A point of view by Karl Bernd Esser.
The drone and cruise missiles attack in Saudi Arabia has temporarily stopped the world’s largest IPO of Saudi oil giant ARAMCO (the world’s largest oil production company). This allows investors and exchange gurus to take a closer look at the situation on the ground. Saudi ARAMCO Managing Director Amin Nasser announced that oil production, which slumped after the attacks, would return to its previous level at the end of the month. The Energy Minister, Prince Abdelaziz bin Salman, said half of the collapsed oil production had already been restored. ARAMCO is currently making a profit of 500 million dollars a day. Oil and gas, as is true for other fossil resources, are not unlimited.
And if the exact data about the (sometime) forthcoming Saudi Arabian Peak Oil (i.e. the point in time from which the oil production can only go downward) is understandably one of the hottest secrets of ARAMCO common sense would lead even a layman to conclude that a foresighted government would do well to provide for the forthcoming phase-out of its own oil and gas production in time. The Saudi oil ministry is also hiding the fact that its nationwide oil and gas production has passed its zenith from the world and is trying to place its oil company ARAMCO on the stock exchange as soon as possible. The depleted Saudi coffers and ARAMCO are delighted by new oil wells. But the dilemma is that these wells are 1.800meters below Yemen and not in their own kingdom.
The Iranian attack on the oil plants in Khurais and Abqaiq came at an critical time. It made it clear to future investors that Saudi Arabia cannot protect its most important oil fields from simple air attacks. Saudi air defence systems date back to the Gulf War of 1991, and neither in the air nor on the ground can the Saudis do without support. Military experts also point out that Saudi Arabia has ground troops that are too weak to defeat the rebels in Yemen. Without American or Israeli aid, Saudi Arabia will therefore have little leverage against its arch-enemy Iran.
» Lees verder
Authored by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media
The last four days have shown that the ongoing US-Iran war is acutely affecting the whole region. This is now evident in Iraq where more than 105 people have been killed and thousands wounded in the course of demonstrations that engulfed the capital Baghdad and southern Shia cities including Amara, Nasririyeh, Basrah, Najaf and Karbalaa. Similar demonstrations could erupt in Beirut and other Lebanese cities due to the similarity of economic conditions in the two countries. The critical economic situation in the Middle East offers fertile ground for uprisings that lead to general chaos.
Iraq has special status due to its position, since the 2003 US occupation of the country, as both an Iranian and as a US ally. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi up to now has armed himself with article 8 of the constitution, seeking to keep Iraq as a balancing point between all allies and neighboring countries, and to prevent Mesopotamia from becoming a battlefield for conflicts between the US and Iran or Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Notwithstanding the efforts of Baghdad officials, the deterioration of the domestic economic situation in Iraq has pushed the country into a situation comparable to that of those Middle Eastern countries who were hit by the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Fueled by real grievances including lack of job opportunities and severe corruption, domestic uprisings were manipulated by hostile foreign manipulation for purposes of regime change; these efforts have been ongoing in Syria since 2011. Baghdad believes that foreign and regional countries took advantage of the justified demands of the population to implement their own agenda, with disastrous consequences for the countries in question.
Sources within the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister said “the recent demonstrations were already planned a couple of months ago. Baghdad was working to try and ease the situation in the country, particularly since the demands of the population are legitimate. The Prime Minister has inherited the corrupt system that has developed since 2003; hundreds of billions of dollars have been diverted into the pockets of corrupt politicians. Moreover, the war on terror used not only all the country’s resources but forced Iraq to borrow billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the security forces and other basic needs.”
A word on one of the dynamics behind the Iraq protests,
» Lees verder
By Arjun Walia
- The Facts: Award-winning Australian Mark Davis explains the smear campaign mainstream media is using against Assange. Journalist Greg Bean compares his work to the time that the printing press was invented, putting ‘information’ in the hands of the people.
- Reflect On: The arrest of Julian Assange and censorship of independent media networks goes to show how information threatens the global elite, and not “national security.” It threatens immoral government and corporate actions/interests.
Mark Davis, a well-known award-winning Australian investigative journalist, best known for his work on Dateline, has said that it’s the journalists from The Guardian and New York Times who should be in jail, not Julian Assange. Obviously, mainstream media has completely ignored this in fear of undermining their smear campaign that’s been running against Julian Assange for years, making him out to be a criminal when in fact he’s the complete opposite.
You can watch Davis’ speech about Assange below.
JFK warned the citizenry about “an announced need for increased security” that would be “seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.” Today, this is known as “national security,” and it’s a term used to justify unethical and enormous amounts of secrecy that do not protect the public, but protect those in power and their corporate, financial and political interests.
These corporate and political interests were exactly what Julian Assange was threatening. As a result, “national security” was used to justify his capture, and the mainstream media machine was used to slander his image and portray him as a criminal.
Mainstream media has a huge influence over the minds of the masses. Although it’s weakening, it’s been used as a massive brainwashing tool since its inception. This is evident by the slew of documents showing the close relationship mainstream media has with government agencies, like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The latest example I wrote about was whistleblower William Arkin. Arkin is a longtime, well-known military and war reporter who is best known for his groundbreaking,
» Lees verder
Submitted by Viktors Domburs…
The Baltic States are in anticipation of the annual large scale military exercise named Saber Strike.
