Military & Political Trends Of 2017 That Will Shape 2018

Via Southfront.org,
2017 presented the world with a number of crises, among which were the continued wars in the Middle Ease and the spread of terrorism, the humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia, the rising military tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and the militarization of both the South China Sea and eastern Europe. Throughout the past year regional and global powers have repeatedly been on the verge of open military conflict, any of which may yet still lead to large regional wars.
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In the Middle East the war on ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, the crisis in Lebanon, and Israeli-Arab tensions took center stage.
By the end of the year, the self-proclaimed caliphate of ISIS had fully collapsed in both Syria and Iraq. Thanks to the efforts of the alliance between Syria, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah, along with the Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition, this group was driven out from almost all of the areas it had held in the two countries. ISIS has lost control of such strategic locations as Mosul, al-Qaim, Raqqah, al-Tabqah, Deir Ezzor, al-Mayadin, al-Bukamal, as-Sukhna, Deir Hafer, Maskanah, and al-Resafa.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/30/2017.

‘Classified’ Emails from Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin found on Anthony Weiner’s Laptop

Looking back on the 2016 Presidential election, there was a non-stop chorus on denials by Hillary Clinton, her campaign surrogates, and the mainstream media – that had not allowed any classified emails to float around her home-brew server, or onto the family of her close aids.
As it turns out, Hillary Clinton was lying. A new batch of emails released by the US State Department clearly show that Anthony Weiner, convicted sex criminal and husband of Clinton’s chief aid Huma Abedin, had kept classified emails pertaining to official US State Department business during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State – kept on the same laptop which Weiner used to target an underage girl and where he also kept child pornography.
Among the released emails were exchanges which clearly show Hillary Clinton conspiracy with authoritarian Saudi Arabia to ‘stop Wikileaks.’The reopening of this old Clinton gaping wound is another devastating blow for the mainstream media and the Democratic Party’s ‘resistance’ movement, whose mission is to remove Donald Trump for office.
RT International reports…
At least five of the 2,800 emails stored on a laptop belonging to former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner were marked ‘confidential’ and involved delicate talks with Middle Eastern leaders and Hillary Clinton’s top aide.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 30, 2017.

How Trump is Accelerating the Decline of US Global Influence

The "Moderate Rebel" terrorists in Syria certainly miss you Barack, you were so generous to all of them.
— Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) December 29, 2017

It should also be said that the current US Administration is merely finishing the job which started under three consecutive two-term presidents; Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama – something to bear in mind as Trump enters his first year in office.
This new year, let us not forget who re-ignited the Middle East crisis, with the consecutive sackings of Libya and Syria…
While ‘Make America Great Again’ might be the political campaign de jour at home, these next four years are likely to coincide with an overall decline in US influence in the world.
Mehr News reports…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 29, 2017.

Iraqi Christmas Bells Ring Again in Liberated Mosul, Iraq

For many years now, Christians in Iraq have been living in constant fear of bomb attacks, murder and abduction – at the hands of both ISIS and al Qaeda, exacting brutal attacks on Christians, Yazidis, Shias and other religious minorities in Iraq. ISIS and al Qaeda have declared all Christians in the Middle East as ‘legitimate targets’ for violent attacks and execution. In addition to this, AP reported that since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, at least half of Iraq’s Christian population had fled the country to escape attacks by militants. For a long time now, there’s been little to feel hopeful about, until now.

One factor that has sustained terrorists enclaves in the region has been the fact that Saudi Arabian and GCC-backed Sunni wahhabi terrorists of ISIS and al Qaeda have managed to procure US weapons, as well as acquiring Israeli weapons in order to carry out organized criminal and terrorists activity.
Thanks to the hard-fought victories against ISIS on the ground by Iraqi Security Forces and the People’s Mobilization Units (PMU) aka the Hash’d Al-Shaabi, this Christmas has seen one of the first periods of respite in many years, whereby churches are being repaired and are opening again.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 25, 2017.

What Happened to Protest Art?

