Trump, Qatar, Russia and Possible Saudi Subterfuge.

I found the combination of the two articles below raises interesting questions.

In particular the suggestion in the first article that Russian hackers may have been paid by Saudi Arabia or the UAE to ignite the Qatar situation. (Saudi Arabia, birth place of Islam and source, financer and major propagator of Wahhabism,  the extreme form of Sunni Islam that led to ISIS, Al Qaeda and similar groups*).

And then Trump takes credit for the situation…

 

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Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds.

An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.

It is believed that the Russian government was not involved in the hacks; instead, freelance hackers were paid to undertake the work on behalf of some other state or individual. Some observers have claimed privately that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates may have commissioned the hackers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/07/russian-hackers-qatar-crisis-fbi-inquiry-saudi-arabia-uae

Trump Takes Credit for Saudi Move Against Qatar, a U.S. Military Partner.

President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, taking credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/world/middleeast/trump-qatar-saudi-arabia.html?_r=0

 

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*

(Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Tens of billions of dollars have been spent by the Saudi government and charities on mosques, schools, education materials, scholarships, throughout the world to promote Islam and the Wahhabi interpretation of it.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism )

 

(Wahhabism to ISIS: how Saudi Arabia exported the main source of global terrorism.

Although IS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century. http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism )

The Radicalisation Environment

During the ongoing coverage of the weekend’s terror attack in London, I saw the end of an interview with Australian Labor Party politician, and “global counter-terrorism expert” Anne Aly, who, in 2015, was the “only Australian invited to the White House to speak at a countering-violent-extremism summit”.

 

A phrase she used caught my attention when she spoke of the conditions that led young Muslim men to turn to the kind of violent extremism displayed in the London attack and other terror events before it.

 

She spoke of a “radicalisation environment”, and from the short part of the interview I saw, I realised that the term could also be used to describe a very common kind of experience – where a community of likeminded people create an “environment” that reinforces particular views and a particular way of thinking. Contrary views are excluded, creating an echo-chamber of ideas where their adopted views are never seriously challenged.

In the “old” days – (my younger days) the term brainwashing was often used to describe a similar process, and it was conducted by groups that were often recognised as “cults” – which were comparatively benign in practice (relative to the Islamists of today), presenting no violent security threat to the community at large despite the personal and family costs that often resulted.

 

While the above mentioned “radicalisation environment” (or brainwashing) can create, reinforce and validate violent actions (as per the Islamists), that basic type of environment isn’t completely different to the experience of anyone who takes faith in God seriously. It is easy to isolate ourselves within groups of people of similar beliefs where the validity of those beliefs is not seriously challenged

The most significant difference is the nature of the God in whom we place our faith. How we think about God and what we believe about God will affect the way we act in response to Him. Simply stated; obedience to a violent god will produce violent followers and obedience to a loving God will produce loving followers.

 

A similar kind of “radicalisation environment” can be found in political groups, and partisan bias becomes so entrenched that the faults in one’s own “wing” of politics can become invisible, as can good aspects of the other political “wing”. Those within that “environment” can easily find themselves going with the flow, turning a blind eye to things they wouldn’t normally accept because it is part of the environment they entered and settled within. By identifying as “conservative” because the “conservative” wing of politics has certain views of morality that we see as scripturally endorsed, we can also be prone to aligning ourselves with some ideological stand points that under scrutiny contradict other parts of scripture.

 

Not only are religious and political thought affected by the insularity of “radicalisation environments”, the influence extends to embrace wider cultural norms; where our own culture is seen as the best, and others are seen as lacking, or aberrant in some way. In the past this has been displayed on the “mission field” where westernised cultural standards, such as dress codes and fashion styles were pressed upon communities as part of the “gospel” being presented.

But religion, politics and culture are never experienced in isolation from each other; and the wrong mix has the potential to become toxic, with national, cultural and political identities blending with religious identity. So our particular nation and culture, or our political views, (in our minds) become more favourable to God than other countries, cultures and political viewpoints. Our group is seen as His group. Our standards are seen as His standards. Our ways are seen as His ways.

 

That can give unwarranted justification to any group’s actions that in reality may be far outside of God’s agenda, and even contrary to it.

More on President Trump.

Trump’s response to London terror:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/04/trump-berates-london-mayor-sadiq-khan-terror-attacks
Trump tweeted:

“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!”

