Iran

The Iran Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, and whatever paramilitary organization that may exist in Iran were all influenced by the assassinated general Soleimani. Some of them directly depended upon his wisdom and strategy which appears to me to be a long game. It would have to be a long game when it is against the largest and most advanced army in the world that is usually more sensitive to public opinion. The Trump effect has essentially stopped the USA from progressing and instead they are arming themselves to the teeth. Trump’s threats are to react with extreme military force, and god help us all if that starts to happen. Because it would make the very out of control government of Iran react.

Iran evidently does not have the command infrastructure in place to prevent their military from accidentally shooting down a plane that had just taken off from Tehran Airport. Or someone panicked and did something stupid after the voice of reason had been silenced. Could it happen again?

Of course, that it could be repeated due to systemic failure of the people who make good decisions now missing and the holes in the knowledge of one of his staff taking on his job before he understood the lines of control of his army.

The narrative that it was one person firing a weapon based on the misunderstandable narrative that the USA going from war footings in the middle east, sending in large numbers of troops to pose as a war leader, they can achieve the same thing by having something done to them to justify breaking every international convention and the dignity of all nations.

And so, Trump intervened and has changed the dynamic of the somewhat covert war with Iran by firing one shot at an organized player on the complex battlefield, to remove their naturally evolved brain of battle with all its programming, religious, social, nationalist and to less degree than previously, racist.

The USA at least places the appearance of racial equality as an absolute necessity even if, as a result of the players in their political arena, there are real and perhaps unintended consequences.

One trouble with Trump is that we believe the racist narrative as fact, we accept that much, so what else does that mean we are accepting due to the inevitable reality of political manipulation of the levers of control as long as we can be seen to be manipulated to have a common opinion we accept the gravity of the result, even if it be false. Even if, as some suppose, that the Tories won that election through some measure of electoral fraud, we would not then sack them as a Government, even in five years, we may not remember it.

It is wise to predict the actions of this Conservative administration, with a long view that can now include the splitting of the Union as a perceived chain around the neck of wealth.

Wealth is their thing, it is not growth. Growth does not just make the very very wealthy even more wealthy. Any growth experienced by Amazon is balanced by contraction of the many thousands of businesses that consequently make less. The budget can only be balanced if Amazon pays a fair tax. Or competes on a level playing field, which would mean no business tax.

Corporate giants erase competition. The High Street is becoming unnecessary. Will it become extinct? Can it survive automatic-delivery and 3D immersion commerce? 3D immersion may only be a perception illusion, but it is strong enough to engage our minds.

What is the essence of reality that we need to gain experience? It is the whole thing, not just the social context, not just the hassle, the sacrifice of self-time and comfort, the having to work.

Real experience is to overcome difficulties. That is what makes us smile. Winning little battles is important. It puts us in control.

Iran has lost its mind. It is now acting like an out of control state enraged with its mistake rather than mourning the passing of one of its real heroes.

By Trump’s own logic, he deserves to be punished for the illegal assassination of a government official, risking a state of war when it would be dangerously inappropriate to the American people.

Or he has murdered an adversary. Which one is worse?

Should the American citizens competing for the right to run against him fear that he may extend his illegal meddling and manipulation of the international relationship between adversarial governments to more excesses than leveraging doubt against the leading contender? Where does the line get drawn for Presidental Privilege?

The trouble with Trump is that he is causing damage to the US and the people who are supporting him often seem to be devoted rather than rational. Perhaps it will suddenly ring home that they did not realize that this reign of King Donald is actually a con, a sham? Did they not look into his literally golden life and realize he is not a Republican? Or a Democrat. He is a perversion of both playing to the advance of his own avarice.

Iran may have backed down because they found out that they do not really have the ability to control their own army during a war. It was a Ukraine flight, but it could have been any flight. Unless it was deliberate.

It is not that Trump knows what he is doing. He is enabling conflict on the world stage. He wants to win an election through ridiculously illegal means. He should be stopped or democracy itself will die and following the successive failures of his daughter, his two sons and his other son and the nation will die along with the Trump dynasty.

Russian Asset

Trump is a Russian asset.

It is not even a question of if President Trump is an asset to Putin and the larger concerts of the emerging Russian Empire, it is self-evident. Look no further than his policies. And the growing mountains of evidence: his statement to the Russian Ambassador that he effectively endorsed and normalised interference in elections: an act of war.

Russia is not really concerned with the EU, of course they want to isolate it from America. Russia is more concerned with four of its neighbours: China, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran.

Trump’s actions have heightened tensions in the gulf which put pressure on energy prices: good for Russia. Trump’s trade war with China provides an opportunity for Russia as well as slow down the most dangerous rival for regional power.

