Pakistani air force is more than able to deal with the IAF even as it is twice the size, so we could consider that the Indian act, whilst being optionally essential was not the tactically clever. Consider that the act was against a target that was less than 60 Km across the border finding another solution would have been a much better act. This is speculation as I have no terrain intelligence at my disposal, yet hitting a target that is optionally around 225 Km from Islamabad, where one of the more alert airports is was definitely not a great idea, so the ‘in haste whilst escaping‘ becomes pretty much the ruling for India at that point. This does not invalidate the attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed, it merely becomes tactically questionable. Of course there are other considerations, how does the Kashmir population feel about joining Pakistan, because that also impacts the tactical choices available. Any planned attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed from closer to the border whilst that population is loudly singing

Count 1 to 10 in a MIG on high

You go hide, and they come fly!

Better prepare, make a stinger rage in flight

(Source: adapted nursery rhyme)

At that point, we can agree that there are not that many options, especially in remote areas. Yet there is another side, and that is on Pakistan at present. After we have seen that they sheltered Osama Bin Laden only two miles from their military academy, they need to lash out stronger against terrorist organisation operating from their territory. We can agree that Pakistan is too large to keep properly in check with military against extremists, but this escalation could have larger repercussions and in this day and age as Pakistan’s economy is in dire needs of international investment. That setting alone will not go anywhere when operations like Jaish-e-Mohammed pretty much have the lay of the land. Now, be aware that is me not speaking out in favour or against the need of Kashmir that is for the people of Kashmir. I am however of the mind that it is not up to Jaish-e-Mohammed to decide either. The anti-feelings between India and Pakistan have been around long before the Mahatma accepted the separation, it is a setting that might never be resolved, yet in all this a much larger issue plays and I am painfully aware I do not have the wisdom on how to feel (as well as a massive lack of data intelligence on the area and the subject matter), yet the escalation as the IAF pushed for is up for debate. Even now we see ‘It was a non-military, pre-empted action targeted at terrorist activity‘, yet how exactly was that place bombed? So when we are also given: “In an early morning attack on Tuesday, the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 jets crossed 50 miles undetected into Pakistan and hit Balakot“, my question towards Indian Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale would be: “Who were the civilians flying the borrowed Mirage 2000 Jets and can I please borrow one? I have always wanted to get my flight wings on that fabulous French jet!” Perhaps the foreign secretary could limit the BS regarding a ‘non-military’ action when it requires the high end Mirage to get there, clearly a non-civilian form of transportation (a crazy assumption from my side). We all agree that actions against terrorists are essential, we all know that rules will be broken under these conditions, yet the essential need and then reflect on the term ‘non-military’ is too much of a stretch.

In addition, when less than 10 hours ago, the news (at https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/eu-urges-maximum-restraint-from-india-pakistan-after-air-strike) give us: ‘EU urges ‘maximum restraint’ from India, Pakistan after air strike‘, it needs to be stated that the EU needs to grow a spine and stop being a paperback, a bad one at that. We either accept actions against terrorist organisations, even if they operate from deep within Pakistan. When I see the bloated “exercise “maximum restraint” after Indian warplanes attacked a militant camp in Pakistan, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals” in light of the fact that it was an attack on a terrorist group, and in the second when Pakistan claims “insisting there was no damage or casualties” we see that both sides are to some degree in denial and the comments from limelight seeker Maja Kocijancic are just a little to hypocrite. We understand that the EU is in denial of terrorist activities all over the board and keeps on facilitating for Turkey and Iran for too many reasons, most merely for those trying to instigate another gravy train in the EU, others to keep their desolate economy from completely collapsing, in that day and age as we see the actions of Iran facilitating for the Houthi and Hezbollah forces, the entire matter as well as the call by Maja Kocijancic becomes increasingly distasteful.

That being said, Pakistan is not without blame, finding a common ground with India to take Jaish-e-Mohammed out of their jurisprudential domain seems to be an essential first. It is not a solution that JeM is likely to go for, yet at that point enabling the IAF in these actions would set a much larger stage of trust for foreign investors to take Pakistan more and more serious for serious investments, it will enable Pakistan more and better than Jaish-e-Mohammed ever could. You see the more immediate issue is neither, the more immediate issue is the question on where the people of Kashmir want to be. I actually do not know, mainly because the media has kept many in the dark in that regard, or merely quote some politician seeking the limelight (read: Maja Kocijancic) on a call of restraint from ‘nuclear enabled nations‘ (India and Pakistan).

The first issue for Kashmir is to get awareness, it might not give us information that we like, that we accept or information we hope for, but awareness is a first need. For now the awareness is merely limited to terrorist groups acting from within Pakistan and the fact that Indian civilians have access to military jets for hot rodding and cruising through the mountains of Kashmir and Pakistan. Perhaps it is a great day to upgrade Grand Theft Auto 5, to become Grand Theft Jet 6, hot wiring a Mikoyan MiG-35 at Shatalovo airbase and take it for a nice cruise and land it at Stockholm Arlanda (undamaged), would that make for a fun game or what? And it was Indian Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale who gave us the idea with his ‘non-military, pre-empted action‘, some half-truths really should not be used ever, it complicates matters as we make light and fun of the situation.

So why make fun?

That is the issue when we give light to NDTV who (at https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/15-years-ago-us-took-note-of-jaish-e-mohammeds-terror-training-camp-in-balakot-1999829) gives us “15 Years Ago, US Took Note Of Jaish’s Terror Training Camp In Balakot“. If this can be confirmed, we see the setting where Pakistan allowed a terror training camp was allowed to go on for more than a decade, unopposed and unchallenged. It is one of the reasons why foreign investors will not consider serious investments in Pakistan. We accept that Pakistan is too large to police to the degree it needs to be, but 15 years is just too unacceptable. The quote “The memorandum talks about a Pakistani national Hafez K. Rahman, a Guantanamo Detainee, who was 20 years old and born in Gujrar, Pakistan, who turned out to be a jehadi” is very much at the heart of the matter here. In addition, the quote: “Rahman has admitted to volunteering to fight jihad against the US and its allies, remaining after the events of September 1lth to continue to fight, and receiving training from the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The JEM espouses Jihad against the US and is directly supported by Al-Qaida, General Miller wrote“, in this light we need to ask a lot more questions form a lot more people, as this is not limited to some Kashmir disagreement, any place that caters and facilitates towards terrorism to a much larger degree is a direct threat to the continuation of Pakistan. Pakistan might seek out to remain in seclusion form world trade, yet they are already learning that Pakistan cannot continue to survive in that way. Pakistan must select a path that gives Pakistan forward momentum and it is clear that JeM training camps cannot cater to that future.

In the end it is up to Pakistan to find a solution that they can live with, the question ultimately becomes, what caters to the continuation of the Muslim State of Pakistan?

