Posts tagged Middle East
By Ezra Van Auken
Previously stated, Syria’s war is nothing close to being domestic. With Saudi Arabia, Qatar, US and other European interests backing the secularists rebels, the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah backing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the Islamists from Iraq and other regions, at times defined and mixed with secularists, everyone is essentially looking to snatch their piece of the pie when Assad’s regime crumbles.
Unfortunately for the West and its quest to seek secularist influence, the United Nations reported on Tuesday that Islamists in the rebel faction “al-Nusra” have received more members as well as equipment in recent months. Since pledging their adherence to the main faction al-Qaeda, their response has obviously been a positive one for fighters. This appears more and more to be a massive sectarian war coming to the works – Sunni rebels versus Shiites – which are ultimately defending the Assad regime.
McClatchy wrote, “Religious and sectarian extremism is worsening on both sides as tactics grow more savage, the report said, with sharp rises in hostage taking, the use of underage combatants, sexual violence and forced displacement.” From mid-January to mid-May, UN officials compiled over 400 interviews and other materials to create the recent detailed report. Most importantly, the report labels how dangerous the sectarian war is becoming, adding how it could lead to ruthless killing of communities.
The UN pointed a finger at both the Assad regime and rebels for immoral tactics. Assad’s people have been found to conduct torture techniques and keep individuals in infested prisons, which are immensely overcrowded and use of sexual aggression. Probably one of the more immoral acts is “forced disappearance”; this is when Syrians literally vanish without a trace and are either never found or are discovered deceased in random areas. “For example, turning up among the 200 bodies that were dumped in Aleppo’s Queiq waterway.”
Interestingly, besides rhetoric that violence within the rebel opposition is mainly from Islamist extremists, the UN reported that unnecessary violence is a product of the opposition as a whole. “The report offered no good guy-bad guy narrative – indeed, the rebels were blamed for many of the same tactics as the regime,” which if anything, is the exact opposite of what the West’s narrative has been on Syria. Syrian rebels have committed sectarian violence, kidnappings, thieving through houses and other aggressive acts.
Not to label all Syrian opposition as al-Nusra types, some are far more secularist. However the UN report did find that Nusra’s presence has seemed attractive compared to others, explaining part of the increase in size of the faction. “Foreign fighters with jihadist inclinations, often arriving from neighboring countries, continued to reinforce its ranks,” the UN-sponsored report notes.
A prominent al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri told Syrian rebels to unite behind each other on Thursday. Zawahri said, “Lions of the Levant, unite around this honorable goal and rise above party affiliations,” while calling out the US for wanting to influence the region. “America, its agents and allies want you to shed your blood and the blood of your children and women to bring down the criminal Baathist regime, and then set up a government loyal to them and to safeguard Israel’s security,” Zawahri explained, calling for the solidarity of Syrian rebels to combat such opposition.
A UN human rights inquiry has called on Israel to remove all Jewish settlers from the West Bank and cease expansion. The report said the settlements violate international law, and are an attempt to drive out Palestinians through intimidation.
“Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions,” the report read, adding that Israel must immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
The 1949 Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of a civilian population into an occupied area – such an act could constitute war crimes if brought before the International Criminal Court. Following the UN’s de facto recognition of Palestine last December, Israel announced plans to build thousands of homes in the OPT.
“The mission believes that the motivation behind this violence and the intimidation against the Palestinians as well as their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands and allow the settlements to expand,” said the report.
In response, Palestine wrote to the UN warning that Israel planned to commit more war crimes by expanding its settlements further into the occupied territories.
The UN investigators interviewed over 50 people who were driven from their homes. They described how their livelihoods were destroyed and their land was confiscated, and how they were subjected to continuous violence from Jewish settlers.
The report has the potential to significantly worsen the UN’s already-strained relationship with Israel, particularly after Israeli representatives failed to appear at a UN human rights review two days ago.
The Israeli government has repeatedly ignored international condemnations of its settlements in the occupied territories, and continues to bar the entry of a Human Rights Council probe to assess the impact of the settlements. Israel has insisted that the organization is biased in favor of the Palestinians, and claimed that historic and biblical ties justify its claim to the territories.
STAY TUNED TO http://rt.com FOR UPDATES TO THIS BREAKING STORY.
