Tag Archives: WMD

Short Sighted Dangers

For those who have an easy time not remembering things, we need to start to take them back to 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives with an infamous silver coloured briefcase, and no one knew what was in it. It was evidence of Iraq and the fact that they had Weapons of Mass destruction. The Guardian, on June 2nd of that year give us: “The Bush administration, under increased scrutiny for failing to find Saddam Hussein’s arsenals eight weeks after occupying Baghdad, yesterday confronted the damaging new allegations on the misuse of intelligence to bolster the case for war“, in all this, under Prime Minister Tony Blair Operation Telic gave rise to 182 fatalities in the UK armed services (2003-2011). Proof of the existence of WMD’s were never shown, there have been stories on both sides of the camp on WMD and in the end, it all remained speculation and conjecture from unreliable forces. The most fitting (possibly wrong) view became, the UK went to war on intentionally bad intelligence. From my personal view it should have been simple and clear. There would have been the mere need to show one clear functional missile filmed by the associated press stating something like: “Here is a Weapon of Mass Destruction, it was captured at [whichever location] by [whomever was there] under command of [some big bird in charge], now let’s talk to this commander on the find!“, it would have been the simple justification, that message never came and speculation and conjecture on a war that was started under the most weird of circumstances might have been justified, that moment never came.

So when the Guardian gives us ‘Rudd’s refusal to publish full report into extremist funding ‘unacceptable’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/12/uk-terror-funding-report-will-not-be-published-for-national-security-reasons), you could see the issue that history is about to repeat itself. Now, for the most we see all kinds of valid arguments, yet in all this, the one element missing is still the element in the Pork Pie in the making.

The quote “But the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said the move was based on national security and claimed that the full report contained sensitive and detailed personal information” is actually the one that matters the least, the colourful honourable Rudd would be quite correct in setting certain premises on visibility and for that she is not getting into trouble. It is the top line setting, when we see “The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from – leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK.” is the most important one and it came from Caroline Lucas, which makes sense on several levels. As co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, she was hitting the nail on the head. Interesting how Tim Farron just did not have seemingly has a clue in this instance (regarding the news info I could find). You see, the entire Qatar situation is linked to all this. The UK will be partially depending on what Germany finds and more important, all the information they might be unable to find, or in the end will not report on. In this the entire Turkey escalations as it enters a place and theatre of War they basically have no place to be in, this all links and the clarity of the report as to the original of the funds has bearing on this. In light of “Some extremist Islamist organisations “portray themselves as charities to increase their credibility and to take advantage of Islam’s emphasis on charity”, and are vague about both their activities and their charitable status, it said“, there should be an increased need to give rise and visibility to the sources. When we see “Instead, there is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this government’s trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full” there is a rising stress point on how to find a way to work with legitimate governments, so as such there is a clear need to see if there are false pears in the apple bag. The issue becomes larger with “For a small number of organisations with which there are extremism concerns, overseas funding is a significant source of income. However, for the vast majority of extremist groups in the UK, overseas funding is not a significant source.” This makes the statement an optional interpretation in more than one way (read: the intelligence community loves their ambiguity). In the end, it seems to imply that as extremist groups rely massively on ‘donations‘, there is either not enough data or there is clear evidence that the UK charities are merely a minimal contributor at best. Which is pretty much as good as it gets, to be a zero donator is pretty much a non-option and the fact that donations might not even get to a 4 figure number implies that one spare part of a rifle is the best any extremist group could hope for, in addition the UK groups don’t seem to be getting any interesting level of cash. Yet that does not give rise to the value that is set towards the creation of Lone Wolves in the UK, yet in that there is absolutely no clue whether the intelligence community has even close to a comprehension how those streams go, how the funding and recruitment goes and where to look for decent quality intelligence (or how to obtain it). As I have seen it (to the smallest degree), it seems to me that short term radical pamphlets to see who reacts is as good as it gets at one University in Sydney. This creates the situation that their luck would likely run out long before they become an actual threat. The nice thing about the island of Australia is that those wannabe’s really have no place to run to and it gives rise that an Island like the United Kingdom (significantly smaller in size) they could have less options. As the Straits Times is just now reporting that the Qatar crisis not resolved, we see that the centre stage is now for US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will now try to find new solutions in the events that are still escalating. Do you not think that the mention of sources could have been a little help in keeping the conversation going? The mention of clear Qatar involvement or absence of it would have made a large impact. In equal measure any evidence of the use of banks in Riyadh might have had another impact altogether, the need for Saudi Arabia to consider the overhaul of certain banking policies (something the US has been desperate for, for some time now), all elements that could diffuse certain pressures. So as we see “UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan told reporters during a visit to Slovakia that Tillerson’s visit was unlikely to resolve the row. “I think it will ease tensions, but it’s just postponing the problem, which will grow in the future.” In a joint statement issued after Tillerson and his Qatari counterpart signed their counter-terrorism pact on Tuesday, the four states called the accord inadequate.” We see no reason that there was anything wrong on the decision that the Honourable Amber Rudd has taken, yet the added information of sources could really impact on a few levels the issues to address or reinforce the term of ‘inadequate accord‘. With additional Turkish troops arriving in Doha, the pressure will go up, because a room full of powder kegs it merely takes one spark and the chance of that spark increases with every additional element in that equation. a threat that does not grow linear, but exponentially. So how does that support the need to keep certain facts hidden? Consider that one element in the summary gives rise to a relief of pressures, the question from Caroline Lucas could soon be the topic of debate in several places in London, and should the powder keg go boom, that debate could become toxic for several key government players soon thereafter.

