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Western Media Whitewash Yemen Genocide

Western Media Whitewash Yemen Genocide

Western Media Whitewash Yemen Genocide

With the United Nations warning that millions of civilians could die from violence or starvation from the ongoing military siege of the Yemeni port city of Hodeida, there is no other way to describe what is happening except as “genocide”.

The more than three-year war on Yemen waged by a Western-backed Saudi coalition has been arguably genocidal from the outset, with up to eight million people facing imminent starvation due to the years-long blockade on the Arabian country, as well as from indiscriminate air strikes.

But the latest offensive on the Red Sea city of Hodeida threatens to turn the world’s already worst humanitarian disaster into a mass extermination.

Hodeida is the entry point for 90 per cent of all food and medical aid into Yemen. If the city’s port stops functioning from the military offensive – as UN aid agencies are warning – then an entire country population of more than 20 million will, as a result, be on the brink of death.

The Saudi coalition which includes Emirati forces and foreign mercenaries as well as remnants from the previous regime (which the Western media mendaciously refer to as “government forces”) is fully backed by the US, Britain and France. This coalition says that by taking Hodeida it will hasten the defeat of Houthi rebels. But to use the cutting off of food and other vital aid to civilian populations as a weapon is a blatant war crime. It is absolutely inexcusable.

This past week an emergency session at the UN Security Council made the lily-livered call for the port city to remain open. But it stopped short of demanding an end to the offensive being led by Saudi and Emirati forces against Hodeida, which is the second biggest stronghold for Houthi rebels after the capital Sanaa. The port city’s population of 600,000 is at risk from the heavy fighting underway, including air strikes and naval bombardment, even before food, water and medicines supply is halted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Saudi-UAE Alliance is the Most Dangerous Force in the Middle East Today

The Saudi-UAE Alliance is the Most Dangerous Force in the Middle East Today

The latest: they are bombing a port that accounts for 80 percent of the food and aid trickling into starving Yemen.

Prince Salman meets with officials at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD/Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)

For three years, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have conducted a murderous campaign to reinstall a pliable regime in the desperately poor country of Yemen. This campaign is based on a lie intended to gain American support: that the two authoritarian monarchies are responding to Iranian aggression. Now the UAE is preparing a military offensive that could split Yemen apart and create mass starvation.

The Saudi-Emirati alliance is the most dangerous force in the Middle East today. Sometimes acting alone, but usually in tandem, the two dictatorships have promoted intolerant Wahhabism around the world, backed brutal tyranny in Egypt and Bahrain, supported radical jihadists while helping tear apart Libya and Syria, threatened to attack Qatar while attempting to turn it into a puppet state, and kidnapped the Lebanese premier in an effort to unsettle that nation’s fragile political equilibrium. Worst of all, however, is their ongoing invasion of Yemen.

To demonstrate support for its royal allies, America joined their war on the Yemeni people, acting as chief armorer for both authoritarian monarchies and enriching U.S. arms makers in the process. America’s military has also provided the belligerents with targeting assistance and refueling services. And our Special Forces are on the ground assisting the Saudis.

The result has been both a security and humanitarian crisis. Observed Perry Cammack of the Carnegie Endowment: “By catering to Saudi Arabia in Yemen, the United States has empowered AQAP, strengthened Iranian influence in Yemen, undermined Saudi security, brought Yemen closer to the brink of collapse, and visited more death, destruction, and displacement on the Yemeni population.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Slams OPEC Again, Demands Lower Prices: “Oil Prices Are Too High, OPEC Is At It Again”

Nearly two months after Trump drew a line in the sand on oil prices, when on April 20 he lashed out at OPEC, tweeting that “Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”which promptly set a ceiling on crude and prompted Saudi Arabia to scramble to boost production…


Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!


… moments ago Trump doubled down on his oil- price targeting, and in a lengthy tweetstorm that touched on everything from Marc Sanford’s loss, to the strength of the economy, to the just concluded North Korean summit, his relationship with Kim Jong Un and the cancellation of war games with South Korea, even the announcement of the world cup host nation  (US, Mexico and Canada), Trump once again lashed out at OPEC, tweeting that “Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!


Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!


Translation: Trump realizes that the middle-class is spending increasingly more on gasoline, taking away from disposable income, and hopes that Saudi Arabia will pump more to offset the loss of Venezuela and Iran oil (which would not be impaired if Trump hadn’t killed the Iran deal), in line with what we described in “Rising Gas Prices Threaten To Wipe Out Trump’s Tax Cut Benefits“.