The IMF has confirmed the Yuan/Renminbi is set to become a Global Reserve Currency at an Economic Forum in Hong Kong.
With China’s economy gaining global strength, the renminbi is set to become a global reserve currency, Zhu Min, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Tuesday at an economic forum in Hong Kong.
Yesterday I wrote about the crossborder loans China was doing, before the Yuan becomes a Reserve Currency, their saying the “unloved dollar’ and the amount of gold they are importing. Besides the rumors of them backing their currency by gold.
David mentioned that things take time to happen and as I add on the third part of the interview is that it already has been years and maybe the situation will start going faster.
It seems to me with the Yuan being called a Global Reserve currency now even by China itself, they have laid out the ground work for changes to be made in a short amount of time. China does not reveal their hand until everything is already said and done. Considering the dollar has been the only “Global Reserve” currency for decades but this month the Yuan is becoming attached with that name.
The dollar demise has been talked about for years now. Many had been saying “anytime” but it has been long and drawn out. China is very smart as they take their time and put everything in place before they reveal or make their big moves. Has the time now come?
The Premier of China had gone to Saudi Arabi and Dubai a year ago. He stayed a week there having meetings and making agreements.SHARJAH, UAE -
China signed economic and trade agreements worth 100 billion yuan ($16billion) with Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as Premier Wen Jiabao wrapped up a six-day visit to the Middle East on Thursday.
The first currency swap agreement with Arab nations, worth 35 billion yuan, was also signed inAbu Dhabi, Wen told the Fourth
Arab-China Business Conference in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Are those agreements now coming into fruition? Is Saudi Arabi ready to be one of the last Middle Eastern countries to trade in something other than the “Petrol Dollar?” If Saudi Arabia begins oil trade in something other than the dollar, then it really is game over for the dollar as the Global Reserve Currency and any strength it now has. It only has strength because all of the other countries are devaluing their currencies against the dollar for trade. With the Fed printing the dollar non-stop, currency wars are raging, no one wants to have the strong currency due to trade and their products being un-affordable to other countries.
But once the dollar is no longer a worry or concern for trade then all the other countries will be able to stop their currency devaluations against the dollar because a new Global Currency backed by Gold will be the hero of the world. The only country that will be left all to itself with their inflating currency will be the United States.
It seems the proximity of this occurrence is now much closer with both the IMF and China itself using the words “Global Reserve Currency” for the Yuan.
This article first appeared on: The Age
If you’ve ever suspected politics is increasingly being run in the interests of big business, I have news: Jeffrey Sachs, a highly respected economist from Columbia University, agrees with you – at least in respect of the United States.
In his book, The Price of Civilisation, he says the US economy is caught in a feedback loop. ”Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth,” he says.
Sachs says four key sectors of US business exemplify this feedback loop and the takeover of political power in America by the ”corporatocracy”.
First is the well-known military-industrial complex. ”As [President] Eisenhower famously warned in his farewell address in January 1961, the linkage of the military and private industry created a political power so pervasive that America has been condemned to militarisation, useless wars and fiscal waste on a scale of many tens of trillions of dollars since then,” he says.
Second is the Wall Street-Washington complex, which has steered the financial system towards control by a few politically powerful Wall Street firms, notably Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and a handful of other financial firms.
These days, almost every US Treasury secretary – Republican or Democrat – comes from Wall Street and goes back there when his term ends. The close ties between Wall Street and Washington ”paved the way for the 2008 financial crisis and the mega-bailouts that followed, through reckless deregulation followed by an almost complete lack of oversight by government”.
Third is the Big Oil-transport-military complex, which has put the US on the trajectory of heavy oil-imports dependence and a deepening military trap in the Middle East, he says.
”Since the days of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Trust a century ago, Big Oil has loomed large in American politics and foreign policy. Big Oil teamed up with the automobile industry to steer America away from mass transit and towards gas-guzzling vehicles driving on a nationally financed highway system.”
Big Oil has consistently and successfully fought the intrusion of competition from non-oil energy sources, including nuclear, wind and solar power.
It has been at the side of the Pentagon in making sure that America defends the sea-lanes to the Persian Gulf, in effect ensuring a $US100 billion-plus annual subsidy for a fuel that is otherwise dangerous for national security, Sachs says.
