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Two Failures In One Day – Missile Defense Is An Embarrassment – It Won’t Work

Editor’s Note: This article had to be edited due to spelling and grammar errors.We apologize to our readers.
Two Failures In One Day – Missile Defense Is An Embarrassment
– It Won’t Work

 

By Moon Of Alabama

 

 

Within the new $700 billion defense budget the U.S. Congress allocated more money for missile defense:

The Pentagon would spend an additional $1 billion on two of Lockheed’s missile defense systems, bringing total appropriations for the Missile Defense Agency to $11.5 billion.

Two incidents last night provide again that missile defense is a waste of money. It hardly ever works. Strategic missile defense, which the U.S. builds to take down intercontinental missiles, will not protect against the new weapons Russia is now pursuing. The U.S. military acknowledges this. After Putin announced the new weapon systems, Trump administration raised the white flag and suddenly asked for new arms control talks.

Last night the Yemeni army launched (vid) seven ballistic missiles against Saudi Arabia. Three of those targeted the capital Riyadh, four were aimed at military and infrastructure targets. In Riyadh, the Saudi forces fired a number of Patriot surface-to-air missiles and claimed that those successfully intercepted the Yemeni missiles. The Saudis Patriot Advanced Capabilities-2 system (PAC-2) are made by the U.S. company Raytheon which is also hiring former U.S. soldiers as ‘Patriot Battery Systems Technician Field Engineers’ to man and maintain the Saudi systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Earlier Saudi claims of successful intercepts turned out to be false. The small warheads of the Yemeni missiles separate from the larger missile body and are difficult to detect. The U.S. provided systems inevitably aims at the bigger empty missile body.

This time various videos from Riyadh show that at least seven interceptors were fired against the three incoming missiles. At least two of the interceptors failed catastrophically. The other five seem to have simply self-destructed at height. There is no sign of any real interception.

One of the Patriot interceptors prematurely exploded during its boost phase. Its burning debris showered the ground with hot parts.

 

How a real Patriot should function, killing the guys who did 9/11 instead of serving them.

The other defense missiles seem to have self-destructed at height presumably after they lost contact with the target. Each of these Patriot MIM-104C missiles costs some $2-3 million.

The Saudis say that one man was killed and two were wounded in the Yemeni attack. It is more likely that these people were victims of the missile defense fire than of the attacking missiles.

In another missile defense incident yesterday Israel fired at least some twenty of its U.S. paid Iron Dome interceptors against presumed missiles coming from the Gaza strip:

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile shield intercepted a number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Israeli media reported, after warning sirens sounded around the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.
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Several videos show the missiles explode in a flash high up in the air. Such explosions are often interpreted as successful intercept but are usually just the programmed self-destruction which prevents that whole missile carcasses fall down on the people below. Indeed none of a missile the Israeli army fired destroyed any targets as none were there:

Multiple Code Red false alarms were blasted in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Councils and in the southern city of Sderot Sunday evening as the Iron Dome missile-defense mistook bullets from the Gaza Strip for a fusillade of rockets.

The regional councils originally reported that the Iron Dome anti-missile system was said to have intercepted every rocket. However, the IDF later confirmed that no salvo had been fired at Israel.

“No salvo was fired at territory in the State of Israel. The situation in the Gaza region is usual. The interceptions by the Iron Dome system were activated because of the firing of bullets from the strip. Nothing fell in Israeli territory. It is being checked whether mortars or rockets were even fired at all,” the statement read.

Before the IDF clarification, the regional councils instructed the southern residents to remain in sheltered rooms.

Each Iron Dome missile costs at least $50,000. The IDF just spent $1,000,000 of U.S. taxpayer money because some ‘oversensitive‘ system mistook random gunfire not aimed at Israel for incoming missiles.

The U.S. strategic missile defense is against incoming long-range missiles. The Patriot systems in Saudi Arabia are supposed to defend against medium-range ballistic missiles. The Israeli Iron Dome systems should defend against short-range missile attacks.

