Tag Archives: Yemen

Light reading

We all have those moments, when the reading gets tough, because we decided to take a stab at Umberto Eco’s the Name of the Rose, James SA Corey’s Tiamat’s Wrath or Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, we tend to require some light reading, in this I am no different, although, my choice was ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2019’ the US Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act.  It is here that I found a few items that made me wonder, I’ll merely look at one of them.

Now, the important part in all this is the fact that we need to consider what constitutes ‘a complete annual report’, I need to set it in that way, for the simple reason that the application of ‘complete’ is not always a given in some settings. This piece of light reading is set to 304 pages, so I will safe you the state of affairs in a few items and focus on an immediate issue that could be seen as a direct danger and not merely to the US.

Hezbollah, is there another one?

The US Department of State names them Hizballah and then gives us “Aka the Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong; Ansar Allah; Followers of the Prophet Muhammed; Lebanese Hizballah; Lebanese Hezbollah; LH; Foreign Relations Department; FRD; External Security Organization; ESO; Foreign Action Unit; Hizballah ESO: Hizballah International; Special Operations Branch; External Services Organization; External Security Organization of Hizballah”, OK, fair enough, they are known in several ways, so we get the entire list of references and no one will ever object to clarity. Yet then we see “In September 2018, Brazil arrested a Hizballah financier, and in December 2018, tunnels reportedly built by the group were discovered on Israeli territory along the boundary with Lebanon. In September 2019, Hizballah launched attacks directly on the Israeli military, firing anti-tank missiles targeting an army base and vehicles near the border. 

Strength: Hizballah has tens of thousands of supporters and members worldwide. 

Location/Area of Operation: Lebanon and Syria

This is all true, yet it is incomplete. The entire setting to Hezbollah in Yemen is overlooked, intentionally or not is not important. 

The first source is Reuters (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-group/saudi-led-coalition-says-hezbollah-fighters-killed-in-yemen-battles-idUSKBN1JL0YR). They give us ‘Saudi-led coalition says Hezbollah fighters killed in Yemen battle’ in June 2018 “Forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition have killed eight members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in Yemen in battles with the Iran-aligned Houthis, the coalition said on Monday. Hezbollah officials could not immediately be reached for comment.” In addition we see ‘Yemen’s Houthi rebels raise nearly $300,000 for Hezbollah’ in 2019 and the entire setting continues until deep into 2020. As I personally see it, the Area of Operation has been proven (via several sources) to include Yemen and that is overlooked. In 2019 there are over half a dozen sources giving us news of Hezbollah in Yemen, I see that as a massive reason for actions and identification, especially as several sources name Hezbollah as the trainer/co-operating partner in the missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

It gets to be worse if some sources can be trusted (unchecked), When we see ‘Hezbollah Isn’t Just in Beirut. It’s in New York, Too. The trial of a senior operative reveals the extent of the terrorist organization’s reach in the United States and Canada.’ We need to equally question “But last month, the criminal prosecution and conviction in New York of the Hezbollah operative Ali Kourani revealed disturbing new information about the extent of Hezbollah’s operations and activities in the United States and Canada.” The issue is as I see it a lot larger, it is not enough that they are recognised as a terrorist force, yet the lack of mentions of their activities outside of the Middle East in 2019 is a rather large factor, especially if their activities in the US, Canada and Europe were published by media sources. The British newspaper ‘the Telegraph’ (OK, not the greatest reliable source) gives us ‘Europe has not faced up to the threat of Hizbollah’ with the added text “Iran’s primary terrorist proxy group, Lebanese Hizbollah, has been deploying operatives to Europe for many years.” We can add text after text, yet the question in all this becomes, why is the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2019’ incomplete? As I personally see it, it is an ‘incomplete annual report’, all this whilst this year there are added factors, that give rise to the fact that the Houthi forces as well as Hezbollah has been firing drones and missiles on civil targets in Saudi Arabia making them a much larger threat and optionally the proven threat that Israel has always claimed them to be. 

Light reading or not, when the item is set to complete, I say, it is not. I wonder if I am the only one claiming this and the only one claiming that Hezbollah is a much larger problem than the US Congress is being made aware of. I wonder why?

Country-Reports-on-Terrorism-2019-2

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What others decide

We see it every day, there is a side that withholds resources, because it is theirs to do so, and there is a side where people decide to keep resources away from others for reasons like margins, profit and needs. They are at times not nice decisions, but the decision was theirs to take, at times we have to accept that. Now we need to consider what the wisdom is in keeping information away from us. Not intelligence, that is up to those grim boffins to decide on, butthe events that have taken place and the news decides to not inform us, so what is the wisdom there and how does that reflect on them? 