The Pentagon has approved a deal to supply 6,900 precision bomb kits to replenish Israel’s weapons stockpiles, diminished by the recent war against Hamas in Gaza. The contract is valued at $647 million.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the Pentagon said in a statement. The deal is expected to sail through formal approval by legislators.
The Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions are complex electronic guidance devices fitted onto missiles to make them vastly more accurate. Precision air-strikes were the main tactic employed by Israel during the 8-day attack on Gaza last month.
10,000 explosive charges are also part of the contract. Of these, 3,450 are one ton bombs, 1725 bombs weighing 250 kilograms with the rest being BLU-109 and GBU-39 bunker busters.
The Gaza bombardment, which Israel says it started in response to more than 2,000 Palestinian rockets launched this year, has been costly for both sides.
Palestinian authorities said that the cost of 120 buildings destroyed and 8,000 damaged buildings amounted to $1.2 billion.
Meanwhile, military operation Pillar of Defense cost Israel around $760 million. Officials estimate the conflict also indirectly cost the country $1.8 billion in lost tourist revenues.
More than 180 Palestinians were killed in the conflict and six Israelis.
Bet this won’t be on MSM any time soon.
It is estimated by 2015 the Yuan/Renminbi will be a currency traded fully and internationally.
With all the unlimited printing of the dollar 2015 might come faster.
A “renminbi bloc” has been formed in East Asia, as nations in the region abandon the US dollar and peg their currency to the Chinese yuan — a major signal of China’s successful bid to internationalize its currency, a research report has said.
And now seven out of 10 economies in the region — including South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand — track the renminbi more closely than they do the US dollar. Only three economies in the group — Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Mongolia — still have currencies following the dollar more closely than the renminbi, said the report, posted on the institute’s website.
Wang Jianhui, chief economist with Southwest Securities Co Ltd, agreed. “Investors are looking for new reserve currencies at a time when both the dollar and euro are under pressure. This is a good opportunity for the yuan,” he said.
The Royal Bank of Scotland predicted in a report on Monday that renminbi will become a fully convertible currency in 2015.
Cross-border trade settled in renminbi will triple to 6.5 trillion yuan ($1.03 trillion) within three years as relations with the world’s second-largest economy grow, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC was quoted as saying by Bloomberg on Oct 9.
Settlements will grow 12 to 20 percent this year, reaching $1.03 trillion in two years, up from $330.8 billion in 2011, said Janet Ming, head of the China desk for RBS in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In fact, trade is also propelling the rise of the renminbi outside East Asia. The currencies of India, Chile, Israel, South Africa and Turkey all now follow the renminbi closely, in some cases, more so than the dollar. The renminbi would be more attractive if the country could further liberalize its financial and currency markets, the report said.
By Tim Brown
Retired Russian General Konstantin P. Petrov appears in a video commentary where he asks some sobering questions and includes a few thoughts of his own on a variety of topics such as the 9-11 attacks being used to engage America in war in the Middle East, the end of the US dollar world dominance and the people behind the politicians in the coming economic collapse that is being orchestrated before our very eyes.
While we have plenty of propaganda inside the US for sure, the US clearly does not exist in a vacuum. As such we must take seriously what is taking place in the world and prepare accordingly. There is no one in Washington with the guts to do what is needed to keep us from following the same path that they have in Europe and with the Federal Reserve pulling some of the stunts it has, I thought this video might be quite valuable to readers of FreedomOutpost. The video is in Russian with English Transcripts.
From the video, in part:
How did they ruin the USSR? They called the Soviet Union a ‘prison for people’ and an ‘evil empire’.
The same thing is being done to the United States.
We also intervened in Afghanistan and do you remember how that ended? It’s the same thing with the United States, and the American can’t do anything there. Now the entire muslim world hates the United States.
And when the global mafia dumps the dollar the entire world will think that the Americans deserved this. But this won’t benefit people in our country, especially those who’ve been saving up dollars.
There’s another thing that we should take into account.
In the United States lives 5% of the world’s population, but Americans consume 50% of the world’s energy resources. The global mafia sees this as a problem.
Some of our people who fled to the US, and now live there on welfare, live better there unemployed than they would have lived in Russia even if they were employed.