The well-known annual international exercise held since 2010 by the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) is focused on the Baltic States. These countries consider this event as a key element of participants’ training on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners. The Saber Strike exercise aims to facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and allied and partner nations.
Usually these maneuvers take place in June. Thus, it is logical to assume that the time of the military exercise is coming, but this year the event is never mentioned.
There are two ways the situation will develope. The first one is – Saber Strike 2019 will not be held at all. The second one is that information about Saber Strike 2019 is classified.
The first assumption is unlikely taking into account both U.S. and NATO desire to strengthen the position in the region. This assumption is also contradicted by the increasing number and scale of international and national military exercises in the Baltic region.
So, the second assumption is most likely. But the question arises about the aim of hiding the information or its content. It is widely proclaimed that NATO and the U.S. put transparency about the exercises in the head. This principle is either one of the key priorities of all international organizations including UN and OSCE. Transparency of activity helps to build international peace and trust.It is especially surprising after NATO expressed concern about transparency of Russian and Russia-Belarus military drills which were held near the Baltic State’s borders. Unlike allies, opponents give preliminary information about planned exercises. By the way, some facts can be find on Internet about joint exercise Union Shield 2019 that will take place in autumn in Russia.
BulgarianMilitary.com quoted Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu who stated in 2018 that “Union Shield 2019” exercise would be only defensive and emphasized: “First and foremost, and I would like everyone to hear that, our drills are solely of defensive nature. We do not plan any offensive actions as compared to the [NATO] military exercises. We, undoubtedly, are doing this not as a response to some drills but as a response to the threats which exist today and which,
» Lees verder
Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via SHTFplan.com,
Another week has gone by where we have seen a tremendous amount of activity around the world: the French, Belgians, and Dutch are engaged in protests labeled “yellow vest” protests. In actuality, the yellow vests are insignificant: these Euro-Socialist countries require citizens to wear yellow vests in public for protests…for “safety” reasons. Actually it is so that center mass is easier to acquire by their paramilitary police forces. There is a good possibility of a major war escalating from current problems between Ukraine and the separatist provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk. The U.S. phony economy is not doing well.
Quietly and almost unnoticed by the beeves of the American populace are the biometric measures for surveillance and tracking being emplaced by the United States with the cooperation of major corporations. I have written articles on the biometric scanners being used in an Atlanta airport, and that Chicago is following suit, along with Delta using these biometric data collection scanners prior to boarding flights in Los Angeles.
A new article surfaced this week that you need to read. Entitled “FBI plans ‘Rapid DNA’ network for quick database checks on arrestees,” by Tom Jackman on December 13, released by the Washington [Com]Post.
This is very serious, indeed. Here’s an excerpt:
Though DNA has revolutionized modern crime fighting, the clues it may hold are not revealed quickly. Samples of saliva, or skin, or semen are sent to a crime lab by car (or mail), and then chemists get to work. Detectives are accustomed to waiting days or weeks, or longer, for the results. Some labs are so backed up, they take only the most serious crimes. Some samples are never tested. But a portable machine about the size of a large desktop printer is changing that. A “Rapid DNA” machine can analyze the DNA in a swab and produce a profile of 20 specific loci on the DNA strand in less than two hours. Some local police departments and prosecutors have been using Rapid DNA machines for about five years to solve crimes.
» Lees verder
Today by far the deadliest weapon of mass destruction in Washington’s arsenal lies not with the Pentagon or its traditional killing machines. It’s de facto a silent weapon: the ability of Washington to control the global supply of money, of dollars, through actions of the privately-owned Federal Reserve in coordination with the US Treasury and select Wall Street financial groups. Developed over a period of decades since the decoupling of the dollar from gold by Nixon in August, 1971, today control of the dollar is a financial weapon that few if any rival nations are prepared to withstand, at least not yet.
Ten years ago, in September, 2008, US Treasury Secretary, former Wall Street banker Henry Paulson, deliberately pulled the plug on the global dollar system by allowing the mid-sized Wall Street investment bank, Lehman Bros go under. At that point, with aid of the infinite money-creating resources of the Fed known as Quantitative Easing, the half-dozen top banks of Wall Street, including Paulson’s own Goldman Sachs, were rescued from a debacle their exotic securitized finance created. The Fed also acted to give unprecedented hundreds of billions of US dollar credit lines to EU central banks to avert a dollar shortage that would clearly have brought the entire global financial architecture crashing down. At the time six Eurozone banks had dollar liabilities in excess of 100% of their country GDP.
A World Full of Dollars
Since that time a decade ago, the supply of cheap dollars to the global financial system has risen to unprecedented levels. The Institute for International Finance in Washington estimates the debt of households, governments, corporations and the financial sector in the 30 largest emerging markets rose to 211% of gross domestic product at the start of this year. It was 143% at the end of 2008.
Further data from the Washington IIF indicate the scale of a debt trap that is only in early stages of detonating across the less-advanced economies from Latin America to Turkey to Asia. Excluding China, emerging market total debt, in all currencies including domestic, has nearly doubled from 15 trillion dollars in 2007 to 27 trillion dollars at end of 2017. China debt in the same time went from 6 trillion dollars to 36 trillion dollars according to IIF.
» Lees verder