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Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

Turkey NATO Natural Gas Feature photo

Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

It’s a strange and unprecedented spectacle when countries like Israel, Greece, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, and others lay claims over the Mediterranean, while NATO scrambles to stave off an outright war, among its own members.

Egypt Seizes Tanker Carrying Iranian Crude

Egypt Seizes Tanker Carrying Iranian Crude

Tehran’s threats of retaliation against the UK for seizing a tanker carrying Iranian crude oil for export have prompted a British vessel to shelter in the Gulf, but the rest of the world doesn’t seem to be taking them too seriously.

Tanker

Citing local press reports, Middle East Monitor said Tuesday that a Ukrainian tanker carrying Iranian oil as it passed through the Suez Canal ten days ago was seized by the Egyptian government, just as Egypt’s State Security Criminal Court was sentencing six people to lengthy jail terms allegedly for spying for Iran.

Those defendants have all been sentenced to between 15 and 25 years in jail, a $30,000 fine and the confiscation of their computers and phones.

Egyptian Al-Azhar Professor Alaa Moawad, who was present at the trial on Sunday, was accused of harming Egypt’s national interests and receiving money to spread Iranian Shiism in Sunni Egypt by launching a website, issuing publications and attracting recruits.

British Forces Seize Oil Tanker for Busting Syria Sanctions

Egypt is a staunch ally of the US, and as a Sunni-majority country, would naturally align with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in their efforts to contain Iran. Egypt also supports the Saudi-backed coalition in Yemen that is fighting to retain control in that country’s brutal civil war. Cairo has  condemned the Houthis for the recent spate of attacks on Saudi infrastructure that have inflamed tensions in the region.

Washington and Riyadh have blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in and around the Strait of Hormuz, though there is somedisagreement on this subject.

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

The U.S. Is Losing Influence In The World’s Biggest Oil Region

The U.S. Is Losing Influence In The World’s Biggest Oil Region

Egypt Saudi

Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s visit to the White House on April 9, 2019, resulted in one of the worst setbacks for U.S. Middle Eastern policy under the Donald Trump Administration.

What was supposed to be a fence-mending exercise between the two countries essentially ended many of the meaningful strategic aspects of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship, despite the fact that the public appearances between the two presidents appeared to be cordial. There have been significant areas of difference and frustration between Egypt and the US, even since the Trump Administration came to office, but there was at least a concerted effort on both sides to work harmoniously.

There has also been good personal chemistry between the two presidents since Trump ended what the Egyptians had regarded as a disastrous period under Barack Obama. President Sisi had essentially broken off strategic relations with the U.S. during the Obama Administration tenure in order to resist Obama’s insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood play a larger role in Egyptian politics.

The question now is who in the Washington bureaucracy will take the blame for pushing Trump to insist on actions by al-Sisi which any fundamental analysis of the situation points to being infeasible and against Egypt’s view of its own strategic interests.

That is not to say that Egypt wishes to end cordiality and cooperation between Washington and Cairo; it does not. But certain battle lines have been drawn in the greater Middle East, and Cairo and the U.S. are not altogether on the same side. Both sides will need to undertake significant, careful action to put relations back on a positive path before the break becomes calcified.

The failure on this occasion lay at the door of the U.S. for failing to realize that Washington now needs Egypt more than Egypt needs the U.S.

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

Egyptian Economist Arrested for Criticizing Government

The Egyptian Economist, Abdel Khalik Farouk, is the author of more than 20 books on corruption in the Egyptian economy. His latest book, Is Egypt really poor?  was confiscated by Egyptian authorities last week on the day of publication. The owner of the printing house, Ibrahim El Khatib, was also arrested. Farouk has set out that the corruption inside the Egyptian government is what keeps the nation poor. He is correct on that score for corruption in governments, in general, are always the greatest redistribution of wealth ever created.

Then there is the Greek Chief statistician Andreas Georgiou who is now under the charge of having harmed the national interest! He was the one who corrected the faked Greek deficit number of -3,9 to the real number of -15.4%.   On August 2nd, 2010, he was appointed as President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Then on August 2nd, 2015, he surprisingly resigned from office with immediate effect. This in July 2016, the Greek Supreme Court upheld charges against Georgiou for having harmed the “national interest” for effectively telling the truth.

Of course, our media is part of the corruption in general. They preach the government line and spit out propaganda and they could care less what they are doing to the United States or the world. Hillary, for example, was perhaps the peak of corruption. Here we had a politician with the audacity to pretend she stands against the “rich” and then all the super rich stand in line to buy favors. Goldman Sachswent as far as to ban its staff from even donating to the Trump campaign.

