Thursday, 19 July 2018

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest: Winners & Stand Outs Pt.4

This is best read as a continuation of Part 3; https://watchitdie.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-2018-eurovision-song-contest.html

Georgia: It has been a big year for Georgia.

February and March saw the 2018 Winter Olympics. These picked up the baton from the 2014 Winter Olympics which were held in Sochi, Russia.

As a result the main talking point at this year's games has been aggression towards Russia. Not least the US decision to overthrow the government of Russia's immediate neighbour Ukraine triggering a civil war during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

At the cross section between Olympics and aggression towards Russia Georgia are something of the experts.

The 2008 Summer Olympics were held in Beijing, China. The then Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili used this as an opportunity to attack Russian forces on the border between the two nations triggering eight days of war.

Saakashvili's thinking was that the NATO nations would immediately leap to Georgia's aid and go to war with Russia. This would allow NATO to finally conquer Russia and Saakashvili would be welcomed as a hero of the west.

Saakashvili got this just spectacularly wrong. Recognising Georgia's aggression NATO stood-by and the Georgian military were quickly defeated by the Russian military.

Rather than being welcomed as a hero this miscalculation saw Saakashvili and Georgia cast out by the west. Any suggestion of them joining NATO or the European Union (EU) ended there and then.

Georgia's isolation has been particularly evident at the Eurovision Song Contest. One of the few pan-European events it is still able to participate in.

Their 2014 entry; "Three Minutes to Earth" by The Shin & Mariko was weird, random and completely disconnected from what was going on in the rest of Europe. Perfectly reflecting Georgia's position in the west following the 2008 attack on Russia.

In 2016 Georgia tried really hard with the song; "Midnight Gold" by Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz who were one of the most cutting edge bands in Georgia at the time. However as many people pointed out the most cutting edge band in Georgia in 2016 was a lot like the bands of the "Madchester" music scene such as The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays back from the early 1990's.

Georgia began to emerge from the diplomatic deep freeze in 2012 when Saakashvili was deposed as President. In 2014 Saakashvili was indicted in no fewer then nine criminal cases including the murder of Prime Minister Georgia Zurab Zhvania in 2005 and the murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006.

At this point Saakashvili fled to Ukraine. Where at the US' insistence he was made a Ukrainian citizen and appointed Governor of the Odessa region. Significantly undermining US claims of both a popular revolution and of Ukrainian independence.

In July 2017 Ukraine started to learn from Georgia's mistakes stripping Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship. In December 2017 Ukrainian police arrested Saakashvili following a bizarre roof top chase. During the 2018 Winter Olympics Ukraine finally expelled Saakashvili from the country on February 12th (12/2/18).

Another main topic at the 2018 Winter Olympics was the practice of making false claims of foreign aggression in order to rig elections. Again due to Saakashvili this is a topic in which Georgia are something of the experts.

In May 2010 Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) Party were contesting elections in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

On March 13th (13/3/10) Imedi TV ran their weekly news show; "Special Report" as usual. The show opened with the breaking news that a protest in Tbilisi by the opposition Movement for Fair Georgia had been attacked by gunmen resulting in the deaths of many protesters.

Taking the form of rolling news over the course of the next hour Special Report claimed that Movement for Fair Georgia had blamed Saakashvili for the killings and called on Russia to invade to free Georgia from the; "Saakashvili Tyranny." Russia responded by invading Russia. Events Special Report reported on live complete with footage of Russian tanks rolling into Georgia. 

This was all entirely fake. However because it was on a recognised news network presented by recognised journalists people believed it. Georgian military units mobilised on the basis of the news report of a Russian invasion and three people were killed in the chaos.

In explanation Imedi TV claimed that they were recreating the famous 1938 Orson Welles production of; "The War of the Worlds" in the US. However people quickly pointed out that the broadcast certainly whipped Georgian voters up into a frenzy of support for Saakashvili's ENM and opposition to the Movement for Fair Georgia.

The illegal seizure of ownership of Imedi TV in 2007 is just one of the nine criminal cases Saakashvili is currently under indictment in.

This year Georgia were represented by Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao with the song; "For You."

The band see it as their musical mission to blend traditional Georgian vocal folk music with modern influences such as jazz. Their name comes from; "Iriao-uruao" a phrase common in the "Krimanchuli" form of Georgian yodelling. In their presentation the band are very much in the modern, fashionable "Hipster" style. With sharp suits, even sharper haircuts and elaborately crafted facial hair. 

Despite its isolation Georgia has a very young population who like to see themselves as uber cool innovators and creators. They have a very large drug fuelled rave music club scene and like to present themselves as emerging leaders in the fashion world. Demna Gvasalia who is the creative director at the Spanish fashion house Balenciaga being probably the most high profile example.

Gvasalia's own label Vetements has risen on a wave of what is termed; "Anti-Fashion," Inspired by the Situationist school of art this involves taking everyday items such a police uniforms and turning them into high fashion items with high fashion price tags. Gvasalia announced his term at Balenciaga with a handbag in the style of an IKEA carrier bag with a price tag of $2,500.

Again it must be said that this anti-fashion trend does really remind me of Britain in the early 1990's. During the rave scene everyday items such as construction workers hi-vis clothing and all white dust suits and masks became highly fashionable.

The key part of Georgia's entry was the difference between the video in support of the entry and the live performance.

The video includes these two ethereal white clad female dancers. They were noticeably missing from the live performance.

Those female dancers represented the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These autonomous border regions have long been a source of tension between Russia and Georgia. The eight days of war in 2008 were triggered by Georgian attacks on Russian peacekeepers in those regions.

Particularly now the media have whipped US voters into an absolute frenzy people will claim that South Ossetia and Abkhazia and regions of Georgia that Russia has invaded. As is often the case with the US media the truth is different from that and much more complicated.

In 1917 a series of revolutions overthrew the Russian Monarchy and collapsed the Russian Empire. Nations such as Finland used the chaos as a way to escape the Russian Empire and declare independence. 

Georgia went in the opposite direction launching a war against the Bolsheviks in order to keep the Russian Empire intact with Georgia very much a part. A conflict made famous by the White Russian cocktail.

When the Soviet Union broke apart many nations such as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia decided to become independent states. The majority of Georgia joined them. The regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia though decided to remain part of Russia and never joined an independent Georgia.

After some thirty years of conflict you have to ask the question of whether its worth continuing to try and force people who want to be Russian to be Georgian instead. Particularly when that conflict is keeping Georgia out of international organisations such as the EU.

By not including South Ossetia and Abkhazia in their live performance Georgia were posing just this question. Primarily for the domestic audience.

Understandably this is a controversial question in Georgia. So on the night of the Grand Final Georgian police mounted heavy handed raids against nightclubs in Tbilisi. This triggered mass protests intended to represent protests against letting South Ossetia and Abkhazia go.

Moldova: This year they were represented by DoReDoS with the song; "My Lucky Day."

DoReDos are a three piece band who all grew up in the town of Rybnitsa. This is in a very specific part of Moldova, the Transnistria region.

When the Soviet Union collapsed Moldova became independent. However much like South Ossetia and Abkhazia Transnistria decided it wanted to remain part of Russia and broke away.

Moldova's big gimmick during the live performances was that they performed in front of this giant wall on stage. During the performance different doors and windows in this wall would open revealing different band members in different positions. Eventually it was revealed that this was achieved by using the band and near identical body doubles.

As if the band had suddenly broken away into two parts.

In November 2017 the governments of Moldova and Transnistria reached an agreement which would open both countries up in a number of areas such as road access, access to crossborder farmland and mobile telecommunications network. The video in support of the song shows one of the band being forced to use an old payphone presumably to call home from Moldova's Black Sea coast.

