Tag Archives: United Nations Security Council

Update to include monsters

I was thinking of some of the old games I used to play, especially one I never mastered. The game was released in 1985; I played the Atari ST edition. The game was called ‘Balance of Power‘ and it was basically the east versus the west and through the interface you could interfere (take control of) the balance of power between east and west. In the end I got overly comfortable to the expression “You have ignited a nuclear war. And no, there is no animated display of a mushroom cloud with parts of bodies flying through the air. We do not reward failure“, yes diplomacy was never my forte. There was an update 5-10 years later when the 1990 edition was launched, I never played that edition.

I believe that the world is ready for a true update of that game. When we add the atrocities by Turkey only a few days ago, when we add the Khashoggi debacle and the impact of social media and spin doctors at the heads of media outlets we see that the world has changed to a much larger degree and the impact of what actually could happen is perhaps worthy of a new game. We need to see and play with the impact of ISIS minded forces as political parties play with the impact on a global stage. The fact that the USA is no longer a real superpower and the fact that the treasury of Saudi Arabia, the consumer base of India as the technology footing of China are much larger influences than foreseen; we get to debate a much larger spectrum of what the balance of power looks like. I believe that when the people see the impact of these elements, we see that the world reshapes almost like some Sim City version with larger repercussions. When we consider the global powers of Google and Facebook we see that the game of world politics gets filtered by economic markers. The evolution of what was once regarded as the ‘Balance of Power‘ is optionally now the stage for a larger form of balance (or is that a forum of balance) staged in a collection of seesaws where one resets the balance of two others. the old balance of power staged on the bear and eagle are outdone, less valid, the entire proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran clearly shows that and the impact of the media as they filter the news is also a larger impact and we have never been able to truly look at the impact there is, hence the idea of a new Balance of power, optionally called: ‘the Power to balance powers‘, the optional new truth that Turkey is the fourth power to instigate multiple genocides (America as it degraded the population of Native American tribes to zero, as well as the Catholic powers who removed well over a dozen civilisations, and Russian combined actions in 1931 and 1932) is something we need to consider in a much larger scope.

It is this stage where we look at the news and we are confronted with ‘The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin‘, I have no way of seeing how this plays out, but there will be larger repercussions on many stages. It is time that the youth takes a serious look at the large issues that their parents are dumping on their doorstep, we need to figure things out and it is time that this is done out in the open, no longer hidden behind a screen of media filters and silencing diplomatic teams as they are trying to remain ‘non-accountable’ towards actions chosen.

The problem is not merely that we ignore the actions; the larger stage is that all kinds of ‘compromises’ are being made for the long term and the next generation needs to learn what those repercussions are and I believe that the right video game could do this. The previous generation was apparently taught that evil should never be allowed to win, yet 25 years after WW2 we all became complacent and we thought that evil was gone, evil never is and we all have optionally become part of evil as we condone the actions of many, hide behind the shallow needs that social media offers and we remain unaware as the news is decided by the wealthy (read: corporations) as they became the shareholders, stake holders and advertisers; they get to tell the media and the news what is important, what is filtered out. That is the stage where the balance of power can educate a lot of people just how dangerous our status is at present, not dangerous as if a war comes, we are beyond that, I mean dangerous as we have set the stage for multiple generations of anger, hatred and feelings of revenge, and a growing lack of tolerance towards one another. It is almost like a 4 seat seesaw and each of these seats is the balancing point for another seesaw, it becomes a game of trying to stay balanced, it also means that there is a lack of movement available, which implies that some parties will be about claiming actions when none (or that specific one) was not available.

when we see the media, we are pushed to the question ‘What is the omitted Information that Remains Missing?‘, this is a spin on two levels, the first is ‘Which question should have been asked?’, which brings us to ‘Has a quote or testimonial been taken out of context?‘ this is harder to answer, but it is an influence, which gets influenced by: ‘Is someone approaching the issue from a different set of values?‘, as well as the stated answers ‘Are the claims supported by well-done research as well as based on reliable sources?‘ and that is the foundation for merely looking at the media how it filters information, the entire stage becomes a much harder game to program, yet should it not be done because of that?

And that is all before we get to the political and diplomatic stage on “If the answer is not helpful, can we change the question to make it so?” these two elements interacting in media causes all kinds of communication (read: presentation) issues whilst both sides remain intentionally ignorant to the equation. The next generation needs to be educated on what a mess this generation is creating. That part is seen (only in part) with: ‘12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia‘ (source; NY times), with the quote “The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times“, which was set to events on May 5th 2019, many newspapers gave that information when it happened, the repeat from the NY Times gives us the quote “Russia’s position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has shielded it from scrutiny and made United Nations agencies reluctant to accuse the Russian Air Force of responsibility“, this is important as the United Nations Security council is now presented as an umbrella that offers a shield from actions it was supposed to stop, a stage we knew existed, but not to the degree we see now.

So when we see the NY Times quote: “Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital in southern Idlib Province served around 200,000 people before being destroyed in a Russian airstrike on May 5” which comes with assisted high resolution graphics of 40 mega pixels or better whilst we look at the exploding hospital, we wonder how lucky that photographer was, or perhaps someone knew in advance what would happen, we are left with too many questions and no real explanation that fits the morality and values within us.

