The Coming Arctic War

Part One of this series detailed how the Russians are preparing to win World War III, while America continues to dismantle her military power. The question that many are asking is where will the next great war to end all wars take place? Many speculate that it will take place in either Syria or Ukraine. However, mounting evidence would suggest elsewhere. Please consider the following quote from one of my military sources.
‘Probably not in Ukraine or in Syria and certainly not in Iran, will we see the commencement of World War III. One of my most trusted sources has informed me that the United States has secretly brokered a deal with Canada and Norway to militarize the North Pole as a proxy military force. The two nations will provide some of the manpower and forward bases of operations while the U. S. provides the weaponry and funding. I have said it before and I am saying it again, it looks more and more like World War III will have its beginnings in the North Pole where it is likely that we will see the first direct face-off of NATO forces and the Russian Federation’.
The Recent History
Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which was finalized in 1982, countries can lay claim to the ocean floor well beyond their borders so long as they can provide convincing scientific evidence to prove that a particular seabed is an extension of their continental shelf. Already, countries have sovereign rights to resources within 200 nautical miles of their territorial waterways. For a country to determine whether they have economic sovereignty beyond that distance, the UN agreement requires comprehensive mapping that establishes some sort of geologic justification for the claim. And where the Arctic is concerned, Canada, the US, Norway, Russia, and Denmark have been amassing scientific evidence for more than a decade in an effort to increase their piece of this resource-rich pie.
Russian Motivation for Militarily Occupying the North Pole

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on 30 Nov, 2014.

Making Gasoline from Water? Yep!

A German company says it has developed an engineering installation capable of synthesizing petroleum-based fuels from water and carbon dioxide. The ‘power-to-liquid’ rig converts gases extracted from water into liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This is the opposite side of what happens with trying to use energy as a weapon. Raising the price or trying to curtail supply, forces others to find alternatives. A year-end closing for oil BELOW $75 in crude will have a very serious impact.
Russia gets most of its oil in difficult places. Its cost of production is around $65. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has much easier oil to extract and as such they fear that Russia may move in simply for the oil. The collapse in oil will have a very profound impact in the world economy. The top exporter is Saudi Arabia with Russia holding the second spot. Iran and Iraq come in 3rd and 4th. Declining oil prices renders all these governments economically in trouble. Their budgets have risen assuming higher oil prices forever, but when we forecast that oil would rise to $100 back when it was $10 in 1999, many assumed we were nuts and that the world could not handle such a price. That was necessary we warned to spark alternative fuels. Today we have electric cars.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on November 30, 2014.

Dmitry Orlov: Russia’s Patience Is Wearing Thin

Having lived in the former USSR before immigrating to the US, Dmitry Orlov has an invaluable perspective on both the US and Russian perspectives, as well as Ukraine.
With the western propaganda flying thick and heavy, it’s more important than ever to cut through the chaff and learn what we can about the most important geopolitical realignment (and renewed tensions) in recent memory.
Well, look, Russia is a place that’s extremely dynamic as changing response to challenging environment, to changed environment, very popular throughout the world, at peace with most of the world, even with nations that are at war with each other, both sides will still talk to Russia and have friendly relations. Russia has a splendid relationship with both Israel and Iran for instance.
The United States is a nation that can’t get anything together, can’t get anything on, not education, not healthcare, nothing. It’s basically sinking into a cesspool of its own making it can’t respond at all. And now, it is basically being shown up to be quite incompetent in playing this international game. Now, what happens if you can’t play a game by the rules is you’re penalized and you forfeit the game. So, either the US leadership will learn how to play by the rules or they forfeit. I see those are as the only two real outcomes.
There’s a difference to how the Russians approach the world and how the Americans approach the world. So, for instance, Americans like to threaten. If you don’t do this, then we will do X, Y and Z. That’s a typical American behavior.

This post was published at PeakProsperity on November 29, 2014.

Will Tehran Commit Nuclear Hara-Kiri?

To no surprise, nuclear talks between Iran and major world powers have become stalemated.
Iran will not sink ‘to its knees’ to win a nuclear deal with the great powers, said its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after the failure of six months of talks in Vienna.
However, the talks will continue until at least next March. Pity the poor negotiators: besides being excruciatingly boring, dealing with the tough, savvy Iranians is like pulling teeth. The only nationality I ever saw get the better of Iranians in negotiations were Armenians.
The United States has been waging economic and political warfare on the Islamic Republic since 1979. Only Cuba has been pounded longer. Both have suffered hugely.
Of late, Iranian nuclear scientists and technicians have been murdered in broad daylight. Nuclear installations have been sabotaged. The Stuxnet virus allegedly unleashed by the US and Israel against Iran’s centrifuges risked a catastrophic explosion or the release of nuclear contamination. In neighboring, Iraq, some 300 of its former nuclear technicians and scientists have been mysteriously murdered during the US occupation.
Iran’s economy has been very seriously damaged by the US-led boycott and commercial restrictions. Iranians are suffering mounting inflation, shortages of goods, and a collapsing currency. Iranians are fed up being the target of western sanctions.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 29, 2014.