The song celebrates welcoming Transnistria back into Moldova. Unlike previous Moldovan entries such as 2014's "Wild Soul" by Cristina Scarlat this song was very much in the style of western low culture rather than Russian high culture. Traditionally this has been used at the Song Contest to signify support for the west. 

In this case it was expressing a desire for the united Moldova to join the EU. Officially the song was about enjoying 'relations' with multiple partners.

28 partners to be precise. Although Britain might pull out early.  

17:25 on 19/7/18 (UK date). 

Saturday, 14 July 2018

I'm Having Korea Flashbacks.

Specifically to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Held in PyeongChang in the Republic of Korea (RoK/South).

In December 2012 the Republic of Korea held a Presidential Election.

This was a so-called "Change Election." The incumbent Lee Myung-bak had reached his term limit so could not be re-elected. However he wanted his Saenuri Party to continue to rule the country under his designated successor Park Geun-hye. Daughter of South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee.

So Lee Myung-bak decided that there was a threat of foreign interference in the election. Specifically from the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK/North).

This conclusion allowed Lee Myung-bak to task South Korea's equivalent of the FBI - the National Intelligence Service (NIS) - to set up a special cyber unit. This unit was tasked with monitoring Internet traffic surrounding the election and labelling comments supportive of Park Geun-hye's rival Moon Jae-in and comments critical of Park Geun-hye as; "foreign interference" and removing them.

This special cyber unit were successful in rigging the RoK's 2012 election. Park Geun-hye was declared winner over Moon Jae-in took up the office of President in February 2013.

In October/November 2016 this election rigging scandal broke resulting in the impeachment of Park Geun-hye. Just as America was heading into its November 2016 Presidential Election.

That too was a Change Election. Having reached his term limit the incumbent Barack Obama could not be re-elected. However he wanted his Democrat Party to continue to the rule the country under his designated successor Hillary Clinton. Wife of former US President Bill Clinton.

So Barack Obama decided that there was a threat of foreign interference in the election. Specifically from Russia.

This conclusion allowed Barack Obama to task the FBI with setting up a special cyber unit. This unit was tasked with monitoring Internet traffic surrounding the election and labelling comments supportive of Hillary Clinton's rival Donald Trump or critical of Hillary Clinton as; "foreign interference" and removing them.

Barack Obama's special election unit went further than Lee Myung-bak's. Aside from censoring discussion about the election it was also used to spy upon the campaign of the Democrats election rivals and to support Democrat campaign claims of hacking of their computer servers.

Barack Obama's special election failed to rig the outcome of the election. However it quickly morphed into an attempt to overthrow the elected President Donald Trump in the form of an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The uncovering of the 2012 South Korean election rigging scandal brought down Park Geun-hye. The subsequent Presidential Election in March 2017 saw Moon Jae-in elected. It fell to him to open the 2018 Winter Olympics.

It almost goes without saying that Barack Obama's claims of foreign interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election and the subsequent Mueller investigation were given short shrift at the games. Both by the hosts and the nations in attendance.

The Opening Ceremony itself was marred by claims of a cyberattack involving a virus named; "Olympic Destroyer."

The Republic of Korea passed copies of this virus to a private US company named; "Crowdstrike." Continuing to be employed by the US Democrat Party Crowdstrike remain the only entity to examine the Democrats servers and remain the sole source of claims of hacking, Russian or otherwise.

Crowdstrike analysed Olympic Destroyer and concluded it was a Russian cyberattack. Much to the amusement of the South Korean programmers who had written the software as part of the Opening Ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony of course featured the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. The Cauldron the South Koreans had chosen closely resembled one of  "Martian Fighting Machines" from the 1897 novel; "The War of the Worlds" by H.G Wells.

In October 1938 the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) broadcast an Orson Welles radio play of The War of the World's. Listeners believed this to be a genuine news broadcast and America went into a panic thinking it was being invaded by Martians.

This radio broadcast is widely recognised as the biggest Fake News Hoax in American history. Or at least it was until Barack Obama started claiming that America's 2016 Presidential Election was being invaded by Russians.

This very public global criticism of their attempts to rig the 2016 Presidential Election did not go down well with the elements of the US intelligence community responsible.

So during the games - on February 14th (14/2/18) - they 'forgot' to intervene to stop a young man shooting up the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This resulted in the deaths of 17 students.

Obviously in the midst of such a tragedy suddenly no-one in America was watching what was going on at the Winter Olympics. Through retired agent Kevin Hogg and his son David the FBI teamed up with the Democrat Party to keep this distraction going. Through a series of marches and political campaigns which continue even now.

With the American public distracted Robert Mueller attempted to defend himself at the Winter Olympics. On February 16th (16/2/18) he issued indictments for 13 Russians claiming that they had interfered with the election.

Mueller's claim was met with a robust international response. The intelligence/law enforcement agencies of 31 nations made up of the EU, Israel, Australia and New Zealand made public details on the investigation into the so-called "Dark Web Paedophile" Matthew Falder.

The details of this investigation gave insight into the FBI's competence in cyber investigations. Particularly ones involving Russia.

The FBI had initially detected Falder and found electronic evidence proving him to be Russian. So they concluded he was Russian and stopped the investigation. It was only when these 31 other intelligence agencies took over it was discovered the FBI's electronic evidence proving him to be Russia was fake and Falder was actually British living in the city of Birmingham.

The criticism of what is widely viewed as evidence falsified by Mueller was not limited to just 31 of America's allies. The tech giant Apple used a character from the Telugu language to crash iPhones across India and Pakistan. This served as a reminder of another high profile case where electronic evidence was falsified.

In 2017 Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family were accused of corruption. As part of the investigation the daughter Maryam Sharif presented electronic evidence which she claimed to prove that she had brought apartments legally. However this electronic evidence was supposedly produced in 2006 but used a Calibri font which Microsoft did not introduce until 2007.

Apart from Pakistan's "Fontgate" as it's known another high profile case in which electronic evidence was falsified is the; "Sledgehammer" case in Turkey.

In 2010 Turkish President/Prime Minister/Emperor Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused 300+ people of plotting a coup to overthrow him.. The case fell apart when it emerged key pieces of electronic evidence in the 2003 plot had been created on MS Office 2007. Eventually all the electronic evidence was found to be fake and the case was dismissed.

After being savaged by a jury of his peers at the Olympics things then started to get worse for Mueller and his investigation.

In indicting 13 Russians back in February Mueller did so thinking that they would never turn up to trial. So there was no possibility of his claims ever being tested.

In May one of the indicted Russians turned up for trial. Never thinking that there would be a trial let alone preparing for it this prompted Mueller to seek an adjournment in the case. This was refused by the Judge and Mueller is now left trying to delay the start of the trial by slow walking the disclosure of evidence to the defence.

Meanwhile the US Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has been conducting a professional standards investigation into the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton espionage investigation in which she kept top secret emails on an unsecured server.

This is important because the lead investigator in that case was an FBI agent by the name of Peter Strzok. For more than a year Peter Strzok was the lead investigator for the Mueller investigation.

The OIG investigation discovered a high number of emails and text messages between Strzok and another FBI agent Lisa Page with whom he was having an affair. The FBI initially refused to hand these messages over to the OIG claiming they could not be recovered. However in January 2018 South Korean tech giant Samsung stepped in and provided the OIG with the messages.

Those messages reveal astonishing political bias on the part of Strzok. 

In one particular exchange on election day Page messaged Strzok; “He’s [Trump] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” 

To which Strzok replied: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”  

It was only after Samsung had provided these messages that Mueller finally removed Strzok from the investigation.

On June 14th (14/6/18) the OIG released its report. It recommended that criminal investigations be opened against five FBI agents including Strzok. On June 15th (15/6/18) Strzok was suspended by the FBI and physically escorted from the building.