Yet in all this Qatar is also sending different waves, as owners of Al-Jazeera, we now see (at http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/uae-slams-al-jazeera-for-anti-semitism-inciting-hate-1724062) that there are issues escalating that give rise to several issues to those opposing Qatar. The subtitle gives the one side with ‘The United Nations has warned that demands that Qatar close Al-Jazeera by a rival Saudi Arabian-led alliance, which includes the UAE, violate basic freedoms‘, yet in the article we see the statement by United Arab Emirates’ state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, when we see presented facts regarding spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi : “he added, had “praised Hitler, described the Holocaust as ‘divine punishment’, and called on Allah to ‘take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people… and kill them, down to the very last one’“, so when we see that, we see that this all is fuelling even more pressures and as the Muslim Brotherhood is seen as the extremist group it has shown to be in Egypt as well as an openly voicing enemy of the State of Israel, the evidence counter is moving against Qatar. It seems to me personally, that in this present state of affairs, to give rise to the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood, whilst there are plenty of other options (read: less radical ones), Al-Jazeera is either biting the hand that fed them from birth, or that the Qatari government should have had better reigns on those who are in charge of Al-Jazeera. It seems to be a mess that is currently not in favour of Qatar, no matter how you slice it (read: as shown by the western media). It also gives visibility to another part that another Guardian article gave us with “Noura al Kaabi, the UAE minister responsible for media regulation, told the Guardian the station had given a platform to “some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world” and needed to be subject to new and externally-monitored editorial controls“, a view pretty much all parties but one will agree with at present. The final part from the UAE minister is shown with: “Al-Kaabi questioned the value of the memorandum. “We have lost trust with the government of Qatar,” he said. “The difficulty is that it is one thing to sign an agreement, but the true test is whether it is ever enforced. An agreement is not an agreement if it is not honoured.”“, this shows that the work that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has cut out for himself is becoming increasingly more difficult soon enough; this reflects back to the overseas funding report, the inclusion of the foreign sources in the summary could give Rex Tillerson the indication that there is either a more intense problem within Qatar, or that there might merely be the issue with some aspects of Al-Jazeera. That difference is the difference between a possible short term resolution or the beginning of a long term consequence, that evidence (if regarded as such) could give rise the second part as Turkey would be forced to take a clear step in one way or another, which would limit the actions of Iran, all optional changes to the absence of one element in a partially classified report. In this I do hope that the Honourable Amber Rudd takes heed from the 2003-2011 partial fiasco that brought the loss of 182 fatalities, because if this powder keg does go, the list of casualties might become a lot higher and not just for the UK, which in turn will give rise to additional escalations in directions no one has any clue on how far that would go.

And remember, in this instance a point of view is merely a vantage point for those seeking an advantage, there is growing overwhelming bias on nearly all fronts, the question that many cannot answer is ‘Which one is based on ambiguity and which can be met with academic scrutiny?’ This is a question that I myself find unable to answer, merely because the original source has been edited out in more than two occasions.


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Two sides of a political nature

The NOS (source: www.nos.nl ) is again inspiration to today’s blog. The Dutch television mentioned two articles that have bearing on this. The second one is about Syria, so you the reader will probably have your own views. The first one is an important one, yet, it might at present not be on your radar.

A scandal hit Dutch politics as the Chairman of the First room. A position that is comparable to speaker of the house in the US or the speaker of the House of Lords in the UK has resigned. His position must be one of pure neutrality. A position that came into question in an article by the newspaper called ‘the Volkskrant’ (translated: The People’s paper). In that article he was quoted to have stated that keeping a politician out of the procession during the Royal inauguration was in the back of his mind. That is regarded as a huge ‘no no’ and as such, to prevent escalation, he resigned his position as speaker of the house.

This is not about former speaker Fred de Graaf. It is about a certain approach to certain political parties. You see in the 90’s there was the CP (Centrum Party). This was an ultra-right movement with such an outspoken disdain for that what did not fit, that they made the Ku Klux Klan look like a social moderate organisation. Yes, they are that extreme. Whenever its speaker ‘JanMaat’ spoke out, politicians would walk away, not debate, just remain silent. I always regarded that as an utter mistake. Political scientists told me on how good the approach was, how the wind was taken away from his sails. Yet, as he was allowed to speak unchallenged a fearful thing happened, people accepted his words to some extent. He gained 3 seats in parliament (Dutch version of the House of Commons). Finally someone woke up and they started to debate issues and of course, that resulted in the Centrum Party losing all three seats in the following elections 4 years later. Silence is NOT golden!