This time, the market reaction to Trump’s angry tweet was far muted, with oil barely moving – so far – after it slumped following yesterday’s API report, even if it recovered most of the losses.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi Oil Production Jumps In June Despite Drop In Oil Demand: OPEC

It will probably not come as a surprise that at a time when both Trump, and Saudi Arabia, are pressing OPEC to reverse the 1.5 year long OPEC agreement and pump more oil so US gasoline prices dont soar in the summer months, that according to the just released monthly report from the cartel, total OPEC production rose by 35.4kb/d to 31.869mmb/d mostly thanks to Saudi output rising by 85.5kb/d (according to secondary) sources to 9.987mmb/d and up a whopping 161.4kb/d as per direct communication, and back over 10 million barrels.

Joining Saudi Arabia in producing more oil in June were Algeria & Iraq, while production again declined in Venezuela, with Libya and Nigeria also seeing a decline in output.

Commenting on the state of the market, OPEC noted that 2018 global oil demand growth forecast unchanged; and is forecast to increase by around 1.65mln bpd to average 98.85mln bpd, with total oil consumption projected to surpass 100mln bpd during Q4 2018.

However, OPEC did warn that its outlook for H2 2018 warrants close monitoring of the factors impacting both world oil demand and non-OPEC supply that will shape the outlook of the oil market going forward; the tacit warning here is that oil prices may be so high to pressure oil demand.

“Looking at various sources, considerable uncertainty as to world oil demand and non-OPEC supply prevails,” said report read. “This outlook for the second half of 2018 warrants close monitoring.”

Indeed, according to the report, Saudi April oil demand saw its biggest drop on record, falling across all product categories, with most of the weakness in the heavy part of the barrel, OPEC reported. Demand was down more than 5% y/y in 1st 4 months of 2018, with April falling y/y by 420k b/d, or 17%.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

More Than Just Russia–There’s a Strong Case for the Trump Team Colluding with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE

DONALD TRUMP HAS fully embraced both official, legalized corruption as well as good, old garden-variety individual corruption. Did Trump directly conspire with Vladimir Putin and Russia to influence the 2016 election? That is certainly possible. Will we see concrete evidence of that, especially evidence that would stand up in a court? That also is possible. It is also plausible that Robert Mueller issues a public report that would be damaging, if not damning, to Trump, but for whatever reason decides not to or, because of Trump’s influence over the Justice Department, cannot pursue criminal action. We shall see. But this much is clear: It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has colluded with Israel. We know they colluded with Saudi Arabia. We know they colluded with the United Arab Emirates.

There has been much discussion of the secret meetings during the 2016 campaign held at Trump Tower with various members of Trump’s inner circle and family members. Recently we learned of yet another — this one reportedly took place on August 3, 2016, and was arranged by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He has served as a shadow adviser, not only to the Trump campaign, but also to the Trump administration. He was the guy that pitched Trump on this idea of a privatized force for Afghanistan and was also involved with pitching the idea of a private intelligence force that could circumvent the deep state. Prince and his mother were also major financiers of the Trump election campaign.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Geopolitical Tensions Reach Boiling Point Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

Geopolitical Tensions Reach Boiling Point Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

Globe

The upcoming OPEC meeting on June 22 is shaping up to be a contentious one, after news broke that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to increase oil production before Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Earlier last week, news surfaced that the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia to boost output to relieve pressure on prices. But Reuters followed up with a report on June 7, adding more context to that story. According to Reuters, a high level Trump administration official called Saudi Arabia a day before Trump was set to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, asking for more oil supply to cover for disruptions from Iran.

The last time the U.S. government pressured OPEC into adding supply, it was also over Iran. The Obama administration wanted the cartel to offset disrupted Iranian production, after an international coalition put stringent sanctions on Iran in 2012. Roughly 1 million barrels per day were knocked offline.

While the Trump administration’s request might irk OPEC members, with Iran obviously the most aggrieved, the apparent willingness of Saudi Arabia to comply with Washington’s request has ignited furor from within the group.

“It’s crazy and astonishing to see instruction coming from Washington to Saudi to act and replace a shortfall of Iran’s export due to their Illegal sanction on Iran and Venezuela,” Iran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said in comments to Reuters. He said that OPEC would not simply comply with Washington’s requests. “No one in OPEC will act against two of its founder members,” he said, referring to Iran and Venezuela. “The U.S. tried it last time against Iran, but oil prices got to $140 a barrel.”