In response to the OIG investigation the US Congress has held a series of hearings. Lisa Page was subpoenaed to appear before them on Wednesday (11/7/18). However she refused putting herself in contempt.

Peter Strzok did appear before Congress on Thursday (12/7/18) and was torn to shreds. At one point he was asked why the FBI had produced three different versions of the so-called Steele Dossier which was used to conduct surveillance on the Republican Presidential campaign.

Strzok simply refused to answer. As he did not explicitly invoke the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination this appears to put him to in contempt of Congress.

Needless to say that on Friday (13/7/18) morning - ahead of Page's rescheduled testimony that evening - all the talk was of appointing a Special Counsel to investigate and bring charges against Mueller and his team. Including Rod Rosenstein the Deputy US Attorney General overseeing the investigation

The pressure on Mueller and his team has not just been mounting domestically. From Thursday (12/7/18) through to Sunday (15/7/18) President Trump has been on an official visit to Britain.

Britain's big contribution to the Winter Olympics was the March 4th (4/3/18) poisoning of primarily Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK.

Sergei Skripal is a Colonel in the Russian GRU military intelligence who spied for Britain. The MI6 officer who recruited Skripal now works for Christopher Steele. The source for the dossier Rosenstein used to conduct surveillance on the Republican Presidential campaign.

Unfortunately Britain is currently governed by a weak, minority government made up of the Conservative Party who have a longstanding reputation for sleaze and corruption. A big donor to the Conservatives is a man named Bill Browder. He gives them huge amounts of money so they will use the apparatus of state in his vendetta against Russian former business associates.

So even before Britain's intelligence services had briefed the government the Conservatives were demanding the Skripal poisoning be blamed on Russia. So it could be used to push ahead with Browder's agenda. Namely the Magnitsky Amendment.

Having blamed Russia the British investigation then became focused entirely on finding just anything to back up the accusation. As a result they did not conduct the investigation and did not identify either the poison or the poisoner. 

This refuasl to look in the right places saw two more people being taken ill close to Salisbury on June 30th (30/6/18). One of whom who has since died.

On Wednesday (11/7/18) British police did finally find the source of the poison - a small perfume bottle. After being told its location by a man who is now strongly believed to be the poisoner.

This news broke on Friday (13/7/18) just as President Trump was meeting the British Queen. As a gift Britain has given First Lady Trump a small, personalised perfume bottle.

On Monday (16/7/18) the Trumps will travel to Finland to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Thanks to the Queen's gift they will take with them a replica of the perfume bottle Britain used to poison the Skripals. A bespoke gift designed and manufactured before the police discovered their perfume bottle.

Also on Friday (14/7/18) Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Sharif returned to Pakistan. Where they were promptly arrested and transferred prison having been convicted in the Fontgate case.

As they did back in February Mueller and Rosenstein have again gone on the defensive.

As Trump was meeting the Queen and the Sahrifs were returning to Pakistan Mueller and Rosenstein indicted 12 members of the Russian GRU. Again feeling confident in the fact their claims will never be tested.

The indictments allege that Russian began hacking operations to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election on July 27th 2016 (27/7/18). That date was chosen for specific political purposes.

On July 27th 2016 now President Trump was holding an election rally. During he made an off-the-cuff joke that if the Russians were hacking the election they should try and find all those emails Hillary Clinton deleted.

In chosing that date Mueller and Rosenstein are trying to imply that this was direct collusion between Trump and Russia. Rather how a candidate would use a public speech to collude with a Super PAC.

The problem for Mueller and Rosenstein is why Trump was making that joke.

Two days before, on July 25th (25/7/18) the FBI publicly announced that it was opening an investigation into claims Russia had hacked the Democrat's servers. Claims the Democrats had been making since the start of June 2016.

If as Mueller and Rosenstein now claim if Russia only started hacking on July 27th (27/7/16) they could not have carried out the hacking which occurred before then.

If indeed that hacking ever occurred at all.

17:25 on 14/7/18 (UK date).


Monday, 9 July 2018

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest: Winners & Stand Outs Pt.3

This is best read as a continuation of Part 2; https://watchitdie.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-2018-eurovision-song-contest_19.html

China: They are not a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) so did not formally participate in the Song Contest.

Making their inclusion here all the more impressive.

The Song Contest is Europe's big political/social event. In America the equivalent is the awards season. This begins with the Golden Globe Awards and runs through the Super Bowl to the Oscars Awards.

China have their own version of this in the form of China Central TV's (Lunar) New Year's Gala.

Watched by close to a billion people this is an annual four to five hour variety show featuring traditional Chinese music and dance, modern music and dance alongside dramatic and comedy sketches. It is truly a sight to behold. Although unless you have a deep understanding of the Chinese language and culture it can seem utterly incomprehensible.

In 2018 the Lunar New Year occurred on February 15th (15/2/18) meaning that it coincided with the 2018 Winter Olympics being held in the Republic of Korea (RoK). As hosts of the 2022 Winter Olympics China provided a small sequence in the Closing Ceremony of both the Olympics and Para-Olympics.

One of the issues that China attempted to address in their Olympic sequences was their reputation for being the sort of Country Bumpkins of Asia. Compared with very advanced Asian nations such as the RoK and Japan the Chinese are seen as poorly educated, not particularly sophisticated and generally lacking in good manners and good breeding.

The 2018 New Year Gala also tried to address this issue. One sketch featured Chinese businessmen visiting Africa and meeting with some the local people.

These African locals were portrayed by Chinese actors in so-called; "Black Face" make-up with outlandish stereotypes such as a woman with comically large buttocks carrying fruit on her head while being accompanied by a monkey who seemed to be her equal.

This sketch was globally condemned as being just wildly racist. However rather than being driven by a hatred of black people or an attempt to spread hatred towards them it was really built around the sort of lazy stereotypes that people without much contact with black people don't realise are offensive.

The sketch triggered a national debate within China about whether and why such stereotypes are racist. The general tone of the debate was to try and teach the Chinese public that their Country Bumpkin attitudes on things such as race were damaging China's standing in Africa where it is trying to forge political and trade deals with a host of nations.

Despite not participating China was given the rights to broadcast both Semi-Finals and Grand Final of this year's Song Contest. On the Mango TV network.

However during the First Semi-Final they censored the performances of three nations; Albania, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland. This violated the contract the EBU and led to them being stripped of the rights to broadcast the Grand Final. Creating a huge scandal during the contest week.

Albania: This year they were represented by Eugent Bushpepa with the song; "Mall (Commodity)."

As it seems to be every year the song was a battle cry for the Greater Albania movement.

Greater Albania is a concept which dates back to the Ottoman Empire. As with other ethnic groups ethnic Albanians moved freely within the Ottoman Empire settling in many nations.

Greater Albania really came into being during the Nazi Occupation of Europe. Allied with Nazi Germany Albania was given control over the ethnic Albanian population in not just Albania but also Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. During the post-Soviet period Albania maintained much of its control over those nations.

Since the end of the Soviet period Albania has been constantly trying to re-establish this Greater Albania by swallowing up its neighbour. The example of this that people are probably most familiar with is the 1999 war between Albania and Serbia over Serbia's southern Kosovo province.

In 1997 the Albanian economy collapsed. This triggered a short civil war leading to the UN peacekeeping "Operation Alba" authorised under UN Resolution 1101 (1997). The civil war triggered a flood of Muslim Albanian refugees and economic migrants into Serbia.

By 1999 the situation in Albania had stabilised. So Serbia asked these refugees and economic migrants to leave. They refused, instead declaring Serbia's Kosovo province to be part of Albania and declaring war on Serbia.

