The Guardian View on Saudi Arabia: The Seventh Son Rises

19-09-2017 | 13:50

A crackdown on dissent by the youngest heir apparent in Saudi history will not help the desert kingdom find a way out of an economic mess at home and misguided entanglements abroad

MBS

The ascension in June of Muhammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia was an instant Rorschach test for observers of the desert kingdom. Is he a reformer prepared to drag his kingdom, a repressive regime that writes very large welfare cheques, into the 21st century or a callow princeling whose rise to power could destabilize the region? The 31-year-old prince has undoubtedly amassed great power and dominates Saudi economic, diplomatic and domestic policy.

The crown prince, known as MBS, is also the architect of the bloody quagmire of the Yemen war and a hardliner in the current Gulf row with neighboring Qatar. His father, King Salman, 81, is not in good health, walks with a stick and suffers from brain fades in meetings. By anointing his seventh son as the youngest heir apparent in Saudi history, the ailing monarch has signaled a decisive break with the past.

If the first few months are a reliable guide, then the omens for the future are not good. The palace coup that saw MBS take power was bloodless. In the summer’s Game of Thrones, his powerful uncles and rivals were either sidelined or placed under house arrest. The sense of how riven the Saudi royal house is could be gleaned from reports, sourced from within the court, claiming the other leading contender for the throne had a drug problem. Last week it emerged that Saudi authorities had launched a crackdown on dissent, targeting Islamic thinkers, public critics and political rivals.

Two prominent clerics were taken away for failing to publicly declare their support for the crown prince’s stance toward Qatar.

Both are popular with the Saudi public, with millions of Twitter followers. Another journalist has been banned from writing opinion columns, while human rights activists have been given outlandish eight-year prison sentences for peaceful campaigning. Whatever MBS’s public face, this intolerance of dissent is almost paranoid.

If there was time for Saudi society to debate how to proceed, it’s probably now. Saudi Arabia was the cradle of [extremism] so its stability is a global concern. In domestic terms, Saudi Arabia is a mess.

The kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter, with reserves of 260bn barrels – but it is a one-trick economy. Oil prices have plummeted from the highs of 2014, forcing Riyadh to spend some $200bn from its foreign exchange reserves to cover its deficit.

In response the crown prince instigated a Thatcherite program of privatization and subsidy cuts to balance the books. But these moves threatened the social contract between the royal family and its subjects, the majority of whom are under 35.
On the world stage, Saudi Arabia has been forced on the back foot by events and its own incompetence.

The war in Yemen, costly in civilian lives, and a blockade of Qatar are a result of draining infatuations.

Instead of succeeding, those obsessions have been embarrassments for the crown prince. Riyadh is now courting Iraq’s leadership – especially those close to Iran. It has withdrawn from Syria, leaving that country’s future in the hands of Moscow, Ankara and Tehran.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

Advertisements

Hiding Behind Fighting Terrorism U.S. Intends to Seize Syria’s Oil

Source

By Anna Jaunger

Information Clearing House” –  As the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) progresses towards Deir Ezzor, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mostly made up of Syrian Kurds, began to prepare for a military offensive on the Syrian city in order to prevent the government forces from re-establishing military control over the oil rich-territory.

Despite all promises that the U.S. doesn’t intend to extend its presence in Syria after defeating ISIS, Washington continues to increase the number of American military and set up new bases in Syria.

Yesterday, Gulf News reported that the U.S.-led Coalition had dropped off an elite squad in the eastern part of the province of Deir Ezzor. According to many experts, its prior goal is to gather intelligence and prepare staging ground for the SDF’s offensive in Deir Ezzor.

This position is proved by Ahmed Abu Khawla, a SDF official. Khawla said, the SDF could start its assault on Deir Ezzor “within several weeks” in parallel with an ongoing battle for nearby Raqqa city. Khawla also added that all military plans were absolutely ready.

Besides, according to sources close to the SDF, the U.S.-backed forces intend to conduct assault from the province of Al-Hasakah, where the U.S. Special Forces troops were dropped off.

Considering the U.S. and the Coalition have illegally invaded Syria’s territory, there is only one way for Washington to remain in Syria – to establish full control over Deir Ezzor. In this case the United States are helped by the Kurds, who are also interested in seizing oil fields.

In his turn, Talal Silo, spokesman of the SDF, said that Washington had “a strategy policy for decades to come.”

Obviously, the U.S. actions in Syria are unlikely to be limited by fighting ISIS. Perhaps, it is only a part of the plan to destroy urban infrastructure and overthrow Assad’s government in Syria. Now it is extremely important for the SAA not to let the U.S.-backed forces to seize the initiative in Deir Ezzor. The future of the country and geopolitical strategic equation will depend on who will control the strategic region of oil rich-territory in Syria.

Anna Jaunger is a freelance journalist from Inside Syria Media Center.

