Trump turns Saudi religious hatred of Shiia into political propaganda against Iran and in doing so is creating the unity that never really existed (ODT)
Coalition forces stood aside as Saddam’s tanks, with helicopters overhead, smashed their way into Shia cities like Karbala, Najaf and Basra, and then began their mass executions.
Three decades later, the US and its allies are still making the same mistake, treating the millions of Shia in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen and Afghanistan as if they were Iranian agents.
Down the centuries, the Shia have been one of the most savagely persecuted religious minorities; they fear today that in the wake of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, they are once again being demonised, as Donald Trump denounces all who oppose the US in the Middle East as Iranian proxies.
Australia’s disguised deployment in the assistance of theft by Israel of the Syrian Golan Heights oil fields and media silence. Murdoch’s interest in Genie Oil a pay off for silence. (ODT)
What is the Israeli/US interest in the Golans that has prompted Israeli occupation and such strong support from the US (and Australia) in violation of UN resolutions? The answer is partly settlement opportunities for Israel, but the other is oil. According to the Israeli operated Afek Oil and Gas there is ‘billions of barrels of Israeli oil’ under the ground. Except it is Syrian ground.
This the role model nation that all nations are expected to follow(ODT)
US military has just recently returned to Guyana for the first time in a decade. The purpose of this detachment, according to Military.com, is to “shore up relationships amid growing tensions in neighboring Venezuela.”
“the United States has a clear objective in Venezuela: regime change and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law.” A basic understanding of the English language would require that this sentence poses an oxymoron, as US-enforced regime change could never ever amount to the implementation of democracy and the rule of law.
there are at least five US military bases and a number of US military advisers in Colombia, which a simple glance at a globe will tell you is on the other side of Venezuela. By “shoring up relationships” to the east of Venezuela in Guyana, the US military will almost have the Latin American rival completely surrounded. The south is covered by Brazil, which is another stalwart Washington ally.
It bears to remind oneself that as part of this foreign policy playbook, right-wing, nationalist and/or populist ideologies are almost never opposed or rejected by the US, but welcomed warmly with open arms.
According to the Nation, the US has over 800 formal military bases in 80 countries, “a number that could exceed 1,000 if you count troops stationed at embassies and missions and so-called ‘lily-pond’ bases, with some 138,000 soldiers stationed around the globe.”
Collectively, some other 11 countries including Russia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, China, France and India, have barely some 70 bases between them.
James Molan and Andrew Bolt spent an interview suggesting attacking Iran wasn’t a bad plan (ODT)
China not Trump will determine Venezuela’s future that must gall him. (OTD)
Violent clashes erupted in the Venezuelan capital on Tuesday after opposition leader Juan Guaidó launched what appeared to be a military-backed challenge to President Nicolás Maduro, summoning thousands of people to the streets to demonstrate against the socialist leader.
US Senator Marco Rubio, who has strongly backed Guaido, issued a call for the military to rise up: “This is the moment for those military officers in #Venezuela to fulfil their constitutional oath & defend the legitimate interim President @jguaido, in this effort to restore democracy,” he tweeted. “You can write history in the hours & days ahead.”
An envoy to the US for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has said the country’s oil reserves would be opened to foreign investors, bolstering suspicions that Washington’s support of Guaidó is oil-dependent.
The global energy transition and the shift to renewables from fossil fuels is likely to reduce energy-related conflicts, says a report published by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. The transition will “help redraw the geopolitical map of the 21st century,” as the supply of energy will no longer be the domain of a small number of states, says the report.
What the world new but governments denied it was about oil (ODT)
April 24 marks the 15th anniversary of my initial entry into Baghdad as the senior oil advisor to retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, our US government civilian leader in Iraq. It was the beginning of my six plus years in Iraq working on the oil sector and denying the allegation that the Iraq war had an oil agenda. I can no longer refute such an allegation.
Was there an oil agenda for the Iraq war? If you had asked me that question four years ago, I would have said no, absolutely not. And, I said no on national television in 2014.
“Ten thousand more dead civilians in the Middle East, in a region that’s seen 1 million in the last 30 years, by my count… are not going to deter the Saudis and the Israelis from acting against this threat,” he said.
The Threat loss of OIL
“The geostrategic and economic factors that made the Middle East so important to our national security in the past are just as potent today,” Edelman said. Even with recent increases in U.S. energy production as a result of the fracking revolution, “real or even potential disruptions to the flow of oil anywhere would have serious negative effects on our economy.”
With his remarks, Edelman made it clear that U.S. officials continue to value the Middle East for its oil. The region “contains half of global proven oil reserves, accounts for one-third of oil production and exports, and is home to three of the world’s four biggest oil transit chokepoints,” he explained.
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Former New York mayor and close Trump ally discusses Republican nominee’s call to take Iraq’s oil, a move which appears to break international law
For Saudi Arabia to break its “addiction” to oil sounds a bit like the Catholic Church trying to end its addiction to Christianity. It is not only the world’s largest oil exporter; it also sits on the world’s largest oil reserves. But this was indeed what the man overseeing the Saudi economy, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, proposed in the Vision 2030 plan, launched last week.
A global bribery scheme that implicates leading Western multinationals and government officials has been exposed by the leak of confidential files in the oil industry.
Source: The Bribe Factory
Jason Ditz at ANTIWAR Even as Pentagon officials have sought to emphasize their claims of ISIS being “on the run,” ever more US ground troops are being deployed into Iraq to try to cope with ISIS offensives, with the battle of Makhmur leading to the introduction …
Just when we think that the Syrian crisis can’t get any bigger… An American-based oil and gas company will soon be drilling in Syrian territory that has been illegally occupied by Israel since 1967 – the Golan Heights. The company, Genie Energy, has major investors …
Turkey’s decision to down a Russian fighter jet was dictated by a desire to defend IS oil supplies to Turkey, Vladimir Putin says.