At the time US President Bill Clinton was in the process of being impeached and really needed a way to distract the American public. So he joined forces with the Albanian migrants and took the US to war with Serbia.

Since then the US has been desperately trying to convince everyone that Kosovo is some sort of nation state rather than simply a Serbian province. However it is only the small group of nations which took part in the illegal war that make that recognition.

As longtime viewers of the Song Contest will know there is a longstanding dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia. Over the FYR Macedonia's use of the term; "Macedonia" in its name which implies sovereignty over the neighbouring Greek province of Macedonia.

Following the Song Contest the European Union (EU) announced that it has brokered a deal between Greece and FYR Macedonia to end this dispute. The main part of the deal is that FYR Macedonia will rename itself; "The Republic of North Macedonia." That seems to only strengthen their claim over South Macedonia which is in Greece.

This fudge has been driven by EU's fears over the instability and prospect of violence which is being caused by the Greater Albania movement.

Macedonia has a roughly 40% ethnically Albanian, Muslim population. In 2015 they led protests to bring down the government of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE). They are a Christian party which is committed to a united Macedonia and very opposed to the Greater Albania movement.

These several weeks of often violent mass protests led to concerns that thousands of guns that had laid buried in thousands of backyards since the Balkan Wars of the 1990's would be dug up. Triggering a fresh civil war not just on the borders of the EU but technically within the borders of both the EU and NATO.

In 2016 Macedonia's ethnically Albanian, Muslim population again led protests to being down the VMRO-DPMNE government. Again these several months of often violent mass protests led to concerns that thousands of guns that had laid buried in thousands of backyards since the Balkan Wars of the 1990's would be dug up. Triggering a fresh civil war not just on the borders of the EU but technically within the borders of both the EU and NATO.

The 2016 crisis was eventually resolved with the election of a new government. In 2017 that new government elected Talat Xhaferi of the Greater Albania Bashkimi Demokratik për Integrim (BDI) as Parliamentary Speaker.

One of Xhaferi's first acts as speaker was to raise the Albanian flag within the Macedonian Parliament declaring it to be part of a Greater Albania. This triggered riots as non-Albanian, non-Muslim protesters stormed the Parliament to remove Xhaferi from office over a very clear instance to treason.

Again these violent mass protests led to concerns that thousands of guns that had laid buried in thousands of backyards since the Balkan Wars of the 1990's would be dug up. Triggering a fresh civil war not just on the borders of the EU but technically within the borders of both the EU and NATO.

The EU's arrogant hope is that by forcing Macedonia and Greece to resolve the naming issue they can accept both Albania and Macedonia as members. They believe that the European superstate will crush the Greater Albania movement.

This of course is the unstable part of the World that German Chancellor (Head of Government) Angela Merkel thought it would be a good idea to send close to a million predominately Muslim refugees and economic migrants marching through on the Balkan Route.

I have been delayed in writing this all up because to the 2018 World Cup. Partly I've wanted to watch as much of the World Cup as possible. However also the World Cup is not a political event such as the Olympics or the Song Contest. Therefore I've being trying to avoid inflicting this political mindset on the World Cup.

My efforts though have still not been enough to stop the Greater Albania movement scarring that football tournament.

On June 22nd (22/6/18) Serbia played Switzerland in a Group E. That match was very clearly rigged to prevent Serbia from winning. A Serbian player was rugby tackled to the ground by not one but two Swiss defenders in the penalty area. However rather than awarding Serbia the clear penalty which would have given them a 2-0 lead the referee simply allowed Switzerland to cheat and continue cheating.

This was not done to help Switzerland per se but to stop Serbia from winning, topping the group. That would have meant that big ticket draw Brazil would have finished second and presumably faced reigning World Cup holders Germany in the round of 16 knock-out.

Due to a little help from the RoK in Group F and Germany's own lack of ambition that plan was of course spoilt. Even if Serbia did end up being eliminated from the competition.

Two ethnically Albanian Swiss players; Granite Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri along with their teammate Stephan Lichtsteiner celebrated the Swiss goals by making a Double Eagle gesture with their hands. This is recognised as a symbol of the Greater Albania movement.

Both during the Ottoman and Nazi periods and in the war against Serbia the Greater Albania movement has been defined by appalling human rights abuses. There is a longstanding fiction known as; "Blood Libel." This claims that Jews are secretly stealing the organs of non-Jews.

During the war against Serbia the Greater Albania actually did this. They kidnapped Serb civilians and stole their organs before selling them on the black market. Spanish football club Barcelona have repeatedly been forced to deny that they used this system to buy a liver for their player Eric Abidal.

As such this Double Eagle gesture is a symbol of racial and religious hatred not only akin to a Nazi Salute but often used alongside the Nazi Salute. It is a clear violation of FIFA's rule 53 which requires that a 12 month minimum ban is automatically imposed on the players.

Due to the fact such a hateful gesture was made in front of a wide audience and at such a sensitive time FIFA should go further then the minimum ban. They need to look again at their decision not to punish the players or it will be up to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) to uphold FIFA's rules for them.

Although not as close to Albania as say Serbia or Macedonia China has its won problems with Islamist separatists. The Uighurs in China's Xinjiang province and the neighbouring nation of Kyrgyzstan.

By far the most militant Uighur group are the Turkistan Islamist Party (TiP). They are currently extremely active in Syria. Particularly around the town of Jisr al-Shugur in the Sudetenland area.

Turkish President/Prime Minister/Emperor Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long backed the TiP. Recently he has taken to using them to threaten China. For example there was the weeks of false speculation over whether Abdulkadir Masharipov who carried out the 2017 Reina Nightclub attack was Kyrgyzstani.

Kyrgyzstan has a long history of providing Chinese Uighurs with identity documents such as passports - both real and fake. Describing someone as Kyrgyzstani can mean that they are from Kyrgyzstan. Or it can mean they're Chinese Uighurs.

Despite this long term support and threats to China Erdogan has recently tasked Turkish forces to target the TiP in the Sudetenland. Or at least that's what US intelligence believes.

Obviously the reason why China censored this battle cry for Muslim separatists was out of concern over its Uighur population. Or at least join in the conversation by reminding people of the common issue. Xinjiang province is actually closer to Ankara than it is to Beijing.

The official reason given though is that the singer had visible tattoos.

Switzerland: This year they were represented by the duo ZiBBZ with the song; "Stones." I covered that in detail here; https://watchitdie.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-2018-eurovision-song-contest-grand_16.html

However the main message of the song was to stand up to bullies. The bullies who try to shut down any opposition to them through censorship. In short what China does.

Funnily enough China censored the song criticising their system of censorship.

The official reason given though is that the singer had visible tattoos.

Republic of Ireland: This year they were represented by Ryan O'Shaughnessy with the song; "Together." I covered this in detail here; https://watchitdie.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-2018-eurovision-song-contest-grand_31.htm



Ireland's entry was a break-up song. Reflecting their concerns over the UK leaving the EU and its impacts on the two nations shared land border. However in a desperate attempt to appeal to the gay vote and finally make through to the Grand Final the live performance featured a happy gay couple very much in love.

The official reason why China censored the performance is that it promoted homosexuality.

However the real reason it was censored was to save Ireland's blushes. This desperate cloying for the gay vote was embarrassing to watch and I would think quite offensive to the gay community.

Through the censorship of these three songs China managed to find their place in the; "Trolling of the Gays" which was a big theme this year.

Of the three performances censored and the reasons for that censorship I think you can guess the only one Eurovision's large gay fan base heard about, let alone got angry about. Even if they didn't understand what they were getting angry about.

That really makes a wider point about the Song Contest as a whole.

Eurovision has a long overlapped with the gay community and has a proud history in helping to promote gay rights both within Europe and beyond. I certainly hope that tradition continues.