SYRIA’S ENERGY INDUSTRY REVIVAL

“Exclusive to SyrPer” by Canthama
NATURAL GAS
Some perspectives on the recent gas fields liberated in Syria and their impact on the future economy of Syria:
From peak production in 2010, prior to the war of aggression against the Syrians, the natural gas production reached 8.9 million(M) cubic(cu) meters(mts) per day in Syria, and it has been in a free fall since then to 3.8M cu mts per day in 2016, 43% of the all time record (this is basically official production under the Government of Syria).
Just the mega Tuweinaan gas field, recently liberated in central Homs Province, mostly intact, will be able to produce 3.3M cu mts in 6 months time as per initial plan, which could be intensified so as to reach the milestone of 0.6M cu mts per day production in few weeks, then 1.1M cu mts per day in 2 months and full force in 6 months or 3.3M cu mts per day of natural gas, that would almost, alone, double the country’s 2016 production.
Together with Tuweinaan gas field, over two dozens of gas fields were also liberated in the past 2 months, though smaller in size and in production capacity versus Tuweinaan, the Syrian Government believes those liberated gas fields can reach the production level from 2010 in 6 to 12 months. The Palmyra area in central Syria is the site of much of this activity, including the recently liberated Arak gas field, which came on stream at the end of 1995. Other important gas fields in the Palmyra area include Al-Hayl (liberated) and Al Doubayaat (still under ISIS, but not for long) — both of which are “sweet gas” and two “sour gas” fields — and Najeeb (mostly liberated this past Sunday) and Sukhna (fully liberated), which came on stream in 2000. Most of these fields will likely enjoy expansions in output post-conflict.
The Syrian Government’s herculean effort, during the 7-year conflict, to pump as much gas from the fields that were kept safe under the control of the State, generated much higher output in those individual gas fields versus prior to 2010 output, which helped to minimize the loss in production with the majority of gas fields under the terrorists’ control. On top of that good performance, the newly liberated gas fields, when in full production, can be expected to produce over 10M cu mts per day sometime by 2018, which would by itself be an all-time record for the country and a much needed resource of power and heating.
It is important to note that it is yet to be seen whether brand new investments to extract natural gas from the shallow waters off the Mediterranean coast of Latakia and Tartous will be forthcoming. There are massive reserves ready for development which will be fairly cheap to extract due to the low depth water and the size of the reserves.  These underwater gas fields are similar to those identified on the Lebanese and Palestinian coasts.
OIL

Syria was never a major oil player, but it produced more than its internal needs prior to the war of aggression against it.  Syria produced some 400,000 barrels per day in 2010 (all time record of 600,000/day in 1996), exporting 30% of this volume to overseas customers.
Different from the natural gas production, the conflict severely affected the Syrian oil production (official), reducing it to a fraction of the 2010 level, 3% of it or 14,000 barrels a day. This number does not take into account the oil smuggled to Turkey/Iraq Kurdistan/Israel by ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
By far the major oil extraction is located in the Deir El-Zor Province, reaching 60%+ of the total 2010 production level, with ‘Umar field representing 80,000 barrels/day prior to the conflict, or 20% of national share. The oil found in Deir El-Zor back in the 1980s is the light-grade/low-sulphur oil, usually praised as high quality/value oil.
On the oil refinery side, Syria’s two oil refineries are located at Baniyas and Homs. Total refinery capacity from these refineries in 2004 was estimated at 239,865 bbl/d (132,725 bbl/d and 107,140 bbl/d, respectively). They survived intact the war of aggression against the Syrians, and this is going to be very important for the future of Syria. The two refineries are using imported oil at the moment, mostly from Russia and Iran.
Photo arquive: Baniyas Refinery
Photo arquive: Homs Refinery
It is clear that the liberation of all of Deir El-Zor’s oil fields will be vital for Syria’s recovery in 2018-2019 and will help bring new revenues from exports and most likely billions of Rubles, Dinars and Yuans in new construction projects and re-develpment of infrastructure.
In the next weeks the SAA and allies will be approaching the critical point when they will have to storm Deir El-Zor City and cross the Euphrates.  This will be a game changer for the economy of Syria and long-awaited endgame for ISIS.

Read more 

«Israeli» Energy Projects & The Fuel For Regional Instability

Theories related to Qatar’s role in the Syrian war and Doha’s desire to construct a natural gas pipeline that runs through Syria and supplies Europe have preoccupied analysts throughout the last five years.

Natural gas

But “Israel’s” energy ambitions have received far less media attention.

Within the space of ten years, the “Israelis” went from hardly even consuming natural gas to being a major producer, now eyeing significant export opportunities.

The real game changer was the discovery of the Leviathan field in the Mediterranean, which is estimated to hold at least 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The December 2010 find was conveniently followed by the Syrian conflict just three months later.

However, the failure to oust the Damascus government ruled out prospects for the construction of overland pipelines – the cheapest delivery system to potential markets.

Instead, the “Israelis” had to turn to other more expensive alternatives to deliver their so-called ‘trapped gas’ to customers in Europe.

In early April, “Israel’s” energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, signed a preliminary agreement with Cyprus, Greece and Italy to pump natural gas across the Mediterranean, with costs estimated to run up to a whopping USD 7 billion.

Aside from being extremely pricy, the seabed pipeline would also be the world’s longest and deepest, extending for over 2,200km from “Israeli” and Cypriot offshore gas fields, to Greece and Italy.

But most experts agree that this supposed bold gambit on the part of Tel Aviv is nothing more than a tactic in negotiations with Turkey, where the “Israelis” are eyeing a much shorter, safer and most importantly, cheaper pipeline.