It is becoming more and more important that we see the world as it is now being pushed by the monsters among us, we like to set the stage to merely Iran, Turkey, ISIS and Hezbollah, yet the real monsters are the ones claiming to fight the atrocities and in the end merely facilitate to it, it goes beyond the wear events, the technological feats we see in regards to 5G is also a global impact, and we can go on and on on all the events that are part of the stage, and it would soon become too complex. Perhaps that too would be the strength on any new version of ‘Balance of Power‘ the fact that too many issues are intertwined for several reasons. Yet when we add greed to the mix, the game becomes awfully transparent, add to that the actions by some making claims that they cannot prove; the created stage of carefully phrased denials, all out in the open and when we ask specifics we are left with half-baked answers that are not answers at all. This is a part that plays a role in all this, we seem to forget that governments have a duty to properly inform us, yet in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues. It is almost an applied variation from Mark M. Lowenthal ‘Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy‘, the application of stages towards the drive of any policy (governmental or not) is also baked into the media and is subject to what we are allowed to see. Consider that impact, as well as the impact of data on the whole, it might become a massively complex new game, yet when we are able to show the impact of these elements to the people, we would optionally get a much more informed person, one who ends up asking the right questions, the questions that politicians, CEO’s and CFO’s fear. When that part comes out in the open, we get a first stage to truly fix things.

Yet with my sense of humour, we should make a lot more space to include the stages that Darrell Huff introduced us to when we were given ‘How to Lie with Statistics‘, and this gets us to today, we know that the balance of power is not merely what we have, what we get and how we get there. There is an internal stage where political power is also set to the stage of people in jobs (as enabled consumers) that was proven ages ago. Yet how that stage is managed is an entirely different matter. the pushed stage where enablers, facilitators and consumers become the ‘have group’ the rest will be the ‘have not’ group.

As we got told today (source: the conversation), we see this stage in Australia, “Centrelink generally requires evidence of looking for 20 jobs per month in order to keep receiving Newstart“, that sounds fine in theory, yet in the applied practice we see that the job search government links to a job search collector, whilst the seeding player of this group is another matter. So when we look at IT jobs in Sydney we see: ‘594 jobs with 715 positions‘, with the largest bulk (over 90%) being Adzuna, yet the reviews from some are stating that this source is riddled with ‘scam’ mentions, as well as overly positive claimed stages. There is a larger issue afoot and there is not enough scrutiny, even as the people can go to really valid places like Indeed, LinkedIn and Jora; the choice we see in the governmental site calls for question of scrutiny.

Why on earth did I mention that?

We see that the balance of power is set to what is done and what can be achieved, yet when we are confronted with a stage that is not available or realistic, how will we interact? When we are set in a stage of age discrimination on a stage where our issues are not heard, or set in a long winded stage of registration where the IT parts fails too often, the government gets to optionally report that no complaints were received. In Australia the mess with Centrelink data matching, the failing Biometrics Identification Services, the UK failures on IT in the NHS and the list goes on where the costs keeps on adding billion after billion, that directly impacts a government, its budget and its waning options, very much issues on a larger scale and the claim we see with “aggressive ICT outsourcing has led to agencies being left at the mercy of external vendors“, whilst there is no proof that growing the internal options would not have resolved the issue. It is a stage where corporations have a hold over the government, pushing cheaper solutions (another reference to age discrimination get pushed to the backbench and no solutions come forward. this is a direct application of the earlier mentioned ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, which in the application of the Balance of Power means that corporations have a much larger option to disable or limit government actions. That is what the impact of corporatocracy is. In the original games there was no real corporatocracy, nowadays there is. The US is perhaps the strongest example and the impact we see in the FDA and DEA (see yesterday’s article) as well as the ATF limited through the powers of the NRA and by corporations addressing attachments to governmental needs we see a larger impact of where governments show limitations on the world stage.

Yes, the entire game has become a lot more complex which in the end leads us to the question, is any application of the ‘Balance of Power‘ still actual and realistic? That is partially seen in 2013 when the NY Times gave us: “Eight major companies, led by Google and Microsoft, are calling for tighter controls on surveillance of their customers’ data by governments“, yet the opposite was never put in place, the existence of Cambridge Analytics, the application of selling consumer data as well as the abuse of data collection through apps has never been stopped. We get all kinds of options to market through mined data giving a larger rise to corporatocracy, whilst the media remains silent on the dangers of corporatocracy. So when we see ‘This is what happens when corporations run the government‘ (Washington Post, March 2019) and ‘Australia’s march towards corporatocracy‘ (the conversation Feb 2017) we see merely two mentions on Google search page one, whilst he situation set the stage that there should have been dozen of clear mentions and investigations, yet the media seemingly have almost zero mentions, how is that? I think that there is a clear stage where corporations do not want to see any mention if possible and as I mentioned earlier ‘in the listing from government, through corporations to media to the viewer, we forget that there are three iterations of information, all bound by their own personal issues‘, and here we see how ‘through corporations to the media‘ is directly inhibiting exposure. The Balance of Power would be an awesome game if we can incorporate it into a new game, especially when we see how the media and corporations make sure that a lot of the information will not be shown, active censorship in nations that proclaim freedom of speech and freedom of expression, when you own the printing house you get to tell the people what they care about, we apparently forgot about that small part again and again.

It is the beginning of a rigged game where the next generation gets to pay for the screw ups of the current generation, feel free to ignore or deny that, yet when we consider the US with a debt of $21 trillion, the EU has around € 10.1 trillion and on a global scale we see that the Global debt had reached an all-time high of $184 trillion in January 2019, we see that the Balance of Power is a term that has become debatable, a stage where banks are basically in charge, limiting or directing the options that any government is allowed to consider. The original game never anticipated that reality, but there you have it. John Perkins tried to inform the audience with ‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004)’, yet even after Berrett-Koehler published it, gaining an instant bestseller, whilst the major U.S. media refused to discuss Confessions or the fact that, because of it, terms such as “EHM” and “corporatocracy” were now appearing on college syllabi. A stage where the media claiming to advocate freedom of speech, whilst we see that its absence is allegedly corporation controlled, a direct (still alleged) piece of evidence showing that whatever balance of Power we envision, when it is set to nations and governments we get less than 50% of the players in view, making a larger injustice to the people.