Oil Prices Collapse After OPEC Keeps Oil Production Unchanged

But, but, but… all the clever talking heads said they wil have to cut…
*OPEC KEEPS OIL PRODUCTION TARGET UNCHANGED AT 30M B/D: DELEGATE WTI ($70 handle) and Brent Crude (under $75 for first time sicne Sept 2010) are collapsing… as will US Shale oil company stocks and bonds (and thus all of high yield credit) tomorrow. The Saudis are “very happy” with the decision, Venzuela ‘stormed out, red faced, furious.’ Commentary from various OPEC members appears focused on the need for non-OPEC (cough US Shale cough) nations to “share the burden” and cut production (just as the Saudis warned yesterday).
It appears OPEC members have varying opinions…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/27/2014.

“Regin” World’s Most Advanced Cyber Snoop Hits Russia, 4 Other Countries; Western Intelligence Agency Likely Responsible

Telecom companies in Russia and Saudi Arabia have been hit by the world’s most sophisticated hacking software to date.
Symantec believes a Western intelligence agency is responsible.
Please consider World’s Most Advanced Hacking Spyware Let Loose
A cyber snooping operation reminiscent of the Stuxnet worm and billed as the world’s most sophisticated computer malware is targeting Russian and Saudi Arabian telecoms companies.
Cyber security company Symantec said the malware, called ‘Regin’, is probably run by a western intelligence agency and in some respects is more advanced in engineering terms than Stuxnet, which was developed by US and Israel government hackers in 2010 to target the Iranian nuclear programme.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Sunday, November 23, 2014.

Iran Nuclear Talks Extended 7 Months; $700 Million In Monthly Sanctions Lifted

In what is hardly a surprising outcome, the parties involved in the Iran nuclear talks have decided it best for all to extend (and pretend) the discussion for another 7 months:
*IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 1, OFFICIALS SAY Diplomatic teams will reconvene in December and the US State Department is proclaiming “good progress” in a brief statement. 7 more months of sanctions, a call with Putin today, and OPEC later in the week… one wonders if any of this will be relevant in 7 months. Additionally, it seems beggars can be choosers as P5 1 says Iran can get $700 million per month in frozen assets back…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/24/2014.

What To Expect From OPEC This Week

OPEC faces numerous dilemmas this week as it meets to decide what, if anything, is to be done about falling oil prices. As Goldman notes, consensus expectations have shifted to only expecting a modest cut announcement on Nov 27th. Furthermore, any large cut that would lead to a large price rally would be self-negating as it would enable US producers to hedge 2015 production and sustain elevated production growth.
Via Goldman Sachs,
We expect at most a modest cut
We expect OPEC to announce at most a modest reduction to current production on November 27. As we have discussed, we believe it is in OPEC’s interest to share the burden of balancing the oil market surplus with US shale oil production (and Price decline continues to lead deteriorating fundamentals). This can only be achieved by reducing output at a modest pace at first to allow for low prices to slow US production growth. In particular, any large cut that would lead to a large price rally would be self-negating as it would enable US producers to hedge 2015 production and sustain elevated production growth. Recent communication by OPEC members suggests indeed the expectation of only a modest reduction in production, with Libya, Iraq and Iran further commenting that they would not be reducing output (Exhibit 4).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/23/2014.

The Breakdown Of International Cooperation

The Breakdown Of International Cooperation
Some of the major problems that humanity faces today transcend borders, and as such international cooperation is of vital importance. But recent events make such cooperation increasingly more challenging.
Without going into the wisdom of the decision, sanctions imposed on Russia over its foreign policy in Ukraine have a wide range of implications that go much beyond the economic sphere. For one, international dialogue is breaking down fast; just this week Russian President Vladimir Putin unceremoniously left the G20 meeting early.
Inevitably, this will have repercussions on major international cooperation initiatives, perhaps irreversibly in some cases. Here are a few notable examples:
Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament
It is in no one’s interest that nuclear weapons go rogue. But the fear – or threat – of this happening can still carry some negotiating leverage.
Russia recently signed an agreement to build two more nuclear reactors in Iran, with the possibility of building another six. All reactors will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, with all uranium fuel supplied by Russia and then taken back for reprocessing to prevent Iran from using the spent fuel to produce atomic weapons.
So far, so good. However, the insistence of one of the most fossil fuel rich countries in the world, ruled by a strict theocracy whose leaders regularly demonize the West, to have nuclear power has to raise some suspicion.
And out in the Far East, North Korea, China’s de facto buffer zone against core US allies in the region, is rattling its nuclear saber once again, this time in response to a damning United Nations report stating that the country’s regime is unparalleled in its human rights violations in the contemporary world.
Given the ongoing diplomatic malaise, Western nations may be increasingly forced to deal with these issues on their own.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/22/2014.