If we take three publications, the first being the Business Standard (at https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/pakistan-s-hamstrung-economy-can-t-weather-a-conflict-with-india-119022700052_1.html), where we see: ‘Pakistan’s hamstrung economy can’t weather a conflict with India‘ with the quote “The country has been facing an ever-rising fiscal deficit, increasing debt and high inflation“, is more than a truth and a half, in addition, the dependence and reliance of the IMF will at some point end, there are multiple sources giving indication that the support to Pakistan must stop, at that point what will be left for Pakistan? The second supports the views. It comes from the Nikkei Asian Review (at https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Pakistan-must-end-damaging-dependency-on-IMF) giving us: ‘After 21 assistance programs in 60 years, time to create sustainable economic growth‘, as well as “the new government is slowly persuading the public that Pakistan will need another International Monetary Fund bailout. At the same time, it has stepped up diplomatic efforts to secure short-term financial support from friendly countries. This approach appears to be bearing fruit. The government recently received $4 billion from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and is expecting a further $2.5 billion loan from China. Such bilateral support may allow Pakistan to seek a much smaller IMF package than expected“, yet behind the partial truth is that the Pakistani government has no way to pay these loans back in the immediate future, whichever path they take, repaying the loans and interest via a road that is twice as long as projected and merely gets settled with new loans under less optimal conditions is all that the Pakistani people have to look forward to. All this whilst the Indian Business Today (at https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/pakistan-trying-to-hide-dead-body-of-terrorists-in-balakot-tries-to-debunk-india-claims-source/story/322532.html) gives us: “The Pakistan Army has cordoned off the entire area of Balakot and are clearing away evidence such as dead bodies so that they can deny India’s claims of the latest IAF strike wiping 300 militants in the area, a source has told India Today“, in my legal view, i would change “are clearing away evidence” into “are seemingly clearing away evidence“, for the mere reason that most Indian publications would more likely than not be too biased in this matter. Yet the given accusation, as well as intelligence from multiple sources give rise to the decent reliability of the Indian claim. Yet the article has a gem at the end. With “A sound relationship and cooperation between the two serves the interests of both the countries and peace and stability in South Asia” we see a much larger truth. Both nations could flourish to a much larger degree if they can find a common not to move forward on and both their economies would benefit in finding in such agreements. If only to learn that several players outside these two are too much interested in those two to lack stability to a much larger degree, when they realise that, and look for stable forward momentum would cater to both economies to a much larger degree and that is never a bad setting.

 

 

 

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The ethical threshold

When is it too much? That is the initial question I had. I am a tweeter, I love my twitter, I will be honest on that. I tend to merely be nice there, with all the negativity in the world thinking only positive there is merely a choice. Also, why would you want to waste time attacking a person there? OK, I have to admit, when Jimmy Kimmel decided to take the mean tweets as a segment, I ended up laughing out loud, especially the Marvel cast ones. Why would anyone do this? Why would Chadwick Boseman (Mr. Black Panther himself) get confronted with: “Okay, how did the coolest blackest dude in the galaxy end up with a whitebread-a– name like Chadwick” It was fun and he laughed too, but why do that? OK, if it was just a little friendly jab, I would get it, but why would you state to Scarlett Johannson: “emotional range of a f–ing celery”? It makes no sense to me. Sometimes we have an aversion to an actor, or perhaps more direct to the role that an actor portrayed, which makes perfect sense, but why vent it? I loved her work in many movies, and if there is one I did not like, then it is ‘The Other Boleyn girl‘, I personally believed it fell flat after the Tudors, which had nothing to do with her, Natalie Portman, or Eric Bana. In the end, it might not be the actors at all, merely the vision and choices of the director. It does not matter, I was no fan of that movie, yet to go out and tweet to her (or any of the other two) on how bad they acted seems like a waste of time and totally uncalled for. Many people feel that way, when we consider she gets hundreds of (optionally mean) tweet, yet each of them has tens of thousands of fans. Is it an ethical choice not to lash out? It might be, or it is merely good manners. Whatever it is does not matter, it is a visible part in all this.

In opposition, when do you professionally make choices based on morality or ethicality? We all do them and even as my threshold there is slightly higher than the Eifel tower, I do have them. I also believe in loyalty (even as some of my bosses have never shown that distinction themselves). There we have another setting do we not? So even as some might rage on how we need to make choices, as some rage against certain settings like playing hide and seek with the corpse of Jamal Khashoggi, whilst some claim to have evidence of recordings, that recording still has not been revealed to the world, these sources have now stopped mentioning that claimed piece of evidence, so when you seek political opportunity over a cadaver, how does that go over with some people? When you are merely an Iranian tool making claims and then leaving the accusation in the dirt, how does one ethically consider that person to have any intrinsic value or reliability?

So as Reuters gives us: “CIA Director Gina Haspel, in Turkey to investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has sought to hear a purported audio recording of his torture and murder, four sources familiar with her mission told Reuters on Tuesday” and now a week after the claims, the evidence is not forthcoming, why consider that government to be any level of ally?

Yet that is another matter, the ethicality of this is part of it all, not the rest of that stage. The entire stage of ethicality is seen in fortune as we are faced with: ‘SoftBank’s CEO Won’t Speak at ‘Davos in the Desert‘ Even Though Saudi Arabia Put $45 Billion Into His Vision Fund‘. There we should have some issue, when you get $45B invested in, should there not be some ‘tit for tat’, or is that what they sometimes call in the UK ‘tits for dad’?

So when we see: “However, according to a Tuesday report, Son has now cancelled his speaking appearance, though he may still show up at the conference“, how does that go over? I had the idea for an alternate information system that is based on something that does exist, but now on a much larger scale, a new way of driving 5G data forward, a new information system. I even came up with a new 5G device type called the ‘dumb smart device‘, not only did I not get any penny of $45 billion (which would have been way too much), I also did not get an invitation of speaking option at “Davos in the Desert”, which in hindsight makes perfect sense as I never gave my email and phone number to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so it all partially makes sense. So as we see that list of important people like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and AOL founder Steve Case had pulled out in protest, we need to also realise that they are part of a setting where the pot is calling the kettle black. Remember JPMorgan’s and their $12 Billion Bailout? They want to talk morality? And in the end, we know that Jamal Khashoggi met his death in the consulate, we do not know the details, yet the people claiming to have evidence are not showing it and in addition those people are allied with Iran who is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia. I know I have said that perhaps a little too often, yet the newspapers and online media REFUSE to add that truth to their articles, is that not strange? Yet this is about certain poor choices, however they were not the poor choices of those behind ‘Davos in the Desert‘. When I see the highlighted Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and how he is not speaking at a multi-billion dollar event, is he merely proclaiming that he has ethical boundaries? Let’s not forget that apart from the fact that a journalist died under weird conditions, we have seen no actual evidence of ANY kind. We have seen actions that imply a cover-up, yet there is still not one clear piece of evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did any of it, or even order it. That evidence was never shown and the Turkish claims have never been supported by evidence, was it? That part is more important than you know, because when we take ethical and morale based evidence from equity people like Jamie Dimon or Stephen Schwarzman we truly have gone off the deep end. So whilst he might be there, he is now optionally missing out on opportunities that go beyond merely Saudi Arabia, when we see that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of United Arab Emirates, you better believe that you are selling your investors short and how does that usually go over with those ‘return on investment chasing accountants‘?