The former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein was not executed as justice for crimes he committed, but for his opposition to Wall Street, political analyst Caleb Maupin told RT. The auction to sell the piece of rope he was executed with proves that, Maupin says.
RT: The rope is currently in the possession of the ex-national security advisor, could you please tell us how it got into his hands?
Caleb Maupin: The way the execution of Saddam Hussein was carried out, in a way that was meant to foment sectarian violence. It was an execution; it was staged in a formal way. It almost resembled the lynching with people from hostile ethnic groups shouting at him. And the fact that the rope is now on sale is just a further confirmation of the fact that the execution of Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with justice rather it was about profits.
Iraq was invaded because it had a state-owned oil company that was in competition with Wall Street banks and oil companies. And Saddam Hussein was executed not because of atrocities that he committed during the Iraq- Iran war, or any other atrocities he committed. He was executed for standing up to Wall Street and standing up to the forces that are really ruling the world, the forces of money and power.
RT: According to reports, several bidders from Iran, Israel and Kuwait have offered large sums of money to get hold of the rope, what motivations do they have?
CM: When Saddam Hussein was allying with the US during the Iraq- Iran war there were at least a million Iranians who perished as a result of his actions. But at that time he was in an alliance with the US. That is something that is not brought up in US media very often, it is the fact that at one point the US was very close to Saddam Hussein and had an alliance with him.
However, it is important to point out that this just shows how cheap justice has become, when they are selling the implements of execution, put up for bidding. Profits dominate everything- nothing is really sacred. Look at all the countries the US has invaded whether it’s Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia, which suffered from US bombing. Never do they bring stability, never do they bring peace, they bring further chaos and destruction. War is really motivated by profits and this is just a further illustration of that.
The people of Iraq right now live in misery – there is a refugee crisis. At least a million people have become refugees. Hundreds of thousands are dead. This is the result of the US invasion. And now the government that has been put in place by the US invasion is so corrupted that the very implements used to execute Saddam Hussein are up for sale on the internet.
RT: Some activists say that this auction is inhumane and that the money collected should go to charities in Iraq. What’s your take on this?
CM: The whole notion of auctioning off the implements for execution is really perverse and it illustrates what neo-liberalism and capitalism really is. The US said they were invading Iraq to bring democracy. They weren’t really invading Iraq to bring democracy; they were invading Iraq to impose Western capitalism on Iraq and to impose the rule of Western banks over the Iraqi people. And that is what we are seeing here in the Western world, the neo-liberal world, – everything is up for sale, everything is made for profits. You have prisons for profits, you have private police forces, you have mass homelessness and poverty. This is the reality, this is the system that the US was exporting to Iraq, and this is just a great illustration of that system.
This article by John Pilger is too long and doesn’t deserve paraphrasing. So I’m just putting foward the link
The irony is obvious to many of the commenters, understanding the threat starts with those three. It is the continuing follies of U.S. policy and our involvement in them, that make us a potential target for domestic terrorism — not some bogus perceived external threat.( pic above)
If you listen to what U.S. presidents say, they always invoke freedom, peace, democracy and human rights as they launch their brutal forays into other countries. However if you look at what the U.S. does in the world, then it is clear freedom, peace, democracy and human rights are irrelevant to U.S. policy.
The U.S. talks democracy, but doesn’t hesitate to cuddle up to brutal tyrants, nor to overthrow elected governments. Democracies were replaced by repressive and usually corrupt governments with power bases among the wealthy elites. The Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is among the most notorious for his reign of terror, involving torture, murder and “disappearances”, from 1973 until a popular uprising ousted him in 1990.
Iraq played no role in the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Centre, but President George W. Bush used the attack as an excuse to invade Iraq, which was allegedly harbouring Al Qaeda groups. Somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 civilians are reported to have died as a result of the invasion and subsequent fighting, effectively retribution for the 3,000 who died in the WTC attack.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, governed by a repressive family plutocracy, is maintained as a staunch ally of the U.S., even though it too is accused of supplying some groups in the Middle East accused of terrorism. The key, of course, is that Saudi Arabia hosts a large fraction of the world’s oil reserves.
Human-rights abuses are being cited as a prime reason for U.S. intervention, yet the U.S. saw no reason to intervene directly in other barbarities ‒ even including genocide ‒ in places like Cambodia from 1975-79, Rwanda in 1994, the civil wars in the Congo over a long period, in Liberia in the 1990s, and many other parts of Africa and the world.
The consistent factor in U.S. policy clearly is to defend or enhance U.S. “interests” — which means, in practice, the commercial interests of U.S. business. Oil underpins all the other interests. U.S. presidents have always allowed their foreign policy to be bounded by the interests of the country’s rich and powerful.
Why is this apparently so beyond the critical faculties of what passes for Australia’s political conversation? That the US is doing what’s always been normal and can’t afford it so coopts us. Iraq will pay for this excercise whatever the outcome.
The solution ‒ not easy, but clearly available ‒ is to desist from further military intervention. There will, unfortunately, continue to be violence within the Middle East, but the defensible course is to try, by nonviolent means, to reduce the violence as much as possible. Intelligence analyst Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning argues for the viability of such an approach
There is already an overwhelming case, from global warming, for a rapid shift away from oil to renewable, non-polluting sources of energy, such as solar-generated hydrogen. The further pursuit of control over oil is wrong-headed in every respect, not least because of its costs in blood and money.
As to the so-called leadership of Australia, it adds the spectacle of being a pathetic lap dog to all the US follies it chooses to be complicit in.