ABC seemingly does not inform us, yet the BBC gives us ‘France’s ancient burial brotherhood’, Reuters has no mention of it as far as I can tell, yet the BBC gives us ‘What will clothes shopping look like’, and as I mention the BBC a few times, they have nothing either.

It is Al Jazeera that gives us ‘Saudi-led coalition says it destroyed missile targeting Najran’. The news 17 hours old gives us that Houthi forces are still targeting Saudi civil population and the people in charge of bolstering peace (or so they claim) are seemingly making sure that this news does not reach us. In that news given to us we get the words from the coalition spokesperson Turki al-Malki gives us the part that the missile was launched from Saada, all factual given. What Al Jazeera does not give us (for decent reasons) is that there is still uncertainty how much support the Houthis get from Iran, how ‘supportive’ Hezbollah remains in all this. Elements that matter, but too many sources are intentionally blind to that part of the equation. In Yemen the bulk of all UN support will falter due to a lack of funding, as such the stage of humanitarian aid will close down leaving the Yemeni population to die.

Even now as Iran makes claims that the Iranian-Russian ties serve international security, we see a faltering level of information by the newsgroups. Even as the source can be debated, the information lacks scrutiny because the public was not informed, it has not been informed for months at a time, as some ego driven politicians had the nuclear accords carrot and they needed that carrot to be looking as sweet as possible, and keeping people in the dark on what was actually happening was a first. 

Yet the Russian collaboration with Iran gives Iran the nuclear parts that they need and the Yemeni pressures are almost an insuring valve that the parts are to be used, Saudi Arabia is between the sea of Dammam and a hard case and its so called allies are floundering the support in the empty air. A stage where Iran is the larger evil and the news is either embargoed, or stupidly keeping the people in the dark on the actual setting. Because shopping for clothes is where the actual newsworthy part is at, or is it? 

We can point and blame all we like, but the Houthi events are a larger stage and the news is not covering it, why not? The largest humanitarian collapse in history is about to happen to a nation and the people are left in the dark, optionally merely because of the resources.

A stage we all made happen, and we now need to be blind of the actions that follow, why will we never learn?

We might not have resources, we might not have power, these things happen, yet when we accept that information is filtered to what others decide what we need to know, that is when we give up our own personal power, when did we decide that this was ever going to be a good thing?

 

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When walls close in

I had an interesting day, my mind designed another game, I dreamt of a new movie and I considered what comes next in the entire Covid mess. I will say upfront that it is all speculation, the issues skating close to the truth usually are. It all started with the news. The BBC gives us ‘Trump: A safe gradual and phased opening’, which might be nice and OK, yet the people who actually know about sickness and disease think it is a bad idea. With 2,347,887 sick and 161,138 dead people some will get to say ‘I see dead people’, and they might be telling the truth. I will not waste your time to consider the 739K sick people in the US and the connected 39K dead people, the math there does not hold up completely because of the timeline and the speed at which it pushes through due to large cities like New York. And what do hundreds of Americans do, people without any level of medical education mind you? They protest against the Covid rules, they are the source of propagating the disease and that is good. You see Wall Street and its vassals need to learn the one lesson they forgot about, if you bank on a consumer based wealth cuve, you need actual consumers and the US lost over 39K consumers. Their debts cannot be collected and the curve changes. Even as some Texans push to reopen to open their business, we will see that the rents are due but a lot of customers will stay away. Open business without mindful consumers spending money. Yes it is the time for Amazon to really reel in the cash, but in the end, the shops still lose. And remember resident Trump making some waves in proclaiming against all evidence that the mortality rate of Covid would be no more than 1.8%? It is over 5% in the US at present. No one seems to be asking the right questions. The economic model must be adhered to and the EU is starting to realise that it is a mere tool in the needs of the US, AUS has not figured that out yet, but they will, or perhaps AUS will become the 53rd state of the US. All speculative options at present,something that will be merketter as the A state of the US.

In my view there is a lot of overreaction regarding the flu, yet I am willing to accept that it is done to lower the curve and to keep casualties down, OK, I get it. I might not like it, but I get it and that feeling remains absent for a lot in the US.

Andin all this as we see the reactions to investigations on the World Health Organisation, I am content to write those names down, the pretentious Marise Payne who is all about bi-partisanship. The interesting thing is that this all happened right after the accusations by President D. Trump, yet not unlike the Huawei situation no evidence of any kind was ever produced, and again the A state of the US is following. It is one of those times when ‘bipartisan’ seems to meen, ‘a tool for the US’. 

Why am I here?

You see a flu this amazing where mortality rate is in the sewers and all over the place, jumping from 2% to 10% whilst there are over 100K patients in that country is not natural. There can always be some fluctuation, but if you merely look at Germany and France, where the amount of dead people are apart by almost 500%, there is a larger issue, that issue is that there is more to the disease and nations are in denial of that part, yet blaming China makes it all OK, or so they think.