All three systems are obviously incapable of fulfilling their task. All three demonstrate that missile defense is prohibitively costly. The cost of each missile defense interceptor is a multitude of the costs of the attacking missile. The number of interceptors is limited and the systems can be exhausted and overwhelmed by swarm attacks of cheap dummies followed by a real attack.

Last year the Saudis were pushed by the Trump administration to buy the new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system:

The package that cleared Friday would include 44 THAAD launchers, 360 interceptors, 16 THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Groups and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars, along with associated support equipment and training.

This new system is supposed to defend Saudi Arabia against Iranian ballistic missiles. But according to a South-Korean analysis, the THAAD missile defense system has the same problem the Patriot system has. It can easily be deceived by cheap decoys and it tends to hit the incoming missile body while missing the separate warhead which simply continues its attack on the target.

When the Saudi clown prince visited Washington last week The U.S. president made an embarrassing show (vid) out of such sales. The Saudis will have to pay some $15 billion for the basically useless THAAD system. “That’s peanuts to you,” said Trump, but Saudi citizens may not agree with such banter. The clown prince was, apparently, not amused.

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But what can he do? If he stops buying useless U.S. weapons the borg in Washington will ‘regime change’ him in no time.

Current missile defense is economically not viable. The limits of physics make it easy to overcome. But the systems still have their purpose.

For U.S. politicians they are a scalable way to move taxpayer money towards the owners of the defense industry. For the Israeli government, they are a (U.S. paid) psychological tool to prevent its people from protesting against the consequences of Zionist land robbery. The Saudis see them as inevitable ransom payment in the U.S. extortion scheme of its ‘allies’.

Yesterday’s public failures of missile defense endanger those purposes. If the general public comes to believe that missile defense can not work the whole scam falls apart. Any future sale should thus be conditioned on a promise to not ever use the acquired system. 

This article was originally published by “Moon Of Alabama” 

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Preview YouTube video شاهد العملية الصاروخية التى استهدفت عدد من الأهداف في العمق السعودي تحمل اسم الشهيد ابوعقيل

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Preview YouTube video Patriot and Ballistic Missiles in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Patriot and Ballistic Missiles in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Preview YouTube video بالفيديو : لحظة إنحراف و سقوط صواريخ الدفاع الجوي السعودي على السكان

بالفيديو : لحظة إنحراف و سقوط صواريخ الدفاع الجوي السعودي على السكان

Preview YouTube video Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts Multiple Rockets Fired From Gaza

Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts Multiple Rockets Fired From Gaza

Preview YouTube video ‘That’s peanuts to you’: Trump brings props showing Saudi weapons purchases

‘That’s peanuts to you’: Trump brings props showing Saudi weapons purchases

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LET THE KASHMIRI WOMEN LIVE by Mehwish Zia

LET THE KASHMIRI WOMEN LIVE

by

Mehwish Zia 

 

 

 

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Let’s stand in their shoes. How does it feel to stay away from home in a place where there is a miserable story behind every face? A land of misery where humans breathe but do not live their lives, voices are suppressed by mocking the humanity and children grow up under the shadow of fear. A land where daring freedom fighters are terrorists, helpless women are subjects of sexual comfort and innocent youngsters are a threat. A land where extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual assault against women and harassment of students are a part of the routine. No matter how you feel you are forced to do whatever your superiors tell you. No matter what happens in front of your eyes, your job is to zip your mouth and say yes to the call of duty .i.e. suppression of the cause of Kashmiris. Above all is the regret of being part of a dirty game. This is no different from fighting the internal demon. Even if there is no regret, frustration is a good reason to commit crimes against humanity. The result is soldiers purging their inner frustration by raping unfortunate women, beating innocent youngsters to death, shooting their own colleagues and committing suicide by shooting themselves with their service rifle. Unless you are a psychopath or a serial killer, you will go through the same hell and face the same consequences.