He is important in more than one way. You see, he has been very active in growing the impact of the UAE on a global scale, the vice president is using LinkedIn at every option there is and his industrious nature gives rise to forwards momentum for the UAE and that means more investments and more optional profits, so why walk away from the opportunity to speak out, whilst the cold light of evidence has shown doubt on events, no evidence is presented, not even claimed evidence; when we abandon innocent until proven guilty in light of business we merely set the stage for bias, discrimination and abandonment of good business. That is the actual reality and the media is steering clear from that one as well. Even as everyone knows that the US is broke, it claims industrial momentum, yet it is not taxed momentum, hence where ever that profit goes is beyond the US government. They are desperate to get the money flowing their way, not the other way and we see now that the demise of the US is closer than we thought it was, as Saudi Arabia and its neighbours are steaming ahead, their footprint is pushing in positive technology ways and the rest is lagging behind. The ethical threshold is not who we do business with, it is becoming, what are we willing to accept as a norm and that is the baseline that follows us to a much larger degree, especially when you realise that the baseline of this norm is slowly moving towards an Islamic one. That part is scaring the people way too much, so even as these same people ignore the fact that the Vatican has no women in places of power and that the Reuters quote “Sister Sally Marie Hodgdon, an American nun who also is not ordained, cannot vote even though she is the superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery” gives clear indications that the Vatican is still as backwards as it was 920 years ago when it decided to take over the Middle East in a setting that we called the Crusades. So how far has our faith taken us? Even as we see that members of the clergy get off on Luke 12, Matthew 10 and John 11 (boys, not passages), we claim to protect children, yet the prosecution of the church members never got there, did it? So as most pushed for agnostic and atheist values, which makes sense to some, there is still a large part that drives their forward momentum through their inner faith and is there any evidence that Islam is evil? We get the ‘terrorist’ claim left, right and centre, yet how many are Muslims are truly evil? Now take the members list of the Ku Klux Klan, the member list of the IRA, White power and Neo-Nazi’s and set that in the scale against the names of terrorists that actually acted, suddenly Islam is not that evil anymore is it?

It is not important that we become Muslim, but would it hurt to learn about Muslim law and customs? If we embrace the next age of technology drive, having that knowledge makes us more and more valuable in places where the next trillions are actually spend, is that anything but our willingness to embrace some cultural change and adapt ourselves to the work sphere that we are ultimately confronted with?

How does our moral and ethical boundaries shift as we accept the religion of others, not to become Muslims, but to merely know enough to not cause offense, is that not a good first step? The BBC gave us less than a week ago the setting that we are now too poor to consider being ethical. They did that whilst posing the question: “Would you quit your job on ethical grounds?“, we are presented with Google employees who did that, yet the jackpot was gained with: “Research by Triplebyte, a start-up which recruits technical talent for technology companies, found 70% of those who get two job offers choose the highest paying one – exactly as our parents’ generation would have done“, if we accept that income is the driver, when we realise that ethics are almost no consideration in a job, would it matter if we embrace an Islamic employer? As we see that the answer is one we can live with a lot more than a job by ethically coloured and filtered Christian employer, can we truly ignore the optional long term life and security that some growing employers are giving us. That will be the driving factors to many and as such we will see that the Middle East influence will grow straight into the Common Law nations. When we realise that last year we were confronted in the UK with the notion that ‘Just one in five Muslims are in work as report finds they are held back by racism‘, what happens when the Muslim corporations see that this could be the driving force to open shop in a much larger audience all over Europe and even in the US. It is merely another facet in ‘the cost of doing business‘ versus ‘the cost of being in business‘. We have forfeited a large option by being choosy on who we choose, often on race, age and looks and that is how the cream evaded the corporations for a much longer time. Now as we see that the momentum is no longer in their corner, the work sphere will change a lot more than we ever could have realised.

A change we started in 1095 when Pope Urban II gave us: “calling all Christians in Europe to war against Muslims in order to reclaim the Holy Land, with a cry of “Deus vult!” or “God wills it!”“, now that we are entering an age where the roles are reversed because we decided to focus on profit and greed, we have no one else to blame but ourselves and the people we ourselves elected. So when we accept the history channel with: “between 60,000 and 100,000 people responded to Urban’s call to march on Jerusalem. Not all who responded did so out of piety: European nobles were tempted by the prospect of increased land holdings and riches to be gained from the conquest. These nobles were responsible for the death of a great many innocents both on the way to and in the Holy Land; absorbing the riches and estates of those they conveniently deemed opponents to their cause. Adding to the death toll was the inexperience and lack of discipline of the Christian peasants against the trained, professional armies of the Muslims. As a result, the Christians were initially beaten back, and only through sheer force of numbers were they eventually able to triumph“. How does our morality fare at this stage? In the end, whether we call them nobility or captains of industry, how many of them walked away with the setting that the benefit of all was merely their bottom line, and after all these years are you still accepting that excuse of as their profit drive?

When we see that a mere 12 hours ago we were given a Microsoft issue through: “But there’s evidence that Windows Insiders knew about and reported this problem, and Microsoft didn’t follow up on it, apparently not realizing the severity of the issue.” (at https://www.extremetech.com/computing/279368-windows-10-1809-may-have-another-file-deleting-bug-problem), another setting of profit and time pressure over quality and reliability, and this is not merely one of a few issues, this have been going on for well over two decades and in the end we end up in the same place, with a more expensive device making no headway. That part alone is part of the success that Google and Huawei gave them the forward push via their vision, driving forward momentum, so why would we want to stay in a place where the ‘status quo’ (not the band) is considered sexy?

So if my views are evil, then I am the Ifrit, the rebellious spirit that yearns for change and momentum, something that has been lacking in technology for too long, as profit boundaries has replaced ethical ones and therefor iteration trumped advancement a race that is now pushing the advantage to the Middle East and let’s not forget that Israel is part of the Middle East and they are also pushing technology boundaries through a whole range of tech start-ups, another reason to accept a much larger range of changes in our lives.
In the end, it is not where we need to go, it is where the opportunities are grown, and when we consider that “Diane Green, the chief executive of Google Cloud, also pulled out on Monday, according to the company” and gave that ‘Davos in the Desert’ a miss, whilst in the end, no evidence was given on several parts of the now accepted act of manslaughter by unknown parties, so not murder as the legal difference is proven intent, we need to ask more questions, not on merely the guilty parties, but those acting on alleged accusations that have not been met with evidence three weeks later is a much larger failure by those same people who kept quiet on years of endangered data safety (The Google+ issue), those needing a dozen billion dollars for bailout (and therefor their poor judgement) all clearly shown and proven, they are claiming some level moral high ground whilst evidence of the other act is still not given, where is our fake sense of ethical borderline now?

I call to some degree that the ethical threshold is one we live by; it is one that others call us on; that distinction is large and ignored by a lot of players. So when Al Jazeera gives us: “Fadi Al-Qadi, a Middle East human rights advocate and commentator, also denounced the photo-op as “ruthless”“, as well as “And here is the video. Salah (#JamalKhashoggi son, banned from travel) had to shake hands with who is believed to be his dad’s killer. Ruthless. Ruthless. Ruthless #Khashoggi pic.twitter.com/EKS9UZQ8Jc” that whilst evidence of ‘his dad’s killer‘ has not been given in any way shape or form, mere accusations from one of the tools that Iran employs, and until the evidence is clearly brought, that is how I will remain to see it. I feel for Salah Khashoggi, I truly do, and the pain of losing his father would be there, but is he merely in pain because of the hundreds of unsubstantiated accusations in almost all the large media? Is that not an important question in all this?

So as we see the impact of the accusations on so many levels, yet all in a setting where no evidence is handed out and whilst the global media is still using the extensive news leaks alleging that Turkey has audio recordings documenting Khashoggi’s demise and even dismemberment, no evidence has been given to the people. Claims of handing out the evidence were knocked back again and again, so how long until we make the ethical demand: “Hand over the evidence now, or be ignored for all time“, that will not happen, will it. The EU is too desperate to keep any talks with Turkey and Iran going and Turkey is taking advantage of that situation, whilst many claims by the Turkish government are a joke on many levels, even legal ones.

When will we learn that ethical, moralistic and emotional considerations are not merely different coins, they tend to be different currencies as well.

We can only choose out own path and make it the best path as we can, we need to realise that the high ethical and moralistic path is not a comfortable one and for the most, we are all about comfort, we have been so for much too long and through that we forgot what true values are, the media merely made it worse.