In September 1975, The Grateful Dead released what was to become its highest chart-topping album for the next twelve years, Blues for Allah. In an interview at the time, the group’s lyricist, Robert Hunter, described the album’s title song as ‘a requiem for King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, a progressive, democratically-inclined ruler (and incidentally a fan of the Grateful Dead) whose assassination in 1975 shocked us personally.’ Hunter went on to note proudly that the lyrics of the album, inspired as it was as much by Bach as by Eastern influences, were printed in Arabic on the back of album.
This remarkable, trance-like title track referenced Biblical prophecy, Ozymanides, and A Thousand and One Nights. But most of all, it brought attention to the death of one of the Middle East’s then-universally acknowledged enlightened rulers who disdained excess displays of wealth and who opened the first schools for female students in the country. The construction of this vast, progressive-rock tone-poem is a straight line of discursive guitar themes later superimposed by poignant, haunting vocals. It includes two sections, ‘Sand Castles and Glass Camels’ and ‘Unusual Occurrences in the Desert’, in which powerful political statements were woven into the artistry. ‘What good is spilling blood?/It will not change a thing’, observes one line; another is a plea for a resolution of Muslim/Jewish conflict: ‘Let us meet as Friends/the Flower of Islam/the Fruit of Abraham’. Prophesizing the geopolitics of the region, the song grimly warns: ‘The ships of state sail on mirage/and drown in sand.’
Such compelling protest art could have been written today in view of the interminable geopolitical situation in the Mideast. Yet, it hasn’t been, and it won’t be. We are bereft of any near equivalent; the integrating instinct of music, politics and passion nowhere present, nowhere promoted. Certainly, there is no shortage of ‘unusual occurrences in the desert’ – or anywhere else for that matter – to inspire truly creative works of radical brilliance. Yet none of that kind of meaningful protest that defined the eras of the late sixties and the entirety of the seventies is to be found in our current rock/popular music groups. Why? How have we missed this? Where were the songs to protest the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Where are the poignant ballads against the spread of terror or the failures of the so-called ‘War on Terror’? The sixteen-year occupation of Afghanistan? The high rates of American soldier-suicides? Consider the power-lyrics of Vietnam-era anti-war works by such groups as Buffalo Springfield or as found in Joan Baez’s ‘Where Are You Now, My Son?’ (‘Yours was the righteous gun/where are you now, my son?’). Why are we incapable of this? Where are the artists of impact and deep intelligence to make sense of a world in which the irrational is the new and newer normal? Must we only be satisfied with Pearl Jam performing a bland cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Master of War’? Are we just to accept that these talented groups cannot come up with meaningful statements of their own?

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on December 25, 2017.

Episode #215 – SUNDAY WIRE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: ‘Shotgun Betty Meets Santa’ with guests Kris Kringle, Basil Valentine & Friends

Episode #215 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes on Dec 24th 2017 as host Patrick Henningsen brings you a very special LIVE Christmas Eve broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR) – covering all the top news stories worldwide…
This week the SUNDAY WIRE is broadcasting LIVE on Christmas Eve as host Patrick Henningsencovers this week’s top stories from the US, UK and internationally. This week’s show will be amazing as we will be pipe-in with friends of the show both at home, abroad and possible in the Middle East. This week we’ll be joined by special guests, Mike Robinson editor of the UK Column to look back at the year’s best stories including the recent antics of US Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations and more. Also we’re 21WIRE editor Shawn Helton to discuss some of this years most talked about conspiracies including the CIA release of the JFK Files and the FBI’s surprise release of the 9/11 Pentagon images, as well his thoughts on the recent Guardian hit-piece against 21WIRE. We also go LIVE to Damascus to talk with journalistVanessa Beeley and Syrian witness Aysarr Medani to experience Christmas in Syria and why The Guardian and other mainstream outlet have been lying about the reality on the ground in Syria. We’ll unveil a special exclusive as ACR’s own Masterpiece Fake News Theatre presents a special appearance by none other than Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, aka Santa himself for a theatrical reading of ‘A Fake Christmas Story: When Shotgun Betty Met Santa’ – you don’t want to miss it. We’ll also be joined by our rover correspondent for culture & sport, Basil Valentine with updated odds on any snow this season as well as two special Christmas poems performed live for the SUNDAY WIRE, and ACR’s Hesher & Spore catch-up to talk about the year’s events and an analysis of the Star War genre. Enjoy the show…
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on December 24, 2017.