Let’s make sure that I am not stating that they are innocent, I am stating that so far we see no evidence of any kind and the open hostilities of the US towards China are not set in any light in the media. That too is a piece of evidence that needs to be illuminated.

The stage where Marise Payne is stating that the WHO should not run the investigation and that she is stating that China should allow for transparency whilst she herself is in a doubtful stage is unmentioned. I agree that the coronavirus needs to be investigated, yet it needs to be done by the right people, the fact that she wants to invalidate the WHO from the get go is weird to say the least. In all this the first station of the flu is healthcare and they have been underfunded for over a decade, the health of consumers was overplayed and the effects underestimated. This is visible in AUS, the UK, many nations in the EU and the US. I know too little of Japan to add them to the list. 

THese consumers are adamant and directly involved, because without them the Wall Street formula fails and someone is finally realising it. Forbes stated on April 13th (a Monday) ‘Wall street Wobbles as investors ignore the science of Covid-19’ and there we see “its transmissibility and mortality rate are known to health officials. All of this information has been communicated publicly” yet there are clear open souces out there as well as the numbers in Germany,Spain, Italy and China that makes for a shoddy case in both matters and the people are just ignoring it. The article shows a few other parts and also the fact that when it comes to Wall Street, it is erratic, especially when the numbers go down and that is what will happen, as the US surpasses a mortality numbers of 50K, we will see panic by investors, especially as the disease does not differentiate between the rich and the poor, the worker and the abuser, a flu that merely kills. And when they realise that the death rate in the US is five times that of Germany, we will see initial inklings that there is a larger play and it is not seen in the death numbers, it will be seen in the stage where economies cannot get started because it requires consumers and they are dead. Yet the total deaths is lower than those in Syria and Yemen, so why bother now?

Because now they are consumers that these companies vie for and they no longer answer their phones, and for the most the health officials are ignored to avoid the danger that the message is too negative. As we see in the UK that the NHS people are wearing aprons instead of gowns. As they are on life support, we see a much larger danger. A nation where health care falls away, it took 114K patients and 15K deaths to pull that off, so when will Americans realise that their numbers are a lot worse and their levels of inequality. The Guardian gave us ‘Profit over people, cost over care: America’s broken healthcare’, and no one in the US is actively investigating that part? Australia is almost in a similar place. 

It is not the beginning or the middle, this is the beginning of the beginning and things will get worse. I wonder how many people realise that, even as we see all kinds of numbers, when we do get sick and healthcare falls away, the world has a problem and the US will be one of the first ones to learn what happens when the Wall Street formula cannot be matched. For them profit is everything, lives are not.

So whilst you are in lockdown, consider the fact that when the walls fall in, it is not a case of the walls falling in, but you have been placed in a coffin and you are a number on the covid stats, no matter where you live. And optionally, you will be one of the forgotten, especially as the BBC and others are stating that these numbers are so much higher than expected. In the UK has 2,000 home care locations with the Coronavirus, yet ABC claims that their numbers are not to be found, so how high is the problem and what else is unknown at present. So whilst we are not in possession of the numbers, some are still willing to blame China, all whilst for too long too many places left the border open until specifics were known, that failing in foresight is also unmentioned in many places, I wonder what that investigation will bring to the table of Marie Payne, if she looks at it at all.

 

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Just Saying “Haachoo”

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

Why is it overreaching?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Am I exaggerating? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Mere numbers

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

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

Caution and the wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Some small bits

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

Huawei

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

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

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

Jeff Bezos

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

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

Yemen

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

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

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

Have a great day, see you all tomorrow

 

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The emergency meeting on doing nothing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My simple response would be: ‘You Think?

 

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The second lap

We always seem to have a problem with the second lap, the first lap is OK, it is new, we just started, it is the second lap that is the problem, it is that stage where you are tired from the previous lap and the second wind has not started, mainly because the second lap is not the moment where the body adjusts for prolonged exercise.

