Showing posts with label NEWS - Geo-Political. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEWS - Geo-Political. Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Putin Orders Military To "Immediately Destroy" Any Threat To Russian Forces

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up the rhetoric in what appears to be one step closer to the potential for direct conflict with The West. While not detailing 'who' he was focued on, amid the obvious Turkey-Russia tensions, Putin told a session of the Defense Ministry's collegium that "I order to act extremely tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed."
During the meeting of the most senior defense officials, ITAR TASS reports that Putin also warned against "those who will again try to organize any provocations against our servicemen."
 "We have already taken additional measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen and air base. It was strengthened by new aviation groups and missile defense systems. Strike aircraft will now carry out operations under cover of fighter jets,"
Putin said that the Russian military have caused a substantial damage to terrorists in Syria, adding that the actions of the Russian Armed Forces are worthy of praise.
"The combined operation of the Aerospace Defence Forces and the Navy, the use of newest high precision weapons systems has caused a serious damage to the terrorist infrastructure, thus qualitatively changing the situation in Syria," the president said.
The president also ordered the defense ministry to coordinate actions in Syria with Israel’s command post and the US-led international coalition.
"It’s important to develop cooperation with all countries really interested in destroying terrorists. I am talking about contacts on ensuring flight safety with the command post of Israel’s air force and forces of the US-led coalition," Putin said.
According to the official, terrorists in Syria pose a direct threat to Russia and Moscow’s actions are carried out to protect the country rather than due to abstract interests.
"Our soldiers in Syria are, first and foremost, defending their country. Our actions there aren’t motivated by some obscure and abstract geopolitical interests or a desire to train our forces and test new weapons – which is of course an important goal as well. Our main objective is to avert a threat to the Russian Federation,"
As we noted previously, The Kremlin looks prepared not only to stay the course, but to ramp up the deployment. Not only is Moscow hitting terrorist targets with cruise missiles from Russia’s Caspian Fleet, but now, Moscow is shooting at ISIS from a submarine in what can only be described as an effort by Putin to use Syria as a testing ground for Russia’s long dormant military juggernaut (after all, you don’t really need to shoot at a group that doesn’t have an air force or a navy from a sub). 
On that note, we present the following update graphic prepared by Louis Martin-V├ęzian of CIGeography as post at The Aviationst. It documents the scope of Russia’s operation in the Mid-East and should give you an idea of just how committed Moscow is to the fight.
Putin Orders Military To "Immediately Destroy" Any Threat To Russian Forces

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Russians Think Of Western Sanctions

What Russians Think Of Western Sanctions
I parse the Russian media (corporate and social) on a daily basis and I am always amazed at the completely different way the issue of western sanctions is discussed.  I think that it is important and useful for me to share this with those of you who do not speak Russian.

First, nobody in Russia believes that the sanctions will be lifted.  Nobody.  Of course, all the Russian politicians say that sanctions are wrong and not conducive to progress, but these are statements for external consumption.  In interviews for the Russian media or on talk shows, there is a consensus that sanctions will never be lifted no matter what Russia does.

Second, nobody in Russia believes that sanctions are a reaction to Crimea or to the Russian involvement in the Donbass.  Nobody.  There is a consensus that the Russian policy towards Crimea and the Donbass are not a cause, but a pretext for the sanctions.  The real cause of the sanctions is unanimously identified as what the Russians called the "process of sovereignization", i.e. the fact that Russia is back, powerful and rich, and that she dares openly defy and disobey the "Axis of Kindness".

Third, there is a consensus in Russia that the correct response to the sanctions is double: a) an external realignment of the Russian economy away from the West and b) internal reforms which will make Russia less dependent on oil exports and on the imports of various goods and technologies.

Fourth, nobody blames Putin for the sanctions or for the resulting hardships. Everybody fully understands that Putin is hated by the West not for doing something wrong, but for doing something right.  In fact, Putin's popularity is still at an all-time high.

Fifth, there is a wide agreement that the current Russian vulnerability is the result of past structural mistakes which now must be corrected, but nobody suggests that the return of Crimea to Russia or the Russian support for Novorussia were wrong or wrongly executed.