 

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It started already

Even as we had seen all the plans regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their ultra-modern city of Neom, it was only last week when the geological studies were reported to have started for all the construction sites (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1390921/neom-begins-environmental-geological-surveys-construction-sites). Yet the placement of Neom goes a lot further than most realise. It will also be the gateway to the planned King Salman bin Abdulaziz Bridge, which will take 3 years, span a total distance of 10 miles and it will connect Saudi Arabia directly to the Sinai, to be more precise the bridge will connect to the Sinai a little north of Sharm-El-Sheik, opening up all kind of economic benefits for Egypt. Tourism and connectivity via Sharm-El-Sheik international airport will be boosted to well over 200%, it would also allow Saudi Arabia to delay its airport and use the bridge more effectively. It opens up a lot more when we consider that the setting now opens up directly to Kiev, Istanbul, Bratislava, Budapest, Brussels Talinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kuwait, Bagdad, Cairo, Algiers, Sofia, Minsk, and not to forget all the places that Air Cairo lines to, which is a much larger list. When you consider that the construction is about to start on a city well over 500 billion, how much unschooled labour will there be a need for? Did anyone that math in the equation? That is before projects are delayed and hit snags. Yes, Sharm-El-Sheik will prosper and gain a massive amount of value, because in a tourist place like that these people can get the entertainment they are unlikely to see in Saudi Arabia.

There is an addition part in all this. The bridge will go via Tiran Island, I feel certain that a ramp to that place will be booming tourism as well. No matter how that fares, the first steps are now underway and when building starts, we will quickly see the overexcited steps from all kinds of companies trying to get in, because that 500 billion has to go somewhere, does it not? That is before some realise that having concrete facilities near Sharm-El-Sheik might be equally worthy of consideration, because when Neom is there, the shortages in Sharm-El-Sheik will become abundantly clear soon thereafter. When you see the issues in Sharm-El-Sheik, going back to 2015 and before, we get confronted with stories like ‘British passengers reveal Sharm airport staff are STILL taking cash to help them skip busy security queues despite bomb threat‘ (Daily Mail, November 5th 2015), as well as a few other sources, so as the economic footprint increases, the Egyptian government has to either increase their diligence, hire outside expertise or risk losing a lot of money in that entire process. Mainly because adding a few hotels to Neom will be much easier to consider than most realise and Saudi Arabia will be interested in setting a much larger tourism stage. Having a high tech city is one thing, having a truckload of consumers wanting to take some off it back home to show off is another matter on that very same coin.

In this we must also realise the size of Neom, the Neom site is large, large then anything ever seen before, it will stretch the western coastline to the proximity of Jordan, around 50 Km south of it, keeping it 75Km away from Eilat, giving Israel optional opportunities as well, I remember a Dutch guy who opened an ice factory in Eilat 40 years ago, the cubes for drinks, not the gelato. So there are options all over the place, all infrastructure needs that will not initially be available. Opportunities that some have no yet realised, all open for the investors who see the need for thousands of builders needing a watering hole, needing food and needing entertainment. This will enable places like the small city of Haql to experience a Gold Rush growth momentum.

From Haql to Hamid (where the bridge is likely to start) the distance is a mere 125Km, not the greatest road as it adds 10% to the trip, but the 392 will directly link to Saudi highway 5 getting you to Haql and that setting is merely a starter for plenty of other options. You see, when we consider that part, the bridge itself, when the final point gets a 4G tower, it would effectively cover Sharm-El-Sheik as well, I cannot say what the 5G coverage is as I do not have any reliable data on the range of such a tower. The same could be achieved from Tiran Island, covering the tourist spot and the southern part of Neom (based on 4G numbers).

No matter how it is all pushed, it has started, well, it started some time ago, but with the geological surveys a new chapter is starting, I reckon that when the first studies have been completed and accepted, the setting of concrete will not be far off. It is in this stage where we saw just a month ago (at https://neomsaudicity.net/), “Italian construction company Salini has announced plans to join NEOM project and expand into the Middle East, which includes project contracts in the Gulf, especially Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates“, and Salini is doing just fine. When we are given: “The company has also prequalified for the first phase of the $ 1 billion Avenues project, which is to be made up of two hotels, a shopping center, and an administrative building. It is part of 2,410 active projects in the Saudi Arabia since April, worth $ 190 billion“, we see that growth will be on the front bench of the board of directors of Salini Impregilo for years to come, which I expect will also come with additional growth projects in Sharm-El-Sheik. I reckon that this headway is the best news that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was seen in close to a decade, yet they are one of many, and all of them will be needing people, so as the billion dollar contracts are handed out, and when we consider the Business Insider headline: ‘a $500 billion mega-city that’s 33 times the size of New York City‘, how long will it take until these companies realise that there are deadlines and that they are understaffed? That’s not merely construction and engineering. How about all these Arkey systems, Autodesk and Autocad placements? What do you think will happen when the IT division shuts down for whatever reason and local IT support will be required? That is merely beyond the commonplace Office software, that part you can evade with cloud services and in a pinch rely on your Google account. CAD software and design software is another puppy and when the heat strikes the power falters and systems need ghosting and restoring, it will be all about local manpower and things will always go wrong at the wrong moment. So, when you score your billion dollar contract and the infrastructure takes a dive, how prepared are you? How strong are the infrastructure settings for replacing it all? So even as the Neom News site gave us in April “NEOM Announces first 6 Jobs“, we need to realise that they will need another 15,000 trained professionals in that location soon enough. I wonder where these people will go shopping for the shortage. There is every chance that some of them will rely on poaching soon thereafter, which optionally raise staff costing by 200%-500% (depending on expertise needed), at that point consider the other parts that every building, every mall and every infrastructure needs. Neom city will soon become one of the largest employer hotspots for the next decade.

 

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Removing the right of choice

Fox News had an opinion piece 2 days ago that only now met my eyes. Now, for the most, apart from some Guardian opinion pieces, I tend to stay away from them. Yet, this one caught my eye because not only was the situation upsetting. The issue that Americans use their right to free speech to deny others the right to choose (to some degree) is another matter and it became clear that I should give my view in all this.

The title ‘Is the West finally pushing Saudi Arabia to squelch its version of radical Islam?‘ First off, why on earth do we see the need ‘forcefully silence or suppress‘ the choice of Islam? Now, I am merely a Christian in this, but I do not see any reason here. In the second, the setting of ‘radical Islam‘ is equally an issue. What makes it radical? That is not me being clever, it is an actual question. When does any religion become ‘radical’?

Now, I am merely quoting Wiki here (just the easiest part), and important that as a Christian and not armed with a knowledge of Arabic, I might wrongfully quote her, so be aware of that. With: “In the 18th century, a pact between Islamic preacher Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and a regional emir, Muhammad bin Saud, brought a fiercely puritanical strain of Sunni Islam first to the Najd region and then to the Arabian Peninsula. Referred to by supporters as “Salafism” and by others as “Wahhabism”, this interpretation of Islam became the state religion and interpretation of Islam espoused by Muhammad bin Saud and his successors (the Al Saud family), who eventually created the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932“, you see, my issue, perhaps partially better stated as my grievance with Nina Shea is not that she is a lawyer or a Christian, but that she is both. That one nation that has been hypocrite towards empowering outspoken Christians and Christian puritans at nearly every twist and turn of every American administration since WW1 is now speaking out against another puritan based religion? How screwed up is that?