 

 

Perhaps women are the worst victim of human rights infringement in Indian Occupied Kashmir. According to Kashmir Media Service, 2,305 women have been martyred by Indian army and police during the last 25 years. Since Jan 1989, almost 10,129 women have been gang-raped / molested whereas 22,786 have been widowed. Abduction and sexual harassment of Kashmiri women is a tool to stop , not only women but also men , from raising their voices against Indians. The number of Kashmiri women suffering from psychological disorders is greater than that of men. Mental stress is one of the major reasons behind the infertility of Kashmiri women. Being a part of society where a woman is either dependent on her father, son, brother or husband, death/imprisonment of the guardian exposes them to a number of challenges. Though those who are responsible for the incidents like Kunan Poshpora mass rape and Shopian tragedy never received what they deserved, unfortunate women faced far worse consequences.Just because Indian soldiers raped them , a pregnant woman gave birth to a child with a fractured arm, a 16 year old girl married a 50 year old divorcee , woman committed suicide and what not.It is the Kashmiri woman who faces difficulties in getting married, who could not continue studies , who becomes a cause of the social isolation of her family, who is nobody but a burden for the whole family or sometimes for the whole village. Why? Who cares!

 

Every intergovernmental organization has three main points at the top of its agenda, i.e. international peace, political stability and economic welfare. On the contrary, God knows what SAARC is doing among the list of intergovernmental organizations. One of the significant members of SAARC is the cause of the death of 94,110 Kashmiris during the last 25 years . Unfortunately, since the time of its conception SAARC has not even a single noteworthy achievement . Kashmir issue is the main reason behind it . Even in the recent SAARC conference , the representatives of India and Pakistan could not do more than just warmly shaking hands and exchanging gossips. If SAARC is sincere with its cause , it has to play its role in the resolution of Kashmir issue. The resolution of Kashmir issue is mandatory for the stability of not only Kashmir, but also of South Asia. Therefore, it must be resolved in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations. Or else, the suffering of Kashmiris will never end.

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THE MISKEEN: RACISM SAUDI STYLE

SAUDI ARABIA WAS ALMOST THE LAST TO END SLAVERY OFFICIALLY IN 1974 YET BY NATURE RETAIN ALL THE INSTINCTS OF SLAVE-RUNNING ALIVE

 

Brig Mehboob Qadir has penned an excellent article on the Arabs’ history.  Only 70 years ago  they used to wait for their food that an Indian Maharaja used to send, since they were paid keepers of Muslim sacred lands.

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THE MISKEEN:

RACIST EPITHET — — USED TO ADDRESS PAKISTANIS, INDIANS, BENGLADESHIS,FILIPINOS,MALAYS,& SRI LANKANS 

 

 

Saudi Arabia was almost the last to end slavery officially in 1974 yet by nature retain all the instincts of slave-running alive
 
Miskeen — by Mehboob Qadir
Miskeen is a spoken Saudi equal of ‘poor wretch’ used to denote mainly the Asian labour force, coloured workers and expatriates from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. For those of African and North African origins, they have different titles. More than a word, it shows a whole Saudi racial, social and national attitude and a rancid hubris. In this context, Ummah is either a misnomer or merely a convenience for the Arab. They are Saudis, Iraqis, Egyptians, Yemenis, Kuwaitis Bahrainis, Emiratis or whatever, but brothers in the Ummah. That notion is basically a political convenience. We, in the subcontinent, are emotionally more transparent and excitable. An Arab, like his camel, is emotionally frigid except when he is slighted or his female space is threatened. Despite a strangely adversarial disposition towards females, they count them among their possessions like the black tent, camels and cattle. One realised that the Saudi men’s honour and prestige seem to be tied more to their ability to control their women by diamond necklaces and gold biscuits than any equation of a sublime human relationship. Their family canvas is a sorry mess because of institutionalised licentiousness through a flood of divorces and multiple marriages. A society short of familial affiliations and internal gravitation disintegrates sooner or later.