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

The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

offshore

Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney once said: “the good lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected states… Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.” Europe is surrounded by states with abundant energy resources, but supply from these countries is not always as reliable. Russia, for example, is regularly accused of using energy as a weapon. However, major discoveries of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could mitigate dependence on Russian gas.

The discovery of a gas field named Tamar near the coast of Israel in 2009 set off a wave of investments in the energy sector. After 9 years, companies are flocking to the region after other discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt. Ever larger finds in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin such as the Leviathan gas field in 2010 and Zohr in 2015, have the potential to transform the strategic importance of the region.

(Click to enlarge)

Turkey’s energy hub ambitions

Few states in the world are geographically so well positioned as Turkey. The country controls Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea and serves as a bridge between east and west. Therefore, during the Cold War Ankara was an indispensable member of NATO. More recently, Turkey has the ambition to become an energy hub for Middle Eastern and Caspian energy. Ankara has had mixed successes in attracting investors and maintaining political stability.

After Israel’s significant discoveries, a U.S. backed initiative presented Turkey as an energy hub. Although a land pipeline is the cheapest option to transport gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, political developments have stalled construction.

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

The Israeli Attack On The USS Liberty

The Israeli Attack On The USS Liberty

Fifty-one years ago today Israeli fighter aircraft and torpedo boats tried to sink the USS Liberty, a surveillance ship stationed off the coast of Egypt during Israel’s attack on Egypt and Syria. Israel was unable to sink the USS Liberty, but did manage to kill or wound almost the entire crew. Thirty-four Americans were killed and 174 were wounded.

There are two explanations for the attack. As Washington has blocked every attempt at an investigation, we do not know which one is correct. Perhaps both are the reasons for the attack.

One is that Israel, which was committing a war crime by mass execution of Egyptian prisoners of war, was fearful that the USS Liberty’s surveillance had discovered the crime. The other is that Israel fearing an unfavorable outcome of the war that Israel had initiated intended to blame the attack on the USS Liberty on Egypt, thus bringing the US into the war on Israel’s side.

I have written about this attack a number of times, having interiewed sailors and officers on board during the attack, an officer, Captain Ward Boston, who was ordered to produce a cover-up, and Admiral Tom Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Frustrated at Washington’s coverup, indeed, Washington’s complicity in the crime, upon retirement Admiral Moorer convened the Moorer Commission to set the record straight.

The Moorer Commission concluded:

“That there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.

“That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the US Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack.

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

How regional rivalries threaten to fuel the fire in Syria and Iran

Credit: Wikimedia 

Turkish allegations of Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) threaten to turn Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds aligned with the PKK into a regional imbroglio.

The threat is magnified by Iranian assertions that low-intensity warfare is heating up in areas of the Islamic republic populated by ethnic minorities, including the Kurds in the northwest and the Baloch on the border with Pakistan.

Taken together, the two developments raise the spectre of a potentially debilitating escalation of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as an aggravation of the eight-month-old Gulf crisis that has pitted Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar, which has forged close ties to Turkey.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt rather than Saudi Arabia have taken the lead in criticizing Turkey’s incursion into Syria designed to remove US-backed Kurds from the countries’ border and create a 30-kilometer deep buffer zone.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the incursion by a non-Arab state signalled that Arab states would be marginalized if they failed to develop a national security strategy.

Egypt, for its part, condemned the incursion as a “fresh violation of Syrian sovereignty” that was intended to “undermine the existing efforts for political solutions and counter-terrorism efforts in Syria,”

Despite Saudi silence, Yeni Safak, a newspaper closely aligned with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), charged that a $1 billion Saudi contribution to the reconstruction of Raqqa, the now Syrian Kurdish-controlled former capital of the Islamic State, was evidence of the kingdom’s involvement in what it termed a “dirty game.”

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

Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide

Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a record 262 journalists are being held in prisons around the world.

As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, nearly three-quarters of them are being held on anti-state charges while at least 21 have been charged with “false news”.

The worst three jailers are responsible for 51 percent of the total…

Infographic: Turkey Has The Most Jailed Journalists Worldwide | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

Turkey is the top jailer of journalists for the second consecutive year with 73 languishing behind bars. The Turkish press experienced a crackdown in early 2016 and this gained pace after July’s failed coup attempt.

The CPJ identified 41 jailed journalists in second-placed China while Egypt rounds off the top-three with 20.

John Kerry: Israel And Saudi Arabia Urged A Preemptive US Strike On Iran Prior To Nuclear Deal

John Kerry: Israel And Saudi Arabia Urged A Preemptive US Strike On Iran Prior To Nuclear Deal

Former Secretary of State John Kerry revealed earlier this week that just prior to negotiations on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the leaders of Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia pushed hard for the US to preemptively strike Iran. Kerry divulged the information during a panel discussion at a nuclear weapons reduction forum at Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday where he defended the deal, saying those that wanted harsher action would have led the nation into another major Middle East war.

