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  “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil”

Alan Greenspan

War-for-oil, or more precisely, power projection to preserve the petrodollar, is realpolitik.

Per capita energy usage in the United States is the highest among all nations of the world. The USA consumes 25% of would energy resources while having only 5% of the population. Approximately half of the energy used in the US is electrical energy  generated by coal-fired power plants. The other part is oil that is mainly imported.

Securing uninterruptable supply of oil became the key task of the USA foreign policy since president Carter. The second important goal is maintaining  dollar as the world primary reserve currency, and, especially, the main currency you can buy oil with.  That includes maintaining the stability of client Arab regimes, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Oil Wars

Recently the USA waged several "oil wars" (Iraq war, Libya war, Syria war, attempt of "color revolution" in Russia) with the most brutal being the Iraq war. The two main messages from the war in Iraq are:

Manipulating the facts became the norm for the Bush administration, which invaded Iraq on what we know now (and the administration almost certainly knew then) were utterly false pretenses. Thanks to these lies, Americans, including our soldiers and civilians serving in Iraq, were killed or injured.  Links to the 9/11 attacks and the claim that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, two of the ever-evolving reasons for getting into the war were blatantly false from the very beginning.  They were fabricated to achieve specific goals.  Engaging in mass deception in order to justify official policy both degrades the society, so the war has had a detrimental effect on the USA, as a society. It just has shown that elites now are audacious enough to throw out even attempt to present their actions as legitimate of serving national goals. Of course, by far, it is ordinary Iraqis who have suffered the most.

We know now beyond any doubt that Iraq was not involved in 9/11 and had no weapons of mass destruction. But as Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA analyst with the Iraqi portfolio, wrote on March 14,

 “Intelligence did not drive the decision to invade Iraq – not by a long shot, despite the aggressive use by the Bush administration of cherry-picked fragments of intelligence reporting in its public sales campaign for the war.”

Indeed, this was a war for oil from the very beginning, and any little lie would have worked.

It is very fortuitous for all those politicians, policy makers, and bureaucrats with Iraqi blood on their hands — Republicans and Democrats both — that the only courtroom they’ve been shuffled into is the court of public opinion, where most received light sentences. Bush II actually was reelected for the second term.

Indeed, the Iraq war boosters are still a fixture on our television screens.

Sure, there are pundits and reporters who admit they wrongly supported the war, but their regrets are usually reserved for their blind faith in the war planners and their own lack of inquisitiveness. For example, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius confessed in a March 21 column that Iraq was one of “the biggest strategic errors in Modern American history.” But the thrust of his own mea culpa was that he did not write enough “on the overriding question of whether the war made sense,” which would have allowed him to see that the U.S was not strong enough nor flexible enough to succeed.

Rarely do pundits apologize for the horrendous Iraqi losses inflicted by the war: more than a million deaths and millions more wounded with varying lifelong disabilities, including thousands of tortured prisoners, with an estimated 16,000 of them still unaccounted for. Twenty-eight percent of Iraqi children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and 2.8 million people are still internally displaced or living as refugees outside the country. Add to that the complete destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure outside oil sector, as well as its transportation, education, and medical institutions. Don’t forget the countless people suffering from trauma and depression, sectarian war with daily killings, terrifying birth defects from toxic pollution, and a brain drain that has left the country illiterate.

Not since the American Civil War has the U.S citizenry had to endure such horrors. Yet discussion of these repercussions is noticeably absent as we still struggle to understand the scope of the Iraq war and what all of its lies have wrought.

Let us start with a sincere apology to the Iraqi people for the crimes the U.S. government has committed. A long-range plan for restitution is a second step. Empires decline due to moral decay from within. Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, our nation is looking at the moral abyss. If lies have delivered us to this place, then only the truth will begin our journey back.

From Foreign Policy in Focus

The Real Reason for the Iraq War VICE United Kingdom

Because it was marked "confidential" on each page, the oil industry stooge couldn't believe the US State Department had given me a complete copy of their secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq.

Actually, the State Department had done no such thing. But my line of bullshit had been so well-practiced and the set-up on my mark had so thoroughly established my fake identity, that I almost began to believe my own lies.

I closed in. I said I wanted to make sure she and I were working from the same State Department draft. Could she tell me the official name, date and number of pages? She did.

Bingo! I'd just beaten the Military-Petroleum Complex in a lying contest, so I had a right to be chuffed.

After phoning numbers from California to Kazakhstan to trick my mark, my next calls were to the State Department and Pentagon. Now that I had the specs on the scheme for Iraq's oil – that State and Defense Department swore, in writing, did not exist – I told them I'd appreciate their handing over a copy (no expurgations, please) or there would be a very embarrassing story on BBC Newsnight.

Within days, our chief of investigations, Ms Badpenny, delivered to my shack in the woods outside New York a 323-page, three-volume programme for Iraq's oil crafted by George Bush's State Department and petroleum insiders meeting secretly in Houston, Texas.

I cracked open the pile of paper – and I was blown away.

Like most lefty journalists, I assumed that George Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq to buy up its oil fields, cheap and at gun-point, and cart off the oil. We thought we knew the neo-cons true casus belli: Blood for oil.

But the truth in the Options for Iraqi Oil Industry was worse than "Blood for Oil". Much, much worse.

The key was in the flow chart on page 15, Iraq Oil Regime Timeline & Scenario Analysis:

"...A single state-owned company ...enhances a government's relationship with OPEC."

Gas wars

EuroMaidan can be considered to be a proxy "gas war" when the USA hides behind Ukraine far right  to fight Russia and EU.  See

Asia Times Online China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong Kong News and Business.

Well, there is a plan BRICS - or so the BRICS nations would like to think, at least. And when the BRICS do act in this spirit on the global stage, they quickly conjure up a curious mix of fear, hysteria, and pugnaciousness in the Washington establishment.

Take Christopher Hill as an example. The former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and US ambassador to Iraq is now an advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm deeply connected to the White House and the State Department. When Russia was down and out, Hill used to dream of a hegemonic American "new world order". Now that the ungrateful Russians have spurned what "the West has been offering" - that is, "special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors" - they are, in his view, busy trying to revive the Soviet empire. Translation: if you're not our vassals, you're against us. Welcome to Cold War 2.0.

The Pentagon has its own version of this directed not so much at Russia as at China, which, its think tank on future warfare claims, is already at war with Washington in a number of ways. So if it's not apocalypse now, it's Armageddon tomorrow. And it goes without saying that whatever's going wrong, as the Obama administration very publicly "pivots" to Asia and the American media fills with talk about a revival of Cold War-era "containment policy" in the Pacific, it's all China's fault.

Embedded in the mad dash toward Cold War 2.0 are some ludicrous facts-on-the-ground: the US government, with $17.5 trillion in national debt and counting, is contemplating a financial showdown with Russia, the largest global energy producer and a major nuclear power, just as it's also promoting an economically unsustainable military encirclement of its largest creditor, China.

Russia runs a sizeable trade surplus. Humongous Chinese banks will have no trouble helping Russian banks out if Western funds dry up. In terms of inter-BRICS cooperation, few projects beat a $30 billion oil pipeline in the planning stages that will stretch from Russia to India via Northwest China.

Chinese companies are already eagerly discussing the possibility of taking part in the creation of a transport corridor from Russia into Crimea, as well as an airport, shipyard, and liquid natural gas terminal there. And there's another "thermonuclear" gambit in the making: the birth of a natural gas equivalent to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that would include Russia, Iran, and reportedly disgruntled US ally Qatar.

The (unstated) BRICS long-term plan involves the creation of an alternative economic system featuring a basket of gold-backed currencies that would bypass the present America-centric global financial system. (No wonder Russia and China are amassing as much gold as they can.) The euro - a sound currency backed by large liquid bond markets and huge gold reserves - would be welcomed in as well.

It's no secret in Hong Kong that the Bank of China has been using a parallel SWIFT network to conduct every kind of trade with Tehran, which is under a heavy US sanctions regime. With Washington wielding Visa and MasterCard as weapons in a growing Cold War-style economic campaign against Russia, Moscow is about to implement an alternative payment and credit card system not controlled by Western finance.

An even easier route would be to adopt the Chinese Union Pay system, whose operations have already overtaken American Express in global volume.

 

Why Energy is Central to the Economy

BC, January 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm
Economics is politics. Politics is war by other means. War is the business of empire (hegemony). War is good business for imperialists.

Therefore, economics is the intellectual and political rationalization for the business objectives of imperial expansionism, expropriation, and co-optation of client-states’ elites by means of state violence when necessary, which is more often than not when resources become increasingly scarce and the hegemonic frontiers of expansionism are threatened.

Yet, most Americans do not yet perceive the US as an empire (successor to the British Empire), not surprisingly, which would necessarily require the inference that empires peak, decline, and eventually collapse, and we have been in relative decline since the 1970s-80s, which most of the working-class bottom 90% would have to concede were they honest with themselves and their fellows. And, no, McConnell, Romney, Rubio, Paul, et al., care not about the working-class bottom 90% but themselves and those deep-pocketed Republicans who cut the largest campaign finance checks.

But one suspects that the 80-90% of the population who were slaves during the Greek city-state dominance and later Roman Empire neither perceived themselves living in the context of imperial decline and incipient collapse, as their daily life experience was preoccupied with acquiescing to their imperial masters’ demands and the imperative to survive and thereafter subsist within their circumstances, if they/we’re luck . . ., or not.

Same as it ever was . . .

Coilin MacLochlainn, January 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Malthus was not wrong, he was right. The reason for that is, the Earth is finite and has limited resources. The human population has reached 7 billion. If it continues to grow, or even if it doesn’t, it will exceed the ability of the Earth’s remaining land base to support us.

In fact, it already has. Several of the Earth’s planetary limits have already been exceeded and we are cannibalising what remains of the Earth’s surviving natural resources just to keep going. What I mean is, we are using up the very resources that we rely on as a species to survive into the future. And at the same time, we are making it impossible for much of the rest of life on Earth to survive, which is why so many species are going extinct now and most will be wiped out before we are done.

For those of us living in the developed world, it is hard to picture this, because we are living off the exploitation of resources and labour in less well off countries.

There are also glaring examples of excessive exploitation in the developed world. For example, in California, which leads the world in the production of almonds, walnuts and pistachio nuts, there is not enough surface water available to supply the industry and so nut farmers are irrigating their crops using underground water. With the ongoing drought in California, the underground aquifer is not being recharged, so it won’t be long before the nut farmers run out of water and the industry goes bust. It will go bust and it will also leave the aquifer dry, with no possibility of refilling with water while the drought lasts, which could be for years or forever.

Jan Steinman, January 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

“Capital is embodied energy.”

Are you talking about physical capital, such as factories, machines, and such?

A lot of very smart people seem to think “capital” is little bits of coloured paper, or even invisible magnetic bits on a spinning disk. But I think that’s where the second half of your essay (debt) comes into play.

It would be nice to have some simple term-of-art to distinguish between the two forms of “capital.” I agree that physical plant is capital. It may even be that, pre-Bretton Woods, money was an adequate symbol for capital. But it seems to me that there is way more money around than there is physical capital these days.

garand555, January 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Economics is a pseudo-science, at least the way it is practiced.

... ... ...

InAlaska, January 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Economists endorsed the idea of globalism after it became apparent that without it, national economies could no longer grow. Globalization is going to kill us because it removes from local control the basic production of necessities. Speaking of economics, here is part of a post on The Automatic Earth from yesterday concerning the Davos crowd and the World Economic Forum:

“When it comes to basic necessities, to food, water and shelter, we shouldn’t strive to compete with other economies. That is not good for us, or for our peers in those other economies; it’s good only for those who skim off the top. The larger and more globalized the top, the more there is to skim off. All the ‘reform’ is geared towards making our economies ever more dependent on the global economy. And that is not in our best interest.

It’s not all just even about money, it’s about our security, and independence. Everybody likes the idea of being independent, but at the same time few realize that globalization is the exact opposite of independence. Global trade is fine, as long as it’s limited to things we don’t need to survive, but it’s not fine if and when it takes away the ability of a community or a society to provide for itself.

Protectionism has acquired a really bad reputation, as if it’s inherently evil to try and protect your community from being gutted by economic ideas and systems it has no defense against, or to make sure it can generate and provide for its own basics at all times. But that’s just propaganda too.

If our societies are not designed and constructed to provide for themselves, they’ll end up with no choice but to go to war with each other. Along the same lines, if our societies don’t have strict laws in place that guarantee we can’t and won’t destroy the natural resources of the land we live on comes with, we’ll also end up going to war with each other.

We’re not going to solve the Gordian knot of the entire global economy and all the hubris and propaganda the present leading politicians, businessmen and ‘reporters’ bring to the table. And we probably shouldn’t want to. Our brains did not develop to do things on a global scale. The clowns will blow themselves up sooner or later. We should focus on what we can do, meanwhile, in our immediate surroundings.

And it’s pretty easy from there, really. The economic problems we have are mostly artificial. They have been induced by the broken economic model the Davos crowd, the central bankers and you know who else would have us believe is the one and only, and that they are busy fixing for our sake and greater glory. But they care only about their own glory.”

Gail Tverberg, January 22, 2015 at 8:38 pm

On the other hand, without the growth that was obtained from globalization, the financial system would have collapsed earlier. So in some sense, we are better off, even if it is not sustainable.

The US started hollowing out its manufacturing not too long after the oil problems of the 1970s. Japan came first in globalization, before the other Eastern countries.

InAlaska, January 21, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Liquid Assets,

Economists run the Federal Reserve Bank and all the central banks in the world. How has their “straight thinking” worked out? Has the world ever been in such a fiscal mess before? How have all of those over-educated PhDs in Economics done better than an Actuary could do?

Economics is the dismal “science” in part because it is predicated on the assumption that their can be infinite inputs into the system. Before you insult Gail and suggest she get a “real education,” consider that this whole edifice of “Economics” and endless growth is based on and within a finite world.

escravaisaurabr, January 22, 2015 at 7:33 am
InAlaska,

Two perceptive posts you wrote. Thank you.

I would like to add this post. I think most of you will appreciate. I sure love this post….

By falak pema

Economics is a means to achieve an end, like language.

So linguists are capable of understanding the logic of communication for DECISION MAKING; whether it be in words and intellectual concepts or in numbers/statistics and algorithms.

The issue here is that perfect markets like perfect speech do not exist for themselves in society, except for the “initiated”, but have a different function as a VEHICLE for body politic; which defines the AIMS and uses the means, all the means : of language as of images and of statistics and mathematical constructs.

So the thesis of the Mises/Hayek type Shamans that Economia is the “be-all” of society is just wrong. No more than the works of Shakespeare or Hugo, or of Picasso etc.

They do not define politics and power in society. They may influence it but they don’t define it’s objectives.

Linguists like economists can add substance to a political construct that defines the power play in civilization. And in that respect markets are just a means and their perfection as important as a perfect face on the screen.

All imagery or conceptual work in life is virtual.

It becomes real when it faces the real world of power and its continual balancing act; facts and irreversible acts that define our future as they have our past.

Chomsky is more relevant today to society than Mises.

The first analyses real political acts and consequences the other confines himself to theoretical pontification about the real economy looked at through the lens which keeps referring to the mantra of perfect markets.

Not saying markets are not important just saying they are not ALL important.

For the Mises theory to become reality we would have to live in a perfect “anarchy” state without government. The last time they wanted the state to “shrivel away” it was called the “ultimate step of communism” and it parented Stalinism. So…you have to know what you wish for in the REAL world.

History says you are wrong. You keep harping about a system that has gone off the cliff twice because of market forces being spiraled into Vesuvian eruption under irrational exuberance and greed and thanks to lack of Government regulation : in 1929 and 2008.

You are into DEEP denial of historical FACTS.

The historical thread shows us neo-feudal oligarchs are just as destructive of wealth creation as are statist hegemonists.

The only realistic solution is to balance state power and private oligarchy power and make sure NEITHER is in dominant position by having transparent control of public and private spending and by ensuring due diligence and SANCTIONS.

Today we have a Mussolinian economy of crony collusion between statists and oligarchs. We have the worst of both worlds.

We need good state governance and non monopolistic private sector innovative investment, compatible with “general good”, that does not run us off the cliff in mad speculation nor poison the planet.

The GDP should be run on an equitable basis between both power structures.

Whether this divide is 30/70 or 50/50 between private and public and how its used and how its controlled and monitored is the role of the Republic. And it should be debated and then voted and then executed in a legal framework which is NOT CORRUPT.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-24/you-cant-run-economy-spreadsheets#comment-5138074


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 09, 2018] Wannabe Zionists (Bolton) has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State

Notable quotes:
"... Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to. ..."
"... Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence ..."
Nov 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria, November 13, 2018 at 6:43 pm GMT

@Z-man The "wannabe Zionists (Bolton)" has been trying hard to show his loyalty to the Jewish State.

The latest tragicomic attempt by the mustached "person of easy morals": "John Bolton Says "No Evidence" Implicating Crown Prince On Khashoggi Kill Tape" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-13/john-bolton-says-no-evidence-implicating-crown-prince-khashoggi-kill-tape

Comment section (David Wooten): "According to the crown prince himself, Trump's [Jewish] son-in-law gave him a secret list of his enemies -- the ones like Al Aweed who were tortured and shaken down for cash. Khashoggi might even have been on that list.

One or more of the tortured ones likely tipped off Erdogan, which is why Turkey only needed to enter the consulate, retrieve the recorded audio device they planted, and walk out with the evidence. Turkey also has evidence that puts MbS' personal doctor and other staff arriving in Turkey at convenient times to do the job -- and probably more. Khashoggi was anything but a nice person but Trump cannot say that or he'll likely be accused of involvement in his murder.

Dissociation is made far more difficult by the fact that Jared is a long time friend of Netanyahu who, like Jared, has befriended MbS .

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

Were it not for the Khashoggi affair, fewer Republican seats would have been lost in the election."

-- Time for Bolton to send for the clairvoyant Theresa May who has managed to accuse Russia, and Mr. Putin personally, in the Skripals' poisoning n the absence of any evidence .

These people -- Bolton, May, Gavin Williamson and likes -- are a cross of the ever-eager whores and petty brainless thieves. To expose themselves as the willing participants in the ZUSA-conducted farce requires a complete lack of integrity.

Of course, there is no way to indict the journalist's murderers since the principal murderer is a personal friend of Netanyahu and Jared.

Jump, Justice, jump, as high as ordered by the "chosen."

By the way, why do we hear nothing about Seth Rich who was murdered in the most surveilled city of the US?

Z-man , says: November 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm GMT
@annamaria A 1st grader can see that MbS was behind the murder of Kashoggi.

Trump won't fire his son-in-law, so if Jared doesn't have the decency to resign on his own, he may well be responsible for Trump's downfall in addition to his own. Trump's silly daughter, Ivanka, needs to go to.

I've been hoping for this since they moved to Washington with 'big daddy'.

annamaria , says: November 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
@Anon " crappy bedtime reading the woolyheadedness "

Hey, Anon[436], is this how your parents have been treating you? My condolences.

If you feel that you succeeded with your "see, a squirrel" tactics of taking attention from the zionists' dirty and amoral attempts at coverup of the murder of the journalists Khashoggi, which was accomplished on the orders of the clown prince (the dear friend of Bibi & Jared), you are for a disappointment.

One more time for you, Anon[436]: the firm evidence of MbS involvement in the murder of Khashoggi contrasts with no evidence of the alleged poisoning of Skripals by Russian government.

The zionists have been showing an amazing tolerance towards the clown prince the murderer because zionists need the clown prince for the implementation of Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel.

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence , as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence . Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Z-man , says: November 14, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@annamaria

The stinky Skripals' affair involves harsh economic actions imposed on the RF in the absence of any evidence, as compared to no sanctions in response to the actual murder of Khashoggi, which involved MbS according to the available evidence. Thanks to the zionists friendship with the clown prince, the firm evidence of Khashoggi murder is of no importance. What else could be expected from the "most moral" Bibi & Kushner and the treasonous Bolton.

Bears repeating.

[Dec 08, 2018] Iran nuclear deal Trump s oil gamble comes at just the wrong time by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

This article is from May 2018 but it read as if it was written yesterday.
Notable quotes:
"... He estimates that sanctions will cut Iran's exports by up to 500,000 barrels a day later this year. "It could well be much more in 2019," he said. ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | smh.com.au

"U.S. political pressure is clearly a dominant factor at this OPEC meeting, limiting the scope of Saudi actions to rebalance the market," said Gary Ross, chief executive of Black Gold Investors and a veteran OPEC watcher. channelnewsasia.com 10 May 2018

Donald Trump could hardly have chosen a more treacherous economic moment to tear up the "decaying and rotten deal" with Iran. The world crude market is already tightening very fast. Joint production curbs by Opec and Russia have cleared the four-year glut of oil. There is no longer an ample safety buffer against supply shocks. The geopolitical "premium" on prices has returned. Tensions run high:

The Maduro regime in Venezuela is entering its last agonies, and the country's oil industry is imploding. North America has run into an infrastructure crunch. There are not yet enough pipelines to keep pace with shale oil output from the Permian Basin of west Texas, and it is much the same story in the Alberta tar sands. The prospect of losing several hundred thousand barrels a day of Iranian oil exports would not have mattered much a year ago. It certainly matters now.

World leaders respond to President Trump's move to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran while pulling the United States out of the international agreement aimed at stopping Tehran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Oil price shock is looming

It is the confluence of simmering political crises in so many places that has driven Brent crude to $US77 a barrel, up 60 per cent since last June. "We believe an oil price shock is looming as early as 2019 as several elements combine to form a 'perfect storm'," said Westbeck Capital. It predicts $US100 crude in short order, with $US150 coming into sight as the world faces a crunch all too reminiscent of July 2008. The fund warns that the investment collapse since 2014 is about to deliver its sting. Declining fields are not being replaced. Output from conventional projects has until now been rising but will fall precipitously by 1.5 million barrels a day next year. By then global spare capacity will be down to a lethally thin 1 per cent. US shale cannot plug the gap. "The mantra after 2014 of lower for longer has lulled oil analysts into a torpor," Westbeck said. Needless to say, a spike to $US150 would precipitate a global recession.

The US might hope to weather such a traumatic episode now that it is the world's biggest oil producer but it would be fatal for oil-starved Europe. Such a scenario would test the unreformed euro to destruction. Britain, France and Germany may earnestly wish to preserve the Iran deal but they can do little against US financial hegemony and the ferocity of "secondary sanctions". The US measures cover shipping, insurance, and the gamut of financial and logistical support for Iran's oil industry.
In the end, there are infinitely greater matters at stake than barrels of oil.
Any European or Asian company that falls foul of this will be shut out of the US capital markets and dollarised international payments system. The EU has talked of beefing up the 1996 Blocking Regulation used to shield European companies from extraterritorial US sanctions against Libya. But this is just bluster. No European company with operations in the US would dare flout the US Treasury. "A choice for corporate Europe between the US and Iran is unequivocally going to fall the way of the US," said Richard Robinson from Ashburton Global Energy Fund.

Rise in oil prices turns malign

He said Europe will have to slash its imports from Iran by 60 per cent because groups such as ENI or Total will refuse to ship the oil, whatever the strategic policy of the EU purports to be. This dooms the nuclear deal (JCPOA) since Iran will not abide by the terms if the EU cannot deliver on its rhetoric, let alone come through with the $US200 billion ($251 billion) of foreign investment coveted by Tehran.

David Fyfe from oil traders Gunvor said we do not yet have enough details from Washington to judge how quickly companies will have to act. He estimates that sanctions will cut Iran's exports by up to 500,000 barrels a day later this year. "It could well be much more in 2019," he said.

Late last year it was still possible to view rising oil prices as benign, the result of a booming world economy. This year it has turned malign. Global growth has rolled over. The broad IHS index of raw materials has been falling since February.

Europe's catch-up spurt fizzled out in the first quarter. Japan's GDP probably contracted. The higher oil price is itself part of the cause.

$US500 billion extra 'tax'

Even at current levels, it acts as an extra $US500 billion "tax" this year for consumers in Asia, Europe and America. Not all of the windfall enjoyed by the petro-powers is recycled quickly back into global spending.

One cause of the slowdown is the credit squeeze in China, which is ineluctably feeding through into the real economy with a delay. Proxy indicators suggest that true growth has fallen below 5 per cent.

My own view is that monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve - and declining stimulus from the European Central Bank - is doing more damage than widely presumed.

Higher US interest rates are pushing up borrowing costs for much of the world. Three-month dollar Libor rates used to price $US9 trillion of global contracts have risen 76 basis points since January.

The Fed is shrinking its balance sheet, draining international dollar liquidity at a quickening pace. If the Fed is not careful, it will tip the US economy into a stall.

Ominously, we are seeing the first signs of a US dollar rally, tantamount to a "short squeeze" on Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia, among other emerging market debtors.

Toxic combination

The combination of a slowing economy and an oil supply shock is toxic, even if the "energy intensity" of world GDP is now half the level of 30 years ago.

Opec and Russia can of course lift their output cap at any time, though that alone will not restore the full 1.8m barrels a day of original curbs. Venezuela is now in unstoppable free-fall.

The Saudis have pledged to uphold the "stability of oil markets" and to help "mitigate the impact of any potential supply shortages". Kuwait and Abu Dhabi could add a little. Yet cyclical forces may be moving even beyond their control.

In the end, there are infinitely greater matters at stake than barrels of oil. Trump is throwing US power behind Saudi Arabia in the epic Sunni-Shia battle for dominance over the Middle East, and behind Israel in its separate battle with Iran.

What can go wrong?

Both conflicts are on a hair trigger. Israel attacked an Iranian air base in Syria last month and killed seven revolutionary guards. This is a dangerous escalation from proxy conflict to direct hostilities. The JCPOA nuclear deal may be all that restrains the Iranian side from lashing out.

Saudi Arabia's impetuous young leader Mohammad bin Salman is itching to settle the score of all scores with Iran, the Iranian revolutionary guard are in turn itching to launch a one-year dash for nuclear weapons, and Trump is itching for regime change. What can go wrong?

The Daily Telegraph, London

[Nov 29, 2018] If The Saudi s Oil No Longer Matters Why Is Trump Still Supporting Them

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Wall Street journal ..."
"... Everyone knows it's the US presence in the Middle East which creates terrorists, both as proxies of and in resistance to the US imperial presence (and often one and then the other). So reading Orwellian language, Pompeo is saying the US wants to maximize Islamic terrorism in order to provide a pretext for creeping totalitarianism at home and abroad. ..."
"... The real reason is to maintain the petrodollar system, but there seems to be a conspiracy of silence never to mention it among both supporters and opponents of Trump. ..."
"... everyone knows why the usa is in the middle east.. to support the war industry, which is heavily tied to the financial industry.. up is down and down is up.. that is why the usa is great friends with ksa and israel and a sworn enemy of iran... what they don't say is they are a sworn enemy of humanity and the thought that the world can continue with their ongoing madness... ..."
"... The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF ..."
Nov 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Nov 28, 2018 3:28:31 PM | link

Why are U.S. troops in the Middle East?

In an interview with the Washington Post U.S. President Donald Trump gives an answer :

Trump also floated the idea of removing U.S. troops from the Middle East, citing the lower price of oil as a reason to withdraw.

"Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel ," Trump said. "Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we're producing more oil now than we've ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don't have to stay there."

It is only Israel, it is no longer the oil, says Trump. But the nuclear armed Israel does not need U.S. troops for its protection.

And if it is no longer the oil, why is the U.S. defending the Saudis?

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disagrees with his boss. In a Wall Street journal op-ed today he claims that The U.S.-Saudi Partnership Is Vital because it includes much more then oil:

[D]egrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies.

The kingdom is a powerful force for stability in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is working to secure Iraq's fragile democracy and keep Baghdad tethered to the West's interests, not Tehran's. Riyadh is helping manage the flood of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war by working with host countries, cooperating closely with Egypt, and establishing stronger ties with Israel. Saudi Arabia has also contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State and other terrorist organizations. Saudi oil production and economic stability are keys to regional prosperity and global energy security.

Where and when please has Saudi Arabia "managed the flood of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war". Was that when it emptied its jails of violent criminals and sent them to wage jihad against the Syrian people? That indeed 'managed' to push millions to flee from their homes.

Saudi Arabia might be many things but "a powerful force for stability" it is not. Just ask 18 million Yemenis who, after years of Saudi bombardment, are near to death for lack of food .

Pompeo's work for the Saudi dictator continued today with a Senate briefing on Yemen. The Senators will soon vote on a resolution to end the U.S. support for the war. In his prepared remarks Pompeo wrote:

The suffering in Yemen grieves me, but if the United States of America was not involved in Yemen, it would be a hell of a lot worse.

What could be worse than a famine that threatens two third of the population?

If the U.S. and Britain would not support the Saudis and Emirates the war would end within a day or two. The Saudi and UAE planes are maintained by U.S. and British specialists. The Saudis still seek 102 more U.S. military personal to take care of their planes. It would be easy for the U.S. to stop such recruiting of its veterans.

It is the U.S. that holds up an already watered down UN Security Council resolution that calls for a ceasefire in Yemen:

The reason for the delay continues to be a White House worry about angering Saudi Arabia, which strongly opposes the resolution, multiple sources say. CNN reported earlier this month that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, "threw a fit" when presented with an early draft of the document, leading to a delay and further discussions among Western allies on the matter.

We recently wrote that pandering to the Saudis and keeping Muhammad bin Salman in place will hurt Trump's Middle East policies . The piece noted that Trump asked the Saudis for many things, but found that:

There is really nothing in Trump's list on which the Saudis consistently followed through. His alliance with MbS brought him no gain and a lot of trouble.

Trump protected MbS from the consequences of murdering Jamal Khashoggi. He hoped to gain leverage with that. But that is not how MbS sees it. He now knows that Trump will not confront him no matter what he does. If MbS "threws a fit" over a UN Security Council resolution, the U.S. will drop it. When he launches his next 'adventure', the U.S. will again cover his back. Is this the way a super power is supposed to handle a client state?

If Trump's instincts really tell him that U.S. troops should be removed from the Middle East and Afghanistan, something I doubt, he should follow them. Support for the Saudi war on Yemen will not help to achieve that. Pandering to MbS is not MAGA.

Posted by b on November 28, 2018 at 03:12 PM | Permalink

Comments Pompeo: "Saudi Arabia has also contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State and other terrorist organizations."

Everyone knows it's the US presence in the Middle East which creates terrorists, both as proxies of and in resistance to the US imperial presence (and often one and then the other). So reading Orwellian language, Pompeo is saying the US wants to maximize Islamic terrorism in order to provide a pretext for creeping totalitarianism at home and abroad.


lysias , Nov 28, 2018 3:35:15 PM | link

The real reason is to maintain the petrodollar system, but there seems to be a conspiracy of silence never to mention it among both supporters and opponents of Trump.
Ross , Nov 28, 2018 3:41:42 PM | link
There is really nothing in Trump's list on which the Saudis consistently followed through. His alliance with MbS brought him no gain and a lot of trouble.

He did get to fondle the orb - although fuck knows what weirdness was really going on there.

james , Nov 28, 2018 3:47:06 PM | link
thanks b... pompeo is a very bad liar... in fact - everything he says is about exactly the opposite, but bottom line is he is a bad liar as he is thoroughly unconvincing..

everyone knows why the usa is in the middle east.. to support the war industry, which is heavily tied to the financial industry.. up is down and down is up.. that is why the usa is great friends with ksa and israel and a sworn enemy of iran... what they don't say is they are a sworn enemy of humanity and the thought that the world can continue with their ongoing madness...

oh, but don't forget to vote, LOLOL.... no wonder so many are strung out on drugs, and the pharma industry... opening up to the msm is opening oneself up to the world george orwell described many years ago...

uncle tungsten , Nov 28, 2018 3:49:24 PM | link
Take a wafer or two of silicon and just add water. The oil obsession has been eclipsed and within 20 years will be in absolute disarray. The warmongers will invent new excuses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lk3elu3zf4

karlof1 , Nov 28, 2018 4:33:18 PM | link
A hypothetical: No extraordinary amounts of hydrocarbons exist under Southwest Asian ground; just an essential amount for domestic consumption; in that case, would Zionistan exist where it's currently located and would either Saudi Arabia, Iraq and/or Iran have any significance aside from being consumers of Outlaw US Empire goods? Would the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes/Picot Secret Treaty have been made? If the Orinoco Oil Belt didn't exist, would Venezuela's government be continually targeted for Imperial control? If there was no Brazilian offshore oil, would the Regime Change effort have been made there? Here the hypotheticals end and a few basic yet important questions follow.

Previous to the 20th Century, why were Hawaii and Samoa wrested from their native residents and annexed to Empire? In what way did the lowly family farmers spread across 19th Century United States further the growth of its Empire and contribute to the above named annexations? What was the unspoken message sent to US elites contained within Frederic Jackson Turner's 1893 Frontier Thesis ? Why is the dominant language of North America English, not French or Spanish?

None of these are rhetorical. All second paragraph questions I asked of my history students. And all have a bearing on b's fundamental question.

A. Person , Nov 28, 2018 5:20:13 PM | link
b says, "And it its no longer the oil, why is the U.S. defending the Saudis?"

The US has a vital interest in protecting the narrative of 9/11. The Saudis supplied the patsies. Mossad and dual-citizen neocons were the architects of the event. Hence, the US must avoid a nasty divorce from the Saudis. The Saudis are in a perfect blackmailing position.

Tobin Paz , Nov 28, 2018 5:50:19 PM | link
Maybe Trump is unaware, but the fracking boom is a bubble made possible by near zero interest rates:

U.S. SHALE OIL INDUSTRY: Catastrophic Failure Ahead

Of course, most Americans have no idea that the U.S. Shale Oil Industry is nothing more than a Ponzi Scheme because of the mainstream media's inability to report FACT from FICTION. However, they don't deserve all of the blame as the shale energy industry has done an excellent job hiding the financial distress from the public and investors by the use of highly technical jargon and BS.

Oil is the untold story of modern history.

NOBTS , Nov 28, 2018 6:08:53 PM | link
S.A. is a thinly disguised US military base, hence the "strategic importance" and the relevance of the new Viceroy's previous experience as a Four Star General. It's doubtful that any of the skilled personnel in the SA Air Force are other than former US/Nato. A few princes might fancy themselves to be daring fighter pilots. In case of a Anglo-Zio war with Iran SA would be the most forward US aircraft carrier. The Empire is sustained by its presumed military might and prizes nothing more than its strategically situated bases. Saud would like to capture Yemen's oil fields, but the primary purpose of the air war is probably training. That of course is more despicably cynical than mere conquest and genocide.
Pft , Nov 28, 2018 6:08:56 PM | link
Trump is the ultimate deceiver/liar. Great actor reading from a script. The heel in the Fake wrestling otherwise known as US politics. It almost sounds as if he is calling for an end of anymore significant price drops now that he has got Powell on board to limit interest rate hikes. After all if you are the worlds biggest producer you dont want prices too low. These markets are all manipulated. I cant imagine how much insider trading is going on. If you look at the oil prices, they started dropping in October with Iran sanctions looming (before it was announced irans shipments to its 8 biggest buyers would be exempt) and at the height of the Khashoggi event where sanctions were threatened and Saudi was making threats of their own. In a real free market prices increase amidst supply uncertainty.

Regardless of what he says he wants and gets now, he is already planning a reversal. Thats how the big boys win, they know whats coming and when the con the smaller fish to swim one way they are lined up with a big mouth wide open. Controlled chaos and confusion. For every winner there must be a loser and the losers assets/money are food for the Gods of Money and War

As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. My money is on the US to be in Yemen to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis while in reality we will be there to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about. The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF

psychohistorian , Nov 28, 2018 6:35:06 PM | link
@ Pft who wrote: "The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF"

BINGO!!! Those that control finance control most/all of everything else.

Augustin L , Nov 28, 2018 6:37:43 PM | link

Saudi Arabia literally owns close to 8% of the United States economy through various financial instruments. Their public investment funds and dark pools own large chunks from various strategic firms resting at the apex of western power such as Blackstone. Trump and Pompeo would be stupid to cut off their nose to spite their face... It's all about the petrodollar, uncle sam will ride and die with saudi barbaria. If push comes to shove and the saudis decide to untether themselves from the Empire, their sand kingdom will probably be partitioned.
Pnyx , Nov 28, 2018 7:02:31 PM | link
The oil certainly still plays an important role, the u.s. cannot maintain the current frack oil output for long. For Tronald's term in office it will suffice, but hardly longer. (The frack gas supplies are much more substantial.)

Personal interests certainly also play a role, and finally one should not make u.s. foreign policy more rational than it is. Much is also done because of traditions and personal convictions. Often they got it completely wrong and the result was a complete failure.

Likklemore , Nov 28, 2018 7:07:15 PM | link
Let us watch what Trump does with this or if the resolution makes it to daylight:

Senate advances Yemen resolution in rebuke to Trump

The Senate issued a sharp rebuke Wednesday to President Trump, easily advancing a resolution that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen's civil war despite a White House effort to quash the bill.

The administration launched an eleventh-hour lobbying frenzy to try to head off momentum for the resolution, dispatching Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Capitol Hill in the morning and issuing a veto threat less than an hour before the vote started.

But lawmakers advanced the resolution, 63-37, even as the administration vowed to stand by Saudi Arabia following outcry over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"There's been a lot of rhetoric that's come from the White House and from the State Department on this issue," said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "The rhetoric that I've heard and the broadcasts that we've made around the world as to who we are have been way out of balance as it relates to American interests and American values." [/]
LINK TheHill

But Mattis says there is no smoking gun to tie the Clown Thug-Prince to Kashoggi's killing.
TheHill

And Lyias @ 2 is a bingo. Always follow the fiat.

Soon, without any announcements, if they wish to maintain selling oil to China, KSA will follow Qatar. It will be priced in Yuan...especially given the escalating U.S. trade war with China.

2019 holds interesting times. Order a truckload of popcorn.

Midwest For Truth , Nov 28, 2018 7:29:46 PM | link
You would have to have your head buried in the sand to not see that the Saudi "Kings" are crypto-Zionistas. Carl Sagan once said, "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." And Mark Twain also wrote "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
karlof1 , Nov 28, 2018 7:59:31 PM | link
Gee, not one taker amongst all these intelligent folk. From last to first: 1588's Protestant Wind allowed Elizabeth and her cronies to literally keep their heads as Nature helped Drake defeat the Spanish Armada; otherwise, there would be no British Empire root to the USA, thus no USA and no future Outlaw US Empire, the British Isles becoming a Hapsburg Imperial Property, and a completely different historical lineage, perhaps sans World Wars and atomic weapons.

Turner's message was with the Frontier closed the "safety valve" of continental expansion defusing political tensions based on economic inequalities had ceased to be of benefit and future policy would need to deal with that issue thus removing the Fear Factor from the natives to immigrants, and from wide-open spaces to the inner cities. Whipsawing business cycles driving urban labor's unrest, populist People's Party politics, and McKinley's 1901 assassination further drove his points home.

Nationwide, family farmers demanded Federal government help to create additional markets for their produce to generate price inflation so they could remain solvent and keep their homesteads, which translated into the need to conduct international commerce via the seas which required coaling stations--Hawaii and Samoa, amongst others--and a Blue Water Navy that eventually led to Alfred T. Mahan's doctrine of Imperial Control of the Oceans still in use today.

As with Gengis Khan's death in 1227 that stopped the Mongol expansion to the English Channel that changed the course of European history, and what was seen as the Protestant Wind being Divine Intervention, global history has several similar inflection points turning the tide from one path to another. We don't know yet if the Outlaw US Empire's reliance on Saudi is such, but we can see it turning from being a great positive to an equally potential great negative for the Empire--humanity as a whole, IMO, will benefit greatly from an implosion and the relationship becoming a Great Negative helping to strip what remains of the Emperor's Clothing from his torso so that nations and their citizens can deter the oncoming financialized economic suicide caused by massive debt and climate chaos.

Vico's circle is about to intersect with Hegel's dialectic and generate a new temporal phase in human history. Although many will find it hard to tell, the current direction points to a difficult change to a more positive course for humanity as a whole, but it's also possible that disaster could strike with humanity's total or near extinction being the outcome--good arguments can be made for either outcome, which ought to unsettle everyone: Yes, the times are that tenuous. But then, I'm merely a lonely historian aware of a great many things, including the pitfall inherent in trying to predict future events.

robjira , Nov 28, 2018 8:08:58 PM | link
"The suffering in Yemen grieves me, but if the United States of America was not involved in Yemen, it would be a hell of a lot worse." And I'll bet Pompeo said that with a straight face, too. lmfao

And as for "...keep[ing] Baghdad tethered to the West's interests and not Tehran's," I'm guessing the "secretary" would have us all agree "yeah, fk Iraqi sovereignty anyway. Besides, it's not like they share a border with Iran, or anything. Oh, wait..."

p.s. Many thanks for all you have contributed to collective knowledge, b; I will be contacting you about making a contribution by snail mail (I hate PayPal, too).

imo , Nov 28, 2018 8:25:35 PM | link
"... a powerful force for stability in the Middle East."

"Instability" more like it.

Paid for military coup in Egypt. Funding anti-Syrian terrorists. Ongoing tensions with Iran. Zip-all for the Palestinians. WTF in Yemen. Wahhabi crazy sh_t (via Mosque building) across Asia. Head and hand chopping Friday specials the norm -- especially of their South-Asian slave classes. Ok, so females can now drive cars -- woohoo. A family run business venture manipulating the global oil trade and supporting US-petro-$ hegemony recently out of goat herding and each new generation 'initiated' in some Houston secret society toe-touching shower and soap ceremonies before placement in the ruling hierarchy back home. But enough; they being Semites makes it an offence to criticize in some 'free' democratic world domains.

karlof1 , Nov 28, 2018 8:52:24 PM | link
Likklemore @14--

Instead of the "rebuke to Trump" meme circulating around, I found this statement to be more accurate:

"'Cutting off military aid to Saudi Arabia is the right choice for Yemen, the right choice for our national security, and the right choice for upholding the Constitution,' Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, declared in a statement. ' Three years ago, the notion of Congress voting to cut off military support for Saudi Arabia would have been politically laughable .'" [My Emphasis]

In other words, advancing Peace with Obama as POTUS wasn't going to happen, so this vote ought to be seen as an attack on Obama's legacy as it's his policy that's being reconsidered and hopefully discontinued.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 28, 2018 9:44:50 PM | link
Trump, Israel and the Sawdi's. US no longer needs middle east oil for strategic supply. Trump is doing away with the petro-dollar as that scam has run its course and maintenance is higher than returns. Saudi and other middle east oil is required for global energy dominance.

Energy dominance, lebensraum for Israel and destroying the current Iran are all objectives that fit into one neat package.

Those plans look to be coming apart at the moment so it remains to be seen how fanatical Trump is on Israel and MAGA. MAGA as US was at the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Pft , Nov 29, 2018 1:15:05 AM | link
As for pulling out of the Middle East Bibi must have had a good laugh. Remember when he said he wanted out of Syria. My money is on the US to be in Yemen before too long to protect them from the Saudis (humanitarian) and Iranian backed Houthis, while in reality it will be to secure the enormous oil fields in the North. Perhaps this was what the Khashoggi trap was all about.

The importance of oil is not to supply US markets its to deny it to enemies and control oil prices in order to feed international finance/IMF .

james , Nov 29, 2018 1:57:51 AM | link
@16 karlof1.. thanks for a broader historical perspective which you are able to bring to moa.. i enjoy reading your comments.. i don't have answers to ALL your questions earlier.. i have answers for some of them... you want to make it easy on us uneducated folks and give us less questions, like b did in his post here, lol.... cheers james
b , Nov 29, 2018 2:33:04 AM | link
This came faster than assumed:

Yemen war: US Senate advances measure to end support for Saudi forces

The US Senate has advanced a measure to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

In a blow to President Donald Trump, senators voted 63-37 to take forward a motion on ending US support.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had urged Senators not to back the motion, saying it would worsen the situation in Yemen.

...

The vote in the Senate means further debate on US support for Saudi Arabia is expected next week.

However, correspondents say that even if the Senate ultimately passes the bipartisan resolution it has little chance of being approved by the outgoing House of Representatives.

That is quite a slap for the Trump administration. It will have little consequences in the short term (or for Yemen) but it sets a new direction in foreign polices towards the Saudis.
jim slim , Nov 29, 2018 4:04:44 AM | link
Pompeo is a Deep State Israel-firster with a nasty neocon agenda. It is to Trump's disgrace that he chose Pompeo and the abominable Bolton. At least Trump admits the ME invasions are really about Israel.
mina , Nov 29, 2018 4:14:20 AM | link
duterte...idris deby...so many democrats visiting Netanyahu lately!!
Rhisiart Gwilym , Nov 29, 2018 4:49:48 AM | link
@Uncle Tungsten, 5:

Take a look at some of the - informed - comments below the vid to which you linked. Then think again about an 'all electric civilisation within a few years'. Yes, and Father Christmas will be providing everything that everyone in the world needs for a NAmerican/European standard of living within the same time frame. Er - not.

'Renewables' are not going to save hitech industrial 'civilisation' from The Long Descent/Catabolic Collapse (qv). Apart from any other consideration - and there are some other equally intractable ones - there is no - repeat NO - 'renewable' energy system which doesn't rely crucially on energy subsidies from the fossil-hydrocarbon fuels, both to build it and to maintain it. They're not stand-alone, self-bootstrapping technologies. Nor is there any realistic prospect that they ever will be. Fully renewable-power hitech industrial civilisation is a non-deliverable mirage which is just drawing us ever further into the desert of irreversible peak-energy/peak-everythig-else.

Rancid , Nov 29, 2018 5:58:26 AM | link
@16 karlof1. I also find your historical references very interesting. We do indeed seem to be at a very low point in the material cycle, it will reverse in due course as is its want, hopefully we will live to see a positive change in humanity.
Russ , Nov 29, 2018 7:24:10 AM | link
John 28

For example we know Tesla didn't succeed in splitting the planet in half, the way techno-psychotics fantasize. As for that silly link, how typical of techno-wingnuts to respond to prosaic physical facts with fantasies. Anything to prop up faith in the technocratic-fundamentalist religion. Meanwhile "electrical civilization" has always meant and will always mean fracking and coal, until the whole fossil-fueled extreme energy nightmare is over.

