Is Russia Right About US Shale Energy? | New Eastern Outlook

is-russia-right-about-us-shale-energy?-|-new-eastern-outlook

06-11-19 05:38:00,

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In recent remarks to a Pennsylvania shale oil producers’ convention, US President Donald Trump, noting the spectacular growth in shale gas as well as shale oil over the past decade, remarked that unconventional shale energy had made “America the greatest energy superpower in the history of the world.” On first look the achievement has indeed been impressive. Since 2011 the USA surpassed Russia to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas. By 2018 USA had passed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world leading oil producer. It is all because of US unconventional shale oil and gas. But the success may be short-lived.

The rise of shale energy and the favorable geological conditions in West Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere have given the US a clear geopolitical lever in world politics, not only in the Middle East or Venezuela policies. Also in the EU, where Russian gas remains the major supplier. Can the US continue to base policy on its leading role in gas and oil, or is this merely a blip due to end as suddenly as it appeared?

Just as a triumphant Trump was speaking in Pittsburg to the shale industry, Russian Energy Minister Novak pointed to recent slowing of shale oil output growth in key areas of the USA: “In the near future, if forecasts turn out correct, we will see a plateau in production.” He pointed to the significant reduction in shale oil drilling in recent months and predictions by Wall Street of a significant slowing of oil increases from shale in 2020. Prospects for US shale gas are far from positive as well, despite a current supply glut domestically. The LNG gas export terminal infrastructure, while it is increasing, is far from adequate to make the US a major supplier to the EU in competition to Russian gas. And money from Wall Street is drying up as well.

EU Defeat for Trump

The Trump Administration has staked much political effort on trying to convince the EU and other parts of the world to buy US shale gas instead of Russian conventional natural gas, arguing diversity of supply. That now looks unlikely to happen. Despite strong US pressure to cancel Europe’s NordStream2 gas pipeline from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany,

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‘No right to spray poison on us’: Nicaraguan plantation workers taking pesticide lawsuit talk to RT

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01-10-19 01:56:00,

Nicaraguan plantation workers told RT that they haven’t lost hope of finally getting compensated by major chemical firms whose deadly pesticide, they say, severely damaged their health and had major impacts on their lives.

The pesticide makes men sterile and “also increases cancer rates among women and men,” the victims’ lawyer Stuart Smith told RT.

The people that were affected by the highly-toxic chemical were not compensated, despite being “significantly hurt,” he said.

The US banned the use of the roundworm-killing DBCP, marketed as Nemagon, in 1977. But chemical giants Dow, Shell and Occidental (now OxyChem) continued to sell it overseas, including to Nicaragua, where the substance was sprayed over banana and sugarcane plantations. It was reported that up to 22,000 workers were affected as a result.

“I remember that once I was cutting cane, and I had a headache and bone pain, fever,” German Suazo from the Nicaraguan northwestern town of Chichigalpa said.

The fever was so terrible that I fainted.

Around 2,000 Nicaraguans are believed to have died after coming in contact with the chemical.

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Local courts awarded the victims over $800 million in compensation for health damages, however, the companies refused to pay up, insisting Nicaragua has no jurisdiction over them. The affected people, meanwhile, refuse to give up and continue to seek justice.

“They never told us what we know now, and I don’t think it is right for them to spray the poison because now we are affected,” sugar mill worker German Lopez said.

The worst thing here is they don’t want to meet our demands. The company’s owner is deaf to us.

Smith explained that the US courts recommended the victims to file lawsuits in their home countries. The companies, meanwhile, “removed all their assets from those countries so there are no assets to seize,” the lawyer told RT.

The Nicaraguans, suffering from the deadly pesticide, decided to file a lawsuit in France, where the court froze Dow’s shares worth 99 million euro ($110 million) pending trial.

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“Human Right Activists” Celebrate Facebook-Twitter Censorship | New Eastern Outlook

“human-right-activists”-celebrate-facebook-twitter-censorship-|-new-eastern-outlook

27-07-19 07:40:00,

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All Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with Bangkok-based geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci have been deleted. The extent to which both American-based tech companies went to target Cartalucci could be seen in a recent Reuters article reporting on it.