 

 

Saudis, and Arabs for that matter, have an obsessive love for money, matched in our part of the world by the Pathan or the Sikh somewhat, if not fully. The difference is that Pathans and Sikhs both have plenty in the lands they live in, not the Saudis. Less the oil, they have always been short of food and means of livelihood as hardly anything grew in their deserts. Their harsh unsupportive environment forced them to become highwaymen for hire, ferrying the trade goods of richer nations on the ends of the desert and beyond. Those who were not involved in running trade caravans were busy raiding the same. Their land bridge geographical location between productive Asia, Africa and Europe helped them to become exchange traders or midway transit men. Since they produced literally nothing but had to sell others’ goods, therefore they developed excellent linguistic skills, which is why Arabic is such an eloquent language.

Arabs are racial exclusivists and the Saudis, a degree more, arrogant too. However, Kuwaitis excel in both fields. This racist arrogance does not stem from any real world class achievement but their age old ability to ply one’s merchandise to the other at exorbitant rates, making the other believe that the deal was fair, employing a clever-merchant syndrome. The other reason has been the inelasticity of their bare bones social capsule, which was unable to absorb any external influence or people. Their mercantile ability was polished after the advent of Islam with a large dose of missionary zeal and truth on the pain of divine condemnation forever. However, a few centuries on, this zeal waned and skillful statecraft replaced the art of salesmanship. Both required nearly the same neuro transmissions.

I have been Director General (SPAFO) of Pakistan Armed Forces deputationists, mainly, doctors and engineers, to the Saudi Armed Forces from 1998 to 2002.This was one of the most privileged positions for a non-European/American military officer in the Kingdom. I used to sit in the Ministry of Defence sharing the floor with US, British and French military missions. Another unique privilege that I enjoyed was that I could move anywhere in the Kingdom without the indispensible written permission and saw them closely in both urban and rural landscapes. That regretfully shattered many a myth that we Muslims in the subcontinent carry almost as articles of faith, and along with that a part of my better self too. However, it was an invaluable education in reality and measurement of one’s worthiness or otherwise.

Within weeks, I realised that for a self-respecting person, it was nearly impossible to work honourably with those men. But for the call of duty to the fellow deputationists and mutuality between our two countries, I seriously considered repatriation. Hardly an occasion goes by without making an expatriate realise the tentative nature of his lower stature among these stiff-lipped, stuffy men. Our best, even a PhD in Space Sciences, weighs invariably less than a Saudi camel-herder from the Empty Quarter.

Saudi Arabia was almost the last to end slavery officially in 1974 yet by nature retain all the instincts of slave-running alive. The Iqama (work permit) is the principal instrument and is issued on behalf of the Saudi employer (Kafeel) for one year at a time. This is literally a dog collar that provides the Saudi master unlimited and rather coercive powers over the hapless expatriate. Regardless of innocence, merit, right to be heard and the number of years of hard work, one could be packed off and deported within hours. An expatriate has practically no legal stature, let alone the much talked about basic human rights. I know of a senior Pakistani banker who helped set up a renowned Saudi bank, rose to the position of vice-president and after 29 years was ordered out at a week’s notice, his invaluable service and lifetime of hard work notwithstanding. His fault? None except the sweet pleasure of his employer and the weapon, the guillotine of Iqama. Once your Iqama is withdrawn you are an immediate nonentity and must leave the country posthaste before they imprison you for an indefinite period. Moreover, one could see horrible exploitation of female expatriates by their masters, particularly that of Sri Lankans and Philippinas. Pathetic insensitivity that was.  (why you people keep coming here? reply I got from a close Saudi friend)

Peculiarly, Saudis have a cold and impersonal system of designating expatriates that they hire. Miskeen is a derisive phrase of pity and loathing that tends to massage their ego in a kind of perverted manner. It tends to be a device of superiority, distancing from the mass of toiling expatriate men and women working in the Saudi households, farms, factories, shops, hotels, offices and all places where an ordinary Saudi considers it below his dignity to work. The next lower phrase in their not so civil glossary is siddique, which very eloquently conveys: ‘You work for me but mind your place. No liberties to be taken.’ Siddique is a belittling way of directly addressing one out of innumerable expatriates already held as miskeen. 