Given the proven fact that the extreme energy civilization has done nothing but embark upon a campaign to completely destroy humanity and the Earth (like in your Tesla fantasy), why would a non-psychopath want to prop it up anyway?

bob sykes , Nov 29, 2018 7:37:37 AM | link
It is still the oil, even for the US. The Persian Gulf supplies 20% of world consumption, and Western Europe gets 40% of its oil from OPEC countries, most of that from the Gulf. Even the US still imports 10% of its total consumption.
y , Nov 29, 2018 7:47:36 AM | link
Peter AU 1 | Nov 28, 2018 9:44:50 PM | 20
b | Nov 29, 2018 2:33:04 AM | 23
USD as a world reserve currency could be one factor between the important ones. With non US support the saud land could crash under neighbours pressure, that caos may be not welcomed.
Guerrero , Nov 29, 2018 10:16:10 AM | link
Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28, 2018 7:59:31 PM | 16

"Vico's circle is about to intersect with Hegel's dialectic and generate a new temporal phase in human history. Although many will find it hard to tell, the current direction points to a difficult change to a more positive course for humanity as a whole..."

Yes!

Humble people around where I live have mentioned that time is speeding up its velocity; there seems to be a spiritual (evolutionary)/physical interface effect or something...

Tolstoy, in the long theory-of-history exposition at the end of War and Peace, challenges 'the great man' of History idea, spreading in his time, at the dawning of the so-called: European Romantic period of Beethoven, Goerte and Wagner, when the unique person was glorified in the name of art, truth, whatever (eventually this bubble burst too, in the 20th C. and IMO because of too much fervent worship in the Cult of the Temple of the Money God. Dostoyevki's great Crime and Punishment is all about this issue.)

Tolstoy tries to describe a scientifically-determined historical process, dissing the 'great man of History' thesis. He was thinking of Napoleon Bonaparte of course, the run-away upstart repulican, anathema to the established order. Tolstoy describes it in the opening scene of the novel: a fascinating parlor-room conversation between a "liberal" woman of good-birth in the elite circles of society and a military captain at the party.

...only tenuously relevant to karlofi1's great post touching upon the Theory of History as such; thanks.

Now as to the question: ¿Why is Trump supporting Saudi Arabia? Let me think about that...

[Nov 24, 2018] The assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, might be used as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? )

Notable quotes:
"... Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder ..."
"... You would not consider as viable the hypothesis that Trump is using the assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? Other?). ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Snowden accuses Israeli cybersecurity firm of enabling Khashoggi murder: Play Hide

Vicky SD , 11 hours ago

What do people make of the fact that it seems Khashoggi apparently was recently married, the picture of him with his supposed fiancée was clearly photoshopped (used the same photo from his WaPo profile), and his family has indicated they knew nothing of this new fiancée?

It also seems interesting how the US has a tape of MBS ordering his silencing when we apparently knew little at the outset. Seems this turd is starting to stink a bit.

Pat Lang Mod -> Vicky SD , 11 hours ago
Automated SIGINT collection produces such volumes of material based on standing targets that it often takes a while to sift through it. MBS's phone would be such a target. In any event Trump doesn't want to hear it.
Eric Newhill -> Pat Lang , 9 hours ago
Sir,

You would not consider as viable the hypothesis that Trump is using the assassination, and evidence of MbS' ordering of it, as leverage to achieve various objectives that MbS wasn't on board with (a resolution of the Yemen situation? Oil pricing? toning down jihadi support in the MENA? Other?).

Pat Lang Mod -> Eric Newhill , 8 hours ago
It's viable but I don't think Trump is that subtle.

[Nov 24, 2018] Oil and commodity markets were used as a finishing move on the Soviet system.

Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

RioGrandeImports, 21 seconds ago link

Oil and commodity markets were used as a finishing move on the Soviet system. The book, "The Oil Card: Global Economic Warfare in the 21st Century" by James R. Norman details the use of oil futures as a geopolitical tool. Pipelines change the calculus quite a bit.

[Nov 22, 2018] CIA officials are signaling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must be replaced

Nov 20, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren November 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

https://youtu.be/JBQZIJGmwPc

TheRealNews
Published on 20 Nov 2018
CIA officials are signaling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must be replaced. Is this all about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi? Professor Asad AbuKhalil says there are other political reasons.

Mark Chapman November 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Fear not! I heard on the news on my way home that Trump has decided Saudi Arabia will not be punished for the killing of Khahsoggi with termination of current arms contracts. The Donald reasons that if that happens, the KSA will just buy its weapons elsewhere. And nobody in the military-industrial complex wants that. I am very confident Justin Trudeau will interpret that as a signal that Canada likewise should not cut off its nose to spite its face, and so Canada will not 'punish' its good friend, either. Therefore, Saudi Arabia will experience no punishment whatsoever for its admitted murder of an inconvenient American journalist. There are limits to western indignation, after all. So the west will content itself with revoking the KSA's invitation to the Spring Strawberry Social, and double down on its insistence that Crimea is Ukraine and must be returned to Kiev's control, and the west will never accept its 'annexation'. Never, never, never. There are some issues on which the west has spine to spare. So if you want a noisy western journalist removed, slip the Saudis a few bucks, and they can probably make it happen with no recriminations.
kirill November 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm
The recognition of Crimea as part of Ukraine by Washington and its minions is totally worthless. It is not based on law and justice, it is based on self-interest (as in the USA had big plans to acquire Crimea and build a massive naval base there). The use of the word annexation is propaganda drivel.

Ukraine annexed Crimea in 1991 and the ICJ has ruled that local ethnic majorities have a right to self determination. If independence is good enough for Kosovo, it is good enough for Crimea. No amount of special pleading by Washington and its bootlicks about Kosovo being "special" has any merit.

et Al November 21, 2018 at 9:38 am
I'm afraid you are wrong about the ICJ Kirill. The ICJ dodged the actual issue. They ruled that making a declaration of independence is not against international law, not whether anyone/whatever/blah blah blah actually has the right to independence. Possibly because they did not want to cross Pandora's Rubicon Box

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice_advisory_opinion_on_Kosovo%27s_declaration_of_independence

the adoption of the declaration of independence of the 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence

####

Some call it 'unique', others call it a precedent , therefore 'not unique'. If the West argues that the ICJ said it was ok, then it is also ok for Crimea to declare independence. Or, if they claim that Crimea is not independent, that Kosovo cannot be either, hence, as you point out the use of the word ' annexation ' and other creative circumlocutions to avoid mentioning that secession was first and the clear comparison with Kosovo which would not serve them well at all.

https://nyujilp.org/icj-rules-on-kosovo-independence/

The Inter­na­tion­al Court of Jus­tice today held that inter­na­tion­al law did not pro­hib­it Kosovo's dec­la­ra­tion of inde­pen­dence, while side­step­ping the larg­er issue of Kosovo's state­hood

####

But, this is not the first time the West has decided what international law is for itself when back in 1991 the European Council ministers themselves appointed the Badinter Commission to give it a legal figleaf for recognizing the administrative borders of Yugoslavia as international. I've posted this link before, but once more with feeling:

How the Badinter Commission on Yugoslavia laid the roots for Crimea's secession from Ukraine
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2015/02/20/how-the-badinter-commission-on-yugoslavia-laid-the-roots-for-crimeas-secession-from-ukraine/

kirill November 21, 2018 at 10:51 am
Thanks for the clarification. But it is all a house of cards. Given that empires and countries have continually fissioned into pieces through the whole of relevant history, the notion of "territorial integrity" is bogus and a corollary of "might makes right". As long as the country can suppress secessionists it has territorial integrity, when it becomes too weak everything falls apart. There is no international law. And if ware to assume a common law regime that is not maintained by legislatures, then secession is fully legal if the local majority wants it hard enough.
et Al November 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm
We know it is nothing but the Law of the Jungle. It's just that the fancy dress shop has expanded and has a lot more more costumes on offer to its clients.
Mark Chapman November 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm
Quite so; however, as I have frequently pointed out before – notably here –

https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/radoslaw-sikorski-is-a-handsome-urbane-well-educated-twat-the-ignominious-collapse-of-british-journalism/

when the west trots out its I-never-said that-exactly smokescreen, it is helpful to read what various western countries wrote as legal opinions, and the arguments they used to support their reasoning. Where Kosovo is concerned, a classic is the Polish opinion, written by (or more likely for) its then-Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski. He wrote, in part;

" a state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty the existence of the state is a question of fact, the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory. A declaration of independence is merely an act that confirms these factual circumstances, and it may be difficult to assess such an act in purely legal terms."

Legal opinions are usually replete with bafflegab to confuse the easily-bored and the pressed-for-time readers. But Mr. Sikorski made what he must have believed was a very convincing case that a sovereign state-within-a-state is characterized by an ethnic population, a pre-existing degree of autonomy (so that the entity demonstrates the capability to function autonomously), and its own functioning institutions such as banks and infrastructure.

Which of those is not descriptive of Crimea? It was even called "The Autonomous Republic of Crimea", for Christ's sake. Sikorski doubtless had an inkling that the Kosovo precedent might come back to bite NATO, and so tried to duck a justification which might read like a precedent, but it was unavoidable.

[Nov 22, 2018] America had a net export capacity of 5 bcm in 2017 because it imported about 87 bcm from Canada

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

kirill November 14, 2018 at 6:35 am

These American fucktards actually think they can replace Russian gas supply to the EU. With what you utter void heads? America had a net export capacity of 5 bcm in 2017 because it imported about 87 bcm from Canada. When you fuckwad, douchebags get 150 bcm export capacity, then start yapping. Until then, STFU.

Of course, it is clear to anyone with a functional brain that the US is totally dishonest on claiming to want to supply the EU. In fact, it wants to saddle the EU with onerous LNG contracts to third parties (e.g. Qatar) who can currently and for the near term supply the volumes of LNG needed. At the same time the US damages the Asian tigers by increasing LNG prices.

It is time for all the US bootlicks (Japan, the EU) to tell Uncle Scumbag to shove himself in his own ass. The US is not even pretending to treat these countries with respect.

[Nov 22, 2018] US warns Hungary and neighbours against Turkish Stream

Nov 22, 2018 | www.euractiv.com

The US has repeatedly taken position against Nord Stream 2, a Russia-sponsored pipeline planned to bring gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea. But this time Washington warned against another such pipeline, bringing Russian gas under the Black Sea.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry called on Hungary and its neighbors to reject Russian gas pipelines which Washington says are being used to cement Moscow's grip on central and eastern Europe.

Energy diversification would be crucial for the region, as Russia has used energy as a weapon in the past, he said, as quoted by Reuters.

"Russia is using a pipeline project Nord stream 2 and a multi-line Turkish stream to try to solidify its control over the security and the stability of Central and eastern Europe," Perry added during a visit to Budapest.

Last July, Hungary signed a deal with Russia's Gazprom to link the country with the Turkish Stream pipeline by end-2019.

true 14/11/2018 at 09:46

Rick Perry is a salesman. He wants us Europeans to buy USA gas. Which is why he is against North Stream 2 and Turkish Stream. Not because Russia may use gas to blackmail Europe -- unlike the USA, which blackmails Europe to sanction Iran and Russia –. No, he just wants us to buy America.

Despite the fact that gas produced in the USA is far more expensive than Russia's. Well, what can you expect from a minister in the government of a tycoon? What else can you expect from today's USA?

[Nov 22, 2018] Swiss court has ordered all Nord Stream partners to not make any payments to Gazprom, instead to pay all monies owed to Gazprom to Swedish bailiffs

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman November 15, 2018 at 1:09 pm

One way or another, Gazprom is going to have to pay Ukraine $2.6 Billion, so they might as well just do it and have it over with. Of course the Ukies will prance and jump up and down in the streets and yell 'Slava Ukrainy' – and hasten off to prepare new lawsuits in search of more money from the Russian state. But a Swiss court has ordered all Nord Stream partners to not make any payments to Gazprom, instead to pay all monies owed to Gazprom to Swedish bailiffs, who will redistribute it to Ukraine until they recover all their money.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ns2-in-trouble-gazprom-hopeful-65959

[Nov 21, 2018] Who Says Economic Sanctions Work by Scott Ritter

Looks like the recent oil price drop was engineered like in 2014 by the USA adminsitration...
" Concerns that strict sanctioning of Iranian oil would result in a spike in global oil prices prompted Trump to grant waivers to eight of Iran's largest purchasers of oil, creating a situation where Iran's oil-based income will increase following the implementation of sanctions. The bottom line is that the current round of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran will not achieve anything. "
Notable quotes:
"... With Iran, the issue of nuclear non-proliferation was an additional justification for sanctions. Here, disarmament concerns eventually trumped regime change desires, to the extent that when the U.S. was confronted by the reality that sanctions would not achieve the change in behavior desired by Tehran, and the cost of war with Iran being prohibitively high, both politically and militarily, it capitulated. It agreed to lift the sanctions in exchange for Iran agreeing to enhanced monitoring of a nuclear program that was fundamentally unaltered by the resulting agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA. ..."
"... When Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, he did so in an environment that was radically different than the one that was in play when President Barack Obama embraced that agreement in July 2015. Today, the U.S. stands alone in implementing sanctions, while Iran enjoys the support of the rest of the world (support that will continue so long as Iran complies with the provisions set forth in the JCPOA.) Moreover, Iran is working with its new-found partners in Europe, Russia, and China to develop work-arounds to the U.S. sanctions. ..."
"... The coalition of support that the U.S. has assembled to confront Iran, built around Israel and Saudi Arabia, is not as solid as had been hoped -- Israel is tied down in Gaza, while Saudi Arabia struggles in Yemen, and is reeling from the fallout surrounding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi ..."
Nov 21, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The imposition of new, more stringent sanctions targeting Iranian oil sales by the Trump administration has once again raised the question: is this even a viable policy?

The Council on Foreign Relations defines sanctions as "a lower-cost, lower-risk, middle course of action between diplomacy and war." In short, sanctions do not represent policy per se, but rather the absence of policy, little more than a stop-gap measure to be used while other options are considered and/or developed.

Not surprising, sanctions have rarely -- if ever -- succeeded in obtaining their desired results. The poster child for successful sanctions as a vehicle for change -- divestment in South Africa during the 1980s in opposition to the Apartheid regime -- is in reality a red herring. The South Africa sanctions were in fact counterproductive , in so far as they prompted even harsher policies from the South African government. The demise of Apartheid came about largely because the Soviet Union collapsed, meaning the South African government was no longer needed in the fight against communism.

Another myth that has arisen around sanctions is their utility in addressing nonproliferation issues. Since 1994, the U.S. has promulgated non-proliferation sanctions under the guise of executive orders signed by the president or statutes passed by Congress. But there is no evidence that sanctions implemented under these authorities have meaningfully altered the behaviors that they target. Better known are the various sanctions regimes authorized under UN Security Council resolutions backed by the United States, specifically those targeting Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.

The Iraq sanctions were, by intent, a stop-gap measure implemented four days after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and intended to buy time until a military response could be authorized, organized, and executed. The nature of the Iraq sanctions regime was fundamentally altered after Operation Desert Storm, when the objective transitioned away from the liberation of Kuwait, which was achieved by force of arms, to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, which was never the intent of the sanctions to begin with. The potential for sanctions to alter Iraqi behavior was real -- Iraq had made the lifting of sanctions its top priority, and thanks to aggressive UN weapons inspections, was effectively disarmed by 1995.

This potential, however, was never realized in large part to the unspoken yet very real policy on part of the U.S. that sanctions would not be lifted on Iraq, regardless of its level of disarmament, until which time its president, Saddam Hussein, was removed from power. Since the sanctions were not designed, intended, or capable of achieving regime change, their very existence became a policy trap -- as the sanctions crumbled due to a lack of support and enforcement, the U.S. was compelled to either back away from its regime change policy, which was politically impossible, or seek regime change through military engagement. In short, American sanctions policy vis-à-vis Iraq was one of the major causal factors behind the 2003 decision to invade Iraq.

One of the flawed lessons that emerged from the Iraq sanctions experience was that sanctions could contribute to regime change, in so far as they weakened the targeted nation to the point that a military option became attractive. This is a fundamentally flawed conclusion, however, predicated on the mistaken belief that Iraq's military weakness was the direct byproduct of sanctions. Iraq's military weakness was because its military had been effectively destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War. Sanctions contributed significantly to Iraq being unable to reconstitute a meaningful military capability, but they were not the cause of the underlying systemic problems that led to the rapid defeat of the Iraqi military in 2003.

The "success" of the Iraq sanctions regime helped guide U.S. policy regarding North Korea in the 1990s and 2000s. Stringent sanctions, backed by Security Council resolutions, were implemented to curtail North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems. Simple cause-effect analysis shows the impotence of this effort -- North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile capability continued unabated, culminating in nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil being tested and deployed. The notion that sanctions could undermine the legitimacy of the North Korean regime and facilitate its collapse was not matched by reality. If anything, support for the regime grew as it demonstrated its willingness to stand up to the U.S. and proceed with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The Victims of Iran Sanctions Iran Deserves Credit for the Ruin of ISIS

The Trump administration labors under the fiction that it was the U.S. policy of "maximum pressure" through sanctions that compelled North Korea to agree to denuclearization. The reality, however, is that it is North Korea, backed by China and Russia, that has dictated the timing of the diplomatic breakthrough with the U.S. ( the so-called "Peace Olympics" ), and the pace of associated disarmament. Moreover, North Korea's insistence that any denuclearization be conducted parallel to the lifting of economic sanctions demonstrates that it is in full control of its policy, and that the promise of the lifting of economic sanctions has not, to date, prompted any change in Pyongyang's stance. While President Donald Trump maintains that the U.S. will not budge from its position that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea disarms, the fact of the matter is that the sanctions regime is already collapsing, with China opening its border, Russia selling gasoline and oil, and South Korea engaged in discussions about potential unification.

The U.S. has lost control of the process, if indeed it was ever in control. It is doubtful that the rest of the world will allow the progress made to date with North Korea to be undone, leaving the U.S. increasingly isolated. Insisting on the maintenance of a sanctions regime that has proven ineffective and counterproductive is not sustainable policy. As with Iraq, U.S. sanctions have proven to be the problem, not the solution. Unlike Iraq, North Korea maintains a robust military capability, fundamentally altering the stakes involved in any military solution the U.S. might consider as an alternative -- in short, there is no military solution. One can expect the U.S. to alter its position on sanctions before North Korea budges on denuclearization.

Iran represents a far more complex, and dangerous, problem set. The United States has maintained sanctions against Iran that date back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah, and the seizure of the U.S. embassy and resultant holding of its staff hostage for 444 days. The U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iran has been one where the demise of the ruling theocracy has been a real, if unstated, objective, and every sanctions regime implemented since that time has had that outcome in mind. This is the reverse of the Iraqi case, where regime change was an afterthought to sanctions. With Iran, the issue of nuclear non-proliferation was an additional justification for sanctions. Here, disarmament concerns eventually trumped regime change desires, to the extent that when the U.S. was confronted by the reality that sanctions would not achieve the change in behavior desired by Tehran, and the cost of war with Iran being prohibitively high, both politically and militarily, it capitulated. It agreed to lift the sanctions in exchange for Iran agreeing to enhanced monitoring of a nuclear program that was fundamentally unaltered by the resulting agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA.

When Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, he did so in an environment that was radically different than the one that was in play when President Barack Obama embraced that agreement in July 2015. Today, the U.S. stands alone in implementing sanctions, while Iran enjoys the support of the rest of the world (support that will continue so long as Iran complies with the provisions set forth in the JCPOA.) Moreover, Iran is working with its new-found partners in Europe, Russia, and China to develop work-arounds to the U.S. sanctions.

The coalition of support that the U.S. has assembled to confront Iran, built around Israel and Saudi Arabia, is not as solid as had been hoped -- Israel is tied down in Gaza, while Saudi Arabia struggles in Yemen, and is reeling from the fallout surrounding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi .

Concerns that strict sanctioning of Iranian oil would result in a spike in global oil prices prompted Trump to grant waivers to eight of Iran's largest purchasers of oil, creating a situation where Iran's oil-based income will increase following the implementation of sanctions. The bottom line is that the current round of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran will not achieve anything.

For the meantime, Iran will avoid confrontation, operating on the hope that it will be able to cobble an effective counter to U.S. sanctions. However, unlike Iraq, Iran has a very capable military. Unlike Korea, however, this military is not equipped with a nuclear deterrent.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the U.S. tends to default to military intervention when sanctions have failed to achieve the policy goal of regime change. Trump, operating as he is under the influence of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, is not immune to this trap. The question is whether Iran can defeat the sanctions through workarounds before they become too crippling and the regime is forced to lash out in its own defense. This is one race where the world would do well to bet on Iran, because the consequences of failure are dire.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal (2018) by Clarity Press.

[Nov 19, 2018] We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired: Kirsten Fontenrose, the National Security Council official in charge of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned

Notable quotes:
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... The Nation ..."
"... The Treasury declaration blamed MbS advisor Saud al-Qahtani as mastermind behind the Khashoggi murder, while the Saudis carefully avoided that. We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired : ..."
"... Fontenrose had played a key role in the administration's decision about which Saudis to sanction in response to Khashoggi's killing, these people said. ..."
"... I suspect that MbS tried, via Trump's son-in-law Kushner, to save al-Qahtani (and himself). Trump clearly wanted to do that, but Fontenrose blew the plan by pushing for al-Qahtani to be sanctioned. The CIA also sabotaged the planned exculpation of MbS by 'leaking' its judgment about MbS' personal responsibility to the press. ( WaPo published the CIA conclusion in Arabic , another point the Saudis will hate.) ..."
Nov 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama :

We were first to point out that the NYT's characterization of an old North Korean missile site as "deception" was pure nonsense. Newsweek , 38north.org , NKNews.org , The Nation and others now also condemned the neo-conned NYT propaganda.

The war let to the loss of Netanyahoo's majority in the Knesset. He is now trying to stall new elections in which he could lose his job.

Trump's Middle East policy is in total disarray. Nothing is working as planned. Netanyahoo will probebaly fall. Saudi Arabia will not make nice with Qatar. There will be no Arab NATO or anti-Iran alliance. MbS is despised but will stay on the job. Yemen is starving. The U.S. is at odds with Turkey over support for the Kurds. Trumps knows and hates this :

The adviser who talks to Trump said: "If the president had his way, he would stay entirely out of the Middle East and all of the problems."

The piece was the first to point out the difference between the Saudi investigation, which put blame on Major General Ahmed al-Asiri, and the names on the U.S. sanction list published at the same time. The Treasury declaration blamed MbS advisor Saud al-Qahtani as mastermind behind the Khashoggi murder, while the Saudis carefully avoided that. We now learn that the person in the U.S. National Security Council who put al-Qahtani on the list was fired :

On Friday evening, Kirsten Fontenrose, the National Security Council official in charge of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, resigned, administration officials said. The circumstances of her departure weren't clear. But Fontenrose had previously been placed on administrative leave, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fontenrose had played a key role in the administration's decision about which Saudis to sanction in response to Khashoggi's killing, these people said.

I suspect that MbS tried, via Trump's son-in-law Kushner, to save al-Qahtani (and himself). Trump clearly wanted to do that, but Fontenrose blew the plan by pushing for al-Qahtani to be sanctioned. The CIA also sabotaged the planned exculpation of MbS by 'leaking' its judgment about MbS' personal responsibility to the press. ( WaPo published the CIA conclusion in Arabic , another point the Saudis will hate.) Trump is furious that the CIA (again) sabotaged his policy:

Asked about reports that the CIA had assessed involvement by Mohammed, the president said: "They haven't assessed anything yet. It's too early."

[Nov 17, 2018] OPEC Plus Putin's move to control energy market with Saudi partnership (Video)

Nov 17, 2018 | theduran.com

The Express UK reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia's 'long-term relationship' will not only survive, but grow, regardless of geopolitical turmoil and internal Saudi scandal as the energy interests between both nations bind them together.

... ... ...

But IHS Market vice chairman Daniel Yergin said the decision was unlikely to jeopardise the relationship between the two allies.

The Saudis have faced significant international criticism in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Yergin made it clear that Moscow and Riyadh would continue to be closely aligned irrespective of external factors.

He explained: "I think it's intended to be a long-term relationship and it started off about oil prices but you see it taking on other dimensions, for instance, Saudi investment in Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) and Russian investment in Saudi Arabia.

"I think this is a strategic relationship because it's useful to both countries."

Saudi Arabia and Russia are close, especially as a result of their pact in late 2016, along with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers, to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day in order to prevent prices dropping too far – but oil markets have changed since then, largely as a result.

The US criticised OPEC, which Saudi Arabia is the nominal leader of, after prices rose.

Markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as a result of fears over a possible drop in supply, as a result of US sanctions on Iran, and an oversupply, as a result of increased production by Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, which have seen prices fall by about 20 percent since early October.

Saudi Arabia has pumped 10.7 million barrels per day in October, while the figure for Russia and the US was 11.4 million barrels in each case.

Mr Yergin said: "It's the big three, it's Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, this is a different configuration in the oil market than the traditional OPEC-non-OPEC one and so the world is having to adjust."

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley told CNBC: "The OPEC-plus agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia and coalition is a lot stronger than people speculate.

"I think Russia doesn't have the ability to turn on and off big fields which can happen in the Middle East.

"But I fully expect there to be coordination to try to keep the oil price within a certain fairway."

Markets rallied by two percent on Monday off the back of the Saudi decision to cut production , which it justified by citing uncertain global oil growth and associated oil demand next year.

It also suggested waivers granted on US sanctions imposed on Iran which have been granted to several countries including China and Japan was a reason not to fear a decline in supply.

Also talking to CNBC, Russia's Oil Minister Alexander Novak indicated a difference of opinion between Russia and the Saudis, saying it was too soon to cut production, highlighting a lot of volatility in the oil market.

He added: "If such a decision is necessary for the market and all the countries are in agreement, I think that Russia will undoubtedly play a part in this.

"But it's early to talk about this now, we need to look at this question very carefully."

[Nov 16, 2018] Oil, Power, and War A Dark History by Matthieu Auzanneau

Notable quotes:
"... Finally, unlike Yergin and other historians of the oil industry, Auzanneau frames his tale of petroleum as a life cycle, with germination followed by spring, summer, and autumn. There is a beginning and a flourishing, but there is also an end. This framing is extremely helpful, given the fact that the world is no longer in the spring or summer of the oil era. We take petroleum for granted, but it's time to start imagining a world, and daily life, without it. ..."
Nov 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Similarly, the real story of oil is of fortunes lost, betrayal, war, espionage, and intrigue. In the end, inevitably, the story of oil is a story of depletion. Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource, a precious substance that took tens of millions of years to form and that is gone in a comparative instant as we extract and burn it. For many decades, oil-hungry explorers, using ever-improving technology', have been searching for ever-deteriorating prospects as the low- hanging fin its of planet Earth's primordial oil bounty gradually dwindle. Oil wells have been shut in, oil fields exhausted, and oil companies bankrupted by the simple, inexorable reality of depletion.

It is impossible to understand the political and economic history of the past 150 years without taking account of a central character in the drama -- oil, the magical wealth-generating substance, a product of ancient sunlight and tens of millions of years of slow geological processes, whose tragic fate is to be dug up and combusted once and for all. leaving renewed poverty in its wake. With Oil, Power, and War, Matthieu Auzanneau has produced what I believe is the new definitive work on oil and its historic significance, supplanting even Daniel Yergin's renowned The Prize, for reasons I'll describe below.

The importance of oil's role in shaping the modern world cannot be overstated. Prior to the advent of fossil fuels, firewood was humanity's main fuel. But forests could be cut to the last tree (many were), and wood was bulky. Coal offered some economic advantages over wood. But it was oil -- liquid and therefore easier to transport; more energy-dense; and simpler to store -- that turbocharged the modern industrial age following the development of the first commercial wells around the year 1860.

John D. Rockefeller's cutthroat, monopolist business model shaped the early industry, which was devoted mostly to the production of kerosene for lamp oil (gasoline was then considered a waste product and often discarded into streams or rivers). But roughly forty years later, when Henry Ford developed the automobile assembly line, demand for black gold was suddenly as explosive as gasoline itself.

Speaking of explosions, the role of petroleum in the two World Wars and the armament industry' in general deserves not just a footnote in history books but serious and detailed treatment such as it receives in this worthy volume. Herein we learn how Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany literally ran out of gas while the Allies rode to victory in planes, ships, and tanks burning refined US crude. Berlin could be cut off from supplies in Baku or North Africa, and Tokyo's tanker route from Borneo could be blockaded -- but no one could interrupt the American war machine's access to Texas tea.

In the pages that follow, we learn about the origin of the decades-long US alliance with Saudi Arabia, the development of OPEC, the triumph of the petrodollar, and the reasons for both the Algerian independence movement and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Auzanneau traces the postwar growth of the global economy and the development of consumerism, globalization, and car culture. He recounts how the population explosion and the Green Revolution in agriculture reshaped demographics and politics globally -- and explains why both depended on petroleum. We learn why Nixon cut the US dollar's tether to the gold standard just a year after US oil production started to decline, and how the American economy began to rely increasingly on debt. The story of oil takes ever more fascinating turns -- with the fall of the Soviet Union after its oil production hit a snag; with soaring petroleum prices in 2008 coinciding with the onset of the global financial crisis; and with wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen erupting as global conventional oil output flatlined.

As I alluded to above, comparisons will inevitably be drawn between Oil, Power, and War and Daniel Yergin's Pulitzer-winning "The Prize", published in 1990. It may be helpful therefore to point out four of the most significant ways this work differs from Yergin's celebrated tour de force.

The most obvious difference between the two books is simply one of time frame. The Prize's narrative stops in the 1980s, while Oil, Power, and War also covers the following critical decades, which encompass the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, 9/11, the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008. and major shifts within the petroleum industry as it relies ever less on conventional crude and ever more on unconventional resources such as bitumen (Canada's oil sands), tight oil (also called shale oil), and deepwater oil.

Finally, unlike Yergin and other historians of the oil industry, Auzanneau frames his tale of petroleum as a life cycle, with germination followed by spring, summer, and autumn. There is a beginning and a flourishing, but there is also an end. This framing is extremely helpful, given the fact that the world is no longer in the spring or summer of the oil era. We take petroleum for granted, but it's time to start imagining a world, and daily life, without it.

Taken together, these distinctions indeed make Oil, Power, and War the definitive work on the history of oil -- no small achievement, but a judgment well earned.

Over the past decade, worrisome signs of global oil depletion have been obscured by the unabashed enthusiasm of energy analysts regarding growing production in the United States from low-porosity source rocks. Termed "light tight oil," this new resource has been unleashed through application of the technologies of hydrofracturing (tracking) and horizontal drilling.

US liquid fuels production has now surpassed its previous peak in 1970, and well-regarded agencies such as the Energy Information Administration are forecasting continued tight oil abundance through mid-century.

Auzanneau titles his discussion of this phenomenon (in chapter 30), "Nonconventional Petroleum to the Rescue?" -- and frames it as a question for good reason: Skeptics of tight oil hyperoptimism point out that most production so far has been unprofitable. The industry has managed to stay in the game only due to low interest rates (most companies are heavily in debt) and investor hype. Since source rocks lack permeability, individual oil wells deplete very quickly -- with production in each well declining on the order of 70 percent to 90 percent in the first three years. That means that relentless, expensive drilling is needed in order to release the oil that's there. Thus the tight oil industry can be profitable only if oil prices are very high -- high enough, perhaps, to hobble the economy -- and if drilling is concentrated in the small core areas within each of the productive regions. But these "sweet spots" are being exhausted rapidly. Further, with tight oil the energy returned on the energy invested in drilling and completion is far less than was the case with American petroleum in its heyday.

It takes energy to fell a tree, drill an oil well, or manufacture a solar panel. We depend on the energy payback from those activities to run society. In the miraculous years of the late twentieth century, oil delivered an averaged 50:1 energy payback. It was this, more than anything else, that made rapid economic growth possible, especially for the nations that were home to the world's largest oil reserves and extraction companies. As the world relies ever less on conventional oil and ever more on tight oil, bitumen, and deepwater oil, the overall energy payback of the oil industry is declining rapidly. And this erosion of energy return is reflected in higher overall levels of debt in the oil industry and lower overall financial profitability.

Meanwhile the industry is spending ever less on exploration -- for two reasons. First, there is less money available for that purpose, due to declining financial profitability; second, there seems comparatively little oil left to be found: Recent years have seen new oil discoveries dwindle to the lowest level since the 1940s. The world is not about to run out of oil. But the industry that drove society in the twentieth century to the heights of human economic and technological progress is failing in the twenty-first century.

Today some analysts speak of "peak oil demand." The assumption behind the phrase is that electric cars will soon reduce our need for oil, even as abundance of supply is assured by fracking. But the world is still highly dependent on crude oil. We have installed increasing numbers of solar panels and wind turbines, but the transition to renewable is going far too slowly either to avert catastrophic climate change or to fully replace petroleum before depletion forces an economic crisis. While we may soon see more electric cars on the road, trucking, shipping, and aviation will be much harder to electrify. We haven't really learned yet how to make the industrial world work without oil. The simple reality is that the best days of the oil business, and the oil-fueled industrial way of life, are behind us. And we are not ready for what comes next.

[Nov 14, 2018] Installing an Arabic speaking Arab American general as the new ambassador to the kingdom sounds like the Borg is becoming concerned with kingdom stability when changes come.

Nov 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Kooshy , 11 hours ago

Colonel Salam , what do you think of retired general Abizad becoming new US' ambassador to KSA. To me installing an Arabic speaking Arab American general as the new ambassador to the kingdom sounds like the Borg is becoming concerned with kingdom' stability when changes come. They probably don't want to repeat the mistake of keeping Sullivan during IRI. So sorry for OT.
Pat Lang Mod -> Kooshy , 6 hours ago
Abizaid is a good man but he is Lebanese American and the Saudis will try to buy him off and if that doesn't work will undermine him. I wish him luck.

[Nov 14, 2018] Oil, Power, and War A Dark History by Matthieu Auzanneau

Notable quotes:
Oil, Power, and War is a story of the dreams and hubris that spawned an era of economic chaos, climate change, war, and terrorism -- as well as an eloquent framing from which to consider our options as our primary source of power, in many ways irreplacable, grows ever more constrained.
Nov 14, 2018 | www.barnesandnoble.com

In this sweeping, unabashed history of oil, Matthieu Auzanneau takes a fresh, thought-provoking look at the way oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. He upends commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events of the past 150 years, and he sheds light on what our oil-constrained and eventually post-oil future might look like.

Oil, Power, and War follows the oil industry from its heyday when the first oil wells were drilled to the quest for new sources as old ones dried up. It traces the rise of the Seven Sisters and other oil cartels and exposes oil's key role in the crises that have shaped our times: two world wars, the Cold War, the Great Depression, Bretton Woods, the 2008 financial crash, oil shocks, wars in the Middle East, the race for Africa's oil riches, and more. And it defines the oil-born trends shaping our current moment, such as the jockeying for access to Russia's vast oil resources, the search for extreme substitutes for declining conventional oil, the rise of terrorism, and the changing nature of economic growth.

We meet a long line of characters from John D. Rockefeller to Dick Cheney and Rex Tillerson, and hear lesser-known stories like how New York City taxes were once funneled directly to banks run by oil barons. We see how oil and power, once they became inextricably linked, drove actions of major figures like Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Kissinger, and the Bushes. We also learn the fascinating backstory sparked by lesser-known but key personalities such as Calouste Gulbenkian, Abdullah al-Tariki, and Marion King Hubbert, the once-silenced oil industry expert who warned his colleagues that oil production was facing its peak.

Oil, Power, and War is a story of the dreams and hubris that spawned an era of economic chaos, climate change, war, and terrorism -- as well as an eloquent framing from which to consider our options as our primary source of power, in many ways irreplacable, grows ever more constrained.

The book has been translated from the highly acclaimed French title, Or Noir .

[Nov 12, 2018] Saudi royals internal fight looks probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be

Nov 12, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Survivalist says: 11/03/2018 at 12:13 am

To put it mildly, I'm not an expert on where to find info Ghawar. Perhaps brighter minds will chime in.
http://peakoilbarrel.com/closer-look-saudi-arabia/
http://crudeoilpeak.info/category/saudi-arabia

My guess is that much of KSA will look a lot like the shabby end of Yemen before too long. This will perhaps strand some assets. Once the House of Saud fragments further among competing clans/factions (Faisal, Sudairi, Abdullah, Bin Sultans) things will hasten. Collapse is preceded by intra-elite rivalry over a shrinking pie, so to speak.
Caspian Report has a nice set on KSA if you look for them. Here's one-
https://youtu.be/9tHwvZ9XDLU
And another-
https://youtu.be/hh8isVX3H9w

Hightrekker once commented something quite apt, along the lines of~ 'And all this is probably like the Austrians in 1913 arguing about who their next Habsburg Ruler is going to be'.

From what I understand there are 4000 Saudi princes (a suspiciously round number, so likely an approximate). It all should make for a very bloody affair. Hopefully Iran will do the right thing and kick 'em while they're down.

  1. Mushalik 10/31/2018 at 8:25 pm
    Saudi Update October 2018
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/saudi-update-october-2018

[Nov 11, 2018] Trump's Iran Policy Cannot Succeed Without Allies The National Interest by James Clapper & Thomas Pickering

Highly recommended!
It's interesting that Clapper is against abandoned by Trump Iran deal.
Tramp administration is acting more like Israeli marionette here, because while there a strategic advantage in crushing the Iranian regime for the USA and making a county another Us vassal in the middle East, the cost for the country might be way to high (especially if we count in the cost of additional antagonizing Russia and China). Trump might jump into the second Afghanistan, which would really brake the back of US military -- crushing Iran military is one thing, but occupying such a county is a very costly task. And that might well doom Israel in the long run as settlers policies now created really antagonized, unrecognizable minority with a high birth rate.
Vanishing one-by-one of partners are given due to collapse of neoliberalism as an ideology. Nobody believes that neoliberalism is the future, like many believed in 80th and early 90th. This looks more and more like a repetion of the path of the USSR after 1945, when communist ideology was discredited and communist elite slowly fossilized. In 46 years from its victory in WWII the USSR was dissolved. The same might happen with the USA in 50 years after winning the Cold War.
Notable quotes:
"... a vanishing one by one of American partners who were previously supportive of U.S. leadership in curbing Iran, particularly its nuclear program. ..."
"... The United States risks losing the cooperation of historic and proven allies in the pursuit of other U.S. national security interests around the world, far beyond Iran. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

Only well calibrated multilateral political, economic and diplomatic pressure brought to bear on Iran with many and diverse partners will produce the results we seek.

"Then there were none" was Agatha Christie's most memorable mystery about a house party in which each guest was killed off one by one. Donald Trump's policy toward Iran has resulted in much the same: a vanishing one by one of American partners who were previously supportive of U.S. leadership in curbing Iran, particularly its nuclear program.

Dozens of states, painstakingly cultivated over decades of American leadership in blocking Iran's nuclear capability, are now simply gone. One of America's three remaining allies on these issues, Saudi Arabia, has become a central player in American strategy throughout the Middle East region. But the Saudis, because of the Jamal Khashoggi killing and other reasons, may have cut itself out of the action. The United Arab Emirates, so close to the Saudis, may also fall away.

Such paucity of international support has left the Trump administration dangerously isolated. "America First" should not mean America alone. The United States risks losing the cooperation of historic and proven allies in the pursuit of other U.S. national security interests around the world, far beyond Iran.

... ... ...

European allies share many of our concerns about Iran's regional activities, but they strongly oppose U.S. reinstitution of secondary sanctions against them. They see the Trump administration's new sanctions as a violation of the nuclear agreement and UN Security Council resolutions and as undermining efforts to influence Iranian behavior. The new sanctions and those applied on November 5 only sap European interest in cooperating to stop Iran.

... ... ...

The United States cannot provoke regime change in Iran any more than it has successfully in other nations in the region. And, drawing on strategies used to topple governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States should be wary of launching or trying to spur a military invasion of Iran.

Lt. Gen. James Clapper (USAF, ret.) is the former Director of National Intelligence. Thomas R. Pickering is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russia and India.

[Nov 10, 2018] Russian State-Owned Bank VTB Funded Rosneft Stake Sale To Qatari Fund

Notable quotes:
"... Later, it emerged that QIA and Glencore planned to sell the majority of the stake they had acquired in Rosneft to China's energy conglomerate CEFC, but the deal fell through after Beijing set its sights on CEFC and launched an investigation that saw the removal of its chief executive. The investigation was reportedly part of a wide crackdown on illicit business practices on the part of private Chinese companies favored by Beijing. ..."
Nov 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Irina Slav via Oilprice.com,

Russian VTB, a state-owned bank, funded a significant portion of the Qatar Investment Authority's acquisition of a stake in oil giant Rosneft , Reuters reports , quoting nine unnamed sources familiar with the deal.

VTB, however, has denied to Reuters taking any part in the deal.

"VTB has not issued and is not planning to issue a loan to QIA to finance the acquisition," the bank said in response for a request for comment.

The Reuters sources, however, claim VTB provided a US$6 billion loan to the Qatar sovereign wealth fund that teamed up with Swiss Glencore to acquire 19.5 percent in Rosneft last year. Reuters cites data regarding VTB's activity issued by the Russian central bank that shows VTB lent US$6.7 billion (434 billion rubles) to unnamed foreign entities and the loan followed another loan of US$5.20 billion (350 billion rubles) from the same central bank.

The news first made headlines in December, taking markets by surprise, as Rosneft's partial privatization was expected by most to be limited to Russian investors. The price tag on the stake was around US$11.57 billion (692 billion rubles), of which Glencore agreed to contribute US$324 million. The remainder was forked over by the Qatar Investment Authority, as well as non-recourse bank financing.

Russia's budget received about US$10.55 billion ( 710.8 billion rubles ) from the deal, including US$ 270 million (18 billion rubles) in extra dividends. Rosneft, for its part, got an indirect stake in Glencore of 0.54 percent.

Later, it emerged that QIA and Glencore planned to sell the majority of the stake they had acquired in Rosneft to China's energy conglomerate CEFC, but the deal fell through after Beijing set its sights on CEFC and launched an investigation that saw the removal of its chief executive. The investigation was reportedly part of a wide crackdown on illicit business practices on the part of private Chinese companies favored by Beijing.

solidtare , 30 minutes ago link

Took z/h almost 2 years, and of course from a tertiary source - Reuters

John Helmer nailed this scam 2 years ago, and got hammered for it

[Nov 09, 2018] Russia will see oil only is euro by Yoel Minkof

Nov 09, 2018 | seekingalpha.com

Seeking protection against possible new U.S. sanctions, Russian energy majors are heaping pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments, as well as penalty clauses in contracts.

Russia supplies over 10% of global oil, so severe sanctions could affect crude prices.

Global oil majors further rely on Russia to feed their refineries, especially in Europe and Asia, so they cannot just walk away from annual contract negotiations.

[Nov 07, 2018] Why oil prices fall when Iran production also falls?

That suggest oil price manipilation...
The event remind preparation to Iraq war.
Also if administration really wants war, Iran is not Ieaq and will fight more efficiently, while the US army despite technological supreiority is demoralized. nobody believe into the the building of global neoliberal empire any longer.
Notable quotes:
"... The administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do. ..."
"... If a foreign power waged an economic war against your country, would you be likely to respond to that foreign coercion by effectively taking their side against your own government? Of course not. The idea that Iranians will do the work of their country's enemies by rising up and toppling the regime has always been far-fetched, but it is particularly absurd to think that Iranians would do this after they have just seen their economy be destroyed by the actions of a foreign government. ..."
"... People normally do not respond to economic hardship and diminishing prospects by risking their lives by starting a rebellion against the state. ..."
"... Making Iranians poorer and more miserable isn't going to encourage them to be more politically active, much less rebellious, but will instead force them to focus on getting by. That is likely to depress turnout at future elections, and that is more likely to be good news for hard-line candidates in the years to come. ..."
"... Iran hawks typically don't understand the country that they obsess over, so perhaps it is not surprising that they haven't thought any of this through, but their most glaring failure is not taking into account the importance of nationalism. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: The Futility of Trump's Iran Policy By Daniel Larison November 6, 2018, 10:54 AMThe administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do.

The Trump administration's plan to throttle the Iranian economy is as poorly-conceived as it is cruel:

"For ordinary people, sanctions mean unemployment, sanctions mean becoming poor, sanctions mean the scarcity of medicine, the rising price of dollar," said Akbar Shamsodini, an Iranian businessman in the oil and gas sector who lost his job six months ago as European companies started to pull out of Iran in fear of US sanctions.

" By imposing these sanctions, they want to force Iranians to rise up in revolt against their government but in practice, they will only make them flee their country [bold mine-DL]," he said, adding that ironically it would be Europe that would have to bear the burden of such a mass migration.

"We're being squashed here as an Iranian youth who studied here, worked here, the only thing I'm thinking about now is how to flee my country and go to Europe."

If a foreign power waged an economic war against your country, would you be likely to respond to that foreign coercion by effectively taking their side against your own government? Of course not. The idea that Iranians will do the work of their country's enemies by rising up and toppling the regime has always been far-fetched, but it is particularly absurd to think that Iranians would do this after they have just seen their economy be destroyed by the actions of a foreign government.

People normally do not respond to economic hardship and diminishing prospects by risking their lives by starting a rebellion against the state. As Mr. Shamsodini says above, it is much more likely that they will leave to find a way to make a living elsewhere. All that strangling Iran's economy will manage to do is push young and ambitious Iranians to go abroad while inflicting cruel collective punishment on everyone that remains behind. Making Iranians poorer and more miserable isn't going to encourage them to be more politically active, much less rebellious, but will instead force them to focus on getting by. That is likely to depress turnout at future elections, and that is more likely to be good news for hard-line candidates in the years to come.

Iran hawks typically don't understand the country that they obsess over, so perhaps it is not surprising that they haven't thought any of this through, but their most glaring failure is not taking into account the importance of nationalism. When a foreign power tries dictating terms to another nation on pain of economic punishment, this is bound to provoke resentment and resistance. Like any other self-respecting nation, Iranians aren't going to accept being told what to do by a foreign government, and they are much more likely to band together in solidarity rather than start an uprising against their own government. The stronger the nationalist tradition there is in a country, the more likely it is that the reaction to foreign threats will be one of defiance and unity. It simply makes no sense to think that the U.S. can pressure a proud nation to capitulate like this.

The administration's policy seems sure to fail on its own terms, and it is also the wrong thing to do. President Washington exhorted his countrymen in his Farewell Address : "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all." The administration's Iran policy represents the total rejection of that advice. If the U.S. followed Washington's recommendations, it would not be abrogating an agreement that it had just negotiated a few years earlier, and it would not be punishing an entire country for the wrongs of a few. Instead, the U.S. would have built on the success of the earlier negotiations and would have sought to reestablish normal relations with them.

Sid Finster November 6, 2018 at 11:56 am

The Administration's Iran policy is identical to the Iraq policy from 1990 – 2003, in that is it is designed to provide an excuse for a war.

[Nov 06, 2018] The economic sanctions on Iran will be much tighter, beyond what they were, before the nuclear agreement was signed. "Hit them in their pockets", Netanyahu advised Trump: "if you hit them in their pockets, they will choke; and when they choke, they will throw out the ayatollahs"".

Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

mauisurfer , Nov 5, 2018 1:07:05 PM | link

Alastair Crooke (former UK dip and MI6) knows more about ME than any other white man. He describes how Jared Kushner became Trump's stovepipe of disinformation on behalf of Netanyahu and MBS.

The economic sanctions on Iran will be much tighter, beyond what they were, before the nuclear agreement was signed. "Hit them in their pockets", Netanyahu advised Trump: "if you hit them in their pockets, they will choke; and when they choke, they will throw out the ayatollahs"".

This was another bit of 'stovepiped' advice passed directly to the US President. His officials might have warned him that it was fantasy. There is no example of sanctions alone having toppled a state; and whilst the US can use its claim of judicial hegemony as an enforcement mechanism, the US has effectively isolated itself in sanctioning Iran: Europe wants no further insecurity. It wants no more refugees heading to Europe.

real full article here

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/11/05/unraveling-netanyahu-project-for-middle-east.html

[Nov 05, 2018] Will US Sanctions Sway Iran to Enter Oil Deal with Russia

Nov 05, 2018 | russia-insider.com

However, the primary problem would not even be the doubtful profitability, but rather logistics. Iran's oil fields are in the south. To reach Russia, the oil would have to make its way to Caspian ports in the north. Iran has no main pipelines connecting its southern oil fields with northern ports. These ports do have the infrastructure for oil, but they were built to receive oil from swap deals with Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan. They were never meant to export oil.

Consequently, before any exports could begin, Moscow and Tehran would have to invest in creating the necessary storage and loading infrastructure at the Iranian ports. Iran would also need to upgrade its transport infrastructure to deliver oil from the south to the Caspian seashore -- that would also present a challenge.

Finally, Russia and Iran would have to substantially increase their tanker fleets in the landlocked Caspian Sea to exchange large quantities of oil, as the local geography does not allow for the use of large tankers. In this situation, a planned railroad connection between Russia and Iran via Azerbaijan could increase the volume of oil moved from Iran to Russia, but this project has not been completed.

Under these circumstances, Russian officials are demonstrating far greater interest in resuming the so-called oil-for-products program, under which Russia would broker Iranian oil abroad in exchange for Iran buying Russian industrial machinery and providing investment opportunities to Moscow.

Russia and Iran have discussed an oil-for-products initiative for years. Initially, it was supposed to help Tehran evade the oil trade embargo imposed by the United States, European Union (EU) and their partners. When those sanctions were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the initiative was expected to compensate for Iran's lack of financial reserves, which kept Tehran from paying for imports of Russian equipment in hard currency. However, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and began reimposing sanctions, the oil-for-products deal again gained importance as a way to evade sanctions.

In November 2017, Moscow received 1 million barrels from Iran as payment for railroad equipment imported from Russia, and arrangements were in the works for Russia to buy an additional 5 million tons of oil in 2018. Indeed, in January and February there were reports of some oil dispatches transferred from Iran to Russian companies. Yet, by March, they stopped . Moscow still plans to revive the deal in 2019, though it might never happen.

On the one hand, Russia has had problems finding buyers for Iranian oil. Concerned about the US sanctions, potential clients refused to purchase it. On the other hand, Iran's main hopes for sanctions relief are more connected to the EU than Russia. There is a strong belief in Tehran that Europeans will be able to offset the negative influence of US economic pressure on Iran. The EU wants to salvage as much of the nuclear deal as possible. Yet the strength of Tehran's belief is hard to explain: Large EU companies have already pulled out of Iran. The EU officials Al-Monitor interviewed openly said that Tehran should not expect a lot from Brussels.

Though Russian and Iranian officials have an on-again, off-again marriage of convenience, Iran's general public and its elite strongly oppose any substantial deals with Moscow. Russia is not trusted or welcomed by Iranians and the countries have a long history of differences . A well-informed and respected Iranian expert on Tehran's foreign policy told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that a Russian oil-for-products initiative would be difficult to implement.

"A large part of Iranian society believes that giving our oil to Russia -- especially at the discounted prices -- is no better than agreeing to Trump's demands," he said.

[Nov 05, 2018] New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-Term US Isolation

Nov 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Lawrence via ConsortiumNews.com,

The U.S. is going for the jugular with new Iran sanctions intended to punish those who trade with Teheran. But the U.S. may have a fight on its hands in a possible post- WWII turning-point...

The next step in the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran has begun, with the most severe sanctions being re-imposed on the Islamic Republic. Crucially, they apply not only to Iran but to anyone who continues to do business with it.

It's not yet clear how disruptive this move will be. While the U.S. intention is to isolate Iran, it is the U.S. that could wind up being more isolated. It depends on the rest of the world's reaction, and especially Europe's.

The issue is so fraught that disputes over how to apply the new sanctions have even divided Trump administration officials.

The administration is going for the jugular this time. It wants to force Iranian exports of oil and petrochemical products down to as close to zero as possible. As the measures are now written, they also exclude Iran from the global interbank system known as SWIFT.

It is hard to say which of these sanctions is more severe. Iran's oil exports have already started falling. They peaked at 2.7 million barrels a day last May -- just before Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation accord governing Iran's nuclear programs. By early September oil exports were averaging a million barrels a day less .

In August the U.S. barred Iran's purchases of U.S.-dollar denominated American and foreign company aircraft and auto parts. Since then the Iranian rial has crashed to record lows and inflation has risen above 30 percent.

Revoking Iran's SWIFT privileges will effectively cut the nation out of the dollar-denominated global economy. But there are moves afoot, especially by China and Russia, to move away from a dollar-based economy.

The SWIFT issue has caused i nfighting in the administration between Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser who is among the most vigorous Iran hawks in the White House. Mnuchin might win a temporary delay or exclusions for a few Iranian financial institutions, but probably not much more.

On Sunday, the second round of sanctions kicked in since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Obama administration-backed, nuclear agreement, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for stringent controls on its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that the deal is working and the other signatories -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have not pulled out and have resumed trading with Iran. China and Russia have already said they will ignore American threats to sanction it for continuing economic relations with Iran. The key question is what will America's European allies do?

Europeans React

Europe has been unsettled since Trump withdrew in May from the nuclear accord. The European Union is developing a trading mechanism to get around U.S. sanctions. Known as a Special Purpose Vehicle , it would allow European companies to use a barter system similar to how Western Europe traded with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Juncker: Wants Euro-denominated trading

EU officials have also been lobbying to preserve Iran's access to global interbank operations by excluding the revocation of SWIFT privileges from Trump's list of sanctions. They count Mnuchin,who is eager to preserve U.S. influence in the global trading system, among their allies. Some European officials, including Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, propose making the euro a global trading currency to compete with the dollar.

Except for Charles de Gaulle briefly pulling France out of NATO in 1967 and Germany and France voting on the UN Security Council against the U.S. invading Iraq in 2003, European nations have been subordinate to the U.S. since the end of the Second World War.

The big European oil companies, unwilling to risk the threat of U.S. sanctions, have already signaled they intend to ignore the EU's new trade mechanism. Total SA, the French petroleum company and one of Europe's biggest, pulled out of its Iran operations several months ago.

Earlier this month a U.S. official confidently predicted there would be little demand among European corporations for the proposed barter mechanism.

Whether Europe succeeds in efforts to defy the U.S. on Iran is nearly beside the point from a long-term perspective. Trans-Atlantic damage has already been done. A rift that began to widen during the Obama administration seems about to get wider still.

Asia Reacts

Asian nations are also exhibiting resistance to the impending U.S. sanctions. It is unlikely they could absorb all the exports Iran will lose after Nov. 4, but they could make a significant difference. China, India, and South Korea are the first, second, and third-largest importers of Iranian crude; Japan is sixth. Asian nations may also try to work around the U.S. sanctions regime after Nov. 4.

India is considering purchases of Iranian crude via a barter system or denominating transactions in rupees. China, having already said it would ignore the U.S. threat, would like nothing better than to expand yuan-denominated oil trading, and this is not a hard call: It is in a protracted trade war with the U.S., and an oil-futures market launched in Shanghai last spring already claims roughly 14 percent of the global market for "front-month" futures -- contracts covering shipments closest to delivery.

Trump: Unwittingly playing with U.S. long-term future

As with most of the Trump administration's foreign policies, we won't know how the new sanctions will work until they are introduced. There could be waivers for nations such as India; Japan is on record asking for one. The E.U.'s Special Purpose Vehicle could prove at least a modest success at best, but this remains uncertain. Nobody is sure who will win the administration's internal argument over SWIFT.

Long-term Consequences for the U.S.

The de-dollarization of the global economy is gradually gathering momentum. The orthodox wisdom in the markets has long been that competition with the dollar from other currencies will eventually prove a reality, but it will not be one to arrive in our lifetimes. But with European and Asian reactions to the imminent sanctions against Iran it could come sooner than previously thought.

The coalescing of emerging powers into a non-Western alliance -- most significantly China, Russia, India, and Iran -- starts to look like another medium-term reality. This is driven by practical rather than ideological considerations, and the U.S. could not do more to encourage this if it tried. When Washington withdrew from the Iran accord, Moscow and Beijing immediately pledged to support Tehran by staying with its terms.If the U.S. meets significant resistance, especially from its allies, it could be a turning-point in post-Word War II U.S. dominance.

Supposedly Intended for New Talks

All this is intended to force Iran back to the negotiating table for a rewrite of what Trump often calls "the worst deal ever." Tehran has made it clear countless times it has no intention of reopening the pact, given that it has consistently adhered to its terms and that the other signatories to the deal are still abiding by it.

The U.S. may be drastically overplaying its hand and could pay the price with additional international isolation that has worsened since Trump took office.

Washington has been on a sanctions binge for years. Those about to take effect seem recklessly broad. This time, the U.S. risks lasting alienation even from those allies that have traditionally been its closest.

[Nov 03, 2018] NatGasDude

Nov 03, 2018 | community.oilprice.com

+ 45 DR Members + 45 28 posts Posted Wednesday at 03:48 AM

On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 11:38 PM, Jan van Eck said: The problem that Qatar faces is one of population and geography. Qatar is dominantly Sunni, but not the really severe branch that envelops KSA. And it sits next door to Bahrain, which is apparently about 70% Shia. Qatar also juts way out into the Gulf, and is thus a convenient sea-land bridge from Iran. Were Iran to go for a land invasion of KSA, then crossing into Qatar with landing craft, or seizing a Qatari airport, is logical. To prevent this, the USA has built a major air base in Qatar, specifically to cut off this route. That big US base is a natural (and juicy) target for Iran should a shooting war break out, and the USA join in against Iran (and that would be logical).

Meanwhile Qatar has this bizarre and unfathomable dysfunctional relationship with MbS, and a very difficult relationship with Bahrain, which has cut off diplomatic relations and sent the Qatari diplomats packing, in 2017. Now Iran is under sanctions, which is stressing their cash receipts. Iran pushes back, against their ideological and religious rivals and enemies the Sunnis, by threatening to either invade or to sink tankers with gas coming out of Qatar. The problem for gas LNG tankers is that the stuff is kept docile by bringing the temp down to minus 176 degrees. If you whack an LNG tanker with a torpedo and breach the container spheres, easy enough to do, then that ship is likely to blow up; one little spark and all that gas will be a salient lesson for all the others.

The deterrent effect of this will be that nobody will dare to tempt fate by sending in an LNG tanker. So Iran can shut down LNG traffic without firing a shot, all they have to do is go crazy and start threatening. Iran has these subs that can go sit on the bottom of the Gulf and pop up to launch a torpedo, and everyone knows it. That is one heck of a deterrent.

Meanwhile you have Europe now heavily dependent on gas. Either the Europeans continue to genuflect to the Russians, which some Europeans at least find unpalatable, or they have to find an alternative source. That is likely going to be the USA. I predict that the aggressions of the Russians, and the problems of Qatar in any real ability to fill long-term contracts, and the threat of force-majeure hovering in the background, brings Europe to buy US LNG.

Qatar delivered 80 million tons last year, as number 1 LNG exporter by a long shot. Australia trailed behind at 56 million, followed by Malaysia 26M, Nigeria 21M, Indonesia 16M, USA 13M, Algeria 12M.

Qatar was responsible for 17M tons exported to EU, followed by Algeria at 10.4M. US Liquefaction capacity is estimated to match the whole Middle East by 2025 with Calcasieu, LA at 4 bcf/day, Brownsville, TX at 3.6 bcf/day; Plaquemines at 3.4 bcf/day; and Nikiski Alaska at 2.6 Bcf/day for the Asian market.

BP has its new 'Partnership Fleet', Shell is chartering heavily and owns a large fleet as well. Gaslog has over 25 modern large capacity vessels on the water, and the order book for 2019-2020 deliveries is extensive, and they will be available for US to EU transport (Tellurian and Cheniere have already chartered Gaslog ships for their exclusive use)

The catch here is that Russia is delivering 10.8 million tons per year via Yamal, and their upcoming Arctic 2LNG that will be on the ice in the Arctic circle adding even more to that production. They have a fleet delivering year round of Teekay and Dynagas ice breaker LNG carriers, and their primary clients have been Belgium, France and Spain during their debut ice breaking season. They are centrally located to maximize deliveries to Asia and Europe.

I doubt that Russia will cut off Europe after spending all that money to secure liquefaction and transport capabilities in the Arctic, but who knows. They are geared up to deliver to Asia, but could only do so in the Summer months, or during the Winter months with the assistance of a Nuclear Icebreaker to lead the ships.

Honestly, I hope that Germany completes the Hamburg LNG Terminal quickly and begins buying US LNG so that we can diversify from our usual Mexico, S Korea, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Egypt, Jordan clientele. Germany consumed over 90 million CBM of natural gas last year (controversial because they stopped 'officially' disclosing the numbers after 2016, these are OECD estimates from the IEA), and are getting close to Japan's 120 million CBM.

Qatar/Iran tensions could be the perfect storm for a US to EU energy boom.

[Nov 01, 2018] If the Khashoggi Affair was planned as a warning to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, then the US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate. It was coupled with an immediate and orchestrated MSM reaction that was curiously detailed, and delivered at high volume.

Notable quotes:
"... The key point from my POV was the immediate MSM blanket coverage with every detail explained. No investigation, research, doubts or questions. ..."
"... The US MSM is a propaganda tool and they were pre-prepared, so some US deep state group knew that Bin Salman's bodyguard was heading to the consulate and what they planned to do there (and maybe even set them up to do it). ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.unz.com

Miro23 says: October 30, 2018 at 5:45 am GMT 600 Words

The Saudis also support the system of petrodollars, which basically requires nearly all international purchases of petroleum to be paid in dollars. Petrodollars in turn enable the United States to print money for which there is no backing knowing that there will always be international demand for dollars to buy oil.

I would emphasize this aspect, except that MbS doesn't so much support the PetroDollar as the PetroYuan, and this is more than troubling for the US since the PetroDollar is essential to the dollar's world reserve currency status.

Many American economists have expressed alarm at Saudi Arabia's willingness to borrow in Chinese yuan, as Riyadh's decision could cause other oil-exporting countries to abandon the U.S. dollar in favor of the "petro-yuan." A marked decline in the use of the U.S. dollar as the preferred credit-issuing currency by oil-producing countries would greatly weaken the U.S. dollar's long-term viability as a global reserve currency.

As the United States views its alliance with Saudi Arabia as the lynchpin of its Middle East strategy, Washington will likely react strongly if Riyadh uses its influence within OPEC to strengthen the Chinese yuan. As Saudi Arabia remains dependent on U.S. arms sales to pursue its geopolitical objectives in the Middle East and counter Iran, intense U.S. pressure would likely cause Riyadh to distance itself from Beijing, limiting economic integration between the two countries.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/the-risks-of-the-china-saudi-arabia-partnership/

It is no coincidence that these statements from the Crown Prince come days after the official launch of China's Petroyuan. As every historical trend indicates, the world's most powerful economy dictates which currency will be used in most international transactions. This continues to be the case with the US in respect of Dollar, but as China gets set to fully overtake the US as the world's leading economy, the Dollar will inevitably be replaced by the Yuan.

China's issuing of oil futures contracts in Petroyuan is the clearest indication yet that China is keen to make its presence as the world's largest energy consumer known and that it would clearly prefer to purchase oil from countries like Saudi Arabia in its own currency in the future, quite possibly in the near future.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince appears to understand this trajectory in the global energy markets and furthermore, he realises that in order to be able to leverage the tremendous amount of US pressure that will come down on Riaydh in order to force Saudi Arbia to avoid the Petroyuan, Riyadh will need to embrace other potential partners, including China.

More than anything else, the Petroyuan will have an ability to transform Saudi Arabia by limiting its negative international characteristics that Muhammad bin Salman himself described. As a pseudo-satellite state of the US during the Cold War, Muhammad bin Salman admitted that his country's relationship to the US was that of subservience. China does not make political let alone geopolitical demands of its partners, but China is nevertheless keen to foster de-escalations in tensions among all its partners based on the win-win principles of peace through prosperity as articulated on a regular basis by President Xi Jinping.

Thus one could see China's policies of political non-interference rub off on a potential future Saudi partner, in the inverse way that the US policies of ultra-interventionism are often forced upon its partners. Thus, whatever ideological views Muhammad bin Salman does or does not have, he clearly knows where the wind is blowing: in the direction of China.

https://astutenews.com/2018/03/29/saudi-crown-prince-muhammad-bin-salman-blames-america-for-spread-of-wahhabism-as-petro-yuan-beckons/

If the Khashoggi Affair was planned as a warning to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, then the US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate. It was coupled with an immediate and orchestrated MSM reaction that was curiously detailed, and delivered at high volume.

chris , says: October 30, 2018 at 11:02 am GMT

Yeah, the US will never get rid of the Saudi regime but will always be dangling the sword right above their necks, and not just figuratively.

Besides the tangible benefits of the 'strategic' control of oil resources, which the US believes it needs to control in order to dominate Western Europe and its Asian allies, the Saudis also function as the CIA's private slush fund for off-the-books operations like Iran-Contra and many others which surface in the news from time to time. Thus, the CIA controls such vast sums through the Saudis as to make their budgets effectively limitless.

During his triumphant tour of the US earlier this year, the Saudi King said something which I found shocking and incredibly revealing in the way the story dropped like a stone making absolutely no ripples anywhere in the MSM, nor in the alternative media for that matter.

When asked about Saudi funding of Wahhabism around the world, he said that 'the allies (presumably US and UK) had 'asked' the Saudis to 'use their resources' to create the Madrassas and Wahhabi centers to prevent prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviets (a premise which is very questionable in the ME context after the fall of Nasser).

Now that seems to be the story of the century because it reveals the operating method of the CIA wrt the Saudis. And even though MBS was trying to only reveal the distant roots of the system they put in place, there is absolutely no logical reason why any part of this system would have been subsequently dismantled; 911 notwithstanding. The continuing US/Israeli support for and generous use of jihadis in Libya, Syria, etc. only reinforces this point.

This is ultimately the greatest impediment to anything changing the status quo.

virgile , says: Website October 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm GMT
If the consulate was bugged , the Turks must have known the plan to abduct kashooggi.
They let it happen, and now that the abduction turned into a murder, they are accomplice.
Miro23 , says: October 30, 2018 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Mark James

US knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate.

I doubt the US knew "exactly", but they likely knew something bad (a kidnapping perhaps?) was a strong probability. Alas I wish Khashoggi had been warned. Too it seems very odd he was willing to set foot in a Saudi embassy anywhere? Maybe Director Haspel can explain.

Supposedly Khashoggi's smart phone picked it all up and filmed his own murder ??

More likely the room was prepared, and Khashoggi was following US instructions/assurances in going there. The key point from my POV was the immediate MSM blanket coverage with every detail explained. No investigation, research, doubts or questions.

The US MSM is a propaganda tool and they were pre-prepared, so some US deep state group knew that Bin Salman's bodyguard was heading to the consulate and what they planned to do there (and maybe even set them up to do it).

One question is whether the Halloween show was aimed at removing Bin Salman or just getting him back in line.

Amanda , says: October 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
Sibel Edmonds has been following this story from Turkey (she speaks Turkish) and posting her thoughts and findings on twitter. She seems to think this is about some kind of soft coup (get rid of MBS b/c getting too cozy with Russia/China, Euroasia). Sibel also says Khashoggi was actually in Istanbul working with some kind of Soros NGO, maybe for future Color Revolution/Arab Spring in the Middle East.

Sibel Edmonds @sibeledmonds As Predicted (OnRecord) One Of 3 Objectives in #Scripted #Khashoggi Case: Get #Trump- Replace BS #RussiaGate with #SaudiGate. (Screenshot Coming In Reply)- – "Khashoggi fiancee hits at Trump response, warns of 'money' influence"

Sibel Edmonds‏ @sibeledmonds Oct 27
Very Important #Khashoggi Continued: #Khashoggi Relocated To #Turkey To Be a Part of a Business-ThinkTank-NGO. He set up a business here. He opened Bank Accounts. He bought a house/expansive Flat. He traveled to #London from #Istanbul paid handsomely by #Neoliberal #DeepState

AnonFromTN , says: October 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
Jamal Khashoggi did not die for nothing. His murder was part of the plot to push current de-facto ruler of the Saudi royal crime family aside.

On the moral side, considering who Khashoggi was, one can only say "serves him right". However, all the other players involved, the Saudis, Israel, Turkey, and the US, are by no means morally superior to him. His murder and essential non-reaction by others are useful, as these events unmasked the hypocrites, who are showing their true colors even as we speak.

Mike P , says: October 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
UK Was Aware of Saudi Plot Against Khashoggi Weeks in Advance: Report
ChuckOrloski , says: October 30, 2018 at 7:12 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Hi again, S2C,

Should have added that the Kashoggi murder & extremely strange aftermath, dulled US political response, smacks of a scene from the film "V for Vendetta."

Thanks!

JLK , says: October 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT
If I were the Saudis, I'd watch my wallet.
Anon [159] Disclaimer , says: October 31, 2018 at 1:46 am GMT
"There is every indication that the U.S. is not in fact seeking to punish the Saudis for their alleged role in Khashoggi's apparent murder but instead to punish them for reneging on this $15 billion deal to U.S. weapons giant Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the THAAD system.

S-400 gamechanger. / Saudi Plan to Purchase Russian S-400:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/angered-by-saudi-plan-to-purchase-russian-s-400-trump-admin-exploiting-khashoggi-disappearance-to-force-saudis-to-buy-american/250717/

Miro23 , says: October 31, 2018 at 3:41 am GMT
@Colin Wright Thanks for the link. Now we can see that Empire had previously turned against MbS, and that the scripted Khashoggi affair conveniently arrived on cue – with MbS getting the full MSM treatment.

In other words the deep state knew exactly what was going to happen in the consulate that day, set it up and recorded it themselves (nothing to do with Khashoggi's smart phone).

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-saudi-dissident-prince-flies-home-tackle-mbs-succession-58983364

Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, has returned to Saudi Arabia after a prolonged absence in London, to mount a challenge to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or find someone who can.

The source said that the prince returned "after discussion with US and UK officials", who assured him they would not let him be harmed and encouraged him to play the role of usurper.

Meanwhile, in Washington disquiet grows.

Writing in the New York Times, former national security advisor to the Obama administration and US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said: "Looking ahead, Washington must act to mitigate the risks to our own interests. We should not rupture our important relationship with the kingdom, but we must make clear it cannot be business as usual so long as Prince Mohammed continues to wield unlimited power.

"It should be United States policy, in conjunction with our allies, to sideline the crown prince in order to increase pressure on the royal family to find a steadier replacement," she added.

Erebus , says: October 31, 2018 at 5:36 am GMT
@Miro23 The mainstream narrative has had "Psyop" written all over it from the first. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Khashoggi is still alive and languishing in an undisclosed location with only the Skripals for company.
ChuckOrloski , says: October 31, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Bill Jones An interesting bullet-sentence, Bill Jones said to me: "The strange and dulled aftermath in the US is, I believe, because the lesson was not really meant for US audiences."

Greetings, Bill!

Lessons on dramatic world events are cunningly spun to insouciant & government-trusting Americans. The weird Jamal Kashoggi murder is an excellent example among hundreds to choose from!

Fyi, along with FDR administration's cooperation, Zionists helped gin-up war fervor in order to get the US into World War 2. Such deception resulted in unnecessarily sending-off another round of American "doughboys" into world war.

Fyr, as recovered from America's Memory Hole Knowledge Disposal / Sewer System," below is a great Pat Buchanan article titled, "Who forged it?"

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4065.htm

[Oct 27, 2018] The EU Russia China Plan to Avert Iran Oil Sanctions by F. William Engdahl

Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the US dollar remains the overwhelming dominant currency for international trade and financial transactions gives Washington extraordinary power over banks and companies in the rest of the world. That's the financial equivalent of a neutron bomb. That might be about to change, though it's by no means a done deal yet. ..."
"... German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Handelsblatt, a leading German business daily, "Europe should not allow the U.S. to act over our heads and at our expense. For that reason, it's essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system ." ..."
"... In addition to the recent statements from the German Foreign Minister, France is discussing expanding the Iran SPV to create a means of insulating the EU economies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions like the secondary sanctions that punish EU companies doing business in Iran by preventing them from using the dollar or doing business in the USA. ..."
"... F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook." https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/23/the-eu-russia-china-plan-to-avert-iran-oil-sanctions/ ..."
Oct 27, 2018 | journal-neo.org

It may well be that the unilateral wrecking ball politics of the Trump Administration are bringing about a result just opposite from that intended. Washington's decision to abandon the Iran nuclear agreement and impose severe sanctions on companies trading Iran oil as of 4 November, is creating new channels of cooperation between the EU, Russia, China and Iran and potentially others. The recent declaration by Brussels officials of creation of an unspecified Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to legally avoid US dollar oil trade and thereby US sanctions, might potentially spell the beginning of the end of the Dollar System domination of the world economy.

According to reports from the last bilateral German-Iran talks in Teheran on October 17, the mechanisms of a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle that would allow Iran to continue to earn from its oil exports, will begin implementation in the next days. At end of September EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini confirmed plans to create such an independent trade channel, noting, "no sovereign country or organization can accept that somebody else decides with whom you are allowed to do trade with ."

The SPV plan is reportedly modelled on the Soviet barter system used during the cold war to avert US trade sanctions, where Iran oil would be in some manner exchanged for goods without money. The SPV agreement would reportedly involve the European Union, Iran, China and Russia.

According to various reports out of the EU the new SPV plan involves a sophisticated barter system that can avoid US Treasury sanctions. As an example, Iran could ship crude oil to a French firm, accrue credit via the SPV, much like a bank. That could then be used to pay an Italian manufacturer for goods shipped the other way, without any funds traversing through Iranian hands or the normal banking system.A multinational European state-backed financial intermediary would be set up to handle deals with companies interested in Iran transactions and with Iranian counter-parties. Any transactions would not be transparent to the US, and would involve euros and sterling rather than dollars.

It's an extraordinary response to what Washington has called a policy of all-out financial war against Iran, that includes threats to sanction European central banks and the Brussels-based SWIFT interbank payments network if they maintain ties to Iran after November 4. In the post-1945 relations between Western Europe and Washington such aggressive measures have not been seen before.It's forcing some major rethinking from leading EU policy circles.

New Banking Architecture

The background to the mysterious initiative was presented in June in a report titled, Europe, Iran and Economic Sovereignty: New Banking Architecture in Response to US Sanctions. The report was authored by Iranian economist Esfandyar Batmanghelidj and Axel Hellman, a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN), a London-based policy think tank .

The report proposes its new architecture should have two key elements. First it will be based on "gateway banks" designated to act as intermediaries between Iranian and EU commercial banks tied to the Special Purpose Vehicle. The second element is that it would be overseen by an EU-Office of Foreign Asset Controls or EU-OFAC, modeled on the same at the US Treasury, but used for facilitating legal EU-Iran trade, not for blocking it. Their proposed EU-OFAC among other functions would undertake creating certification mechanisms for due diligence on the companies doing such trade and "strengthen EU legal protections for entities engaged in Iran trade and investment ."

The SPV reportedly is based on this plan using designated Gateway Banks, banks in the EU unaffected by Washington "secondary sanctions," as they do not do business in the US and focus on business with Iran. They might include select state-owned German Landesbanks, certain Swiss private banks such as the Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH), a European bank established specifically to engage in trade finance with Iran. In addition, select Iran banks with offices in the EU could be brought in.

Whatever the final result, it is clear that the bellicose actions of the Trump Administration against trade with Iran is forcing major countries into cooperation that ultimately could spell the demise of the dollar hegemony that has allowed a debt-bloated US Government to finance a de facto global tyranny at the expense of others.

EU-Russia-China

During the recent UN General Assembly in New York, Federica Mogherini said the SPV was designed to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports – including oil –so long as the firms involved were carrying out legitimate business under EU law. China and Russia are also involved in the SPV. Potentially Turkey, India and other countries could later join.

Immediately, as expected, Washington has reacted. At the UN US Secretary of State and former CIA head Mike Pompeo declared to an Iran opposition meeting that he was "disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed" by the EU plan. Notably he said ""This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security." Presumably the Washington plan for economic war against Iranis designed to foster regional and global peace and security?

Non-US SWIFT?

One of the most brutal weapons in the US Treasury financial warfare battery is the ability to force the Brussels-based SWIFT private interbank clearing system to cut Iran off from using it. That was done with devastating effect in 2012 when Washington pressured the EU to get SWIFT compliance, a grave precedent that sent alarm bells off around the world.

The fact that the US dollar remains the overwhelming dominant currency for international trade and financial transactions gives Washington extraordinary power over banks and companies in the rest of the world. That's the financial equivalent of a neutron bomb. That might be about to change, though it's by no means a done deal yet.

In 2015 China unveiled its CIPS or China International Payments System. CIPS was originally viewed as a future China-based alternative to SWIFT. It would offer clearing and settlement services for its participants in cross-border RMB payments and trade. Unfortunately, a Chinese stock market crisis forced Beijing to downscale their plans, though a skeleton of infrastructure is there.

In another area, since late 2017 Russia and China have discussed possible linking their bilateral payments systems bypassing the dollar. China's Unionpay system and Russia's domestic payment system, known as Karta Mir, would be linked directly .

More recently leading EU policy circles have echoed such ideas, unprecedented in the post-1944 era. In August, referring to the unilateral US actions to block oil and other trade with Iran, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Handelsblatt, a leading German business daily, "Europe should not allow the U.S. to act over our heads and at our expense. For that reason, it's essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system ."

A Crack in the Dollar Edifice

How far the EU is willing to defy Washington on the issue of trade with Iran is not yet clear. Most probably Washington via NSA and other means can uncover the trades of the EU-Iran-Russia-China SPV.

In addition to the recent statements from the German Foreign Minister, France is discussing expanding the Iran SPV to create a means of insulating the EU economies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions like the secondary sanctions that punish EU companies doing business in Iran by preventing them from using the dollar or doing business in the USA. French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Agnes Von der Muhll, stated that in addition to enabling companies to continue to trade with Iran, that the SPV would, "create an economic sovereignty tool for the European Union beyond this one case. It is therefore a long-term plan that will protect European companies in the future from the effect of illegal extraterritorial sanctions ."

If this will be the case with the emerging EU Special Purpose Vehicle, it will create a gaping crack in the dollar edifice. Referring to the SPV and its implications, Jarrett Blanc, former Obama State Department official involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear agreement noted that, "The payment mechanism move opens the door to a longer-term degradation of US sanctions power."

At present the EU has displayed effusive rhetoric and loud grumbling against unilateral US economic warfare and extraterritorial imposition of sanctions such as those against Russia. Their resolve to potently move to create a genuine alternative to date has been absent. So too is the case so far in other respects for China and Russia. Will the incredibly crass US sanctions war on Iran finally spell the beginning of the end of the dollar domination of the world economy it has held since Bretton Woods in 1945?

My own feeling is that unless the SPV in whatever form utilizes the remarkable technological advantages of certain of the blockchain or ledger technologies similar to the US-based XRP or Ripple, that would enable routing payments across borders in a secure and almost instantaneous way globally, it won't amount to much. It's not that European IT programmers lack the expertise to develop such, and certainly not the Russians. After all one of the leading blockchain companies was created by a Russian-born Canadian named Vitalik Buterin. The Russian Duma is working on new legislation regarding digital currencies, though the Bank of Russia still seems staunchly opposed. The Peoples' Bank of China is rapidly developing and testing a national cryptocurrency, ChinaCoin. Blockchain technologies are widely misunderstood, even in government circles such as the Russian Central Bank that ought to see it is far more than a new "South Sea bubble." The ability of a state-supervised payments system to move value across borders, totally encrypted and secure is the only plausible short-term answer to unilateral sanctions and financial wars until a more civilized order among nations is possible.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook."
https://journal-neo.org/2018/10/23/the-eu-russia-china-plan-to-avert-iran-oil-sanctions/

[Oct 25, 2018] Europe's Gas Game Just Took A Wild Twist

Oct 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tim Daiss via Oilprice.com,

Despite the almost unprecedented divisive nature of Donald J. Trump's presidency, he is chalking up some impressive foreign policy victories, including finally bringing Beijing to task over its decades long unfair trade practices, stealing of intellectual property rights, and rampant mercantilism that has given its state-run companies unfair trade advantages and as a result seen Western funds transform China to an emerging world power alongside the U.S.

Now, it looks as if Trump's recent tirade against America's European allies over its geopolitically troubling reliance on Russian gas supply may also be bearing fruit. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that earlier this month German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered government support to efforts to open up Germany to U.S. gas, in what the report called "a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia's grip on Europe's largest energy market."

German concession

Over breakfast earlier this month, Merkel told a small group of German lawmakers that the government had made a decision to co-finance the construction of a $576 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in northern Germany, people familiar with the development said.

The project had been postponed for at least a decade due to lack of government support, according to reports, but is now being thrust to the center of European-U.S. geopolitics. Though media outlets will mostly spin the development, this is nonetheless a geopolitical and diplomatic win for Trump who lambasted Germany in June over its Nordstream 2 pipeline deal with Russia.

In a televised meeting with reporters and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg before a NATO summit in Brussels, Trump said at the time it was "very inappropriate" that the U.S. was paying for European defense against Russia while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow.

Both the tone and openness of Trumps' remarks brought scathing rebukes both at home and among EU allies, including most media outlets. However, at the end of the day, it appears that the president made a fair assessment of the situation. Russia, for its part, vehemently denies any nefarious motives over its gas supply contacts with its European customers, though Moscow's actions in the past dictate otherwise.

Moscow also claims that the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline is a purely commercial venture. The $11 billion gas pipeline will stretch some 759 miles (1,222 km), running on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russian gas fields to Germany, bypassing existing land routes over Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. It would double the existing Nord Stream pipeline's current annual capacity of 55 bcm and is expected to become operational by the end of next year.

Russia, who stands the most to lose not only in terms of regional hegemony, but economically as well, if Germany pushes through with plans to now build as many as three LNG terminals, always points out that Russian pipeline gas is cheaper and will remain cheaper for decades compared to U.S. LNG imports.

While that assessment is correct, what Moscow is missing, or at least not admitting, is a necessary German acquiescence to Washington. Not only does the EU's largest economy need to stay out of Trump's anti-trade cross hairs, it still needs American leadership in both NATO and in Europe as well.

Russian advantages

Without U.S. leadership in Europe, a vacuum would open that Moscow would try to fill, most likely by more gas supply agreements. However, Russia's gas monopoly in both Germany and in Europe will largely remain intact for several reasons.

First, Russian energy giant Gazprom, which has control over Russia's network of pipelines to Europe, supplies close to 40 percent of Europe's gas needs.

Second, Russia's gas exports to Europe rose 8.1 percent last year to a record level of 193.9 bcm, even amid concerns over Russia's cyber espionage allegations, and its activities in Syria, the Ukraine and other places.

Moreover, Russian gas is indeed as cheap as the country claims and will remain that way for decades. Using a Henry Hub gas price of $2.85/MMBtu as a base, Gazprom recently estimated that adding processing and transportation costs, the price of U.S.-sourced LNG in Europe would reach $6/MMBtu or higher – a steep markup.

Henry Hub gas prices are currently trading at $3.151/MMBtu. Over the last 52-week period U.S. gas has traded between $2.64/MMBtu and $3.82/MMBtu. Russian gas sells for around $5/MMBtu in European markets and could even trade at lower prices in the future as Gazprom removes the commodity's oil price indexation.

[Oct 23, 2018] Bezos blog (Washington Post) does not love Saudi Arabia. Who knew?

It looks like CIA turned on MBS and want to replace him.
Oct 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The Saudis say they are countering Iran, which backs the Houthis. But the Houthis are an indigenous group with legitimate grievances, and the war has only enhanced Iranian influence . As has been obvious for some time, the only solution is a negotiated settlement. But the Saudis have done their best to sabotage a U.N.-led peace process. Talks planned for Geneva in September failed when Saudi leaders would not grant safe travel guarantees to Houthi leaders." Bezos' editorial board at WaPo

---------------

Beneath the largely specious argument that Saudi Arabia has the US by the cojones economically lies the true factor that has caused the two countries to be glued together.

This factor is the Israeli success in convincing the US government, and more importantly, the American people, that Iran is a deadly enemy, a menace to the entire world, a reincarnation of Nazi Germany, and that Saudi Arabia, a country dedicated to medieval methods of operation, is an indispensable ally in a struggle to save the world from Iran. The successful effort to convince us of the reality of the Iranian menace reflects the previous successful campaign to convince us all that Iraq was also Nazi Germany come again.

The Iran information operation was probably conceived at the Moshe Dayan Center or some other Israeli think tank. and then passed on in the form of learned papers and conferences to the Foreign Ministry, the Mossad and the IDF. After adoption as government policy the Foreign ministry and Zionist organizations closely linked to media ownership in the US and Europe were tasked for dissemination of the propaganda themes involved. This has been a brilliantly executed plan. The obvious fact that Iran is not presently a threat to the US has had little effect in countering this propaganda achievement.

Last Saturday morning, the Philadelphia based commentator Michael Smerconish openly asked on his popular talk show why it is that US policy favors the Sunni Muslims over the Shia. i.e., Saudi Arabia over Iran. To hear that was for me a first. This was an obvious defiance of the received wisdom of the age. I can only hope that the man does not lose his show.

It is a great irony that the barbaric murder of a personally rather unpleasant but defiant exiled journalist has caused re-examination of the basis and wisdom of giving strategic protection to a family run dictatorship. pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/this-is-the-first-step-to-recalibrating-us-saudi-relations/2018/10/22/fb9eb598-d61f-11e8-a10f-b51546b10756_story.html?utm_term=.f3a1169429e7

Posted at 09:32 AM in Current Affairs , Media , Middle East , Saudi Arabia | Permalink | 3 Comment


TTG , 3 hours ago

Erdogan called the Khashoggi murder brutal and premeditated, but did not reveal any damning audio or video evidence. Elijah Magnier surmises Erdogan extracted a heavy payment from both the Saudis and the Americans in exchange for his relative silence. We shall see if the economic pressure on Turkey dissipates in the coming days and weeks.

It appears the central pillar of the Borg creed, so eloquently and precisely described here by Colonel Lang, will survive this bout of heretical thinking. Will journalists and other members of the press be able to keep challenging the Borg? With Trump so thoroughly assimilated into the Borg, will the "resistance" keep the issue of Saudi perfidy alive? I have my doubts. The Israeli information operations machine is a juggernaut. Few have the stamina and will to resist it. But it is a fight worth fighting.

Onslaw , 5 hours ago
Too little, too late to derail this Zioconned merdias campaign. Soon enough kashoggi will be forgotten and the looney toons will be back in force...
jnewman , 6 hours ago
There are some interesting threads to chew on in this:
https://off-guardian.org/20...

[Oct 23, 2018] The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output

Disaster capitalism in action ???
Notable quotes:
"... It's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen ..."
"... Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar. ..."
"... And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of U.S sanctions. ..."
"... However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade. ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

Alistair , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT

The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output.

It's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen , so, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America.

So, we must be a bit skeptical about the motive of the American Political Class, as this again could be just about the OIL Business, but this time around the objective is to help the American Oil producers as opposed to Oil consumers – with 13.8% of the global daily Oil production, the US has lately become the world top producer of Crude Oil, albeit, an expensive Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar.

And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of U.S sanctions.

However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade.

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@Alistair History has its weird twists.
Early in WWII FDR was reported that USA oil would be depleted in thirty years time.
So FDR sent Harold L Ickes to Saudi Arabia,where at the end of 1944 the country was made the USA's main oil supplier.
FDR entertained the then Saud in early 1945 on the cruiser Quincy, laying in the Bitter Lakes near the Suez Canal.
This Saud and his entourage had never seen a ship before, in any case had never been on board such a ship.

In his last speech to Congress, seated, FDR did not follow what had been written for him, but remarked 'that ten minutes with Saud taught him more about zionism than hundreds of letters of USA rabbi's.
These words do not seem to be in the official record, but one of the speech writers, Sherwood, quotes them in his book.
Robert E. Sherwood, 'Roosevelt und Hopkins', 1950, Hamburg (Roosevelt and Hopkins, New York, 1948)
If FDR also said to Congress that he would limit jewish migration to Palestine, do not now remember, but the intention existed.
A few weeks later FDR died, Sherwood comments on on some curious aspects of FDR's death, such as that the body was cremated in or near Warm Springs, and that the USA people were never informed that the coffin going from Warm Springs to Washington just contained an urn with ashes.

At present the USA does not seem to need Saudi oil.
If this causes the asserted cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel ?

Alfred , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:53 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Now it has made alliances with Israel and between them the tail wags the dog

The Saudi Royal family and the governments of Israel have always been in cahoots. They both despise and fear secular governments that are not under their own control in the Middle East. Witness the fear and dread of both of them of president Nasser in the 1960′s, for example.

[Oct 22, 2018] The man who runs such a country with largest world oil reserves is a strategic Western concern. It is important that he is pro-Western and did not try to rock the neoliberal boat

Removing Saudi's contribution of @8.5Mbbls/day from the global oil market would be a blow that Western countries might not survive.
Looks like somebody in the West want MBS out.
Notable quotes:
"... be honest -- this all seems a bit too convenient for Erdogan, and at a too convenient time. ..."
"... at the moment I cannot believe someone has so much luck like Erdogan has. He stands to gain in the short term, in the long term, tactically and (geo)strategically. From just a stroke of luck, that came to his country. That came to him, for which he didn't even need to get out of his chair? ..."
"... Maybe we're asking the wrong questions. Are factions within the CIA at work, setting up elaborate plans with the ambitious Erdogan to get rid of Trump and MbS, for the sake of what... strategically increasingly important depleting oil fields? ... a better position to strangle Iran? ..."
"... Erdogan doesn't want a Kurdistan martyr in Khasshogi either. He wants to totally controlled-dissent ..."
"... This total psyop, and every piece of 'evidence' in it, is coming from Ankara Intel operatives! ..."
"... Hey, they had two weeks of preparation. You can make a full length Blair Witchcraft in two weeks. ..."
"... Cui bono? Erdogan, Iran Oil transit and EU/RU weapons systems dealers. That's why Germany has jumped on the bandwagon, lol. Expect the whole krew to toe the line, and Putin left with a jumbled mess on the chessboard. ..."
"... Khashoggi has ties to Lockheed Martin through his late uncle Adnan Khashoggi, who used to be one of Saudi Arabia's most powerful weapons dealers. MBS is considering buying Russias S-400 instead of Lockheed Martins 15 billion THADD. Interesting fact but unlikely to be important IMO ..."
"... So regardless of the truth of Khashoggis disappearance there is a Deep State operation in place, the evidence is in the media saturation and persistence and bipartisan support. Its purpose may be as simple as coercing MBS to buy more weapons. Perhaps it may even be that a replacement for MBS even more pro-Israel has been found. ..."
"... Khashoggi is news, because they say its news. They make it news. Why? BC it fits an agenda. Somebody wants MBS out. ..."
"... The bigger play here is bringing turkey back into the western fold. Lose turkey you lose the whole middle east. also, a secondary play - guardianship of Mecca. SA an unreliable partner under mbs. ..."
Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Oct 22, 2018 3:43:55 PM | link
The one question that matters

Khashoggi's murder has transcended questions of foreign policy shaped by values of democracy, free speech, and due process. The Khashoggi killing raises questions of cold, unblinking realpolitik.

Three weeks into this affair and with the overwhelming evidence from the Turkish inquiry and intelligence from US and British services, world leaders have only one question to ask themselves: is Saudi Arabia safe in the crown prince's hands?

The kingdom is not Libya under Gaddafi. Nor is it Syria under Bashar al-Assad. It is the world's largest oil producer. It is the region's richest nation.

For better or worse (mainly worse), it is the key Arab state. In the wrong hands, Saudi Arabia has already proved that it can determine the fate of presidents in Egypt, kidnap prime ministers from Lebanon, attempt coups in Qatar and, when that fails, blockade it. It can start wars in Yemen.

The man who runs such a country is therefore a vital strategic Western interest. It is important that he is mentally stable.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/saudi-arabia-safe-mohammed-bin-salmans-hands-1784595453

Note the interesting graph with this piece on MbS's behavior in the short time he's been promoted.

Greece , Oct 22, 2018 3:48:58 PM | link

Reuters How the man behind Khashoggi murder ran the killing via Skype
He ran social media for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. He masterminded the arrest of hundreds of his country's elite. He detained a Lebanese prime minister. And, according to two intelligence sources, he ran journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.

Posted by: b | Oct 22, 2018 2:45:08 PM | 47

So this guy allegedly working for Public Relations (social media) & security (managing lists with arrests) for Crown Prince MbS was making absolutely sure that everyone would be able to follow his actions (attributed to MbS of course). We (the people) were getting fed minute details of suspects and treatment (during/after the coop in Saudi Arabia) even from the Alex Jones conspiracy show (been publicly ousted as Fake-News and Mossad ops though since he was attributing Las Vegas massacre to either MbS or rivals that tried to allegedly assassinate MbS in Vegas hinting at Iran )

Lo and behold! Las Vegas shooting October 1st 2017. Khassogi murder October 1st 2018! .

Both allegedly MbS involved! Ain't these all suspicious? There is no heaven or hell there is only the.... (let me hear it - The Israeli Intel Services Sing-Along) sing it with me.... (come on)

karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 4:11:25 PM | link
Obamabots trying to reverse history will find it hard to do. That they're trying is significant. I've seen a few reports musing SKYPE was used during the brief interrogation. If true, then all advanced intel services will know its content.

Peter AU 1 @55--

Yes, I was aware of that. TASS reports : "Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters on Monday.

"'Yes, we [had] visits, our interministerial top-level delegation went, there were meetings,' the diplomat said in response to the question about whether Russia still plans to attend the summit in the wake of Khashoggi's murder."