Erdogan’s dream of a pipeline crossroads

Last week, “Israel’s” Steinitz visited Ankara for a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak. The two agreed to speed up the adoption of an agreement for the construction of a pipeline that would carry “Israeli” natural gas to Europe through Cypriot waters, and onto Turkey.

The project, which directly undermines Europe’s main gas supplier – Russia – has already seen four rounds of negotiations between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

For the European Union and the bloc’s obsession with not becoming a ‘hostage’ to Russia’s Gazprom, the prospect of being able to rely on “Israeli” gas is welcome news in Brussels.

“We highly value gas supply from the region… that can make a valuable contribution to our strategy to diversify our sources and suppliers,” said the EU’s climate and energy commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, after the “Israelis” and the Europeans reached their preliminary agreement in April.

Turkey’s motivations are equally ambitious.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always dreamt of turning his country into a strategic pipeline crossroads; serving as a transit route for Russian, Caspian, Iraqi, Iranian, and, of course, Persian Gulf oil and gas to Europe.

His role in fueling the Syrian conflict was partly about turning this dream into reality, until the costs began to outweigh the benefits.

But despite the setbacks, Erdogan has still managed to clinch key agreements; the Trans Adriatic Pipeline [TAP] as well as the Turkish Stream, which will be transporting Caspian and Russian gas to the European continent via Turkey.

Hoping to bolster its role as a key gas portal for European states, Ankara now has its eye set the “Israeli” pipeline. The realization of these projects would undoubtedly transform Turkey from a regional to a global energy corridor.

Meanwhile, the “Israeli” energy minister and Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, have promoted the pipeline as a ‘win-win’ for both countries.

Naturally, for the increasingly isolated Tel Aviv, the benefits are far from just economic.

Becoming a leading energy exporter comes with obvious geostrategic advantages, which would also elevate foreign support for the “Israeli” occupation of Arab lands, as well as Tel Aviv’s frequent and bloody military adventures in the region.

That is an enticing prospect for the political and military establishment in Tel Aviv, and one worth going the extra mile for.

The “Israeli”-Lebanese maritime dispute

The recent natural gas discoveries are not confined to “Israeli” shores, but stretch across the eastern Mediterranean.

According to experts, the reserves are sizable, and the region has enormous potential to transform itself into an important supplier of the natural recourse.

Tel Aviv, though, is not exactly keen on having regional competitors.

If the “Israelis” are to fulfill their ambition of being crowned as a new global energy exporter, they need more than just the reserves found off their coast thus far, which pales in comparison to true gas giants – Russia, Iran and Qatar.

So, when the government in Lebanon, led by President Michel Aoun, published a tender in March to explore untapped gas and oil reserves that lie off the Lebanese coast, Tel Aviv was quick to react.

The “Israelis” laid claim to the 860 square-kilometer zone, which is believed to be flushed with natural gas reserves.

The move was described as a “declaration of war” by Lebanon’s parliament speaker, Nabih Berri.

Speaking to al-Jazeera on condition of anonymity at the time, an official from the Lebanese Ministry of National Defense estimated “that there are approximately 865 million barrels of oil and 96 trillion cubic feet of gas in that area”.

“This is something that “Israel” will fight tooth and nail for,” he said.

Although tensions have been rising for years between “Israel” and Lebanon over the contested waters, the likelihood of a military confrontation remains low.

However, it is important to point out that the leader of the Lebanese Resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, repeatedly vowed to defend Lebanon’s natural recourses. He sent a very clear message – that Hezbollah was ready to take all necessary steps including the use of force, in order to prevent the “Israelis” from stealing the underwater reserves.

Meanwhile, Lebanese political factions have shown their willingness to cooperate in protecting the country’s gas and oil wealth.

The Lebanese state has also managed to adopt a pragmatic approach when challenging Tel Aviv’s claims, combining legal, political and economic measures.

The discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean certainly have the potential to help Lebanon attain higher energy security, improve its industry, transportation and power sectors.

Furthermore, the oil and gas revenues would have a very positive effect on the country’s public finances and the economy as a whole, while helping to reduce the cost of local goods and services.

Such prospects are unlikely to go down well in Tel Aviv. The “Israelis” are certainly more than just prone to employing the use of natural gas discoveries as a tool – not just to further their own economic interests – but to sabotage those of Lebanon.

Source: Al-Ahed News

22-07-2017 | 09:48

Gas wars: Syria, Qatar, and Putin- Trump Summit حروب الغاز: سورية وقطر وقمّة بوتين ترامب

Gas wars: Syria, Qatar, and Putin- Trump Summit

يوليو 17, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Energy experts say that the Twentieth century was the century of oil par excellence, while the Twenty-first century is the gas century, and that the global status of America in the twentieth century which is associated with its dominance on oil markets, oil exploration, and export companies is threatened to be moved to Russia which has parallel strength in gas markets, in addition to the inability of Washington to be able to follow Moscow in this filed, so it is not a prediction to say that the wars of Afghanistan( 2001) Iraq( 2003 ) and Lebanon (2006) were the last oil wars, because Afghanistan was a pipeline passage of the Kazakhstan’s oil to China and India, Iraq was an oil spare reserve, while Lebanon is a sea passage of oil pipeline that links Jihan the Turkish port with Haifa, coming from within Nayako project for transferring Kazakhstan oil to the Mediterranean and Europe. The war on Syria was the first gas wars on behalf of its two allies the Russian and the Iranian the major players in the global gas market, in addition to its geographical location between Turkey with its European extension and between the Gulf on one hand and its location on the Mediterranean Sea on the other hand, so this grants a strategic value to the pipelines which pass by it. Qatar and Turkey are two pivotal players in this war, because they locate at the two sides of the pipeline which links the Qatari gas resources with Europe under German finding. Now the war of Qatar is the second war of Gas wars.