Kerry described the lead up to the deal as involving intense and aggressive lobbying toward military escalation by the three countries, whose leaders attempted to personally intervene. “Each of them said to me: You have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” Kerry related at Tuesday’s forum.

He further explained, “I remember that conversation with President Mubarak. I looked at him and said: It’s easy for you to say. We go bomb them and I bet you’ll be the first guy out there the next day to criticize us for doing it. And he went: ‘Of course, ha-ha-ha-ha!’”

Kerry also identified Benjamin Netanyahu as taking a clear lead role in pushing for direct military action against Iran, saying, “It was a trap in a lot of ways. But more importantly, Prime Minister Netanyahu was genuinely agitating towards action.”

Though it’s not clear exactly when these exchanges took place, Kerry chaired the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2006-2013 before his term as Secretary of State under Obama. This was also the same post-Iraq invasion period that regime change in Syria was being openly discussed. Syria has long been seen as Iran’s closest ally and as constituting a key potential geographic land bridge linking Shia allies from Iran and Iraq to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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

Arab States Issue 13 Demands To Qatar – Include Unfriending Iran, Beheading Al-Jazeera And Nixing Turkish Base

Arab States Issue 13 Demands To Qatar – Include Unfriending Iran, Beheading Al-Jazeera And Nixing Turkish Base

Two days after the US State Department formally inquired about WTF is going on between Arab States and Qatar, the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Baahrain, and the UAE sent a list of 13 demands to the tiny Gulf nation to be met within 10 days in order to lift their total blockade of the country. Among them – reducing diplomatic ties with Iran, shutting down broadcaster Al Jazeera (and affiliates), and immediately cease working to open a Turkish military base announced in May of 2016. Also interesting is the demand that Qatar give up their intel on terrorist groups they have supported and “provide all databases related to oppositionists…” (Scroll down for full list of demands)

This formal list comes on the heels of a June 6th rumor that Arab States issued a list of 10 demands to be fulfilled within 24 hours, however Qatar said they never received them according to Al Jazeera journalists who are now dusting off their resumes.

Embargo

On June 5th, news broke that Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt had cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations of ‘spreading chaos’ by ‘funding terrorism and supporting Iran’ – shutting down all land, sea, and air crossings with the tiny energy-rich nation that has the highest per capita income in the world. Qatari visitors and residents were given two weeks to leave – while diplomats had just 48 hours.

 

While Qatar has been friendly with Iran for years, the prelude to the embargo began after a broadcast which showed Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speaking with no audio – and scrolling text at the bottom of the screen which stated his support for Iran and terrorist groups. Qatar claims the broadcast was ‘hacked.’

After the broadcast, Saudi Arabia and the UAE blocked Qatari news organization Al-Jazeera.

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

It’s A “Geopolitical Earthquake”: A Stunned World Responds After Saudi Alliance Cuts All Ties With Qatar

It’s A “Geopolitical Earthquake”: A Stunned World Responds After Saudi Alliance Cuts All Ties With Qatar

Virtually nobody saw it coming.

Late on Sunday night, the Saudi-led alliance of Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain including Egypt, shocked the world when they announced they had severed ties and closed borders with one of the Gulf’s wealthiest, if smallest, neighbors Qatar, a (now former) member of the Gulf Cooperation Council in what we called a “geopolitical earthquake” and what Bloomberg dubbed an unprecedented move designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups in the region.”

As we noted first last night, just days after president Trump left the region, a “geopolitical earthquake” took place in the Middle East as the rift between Qatar and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council exploded with Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt cutting all diplomatic ties with Qatar accusing it of “spreading chaos,” by funding terrorism and supporting Iran. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt all said they will suspend air and sea travel to and from the Gulf emirate. Saudi Arabia will also shut land crossings with its neighbor, potentially depriving the emirate of imports through its only land border.

It was not immediately clear when the proposed measures would be implemented. Saudi Arabia said it would “begin immediate legal measures with friendly, sisterly countries and international companies to implement that measure as quickly as possible for all types of transit from and to the state of Qatar.”

Saudi Arabia cited Qatar’s support of “terrorist groups aiming to destabilize the region,” including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and al-Qaeda. It accused Qatar of supporting “Iranian-backed terrorist groups” operating in the kingdom’s eastern province as well as Bahrain.  Saudi Arabia, along with Bahrain and the U.A.E., gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave.


Donald Trump meets Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Riyadh in May

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

The Horror! The Horror! (Part Two)

THE HORROR! THE HORROR! (PART TWO)

In Part One of this article I detailed how propaganda has been utilized by the Deep State for decades to control the minds of the masses and allow those in control to reap the benefits of never ending war. In Part Two I will discuss recent events, false flags, and propaganda campaigns utilized by the Deep State to push the world to the brink of war.