Russian and Saudi cooperation in the energy field trumps other events. China will also attend.

bjd , Oct 22, 2018 4:46:37 PM | link
I don't know. I'm having these waves of suspicions. I wouldn't put the current narrative past MbS at all, that's for sure. And he deserves everything he currently gets -- foremost over Yemen. But -- be honest -- this all seems a bit too convenient for Erdogan, and at a too convenient time. Id est, a too in convenient time for his opponent, that was until two weeks ago holding Erdogan's ambitious head in a bucket of water -- Trump. With the midterms only a few weeks away, look who's holding whose head in that bucket, who is holding whose feet to the fire.

If this is truly a coincidence, I'm beginning to believe Allah is Turkish. But at the moment I cannot believe someone has so much luck like Erdogan has. He stands to gain in the short term, in the long term, tactically and (geo)strategically. From just a stroke of luck, that came to his country. That came to him, for which he didn't even need to get out of his chair?

Maybe we're asking the wrong questions. Are factions within the CIA at work, setting up elaborate plans with the ambitious Erdogan to get rid of Trump and MbS, for the sake of what... strategically increasingly important depleting oil fields? ... a better position to strangle Iran?

Anton Worter , Oct 22, 2018 4:50:52 PM | link
@6

Erdogan wants to be New Caliph. That's all this is. Caliphate wars. MbS is Erdogan's blood enemy. MbS-IL-US is shading the New Caliphate! Duhh! Erdogan doesn't want a Kurdistan martyr in Khasshogi either. He wants to totally controlled-dissent The Parable of a Man Walked Into an Embassy New Revelations. Erdogan wants to be supplicated by US and IL for His permission to transit Syria and Kurdistan. Erdogan wants to be Putin's go-to guy in Ankara for Assad.

This total psyop, and every piece of 'evidence' in it, is coming from Ankara Intel operatives! Khashoggi could has as easily been re-dressed in a thwab, then frog-marched under the cameras into the waiting Mercedes. His discarded clothes could have been paraded in front of Ankara's street cameras by Turks.

Hey, they had two weeks of preparation. You can make a full length Blair Witchcraft in two weeks.

Cui bono? Erdogan, Iran Oil transit and EU/RU weapons systems dealers. That's why Germany has jumped on the bandwagon, lol. Expect the whole krew to toe the line, and Putin left with a jumbled mess on the chessboard.

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Scotch Bingeington , Oct 22, 2018 5:00:53 PM | link
B, amazing work again, thrilling to read. Though this is a yet unfolding story, you manage to write about it in a profound way.

Regarding the manner in which MbS operates here and subsequently reacts towards other people's reactions is certainly telling, at least to me. First off, the coercion – "come back or else " – flat out. The ruthlessness vis-à-vis the victim, the complete disregard for that individual's life. The crassness of the methods applied. The carelessness concerning the risks and the half-assed way in which this exercise, by and large, was carried out. Once word got out, being utterly taken by surprise that this murder should draw so much attention and should shock and outrage people – like, at all! Followed by, of course, a sudden switch from ever-so-charming to furious rage.

That's textbook psychopathic behavior. MbS is a psychopath. I don't mean that as an insult, but as the descriptive term and category that it is. It was already palpable in all the other incidents, which was duly pointed out here by people at the Moon. To me, it's also in his eyes. But the thing is, as such, MbS is a befitting representation of his country. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the way that it works, how it's organized, its history, its outlook on the world – it's the equivalent among states of a psychopath. I certainly agree, the sooner MbS gets kicked off the stage, the better for them and for us. But he'll be replaced and SA will still be the equivalent among states of a psychopath – and act accordingly. There's much more to be done than just put an end to MbS' games. In that vein, I'd be appalled if Russia were to seriously consider sucking up to SA should they break away from the US orbit.


On another aspect: I don't really see how this would seriously upset Trump. Sure, it's a huge challenge and a lot of accommodating will have to be done, which is always annoying. But if Congress were to take action, why shouldn't he give in and play along?

karlof1 , Oct 22, 2018 6:02:10 PM | link
At long last, Valdai Club questions about Saudi-Russian relations were added to transcript. Here is the relevant passage, which mostly repeats what was posted from news stories:

Putin: "If someone understands it and believes that a murder has been committed, then I hope that some evidence will be presented and we will adopt relevant decisions based on this evidence. This gives me a pretext to say something else.

"From time to time, there are steps taken against Russia and even sanctions are imposed, as I have repeatedly said, on the basis of flimsy excuses and pretexts. They groundlessly claim that we have allegedly used chemical weapons, even though, incidentally, we have destroyed our chemical weapons, while the United States has failed to do so despite the obligation to that effect it assumed.

"So, there is no proof against Russia but steps are being taken. According to claims, the murder was committed in Istanbul, but no steps are being taken.

"Uniform approaches to problems of this kind should be sorted. To reiterate: Our policy towards Saudi Arabia has evolved over a long period of time, over many years. Of course, it is a misfortune that a man has disappeared, but we must understand what has really happened."

The policy investment "over many years" isn't one Russia will suddenly jettison. Yemen is obviously a much greater tragedy but Russian-Saudi relations haven't suffered -- Geopolitics creates strange bed-fellows. Russia's international relations are built upon fundamental principles of International Law of which the sanctity of Sovereignty reigns supreme. As much as we may dislike it, the Khashoggi Affair falls within the realm of an internal Saudi affair although it occurred in Turkey; thus, it's up to Saudis to solve. Putin's pointing to the Double Standards relates to that reality. Would Russia sell weapons for Saudi to use on Yemen? I have no idea, although I'd like to think it wouldn't. It's quite possible some new inroads have opened for Russian diplomacy, but they remain hidden from public.

Pft , Oct 22, 2018 6:08:19 PM | link
Khashoggi has ties to Lockheed Martin through his late uncle Adnan Khashoggi, who used to be one of Saudi Arabia's most powerful weapons dealers. MBS is considering buying Russias S-400 instead of Lockheed Martins 15 billion THADD. Interesting fact but unlikely to be important IMO

This Khashoggi story never lasts more than a week in MSM unless there is a psyops operation in place by the Deep State. Media saturation and persistence is the key to any operation. Inconvenient truths are reported and then dropped and forgotten. Lies without evidence are repeated constantly until they are accepted as truths, in some cases inconsequential truths that are convenient serve the same purpose

So regardless of the truth of Khashoggis disappearance there is a Deep State operation in place, the evidence is in the media saturation and persistence and bipartisan support. Its purpose may be as simple as coercing MBS to buy more weapons. Perhaps it may even be that a replacement for MBS even more pro-Israel has been found. Israels influence on the media is not neglible. This saturation coverage does not happen without them supporting it or at least not using their influence to suppress it Another more disturbing possibility should MBS stand his ground , is conditioning the people to accept MBS as the new OBL and Saudis Wahhabis as the new AQ and repeating history.

There simply is no way to know. Just have to watch and see but whatever it is probably wont be good

fast freddy , Oct 22, 2018 9:50:02 PM | link
The Saudi bmobing - with US bmobs - of the Yemeni School Bus Full of Babies was truly and completely horrifying - rotten and utterly detestable by anyone's standards (except for Trump, Hillary, Bill, Bolton, Graham, Biden, All the Bush's, Rick Scott and etc.)

And Newsworthy. But it was, instead, crickets chirping in that deep east Texas nighttime.

Khashoggi is news, because they say its news. They make it news. Why? BC it fits an agenda. Somebody wants MBS out.

m , Oct 22, 2018 10:03:51 PM | link
The bigger play here is bringing turkey back into the western fold. Lose turkey you lose the whole middle east. also, a secondary play - guardianship of Mecca. SA an unreliable partner under mbs.

[Oct 22, 2018] Kushner Tells CNN What Advice He Shared With MbS After Khashoggi Killing

The US arms for oil scheme is the key in anaylizing this situation.
Oct 22, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In excerpts from the interview released by CNN , Jones asked Kushner whether it is wise to trust MbS to oversee Saudi Arabia's investigation, given that he's also the prime suspect. Kushner, who, in the absence of a US ambassador to KSA, has been handling the kingdom's relationship with the Trump administration directly via his friendship with MbS, said the US will examine facts from "multiple places."

me title=

Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?

Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe, and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible.

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner: I see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to doing that."

Given their close relationship, media reports have implied that Kushner has been acting as an unofficial liaison of sorts to MbS since the crisis began (it has also been reported that the Crown Prince initially didn't understand why the backlash to Khashoggi's murder had been so intense). In light of this, Jones asked Kushner what advice, if any, he has given the Saudi royal during their conversations (to be sure, MbS has also spoken with President Trump directly on the phone). In a story published over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that Trump has privately expressed doubts about MbS's story, and has also lamented his close ties with Kushner, fearing they could be a liability. But during a phone interview, the president was somewhat more sanguine, pointing out that both Kushner and MbS are relatively young for the amount of power they wield.

"They're two young guys. Jared doesn't know him well or anything. They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other, I believe," Trump said.

Kushner's interview followed reports published Sunday night that MbS tried to convince Khashoggi to return to Riyadh during a brief phone call with the journalist after he had been detained at the Saudi consulate Khashoggi refused, reportedly because he feared that he would be killed, and was subsequently killed anyway. Adding another macabre twist to the saga of Khashoggi's murder and dismemberment, Surveillance footage released Monday showed one of the Saudi operatives leaving the consulate wearing Khashoggi's clothes with the suspected intent of serving as a "decoy" to bolster the kingdom's claims that Khashoggi had left after receiving his papers. It was later reported that Turkish investigators had found an abandoned car that once belonged to the Saudi consulate.

We imagine we'll be hearing more about these strange developments on Tuesday, when Turkish President Erdogan is expected to deliver a report on the killings.


ludwigvmises , 2 hours ago link

Kushner is another boarding school educated snobbish little child of rich parents.

Yippie21 , 2 hours ago link

Why is "everyone" so ******* upset about the Muslim Brothernood, green-card holding journalist being offed? I mean, folks in the M.E. are murdered all the ******* time. Journalists are not immune. Especially ones that are actually agitators that write ****. This whole thing is ********. How do I know? Just look at the reactions. Media everywhere to level 11.. What about Stormy Daniels? The Playboy bunny? Ford? Scandal # 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 , etc??

Saudis murder folks . Turkey murders folks. Turkey crushed a coup a couple years ago and 60K folks disappeared. I don't remember the US media demanding Obama " do something" about Turkey immediately, do you? Seriously.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

USA has killed over 30 million INNOCENT human beings around the globe since 1950.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

true. And I'm sure the CIA gets in on some very disgusting killings as well. Along with the Mossad and Mi6 (2 groups that get little attention but should).

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kushner to Ivanka,.

Your father is a **** for brains,wanker.

Ivanka, I know that but we are part of the chosen now,. and he soon will be dead.

We have chance to rule the USA, Jared,

Bibi told me ./

Byte Me , 2 hours ago link

" Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?"

"Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe , and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible."

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner:

NO

I (bullshitbullshitbullshit) see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open (bullshitbullshitbullshit. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to hanging me out to dry . After that - ho noze bubelah ."

(Can I sukie suckie now black master?

FIFT

All will be well when the head honcho sends this YidTwat to be Royal Commissioner in either Greenlnd or Antarctica.

johnnycanuck , 2 hours ago link

Have you heard the latest about the Peace Deal of All Times Kushner has been working on? And going to deliver any day now... soon...really soon.

After all this time what it comes down to is a leveraged buyout proposal. The buyout is cash for Palestinians to give in to what Israel's far right wants, give up their land and get the hell out of Dodge if they can't live with the remnants.. The leverage is Trump trying to starve them out and Kushner's friends in the IDF Palace Guard at the ready to pile drive anyone who resists.

" All this nonsense depends on the largesse of Saudi Arabia – whose bungling crown prince appears to be arguing with his kingly father, who does not want to abandon the original Saudi initiative for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital – "

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/palestine-jared-kushner-ultimate-plan-israel-donald-trump-jerusalem-right-to-return-a8420836.html

Some deal, some master planner.

NuYawkFrankie , 3 hours ago link

KUSHNER --->> LOCK HIM UP!!!

Jared Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) prior to and after the Saudis brutally murdered Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25361

Wayne Madsen - the author of the above - also reckons it was Kushner that supplied the Saudi Prince HIT LIST to MbS a few months back - to clear the deck for "closer co-operation" with ISISrael

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

Unfortunately, the only crime here is that the Turks have no decent respect for the consular as sovereign territory, thus they are revoking Saudi rights and are operating as an act of territorial aggression as the US has done to the Russians. Civility is braking down and one has to ask one's self, for who's benefit.. The Turks are not going to benefit. Khashoggi was going to die one way or another, so he made a show of it.. Spy vs. spy.

The USA has in the past just 'droned' them (as Hilterary was eager to reveal).

rlouis , 3 hours ago link

Questions I would like to hear:

Was Khashoggi a CIA agent?

Did he betray Mbs and Saudi family?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

"Did he betray MBS and Saudi family.."

Perhaps you missed the regime change that happened last year, a globally significant event, by the way.

Khashoggi was on the wrong side of that, and has stayed away from SA ever since, sniping from the sidelines. MBS has lots of reasons not to like him.

However, his power base was removed when MBS hung his mates up by their heels in the Hilton Hotel. He was not worth bothering with. So why was he killed then?

Possibly, he was not killed, only used as a foil to bring down hell fire and damnation on MBS. He probably walked out the back, just as the SA said when this first came out. Now Marketwatch has a story saying a man dressed in Khashogggi's "still warm clothes" was photographed going into the Blue Mosque. Yeah, right:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/turkish-official-decoy-wore-khashoggis-still-warm-clothes-after-murder-2018-10-22

The really interesting question is why have they walked that back and now admit he was killed? What is that about?

rlouis , 1 hour ago link

Yes! And tying it together with the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay-Harvest Festival shooting, and the video of the LV SWAT team escorting a person who looked like MBS through a casino suggests that there was a 'failed' assassination attempt.

And the fact that Prince Al Talweed, a co-owner of top floors of Manadaly Bay with Bill Gates, had tweeted his loathing of Trump...

It begins to tie a lot of loose ends together.

spqrusa , 3 hours ago link

The "Crown" (British or SA or many others) is inviolable. They take threats to sovereignty seriously unlike Americans who have outsourced Monetary Sovereignty to their Banks, Military and Economic Sovereignty to their Corporations.

farflungstar , 3 hours ago link

This kid's a ****. A real Chabad Lubavitch **** with a criminal father who I am going to hazard has never worked a hard day in his life. (Both father and son)

Remember Dan Aykroyd from "Trading Places"? Kushner is like that, only not funny. And jewish.

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

Kushner was parachuted into the White House on the sole basis of his being the President's son-in-law.

He quickly ascended to the top rungs of power in our Nation even receiving Top Security Clearance and has been privy to our most tightly guarded secrets ever since.

This little ********** has turned out to be a tremendous thorn in our side facilitated by the President's pleasure.

Is everyone blind? This ******* nobody is practically running the whole show in the Middle East and with what credentials?

He's a power *** with vast connections, having been chosen to be the front man for the destruction of America as we know it.

GoingBig , 3 hours ago link

Exactly, plus his arrogance and stupidity has made the middle east even more fraught with problems.

Just like Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem; this has caused nothing but problems.

Going in with no background in the middle east, without knowing anything except what was told to him in Hebrew school is a recipe for disaster which is unfolding before our eyes.

olibur , 3 hours ago link

This Kushner guy doesn't look natural. Kind of like molded silicone ear plug.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Built in the same factory as Zuckerberg, but it's the Twink-Z-9000m Model

Albertarocks , 3 hours ago link

Skinny. Stiff. Plastic. Rather defiant, somewhat snotty. I have no reason to decide whether I like him or not but Kushner comes across to me as somebody I would not trust as far as I could throw him. Mind you that's quite a distance since I think he probably weighs about 109 lb.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

with whom Kushner reportedly shares a "special relationship" (the prince reportedly once bragged about having Kushner "in his pocket")

well we know who the pitcher and who the catcher is in that "special friendship."

Straw Dog , 17 minutes ago link

The CNN interviewer is Van Jones.
This is the same Van Jones who was Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" and was forced to resign his position in 2009 because of his radical left wing background.

What the hell is Kushner doing in a position of power in the White House, what are his qualifications for whatever post he holds ?

Wild Bill Steamcock , 43 minutes ago link

Kushner- "Late into the night, I stroked him. He stroked me. All to completion"

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

Memo to **** Kushner

Hire some food tasters.

The world is sick of you KIKES.

ardent , 2 hours ago link

"The president is looking out for Israhell's strategic interests ...the president is fully committed to doing that."

There, fixed it.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

What the hell is anyone doing dealing with these animals who dress up in dresses? They behead people in public squares, mutilate people, oppress woman, kill homos, etc. Real crazy degenerates that got ahold of lots of money via their oil.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Saudis are actually KIKES in drag

headless blogger , 1 hour ago link

But they look Black.

boattrash , 31 minutes ago link

" They behead people in public squares, "

You say that like it's a bad thing...I can think of several cases where it would be justified and appropriate.

ludwigvmises , 2 hours ago link

Kushner is another boarding school educated snobbish little child of rich parents.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Cardinal Rule

Never, EVER trust a ****

If you think jews are nice people you're braindead.

Yippie21 , 2 hours ago link

Why is "everyone" so ******* upset about the Muslim Brothernood, green-card holding journalist being offed? I mean, folks in the M.E. are murdered all the ******* time. Journalists are not immune. Especially ones that are actually agitators that write ****. This whole thing is ********. How do I know? Just look at the reactions. Media everywhere to level 11.. What about Stormy Daniels? The Playboy bunny? Ford? Scandal # 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 , etc??

Saudis murder folks . Turkey murders folks. Turkey crushed a coup a couple years ago and 60K folks disappeared. I don't remember the US media demanding Obama " do something" about Turkey immediately, do you? Seriously.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

USA has killed over 30 million INNOCENT human beings around the globe since 1950.

negan2 , 2 hours ago link

Innocent? You prefer Hitler and Stalin.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

yes, innocent. I suppose killing 2 million Vietnamese are guilty? of what>? Not kissing your FAT Americunt ***?

surroundedbyijits , 2 hours ago link

He said since 1950. Hitler had been dead for 5 years and Stalin would be dead within 3 years so wtf are you referring to?

Venice Screech , 5 minutes ago link

**** education for some in America.

headless blogger , 2 hours ago link

true. And I'm sure the CIA gets in on some very disgusting killings as well. Along with the Mossad and Mi6 (2 groups that get little attention but should).

robertocarlos , 2 hours ago link

Marry a hot shiksa?

g3h , 2 hours ago link

Exactly what a brother would do for a brother.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kushner to Ivanka,.

Your father is a **** for brains,wanker.

Ivanka, I know that but we are part of the chosen now,. and he soon will be dead.

We have chance to rule the USA, Jared,

Bibi told me ./

Byte Me , 2 hours ago link

" Jones: Do you trust the Saudis to investigate themselves?"

"Kushner: We're getting facts in from multiple places. Once those facts come in, the Secretary of State will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe , and what we think is credible, and what we think is not credible."

Jones: Do you see anything that seems deceptive.

Kushner:

NO

I (bullshitbullshitbullshit) see things that seem deceptive every day I see them in the Middle East and in Washington. We have our eyes wide open (bullshitbullshitbullshit. The president is looking out for America's strategic interests...the president is fully committed to hanging me out to dry . After that - ho noze bubelah ."

(Can I sukie suckie now black master?

FIFT

All will be well when the head honcho sends this YidTwat to be Royal Commissioner in either Greenlnd or Antarctica.

johnnycanuck , 2 hours ago link

Have you heard the latest about the Peace Deal of All Times Kushner has been working on? And going to deliver any day now... soon...really soon.

After all this time what it comes down to is a leveraged buyout proposal. The buyout is cash for Palestinians to give in to what Israel's far right wants, give up their land and get the hell out of Dodge if they can't live with the remnants.. The leverage is Trump trying to starve them out and Kushner's friends in the IDF Palace Guard at the ready to pile drive anyone who resists.

" All this nonsense depends on the largesse of Saudi Arabia – whose bungling crown prince appears to be arguing with his kingly father, who does not want to abandon the original Saudi initiative for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital – "

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/palestine-jared-kushner-ultimate-plan-israel-donald-trump-jerusalem-right-to-return-a8420836.html

Some deal, some master planner.

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Kikes always find a way to weasel their way into any administration of the USA/

Kikes are sneaky vermin and worthy of being shot (or gassed) where they sleep.

Oh and if you object you are an Anti-Semite.

KILL them ALL!!!

Long Live The Donald , 2 hours ago link

Looks like he weaseled his way right into Ivankers Vagina.

ardent , 2 hours ago link

Kushner Tells CNN What Advice He Shared With MbS After Khashoggi Killing

The same advice he shared with Satanyahoo of Apartheid Israhell: MORE BLOODSHED.

WARNING: Graphic Images

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

**** Kushner told Trump,. I got this, if you intervene I will have the Mossad do a JFK on your ***.

Savvy , 3 hours ago link

The illusive Kushner gave an interview to CNN.

I find that a little out of step with Trump.

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

What qualifications does this **** have?

Who voted for him?

Isn't nepotism illegal?

TabakLover , 3 hours ago link

What a joke. How do these people sit there and spew their pure ******** with a straight face? Oscar worthy performance.

NuYawkFrankie , 3 hours ago link

KUSHNER --->> LOCK HIM UP!!!

Jared Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) prior to and after the Saudis brutally murdered Washington-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi

http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/25361

Wayne Madsen - the author of the above - also reckons it was Kushner that supplied the Saudi Prince HIT LIST to MbS a few months back - to clear the deck for "closer co-operation" with ISISrael

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

Unfortunately, the only crime here is that the Turks have no decent respect for the consular as sovereign territory, thus they are revoking Saudi rights and are operating as an act of territorial aggression as the US has done to the Russians. Civility is braking down and one has to ask one's self, for who's benefit.. The Turks are not going to benefit. Khashoggi was going to die one way or another, so he made a show of it.. Spy vs. spy.

The USA has in the past just 'droned' them (as Hilterary was eager to reveal).

lose

G M T Detect languageAfrikaansAlbanianAmharicArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CorsicanCroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchFrisianGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHawaiianHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanKurdishKyrgyzLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianLuxembourgishMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPashtoPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSamoanScots GaelicSerbianSesothoShonaSindhiSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshXhosaYiddishYorubaZulu AfrikaansAlbanianAmharicArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CorsicanCroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchFrisianGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHawaiianHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanKurdishKyrgyzLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianLuxembourgishMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPashtoPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSamoanScots GaelicSerbianSesothoShonaSindhiSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshXhosaYiddishYorubaZulu Text-to-speech function is limited to 200 characters Options : History : Feedback : Donate Close
ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

Hail President **** Kushner

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

Eyes wide open, brain completely closed.

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

The only upside is that only 42 people watched this farce.

VladLenin , 3 hours ago link

WHO THE **** CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!

This who pile of **** is fake outrage by the ******* leftists hoping they can undermine Trump.

DonFromWyoming , 2 hours ago link

I care because I am hoping this assassination will destroy our 80 year old relationship with The House of Saud which is the epicenter of Wahhabism that brought us 9/11, the ISIS headchoppers and much more.

snow queen , 2 hours ago link

Agreed. The comments on this article are mostly very sick. Why the ugly antisemitism etc. etc.

Bob Lidd , 3 hours ago link

Freaking reptilian eyes......

rlouis , 3 hours ago link

Questions I would like to hear:

Was Khashoggi a CIA agent?

Did he betray Mbs and Saudi family?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

"Did he betray MBS and Saudi family.."

Perhaps you missed the regime change that happened last year, a globally significant event, by the way.

Khashoggi was on the wrong side of that, and has stayed away from SA ever since, sniping from the sidelines. MBS has lots of reasons not to like him.

However, his power base was removed when MBS hung his mates up by their heels in the Hilton Hotel. He was not worth bothering with. So why was he killed then?

Possibly, he was not killed, only used as a foil to bring down hell fire and damnation on MBS. He probably walked out the back, just as the SA said when this first came out. Now Marketwatch has a story saying a man dressed in Khashogggi's "still warm clothes" was photographed going into the Blue Mosque. Yeah, right:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/turkish-official-decoy-wore-khashoggis-still-warm-clothes-after-murder-2018-10-22

The really interesting question is why have they walked that back and now admit he was killed? What is that about?

rlouis , 1 hour ago link

Yes! And tying it together with the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay-Harvest Festival shooting, and the video of the LV SWAT team escorting a person who looked like MBS through a casino suggests that there was a 'failed' assassination attempt.

And the fact that Prince Al Talweed, a co-owner of top floors of Manadaly Bay with Bill Gates, had tweeted his loathing of Trump...

It begins to tie a lot of loose ends together.

Yen Cross , 3 hours ago link

Kushner = Nu-Male sans the neckbeard.

Son of Captain Nemo , 3 hours ago link

When you know you're an accessory to murder and can flaunt it!...

delta0ne , 3 hours ago link

All i see is all-out Kushner bashing going on. People forget that he is busy with bringing peace to the Middle East.

ExpatNL , 3 hours ago link

**** hate peace unless it benefits THEM

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

deltaOne hey **** lover., Jews don't want peace they want to control the M,E.

Nuke Tel Aviv

robertocarlos , 2 hours ago link

Whoosh. I hope.

kindasketchy , 1 hour ago link

Wow, look at the up/downvote ratio! I remember when people on this site got the ******* joke.

Pablo Enchilada , 3 hours ago link

Can someone wipe the smug smile off this prick?

kindasketchy , 3 hours ago link

Did he say he had his eyes wide open or his arse?

css1971 , 3 hours ago link

Solar panels & a Chevy Bolt.

YKIMS

Ikiru , 3 hours ago link

Better buy an extra set. Those damn solar panels wear out pretty quick. In fact, you may want to buy an extra Chevy Volt. Haha

spqrusa , 3 hours ago link

The "Crown" (British or SA or many others) is inviolable. They take threats to sovereignty seriously unlike Americans who have outsourced Monetary Sovereignty to their Banks, Military and Economic Sovereignty to their Corporations.

farflungstar , 3 hours ago link

This kid's a ****. A real Chabad Lubavitch **** with a criminal father who I am going to hazard has never worked a hard day in his life. (Both father and son)

Remember Dan Aykroyd from "Trading Places"? Kushner is like that, only not funny. And jewish.

Philo Beddoe , 3 hours ago link

Dan Aykroyd also bagged a hot chick in that flick. Jamie Lee had quite the rack when she was young.

richatstructure , 3 hours ago link

Very important insight ... thanks for trying out.

kindasketchy , 1 hour ago link

More Impressive - Aykroyd bagged the hot chick in "Spies Like Us" for real

RubberJohnny , 3 hours ago link

Kushner was parachuted into the White House on the sole basis of his being the President's son-in-law.

He quickly ascended to the top rungs of power in our Nation even receiving Top Security Clearance and has been privy to our most tightly guarded secrets ever since.

This little ********** has turned out to be a tremendous thorn in our side facilitated by the President's pleasure.

Is everyone blind? This ******* nobody is practically running the whole show in the Middle East and with what credentials?

He's a power *** with vast connections, having been chosen to be the front man for the destruction of America as we know it.

notfeelinthebern , 3 hours ago link

He's Rosa Luxembergs modern day doppelganger in drag.

GoingBig , 3 hours ago link

Exactly, plus his arrogance and stupidity has made the middle east even more fraught with problems.

Just like Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem; this has caused nothing but problems.

Going in with no background in the middle east, without knowing anything except what was told to him in Hebrew school is a recipe for disaster which is unfolding before our eyes.

DisorderlyConduct , 3 hours ago link

Trump didn't move the embassy - he simply obeyed existing law that said it was to be done. Law ignored since Clinton signed it.

lew1024 , 3 hours ago link

I do not think you can cite evidence to back up those assertions. Mere assertions.

debunker , 3 hours ago link

Jones: Is President Trump upset on how to play this so as not to offend all of his Saudi financial connections?

Jared: The Saudis are my portfolio, Mr. Jones, lest I remind you I'm bringing peace to the Middle East.

Jones: Oh yeah, I forgot. So how's that going anyhow?

Normal , 3 hours ago link

There have been so many attempts at selling advertising with this article the author says, "to deliver a report on the killings." I thought they only chopped up one cash-hoggi now they are trying to turn it into two. What does the author think it was cactus they killed?

carbonmutant , 3 hours ago link

Kushner did you ask him where the body was?

DjangoCat , 2 hours ago link

Damn good question. We know who the "perps" are. Why no body, or bloody bits?

No body, no crime. Show me the evidence.

I think Khashoggi is on on the play, all Kabuki to try to get the SA DS back in power, and give Trump a black eye to boot.

jose.six.pack , 3 hours ago link

Getting their facts from "Multiple pieces"...

:D

KrazyUncle , 3 hours ago link

How about SA being honest....and transparent?

Seasmoke , 3 hours ago link

The Game Show Host let his daughter became a *** for this guy. Unreal.

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

#Kushner is a #Zionist #Traitor, whom #Trump despises.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

whom #Trump despises.

Have you been psychic since birth, or is that a recent phenomenon?

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

Trump is a Libertarian, and will prove it by beheading ten Kurds, officially joining #ISIS.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

I'm the Pope. The Power of Christ compels you.

Fecund Stench , 3 hours ago link

Actually, Trump is in the middle of a fight between Rand Paul and the Koch brothers, who own Pompeo.

olibur , 3 hours ago link

This Kushner guy doesn't look natural. Kind of like molded silicone ear plug.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Built in the same factory as Zuckerberg, but it's the Twink-Z-9000m Model

Albertarocks , 3 hours ago link

Skinny. Stiff. Plastic. Rather defiant, somewhat snotty. I have no reason to decide whether I like him or not but Kushner comes across to me as somebody I would not trust as far as I could throw him. Mind you that's quite a distance since I think he probably weighs about 109 lb.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

What character building experiences could he possibly have had to cause him to become a good/stable leader/decision maker?

ExpatNL , 2 hours ago link

Cardinal Rule

Never, EVER trust a ****

If you think jews are nice people you're braindead.

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

with whom Kushner reportedly shares a "special relationship" (the prince reportedly once bragged about having Kushner "in his pocket")

well we know who the pitcher and who the catcher is in that "special friendship."

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

dupe

DingleBarryObummer , 3 hours ago link

Jared Reportedly often walks with a limp and uses a hemorrhoid doughnut seat pillow

costa ludus , 3 hours ago link

Jud Süß

Philo Beddoe , 3 hours ago link

Damien speaks!

Dornier27 , 3 hours ago link

Kashoggi did return to Saudi Arabia....in bin bags.

Hope Copy , 3 hours ago link

ProbaBLY so..

G M T Detect languageAfrikaansAlbanianAmharicArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CorsicanCroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchFrisianGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHawaiianHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanKurdishKyrgyzLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianLuxembourgishMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPashtoPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSamoanScots GaelicSerbianSesothoShonaSindhiSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshXhosaYiddishYorubaZulu AfrikaansAlbanianAmharicArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBengaliBosnianBulgarianCatalanCebuanoChichewaChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CorsicanCroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEsperantoEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchFrisianGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekGujaratiHaitian CreoleHausaHawaiianHebrewHindiHmongHungarianIcelandicIgboIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseJavaneseKannadaKazakhKhmerKoreanKurdishKyrgyzLaoLatinLatvianLithuanianLuxembourgishMacedonianMalagasyMalayMalayalamMalteseMaoriMarathiMongolianMyanmar (Burmese)NepaliNorwegianPashtoPersianPolishPortuguesePunjabiRomanianRussianSamoanScots GaelicSerbianSesothoShonaSindhiSinhalaSlovakSlovenianSomaliSpanishSundaneseSwahiliSwedishTajikTamilTeluguThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseWelshXhosaYiddishYorubaZulu Text-to-speech function is limited to 200 characters Options : History : Feedback : Donate Close

hooligan2009 , 3 hours ago link

who voted for kushner to represent the US?

costa ludus , 3 hours ago link

Bibi- but it wasn't a vote

opport.knocks , 2 hours ago link

It was at least fifty million $1 votes from Israel laundered through Trump supporter and uber-Zionist Sheldon Adelson's casinos in Macau. Steve Wynn was likely in on that action too.

Until America wakes up and gets dirty money out of your "(s)elections" you will be hostage to foreign powers.

No one asked Kavanaugh if he thought "Citizens United" was settled law.

Venice Screech , 17 minutes ago link

I guess everyone who voted for Trump.

dot_bust , 3 hours ago link

If Kushner has current business dealings with the Saudis, he's not exactly credible with regard to MBS. Or, should I call him the Notorious MBS ?

The U.S. should stop coddling the murderous Saudi government. Stop selling them weapons.

cheech_wizard , 3 hours ago link

Actually they should sell them more weapons. As many as they are willing to buy. And the same with every other country in the region.

Standard Disclaimer: It's all about market share.

Erek , 3 hours ago link

Why the big deal over some A-rab?

Has everyone forgotten about (((The Libyan Job))), Seth Rich and all the others who have been Arkancided?

The .gov should be throwing more resoures at these crimes and the huge (((Pedogate))) crimes etc.

[Oct 22, 2018] Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'. Kashkori is a trump card for the USA in negotiation with Saudi on this and other matters

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anton Worter , Oct 21, 2018 3:28:40 PM | link

25

IDK if MbS had anything to do with the confrontation, or it was some 9th cousin royal guard attempting to give Khashoggi an offer he couldn't refuse. Nobody will ever know what happened. Just another MSM Piece Beyond Understanding.

Remember though, we *do know* that Obama and Rodham and their WH crew sat there in the White House Situation Room, watching *live satellite feed* of Ghaddafi's final movements, the half-meter long bayonet stabbing bloody anal rape to death.

Then Rodham sat there, right afterward, drenched in dewey musk, chortling a paraphrase from Caesar, "We came, we saw, he died! CAWW, CAWW, CAWW!" Monsters!!

Then everyone forgot about it, like it never happened! Poor! The Lion of Africa, like the Lion of Panjshir, just another hot blip on Deep State's radar. Same sh*t, different day. Fahged abahd et.

So why is Khashoggi, a non-entity, *still in the media cross-hairs?!* Pre-election psyop, and extortion. Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'.

May you live in blistering times.


Red Ryder , Oct 21, 2018 3:27:51 PM | link

What might Erdogan want out of this gift that has fallen into his lap?

Gulen out of the the US and into his hands.

CIA won't do that, but Gulen is what Erdogan wants from US. He gave up the "Pastor" without getting anything.
Pompeo tried to pressure him over S-400s. That was laughed off by Ankara.

Erdogan has two big worries: Kurds and Gulen.
He has many desires (dreams, delusions).
But he knows the forces internally that threaten his existence and success as ruler. Already, the Muslim Brotherhood has suffered great losses.

This noose around MBS's neck that Erdogan may be holding is leverage against the CIA specifically. It was information handed by Jared Kushner to MBS that led to this and others being liquidated by the Saudis. Erdogan might be able to tie it all together. That would be leverage the US cannot ignore. The entire anti-Iran strategy depends on Jared-Bibi and MBS.

Anton Worter , Oct 21, 2018 3:28:40 PM | link
25

IDK if MbS had anything to do with the confrontation, or it was some 9th cousin royal guard attempting to give Khashoggi an offer he couldn't refuse. Nobody will ever know what happened. Just another MSM Piece Beyond Understanding.

Remember though, we *do know* that Obama and Rodham and their WH crew sat there in the White House Situation Room, watching *live satellite feed* of Ghaddafi's final movements, the half-meter long bayonet stabbing bloody anal rape to death.

Then Rodham sat there, right afterward, drenched in dewey musk, chortling a paraphrase from Caesar, "We came, we saw, he died! CAWW, CAWW, CAWW!" Monsters!!

Then everyone forgot about it, like it never happened! Poor! The Lion of Africa, like the Lion of Panjshir, just another hot blip on Deep State's radar. Same sh*t, different day. Fahged abahd et.

So why is Khashoggi, a non-entity, *still in the media cross-hairs?!* Pre-election psyop, and extortion. Saudis, Chinese and Russians want to dump their $Ts in junk 1.88% US Treasuries. That will implode the US budget deficit, and the SS and MC Trust Funds as 'buyers of last resort'.

May you live in blistering times.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM | link
@ 16 "The whole mega-chart of crossed alliances has become so confused nobody knows what is going on, who to support, who to trust to have an impact, what to do, etc."

Keeping in mind the anti Israel faction helps keep track of, or make sense of alliances. Syria, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait headed that way. These are forming into a faction of strange bedfellows with the US moving their embassy to Jerusalem and the other Trump machinations with Israel being the catalyst.

joey , Oct 21, 2018 2:31:06 PM | link
Undisputed :::
Saudi Arabia Wahabbism is a leader of Mideast mayhem.
USA supports Saudi Arabia in the ongoing mayhem
So does Canada.
So does Britain.
and France.
Kashoggi a Washington Post reporter.
Washington Post big disseminator of lies.
Same with the New York Times
Both WP and NYT hid the Saudi USA CANADA BRITAIN FRENCH supported aggression on Yemen.
But this is WP and NYT opportunity to disparage Trump.
Therefore it is big "nooze." To be sensationalized. however.
Nothing new to report at all. Same old.
But shame on the alt for sucking along. Stupid is as stupid does.
One WP "journalist" a bigget casualty ? But, hundreds of thousands Syrian and Yemen casualties? No pro blem for NYT and WP s--t heds.
Grow up, world.


Sid2 , Oct 21, 2018 2:11:40 PM | link
Details continue to spill out. Now, interior royal princes are reported disturbed and trying to contact the King, but prevented by MbS. A General Mutrib, very close to MbS, one of his seven bodyguards at the Consulate,left Istanbul before the others with a large bag while the others celebrated at a dinner re "mission accomplished."

The latest WHAAT? out of me is that MbS spoke to Khashoggi by telephone moments before he was murdered. If true, this directly shows the lies the man is capable of. Maybe the US senators calling MbS a liar know something we don't. Jared is in the doghouse for his complicity in enabling MbS to deal with his critics.

Trump is floundering from "credible" to "deception," as he floundered re Kavanaugh ("both seemed convincing," he said after the late September hearing with Christine Ford) before wiping her up one side and down the other with demonizing a few days later. I think the damage problem here for the midterms is significant, and Trump will not retain the House and perhaps not the Senate either.

Why this case should rivet so much attention whereas deaths of 40 kids on a bus, then 17 more a few days ago, etc. etc. do not, seems a case of gag me, where is my vomit trough taken a step too far, possibly because US friends of Khashoggi in the government, CIA, MSM got upset. And let's not forget the rumor Khash was in on a CIA plot to establish a commission to run SA (one of a three member board) in the interests of the US. Could add to why MbS was keen on shutting him up.

I wouldn't think the detail of the fake person in his clothes leaving the back door is "gratuitous, unneeded" in that it shows once again the lies spun from the Saudis in their desperate scrabbling as this thing falls apart.

[Oct 22, 2018] Converting Khashoggi into Cash

Oct 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Oct 21, 2018 7:56:53 PM | link

Krollchem @56

Re: "Converting Khashoggi into Cash"

ARTICLE SUMMARY

10-12-18

The Turkish government's vacillations and zigzagging in the face of the country's economic woes reflect how squeezed it has become economically and politically and how concerned it is about it with elections scheduled for March.

. . .


In mid-2018, Turkey's external debt stock stood at $457 billion. Over the next 12 months, the country will need $181 billion to roll over maturing debts. The financing of the current account deficit requires another $40 billion, at the least, though the gap has begun to decrease under the impact of the economic downturn.

In total, Turkey needs a minimum of $220 billion over the next 12 months, or roughly $18 billion a month, but it has become a high-risk country for creditors. Its risk premium, reflected in credit default swaps, has decoupled from those of other emerging economies, hovering above 400 basis points despite occasional drops. In sum, borrowing has become more expensive for Turkey.

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/10/turkey-pins-hope-on-time-buying-measures-for-economy.html#ixzz5Uc3TXAgv

Short Term External Debt Statistics [Central Bank of Turkey]

8/18


As of the end of August 2018, short-term external debt stock was realized as USD 175.2 billion, based on the remaining maturities calculated using external debt data, which was 1 year or less due to the original maturity. The stock's 18.2 billion US dollars portion, composed of resident banks and the private sector's debts to foreign branches and subsidiaries are in Turkey. When evaluated on a debtor basis, it is observed that the public sector has a share of 18.1%, the Central Bank and the private sector have a share of 81% and 0.9%, respectively.

https://www.tcmb.gov.tr/wps/wcm/connect/TR/TCMB+TR/Main+Menu/Istatistikler/Odemeler+Dengesi+ve+Ilgili+Istatistikler/Kisa+Vadeli+Dis+Borc+Istatistiklerii/

Krollchem , Oct 21, 2018 5:13:01 PM | link

The Duran just published an article titled "Converting Khashoggi into Cash"
It points out that The Turkish/Saudi conflict goes back a long way as the "The first Saudi state, the Emirate of Diriyah, went belly up in 1818, with the death of head of the house of al-Saud, Abdullah bin Saud – actually, literally with his head hung on a gate in Constantinople by Erdogan's Ottoman predecessor, Sultan Mahmud II."
https://theduran.com/converting-khashoggi-into-cash/October 21, 2018

Interesting, Turkey will reveal entire truth about Khashoggi's death on Tuesday - Erdogan
https://www.rt.com/newsline/441877-turkey-reveal-truth-khashoggi/

[Oct 21, 2018] The Khashoggi Murder -- Worse Than a Crime, a Mistake by Eric Margolis

Notable quotes:
"... it's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen ..."
"... So, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America ..."
"... However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade. ..."
"... The seemingly well-connected news outlet Voltairenet claims that there has been a plot against MbS and that Khashoggi was involved in it. ..."
"... It fares a atrocial war on Yemen, shits on international laws and regulations, just like Israel, Why would they not murder a juorno entering their land? Now this juorno was a man revealing in practices done by head choppers, so I will not cry much. It just shows these people are savages, all of them. What should be done ? You judge. ..."
"... I've read on Zerohedge that Khashoggi was on the verge of publishing an article about the Saudi's and CIA's involvement in 9/11, specifically about his former boss Turki al-Faisal, who ran Saudi intelligence for 23 years then abruptly resigned 10 days before 9/11 without giving any reason. ..."
"... Kashiggi's not a reformer. He's hard core Muslim Brotherhood ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Alistair , says: October 20, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT

The overplayed drama of Mr. Khashoggi assassination is going to be used by the American Oil Cartel to control the Saudis Oil output.

it's quite unusual to see such unanimous anti-Saudi reactions from the American political class for the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi – who was just a part-time journalist living in U.S – he was not even an American citizen.

So, it's quite unusual because the same political class remained muted about the Saudis involvement with ISIS, the bombing and starvation of civilians in Yemen and destruction of Syria, and of course the Saudis involvement in 9/11 terrorist attack in which 3000 American citizens have perished in New York, in the heart of America.

So, we must be a bit skeptical about the motive of the American Political Class, as this again could be just about the OIL Business, but this time around the objective is to help the American Oil producers as opposed to Oil consumers – with 13.8% of the global daily Oil production, the US has lately become the world top producer of Crude Oil, albeit, an expensive Oil which is extracted by Fracking method that requires high Oil price above $70 to remain competitive in the global Oil market – by simultaneously sanctioning Iran, Venezuela, and the potential sanction of Saudi Arabia from exporting its Oil, the Trump Administration not only reduces the Global Oil supply which will certainly lead to the rise of Oil price, but also it lowers demand for the US Dollar-Greenback in the global oil market which could lead to subtle but steady devaluation of the US dollar.

And perhaps that's what Trump Administration was really aiming for all along; a significant decline of the US Dollar Index and the rise of price of Oil which certainly pleases the American Oil Cartel, though at the expense of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – all of which are under some form of US sanctions.

However gruesome, Mr. Khashoggi's assassination is going to be used by the Trump Administration to help the American Oil Cartel by controlling the Saudi Oil output, hence, to raise the price of Oil and to lower demand for US dollar which is the currency of the global Oil trade.

MrTuvok , says: October 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
The seemingly well-connected news outlet Voltairenet claims that there has been a plot against MbS and that Khashoggi was involved in it.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article203497.html

This seems to explain the motive to kill him. A few mildly critical articles by Khashoggi's pen scarcely seem to be sufficient for such a high-profile murder, even if we take into account that MbS appears to be impulsive and little capable of thinking ahead.

byrresheim , says: October 21, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT
It was not Talleyrand who said "pire qu'une crime " but rather Boulay de la Meurthe. But then the Queen never said "Let them eat cake" either.

Pardon my hint at historical accuracy, please.

FKA Max , says: October 21, 2018 at 3:48 am GMT
Very insightful video:

Duplicitous Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince

http://www.unz.com/video/therealnews_duplicitous-khashoggi-picked-the-wrong-prince/

Funny

Cato , says: October 21, 2018 at 3:55 am GMT
First of all, when has the death of a journalist made any difference in the relations between countries? Why act like it should now?
Second, Khashoggi was not simply a journalist -- he was a member of the Saudi elite, an Intelligence officer, and an activist for the Muslim Brotherhood (the Die Welt article established that).

Third, the real question is how this story came out, and why it has come out as it has ("journalist murdered by police state agents"). Turkey pushed this story out into the open. Apparently a calculation that the crown prince is losing ground, and an effort (perhaps assisted by bribes) to align the AK party with the crown prince's enemies in Saudi.

Den Lille Abe , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:20 am GMT
It fares a atrocial war on Yemen, shits on international laws and regulations, just like Israel, Why would they not murder a juorno entering their land? Now this juorno was a man revealing in practices done by head choppers, so I will not cry much. It just shows these people are savages, all of them. What should be done ? You judge.
anon [321] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:35 am GMT
It seems quite curious why MBS would go through such trouble to waste a guy whose only crime was writing a few low key disparaging articles about him that nobody read. Maybe there's more to this story than meets the eye.

I've read on Zerohedge that Khashoggi was on the verge of publishing an article about the Saudi's and CIA's involvement in 9/11, specifically about his former boss Turki al-Faisal, who ran Saudi intelligence for 23 years then abruptly resigned 10 days before 9/11 without giving any reason. The rumor was he knew about the attack as did CIA, but Saudis and CIA decided not to do anything to use it as pretext to start the "war on terror" and bring down Saddam Hussein. Personally I find that a little far fetched but you never know when it comes to the CIA.

Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
The murder of d'Enghien had no effect on the French Revolution, other countries reactions to the revolution and the subsequent revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. In fact, most of the liberal pro French Revolution historians consider the execution as necessary and moral as the execution of other anti revolutionaries

Koshoggi's murder won't make a bit of difference either once the blame Trump media blast blows over. The Turkish police appear to be doing a good job. They've arrested 18 people involved. At least the moralist pundits won't be punditing and pontificating about Kavanaugh for a few days. Kashiggi's not a reformer. He's hard core Muslim Brotherhood

johnson , says: October 21, 2018 at 6:04 am GMT

who likely cried, like England's King Henry II, 'will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?'

Yawn. This author is tediously hackneyed. And, it was 'turbulent priest.'

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:18 am GMT
That the Saudi regime commits murders does not surprise me, but getting caught not just with murder, but also with torture, indeed an unbelievable stupidity. Why torture the man ? But what also baffles me is that the journalist wrote for Washpost, a friend of Israel.

That Netanyahu and the Saudi regime cooperate to attack Iran, it is asserted by many, and it sems quite probable to me. A technical question, can indeed a smartwatch do what it is supposed to have done ? If so, then the torturers and murderers are even more stupid, I let the moral issue undiscussed, than one can imagine. Then there is the assertion, in cases like this one never knows what the facts are, that the journalist's girl friend waited outside. Did he expect trouble ? Did he ask her to record the trouble ? Did not the consulate security see her ? A final remark, what now is the difference in cruelty between IS and the USA's ally ?

jilles dykstra , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
@Alistair History has its weird twists.

Early in WWII FDR was reported that USA oil would be depleted in thirty years time. So FDR sent Harold L Ickes to Saudi Arabia,where at the end of 1944 the country was made the USA's main oil supplier. FDR entertained the then Saud in early 1945 on the cruiser Quincy, laying in the Bitter Lakes near the Suez Canal. This Saud and his entourage had never seen a ship before, in any case had never been on board such a ship.

In his last speech to Congress, seated, FDR did not follow what had been written for him, but remarked 'that ten minutes with Saud taught him more about zionism than hundreds of letters of USA rabbi's. These words do not seem to be in the official record, but one of the speech writers, Sherwood, quotes them in his book. Robert E. Sherwood, 'Roosevelt und Hopkins', 1950, Hamburg (Roosevelt and Hopkins, New York, 1948) If FDR also said to Congress that he would limit jewish migration to Palestine, do not now remember, but the intention existed.

A few weeks later FDR died, Sherwood comments on on some curious aspects of FDR's death, such as that the body was cremated in or near Warm Springs, and that the USA people were never informed that the coffin going from Warm Springs to Washington just contained an urn with ashes. At present the USA does not seem to need Saudi oil. If this causes the asserted cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel ?

Proud_Srbin , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:45 am GMT
When was the last time evangelical party or any other "christian" spoke against apartheid of Israel in large and meaningful numbers?
Alfred , says: October 21, 2018 at 7:53 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Now it has made alliances with Israel and between them the tail wags the dog

The Saudi Royal family and the governments of Israel have always been in cahoots. They both despise and fear secular governments that are not under their own control in the Middle East. Witness the fear and dread of both of them of president Nasser in the 1960′s, for example.

Lin , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
The US establishment, 'liberal' or not, just fake an outcry to soften the image of 100′s of 1000′s of yemenis, iraqis, libyan.. war casualties they are wholly or partly responsible for. Khashoggi's death is no more brutal than that of Gaddafi. What's the big deal ?

Whether Khashoggi is an islamist or not is very minor. (Sunni) Islam is basically a caravan of arab tribal or civilizational power and the house of Saud just rides this vehicle or caravan to siphon off the oil wealth. The house of Saud, said to be Jewish in origin, have the option to migrate en mass to Israel or French Riviera, with their swiss/US/caribbean offshore accounts during time of crisis or after new forms of energy resource displace oil

Art , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:30 am GMT

Equally important, the Saudis and Emiratis are now closely allied to Israel's far right government. Israel has been a door-opener for the Saudis and Gulf Emirates in Washington's political circles. The Israel lobby is riding to the Saudi's defense .

The Israelis are defending Old Saudi (pre MBS) -- not the New MBS/Kushner fix Palestine cabal. The last thing Israel wants is a defined Israeli border recognized by the world. The sycophant Israeli backing Senators in congress (Graham et al) are all backing Israel by condemning MBS and calling for his head.

Think Peace -- Art

Miro23 , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:42 am GMT
@FKA Max Thanks for the excellent Real News Network interview with someone I hadn't heard about (As'ad AbuKhalil) who has followed the career of Khashoggi for years.

http://www.unz.com/video/therealnews_duplicitous-khashoggi-picked-the-wrong-prince/

It seems that Khashoggi was lately different things to different people – one voice in English at the Washington Post following the Israeli line, and another in Arabic and the Arab media supporting the Palestinians and the Moslem Brotherhood.

Over the long term he was a propagandist for the rule of the Saudi princes, and his problem seemed to be his too close connection to the wrong ones, while they were overthrown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). There's the suggestion of a plot against MbS where he may have been involved.

So why are the Israelis, their MSM and their AIPAC congressmen making such a big thing out of it? Isn't MbS their friend? And why should they care about the assassination of a pro-Palestinian journalist?

Maybe they've a better knowledge of the forces at play in Saudi Arabia, and concluded that MbS was too much of a risk (too isolated and independent – e.g. talking with the Chinese about a Petro/Yuan). Maybe they decided to Regime Change MbS in a usual Israeli/US Deep State operation with Khashoggi at the centre (the duplicitous sort of character that they favor) – with the outrage at MbS unexpectedly striking back. It was in fact MbS' team of bodyguards who arrived in Istanbul. And it would account for the Deep State anger at having one of its chief conspirators murdered.

The back story has to be that the US/Israel want control of both Saudi and Iranian oil priced in US Dollars and they'll go with anyone who can give that outcome (currently not MbS). Or they invade Saudi Arabia Eastern Province on some pretext or other and just take the oil directly.

Greg Bacon , says: Website October 21, 2018 at 8:54 am GMT

I'm surprised that the Saudis didn't ask the Israelis, who are very good at assassination and kidnapping, to go after Khashoggi.

They probably did, but Israel is gearing up to invade Gaza AGAIN, and that takes time and resources that they couldn't afford to let go and do some free-lancing in the Murder Inc Department.

But Blessed are the War Mongers or something, as that oh-so devout Christian, Pat Robertson, is against holding KSA accountable:

Prominent evangelical leader on Khashoggi crisis: let's not risk "$100 billion worth of arms sales"

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, appeared on its flagship television show The 700 Club on Monday to caution Americans against allowing the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia to deteriorate over Khashoggi's death.

"For those who are screaming blood for the Saudis -- look, these people are key allies," Robertson said. While he called the faith of the Wahabists -- the hardline Islamist sect to which the Saudi Royal Family belongs -- "obnoxious," he urged viewers to remember that "we've got an arms deal that everybody wanted a piece of it'll be a lot of jobs, a lot of money come to our coffers. It's not something you want to blow up willy-nilly."

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/17/17990268/pat-robertson-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-trump-crisis

Did Robertson take all of that loot he made from smuggling blood diamonds out of Africa–using his charity as a front–and invest in the defense industry?

If Pat is headed to Heaven after he expires, then send me to the other place, as I have no desire to be stuck with hypocrites for all eternity.

Tyrion 2 , says: October 21, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT
@Harris Chandler Why would it be Trump's to avenge that man?
animalogic , says: October 21, 2018 at 9:44 am GMT
"Error" ? "Mistake" ? These people (the KSA) are fucking "stupid" . Now they're saying he died in a "fist fight" in the consulate ! A 13 year old street criminal would know that that excuse is an admission of guilt. These guys shouldn't be allowed to run a model railroad.
Brabantian , says: October 21, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
On television in 1988, Donald Trump said he had bought a US $200 million 85-metre-long yacht ,'The Nabila', from billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, uncle of just-murdered-in-Istanbul journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The yacht was named after Adnan Khashoggi's daughter. Trump later sold the yacht to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

Donald Trump talking about the boat and arms dealers like Khashoggi – "not the nicest guys in the world"

... ... ...

[Oct 21, 2018] Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia's gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay

Oct 21, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 13, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Naftogaz has now begun to help itself to money from Russia's gas-transit payments, arguing that it is owed money from the Stockholm Arbitration ruling which Gazprom has refused to pay.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ukraine-takes-9mn-from-gazprom-penalty-payment-65062

Apparently Russia is still paying the old rate, from before the ruling (because to do otherwise would be to recognize the debt and accept responsibility for it), which results in an overpayment since it is higher than Naftogaz would charge, if I understand correctly. So Naftogaz has decided to confiscate it as owing.

This, obviously, sets the stage for another shutdown of European gas supplies, just as winter is coming on. Perhaps Ukraine has realized that nothing it can do or say is going to stop Nord Stream II from going ahead, and so it might as well recover what it can, and who cares if it results in a shutdown of Europe's gas, regardless where the blame ends up? Once again Ukraine's maneuvering puts Russia in a difficult spot – it can recognize the Stockholm award and pay Ukraine $2.6 Billion or whatever it was. Or it can accept that Ukraine will keep part of its transit payments against the debt until it can shut down gas transit across Ukraine altogether. Or it can shut off the gas now.

If it were up to me, I would take the middle option. Let Ukraine congratulate itself on one-upping me with its native cleverness (assuming here that I am Russia), and let them keep $9 or $10 million of the transit fees each month; that would probably be a lot cheaper than acknowledging the Stockholm award and paying Ukraine billions, in view of the fact that Ukraine never paid back the money it was lent by Russia; Stockholm neatly solved that for them, by awarding them huge damages, part of which was understood to be the amount Ukraine owed. Okay, that goes toward Ukraine's debt to Russia, and now you owe Ukraine $2.6 Billion more.

I would just focus on getting Nord Stream II completed. Then I would not only stop gas transit through Ukraine, I would tell them to kiss my ass if they wanted to buy gas for themselves. You were so pleased with yourselves for not buying any gas from Russia last year – obviously you can get along fine without it. But I sure hope Europe is going to keep giving you money to buy European gas forever.

[Oct 21, 2018] Pepe Escobar The Jared of Arabia-Bonesaw connection by Pepe Escobar

Oct 20, 2018 | www.sott.net
Once again my best House of Saud-connected source RE-CONFIRMED Mohammed Bone Saw (MBS) received direct info on CIA assets in Saudi Arabia from his close whatsapp pal Jared of Arabia.

Jared could only have access to this top secret info because of his high clearance. That led to the Ritz-Carlton jail saga - and other arrests.

The CIA protégé Mohammed bin Nayef - who was previously made Crown Prince by the CIA itself - was also arrested and is still under house arrest. The CIA was grooming Nayef be King.

The CIA managed to elevate Nayef by plotting to get rid of Bandar Bush - who was fired by then King Abdullah. When King Abdullah died, Nayef continued to be Crown Prince until ousted by the new King Salman bin Abdulaziz to the benefit of his son.

Big mistake.

MBS moved against the clergy - who had been neutralized by Nayef. He moved against CIA friends, ousting former King Abdullah's son Prince Miteb as head of the powerful National Guard - who's after his blood ever since.

Crucially, Khashoggi was also CIA.

MBS ordered the invasion of Yemen - and turned large sectors of the army against him. He met with AIPAC in New York, befriended Israel and turned the bulk of the Saudi population against him.

Only misinformed simpletons believe that the Pulp Fiction in Istanbul op could have proceeded without his green light. Hubris, arrogance and inter-galactic ignorance are MBS's trademarks.

What kind of intel op does not know that Turkish secret police would be monitoring the Saudi embassy 24/7?

The Coward Prince, meanwhile, has had ample time to find not one but TWO fall guys.

Fall Guy Number One is Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, deputy head of Saudi intel (yes, that's an oxymoron), a senior air force officer with NO (very important) family connections to the Saudi two-bit royals.

Fall Guy Number Two is Saud al-Qahtani, who was a sort of Desert Grand Inquisitor - totally controlling the media and supervising the non-stop purge of any critics. Call him the Saudi Steve Bannon - as he was known in Qatar. He led a mighty troll army spreading fake news on the murderous war on Yemen, the pathetic blockade of Qatar and non-stop demonization of Iran.

Turkey for its part has masterfully deployed Death by a Thousand Leaks on MBS.

Now the whole planet knows the detailed description of the 15-men hit squad; pics of all of them; their role in the "mission"; arrival and departure flights; which hotels they stayed for a few hours.

The hit squad includes the Bone Saw Master; four intel ops; 6 Royal Guard members; a member of MBS's personal guard; and a free agent.

Compared to all this evidence, the official "fist fight" Saudi explanation as well as the Jared of Arabia-spun "rogue killer" spin are inter-galactic jokes designed for suckers.

What remains unexplained is whether MBS was striking some sort of dodgy deal with the Trump administration, via his best pal Jared, behind the back of his House of Saud many rivals. Consul Pompeus Minimus was on the phone to MBS immediately after the Pulp Fiction news broke out. This could well turn out to have been a double-double cross.
Comment: Pepe is probably a little too sure it couldn't have happened without MbS's approval. He may have been involved and it escalated further than he approved, (as Scott Adams theorizes ), or it could've been a rogue operation. Mohammed bin Salman has made enough enemies within the sprawling Saudi royal family with last year's "anti-corruption purge", that more than one faction would be happy to pin the assassination on him

[Oct 19, 2018] What happened here that all the neocons like Fred Hiatt and Sen. Lindsey Graham now want the blood of MBS?

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with Jack that when Brennan is writing an op-ed calling for the head of MbS something fishy is up. Kashoggi has had a long career at the heart of Saudi national security power structures. He's no angel. Clearly he touched a nerve to be murdered so openly with no plausible deniability. Or maybe that was intentional. Then....the reaction of the Deep State. Hmm? ..."
"... Please don't get me wrong. Saudi Barbaria has been a corrupting influence for decades and the role they have played in Syria, Libya is not to be condoned. I fully support walking away from our interventionist position in the Middle East and letting the chips fall there. However, I have a deep distrust of Brennan and his motives. I can't put my finger on why the neocons are reacting in this way in light of their previous attitude of ignoring such atrocities or even abetting them. This is raising suspicions. ..."
"... if that is such a common knowledge that host states always bug the guest embassies and consulates, that would mean that Saudis would have to assume that as well, so that they would make sure that these devices were ´blinded´, ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"As for arms sales, someone needs to brief Mr. Trump on the actual results of the promises made to him when he visited Riyadh last year. As Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution sums it up , "The Saudis have not concluded a single major arms deal with Washington on Trump's watch ." Moreover, an end to supplies of U.S. spare parts and technical support, something Russia cannot provide, would quickly ground the Saudi air force . That would have the welcome effect of ending a bloody bombing campaign in Yemen that a U.N. investigation concluded was probably responsible for war crimes." Washpost

-----------

Once again, I am not a great fan of Bezos or his blog, but two days in a row they have printed something I can agree with. Something has changed for him.

It has become a meme in the blather that runs shrill and shallow in the US media, that Saudi Arabia is a faithful, and indispensable ally of the US in the ME. Bezos disputes this and so do I.

A few points:

Yes, they chop heads off after Friday prayers outside the local mosque. They also do hands and feet. They stone to death women found guilty of adultery. They sew them in bags before the men present throw handy five pound rocks at them. The government is deeply approving of this. Sound familiar? Yes, it should. The jihadis whom the Saudis sponsor in Syria do the same things. The Sunni jihadis are nearly defeated in Syria and it has become clear that the Saudi government has been evacuating their leaders, probably with US connivance, so that they can pursue greater visions of jihad elsewhere.

The importance of Saudi Arabia in the world oil market is IMO now much exaggerated. They can undoubtedly do some damage by manipulating the short term contract (spot) market but this is something they would pay for heavily. The Kingdom is cash strapped. It was not for nothing that MBS turned the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh into a prison for the wealthy including many of his own kin in order to squeeze and in some cases torture them into handing over a lot of their cash to the government. Depressed petro sales at artificial prices will only further reduce revenue to the government.

The notion that Saudi intelligence contributes much to the GWOT is a joke. Saudi intelligence competence is something that exists only in pitchmen's claims voiced by TV touts. In fact, they get almost everything they have from the US and are like greedy baby birds always looking to be fed. They cannot organize a trip to the gold plated toilet. It took 15 of them to ambush Khashoggi, well, OK, 14 of them and a doctor to carry the electric bone-saw.

We need to sell them more equipment that they cannot use? It does not appear to me that any of the contracts that they promised to DJT has been signed. Their technique is simple. Keep the hope of profit for the US alive as leverage.

Lastly, the chimera of a great Arab alliance (a la NATO) is delusory. The Saudis lack both the organizational ability for such a thing and significant military power. They possess one of the world's largest static displays of military equipment. They have neither the manpower nor the aptitude to use such equipment effectively. As I have written previously, the Gulf Arabs have long had such an alliance. It is the GCC and it has never amounted to anything except a venue for the Arab delight in meetings and blather.

The basis for the desire for such an alliance is the Israeli strategic objective of isolating Iran and its allies; Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas with an eventual hope of destroying the Iranian theocracy. Israel is frightened of a possible salvo of many thousands of missiles and rockets into Israel from Lebanon as well as an eventual successful creation of a missile deliverable nuclear weapon by the Iranians. These are real and credible threats for Israel, but not for FUKUS . Israel has only two really valuable counter-value targets; Haifa and Tel Aviv. A hit on one or both with a nuclear weapon would be the end of Israel. The Israelis know that.

Adroit information operations carried out over generations by the Israeli government and its supporters have created in the collective US mind an image of Iran as a disguised 3rd Reich. This was well done. The same operation was run against Iraq with magnificent results from the POV of Israel

Saudi Arabia is a worthless ally. pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/who-needs-saudi-arabia/2018/10/15/3ebe473c-d0a1-11e8-8c22-fa2ef74bd6d6_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a339b03b5abf


Jack , 2 days ago

Sir

What happened here that all the neocons like Fred Hiatt and Sen. Lindsey Graham now want the blood of MBS? Jamal Kashoggi was apparently a good pal of Osama and an insider who worked for Prince Turki al-Faisal both when he ran Saudi intelligence and when he was in DC. My antenna is up when John Brennan starts writing op-eds. After all he was in Riyadh when Turki was the internal security chief.

Does this have to do with our Deep State? Who may not be happy that MBS has by-passed them with a direct connection through Jared?

We didn't do anything or demand anything when the Saudis sent terrorists to attack us on 9/11. What's changed now with the murder of Jamal Kashoggi in Istanbul?

RaisingMac -> Jack , 2 days ago
I'm with Jack. Don't get me wrong: I hate MBS as much as the next man, but I can't say I trust Erdogan or Bezos either. And these days, whenever the WaPo tells me to zig, my instinct tells me to zag. At the very least, I would like to know more about what's really going here before committing myself to one side or the other. Kashoggi, after all, was not just some random 'journalist'. He had intimate contact with, and knowledge of, high-ranking personages in the KSA and beyond. He even knew Osama bin Laden! There could be any number of parties out there in this world who have felt that he knew too much. It's just too early to jump to conclusions.
RaisingMac -> RaisingMac , 2 days ago
Over at Consortium News, Asad Abu Khalil, the 'Angry Arab', has up a good piece arguing that Kashoggi was no reformer. In fact, up until extremely recently, he was doggedly loyal to the régime. As he puts it:

"Western media coverage of Khashoggi's career (by people who don't know Arabic) presents a picture far from reality. They portray a courageous investigative journalist upsetting the Saudi regime. Nothing is further from the truth: there is no journalism in Saudi Arabia; there is only crude and naked propaganda."

https://consortiumnews.com/...

For now, I'm speculating that he simply ended up on the wrong side of MbS' intra-family feud, but I'm open to other theories.

ancient archer -> Jack , 2 days ago
It is very unlikely that the people, who time and time again have been found to lack even a shred of human decency, compassion and fairness, Brennan et al and I include WaPo in that, are now going gaga over the murder of a journo, who had strong links with the power players in the region.

The way that these things have worked out in the media earlier, I think the order has come from higher up to push this incident to damage either the relationship with SA or mbs. I think that keeping this incident hot has also kept the oil price high just before the mid-term elections. surely, a higher oil price hurts trump. that might be a reason for the trump-hating crowd including wapo to discover decency and fairness and other human virtues just right now. very intriguing, this reaction from the MSM.

I note that the British press is not pressing this issue as much, nor is Haaretz. Only the US MSM is pressing this very hard.

TTG -> Jack , 2 days ago
The US and the Brits before us have slavishly courted the Saudi Royals since before WWII. This is a constant through Republican and Democratic administrations. The Trump administration is no exception. Why the murder of one journalist would challenge a half century of established US policy at this time is beyond my understanding. Perhaps it's the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
David Habakkuk -> TTG , 2 days ago
TTG,

Someone from whose writings I have derived a great deal of instruction, as well as amusement, is Vladimir Golstein, a Russian Jewish émigré now in charge of 'Slavic Studies' at Brown University.

I introduce his explanation of the response to the Khashoggi killing, in a 'Facebook' post, not because I think it should be taken as some kind of authoritative truth, but because, as often, Golstein's irreverence is thought-provoking.

The post begins:

'Thank you, Saudi Arabia for exposing the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of British and American gangsta press and equally gangsta establishment.

'You've been at it for a very long time. And it seems that finally you've got it right.'

After providing a long list of Saudi delinquencies, Golstein continues:

'I understand that you began to feel more and more desperate. You sided with Israel against Iran and Syria, and the rest of the world said that it is a moral thing to do and put you on the UN human rights board.

'Well, finally, you hit the right cord. Killing innocent people and abusing your moneyed power by buying newspapers, hotels, city districts or think tanks, was not enough to produce an outrage in the west, but when you whacked another cynical morally corrupt journalist that proved too much for the cynical and morally corrupt western press. They decided to stand up for one of their own.'

This does, I think, point to something rather important. And it leads to the thought that MBS and others may have miscalculated, as a result of an 'hubris' which many in the West have actually encouraged – just as they have a parallel 'hubris' in Israel.

As Golstein, who has a great deal of complex history behind him, can see very clearly, it is an interesting question when the 'sympathy' of Western 'liberals' is and is not actually felt.

What I think MBS may have missed is, quite precisely, the realisation that for people like Tom Friedman the fact that – as Golstein is pointing out – Khashoggi is the same kind of animal as they are means that killing him touches them personally.

Second, he is the kind of figure whom they have, as it were, 'cast' in a 'starring role', in their 'narrative' as to how somehow 'Saudi Barbaria' is going to 'modernise', and in so doing create a Middle East hospitable to a Jewish settler state.

So, in assassinating him, MBS may have unleashed a curious kind of psychological 'maelstrom.'

Barbara Ann -> David Habakkuk , 2 days ago
Jon Schwarz of The Intercept summed up the hypocrisy of the outrage rather well in a humorous tweet:

"I am withdrawing from all ventures with the Saudi government until they go back to killing people I'll never meet at a party"

David Habakkuk -> Barbara Ann , a day ago
Barbara Ann,

I think that is absolutely brilliant.

But, as well as hypocrisy, there is also a basic stupidity.

In fact, if one is reasonably 'worldlywise', one knows that people's sympathies, including one's own, are very often much more limited than they profess to be. We commonly find it much easier to feel the griefs and pain of people whom we see as like ourselves, than we do with those of others.

My own history, ironically, has been a move from finding it relatively easy to sympathise with people who write for the 'New York Times', or the 'Guardian', or the 'New York Review of Books', to finding it really rather difficult.

There is also, however, about so many of these people, an element of sheer stupidity.

Whether one agrees, or disagrees, with 'deplorables' is relevant, but only partly so. Actually, people who would not appear at the kind of 'party' which Jon Schwarz so aptly characterises have a very wide range of views, and I often agree in whole or in part with such people, and also often disagree in whole or in part. It is not a simple matter.

A related but distinct question has to do with common prudence.

People who lock themselves in a kind of bubble of the supposedly 'enlightened' are not only doing the rest of us no favours, but are inherently bound to head off in directions which are liable to be suicidal for themselves.

Prudent élites take the trouble at least to be aware that the world is not controllable by the comfortable people who appear at their dinner parties, and realise that if they persist in trying to persuade themselves that it is, sooner or later their self-delusion will blow up in their faces.

In relation to people like MBS, there is a double stupidity. The problem is not simply that he has been playing to their need to believe that he wants to 'modernise' Saudi Arabia. It is also that they have wanted to believe that such a venture is possible, which it almost certainly is not.

Pat Lang Mod -> Barbara Ann , 2 days ago
I have always been their opponent.
Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 days ago
David

Yes, Vladimir Golstein has a point. The DC cocktail circuit have been offended as one of their fellow travelers has been offed. If this will lead to a break with Saudi Barbaria that will be good. I'm cynical however. Brennan, et al just want their boy in Riyadh not Jared's buddy.

smoothieX12 . -> Jack , a day ago
Wait until it becomes clear that Israel in actuality negotiates her safety with Russia (it is ongoing as I type this)--that's when the party will start in earnest.
Strawman -> TTG , 2 days ago
"The US and the Brits before us have slavishly courted the Saudi Royals since before WWII."

TTG, as you are doubtless aware, it goes back even further, to early World War I. David Fromkin's seminal 1989 history, "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (also subtitled Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914–1922)": https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... describes the machinations by British, French, and (later) Americans to play the competing desert chieftains against each other, alternately catering to and dumping unceremoniously each one as political necessity dictated.

Recommended to readers wishing to further appreciate the roots of the irresolvable turmoil that is the modern Middle East.

Pat Lang Mod -> Strawman , 2 days ago
The American oil companies were mere commercial players.
blue peacock -> TTG , 2 days ago
TTG

Yes, there's clearly more than meets the eye. I agree with Jack that when Brennan is writing an op-ed calling for the head of MbS something fishy is up. Kashoggi has had a long career at the heart of Saudi national security power structures. He's no angel. Clearly he touched a nerve to be murdered so openly with no plausible deniability. Or maybe that was intentional. Then....the reaction of the Deep State. Hmm?

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 2 days ago
Boringly conspiratorial minded. You people are buying into pro House of Saud propaganda.
blue peacock -> Pat Lang , 2 days ago
Col. Lang

Please don't get me wrong. Saudi Barbaria has been a corrupting influence for decades and the role they have played in Syria, Libya is not to be condoned. I fully support walking away from our interventionist position in the Middle East and letting the chips fall there. However, I have a deep distrust of Brennan and his motives. I can't put my finger on why the neocons are reacting in this way in light of their previous attitude of ignoring such atrocities or even abetting them. This is raising suspicions.

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 2 days ago
Suspicion is good. Unwillingness to look at the evidence is not good.
blue peacock -> Pat Lang , 2 days ago
Col. Lang

The evidence I see is that a Saudi citizen who used to be a "regime insider" with high level connections and aligned with the previous head of Saudi intelligence was brutally murdered by Saudi government officials. Turkey leaked this information and in the leaks claim they have audio and video evidence of the murder. John Brennan and other neocons who previously have not only supported but also connived in some of the atrocities committed by the Saudi government are demanding that MbS be held to account.

The question that is nagging me is why are the neocons reacting this way now, considering they have always carried water for the Saudi royals when real dissidents have been routinely executed after show trials?

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 2 days ago
Trump has asked the Turks for the surveillance data We will see.
fanto -> Pat Lang , a day ago
USA just wants to get their well guarded ´sources and methods´, and to gain time. Zeit gewonnen ist viel gewonnen say Germans..
Pat Lang Mod -> fanto , a day ago
"USA just wants to get their well guarded ´sources and methods´" What does that mean?
fanto -> Pat Lang , a day ago
for example, how did Turks get the audio and possibly video of the deed, the transmission by Apple watch story may be just a red herring, they may have independent sources and methods which the US is not privy to the word ´their´ in my remark intended to say ´Turks´. Sorry about the unclear sentence.
Pat Lang Mod -> fanto , a day ago
I thought you Germans were supposed to be smart. You don't understand that MIT, the Turkish intelligence service had bugged the consulate? What part of that do you not understand? Go get some strudel and think about it!
fanto -> Pat Lang , a day ago
hahaha, I will eat it, BUT - if that is such a common knowledge that host states always bug the guest embassies and consulates, that would mean that Saudis would have to assume that as well, so that they would make sure that these devices were ´blinded´, and that would mean that there were other devices which they were not able to ´blind´. Just deep thinking, is that also German trait?
Pat Lang Mod -> fanto , 18 hours ago
Sounds like Klarity, a German trait. The Saudis probably lacked the skill to find the Turkish bugs. MIT, the Turkish service are very skilled at installation.
Michael -> TTG , 2 days ago
Maybe this new surprising "moral" attitude has something to do with the mid-terms elections. Yes Saudi Arabia is a kind of traditional commodity platform and surely not an Ally, but DJT did enhance the Saudis status as Partners in his projected Deal of the Century (still not published).

The Khasoghi murder has become the DJT problem and while raising his expression for the outrage has also opened the exit door, and provided a possibility to dilute MBS direct responsibility. Of interest is the Erdogan careful but repeated supply of details.

FB -> Jack , 2 days ago
What 'terrorists' attacked on 911...?...nobody knows what exactly happened on that day, and who was involved...except that the official narrative is total BS...
Pat Lang Mod -> FB , 2 days ago
Rubbish! You are a truther?
FB -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Yes, one could lump me under the dismissive and unflattering epithet of 'truther'...after looking into some of the physical aspects of the matter, the narrative is impossible on grounds of physics...that is not to say I am speculating on who or even the how...which is where we see a lot of tinfoil hat stuff...but I have a solid engineering and aviation background...it could not have happened the way we are told...

[Oct 19, 2018] It appears that somebody tired to create Saudigate out of this incident. This potentially is good news for Iran and Russia. Perhaps not so good for Trump, Saidis and Israel

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 18, 2018 12:29:54 AM | link

TheBag @72

The President has authority under the Global Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions against anyone who has committed a human rights violation. Congress has already requested a HR investigation which Trump must act on and report to them within 4 months

It appears my prediction of Saudi gate may be right. This potentially is good news for Iran and Russia. Perhaps not so good for Trump and Saidis. Israel may not be happy. Perhaps his wife's plane troubles were a warning shot to remind him who is boss. Who knows ?

Haleys resignation beginning to make sense now. The House of Trump and House of Saud may soon fall, and Bibi wont be happy losing Trump and MBS. We all know what they are capable of to get things back on track

Why did the media held back on this so for so long?

Yemen (and Gaza).

CGTN & Al-Jazeera are the only global news outlets consistently and regularly reporting on the US facilitated genocides in Yemen and Jewish-occupied Palestine/Gaza.

The never-ending Khashoggi non-mystery mystery keeps Yemen & Gaza out of the Jew-controlled Western Media headlines. Saudi Barbaria and "Israel" are natural allies because each of them is an artificial Western political construct with a cowardly and incompetent military apparatus and an anti-heroic penchant for slaughtering undefended civilians - for psychopathic reasons.
--------
Talking about psychopathy...
Oz's Christian Zionist PM, Sco Mo, is blathering about following Trump's lead and moving Oz's Embassy in "Israel" to Jerusalem. Sc Mo, who has never had an original idea in his life, still hasn't woken up to the fact that Trump's Jerusalem gambit was a trap for Bibi. So it's hilarious that Sco Mo The Unoriginal, is planning to take a flying leap into the same trap!
Anyone with more than half a brain would realise that...
1. No civilised country has followed Trump's lead.
2. Trump can, and will, reverse his (illegal) Jerusalem decision out of a 'new-found respect' for International Law.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 18, 2018 12:14:08 AM | 83

Posted by: JNDillard | Oct 17, 2018 11:59:34 PM | 81


https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-saudi-arabia-payment-20181017-story.html

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 17, 2018 11:19:22 PM | 79

Whoever is ultimately behind this campaign (which I suspect is a loose association of interest groups spread throughout SA, Turkey, London citi, wall street, whoever) they will not stop until MbS is paraded through the streets in chains or at least his head at the end of a lance. At this point the only question how many days will it take to see his head on a pike?

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 17, 2018 11:24:27 PM | 80

"Their target that night: Anssaf Ali Mayo, the local leader of the Islamist political party Al-Islah. The UAE considers Al-Islah to be the Yemeni branch of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE calls a terrorist organization. Many experts insist that Al-Islah, one of whose members won the Nobel Peace Prize, is no terror group. They say it's a legitimate political party that threatens the UAE not through violence but by speaking out against its ambitions in Yemen."

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/mercenaries-assassination-us-yemen-uae-spear-golan-dahlan

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 17, 2018 10:26:46 PM | 77

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Oct 17, 2018 10:22:19 PM | 76

[Oct 19, 2018] Killing Jamal Khashoggi Was Easy. Explaining It Is Much Harder by Philip M. GIRALDI

Oct 18, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Getting to the bottom of the Jamal Khashoggi disappearance is a bit like peeling an onion. It is known that Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 nd to get a document that would enable him to marry a Turkish woman. It is also known, from surveillance cameras situated outside the building, that he never came out walking the same way he entered. The presumption is that he was either killed inside or abducted, though the abduction theory would have to be based on a Consulate vehicle leaving the building with him presumably concealed inside, something that has not been confirmed by the Turks. If he was killed inside the building and dismembered, as seems likely, he could have had his body parts removed in the suitcases carried by the alleged fifteen official Saudis who had arrived that morning by private jet and left that afternoon the same way. The supposition is that the fifteen men, which may have included some members of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman's bodyguard as well as a physician skilled in autopsies who was carrying a bone saw, constituted the execution party for Khashoggi.

There are certain things that should be observed about the Turks, since they are the ones claiming that the disappearance of Khashoggi may have included a summary execution and dismemberment. The Turkish intelligence service, known by its acronym MIT, is very good, very active and very focused on monitoring the activities of foreign embassies and their employees throughout Turkey. They use electronic surveillance and, if the foreign mission has local employees, many of those individuals will be agents reporting to the Turkish government. In my own experience when I was in Istanbul, I had microphones concealed in various places in my residence and both my office and home phones were tapped. A number of local hire consulate employees were believed to be informants for MIT but they were not allowed anywhere near sensitive information.

As Turkey and Saudi Arabia might be termed rivals if not something stronger, it is to be presumed that MIT had the Consulate General building covered with both cameras and microphones, possibly inside the building as well as outside, and may have had a Turkish employer inside who observed some of what was going on. Which is to say that the Turks certainly know exactly what occurred but are playing their cards closely to see what they can derive from that knowledge. The two countries have already initiated a joint investigation into what took place. Turkey's economy is in free fall and would benefit from "investment" from the Saudis to create an incentive to close the book on Khashoggi. In other words, Turkey's perspective on the disappearance could easily be influenced by Saudi money and the investigation might well turn up nothing that is definitive.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, has a couple of cards to play also even if it did kill and dismember Khashoggi under orders from the Crown Prince. First of all, the system of petrodollars, which basically requires nearly all purchases of petroleum to be paid in dollars, is underwritten by the Saudis. Petrodollars in turn enable the United States to print money for which there is no backing knowing that there will always be international demand for dollars to buy oil. The Saudis, who also use their own petrodollars to buy U.S. treasury bonds, could pull the plug on that arrangement. That all means that the United States will be looking for an outcome that will not do too much damage to the Saudis.

Second, Saudi Arabia is in bed with Israel in opposition to Iran. This means the Israel Lobby and its many friends in Congress will squawk loudly about Khashoggi but ultimately shy away from doing anything about it. It already appears that a cover story is halfway in place to explain what happened. It is being suggested that a "rogue" element from Saudi Arabia might have carried out without the knowledge of the Crown Prince an interrogation or abduction attempt that went too far. Donald Trump speculated on Monday that that might be the case, suggesting that it may already be part of the official line that will be promoted. Those who know Saudi Arabia well, however, consider a high-level assassination not ordered by the Crown Prince directly to be extremely unlikely, but that does not necessarily mean that a cover story including that feature might not be successfully floated.

In regional terms, Saudi Arabia is also key to Trump's anticipated Middle East peace plan. If it pulls out from the expected financial guarantees aspect, the plan will fall apart. Riyadh is also committed to buy tens of billions of dollars' worth of American arms, an agreement that could be canceled if Washington begins to pressure the Saudis for answers. Beyond that, Saudi Arabia could stop pumping oil or fail to increase production when Iranian oil becomes subject to U.S. sanctions early next month, driving the price per barrel up dramatically for everyone. The Saudi government has already indicated that it will respond forcefully to any attempts to punish it over Khashoggi and there is no reason to doubt the seriousness of that threat.

There are, of course, possible impediments to selling the fake news narrative. Some early reports suggested that Khashoggi's fiancé had observed and possibly recorded the execution inside the consulate using the victim's Apple wristwatch linked to an iPad in her possession. If that is true, the release of such material to the media will create worldwide demand to learn the truth that will be difficult to control. Also, there are unconfirmed reports that U.S. intelligence knew in advance of Saudi plans to abduct Khashoggi, which could prove embarrassing to the Trump administration and could narrow its options.

The trick will be to see how a bit of extreme brutal behavior by the Saudis can be manipulated by all interested parties to produce a solution that doesn't damage anyone too much. It will undoubtedly be far from the truth, but truth doesn't necessarily matter much these days.

[Oct 18, 2018] Germany Clashes With The US Over Energy Geopolitics

Notable quotes:
"... This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1018 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser and what we've accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, extending our reach . ..."
"... By Tsvetana Paraskova, a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm. Originally published at OilPrice ..."
"... As long as NATO exists, Washington will continue to use it to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia. Merkel foolishly went along with all of Washington's provocations against Russia in Ukraine, even though none of it benefited Germany's national interest. ..."
"... She did indeed go along with all the provocations and she sat back and said nothing while Putin railed against US sanctions. Yet Putin didn't blame Germany or the EU. Instead he said that the Germany/EU is currently trapped by the US and would come to their senses in time. He is leaving the door open. ..."
"... What US LNG exports? The US is a net importer of NG from Canada. US 2018 NG consumption and production was 635.8 and 631.6 Mtoe respectively (BP 2018 Stats). Even the BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy has an asterisks by US LNG exports which says, "Includes re-exports" which was 17.4 BCM or 15 Mtoe for 2018. ..."
"... Natural gas negotiations involve long term contracts so there are lots of money to exchange ensuring business for many years to come. Such a contract has recently been signed between Poland's PGNiG and American Venture Global Calcasieu & Venture Global Plaquemines LNG (Lousiana). According to the Poland representative this gas would be 20% cheaper than Russian gas. (if one has to believe it). Those contracts are very secretive in their terms. This contract in particular is still dependent on the termination of liquefaction facilities in Lousiana. ..."
"... IIRC, the US is pushing LNG because fracking has resulted in a lot of NG coincident with oil production. They've got so much NG coming out of fracked oil wells that they don't know what to do with it and at present, a lot of it just gets flared, or leaks into the atmosphere. ..."
"... So they turn to bullying the EU to ignore the price advantage that Russia is able to offer, due to the economics of pipeline transport over liquefaction and ocean transport, and of course the issues of reliability and safety associated with ocean transport, and high-pressure LNG port facilities compared to pipelines. ..."
"... Trump will probably offer the EU 'free' LNG port facilities financed by low-income American tax-payers, and cuts to 'entitlements', all designed to MAGA. ..."
"... It seems we have been maneuvering for a while to raise our production of LNG and oil (unsustainably) in order to become an important substitute supplier to the EU countries. It sort of looks like our plan is to reduce EU opposition to our attacking Russia. Then we will have China basically surrounded. This is made easier with our nuclear policy of "we can use nuclear weapons with acceptable losses." What could go wrong? ..."
"... The United States should lead by example. Telling Germany not to import Russian gas is rich considering the U.S. also imports from Russia. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/07/12/russia-was-a-top-10-supplier-of-u-s-oil-imports-in-2017/ ..."
"... I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question. ..."
"... She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe. ..."
Oct 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1018 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser and what we've accomplished in the last year, and our current goal, extending our reach .

Yves here. It's not hard to see that this tiff isn't just about Russia. The US wants Germany to buy high-priced US LNG.

By Tsvetana Paraskova, a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm. Originally published at OilPrice

The United States and the European Union (EU) are at odds over more than just the Iran nuclear deal – tensions surrounding energy policy have also become a flashpoint for the two global powerhouses.

In energy policy, the U.S. has been opposing the Gazprom-led and highly controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project , which will follow the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. EU institutions and some EU members such as Poland and Lithuania are also against it, but one of the leaders of the EU and the end-point of the planned project -- Germany -- supports Nord Stream 2 and sees the project as a private commercial venture that will help it to meet rising natural gas demand.

While the U.S. has been hinting this year that it could sanction the project and the companies involved in it -- which include not only Gazprom but also major European firms Shell, Engie, OMV, Uniper, and Wintershall -- Germany has just said that Washington shouldn't interfere with Europe's energy choices and policies.

"I don't want European energy policy to be defined in Washington," Germany's Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andreas Michaelis said at a conference on trans-Atlantic ties in Berlin this week.

Germany has to consult with its European partners regarding the project, Michaelis said, and noted, as quoted by Reuters, that he was "certainly not willing to accept that Washington is deciding at the end of the day that we should not rely on Russian gas and that we should not complete this pipeline project."

In July this year, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that "Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply." Related: The Implications Of A Fractured U.S., Saudi Alliance

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline," President Trump said.

Germany continues to see Nord Stream 2 as a commercial venture, although it wants clarity on the future role of Ukraine as a transit route, German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said last month.

Nord Stream 2 is designed to bypass Ukraine, and Ukraine fears it will lose transit fees and leverage over Russia as the transit route for its gas to western Europe.

Poland, one of the most outspoken opponents of Nord Stream 2, together with the United States, issued a joint statement last month during the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Washington, in which the parties said , "We will continue to coordinate our efforts to counter energy projects that threaten our mutual security, such as Nord Stream 2."

The United States looks to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the European market, including to Germany , to help Europe diversify its energy supply, which is becoming increasingly dependent on Russian supplies. Related: High Prices Benefit Iran Despite Lost Oil Exports

The president of the Federation of German Industry (BDI), Dieter Kempf, however, told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung last month, that he had "a big problem with a third country interfering in our energy policy," referring to the United States. German industry needs Nord Stream 2, and dropping the project to buy U.S. LNG instead wouldn't make any economic sense, he said. U.S. LNG currently is not competitive on the German market and would simply cost too much, according to Kempf.

The lower price of Russian pipeline gas to Europe is a key selling point -- and one that Gazprom uses often. Earlier this month Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee, said at a gas forum in Russia that "Although much talk is going on about new plans for LNG deliveries, there is no doubt that pipeline gas supplies from Russia will always be more competitive than LNG deliveries from any other part of the world. It goes without saying."

The issue with Nord Stream 2 -- which is already being built in German waters -- is that it's not just a commercial project. Many in Europe and everyone in the United States see it as a Russian political tool and a means to further tighten Russia's grip on European gas supplies, of which it already holds more than a third. But Germany wants to discuss the future of this project within the European Union, without interference from the United States.


Alex V , October 18, 2018 at 4:43 am

Thankfully liquefying gas and then reconstituting it uses no additional energy, and transportation into major harbors is perfectly safe.

Capitalism inaction!

Quentin , October 18, 2018 at 6:23 am

Maybe the US thinks it will also have to go out of its way to accommodate Germany and the EU by offering to construct the necessary infrastructure in Europe for the import of LNG at exorbitant US prices. MAGA. How long would that take?

disillusionized , October 18, 2018 at 7:03 am

The question is, is it inevitable that the EU/US relationship goes sour?

Continentalism is on the rise generally, and specifically with brexit, couple this with the geographical gravity of the EU-Russia relationship makes a EU-Russia "alliance" make more sense than the EU-US relationship.

Ever since the death of the USSR and the accession of the eastern states to the EU, the balance of power in the EU-US relationship has moved in ways it seems clear that the US is uncomfortable with.

To all of this we must add the policy differences between the US and the EU – see the GDPR and the privacy shield for example.

I have said it before – the day Putin dies (metaphorically or literally) is a day when the post war order in Europe may die, and we see the repairing of the EU-Russia relationship (by which I mean the current regime in Russia will be replaced with a new generation far less steeped in cold war dogma and way more interested in the EU).

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 1:23 pm

"The post war order in Europe will doe and we see the repairing of the EU/Russian relationship "

I think you mean the German/Russian relationship and that repair has been under way for more than a decade. The post war order is very very frayed already and looks close to a break point.

This Nord Stream 2 story illustrates more than most Germany's attitudes to the EU and to the world at large. Germany used its heft within the EU to 1 ) get control of Russian gas supplies into Central Europe (Germany insisted that Poland could not invest in the project apparently and refused a landing point for the pipeline in Poland. Instead it offered a flow back valve from Germany into Poland that the Germans would control) 2) thumb its nose at the US while outwardly declaring friendship through the structures provided by EU and NATO membership.

Even Obama suspected the Germans of duplicity (the Merkel phone hacking debacle).

It's is this repairing relationship that will set the tone for Brexit, the Ukraine war, relations between Turkey and EU and eventually the survival of the EU and NATO. The point ? Germany doesn't give a hoot about the EU it served its purpose of keeping Germany anchored to the west and allowing German reunification to solidify while Russia was weak. Its usefulness is in the past now, however from a German point of view.

Seamus Padraig , October 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Putin dying isn't going to change Washington. As long as NATO exists, Washington will continue to use it to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia. Merkel foolishly went along with all of Washington's provocations against Russia in Ukraine, even though none of it benefited Germany's national interest.

Come to think of it, maybe Merkel dying off would improve German-Russian relations

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 4:49 pm

She did indeed go along with all the provocations and she sat back and said nothing while Putin railed against US sanctions. Yet Putin didn't blame Germany or the EU. Instead he said that the Germany/EU is currently trapped by the US and would come to their senses in time. He is leaving the door open.

Germany won't lose if NATO and the EU break up. It would free itself from a range increasingly dis-functional entities that, in its mind, restrict its ability to engage in world affairs.

Susan the other , October 18, 2018 at 3:02 pm

I think you are right. Russia and Germany are coming together and there's nothing we can do about it because "private commercial venture." Poetic justice.

And the economic link will lead to political links and we will have to learn a little modesty. The ploy we are trying to use, selling Germany US LNG could not have been anything more than a stopgap supply line until NG from the ME came online but that has been our achilles heel.

It feels like even if we managed to kick the Saudis out and took over their oil and gas we still could no longer control geopolitics. The cat is out of the bag and neoliberalism has established the rules. And it's pointless because there is enough gas and oil and methane on this planet to kill the human race off but good.

NotReallyHere , October 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm

@Susan

That exactly right. and Gerhard Schroder has been developing those political relationships for more than a decade. The political/economic links already go very deep on both sides.

if the rapprochement is occurring, Brexit, the refugee crisis and Italy's approaching debt crisis are all just potential catalysts for an inevitable breakup. Germany likely views these as potential opportunities to direct European realignment rather than existential crises to be tackled.

JimL , October 18, 2018 at 7:08 am

What US LNG exports? The US is a net importer of NG from Canada. US 2018 NG consumption and production was 635.8 and 631.6 Mtoe respectively (BP 2018 Stats). Even the BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy has an asterisks by US LNG exports which says, "Includes re-exports" which was 17.4 BCM or 15 Mtoe for 2018.

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 7:49 am

The US produces annually about 33,000,000 million cubic feet and consumes 27.000.000 million according to the EiA . So there is an excess to export indeed.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Leaving 6,000,000 million to be exported, until the shale gas no longer flows. How farsighted.

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 7:42 am

Natural gas negotiations involve long term contracts so there are lots of money to exchange ensuring business for many years to come. Such a contract has recently been signed between Poland's PGNiG and American Venture Global Calcasieu & Venture Global Plaquemines LNG (Lousiana). According to the Poland representative this gas would be 20% cheaper than Russian gas. (if one has to believe it). Those contracts are very secretive in their terms. This contract in particular is still dependent on the termination of liquefaction facilities in Lousiana.

I don't know much about NG markets in Poland but according to Eurostat prices for non-household consumers are very similar in Poland, Germany, Lithuania or Spain.

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

Gas contracts are usually linked to oil prices. A lot of LNG is traded as a fungible product like oil, but that contract seems different – most likely its constructed this way because of the huge capital cost of the LNG facilities, which make very little economic sense for a country like Poland which has pipelines criss-crossing it. I suspect the terminals have more capacity that the contract quantity – the surplus would be traded at market prices, which would no doubt be where the profit margin is for the supplier (I would be deeply sceptical that unsubsidised LNG could ever compete with Russia gas, the capital costs involved are just too high).

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

IIRC, the US is pushing LNG because fracking has resulted in a lot of NG coincident with oil production. They've got so much NG coming out of fracked oil wells that they don't know what to do with it and at present, a lot of it just gets flared, or leaks into the atmosphere.

IMO, the folks responsible for this waste are as usual, ignoring the 'externalities', the costs to the environment of course, but also the cost of infrastructure and transport related to turning this situation to their advantage.

So they turn to bullying the EU to ignore the price advantage that Russia is able to offer, due to the economics of pipeline transport over liquefaction and ocean transport, and of course the issues of reliability and safety associated with ocean transport, and high-pressure LNG port facilities compared to pipelines.

This doesn't even take into account the possibility that the whole fracked gas supply may be a short-lived phenomenon, associated with what we've been describing here as basically a finance game.

Trump will probably offer the EU 'free' LNG port facilities financed by low-income American tax-payers, and cuts to 'entitlements', all designed to MAGA.

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:39 am

Just to clarify, fracked gas is not usually a by-product of oil fracking – the geological beds are usually distinct (shale gas tends to occur at much deeper levels than tight oil). Gas can however be a byproduct of conventional oil production. 'wet' gas (propane, etc), can be a by-product of either.

Synapsid , October 18, 2018 at 11:14 am

PlutoniumKun,

It's common for oil wells both fracked and conventional to produce natural gas (NG) though not all do. The fracked wells in the Permian Basin are producing a great deal of it.

Natural gas does indeed form at higher temperatures than oil does and that means at greater depth but both oil and NG migrate upward. Exploration for petroleum is hunting for where it gets captured at depth, not for where it's formed. Those source rocks are used as indicators of where to look for petroleum trapped stratigraphically higher up.

Steve , October 18, 2018 at 8:53 am

It seems we have been maneuvering for a while to raise our production of LNG and oil (unsustainably) in order to become an important substitute supplier to the EU countries. It sort of looks like our plan is to reduce EU opposition to our attacking Russia. Then we will have China basically surrounded. This is made easier with our nuclear policy of "we can use nuclear weapons with acceptable losses." What could go wrong?

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

What could go wrong?

I wonder what the secret industry studies say about the damage possible from an accident at a LNG port terminal involving catastrophic failure and combustion of the entire cargo of a transport while unloading high-pressure LNG.

They call a fuel-air bomb the size of a school bus 'The Mother of all bombs', what about one the size of a large ocean going tanker?

Anarcissie , October 18, 2018 at 10:46 am

Many years ago, someone was trying to build an LNG storage facility on the southwest shore of Staten Island 17 miles SW of Manhattan involving very large insulated tanks. In spite of great secrecy, there came to be much local opposition. At the time it was said that the amount of energy contained in the tanks would be comparable to a nuclear weapon. Various possible disaster scenarios were proposed, for example a tank could be compromised by accident (plane crashes into it) or terrorism, contents catch fire and explode, huge fireball emerges and drifts with the wind, possibly over New Jersey's chemical farms or even towards Manhattan. The local opponents miraculously won. As far as I know, the disused tanks are still there.

Wukchumni , October 18, 2018 at 10:55 am

This was a fuel-air bomb @ Burning Man about a dozen years ago, emanating from an oil derrick of sorts.

I was about 500 feet away when it went up, and afterwards thought maybe we were a bit too close to the action, as we got blasted with heat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyc6LTVxhJA

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 10:56 am

Does this page help Watt4Bob?

https://www.laohamutuk.org/Oil/LNG/app4.htm

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 2:53 pm

That last one was a doozy as they say!

Nigeria 2005;

A 28-inch LNG underground pipeline exploded in Nigeria and the resulting fire engulfed an estimated 27 square kilometers.

Here's one from Cleveland;

On 20 October 1944, a liquefied natural gas storage tank in Cleveland, Ohio, split and leaked its contents, which spread, caught fire, and exploded. A half hour later, another tank exploded as well. The explosions destroyed 1 square mile (2.6 km2), killed 130, and left 600 homeless.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm

The locals in Nigeria drill hole in pipeline to get free fuel.

The Nigeria Government has been really wonderful about sharing the largess and riches of their large petroleum field in the Niger delta. Mostly with owners of expensive property around the world.

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 9:05 am

I am trying to think of what might be in it for the Germans to go along with this deal but cannot see any. The gas would be far more expensive that the Russian deliveries. A fleet of tankers and the port facilities would have to be built and who is going to pick up the tab for that? Then if the terminal is in Louisiana, what happens to deliveries whenever there is a hurricane?

I cannot see anything in it for the Germans at all. Trump's gratitude? That and 50 cents won't buy you a cup of coffee. In any case Trump would gloat about the stupidity of the Germans taking him up on the deal, not feel gratitude. The US wants Germany to stick with deliveries via the Ukraine as they have their thumb on that sorry country and can threaten Germany with that fact. Nord Stream 2 (and the eventual Nord Stream 3) threaten that hold.

The killer argument is this. In terms of business and remembering what international agreements Trump has broken the past two years, who is more reliable as a business partner for Germany – Putin's Russia or Trump's America?

Ignacio , October 18, 2018 at 10:20 am

Apart from cost issues, If American companies rely on shale gas to keep or increase production will they be able to honor 20 year supply contracts?

PlutoniumKun , October 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

I find it impossible to believe that a gas supplier would keep to an artificially low LNG contract if, say, a very cold winter in the US led to a shortage and extreme price spike. They'd come up with some excuse not to deliver.

The Rev Kev , October 18, 2018 at 10:40 am

Good question that. Poland has just signed a 20 year agreement with the US so I will be curious how that works out for them. Story at - https://www.rt.com/business/441494-poland-us-gas-lng/

jsn , October 18, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Trumps argument appears to be that Germany as a NATO member relies on US DOD for defense, to pay for that they must buy our LNG.

jefemt , October 18, 2018 at 9:25 am

My recollection was that there was a law that prohibited export-sales of domestic US hydrocarbons. That law was under attack, and went away in the last couple years?

LNG with your F35? said the transactional Orangeman

Duck1 , October 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

The fracked crude is ultralight and unsuitable for the refineries in the quantities available, hence export, which caused congress to change the law. No expert, but understand that it is used a lot as a blender with heavier stocks of crude, quite a bit going to China.

oh , October 18, 2018 at 10:01 am

The petroleum industry has been bribing lobbying the administration for quite a while to get this policy in place, The so called surplus of NG today (if there is), won't last long. Exports will create a shortage and will result in higher prices to all.

vidimi , October 18, 2018 at 10:43 am

also, if Germany were to switch to American LNG, for how long would this be a reliable energy source? Fracking wells are short lived, so what happens once they are depleted? who foots the bill?

John k , October 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

We do. Shortage here to honor export contracts, as has happened in Australia.

Big Tap , October 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm

The United States should lead by example. Telling Germany not to import Russian gas is rich considering the U.S. also imports from Russia. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/07/12/russia-was-a-top-10-supplier-of-u-s-oil-imports-in-2017/

Seamus Padraig , October 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I just love the fact that Trump is publicly calling out Merkel on this; she has been nothing but two-faced and hypocritical on the Russia question.

She was one of the ones who pushed the EU hard, for example, to sanction Russia in the wake of the coup in Ukraine (which she had also supported). And then she pushed the EU hard to kill off the South Stream pipeline, which would have gone through SE Europe into Austria. She used the excuse of 'EU solidarity' against 'Russian aggression' to accomplish that only to then turn around and start building yet another pipeline out of Russia and straight into Germany! The Bulgarians et al. must feel like real idiots now. It seems Berlin wants to control virtually all the pipelines into Europe.

So, three cheers for Trump embarrassing Merkel on this issue!

Unna , October 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Putting money aside for a moment, Trump, as well as the entire American establishment, doesn't want Russia "controlling" Germany's energy supplies. That's because they want America to control Germany's energy supplies via controlling LNG deliveries from America to Germany and by controlling gas supplies to Germany through Ukraine. This by maintaining America's control over Ukraine's totally dependent puppet government. The Germans know this so they want Nord Stream 2 & 3.

Ukraine is an unreliable energy corridor on a good day. It is run by clans of rapacious oligarchs who don't give one whit about Ukraine, the Ukrainian "people", or much of anything else except business. The 2019 presidential election may turn into a contest among President Poroshenko the Chocolate King, Yulia Tymoshenko the Gas Princess, as well as some others including neo Nazis that go downhill from there. What competent German government would want Germany's energy supplies to be dependent on that mess?

It has been said that America's worst geopolitical nightmare is an economic-political-military combination of Russia, Iran, and China in the Eurasian "heartland". Right up there, if not worse, is a close political-economic association between Germany and Russia; now especially so since such a relationship can quickly be hooked into China's New Silk Road, which America will do anything to subvert including tariffs, sanctions, confiscations of assets, promotion of political-ethnic-religious grievances where they may exist along the "Belt-Road", as well as armed insurrections, really maybe anything short of all out war with Russia and China.

Germany's trying to be polite about this saying, sure, how about a little bit of LNG along with Nord Stream 2 & 3? But the time may come, if America pushes enough, that Germany will have to make an existential choice between subservience to America, and pursuit of it's own legitimate self interest.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

The Empire fights Back.

Study a map of the ME, and consider the silk road Terminii.

Synoia , October 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

It's hard to make NG explode, as it is with all liquid hydrocarbons. It is refrigerated, and must change from liquid to gaseous for, and be mixed with air.

I've also worked on a Gas Tanker in the summer vacations. The gas was refrigerated, and kept liquid. They is a second method, used for NG, that is to allow evaporation from the cargo, and use it as fuel for the engine (singular because there is one propulsion engine on most large ships) on the tanker.

Watt4Bob , October 18, 2018 at 5:31 pm

I dunno, there are other opinions .

[Oct 17, 2018] Did Saudis, CIA Fear Khashoggi 9-11 Bombshell-

Oct 17, 2018 | theduran.com

The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings? In particular, possible involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001.

Even more intriguing are US media reports now emerging that American intelligence had snooped on and were aware of Saudi officials making plans to capture Khashoggi prior to his apparent disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. If the Americans knew the journalist's life was in danger, why didn't they tip him off to avoid his doom?

Jamal Khashoggi (59) had gone rogue, from the Saudi elite's point of view. Formerly a senior editor in Saudi state media and an advisor to the royal court, he was imminently connected and versed in House of Saud affairs. As one commentator cryptically put it: "He knew where all the bodies were buried."

For the past year, Khashoggi went into self-imposed exile, taking up residence in the US, where he began writing opinion columns for the Washington Post.

Khashoggi's articles appeared to be taking on increasingly critical tone against the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The 33-year-old Crown Prince, or MbS as he's known, is de facto ruler of the oil-rich kingdom, in place of his aging father, King Salman.

While Western media and several leaders, such as Presidents Trump and Macron, have been indulging MbS as "a reformer", Khashoggi was spoiling this Saudi public relations effort by criticizing the war in Yemen, the blockade on Qatar and the crackdown on Saudi critics back home.

However, what may have caused the Saudi royals more concern was what Khashoggi knew about darker, dirtier matters. And not just the Saudis, but American deep state actors as as well.

He was formerly a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal, who is an eminence gris figure in Saudi intelligence, with its systematic relations to American and British counterparts. Prince Turki's father, Faisal, was formerly the king of Saudi Arabia until his assassination in 1975 by a family rival. Faisal was a half-brother of the present king, Salman, and therefore Prince Turki is a cousin of the Crown Prince – albeit at 73 more than twice his age.

For nearly 23 years, from 1977 to 2001, Prince Turki was the director of the Mukhabarat, the Saudi state intelligence apparatus. He was instrumental in Saudi, American and British organization of the mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to combat Soviet forces. Those militants in Afghanistan later evolved into the al Qaeda terror network, which has served as a cat's paw in various US proxy wars across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Russia's backyard in the Caucasus.

Ten days before the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City, in which some 3,000 Americans died, Prince Turki retired from his post as head of Saudi intelligence. It was an abrupt departure, well before his tenure was due to expire.

There has previously been speculation in US media that this senior Saudi figure knew in advance that something major was going down on 9/11. At least 15 of the 19 Arabs who allegedly hijacked three commercial airplanes that day were Saudi nationals.

Prince Turki has subsequently been named in a 2002 lawsuit mounted by families of 9/11 victims. There is little suggestion he was wittingly involved in organizing the terror plot. Later public comments indicated that Prince Turki was horrified by the atrocity. But the question is: did he know of the impending incident, and did he alert US intelligence, which then did not take appropriate action to prevent it?

Jamal Khashoggi had long served as a trusted media advisor to Prince Turki, before the latter resigned from public office in 2007. Following 9/11, Turki was the Saudi ambassador to both the US and Britain.

A tentative idea here is that Khashoggi, in his close dealings with Prince Turki over the years, may have gleaned highly sensitive inside information on what actually happened on 9/11. Were the Arab hijackers mere patsies used by the American CIA to facilitate an event which has since been used by American military planners to launch a global "war on terror" as a cover for illegal wars overseas? There is a huge body of evidence that the 9/11 attacks were indeed a "false flag" event orchestrated by the US deep state as a pretext for its imperialist rampages.

The apparent abduction and murder last week of Jamal Khashoggi seems such an astoundingly desperate move by the Saudi rulers. More evidence is emerging from Turkish sources that the journalist was indeed lured to the consulate in Istanbul where he was killed by a 15-member hit squad. Reports are saying that the alleged assassination was ordered at the highest level of the Saudi royal court, which implicates Crown Prince MbS.

Why would the Saudi rulers order such a heinous act, which would inevitably lead to acute political problems, as we are seeing in the fallout from governments and media coverage around the world?

Over the past year, the House of Saud had been appealing to Khashoggi to return to Riyadh and resume his services as a media advisor to the royal court. He declined, fearing that something more sinister was afoot. When Khashoggi turned up in Istanbul to collect a divorce document from the Saudi consulate on September 28, it appears that the House of Saud decided to nab him. He was told to return to the consulate on October 2. On that same day, the 15-member group arrived from Riyadh on two private Gulfstream jets for the mission to kill him.

Official Saudi claims stretch credulity. They say Khashoggi left the consulate building unharmed by a backdoor, although they won't provide CCTV images to prove that. The Turks say their own CCTV facilities monitoring the front and back of the Saudi consulate show that Khashoggi did not leave the premises. The Turks seem confident of their claim he was murdered inside the building, his remains dismembered and removed in diplomatic vehicles. The two private jets left the same day from Istanbul with the 15 Saudis onboard to return to Riyadh, via Cairo and Dubai.

To carry out such a reckless act, the Saudis must have been alarmed by Khashoggi's critical commentaries appearing in the Washington Post. The columns appeared to be delivering more and more damaging insights into the regime under Crown Prince MbS.

The Washington Post this week is reporting that US intelligence sources knew from telecom intercepts that the Saudis were planning to abduct Khashoggi. That implicates the House of Saud in a dastardly premeditated act of murder.

But furthermore this same disclosure could also, unwittingly, implicate US intelligence. If the latter knew of a malicious intent towards Khashoggi, why didn't US agents warn him about going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul? Surely, he could have obtained the same personal documents from the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, a country where he was residing and would have been safer.

Jamal Khashoggi may have known too many dark secrets about US and Saudi intel collusion, primarily related to the 9/11 terror incidents. And with his increasing volubility as a critical journalist in a prominent American news outlet, it may have been time to silence him. The Saudis as hitmen, the American CIA as facilitators.

[Oct 14, 2018] According to an article in the Duran Khashoggi was an agent in the employ of Riyadh and the CIA during the Soviet presence in Afghan

Notable quotes:
"... He is just an agent of one Saudii faction against the MBS faction, a faction just as evil. ..."
"... After Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, was kidnapped and taken to Riyadh to be re-educated (tortured) Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia . Khashoggi continued with his columns criticizing the Saudi regime, attacking its campaign in Yemen on Al Jazeera. ..."
Oct 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 12, 2018 7:14:54 PM | link

According to an article in the Duran Khashoggi was an agent in the employ of Riyadh and the CIA during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan.

Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was Khashoggi's political protector. Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was at the center of relations between Washington and Saudi Arabia against the USSR while it was in Afghanistan using fighters who later became known as Al Qaeda - armed and trained by CIA:Pakistan and financed by the Saudis.

Faisal became the leader of Saudi intelligence. He was removed from his post on May 24, 2001, a few months before September 11, 2001 (convenient) .The connections he had with Osama bin Laden led him to being sued by relatives of 9/11 directed at him and other Saudi operatives.

In 2005, Turki bin Faisal was appointed Saudi ambassador to the US during the Bush administration, with Khashoggi accompanying him as a media advisor. During Turki bin Faisal's ambassadorship in Washington, Khashoggi assumed the position of head of press relations, coming into direct contact with major national and international organs of US media.

During the Obama administration, Khashoggi supported the Obama administrations strategy of color revolutions and the Arab Spring to extend US imperialist domination following the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was most likely a CIA asset, perhaps also Saudi intelligence as well

When MBS became the strongman holding power in Saudi Arabia, he triggered a near war with Qatar with Trumps blessing, and was unhappy over the role of Al Jazeera, which often hosted Khashoggi and was increasingly critical of MBS.

So whatever the story is I am not losing any sleep over Khashoggi. He is just an agent of one Saudii faction against the MBS faction, a faction just as evil. Kind of like the pick between agents of the 2 factions duking it out in the US. Evil does vs Evil do. There are no white knights here.

After Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, was kidnapped and taken to Riyadh to be re-educated (tortured) Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia . Khashoggi continued with his columns criticizing the Saudi regime, attacking its campaign in Yemen on Al Jazeera.


jiri , Oct 13, 2018 1:34:56 AM | link

This seems well co-ordinated.

The BBC, Guardian giving it lots of attention.

Even the UN Sec-Gen has statement on it.

A lot of attention compared to lots of deaths in Yemen, for example.

Something is afoot. But what?

teri , Oct 13, 2018 5:24:19 AM | link
What hypocrisy on display by the US. Unfuckingbelievable. Such concern for a journalist, such outrage!

There is currently a case working its way through the court system (here in the US) brought by two journalists, one of them an American, where they are pleading to have their names removed from the US "kill list". They say their inclusion on the list is erroneous, and ask that they be given a chance to show that they are not, in fact, terrorists before a drone blows them into pieces. They are represented by Reprieve lawyers, and they joined their two suits together as co-plainiffs, although it now appears that the foreign-born journalist was basically told by the judge he was shit out of luck, having "no standing", since he didn't sufficiently prove that he was on the list. (He had found his name listed as a "highest scoring target" on some of Edward Snowden's leaked NSA materials, but that was not enough "proof" for the judge.)

The American journalist is Bilal Kareem, and the other is a journalist from Pakistan named Ahmad Zaidan. BTW, both these men were originally targeted under the Obama administration, but their names remain on the list under Trump. And Trump has increased the use of these targeted drone killings by 4 to 5 times the number of Obama's, who himself had increased the assassination program 10 fold over Bush' numbers. Trump has also loosened the "rules" about where these drone killings can take place, and who can be targeted. US drone warfare has taken the lives of some 10,858 individuals since 2004, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

The Washington Post and the Middle East Monitor both have good stories about the case, but the best article by far is Matt Taibbi's article in Rolling Stone published on 19 July.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/how-to-survive-americas-kill-list-699334/

mali , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:22 AM | link
According to NYT , Khashoggi "had expressed concern to a friend on Monday that he could be kidnapped and returned to Saudi Arabia if he visited the consulate". He went in at 1:30pm , while his friend and fiancée were waiting outside till 9:00pm .

Isn't it a bit odd that his friend and fiancée, while fully aware the danger of him being kidnapped insider the consulate, waited for 7:30 hours before alerting Turkish authorities? Normally it takes 2 or 3 hours get a document, esp. already processed ones. Why didn't his friend and fiancée alert the Turkish police earlier? Esp. "he left his cellphone outside with Hatice, who had instructions to alert his friends if Mr. Khashoggi did not return".

Mr. Khashoggi's wife had remained in Saudi Arabia while he was no longer able to return freely. Their separation had led to a divorce, and he wanted to remarry to a Turkish woman.

Normally, you don't divorce your wife/husband because of one-year's separation. According to this NYT article, Khashogg divided his time between the Washington, D.C., London and Istanbul, how long did he come to know his fiancée? Isn't it a bit too rush/risky for a 59-year old man suddenly decided to divorce long-year wife and marry a new Turkish girl friend? Could it be a honey trap?

" Odd dates ?"

- Oct. 2, Khashoggi disappeared.

- Oct. 3, Trump told his supporters that Saudi could last two weeks without American support.

- Oct. 6, MbS said Suadi could survive 2000 years without US help .

- Now full-blown MSM storm, State Deparment is closely monitor the whole affair, Turkish government is feeding the media with all sorts of lurid details and claims. (Isn't it much easier and simpler just to kidnap/shot him on the streets of Istanbul or London than dismembering his body inside Istanbul consulate?)

Now Saudi is "willing to cooperate" with Turkey, American priest Brauson is set free, plus MbS now has probably to purchase tens of billions, if not hundreds of billions of US armaments. What a "coincident" win-win situation for Erdy and Trump.


Den Lille Abe , Oct 13, 2018 8:46:30 AM | link
As another poster commented, something is missing...
It is like a well choreograhped drame, Skripals were the same, this also is tooooo nice fitting together... Hmfr!
Qui bono? Who makes money on this? I certainly cannot answer that, but lets play safe : The Russians did it!
They beamed up Kasshoggi to their base on the dark side of the moon, the re killed him in civilized manner, fucking him to death with nice looking whores and spoonfeeding him Beluga caviar and interjected wit sips of Russian Starka. He was then made to mush and beamed back into the Saudi consulate making a real mess. Now poor headchop promoter is all over the place! He must love that up in his muslum heaven with 72 old hags. There is no martyrdom in being beamed to the moon and put through a garden shredder, that is nothing special.
So now the Saudi's has Khassoggi al over their faces (literally :)) and the Turks eye a new way to betray someone (Putin, wake up!!). Ever since democracy was bestowed on these people, they have made a mess of it.
Back in the day (when I was gung ho Army boy), it was OK for a Turk officer to shoot dead a couple of conscripts a year, no problemo, the sentries with weapons had no live rounds hi-hi. Turkey does not need a hard shove and it will crumble, and the Americans will intervene, unless Russia is first.
This game is about Turkey, and not goat herders in Saudi Sodoma. They have hardly oil left and the plebs are angry.

[Oct 12, 2018] If the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 12:58 am

... .. ...

Ukraine Naftogaz Commercial Director Yuriy Vitrenko, in an interview with "The Fifth Channel" has spoken of a plan that has been prepared in order to protect Naftogaz interests in the event of the launch of "Nord Stream-2".

According to him, if the gas pipeline project is indeed implemented, then Kiev will demand that a penalty against against Russia be awarded the Ukraine for the loss it will suffer because of the redundancy of its gas transport system.

The loss incured has been estimated by the Ukraine to be $12 billion. A lawsuit has already been filed by Naftogaz for international arbitration.

https://www.rbc.ru/politics/05/10/2018/5bb704ec9a7947bd43fa167c?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop

Right!

So for several years I have been shopping at a Pyatyorochka supermarket around the corner from our house. Now there's a new Billa supermarket around the other corner. It has a wider range of goods and is very competitive as regards its Pyatorocka prices, so I now do most of my shopping at Billa.

Does this mean Pyatyorachka can sue me for damages because of the loss of income it is suffering because of my choice to use another retail outlet?

I shall check with the Swedish court of arbitration.

Stay tuned!

Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 8:30 am
Perhaps they would get further by suing the US Department of State. I'm pretty sure that if it were not for them, Ukraine's gas transit system would still be in use. Ukraine could at least make a sensible case, which they cannot do against Russia. Mind you, a UK judge would probably rule in their favour, because simply wanting to get at Russia seems to be good enough these days – making a sensible case is not required.

[Oct 11, 2018] Most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

Oct 11, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm

In another stellar example of simply making up an optimistic headline that makes readers feel good – those readers who only read headlines, for example – a French analyst is apparently willing to go out on a limb and say that Nord Stream II 'won't be built as planned'. That's already a little hedgy, but if you read the article itself, he doesn't say anything remotely like that. In fact, he says Russian gas is the cheapest option, and most American LNG cargoes thus far to Europe are promptly sold on to someplace else where the Europeans can get more for it.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/french-analyst-nord-stream-2-wont-be-built-as-planned/

The major issue is that US LNG may come if we have higher prices. But why would we need them? They are quite high already. If China is prepared to overbid us, we don't need the American gas. We can ask for more Russian gas

Mark Chapman October 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Russia's Energy Minister sees the potential to double Russian gas exports by 2035. Russia's gas exports are growing by 6-7%/yr while global gas demand growth is at 2.6%/yr until 2035.

https://www.naturalgasworld.com/russian-producers-eye-doubling-exports-64936?#signin

Probably not the greatest news for the environment, as most analysts agree we need to start immediately moving away from a petroleum-based energy policy. But getting rid of all use of coal would be a good start for the present; gas is relatively clean, although I don't know if that makes any real difference to greenhouse-gas emissions.

[Oct 05, 2018] Putin on Trump push of the USA LNG to EU

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Ryan Chilcote : Let's return to energy, or at least more directly to energy, President Putin, and talk about Nord Stream 2. That's the pipeline that Gazprom wants to build between Russia and Germany. Again, the President of the United States has said his opinion about this. He says that Germany is effectively a hostage already of Russia, because it depends on Russia for so much of its energy and gas supplies, and that it's vulnerable to "extortion and intimidation" from Russia. What do you make of that?

Vladimir Putin : My response is very simple. Donald and I talked about this very briefly in Helsinki. In any sale, including the sale of our gas to Europe, we are traditionally the supplier, of pipeline gas I mean. We have been doing this since the 1960s. We are known for doing it in a highly responsible and professional manner, and at competitive prices for the European market. In general, if you look at the characteristics of the entire gas market, the price depends on the quantity and on sales volumes. The distance between Russia and Europe is such that pipeline gas is optimal. And the price will always be competitive, always. This is something all experts understand.

We have a lot of people here in this room, in the first row, who could easily be seated next to me, and I would gladly listen to them, because each one is an expert, so each of them can tell you that. And so Nord Stream 2 is a purely commercial project, I want to emphasise this, warranted by rising energy consumption, including in Europe, and falling domestic production in European countries. They have to get it from somewhere.

Russian gas accounts for around 34 percent of the European market. Is this a lot or a little? It is not insubstantial, but not a monopoly either. Europe certainly can and does actually buy gas from other suppliers, but American liquefied gas is about 30 percent more expensive than our pipeline gas on the European market. If you were buying products of the same quality and you were offered the same product for 30 percent more , what would you choose? So, what are we talking about?

If Europe starts buying American gas for 30 percent more than ours, the entire economy of Germany, in this case, would quickly become dramatically less competitive. Everyone understands this; it is an obvious fact.

But business is business, and we are ready to work with all partners. As you know, our German partners have already begun offshore construction. We are ready to begin as well. We have no problems with obtaining any permits. Finland agreed, and so did Sweden, Germany, and the Russian Federation. This is quite enough for us. The project will be implemented.

< >

Ryan Chilcote : President Putin, did you want to jump in here?

Vladimir Putin: (following up on the remarks by CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden) We understand the realities and treat all our partners with respect. We have very good, amiable long-term relations with all our partners, including the company represented by my neighbour on the left. This company is working in the Russian market and working with great success, but we understand everything very well and understand the realities. We are carrying out the project ourselves. We do not and will not have any problems here. That is to say, they may arise, of course, but we will resolve them.

Some things are beyond the realm of political intrigue. Take supplies to the Federal Republic of Germany. Not everyone knows that the decision was made there to shut down the nuclear power industry. But that is 34 percent of its total energy balance. We are proud of the development of the nuclear power industry in the Russian Federation, although the figure for us is just 16 percent. We are still thinking about how to raise it to 25 percent and are making plans. Theirs is 34 percent and everything will be closed down. What will this vacuum be filled with? What?

Look at LNG [liquefied natural gas ] which is sold by our various competitors and partners. Yes, LNG can and should be in the common basket of Europe and Germany. Do you know how many ports built in Europe are used for LNG transfer? Just 25 percent. Why? Because it is unprofitable.

There are companies and regions for which it is profitable to supply LNG and this is being done. The LNG market is growing very fast. But as for Europe, it is not very profitable, or unprofitable altogether.

Therefore, in one way or another we have already seen Nord Stream 1 through and its performance is excellent. Incidentally, our gas supplies to Europe are continuously growing. Last year, I believe, they amounted to 194 billion cubic metres and this year they will add up to 200 billion cubic metres or maybe even more.

We have loaded practically all our infrastructure facilities: Blue Stream to Turkey, Nord Stream 1 is fully loaded. Yamal-Europe is fully loaded – it is almost approaching 100 percent, while the demand is going up. Life itself dictates that we carry out such projects.

Ryan Chilcote : President Trump's position on American LNG exports is perhaps a little bit more nuanced. His point is that instead of buying Russian gas, even perhaps if it's a bit more expensive, the Germans and other European allies of the United States, because the United States is paying for their defence, should be buying American gas even if there is, I guess the argument suggests, a little bit of a higher price for that

Vladimir Putin : You know, this argument doesn't really work, in my opinion. I understand Donald. He is fighting for the interests of his country and his business. He is doing the right thing and I would do the same in his place.

As for LNG, as I have already said, it is not just a little more expensive in the European market but 30 percent more. This is not a little bit more, it is a lot more, beyond all reason, and is basically unworkable.

But there are markets where LNG will be adopted, where it is efficient, for instance in the Asia-Pacific region. By the way, where did the first shipment of LNG from our new company Yamal-LNG go? Where did the first tanker go? To the United States, because it was profitable. The United States fought this project but ended up buying the first tanker. It was profitable to buy it in this market, at this place and time, and it was purchased.

LNG is still being shipped to the American continent. It's profitable.

It makes no sense to fight against what life brings. We simply need to look for common approaches in order to create favourable market conditions, including, for example, conditions conducive to the production and consumption of LNG in the United States itself and securing the best prices for producers and consumers. This could be achieved by coordinating policy, rather than just imposing decisions on partners.

As for the argument, "We defend you, so buy this from us even if it makes you worse off", I don't think it is very convincing either. Where does it lead? It has led to the Europeans starting to talk about the need to have a more independent defence capability, as well as the need to create a defence alliance of their own that allegedly will not undermine NATO while allowing the Europeans to pursue a real defence policy. This is what, in my view, such steps are leading to.

This is why I am sure that a great many things will be revised. Life will see to that.

[Oct 05, 2018] Putin on Venesuella

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Ryan Chilcote: President Putin, let's get back to geopolitics. When you were talking about oil – and when everyone talks about oil and disruptions on the market, they don't just talk about Iran, they talk about Venezuela – you mentioned Venezuela at the beginning of our conversation. Last year, I interviewed President Maduro, the President of Venezuela, here. Venezuela is an ally of Russia. Russia has a lot of oil interests in Venezuela. Oil production in Venezuela is not going well, and politically, things are going very poorly, as you know. Millions of people are leaving the country. There's hunger. There is a lot of talk in the United States, and not only in the United States, in Central and South America, that perhaps it's time for President Maduro to go. Do you agree with that?

Vladimir Putin: This is up to the people of Venezuela, not anyone else in the world.

As for various means of influencing the situation in Venezuela, there should be no such thing All of us influence each other in one way or another, but it should not be done in a way that makes the civilian population even worse off. This is a matter of principle.

Should we rejoice that life is extremely difficult for people there and want to make things even worse with a view to overthrowing President Maduro? He was recently targeted in a terrorist attack, an assassination attempt. Shall we condone such methods of political resistance too?

I think this is absolutely unacceptable. This and anything like it. The people of the country should be given a chance to shape their destiny themselves. Nothing should be imposed from the outside.

This is what has emerged historically in Venezuela. What has emerged historically in the Persian Gulf has emerged there, and the same in Europe, America and Southeast Asia. Nobody should go in there like a bull in a china shop without understanding what is taking place there, instead thinking only that the bull is one of the largest and smartest animals. It is necessary to take a look and give people a chance to figure it out. I have a very simple outlook on this.

[Oct 05, 2018] Russian Energy Week International Forum: Vladimir Putin addressed the plenary session of the second Russian Energy Week Energy Efficiency and Energy Development International Forum.

Oct 03, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Indeed, we have now met with the Secretary General and spoke about our cooperation in detail. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that probably for the first time in history all participants in the agreements honoured their commitments in full. I believe Russia made a commitment to reduce production by 30,000 barrels, and we did this, just like all other participants in this agreement.

The market is now balanced. The current growth of oil prices is by and large not a result of our efforts but triggered by attendant circumstances, expectations of decisions on Iran – incidentally these decisions are absolutely illegal and harmful to the world economy. The fall in oil production in North Africa is also linked with political circumstances – a civil war and so on. The reduction in Venezuela is also taking place for domestic political reasons and in connection with the restrictions it has introduced. This is what it is all about.

As you said, President Trump considers this price high. I think he is right to some extent but this suits us very well – $65–$70–$75 per barrel. This is quite enough to ensure the effective performance of energy companies and the investment process. But let us be straight – such prices have largely been produced by the activities of the US administration. I am referring to expectations of sanctions against Iran and political problems in Venezuela. Look what is happening in Libya – the state is destroyed. This is the result of irresponsible policy that is directly affecting the world economy. Therefore, we must work closer with each other, not only in the energy industry but also in the political area so as to prevent such setbacks.

As for increasing production – we have already increased it by 400,000 barrels as we agreed with our partners. We can raise it by another 200,000–300,000 barrels per day if need be. Ryan Chilcote : President Putin, is it right for the President of the United States to be so actively trying to manage the price of oil? We're coming up on elections in the United States, he's concerned about the price of gas. A gallon of gas in the United States costs almost $3. Traditionally, voters punish the party in power when prices rise ahead of elections. Is he doing the right thing, or actually should he step out of the oil market and let the market dictate what happens?

Vladimir Putin : I have already said this and want to repeat it again: we had a very good meeting with the President of the United States in Helsinki. But if we had talked about the issue we are discussing now, I would have told him: Donald, if you want to find out who is guilty for the increase in prices, you should look in the mirror. That's the truth. We have just spoken about the geopolitical factors behind the price hikes. They exist and really play a role in the market. It is better not to interfere in these market processes, not to try and get some competitive advantage by using political instruments and not to try to regulate prices as the Soviet Union did. This does not end well. After all, when talking about our negotiated actions with OPEC we do not use non-market instruments. We are merely matching supply and demand in the market, no more than that. Everything else today has to do with geopolitical factors that influence prices.

As for gas prices, they are calculated on the basis of oil prices. Oil prices are produced by the market whereas gas prices are linked to oil prices. Gas prices fluctuate depending on oil prices with a small time lag of five to six months. That is all.

What is happening in the United States? The United States is one of the world's biggest producers of both oil and gas. We know everything about new technology that is being countered by environmentalists. I agree with them, this production is often carried out using barbarous methods we do not use.

Who is trying to exert pressure on the administration? I do not know. Let us talk about the energy industry. Please do not involve me in domestic political processes and squabbles in the United States. It is for you to figure out or else we will be accused again of meddling in the domestic political life of the US.

Ryan Chilcote: When I spoke about the price of gasoline in the United States, a gallon of gasoline, I meant the price of petrol, of "benzin," not "gaz."

Vladimir Putin : As you understand, this is the price of the end product and this applies to oil products. This price is not simply formed from the primary price of oil or gas if we are talking about gas fuel. State policy also exerts an influence on the final price for consumers. And what about taxes? Why do some European countries double prices on our gas before it reaches the final consumers? This is all state policy.

So it would be best not to point your finger at energy producers all the time. You should figure out what economic policy is being pursued in a country and what is being done to make sure the product reaches the customers at affordable prices. That is all. Ryan Chilcote : President Putin, let me ask you about this EU initiative. What do you make of it?

Vladimir Putin : (commenting on the EU initiative to protect European companies in connection with US sanctions against Iran) It is a bit delayed but better late than never. It is delayed because quite recently the President of France speaking, I believe, in New York directly announced the need to enhance the economic sovereignty of the European Union and reduce its dependence on the United States. This is certainly right.

And how can it be otherwise if, as I have already said, someone is trying to gain competitive advantages in business by using political instruments? I think nobody will like this but this is happening and we are seeing this today.

This is why Europe is thinking about some new opportunities in connection with these circumstances, for instance about dollar-free settlements that incidentally will undermine the dollar. In this context – I have said this many times but would like to repeat it again – I believe that our American partners are committing a huge strategic mistake and undermining confidence in the dollar as today's only reserve currency. They are undermining confidence in it as a universal instrument and are really biting the hand that feeds.

This is strange, even surprising, but I think this is a typical mistake made by any empire when people believe nothing will happen, that everything is so powerful, so strong and stable that there will be no negative consequences. But no, they will come sooner or later. This is the first point.

And the second point, Europe wants to fulfil its international commitments – this is how we understand our European partners – in this case, as regards Iran's nuclear deal, and sees in it, as we do, an element of stability in global affairs, in global politics, which, in one way or another, is reflected in the global economy, as we have already noted.

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Ryan Chilcote: President Putin, I'd like to go back to Iran for a second. One of the things that the United States would like to see Iran do is to obviously withdraw from Syria. The US national security advisor just last week said that the United States is going to now stay in Syria as long as Iran and its proxies are there. Russia has been very clear. Russia says that the US military's presence in Iran is illegal. What can you do about the US being in Syria?

Vladimir Putin : There are two options available to remedy the situation.

The first is that the United States must obtain the mandate of the UN Security Council to have its armed forces on the territory of another country, in this case Syria, or receive an invitation from the legitimate Syrian government to deploy its troops there for whatever reason. International law does not allow the presence of any country on the territory of another country for other reasons.

Ryan Chilcote: What can Russia do to change the US' position? The US says it's going to stay, that Iran has to leave, and the US will stay until Iran pulls out of Syria. So what can Russia do?

Vladimir Putin : As we are all well aware, in this particular case the United States (just read the UN Charter to see that my point is correct, and this is not news to anyone) is violating the UN Charter and international law by its presence on the territory of another country without the authorisation of the UN Security Council, without a corresponding resolution and without the invitation of the government of that country. There is nothing good about it.

We have been operating on the premise that we nonetheless cooperate with our US partners in fighting terrorism and ISIS in Syria. But as ISIS gradually ceases to exist in Syria, there is just no other rationale, even outside the framework of international law.

What, in my opinion, can be done and what should we all strive to achieve? We must strive to ensure that there are no foreign troops from other countries in Syria at all. This is what we need to achieve.

Ryan Chilcote : Including Russian forces, of course.

Vladimir Putin : Yes, including Russian, if the Syrian government so decides.

Ryan Chilcote : You just struck a deal with President Erdogan on Syria. Do you think that that's going to hold?

Vladimir Putin : How is that related to oil?

Russian Energy Week International Forum.
Russian Energy Week International Forum.

Ryan Chilcote : It's in a very sensitive geopolitical area.

Vladimir Putin : Maybe it is related, since Syria also produces energy resources and influences the market situation one way or another.

In this sense, yes, we need a stable Syria, no question about it. I am not even talking about other aspects related to international security and fighting terrorism.

This is a very good deal (between Russia and Turkey in this particular case), because it prevented more bloodshed. As you may recall, it includes our agreement to create a demilitarised zone 15–20 kilometres deep, a de-escalation zone near the city of Idlib, known as the Idlib zone. I would like to note that along with our Turkish partners we are now working to implement these agreements. We can see it and are grateful to them for their efforts, and we will continue to work with them on this matter with the support of Iran.

Ryan Chilcote : Let's return to energy, or at least more directly to energy, President Putin, and talk about Nord Stream 2. That's the pipeline that Gazprom wants to build between Russia and Germany. Again, the President of the United States has said his opinion about this. He says that Germany is effectively a hostage already of Russia, because it depends on Russia for so much of its energy and gas supplies, and that it's vulnerable to "extortion and intimidation" from Russia. What do you make of that?

Vladimir Putin : My response is very simple. Donald and I talked about this very briefly in Helsinki. In any sale, including the sale of our gas to Europe, we are traditionally the supplier, of pipeline gas I mean. We have been doing this since the 1960s. We are known for doing it in a highly responsible and professional manner, and at competitive prices for the European market. In general, if you look at the characteristics of the entire gas market, the price depends on the quantity and on sales volumes. The distance between Russia and Europe is such that pipeline gas is optimal. And the price will always be competitive, always. This is something all experts understand.

We have a lot of people here in this room, in the first row, who could easily be seated next to me, and I would gladly listen to them, because each one is an expert, so each of them can tell you that. And so Nord Stream 2 is a purely commercial project, I want to emphasise this, warranted by rising energy consumption, including in Europe, and falling domestic production in European countries. They have to get it from somewhere.

Russian gas accounts for around 34 percent of the European market. Is this a lot or a little? It is not insubstantial, but not a monopoly either. Europe certainly can and does actually buy gas from other suppliers, but American liquefied gas is about 30 percent more expensive than our pipeline gas on the European market. If you were buying products of the same quality and you were offered the same product for 30 percent more , what would you choose? So, what are we talking about?

If Europe starts buying American gas for 30 percent more than ours, the entire economy of Germany, in this case, would quickly become dramatically less competitive. Everyone understands this; it is an obvious fact.

But business is business, and we are ready to work with all partners. As you know, our German partners have already begun offshore construction. We are ready to begin as well. We have no problems with obtaining any permits. Finland agreed, and so did Sweden, Germany, and the Russian Federation. This is quite enough for us. The project will be implemented.

< >

Ryan Chilcote : President Putin, did you want to jump in here?

Vladimir Putin: (following up on the remarks by CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden) We understand the realities and treat all our partners with respect. We have very good, amiable long-term relations with all our partners, including the company represented by my neighbour on the left. This company is working in the Russian market and working with great success, but we understand everything very well and understand the realities. We are carrying out the project ourselves. We do not and will not have any problems here. That is to say, they may arise, of course, but we will resolve them.

Some things are beyond the realm of political intrigue. Take supplies to the Federal Republic of Germany. Not everyone knows that the decision was made there to shut down the nuclear power industry. But that is 34 percent of its total energy balance. We are proud of the development of the nuclear power industry in the Russian Federation, although the figure for us is just 16 percent. We are still thinking about how to raise it to 25 percent and are making plans. Theirs is 34 percent and everything will be closed down. What will this vacuum be filled with? What?

Look at LNG [liquefied natural gas ] which is sold by our various competitors and partners. Yes, LNG can and should be in the common basket of Europe and Germany. Do you know how many ports built in Europe are used for LNG transfer? Just 25 percent. Why? Because it is unprofitable.

There are companies and regions for which it is profitable to supply LNG and this is being done. The LNG market is growing very fast. But as for Europe, it is not very profitable, or unprofitable altogether.

Therefore, in one way or another we have already seen Nord Stream 1 through and its performance is excellent. Incidentally, our gas supplies to Europe are continuously growing. Last year, I believe, they amounted to 194 billion cubic metres and this year they will add up to 200 billion cubic metres or maybe even more.

We have loaded practically all our infrastructure facilities: Blue Stream to Turkey, Nord Stream 1 is fully loaded. Yamal-Europe is fully loaded – it is almost approaching 100 percent, while the demand is going up. Life itself dictates that we carry out such projects.

Ryan Chilcote : President Trump's position on American LNG exports is perhaps a little bit more nuanced. His point is that instead of buying Russian gas, even perhaps if it's a bit more expensive, the Germans and other European allies of the United States, because the United States is paying for their defence, should be buying American gas even if there is, I guess the argument suggests, a little bit of a higher price for that

Vladimir Putin : You know, this argument doesn't really work, in my opinion. I understand Donald. He is fighting for the interests of his country and his business. He is doing the right thing and I would do the same in his place.

As for LNG, as I have already said, it is not just a little more expensive in the European market but 30 percent more. This is not a little bit more, it is a lot more, beyond all reason, and is basically unworkable.

But there are markets where LNG will be adopted, where it is efficient, for instance in the Asia-Pacific region. By the way, where did the first shipment of LNG from our new company Yamal-LNG go? Where did the first tanker go? To the United States, because it was profitable. The United States fought this project but ended up buying the first tanker. It was profitable to buy it in this market, at this place and time, and it was purchased.

LNG is still being shipped to the American continent. It's profitable.

It makes no sense to fight against what life brings. We simply need to look for common approaches in order to create favourable market conditions, including, for example, conditions conducive to the production and consumption of LNG in the United States itself and securing the best prices for producers and consumers. This could be achieved by coordinating policy, rather than just imposing decisions on partners.

As for the argument, "We defend you, so buy this from us even if it makes you worse off", I don't think it is very convincing either. Where does it lead? It has led to the Europeans starting to talk about the need to have a more independent defence capability, as well as the need to create a defence alliance of their own that allegedly will not undermine NATO while allowing the Europeans to pursue a real defence policy. This is what, in my view, such steps are leading to.

This is why I am sure that a great many things will be revised. Life will see to that.

< >

Ryan Chilcote: President Putin, let's get back to geopolitics. When you were talking about oil – and when everyone talks about oil and disruptions on the market, they don't just talk about Iran, they talk about Venezuela – you mentioned Venezuela at the beginning of our conversation. Last year, I interviewed President Maduro, the President of Venezuela, here. Venezuela is an ally of Russia. Russia has a lot of oil interests in Venezuela. Oil production in Venezuela is not going well, and politically, things are going very poorly, as you know. Millions of people are leaving the country. There's hunger. There is a lot of talk in the United States, and not only in the United States, in Central and South America, that perhaps it's time for President Maduro to go. Do you agree with that?

Vladimir Putin: This is up to the people of Venezuela, not anyone else in the world.

As for various means of influencing the situation in Venezuela, there should be no such thing All of us influence each other in one way or another, but it should not be done in a way that makes the civilian population even worse off. This is a matter of principle.

Should we rejoice that life is extremely difficult for people there and want to make things even worse with a view to overthrowing President Maduro? He was recently targeted in a terrorist attack, an assassination attempt. Shall we condone such methods of political resistance too?

I think this is absolutely unacceptable. This and anything like it. The people of the country should be given a chance to shape their destiny themselves. Nothing should be imposed from the outside.

This is what has emerged historically in Venezuela. What has emerged historically in the Persian Gulf has emerged there, and the same in Europe, America and Southeast Asia. Nobody should go in there like a bull in a china shop without understanding what is taking place there, instead thinking only that the bull is one of the largest and smartest animals. It is necessary to take a look and give people a chance to figure it out. I have a very simple outlook on this.

I would like to return to the previous question. After all, we are dealing with energy. I would like to confirm what my colleagues said here about Russia's energy resources and potential. They are indeed enormous. Truly enormous. We are in first place in gas reserves. I believe we have 73.3 trillion cubic metres of gas. The Yamal peninsula was mentioned here but NOVATEK will carry out one more project, Arctic 2, on a neighbouring peninsula. It is about the same size and with the same investment. The first tranche in this project is $27 billion, and the second tranche is about $25 billion. I believe all this will be carried out.

We have the world's largest coal reserves – 275 billion tonnes. We are third in oil reserves. Third in the world in oil reserves. We are the world's largest country by territory. If we take a deeper look we are bound to find many other things. So, we are indeed lucky.

But we were given this not by the Lord alone. Past generations of ours developed these lands. We should never forget what was done by our predecessors, and we will continue to build on it. We will work with our partners. Incidentally, almost all major energy companies work in Russia.

Ryan Chilcote: When we were talking about the EU initiative to try and allow trade between EU countries and Iran, I couldn't help but remember that Russia itself, faced with sanctions, is thinking about a plan to wean itself off of the dollar. This is something that many countries have tried and failed. Why does Russia think that it can succeed in this?

Vladimir Putin : You used the past tense or is the translation inaccurate? Faced. Have the sanctions been lifted? Did I miss something?

Ryan Chilcote: Russia is facing with sanctions.

Vladimir Putin: Okay then. You know, sometimes I think that it would be good for us if those who want to impose sanctions would go ahead and impose all the sanctions they can think of as soon as possible. ( Applause. ) This would free our hands to defend our national interests however we deem most effective for us.

It is very harmful, in general. It hurts the ones doing it. We all figured this out long ago. That is why we have never supported and will never support illegal sanctions that circumvent the United Nations.

Ryan Chilcote: Since you brought up the subject of sanctions, as you know after the Skripal poisoning, Russia is facing even more of them, perhaps as soon as November. What is Russia prepared to do to change the trajectory of relations with the United States and the West?

Vladimir Putin : We are not the ones introducing these sanctions against the United States or the West. We are just responding to their actions, and we do this in very restrained, careful steps so as not to cause harm, primarily to ourselves. And we will continue to do so.

As regards the Skripals and all that, this latest spy scandal is being artificially inflated. I have seen some media outlets and your colleagues push the idea that Skripal is almost a human rights activist. But he is just a spy, a traitor to the motherland. There is such a term, a 'traitor to the motherland,' and that's what he is.

Imagine you are a citizen of a country, and suddenly somebody comes along who betrays your country. How would you, or anybody present here, a representative of any country, feel about such a person? He is scum, that's all. But a whole information campaign has been deployed around it.

I think it will come to an end, I hope it will, and the sooner the better. We have repeatedly told our colleagues to show us the documents. We will see what can be done and conduct an investigation.

We probably have an agreement with the UK on assistance in criminal cases that outlines the procedure. Well, submit the documents to the Prosecutor General's Office as required. We will see what actually happened there.

The fuss between security services did not start yesterday. As you know, espionage, just like prostitution, is one of the most 'important' jobs in the world. So what? Nobody shut it down and nobody can shut it down yet.

Ryan Chilcote : Espionage aside, I think there are two other issues. One is the use of chemical weapons, and let's not forget that in addition to the Skripal family being affected in that attack, there was also a homeless person who was killed when they came in contact with the nerve agent Novichok.

Vladimir Putin: Listen, since we are talking about poisoning Skripal, are you saying that we also poisoned a homeless person there? Sometimes I look at what is happening around this case and it amazes me. Some guys came to England and started poisoning homeless people. Such nonsense. What is this all about? Are they working for cleaning services? Nobody wanted to poison This Skripal is a traitor, as I said. He was caught and punished. He spent a total of five years in prison. We released him. That's it. He left. He continued to cooperate with and consult some security services. So what? What are we talking about right now? Oil, gas or espionage? What is your question?

Let's move on to the other oldest profession and discuss the latest developments in that business. (Laughter.)

Ryan Chilcote : A lot of what we've discussed today goes back to Russia's relationship with the United States, and so I'll ask you just a couple of questions about that and we can move on. The US says you personally ordered the 2016 interference in the elections – I know you deny that. You have said you wanted Trump elected. What do you want to see in 2018 from these midterm election

Vladimir Putin: In Russia or the United States? What are you asking me about?

Ryan Chilcote : What would you like to see happen in the 2018 midterm elections in the United States.

Vladimir Putin: What I want – and I am completely serious – is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market. I want the domestic political squabbles in the United States to stop ruining Russia-US relations and adversely affecting the situation in the world.

Ryan Chilcote: I'll ask this final question on the political front. In Helsinki, you said that you wanted President Trump to win because he favours better relations with Russia. But in fact, as Russia itself says all of the time, relations between Russia and the United States seem to get worse every day. Wouldn't it be better for Russia to have a president in the United States that is not politically compromised by the widely held perception that this country helped him get into the White House?

Vladimir Putin : Firstly, I do not believe President Trump was compromised. The people elected him, the people voted for him. There are those who do not like this; those who do not want to respect the opinion of the American voters. But this is not our business – this is an internal matter of the United States.

Would we be better off or worse? I cannot say either. As is known, there are no ifs in politics. Maybe it would have been even worse, how are we to know? We must derive from what is , and work with that. Good or bad, there is no other President of the United States; there is no other United States either.

We will work. The US is the largest world power, a leader in many spheres, our natural partner in a variety of projects, including global security, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, climate change, as well as the environment. We have a lot of common problems which overlap that we have to work on together.

We presume that sooner or later the moment will come when we will be able to restore full-fledged relations.

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Ryan Chilcote : President Putin, I know you need to get a meeting with the Austrian Chancellor, so I'm going to wrap this session up with you, sir. The title of our conversation today is Sustainable Energy for a Changing World. You've been driving Russian energy policy for nearly 20 years now. What changes in the world, or what change in the world, would you identify as the biggest concern for you, and what gives you the most optimism when it comes to what we're seeing.

Vladimir Putin: If you allow me, I would stick to the subject. The questions that you asked concern me as well.

Indeed, we are apparently witnessing global warming, but the reasons for this are not entirely clear, because there is still no answer. The so-called anthropogenic emissions are most likely not the main cause of this warming. It could be caused by global changes, cosmic changes, some changes in the galaxy that are invisible to us – and that's that, we don't even understand what is actually happening. Probably, anthropogenic emissions influence the situation somehow, but many experts believe they have an insignificant effect. This is my first point.

Secondly, I already said this, and I can remind you once again. Everyone blames the United States now. As you see, we have many problems and unresolved matters with the United States, and the US President and I approach many international affairs differently and evaluate our bilateral relations differently. But we still have to be objective. There was a time I saw President Bush refuse to sign the Kyoto agreements. But we still found a solution. I think the same will happen in this case. Well, Trump believes that the Paris Agreement is unprofitable for his country for a variety of reasons. I will not go into details now, he must have talked about this many times, and we know his position.

But I think, we should not antagonise the relationship with the US, because without them it would be impossible to reduce the influence of anthropogenic air pollution on the global climate even a little bit. Therefore, one way or another we need to involve the US in this discussion and this joint work. As I understand, President Trump does not object. He says that he dislikes some provisions of the Paris agreement, but he is not opposed to working with the global community on this matter.

Now, as regards the pollution and the future of the global energy, in order to fight the heat, we need no less energy resources than to fight the cold. Secondly, my colleagues were right, millions of people do not have access to energy resources, and we will never prohibit the use of the contemporary blessings of civilization, it is just unreal. The economy and the industry will keep developing.

Of course, in Russia we also join the best international practices, so-called energy efficient technology that has a little bit of influence on the environment, and we, of course, will continue this.

But I also agree with our Saudi colleague. These alternative sources are very important, but we will not be able to go without hydrocarbons in the next decades. People will have to use them for many decades to come. We mostly speak about oil, but coal is what is used most.

We are speaking about the need to use electric cars, but where will the electricity come from? From the socket? Okay, from the socket, but how did it get there? First we need to burn coal to produce electricity, while gas remains the most environmentally friendly energy resource. So we need to take a comprehensive approach to all such matters.

Ryan Chilcote : Patrick Pouyané posed a challenge to you. He said it would be good if Russia used less coal. Are you prepared to accept that challenge and reduce consumption of coal here in Russia and production?

Vladimir Putin: We have signed the relevant Paris agreements and taken up our responsibilities. We have implemented the first stage of the Kyoto Protocol, and now the Paris Agreement will replace it. We have taken up all necessary responsibilities and will adhere to them. The question is not about reducing the usage of coal for domestic needs, we are not the largest emitter, the US and Asian countries emit much more. Here, we are not the leaders. We sell a lot of coal, but also not more than anyone else and we only help cover the demand. The question is not about us, but about modern technology that uses primary energy resources.

Let us go back to the last question, could you please repeat it?

Ryan Chilcote : Well, the title of the panel is Sustainable Energy for a Changing World. You've been driving Russia's energy policy for nearly 20 years now. What changes, or what is the change that gives you the most hope and what do you think the biggest challenge that you see amongst the changes is for energy?

Vladimir Putin : Concern is caused by uncertainty. In politics, in security, and in the economy. Volatility, in other words. This is it. And the number of uncertainties is growing. This is what causes concern – the unpredictability of the situation.

Ryan Chilcote : Are you talking about your colleague, the President of the United States?

Vladimir Putin : Not exactly. He certainly makes a significant contribution to this unpredictability by virtue of being the President of the largest world power, but not only him. I am talking about the situation in general.

Look at the rise of extremism – where did it come from? Why is this problem so acute today? Why is this extremism turning into terrorism? Doesn't that concern us? This is what we need to understand – where it all came from.

I will not go into details because we have a limited amount of time. But this is happening in many spheres. In the economy – the same thing. This growing uncertainty in all fields is what causes concern.

Now, what causes optimism? Common sense, I think. No matter how hard it is, people, humankind have always found ways out of the most difficult situations, guided by the interests of their countries, their peoples, and it is the goal of any government to ensure the well-being as well as the growth of the welfare of its people.

I think that sooner or later, and the sooner the better, the realisation will come that we need to get away from controversy as soon as possible, in any case, away from trying to resolve this controversy with unacceptable tools and ways that go beyond international law. It seems to me that it is necessary to strengthen the leading role of the United Nations, and on this foundation, move on.

Ryan Chilcote : And on that note, please join me in thanking and congratulating our participants in today's panel and, of course, our host today the President of Russia.

Vladimir Putin : Thank you very much.

[Oct 05, 2018] A few days ago the annual Russian Energy Week conference occurred where Putin gave a speech and answered numerous questions related to energy and geopolitics.

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 5, 2018 6:44:15 PM | link

Per @54--

Thanks for your answer, which is what I'd presumed. The bottom line seems to be that nothing's unhackable--no matter what, it will get hacked.

What follows is OT, but attempts to supply a reason for the propaganda pimple burst. A few days ago the annual Russian Energy Week conference occurred where Putin gave a speech and answered numerous questions related to energy and geopolitics. A few of the choice quotes related to his answers were published, but the transcript portion recording the Q&A had yet to be published in full at the Kremlin's website. The transcript's now complete regarding those Q&As directed at and answered by Putin, and what he has to say on a wide spectrum of issues is highly educational: No one can say they know how Putin feels about a particular issue without having read his answers. A few days ago, I tried linking to the Kremlin's website only to have the post eaten by TypePad's Cloud. Here's the link . Reading his answers and comments might lead Russophobic members of Trump's Swamp to burst a propaganda pimple in revenge for his honesty.

[Sep 29, 2018] US forced to evacuate consulate in Iraq

Sep 29, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

span y gjohnsit on Fri, 09/28/2018 - 9:16pm Last week the Trump Administration ranted against OPEC because the Iranian sanctions are driving up oil prices .
That's called blowback.
Today we see the next level of blowback.

The State Department says the U.S. consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra is being evacuated following attacks blamed on Iran-backed militias. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad will provide full consular services for Basra and the surrounding area, the State Department said.

What's most notable is the reaction by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo directly threatened retaliation against Iran on Friday, after accusing Iranian forces of repeatedly directing attacks against US diplomatic facilities in Iraq.

"Iran should understand that the United States will respond promptly and appropriately to any such attacks," Mr Pompeo said in a statement, adding both the US consulate general in Basrah and the US embassy in Baghdad had been targeted.

Recently, #Iran -supported militias in Iraq launched rocket attacks against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and our consulate in Basra. We'll hold #Iran 's regime accountable for any attack on our personnel or facilities, and respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives. pic.twitter.com/nqbmogbeCA

-- Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 25, 2018

What is happening in Iraq could lead directly to a proxy war with Iran in Iraq.
The Pentagon says U.S. forces will stay in Iraq "as long as needed". There are about 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, versus about 100,000 Shia militiamen.

Pompeo is working with Saudi Arabia to form an anti-Iran coalition known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance.
As recently as April, the U.S. was telling those Shia militias were welcome in Iraq.
Last month those Shia militias threatened to attack foreign troops in Iraq if they didn't leave.

span y Amanda Matthews on Fri, 09/28/2018 - 9:59pm
The irony! It burnzzzzz

" Has the regime in #Iran lived together with other nations in peace? Has it been a good neighbor? Look around the world and you'll see the answer is a deafening "no."

span y jim p on Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:55pm
Paging Mr Orwell...

"Iran-backed militias." That would be Iraqis, no? Is the ultimate plan then to, um, eliminate Iraq's Shia? I expect to hear, soon, that Iraqi Shia test their chemical weapons on children.

span y snoopydawg on Fri, 09/28/2018 - 11:24pm
Hypocrisy at its finest
The UN Charter calls for nations to "live together in peace with one another as good neighbors." Has the regime in #Iran lived together with other nations in peace? Has it been a good neighbor? Look around the world and you'll see the answer is a deafening "no."

Why the leaders of the rest of the world didn't walk out on Trump when he threatened other countries is beyond my comprehension. How much longer will they waste their citizen's lives and their money just because we told them to jump?

Remember when Obama said that "no country should have to tolerate bombs dropping on them from outside their borders?

[Sep 29, 2018] EU, UK, Russia, China Join Together To Dodge US Sanctions On Iran

I think those measure have implicit blessing from Washington, which realized how dangerous withdrawal of Iraq oil from the market can be for the USA economy
Sep 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Peter Korzun via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York is a place where world leaders are able to hold important meetings behind closed doors. Russia, China, the UK, Germany, France, and the EU seized that opportunity on Sept. 24 to achieve a real milestone.

The EU, Russia, China, and Iran will create a special purpose vehicle (SPV), a "financially independent sovereign channel," to bypass US sanctions against Tehran and breathe life into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) , which is in jeopardy. "Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels, notably the initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports, including oil," they announced in a joint statement. The countries are still working out the technical details. If their plan succeeds, this will deliver a blow to the dollar and a boost to the euro.

The move is being made in order to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. According to Federica Mogherini , High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the SPV will facilitate payments for Iran's exports, such as oil, and imports so that companies can do business with Tehran as usual. The vehicle will be available not just to EU firms but to others as well. A round of US sanctions aimed at ending Iranian oil exports is to take effect on November 5. Iran is the world's seventh-largest oil producer. Its oil sector accounts for 70% of the country's exports. Tehran has warned the EU that it should find new ways of trading with Iran prior to that date, in order to preserve the JCPOA.

The SPV proposes to set up a multinational, European, state-backed financial intermediary to work with companies interested in trading with Iran. Payments will be made in currencies other than the dollar and remain outside the reach of those global money-transfer systems under US control. In August, the EU passed a blocking statute to guarantee the immunity of European companies from American punitive measures. It empowers EU firms to seek compensation from the United States Treasury for its attempts to impose extra-territorial sanctions. No doubt the move will further damage the already strained US-EU relationship. It might be helpful to create a special EU company for oil exports from Iran.

Just hours after the joint statement on the SPV, US President Trump defended his unilateral action against Iran in his UNGA address . US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the EU initiative , stating:

"This is one of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional global peace and security."

To wit, the EU, Russia, and China have banded together in open defiance against unilateral steps taken by the US. Moscow and Beijing are in talks on how to combine their efforts to fend off the negative impacts of US trade tariffs and sanctions. A planned Sept 24-25 visit by Chinese Vice-Premier Liu, who was coming to the United States for trade talks, was cancelled as a result of the discord and President Trump added more fuel to the fire on Sept. 24 by imposing 10% tariffs on almost half of all goods the US imports from China. "We have far more bullets," the president said before the Chinese official's planned visit. "We're going to go US$200 billion and 25 per cent Chinese made goods. And we will come back with more." The US has recently imposed sanctions on China to punish it for the purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense systems and combat planes. Beijing refused to back down. It is also adamant in its desire to continue buying Iran's oil.

It is true, the plan to skirt the sanctions might fall short of expectations. It could fail as US pressure mounts. A number of economic giants, including Total, Peugeot, Allianz, Renault, Siemens, Daimler, Volvo, and Vitol Group have already left Iran as its economy plummets, with the rial losing two-thirds of its value since the first American sanctions took effect in May. The Iranian currency dropped to a record low against the US dollar this September.

What really matters is the fact that the leading nations of the EU have joined the global heavyweights -- Russia and China -- in open defiance of the United States.

This is a milestone event.

It's hard to underestimate its importance. Certainly, it's too early to say that the UK and other EU member states are doing a sharp pivot toward the countries that oppose the US globally, but this is a start - a first step down that path. This would all have seemed unimaginable just a couple of years ago - the West and the East in the same boat, trying to stand up to the American bully!

[Sep 28, 2018] Trump Folds on Nordstream 2 Because ... Logic - Gold Goats 'n Guns

Notable quotes:
"... The Davos Crowd, ..."
"... So, Donald Trump finally folding on stopping Nordstream 2 is yet another example of the limits of what power the U.S. has and of its threats. When he denounced the project he said, ..."
"... "I never thought it was appropriate. I think it's ridiculous. And I think it's certainly a very bad thing for the people of Germany. And I've said it very loud and clear." ..."
"... But notice that he never said why. Because there is no downside for Germany. That's the point. Russian piped gas is simply cheaper and more reliable than LNG produced more than 3000 miles away. The downside is for the U.S. ..."
"... It begins the process of Germany and Russia re-establishing stronger economic ties cut in half by the 2014 sanctions over Crimea. It keeps Merkel in power a little while longer having stood up to the bully Trump and showing some German independence. ..."
"... Most importantly, this gas will be paid for in euros, not dollars. And this further undermines the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions as Gazprom will have a steady supply of euros to pay back its investors and diversify Russia's currency reserves. ..."
"... We saw this last winter when vicious cold snaps forced a hostile Britain to buy a few tankers of Yamal LNG from Novatek to keep its citizens from freezing. With the planet cooling rapidly, expect this source of spot demand to Europe to increase. ..."
"... But, for Germany, and the EU as a whole, more cheap energy is the path to remaining somewhat relevant in the global economy. With Germany ending the use of nuclear power it needs the type of energy Nordstream 2 supplies. In fact, Germany will eventually need Nordstream 3. ..."
"... talking their book. ..."
Sep 28, 2018 | tomluongo.me

Since its first announcement I have been convinced the Nordstream 2 pipeline would be built. I have followed every twist of this story from my days writing for Newsmax.

And the reason for my confidence can be summed up in one word. Money.

Nordstream 2 simply makes too much economic sense for any amount of political whining from the U.S. and Poland to stop it. Poland has no power within the European Union.

Germany does. And while I'm no fan of Angela Merkel getting another political weapon to hold over the heads of the Poles, their attempts to derail the project were always going to end in tears for them.

And so now Poland and the U.S. cried a lot of crocodile tears recently when President Trump finally acceded to reality and ended the threat of sanctioning five of the biggest oil majors in the world over doing business with Gazprom over Nordstream 2.

Nordstream 2's investors are Uniper, OMV, Wintershall, Royal Dutch Shell and Engie. After all the permits were issued and construction begun the only thing that could stop Nordstream from happening was these five companies folding to U.S. pressure and backing out of the project by calling in their loans to Gazprom.

And when they were unwilling to do that, Trump had to fold because you can't cut these companies out of the western banking system and starve them of dollars and euros without an extreme dislocation in oil prices and global trade.

Bluff called. Nordstream 2? Holding Aces.

Trump? Holding two-seven offsuit.

Lack of Polish

The big loser here is Poland unless they come down off their Russophobic high horse.

Why is Nordstream 2 so important to Poland? Because it forces Poland into choosing between two things the current ruling Law and Justice Party doesn't like.

  1. Renegotiating a gas transit deal with Gazprom through Ukrainian pipelines without as much leverage. Because the current agreement expires at the end of 2019.
  2. If they reject this first option then they are at the mercy of buying gas from Nordstream 2 putting them politically in the hands of Germany.

Merkel is angry with Poland for trying to assert its sovereignty having begun Article 7 proceedings over their law putting Supreme Court justices under review from the legislature, which the EU has termed a violation of its pledge to protect 'human rights.'

And so, expect Poland to now open up talks with Gazprom to negotiate a new deal or be stupid and buy LNG from the U.S. at two to three times the price they can get it from Gazprom.

Keeping Them Distant

From the U.S. side of the equation there are few things in this life that Donald Trump and Barack Obama agree upon, and stopping Nordstream 2 was one of them. This, of course, tells you that this opposition is coming from somewhere a lot higher than the Presidency.

U.S. and British foreign policy has been obsessed for more than a hundred years with stopping the natural alliance between Germany's industrial base and Russia's vast tracts of natural resources as well as Russia's own science and engineering prowess.

These two countries cannot, in any version of a unipolar world dominated by The Davos Crowd, be allowed to form an economic no less political alliance because the level of coordination and economic prosperity works directly against their goals of lowering everyone's expectations for what humans can accomplish.

That is their greatest source of power. The complacency of our accepting low expectations.

So, Donald Trump finally folding on stopping Nordstream 2 is yet another example of the limits of what power the U.S. has and of its threats. When he denounced the project he said,

"I never thought it was appropriate. I think it's ridiculous. And I think it's certainly a very bad thing for the people of Germany. And I've said it very loud and clear."

But notice that he never said why. Because there is no downside for Germany. That's the point. Russian piped gas is simply cheaper and more reliable than LNG produced more than 3000 miles away. The downside is for the U.S.

It begins the process of Germany and Russia re-establishing stronger economic ties cut in half by the 2014 sanctions over Crimea. It keeps Merkel in power a little while longer having stood up to the bully Trump and showing some German independence.

This is something she sorely needs right now coming into regional elections in October.

Most importantly, this gas will be paid for in euros, not dollars. And this further undermines the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions as Gazprom will have a steady supply of euros to pay back its investors and diversify Russia's currency reserves.

The Flow of Money

There is no way for U.S. LNG supplies to be competitive in Europe without massive artificial barriers-to-entry for Russian gas. And even if Nordstream 2 was somehow stopped by the U.S., Russia's massive Yamal LNG facility on the Baltic Sea would still out compete U.S LNG from Cheniere's terminal in Louisiana.

Location. Location. Location.

We saw this last winter when vicious cold snaps forced a hostile Britain to buy a few tankers of Yamal LNG from Novatek to keep its citizens from freezing. With the planet cooling rapidly, expect this source of spot demand to Europe to increase.

And this is why Russia also benefits from Poland building an LNG terminal. Because don't for a second think Poles will suffer extreme cold because Andrej Duda hates Russians.

That's just funny, right thar!

But, for Germany, and the EU as a whole, more cheap energy is the path to remaining somewhat relevant in the global economy. With Germany ending the use of nuclear power it needs the type of energy Nordstream 2 supplies. In fact, Germany will eventually need Nordstream 3.

Each intervention by the U.S. or one of its satraps (and Poland's leadership certainly fills that bill) to block any further business between Russia and Europe, but especially Germany, keeps the world on edge and inches us closer to a military confrontation while open trade and travel moves us farther from that outcome.

And anyone who argues otherwise is simply talking their book. They profit from war and tension. They profit from manipulating markets and, in effect, stealing the wealth someone else created.

So, this is not to say that Nordstream 2 is some kind of messianic gift from the gods or anything. It is the result of massive interventions into the free market for energy born of necessity in a world governed by nation-states for more powerful than they have any right to be because of control of the issuance of money and the rent-seeking behavior of the people who most benefit from the creation of endless supplies of that money.

But, that said, in the current state of things, rapprochement between Germany and Russia via projects like the Nordstream 2 points us towards a future without such nonsense.

I said points, not achieves. It's a beginning not an end. Lost in all of this discussion of European energy security is the fact that even at the height of the Cold War the U.S.S.R. never once shut off gas supplies to its enemies. And under Putin that fact remains.

And how's that for an inconvenient truth.


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[Sep 23, 2018] Poroshenko has told Germans that the construction of "North Stream 2" makes no sense.

Sep 23, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Reply


Moscow Exile September 23, 2018 at 7:59 am

Today at 02:24

Порошенко заявил немцам, что строительство "Северного потока – 2" не имеет никакого смысла Poroshenko has told Germans that the construction of "North Stream 2" makes no sense.
По его словам, российский газ европейцам гораздо выгоднее получать через Украину, а новый газопровод – лишь "инструмент давления" на Европу
According to him, it is much more profitable to send Russian gas to Europe through the Ukraine, and the new pipeline is just a "tool to pressurize" on Europe


Please help me get even more wealthier, I beg you!

The leader of "Independent" Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has once again tried to convince Europeans that they do not need the "North Stream 2", pipeline, which is being constructed on the bed of the Baltic sea, bypassing the Ukraine

"This pipeline makes no sense from an economic point of view. This is a Russian attempt to weaken the Ukraine, which previously received about three billion dollars annually for transit", he said in an interview with German newspaper "Rheinische Post".

According to Poroshenko, "Why spend $20 billion on a pipeline", if his country "has more than sufficient logistical capacity for the delivery of Russian gas to Europe". He stressed that "the facts speak against" this project.

The President of the Ukraine has decided to warn his "European friends" that the gas pipeline "North Stream 2" is "a geopolitical instrument of pressure on Western Europe, and that the dependence of European countries on gas supplies from Russia is opening up a wide area for their blackmailing".

Recall, as reported by the website kp.ru previously, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, speaking at a joint press conference with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, and the Prime Ministers of the three Baltic State countries, stated the importance of the "North Stream 2" project for Germany, noting that the need of her contry for natural gas supplies will only grow.

kirill September 23, 2018 at 8:08 am
Put a sock in it, Banderatard. Nord Stream II makes sense merely because it removes the $3 billion per year of transit fees you parasites charge. The Banderatard thinks that everyone is an innumerate moron.
Mark Chapman September 23, 2018 at 11:24 am
I notice the estimated transit fees have gone up by almost a billion dollars. I wonder if they have budgeted in planned increases if they are successful at getting Nord Stream II shut down. Or were they just low-balling the figures before, like when they were joking about the planned pipeline and how it would make no difference to Ukraine?
Patient Observer September 23, 2018 at 9:02 am
Ignoring reality and focusing just on a comparison of a $3 billion recurring expense versus a $20 billion CAPEX, a ROI of less than 7 years is quite respectable for a major project.
kirill September 23, 2018 at 11:06 am
They charge 3 billion today but may well want 6 billion tomorrow. This Banderite mafioso is basically trying to sell his protection racket.

[Sep 21, 2018] A Container Ship Is Sailing Through Russia's Arctic Passage for the First Time

Sep 21, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Another landmark for the "Northeastern passage" -- so far only tankers had made the trip Brendon Petersen 16 hours ago | 1,546 5 Explorers and navigators have long searched for a way to move ships through the Arctic Circle as find a faster way to move goods between the Atlantic and the Pacific without having to go around either Asia or South America. Groups of people hunted for the fabled Northwest passage through North America for decades. The problem, of course, is that the Arctic contains too much ice.

Over the past few years, however, ice levels in the Arctic have been hitting record lows thanks to climate change, and while its effects are almost universally negative, one benefit is opened northern sea routes. Over the past month, a container ship sailing from Eastern Russia is pioneering a new Arctic route by being the first such ship to cross the Arctic Ocean .

On August 23, the container ship Venta Maersk left the Russian port of Vladivostok and headed to Bremerhaven in Germany. Normally, a trip like that would take the Venta Maersk through the Suez Canal on a 34 day trip. Instead, the ship will sail through the sea north of Russia on a route that will only take 23 days.

Last week, the Venta Maersk passed through the Sannikov Strait, the narrowest and most hazardous part of its journey, and is expected to arrive in Germany by the end of the week. Once it arrives, it will become the first container ship to complete a successful route through the Arctic Circle.

[Sep 21, 2018] Trump blames OPEC for high oil prices, but his polices drive them up analyst to RT -- RT US News

Notable quotes:
"... "pushing for higher and higher oil prices" ..."
"... "they stop it," ..."
"... "protecting those countries." ..."
"... "The US economy is overstimulated by the Trump $4 trillion tax cuts for investors and businesses," ..."
"... "When Trump accuses Iran publicly, it gives the global oil speculators a reason to drive up the price," ..."
"... "He is whipping up his domestic base," ..."
"... "Trump [is] trying to blame foreigners of all kinds for economic situation in the US." ..."
"... "another factual misrepresentation," ..."
"... Like this story? Share it with a friend! ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.rt.com

Trump blames OPEC for high oil prices, but his polices drive them up – analyst to RT Published time: 21 Sep, 2018 21:03 Edited time: 21 Sep, 2018 21:28 Get short URL Trump blames OPEC for high oil prices, but his polices drive them up – analyst to RT FILE PHOTO. © Lucy Nicholson / Reuters The tax and trade policies of Donald Trump are, in fact, what have contributed to the surge in oil prices, a US economics professor told RT, adding that the US President's tough words to OPEC are a political stunt. On Thursday, Trump accused OPEC's Middle East producers of "pushing for higher and higher oil prices" and demanded "they stop it," adding that the US is "protecting those countries." Oil prices showed a mixed reaction to Trump's words. The Brent benchmark fell 43 cents to $78.97 per barrel, while the US Texas Intermediate grew by 9 cents to $71.21.

We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018

OPEC does, in fact, control oil supply to a significant extent but that does not necessarily mean that it is also in full control of the oil prices, Jack Rasmus, a professor of Political Economy at St. Mary's College of California, told RT, adding that the policies pursued by the US president himself play a much bigger role in what happens to oil and gasoline prices in the US.

Read more © Nick Oxford Trump demands OPEC lower oil prices, claims US 'protects' Middle East countries

"The US economy is overstimulated by the Trump $4 trillion tax cuts for investors and businesses," Rasmus explained, adding that the rising inflation is one of the primary factors contributing to the oil price surge. Apart from that, Trump's trade war with China and even with the US allies in the West also drives up the prices, as businesses also have to raise them to adapt to the tariffs that both the US and its trading partners have imposed recently.

Trump's sanctions war on Iran also does not make the situation any better. The US sanctions, which are aimed at bringing Iran's oil exports to "zero," led to a decrease in Iran's oil sales, thus cutting the supply and driving the prices up. As if it was not enough, Trump's rhetoric only adds fuel to the fire, according to Rasmus.

"When Trump accuses Iran publicly, it gives the global oil speculators a reason to drive up the price," he told RT, adding that it is the "global speculators that are driving the short-term oil prices." "There is a connection between the speculators and Trump policies. When he makes those statements, it certainly does contribute to the oil prices rise," the analyst explained.

This rhetoric was more about winning voters' support ahead of the November mid-term elections than about really remedying the situation in the oil market, Rasmus says. "He is whipping up his domestic base," the analyst said, adding that "Trump [is] trying to blame foreigners of all kinds for economic situation in the US."

#US will find it difficult to cut #Iran 's oil exports completely as the oil market is already tight - Tehran https://t.co/T1oiFmGvOq pic.twitter.com/uaJO0Qn8gt

-- RT (@RT_com) September 15, 2018

Trump got elected on a platform of economic nationalism in particular, Rasmus said, adding that the president now sticks to that narrative and blames foreigners –be they immigrants or some foreign competitors– for the US' woes. However, this is "another factual misrepresentation," the analyst said.

As oil prices remain high, prices for gasoline in the US are growing. The average cost of gasoline has risen 60 percent from $1.87 per gallon in February 2016 to over $3 in September.

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[Sep 20, 2018] This scenario would leave the US with the main sources of 'low production cost' Middle East energy in its hands (i.e. Gulf, Iran and Iraqi oil and gas).

Sep 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Sep 19, 2018 9:05:12 PM | link

Alastair Crooke's latest at Strategic Culture.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/09/18/two-major-middle-east-projects-afoot-gaining-mass-they-may-collide-before-long.html
....But a turnaround in Iraq also puts a spike into the balloon of President Trump's aspiration to reassert US energy dominance over the Mideast. Iran – it was hoped – would ultimately capitulate and fall to economic and political pressures, and as the Iranian domino capsized, it would take with it, crashing down into political acquiescence, the Iraqi domino.

This scenario would leave the US with the main sources of 'low production cost' Middle East energy in its hands (i.e. Gulf, Iran and Iraqi oil and gas). On the face of this week's events however, it looks more likely that these resources - or at least, the greater energy resources of Iran and Iraq - will end up in the Russian sphere (together with Syria's unexplored Levant Basin prospects). And this Russian 'heartland', energy-producing sphere, may, in the end, prove to be a more than substantive rival to US (newly emerged as 'the world's top oil producer') aspirations for restoring its Mideast energy dominance.....

The piece covers both Trump's plans for global energy dominance by taking full control of middle east oil and also the Trump Kushner moves against the Palestinians.

[Sep 19, 2018] Washington's goal is to reduce Russia's gas market share in Eastern Europe by 20% by 2020

Sep 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com


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Russia and the West are facing the worst crisis since the Cold War. According to US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein, Washington's goal is to reduce Russia's gas market share in Eastern Europe by 20% by 2020.

Russia cannot be allowed to build a gas pipeline that would bypass Ukraine, as it would pose a threat to Europe's energy security


kirill September 16, 2018 at 4:43 am

Pipeline bypassing Ukraine = threat to Europe's energy security

That is a total non sequitur. Also, Russia is part of Europe. The EU is not the whole of "Europe". In fact, the EU is not even the EU as evidenced by Hungary and Italy.

Mark Chapman September 16, 2018 at 11:17 am
And Washington can have Eastern Europe. Go ahead – take them as customers, and sell them expensive LNG they can't afford. Russia would probably be glad to be shut of Poland and the Baltics. And having to pay way more for their gas would teach them a lesson. Win/win.
kirill September 16, 2018 at 4:43 am
Pipeline bypassing Ukraine = threat to Europe's energy security

That is a total non sequitur. Also, Russia is part of Europe. The EU is not the whole of "Europe". In fact, the EU is not even the EU as evidenced by Hungary and Italy.

Mark Chapman September 16, 2018 at 11:17 am
And Washington can have Eastern Europe. Go ahead – take them as customers, and sell them expensive LNG they can't afford. Russia would probably be glad to be shut of Poland and the Baltics. And having to pay way more for their gas would teach them a lesson. Win/win.
et Al September 17, 2018 at 4:57 am
Doesn't the pipeline via the lo-land of Po-land go via Belarus? Warsaw buying gas from elsewhere would starve Minsk of transit fees, no? Maybe the idea is similarly to undermine Belarus and thus impose further costs/indirect sanctions on Russia?

[Sep 19, 2018] There is no spare capacity from Iran

Sep 19, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Guym x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 7:44 pm

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Iran-There-Is-No-Spare-Oil-Capacity.html

There is no spare capacity from Iran.

Boomer II x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 8:07 pm
So what does Trump do before the midterms? Live with higher prices? Quietly drop the sanctions ? Find a way to get Iranian oil on the market while pretending there are sanctions? Accept the high prices and blame Obama?
Hightrekker x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 9:03 pm
Well, he is not the brightest porch light on the block -- -
Survivalist x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 11:04 pm
I had read a couple months ago that Trump was nattering about tapping the SPR around the time of the mid terms.
Guym x Ignored says: 09/15/2018 at 4:49 pm
Oil price can rise some, now. It's only a month and a half to go. Gasoline stocks are high, so it will take some trickle down time. Raiding the SPR is overkill.
Dennis coyne x Ignored says: 09/15/2018 at 8:39 am
Boomer,

Trump will blame Saudis for not increasing output, Saudis will then raise output in Sept to tamp prices down before midterms.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 09/15/2018 at 9:30 am
I'm betting they don't. Saudi production in September is more likely to be down than up. But if it is up it will only by a tiny amount, not near enough to affect prices. Saudi Arabis is just not interested in increasing production by any significant amount. They would like to keep production steady .if possible.
Dennis coyne x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 1:00 pm
Ron,

You may be right, but Trump may try to get Saudis to raise output and he may slow down aggressive action on Iranian sanctions until after midterms.

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 1:25 pm
Seems Iran always has the trump cards.
Now if they could just get rid of religious oppression, and have a better functioning government–
Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 2:19 pm
Trump already tried that. Here is his tweet.

Trump asks Saudi Arabia to increase oil production

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference Prices to high! He has agreed!" the tweet read.

And of course, after the King hung up the phone he probably said: "We are not going to do any of that shit." The Saudis, just like Trump's staff, know he is an idiot.

TechGuy x Ignored says: 09/18/2018 at 1:54 am
"And of course, after the King hung up the phone he probably said: "We are not going to do any of that shit."

I doubt that happened but I don't have any inside contacts in the WH to confirm. My guess is that Trump has turned up the heat on Iran because of requests from KSA & Israel.

The USA has been helping MbS with is Yemen war, as well as proxy war in Syria. If KSA want the US to economically crush Iran, than KSA will need to help but increasing its Oil exports. Perhaps KSA as some oil stashed in storage that it could release for a short period. My guess KSA would delay using its storage reserves until there is a price spike that might force the US to back off on Iran.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 09/18/2018 at 3:54 am
I doubt that happened but I don't have any inside contacts in the WH to confirm.

You doubt what happened? The quote was a tweet directly from the President. He sent it out to the world, you don't need an inside contact to the White House. Trump's tweets go out to the public.

Yes, it did happen. Of course, the part about what the King did afterward was just speculation on my part. But he did not increase oil production as Trump requested. That much we do know.

TechGuy x Ignored says: 09/18/2018 at 2:54 pm
Hi Ron,

Not arguing the tweet Trumpet made, but your reasoning that the MbS will ignore the request.

I am reasonably sure MbS wants the USA to go after Iran, and thus has a motive to try to comply with Trumpet's request for more Oil. That said, I very much doubt KSA can increase production, but they may have 50 to 150 mmbl in storage they could release if Oil prices spike.

FYI:
"Why The U.S. Is Suddenly Buying A Lot More Saudi Oil"

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Why-The-US-Is-Suddenly-Buying-A-Lot-More-Saudi-Oil.html

" the Saudis are responding to the demands of their staunch ally U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly slammed OPEC for the high gasoline prices, urging the cartel in early July to "REDUCE PRICING NOW!""

"Saudi Arabia Boosts Oil Supply To Asia As Iran Sanctions Return"
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Saudi-Arabia-Boosts-Oil-Supply-To-Asia-As-Iran-Sanctions-Return.html

"Saudi Arabia cut last week its official selling price (OSP) for its flagship Arab Light grade for October to Asia by US$0.10 a barrel to US$1.10 a barrel premium to the Dubai/Oman average"

So it appears that KSA is trying to comply with Trumpet's request. At least by trying to lower the oil prices via selling their oil at a discount.

** Note: Not trying to be a PITA, just providing an alternative viewpoint. I do value what you post. Hope you understand.

[Sep 19, 2018] One would think that the optimal strategy for a country that has oil is to ally itself with a military power that can deter invasion by some other military power, without having the ally's troops actually present on the territory

Sep 19, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Watcher

x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 2:27 am
So people think that oil production next year will not meet demand. Of course consumption will equal production, but demand will be higher, and we won't be belabor this further because the point here is a question above -- how does society react too insufficient oil?

The question is never analyzed in a particular way. It's usually evaluated from the consumer's perspective. Who does what to get the oil they need. We can imagine they bid higher, we can imagine that day seize the oil enroute to someone else, and we can imagine a magical agreement on the part of everyone to stop all economic activity not involved in food production/distribution to reduce global consumption.

What seldom is described is the decision making process within the leadership of oil producers and exporters. It seems clear that a sudden awareness of insufficiency would yield leadership meetings making decisions not about how to distribute more oil to customers, but rather how to keep the oil for future generations of the producing country, without getting invaded and destroyed.

One would think that the optimal strategy for a country that has oil is to ally itself with a military power that can deter invasion by some other military power, without having the ally's troops actually present on the territory. Or perhaps more effective would be investing in the necessary explosives or nuclear material for one's own oil fields, and inform potential invaders that the oil will remain the property of the country whose geography covers it, or the fields will be contaminated for hundreds of years to deny them to anyone else.

Clearly this is the optimal path for an oil producer and not seeking some technology that can allow them to drain the resources of future generations more rapidly now.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 6:13 am
So people think that oil production next year will not meet demand. Of course consumption will equal production, but demand will be higher,

Watcher, I assume you think demand is what people want. But there is no way to measure what people want but can't afford. So "demand" in that sense has no meaning whatsoever. So what happens is the price of gasoline, or whatever, rises or falls until supply equals demand. As prices rise, demand falls and as prices fall, demand rises because people can now afford it. Therefore demand always equals consumption. Demand is what people buy at the price they can afford. I wish we had a word for what people want but even if we did there would be no way to measure it. A poll perhaps? 😉

Carlos Diaz x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 6:35 am
Ron,

I answered that above
http://peakoilbarrel.com/opec-august-production-data-2/#comment-651890

Estimating demand is essential for a company and can determine its survival. Demand is dependent on price, so demand estimates are essential for deciding the price of a product. The curves for price and demand cross at a point that maximizes income.

Demand is estimated statistically (polls sometimes), with models, and expert forecast. It has a large uncertainty.

"there is no way to measure what people want but can't afford."

That is potential demand at a lower price point. It is estimated in the same way. Companies decide to lower their prices with hopes to realize that lower-price demand.

"demand always equals consumption."

Exactly. Demand becomes consumption when realized, so it only makes sense to talk about demand in the future or the present (due to lack of real-time data). It doesn't make sense to talk about past demand, because it becomes consumption or sales.

Watcher x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 12:26 pm
There is a numerical measure for how much people want gasoline, regardless of price.

It is the length of the line of cars at the gas station in the 1970s. Demand was measured in 100s of feet. Price somewhat doesn't matter. If you can't afford it, you put it on a credit card and then default.

Guym x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 2:20 pm
Put it on the credit card and not pay it. Because, it was de fault of the company to give it to you in the first place.
Survivalist x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 7:18 pm
The length of the queue is an interesting metric by which to measure the want that people have for an item. Nice one. I'm gonna use that. Reminds me of my Dad's old story about lining up for a week to buy tickets to see The Beatles.
Fred Magyar x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 9:30 pm
When you are lining up to buy tickets to see the Beatles it might be called a 'Want' or a 'Desire'. However, when it is the line at the soup kitchen it becomes 'Hunger' or 'Desperation'!
And that queue can sometimes feel like a hundred miles
Hightrekker x Ignored says: 09/13/2018 at 9:17 pm
I remember that -- -
It was eye opening.
TechGuy x Ignored says: 09/18/2018 at 12:58 am
The bigger issue is people, Business, & gov'ts servicing their debt. If the cost of energy increases, it make it more difficult to service their debt. Recall that Oil prices peaked at $147 right before the beginning of the 2008/2009 economic crisis. Since then 2008 Debt continued to soar as companies & gov'ts piled on more debt. Debt is promise on future production. Borrow now and pay it back over time.

I recall the presentation Steven Kopits did about 4 or 5 years ago that stated Oil production was well below demand. I think real global oil demand was projected to be about 120mmbd back in 2012-2013 (sorry don't recall the actual figures).

I think the bigger factor is how steep the declines will be. Presumably all of the super giants are in the same shape and likely heavily relied on horizontal drilling to offset natural decline rates. Presuming as the oil column shrinks in the decline rates will rapidly accelerate. Most of the Artic\Deep water projects were cancelled back in 2014\2015, and I believe most of those projects would take about 7 years to complete and need between Oil at $120 to $150/bbl (in 2012 dollars) to be economical. I am not sure the world can sustainably afford $120+ oil, especially considering the amount of new debt that has been added in the past 10 years.

Ron Wrote:
" I wish we had a word for what people want but even if we did there would be no way to measure it"

Perhaps the word "Gluttony" or the phase "Business As Usual". People don't like change, especially when the result, is a decrease in living standards.

Adam Ash x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 3:11 am
Being willing to pay more for oil may change who gets it. But it will not alter the fact that someone who wants oil will not get it. That will be a ripple of market information which will travel around the world pretty quick, I should imagine!
Dennis coyne x Ignored says: 09/14/2018 at 7:31 pm
There is always somebody who wants oil but cannot afford it.

This is unlikely to change in the next 30 to 40 years.

farmboy x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 10:52 am
The vast majority in almost all the places in the world would like to use more oil but their income is not enough so they end up doing with less. That includes me. Who doesn't want a bigger faster newer lawn mower, truck, or tractor? What person would not prefer the latest iphone etc. ? or going on vacation, eating out at high end steakhouses? The main reason they can't is because it would take more and cheaper oil for them to be able to afford it. Else they can only try to take it away from someone else? The peak in global oil production/person happened back in 1979, not because folks were tired of using it all but due to the laws of physics coming into play.
Adam Ash x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 11:05 pm
So there are two 'classes' of 'peak oil'. One class is where oil supply is constrained by price (throwing more money at production sees an increase in production), the second class is where oil supply is constrained by physical availability at any price (wave more money at production, but production cannot increase).