The production of the global gas market is close to three hundred billion dollars annually where Qatar takes one-third of it, while it shares with Russia and Iran the markets, which the Russians serve the European part of them, while the Qataris and the Iranians serve the Asian part. After Washington tried to produce the shale gas in response to the failure of its two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it re-overlooked it due to the difference of cost from the Gulf oil on one hand, and the decline of oil status in confronting the gas on the other hand. The US companies spent time and money to produce the share gas; it reached the stage of entering to the markets since the beginning of the year, in a capacity that is equal 60% of the productive capacity of Qatar, but it searched for a market that absorbs its production. But the Russian gas competes it in Europe and the Qatari gas in Asia. Russia and Qatar are preparing themselves to protect their shares in the markets through price cuts. So if this happens then the US companies investigating in the shale gas will go bankrupt. The agency granted to Saudi Arabia to have control on Qatar is just a part of war, but the Russian and the Iranian protection of Qatar, its independence and its role as a commercial partner in gas market is not mere a maneuver or manipulating with adversaries or tactics to invest in the crises-market between the partners of the war on Syria but a strategic movement that is related to the earlier knowledge of the meaning of the US-Qatari crisis which the Arabs were called to cover it as camouflage, as was the image of showing the war of Syria as a revolution, opposition calls, and reformist endeavors but the password is gas.

Today a summit between the US President Donald Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin will be held. Between a businessman who represents his partners in the US shall gas market supported by his Secretary of State Rix Tilerson whose his file is well known, and who was appointed as a General Manager of Exxon Mobil company one of the most important involved countries in the shale gas market, and a former general manager of Russian-American Mobil Oil Gas which is interested in coordinating the US-Russian interests in the oil and gas market ,  and the godfather of Gazprom company which announced its readiness to reduce its prices to 3 dollars per unit of production instead of 5,  versus 4.5 of the American gas which is proposed to Europe, he is supported by Sergey Lavrov the consultant in the Brom Gas.

The regional files are not an obstacle in front of the understanding; their roadmap is drawn since the days of John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov talks. It is not in vain that the files are related directly with the gas market from Ukraine to Syria towards Kores and the Sea of China. The password will be Qatar and the seeking for a peaceful settlement of the crisis, as the Syrian-Iraqi borders were the password in the Russian –Iranian resolving against the US real red lines, due to the linkage of the borders with the gas pipelines which pass from Iran to the Mediterranean.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

(Visited 17 times, 2 visits today)

حروب الغاز: سورية وقطر وقمّة بوتين ترامب

 

يوليو 7, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– يقول خبراء الطاقة إنّ القرن العشرين كان قرن النفط بامتياز، لكن القرن الحادي والعشرين هو قرن الغاز، وإنّ مكانة أميركا العالمية في القرن العشرين المقرونة بهيمنتها على أسواق النفط وشركات التنقيب والتصدير النفطية مهدّدة بالانتقال لصالح روسيا كقوة موازية تملكها في أسواق الغاز وعجز واشنطن عن مجاراة موسكو في هذا المجال، وليست مجرد تكهّنات عن المعادلة التي تقول إنّ حروب أفغانستان 2001 والعراق 2003 ولبنان 2006 كانت آخر حروب النفط. فأفغانستان ممرّ أنابيب الشركات الناقلة لنفط كازاخستان إلى الصين والهند، والعراق خزان احتياط النفط، ولبنان ممرّ بحري لأنبوب نفط يربط مرفأ جيهان التركي بحيفا آتياً من ضمن مشروع ناباكو لنفط كازاخستان إلى المتوسط وأوروبا، وأنّ الحرب على سورية هي أولى حروب الغاز، بالوكالة عن حليفيها الروسي والإيراني اللاعبين الكبيرين في سوق الغاز العالمية، وبالأصالة عن موقعها الجغرافي بين تركيا بامتدادها الأوروبي وبين الخليج من جهة، وموقعها على البحر المتوسط من جهة مقابلة، ما يمنح قيمة استراتيجية لأنابيب النفط، العابرة فيها وكانت قطر وتركيا لاعبين محوريّين في هذه الحرب كواقفين على طرفي الأنبوب الواصل من منابع الغاز القطري نحو أوروبا بتمويل ألماني، وها هي حرب قطر الحرب الثانية من حروب الغاز.