European and American expatriates are a different and far superior category. For them notions of pity are transformed into a view of admiration and longing. They are considered and addressed as rafique, meaning ‘dear friend’. Americans top this list, followed closely by the British and other Europeans, depending upon how much they can benefit materially. There are cogent reasons for this preferential treatment. Americans and Europeans negotiate their terms of reference very carefully and hard. They are better networked, bring in more lucrative business, have better work ethics and their parent governments are unrelenting should Saudis maltreat one of their citizens.

There is a third but unspoken class who are mentioned with a smile and a wink. These are fair-skinned Central Asians, Lebanese, and blonde-haired Syrians. They are neither miskeen nor rafique but have the privilege of being the pleasure mates of a superior sort but not equals. They have half an access to the privacies of Saudi households; some even married in. Late Rafique Hariri was a kinsman of the Saudi royal family.

In all this business of labelling who was who in the shoddy Saudi esteem, they missed the forest for the trees. They know but never acknowledge that all of the Kingdom’s infrastructure, services and amenities were built by expatriates from all over the world. Saudi oil money drew the best of the foreign societies into their service but tragically, they failed to absorb them into their own society. It was because they were unfortunately blind to the power of diversification, induction of new talent and ideas. Their genetic disability had been that want and scarcity of thousands of years had made their tribal society grow inwards with no scope or space for expansion and accommodation. The net result is that not only the Saudis floundered a once in centuries chance to enrich their country and society with a mix of talented foreign men and women but also have a huge rootless foreign mass in their midst that can go out of hand any moment. The consequences could be devastating. More about this some other time.

The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army and can be reached at clay.potter@hotmail.com

From PTT Archives: Additional Reading-Garishness of Camel Jockeys, few hundred miles from them people of Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sahel Region of Africa are starving
 

 

 

KNIGHTSBRIDGE IS LONDON’S POP-UP OASIS

 
                                 When inadequate food supply in a region causes excessive mortality, the region is in a state of famine. Economic, political, and social forces contribute to the situation. [AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.]
Saudi Royal Family’s Arabia starving neigbours in Sahel Region, Ethiopia and Somalia.
 

14 July 2010

It is 7.15pm outside Ladurée, the chichi designer macaroon café attached to the normally quieter back end of Harrods at the corner of Hans Road and Basil Street. It’s a coolish July evening but the narrow, doglegging streets around the famous Knightsbridge brownstone are rapidly hotting up.

Forget Geneva and the fuddy-duddy old Festival of Speed at Goodwood. If it’s sheer automotive flash and bestial muscle you like in your motor show, check out this central London location on any given evening from July through early August and you won’t believe your eyes.Rich in cars: Knightsbridge is the holiday spot for the wealthy

Here comes a low-riding Lamborghini Murciélago with a matt black, Batmobile-spec paint job and a garish yellow leather interior. Two boys, no older than 20, both wearing gold sunglasses, sit inside pumping the stereo and the gas pedal. The engine makes a noise like a scalded rottweiler as it is jockeyed up to its parking position, two wheels on, two wheels off the pavement. I can’t help noticing that it has no number plate on the front.

As if to upstage the Italian super-car, an even more super one rocks up — a £1 million Bugatti Veyron. Every inch of its bodywork has been gold-plated.