That is how some see the EU at present (mainly the Observer). The setting of ‘the EU’s weakness on the world stage‘ is however no laughing matter. As we are introduced to “Ursula von der Leyen believes Europe should take a leading “geopolitical” role in international affairs, reflecting the EU’s status as the world’s largest trade bloc. But turning words into deeds is proving problematic“, and it is “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity… and be better able to export our values and standards” that is part of the problem, in the first, the EU is su up to the gills in debt through the idiotic scheme by Mario draghi that the EU has no economic strength. The IMF gives the EU in GDP growth 2.8% (2017), 2.2% (2018), 1.5% (2019), and 1.6% (2020). This seems like an improvement, yet 0.1% increase is not really an increase and when we consider that the devaluation of the currency gives the EU debt that is currently around € 10,593,000,000,000 a much larger issue to battle, at present only the German debt is decreasing slowly, but the debt in Spain, Italy, and France (all in the trillions) is still increasing, so where does the EU think it has economic strength? And all this whilst the Financial Times informed us yesterday on ‘Europe braces for new fiscal battles‘, here we see Paolo Gentiloni trying to shake things up (no idea why he was referring to shaking up). The issue is larger than anyone can see, because the stage of “widely disliked given their impenetrable and convoluted nature“, the game where you adjust the rules in the middle of the game with 27 players, the entire stage goes awry in this game where the option of “On the Italian social democrat’s reform wish list will be changes making the rules more symmetrical — allowing for countries to be pushed to boost their economies via fiscal policy in downturns, rather than just reining in deficits and debt” (at https://www.ft.com/content/a062fb2e-3b24-11ea-a01a-bae547046735), and it is the debt these never elected officials are trying to be in deny with. Yet there is also an upside in this (as I see it) if this play goes on, the German population will not tolerate the EU to continue. None will address their debt and Germany (as one of the big four) is the only one who got the debt below 72% of GDP, the rest is in a bismal state and whilst we get that the Italians (French and Spain also) are all about ‘new investments’ they are doing it on a maxed out credit card. And whilst we all see this, we also see “One idea is to give countries extra scope to borrow to fund green investment“, yet the basic issue is that this is yet another idea to IGNORE outstanding debts and the people will have to pay for that. So as we see “has already run up against opposition from conservative northern European states“, we see that the Italian factor (Genitoli) is hiding behind “the urgency of the green agenda could improve its chances“. So whilst we now see “Some will want to use any reform opportunity to loosen the regime. Others will wish to use the greater clarity to make the deficit rules even tighter“, we see a basic fight between the spenders and the none spenders and the non spenders have had enough of it all, it founded the Brexit and there are others who do not want to be caught with the consequences of another nation in a stage with their pants down, as such all the other players will have to grab their ankles (you get the idea). 

So while we go back to the Observer view (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/the-observer-view-on-the-eus-weakness-on-world-stage ) we might see “Trump’s illegal, and unilateral, action effectively blew up the most prized achievement of Borrell’s predecessors, Federica Mogherini and Cathy Ashton – the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was already on life-support because of US sanctions“, it seems that the EU is in some kind of a delusional stage where they take the filtered media view on Iran. Iran had been in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, it has repeatedly threatened the state of Israel and whilst we are given “the US then insisted that the EU3 (Britain, France and Germany) trigger the deal’s dispute mechanism“, whilst the violations by Iran on the Nuclear pact are completely ignored. All in a stage where the delusional parties are setting the stage where Joseph Borell is in a stage to ‘talk’ with IOran whilst Iran has been refusing to do so and littered transgression upon transgression and the EU remains in denial and seemingly gives the EU press the stage that they are not to report on it for all kinds of unknown reasons. And when we look at the media, they are all so against war that it scares them (which it does), I merely wonder if the US and the UK press would have written ‘The Wrong Track for Confronting Germany‘ in 1943, as we see the New York Times write up the Iranian stage 12 hours ago. In addition, Al Jazeera reported 5 hours ago ‘Iran’s new Quds leader vows ‘manly’ revenge for Soleimani killing‘, which is fine, but this escapes the entire stage as they already had their missile go, yet their ego is not satisfied, so as we are treated to ‘Iran warns of ‘repercussions’ for IAEA after European moves over nuclear deal‘, as well as ‘Iran says it still respects 2015 nuclear deal, rejects ‘unfounded’ EU claims‘ (yesterday, source: CNA), all whilst there are dozens of reports as well as public statements that Iran had transgressed on set limits, so exactly HOW they are ‘respecting’ the Nuclear deal? 

In all this the lack of strength in response from the EU has been frightening. And in regards to the responses, we see on the 20th of January “Mr Mousavi said: “Tehran still remains in the deal. The European powers’ claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded“, all whilst the news on January 5th was ‘Iran will no longer abide by uranium enrichment limits under 2015 nuclear deal‘, as well as the fact that Iran on state television, on January 5th responded that they pulled out of the Nuclear deal agreement (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsQ-NBaOUMw), as such we can all speculate on what Mr Mousavi is smoking, but more importantly, in light of all this, the utter lack of diplomatic power by the EU, as such the EU statement “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, Ursula von der Leyen sounds nice, but she cannot deliver on any of that. The EU is in the second lap, out of energy from the first lap and their second wind is nowhere near kicking in. Iran might be the strongest example, but it is not the only one, the lack of action in Syria, the lack of action in Yemen and the opposing support against Saudi Arabia, whilst ignoring the actions of Iran in a proxy war, in a speculated stage of a nuclear pact that was not sustainable in any degree and several parties are in denial of all this whilst there is enough optional evidence that the creation of the amounts of enriched Uranium that is now at the core of it all could not be produced by the amount of centrifuges allowed, there are more factors to consider, yet the supporting evidence is at present too thin (a lack of exact numbers is in play too).