– تقارب سوق الغاز العالمية الـ 300 مليار دولار سنوياً، تقتطع قطر ثلثها، وتتقاسم مع روسيا وإيران الأسواق، التي يتولى الروس تخديم الجانب الأوروبي منها، بينما يقوم القطريون والإيرانيون بتخديم الجانب الآسيوي. وبعدما كانت واشنطن قد خاضت تجاربها لإنتاج النفط الصخري رداً على فشل حربيها في العراق وأفغانستان، وعادت فصرفت النظر عنه بسبب فوارق التكلفة عن نفط الخليج من جهة، وتراجع مكانة النفط في مواجهة الغاز من جهة مقابلة، أنفقت الشركات الأميركية وقتاً ومالاً لإنتاج الغاز الصخري، وبلغت مرحلة الاستعداد لدخول الأسواق منذ مطلع العام، بطاقة تعادل 60 في المئة من طاقة قطر الإنتاجية وتبحث عن سوق تناسب إنتاجها، حيث ينافسها الغاز الروسي في أوروبا والغاز القطري في آسيا، وحيث تستعدّ روسيا وقطر لحماية حصصهما من الأسواق بتخفيضات في الاسعار إذا تمّت ستفلس الشركات الأميركية المستثمرة في الغاز الصخري، وليست الوكالة الممنوحة للسعودية لوضع اليد على قطر إلا جزءاً من هذه الحرب، لكن الحماية الروسية والإيرانية لقطر واستقلالها وبقائها شريكاً تجارياً في سوق الغاز، ليس مجرد مناورة ولا تلاعبَ الخصوم، أو تكتيكات للاستثمار في سوق الأزمات بين شركاء الحرب على سورية، بل حركة استراتيجية تتصل باكتشاف مبكر لمغزى الأزمة القطرية الأميركية التي استدعي العرب لتغطيتها تمويهاً، كما كان الحال بتصوير حرب سورية ثورة ودعوات معارضة ومساعيَ إصلاح، وكلمة السرّ هي الغاز.

– تنعقد اليوم قمة الرئيسين الأميركي والروسي دونالد ترامب وفلاديمير بوتين. وهي في المناسبة قمة يجلس فيها على طرف الطاولة، رجل أعمال يمثل شركاءه في سوق الغاز الصخري الأميركي هو دونالد ترامب، يعاونه وزير خارجية هو ريكس تيلرسون يعرف تفاصيل ملفه عن ظهر قلب، وهو الآتي من موقع المدير العام لشركة أكسون موبيل، أحد كبار المعنيين بسوق الغاز الصخري ومدير عام سابق لشركة موبيل نفط غاز الروسية الأميركية المهتمّة بتنسيق المصالح الأميركية الروسية في سوق النفط والغاز، ويجلس قبالتهما على طرف الطاولة فلاديمير بوتين عرّاب شركة غاز بروم التي أعلنت استعدادها لتخفيض أسعارها إلى 3 دولارات للوحدة الإنتاجية، بدلاً من 5، مقابل 4 ونصف للغاز الأميركي المعروض على أوروبا، ويعاونه سيرغي لافروف مستشار الظلّ لغاز بروم.

– الملفات الإقليمية ليست عائقاً للتفاهم وخريطة طريقها مرسومة من أيام مباحثات جون كيري وسيرغي لافروف، وليس عبثاً أن تكون الملفات ترتبط مباشرة بسوق الغاز من أوكرانيا إلى سورية وصولاً إلى كوريا وبحر الصين، وكلمة السرّ ستكون قطر والسعي لتسوية سلمية للأزمة، كما كانت الحدود السورية العراقية كلمة سرّ موازية في الحسم الروسي الإيراني بوجه الخطوط الحمر الأميركية الحقيقية، لارتباط الحدود بأنابيب الغاز العابرة من إيران نحو المتوسط.

(Visited 360 times, 360 visits today)
 Related Videos

Related Articles

 

Saudi Arabia: What’s Really Behind Trump’s Hypocrisy?

July 14, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO) – US President Donald Trump’s support came in no small part from those Americans who believe terrorism, and more specifically, “Islamic” terrorism pose an existential threat to the United States and the wider Western World.

It is curious then that President Trump’s first trip abroad was to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the sociocultural source code of the very extremism infecting both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as the wider, global extremism it inspires and fuels everywhere from Southeast Asia, western China and even in the streets of North America and Europe.

Far from a geopolitical gaff, US associations with Saudi Arabia and their mutual link and contribution to (not fighting against) terrorism is increasingly becoming an embarrassing, “open secret.”

It was the US Defense Intelligence Agency in a 2012 memo leaked to the public that revealed the creation of terrorist organizations like the Islamic State (referred to in the memo as a “Salafist principality”) were encouraged by “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”

Leaked emails from former US Secretary of State and 2016 US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would include direct references to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in regards to their complicity in arming the Islamic State. More specifically, both nations were accused of, “providing clandestine financial and logistic support” to the Islamic State.

While the US postures to the world as engaged in a global war on terrorism, it is clear that those nations in the Middle East cooperating closest with Washington are in fact those also perpetuating this seemingly endless war. Why?

It turns out that perpetual war is a lucrative affair in both terms of acquiring wealth and power. It is this equation of wealth and power that takes precedence, even at the expense of narrative continuity and political legitimacy.