Inside Islamic State’s oil empire: how captured oilfields fuel Isis insurgency

Islamic State has consolidated its grip on oil supplies in Iraq and now presides over a sophisticated smuggling empire with illegal exports going to Turkey, Jordan and Iran, according to smugglers and Iraqi officials.
Six months after it grabbed vast swaths of territory, the radical militant group is earning millions of dollars a week from its Iraqi oil operations, the U.S. says. Coalition air strikes against tankers and refineries controlled by Isis have merely dented – rather than halted – these exports, it adds.
The militants control around half a dozen oil-producing oilfields. They were quickly able to make them operational and then tapped into established trading networks across northern Iraq, where smuggling has been a fact of life for years. From early July until late October, most of this oil went to Iraqi Kurdistan. The self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate sold oil to Kurdish traders at a major discount. From Kurdistan, the oil was resold to Turkish and Iranian traders. These profits helped Isis pay its burgeoning wages bill: $500 (£320) a month for a fighter, and about $1,200 for a military commander.
The U.S. has pressured Iraqi Kurdistan’s leaders to clamp down on smuggling, with limited success. But oil is still finding its way to Turkey via Syria, with Islamic State deftly switching from one market to another, smugglers say, with cheap crude channelled to Jordan instead. On Monday, a U.N. panel urged countries neighbouring Iraq and Syria to seize oil trucks that continue to flow out from jihadist-occupied territory.

This post was published at The Guardian

This Is What Is Really Taking Place Behind The Scenes Of The Second US-Russian Cold War

It appears John Kerry is at it again. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the US Secretary of State called on him to “pay no mind” to a statement by President Obama, in which Russia was included to a list of top global threats. Seeking Russia’s cooperation in Iran and on the Korean Peninsula, Kerry told Lavrov to “forget about” what Obama said. As US foreign policy credibility dissolves, we leave it to Lavrov to conclude, “it is flippant,” he jabs, “it’s not appropriate for a powerful country to have such a consumer attitude to its partners – where you’re needed, help us; where you’re not, obey us.“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/19/2014.

Must Listen from Batchelor and Cohen

These weekly updates are simply vital to our understanding of the Ukraine Crisis. For example, did you know that last week President Poroshenko declared that he was ready to order a military blockade of The Donbass? I didn’t, at least not until I listened to this weeks Batchelor-Cohen podcast. You need to listen to it, too.
This situation is “dire”, according to John Batchelor. An economic blockade is another “act of war” that Russia simply cannot and will not allow to happen. Here’s a direct quote from President Putin, given last week on German television:
“Do you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there in Eastern Ukraine? Is that what you want? We certainly don’t and we won’t let it happen.”
John and Steve also discuss the extraordinarily poor diplomatic handling of the situation by the U. S. and others, including the G20 conference last week in Australia. Note, too, that they once again get around to discussing TEOTGKE insofar as noticing that Russia is being driven away from the west and into close, new alliances with China, India, Iran et al…basically the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Please be sure to give this a thorough listen. You will not find a more complete and detailed discussion of the Ukraine Crisis anywhere.

This post was published at TF Metals Report on November 19, 2014.

And The Biggest Winner From The Oil Price Plunge Is…

“The Chinese, among others, seem to be responding to the lower oil price with additional demand,” notes one tanker executive as Bloomberg reports the number of supertankers sailing toward China’s ports matched a record on Oct. 17 and is still close to that level now. The plunge in price hasenabled China to add 35 million barrels to its inventories in the past three months as the nation fills its strategic petroleum reserves, OPEC said yesterday. Furthermore, though the oil slide is hurting nations from Venezuela to Iran – that depend on energy for revenues – ship owners serving the industry’s benchmark Middle East-to-Asia trade routes are reaping the best returns from charters in yearsas the slump drives down the industry’s single biggest expense. As one analyst notes, “we’ve seen the Chinese buying a lot from the Middle East and that’s really let rates cook.” So it appears the Chinese, in the face of the worst growth and economy in years, are rational enough to buy more at lower prices(as opposed to the buy-more-because-stocks-are-at-all-time-highs Western investors).
A near-record 113 tankers are destined for China…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/15/2014.

