Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘rogue State

Again, what this militia/mafia clan want from Lebanon?

-What did they do with our saving? (the militia/mafia leaders, the Central Bank, the private banks, the religious sects clergies…)
– They spent it in the name of preserving the civil peace and fighting corruption.

– And now?
– Erasing its traces in silence, while we are watching their shows on TV, tweeting and posting on FB and WhatsApp.
$115 billions of total deposits in banks…

– That are worth no more than 30% of their value in real dollars, about $34 billions…
– And the plans, the IMF…

No need. They were only used to divert the attention. The only real plan was the ongoing erosion of deposits that have been trapped in the banking system. And it is pretty successful…
– What next?

– Moving to the next phase: expropriating and sharing the resources of a rogue state among bands of thugs…

– What is depressing is the return to normality for the victims of such a scam…It’s a weird feeling by an entire people of having been raped…
– And to remain obedient to its serial rapists for the rest of its life, the feeling is that bad…

– What to do?
– Exactly the opposite of what you are doing (or not doing) now…

Note 1: Greek former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said:  Lebanese must have the courage to nationalize the banks and restructure the Central Bank, issue a new currency and desist from seeking IMF money…”

Note 2: Finance Minister, Ghazi Wazni, the stooge to Nabih Berry (Head of Parliament in the last 25 years) opposed the Kroll Forensic financial company to do its job. The militia/mafia leaders, headed by Berry want just accounting firms so that no names are brought to justice.

Actually, the only people brought to justice are low level criminals at the sold of the militia leaders. These “criminals” are interrogated and released.

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 239

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Israel has to deal with two major problems simultaneously:  Israel has old nuclear reactors built in the 1955 by the French (and disintegrating and leaking), which the international nuclear agency fake that it cannot check because Israel refuses to sign on the UN non-proliferation nuclear arms.  The second challenge is how to deal with the new  intrepid Palestinians youth?  The US has no leverage over people who demanded changes and got it.

Israel Dimona atomic reactor was not finished as French Mendes France resigned and the fiasco of the invasion of the Suez canal in 1958 forced Eisenhauer to review the expansionist policies of Israel.  At best, Israel has the necessary experts and personnel to maintain and control the nuclear reactors in the submarines that France and Germany delivered to it.

Israel didn’t sign on to the treaty of non-proliferation of atomic bombs for a simple reason:  Israel has no such costly program and no ballistic missiles carrying nuclear bombs.  The western nations are not that dumb:  They know that Israel was born as a rogue State, continued to behave as a rogue State, and will eventually finish as a rogue State.

Qatar funded terrorist factions to be transferred to Jarablos by Turkey’s border: The Muslem Brotherhood in Turkey and Qatar are allied.

The international community is feeling sick of Israel’s chimerical security demands when all its behaviors are against peace and security in the region.  Israel prefers to play it dumb as if she is living on an island. (In fact a land jet carrier for US emergency operations in the Middle-East)

Jesus, the Walking Rabi, has been advancing toward Jerusalem in the last 6 months. He was lambasting the Pharisee and the other Jewish sects of the priesthood.  The Jewish Sanhedrin has been gathering intelligence on Jesus for over a year now and it has accumulated a thorough biography of Jesus and his messages. The Roman governor Pilate and the King of Lower Galilee Herod Epiphany were tracking intensively Jesus progress toward Jerusalem: Both were very edgy of this non-violent movement.

The Galapagos are one of the world’s last havens for wildlife — pristine islands where giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and penguins live as they have for thousands of years. But tourism and development have recently skyrocketed, destroying the home of animals and plants found nowhere else on the planet — leaving many species on the brink of extinction. A vital, 568-acre piece of land was put up for sale to the highest bidder.

“Cotton Bt”? Monsanto genetically altered cotton with Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. It pressured the government and peasants of Africa Burkina Faso in 2010 to replace the regular cotton at a steep price for the seed. Monsanto seed turned out to be far below the traditional cotton from the first year, women were getting sick handling the cotton and the cows were dying eating the leaves. Monsanto promised to work on the seed, but didn’t for 4 years.

Cotton growers in Burkina Faso (formerly known as Haute-Volta) are very satisfied as Monsanto seed was phased out from the market: harvest exceeded expectation and export of the traditional cotton is improving greatly

Monsanto a bacle’ les manupulations genetique “il y avait urgence et la filiere Inera perdait de l’argent”. Ils n’ ont fait que deux back-crosses au lieu de sept.