And the fact that we also see in the Fox News pages that she currently is a leader of a campaign for Christians threatened with genocide by ISIS, is even worse. As American Presidents have refused to name the Armenian Genocide as such because of concerns over alienating Turkey, with former president Barack Obama being the latest weakling in that long line of individuals in denial. And when we get to alienating Turkey? Turkey alienated them self for a long time, going all the way back to 2001 and they only alienated themselves stronger with nearly everyone after that. So genocide is only recognised when it is in the interest of US political policies? How hypocrite is that? So even as this happened less than a year ago, we see: “But although ISIS’ genocidal intent has long been clear, the extent of the group’s atrocities has remained murky. Local authorities and human rights organizations have made some attempts to compile lists of victims. According to those lists, between 2,500 and 5,000 Yazidis had been killed by ISIS while over 6,000 had been kidnapped. But the UN has not yet been able to independently verify these figures” (source: www.foreignaffairs.com), so how should we see these differences?

Personally I have no issue with people and their religion, you see they can be a puritan as they want to be, and until they start pushing that onto us (read: me) they are fine. I have absolutely no regard for any Christian pushing their values onto others, in that I am quite happy to see the separation of state and church to be forever. There is in equal measure another issue, you see, puritan is often seen as ‘against pleasure‘, which is not always the case and that makes that discussion a lot harder, for what sets the definition of Puritan?

So when we see the quote from Nina Shea that gives us: “Now Europe is finding its voice with a new willingness to pressure the Saudi Arabian government to end its spread of extreme Islamic ideology, known in the West as Wahhabism“, so she has set ‘puritan‘ as ‘extreme version of‘. The question is on one side is what constitutes a puritan version as such and even if so, the Vatican forced Christianity into the world, whilst under its flag committed genocide by removing no less that 11 civilisations. The church and greed have gone hand in hand for centuries whilst the nobility, or should that be in modern tongue ‘Big Business’ have not been held accountable since before World War 1. The bible approved of slavery and in Matthew 19:14 and Mark 10:13 stated ‘Let the children come to me‘, Catholic priests saw that as an optional clear signal to fuck every young boy in town (whenever possible). So as the Holy See was considering thousands of priests actively taking the cherry from young boys for over 50 years, how many went to prison? In that light the media is equally to blame, until the movie Spotlight got the limelight in the Academy Awards, millions of Americans remained in denial. Even as the Boston Globe exposed it in 2002, it would take 13 years, until after the movie was released that the larger part of the media changed their tunes, the church still has that much power. So as we oppose one form of puritan religion, we see the outrages acts of our own religions and in that regard I have an issue with certain settings.

In addition we see: “As I told Congress in testimony last July, 16 years after the 9/11 attacks – led and carried out primarily by Saudis” we see yet another issue. In the first, this attack was done by Al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, who was indeed born Saudi, yet he was banished from Saudi Arabia in 1992, 9 years before the event. More important, their family came from the Yememi Kindah, so another ‘faith’ altogether, in that regard, when we consider that Kindites converted to Judaism following the conversion of the Ḥimyarite kings, which happened roughly 1500 years ago, so why is she not blaming Israel in all this? It seems to me that Nina Shea has no religious agenda; she has a political one and is willing to play Saudi Arabia towards her needs. In the part that we accept that Al-Qaeda was made up from Islamic Extremists and Salafists, there is the legitimate question on how many of the members of Al-Qaeda are (still) Saudi, but is that even possible to grasp? There are so many splinter organisations, active all over the Middle East, In Yemen is gets even more of an issue where they are fighting the Houthi’s. The New York Post gave us two weeks ago: “An immigrant from Saudi Arabia suspected of applying to join an al-Qaeda training camp has been arrested on a visa fraud charge in Oklahoma, according to a report. The FBI recently discovered Naif Abdulaziz Alfallaj after his fingerprints matched those taken from a document found in Afghanistan“, it makes matters worse and less clear. It is not a clear picture for those getting all the information, for people like Nina Shea who are willing to ‘filter’ data before their presentation make matters worse, we do not only get a distorted picture, we get more non-truths (at times non-verifiable truths, or speculations) and as such the picture shift a little more. We can argue that to some Saudi citizens desire a life of ‘action’ in perhaps the wrong direction is preferred over whatever they had before. We have all had those moments. I myself have argued within myself to find 1-2 paedophilic priests and hang them in the nearest tree without trial, so should I join some anti-religion and blow up churches? Of course not, that would be just insane, but some might do just that.

So when we consider ‘members of the Ku Klux Klan planted and detonated dynamite at the 16th Street Baptist Church‘ we also need to see that J. Edgar Hoover had secret recordings that proving the involvement of guilty parties (according to some sources), he also ensured that a court could not use them as evidence to prosecute the attackers, making it more difficult to convict. For 14 years after the bombing, none of the men were prosecuted for their crime. The first one to be arrested (and convicted) was Robert Edward Chambliss in 1977. So we, Americans and non-American Christians alike have closets full of skeletons, perhaps when it comes to certain matters we should not be the judging or reforming parties in the matters of other nations.

Now, there are a few sides that do bare consideration.

Even if we agree with: “In 2010, a top U.S. Treasury counterterrorism official warned that without Saudi education reform “we will forever be faced with the challenge of disrupting the next group of terrorist facilitators and supporters.”“, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign state, it has its rights and it has forever been a Muslim state. You see, until the oil prices went down and the profits declined, America remained unwilling to hear any level of criticism on Saudi Arabia, making a lot of the matters in play hypocrite at best.

The next ‘wrongful representation‘ is “The West seems to be finally waking up. The new assertiveness shows official recognition of the link between Islamist ideology and terror, and our governments must keep it up“, you see, I see this as “as the profits are declining and as Saudi Arabia is now set to be a growing force beyond the petrochemical industry” we see issues because the ‘link between Islamist ideology and terror’ has been known for a long time and seen as such. Hamas, Hezbollah are the clearest ones. There is the Muslim Brotherhood, and plenty of others, whilst the PLO was delisted as a terrorist organisation is now again rearing its tail by no longer recognising the state of Israel, so that could escalate again. In addition we see that only the UK saw the Orange Volunteers as a terrorist organisation, I wonder why the US did not see it that way. So whatever makes that list is also very dependent on how they cross the United States of America (speculation on my side), so as the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia is becoming a growing centre of commerce and an economic power we start seeing more anti-Saudi events. Yet the US will happily sell all the weapons and planes they can for now. Nina also refers to a report that was classified and forced into the open in 2016 regarding the Saudi textbooks (at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/17/international-home/document-state-dept-study-on-saudi-textbooks.html), it is 148 pages, so read it there (the PDF was too large to place here).

My issue in this is not the paper; it is the chance of comprehending it all, it is linked to hundreds of books, to hundreds or issues all linked to the Koran and to the rights that Saudi Arabia has as a sovereign nation. We might not agree and as Christians we might to a certain degree oppose outside of Saudi Arabia, but its sovereign rights are as they wanted it, linked to the Muslim faith. We need to recognise that we are not all alike, that others have their rights and they need not be based on democracy. However we must also recognise that ‘democracy’ in America and largely in Europe is set towards what the rich and powerful want it to be. If you disbelief that then try to change laws in America that makes Wall Street criminally accountable. Good luck getting that done within the next 50 years!