Trump practices the art of disinformation. Instead of denying he sought to influence Ukraine for political ends, he attacks the whistleblower, threatening a firing squad by implication in a filmed “private” event. He is a master of media manipulation: his crimes keep him on the public’s tongue. He is so outrageous he gets away with the obvious shortcomings of blatant lying, of naked manipulation of the economy to suit the ultra-rich and hold the rest of us in stagnation: and half of us cry out for more pain. That half is wearing away, his ride of populism, his denial of the climate crisis, his rampant sexism and racism are buried under louder crimes: somehow he has survived because he is a master of disinformation. A skill that no doubt Vladimir Putin is also very skilled at, being the head of the KGB.

What else do we need to know? Trump is a Russian asset.

Culprit Politics

Who attacked Saudi Arabia?

Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, or the USA? ISIL Terrorists? Or a power struggle within Saudi Arabia?

In this world of complex political motivations, a case could be made for many actors. The need for absolute irrefutable proof is the risk of a massive war being launched without reason. And what is the real long term solution to this?

Oversupply of oil depressed prices until this attack when prices rose considerably, and the outlook becomes uncertain.

Who is the culprit?

Saudi Arabia is at war with Yemen, a violent and unbalanced war, so the Houthi rebels have the motivation to undermine Saudi oil income. And they have drones https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-aramco-houthis/yemen-houthi-drones-missiles-defy-years-of-saudi-air-strikes-idUSKBN1W22F4. It was an act of war and there is a war in progress.

Iran and Saudi are “enemies” in that they are both the breeding grounds for extremists on opposite sides of ancient conflicts. Both are major oil exporters but Iran suffers from years of sanctions that Saudi Arabia does not. And yet both have a terrible record on human rights, gender dignity, and freedom. Both have committed crimes against the USA and Israel, and yet Iran is the one that is seen as “the enemy”. Iran may seem like a feasible enemy, with motivation, but they have more to lose if it was proven beyond any doubt to have been an act of war. The consequences could cost Iran more than it benefits. It does not appear logical as a planned act of war, but it is possible.

Syria with Russia backing could have launched drones against Saudi Oil. It would raise the price of oil on world markets and counter the US shale oil price depression. It seems unlikely, but there does appear to be motivation.

A power struggle within Saudi? Doubtful that it would be the opening salvo of a revolution: a faction could hardly benefit from a self-inflicted wound.

The USA? Doubtful, except in the minds of the most extreme conspiracy theorists.

Terrorists acting out of Iraq? Unlikely, there is no human cost, it is an economic attack. And a claim of responsibility never occurred.

We think the Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility are the most logical culprit. And a rush to blame Iran is obviously going to move the clock closer to midnight.

The Arms Trade

The arms trade is responsible for the deaths of millions of people.  The world’s leading arms dealers are therefore responsible for the arming of those who have money to spend, authoritarian oil countries are there to be drained of cash.

War is a tragic error in values.  It used to be the armies that would draw up and one would be defeated and the victors return home or invade the other’s lands.  

These modern days, the billions spent to defend or attack end up destroying one or several civilisations.   Is this a result of the world’s globalised economy, or the sudden breakout of nationalism: the funding of the the gross waste of the economically fixated old-style economics dominant in the right-wing governments of the UK and USA at this time.  Two very indebted nations.  They rely on the income from nation building after the arms trade has destroyed an enemy.

The consumption of humanity for economic reasons or other abstracts has resulted in more death, destruction and rebuilding.  Does this offer wealth investment opportunities gaining access to contracts that would not exist without the convincing gravity of a war.  Such spending in peace time is rejected but when funds are denied to local councils, education and health, when the government is hostile to immigrant labour, the structure that builds tomorrow’s growth is undermined.  We become a nation of tax dodging owners of apparent wealth. 

Now we can even fight wars remotely.  If this suffering is the engine of economic success, there is something very wrong with our fundamental philiosophy.  We claim capitalism is brilliant, and yet the governments of two of the most capitalistic countries in the world are so severely in debt.  In Trump’s America, end days are upon us, we may as well go out with a bang than wimpering on.  

Russian Spy poisonings

It is hard to trust the word of either government.

Britain has a government that pursues an extreme agenda saying it is the “will of the people” when that is clearly untrue. The accusation against Russia, in this case, does appear logical but the photos of two men is hardly enough evidence to take Putin to the Hague or for reparations. It could feasibly be a “false flag” incident.

Putin’s statement that they are civilians is not very well supported by the two men’s story, which sounds rather silly, especially their statement that men would not carry women’s perfume on a plane without arousing suspicion. Who else would target enemies of the Russian state?

The UK has already spent millions on this. Due process is expensive. Russia has lost far more due to sanctions.

You got to ask, who benefits? Who are enemies of both states?