Mansanto moved its Africa headquarter from South Africa to Kenya in 2015. The rotten governments in Kenya and Nigeria are faking Not to have any intelligence on the failure of cotton and corn Bt in Burkina Faso for 4 years.

 

 

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The shifting soft power of the Arab world

Joseph Nye’s term of “soft power” is being interpreted any which way, as long as the power is not expressed in direct military engagement.

All these financial, economic and diplomatic sanctions that hurt the people of a “rogue state” and leave the political institutions intact to exert even harsher control over a society are calamities that cannot be redressed for decades.

Currently, soft power is applied by imperialist States allied with oil rich monarchies by coordinating funding of extremist factions to destabilize countries and run havoc among the population in arranging and planning long-term civil wars.

And yet, you have authors who managed to invent new expressions for soft power. Like playing the game of the capitalist imperialist elite states and using financial aids to coerce policy change along their short-term megalomania.

(CNN) — Over the past decade the Arab world has witnessed a shifting of not only hard power — which saw the traditional armies of the Arab world in Syria, Egypt and Iraq consumed in internal turmoil — but also of what Harvard professor Joseph Nye termed “soft power,” which has moved from these countries to the resource rich Gulf states.

Long before their formation into modern states, the cities of the Gulf were recipients of talent, skill and economic aid from the traditional Arab nation states that have today fallen into obscurity

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi posted June 27, 2014 , Special to CNN
Watch this video

City of Tomorrow: World’s tallest tower

 Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

For centuries the Kiswa, or black drapes of the holy Kaaba in Mecca were supplied by Baghdad, Cairo or Sanaa as well as Istanbul who were locked in protocol battles of soft power over the holy city.

This is of course no longer the case. Saudi Arabia, the Arab world economic (financial?) superpower and fourth largest spender on military (why and for what use?), is the party that sends aid not only to Yemen and Egypt but also to most Arab states (and funds terrorist factions to destabilize neighboring Arab States such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen…)

According to the World Bank, the Arab Gulf states, perhaps none more so than Kuwait, are today amongst the most generous nations with regards to financial aid, contributing more than twice the United Nations target of 0.7% of their combined gross national income during the period between 1973-2008.

Since the beginning of the Arab uprisings, Gulf Aid to the Arab world has significantly spiked.

Egypt, for example, has received billions of dollars from the Gulf States since its January 25, 2011, uprising.

The Egyptians’ loss of influence over Mecca — which was then under Hashemite rule — to Saudi founder Ibn Saud in 1925 was an irreparable blow to Cairo’s mechanism of religious soft power and a significant advantage to the Al Sauds. Perhaps no other city in the world, save for Hollywood, commands as much global soft power as Mecca.

Pilot’s stunning images of Dubai

From sports venue to luxury mini city

 

For decades, media output in the Arab world was produced, recorded, filmed and performed in the traditional leading Arab states of Iraq, Syria and Egypt as well as Lebanon.

Today a significant portion of television production, recording and filming — not to mention financing — takes place in the Gulf cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

Much of this entertainment is produced in the local dialects of Egypt and Syria, but the Gulf cities can exercise a large degree of influence on material that is locally filmed and financed.

The Gulf states are also home to the most watched TV news channels in the Arab world, a significant mechanism of soft power in one of the most politically unstable regions.

Between the Doha based Al Jazeera and the Saudi owned and Dubai based Al Arabiya is a media war for the hearts and minds of the Arab public.

The two leading news channels of the Arab world are accused of reflecting the versions of events closest to the politics of their funders.

Even so, the soft power reach of these channels with their tens of millions of Arab viewers cannot be quantified and has become one of the main levers of soft power of the Gulf states.

Flourishing tourism

While tourism has come to a standstill in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq it has flourished in the Gulf states.

Dubai with its infrastructure and attractions that were built over the past half-century today attracts more tourists than any other Arab state and is the seventh most visited city in the world.

This year, Airports Council International ranked Dubai’s airport, home of Emirates Airlines, as the world’s busiest — in terms of passenger numbers — for the 12 months ending March.

Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat and a number of Saudi cities are undertaking massive airport and other infrastructure projects that will keep tourists pouring in.

The Gulf cities have turned themselves into globally recognized brands, while traditional Arab cities such as Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus have become synonymous with turmoil and unrest.