Three vehicles behind is another Veyron. This one is white with chromium wings. The driver gets out — he is about 25 and dressed like an off-duty Lewis Hamilton. I compliment him on his car and ask him how he got it over to London. “In my plane!” he says with a huge grin and hands the keys to a flunkey.

The live action game of Top Gear Top Trumps continues with a pearl-white, four-door Porsche Panamera. The Porsche parks in a “pay and display” bay, but its driver does neither. With a pip of his locking zapper he disappears into a Harrods side door.

Around the corner is a Rolls-Royce Phantom customised with a stainless steel bonnet. The number plate on this car is “1″. Later on, I will Google-search this vehicle and discover something quite extraordinary; a couple of years back the Dubai resident owner of this car paid out the sum of, wait for it, $14 million for the registration number alone … just to be top dog, number one in Dubai.

Now an arrogantly long Maybach limousine painted in distinct orange and matt black arrives. The letters “RRR” are picked out on the vehicle’s boot in a diamond-studded font. A handsome young man and his friend (or PA? or bodyguard?) apparently dressed for a night out at Movida — faded jeans, Hermès belt, Ralph Lauren polo shirt, pastel suede Hermès driving shoes and bronze tint aviators — roll out and head off into the dark green and brass of Harrods for some late-night shopping.

This is Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, flamboyant petrolhead son of the multibillionaire HRH Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi of Ajman. Ajman, in case you didn’t know (I certainly didn’t), is the smallest emirate in the United Arab Emirates but has grand plans to become a mini Dubai. RRR is the banner for the Crown Prince’s vast portfolio of orange and black super-cars — it stands for Rich in Real Estate Resources.

I talk to a parking warden in Basil Street who takes off his hat to reveal a sweaty forehead. How do you go about writing tickets to these guys? I ask. “It’s impossible,” he says, showing me the computerised ticket machine he wears around his neck. “This thing only has numbers and letters on it. Their number plates just ” He tails off, struggling for the right word. “Look like squiggles?” I suggest. “Yeah. There are no keys on my machine for those.”

Meanwhile, a man and his young wife walk up to the café’s reception. Laden with shopping bags he is dressed, as all these rich young Arab men seem to be, like an aspirant R&B superstar in acid wash jeans, gold-rimmed shades and one of those rococo rock ‘n’ roll T-shirts by Ed Hardy.

She has a mobile phone clamped to her face and huge Dior sunglasses picked out with diamante around the rims. I notice that there is a small Gucci logo on the arm of her floor-length burka — Prada and Chanel burkas are also available.

They join the polite café society scene underneath the eau-de-nil awnings outside and order diet Cokes, £15 club sandwiches and plates of pink macaroons. Every single table here at Ladurée, at the Café Rouge opposite and the Patisserie Valerie around the corner, is taken by people from the Gulf states and the Middle East — Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai.

The groups are either well-behaved families with Mum still in her abaya headscarf and big shades, groups of giggly young girls or groups of posturing young boys all in Arab-preppy finery, two or three mobile phones each, keys to Ferraris and Lamborghinis chucked down next to their napkins.

The young women from the more liberated countries of Bahrain and Dubai are dolled up like J-Lo (they must watch an awful lot of MTV back home).The girls who choose to keep wearing their burkas — mostly Saudi Arabians, I am told — are extravagantly made up with kohl-lined eyes and red lipstick.

A subtle courtship ritual may be at play here but if it is, it is too subtle for me to detect. Indeed, there seems to be little or no interaction between the sexes. Everyone pays with cash produced in wads from croc wallets. No wonder locals call the area “Little Kuwait” during August.

For the mega-wealthy oil billionaire families of the Gulf states, summertime means central London. When temperatures at home hit 50 degrees, they flock to the capital for the cool weather, the thriving social scene and the shopping — especially at Harrods which is, rather neatly, now owned by the Qatari royal family’s investment arm.

Some keep summer houses in London — there are said to be more than 100 billionaire Saudi families with second homes in the Knightsbridge area alone — while others prefer out-of-town locations such as Bishops Avenue, Coombe Hill in Kingston and St George’s Hill in Weybridge.