Finally, I would note that while Russia is ready for war, there is no bellicose mood at all.  Most Russians believe that the US/NATO/EU don't have what it takes to directly attack Russia, they believe that the junta in Kiev is doomed and they believe that sending the Russian tanks to Kiev (or even Novorussia) would have been a mistake.
The above is very important because if you consider all these factors you can come to an absolutely unavoidable conclusion: western sanctions have exactly zero chance of achieving any change at all in Russian foreign policy and exactly zero chance of weakening the current regime.
In fact, if anything, these sanctions strengthen the Eurasian Sovereignists by allowing them to blame all the pain of economic reforms on the sanctions and they weaken the Atlantic Integrationists by making any overt support for, or association with, the West a huge political liability.
But the Eurocretins in Brussels don't care I suppose, as long as they feel relevant or important, even if it is only in their heads.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Most Important US Events Of 2014, According To Twitter

When it comes to social networks, Instagram is where the world's best food photographers reside, Facebook is where "cool parents" and ad-clicking robots can be found, while Twitter is where the up to the minute super-informed, sophisticated intelligentsia hides. At least according to Twitter. So what did said sophisticated audience find to be the most important and talked about American events of the year? The following infographic from Echelon Insights gives the answer:
The top 10 US stories of 2014 were:
  1. Ferguson
  2. Midterms
  3. Ebola
  4. Israel
  5. Iraq
  6. Russia/Ukraine
  7. Sterling/Clippers
  8. Guns
  9. Obamacare
  10. Marijuana
What is more interesting is that the top 2 most talked items were defined as such by Liberal Activists, where the topic dearest to Conseratives' hearts, Guns, was only 8th in the combined ranking.
Which begs the question: while the media may or may not have a liberal bias, it does appear that the main talking points in at least media distribution outlet are set by those a liberal bent. Maybe simply because they have far more time to retweet and engage in meaningless Internet debate?
Meaningless internet speculation aside, here is how 2014 progressed through the eyes of Twitter users.
The Most Important US Events Of 2014, According To Twitter

Monday, November 24, 2014

NATO Jets Surrounding Russia: Before And After

Based on the following "before" and "after" the Ukraine crisis pictures of NATO warplanes located just off the Russian border...
Before:
NATO Jets Surrounding Russia: Before And After
After:
NATO Jets Surrounding Russia: Before And After

... one can almost understand why Victoria Nuland was so eager to tell the EU to "fuck off" in her successful attemp to foment Ukraine unrest leading to the overthrow of ex-president Yanukovich, and destabilize the region, giving NATO a pretext for a major arms build up on the other side of the Russian border.
Per CNN, "There used to be only four jets ready to intercept Russian planes that crossed into European airspace. Now there are 18." And rising.
As for what the US response would be if Russia were to park a few squadrons of Mig-35s in Cuba, Canada and Mexico, we leave that to the reader's imagination.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Americans Should Probably Avoid These Areas Of The World

Americans Should Probably Avoid These Areas Of The World
By way of a Public Service Announcement, 
we highly suggest Americans avoid the following areas of Jihadist operation...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

US & Arab Partner Nations Begin Airstrikes In Syria

As the broad coalition crumbled, it appears Washington decided there was no time to waste:
  • *U.S., PARTNER NATIONS STRIKING ISIS IN SYRIA: PENTAGON
  • *U.S. USING FIGHTERS, BOMBERS, TOMAHAWKS TO ATTACK ISIS
US & Arab Partner Nations Begin Airstrikes In Syria

NBC News reports the attack includes drones and is expecting to hit up to 20 targets. FOX is reportingQatar is among the arab nation coalition (along with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain), according to Lt. Col. Oliver North, which is rather surprising given their rather well-known support for Al-Nusra.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

US F-22 Jets Intercept 6 Russian Warplanes 55 Miles Off The Alaskan Coast

Yesterday it was the UK which scrambled a squadron of Typhoon jets when two Russian Tu-95 "Bear" Bombers had gotten too close to its shores, even if still located in international space. Then overnight, none other than the US did the same when two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes just over 50 miles away from the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday, among which identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and the same two "Bear" long-range bombers, which are known to carry tactical ICBMs with nuclear warheads among their arsenal.
US F-22 Jets Intercept 6 Russian Warplanes 55 Miles Off The Alaskan Coast
According to the AP, they looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.
Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.
Additionally, at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.
In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.

Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.”

In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace.
So just more training missions by Russia, or is the Kremlin testing out US and UK response capabilities?
And if the US scrambles jets whenever Russian jets fly over international airspace, some 200 miles away from the coastline, how should Russia feel when US, pardon NATO, military jets do combat missions some 20 miles away from the Russian border from the Baltics all the way to Ukraine? Or perhaps the answer is irrelevant, because when it comes to "feeling threatened", only one side of the rational response story matters.

Monday, September 15, 2014

"World War III May Have Already Begun", Pope Francis Warns

While we doubt the pope is much of a trader, based on his latest comments, speaking during a visit to Italy's largest military cemetery, where he was commemorating the centenary of World War I and where he said that a "piecemeal" World War III may have already begun, we assume he too would join the confusion of the BIS and every other carbon-based life form, wondering how it is possible that risk assets are at all time highs which the world is not only teetering on the edge of a new global conflict but may have already in fact entered it. Oh wait, the central banks, never mind.
"World War III May Have Already Begun", Pope Francis Warns
But back to the pope. From BBC:
A "piecemeal" World War III may have already begun with the current spate of crimes, massacres and destruction, Pope Francis has warned.

"War is madness," the Pope said at a memorial to 100,000 Italian soldiers at Redipuglia cemetery near Slovenia. The Argentine Pope has often condemned the idea of war in God's name.

Only last month, Pope Francis said the international community would be justified in using force to stop what he called "unjust aggression" by Islamic State militants, who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, including many Christians, the BBC's David Willey reports.

In Saturday's homily, standing at the altar beneath Italy's fascist-era Redipuglia memorial - where 100,000 Italian soldiers killed during WWI are buried, 60,000 of them unnamed, the Pope paid tribute to the victims of all wars.

"Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep," he said. "Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction," he said.
And don't forget S&P500 at all time highs. Because the New Normal, where apparently world war news is the best imaginable news for risk assets.
But while the Pope may be pacifism personified, his grandfather is quote familiar with the concept of world war: he fought in - and survived - Italy's offensive against the Austro-Hungarian empire, in north-east Italy in 1917 and 1918.
That said, we now fully expect futures to open limit up because there is nothing more bullsh for central bank intervention that the world waking up one morning with mushroom clouds all over the place. Just think of all the printing...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Majority Of Chinese Say War With Japan Is Just A Matter Of Time

When it comes to current geopolitics, one has to stretch their memory to recall a time when there were more overt and not so overt conflicts, humanitarian interventions, drone bombings and proxy or outright civil, and/or otherwise, wars.
Majority Of Chinese Say War With Japan Is Just A Matter Of Time

But even the escalating cold war (as in European winter cold) between Russia and the west will pale by comparison to what may happen in the far east, if the pent up for generations tensions between China and Japan, which have historically hardly been in a state of "amicable relations", finally spill over into an all out war. Which, incidentally, is precisely what a majority, or 53% of Chinese respondents, and some 29% of their Japanese peers, expect will happen in the coming years.
As the FT reports, the Genron/China Daily survey poll found that "38 per cent of Japanese think war will be avoided, but that marked a nine point drop from 2013. It also found that a record 93 per cent of Japanese have an unfavourable view of their Chinese neighbours, while the number of Chinese who view Japanese unfavourably fell 6 points to 87 per cent."
It is almost as if all that fake pleasantry and courtesy over the past several decades between the two feuding nations was merely to facilitate globalized trade. Trade, which in the new normal is no longer relevant since central banks can just print prosperity in lieu of actual commerce, and which means that the people's underlying feelings can finally bubble to the surface. 
And what's making things worse is that over the past year, both government have made nationalistic sentiment a cornerstone of their domestic and foreign policy (something which a depressionary Europe is quite familiar with):
Jeff Kingston, a Japan expert at Temple University in Philadelphia, said Japanese tabloid media were driving the already negative sentiment towards China by focusing on its “warmongering”. He added that the government was “amplifying the anxiety” by talking about the threat from China.