Following that event a new party came, the name was ‘Leefbaar Nederland’ (translated as ‘Liveable Netherlands’). This was led by a person named Pim Fortuyn. This was nothing like the Centrum Party! Mr Fortuyn was a person of Charisma, he was a true politician and he was an excellent speaker. The issue was that there were similarities. The platform still had ‘full=full’ in a central position. You see, the Netherlands is not that large. In the US it is only slightly larger than Maryland (30%), and Tasmania Australia is 50% larger than the Netherlands, a nation with 17 million, making it one of the densest populated nations on the planet. He had a few radical (read politically incorrect idea’s) those messages do not matter. What was the issue, was the fact that his charisma gave him ten times the following the Centrum Party ever had. In the end Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by a person who was regarded as mentally unstable and an environmental activist. It became a source for years of conspiracy theories.

Now we have Mr Geert Wilders of the PVV (Party for freedom). Mr Wilders visited Australia, which in its own was quite the show as the Australians rebelled against such an extreme politician. The last one has been active in the Dutch House of Commons. An interesting event was that he was denied entrance in the UK. When he did travel via Heathrow with reporters he was detained, only to be shipped back on the next plane.

It seems to me that Geert Wilders is to some extent ignored in political circles. The danger here is that this man is no Mr Janmaat of the CP. This man is highly intelligent and a decent speaker. He is also a lot stronger political muscle then the previous two politicians. Not engaging him has strengthened him, and as such his party now has 10% of the seats in the Dutch House of Commons. It could be debated that as he is a strong speaker going up against him would have a risky factor for anyone debating him as he can be ruthless.

So the question becomes, why are politicians so easy to choose the ignore option to fight the values they and many others detest? Is that not a showing of cowardice? If we are truly vested in not allowing a growth of right wing extremities to grow into political houses, then ignoring is not a solution. If you think that we are all in a better place, think again. Look at the statistics of poverty and unemployment rates then consider that we are close to the levels that we had in the times leading up to WW2. That was the beginning of a group that held a great power to politically manipulate in the past. To see that part escalate, read on below where we look at Syria.

As history is to repeat itself, we see a growing fear of returning events of escalations. Syria has according to the evidence engaged the use of Chemical weapons on a small scale. The body count has surpassed 150 (dying of the effects of chemical warfare) and now several parties are under agreement that the straw that broke the camel’s back had been delivered. A coalition which currently contains France and UK, with the US now ready to join ranks has put their foot down. We have seen the consequences, we have seen the movies and medical evidence, yet the Russians are not convinced (in a state of denial). When we look at Chemical warfare, we see a weapon of Mass Destruction. So did the Press speak to people like Oznobistchev, Saveliev and Arbotov? Are they not supposed to be experts in the area of WMD? So did the press get to them, or was there a health statement of laryngitis by Director Bortnikov? #JustSaying. The issue is not just the Yay or Nay. It is that again we have two sides. The Russian side, delivering S-300 missiles to Syria and there is the other side. I have no issue with Russia delivering the hardware. It is legitimate hardware and no matter how we feel, the sovereign ruler of a nation bought a defensive weapon system for its country. In all honesty I must confess that at 3% commission, selling missiles at 250 million per system looks appealing. Charging that much for a weapon system that the Russians took off the market in 2012? I’d sell that! One must always be ready to pay the tailor, and Saville Row is slightly costly. Those systems are not used to deploy chemical weapons, but they will stop those who want to stop them. Where is this going?

This re-reads like the beginning of another Vietnam. One goes one corner, one goes the other (music by: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes). This is the level of high stakes poker we currently cannot afford to play. This is likely to have repercussions on all levels. From the previous part one could come to the conclusion that politicians prefer to evade. That might actually be less of an option. This is because larger players now have their ego at stake. The issue is not them, as whatever escalates will be far from their bedrooms. The issue is now quickly becoming Jordan AND Israel, as they both will get caught in the middle. Jordan already has rising issues as the Syrian population is running for their lives, straight into the arms of Jordan’s dwindling resources. It will also raise risks for Israel as HAMAS and their allies will see this as an option to really light the tinderbox.

So what can we do to solve this? Well, what if we can get info from another party? Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan was/is a member of the WMDC (weapons of mass destruction commission). This all affects his country one way or another. What are his views? Has he seen any evidence? I think that this is more about settling the Syrian war. Settling that war can never succeed if we do not bolster stability in the region overall.

I believe that when, not if that stability fails, America will not need to worry about finding Lone-Wolf terrorists. There will be every chance that people from Morocco to Egypt will rush to enlist with Al-Qaeda, a scenario no one wants.

I fear that some have lost sight of that. There is too much smoke and the wrong people are calling to push buttons, whilst they are not at risk at all.

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