Dollars, Oil and Arms

Was President Trump’s visit to Riyadh to deliver a stern warning regarding its extensive history of state sponsorship of terror? On the contrary. It was to seal an unprecedented weapons deal with Saudi Arabia amounting to an immediate $110 billion, and $350 billion over the next 10 years, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times also revealed the participants in the massive arms deal to include Lockheed Martin.

It was no surprise then that US policy think tanks like the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) encouraged members to submit op-eds praising President Trump’s trip to prominent US and European media sources including The Hill.

The Hill’s op-ed, “Trump gets it right in Saudi Arabia,” for example, was penned by Anthony Cordesman, a CSIS member. His op-ed would conclude by passionately arguing:

This speech is the right beginning — in remarkably well crafted terms — and it deserves bipartisan and expert respect.

It is no surprise considering the sponsors who keep the lights on at CSIS and Mr. Cordesman in a job. The think tank’s most prominent corporate donors include Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and, most telling of all, Lockheed Martin. It is also sponsored by Saudi Aramco, the central nexus of the US-Saudi petrodollar network propping up what many think tanks call the US-led “international order.”

Governments that donate to CSIS include the United States and Saudi Arabia itself. Together, corporate and government donations account for over 60% (34% and 27% respectively) of CSIS’ overall funding, according to its 2016 annual report.

Of course, a man’s “opinion” of President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, including a multi-billion dollar arms deal favoring Lockheed Martin, will be positive, when the organization he works for is funded directly by both Lockheed Martin and the government of Saudi Arabia.

It is an example of  how the media in the United States actually works and how special interests, not the “truth,” shape narratives and drive agendas in complete contradiction to reality and the best interests of the vast majority on the planet.

Threatening America’s “international order” are competitors that exist independent of or even opposed to Washington and its corporate partners both on Wall Street and in Riyadh.

This is why US President Trump praised Saudi Arabia, a nation that serves as a virtual model for the Islamic State, and condemned Iran whose forces have fought for 6 years against both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliates who have flooded into Syria and Iraq.

Clearly, based on the fact that the US’ closest ally in the Middle East is also one of the worst human rights offenders on the planet and the premier sponsor of global terrorism, ideological and humanitarian concerns are strictly a rhetorical facade.

It was never about ideology, humanitarianism or truly fighting “terrorism.” It is not a matter of “good and evil.” It is as simple dollars and cents, Saudi riyals, oil and arms and maintaining hegemony across a region and upon a planet to prevent this wealth and influence from being usurped either by a competitor of equal footing or a general trend toward multipolar geopolitical decentralization.

The media is awash in politically-oriented rhetoric attempting to divide and distract the public along strictly political lines. The common denominator among all of this propaganda is the fact that all of the narratives, no matter how apparently contradictory, conveniently allow the singular agenda of amassing dollars, oil and arms in pursuit of global hegemony to move forward.

As this very simple reality is understood and acted upon by more people than pay into this prevailing political facade that perpetuates it, multipolar geopolitical decentralization will continue to incrementally replace this current US-dominated “international order.”

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Qatar: Center Stage in a World at War?

Doha, Qatar

[Ed note – An interesting analysis on the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and its potential for engulfing the rest of the Middle East and exploding into World War III, has been posted by blogger Green Crow. The piece is written by “James” and reposted from his Winter Patriot blog. Qatar, in his analysis, sees US influence in the Middle East waning and is pivoting toward Iran, Syria, and Russia, and he notes that both Iran and Russia have sent food shipments to Qatar in order to break the blockade imposed by the Saudis. Turkey is now openly siding with the Qataris as well–and this also makes perfect sense. US support for the Kurds in Syria–with the US seemingly now moving in the direction of setting up a de facto Kurdish state–would of course have to be a major, MAJOR “red line” for Turkey. This of course puts two NATO allies, the US and Turkey, at odds with each other. Bottom line: there is a major shift in alliances occurring.

James, the writer, mentions a Cross Talk program which aired June 14 in which Sharmine Narwani was guest and gave some valuable perspectives on the situation. You can find that program here, but there is also a more recent Cross Talk Program, here, that features Alexander Mercouris, that also discusses the further evolving situation. The program, which aired June 23, is entitled “Rushing to War?” Basically, what it comes down to is that the ISIS proxies seem to be headed toward collapse. So what happens with the proxies are finally defeated with the major powers gathered in Syria left alone staring each other in the face? Does that make a major war more likely? This is the question explored on the show. ]

By Greencrow

There have been some very good analyses of the Qatar crisis on the Alternative Internet in the past few days. My instincts tell me that this crisis might just be the one that puts the globalist neocon ziofascist push towards WWIII, which has been stalled due to some genius “checkmating” by Russia, over the top.  In my opinion, Saudi Arabia and its allies are, just like the ISIS terrorists, acting as USrael’s proxy in the Middle East…just on a grander scale.  In the guest column below, James fromWinter Patriot Blog has a very comprehensive and well presented assessment of what is going on in Qatar. I have added bolding and emphasis, and will have more thoughts in comments to follow…

Continued here

Qatar Is Centre Stage In A World At War – UPDATED

Update at the foot of this article.