The poll was released ahead of the second anniversary of Japan’s move to nationalise some of the contested Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Ironically, one of the biggest contributions of Abenomics to Japan's economy may be a massive GDP boost... through war:
Sino-Japanese relations started to improve about a year ago, spurring Tokyo to start laying the groundwork for a possible first meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. But ties deteriorated rapidly again after Mr Abe’s visit in December to Yasukuni, a controversial shrine dedicated to Japan’s war dead including a handful of convicted war criminals.

Mr Abe wants to hold a summit with Mr Xi in November on the sidelines of an Apec summit in Beijing but China has shown no sign of interest. Critics say Mr Abe has hurt efforts to repair ties by visiting Yasukuni and also because of the perception that he is an unrepentant ultranationalist.

This week two members of Mr Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic party, including a new cabinet minister, were forced to distance themselves from photographs that showed them posing with the leader of a Japanese neo-Nazi party.

“He just replaced the rightwing loonies [in his cabinet] with another group of rightwing loonies,” said Mr Kingston.
As if the world needed more evidence of the intellectual capacity of the people bringing you Abenomics every day. That said, with loonies running the show, something tells us those 53% of Chinese respondents expecting war in the near and not-so-near future, will be 100% right.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

US Troops Are Heading To Ukraine

US Troops Are Heading To Ukraine
While only 'humanitarian adviser' boots on the ground are present in Iraq (and Syria), Reuters reports that preparations are under way near Ukraine's western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies. As Obama told reporters last week, "that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming," it seems a little odd 'strategically' to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine, entailing the first significant deployment of U.S. and other personnel to Ukraine since the crisis erupted.
As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies.

The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.

...

"At the moment, we are still planning for (the exercise) to go ahead," U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U.S. Army's European Command said on Tuesday.

...

But Rapid Trident will entail the first significant deployment of U.S. and other personnel to Ukraine since the crisis erupted.

...

"It is very important to understand that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming," Obama told reporters at the White House last week.

...

The United States European Command (EUCOM) says the exercise this month will involve about 200 U.S. personnel as well as 1,100 others from Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Britain, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania and Spain.  

Focused on peacekeeping, it will include command post drills, patrolling and dealing with improvised explosive devices.
*  *  *
Sounds like de-escalation to us... buy moar stocks.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Putin Calls For "Immediate Talks" Over Eastern Ukraine "Statehood"

Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly said that he does not favor the break-up of Ukraine - but only greater autonomy for the East, appears to have changed course rather dramatically today. In a speech broadcast on Russian TV, the Russian leader stated "we need to immediately begin substantive talks... on questions of the political organisation of society and statehood for southeastern Ukraine." As The Washington Post reports, use of the word "statehood" reflects a major shift in Kremlin policy towards 'Novorossiya' - it would be a direct challenge not only to Kiev but also to Western European nations and the United States, which have been trying to force Moscow to back down. While not directly addressing the latest round of sanctions chatter, Putin concluded, perhaps ominously, "they should have known that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot almost at point-blank."

Putin Calls For "Immediate Talks" Over Eastern Ukraine "Statehood"

President Vladimir Putin today dramatically raised the stakes in the Ukraine conflict by calling for the first time for statehood to be considered for the restive east of the former Soviet state.

"We need to immediately begin substantive talks... on questions of the political organisation of society and statehood for southeastern Ukraine with the goal of protecting the lawful interests of the people who live there," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on a TV show broadcast in the far east of the country.

Russia has previously only called for greater rights under a decentralised federal system to be accorded to the eastern regions of Ukraine, where predominantly Russian-speakers live.
And as The Washington Post reports,
Putin spoke of the need to end hostilities before winter and criticized European leaders for supporting Ukraine, in remarks made during a television interview first broadcast in Russia's Far East and reported from Vladivostok by Russian news agencies. The interview was to be broadcast in Moscow seven hours later.
Putin has said repeatedly that he does not favor the breakup of Ukraine — though Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March — but only greater autonomy for the east. The word "statehood" suggests more than that, and if it reflects a major shift in Kremlin policy, it would be a direct challenge not only to Kev but also to Western European nations and the United States, which have been trying to force Moscow to back down.

...

"These are the inclusive talks that should determine the relationship with the eastern regions, that is, negotiations inside Ukraine on the internal Ukrainian order with respect for the interests of the country's eastern regions, the interests of Novorossiya," Peskov told reporters, according to Russian state-owned news agency Itar-Tass.
*  *  *
Doesn't sound very de-esacalation-y to us... but we are sure stocks will rally on the hopes of front-running the post-escalation de-escalation buying panic.