Episode #215 – SUNDAY WIRE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: ‘Shotgun Betty Meets Santa’ with guests Kris Kringle, Basil Valetine & Friends

Episode #215 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes on Dec 24th 2017 as host Patrick Henningsen brings you a very special LIVE Christmas Eve broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR) – covering all the top news stories worldwide…
LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES:
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)
This week the SUNDAY WIRE is broadcasting LIVE on Christmas Eve as host Patrick Henningsencovers this week’s top stories from the US, UK and internationally. This week we will be piping-in with friends of the show both at home, abroad and possible in the Middle East. This week we’ll be joined by special guests, Mike Robinson editor of the UK Column and Hesher & Spore, to look back at the year’s best stories including the recent antics of US Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations and more. Also we’re 21WIRE editor Shawn Helton to discuss some of this years most talked about conspiracies including the CIA release of the JFK Files and the FBI’s surprise release of the 9/11 Pentagon images, as well his thoughts on the recent Guardian hit-piece against 21WIRE. We’ll unveil a special exclusive as ACR’s own Masterpiece Fake News Theatre presents a special appearance by none other than Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, aka Santa himself for a theatrical reading of ‘A Fake Christmas Story: When Shotgun Betty Met Santa’ – you don’t want to miss it. We’ll also be joined by our rover correspondent for culture & sport, Basil Valentine with updated odds on any snow this season as well as a special Christmas poem performed live for the SUNDAY WIRE. Enjoy the show…
SUPPORT 21WIRE – SUBSCRIBE & BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE. TV
Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…
*NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 24, 2017.

What Will Drive The Next Oil Price Crash?

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via OilPrice.com,
As we roll into 2018, analysts and investors are more optimistic that the oil market will further tighten next year and support higher oil prices, but rising U. S. shale production will likely cap any significant price gains.
On the demand side, expectations are that global economic growth will support solid oil demand growth.
On the supply side, Venezuela’s dire situation, possible new sanctions on Iran, and increased tension in the Middle East mostly with the Saudi-Iran issues and the Iraq-Kurdistan standoff may take more barrels off the market than OPEC and friends plan, and send geopolitical jitters through the oil market.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.

UK Foreign Chief Attacks Russia Before Moscow Visit

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Boris Johnson arrives in Moscow today to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the next day – the first visit to Russia by a British foreign minister in five years. International security issues are to top the agenda, including North Korea, Iran and regional stability in the Middle East as well as security for the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia. This time the bilateral relationship is at the lowest ebb due to the differences over Ukraine, Syria, and the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the politics of various European countries. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dramatically escalated attacks on Russia recently, accusing it of malign influence and hostile intentions.
Mr. Johnson gave an interview to the Sunday Times as he prepares for the trip to Moscow, in which he said that ‘Russia has not been so hostile to the UK or to Western interests since the end of the Cold War.’ According to him, ‘In the Crimea, capturing a part of sovereign, besides, European territory from someone else’s country and holding it for the first time since 1945.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.

A Bad Moon Is Rising In America

Authord by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
It seems that we are coming to the crux: President Trump, like Reagan before him, was elected by ‘the people’ rather than by (what Paul Craig Roberts calls the ‘ruling interest groups’): ‘As a high official in Reagan’s government who was aligned with Reagan’s goals to end stagflation and the Cold War, I experienced first-hand, the cost of going against the powerful interest groups that are accustomed to ruling. We took away part of their rule from them, but now they have taken it back. And, they are now stronger than before’.
I too, experienced something of the panic that the end to the Cold War induced amongst the ‘ruling interest groups’ — after all, American policy in the Middle East (and western Europe) was entirely dominated by an unstoppable momentum to cleanse it of all Russian influence. And then – ‘pop’ – the Soviet enemy suddenly, was ‘enemy’ no more. Yet, the ‘ruling interest groups’ were, by then, fully committed to a globalized (i.e. a culturally non-nationalist, consumerist, life-style,) rules-based, political and financial, ‘world’, shaped by the US. Serendipitously, after 9/11, terrorism emerged served to underpin the perceived need for a common defence-based, NATO-esque, global ‘order’, as the glue to America’s unipolar moment.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.