A few weeks ago, the Saudis exploded in their rhetoric against Qatar. They were apoplectic. What on earth could have caused this sudden flood of vitriol? Obviously, it was not the fact that Qatar was funding terrorists in Syria as this had been an open secret for years. Plus, it was also an open secret that the Saudi’s themselves are funding terrorism and even supplying many of the terrorists. The Qataris must have been threatening in a major way either or both of the two things the Saudis hold dear – their money and their political power. The former is increasingly dependent on the latter. Sharmine Narwani appeared on RT’s Crosstalk to talk about the Saudi/Qatar conflict. She was definitely the smartest one in the room but no one was really listening to her. In answer to Peter Lavelle’s first question, she revealed that the terror groups supported by the Qatar/Turkish alliance had gone very quiet in the last month and this had allowed the Syrian govt forces to concentrate on ISIS which is directly backed by the Saudis and the UAE. Consequently, ISIS is in disarray.

Clearly, to this writer at least, a deal had been done between Qatar, Turkey and Syria. Russia would have to be on-board, too. This has massive implications for the whole world. Narwani also thought that the Saudis were not above attacking Qatar and it might be imminent. One reason, as Sharmine Narwani states, may be the fact that Qatari backed terrorists in Syria have been fighting directly with Saudi backed jihadis. This benefits Turkey as well as Syria.

View the Crosstalk segment:

Turkey is pissed that the US is obviously trying to set up a Kurdish state in the north of Syria and barring Turkish military involvement. This evolving Kurdish state-let will inevitably threaten Turkish sovereignty. But what about Qatar?

QATAR

Qatar must be able to see which way the wind is blowing in the Syrian conflict and realise that they are not going to get their gas pipeline through Syrian territory after all. The LNG market, from which they get the bulk of their revenue from, is now oversupplied (from the US and Australian sources amongst others) and forcing prices downward. Qatar’s income is declining and it needs to pipe its gas to a major market to stay competitive. Piped gas is much cheaper to deliver and distribute than LNG. The only option is to talk to the Iranians. It also makes major business sense to do so.

Qatar and Iran share the largest gas field in the world and it is largely undeveloped. It makes sense to develop this field together and market the gas together as well. With Iran as a partner, the way is then open for Qatar to negotiate with the Russians and the Syrians concerning pipeline routes. The way is also open to ensure the future cash flow of the Qatari government and its royal household. Russian technology and Chinese finance will make it all happen. I would estimate that the gas sales will be denominated in Yuan and Rubles.

UNITED STATES

The Americans will get (are getting) their knickers in a bunch but they are rapidly losing influence in the Middle East, as Sharmine said. She was trying to elucidate that the Middle East countries are looking to rearrange their alliances and strategies to take this into account when she was cut off by Peter Lavelle.  The US is losing the battle to maintain the US dollar as the undisputed world currency and this deal will hasten its demise. The world wide supremacy of the US dollar is what their empire is based on. No dollar supremacy equals no US political supremacy and this will severely curtail their effective military supremacy.

The bankers that control the US, UK and Israel maintain their power by controlling energy supplies and indebting everybody to keep them relatively poor. Every other nation on earth will benefit from breaking this lock on power and enjoy growing industrialisation, trade and prosperity. This is being brought into stark contrast in the Middle East starting with Qatar. Qatar can stay with the US and slowly strangle itself economically or it can take a risk and make a break for economic freedom and prosperity.

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has ambitions of leading the Islamic world. It has used its gigantic income from oil sales to invest in religious indoctrination around the world and to bribe countries near and far. It has bought its way onto, if you can believe it, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and now heads the UN Human Rights Council. This is what money can do; but you need lots of money and a continuing supply of it. As the wealthiest oil exporter in the Middle East, it has dominated the Gulf Co-operation Council which, of course, includes Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s income stream is declining and is needing to leverage what political power it has to gain more and to cover naked grabs of resources such as those in Yemen. But it needs the GCC to act as this lever. Qatar is undoing the Saudis dominance of the GCC. The Saudis future is at stake and with the Saudi royal house doubling down with the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince, we can expect more military adventurism, i.e. wars, to hasten this decline and perhaps eventual demise.

TURKEY

There is the risk of an armed attack from the Saudis but Qatar has allies. Turkey is sending troops to Qatar. This is no small matter. Turkey has the largest military in the Middle East. Turkey is also making it clear that it has a major interest in the success of whatever deal Qatar is striking with Syria Iran and Russia. Iran and Russia have immediately sent food shipments to Qatar after the announcement of the blockade by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Bahrain. It would seem from the co-ordinated response that the blockade was anticipated. Presumably, more is anticipated by this ad hoc alliance assisting Qatar.

With the original Qatar/Saudi pipeline dead in the water, Turkey would be amenable to a Qatar/Iran/Syrian pipeline going through Turkey. I’m sure their only demand would be that it not go through any Kurdish territory. Given that none of the other partners want the US/Israeli controlled and unreliable Kurds involved, that won’t be a problem. So the pipeline would have to go through the Aleppo corridor.

