Middle East

Is Tommy Robinson in the minority with a #2 rank book on Amazon?

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There is no moral equivalence to be drawn here with this latest attack outside Finsbury mosque in London. Innocent people were mown down by a van driven by someone filled with rage and hate. Social media is already screaming “bigot, racist, terrorist, anti-Muslim, radical” but there is a much bigger point not being addressed. The social boiling point is being reached much more rapidly than the media will admit.  Tommy Robinson was accused across social media for inspiring anti-Muslim rhetoric and fueling this person to commit the crime. His tweets matched his long standing convictions and predictions. Perhaps everyone who has bought Tommy’s book “Enemy of the State”  (ranked #2 book on Amazon UK, #131 in Canada and #2375 in America & now $350 on paperback) could be a risk of commiting such acts if that is the generalization. Of course it is nonsense. By the measure of the sales success perhaps his views maybe more mainstream than the negative ‘extreme’ moniker that is often hurled at him.

Could it be argued that a growing number of people are growing sick and tired of random jihadi attacks and see this book as a guide on how the government isn’t  handling the problem? That was not a intended to be a fact checking laced comment rather pointing out that many people potentially share his supposed ‘patriotic’ view as demonstrated by the commerciality of his writing. This is no longer a pure jihadi problem but one that is now likely to become tit-for-tat terrorism which carries far more negative connotations.

Think beyond the all too common propensity to push prejudices by lashing out on social media with little thought to trying to understand the full arguments of alternative views. Do we take a book review from apologists as fact when most of those have probably never read his book cover to cover? I am reading it because I want to form my own judgement rather than rely on others’ bias. He has strong views but no better way than self vetting. I’ve read Mein Kampf in what must be the most appalling book ever written – grammatically and content-wise. For one whose family escaped the deaths camps of Poland, trying to understand the ravings of Hitler brought added perspective to the horror although some might conclude reading it is an endorsement. It is not.

Innocents are dead or injured in this attack on Fisnbury Park Mosque. If indeed Tommy has a minority view, most people wouldn’t buy his book. Are all the people that buy it racist? Even if one thinks they are then even more reason to say that the government’s current pandering to political correctness won’t solve these hate fueled events whether radical jihadis or right (left?) wing nutters. Do violent video games incite massacres? Are all ‘Brexiters’ a carbon copy of the man who murdered Labour politician Jo Cox days before the referendum?  Do we need to bring in Islamophobic legislation like Canada (Bill M-103) to shut down people expressing concern? No, No and No. Current policy approaches are having the opposite effect as this attack proves.

At the time of the Manchester bombing I warned that vigilantism would be an ugly side effect of endless political correctness. Coincidentally Robinson suggested similar views about the rise of vigilantes after that post in a vlog. Wasting a lot of time on what  motivated the driver to commit such a terrible crime is not necessary. It is obvious. It is a revenge attack. This is highly likely to be a person screaming out for something to be done about a problem he obviously doesn’t think is being handled properly by elected officials. He probably viewed himself as a vigilante even if that title might be an overreach in this instance.  This in no way defends his despicable actions. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter was often used by IRA sympathisers. Still it doesn’t in anyway condone killing or maiming innocents, no matter what ideology, faith, race or background they come from. It is plain awful. The majority of people would agree with that view.

Revenge attacks and reprisals only exacerbate a rapidly deteriorating relationship. However trying to say the perpetrator proves that not all such attacks are driven by radical Islam doesn’t address the core of the problem. The majority of good people (note a deliberate statement not to go down the identity politics line) want an end to innocent deaths at the hands of extremists but if free speech and the ability to tackle radicalism (wherever it lies) aren’t openly addressed these events will sadly continue. It should be totally in the interests of the majority of ‘good’ Muslims (I detest that phraseology) to want to stop radicals from collectivising their faith with what they perceive is the wrong interpretation. Common sense would say they are the most important link in the chain to weed out those who want to kill in the name of Allah. They need to be front and centre of the debate.

What the UK government (and other governments) have created is a monster of their own making. Candles, flowers, lit monuments, avatars, expressions of sympathy and ‘love conquers hate’ posts dodge the need to have a serious debate on the problem. Now we have seen first hand a real openly targeted revenge attack in the UK, people need less sanctimonious posturing on social media and focus their energies on truly understanding what is at stake. That is to ditch the liberal hand-wringing and have an open debate on the problem. Robinson’s book isn’t selling in the volumes it is by chance. Politicians should pay attention to this trend. It is not about arguing about whether he is right or wrong but noting the simmering underbelly of a growing number of people fed up with inaction. This is the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.