In the end, the EU is an organisation that is on its final steps of becoming irrelevant, the debt made them so and these so called elected officials never stepped in when they were supposed to step in as debt levels were pushed to excessive levels as even now, people like Paolo Gentiloni (not just him mind you) are trying to find ways of getting around the debt for spending purposes.

And the matter will get worse soon enough, as the EU nations are in shambles on the EU budget, especially as Brexit is nearing completion, the members are all in a desperate setting of non-union, as we see news like “a French minister has warned nations they will have to pay more“, which is slightly weird as this was always going to be the setting, I warned of that almost 3 years ago. The stage at present is that Germany (at present) pays 20.78% of that budget and France is up for 15.58%, those are the big two and they are looking at an additional 3%-4% after brexit, which now implies that the long term budget up to 2027 will get a massive slam into a wall, it is in that setting, where nations are now feeling the pinch are confronted with a Paolo Gentiloni who wants to spend more and as such all nations have to pay more. Even as the big three are confronted with the impact on their loans from that change, the smaller nations are still in shambles as they were eager to overspend in their first option and they too will have to pay more, so now we optionally get to see an EU gravy train where none of the members agree on anything, as such that expensive train will keep costs high and not produce results, merley delays. 

So when we look at the stage of the EU and the setting of Ursula von der leyen with her “We must use our diplomatic and economic strength to support global stability and prosperity“, all whilst there is no economic power left in the EU and its diplomatic strength (which is linked to their economic power) dwindles basically as fast as their economy does, I wonder what Ursula von der Leyen is looking at, because the outlook from this side is really grim for the EU.

The second lap is the killer for a runner, as the runner gets better he can run longer, yet the reality of crossing that startline the first time and realising that you have less energy whilst you are at the beginning is the realising factor, yet there is a difference, a runner tends to be realistic about where he is and where he is going, as I personally see it, the EU is seemingly a lot less focussed on the reality of the matter as I personally see it. You merely have to read enough media and focus on the quotes to see that part of the equation.

 

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It took one funeral

In the left corner

Iran is in all kinds of problems, there are a few issues all playing at the same time, yet the one that is satisfying me the most is the news on Al-Jazeera where we see ‘UN monitors say Houthis not behind Saudi Aramco attacks: Report‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/monitors-houthis-saudi-aramco-attacks-report-200109062732396.html) It is here that we see “The investigators, who monitor sanctions on Yemen, also said they do not believe that “those comparatively sophisticated weapons were developed and manufactured in Yemen.” They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible for the Saudi attack” in this it is interesting that it was merely about identifying that houthis were not responsible and the added ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ merely shows a larger failing for the UN. Of course they might use the same approach in falsely accusing the murderers of Jamal Khashoggi, but the UN cannot get what it wants, it is now a political engine trying to be the vice for the EU to get Nuclear accords. What took them a month to figure out was within my grasp within hours when I wrote ‘Government? Censorship?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/18/government-censorship/), the data was available and even as the UN might set ‘standards’ for their information (the UN-essay by Agnes Callamard debates that), the setting of a destroyed Yemen making advanced weaponry like the drones, all whilst they never had the people to make them before the war was not a part that they took for granted? The fact that years of war show a rather large lack of accuracy whilst the pinpoint accuraccy of the attack on Aramco was almost surgical. No, none of that mattered to the UN, even as they had months to look into the matter ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ rears its ugly head. Al Jazeera then gives us “Adel al-Jubeir, signalled in September that Riyadh was waiting for results of UN investigations before announcing how his country would respond. UN experts monitoring UN sanctions on Iran and Yemen travelled to Saudi Arabia days after the September attack. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, told the Security Council in a separate report on December 10  that the UN was “unable to independently corroborate” that missiles and drones used in the attacks “are of Iranian origin”“, the UN did its job and prevented a war at the expense of credibility and trustworthiness. I had by that date in December established via several sources that only Iran could have done what was done and I even looked at other Saudi Allies as optional aggressors, only NATO and Iran remained as optional aggressors, I wonder if we get a NATO brief next week with an apology? The matter is actually larger than merely hardware, Houthi forces also do not have the ability (read: people) to properly control drones, I would argue that my ability (I’ve never managed a drone) with mere Flight Simulator experience would make me a better drone operator than any Houthi. 