“We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness”Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

The use of graphic images, electronically transmitted across the world in an instant, along with a consistent false narrative promoted by the captured corporate media, is the preferred means of appealing to the emotions of those who want to believe atrocity propaganda. Instigating a march to war through the use of unfounded fear, misinformation, staged photo ops, and appealing to passions and prejudices was as revolting to Albert Einstein  in the 1930s as it is today to normal thinking individuals.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” – Albert Einstein

It seems the level and intensity of the propaganda campaigns has ratcheted up dramatically in the last half dozen years and appears to be reaching a crescendo as we speak.

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

Stockman to Trump: It’s the Economy, Stupid

Stockman to Trump: It’s the Economy, Stupid

In a recent appearance on CNN, David Stockman suggested that Trump might best spend some time actually addressing economic issues instead of the administration’s travel ban for immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, which Stockman called “a giant misfire.”

Pointing out that Americans are far, far more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist, Stockman asserted that it was really Trump’s opposition to Obamacare and other government regulation that got him elected. Employing the 1992 Clinton Campaign motto of “it’s the economy, stupid,” Stockman noted “Trump was elected because flyover America is hurting economically. The voters of Racine, Wisconsin and Johnstown, Pennsylvania are imperiled not because of some refugees, they’re imperiled because their jobs have all been disappearing for decades. The problem is far more the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, the bubbles they’re creating on Wall Street…”

Stockman went on suggest that the Trump Administration is showing decreased interest in “draining the swamp” employing a phrase Trump used when he claimed he would greatly cut federal power in Washington. Instead of doing that, Stockman contends, Trump is merely filling the swamp with ” “other creatures that will build up homeland security, border control, more money for defense, more money for spying and national security.”

Stockman might also have pointed out that the travel ban itself illustrates how the ban has nothing to do with national security given that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not on the list of blocked countries, even though Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the two countries most closely linked ot 9/11. Moreover, the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shootings had been radicalized in Saudi Arabia and traveled there before the killings. Indeed, Trump’s list seems to be more accurately described as a list of Saudi enemies, including Saudi Arabia’s most bitter enemies Iran and Syria. Also on the list is Yemen, which is currently subject to a vicious war and starvation campaign launched by Saudi Arabia’s dictators.

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

Egypt Bars Journalist From Leaving Country as Crackdown on Dissent Widens

One of Egypt’s leading investigative journalists, Hossam Bahgat, was prevented from boarding a flight to Jordan today when officials at Cairo International Airport informed him that his name had been added to a list of citizens barred from traveling abroad.

Bahgat, who was detained and interrogated for three days in November by military intelligence officers, wrote on Facebook that officials at the airport told him that the order confining him to the country had come from Egypt’s public prosecutor, but they could provide no details of any case against him.

With some exasperation, the reporter pointed out that this surprise punishment by the Egyptian judicial system came as he was on his way to Jordan “to participate in the United Nations meeting on justice in the Arab world!”

The travel ban was quickly condemned by Egyptian activists, including Heba Morayef, the associate director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a prominent human rights group that Bahgat founded and led before turning his attention to journalism after the country’s 2011 revolution. Writing on Twitter, Morayef observed that the space for dissent against Egypt’s authoritarian government seemed to be narrowing, given that the restrictions on Bahgat were imposed just weeks after a similar ban was placed on Gamal Eid, a lawyer with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and days after health officials ordered the closure of El Nadeem, a renowned clinic for the rehabilitation of torture victims.


Hossam Bahgat has just been banned from travel. After Gamal Eid travel ban + Nadim Center closure order. Closing in.

World War 3 Could Start This Month: 350,000 Soldiers In Saudi Arabia Stand Ready To Invade Syria

World War 3 Could Start This Month: 350,000 Soldiers In Saudi Arabia Stand Ready To Invade Syria

War Soldiers - Public Domain350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder”.  According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations.  This exercise will reportedly last for 18 days, and during that time the airspace over northern Saudi Arabia will be closed to air traffic.  This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria.

If you were going to gather forces for an invasion, this is precisely how you would do it.  Governments never come out and publicly admit that forces are moving into position for an invasion ahead of time, so “military exercises” are a common excuse that gets used for this sort of thing.

If these exercises are actually being used as an excuse to mass forces near the northern Saudi border, then we should expect an invasion to begin within the next couple of weeks.  If it happens, we should expect to see the Saudi coalition storm through western Iraq and into Syria from the south, and it is likely that Turkey will come in from the north.

The goal would be to take out the Assad regime before Russia, Iran and Hezbollah could react.  For the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have been funding the Sunni insurgency in Syria, and they were counting on those insurgents to be able to take down the Assad regime by themselves.

 

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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