In this, I wonder who exactly the real monsters are; are they identified by the acts of nations like Turkey, Iran and North Korea, are they the acts by organisations like ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas, or are the corporations and the media they control a lot less innocent in all this. Will the next generation be ready for what we, the current generation have facilitated for?

I honestly do not know.

 

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Hezbollah, an ignored danger

It has been around for a while. There has been a clear view on how we perceive things, it is in part fuelled by the media and in part through governments that use the flim flam artist approach of ‘watch here‘ whilst the action has been ‘there‘. We have seen a larger growth of anti-Semitic and even anti-Saudi ‘presentations’ and articles. Even though there has been a clear issue with several sides towards the ‘unnatural ending’ of Jamal Khashoggi, the media was way too eager to merely use Turkish innuendo, whilst to a larger extent no verifiable evidence has been produces, even some of the claims have been contradictive. This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is innocent in this, but the critical questions had remained absent to a much larger degree and that too is being swept under the carpet. Yet there is a lot more in all this and it’s important to look at one of the larger puppets Hezbollah. You see, they are very much connected in all this.

Historical

For me personally there is history, I was never part of UNIFIL, yet I was part of the United Nations Security Council and I knew people who were part of UNIFIL, so when I was exposed to ”One year later, following a comprehensive operation by the institute and due to growing international attention to UNIFIL’s failures – and despite EU pressure to prolong the UNIFIL commander’s term – his term was discontinued“, as well as ““The European continent has turned into the lifeline – the oxygen line – for Hezbollah’s terrorist activities,” said Prosor. “If Germany, and then the European Union, would designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, it would suffocate part of the organization’s ability to function.” For more than a year, the institute researched and produced an investigative documentary on Hezbollah activity in Germany. The film was produced entirely in the German language and with German and international experts“, I was decently shocked. The Jerusalem Post gave us in addition: “the lack of professional background of the commander who was leading the force and his blind eye toward Hezbollah’s violations on the Israel-Lebanon border, deeming them as activities of “shepherds and hunters.”“, the fact that there was this level of complacency was just unheard of. The fact that the other media is seemingly ignoring parts of this is just way too weird. Now, we can consider that the Jerusalem Post is biased, yet when we consider both The documentary was first shown at the 2018 International Conference on Counter-Terrorism and at the presentation to the German Parliament at the end of this month, we should realise that this is a much bigger issue, in addition UN Nikki Haley publicly criticized UNIFIL at the UN, one would think that this is due more visibility then we have so far seen, and when we also see: “while it seems obvious in Israel and America that Hezbollah’s military and political arms are both sponsors of terrorism, in Europe this is not so obvious. There, they make an artificial differentiation between the military arm – a designated terrorist group – and the political arm“, It is almost like the entire IRA issues we saw in Europe in the 80’s and 90’s and whilst Europe remained cautious in regards to the IRA, it is seemingly willing to embrace the political arm of Hezbollah that is every bit as dangerous as its military counterpart.

A facilitating gravy train

There are two additional parts here. The first is less than a day old when we are ‘treated’ to: ‘Hezbollah money laundering has a ‘safe home in Germany”, again from the Jerusalem Post, that even whilst we are given “Lax German illicit terror finance policies permitted Hezbollah to run a vast enterprise to raise funds through a money laundering operation in Europe and South America. French prosecutors put 15 members of the criminal organization on trial last week in Paris. According to three German media outlets – NDR, WDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung – two of the accused men lived in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and an additional two men who were charged lived near the city-state of Bremen in northern Germany“, I could not find any references in other large media (outside of Germany and France). If they have it, it was hidden pretty efficiently. It seems to me (very speculative) is that there is optionally a growing link between the political branch of Hezbollah and the secular press as the Americans call it and that is pretty dangerous. When we consider that Hezbollah is directly engaged in Yemen, the ignoring of such events is a lot more damaging than you could imagine.

There are additional sides in this, yet most of this is given in opinion pieces, which is a factor that we must take into consideration. The first comes from the Khashoggi family (aka The Washington Post), who (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/to-rescue-yemen-the-us-must-end-all-military-support-of-the-saudi-coalition/2018/11/12/aca29358-e6ad-11e8-b8dc-66cca409c180_story.html) gives us ‘To rescue Yemen, the U.S. must end all military support of the Saudi coalition‘, now, it is a viewpoint that a person should be allowed to have. I do not think it is a realistic one, apart from the fact that ‘Houthi’ is mentioned twice and Hezbollah does not get any mention and they are both firing missiles into civilian areas of Saudi Arabia (and that is all besides the absence of Iranian activity fuelling it all). Yet the passing of a ‘blogger aficionada‘ (aka Journalist) takes front seat to a setting where that person should not really be an issue to the degree he is shown. The stage gives us “in which more than 16,000 civilians have been killed or injured“, yet the mention of 50,000+ deaths from disease, famine and other means where Houthi’s are allegedly using Hezbollah tactics does not get any mention either.

It is that filtered view that is giving light to a behind the curtains support setting to Palestine and Hezbollah. Now, to be fair, a person should be allowed to be pro-Palestinian, if people are Pro-Israel, the other should not be denied, yet Pro-Hezbollah, to be in support of a terrorist organisation is a much bigger issue and that hidden part is becoming a lot more visible, especially when the news is shown to be so unbalanced, even when it is ‘fronted’ as an opinion piece. so when we see the links (as an image), whilst it is almost all openly ‘anti-Saudi’, yet the fact that the atrocities that Houthi and Hezbollah have been largely the cause of, that absence is making the news not democratic, but a shadowy version of niche events presented as factual truth, whilst the given view on the larger scale shows this absence to be close to utterly unethical, especially for a paper like the Washington Post, whether they are now staff-1 or not.