In the right corner

Now we get to the fun part (for me that is), the news of ‘Catastrophic failure of Ukraine jet in Iran suggests missile strike‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/09/catastrophic-failure-ukraine-jet-iran-suggests-missile) with added photo of a Tor-M1 part gives a rather nasty setting, it is the news that comes with “Fail-safe systems that would have allowed the aircraft to get back safely in the event of engine failure appeared to have been compromised in an instant. Others pointed to what looked like penetrating holes in the airframe, leading some to compare them to the damage suffered by the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile five years ago“, yet I was not convinced, if I slam Iranians (which is always fun) I want to keep a rather high level of evidence in play. I am also unwilling (after three CIA bungles) to go with “the US had picked up the signature of an anti-aircraft missile battery locking on to the Ukrainian plane, and then the infrared heat signal of two missile launches followed by that of an explosion on the plane“. I even debate the intelligence implied by prime minister Justin Trudeau (most likely relying on US-CIA intelligence) that it was an Iranian surface-to-air missile. I am however taken with the independent part of “the aircraft landed safety with only one death, thanks to the significant “redundancy”, or fail-safe designs, built into modern planes to allow them to land safely after an engine failure“, you see, no matter what happened after that, the plane would be in a largely controlled crash drive and there would be communication, there would be updates by the pilot, no matter what his or her nationality was. In addition there is: “Here we had some kind of event that knocked the transponder off the plane. Some kind of event that disabled the electronics to that system. It takes a lot to disable the electronics on a sophisticated aircraft like the 737-800“, I get that and that is very acceptable and from that we get back to the quote ‘Experts say debris fragments and sudden loss of fail-safe systems point to missile‘ and “while some apparent evidence of fragment damage to the aircraft turned out to be debris from the ground, other images showed ragged holes in one of the engines and scorching to one side of the cockpit, and other parts of the aircraft“, this all point towards the use of a missile and I agree with the statement of implied convenience “the unverified picture of the seeker head of the Tor-M1 missile seemed to some to be too good to be true, lying on the ground and largely intact“, I would like to know the source of that image, it is not Iranian, that much is certain, and any person ‘on the ground’ there finding that part is just too much of a happy go lucky lottery winner for me to have faith in (yes, I tend to not trust anyone). The issue remains, Iran is screwing up, in massive ways, the overreaction towards a civilian passenger carrier implies that the people there cannot distinguish between optional targets and that implies a lack of push on the iranian side, if they go to war whilst their people cannot tell differences implies that they are open to much larger flaws when tactical issues cannot play out because they cannot tell the difference.

Even as we (to some degree) accept “US officials would not disclose the intelligence they claim to have that indicates an Iranian missile was to blame, they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communications intercepts and other similar intelligence“, there is a play in motion, now that Iran has torn up the nuclear accords, we see new actions on the table, yet these actions seem hollow. Actions like ‘Germany urges Europe to respond to Iran’s nuclear violations‘ (source: Reuters), where we see the quote “stopped short of calling for renewed U.N. sanctions“, an almost cowardly level of response whilst the transgressions have been going on since October 2019, I spoke about it in ‘The tradesman and the deal‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/11/05/the-tradesman-and-the-deal/), yet the EU still cannot find any solution that works months later and is refraining from ‘calling for renewed U.N. sanctions‘, it’s like watching a large neon sign ‘I saw a big pussy and it called itself EU‘, no wonder nothing gets resolved.

Yet no matter how it turns, Iran is getting more and more issues on its plate and there is a growing amount of international intelligence and evidence to really turn up the heat on Iran, the problem is that there are also an increased amount of players who want ‘their’ project to continue and that is the larger problem for now, when we look at the timeline and resolve the Aramco attacks at Abqaiq and Khurais first, we will see a much larger level of pressure against Iran, nuclear accords be damned, anyone thinking that Iran would abide by them is completely looney tunes, the news that Iran gave last year of transgressing its 300Kg limit by one thousand percent was (as I personally see it) a timed one, there was just not enough space to hide their transgression and the materials and hardware required for it and that part is just ignored by too many (mostly the 27 players in the EU), now one funeral later it all comes to blow, but not because of the funeral, the matter that people forget is that when you have an orchestra and you replace the conductor, we see that the orchestra is going through changes, it always does and as we see it now, the fact that Qassam Soleimani was juggling half a dozen issues at the same time, it is expected that his replacement will drop a few items as he does not know these issues 100%, as well as the fact that the people in that army are all vying for a better position, that is the benefit we now have and that is why we have to push. When Iran is exposed to the largest degree they will falter again and again until they have no credibility anywhere, that is the setting we need to go for, not because of people on a flight, not because of attacks of refineries or transgressions on accords, those are in the past, we need to do it because of the things that are still to reach the surface and there are issues that will still reach the surface, that is what will show Iran as the weak middle eastern bully it has been for the longest time, there is the victory of what is yet to come and that will set change, the problem is will the opponents of Iran be strong enough? Saudi Arabia and Israel are, the rest is open to interpretation, it is linked to the ego of the speakers and the win they still hope for, the EU is showing that all too clearly.