See also: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/13/skripals-russia-putin-salisbury-poisoning-suspects-interview

States of War

Why does war exist? As a philosophical question, we can explore all manner of motivations for warfare. Very few wars benefit anyone, but while it may be true that some make sense, at first, others clearly do not. Specifically, intimidation, tariffs and standover tactics appear more common measure in today’s world where power and primacy again matter much more than constructing a world that can be at peace.

If two sets of people have conflicting interests, it follows that skirmishes may develop and the organisation of governments invokes a structure that may amplify aggression. Who will speak out when the police may beat protesters to death? In a country that represses freedom of speech, the silence of protest deepens until it becomes a political body with veins of reasons to think a certain way.

Do democracies exist to stop society from descending into self-interested groups that then go to war? If a sense of democracy (UK and USA both have a political direction that was NOT voted for my a majority of people, i.e. 42.4% and 46.09% respectively) exists, it exists in the hearts of people. When politicians lose the hearts of people, they lose elections. When they do something illogical, their fortunes may not, in many cases, turn out badly. But let’s say that any sort of democratic control is better than none, so long as it can remove a dictator who is to say that people do not have a right to collectively support the general direction established by a majority vote. And a supermajority must be required if it is a constitutional change that could have more effect upon future generations.

A country is the political unit that may go to war with another, causing terrible consequences, human suffering, destruction, destitution and finally change.

War is romanticised for consumption.

Not only is there nothing good about war, it is sold to children, it is cheered on by the ignorant and is won by complete bastards. Our complete bastards beat theirs and now it is time for them to climb down and let the accountants take over. After the WWII horrors, the world has had a golden age which now appears to be over. The USA has had involvement in 14 wars since WWII (all without Congressional approval), Russia/USSR about 23. UK, 32 (some of these are fishing skirmishes with Iceland)

Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?

Nuclear Threat

Does North Korea pose a genuine threat to the USA with a handful of nuclear missiles pointed in its general direction?

Does the USA pose a genuine threat to North Korea?

Both bear the scars of a dreadful war in the early 1950s; a war that has not officially ended. In the intervening years, South Korea has emerged as a powerhouse exporting nation with advanced technology competing with Japan and China boasting companies such as Samsung. North Korea, in comparison, has locked itself into a military specialisation to the detriment of its own people who slavishly admire their leader or land up in a gulag, starved to death.

And now they are testing ICBM missiles and it is only a matter of time before they are able to use one against its enemy, the sponsor of South Korea, the USA. And now both countries have belligerent leaders who want to prove themselves with a “good war”.

The USA accuse Russia and China of responsibility here. Russia and China would rather not be at war with the USAA, so having a proxy threat is perhaps useful. All out nuclear war, of course, is in the interests of nobody.

What is the endgame for this terrible standoff? It seems unlikely that either party would not blink due to the nature of Nuclear weapons. If North Korea were to risk launching one, the retaliation could be complete and final. They will never have enough weapons to stop a systematic invasion let alone a nuclear response, but America would most likely have to live with the threat until it can justify action to China and Russia or better yet, engage with them to finally oust the military regime of North Korea.

Guardian article

Reunification turned Germany into a world leader. It is time for Korea to reconsider its path for mutual benefit between the North and the South. Is it in the interests of the West, Japan or anyone for North Koreans to suffer so and for the shroud of death to hang over the region? Does Trump style diplomacy help or is there a better way to help the Koreans to unify?

Fear drives North Korea to act

Shoot to kill

The Prime Minister, electioneering, has said that she fully supports “shoot to kill” while defending herself from the resonant accusation that she reduced the police forces during her time as Home Secretary and since by nearly 50,000.

“Shoot to kill” may sound like a brief action of a few armed officers but the concentration of automatic weapon brandishing officers in London has increased so much in the last ten years. The reduction in police on the beat has made the city feel under siege rather than safe.

Armed police are useless as investigators. As a last resort, they are more effective than a riot squad armed with batons, but it is only as a last resort are they at all effective. The PM is blind to the actual problem, she thinks that brute force is the only path to defeating terrorism, but it is actually the presence of many police with guns that normalises the fear and rewards terrorism for changing the way that we live, under constant reminders of threat.

London has over 2 million cameras which are nearly useless in detection but serve police well after an incident has occurred as investigatory tools. Reduction of police forces by such large numbers means that the support staff necessary to investigate and detect simply are not there. Being able to also now monitor internet chatter would not strengthen detection, it would require another 100,000 back office staff. There are not enough now to detect issues and thinking they can trail 20,000 people and predict that when they hire vehicle, they should be arrested, is plainly illogical.

To defeat terrorism, remove the reasons that stimulate it. Of course, there will always be radicals and insane criminality. Of course, there will always be thugs. But breeding them with an imbalanced society and starving the police of resources is Theresa May’s real crime. She is the cause of this rash of terrorism.