However if you view Eurovision as an exclusively gay thing you are missing out on about 90% of the really good stuff.

17:10 on 9/7/18 (UK date).

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Gareth Soughgate: Off With His Head!

In 2008 the World experienced a massive financial crisis.

Britain's response to this was to stage a coup in 2010. The Labour government was overthrown and in its place a coalition government made up of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties was installed.

One of the first acts of this new regime was to introduce the 2011 Fixed Term Parliament Act. To make sure it couldn't be voted out until 2015 at the earliest.

Already scheduled to host the 2012 Summer Olympics this new regime was convinced the World would endorse and support it by awarding it the 2018 World Cup.

Britain is already home to one of the World's leading football leagues. With that infrastructure already in place Britain hosting a World Cup is really just a license for it to print money.

The British regime was so sure it would be awarded the 2018 World Cup that in late November 2010 The Queen recorded her annual Christmas message. In it she spoke extensively about the power of sport and sporting events to; "benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds." A reference to Britain profiting from hosting the 2018 World Cup.

On December 2nd 2010 (2/12/10) the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia. Which left the Queen looking extremely foolish when her recorded message was finally broadcast on December 25th (25/12/10).

Such was Britain's fury at this apparent snub that it launched an extensive revenge campaign against FIFA - World football's governing body. With help from the US this revenge campaign succeeded in regime change at FIFA when its head Sepp Blatter resigned on June 2nd 2015 (2/6/15).

Rather than the anti-corruption campaign it was billed as the objective was to institutionalise political corruption within FIFA. Turning the World Cup from a sporting event into a political spectacle such as the Olympics or the Eurovision Song Contest. A spectacle that would always show Britain in a favourable light.

At the same time as trying to bring about regime change at FIFA the UK was also trying to undermine domestic interest in international football.

So England crashed out of the 2014 World Cup at the group stages following defeats to Italy and Uruguay. Conveniently they were knocked out on June 19th (19/6/14). Just for days before the start of the UK hosted Wimbledon tennis tournament on June 23rd (23/6/14). This is a political event which as hosts Britain can control completely.

England also crashed out of the 2016 Euro Cup following a last 16 defeat to Iceland on June 27th (27/6/16). The same day that the Wimbledon tennis tournament began.

During the Euro tournament England striker Harry Kane was being forced to take corner kicks. Now he's on the receiving end of corners rather than taking them Kane is currently the leading goal scorer in the 2018 World Cup.

The other big event of this year has been the 2018 Winter Olympics held in the Republic of Korea (RoK/South).

Those games picked up the baton from the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Russia. Through things like the bombings in Volgograd, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the creation of Shamali Province within Russia's immediate neighbour Ukraine the 2014 Winter Olympics were controversial to say the least.

As such the big talking point at the 2018 Winter Olympics was the current hostility towards Russia. Particularly the way that it has been perpetuated by nations such as the US and the UK through rampant lies.

The claim that Russia influenced the US 2016 Presidential Election is considered one of the biggest Fake News Hoaxes. Even greater than the RoK's rigging of its 2012 Presidential Election by claiming it was guarding against foreign interference.

Britain's big contribution to this discussion was the March 4th (4/3/18) poisoning of two Russian citizens - Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury. Sergei Skripal had spied on Russia for Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6.

Obviously as a big spectacular the Skripal poisoning encompassed a range of issues. For example the MI6 officer who recruited Sergei Skripal has gone on to be one of the sources of the Steele Dossier which is at the heart of claims that Russia influenced the 2016 US Presidential Election.

However keeping with Korea's traditional Animist religions its primary purpose was to serve as a sort of existential issue. With no blame being attributed people with an anti-Russian bias would blame Russia while people with a pro-Russian bias would blame absolutely anyone else.

The problem is that Britain screwed it up. They are currently governed by a minority Conservative government which is in a pay of a very seedy character by the name of Bill Browder.

In 1998 Browder fled the US claiming that he was being persecuted when the US government asked him to pay tax. In 2005 Browder fled Russia claiming that he was being persecuted when the Russian government asked him to pay tax.

Browder currently resides in Britain where he pays the Conservative Party vast sums of money to wage his personal vendetta against Russia and avoid asking him why he's not paying any tax.

Due to his financial clout Browder pressured the British government to blame Russia for the Skripal poisoning. This is despite Britain's own investigations clearing Russia of involvement.

Britain's decision to blame Russia without any evidence has caused a series of major scandals across Europe. Even if the British media refuse to report on them and the British government refuse to acknowledge them.

For example the head of Germany's intelligence agency recently appeared before the German Parliament to answer questions on the matter. When asked what evidence Britain had provided to support its claim he responded; "None at all."

There has been an even bigger scandal in the Czech Republic. The head of their intelligence agency announced that it had produced the Novichok nerve agent Britain has claimed was used to poison the Skripal. This triggered a Presidential Inquiry which confirmed that the Czech Republic had manufactured Novichok but resulted in the head of the intelligence agency being fired for making that information public.

That revelation is particularly important because the Czech Republic is the main source of weapons being supplied to Islamist forces fighting in Syria.

The decision to blame the Skripal poisoning on Russia has though provided Britain with an excuse to boycott the 2018 World Cup which it believes it should be hosting. No British politicians or Royals attended the Opening Game of competition and are not expected to attend the Final.

Here Britain has got itself a little problem. England actually have quite a strong squad for the World Cup. Unlike in previous years I can't point out the clear star players or the clear weak links. Everyone is as strong as each other. In Gareth Southgate England also has a skilled manager capable of getting this squad of players to function as a team.

Obviously I don't want to tempt fate. However at this stage it is not outrageous to say that England are one win away from the Semi-Final. And two wins away from the Final itself. Even if the same can be said about their opponents.

That has forced Britain to go to extraordinary lengths to send England crashing out of a tournament which is showing the British people just how much their government has been lying to them about Russia. Ideally before the Wimbledon tennis tournament began on Monday (2/7/18).

The Opening Game was played between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14th (14/6/18). Given Saudi Arabia's bombings of the Russian city of Volgograd in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics this tie was politically awkward to say the least.

June 14th 2018 (14/6/18) was also the first anniversary of the June 14th 2017 (14/6/17) Grenfell Tower Fire in the UK. Britain marked this anniversary with the campaign to wear; "Green For Grenfell." Even the Queen participated.

Saudi Arabia's national flag is the Islamic Shahada against a green background. So by trying to get everyone to wear green Britain was making it look like the entire nation was backing Saudi Arabia against Russia in the Opening Game.

The reason why Saudi Arabia's flag is green is because that is a very important colour within Islam. Martyrs or those who kill themselves in an act of religious war are said to be surrounded by green birds in heaven. As such the early choice of Green For Grenfell has fuelled suspicions that far from being an accident the fire was some sort of terrorist attack.

It came in quick succession following two other Islamist terror attacks intended to influence the UK's June 8th 2017 (8/6/17) General Election. The May 22nd (22/5/17) Manchester Bombing and the June 3rd (3/6/18) London Bridge attack.

Those were carried out by Qatar in an effort to weaken the UK government and the Manchester bombing in particular triggered a massive split between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Adding a whole extra level of political complexity to Britain's support for Saudi Arabia over Russia.

In the background to the World Cup the Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has continued. It has produced some shocking revelations.

For example the fire service have long said that it was an accident caused by a faulty fridge. The Inquiry's own investigation has not been able to support that claim. Under pressure of a criminal investigation the fire service finally admitted that they've not even examined the fridge to see if it was the cause of the fire.

The whole thing is starting to resemble the cover-up which followed Britain's worst football disaster at the Hillsborough stadium on April 15th 1989 (15/4/89). To really ram home the connection on June 29th (29/6/18) it was finally declared that there will be a criminal trial over Hillsborough.