I personally wonder just how far certain players are willing to go to get their ego’s fixed, I feel certain we will see a lot more before the month is over.

 

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Inheritance for the weak

Things happened and things needed to be done, this has been a long standing issue and America took that stance. Yes, we agree that we do not want a war, but Iran made it almost unattainable and something had to be done. So when I see (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/06/nato-chief-holds-back-from-endorsing-us-killing-of-suleimani) the words “Jens Stoltenberg condemns Iran but stresses drone attack decision was not made by Nato” we see a truth, yet the words given are that of a weakling. It gets support from “His intervention came as the EU commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, also warned Iran that “it is imperative that it return to the nuclear deal”, remarks that could presage a European decision to abandon the deal if Iran does not recommit itself to its terms“, another weakling on the European front. They are all about ego and not about realism, for months Iran has ignored the deal, it has traversed transgression point after transgression point and the EU is about ‘Let’s talk a little more’, it is like we are watching the police agree with drug dealers who have brought in 8 containers filled with drugs that they should come in so that an arrangement can be made for container number 9. They are drug dealers, deal with it!

America did the one thing that had to be done and now we see media article after media article on why we should not do it, that same media that has decided not to report on Iranian actions in Yemen, we now see more on ‘Iranian backed Houthis’ and that is as much as we can get from the media. So as we get ‘US allies distance themselves from Trump decision to assassinate Suleimani‘, we see more. I get it, Israel is too close to Iran and they cannot get dragged into it, they are dealing with Hezbollah and that is good. We also see ‘Saudi minister urges restraint in Washington‘, which is slightly less good, but the reasoning is clear, they are close to Iran and in close striking distance, they need to take a cautious stance here, yet Iran had to be dealt with and the killing of Qassam Soleimani is the point of no return, it has been done and now we need to make sure that Tehran realises that the gig is up, we will act and we will come for them, so having weaklings like Stoltenberg and van der Leyen in the EU, who have no issue making strong language when it suits them and their ego’s is a bit of a waste.

So as I read “Mike Pompeo, has already expressed disappointment in the lukewarm reaction of Washington’s European allies” I can only agree with Mike Pompeo. I see the issue that Saudi deputy defence minister, Khalid bin Salman faces and he needs to do what is best for Saudi Arabia, yet most experts are in agreement that the attack on Aramco could only have come through the acts of Iran and via the acts of Iran. The Guardian article also mentioned “There is mounting concern that the more cautious stance by the US-led coalition would make it much less effective and allow Isis to regenerate“, this is the larger issue and Iran has been playing a seesaw card for the longest of times, they have played that card well and that is the pivoting point, now with Soleimani away they will make mistakes, and that is what we needed for the longest of times, there is also the concern that the media is now in another bind. The Washington Post gave us 4 days ago “Soleimani took control of the Quds Force, the external wing of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in the late 1990s and went on to expand its regional presence. He was widely known for his high-profile links to paramilitary groups from Syria to Yemen that are now in the spotlight“, yet the larger newspapers have been shunning reports on Iran action in Yemen for well over a year, so I think that there is a larger play to consider. The spotlights are now illuminating the Iranian acts in Yemen and that is good, there is a larger setting where the media was so on the ‘Nuclear Pact’ deal that they ignored a larger setting, even as Iran ignored certain limits several times over. 

Yet the act of killing also opens up a larger can of worms on the allied side, Luke Hartig (former senior director for counter-terrorism on the national security council) wrote about it he gives us “Trump’s counter-terrorism legacy in Iraq and Syria may be a series of dead bodies but nothing that addresses the core of the problem and no partners willing to help us root it out“, ever since the US has its spats in Iraq we have seen a shifting of CIA staff all over the place, too many were looking for one old man in a cave and they found him (in the end) in Abbottabad, Pakistan but not until a serious amount of time had passed, in the mean time a lot of CIA operatives are useless (known to too many players) and the options for counter intelligence was further impeded by the acts of Julian Assange and ‎Bradley Edward Manning the latter one thought that 3 years of active service was enough to put well over 700,000 classified pieces on Wikileaks. These actions had a lasting effect and will have an effect for close to a decade. Quality Intelligence from the Middle East is only coming from allies (or so it seems). The US has limited action available to them and even whilst we sneer at espionage, we need to realise that it is the importance of it that sets the stage, Sun Tsu was very clear about it in chapter 13 (the Art of War) ‘the importance of developing good information sources‘ is essential and that part is currently missing for the US in the Middle East.