Dear Mr Trump – you may not like to recognise the fact – but you regularly lose more Americans per year in the USA through (non-terrorist) mass shootings than the total number of terrorist casualties across the whole of the western world during the last decade.

The Last Trump: More From the White Evangelical’s Chosen One.

A misguided ideal (making America great again) gives 80+% of American white evangelicals a misguided saviour (President Trump)

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Trump aligns the USA with Syria and Nicaragua.

Amid growing fears that the US will soon join Nicaragua and Syria on the small list of countries refusing to back the climate accord, signed in 2015, Beijing and Brussels have been preparing to announce their intention to accelerate joint efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.

The expected decision from Trump – who once described climate change as a Chinese hoax – has appalled leaders in the EU and China, but there is a resolve to maintain the momentum behind the Paris agreement. EU sources said there was no evidence that any other countries would follow Washington’s lead.

Finnish prime minister Juha Sipila reacted to the reports that Trump intended to withdraw from the Paris agreement by saying that climate change won’t be reversed “by closing your eyes” – and calling the expected withdrawal “a big setback”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/31/china-eu-climate-lead-paris-agreement

Pittsburgh fires back at Trump: we stand with Paris, not you

Trump said ‘I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris’ – but city’s mayor retorts: ‘We stand with the world and will follow the agreement’

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/01/pittsburgh-fires-back-trump-paris-agreement

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Trump breaks protocol telling world leaders to call him on personal cellphone

US president urged Mexican, French and Canadian leaders to contact him directly, bypassing the traditional secure phone lines

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/31/trump-breaks-protocol-telling-world-leaders-to-call-him-on-personal-cellphone

And this differs from using a personal email account in what way?

“I Am Not A Number”

I Am Not a Number: A Refugee’s Tale: Nujeen Mustafa

Also:

Escape from Syria

Today, 1 in 113 people are refugees. In fact there are over 21 million refugees or asylum seekers world wide, and over half are under the age of 18.

Born with cerebral palsy, 16 year old Nujeen Mustafa had barely left her family’s fifth floor apartment her entire life. But in 2014, as a member of Syria’s Kurdish minority, was forced to flee the violence in Aleppo. Christina Lamb tells the remarkable story of being a handicapped child refugee who nevertheless used her optimism and skills with the English language to negotiate with border police and authorities, and finally reaches Germany.

From here:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/nujeens-escape-from-syria/8575370

Here a leak, There a Leak, Everywhere a US Leak (compromising security)

I’m speechless.

But obviously the US President isn’t and neither are US security services:.

 

Firstly, the President Donald Trump appears to have unilaterally released sensitive classified intelligence provided by an ally to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador in an Oval Office meeting.

Secondly, it appears that US officials have been providing information and photographs of the Manchester Arena bombing to US media before they are officially released by the British government.

 

from:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/can-the-us-government-keep-a-secret/8556924

 

Also see:

Trump calls North Korea leader ‘madman’

The US president told Duterte that Washington had sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, comments likely to raise further questions about his handling of sensitive information after US officials said Trump discussed intelligence about Islamic State with Russian officials this month.

http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/trump-calls-north-korea-leader-madman/news-story/b3cd014022856c019d351e751b420ada

 

Theresa May to tackle Donald Trump over Manchester bombing evidence

Prime minister will raise concerns at Nato summit that intelligence leaks from the US have damaged investigation .

British officials were infuriated on Wednesday when the New York Times published forensic photographs of sophisticated bomb parts that UK authorities fear could complicate the expanding investigation into the lethal blast in which six further arrests have been made in the UK and two more in Libya.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/24/theresa-may-to-tackle-donald-trump-over-manchester-bombing-evidence

 

Photographs of Manchester bomb parts published after leak

A series of photographs of the remains of the bomb, the detonator and what appeared to be a rucksack were leaked. The preliminary investigation by the police is extremely detailed, down to the belief that the killer, Salman Abedi, held the small detonator in his left hand.

Suspicion on who leaked it to the US-based reporter rested on US officials, who have been feeding a series of details about the Manchester bombing to American journalists.

Leaking such inside information from the investigation will add to tensions between the US and UK over the extent to which much of the investigation is being leaked by authorities in America.

The latest revelations came hours after the home secretary, Amber Rudd, expressed irritation with the US and expressed hope that the leaks would stop

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/24/us-officials-leak-more-manchester-details-hours-after-uk-rebuke