Britain's objective with this constant noise was to irritate everyone at the World Cup to such an extent England get forced out. They had some success with the Colombian referee in England's June 18th (18/6/18) game against Tunisia. It was clear from the way that he was ignoring obvious and repeated Tunisian foul play he really wanted England to lose.

He was unsuccessful and England won the match. So immediately afterwards there were tense moments as news began to filter through of an explosion at the Southgate Metro (Tube) station in London.

Last night (3/7/18) England faced Colombia in the last 16 match. This prompted Britain to bring out the big guns by psyching out the England players in an effort to force them to lose.

Yesterday (3/7/18) morning it was announced that a medical practitioner had been arrested for killing new born babies in Cheshire, UK. Cheshire is a particularly wealthy area of the UK where many players from the top clubs in the northwest of England such as Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool live with their young families.

The thought of new born babies being killed is particularly likely to get into the heads of England players. Manchester City's Fabian Delph has left the World Cup squad to return to Cheshire for the birth of his first child. Although I doubt that particular 'Duchess of Chester' is being treated by the NHS.

While the World Cup has been going on the UK has been leading a campaign to reform the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The global regulator on Chemical Weapons. As of June 27th (27/6/18) the OPCW has been given the new power of not only investigating Chemical Weapons use but assigning blame to those responsible.

Particularly over the course of the conflict in Syria there has been growing concern over the integrity of the OPCW. It's Turkish head Ahmet Uzumcu has seemed far too ready to disregard scientific rigour in favour of the political desire to imply Syrian guilt.

The Skripal poisoning was actually a watershed moment. China stepped up to lead that investigation to make sure it was conducted with far more integrity than the Syria investigations.

The OPCW investigation into the Skripal case of course found the same things as the British investigation. They could not prove that Novichok was used. However they could prove that Novichok from the Russian Shikhany-2 facility was not used. In the process showing the intelligence the UK has used to blame Russia to be false.

The OPCW's findings of course seem to mean nothing to either the British government or media. They have simply continued to blame Russia despite the OPCW proving those claims to be false.

Obviously not being able to assign blame the OPCW has not been able to come out publicly and declare the British government to be liars. On May 4th (4/5/18) they did though take the unprecedented step of publicly declaring Ahmet Uzumcu to be a liar for his claim that 100g of Novichok was used to poison the Skripals.

Yesterday (3/7/18) evening saw the first UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on the OPCW and its new powers.

So on Saturday (30/6/18) Britain had another mysterious poisoning. This time two people were taking ill in Amesbury. Amesbury is a small village just outside Salisbury. If you live there and want to do something like go to a bank or a shop you have to travel into Salisbury.

During last night's England v Colombia match Salisbury declared a major incident in response to the poisoning in Amesbury. This has triggered an anti-terror investigation in scenes with perfectly match the Skripal poisoning.

It seems clear then that Britain's plan was that England would crash out last night. No-one would mind though because they would be immediately consumed by another round of anti-Russian paranoia.

That of course calls the conduct of Mark Geiger the American referee of last night's match into sharper focus.

Watching the game I assumed he was just absolutely terrible at his job. Within all of two minutes he'd wrongly awarded a goal-kick for what was clearly a throw-in. I could go through the match minute-by-minute listing every mistake he made harming both teams.

His decision to award a yellow card for Colombia's Barrios' headbutt on England's Henderson though is utterly inexplicable under the rules of football.

This was not two players going to the same ball and accidentally clashing heads. Nor was it a player being overcome by the intensity of the match and going in for a tackle a little too hard. This was one player choosing to headbutt another player not just off the ball but when the ball was out of play and the game was stopped.

That's clearly violent conduct. You either have to issue a red card or pretend it didn't happen. Acknowledging it but only issuing a yellow card is simply not an option.

Although his performance did improve slightly in the second half referee Geiger seemed committed to issuing every Colombian player a single yellow card. Rather than issuing the worst offenders a second yellow card which adds up to a red card and a sending off.

Events in Amesbury along with some strange Tweets from US President Trump's account last night does you make you wonder if the US had teamed up with Britain to rig the game, dump England out and fuel the anti-Russian paranoia.

Of course despite this England went on to win. On penalties in a match shown on ITV no less.

So I'm beginning to wonder if people who actually poisoned the Skripals have ended up poisoning themselves in Amesbury.

16:10 on 4/7/18 (UK date).

Edited at around 08:20 on 5/7/18 (UK date) to add;

The Skripal poisoning very closely resembled the storyline from Season 7 of the US TV Show "Homeland" which was being broadcast on UK network television at the time. That centred around efforts by Russian spies to use an unnamed Novichok like contact poison to conduct assassinations.

The two individuals poisoned in Amesbury have been identified as Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley. Both are intravenous drug users in varying states of recovery. As a result it is likely that Britain will claim that came into contact with items such as syringes which were discarded after being used to posion the Skripals.

If that is the route Britain decides to go down it will very closely resemble the specific Episode 10 of Season 1 of the US TV show; "Blindspot." Which I have recently  started streaming online.

That episode; "Evil Handmade Instrument" features the crack FBI team trying to stop a network of Russian sleeper agents. Before they carry out an assassination using an unnamed poison held in syringe which at one point is discarded.

The reason I'm watching Bindspot is a bit odd.

On July 3rd 2016 (3/7/16) there was a mysterious explosion in Central Park in New York City, US. A plastic bag containing a mix of chemicals had been discarded in the park. When an 18 year old student stepped on it the chemicals exploded blowing his leg off.

This happened during the Euro 2016 football tournament. It also happened when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were at their most dangerous. It occurred just 11 days before the July 14th 2016 (14/7/16) attack in Nice, France which killed 86 people.

So immediately as the news broke I was all over it. Scouring the Internet for any and all information to try and piece together what had happened.

Initially all I could find was paparazzi pictures of Jaimie Alexander working out in Central Park. Or Tweets from people talking about who they'd just seen Jaimie Alexander working out in Central Park.

This was one of those names I sort of recognised. Yet couldn't immediately place. Which is obviously a bit frustrating when you're rushing to work out if there is any significance to a celebrity being present at the scene of an explosion. Or whether it's just a coincidence.

For some reason my brain has had a great deal of trouble associating the identity "Jaimie Alexander" with Jaimie Alexander the person. Which if you're familiar with the show is actually quite appropriate.

This has left me trapped in this sort of loop where every time I hear about Jaimie Alexander being on the red carpet or at some other event I find myself going; "I recognise that name. I just can't place it."

So finally having the opportunity to watch Blindspot that's exactly what I'm doing. Mainly to soothe a longstanding itch in my brain and forcibly encode the memory that Jaimie Alexander is the actress in Blindspot.

It turns out one of her big roles before Blindspot was a; "Lady Sif" in the Marvel Superhero movie; "Thor." A role she reprised in the sequel; "Thor: The Dark World" and the TV show; "Marvels Agents of Shield."

Something which was referenced in this particular episode of Blindspot. With jokes about someone needing to clear away their DVD copies of the Joss Whedon TV show; "Firefly."

The episode ends with the meme;

"Remember. You have done this to yourself."

O8:55 on 5/7/18 (UK date).

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest: Winners & Stand Outs Pt.2

This is best read as a continuation of Part 1; https://watchitdie.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-2018-eurovision-song-contest.html

Italy: This year they were represented by Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro with the song; "Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente (You Did Not Do Anything To Me)."

Italy's entry this year was not so much overtly political as horrifyingly political.

The main theme of this year's Song Contest has been; "How Did We All Get It So Horribly Wrong." The symptom of Eurovision and Europe's collective failure that Italy have decided to focus on is the massive rise in Islamist terrorism.