Middle-East 'Frenemies'

The enemy of your enemy is your... frenemy; and so it is across the Middle East as the WSJ notes the spread of The Islamic State has united many parties once at odds with each other to become 'strange bedfellows'.

Strange Bedfellows
Parties that display friction or outright aggression toward one another are finding themselves aligned in a desire to counter Islamic State.
Groups of colored lines between parties represent shared interests.
Middle-East 'Frenemies'

U.S. and Iran
The U.S. and Iran share an interest in fostering an Iraqi government strong enough to fend off Islamic State.
U.S. and Syria
The U.S. and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad share an interest in quashing Islamic State in Syria, even if the regime appears to put a higher priority on fighting other rebel groups.
Israel and Egypt
Israel and Egypt have come together to oppose Hamas, and they now have a similar long-term interest to do the same in confronting Islamic State.
Syria, Kurds, Turkey and Iraq
Turkey and Syria, long fearful of building up the region’s Kurds, have a shared interest in building up the Kurdish Peshmerga to combat a more immediate threat, Islamic State. Iraq has acquiesced.
Turkey and Qatar
Turkey and Qatar suddenly have a shared interest in keeping the Islamist movement they separately helped foster in check before Islamic State absorbs and consolidates it.
Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq
Saudi Arabia supported Sunnis in Iraq while Iran supported Shiites. They now have an interest in aiding the Shiite-led Iraq government to counter a common threat.
U.S., China and Russia
Russia and China have plenty of disputes with the U.S., but they agree that, as big powers, they are threatened in similar fashion by the expansionist Islamic extremism of Islamic State.
U.S., Egypt, Qatar and Turkey
Egypt’s military ruler sees Qatar, Turkey and the U.S. as hostile to his suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood. They all now fear Islamic State will consolidate the Islamic threat.
U.S. and al Qaeda
The greatest odd bedfellow of all: Islamic State threatens al Qaeda as well as the West, meaning that, in fact, al Qaeda and the U.S. now have a shared enemy.
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

JPMorgan Warns Military Escalation In Ukraine "May Lead To A Lehman-Style Shock"

The sudden military escalation in Ukraine in recent days has, according to JPMorgan's Alex Kantarovich, reduced the earlier hopes that the high level meeting in Minsk on 26 August would help to defuse the conflict. As Kantarovich warns, the markets are now bracing for the US/EU responses. In the worst case scenario, now appearing more likely, severe pressure on stocks may extend. As he concludes, "we believe that with the significant deterioration in the Ukrainian situation, markets may treat this as a Lehman-style shock."
Via JPMorgan Cazenove,
Lehman moment. We believe that with the significant deterioration in the Ukrainian situation, markets may treat this as a Lehman-style shock. We note there are substantial fundamental differences between the current situation and the 2008/09 crisis; the oil price is now holding up relatively well and the economic contraction may not be that deep. On the other hand, for traded stocks, the challenges and risks to investability presented by sanctions could be practically open-ended. We demonstrate that revisiting the post-Lehman lows would imply downside of 50% from an index perspective, and ~40% from the forward P/E perspective (Fig. 1 and 2).
JPMorgan Warns Military Escalation In Ukraine "May Lead To A Lehman-Style Shock"
Poor visibility. With several false dawns since the start of the conflict, the markets may no longer assume a quick and easy resolution of the conflict and ‘worse before better’ seems a likely sequence to us; we thus recommend reducing exposure to Russia and differentiating carefully among the sectors and names.
Exposure and defenses. We see Financials as particularly badly exposed - both from the sanctions perspective and from the macro perspective. We also highlight the acute pressure on economically sensitive consumers, exposed to the escalating trade wars. We again stress that the best defensive trade comprises exporters with no unwanted political affiliations as these also benefit fundamentally from the weaker ruble. The sell-off on 28 August provides a good illustration of the phenomenon (Fig. 3 and 4).
JPMorgan Warns Military Escalation In Ukraine "May Lead To A Lehman-Style Shock"
*  *  *
So Buy US Stocks... because nothing says 'global growth' like a contagious collapse in a major nations markets...

A Map Of The Military Flashpoints In Ukraine

A Map Of The Military Flashpoints In Ukraine

A Map Of The Military Flashpoints In Ukraine
http://mediarnbo.org/

Sunday, August 24, 2014

China’s Reaction: America Is A “Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence”

China’s Reaction: America Is A "Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence"
Only hours ago the US government announced that a Chinese fighter jet had intercepted an American military patrol plane over international waters east of China’s Hainan Island.
A Pentagon spokesman called China’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional”, and blasted such unprovoked aggression.
There was no mention as to why a US surveillance plane was just off the Chinese coast to begin with. They’re just playing the victim… and rather loudly at that.
Needless to say, the Chinese government has a slightly different story. I asked one of our Sovereign Man team members in mainland China to translate the following article from Sina News.
The first part of the article praises the pilot’s skill and boldness, as well as the efficiency and superiority of Chinese aviation technology.
The Jian-11B fighter, in fact, is 100% Chinese. There is no foreign engine or major component.
As for the rest of the article– I present it below with only one comment– it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the US is no longer the world’s dominant superpower. It’s certainly obvious to the Chinese.
——–
From Sina News
China’s Reaction: America Is A “Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence”
Stop thief: China rejects the U.S. government calling our aircraft “dangerously close”
Sure enough, it is the American government who stamps its foot first after a similar event.
First the famous anti-China military scholar Bill Gertz played his “danger close” speech for the Washington Free Beacon.
And then the Pentagon also followed and said that it was a “dangerous intercept”. The White House called it “deeply worrying provocation”.
Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department spokesman, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, and called the maneuvers “unsafe and unprofessional.”
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said it was “obviously a deeply concerning provocation and we have communicated directly to the Chinese government our objection to this type of action.”
Such remarks are laughable. As we all know, the United States is the world’s largest hegemonic force and biggest rogue country.
Their various reconnaissance aircraft have been wandering around foreign airspace for decades and watching the military secrets of other countries like a disgusting thief spying over his neighbor’s fence.
However, when the neighbor comes back with a big stick, the thief will turn tail and run away, blaming the neighbor.
When you show people weakness, they will bully you. When you show people strength, they will respect you.
We [the newspaper] believe the Chinese Air Force and Naval aviation should maintain a high level of vigilence and morale in southeast coastal region to prevent the further US action.
America has lost face and does not want to show the world they are sick. They have been lording over other countries for so long, and they will never let it go after they eat this loss.
Sourced from Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ISIS Gets Angrier At America: "We Will Drown All Of You In Blood"

ISIS Gets Angrier At America: "We Will Drown All Of You In Blood"
Over the past month ISIS has been getting angrier (""God Willing, We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House" - A Deeper Look Inside ISIS") and angrier ("ISIS Issues Threat To White House; Secret Service Taking "Appropriate Steps") until today it released a video in which it warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if continuing US raids hit its militants. The video, released by Reuters, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".
But while we get the anger of the Islamic State, be it real or staged, now that the US has allegedly retaken the Mosul dam, one wonders how a terrorist organization with over half a billion dollars in funding, a state of the art "made in the US" weapons arsenal, and glossy year-end profit & loss reports, can't afford to spend a few dollars on the production quality of its propaganda videos, especially if as the rumors suggest not one but several key "developed world" intelligence outlets are pulling the ISIS strings.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Looking For The Spark Of World War 3 ?

Looking For The Spark Of World War 3 ?

Any American influence left in Iraq should focus on rebuilding the credibility of national institutions.