It would also need to go through south/eastern Syria where the US is now fighting at the risk of starting WW3 with the Russians. Now we see what the stakes are for the US and they are very high. If the gas pipeline goes through Turkey it will inevitably hook up with the Turkstream gas pipeline that will be Russian built and owned. Turkstream with travel through south eastern Europe; through the impoverished (thanks to the US and Germany) nations there. Turkey will become the gas hub between the suppliers in the Middle East, Russia and the Caucasus and on to the customers in Europe. Turkey has manoeuvred for a long time to be in this position. Much income and political influence to be gained and none of it dependent on the US!

EUROPE

Turkstream will be a lifeline to Serbia and Hungary. A branch line could easily extend to Greece and on to Italy. Europe’s prosperity will be massively enhanced with a secure, plentiful and cheap energy supplied from Iran, Qatar and Russia. German/EU and US dominance over southern and eastern Europe will evaporate as will US power. The Islamic mass migration may well stop, as well.

RUSSIA

In the immediate term, Russia will get what it has been aiming for and that is a ‘Gas OPEC’. Russia together with Iran and Qatar control the bulk of the world’s gas reserves and will set the price thereafter. Europe (Germany) will have to kick the US to the kerb and come to its senses regarding Russia and cease with the sanctions and resume normal bilateral trade arrangements. Peace and prosperity for Russia.

In the longer term, Russia will be able to see the back of the US in the Middle East and all the wars it brings with it and Russia will be left as the dominant power on its southern flank.

IRAN

Iran is being fast-tracked to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) which is a de-facto military alliance between Russia and China and now Pakistan and India. The window of opportunity to attack Iran is finally closing, if it has not already closed. Thus Iran will have the US and its bankers finally off its back and will be able to resume full trade with the rest of the world. No more sanctions and it can resume its path to peace and prosperity through selling oil and gas wherever it wants and relieve its population of the constant stress of the threat of imminent war.

PAKISTAN and CHINA

There are other players involved, too; China and Pakistan. There have been long term negotiations between Iran, Pakistan and China to pipe gas through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. No doubt, the Chinese would welcome Qatar as a partner in this project as it would also allow its influence to further spread into the other Gulf countries with their New Silk Road to follow.
Wherever the pipeline goes, so will roads and other infrastructure. The new infrastructure, together with the ready supply of energy, will assure development along the route and surrounding territory. This would be a massive boon for the Balochistan area and would quell the political unrest (sponsored by the CIA) that has cost both Pakistan and Iran, not to mention the Balochs. Exactly the same applies to the North-West Territories in the north of Pakistan.

No doubt the Pakistanis would like to be rid of the US which has bases on its territory and from which it launches aerial attacks against Pakistani territory at will. The list of benefits to multiple countries goes on and on but it won’t be smooth sailing. The US has been in decline for some years now but that hasn’t stopped it launching more wars and spreading terrorism and mayhem across the globe. This will continue. It is the nature of psychopathy to never give up; to always continue to do harm.

To get itself out of trouble over the centuries, the banking establishment, centered in London and New York, has started costly wars. They are now trying to do the same again in Syria and maybe soon in Qatar. We shall see soon enough.
Meanwhile I commend to you Pepe Escobar’s article at Sputnik where he talks about the implications of the SCO as well as the pipelines and the Qatari deal-

The West Can’t Smell What Eurasia is Cooking
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706161054701807-west-cannot-smell-…

Pepe is the ‘go-to’ man regarding pipelines. He was the first writer that I know of to seize their importance and ‘follow the pipelines’. He coined the term “Pipelineistan” and has written books about it.

UPDATE

Adam Garrie of The Duran has written an article outlining 13 demands that the Saudis have of Qatar. The list is not confirmed but “widely accepted” including by RT. Associated Press claims to have seen the document but AP is closely aligned with the Globalists, the Neocons and israel, but I repeat myself. So AP gives the list of demands credibility but because the Saudi govt has not confirmed it, it can shield itself from diplomatic criticism and back away from the “13 demands” at a later date if necessary.

Garrie notes that the demands are childish and he is right. This is what you get when you step on the toes big-time of psychopaths. They have the emotional maturity of 10 year olds. He also rightly notes that the demands cannot be complied with because they are extremely demeaning. This is intentional. Israel and the US routinely do the same when they want to start a war and this is precisely what Saudi Arabia is saying and wanting. ‘Either you stop with the alliance with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Russia or we will invade you. Israel and the US have to be onboard with this. And why wouldn’t they be? Their psychopathic dreams and political futures are equally at stake here as outlined above.”

***********************

So, there are a couple of deductions I would like to add to James’s excellent analysis.  He may have already made some of these points but I would like to emphasize the following in point form:

– Saudi Arabia and its allies are acting as proxies for USrael and the European Banksters that run their perpetual war for Profit global scam.

– They have definitely made the terms issued to Qatar “non negotiable“…to ensure a WWIII in the very short term…which will avoid their looming bankruptcy and (perhaps worse) geopolitical irrelevancy!

– Ultimately, just like everything else that has gone on in the Middle East for the past 15 years or more…this is aimed at Russia/China/Iran….but particularly Russia/Putin.  It will take every ounce of his chessmaster skills to outmaneuver the perps this time.  They’ve doubled down for “one final roll of the dice”…and Qatar is it.  Stay tuned.

%d bloggers like this: