In Milestone, Iran Ships First Oil To Europe Since Sanctions Lifted

In case you haven’t noticed, Iran is on a roll.
Much to the chagrin of Israel and any number of GOP lawmakers in the US, the nuclear accord is a done deal and creates a $100 billion windfall for Tehran.
And that’s just the beginning of the story.
Starting in Q1, Iran will ramp crude production by 500,000 b/d and by 1,000,000 b/d by year end. The sharp increase in production is expected to help Iran quintuple its oil revenue by the end of 2016 compared to what the country was pulling in while languishing under international sanctions.
Assuming $29/ barrel crude, Iran would bring in some $2.35 billion a month assuming production of 2.7 million b/d, which is below the 2.86 million b/d that Tehran actually pumped in January.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/14/2016.

Im-Politic: The Establishment Starts Sliming All of Trump-Nation

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of RealityChek. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Silly me. I thought that a January columnblaming working- and middle-class supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy for their economic plight would mark the high-water mark of the establishment media’s brazen elitism during this political annus mirabilis. It turns out that the Marketwatch columnist, Tim Mullaney, can’t hold a candle to David Rothkopf. According to Rothkopf, Editor ofFOREIGN POLICY magazine, bigots, outright racists, proto-fascists and the like aren’t simply found on the fringes of the Trump constituency. They make up the majority.
Some truth in advertising first: I spent four great years working at FOREIGN POLICY in the 1980s, when it was a very different publication, and I’m no great fan of its metamorphosis since then. So maybe that’s giving this criticism an unusual edge. And even by journalism’s increasingly debased standards, Rothkopf is anything but a typical scribe, having crossed over from the world of offshoring-focused government and business activity. All the same, as a result, he’s increasingly representative of a hybrid national political/chattering class that’s ever more dependent on plutocrats’ funding, and therefore ever more determined to protect their interests. And he looks increasingly typical of this privileged class’ desperation to stop Trump.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Alan Tonelson ‘ February 13, 2016.

The Neoconservatives Are Brewing A Wider War In Syria – Paul Craig Roberts

While you are enjoying your Sunday, the insane neoconservatives who control Western foreign policy and their Turkish and Saudi Arabian vassals might be preparing the end of the world.
Any person who relies on Western media has no accurate idea of what is happening in Syria.
I will provide a brief summary and then send you to two detailed accounts.
The neoconservative Obama regime set-up the Syrian government headed by Assad for overthrow. A long propaganda campaign conducted in Washington’s behalf by the Western media portrayed the democratically-elected Assad as a ‘brutal dictator who uses chemical weapons against his own people.’ Washington organized and supported a front group posing as democrats and involved them in conflict with the Syrian military.
With conflict underway, Washington began predicting that something had to be done to overthrow Assad before he used ‘chemical weapons against his own people.’ Obama turned these predictions into a ‘red line.’ When Assad used chemical weapons against Washington’s puppets, the US would invade Syria.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on February 14, 2016.

If This Is “Transparency” – We’d Hate To Know What Secrecy Looks Like

In the spirit of the transparency – of which the Obama administration claims to be a champion – there will be no details regarding the allocation of non-military intelligence spending in the president’s final budget request to Congress.
According to a press release from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), fiscal year 2017′s budget totals $53.5 billion, but don’t ask which agencies or programs will receive the funds -’because such disclosures could harm national security.’
Of course, the ODNI congratulated the self-titled most transparent administration in history for its laudatory lucidity, anyway.
‘Reflecting the Administration’s commitment to transparency and open government, this Budget continues the practice begun in 2012 of disclosing the President’s aggregate funding requests for the [National Intelligence Program],’ stated an ODNI fact sheet.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/14/2016.

Episode #122 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘The Art of Crisis’ with guest Andrew Korybko

Episode #122 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes this Sunday Feb. 14, 2016 presented by hostPatrick Henningsen with 3 HOURS of power-packed talk radio…
SUNDAYS – 5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12pm PT (US)
This week’s very special edition of THE SUNDAY WIRE is broadcasting LIVE, as host Patrick Henningsen returns this week with another very special show, covering the top news stories internationally. In the first hour we’ll look at the latest regarding the FBI arrest of Cliven Bundy in Portland, the GOP presidential blood bath, the political fall-out from the death of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the breaking situation in Syria. In the second hour we’re joined by special guest, political analyst and journalist, Andrew Korybko to analyze and discuss the Europe’s ever-developing ‘Migrant Crisis’. In the third hour we’ll tackle more geopolitical issues and news stories.
Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…


This post was published at Spreaker on FEBRUARY 14, 2016.

Road To World War III: Turkey Shells Syria For Second Day As Saudi Warplanes Arrive

Turkish drones suspected of penetrating Syrian airspace over northern #Aleppo to find additional targets for artillery strikes.
— Daniel Nisman (@DannyNis) February 14, 2016

On Saturday, the geopolitical world was shocked when Turkey began shelling Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by Hezbollah and the IRGC supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.
To be sure, everyone knew Ankara and Riyadh would have to do something quick if they wanted to preserve the rebellion. Their proxies are being rolled up rapidly by Hassan Nasrallah’s army and Vladimir Putin’s air force juggernaut. But few expected the escalation would come so quickly.
But Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unpredictable (just ask the lone surviving pilot of the Su-24 Turkey shot down in November) and this weekend, he decided that there’s no time like the present when it comes to starting World War III.
Officially, Turkey says it’s shelling Kurdish positions in Syria in self defense. It’s all about securing the border against hostiles, Ankara says. Of course the idea that the YPG are set to invade Turkey is laughable. The Syrian Kurds have secured enough space in their own country to declare an autonomous proto-state, and they needn’t aspire to capturing Turkish territory.
But for Erdogan, that’s precisely the problem. Ankara fears the YPG’s gains will embolden the PKK militarily and the HDP politically and last June’s elections clearly suggest that an emboldened Kurdish minority has the power to shake up the political scene.
And so, Turkey is set to take the fight to Syria in the name of fighting ‘terrorists’, which for Erdogan, means eradicating the Kurds. As we noted on Saturday, the challenge for Ankara and Riyadh is this: somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area.
Incredibly, Turkey seems less concerned about the optics than we thought. In short, Erdogan looks as though he’s prepared to simply enter the war on the pretext that Turkey needs to roll back the YPG which, you’re reminded is explicitly backed by the US.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/14/2016.

The Moral Legitimacy of Interest and Banking

For [the kingdom of heaven] is as a man traveling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man he gave according to ability, and straightaway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made [them] five other talents. And likewise he that [had received] two, he also gained other two (Matt. 25:14-17).
This parable is a kingdom parable. It follows the five-point covenant model that was first discovered by Ray Sutton. First, the master calls his servants before him (sovereignty). Second, he delegates authority to them as his economic representatives by transferring money to them (hierarchy/representation). Third, while it is not stated explicitly, he commands them to make a profit (law/dominion). We know this because all three immediately take steps to obey his implicit economic command. Fourth, he returns and imposes positive sanctions: blessings to the profitable servants. Fifth, the blessings that he gives them involve rulership (succession/continuity). He then imposes negative sanctions against the unprofitable servant, casting him into outer darkness (disinheritance).
This parable contains several theological messages, but the three main ones are these: first, God owns all things; second, He delegates temporary control over these things to men; third, men are required to increase the value of whatever God has entrusted to them.
There are also secondary implications. First, it should be noted that the servants were required to act on their own initiative for a long period. The master was not present to tell them precisely what to do. He imposed a profit management system of control, a bottom-up hierarchy. It was not the management alternative, a non-market, top-down bureaucracy. He wisely decentralized his investment portfolio before he departed. He allowed his subordinates to make their own decisions regarding the proper use of his capital. He subsequently held them legally responsible for the results.
It should also be noted that he gave a greater or lesser quantity of capital to each servant according to the individual’s ability. He had watched them perform, and he know who was most reliable. There is no equalitarianism visible in this parable, no theory of “equal starting positions.” The better performers gained access to the largest initial advance of capital. This is a basic principle of free market competition: those who perform profitable are subsequently entrusted with greater capital and greater responsibility, and if successful, they receive greater rewards. In other words, capital is transferred to managers who are believed by owners to be most likely to produce profits. If they continue to perform profitably, they gain control over ever greater quantities of capital.

This post was published at Gary North on February 10, 2016.

Turkey Fires On Syrian Army, Kurds, Says “Massive Escalation” In Syria Imminent As Saudis Ready Airstrikes

Update: At least two sources confirm that Turkey also fired on the Syrian army on Saturday, an exceptionally provocative move.
Update: Washington has now weighed in and is asking the Turks to please stop shelling the soldiers the Pentagon is arming.
Even as all sides – including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and select rebel groups – pretend to be working towards a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the five year conflict in Syria, actions speak louder than words, and to put it as succinctly as possible, everyone is still fighting.
In fact, the fighting is more intense than ever. Russia and Hezbollah are closing in on Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a key urban center where rebels are dug in for what amounts to a last stand. If the city is liberated by the government (and yes, ‘liberated’ is more accurate than ‘falls’ because occupied territory belongs to the Syrian government, not to Sunni extremists), Assad will have regained control of the country’s backbone in the west.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/13/2016.

“We Are In A New Cold War”: Russia PM Delivers Stark Warning To NATO

It was just two days ago when Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev warned that if Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar invade Syria in a transparent attempt to shore up their Sunni proxy armies currently under siege by Moscow’s warplanes and Hezbollah, a ‘new world war’ would be inevitable.
He also indicated that such a conflict would likely drag on for ‘decades.’
‘Do they really think they would win such a war very quickly? That’s impossible, especially in the Arabic world,’ Medvedev said. ‘There everyone is fighting against everyone… everything is far more complicated. It could take years or decades.”
On Saturday, Medvedev was back at it with the hyperbole (or at least we hope it’s hyperbole) in Munich where more than 60 foreign and defense ministers are gathered for the 52nd Munich Security Conference. In his speech, the PM challenged NATO’s military maneuvers in the Baltics as well as the alliance’s general approach towards relations with The Kremlin.
‘The political line of NATO toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed,’ he said in a speech to the conference. ‘It can be said more sharply: We have slid into a time of a new cold war.’
‘NATO on Wednesday approved new reinforcements for eastern Europe, including stepped-up troop rotations on its eastern flanks and more naval patrols in the Baltic Sea,’ Bloomberg notes. ‘In response, the Kremlin dismissed the alliance’s argument that the move was merely defensive.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/13/2016 –.

Putin’s Aleppo Gamble Pays Off — Mike Whitney

Last week’s game-changing triumph in northern Syria has moved the Russian-led coalition to within striking distance of a decisive victory in Aleppo. After breaking a 40 month-long siege on the cities of Nubl and Zahra, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has encircled the country’s industrial hub and is gradually tightening the noose. Crucial supply-lines to the north have been cut leaving the Sunni extremists and anti-government militias stranded inside a vast, urban cauldron. It’s only a matter of time before these disparate renegades are either killed or forced to surrender. A victory in Aleppo will change the course of the war by restoring government control over the densely-populated western corridor. This is why the Obama administration is frantically searching for ways to either delay or derail the Russian-led juggernaut and avoid the impending collapse of U.S. policy in Syria.
Recent peace talks in Geneva were convened with one goal in mind, to prevent Syrian President Bashar al Assad and loyalist forces from retaking Aleppo. The negotiations failed, however, when Washington’s mercurial allies, the so called ‘moderate’ rebels, refused to participate. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Syrian opposition withdrew ‘under pressure from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two of the main backers of the rebels.’ The WSJ’s admission was later confirmed by Secretary of State John Kerry who according to a report in the Middle East Eye ‘blamed the Syrian opposition for leaving the talks and paving the way for a joint offensive by the Syrian government and Russia on Aleppo.’
‘Don’t blame me,’ Kerry said, ‘Blame the opposition. It was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away.’

This post was published at InformationClearingHouse

Turkey Shells Aleppo, Says “Massive Escalation” In Syria Imminent As Saudis Ready Airstrikes

Even as all sides – including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and select rebel groups – pretend to be working towards a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to the five year conflict in Syria, actions speak louder than words, and to put it as succinctly as possible, everyone is still fighting.
In fact, the fighting is more intense than ever. Russia and Hezbollah are closing in on Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a key urban center where rebels are dug in for what amounts to a last stand. If the city is liberated by the government (and yes, ‘liberated’ is more accurate than ‘falls’ because occupied territory belongs to the Syrian government, not to Sunni extremists), Assad will have regained control of the country’s backbone in the west.
That would effectively mean the end of the rebellion and the Gulf monarchies, not to mention Turkey, are not happy about it. ‘The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists,’ Assad said in an interview with AFP on Friday.
That supply line has been severed and now, it’s do or die time for the rebels’ Sunni benefactors in Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha. Either intervene or watch as Hezbollah rolls up the opposition under cover of Russian airstrikes, restoring the Assad government and securing the Shiite crescent for the Iranians.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/13/2016 –.

The Reality Of Saudi Arabia Going To War: ‘They Will Lose 50% of Their Forces In The First Engagement’

A war is brewing and perhaps within a few days or weeks, should cooler heads not prevail in the middle east, we will see the opening salvos of World War III. This time it won’t just be a proxy war between various extreme and moderate terrorist organizations. This time, as John Kerry so eloquently noted, the end result may well be war with the Russians.
As we publish, Saudi Arabian forces are readying their air force for bombing runs over Syria. According to reports they are also massing ground troops and awaiting the go-ahead from their Western coalition partners, with the final order likely coming directly from the United States.
For the moment the United States will be sitting this one out, acting indirectly as more of a support mechanism rather than putting any boots on the ground. Thus, it will be in the hands of the Turks and Saudis for now.
But if they think they’re simply going to walk into Syria against battle-hardened forces sponsored by Iran and Russia, they are about to get a very brutal wake-up call.

This post was published at shtfplan on February 13th, 2016.

Syria: Turning Over the Death Card

Things are getting hot again over in Syria, and not just because of the weather. Russia just said that if the United States jumps into the war in Syria, it’ll end up being the Third World War! Now, there’s no reason to believe that Russia can’t make good on that threat. This is a superpower, even though the United States likes to engage in the make-believe that they lost that coveted title when the Soviet Union collapsed. I fear that the threat of another world war might be too good an offer for the United States government to pass up. ‘What?! We could have another world war?! Why, that would be swell! We haven’t gone out and had a world war in a long time! It’s always been having to settle for wars that end up in cease-fires and we’re hungry for another war an hour later! Gosh, we haven’t had a world war since 1945! Honey, do you know where my good tie is? I want to look nice! I’ll call the UN and make reservations.’
This will be a world war to remember! Just think of the soundtrack! We’ll be plugged in listening to this war and walking right into traffic distracted for years! ‘Hey kids! Enlist in the United States Army and win a coveted guest appearance on ‘Dancing With The Shahid’ debuting our new designer body armor!’ See, we think this is a world war where we just get to fight international iterations of the same thing. You know, like an International House of Pancakes of terrorists. ‘Try the Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghani terrorists all at once with our all-new ‘World Grand Slam Of Terrorists Platter’! We don’t stop and think, ‘Say, this is the Russians who just flipped the Death Card out of the world crisis Tarot deck here. Maybe we better think again about that trip to Syria.’ And that’s exactly what happened. Medvedev was sitting there in the tent, hunched over the Tarot spread, saying, ‘Ah, this card blocks you, this card portends another quagmire war you won’t be able to cease-fire your way out of and…oh! The Death Card! Hmmm…there’s a world war in it.’ The United States, unable to understand the nature of such divinations says, ‘Ok, so, how about we go for two out of three readings, then? Maybe things will change.’

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on February 13, 2016.

The Ceasefire Agreement Is A Ruse To Launch The Next Plan In Syria – Episode 892b

The following video was published by X22Report on Feb 12, 2016
US and WHO says very close to creating a vaccine for this fake Zika scare. US will begin with bio-metric scanning at airports soon. NATO getting ready to supply troops to Turkey for the upcoming war. Russia and the US agree on ceasefire, but the ceasefire does not include IS. The cease fire is a ruse so the US can prepare to invade Syria with NATO, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. CIA directory reports IS has the capability to create chemical and biological weapons which they could use in the US.

Assad Plans To Retake “All Syria,” Will “Confront” Saudis, Turks If Invaded

Nine months ago, things weren’t look good for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Four years into his country’s bloody civil war, he found himself fighting a multi-front war against a long list of largely Sunni extremist elements and the government’s forces were stretched thin. The rebels enjoyed the support not only of the US, but of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. That meant that their resources were essentially unlimited.
It had taken longer than expected, but by summer of last year, the plan that was revealed in a leaked diplomatic cable from 2006penned by Deputy Chief of Mission in Syria William Roebuck had materialized. The West and its regional allies had managed to engineer a Sunni uprising against the Alawite government by fomenting sectarian discord and within months, Assad would either flee (likely to Russia) or end up like Gaddafi – executed by an angry mob.
Russia’s intervention changed all that by giving Hezbollah an advanced air force to back ground offensives and now, four months since Russia first begun flying combat missions from Latakia, Assad is poised to recapture Aleppo, securing his grip on the country’s main urban centers.
Assad has given several interviews since the end of last summer. We’ve documented most of them here. In September for instance, he had the following advice for the West, which suddenly became acutely aware of the ‘problem’ in Syria when the indelible image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi drowned on a Turkish beach was plastered all over the nightly news: “If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees.”
Then, in the wake of the Paris attacks, Assad condemned the assaults as ‘savage’ but reminded the media that ‘what France suffered from terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring for over five years.’ “We said, don’t take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen,’ he added.
Then, in December, Assad invited Die Presse to Damascus for a sweeping interview in which the President described the country’s infrastructure as ‘pretty much destroyed’ and blamed Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar for turning Syria into a ‘hotbed for terrorists.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 02/12/2016.

Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton – ‘I’m Proud to Say Henry Kissinger is Not My Friend’

He’s a thug, and a crook, and a liar, and a pseudo-intellectual and a murderer. Ok? Those things are factually verifiable.
Kissinger deserves vigorous prosecution for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.
A good liar must have a good memory: Kissinger is a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory.
– Quotes by Christopher Hitchens
One of the more bizarre memes that continues to be parroted by the establishment media is this idea that Hillary Clinton is so much stronger than Bernie Sanders when it comes to foreign policy. Sure, if your definition of ‘strength’ consists of cheerleading for the cataclysmic Iraq War and propagating a series of war crimes and international fiascos as Secretary of State, then I suppose that’s true.
For some of Henry Kissinger’s greatest genocidal hits, I turn to a fantastic article published in the Nation last week titled, Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton’s Tutor in War and Peace:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Feb 12, 2016.

Assad Vows to Liberate Syria, Attacks Foreign Support for ISIS Terrorists

21st Century Wire says…
Assad is not looking to give the terrorists a way out any time soon.
Watch a video of this report here:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to liberate the whole of Syria from the invading terrorist forces:
‘Regardless of whether we can do that or not, this is a goal we are seeking to achieve without any hesitation,’
‘It makes no sense for us to say that we will give up any part.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on FEBRUARY 12, 2016.

Are Americans Too Insouciant To Survive? – Paul Craig Roberts

When one looks at the deplorable state of the world, one cannot help but wonder at the insouciance of the American people. Where are they? Do they exist or are they a myth? Have they been put to sleep by an evil demon? Are they so lost in The Matrix that they cannot get out?
Ever since Clinton’s second term the US has been consistently acting internationally and domestically as a criminal, disregarding its own laws, international laws, the sovereignty of other countries, and the US Constitution. A worse criminal government has never existed. Yet, Americans remain subservient to the criminals that they have placed in power over themselves.
According to polls, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders are splitting the Democratic vote 50-50 as preferred Democratic presidential candidate. This is extraordinary.
Hillary Clinton represents the interests of Wall Street and the mega-banks, the Israel Lobby, and the interests of the military/security complex. These interests are totally opposed to the interests of the American people.
In his book, What’s the Matter with Kansas, Thomas Frank raised the question of why Americans vote against their own interests? Why do Americans go to the voting both and do themselves in?
Whether you agree with Thomas Frank’s answer or not, Americans do, on a regular basis, harm themselves by voting for people who are agents of vested interests diametrically opposed to the interests of American citizens.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on February 11, 2016.

US Now Looking To The Coalition To Fund The Their Proxy Wars – Episode 891b

The following video was published by X22Report on Feb 11, 2016
New evidence shows Zika does not cause microcephaly but the pesticides they are spraying in Brazil does. The standoff in Oregon is over the remaining ranchers surrender. Twitter unveils their ministry of truth. Sanction are placed on North Korea. NATO now has ships in the Mediterranean. US pushing other countries to pay IS since the oil revenue has dried up. Erdogan is calling for a safe zone or else he will unleash the refugees on Europe.