The lyrics of the song directly reference specific Islamist terrorist attacks;
  
"The sun on La Rambla today isn't the same." In reference to the August 17th 2017 (17/8/17) attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain which killed 13 and wounded at least 130.

"In France, there's a concert // People having fun // Someone sings powerfully // Someone screams at death." In reference to the November 13th 2015 (13/11/15) series of attacks in Paris, France which killed 130 and wounded at least 400 more. Including at the Bataclan concert venue.

"In Nice, the sea is red with fire and shame // With people on the asphalt and blood in the sewer."  In reference to the July 14th 2016 (14/7/16) attack in Nice, France which left 86 people dead and at least a further 400 injured. A particularly useful reference with one half of France's entry this year being originally from Nice.

Then there is the lyric; "In London it always rains, but today it doesn't hurt // The sky makes no exception, even for a funeral."  

That could be a reference to any number of Islamist terror attacks that have struck the British capital recently. Including the March 22nd 2017 (22/3/17) Westminster attack which resulted in 5 deaths and 49 injuries. Or the June 3rd 2017 (3/6/17) London Bridge attack which left 8 people dead 48 wounded.

What is interesting is that it doesn't reference the May 22nd (22/5/17) Manchester Evening News Arena (MENA) attack. Resulting in the deaths of 22 people and leaving 139 this was by far the most deadly attack Britain experienced in 2017. 

By targeting children it also stood out as particularly spiteful. Alongside the May 30th 2017 (30/5/17) bombing of the Al-Faqma Ice Cream shop in Baghdad, Iraq during Ramadan.

The song's lack of accuracy continued with the lyric; "Now they don't know what time it is in Cairo."

Egypt has been struck by numerous appalling Islamist terror attacks. 

These include the so-called "Palm Sunday Bombings" which killed 47 and wounded 126 in bombings at two Coptic Christian Churches on April 9th 2017 (9/4/17). The November 24th (24/11/17) attack on the al-Rawda Mosque which killed 311 and wounded at least 122.

The thing is that none of these attacks happened in Egypt's capital Cairo. The al-Rawda Mosque attack took place in al-Rawda in the Sinai Peninsula. The Palm Sunday bombings took place in the cities of Alexandria and Tanta which sit on the Mediterranean coast around 220km (130 miles) and 80km (50 miles) north or Cairo respectively.  

However if the song had referenced al-Rawda, Alexandria or Tanta rather than the capital Cairo it's unlikely anyone would have realised it was talking about Egypt. 

Highlighting that Europeans seem happy to ignore Islamist terror attacks when they happen in Arab nations. Even if in places such as Spain's Melilla region those Arab nations are directly connected to European nations.

At 311 the death toll from the al-Rawda Mosque attack alone dwarfs the total of 246 from all the terror attacks in European nations mentioned in the song combined.

I also found the claim that when it comes to Islamist terrorism Egyptians don't know what time it is unusual.

In January 2011 the Egyptian people overthrew the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

Turkish President/Prime Minister/Emperor Recep Tayyip Erdogan saw in this an opportunity to create the New Ottoman Empire. Exploiting his links with the Muslim Brotherhood organisation he installed Mohammed Morsi as his puppet President.

Erdogan actually celebrated Morsi's June 30th 2012 (30/6/12) inauguration by flying a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet in Syrian airspace. 

When this Turkish jet was predictably shotdown Erdogan tried to use this example of; "Syrian Aggression" as an excuse to launch an overt Turkish invasion of Syria. In order to overthrow its government and establish a New Ottoman Empire stretching all the way from Bulgaria to Sudan. 

In 2013 then US President Barack Obama dispatched Rihanna on her Diamonds World Tour (DWT). 

This was intended as an apology by the US to the Gulf Monarchies for Rihanna's role in Egypt's 2011 revolution. Not least because of the fact that Rihanna had absolutely no role in Egypt's 2011 revolution this has become a byword in Eurovision circles for Obama's utter incompetence.

Funnily enough Obama's cunning plan to use a popstar to convey hidden political messages did not faze the nations of the Eurovision Song Contest one little bit. In fact during the European leg of Rihanna's DWT everyone got bored and did something else.

What the Egyptian people did on July 3rd 2013 (3/7/13) was hold a second revolution to overthrow the Turkish puppet regime of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

So to me it seems that when it comes to the current wave of Islamist terror the Egyptian people know what time it is and have known for a good few years.

They're just waiting for western nations to figure out what time it is. Despite all the expensive watches Qatari lobbyists have been buying for western politicians.

The video in support of the song is equally emotive. 

It mixes real-life footage of the aftermath and memorials to the terror attacks mentioned with equally real-life footage of the current war in Syria. At a certain point the footage reverses as if bombs could be undropped or bullets unfired. The video features the lyrics of the song as subtitles in many languages. Most notably Ukrainian and Russian.

Alongside the real-life footage the video also features battle scenes from a movie set in Afghanistan. I think this may be from the 2015 Danish move; "A War." However not being able to specifically place it I think it may have been shot just for this video.

This mixture of real-life and fiction takes a jab at particularly America's attitude to the conflict in Syria under Obama.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) frequently produce propaganda video showing their battlefield victories. Many of these scenes are in fact stolen from video games and movies. Particularly the 2013 Russian movie; "Stalingrad."

In response to this Russia have taken to trolling America by sneaking similar footage from video games and movies into their press releases. Predictably the US has condemned Russia's fictional claims while accepting ISIL's lies as fact.

One particular sequence from the video shows Syrian troops patrolling a ruined city street alongside a civilian woman and a child. She is wearing a full Islamic veil. This footage is taken from Aleppo City following its liberation in December 2016.

When Aleppo City was on the verge of being liberated western nations, led by France, tried really hard to stop it being freed. They claimed that Syrian troops would slaughter all the civilians living there. As this footage proves that was a complete lie.

The sequence also serves as reminder that the forces who occupied Aleppo City up to its liberation do not share the western values of democracy, inclusion and diversity so treasured by the Eurovision community. They are Islamist extremists who wish to overthrow Syria's secular government so they can exterminate all those who do not adhere to their warped version of Islam.

When it comes to terrorist attacks on European nations ISIL are particularly fixated on Italy.

ISIL are an apocalyptic organisation. They believe that they are fulfilling a religious prophecy which will bring about the end of the World. First they will defeat the "Crusaders." This will trigger a final battle against the Shia Muslim "Unbelievers" during which God will ascend to Earth ending the World and leading ISIL to victory.

In this prophecy quite who these "Crusaders" are is not exactly clear. However the prophecy dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad who lived at the end of the 6th Century AD and the start of the 7th Century AD.  Therefore it precedes the Christian Crusades of the 11th and 12th Century AD by a good 300 years.

One of the key military leaders during the time of the Prophet was Khalid Ibn al-Walid. He commanded the Prophet's forces during the Battle of Medina and ISIL's affiliate in the Daraa/Golan Heights area of Syria have adopted the name The Army of Khalid Ibn al-Walid/Jaish al-Khalid Ibn al-Walid in honour of him.

Following the death of the Prophet, Khalid Ibn al-Walid led the 634AD to 638AD Muslim Conquest of the Levant. He did this by defeating the Byzantine-Roman Empire.

As such it is reasonable to conclude that in ISIL's prophecy the "Crusaders" are the Romans. Or as they're known now; "The Italians."

Italy also completely surround the Vatican City. A nation state in its own right the Vatican City is home to the Catholic Pope. As the supreme leader of all the World's Catholics the Pope can be viewed as something like a Muslim Caliph. And therefore a rival to ISIL's own self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

ISIL have repeatedly threatened to attack Italy. In August 2016 they launched a big online propaganda campaign claiming that they would soon conquer the Italian capital Rome. 