– Editorial, The New York Times
Gosh, isn’t that what we spent eight years, 4,500 lives, and $1.7 trillion doing? And how did that work out?The Iraq war is just like the US financial system. The people in charge can’t imagine writing off their losses. Which, from the policy standpoint, leaves the USA pounding sand down so many rat holes that there may be no ground left to stand on anywhere. We’ll be lucky if our national life doesn’t soon resemble The Revenge of the Mole People.
The arc of this story points to at least one likely conclusion: the dreadful day that ISIS (shorthand for whatever they call themselves) overruns the US Green Zone in Baghdad. Won’t that be a nauseating spectacle? Perhaps just in time for the 2014 US elections. And what do you suppose the policy meeting will be like in the White House war room the day after?
Will anyone argue that the USA just take a break from further operations in the entire Middle East / North Africa region? My recommendation would be to stand back, do nothing, and see what happens — since everything we’ve done so far just leaves things and lives shattered. Let’s even say that ISIS ends up consolidating power in Iraq, Syria, and some other places. The whole region will get a very colorful demonstration of what it is like to live under an 11th century style psychopathic despotism, and then the people left after the orgy of beheading and crucifixion can decide if they like it. The experience might be clarifying.
In any case, what we’re witnessing in the Middle East — apparently unbeknownst to the newspapers and the cable news orgs — is what happens in extreme population overshoot: chaos, murder, economic collapse. The human population in this desolate corner of the world has expanded on the artificial nutriment of oil profits, which have allowed governments to keep feeding their people, and maintaining an artificial middle class to work in meaningless bureaucratic offices where, at best, they do nothing and, at worst, hassle their fellow citizens for bribes and payoffs.
There is not a nation on earth that is preparing intelligently for the end of oil — and by that I mean 1) the end of cheap, affordable oil, and 2) the permanent destabilization of existing oil supply lines. Both of these conditions should be visible now in the evolving geopolitical dynamic, but nobody is paying attention, for instance, in the hubbub over Ukraine. That feckless, unfortunate, and tragic would-be nation, prompted by EU and US puppeteers, just replied to the latest trade sanction salvo from Russia by declaring it would block the delivery of Russian gas to Europe through pipelines on its territory. I hope everybody west of Dnepropetrovsk is getting ready to burn the furniture come November. But that just shows how completely irrational the situation has become… and I stray from my point.
Which is that in the worst case that ISIS succeeds in establishing a sprawling caliphate, they will never be able to govern it successfully, only preside over an awesome episode of bloodletting and social collapse. This is especially true in what is now called Saudi Arabia, with its sclerotic ruling elite clinging to power. If and when the ISIS maniacs come rolling in on a cavalcade of You-Tube beheading videos, what are the chances that the technicians running the oil infrastructure there will stick around on the job? And could ISIS run all that machinery themselves? I wouldn’t count on it. And I wouldn’t count on global oil supply lines continuing to function in the way the world requires them to. If you’re looking for the near-future spark of World War Three, start there.
By the way, the US is no less idiotic than Ukraine. We’ve sold ourselves the story that shale oil will insulate us from all the woes and conflicts breaking out elsewhere in the world over the dissolving oil economy paradigm. The shale oil story is false. By my reckoning we have about a year left of the drive-to-Walmart-economy before the public broadly gets what trouble we’re in. The amazing thing is that the public might get to that realization even before its political leadership does. That dynamic leads straight to the previously unthinkable (not for 150 years, anyway) breakup of the United States.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Crude oil rises as Obama authorises air strikes in Iraq

Oil prices rose in Asia today after US President Barack Obama said that he has authorized air strikes against Sunni extremist militants in key crude producer Iraq.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery rose 35 cents to $97.69, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 67 cents to $106.11 in mid-morning trade.
Crude oil rises as Obama authorises air strikes in Iraq
Obama in an address yesterday said that he had ordered the air strikes to prevent “genocide” by the so-called Islamic State fighters against the besieged Yazidi minority in Iraq’s north.
“I therefore authorized targeted air strikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege and protect the civilians trapped there,” Obama said.
He did not say whether air strikes have already been carried out.
Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said the development could add “significant risk premium to oil prices” as dealers worry about potential supply disruptions.
“The announcement certainly edges up the geopolitical concerns about Iraq and the Middle East region, and comes as a bit of a surprise to investors,” Chua told AFP.
Islamic State insurgents now control large swathes of Iraq’s north and west. The sweeping offensive began on June 9, preventing Baghdad from exporting oil via a pipeline to Turkey and by road to Jordan.
Iraq’s oil ministry had on July 24 said crude exports totalled 2.42 million barrels per day in June, falling far short of a budgeted projection of 3.4 million bpd.
As the number-two producer in the OPEC cartel, Iraq’s 11 per cent of proven world reserves plays a key role in world markets and prices after violence disrupted oil exports from Syria and Libya.
The dip in exports adds to the woes of Iraq, which is heavily dependent on oil revenues, while spending more on military equipment to battle the Islamic State group.