“OPEC will not accept such a humiliation. How arrogant and ignorant one could be (to) underestimate the history of 60 years’ cooperation among competitors,” he said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Next Stage of Pressure on Iran – Lower Oil Prices

Next Stage of Pressure on Iran – Lower Oil Prices

President Trump is stepping up his attack on Iran.  He’s now planning the long-game for maximum pressure.  The news that Trump quietly asked Saudi Arabia to ramp up output by 1 million barrels a day is the key.

From the analysis at Oilprice.com:

Saudi Arabia and some of its close Arab allies in the Gulf, as well as the leader of the non-OPEC nations taking part in the production cut deal—Russia—are the only producers that have the spare capacity to increase production. So, in case of increased production from OPEC and allies, the potentially lower oil prices would hurt the other OPEC members that don’t have the spare capacity to boost output.

The point here is to begin dropping oil prices now that the U.S. has blown out Turkey’s finances and helped Saudi Arabia improve its fiscal position for the rest of the year with high oil prices.

Turkey is a net energy importer and $75+ per barrel oil is a huge drain on its finances at a time when its currency and bond markets are under serious pressure from a strengthening U.S. dollar.  Don’t think for a second the Turkish lira wasn’t helped in its fall.  This is a classic hybrid war attack on a country not playing by U.S. rules.

But, now that Trump’s U.S. economy is threatened by high energy costs, he’s looking to improve that situation while also putting a strain on Iran’s finances through the double whammy of losing not only up to 1 million barrels of production per day but also getting $20-25 less per barrel.

And right on target, oil shorts are piling on because that’s what happens when the markets are told which way policy is heading.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Debating Whether To Expand Military Presence In Yemen

As if the US hasn’t already done enough to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis raging in Yemen, the Wall Street Journal  reported Monday that the Trump Administration is considering a request by the United Arab Emirates for “direct US support” as a coalition of Sunni majority nations prepares to seize the country’s biggest port, known as Hodeidah.

WSJ

According to WSJ, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has requested an evaluation of the Sunni coalition’s plan to retake control of the port. And with good reason: That’s because some 90% of the imported goods including foodstuffs, medicine and other vital supplies flow into Yemen through the port. Already, the country is under an extreme humanitarian crisis, and cutting off the flow of supplies through the port could make it infinitely worse.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked for a quick assessment of the UAE’s plea for assistance such as surveillance drone flights to help a Saudi-led coalition retake Hodeidah, which currently serves as a vital lifeline for the country’s 29 million residents, U.S. officials said.

U.A.E. and Saudi Arabian officials have assured the U.S. that they won’t try to seize the Red Sea port until they get backing from Washington, American officials said. But there is growing concern in the Trump administration that fighting around the city could spiral out of control and force Washington’s hand. Yemeni fighters backed by the coalition are battling Houthis near the city.

“We continue to have a lot of concerns about a Hodeidah operation,” said one senior U.S. official. “We are not 100% comfortable that, even if the coalition did launch an attack, that they would be able to do it cleanly and avoid a catastrophic incident.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Asked Saudi Arabia To Boost Oil Production By 1 Million Barrels Per Day

It all started on April 20, when having tweeted at and about virtually everything else, President Trump realized that surging oil and gasoline prices are wreaking havoc on his economic agenda and eating away at the benefits from his tax cuts, and so he made it clear when he lashed out on twitter against OPEC which he said was “at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!”


Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!


The result was instant, sending the price of oil sharply lower….

… and effectively capping the price oil, which is now at the level when Trump made his warning.

Since then Trump’s stance has only hardened, and because the US president has become an especially good friend with the ruling Saudi regime, there has been a dramatic reversal within OPEC, whose next meeting is now expected to see the cartel and Russia modestly boost oil production to comply with Trump’s demand.

But by how much?

This morning Bloomberg reported the answer, when it said that the Trump administration has quietly asked Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers to increase oil production by about 1 million barrels a day, or – not surprisingly – just enough to offset expected Iran oil export declines as a result of Trump’s renewed embargo on Tehran.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

OPEC And Russia Prepare For Long-Term Control Over Oil Market

OPEC And Russia Prepare For Long-Term Control Over Oil Market

oil rig

In a tight oil market reacting with price gains to concerns about supply shortages, the leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC nations part of the production cut deal—Saudi Arabia and Russia—hinted last week that easing the cuts was an option that they had discussed and that would be up for talks at the OPEC and allies’ meeting in less than a month.