Saudi Media Releases Propaganda Film Showing Invasion Of Iran

It’s been a little over three weeks since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) called the Supreme Leader of Iran ‘the new Hitler of the Middle East’, escalating the war of words and ultimately launching the next leg up in the infowar between both countries.
And now the Saudi media, building on that rhetoric, just published a powerful short 3D-animated film depicting the Saudi military invading and conquering Iran.
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Al-Riyadh newspaper on Friday said the video called ‘Saudi Deterrent Force’- was created by ‘young people from Saudi Arabia’, which it ‘depicts reality and the prestige of the Saudi Armed Forces’ invading Iran by air, land, and sea.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 17, 2017.

COVER-UP: Court Seals Evidence of Israel’s Weapon Exports to Rwanda During Genocide

‘There is no terrible regime – Columbia, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile during the time of the colonels, Burma, Taiwan, Zaire, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone – there is not one that does not have a major military connection to Israel.’
– Jeff Halper, 2003
If the details in this court report were allowed to be made public, it would no doubt be extremely embarrassing to the state of Israel, who relies on maintaining the status of eternal ‘victim’ in order to side-step dozens of UN resolutions regarding its illegal land annexations and human rights abuses against the native Palestinian population who have been under violent Israeli military occupation for over 50 years.
Question: why have the Israeli Courts ruled to cover-up these important details about Israel own role in helping to facilitate a genocide in Africa?
Their answer: ‘The release of information would undermine state security and international relations.’
According to reports, Israel’s arms exports to Rwanda were in violation of international law.
Israel has also been caught numerous times before, including recently being exposed in a UN report after supplying Israeli weapons in the Sudan conflict, and again, with the US protecting the rogue state, Israel continues to act with impunity.
Similar reports have also emerged about Israeli arms and other Israeli military equipment.
And this is what US politicians continuously refer to as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 16, 2017.

Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months, New Study Reveals

Mainstream media in 2013: “Conspiracy Theorists!” Mainstream media in 2017: “ISIS Got a Powerful Missile the CIA Bought!” Years late to the party, mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Reuters, and Buzzfeed are just out with “breaking” and “exclusive” stories detailing how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed’s story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing “a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group.”
The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State’s advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.
‘Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties – notably the United States and Saudi Arabia – have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,’ states the CAR report. ‘These weapons include anti-tank guided weapons and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.

Oil Producers Turning To Crypto To Solve Sanctions Problems

Authored by Tom Luongo,
Last week, Venezuela announced it would develop a national cryptocurrency backed by its oil reserves, the Petro. Now there is a report that Russia is considering the same thing. Iran will likely follow suit.
As of right now this is just a rumor, but it makes some sense. So, let’s treat this rumor as fact for the sake of argument and see where it leads us.
The U. S. continues to sanction and threaten all of these countries for daring to challenge the global status quo. There is no denying this. And so much of what we see in the geopolitical headlines are knock-on effects of this challenge.
The Geopolitical ‘Why’
From the Middle East to North Korea, the Dutch changing their laws to block Nordstream 2 to the Saudis breaking off relations with Qatar, everything you read about in the news is a move on the geopolitical ‘Go’ board.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.

Trump Walks A Tightrope with Mideast Peace Plan

Authored by Tom Luongo,
For months I’ve been telling you that the framework for a Middle East Peace Plan is in process.
Donald Trump dropped a nuclear bomb on the world the other day by announcing the U. S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ending more than 50 years of virtue-signaling over what is, in fact, fact.
And right after that announcement Trump told the Saudi Arabians to end the blockade against Yemen. And in less then a day Israelis went from cheering Trump’s name to being confused.
I spent a long time on the phone with a Jewish friend of mine who couldn’t understand what this was about. Saying he couldn’t understand why Trump did this when the Saudis had already done so much.
And he should have known better.
What have the Saudis done to this point that should absolve them of having to do more to right their wrongs. Mohammed bin Salman’s purge and gangster-esque shakedown of his rivals withing the royal family are a good start.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.