The massive multi billion-dollar nation branding exercise that cities like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha have undertaken has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

World diplomatic, business and media leaders continuously make visits to these cities attracted by their commercial, political and media clout, this in turn attracts others to be based here.

For instance, today Abu Dhabi is arguably the de facto political hub of the region having witnessed visits by most foreign ministers of regional and global powers.

When the British decided to withdraw from the Gulf states in the 1960s they left behind fledgling nations, weak and exposed to regional states and the political ambitions of neighbors.

While the traditionally culturally rich powers of the Arab world continue to face internal turmoil and fail to invest in cultural projects, the Gulf states continue to thrive.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and Sharjah are investing heavily in museums and education, attracting talent from across the Arab world and beyond.

For the second year running, a survey of young Arabs found that the UAE topped their list of preferred countries to live in, followed by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The UAE at 39% scored almost twice as high as the U.S. at 21% — a significant show of force for a country that isn’t even half a century old.

Barely a week goes by in the Gulf states without them witnessing major international events and meetings.

The Gulf states have been on a publicity and nation-branding streak.

From Dubai’s hosting of the World Bank and IMF meetings in 2003 to the Dubai World Expo in 2020, the city is abuzz with global conferences such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils, sporting championships and media, IT and business forums.

Qatar’s hosting of the World Trade Organization Doha Round of talks in 2001 to the World Cup 2022 as well as Abu Dhabi’s massive Guggenheim and Louvre museums — which are scheduled to open in the next few years — will cement these states’ soft power advantages.

Today — due to their incredible soft power — it is these Gulf states that carry influence over the rest of the Arab world.

Editor’s note: Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a UAE based columnist. He tweets at @SultanAlQassemi. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his. This is the first of four opinion articles giving readers a snapshot of major issues in the Middle East. Follow the discussion this Ramadan on Connect the World with Becky Anderson as it travels from Abu Dhabi to Cairo, Beirut, Istanbul and Sharjah. Weekdays 4:00pm London time 7:00 pm Abu Dhabi time.

Do you live amid hard of hearing community?Are you able to bypass social background noise?

As you get hard of hearing, and I am not there yet, but living among hard of hearing parents and people, you discover two distinct types of people:

Those who keep their quiet, and those who keep talking.

The ones who stay silent, on the premises that they are unable to hear questions, or prefer not to submit to the humiliating habit of “What? Would you please repeat your question? Not as loud please. Move your lips more intelligibly…”

The ones who never cease of talking prefer to be constantly on the offensive, in both meaning of offensive. Since they are unable to listen, they decide to describe all the ache and pain of their daily living, blaming everyone around for their nonchalance toward her “few” requests…

Since at this advanced age many people in the larger neighbourhood have passed away, for one reason or other, the talk revolves around reminiscing on the dead ones, how we knew them, how we failed to get intimate with, the kinds of diseases we are afflicted with…

Actually, when the non-stop hard of hearing talker get started, and immediately, they are not in the mood of hearing other people telling their stories:  They cut off the speaker frequently for questions that the storyteller was supposed to fill them in.

For example, when, who, where, how…They want answers to these questions because they have no patience to sit still for the entire story of the other one…

How wonderful it would be if the hard of hearing talker could write their diaries: Everyone would benefit from the extensive details of describing a locality and the hardship of living in old age…reading these exciting and uplifting diaries in the silence of the night…

I am leaning to conjecture that older hard of hearing people revert to their childhood behaviors.

The quiet ones were quiet as kids, on the ground that they had no questions for the stupid adults. Simple because they are smart enough to realize that as kids, they are in the stupid stage and need some growing up before learning to ask the “right questions“…

The breathless talker (and short on breathe too) were kids who never stopped asking questions, on the assumption of the adults that they are, the curious kinds of kids, they want to know everything, even if they refuse to listen to what the answer is, and keep cutting off the adults stories….

You might have read these statements very often: “I’m often stunned by the lack of questions that adults are prepared to ask. When you see kids go on a field trip, the questions pour out of them. Never ending, interesting, deep… even risky. How wonderful…”

I guess it depends of whom is submitting to these questioning and how they think the questions of these turbulent kids are that deep and risky…

“And then the resistance kicks in and we apparently lose the ability to asking questions…” The ability will inevitably kicks in as we get hard of hearing, you can bet on it, though not in the same wide range of the kids’ types of questions, or the ones expected by Seth Godin

For example, “is the weather the only thing you can think to ask about? A great question is one you can ask yourself, one that disturbs your status quo and scares you a little bit…” Like what kinds of scary questions?