You see, in support of my view, I would like to call attention to page 3, where we see “The national identity of Saudi Arabia is deceptively simple. It is an absolute monarchy“, so what makes a monarchy absolute? The Netherlands is a monarchy, so is Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain and a few others. So as these are predominantly Christian monarchies, are they not absolute or dangerous? Perhaps they are merely seeing eye-to-eye with the US and not that much of an economic threat? The EU and the ECB simmered down the European nations as threats is another view and it is for people with better economic degrees than mine to make a call on that. Again a speculation from my side, but it seems to me that the US would prefer every nation to be a republic, so that the larger corporations can sweep in and reduce that national population into a spreadsheet and reduce the abilities of those being a hindrance, a non-consumer or a liability.

We can take any view on these matters, but in the end we see a person with a rightful opinion get the centre stage all the way to the US Congress, whilst we consider her quote: “Germany finally pressed Saudi Arabia to close the King Fahd Academy in Bonn in spring 2017, according to a 2016 Deutsche Welle report. It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda“. The question that is here is ‘It first came under investigation 14 years earlier for alleged ties to al Qaeda‘, so was that ever proven? That is the part that Nina Shea does not want you to know; in addition there is the part that was in the Deutsche Welle. ‘Now, the King Fahd Academy is about to close its doors of its own accord‘, which she did not mention. In addition (at http://www.dw.com/en/controversial-saudi-school-in-bonn-to-close/a-19511109), we see the clear mention of ‘Moving beyond oil‘, it seems that Europe and the US stayed very silent whilst the oil profits were flowing their way making a lot Nina states even more hypocrite. So as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pushing stronger towards his “Vision 2030“, we see that slowly his reforms are catching hold, there is momentum and there is additional evidence that it is a worry for the United States, particularly the people who were having benefits on the matters before Vision 2030. When we consider the rumour from last month when we were introduced to “The new policy means Apple is administering collection and remittance of tax to authorities at a rate of 20 percent in Armenia and Belarus; 5 percent in Saudi Arabia; 18 percent in Turkey; and 5 percent in United Arab Emirates” we see the clear benefit for Apple to grow in Saudi Arabia, yet in that it could cost the US 20 cents to every dollar pushed to Saudi Arabia and as Apple tends to think in tens of billions, the US is about to lose out of a pretty penny they desperately need. In addition with Amazon and Google gaining tech hubs there, the loss of revenue and data is about to cost the US a lot more and in this greed driven economy that is what has been setting plenty of people over the rails and into the sea of chaos, frustration and outcry. So as Saudi Arabia ends up getting 5 data centres, how many will not be upgraded in the US or Europe in the near future? How much is that going to cost them?

These are all matters linked to the opinion of Nina Shea, because if that was not the case we would not have seen “These events are being driven by Western governments that are now pushing hard for the government of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to pull back from Wahhabist support – a push that appears to be working“, you see, the fact that (some) schools closed on their own accord was not mentioned, neither is any part of Vision 2030 which has been on the front page of the Saudi plans of actions for almost 2 years now and in addition, when we see “For decades European and U.S. leaders bit their tongues while the Saudi governments spent billions of dollars indoctrinating Sunni Muslim communities“, whilst not stating that the oil money flowing into these places was too good to ignore is equally an issue because it shows us to be hypocrite and it shows Saudi Arabia to be business oriented. OK, I will give you that the last part is not entirely correct, but why did Europe and the US bite their tongues? If they were so morally high we would have seen a lot more, an issue that never happened.

So who will Nina Shea blame for that? I reckon we will leave it non-mentioned (for now).

Finally we need to look at her statement “Tiny Belgium, population 11.27 million, has sent more Islamic fighters to Syria per capita than any other European country“, so when we see the Wall Street Journal (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/europe-balks-at-taking-back-isis-fighters-1518557328) where we see the quote “An estimated two to three dozen Belgian foreign fighters are in detention in Syria and Iraq, another Belgian official said“, so as we consider an unrelated statistic like “Hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s 700 people per day, notes Steve Swensen“, the fact that we see the mention of 36 Belgium fighters in Syria in a pool of 5000, seems to be too irrelevant to use as a focal point in her presentation, whilst in the US 700 people a day die in Hospitals through mere errors. She has the wrong focus as illumination in her presentations. You see, it would not have mattered if she had mentioned the number of Belgium fighters and the total pool of ‘extremists’ but she did not want that, she wanted the hypocrite limelight, so I will happily keep a focus on her and how she tries to misinform the people around her next.

In all this Fox News should get an equal share in the blame by not setting the stage properly. By leaving too much unstated we should consider that the reliability of Fox News and what they present is equally taking a turn downwards.

In the end

In the end this was less about speaking for Saudi Arabia (they can do that themselves perfectly well), then speaking against Nina Shea. I find this a hatched job that should not have been placed on Fox News the way it was. Whatever points she could have made was drowned out by the misrepresentation that I see them to be and in several fields in many ways. This requires me to add her mention of ‘Islamist terror has replaced chocolate as Belgium’s best known export‘, you see the best export the Belgium ever had was beer, the finest in the world. And even as we agree that their chocolates are the best, we need to see that terrorism is not their export, or their best known export. Perhaps their flaw was to have the most cordial of borders in Europe, together with Sweden, yet as Sweden is up in the north and Belgium is caught between the Netherlands, Germany and France, there is no doubt that whatever they get came initially from one of the three other nations and guess what, Nina made no mention of that either. Perhaps because she was in doubt whether it was a good idea to piss the other three nations off? Again, merely speculation from my side, but in the end, we have seen in evidence from reputable sources that the economy has been a central reason in creating extremism, a part that has hit Belgium and several other nations. That too remains unmentioned.

 

 

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Creating a dangerous joke

There is a lot going on. At first I wanted to take you into the world of fake news, it is a problem and it is a global one, but the elements in play, so many of them will confuse the hell out of anyone. It is not a simple story, it is an issue that will take many pages and there are plenty of people that cannot be bothered to read that much, I most certainly get that.

So why three issues?

They are only casually linked, but the events as they are taking places all at the same time makes me wonder if, and to what extent they will intersect.

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The first one is regarding everyone’s favourite ‘democracy’, North Korea! They decided to fire a missile for 500 Km to make a show of force. So millions were spend to make a show of strength that their missile will make it for 4% of the journey. This whilst we need to realise that the bulk of the 44,000 that became homeless in the floods 5 months ago are still for the most homeless. This event is making South Korea very nervous as the missile can reach them, the USA will make a show out of it all, even as there is no evidence that the missile could ever successfully make the other 96% and hit something substantial after that. As stated, there is no evidence, that in light of the military command setting the pass with Dell desktop computers that most gamers would not even touch in sheer desperation just so that they could play a game.