What did people expect? Understanding Middle Eastern politics

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One would have to be as isolated as a Japanese Imperial Army soldier discovered 40 years after the war ended to be surprised at Trump’s strike on Syria after a gassing. Do people honestly think drawing criticism from Iran or Russia is some mysterious happening? This is sadly the result of 8 years of impotent foreign policy which made America a laughing stock to despots. From Michelle Obama hashtagging Boko Haram on Twitter to release kidnapped school girls to allowing China to build man made islands in disputed territories.

Blowing up infrastructure in another sovereign nation is always going to create its own set of problems and questions. However the response from bully nations who have been used to running the school yard in recent times are naturally going to feel precious when given a taste of their own medicine.

As mentioned in the previous dispatch, geopolitical jigsaws aren’t first derivative. They’re usually 2nd,3rd and 4th interconnections.

Iran has long used Syria as a ‘highway’ into Lebanon to maintain influence in the region. Russia has only been too glad to be its arms supplier of choice. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been present in Syria for decades and ever since the Arab Spring has been making sure Assad keeps the highway open to Lebanon. Does it surprise you that Iran has been active in Yemen with the Houthi tribe to overthrow the Saudi loyal government in Sana’a and create instability in Riyadh?

When the US pulled out of Iraq in 2011 they left a huge power vacuum which was filled with pro-Iranian elements. Then Shi’ite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki had worked with the US to clean out pro-Sunni Saddam- loyalists and when Obama withdrew al-Maliki sold them out. He then accused the US of backing ISIS to reestablish a military presence in Iraq in 2014.

For Russia, Syria gives it a naval port and access to geopolitical weapons to exploit against the West. If the US puts missile defenses in Poland or the Czech Republic, Putin can flare up a crisis in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia values Israel. Not on any religious grounds but as a buffer against Iran.  Far better to have a strong power act on their behalf than risk direct confrontation. It makes sense. Iran use Syria and Hizbollah to supply Palestine with rockets to nip at the heels of Israel and make them look like oppressors. That brings worldwide condemnation and led the likes of Obama to abstain from a vote to undermine a loyal ally.

So people need to separate fact from fiction. Trump is keen on reestablishing American dominance on the world stage. Foreign policy is never a pleasant or easy business when dealing with nations who have long histories and longer memories. The missile strikes in Syria were multi faceted. On one hand to counter chemical attacks. On the other to put Russia back in its box showing a new kid is on the block and Putin will gain far more being inside the tent pissing out than on the outside pissing in.

Of course the foreign ministries are sending strong messages of anger, condemnation and a halt to cooperation. That is page 1 section 1 of the manual. Cooler heads prevail and countries move to working out how to turn an ugly situation that allows Russia to keep skin in the game, the US to look tough again and the overthrow of Assad (he can live in Zimbabwe) without leaving a huge vacuum. In case you were wondering most of the pro-Iranian Syrian  Army top brass are Sunni. To them the luxuries they are afforded as elites outweighs their religious preference.

Markets will react. The mainstream media will dig up conspiracy theories and predict we’re on the brink of war but this is Trumps’s first message to the world – That guy you had for the last 8 years is no longer around. Things are different under new management.

Trump is unpredictable and whether we like it or not that actually makes the best leader to tackle such crises. One always has to second guess the real intentions of someone who can change on a whim.

Don’t believe the hype.

When our protectors play the victim

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I am amazed that these two – Merkel and Hollande – can continue on with the same rhetoric despite the atrocities committed in their countries. I have a simple idea for them, one which legitimate asylum seekers will rapidly and completely endorse – have a zero tolerance policy of immediate and automatic deportation should “any” crime be committed. That way you can appeal to your humanitarian side and at the same time deal with a crime wave that you are having to bury by media blackouts and gagging/restricting the police.

Anyone with a bit of common sense knows that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are completely at odds with the customs and values the politicians wish to celebrate (in fact they really don’t because they punish those who protest having to give up unnecessary freedoms) as taking the moral high ground. Taking the moral high ground only matters if the people they seek to persuade have morals. They don’t. Virtue signaling does zero. Let’s look at the NYE speeches of Merkel and Hollande.

Part of the transcript from Chancellor Merkel on NYE:

“As we pursue our lives and our work, we tell the terrorists: They are murderers full of hatred, but it’s not they who determine how we live and want to live…We are free, humane, open. Together, we are stronger. Our state is stronger.”