Oil prices plunged from three-and-a-half-year highs on reports that the Saudis and Russia may add as much as 1 million bpd of supply to offset crumbling Venezuelan production and possible loss of Iranian oil exports with the return of the U.S. sanctions.

Many analysts don’t think the group would add the reported 1 million bpd of supply, but the oil market lapped up the news and concerns about a return to oversupply have dominated the OPEC chatter news flow for nearly a week. As the June 22 meeting is drawing closer, oil prices will likely react to any new hint, comment, or report about OPEC’s efforts to “address consumer anxiety over security of oil supplies.”

The latest of those reports says that OPEC and non-OPEC are set to stick to the production cuts through the end of 2018, but will be ready to “adjust” supply to address possible shortages.

The group of producers part of the pact “is not ready yet to fully lift controls,” a Gulf source familiar with the Saudi thinking has told Reuters, adding that “it is going to be a long-term cooperation for the sake of a stable oil market.”

“However, if any shortage takes place, the producers will coordinate closely and promptly take necessary actions. The OPEC and non-OPEC agreement will remain in place. But the level of the cut may be adjusted if a physical shortage arises,” the source told Reuters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Don’t Take Higher Oil Prices For Granted

Don’t Take Higher Oil Prices For Granted

Oil

Oil prices collapsed at the start of this week, with WTI and Brent dropping 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent respectively from their three and a half year peaks.

This recent price slump serves as a timely reminder for market observers and players alike that, while a heightened geopolitical risk premium and declining inventories have boosted prices, there is plenty of downside in today’s markets.

The prices started to fall when Saudi Arabia and Russia, two key brokers in the Vienna agreement, announced that they are ready to ramp up production to counter the threat of falling supply from Iran and Venezuela. The fear of a huge surge in U.S. shale production also played a part in sending oil prices lower, with rising U.S. exports to Asia beginning to impact the market share of both Russia and Saudi Arabia in the region.

Many already understand that this price rally is not sustainable. Vladimir Putin recently saidthat an oil price of $60 “suits Russia”. Last year, Russia’s finance minister shared his plans to draft the 2017-2019 budget based on oil prices as low as $40. These statements, taken alongside the recent reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia are looking to bring some production back online, have been seen by some as a sign that the recent oil price rally is coming to an end. It has long been known that these kind of production deals are not long term and sustainable solutions to an oil market crisis.

This is not to say that oil prices can’t rise again, or even touch $100 in the near future. Both the Iran nuclear deal and collapsing production in Venezuela could provide plenty of upside to oil prices.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Oil Jumps Above $80 For The First Time Since Nov. 2014

Two weeks after Saudi Arabia said it was targeting $80/bbl oil, this morning Riyadh got its wishes early when Brent hit the Saudi target, jumping as much as 1% to $80.18, following the latest drop in U.S. crude inventories and as traders continued to fret about the consequences of renewed sanctions on Iran.

This was the highest price since November 2014.

Today’s jump followed a reported from Goldman titled simply “The case for commodities strengthens ” according to which America’s surging shale output won’t be able to replace the potential drop in Iranian oil shipments after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on OPEC’s third-largest producer.

US shale cannot solve the current oil supply problems. Even if only 200-300 kb/d of Iran exports are at risk by year-end, OPEC is not likely to preempt this loss, only react to it. Further, any response will reduce spare capacity in an increasingly tighter market. The erosion in Venezuela and Angola oil output is accelerating at the same time ex-US growth is stalling. Only the US has seen supply surprises, but is facing growing pains with filled pipeline capacity, constraining US growth into 2019.

Goldman also noted that physical markets continued to ignore growth concerns – just yesterday the IEA warned that the surge in prices will kill demand – rising rates and USD.

Only financial markets care, which is why only gold has traded substantially lower with the risk-off sentiment. Growth concerns will likely prove temporary, realized demand remains robust and OPEC has never been able to catch late-cycle demand growth to replenish inventories before a recession occurs. And even if growth were to decelerate further, it would take global GDP growth collapsing to 2.5% yoy to simply balance the oil market! We recommend not ‘riding this one out.’

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

IEA Cuts 2018 Oil Demand Forecast On Soaring Oil Prices

Yesterday, we observed that in logical consequence to sharply higher interest rates, US consumer loan demand had slumped in recent weeks, despite increasingly easy credit conditions: an outcome which for many economists is a harbinger to an upcoming recession, as households hunker down and begin to deleverage.