1982 kilometres from Beirut

So how should we react to: “Even U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres submitted evidence to the Security Council that Iran was supplying ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in defiance of U.N. resolution 2231“, which links to a 2014 article, yet the truth is that this has been ongoing and even as Western Europe is puckering up towards Iran to a much larger degree, leaving the political response against Hezbollah unanswered and more important Mohammed Ali al-Houthi is not seen as the guilty party he should be seen as. It is often stated that any aspiring tyrant will consider peace on the eve of defeat and that is what we see now. Even as we are treated to ‘Arab coalition to allow Al Houthi medical evacuations from Yemen: UK‘, we also see ‘Wounded Al Houthi rebels to be evacuated‘, yet what about the 80,000 children on the brink of death due to famine? Even as some might applaud the Saudi Coalition victory, seen though: “Recent high-ranking defections among erstwhile allies of Al Houthis signal further such splits as the Iran-aligned militia suffers setbacks at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, experts said. This week, Abdul Salam Jaber, who had served as the information minister for Al Houthis, defected from the militia and fled the Al Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a for Riyadh. He said the rebels were “breathing their last”“, the biggest responsibility should be to the Yemeni civilian population in such distress through famine and disease alone. Even Deutsche Welle reported ‘Yemen Houthis seek truce with Saudi coalition‘, yet nothing on those starving to death and even as the Deutsche Welle gives us “The three-and-a-half-year-war has pitted forces loyal to President President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led bombing, against Houthi rebels associated with Tehran. Saudi-led coalition has recently intensified the bombing in the key strategic area of Hodeida. A blockade of the port city could trigger unprecedented famine“. Even as the blockade might be tactical, the fact that food has been withheld from the civilian population to a much larger degree through the Houthi whether or not employing Hezbollah tactics is also absent here.

For me the problem is a lot larger, as we clearly see the impact of Hezbollah and the absence in the media, the media is becoming less and less reliable, especially as the stories remain one sided. There is a larger part in all this. Personally I am not convinced that this is the complete picture, and I need to make it clear that this is speculative. It is my personal belief that when we consider The National (at http://www.thenational.ae) and some of its unconfirmed articles, some might have seen: ““This was no rogue operation but, rather, a function of Hezbollah’s “financial apparatus,” which “maintained direct ties” to both Hezbollah commercial and terrorist elements,” he wrote in a report published by the Washington Institute of the US Treasury designation of Nourheddine, which preceded the arrests. “Within days of this designation, Noureddine was arrested in France along with several other accused Hezbollah operatives“, as well as ‘Operation Cedar—of which the Treasury designation was just one part‘. I am amazed that the Netherlands were not more visibly mentioned in all this. It seems weird, almost unfathomable that this was all achieved without the use of Rotterdam as a point of transit. Even as transitional cargo is not really looked as, as the Netherlands was not the end destination, it is the biggest world hub in getting containers and bulk cargo from anywhere in Europe towards Asia and the US (and vice versa). This implies that Hezbollah political players are seemingly active there too. The article does mention the Netherlands, yet in a much more ‘timid’ capacity. We see: “Cash was dropped off at hairdressers in Antwerp in Belgium, a large hotel in Paris, a restaurant in Montreuil or a café in Enschede in the Netherlands. Transcripts showed that Mr Noureddine would hand out orders for the collection of as much as 500,000 euros at a time. Six figure sums were often delivered in small note denominations” and that makes sense for the German part (Enschede – Germany) is a distance you can walk (4.5 km) with a highway to Gronau, so that is a place to easily get into Germany (and the opposite direction), hundreds of containers a day take that route. when we consider the news a month ago, when the Dutch were confronted with: ‘Dutch politician praises pro-Palestinian kite show featuring Nazi symbols‘, my assumptions and speculations might be shown as correct, yet is that the actual part in that? So when the Dutch were treated to: “Rens Reijnierse, a lawmaker from the southern city of Vlissingen” and his Pro-Palestinian view “Kites at Pool Beach. Beautiful autumn day in Vlissingen. No wind so the kites won’t fly but the project for Palestine still succeeded,” he wrote” as it was tweeted gives light to not merely a Pro-Palestinian view (which should be allowed) to an optional facilitating Pro-Hezbollah view (a speculative view by me), which is another matter entirely, if that would prove to be true, and even as I mention one person, I am convinced that the anti-Semitic vandalism as shown 6 months ago in Amsterdam was recorded to have risen by 40%. From my speculative mind, there is no way that this does not include a wave of Pro Hezbollah people giving light to a much larger danger on a global scale.

The size does not matter here, the fact that the media is allegedly shuffling this part to the bottom of the news pile is an issue and the few parts I have shown here, should also give rise that the media to a much larger extent is seemingly doing this. Merely Google ‘Hezbollah‘ for the last 24 hours and I see an absence of The Guardian, The Independent, the Times, and several other large newspapers in Europe. Do you really think I was making that up? It is not merely what we see; it is what we do not get to see that shows us that there is a much larger problem. Optionally there is a hidden danger, which is nothing to speculate or allege to. Those who are not in the news are often quickly forgotten and that is the true danger that Hezbollah is representing on a global stage. You merely have to view the thousands of images that show the nightmare that Hezbollah has been part of to see the danger that they pose, the fact that Iran is willing and has been shown to fund this is the icing on the cakes of Iran and Hezbollah, the fact that the media skates around it makes the cake more delicious for both these players as they are not given the limelight of their actions.

 

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That’s entertainment

Today is a weird day, it is globally weird. You see, today billions will focus on who is getting an Academy Award, some are hoping to see the idol of their life, like Chris Hemsworth or Scarlett Johansson. Some hope that Stan Lee will be asked to hand out an Oscar and others (many ladies) are hoping to see the extravagant post fashion styles that the ladies will cloth themselves in. Among them millions of movie fans that get to see if it is the movie that they liked will win the Oscar. Now with Saudi Arabia opening cinemas in Saudi Arabia, will the MBC Group be there this year or will they start broadcasting the event next year? Another optional group of 34 million viewers in a group that currently is set to billions.

So whilst we wonder which one will become the best movie, my vote is on the Shape of Water, yet I believe the statue is likely to go to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. No matter who will win, we see that in Syria ‘forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, have captured six villages and towns bordering the besieged rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta, as hopes that a long-planned humanitarian convoy might enter the area were dashed again‘, so as we learn that the death toll of 103 since Saturday highlighted the paralysis of an international community that had demanded the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid, we need to realise that the UN and the UNSC has become nothing more than a paper tiger that has the ability to roar towards the media, but without claws and teeth, it can no longer be the legislation that bites, or the shield that scratches. Just like the Wonder Woman 1:1 figurine (at https://www.cbr.com/life-size-wonder-woman-statue/), that is for sale for $1990, pretty, nice, but basically something you can walk around and unless you have real space in your apartment space that remains wasted but for the true Wonder Woman fan. It is a shame that the once mighty organisation has lost its impact on the world, well that is how the 475,000 fatalities in Syria feel about it. Oh, no, they do not. They are dead, they no longer feel anything.

So whilst we look back on the Oscars, wondering who best actor and actress will be, I have to admit that I am clueless. I had not seen Margot Robbie, or Saoirse Ronan, but both Francess McDormand and Meryl Streep did shine in their parts, my money will this time be on the 3 billboards main character, but it is anyone’s guess, I can’t even be sure if the experts in acting can figure out who will win that one. So as we are in that part, we need to realise that Danny Danon is quoted by the Jerusalem Post (at http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UN-Ambassador-Danny-Danon-decries-UN-inaction-on-Iran-at-AIPAC-544188) to do something about Iran. Now, this is not the first time that Israel has issues with Iran. So when we see “While speaking at the AIPAC Committee Policy Conference in Washington on Sunday, Danon said it was crucial that the international community recognizes the threat Iran poses to regional stability. “It is vital that the UN focus on the real problems of the world, like Iran,” the ambassador said. “We all know just how dangerous this threat is, but the UN is wasting time and energy on votes and reports against Israel.”” we see nothing new, yet in the opposition, we see (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/03/iran-calls-on-us-europe-to-scrap-nuclear-arms-missiles.html), that Iran has a warped sense of needs. With “Iran will not negotiate over its ballistic missiles until the United States and Europe dismantle their nuclear weapons, a top Iranian military official said on Saturday“, so not China, or Russia, or India. Merely that the US and Europe dismantle is. From my point of view, the ‘top Iranian military official‘ was born stupid and the man stopped evolving after birth. Naive and stupid in one efficiently compact package, could we get it any better? So when we see “Iran says its nuclear program is defensive because of its deterrent nature“, should we consider its delivery to Yemen as a defensive posture? And what happens when the Iranians ‘accidently‘ (due to their lack of intelligence) send the wrong missile to Yemen? Will we get to see the UN representative go ‘oops!‘? I am merely asking because of the short-sighted situation here and in all this the stage of the theatres in politics and the theatres of war seem to overlap, none of them worthy of an Oscar in this particular setting, but we thank the nominees for playing their part. So whilst we saw the Paper Tiger called ‘United Nations’ in other settings, we see that the acts by the “UN Human Rights Council’s “blacklist” of Israeli and international companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights” is setting the premise in a different light. So whilst we see “a US delegation visiting the West Bank had to be rescued by Palestinian Authority policemen on Thursday after being attacked“, we see that Palestine is still demanding to be recognised by the UN, whilst still sending rockets into Israel. Some things will never change I reckon, but it is a sad state of affairs across the decades.

When it comes to the supporting acts in the Oscars, my hopes are for Sam Rockwell and Octavia Spencer, that whilst the others would be equally deserving, especially Richard Jenkins, yet in the end, we can only cast out votes once and that is how I would have voted. In that same light as the United Nations Security Council cast its vote a week ago on a Russian sponsored resolution regarding Yemen, we see that the Toronto Star reported that 55 people dies in the clash in Yemen, so whilst we see (at https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/03/01/us-senators-want-vote-to-end-support-for-saudi-arabia-in-yemen-war/), that we see ‘US senators want vote to end support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen war‘, that whilst the rightful ruler asked for the help of Saudi Arabia, in all this, where was America? Oh and where is America in regards to the Syrian war? Perhaps some will remember the attack on 21st of August 2013, so when the UN inspection got there and they confirmed “clear and convincing evidence” of the use of Sarin delivered by surface-to-surface rockets; in addition a 2014 report by the UN Human Rights Council found that “significant quantities of sarin were used in a well-planned indiscriminate attack targeting civilian-inhabited areas, causing mass casualties. The evidence available concerning the nature, quality and quantity of the agents used on 21 August indicated that the perpetrators likely had access to the chemical weapons stockpile of the Syrian military, as well as the expertise and equipment necessary to safely manipulate large amount of chemical agents“. Yet the American satellites were useless, even as they got the IMAX view with stereo sound of the speculated 1600 bodies, who all screamed a horrible death as they died, the American saw nothing, or so they say. Perhaps it is like Turkey and the Armenian genocide. They were just too worried to kick the wrong political pile, or as the NY Times stated it “A bill to that effect nearly passed in the fall of 2007, gaining a majority of co-sponsors and passing a committee vote. But the Bush administration, noting that Turkey is a critical ally — more than 70 per cent of the military air supplies for Iraq go through the Incirlik airbase there — pressed for the bill to be withdrawn, and it was” (at http://www.nytimes.com/ref/timestopics/topics_armeniangenocide.html) and Bush was not alone The Obama administration did the same with “Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power, key foreign policy advisers to Obama, say his administration was too worried about offending Turkey” (at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/armenian-genocide-ben-rhodes-samantha-power-obama-349973), pussies, the whole bloody lot of them on both sides of the isle. So as we get “As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama promised that he would formally recognize an Armenian genocide as historical fact. But as president, he passed up multiple chances to do so, including in 2015, when Armenians marked the 100th anniversary of the atrocities“, we need to recognise that recognition is no way to commerce and cash is king, especially in a bankrupt America, or so say the rulers from Wall Street. So in light of the inactions, will Hollywood make it up by making ‘Last Men in Aleppo‘ documentary of the year? I cannot tell because I did not see any of the documentaries, I do believe that Inside Job in 2010 was the last documentary I saw and that one actually gives more rise to the rumours that Wall Street is the actual ruler of America. The fact that Kim Kardashian, yes Kim Kardashian of all people who ended up bitch slapping the Wall Street Journal for denying the Armenian genocide must be the highlight for the WSJ to set in stone, sometimes the people you ignore because they are outside of ones scope of entertainment are the ones surprising you beyond belief. So as we are getting close to the start of the Oscars, as we wonder if there is going to be the crossing of dictionaries between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon, we wonder if Jimmy is going to get a few jabs in against Mrs Damon’s favourite Martian.