And The Biggest Winner From The Oil Price Plunge Is..

“The Chinese, among others, seem to be responding to the lower oil price with additional demand,” notes one tanker executive as Bloomberg reports the number of supertankers sailing toward China’s ports matched a record on Oct. 17 and is still close to that level now. The plunge in price hasenabled China to add 35 million barrels to its inventories in the past three months as the nation fills its strategic petroleum reserves, OPEC said yesterday. Furthermore, though the oil slide is hurting nations from Venezuela to Iran – that depend on energy for revenues – ship owners serving the industry’s benchmark Middle East-to-Asia trade routes are reaping the best returns from charters in yearsas the slump drives down the industry’s single biggest expense. As one analyst notes, “we’ve seen the Chinese buying a lot from the Middle East and that’s really let rates cook.” So it appears the Chinese, in the face of the worst growth and economy in years, are rational enough to buy more at lower prices(as opposed to the buy-more-because-stocks-are-at-all-time-highs Western investors).
A near-record 113 tankers are destined for China…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on on 11/15/2014.

Iranian version of captured U.S. RQ-170 drone makes maiden flight

Iran has put into operation a final version of the sophisticated U.S. RQ-170 drone, which was captured in 2011 and later reverse-engineered by Iranian experts, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced on Monday.
The domestically produced version of the RQ-170 stealth aircraft has made a successful inaugural flight, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said.
The U.S. aircraft was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit in December 2011, while flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers from the Afghan border.

This post was published at Tehran Times

How Putin is Winning the ‘New Cold War’

The Americans will relentlessly try to subvert Russia as it is the only country that stands between the United States and world domination. However, Putin is a judoka who knows how to use his opponent’s force against the opponent itself.
There are 7.2 billion people in this world but the United States fears only one man – Vladimir Putin. That’s because on virtually every front of the new Cold War, the Russian President is walloping the collective challenge of the West. Fear can make you do strange things. Forbes magazine has named Putin as the most powerful person on the planet for the second year running.
It is said about the Russians that they take a long time to saddle their horses but they ride awfully fast. After slowly nursing the collapsed Russian economy back to health, Putin is now going for broke. In Syria, Crimea and Ukraine, the West has melted away at his approach and has faced humiliating setbacks. In the field of energy, it will be Russian – not western – pipelines that will dominate the Eurasian landmass.
More than any other leader, the Russian President by virtue of his KGB experience understands how the United States operates. The American modus operandi – in sync with the British – is to organise coups, rebellions and counter revolutions in countries where nationalist leaders come to power. Iran, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Ukraine are the classic examples.

This post was published at RBTH

Obama to Iran: Stop Fighting ISIS and Start Fighting ISIS!

On November 6, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that U. S. President Barack Obama had secretly written a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei asking and encouraging him to join America’s alleged fight against the Islamic State.
The Wall Street Journal’s report was based on information provided by ‘unnamed sources’ who indicate that the letter was sent in Mid-October and that it ‘described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria … [and] appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.’
In addition, the reporting journalists also state that the letter stressed ‘that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program’ ahead of the meeting scheduled to take place on November 24, regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Although the White House is not officially confirming the letter’s authenticity, the fact is that Barack Obama and the Ayatollah have had communication on the subject of the Islamic State before.
However, this previous communication, also taking the form of a ‘secret letter not acknowledged by the Foreign Ministry,’ was initiated by the government of Iran suggesting that the United States and Iran work together in order to defeat the Islamic State. This suggestion was promptly rejected by the U. S. State Department
Indeed, it was reported by the BBC in September, 2014, that the Ayatollah Khamenei had ‘authorized his top commander to co-ordinate military operations with the US, Iraqi and Kurdish forces.’
While the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the veracity of the reports about the letter at the time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani subsequently stated that Iran was open to the idea of working with the United States to combat extremism. As The Daily Beast wrote in September, 2014,

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on November 12th, 2014.