 

 

 

The second issue is another part all together. There has been a flaming row between Piers Morgan and JK Rowling. In this, I need to try and get through to people who seem to have a massive hatred for the Trump presidency. The video (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MrbXk5xOOM) gives us part of that. We usually do not get the full story as more than one media outlet, or opponent does not like him to complete his train of thought. He makes a few points that need to be considered. It goes far beyond mere freedom of speech, I will never be against it, yet in all this the papers need to be accountable for what they do. The situation is similar that the UK has with Brexit. So when we see the Rowling v Morgan event (at http://honey.nine.com.au/2017/02/13/07/54/jk-rowling-piers-morgan-twitter-spat), which has been going on for a few days now. The nine event shows a short part where Piers gets splattered as he was not allowed to finish his words. The quote “President Trump’s travel ban because the British TV presenter won’t call it a Muslim ban. Trump has tried to stop citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries, including Iran and Syria, from entering the US“, which is what he actually said. The part where Piers is correct is that his assessment is correct. You see the 7 nations are: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia. Some of the Muslim nations that are not on the list and not banned are: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Muslim nations are not on that list. In addition, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. Yes, it is correct that the 7 nations are predominantly Muslim, yet until that list at least doubles, it is not a Muslim ban.

adolf-hitler-world-tour-t-shirt-web
It was ‘nice’ and original that Jim Jefferies reflected on how Adolf Hitler grew into his role whilst singing a lullaby to 6 million Jews, but the reality is not the same here. So in a comedian like atmosphere he can tell Piers to Eff You Kay off, but he is deceiving you. In that regard the quote from JK Rowling ““Yes”, she tweeted.” Watching Piers Morgan being told to f–k off on live TV is *exactly* as satisfying as I’d always imagined“, might be valid from a celebrity like her as she has seen the darker less acceptable side of journo’s on a global level, but in all , the facts were not correctly given. And the press seems to be heralding to a larger extent, for too long to give the microphone to any person willing to loudly speak out against the current US president. This situation is more important than you think, you see, President Trump is doing almost exactly what he promised to do, yet if we consider that 100% of his voters are 50% of the nation, is he doing the right thing for America? It is a serious question and the answer is less easy to give, because the losing side is trying to create flame after flame via emotional broadcasts. The left has grown its media domain to such an extent that part of the US is unlikely to ever get the full facts. The Piers Morgan video gives us that. They give the realm where we hear on how CNN is implied to have some sort of buddy system with the previous administration. That is actually more alarming than you might think, because in such a setting, have we heard any reliable news from CNN over the last 3 years? Did you consider that part of the equation?

erdoganmemeTurkey is the last part in this equation. As we see thousands of people getting fired, arrested and prosecuted in what most call a massive aversion of the course of justice, we see that the list has grown. The BBC recapped the last 7 months as an event “following the failed coup attempt, nearly 100,000 civil servants have been removed from their posts. That includes teachers, police officers, soldiers, academics and lawyers“, where it should be clear that several of these groups would not be caught alive talking to one another, we must wonder how this shift, how this automation towards a totalitarian political shift is not the disastrous move that Germany found itself in on 30th January 1933. With the death of Paul von Hindenburg on 2nd August 1934, the shift of Adolf’s rise to power was complete. In this the danger we see Turkey in due to the acts of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are a lot higher than we get from President Trump, more important, as we see a massive political ‘Erdogan’ shift, what does that spell for the rest of Turkey? Will we become witness to the rise of a dictatorship, not unlike the one from Saddam Hussein? The changes he started in the 70’s, which led to the executions (read: purges), which would kill well over 250,000 Iraqis? More important, how will Europe interact at that point, or would Europe even allow itself to any interaction with Turkey?

 

These three are interacting because the Turkish population all over Europe will react to what happens in Turkey, more important, as Turkey becomes more ‘driven’ and President Erdogan finds the European doors close on him, we will get a new intelligence issue. As the Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT) will be given the similar tasks, but now if finds itself more and more collecting international security intelligence, which changes the game as the allegiance with the USA will shift. The one with the FSB does not change that much as the FSB never really shares intelligence unless they know there are two other sources able to offer the information. As the open EU borders shut down to their original state, we will suddenly see that those outside of certain discussions will now become absent of being informed. It is the natural consequence of ending an open border environment. So as we see the Cold War escalate, there is at least the smallest chance that they will try to leave the hints of gullibility with the MİT. There is no evidence, but the Russian Intelligence side of things (before they started to call themselves FSB) has plenty of examples and lets not forget that they are still sore regarding a certain fighter plane that was shot down for transgressing Turkish borders for no more than 14 seconds.

This now gets another turn of complications as the two parts that we see escalating in the Washington Post with “White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is under increasing political pressure and risks losing the confidence of some colleagues following reports that he misled senior administration officials about his discussion of sanctions with a Russian envoy shortly before President Trump took office“, as well as “Former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates warned the White House that national security adviser General Michael Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, the Washington Post reported on Monday“, so as we ponder this, just a mere 1800 seconds ago we get “Flynn has acknowledged he might have discussed sanctions with the Russians but could not remember with 100 percent certainty, which officials said had upset Pence, who felt he had been misled“. ‘Is this the geriatric division of the Intelligence community?‘ I might drop a nickel every now and then, but I am not the national security adviser and neither is I having to be a General! Two very visible places where an event where things like ‘sanctions‘ and ‘could not remember with 100 percent certainty‘ what factors were having an impact on the sanctions. That part should have been clearly documented as filed so that the alphabet group knows what’s coming (those in charge that is). You see, as we all face the news of escalations (especially Turkey and Russia), the Russian issues with America (and vice versa) implies that we are on the forefront of an optional new cold war.

This is not just me, several sources are raising the threat of the new cold war (or Cyber cold war) as some call it. In this we will face several fronts, because there is currently an issue with the top positions and I feel that I can claim with a decent certainty that Breitbart News will be massively out of its depth when it misplaces, misrepresents or misquotes any element in such an affair. In addition, the General Flynn issue gives rise to the issue that this optional war is one that America will not be ‘in like Flynn‘, which gives away some of its lack of preparedness at that point.

So as North Korea might soon be making a few more boasts whilst we get incriminations addressed towards America and South Korea by China, we will see more speeches, considerations and not so carefully worded denials. In the end, we are skating towards a diminishing field of options. Well, actually, the question becomes what will happen, as we now see the resignation letter of the National Security Advisor (which might have been the only move left), the USA is now forced to get another person confirmed for the role. In a time when getting proper advice is pretty stellar important, selecting the right advisor would have been pretty important. All this in the first 100 days is not the best way for the new president to make any headway. Attached to this is the press, who have been on a massive Trump bash. The left who has been enjoying a lefty point of politics and getting enabled at every corner is now facing a vindictive administration, which is counterproductive on both sides, because any escalation down the Cold War front means that proper informing the people on what is actually happening is going to be much more important. In that regard, perhaps it is starting to be more and more important to label the tabloids with a brand that it is not truly presenting the news, I would prefer that they also lose the 0% VAT option, the idea that intentional misinforming the people comes with a tax break! Does that not bother you?

You see, these elements as stated are linked, not directly on the events, but how we react to them, this can have an increasing negative consequence, especially as we use social media to gain favour and laughs. Yet the other side tends to be less recipient. Some will take the moral offended side of the matter. So as we heard Jim Jefferies Hitler reference, some reacted, some did not and most reactions were against Piers Morgan. Now, I am no fan of him. I think that he plays a dangerous game, trying to side with the emotional side of people, as do Journo’s like Lisa Wilkinson, yet in some lights she tends to be a lot more level headed here. In contrast, when we see the Morgan quote: “To all the ignorant, bigoted transgender community members continuing to abuse me re @janetmock – I’m bored of you now, go away. Thanks.

Piers need to equally realise that if he does not consider thinking things through before making his case knowing very well that there will be open outrage, he needs to realise sooner rather than later that he is not part of any solution, he remains part of the problem.

This story will get a sequel as certain events are currently still evolving.

 

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Questions that follow

Is it not an interesting day, for some Mondayitis is only just now setting in, for some the Mondayitis issue is just a ‘fab’ for others to avoid becoming active until Wednesday around after lunch time, and for another group, well, we never know what they are up to, so let’s ignore them for now. There is however a group that works 24:7 (please do not imply that those people are journo’s).

I am talking about the financial institutions, no matter how we oppose greed, it is the one motivator that will never stop being efficient in many walks of life. That consideration came to me as I read the article ‘HSBC’s response: ‘Standards of due diligence were significantly lower than today’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-responds-revelations-misconduct-swiss-bank) this morning.