Now, following a similar causal chain, this morning the International Energy Agency also cut forecasts for global oil demand growth in 2018 due to oil’s recent price surge, as the highest prices in three years put a brake on consumption. As a result, the agency trimmed its 2018 world demand growth projection by 40,000 barrels a day to 1.4 million a day, projecting total consumption at 99.2 million barrels a day, down from 99.3mmb/d, still higher than the 97.8mmbpd global oil demand in 2017.

“The recent jump in oil prices will take its toll,” said the Paris-based agency, which serves as an advisor to most major economies on energy policy. Crude has jumped 17% this year, trading near $78 a barrel in London on Wednesday, and approaching the stated Saudi target of $80/barrel at which point the Aramco IPO once again becomes feasible.

As one would expect, the demand forecast by the IEA – which is not a cartel of oil producers and is therefore less biased – differs greatly from the forecast by OPEC – which is a cartel of oil producers and therefore is programmed to see only the best possible outcome no matter how high the price. As shown in the chart below, whereas the IEA demand forecast topped out, that of OPEC sees nothing but blue skies ahead.

The IEA commented on the 16-month campaign by OPEC and its allies to slash a global oil glut, which the agency said had been finally successful, with inventories falling below their five-year average for the first time since 2014. Markets are set to tighten further as output sinks in the economic disaster that is Venezuela and the U.S. re-imposes sanctions on Iran.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Road to Hell in the Middle East

Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Road to Hell in the Middle East

It’s already long forgotten here, but the theocratic regime in Iran was really our baby. After all, in 1953, the CIA and British intelligence engineered a coup to replace a democratic government in Iran with the autocratic Shah and so gave Iranians just what they didn’t want (including his creepy secret police, the Savak). In those days, however, blowback from such American acts didn’t arrive with the speed of the Internet. It took a quarter of a century for our man in Iran to go down and the theocrats to rise. They were, of course, born of us (as in the U.S.), but no one talks about that anymore.

Then Washington switched partners. The administration of Ronald Reagan found someone else in the region we could really admire, another strongman by the name of — does this ring a bell? — Saddam Hussein. He ruled Iraq, not Iran, and like the Saudis of today (and the Israelis of just about any time), he wanted to take out the Iranian theocrats. (How familiar does that sound now that Donald Trump has done his best to smash the Iran nuclear deal?) In 1980, Saddam launched a war of aggression against that country. As the U.S. military now helps the Saudis with targeting intelligence and weaponry in their brutal war in Yemen, so it then helped Saddam, targeting Iranian military contingents, even knowing that Saddam’s troops were likely to use chemical weapons against them. Five hundred thousand or so Iranians died in that invasion and the eight-year disaster of a war that followed. Then, in another curious reversal, Saddam suddenly became “Hitler,” the ultimate evil one. In 1990, the U.S. military (and its allies) drove his troops out of Kuwait, and in 2003 the administration of George W. Bush took him out completely.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Never Trust A Banker About Oil Prices

Never Trust A Banker About Oil Prices

Shale

In recent weeks I’ve commented on the powerful bullish forces that have combined in oil and oil stocks and your need to increase your exposure to them. So, before going on to other topics, this has to be the start of any column until further notice, despite the weakness in stock indexes overall.

OPEC and particularly Saudi Arabia continue to drop not so quiet hints about the importance of higher oil prices – for the cartel and the upcoming IPO of Saudi Aramco. In case anyone might have forgotten about their one-shot chance to remake their entire economy and culture, another ‘leak’ of Saudi oil reserve numbers was served up in the past week – a positive one, of course.

Many of the analysts who previously were pessimistic about the rise in oil prices have been slowly and steadily raising their projections. That should neither encourage us or bother us, as bank analysts have a dismal record of correctly projecting prices much into the future. One should always trust a trader first; whose obligation is to his own investments and money and not to retaining the respect of the community or keeping the job. Always remember: An analyst’s first priority is not to be wrong, while a trader doesn’t care if he’s wrong or right, only if he’s got the right side of the trade and making money.

Similarly, the speculative trade from hedge funds continues to be almost uniformly long – a fact that used to bother me much more in the days when bank proprietary trade desks dominated the speculators. In those days, their own positions would often be in conflict with sales, and, Chinese wall or not – could make for some very sticky and fast reversals of positioning inside the banks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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