The slave masters think that this situation in the US is unacceptable because even the slaves live relatively well there. so the United States is doomed too in this sense.
Even if you’re the head of a mighty state and you don’t understand global politics and don’t understand the methods of global politics you’re still a hostage of the global mafia. The leadership of the USSR and the leadership of the USA carried out internal and external politics, but the global mafia carries out global politics.
The USSR collapsed and the same fate has been prepared for the USA.
View the entire video below:
Russian General Konstantin Petrov asks some interesting questions and includes his own thoughts (perhaps the non-official Russian position) about a variety of topics that include the end of US dollar hegemony, the orchestration of the 9-11 attacks to engage America in a mid-east war, the puppeteers behind the politicians and the coming premeditated collapse of the United States of America as we know it.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple: http://www.TheDailySheeple.com/
Originally published: http://www.youtube.com/user/toqtaqiya?feature=watch
Sourced via http://www.beforeitsnews.com/
By Kimberly Paxton
Gas stations in California are locking their doors as they run out of fuel. Today prices have reached a record-setting high of an average of $4.61 per gallon, with many stations charging premium prices for the limited amount of fuel on hand. The current shortages and price increases are a harbinger of the rapidly changing situation across the country.
The current price spike comes after an Exxon refinery in Torrance suffered a power outage earlier in the week. Many stations are charging more than $5 per gallon for regular,some stations ran out of gas because of fuel rationing by their suppliers, while still other stations are running out of gas because they refused to pay the high wholesale prices. Fifteen Costco stations were among those who refused to pay the exorbitant prices.
California already has the highest fuel prices in the country. A special blend designed to meet strict environmental guidelines costs more and is highly taxed by the state government. This blend is made only at a few specific West Coast refineries, which is why the state was particularly hard-hit by the Torrance power outage issue.
According to the New York Times, the prices should soon level off.
Refining experts said the rationing and exceedingly high prices would probably last a couple of weeks at the most. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said California customers might get some relief in the next few days because traders were suddenly lowering the prices of their bulk sales almost as fast as they were raising them over the last few days. He said the wholesale price for gasoline on the West Coast dropped 50 cents on Friday from a high of $4.25 a gallon.
“The prices are incredibly erratic,” Mr. Kloza said. “It’s gone from incredibly excessive pricing to just plain excessive.”
However, the relief may be short-lived as tensions in the Middle East continue to rise. Oil prices in general rose after the Turkish military fired on Syria. The Middle East and North Africa are responsible for about a third of the world’s oil supply. As well, American attempts to enforce economic sanctions on Iran may backfire by affecting the prices Americans pay at the pumps.
Propaganda perpetuated by former and current US Presidents have claimed that clean energy will replace oil and set the economy straight however behind closed doors, the march toward further acquisition of oil reserves in foreign nations have been the back bone of recent wars involving the US and Middle Eastern nations.
As peak oil looms in the background, the global Elite use the might of the US military to force regime changes in strategic areas of the world that benefit their interests and devastate the people of sovereign nations.
Before the oil runs out, the global Elite plan on squeezing every last bit of money from the populations of the globe. In order to do so, they must control the reserves. They accomplish this by warring with countries, devastating economies and imposing sanctions of independence through international mandates from the UN.
Keeping the general population dependent on oil is not just about paying for gas at the pump. Nearly all products are derived from oil in some form. The downward spiral of oil reserves and desperate use of the resource could mean the end of industrialized civilization.
By Susanne Posel
Last week, the delegates who attended the Arms Trade Treaty Conference (ATT) reportedly did not come to a consensus to ratify the ATT, but rather will come back to the issue later this year.
Further talks will likely take place at a UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting wherein 192 nations could achieve the 2/3rd majority vote for ratification of the ATT.
According to the British delegation: “We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms-trade treaty is coming – not today – but soon. We’ve taken a big step forward.”
Although activists in support of a convention for global gun control advocated the need to prevent illicit trade of guns into conflicted zones, such as in Syria, those same activists blamed the US and Russia for causing a stalemate during the negotiations process.
Victoria Nuland, US Ambassador to the UN released a statement on the US State Department website wherein it was admitted that “the illicit trafficking of conventional arms is an important national security concern for the United States.”