They’ll go to the Derby, Royal Ascot and the Berkshire Festival of Falconry, which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Falconers’ Club and attended by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.

Otherwise, whole floors of hotels around Hyde Park — the Jumeirah Carlton Tower now owned by the famous Dubai group and the Four Seasons Hotel, owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al-Saud (who also owns the Savoy Hotel) — are block-booked.

During the days, the women have their drivers drop them in Hyde Park where they promenade around the Serpentine, stopping to soak up the coolness and cloudy skies on the benches or laying out on the grass in large circles with their friends. And then there’s shopping.

The men rise later, do some shopping (lots of gift-giving to do on these holidays), maybe head to the cafés of Edgware Road for quail eggs and brioche or smoke a bit of sheesha, then get into their cars for a cruise.

This influx of super-rich holidaymakers and others attracted by such wealth has not pleased everyone. Last year, the Evening Standard reported how complaints from people living in the area adjacent to Ladurée had led to summertime tension. Beggars, drug deals and road rage-generated fist-fights were mentioned.

This year police have reacted by issuing an anti-social order around the busy café that lasts from April 1 to September 30; all summer long, basically. Now anyone creating a nuisance in a zone that extends from West Yeoman’s Row, Lennox Gardens, Ovington Square, Brompton Road, Lowndes Square and Pont Street, can be removed, and rowdy, revving groups can be quickly dispersed.

But the first anti-social behaviour order in Knightsbridge history doesn’t seem to have put anyone off.

London, especially during these straitened times, does go to great lengths to court Arab business. When the people at Harvey Nics discovered that the year-on-year Arabic spend figures in the Knightsbridge area were showing a 66 per cent increase, the department store extended its hours to 9pm all week and the Fifth Floor food hall got a sheesha smoking terrace. An advertising campaign with a playful Arabic creative theme showed a picture of a single Lanvin shoe. The strapline below, written in Arabic, read “The English are known for having bad teeth, that is why they need beautiful shoes.”

But what’s the big deal about shabby old London anyway? Yes, we have nice shoes, but can’t you get those anywhere? Doesn’t our capital seem a bit old and worn compared with bandbox-new Saudi?

“Many of the visitors from the Gulf states will tell you that they come to London because, unlike in the US or France, they are made to feel welcome here,” says Hussam Baramo, a Syrian-born, London-based features editor at Al Quds newspaper.

“Many of the younger, more fashion-conscious visitors from Qatar, Dubai and Bahrain even prefer to speak English (rather than Arabic) to each other, throwing in bits of youth slang they have learned off the TV.

“They think this is more modern. You hear reports of women getting changed out of their burkas on the aeroplane so that they can feel free as soon as they land. They like London because they think it is safe and friendly.”

However, London is just a holiday, and once the temperature drops, westernised behaviour is put aside for another year. All the shopping and beautiful cars are loaded onto private planes and everyone heads home for the start, on August 11 this year, of the holy month of Ramadan.

Sahel Region Vegetation Growth Deviation from Regular Start of 2011 Season, by district (DROUGHT)

 

Sahel Region Vegetation Growth Deviation From Regular Start of 2011 Season (Drought)

 

Sahel Region Current Vegetation Growth Deviations by district, for 2011 Season (Drought)

 

Niger and Chad Current Vegetation Growth Deviations for 2011 Season and Livelihood Zones (Drought)

Published: 23/11/2011

Mauritania and Mali Current Vegetation Growth Deviations for 2011 Season and Livelihood Zones (Drought)

Published: 23/11/2011

Sahel Region Vegetation Growth Comparison of 2011 vs 2009 Seasons (Drought)

Published: 23/11/2011

Sahel Region Vegetation Growth Comparison of 2011 vs 2004 Seasons (Drought)

Published: 23/11/2011

 

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