Is it like: “I am not interested that people do die. What I need to know is that why me?”, or

“When am I going to die? When am I going to win the lottery ticket, when am I going to have an entire day of rest, when am I going to be able to block background social noises, at what stage of preparation is the next US preemptive war, and launched against which “terrorist State”?

Any “rogue State” whose dictator refused to purchase “sophisticated”, expensive, and useless military hardware weapons from the USA, England or France… Any State with promising raw materials whose penniless dictator has declared his wish to build a nuclear bomb…

Scary question like what?

Like when the US Special Forces nabbed Qadhafi and he asked them “What do you want from me?”.  Qadhafi must have asked the US Administration that question when negotiating the dismantling of Libya nuclear installations in 2001.  Anyhow, nobody believe that any US Administration ever has taken seriously its “written oats“…

Scary question like “What are the proper processes to build an international financial institution, to prepare to run for Congress…?”

Scary question like “How can we pressure the system in the US to start taking seriously the 15% of the population that modern market oriented production system has no use of them, and give them a job to live decently as full citizens, and away from ghetto mentality…”

Scary question like “How to build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares?”

Have you learned to listen? Are you still in the mood of asking questions?

As Seth Godin wrote: “If we put a number on it, people will try to make the number go up. Now that everyone is a marketer, many people are looking for a louder megaphone, a chance to talk about their work, their career, their product… and social media looks like the ideal soapbox, a free opportunity to shout to the masses.

But first, we’re told to make that number go up.

Increase the number of fans, friends and followers, so your shouts will be heard. The problem of course is that more noise is not better noise. In Corey’s words, the conventional, broken wisdom is:

  • Follow a ton of people to get people to follow back
  • Focus on the number of followers, not the interests of followers or your relationship with them.
  • Pump links through the social platform (take your pick, or do them all!)
  • Offer nothing of value, and no context. This is a megaphone, not a telephone.
  • Think you’re winning, because you’re playing video games (highest follower count wins!)

This looks like winning (the numbers are going up!), but it’s actually a double-edged form of losing.

First, you’re polluting a powerful space, turning signals into noise and bringing down the level of discourse for everyone.

Second, you’re wasting your time when you could be building a “tribe” instead, (tribe?) could be earning permission, could be creating a channel where your voice is actually welcomed.

Leadership and even “idea leadership” scares many people, because it requires you to own your words, to do work that matters. The alternative is to be a junk dealer.

The game theory pushes us into one of two directions:  Either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, out mass those that choose to use mass, and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing), or “Relentlessly focus”.

Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.

Only one of these strategies builds an asset of value.” End of quote

Late Steve Jobs position was: “customers have no idea what they want.  It is our duty to train them to like our products and love our design...” This line of thinking…

If you maintain a blog, do you take the time to reedit your posts, and add and comments on the replies you get?

Maintenance is the name of the game of whatever you undertake: This is the other truth of life, beside inevitable death…

Note: Actually I was to comment on Seth Godin post “The trap of social media noise” and  I got carried away in my essay.

What’s going on in Syria?  What is “Moratorium on dictators and absolute monarchs”?

Suddenly, since this Friday, mass upheavals are spreading in Syria; from the city of Daraa by the borders with Jordan, to Banyas, Tartous, Homs, and way to the north in the Kurdish region.  Last week, there were a couple of shy demonstrations localized in Damascus demanding the liberation of political prisoners.  Four demonstrators were killed in Daraa.

President Bashar Assad sent two official delegates to pay condolence to the bereaved families of the dead citizens in Dera3a.  As they finished their visit, the two delegates had three more casualties on hand. Worse, internal security agents rounded up a few adolescents, less than 13 of age, for painting on walls “Down with Bashar“.

The youths were tortured, finger nails pulled, and savagely beaten.  Bashar demanded the release of the youths, but they had to be hospitalized first before handing them to their families.  By the time the tortured youths were returned to their families, the revolt was in full swing.

The Syrian government blamed “infiltrators” disguised in internal security outfit who shot live ammunition on peaceful marchers.  The infiltrators also burned the headquarter of the one-party Baath regime and the court of justice in the city of Dar3a.  You have to admit that the “infiltrators” are awfully skilled:  The government security specialists have proven to be no match to infiltrators.

The President Bashar Assad had decreed last week the liberation of most prisoners, political and non political, those over 70 years, and the terminally sick…Maybe it was just a promise?