Luke Hartig (at https://www.justsecurity.org/67927/trumps-fatal-mistake-killing-suleimani-vs-countering-isis/) voices it as ‘Trump’s Fatal Mistake: Killing Suleimani vs. Countering ISIS‘, he is not wrong, yet the issue is depending on point of view. I feel that QS was too effective in the Middle East, his meetings tend to voice that part and the fact that two high value targets were taken out with QS was icing on the cake. For the most we ignore the effectiveness of Qassam, yet the truth is that his effectiveness made the Iranian proxy war in Yemen work, I believe that removing him is an essential win for the US, not immediately, but as the Iranian army faces the challenges that they need to find someone as good as QS, they will see that they are merely failing at whatever they try. The Washington Post gives us 5 hours ago “I have more than 4 million followers on various social media networks, and I have received thousands of messages, voice mails and videos from Iranians in cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran and even Ahvaz, who are happy about Soleimani’s death. Some complain of the pressure to attend services for him” the Iranian presentation goes on, yet without QS in the mix, it will go a lot less smooth and issues will be overlooked giving s a much larger view on what is happening, optionally the others will get a lot more out of Iran for their trouble and that too aids the effort against Iran. Soleimani was that effective in life. Hartig gives more and it is there that we see his point of view, with “Effective counterterrorism policy is about much more than conducting drone strikes and deploying commandos; it’s about setting the diplomatic and geopolitical conditions for counterterrorism to succeed” he is correct, with the killing of Qassam Soleimani diplomatic and geopolitical options are out of the window, yet in the long run I believe it was the better position to play, the Iranian chess player lost its queen and as such, its chess play will be limited until an equal can be found, or the opposition loses its queen as well. I also agree with Hartig view “President Trump and the true believers in his inner circle have no sense of the strategy it will take to defeat ISIS (or Iran-linked terrorist groups, for that matter). Counterterrorism requires careful, methodical work, undertaken with our closest allies, that builds up local partners, patiently targets key vulnerabilities in the terrorist network over time, and ultimately addresses the long-term drivers of violent extremism“, there is no real tactic to deal with ISIS, it was less clear in the Obama administration, yet they too should have added weights to dealing with ISIS, but the costs were spiralling out of control, and as we consider his words on Africa through “The gains made against al-Shabaab are a result of diplomatic efforts and military assistance designed to stiffen the spine of African Union partners shouldering most of the fight in Somalia. Terrorists in the Sahel have been contained because of rigorous collaboration and modest assistance to the French combined with patient work to bolster regional partners“, we see the larger play, yet in all this QS had the phone number of all those leaders at hand, any of them with a beef against America got a nice weapons deal, now we see another play, without QS these deals will stop and optional larger wins could be made, yet it is not a given. What is a given is the fact that Iran has been out of control for a much longer time and it is high time that some of the egotistical and self wealth concerned players that that under consideration. so when we see ‘Blowback: Iran abandons nuclear limits after US killing‘, we see the wrong message, Iran had already abandoned those limits for a long time, they are merely outspoken about it now and if those in EU charge cannot see them, they should not be in these positions of power. The game and the message changed, but also the lies we see from Iran, it was never ‘Iran drives another stake into the heart of the nuclear deal‘ (source: CNN), it was that there was never going to be a nuclear deal, they ended it when they started the proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, they needed a large bat to threaten with and they are continuing building that bat, they are however no longer willing to hide their actions to some degree and that works for us (as well).

So even as the Washington Post is all about ‘Iran announces it is suspending its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal‘ (18 hours ago), let there be no mistake, they had done this in the beginning of 2019 they were merely pussyfooting in diplomatic steps, and now that the failure is out, others will blame this on the US, yet the direct information that I gave months ago was a direct sign that Iran had no intentions to ge back to the table unless they could get 200% out of a deal for them, and that was just not realistic. Qassam Soleimani was very adept in this and now we’ll see a different game, first out of anger, then denial, soon we will get them in a stage of bargaining and some fainted national depression, then the push buttons towards reconstruction and acceptance, yet they will move the table with those two buttons again and again, yet now it will be less expertly managed, which again works for everyone else. 

Iran played the game for too long and for the longest time, no one was willing to hold them to account for their actions. We never wanted to control Iran, we merely needed them to play the game like all the other nations, East and West, North and South, they merely thought they were better than everyone else and now that there is a realistic sense towards war they will have to push through and face several nations in combat, or they will actually sit at a table and negotiate some kind of solution. It is what most wanted all along, it merely never went that way, too much ego and that was always the problem on both sides of the isle.

 

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