Part of the transcript from President Hollande on NYE:

“In five months you will make a choice … France is open to the world, it is European, it is fraternal. How can we imagine our country huddled behind walls, reduced to its only domestic market, returning to its national currency and in addition, discriminating against its children according to their origins?”

Cllr Merkel, murderers shouldn’t influence how people live but to tell your citizens to be nice, avoid certain areas, change dress codes to avoid harassment and so on-things they never needed to do in the past- is the exact opposite of what rational people think. If visitors are invited to your home and they trash it, move the furniture and steal your TV should you just suck it up and put it down to a small minority and move on? That is what you’re effectively saying.

I’m all for compassion but believe me that does not at any stage mean a country should surrender its culture and values. Switzerland is bang on the money. They argue – if you don’t plan to assimilate to our culture we don’t want you. It’s not  racist or bigoted at all. If I invite you to my house please respect my rules. That is a global truism. Even lost tribes in South America would practice the same courtesy in neighborly dwellings.

True asylum seekers who are fleeing for their lives would not be so stupid as to ruin any chance of getting a new start. Their gratitude should be so overwhelming that committing crimes would be unthinkable. Zero tolerance is the only policy. It shouldn’t affect true refugees at all.

When I read in Sweden that 5 Afghani youths raped a 15 yo boy and filmed it, what did the authorities do? They claimed it was too dangerous to send them back to their home country? I’m sorry? They mean to tell me that a 15yo (probably traumatized for life) gets the rough end of people with no gratitude or respect for the locals? If there was any truer proof of the lack of reciprocity and gratitude for Swedes, this is it. Yet they fold because progressiveness is more important to show to themselves even if the people that should get the message don’t care.

Hollande spoke of exactly the reason why these people continue to commit crime – they don’t care for the rules of France. Because he paints them as victims, they play the victim card every time. Few would “discriminate against these children because of their origin” if you Mr President didn’t openly treat them differently. Have you realized why you have the lowest popularity of any President since WW2? What is this about hiding behind walls? You must be drinking the same punch as Juncker. Who said anything about ending trade? I’d give up some inconvenience at a border crossing for ensuring my kids were less likely to be run over by a truck or machine gunned in a cafe or eviscerated at a rock concert!

Mr Hollande, your country is found on Liberté, égalité, fraternité so don’t make your own citizens suffer a restriction on liberties, equality  and fraternity. It is not the responsibility of you to sell out the French people. Several of my Vietnamese friends in Australia were children of  boat people. Their gratitude on the whole has been reflected in their contributions to their new land. They’re friendly, polite and so willing to pay back our gratitude. Some Sudanese refugees in Australia on the other hand have formed a gang in Victoria which has been responsible for countless home invasions, car thefts, car chases and aggravated robberies to mention yet the authorities try to downplay ethnic selection. Of course not all Sudanese refugees are like the Apex gang but perpetrators  should all be sent home. Zero tolerance. Why should Australia have any sympathy? Why should Australian taxpayers bear such unnecessary costs of incarceration?  This is the same stupidity behind the prosecution of Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders over saying Moroccan crime is too disproportionate to their numbers. It’s not racist or bigoted but statistically significant (and true). Then ask yourself why his party’s popularity surged after the conviction? The people are telling lawmakers and the judicial system “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!” Same as One Nation in Australia. People are sick of platitudes and empty rhetoric from spineless politicians who live in fear of negative Twitter feeds.

I’m against diversity for diversity’s sake. I’m for meritocracy all the way. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people and skin colour, education level, sexual persuasion or gender aren’t on my list. In fact some of my best sales people had one key ingredient- passion – and it showed. If leaders (and I use the term loosely) keep creating more obstacles for people to hide behind them they create exactly the same outcomes they’re trying to prevent. People speak of Merkel’s economic miracle and low unemployment. Does anyone know that Germany has doubled its public sector workforce to 18% of all employees since 2006? Bigger government means preventing the private sector’s ability to create greater efficiency. I wouldn’t be surprised if the German gov’t ends up hiring refugees at the expense of its citizens. Increasing your working population to deal with an aging population is one thing. To do it with no sensible plan is another. When the proverbial hits the fan I’ll not be in the least surprised.

How they can’t see that is a mystery. Wait a minute I forgot. Seeming to good is more important than doing good with today’s politicians. “At least I tried” doesn’t cut it anymore which is again why I’m hopeful a Trump presidency that throws political correctness out the window may get things done rather than just talking about it like his soon to be predecessor.