In the first case (price constrained) normal market behaviour will apply – folk pay more (if they can afford it) to get more.

But in the second case (resource constrained), it does not matter how much is offered, there is simply no more oil to be had.

With the prevailing declining yields and declining discoveries, are we not in the transition between these two states – moving from price constrained to resource constrained? And once we get well into resource constrained, the price a buyer can pay will determine who gets the remaining available oil, and no amount of screeching and dollar-bill-waving by those who have missed out will improve the supply situation for them.

Boomer II x Ignored says: 09/17/2018 at 12:43 am
The second case is my main interest. And I think we are already there. We wouldn't be looking at LTO and oil sands if there were cheaper options.

LTO decline rates should make the issue more obvious when there are fewer places to drill new wells.

Eulenspiegel x Ignored says: 09/17/2018 at 3:43 am
LTO decline rate would be no problem by a conventional / state possessed oil company.

They would have a field with tight oil, and then just equip let's say 20 fracking / drilling teams and start to produce through their field in 30 or 50 years. They would have a slow decline by starting at the best location and getting to the worse one, while increasing experience / technic during the years to compensate a bit.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 09/17/2018 at 6:23 am
You have a pretty good argument except for the "30 or 50 years" part. That's where the wheels fell off your go-cart. Just how large would the tight oil reservoir have to be to keep 20 drilling and fracking units for 30 to 50 years? And if you assume other oil companies are in that same reservoir doing the same thing? They are going to cover a lot of acreage very fast.
Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 09/17/2018 at 9:35 pm
Adam Ash,

It matters very little. At any time t the available supply is limited and the market price will determine who gets what is available. Those willing to pay more than others will get the oil. When we reach a point where no more oil can be supplied at price P, there might always be some more oil that could be at some higher price P', it is simply a matter of oil prices reaching the point that there are substitutes that can replace the use of oil in some uses. Today the biggest use for oil is transport and electricity and natural gas may soon replace a lot of this use, especially as oil becomes scarce and prices increase.

At $100 to $120/b the transition to EVs could be quite rapid, maybe taking 20 to 25 years to replace 90% of new ICEV sales and then another 15 years for most of the fleet to be replaced as old cars are scrapped. So by 2055 most land transport uses for oil will be eliminated.

The higher oil prices rise, the more incentive there will be to switch to cheaper EVs, even natural gas will probably not be able to compete with EVs as Natural Gas will also peak (2030 to 2035) and prices will rise. It will probably be unwise to spend a lot of money for Natural gas fueling infrastructure, though perhaps it might work for long haul trucking, rail seems a more sensible option.

TechGuy x Ignored says: 09/18/2018 at 1:23 am
Adam Ash Wrote:
"So there are two 'classes' of 'peak oil'. One class is where oil supply is constrained by price (throwing more money at production sees an increase in production), the second class is where oil supply is constrained by physical availability at any price (wave more money at production, but production cannot increase)"

Consider this way:
There is already a huge shortage of $10/bbl oil, and a massive glut of $300/bbl oil. There is always shortage resources. Price is just a system that balances demand with supply.

Adam Ash Wrote:
"But in the second case (resource constrained), it does not matter how much is offered, there is simply no more oil to be had no amount of screeching and dollar-bill-waving by those who have missed out will improve the supply situation for them."

Not exactly. People that can only afford $50/bbl Oil get out priced by people willing to pay $100/bbl. Supply shifts to the people that can afford the hire price at the expense of people that cannot afford the higher cost. Higher prices will lead to new production, even if has a Negative EROEI (ie tar sands using cheap NatGas).

In an ideal world, higher prices lead to less energy waste (flying, recreation boating) and better efficiency (more energy efficient buildings & vehicles). But I am not sure that will be the case in our world.

The first to suffer from high energy prices will be the people living in poor nations. Recall back in 2008-2014 we had the Arab spring when people could afford the food costs, and started mass riots and overthrough gov'ts. This will return when Oil prices climb back up.

Its possible that the world make continue to experience price swings, as global demand struction decreases demand. For instance in July 2008 Oil was at $147/bbl but by Jan 2009 it was about $30/bbl. I doubt we will see such large price swings, but I also doubt that Oil will continuously move up without any price corrections.

Realistically we are in deflation driven global economy as the excessive debt applies deflationary force to the economy. However central banks counter deflation with artificially low interest rates and currency printing (ie Quantitive Easing). My guess is that industrialized nation gov't will become increasing dependent on QE and other gimmicks that lead to high inflation\stagnation.

[Sep 19, 2018] Deliberate exaggeraton of Saudi reserves

Sep 19, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ron Patterson

x Ignored says: 09/16/2018 at 9:35 am
I think Dennis said some time ago that Saudi's 266 billion barrels of reserves that they claim was perhaps when they raised P2 reserves to P1 reserves.

Naaaa, that's not where they got it. They still claim 403 billion barrels of P2 reserves and 802 billion barrels of P3 reserves. And that 802 billion barrels will soon be increased to 900 billion barrels via enhanced recovery techniques.

This is a good article if you need a good belly laugh today. It is brought to you on the opinion page of Arab News. Arab News is a Saudi Publication just in case anyone is wondering. I used to get it in hard copy, free, courtesy of ARAMCO, when I was there.

Does Saudi Arabia have enough oil?

Saudi Aramco, according to its own records, has about 802.2 billion barrels of oil resources, including about 261 billion barrels of proven reserves; 403.1 billion of probable, possible and contingent reserves. The company has produced up to 138 billion barrels of oil to date out of the 802.2 billion barrels.

It plans to raise oil resources to 900 billion barrels from the 802.2 billion over the long term as its also plans to increase recovery rate of reserves to 70 percent from the current 50 percent.

P.S. When I was in Saudi they had a word for this kind of thing. They called it wasta . Wasta means "deliberate exaggeration" as a way of dialogue. That's just the way they talk. They don't believe they are lying. They really expect you to know they are just exaggerating. They don't expect you to take it literally.

[Sep 15, 2018] The problem there is that the USA cannot sell LNG at a competitive price against pipeline gas and still make money

Another problem is how much gas for sale the USA actually has? Or they want to resell gas they buy for Russia Sakhalin? They already did a couple of times.
Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Oh, please, God, let the USA impose sanctions on European companies in an attempt to stop the building of Nord Stream II (which, incidentally, has begun and is already underwater).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/09/10/trumps-energy-secretary-heading-to-moscow-to-discuss-more-energy-sanctions/#2ea293071b80

I can't think of anything more likely to incite European fury against America, and while we're on the subject, under what authority would the USA fine European companies for not obeying sanctions imposed by the USA? I can see how they could get away with further penalizing Russia – they are piggybacking on the Skripal affair, that's why they pretend so fervently to believe Britain's accusations even though it has offered no proof at all, just more accusations. The legal instrument it is using is a national-security clause (big surprise) meant to stop the spread of chemical-warfare threats. But how is it going to justify imposing a big fine on BASF-Wintershall, for example, and what would it do if the latter simply said, "Cram it up your chuff!" and refused to pay?

Anyway, the calling-out of Britain's 'evidence' in front of the UN is going to be extra-special, in that light. Because the Skripal thing is the USA's whole basis for further sanctions. Without it – if the case is demolished, and I frankly can't see how the UK government could sensibly respond to all the discrepancies picked up at sites like Slane's 'Blogmire' – they've got nothing; no grounds for further sanctions.

James lake September 10, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Russia invited American energy secretary to Moscow to discuss the USA sanctions on Russian energy markets.

They say hope dies last!

Patient Observer September 11, 2018 at 3:49 pm
Is that your interpretation? Defeat, doom?
James lake September 12, 2018 at 11:30 pm
The Americans thinking they can talk or bully Russia into Submitting by sanctions.

The USA energy policy needed a cheap product, Infrastructure across Europe, and of course investment to make this all happen beginning years ago.

Mark Chapman September 13, 2018 at 8:20 am
And that was perfectly possible, had it been started years ago, and had the USA come to Europe with a business plan which answered the question, "What's in it for me?" Everybody in business likes to make money; it's kind of what keeps business going. And if the USA could still sell to Europe under those circumstances – because it has a lot of a product it can sell at a competitive price and still make money – it would still be possible to do it. The problem there is that the USA cannot sell LNG at a competitive price against pipeline gas and still make money. A further problem is that in business dynamics, the guy who has control in a business relationship is the guy who supplies you with a product you can't get anywhere else at the same or a lower price.

The USA wants the profits realized by selling gas to Europe, and right away, that's not going to work, because shipborne LNG cannot compete with pipeline gas for price. The USA would have to sell it for a lot less than it takes to recover and ship it, and it's not willing to do that because it is contrary to every principle of business. But that's a big problem, because the profit is actually secondary. What Washington really wants is the power conveyed by being Europe's main supplier – then it can play energy politics like it constantly accuses Russia of doing, although actual evidence of Russia threatening to cut off Europe's gas if it does not, let's say, drop sanctions against Russia, is zip, Nada. No evidence. But Washington would do it, and you know they would, and so does Brussels. So it is trying to muscle Europe's main supplier out of the market by coercion, because it can't do it simply by offering a better price.

Which leaves it in the ridiculous position of arguing, "We should be your supplier instead of Russia, because ain't we the bestest of friends and allies?", at the same time it is conducting a trade war for American business advantage and threatening to impose sanctions against European companies who participate in the pipeline project as investors.

[Sep 15, 2018] Ukraine attacks Russia on legal field and score points against Gasprom

Sep 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 14, 2018 at 10:24 am

Here we go again with reliable pot-stirrer the UK, in the form of a ruling by the UK Court of Appeals that Ukraine does have a valid case, after all, of grieving the ordered repayment of $3 Billion it was lent by Moscow after Yanukovych decided to reject the European Association Agreement, and petitioned Russia for assistance.

Some facts that should be recalled here; Ukraine has to the very best of my knowledge never paid this debt, although the IMF grudgingly backed Russia's claim that it was a bilateral loan . Then Ukraine imposed a moratorium on further payments, trying to squeeze Russia into accepting a 'restructuring' of the debt, a colourful euphemism for 'write off some of it and give us until forever to pay the rest', allowing Ukraine to simply roll over its outstanding debt each year and put off payment until the promised western flood of incredible prosperity finally arrives.

The ever-helpful IMF then rewrote its own laws so that it could continue lending to Ukraine although it exhibited all the classic symptoms of a bad debtor. Most of us said it would all end in tears for the IMF, and where is it now, again? How much of that $17 Billion aid package has been disbursed?

Georgetown University Professor Anna Gelpern offered Ukraine an out , stating that in her legal opinion, the obligation amounted to 'odious debt', which consequently did not have to be repaid. Longtime kook Anders Aslund enthusiastically embraced that view, bleating that really Russia should be repaying Ukraine, for invading and plundering it.

Let me give you my not-legal opinion; Ukraine does not have a hope of winning this case. The UK is just trying to help it kick the can a little further down the road, and put off repayment for another year or two while the courts wrangle the issue out all over again, and lawyers pocket hefty fees. It also serves the British hobby of sticking its thumb in Russia's eye every chance it gets to do it. The money is probably not a big issue to Russia; it's the principle, and it would probably suit the Kremlin to duke it out in court again just on the probability that Ukraine will suffer another humiliating defeat, although that will make no difference at all to its willingness to pay. I propose, though, another option; one to be exercised immediately, and one down the road a bit. First, communicate to Kuh-yiv that if it goes ahead with this, Russia will pull out all foreign investment in Ukraine, immediately and finally. I personally do not think the economy could sustain that kind of hit, since it is on life support now. Second, Russia should communicate to Britain that once Brexit becomes operative, the UK will have to negotiate with Europe for energy supplies and pay their asking price, since there will be no direct transfers of energy to the UK. That might have been the case anyway, since to the best of my knowledge no systems serve the UK directly from Russia except LNG cargoes. But it would not hurt to remind them.

It occurs to me that the west has only itself to blame for Ukraine's current and ongoing dysfunction and 'cutie-pie' criminality, since the west keeps encouraging it to greater heights of irresponsibility, covering for it and then rewriting its own rules so that behaviour previously illegal is magically permissible.

Moscow Exile September 14, 2018 at 10:41 am
THE COURT OF SWEDEN HAS OVERTURNED A DECISION BLOCKING THE COLLECTION OF "NAFTOGAZ" ASSETS OF "GAZPROM"
September 13, 2018

Ukraine's Naftogaz to proceed with Gazprom asset seizures after court ruling
14 Sep 2018 |

Court overturns order to freeze Gazprom assets in England, Wales
14.09.2018

Funny how these things seem to happen all at once, innit?

Moscow Exile September 14, 2018 at 11:16 am
Russia to challenge decision of English Court of Appeal on Ukraine's debt
September 14, 18:48 UTC+3

Russia bought Ukrainian Eurobonds worth $3 bln in December 2013

and now, in line with the "Western Values" that they have embraced, the Yukie toe-rags do not want to pay up.

Mark Chapman September 14, 2018 at 11:41 am
The London High Court is not going to like being reversed; such reversals often do not look good for the judges, although there certainly cannot be any murmuring of 'political motivation' here, since the court was most decidedly motivated to rule for Ukraine in the original judgment if it could. As I said, this is just kicking the can down the road a piece, and buying time for Kuh-yiv. And that might be a valid strategy, if a burgeoning economy was about to break free in Ukraine. Is that the case? I'm afraid I don't think so. In fact, Ukraine is broke and living on handouts, its reserves down to record lows; it doesn't have the money, so the UK is trying to rig the judgment so as to head off its having to pay, at least temporarily. More short-term thinking, such as is characteristic of crisis management.

The Appeals Court is likely ruling on a technicality because it believes (or has been encouraged to believe) it deserves further examination. But, again, I have to believe that in such a politically-charged case, the court which rendered the original verdict would have carefully picked over every argument which might have worked in Ukraine's favour, since the UK was highly motivated to support Ukraine if there were any way it could legally do so. The efficacy, reliability and non-volatility of Eurobonds is at stake here, and a ruling now for Ukraine is likely to provoke a drawback from Eurobonds and European financial instruments by every nation that perceives it is or might one day be perceived as a foe of a Europe still in thrall to the United States. Russia chose such an instrument precisely because of the high risk of a Ukrainian default even if Yanukovych had remained in power, and that was a wise decision to the extent that the west has had to completely rewrite the book in order to challenge the stratagem. That, too, will play to its great disadvantage down the road, as every debtor nation has the right of precedent to exercise such options.

The funny thing is that if Europe simply laid out the situation bluntly to Moscow, as an equal and a respected partner to the deal, and asked for mercy for Ukraine, there is every chance Moscow would find a way to accommodate, provided it was given due credit for its magnanimity. Instead, as usual, Europe has gone with a strategy of creating the appearance that Moscow fucked Ukraine, breaking the law in the process. It will be interesting to see what Alexander Mercouris has to say about this, and I am sure he will offer an opinion, but I'm afraid I haven't time now as I have to get ready for work. But I should like to once more point out that all the advantage lies with Russia here, if it only remains patient and keeps its temper; it is Russia which is keeping Ukraine alive now, through transit fees and significant FDI. It can choose to withdraw one at any time it pleases, and the other as soon as Nord Stream II is completed. The west's attempts to change the beloved 'facts on the ground' amount to no more than scrabbling at the noose that is tightening around Ukraine's throat.

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump Sanctions on Iran May Already Be Backfiring as Tehran's Oil Revenues Soar by Whitney Webb

Notable quotes:
"... Further oil price increases could trigger a slowdown in domestic or global economic growth, which could further complicate the U.S.' Iran policy and Trump's domestic political situation. ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | www.mintpressnews.com

Further oil price increases could trigger a slowdown in domestic or global economic growth, which could further complicate the U.S.' Iran policy and Trump's domestic political situation. September 12th, 2018

Despite the Trump administration's " maximum pressure " campaign targeting the Iranian economy, Iran's crude oil and oil product revenues jumped a surprising 60 percent from March 21 to July 23. In addition, figures provided by Iran's Central Bank show that Iran's revenues from oil sales soared by 84.2 percent over that same period, setting a new record.

The increased revenues seem to have resulted from a jump in oil prices this year as well as Iran's high oil export volume during part of that period. Notably, the increased revenues were reported despite the United States' announcement in May that it would sanction those purchasing Iranian oil starting in early November, with the ultimate goal of reducing Iranian oil sales to zero in order to place pressure on the Iranian government.

The U.S.' efforts have had some noticeable effects on Iranian oil exports, as the country's exports for the month of August were significantly lower than those of July. However, the drop has only seen exports fall to near March 2016 levels , when the U.S. was not pursuing a sanctions policy against Iran and the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was in effect.

Further dashing U.S. hopes of crushing Iranian oil exports have been recent announcements from Iran's top two customers, China and India , that they would continue to import Iranian crude despite the looming threat of U.S. sanctions. India, along with some other countries, has sought " waivers " from Washington that would allow them to continue to import Iranian oil and avoid retaliation from the U.S. for a certain period of time.

In addition, the European Union, which had previously joined the U.S. in targeting Iranian oil exports in 2012, has shown its unwillingness to follow Washington's lead this time around, openly vowing to rebel against the U.S. sanctions regimen and increasing the likelihood that Europe will continue to buy some Iranian oil despite U.S. threats.

Risks for U.S. and global economies

Another indication that efforts to curb Iranian oil exports are backfiring for the Trump administration is the jump in oil prices that has resulted from concerns about the U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports. The increase in oil prices is likely to be felt domestically in the U.S., the world's largest consumer of oil, potentially posing a political risk to Trump and his fellow Republicans ahead of the November 6 midterm elections. In addition, further oil price increases could trigger a slowdown in domestic or global economic growth, which could further complicate the U.S.' Iran policy and Trump's domestic political situation.

Such concerns have prompted U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to meet his Saudi and Russian counterparts in an effort to convince those two countries to keep oil output high in order to offset a reduction in future Iranian oil exports. While Saudi Arabia has already stated it would increase output, Russia is unlikely to comply, given its relationship with Iran and Washington's threat to impose new sanctions on Moscow. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia are currently the world's three largest oil producers, accounting for about a third of global crude oil output.

While the Trump administration may have assumed that U.S. oil producers – and the U.S. economy in general -- would benefit from the elimination of Iranian oil exports, the growing rejection of the impending U.S. sanctions by other countries shows that these nations are unwilling to pay for more expensive American oil or even Saudi oil, preferring less expensive Iranian oil despite potential future consequences. Furthermore, efforts to increase U.S. crude production have fallen short of government expectations, further complicating the U.S.' efforts to offset an increase in oil prices resulting from Iranian oil sanctions.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann's Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

[Sep 09, 2018] The centrepiece of Trump's economic policy is weapons, oil and LNG exports

Aug 24, 2018 | www.newsilkstrategies.com

Below is a New Silk Strategies translation from the Russian site teknoblog.ru .

It is clear from Trump's enthusiastic sales talk to the Polish authorities on July 6, 2017 (as we reported here ) that the centrepiece of Trump's economic policy is LNG exports. The US has no major economic projects even remotely comparable to China's One Belt One Road initiative, the biggest infrastructure project in history. But worse, all of the energy companies involved in fracking are running in the red with no prospects of ever making profits unless oil prices skyrocket to new highs and stay there. The wells are short-lived and by the time they are producing steadily, they are already drying up, necessitating new drilling and more borrowing. Worse, that big deal with China to sujpply a major portion of their gas needs may be about to fizzle, thanks to Trump's tough guy act.

In 2016, Henry Kissinger floated the idea of using Russia to oppose China and shared the idea with an enthusiastic Donald Trump. Kissinger had entertained this idea in the 1970s as Nixon's national security adviser. The problem is, the whole notion of granting China "most-favoured nation" status, ie, doing essentially free trade with it, was based on just the opposite mission of opposing Russia using China as a club, and both ideas have their die-hard supporters in Washington. Keen observers know neither approach will succeed. In fact, recently the National Interest reported that China and Russia are planning joint military drills.

[Sep 09, 2018] Iraq protests threaten oil production and critical ports by Omar al-Jaffal and Safa Khalaf

Notable quotes:
"... Basra demonstrators, enraged over polluted water and years of extreme neglect, engage in arson to make their point ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | www.atimes.com

Basra demonstrators, enraged over polluted water and years of extreme neglect, engage in arson to make their point September 9, 2018 12:48 AM (UTC+8) Basra protesters set the Iranian consulate ablaze on Friday night, the latest manifestation of outrage against influential actors in Basra city, which should be one of the richest in the country with its massive oil reserves and port, but which has become one of the most decrepit.

More than 18,000 Basra residents have been poisoned by tap water since the start of the month, according to the Basra province health directorate. Hospitals, inundated with patients, have collapsed under the pressure.

Basra, like neighboring Iran, is majority Shiite. But in recent years, residents have grown hostile toward Tehran over its dominance of Iraqi affairs, its support for political parties notorious for public waste and its backing of armed factions that enforce themselves as morality police.

The torching of the Iranian consulate came just 24 hours after the protesters -- ignoring a government curfew -- set fire to the offices of powerful Shiite political parties and Iran-backed militias that formed the backbone of the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units.

The demonstrators did not spare the local government headquarters and provincial council, setting those ablaze as well.

Basra has been roiled by unrest since July, and the latest round of revolt was met with tear gas and live fire. The first week of September saw nine demonstrators killed and 93 wounded, according to the UN.

The deadly force has only inflamed the movement. Over the past two nights, security evaporated from the streets while the military kept to the sidelines. Angry groups of youths roamed the city center, demanding revenge for those killed and for years of neglect. The city appears out of control.

The unrest has put a spotlight on corruption in Iraq's economic capital, just as the Ministry of Oil seeks foreign investment – including from China – to transform the country from an importer of oil products to an exporter.

Gulf port closed

Demonstrators on Thursday shut down the country's most important port, Umm Qasr.

Basra province is Iraq's only outlet to the sea, and Umm Qasr is just one of five commercial sea ports that serve as the country's main gateway for basic necessities.

The costly shutdown prompted the minister of transportation to call for restraint via local radio stations.

"Iraq is losing millions," Kadhim Finjan pleaded over the airwaves. The port was eventually reopened Saturday before dawn.

Like the oil fields, these critical hubs have drawn protesters, who see the wealth they create being siphoned off by corruption.

An officer with the port authority, who spoke to Asia Times on condition of anonymity, said it was "impossible" for security to control the port

The ports – strategically placed on the Persian Gulf – are shared between the political parties, a phenomenon that saps their revenues and allows goods to enter without passing through customs.

An officer with the port authority, who spoke to Asia Times on condition of anonymity, said it was "impossible" for security to control the port.

"The political parties treat the ports like their private property. Goods are exempted from controls and inspection, and the taxes are reduced for traders dealing with the ruling parties," he said.

Before the ports earned the ire of the demonstrations, it was the oil sector.

Basra's 15 oil fields account for nearly 60% of the country's oil reserves. Revenues from the province generate approximately $60 million daily, or 3.6 of Iraq's total 4.3 million barrels per day.

The government relies on the sector to finance its activities, but only a fraction of the national budget flows back to Basra.

The stark contrast between Basra's oil wealth and the miserable conditions of the population has prompted demonstrators this summer to organize sit-ins blocking the gates to the oil fields.

In addition to the 15-hour power cuts and filthy drinking water, they are demanding jobs.

Foreign companies operating in Basra are required to hire locals for at least 50% of job posts, and up to 80% depending on the contract. But those laws are often flouted.

The government has also allowed foreign companies to acquire vast swathes of agricultural lands to be used as oil fields north of Basra, resulting in the bulldozing of orchards and date palm fields and increased unemployment.

"The oil extracted from our city lands is not beneficial to us," one demonstrator told Asia Times.

"It is better to stop its extraction than have it stolen," he said, blaming the government and foreign companies alike.

According to provincial council member Ahmed Abdel Hussein, half of Basra residents live in poverty.

The government says unemployment stands at about at 7.8%, but academic studies suggest a far higher rate. There are no official statistics for the province.

Feared militia takeover

The government in Baghdad fears the deteriorating situation in Basra could disrupt oil production.

"The oil companies have been greatly affected by the protests," said Adel al-Thamari, an academic and investment analyst in Basra.

"The workers cannot access the fields because of the closure of roads or closing of entry gates," he told Asia Times, adding that "the oil companies have reduced the number of foreign experts for fear of their lives and inability to afford high insurance costs."

The decline in production puts the financial burden on Baghdad. "Companies will raise the terms of credit, which means a great loss for Iraq, which will have to pay compensation to the companies," he said.

Along with the world's major oil companies, hundreds of logistics and security support companies provide operational services to the fields in Basra. As security deteriorates, they too will have to withdraw. "The withdrawal of these companies would mean production stops," Thamari said.

The concerns of oil companies go beyond the protests to fears of a militia takeover.

"The army has taken the position of neutrality toward the demonstrations, and the fear is that the Popular Mobilization Units will deploy. This would cause a further deterioration of security, because the militias have their own internal divisions and such an escalation could neutralize the official security forces," Thamari said.

[Sep 08, 2018] Russia, the West, and Recent Geoeconomics in Europe's Gas Wars by Gordon M. Hahn

Notable quotes:
"... In return for the EU dropping billions of dollars in penalty fees, GazProm agreed to end limitations on the use of gas purchased by EU members, allow them to re-sell the gas ..."
"... About the Author ..."
"... Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War ..."
"... Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 ..."
"... Russia's Islamic Threat ..."
"... The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond ..."
Jun 25, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

Russia has advanced forward in something of a tactical and potential strategic victory in the Russo-Western gas war. This is a three-party war, with the US, EU, and Russia each promoting separate interests. It is one sphere where a united West has failed to 'isolate Russia.' The US seeks move in on the European energy market with LNG supplies and replace Russian pipeline-delivered natural gas supplies to Europe. Washington is using the risks of dependence on Russian gas and Russia's 'bad behavior' as leverage in attempting to convince Europeans to reject Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Russia is said to be unreliable and prone to shut off gas supplies to Europe.

Due to past Russian-Ukrainian gas crises, the Ukrainian crisis, and general Russian-Western tensions, Europe has decided on a gas diversification policy in which each EU member should have at least three sources of natural gas supply. One additional option that could facilitate this diversification policy is US liquified natural gas (LNG), but the US is still unable to supply enough LNG to offset Russian gas supplies that might be rejected by Europe. In the process, Washington is looking less like a 'team West' player and more like a solely self-interested power maximizer in European eyes and therefore no more reliable than Moscow. As a result, Europeans are deciding to stick with the Russians while finding new options in the east, such as Turkey and Azerbaijan. This is creating competition if not tensions in present and potential gas transit countries in southeastern and eastern Europe, for example.

The Battle Over Re-Sale: No Victors

One recent battle was largely inconclusive, but if a victor has to be designated it may be Moscow. In May, the European Commssion concluded a settlement with Russia's Gazprom in May ending a seven-year anti-trust dispute. In return for the EU dropping billions of dollars in penalty fees, GazProm agreed to end limitations on the use of gas purchased by EU members, allow them to re-sell the gas. Some EU members, such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia have re-sold or wanted to re-sell gas. Moscow frowned, for example, on Slovakia's resale of natural gas to Ukraine at cheaper prices than Moscow sought to charge Kiev.

The agreement will also restrict Moscow's ability to charge different countries different prices. So EU members in central and eastern Europe can get a price close to that paid by Germany and appeal to an arbitration court in case of a dispute. The agreement guarantees Russia's presence on the European gas market at a time when the latter's reliance on the former has peaked.

The Northern Front: Nord Stream 2

At the same time, the battle over Russia' Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline has heated up. When it comes on line in 2019, the 759-mile pipeline will carry GazProm natural gas along the bed of the Baltic Sea to Germany and double the supply Nord Stream pipeline's current annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm). The Trump administration has threatened yet more sanctions on third-party companies, this time with those that work on the pipeline. The US sanctions threat is an attempt to promote American LNG interests as well as to protect Ukrainian interests, though it contradicts the view that Ukraine should eschew its dependence on Russian gas.

US officials have been hammering home to Europeans the 'Russian threat' in tandem with the risk of reliance on Russian gas may pose, which will increase with Nord tream 2, but to no avail. Public opinion is not working in the US favor, with Germans trusting Moscow more than Washington, despite all the crimes laid at the Kremlin's door by the West. A recent ZDF Television opinion survey found that only 14 percent of Germans regard the U.S. as a reliable partner, while 36 percent view Russia as reliable ( www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-17/trump-s-global-disruption-pushes-merkel-closer-to-putin-s-orbit ). Thus, notwithstanding Ukraine, Syria and alleged chemical attacks, Russiagate, and the Skrypals, GazProm's supplies to Europe have risen to hold nearly 40 percent of its gas market, growing last year by 8.1 percent last year to a record level of 193.9 billion cubic metres (bcm).

Nevertheless, with the EU decision, the U.S., Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and others have stepped up their pressure on Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and other western Eureopean EU members to abandon the Nord Stream 2 project. Germans and other western Europeans are unlikely to give up the short-term gain of energy security for the US LNG given the higher price and unproven nature of Washington's numerous allegations against the Kremlin. German officials say they still have no proof from 10 Downing on Russia's culpability for the Skrypal poisoning so loudly trumpeted by British PM Theresa May.

One motivation for the Russians in building Nord Stream 2 is to obviate the need to transport gas through Ukraine, which will hurt Ukraine's own energy supply – given Ukrainian skimming -- and overall economy beyond the present non-sale of Russian gas to Ukraine. Another Russian motivation is to avert the unreliable Ukrainians, who have failed to make payments according to contract in the past causing Russian gas cutoffs to Ukraine and thus Europe with the resulting crises blamed solely on Moscow. The Trump sanctions threat has put Germany and the other Nord Stream 2 supporting countries between a rock and a hard place, between Russia and the US. Therefore, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while supporting Nord Stream 2, has called for guarantees from Russia that Ukraine will remain a gas transit country. Ukraine's current contract with Russia ends in 2019 at the very time Nord Stream 2 is to go on line and the EU has urged re-starting EU-mediated negotiatons now in order to avoid another gas crisis. Putin agreed to do this at his meeting with Germany's merkel in late May. Nord Stream 2 significantly strengthens Putin's hand in any such talks.

The Southern Front: Turkish Stream, SGC and the Azeri and Bulgarian Factors

Russia is strengtheining its position on the European gas war's southern front by building the Turkish Stream (TS) gas pipeline to Europe. TS consists of a sea and a land leg. The former runs under the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and is built, with Russo-Turkish talks on the land leg ongoing.

Russia's Turkish Stream is being challenged by the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) backed by Western powers, including the EU (along with Turkey and Azerbaijan), which sees the SGC as a means of diversifying from dependence on Russia. Not just Turkey, but Azerbaijan is emerging as a major player on the EU gas market, with a shift in policy accenting gas supplies to Europe as well as oil supplies as in the past. The SGC consists of three components: an expanded South Caucasus Pipeline and the to be constructed Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). TANAP is 51 percent Azerbaijani owned, 37 percent Turkish, and 12 percent belonging to British Petroleum. The SGC will carry Azerbaijani gas through Turkey to Europe and will be able to supply up to one-third of the gas consumed by Bulgaria, Greece and Italy ( https://en.trend.az/business/energy/2910573.html ). However, the source of the gas supplying the pipeline demonstrates the limits of Western attempts to isolate Russia (and Iran). Azerbaijan's Shah-Deniz gas field is co-owned by British Petroleum (29 percent), Turkey's Turkish Petroleum (19 percent), Azerbaijan's SOCAR (17 percent), Malaysia's Petronas (15 percent), Russia's LukOil (10 percent), and Iran's NICO (10 percent). Moreover, Russia's LukOil is negotiating with SOCAR a stake in Azerbaijan's second-largest gas field, Umid-Babek, which also includes Britain's Nobel Upstream ( https://newsbase.com/topstories/lukoil-talks-join-umid-babek-project ).

Again the Ukrainian issue is part of the picture here, as a good portion of GasProm supplies to Bulgaria go through Ukraine. Turkish Stream can replace at least some of that supply should Moscow decide to entirely avert Ukraine's pipeline system. It is of interest that no one in the West has offered to include in any of these projects or attempted to fashion a pipeline or pipeline extension that could link up with the Ukrainian network.

During Bulgarian President Rumen Radev's late may visit to Moscow, Putin reported to Radev that during his meetings with Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the latter said he would pose no oppsotion to extending the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to Bulgaria. In response, Radev seemed to suggest making Bulgaria a "a gas redistribution center, a hub" for the Turkish Stream's supplies further into Europe ( http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57608 ).

Moreover, one gets the impression that Bulgaria is wary more about its dependence on Turkey and Ankara's new offensive energy policy in Europe than on Russia and might help Moscow detour Ukraine.

In 2015, Erdogan declared a major policy initiative of making Turkey a, if not the major energy transit hub for supplies heading from the east to Europe.

Russia's annexation of Crimea could help Russia in its talks both with Erdogan over the Turkish Stream and pose the threat of undermining the SGC. It may also help Putin deal with Merkel, Kiev and the EU over the Ukraine pipeline system's future role. Bulgarian President Radev also said in Moscow that Sofia supports building a direct gas pipeline under the Black Sea to bring Russian gas to Bulgaria ( https://echo.msk.ru/news/2206394-echo.html ).

The Bulgarian option could be used by Putin to threaten Erdogan with reducing the Turkish Stream's supplies or abandoning it altogether in favor of a Black Sea Russian-Bulgarian Stream and to reduce Russia's dependence on Ukraine as well.

Implications

Thus, EU energy diversification policies are transforming Turkey, Azerbaijan and perhaps even Bulgaria into key players on the southern gas transit front, while Ukraine falters to Germany, and eastern Europe to Western Europe on the northern front.

Tensions between Ankara and Sofia on these grounds cannot be excluded, and they could draw in Turkey's semi-ally Azerbaijan. US, EU, Russian and Ukrainian energy diplomacy is likely not only to be focused on each other, therefore, but also on Ankara, Baku, and Sofia over the next year.

Unless, the US can rapidly reduce the cost of extracting and shipping LNG to Europe, it is unlikely to be able to become a major alternative to these players, and Russia will continue to dominate the European gas market, with a balance of competition and cooperation with Azerbaijan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War (McFarland Publishers, 2017) and three previously and well-received books: Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002); Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007); and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014). He has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media and has served as a consultant and provided expert testimony to the U.S. government.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. He has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kennan Institute in Washington DC as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

[Sep 06, 2018] Paradise Papers Reveal US Selling Russian LNG In Europe by Irina Slav

Notable quotes:
"... If the reports are true, the situation is an ironic one for Europe: while trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas it is inadvertently increasing it and is even paying more for it than it would if it bought the extra loads directly from Gazprom. ..."
Nov 10, 2017 | oilprice.com

The documents suggest that a company with US ownership is buying Russian gas from petrochemical giant Sibur, and then selling it -- at a profit, of course -- to the European Union, which is in a rush to build as many LNG terminals as it can in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

If the reports are true, the situation is an ironic one for Europe: while trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas it is inadvertently increasing it and is even paying more for it than it would if it bought the extra loads directly from Gazprom.

One might wonder how a U.S. company is able to do business with a Russian one. It's simple: Wilbur Ross himself said earlier this week that Sibur is not a subject to sanctions, so for Navigator Holdings and the petrochemical giant, everything is business as usual.

[Sep 05, 2018] Melting Arctic Creates New Opportunities For LNG

Sep 05, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 2, 2018 at 11:36 pm

OilPrice.com : Melting Arctic Creates New Opportunities For LNG
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Melting-Arctic-Creates-New-Opportunities-For-LNG.html

According to Balmasov, while the number of voyages via the Northern Sea Route so far this year has been roughly the same as last year, the main difference compared to 2017 is LNG traffic out of the port of Sabetta, the port that Russia's gas producer Novatek uses to ship the Yamal LNG cargoes to Europe and to Asia.

Arctic Logistics data compiled by Bloomberg shows that by early July, a total of 34 tankers made the voyage from Sabetta to Europe, and one to the east. Since early July, another two LNG tankers have shipped the fuel to Asia

In mid-July, Novatek said that it had shipped its first LNG cargoes from Yamal LNG to China via the Northern Sea Route, with the voyage from Sabetta completed in 19 days, compared to 35 days for the traditional eastern route via the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca
####

Tut tut! Cannot have LNG going via Russia's northern passage (fnar! fnar!).

Vis ship pollution, why simply hold LNG carriers up to much higher environmental standards? After all most of them are much newer and are specialist vessels. Or are they already? Indeed they are, the use of duel-fuel engines that can make use of boil-off:

https://www.brighthubengineering.com/naval-architecture/111619-propulsion-methods-for-modern-lng-tankers/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNG_carrier

As of 2005, a total of 203 vessels had been built, of which 193 were still in service. At the end of 2016, the global LNG shipping fleet consisted of 439 vessels.[3] In 2017, an estimated 170 vessels are in use at any one time

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNG_carrier#Reliquefaction_and_boil-off
According to WGI, on a typical voyage an estimated 0.1–0.25% of the cargo converts to gas each day, depending on the efficiency of the insulation and the roughness of the voyage.[16] In a typical 20-day voyage, anywhere from 2–6% of the total volume of LNG originally loaded may be lost.[16]

Normally an LNG tanker is powered by steam turbines with boilers. These boilers are dual fuel and can run on either methane or oil or a combination of both. ..

Mark Chapman September 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

I love how an eventuality we were all raised to dread – the melting of the polar ice caps – is now spun as a net positive. Make hay while the sun shines! When life hands you lemons, make lemonade! Pick your metaphor. We are destroying the planet we live on, inch by irrecoverable inch, but the merchants of Stay-Positive maintain it is AWESOME.

I don't know if you heard – probably not, since it was never much of an international story – but the Canadian Federal Court of Appeals, in a surprise decision, overturned the government's commitment to the Trans-Mountain pipeline.

https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2018/08/trans-mountain-court-quashes-approval-contentious-pipeline-180830180555077.html

Alberta's Rachel Notley reportedly bent spoons with her teeth, since she had just jubilantly reported that the court challenge by the city of Burnaby (British Columbia) was defeated. "To date, Alberta has won every case brought against Trans Mountain. Your Alberta government will not back down until this pipeline is built and the national interest is secured", she crowed on Twitter; the modern equivalent of a legislature, I guess, since all politicians who are anybody turn first to Twitter to get their message out.

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/977566130351960064

That one, of course, was "a victory for all Canadians". Except for British Columbia's crybabies, of course, who did not want to play host to Alberta's tanker armada, considering Alberta has no seacoast. So you would think she would quietly accept this later decision by the legal system she purports to revere. Not a bit of it. She immediately withdrew Alberta from the national climate-change plan, and restarted her rhetoric about cutting off BC's gas supply.

https://calgaryherald.com/news/ready-and-prepared-to-turn-off-the-taps-notley-issues-stark-warning-to-b-c-as-pipeline-fight-escalates/wcm/59f845c2-b13e-46f5-bb08-15e0fb37ec84

Get it? When the court rules in Alberta's favour, it is just – the solemn power of the law makes you want to weep with awe. When it rules against Alberta, it is a clown show of unevolved primates. That's modern politics.

All this theatre when the completion of the pipeline is inevitable – the very day, almost to the hour that the Court of Appeals rendered its decision, the shareholders of Kinder-Morgan Canada voted 99% in favour of selling the pipeline to the government of Canada. So now the government owns it, and although it may be delayed a couple of years, it's down but not out. Now the government has to re-do its consultations with all the native bands, this time selling the impression that it is actually listening and the consultative process is real, and it has to conduct a review of the environmental impact of increased tanker traffic (which it formerly declaimed as outside its purview). I'd say if there is agreement on changing some routes and perhaps permissible speed until well offshore, it will almost certainly pass next time.

[Sep 02, 2018] An Israeli campaign against Iranian nuclear sites is going to involve F-15 and F-16 jets loaded to the gills with big-arse bombs. Those will be unable to dogfight even a relic like an F-5 unless they drop that ordinance.

Sep 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Sep 2, 2018 1:27:48 AM | link

@82 There is some logic to the Iranians fielding a jet fighter of any sort, even if it is based on a relic of the 1970s.

An Israeli campaign against Iranian nuclear sites is going to involve F-15 and F-16 jets loaded to the gills with big-arse bombs. Those will be unable to dogfight even a relic like an F-5 unless they drop that ordinance.

If that is all those Iranians do that then they will have achieved their purpose.

Alternatively, the Israelis could use fighter escorts but then you have to consider that each escort represents one less bomb-laden F-16 (or, put another way, twice as many sorties).

Simply put: Absent any Iranian jet fighters then the Israelis can commit ALL of their jets to the task of bombing Iranian targets, and do so from the very beginning. But once Iranian fighters are in the mix then the job becomes much harder: the Israelis either have to take out those jets first before committing to a bombing campaign, or they have to commit half their force to escort duties from the very start.

Sure, SU-35s would be much better, but an F-5 is still way better than nothing.

partizan , Sep 2, 2018 3:40:55 AM | link

@Yeah, Right | Sep 2, 2018 1:27:48 AM | 144

the Iranian defense budget is one of lowest in that part of the world. even tiny Dubai has higher one.

upgrading an old fighter jet (not only jet) is sometime more costly than developing a new one.

su-35 flanker-e 4++ costs about $85 million a piece. i simply refuse to believe they cannot afford that.

[Sep 02, 2018] The countries that are truly dependent on Russia are in ex-communist Eastern Europe. They still rely on a network of pipelines built by USSR, and would go into energy crisis if Russia suddenly ended supply.

Sep 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , says: September 1, 2018 at 10:48 pm GMT

@AquariusAnon

You seem ignorant about economic issues. For example, when it comes to natural gas market, European countries are not in the same boat. Britain and Spain import virtually no gas from Russia. These countries built lots LNG terminals and import from Qatar.

Germany, Italy and France have a well-diversified supply from multiple sources. The countries that are truly dependent on Russia are in ex-communist Eastern Europe. They still rely on a network of pipelines built by USSR, and would go into energy crisis if Russia suddenly ended supply.

There is no Chinese FDI in Belarus, and in Russia it accounts for 1% of the total FDI. Nobody is learning Chinese in Russia or Belarus. I don't know what you're smoking.

[Aug 31, 2018] US is an oligarchy not a democracy

Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Aug 30, 2018 9:06:13 PM | 54

Somebody @40:

Your comment implies that people should continue to bang their heads against a wall.

In fact, no one has said NOT to participate in politics. To be effective, it's important to understand the reality of politics and the power structure.

Landmark Princeton University Study: Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens demonstrates that US is an oligarchy not a democracy:

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination ...

That's why candidates like Ron Paul on the Republican side and Denis Kucinich on the Democratic side never stood a chance. They made way too much sense; they dared speak truth to power so they had to be marginalized by their respective parties so no one would take them seriously. They were literally swallowed up by the duopoly and relegated to quasi-obscurity.

[Aug 31, 2018] Let us not forget, that under the mighty and loved O-bomber, a group of US Senators back in 2014 made Bulgaria drop South Stream with god knows what threats, whereas Brussels had previously failed (intentionally?) to do so. Guess who was the lead Senator?

Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 30, 2018 3:50:33 PM | 29

I would say 'contra-Russia'. Trump is just the current vessel.

Let us not forget, that under the mighty and loved O-bomber, a group of US Senators back in 2014 made Bulgaria drop South Stream with god knows what threats, whereas Brussels had previously failed (intentionally?) to do so. Guess who was the lead Senator?

RT.com: Bulgaria halts Russia's South Stream gas pipeline project after visit by US senators
https://www.rt.com/business/164588-brussels-bulgaria-halts-south-stream/

At this time there is a request from the European Commission, after which we've suspended the current works, I ordered it," Oresharski told journalists after meeting with John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson during their visit to Bulgaria on Sunday. "Further proceedings will be decided after additional consultations with Brussels."

McCain, commenting on the situation, said that "Bulgaria should solve the South Stream problems in collaboration with European colleagues," adding that in the current situation they would want "less Russian involvement" in the project.

"America has decided that it wants to put itself in a position where it excludes anybody it doesn't like from countries where it thinks it might have an interest, and there is no economic rationality in this at all. Europeans are very pragmatic, they are looking for cheap energy resources – clean energy resources, and Russia can supply that. But the thing with the South Stream is that it doesn't fit with the politics of the situation," Ben Aris, editor of Business New Europe told RT .
####


See, nothing has changed. At least it looks like U-rope has learned its lesson. Not so the US. Russia hatin' is a too good 'dead cat on the table' to give up.

Posted by: et Al | Aug 30, 2018 1:55:58 PM | 8

Underneath everyone's observations/comments lurks the basic question: Why?

Enter the Big Picture provided yesterday by Pepe Escobar who also links to and cites the controversial Alastair Crooke ideological essay I linked to last week. Part of the Big Picture is the #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire--Full Spectrum Dominance of the Planet--and its recently published National Defense Strategy(NDS) related to that goal:

"The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model -- gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions."

Do please note the combination of prevarication with ideology in the above as it's reflective of the point Crooke tried to make in his piece. A strategy based upon lies to oneself is a sure recipe for defeat as you're deceiving yourself which violates the first law of war as pronounced by so many: "All war is based on deception." But then given the political-economic nature of the USA's Keynesian Militarism, perhaps this deception is aimed domestically so as to transfer even more tax dollars upwards to the 1%. So, actions must be closely observed even more than usual.

During the election campaign, it was speculated that Trump's desire to ease tensions with Russia was a last-ditch gambit suggested by Kissinger to split the Chinese-Russian alliance. So, Russiagate served to defeat that gambit while pushing China and Russia even closer together. With the Syrian regime change ploy rapidly being defeated and Ukraine going nowhere, Deep State planners were left without an oar, so the reversion to Cold War Russophobia with an occasional bout of Sinophobia thrown in for good measure--neither of which is any sort of strategy.

Another quote from the NDS:

"Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military
advantage has been eroding."

That was realized before Putin's display of highly advanced Russian weaponry, which was announced in March, the NDS was released in January. What's amazing is "strategic atrophy" with budgets beyond $600 billion must mean a massive portion's being wasted--delivered to the 1%--such that it's corruption that's caused the erosion of "our competitive advantage." I'd opine much of the chaos we see being played-up is done to obscure interpretations like mine so that even more $$$ can be wasted, although lip service is given to improvements.

So, who/what's really in charge? Big Money rules as it has since the Civil War within the USA and much earlier when we include London and Amsterdam. Big Money's angry because it's locked out of BRI, BRICS, EAEU, and developing nations are mostly on to IMF's and World Bank's disingenuous "development" plans because it abhors the notion that it's not Top Dog. So, the dollar got weaponized and the Trade and Financial War--the Hybrid Third World War--was finally begun in earnest after earlier fits and starts. Yet it appears that the effort will fail since Big Money is finding itself trapped inside a web of its own making that's based on a fiat currency supported by Junk Economics.