Written by Thai Reuters correspondent Patpicha Tanakasempipat, the article titled, “Facebook removes fake accounts from Thailand, Russia, Ukraine, Honduras,” referred to the author claiming:

The accounts removed in Thailand used “fictitious personas” to promote narratives about Thai politics, U.S.-China relations, protests in Hong Kong, and criticism of democracy activists in Thailand, Gleicher said. 

“We were able to determine conclusively that some of the activities of this network was linked to an individual based in Thailand associated with New Eastern Outlook, a Russian government-funded journal based in Moscow,” Gleicher said.

The article cited “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and hailed the move as countering “deceptive political propaganda.”

No mention was made of how writing anonymously is “inauthentic behavior” nor were any examples provided of what was deemed “deceptive political propaganda” and why.

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Matthew Tostevin, a Reuters correspondent also based in Southeast Asia and whose Twitter profile unironically invokes the hashtag, “Journalism is Not a Crime” celebrated the systematic, coordinated censorship, claiming in a tweet:

“Tony Cartalucci” Facebook and Twitter accounts inaccessible after Facebook said it had erased accounts of a network linked to “an individual based in Thailand associated with New Eastern Outlook, a Russian government-funded journal”.

The term “associated with” is often used to imply impropriety without providing any actual evidence of it. Tostevin’s defence of Facebook-Twitter censorship fails to explain how getting paid to write articles is wrong, especially considering Tostevin himself makes his living doing precisely that for London-based Reuters.

Human Rights Watch’s Thai representative, Sunai Phasuk, himself a verified recipient of foreign government funds, also celebrated rather than opposed Facebook and Twitter’s coordinated censorship.

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In his tweet (translated from Thai), he claimed:

The end of IO [information operation]! Facebook and Twitter suspend the accounts of Tony/Anthony Cartalucci (source of “slim” information) as well as related accounts for using a fake identity,

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Israel Has No Right of Self-Defense Against Gaza – Global Research

israel-has-no-right-of-self-defense-against-gaza-–-global-research

06-05-19 02:17:00,

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This article was first crossposted in July 2018.

Since the overwhelmingly nonviolent demonstrations in Gaza began on March 30, 2018, the international community has strongly condemned Israel’s armed attacks.A UN General Assembly resolution “deplore[d] the use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians,” while the UN Human Rights Council denounced Israel’s “disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force.” After Israeli snipers killed Razan al-Najjar, a twenty-one-year-old unarmed Palestinian paramedic, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process warned Israel that it “needs to calibrate its use of force.” In a devastating report, Human Rights Watch concluded that “Israeli forces’ repeated use of lethal force in the Gaza Strip … against demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life may amount to war crimes.”

Welcome as these condemnations are, the question nonetheless remains whether they go far enough. Simply put, does Israel have the right to use any force under any circumstances against the people of Gaza?

The current legal debate has focused on a pair of interrelated questions:

  • Did Israeli snipers resort to “excessive” or “disproportionate” force against demonstrators (as critics allege), or was the amount of force they deployed necessary to prevent protesters from breaching the perimeter fence (as Israel alleges)?
  • Is Israel’s conduct toward the Gaza protests governed by human rights law (as critics allege) or by international humanitarian law (as Israel alleges)? International humanitarian law applies in situations of armed conflict, whereas human rights law regulates domestic law enforcement. The difference matters, as human rights law imposes more stringent constraints on the use of force.

All parties to both these controversies proceed from a common premise: that Israel has the right to use force in order to prevent Gazans from breaching the fence. The dispute comes down to: how much? Critics who allege “disproportionate” or “excessive” force tacitly legitimize Israel’s use of “proportionate” or “moderate” force, while those who insist upon the applicability of human rights law acknowledge that Israel’s resort to force is legitimate if demonstrators pose an “imminent threat” to a sniper’s life.

This presumption holds even at the most critical pole of the debate on Gaza.

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‘Do the right thing’: US admiral demands sensible end to Maduro’s ‘brutal dictatorship’

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01-05-19 05:49:00,

US Admiral Craig Faller called on the government of Venezuela to ‘do the right thing’ and participate in a peaceful transition of power, slamming the country’s government as a dictatorship.

The change in leadership should be “primarily democratic,” Faller told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, though he did not dismiss a military intervention.

The admiral warned that democratic values all around the world were under assault by “external state actors” such as China, Russia and Iran. He urged cooperation with US allies in Latin America in solving Venezuela’s political crisis, and said the US should maintain a “consistent military presence” across the Western Hemisphere.

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Faller’s stance is broadly reflected in US policy, but it is not shared by other world powers, who see the issue as more complicated.

Backers of the Nicolas Maduro government – among them Russia, Turkey and Iran – have opposed the regime change effort and the use of political violence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday warned the US against getting further involved in the crisis, as it would represent a violation of international law.

Faller, a four star Navy admiral, was promoted to head up US Southern Command last November, which oversees military operations in Latin America.

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The Right May Finally Get Its War on Iran

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01-03-19 11:23:00,

The Right May Finally Get Its War on Iran

Gareth PORTER

John Bolton has never made a secret of his burning desire to stoke a war between the United States and Iran. But Bolton is not the only one on Donald Trump’s national security team who dreams of such a military confrontation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has joined with Bolton in recent months to prepare a case for possible war with Iran.

The tactics used by Pompeo and Bolton bear a strong resemblance to those pursued by Dick Cheney when he pushed for an attack on Iran from 2004 to 2007. Like Cheney, Pompeo and Bolton have sought to generate a phony crisis over Iranian “proxies” in Iraq, and have created the equivalent of a myth of an Iranian covert nuclear weapons program by conjuring up a nonexistent Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threat.

When the plan for unprecedented economic sanctions on Iran was unveiled in May 2018, along with Trump’s announcement that he was pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal—the administration denied that its objective was regime change. As Pompeo put it, Trump was “ready, willing and able to negotiate a new deal.”

The Trump White House has taken advantage of Trump’s diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to sell the idea that he’s willing to negotiate a new relationship with Iran. In July, Trump said of the Iranians, “[A]t some point, they’re going to say ‘let’s make a deal.’ ”

But the demands on Iran that accompany the administration’s pressure campaign belie the notion that its objective is to reach a new agreement. The key demands outlined by Pompeo on May 21, 2018, are clearly based on the policy agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s an agenda for regime change and war, not a new deal with Iran.

At the top of Pompeo’s list are demands that Iran end its support for Hezbollah, including its supply of ballistic missiles to the Lebanese Shiite organization, and the “halt [to] further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems.”

Those demands reflect an extraordinary agreement in December 2017, reported in the Israeli press, between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government on a joint strategic work plan that included precisely those points on Pompeo’s list—countering Iranian ballistic missile development,

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Trump Is Right: The Intelligence Community Needs to ‘Go Back to School’

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03-02-19 10:06:00,

“The current crop of national intelligence chiefs are careerists who have risen to the top through their willingness to conform to a system that is designed not to challenge conventional thinking”

Earlier this week, the collective leadership of the United States intelligence community briefed Congress on the Worldwide Threat Assessment Report. In doing so, they provided testimony that seemed to contradict virtually every aspect of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, including the decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, the threat posed by Iran, North Korean denuclearization, and improving relations with Russia.

The president, in typical fashion, lashed out, criticizing the intelligence community’s collective analysis, which predictably elicited criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. They accused him of undermining public confidence in the pronouncements of the intelligence agencies and damaging national security.

In this case, Trump is right and his detractors are wrong.

The current crop of national intelligence chiefs are cut from the same cloth as their predecessors. They are careerists who have risen to the top not through their analytical or operational talents, but through their willingness to conform to a system that is designed not to challenge conventional thinking—especially when such thinking sustains policies that have been given the imprimatur of the entrenched establishment.

Rare is the politician who is well enough versed in the minutia of history and foreign affairs to generate original thinking—or bold enough to challenge the status quo on the grounds that it isn’t working. Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush were among the original thinkers, leaders who opened relations with communist China and oversaw the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union, respectively. Among those who challenge the status quo is Donald Trump, a political maverick who, rightly or wrongly, has sought to challenge the conventional dogma in ways no previous politician ever has.

There is no better illustration of the intellectual corruption of the intelligence community than its performance in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The current dean of the intelligence establishment, the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, illustrates perfectly the slavish impulse to conform. In his book Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence,

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Ron Paul: Trump Is Right, The Fed Is Crazy

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29-10-18 10:05:00,

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

President Trump recently called the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes crazy. Leaving aside President Trump’s specific complaint, which is likely motivated by the belief that low rates will help him win reelection, he is right that “crazy” is a good way to describe the Federal Reserve.

When not forced to use a government-created currency, individuals have historically chosen to use a precious metal such as gold or silver as money. The reasons include that precious metals are durable and their value tends to remain relatively stable over time. A stable currency ensures that prices accurately convey the true value of goods and services.

A main value of a precious metal is it accurately conveys the true price of money, which is the Interest rate. If the interest rate reflects the manipulation of central bankers and not true market conditions, individuals will be unable to properly allocate resources between savings and current consumption.

In contrast to market money, government-created fiat currency is anything but stable. Central banks constantly increase and decrease the money supply in an attempt to control the economy by controlling the interest rates. This causes individuals to misread market conditions, leading to a misallocation of resources. This can create an illusion of prosperity. But eventually reality catches up to the Federal Reserve-created fantasies. When that happens, there is a recession or worse, leading the Fed to start the whole boom-and-bust cycle over again.

When central banks create money, those who first get the new money enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the new money causes a real increase in prices. Those who receive the money first are members of the banking and financial elite. By the time the new money reaches the middle class and working class, inflation has set in, so any gain in purchasing power is more than offset by the increase in inflation. Thus, central banking causes income inequality.

Since the Federal Reserve’s creation in 1913, the dollar has lost most of its value. The steady erosion of the dollar’s value punishes savers and rewards those who seek instant gratification even if it requires piling up massive debts.

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Trump Is Right: The Fed Is A Big Problem

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29-10-18 07:48:00,

Authored by Thorstein Polleit via The Mises Institute,

President Donald J. Trump has taken on the Federal Reserve (Fed), saying that Fed chairman Jerome H. Powell is threatening US economic growth by further raising interest rates. Mainstream economists, the financial press and even some politicians react with indignation: the president’s comments undermine the Fed’s political independence, potentially endangering the confidence in the US dollar. Such a public reaction is, at first glance, understandable – as mainstream economists have declared the political independence of the central bank a “golden calf” issue.

Monetary theorists argue that a politically independent central bank is best for the currency and the economy. As a result, most central banks around the world, including the Fed, have been made politically independent. But is this so? Well, if the economy thrives, politicians leave the Fed alone. If the economy stumbles, or if the Fed pursues unpopular measures, it runs the risk that Congress or the president may revise the Federal Reserve At of 1913, stripping it of its power. In fact, the Fed’s monetary policy cannot deviate too much from the Congress’ and the president’s political agenda.

Granted: In good times, the Fed is more or less protected from the demands of political parties. But what about the influence from ‘special interest groups’ such as the banking industry on Fed policymaking? There should hardly be any doubt that the Fed caters, first and foremost, to the needs of commercial and investment banks. As the monopoly producer of the US dollar, it creates – in close cooperation with the banking community – new Greenbacks mostly via credit expansion out of thin air. In this sense, the Fed and private banks represents a cartel.

This cartel produces inflation, leading to increases not only of consumer prices but also of the prices of assets such as stocks, housing and real estate. This, in turn, debases the purchasing power of the US dollar and benefits some at the expense of many. The Fed-banker cartel, which keeps issuing ever more quantities of US dollar, also causes economic disturbances, speculative bubbles, and boom-and-bust cycles; and it tempts consumers, firms, and the government to run into ever more debt. Especially so as the Fed sets the interest rate for bank credit,

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Trump Is Right to Meet Putin – Rand Paul Editorial

Trump Is Right to Meet Putin – Rand Paul Editorial

24-07-18 10:14:00,

America needs fewer enemies. What’s wrong with reducing tensions?

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin today, days after meeting with our NATO allies in Europe. Both meetings are important, and both cause confusion among politicians and those who report on them back home.

Foreign policy is difficult. It comes in many shades of gray, and those who treat it as a team sport do harm to our safety and to our politics.

Politicizing international affairs is a dangerous game, but that hasn’t stopped far too many in Washington, who seem to have forgotten that a vital part of keeping America safe and secure is avoiding war through strong and consistent diplomacy, from playing politics. One way they do that is to insist we not meet with or speak openly to our adversaries on the world stage.

I disagree. Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia. So I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue.

Throughout history, including during the height of the Cold War, both sides maintained constant dialogue and communications. Even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we had diplomatic relations and constant communications.

Unfortunately, over the past two years, some have fueled a hysteria that has created such a paralysis regarding Russia that regular meetings and communications have ceased, and one can be accused of “collusion” merely for agreeing to a routine meeting with elected Russian officials who might be visiting Capitol Hill.

The hostile climate created by Russophobes has resulted in a vacuum in cultural, educational and even legislative exchanges, while elected officials from both Washington and Moscow are now on so-called ban lists. Nothing will be achieved by each country shutting the door to the other.

We must find a way to keep our historic allies, while realizing that threatening Russia through NATO expansion is not the answer. As Georgetown Professor Charles Kupchan stated, “From Moscow’s perspective, NATO has ignored [Russia’s] vociferous objections and expanded … bringing the world’s most formidable military alliance up to Russia’s borders.

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The Arab Spring has Come to an End Right Where it Started | New Eastern Outlook

The Arab Spring has Come to an End Right Where it Started | New Eastern Outlook

04-02-18 09:25:00,

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The so-called Arab Spring, which began with the string of revolutionary events in Tunisia has now officially ended. It ended last month with Tunisia getting swept by a wave of new demonstrations, with thousands of people taking to the streets both in the capital, and other cities of the country.

Local media sources, while covering those events, referred to them as the “stolen revolution”.

Officially, the Tunisian revolution started in January of 2011, when President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after staying in power for 23 consecutive years was forced to flee the country.

Seven years later and Tunisians are shouting those very same demands that rallied them when the revolution began: “Employment, freedom, dignity.” It’s no accident that employment occupies the principal place in those chants as the economic situation has been deteriorating for 7 years straight, with Tunisia’s national debt increasing from 39.2% GDP in 2010 up to 60.6% in 2016. In that period Tunisian dinar lost 40% of its value against the US dollar.

Unemployment, as before, remains the scourge of the Tunisian economy, with well over 35% of youngsters being unable to find a job, while prices on basic consumer goods keep skyrocketing. Tunisians are getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that can not make their ends meet, no matter how hard they try, which forced protesters to take to the streets after the announcement of a new budget draft that allowed yet another increase in prices.

Those who participated in the rallies opposed “poverty and hunger” and protested against “thieves who stole the country.”

At the head of the people’s movement was a group called “What Are We Waiting For” According to the media reports, a total of 800 people was arrested during the demonstration, with 200 of them being aged between 15 and 25.

Two years ago Tunisia signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that allowed it to obtain a loan of 2.8 billion dollars for 4 years, however that the government was supposed to introduce a series of severe economic and social reforms. Demonstrations were the answer to these planned reforms.

It’s no wonder that local authorities were in a rush to turn their back on the austerity regime they were introducing,

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