One ISIL member in particular claimed that they would conquer Rome and execute all of Europe's gays by throwing them off the; "Leaning Tower of Pizza."

We think he meant the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Which isn't in Rome. It's in Pisa.

The Para-Olympic themed British TV show; "The Last Leg" responded to this threat by starting the Twitter hashtag; "Jihadi Food Tours." 

This suggested other food based pun related landmarks ISIL might like to try to conquer. Such as France's "Notre Ham Cathedral." This hashtag went global with people who'd never heard of the TV show joining in for weeks after it started.

Particularly during the time of the 2014 Winter Olympics the US hijacked Russia's poor record on gay-rights to drum up support for ISIL. The Last Leg have enjoyed this Russia bashing almost as much as the Eurovision community have done.

It is rather strange that supposed supporters of gay-rights are in such a rush to condemn Russia for its opposition to Islamist terrorists who want to and do murder gay people by throwing them off tall buildings.

Despite repeated threats to the point of obsession ISIL have not yet attacked Italy. In short they've done nothing to them. 

At around 15:25 on 19/6/18 (UK date) I will explore the reasons for that tomorrow (clue; Stockholm, 1975). I have no desire to be adding to this during the Russia V Egypt World Cup match.

Edited at around 15:05 on 20/6/18 (UK date) to add;

Italy actually experienced a similar thing with Al Qaeda following the September 11th 2001 (11/9/01) attacks. Hence why the twin towers of light at the 9/11 Memorial featured so heavily in the video in support of the song.

Following the 9/11 attacks Al Qaeda did carry out other attacks. In Bali, Indonesia in 2002. In Madrid, Spain in 2004. In London, UK in 2005. There were also various other Al Qaeda attacks which were thwarted before they could take place.

Al Qaeda however not only didn't attack Italy they did not even attempt to attack Italy.

9/11 era Al Qaeda are a different group from the one that currently operates in places like Syria. Both version of Al Qaeda are significantly different from ISIL.

Al Qaeda's name literally translates as; "The Base." This is very much how they operate as a core clandestine network. That core network then recruits, equips and directs small local cells which actually carry out the attacks. 

For a long time Al Qaeda used Italy as essentially their logistics hub within Europe. This is where they did all the things like financing and coordinating communications. Things which on their own are often not actually illegal and certainly don't amount to terrorism. 

As such Al Qaeda declined to attack Italy in order to protect this logistics hub from the scrutiny that would come from the mass security response to an attack.

Nearly twenty years later it is easy to forget just how irrational and obnoxious the US became in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. 

For example the CIA declared me to be an Al Qaeda member and demanded that Britain's security services monitor me. Although the request to extradite me to Guantanamo Bay never came it was always in the background of these conversations. Mine is just one of several thousand similarly ludicrous cases.

Then of course in 2003 the US invaded Iraq. In defiance of the the UN Security Council and against the best advice of its European allies.

With the US burning its bridges with its allies those allies became a lot less inclined to help the US. For example the UK knew for a long time that Osama bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan. However deciding that any threat he posed was contained and monitored they thought it was funny not to let the Americans in on that little secret.

Eventually investigations into other terror attacks did lead investigators back to Al Qaeda's network in Italy and it was dismantled. In the paranoid atmosphere elements within the US intelligence community became convinced that Italy had been sheltering this Al Qaeda network as a way to spite America.

With Italy again seeming to be spared ISIL attacks this conspiracy theory has started to re-emerge. That Italy has done a deal to protect ISIL provided ISIL doesn't attack Italy. Although I have to say that I've only heard this from attention seeking commentators rather than anyone at the professional, governmental level.

The real reason why Italy hasn't been attacked by ISIL is a lot less interesting. Although everyone seems to forget about it Italy actually has an extremely long and successful history in battling terrorism.

In discussing the war against ISIL and associated groups I often mention this Cold War Arc of Resistance. This is a network of groups such as the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Palestine. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in Northern Ireland and so on.

The Arc of Resistance also had a presence in continental western Europe. In Italy there was the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades). They were closely linked in ideology and methods to the more famous West Germany group the Red Army Faction (RAF/Baader-Meinhof).

The artist biography in support of the entry makes a point of the fact that Fabrizio Moro was born in Rome in 1974. The year the Red Brigades expanded their operations to Rome.

According to West German intelligence the Red Army Faction plotted to attack the 1975 Song Contest held in Stockholm, Sweden prompting a massive increase in security.

When I talk about the Arc of Resistance I also often talk about the Gladio Network. This is a NATO-led clandestine network intended to counter the Arc of Resistance groups in a way that traditional security services can't be seen to do. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that the Gladio Network began in Italy.

In the Arab world these clashes between the Arc of Resistance and the Gladio Network made the AK-47 assault rifle an iconic weapon. In Northern Ireland the same clashes led to the AR-18 assault rifle gaining similar iconic status.

The actions of the Red Brigades made an icon out of another weapon. The Beretta PM-12 sub-machine gun. This was used by all sides in the conflict. It also made a resurgence after the November 2015 Paris Massacres when the French police started digging them out of their armouries.

Of the Gladio Network probably the only overt group is the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). However as Turkey's election on Sunday (24/6/18) shows they have been totally absorbed by the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist Justice & Development Party (AKP).

The rest of the groups in the Gladio Network are so clandestine that they don't even have names. Instead they exist hidden in the shadows of the criminal underworld. This allows them to fund and arm themselves. It also allows their actions to be plausibly denied as simply underworld feuds between drug dealers.

Terrorists also need some access to the criminal underworld in order to fund and arm themselves. The presence of the Gladio Network helps to deny terrorists that access.

Italy's criminal underworld is famously extremely well organised. It is highly unlikely that the Mafia groups are giving ISIL the freedom they need to plan and carry out attacks in Italy.

The presence of the Mafia also means that Italian police and security forces are extremely well practised in infiltrating and acting against groups which are much more organised than ISIL.

Within Italy you have the far-right, anti-immigrant Lega Nord (Northern League) party. Following the Song Contest they have formed part of Italy's coalition government. Lega Nord have been extremely successful in using the threat of Islamist terrorism in promoting their anti-immigrant agenda.

By reminding people that despite all the immigration Italy has not experienced an Islamist terror attack this song seems to be inviting Lega Nord to shut-up with their nonsense.

Both Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro are extremely popular and successful artists. Meta has 8 Platinum and 7 Gold records to his name. Moro has 4 Gold albums. Artists of this calibre and reputation are normally a sign that a nation really wants to win the Song Contest.

However Italy's entry clearly violates the golden; "No Overt Politics" rule. Breaking this rule inevitably leads to entries being marked down and is normally a clear sign that a nation really doesn't want to win the Song Contest.

This year France also very clearly broke this golden rule. They did that because the threat of Islamist terrorism means that they don't want to go to the effort of hosting and providing security for the 2019 Song Contest.

Italy's entry addressed the issue of Islamist terrorism directly. Therefore I think it's possible that people interpreted it as Italy also trying to avoid hosting the 2019 Song Contest due to the security challenges.

However I think that Italy were trying to win as an open challenge to ISIL. By showing that they are in no way afraid of hosting the 2019 Song Contest.

Also I say that songs which break the golden rule get marked down and never win. In 2016 Shamali Province broke the rule with the overtly political song "1944." As has been a big talking point this year they were rewarded with victory. Then went on to promptly abuse that privilege.

So Italy seem to be making the point that if we can ignore the rules to support ISIL we should be allowed to ignore the rules to oppose them.

Therefore I would have chosen Italy as my winner. Particularly as Shamali Province has still not been punished for their bad behaviour.

16:20 on 20/6/18 (UK date).