The article is to some extent a barrel full of laughs. Let’s have a look at some of the mentioned things. The fun already starts at the second sentence “Private banks, including HSBC’s Swiss private bank, assumed that responsibility for payment of taxes rested with individual clients“, you see the word ‘assumed’, in this case that translate to, the bank sets the responsibility so that it makes an ‘ass’ of ‘you’, banks do not work from the ‘me’ setting (ass-u-me). When was the last time when you received a letter from a bank (any bank for that matter) where the word assumption was used? Most banking contracts have two one-sided parts, what your responsibilities are and how you get charged the moment you make an error (like simply withdrawing a little too much). So are you giggling yet?

The next one is an interesting one for more than one reason “HSBC’s Swiss private bank has reduced its client base by almost 70% since 2007“. Yes it is interesting, because WHERE did those people go to? The fact that they moved away from HSBC is no indication that there was a sudden massive influx of taxpayers, was there? So was the exodus reported on? My bet is that this was not; the statement is likely to be ‘this account is no longer under our care‘. This hunt for tax evasion, sounds nice, but it also comes with a flaw, not that I oppose such hunts (I will forever be roughly $1,915,000 short from making that list), but did some of these ‘witch hunters’ realise that moving these funds would have a side effect? You see, it would all be good and fine if those accounts all resorted to their original nation getting properly taxed, but that is not the case is it? As these Status Quo places get upset the dynamics change, when the accounts can no longer be hidden on Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland or Guernsey. How long until we see a new circle of banks, now in Bahrain, Dubai and Jeddah? Do not think this will not happen, because it already is happening (at http://www.thenational.ae/business/banking/dubai-islamic-bank-confident-on-loans-portfolio-thanks-to-record-profit), so as we are reading on how a bank voluntarily moved from 78 billion to 45 billion, I have to wonder on the impact of the sentence at the very end: “However, providing client data to foreign authorities would itself constitute a criminal offence under Swiss law“. This than gives rise to the question how these changes are enforced. More important, the sentence implies that providing client data to local authorities is an option, and what they do with it, is not covered here, but it is an interesting question to consider.

The second article, which also came from the Guardian discusses more HSBC issues in ‘HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-files-expose-swiss-bank-clients-dodge-taxes-hide-millions), so is this High School of Business Concealers a real bank? Well, that is a moral question not a scientific one. This is where we see more ways to get a case of the giggles. “The Swiss arm, the statement said, had not been fully integrated into HSBC after its purchase in 1999, allowing “significantly lower” standards of compliance and due diligence to persist“, so if we consider the leak by Hervé Falciani, which happened in 2007, considering the fact that the Swiss bank had been acquired in 1999, the simple question ‘Were banking executives allowed to sit on their hands for 8+ years?‘, the question might seem unfair, but no alignment in a bank that was until doing 78 billion seems very odd to me. It almost sounds like a trial in equity. “Yes, sir, I have washed my hands of everything and I have made very certain that I am not being kept in the loop for anything“, might make for interesting academic considerations, but so is the story of the Mayfair prostitute with her Hymen intact (the moral is that neither is realistic).

When you read on you will see the sentence “We have opened a company account for him based in Dubai“, so is the interest of HSBC moving towards additional banks? That question is not asked and should some consider asking Lord Green (who was group Chairman of HSBC in those days), they are unlikely to get any answer.

It is so interesting to see the HSBC onslaught all over the Guardian, but this is not just about that event. It is also nice to see how last weekend, Yahoo reported on how the Swiss Franc is boosting business in German brothels, so in the end at least one party is getting screwed (the question is who of course). Weirdly enough, the Telegraph has a passable view written by Peter Spence (yes, I am surprised too). The end has the quote that mattered in my view “What has happened in Switzerland might be a sideshow compared with larger global players, but is illustrative of a world in which central banks are increasingly looked to for answers“, I am not sure whether this is entirely correct. There is a difference between incorrect and wrong, and this one skates on two sides, you see, the mess, which I discussed in ‘A seesaw for three‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/18/a-seesaw-for-three/) is still at the heart of this, there is a credit swap in play with many governments in play, it is a global dance act which includes the US, Japan and the bulk of the EEC nations, as tax havens are now under scrutiny, the people using them are looking for options, some will make a deal, but the larger part will be looking for an alternative, I reckon that the Swiss have been very aware with the move of those HSBC accounts and the question is not just where those 70% moved to, but who else will be moving sooner rather than later. When you consider that, we see the picture as it reshapes the issue. The Swiss are holding on for dear life and at some point the Franc will lose some of its value, but as this happens, we will also see a currency destabilisation. That part is seen (in my personal view) as Switzerland is no longer playing the ‘offset’ game for other loans, which means that the game will transfer to other shores, but which shores will they move to? That part is not a given, but when we see how new players are now willing to become a member of the banking secrets. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia would only need to adopt two rules in their banking laws (if they have not done so already).

  1. Providing client data to foreign authorities constitutes a criminal offence.
  2. Personal wealth can be declared via the bank, who will charge a fee of n% (where it is likely that n < 5).

After that, both the Oval office and Buckingham palace can kiss any chance of those taxable billions goodbye, which could spell a massive exodus from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey towards sandier shores, which will hurt the Commonwealth beyond expectations. All this started from the wrong viewpoint from the very beginning, the US became reckless on how it dealt with its 18 trillion in debt by going after non-taxed fortunes from American account holders, this drive (supported by many) started a new fire and now that the flames are getting higher, those avoiding taxation are moving to shores where not only is taxation an almost impossibility, it will also limit the other acts done by both the US and the EEC to keep their currencies high, which is an act that will backfire to some extent for a longer period of time.

Personally, I am all for holding the wealthy tax accountable; we all have to pay our taxation. Yet, at present, in this economy, we are now chasing those cars, whilst we have no parking lot, so even if one is caught, what to do with this person? The US, Greece, the UK and a few others should have seriously changed certain laws half a decade ago; this mess would not have been so complete. The fact that this hunt is so visible at present gives also pause for that what we do not see. Yes, we see that the US added 257,000 jobs in January, but how many are not shown as we also see that RadioShack is filing for bankruptcy this week with over 4,000 shops expected to close (2,000 went to sprint). A host of Shale gas companies will go the same way, whilst the mountain of companies going under in the oil and gas sector is a lot larger than many can fathom. These events have a clear bearing on the banks too. Shale gas operations, oil platforms, all these places will get hit and it will affect many banks who held onto debts with the certainty that black gold brought, now there is no blame here, yet the consequence of persecuting tax dodgers will also come with another negative boost as a league of them will move to the Arabian shores, when that happens, the little stability the Euro and the US dollar had, will go straight out of the window.

Here is the kicker, no matter how wrong the expression ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is seen in light of the tax dodgers, we must wonder how much lower the coming negative financial waves would have been if the hunt for the tax dodgers would have been delayed. In the end, it was not a solution to not go after them, but the timing truly sucks. This situation translates to governments getting kicked in the head, just as they had just accidently stumbled through no fault of their own. Yet in all this, Greece has made ZERO clear steps in dealing with its own tax dodgers, so where to go next? More questions are to follow, but I am not sure if there will be ANY answers forthcoming as it seems that three parties have painted themselves in the corner, whilst the fourth was not in the room at all, in addition these four parties aren’t even clearly communicating with each other, their only goal is to meet their own needs whilst three cannot move and the fourth can’t get into the room, one would offer the thought that a mere pre teenager would have done a better job of it all. I am not sure if I could disagree.

 

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