Autor: João

Aramco

Aramco in Moscow   Mikaprok Oct. 14, 2017   The last week elderly men with painted mustaches covering from head to foot in sheets paid official visit to Russian president. What is going on here? Nobody says anything clear. We can hear only some snatches: “cheap oil”, “S-400”, “a number of agreements of mutual interest.” Between them verbal mixture on “strengthening and structuring relationships”. As usual. With whom are they concreting agreement? In the most powerless state on the planet Earth there is only one interesting asset. Really Interesting, so for 50 years everyone has been dancing around it. Of course we mean “Saudi Aramco” (or SA). Presumably: – The company brings to the treasury of the Saudis 9/10 state revenues; – produces 10.2 million barrels per day (more than the US as a whole); – has hydrocarbons reserves of 261 billion tons (10 times greater than the largest private oil company in the world – ExxonMobil); – the cost of the entire giant estimates from $ 500 billion to $ 3.5 trillion. I did not accidentally write “presumably.” SA is a complex asset: a private company of the state-forming family fund. It is managed [in an] interesting way: all the reporting on the state of the company’s affairs are published personally by the members of the Royal Family. Who, how and when making key decisions – the greatest...

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JCPOA

Iranian Foreign Minister: ‘Arab Affairs Are Iran’s Business’ ou Foreign meddling has wrought a fractured Middle East     Mohammad Javad Zarif Oct. 9, 2017 With possible decertification looming for the Iran deal, Javad Zarif argues that his country has been unfairly maligned.   Iranians live in a troubled and unstable region. We cannot change geography, but our neighborhood was not always so stormy. Without delving too far back into history—although as an ancient peoples our memories are measured in millennia, not decades or even centuries—it’s safe to say that our region began to experience insecurity and instability when foreign, indeed completely alien powers, arrived and began interfering. The discovery of oil, a drug the West soon became addicted to, only strengthened colonial power projection into our region, and subsequently Cold War rivalry—both major factors in the U.S. and U.K. decision to overthrow the legitimate and democratic government of Iran in 1953—provided the fodder for further meddling by foreign powers and superpowers. Today, what that meddling has wrought is a fractured Middle East. Steadfast allies of the West, rather than considering the plight or aspirations of their own peoples, spend their wealth arming themselves, sending to the West the riches their natural resources provide. They spend billions more of that wealth spreading Wahabbism—a medieval ideology of hate and exclusion—from the Far East to the Americas. They support organized non-state...

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Russia-hating

LUNATIC RUSSIA-HATING IN WASHINGTON IS 70 YEARS OLD   John Helmer Oct. 11, 2017   Joseph Alsop (lead image, centre) and George Kennan (right) started the kind of Russia-hating in Washington which,  today, President Vladimir Putin, like the businessmen around him,  think of as a novelty that cannot last for long. Alsop was a fake news fabricator, and such a narcissist as to give the bow-ties he wore a bad name. Kennan was a psychopath who alternated bouts of aggression to prove himself with bouts of depression over his cowardice. For them, Russia was a suitable target. The Washington Post was the newspaper which gave their lunacy public asylum. This, according to a fresh history by a university professor from California, started in 1947, long before the arrival in Washington of the anti-communist phobia known after the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy. McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn’t the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized...

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US Empire

The End of Empire   Chris Hedges Oct 1, 2017 The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too. The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine. Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the...

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Vladimir Putin

Putin Is Filling the Middle East Power Vacuum   Henry Meyer and Donna Abu-Nasr Oct. 3, 2017   The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians — they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems. The latest in line is Saudi King Salman, who on Wednesday is due to become the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to visit Moscow. At the top of his agenda will be reining in Iran, a close Russian ally seen as a deadly foe by most Gulf Arab states. Until very recently, Washington stood alone as the go-to destination for such leaders. Right now, American power in the region is perceptibly in retreat — testimony to the success of Russia’s military intervention in Syria, which shored up President Bashar al-Assad after years of U.S. insistence that he must go.  “It changed the reality, the balance of power on the ground,” said Dennis Ross, who was America’s chief Mideast peace negotiator and advised several presidents from George H. W. Bush to Barack Obama. “Putin has succeeded in making Russia a factor in the Middle East. That’s why you see a constant stream of Middle Eastern visitors going to Moscow.” Success brings its own problems. As conflicting demands pile up, it’s not easy to...

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