As we wonder whether the UN has any values left by targeting Israel whilst ignoring Iran, whilst their actions regarding Syria are unanswered and unnoticed by Syria and Russia, we also see the accusations via Haaretz (at https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/allegation-kushner-punished-qatar-resurfaces-in-mueller-probe-1.5869124), that ‘Kushner Punished Qatar for Not Investing in Real-estate Deal Resurfaces in Mueller Probe‘, where we see “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked witnesses about Kushner’s attempts to secure financing for his family’s real estate ventures, focusing specifically on his talks with people from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, NBC News said“, so even as it is about Qatar, the smallest part with ‘talks with people from Qatar and Turkey‘, so even here we see actions that involve Turkey somehow. The question becomes what did Turkey get out of it, because going back to 2001, we have seen that Turkey only acts when it (largely) benefits Turkey, a stance that cannot be faulted, but we can wonder if the other side has any business trying to do business with Turkey in the first place. so when we look at the Global Magnitsky Act (at https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/13/us-global-magnitsky-act), where we see: “In an important step for global accountability, Congress built on the original Russia-focused Magnitsky law in 2016 and enacted the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the executive branch to impose visa bans and targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world responsible for committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption. The act received widespread bipartisan support. Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, introduced a version of the bill, and five Republican senators and five Democratic senators signed on as co-sponsors. President Barack Obama signed the law on December 23, 2016“, yet as far as I have been able to find, there are no Turkish Parties in any of this, is that not odd. When we see the acts in Syria, or even closer to Turkey, the 6 journalists that have been ‘praised’ with life imprisonment, how humane has Turkey shown itself to be?

Yet in the end, we can see all this as a mere form of entertainment, there are the Oscars, we have the Raspberries where (unsurprisingly) this year the Emoji movie took a near clean sweep of all possible wins, we could get the Golden Bazooka, or the golden Rack (that device that adds 6 inches to your length in 5 minutes), is there any doubt who would win those trophies? I wonder if people would stay at home for that. Eating popcorn, watching the atrocities and voting who was the worst of the worst. It entertainment, that is how our lives are minimised and scrutinised to, because actually improving the overall state of the world might no longer be an option, in that we can see that the financial sector on a global scale removed all available funds for that endeavour.

That’s life, that’s entertainment and it is the way we now choose to live!

Through acts of inaction, shame on us!

 

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They had been warned

Only hours ago, the NY Times gives us a part that wants to makes me want to go ‘I told you so!‘, but I will not. With ‘The U.N.’s Uncomfortable Truths About Iran‘, Nikki Haley gives us the goods from a report published a week ago (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/opinion/nikki-haley-united-nations-iran.html). The quote: “A panel of experts found that Iran is violating a United Nations weapons embargo — specifically, that missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran“, part of these issues I raised in ‘Disney’s Yemeni Cricket‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/04/disneys-yemeni-cricket/) two weeks ago. The part I had not looked at is seen in Nikki’s article. She captures it perfectly in: “The mullahs in Iran don’t want to hear this news, because it proves Iran is violating its international agreement. Die-hard defenders of the Iran nuclear deal don’t want to hear it because it proves, once again, that the Iranian regime can’t be trusted. And some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N. to do something about it“. Yet, the UN is not acting, is it? The Guardian on Jan 11th gives rise to the ‘need’ that the US is not tearing up the Iranian nuclear deal. With “the three EU signatories to the deal insisted that Iran was respecting the agreement signed in 2015” they are making a reference to the UK, France and Germany. The fact that we see: “Federica Mogherini, said the deal, denounced by Trump as the worst ever made, had in reality “made the world safer and prevented a potential nuclear arms race in the region”“, which might hold some truth in regards to the fact that it was the worst deal, but that is pretty much it. In addition she gives us “any doubts the EU harboured over Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, or its overall policy of interference across the Middle East, were separate from the nuclear deal – also known as the JCPOA“. Now the part in the Guardian happened a week after the actual attack. I think that the entire event is a sham. I think that the three nations had been clearly briefed on the entire Houthi matter, as well as the fact that the three parts that Nikki Haley gives us is on par, the EU is merely in denial, because after all the wasteful blunders and failures they had signed up for, another failure is a lot more than any of the three could handle. The intelligence services did what they needed to do, but here it is again short-sighted side in all this, whilst they remain nationally protective, for now that is.

So is that true?