Ex-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Dodd-Frank: ‘The Government Should Have Let the Industry Craft the Bill’

This week has been the week of the ill advised oligarch quote. It all started quietly enough, with Las Vegas Sands CEO and crony Republican godfather, Sheldon Adelson, expressing his disdain for both journalism and democracy, all in one quaint little conference in which participants debated how quickly and how severely Iran should be bombed into the stone age.
Then we had the architect of Obamacare, the consummate oligarch minion, Jonathan Gruber, admit that the law was deliberately crafted deceptively in order to fool the ‘stupid’ American public.
Never wanting to be outdone, ex-NYC mayor, Mike Bloomberg, had to get into the mix. Bloomberg is my favorite sort of oligarch. One so opinionated and completely un-seflaware that he is constantly opening his trap to blurt out stupid shit. You could almost make a career out of chronicling all of his incidents of verbal diarrhea. In fact, some of my post popular posts have revolved around just such a pursuit, including classics such as:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Nov 12, 2014.

The Endgame of US ‘Islamic State’ Strategy: ‘Keep Arabs Divided, Rule Over Them’

21st Century Wire says…
The ISIS/ISIL phenomenon is a custom-built, violent gang organisation, which is the media face of a Salafist Islamic pseudo-ideology specifically designed to weaken the region. The end result is a 360 theater of terror designed mainly for western audiences.
Since the beginning of this ‘ISIS Crisis’ we’ve shown readers various facets of who the ‘Islamic State’ really is, where they came from and why. The timing of the emergence of ISIS is also important. There are still many unanswered questions however, like what is the Islamic State’s actual relationship with foreign agencies like the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, and Israeli intelligence? In time, history will flush out the answers to these and other key steps in the ISIS DNA strand, and the guilty parties will be duly noted. The following is a major piece to that puzzle. Here’s what the CFR mob and the mainstream media do not want you to know, or understand…
By Nicola Nasser
Dismantling what the former US President George W. Bush once described as the Syria-Iran component of the ‘axis of evil,’ or interrupting in Iraq the geographical contiguity of what King Abdullah II of Jordan once described as the ‘Shiite crescent,’ was and remains the strategic goal of the US-Israeli allies in the Middle East unless they succeed first in ‘changing the regime’ in either Damascus or Tehran.
The US, Israel and their regional allies have been on the record that the final target of their ‘regime change’ campaign in the Middle East was to dismantle the Syria – Iran alliance.
With the obvious failure of Plan A to dismantle the self- proclaimed anti-Israel and anti-US, Syrian-Iranian ‘Resistance Axis’ by a forcible ‘regime change’ in Damascus, a US-led regional alliance has turned recently to its Plan B to interrupt in Iraq the geographical contiguity of that axis.
This is the endgame of President Barak Obama’s strategy, which he declared on last September 10 as ostensibly against the Islamic State (IS).
This would at least halt for the foreseeable future all the signed and projected trilateral or bilateral Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian pipeline networks to carry oil and gas from Iran and Iraq to the Syrian coast at the Mediterranean.
Israeli Col. (res.) Shaul Shay, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and former Deputy Head of the Israel National Security Council, anticipated in writing on last January 21 what he called the ‘Salafi Crescent’ that is dangerously emerging to challenge the ‘Shia Crescent.’
‘The growing involvement of Sunni Salafi jihadis in Iraq (since 2003), among the rebels in Syria (since 2011), and in Lebanon has created a ‘Salafi Crescent’ from Diyala [in eastern Iraq] to Beirut,’ he wrote.
‘A positive outcome’ of this ‘Salafi Crescent’, will be the decline in Iranian influence in the region,’ Shay concluded.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 11, 2014.

More Blowbacks: Russia to Build 8 New Nuclear Reactors in Iran; Putin Signs Another Gas Deal with China

As the US (but not Germany) threatens more sanctions to “punish” Russia, I keep wondering who is punishing whom?
Is Chancellor Merkel finally beginning to see the economic and geopolitical stupidity of sanctions?
I ask because the Wall Street Journal reports Merkel: No New Economic Sanctions on Russia Planned.
Meanwhile, Obama and Putin briefly met on Tuesday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing.
On that note, the Washington Examiner reports Obama Talks Ukraine with Putin as White House Hints New Sanctions are Coming.
Rocks in Head Sure to Rattle
Russia has responded twice in two days in ways that will have the rocks in president Obama’s and Senator John McCain’s head rattling for sure.
Russia to Build 8 New Nuclear Reactors in Iran
The Financial Times reports Russia-Iran Nuclear Reactor Deal Raises Eyebrows.
Russia has agreed to build eight new nuclear reactors in Iran in a deal raising eyebrows in Washington and Europe as fraught international talks to curb Tehran’s atomic ambitions near their deadline.
Meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Iranian and Russian officials said they had negotiated terms for the construction by Russia’s state nuclear power company Rosatom of four new reactors at the Islamic republic’s existing Russian-built Bushehr facility, and four more at another site in the country.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on November 11, 2014.