President Trump wins the “Go to Hell” vote

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Call it what you will but the underdog won. I always held Trump had closet voters uneasy about admitting it in public for fear of retribution. Never has someone in US politics had so much stacked against him -the mainstream media, Democrats, many Republican Party elites, Wall St and self-inflicted gaffes. Throughout the entire campaign most people wrote him off yet his biggest Trump card was “Make America Great Again” which resonated with those who had been suffering under the veil of ill guided economic policy and political correctness under Obama and to be fair previous administrations. Sure people screamed he awoke the racists and bigots but there aren’t c.60mn that voted for him. Hillary lost fair and square, her second loss.

Trump, as Michael Moore said, “was the Molotov cocktail”for disaffected voters. It is not only a massive shock to the Democrats but a true reflection of how hollow Obama’s achievements actually were viewed by voters today. Had his legacy been so untouchable  the people would show him love and Hillary Clinton could have sat in Obama’s golf cart instead of campaigning for 12 months. Yes he was left with a mess after Bush but his constant dodging of due process, using the DoJ to deliberately mislead multiple supreme courts forcing mandatory ethics training for its members. His liberal policies failed voters – that’s why his party was beaten in the popular vote and the electoral vote.

While some may rattle on about the glass ceiling and this being a sexist vote against Clinton, I say it wasn’t.  America voted a black man into the Oval Office twice. They’ve passed the diversity test. Clinton carried decades of scandal, baggage, Clinton Foundation pay for play, FBI investigations, an alleged rapist for a husband and potential health issues to weigh her cause down. I also thought Tim Kaine was awful (he was thumped by Pemce in the VP debate) and never forget his line that “I’ve never lost in 9 elections” Such ‘Titanic is unsinkable’ chatter was a confirmation for me that the Dems drowned in hubris.

Another problem was the media believing their own BS. They were so stuck in their own echo chamber which invited the disaffected to sign up to vote. I wrote a report on social media showing how much it was weighing in Trump’s favour. How many 10s of thousands saw after fed his rallies.

The Republican Party will also get a massive kick in the arse. Many repudiated Trump. They did in the hope he’d lose so they could retain their core and act as true Republicans. That will be their downfall.

As to what a Trump presidency holds it will be unpredictable. Although Pemce will be a steadying hand.

Of course the bleating begins. The elites will choke on their Michelin star filet mignon steaks at their 5-star hotels wondering what went wrong. I said that this election was about poverty. 8 years of Obama made it worse. Many Democrat supporters shoved economic record after record in my face and I disproved it saying the people experiencing hardship are going through it in real time while you live behind your gated compound. The left has often resorted to name calling the deplorables as idiots and unintelligent. One suggested was genocide or education required to turn them? I queried why do people who support a party like the Democrats have an issue with democracy? People tried to belittle people at Brexit comparing leavers to morons. To turn the argument on its head those criticizing them could be accused of blind ignorance.

So beyond that expect two things in the investment world – buy defense and fossil fuel stocks and sell renewable energy. Buy gold because the world economy is already at breaking point.

For Japan, the US won’t abandon them in defense. On the contrary. Under Obama defense spending has sunk to 3.7% of GDP and I’m guessing under Trump it will head back to 4.5%+ range. I think he’ll unite Russian interests with regards to Syria. His protectionist policies will have ramifications but as the worlds largest economy there is a prerogative to do it. TPP is dead

On balance I know many Democrats will be borderline suicidal but Trump will be nowhere near as bad as the group think media has made him. The economy is already on the ropes. Therefore hard choices will be easier to make. The American people have given him the keys to the Oval Office to make change and the best part of it will be “political correctness” will be buried deep into the White House garden.

Crash survivor wins $1mn lottery

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Despite the tragic loss of a firefighter post the crash of an Emirates 777 in Dubai, a 62yo Indian passenger, Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar,who resides in Dubai bought a $1mn lottery ticket at Dubai Airport before his out leg to India. On his return to Dubai he escaped the crashed plane to find out the following week he’d won the prize.

Khadar said he was planning to return to Kerala to retire and would use the money to help children in Kerala who need financial support.He said he earns around $2,200a month, and would continue to work as long as he could.“Nothing else can give you the satisfaction of your hard-earned money!” 

The old adage goes that one should buy a lottery ticket after escaping adversity. It seems one needs to buy one before it.