Well that is the issue. Apart from e not having the original texts, there are a few issues that Nikki is completely correct in, yet in the end she is not (not completely at least). When we look at United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, we see “The resolution updates and adds to the list of technical items related to nuclear and missile proliferation that are banned for transfer to and from Iran“, which makes the view of Nikki Haley correct, then there is “Iran is subject to a new regime for inspection of suspicious cargo to detect and stop Iran’s smuggling. States should inspect any vessel on their territory suspected of carrying prohibited cargo, including banned conventional arms or sensitive nuclear or missile items. States are also expected to cooperate in such inspections on the high seas“, so is this enough, can we state that the arming of Houthi’s in Yemen is a ‘smuggling operation’, or ‘a classified shipment’ in support of Houthi’s? You see, the classification is everything in this limelight.

The resolution holds a lot more, yet most of that is directed at shipments to Iran and/or nuclear materials. Yet now we get to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which makes the view of Nikki Haley wrong. Here we see: “Resolution 2231 calls for Iran to refrain from activity related to nuclear-capable missiles (“Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology“, however, the Deutsche Welle give us: “according to diplomats the language is not legally binding and cannot be enforced with punitive measures“, so basically, Nikki is in spirit very correct, yet in black letter law, there is no clarity and more important, no punitive option. In all this, we see that top EU diplomat, Federica Mogherini was correct.

In the spirit of it all, Iran seems to become a bigger player and a much larger danger to any level of Middle Eastern stability. Nikki ends the article with “Today, armed with this evidence, we have the chance to rein in Iran’s behavior and demand that it live up to its international agreements that discourage conflict. But if action is not taken, then someday soon, when innocent Saudi civilians are killed by Iranian weapons, the chance for peace will be lost.

I am not sure of that, you see, just like Turkey, Iran will do whatever it pleases and the US knows that, as did the three players (UK, France and Germany), who are desperately trying to hold on the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) like it is the golden fleece.

However, only 4 hours ago Reuters treats us to: “Britain, the United States and France want the United Nations Security Council to condemn Iran for failing to stop its ballistic missiles from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group and commit to take action over the sanctions violations, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters“, with “The U.N. Security Council has banned the supply of weapons to Houthi leaders and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction.” It can also blacklist individuals and entities for threatening the peace and stability of Yemen or hindering aid access” we see the other part the Nikki mentioned and here she is proven right. Even as Iran claims that it is fabricated, there is enough evidence, that the parts are indeed from Iranian missiles, which invalidates their side in all this. The most striking part is the part that both Nikki Haley and Reuters are giving us and that part seems to be ignored by too many. The mention of: “Some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N. to do something about it” is a much larger issue. Is it because they are unwilling to act, or has the coin toppled in the many outstanding issues in play and the UN is now unable to do anything?

That part is more important, because that means that the UN has no longer options to set issues against rogue nations like Iran, it could be a renewed signal for North Korea to do whatever it pleases as well and that could give more worries regarding stability in Far East Asia as well.

The question becomes can the situation be diffused? Should Iran comply and seize all missile shipments, it will change the Houthi field. They will not win (they never could) but a larger consideration to remove Houthi forces and start larger humanitarian aid would become increasingly more realistic. The bad side is that the Houthi’s would go underground so the humanitarian aid groups would have to deal with sabotage and armed strikes on a daily basis if no green zone can be established. That part is also no longer a real issue as we got only a few days ago that civilian life in Aden is safe, stable and calm, with all signs of life returning to normal, almost three years after diplomats and UN staff fled Aden. Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammad Al Jabir also mentioned that recent demands made by a single social strait, which later led to clashes, have been calmed and resolved. We get this from the Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper (at https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1170916/saudi-ambassador-yemen-says-arab-coalition-proved-efficiency-resolving-aden), the issue now becomes, will Iran back off, or continue in its actions to remove stability from the Middle East, that alone gives support to Nikki Haley and her view regarding Iran, If she is proving correct and Iran remains on the path they are now, we should consider that soon enough, the JCPOA will not be worth the paper it was printed on, because if Iran can play games to this extent, there will be absolutely no guarantee that Iran will not break word and move on their path to enrich Uranium, I have no doubt in that regard, the issue has been diminished to a mere when they will start, there is no longer an ‘if’ in the matter.

In my view, these matters are only increasing stresses and pressures between Israel and Iran, they were never cordial, but now they are at an all-time high on the volatility aggressive response scale and that is mainly due to the Syrian issues in play. This now gives more and more rise to the dangers of escalations and the moment this happens all bets are off. The Guardian gives us: “Emboldened by a belief that Assad is winning, Iran is turning its eyes, and guns, on Israel – or so Israeli leaders believe. Their “red lines” – forbidding a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria and the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah – are being ignored”, Another source gave us much earlier (November 2016) that “the Chief of Staff of the Iranian armed forces announced to commanders of the Iranian fleet that Iran may establish naval bases in the future far from its shores”, which was Major general Mohammad Bagheri at that point, in that address both Syria and Yemen were raised as options. Now, if this is happens in Syria the IDF would reacts and Iran will plunge the Middle East in another war, if it is in Yemen, there is every indication that this will set off the legitimate Yemeni government as well as Saudi Arabia optionally starting a war with those players, giving again full support to the views Nikki Haley gave earlier, more important, at that point any UN representative avoiding that discussion better give up their seat quick and proper as the fallout of that discussion will impact the confidence levels of the UN on an almost global scale and it again would open the door for North Korea to do whatever it pleases. A scenario that roughly 98.4% of the UN nations who are currently part of the UN will not be too happy about either.

As I personally see it, too many issues have become interconnected, it has become a mess that several nations want to steer clear off, they want to ignore it and/or they remain in denial. It would make for an excellent front page though, when the moment comes and we get to read ‘UN in denial of Iranian actions’, how will you react?

 

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Tactical choices of inactivity

I reckon that many are awaiting the events as they are unfolding currently in Syria. Will we be investing in Boeing Defence stock, should these missiles be used? (At $1.2M a pop that would mean a nice increase of revenue for Boeing). Will we change our investments in oil and gas as the Syrian situation continues?