As all promises that the people have been hearing for 4 decades? I guess Bashar forgot to mention that the political system needed to be reformed and that the Assad regime, father to son, since 1971, has to make rooms for democratic succession and away from a “one-party” rule.

Syria has grown to over 20 million in population.  Amid the turmoil in the Middle-East, Syria of the Assad socialist regime managed to bring sort of stability and security: it maintained a steady currency and invested in decent infrastructure and schooling for all.

Invariably, oligarchic regimes ends up getting involved in widespread corruptions and considering the State Treasury as family holdings.

Syria is described as a “steadfast” regime against the meddling of western powers in its internal affairs and in Lebanon; and Syria is one of the last regimes bordering Israel that didn’t sign any “peace treaty” with the enemy Israel.

Obviously, Israel occupies the Golan Heights since 1967 and the USA refuses to pressure Israel to return occupied lands according to the UN resolution.

Syria waged a good war in 1973 against Israel with the coordination of Egypt, and managed to reconquer the Golan Heights, only to lose it again when Sadat of Egypt agreed on a cease-fire without the consultation with Syria and the US transporting military hardware to Israel by “an air bridge“. Since 1973, the occupied Golan Heights is one of the most peaceful region:  Syria never attempted to disturb the peace!

Syria of Hafez Assad, the father who grabbed power by a military coup in 1971, sided with Iran of Khomeini against his nemesis Saddam Hussein of Iraq (another leader of the Baath faction) in the decade long war (1980-1989).  Syria also cooperated with the US alliance and send an army to kick Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991.

In return, the US gave Syria mandated power over Lebanon that lasted till 2005, after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri PM.

Bashar succeeded to his father in 2000.  Israel unilaterally retreated from south Lebanon in 2000.  Instead of announcing a timetable for the retreat of Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2000, the new Syrian President got immersed resolving side problems and affirming his power.

The Assad regime is based on the minority Alawi sect (15% of population), a kind of Shia sect. The Alawis got most of the sensitive positions in the army and internal security system, and thus are in the hands of the extended family members.

The Syria Baath party made alliance with a few political parties for the Parliament, but there is a deep sense that the structure of this regime is fundamentally an oligarchic system.

The Syrian regime masterfully kept diplomatic dialogue with the US  Administrations and reached many tacit agreements in cooperating with the US in Iraq, even though Syria is included in the “black list” as a “rogue State” not entirely supporting the US policies.

Syria maintained a strong alliance with Iran for three decades and currently extended firm alliance with Turkey.  The regimes of Mubarak of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan kept the squeeze on Syria by orders from the USA for two decades.  Syria had close ties with Libya of Qadhafi and is still supporting Qadhafi with jet pilots, until the “No Fly Zone” was established.

Two days ago, Syria announced its support to the expeditionary Saudi forces in Bahrain on the premises that these forces were legitimate since they were demanded by the King of Bahrain!  In the meanwhile, Iran vehemently denounced these incursions into Bahrain and is against Qadhafi.  Thus, Syria flaunted Iran’s policies in the region twice in less than two days.

Syria is wooing the alliance of Egypt and Saudi Arabia in order to ward off the current mass Arab uprising everywhere.  Maybe Syria made a hasty move away from Iran before securing its internal stability with new political reforms.

It is obvious that no foreign alliances can withstand the new wrath of the people for everlasting regimes of dictators, one-party regimes, and absolute monarchies.  Lebanon youths have been demonstrating for a secular political structure.  The monarchy in Morocco is witnessing mass upheavals in 40 cities.  Time for outraged is not going to subside any time soon.

People in the Arab States are clear in their demands: “We want a Moratorium on dictators and absolute monarchs.  We want to try democratic systems for a change.  We demand a restoration of our dignity as individual citizens with full human rights…”

Note 1:  The growing squeeze on Bashar al Assad cannot be effective militarily.  The regime might be ripe to collapse financially, but its economy is self-sufficient for basic survival foodstuff.  The irony is that the regime will destroy whatever economic development it managed to install in the last three decades, just to maintain its hold on power.

Note 2: This was my first article on the Syria problems, and it was followed by a dozen other posts as the situation unfolded. Mind you that in the first phase of the uprising, the Syrian wanted to emulate the other Tahrir Squares (Liberation) in Egypt and Tunisia: Out with the dictator regime that lasted 40 years!


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