These are the questions that matter. The hundreds of deaths because of a chemical attack do not seem to matter.

Are you wondering why I have that opinion?

Then read the BBC quote in regards to these attacks. “The United Nations Security Council said it was necessary to clarify what happened in the alleged attack, but stopped short of demanding an investigation by a UN team currently in Damascus, following an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening.” This was published on August 21st.  So there was a chemical attack and the UNSC did NOT demand the immediate investigation in regards to chemical attack deaths. The worse matter was that the bulk of the casualties were all civilians.

But where is the case of what matters?

If we look at the UNSC charter we see the following “The UN Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.

So clinically we see that they are not an issue. Peace was not an issue in Syria at all. It stopped existing well over two years earlier. The UNSC is set in a charter. They are called the “Provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council” (at http://www.un.org/en/sc/inc/pages/pdf/rules.pdf). They actually do not help that much, only to illustrate certain steps. Yet, this is about the procedures of the UNSC, this will not help at all. So where is their decision making tree? For that we need to take a look at the charter of the United Nations. I took a specific look at Chapter VII: Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression.

The premeditated crux is set in Article 45 which states: “In order to enable the United Nations to take urgent military measures, Members shall hold immediately available national air-force contingents for combined international enforcement action. The strength and degree of readiness of these contingents and plans for their combined action shall be determined within the limits laid down in the special agreement or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.

So we need to look at Article 43, which actually does not help us that much. That part is about making available troops “in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security“. I think we can agree that that part is at least two years late, and nothing here gives us a pass to start anything AFTER chemical attacks.

 

Yet we see in that same chapter that Article 51 (partially shown) states: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations” This is all very nice, but Syria is not a member state, which makes this all a little moot. In addition, this is a civil (local) war, so other member states are not in question.

So let’s take a look at ‘Customary International Humanitarian Law Volume I: Rules‘ (at http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/customary-international-humanitarian-law-i-icrc-eng.pdf).

Rule 11 states “Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited.” Ah! Now we are getting somewhere. Even the rules of war have some level of distinction, yet for the most; this is all based on the previous Article 51, as is quoted “The prohibition of indiscriminate attacks is set forth in Article 51(4) of Additional Protocol I.” Darn! I am caught in some sort of looped program. It reminds me of my very first program I wrote on the Commodore VIC-20 in 1983.

10 PRINT “You are crazy!”
20 GOTO 10
RUN

Ah! The simple old days, how I miss them at times.

The same book lists an interesting part on page 38. “several States invoked the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks in their assessment of whether an attack with nuclear weapons would violate international humanitarian law.9 When the ICRC appealed to the parties to the conflict in the Middle East in October 1973, i.e., before the adoption of Additional Protocol I, to respect the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks, the States concerned (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and Syria) replied favourably.10

9 See. e.g., the pleadings of Australia (ibid., § 65), India (ibid., § 77), Mexico (ibid., § 85), New Zealand (ibid., § 86) and United States (ibid., § 99).
10 See ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East (ibid., § 139).

Yes, I agree that a chemical attack is not a nuclear attack, yet when I was taught the elements of NBC (in army days long ago), we tended to count the Nuclear and the Chemical similar to some extent. The Biological element is one that might be considered to be one worse than that as it can continue its damage and even transcend borders.

So we can now add a look at additional protocol I, especially as Syria was one of the parties who replied favourably. As such, we could see Syria as a party that accepted these rules (to some extent).

You see, these parts underline the part as set in Rule 13 (from the IHL), which states “Rule 13. Attacks by bombardment by any method or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects are prohibited.

This my dear readers includes ANY level of chemical attack, as that form of attack that is utterly indiscriminate as well as encompassing the area as one military objective.

Taking into account these elements, why did at that point did the UNSC, as stated by the BBC in the first mentioned article “but stopped short of demanding“. The stopped short in these elements were utterly unwarranted, in my humble opinion.

Now we all watch a political runaway train disaster where politicians stop short of acting in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France await ‘evidence’ which they can deal on. The one cowboy state (the United States) would be at present the only hope the Syrian population has for now. Are these nations correct in holding of? Well, they do have a case there. However, the evidence as UN investigators were delayed, the possible evidence on how the chemical spread started. If we take the elements we have, then we need to consider the firing mechanism. That part had been made near impossible with 5 days of bombings. Yet, in all honesty, did Assad do this? The question is important for two reasons.

1. If he did not do this, was it an intentional act?
2. What other intelligence has Assad silenced?

The two are related, because the earlier fear the US had is now truly coming to fruition. If these missiles were inadvertently fired by the opposition forces, the theory I have is that as they lack military expertise, they might have known and partially learned how to fire a SCUD, but did they know about the payload? Let us not forget that many fighters are anything but military trained. Even those who had training, it is possible that they had too limited knowledge on how to work and identify these types of equipment.

The danger is that they might have found chemical payloads, so here is the danger. Al-Qaeda is currently helping the opposition forces. We now have a trained AQ with support from people lacking knowledge, and they gave AQ access to a chemical storage area. Here is where it becomes dicey! Assad knows the assets lost, he is playing high stakes poker by keeping these locations a secret. For him it is a win-win. If the opposition figures it out they have a time-bomb they cannot use. AQ will use it no matter what and preferably on Israel. Whichever of those steps happened (when they do), the world would have no option but to remove his enemy for him.

Proving that Assad did the actual firing is almost non-provable. The evidence is scattered and at best we can see that NBC components were used, but by whom is less of an option which will leave doubt.

Time is on the side of Assad and elements stopping activities to attack, whether justified or not will only strengthen Assad’s position. I can side with the politicians when they claim that they do not want another Iraq, yet when we look at the initial quote from the BBC “but stopped short of demanding an investigation by a UN team” we must more actively wonder what it would take for them to get anything done. It should be seen as tactical inactivity of the very worst kind!

 

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