Category Archives: Middle East

“Interesting Times” in the Oil Patch

[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

Ancient Chinese curse:  “May you live in ‘interesting’ times.”


In the first week of A.D. 2016, Salon magazine published an article entitled “A year of war: 10 destructive armed conflicts the U.S. fueled in 2015”.   According to Salon,


“2015 was marked by violence and war. The most prevalent story in the U.S. media throughout the year was ISIS. The Paris attacks, mass shootings, police brutality, terrorism, the Charleston massacre and the refugee crisis were also among the top 10 stories of the year.”

That article illustrated an important point:  As A.D. 2015 ended, the mainstream media and the American people were focused on questions of war.  Would Syria erupt in full-scale war?  Would Russia declare war on Turkey?  Saudi Arabia with Iran?  Shiites with Sunnis?  ISIS sneaking backpack nukes into the US?  Israel with . . . well, Israel could be fighting with anyone.  What about the US goading China or Russia into WWIII?

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The First Casualty

It’s commonly observed that “The first casualty of war is truth.”   That’s not news.  The fundamental insight was first observed back about 500 BC, when the Greek dramatist Aeschylus observed that “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

In other words, war does not begin with the first shot, but with the first lie.

Once the war begins, the opposing lies are fired on “full auto”.

So, here’s a video describing the recent Turkish shoot-down of a Russian fighter jet that allegedly strayed into Turkish territory.  Maybe the video is telling the truth, maybe not.

Clearly, somebody’s lying.  Either the Turks are lying about the Russian jet crossing into Turkish airspace, or the Russians are lying about not crossing into Turkish airspace.  I assume that radar or satellite evidence will be produced soon enough to support one side’s claims and refute the other’s.

But, you have to ask yourself, why did the Turks dare to shoot down a Russian fighter that (so far as I know) intruded only barely and briefly into Turkish airspace?  Did the Turks believe that the Russian fighter was going to bomb Ankara (the Turkish capitol)?  Pending further evidence, I have to assume that a Russian jet in Turkish airspace may be an annoyance or even diplomatic offense, but is that intrusion sufficient reason to shoot down a Russian fighter and provoke a serious international incident–complete with at least one dead Russian pilot?

The following video offers a plausible explanation for why the Turks “really” shot down the Russian jet.  Take it all with salt.  This explanation may simply be another illustration of the “First Casualty” principle.

However, if the video’s explanation turns out to be basically true, Soviet President Putin is now in a dangerous predicament.  He must either accept the loss of his fighter jet as some sort of unfortunate “accident” or he must retaliate against the Turks.  If he retaliates against the Turks, the Turks will probably retaliate further against Russia.   I have the distinct impression that, despite all of the success Russia has enjoyed in its first attacks against ISIS, Putin may be finding himself in unexpectedly deeper waters and may be wondering if he’s gone (or is about to go) “too far”.

We shall see.

video   00:04:20


Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Geo-Politics, Middle East, Russia, Video, War


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Brilliant Interview: Catherine Austin Fitts “Reinventing the US Economy”

Catherine Austin Fitts Fitts has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School and studied Mandarin at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  She served as managing director and member of the board of directors of the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co.Inc., as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in the first Bush Administration and was the president of Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., an investment bank and financial software developer.

She is cerebral, informed and, apparently, passionate about perceiving and disseminating the truth.

Her interview by Greg Hunter on is brilliant, easily understood and, in some regards, even optimistic.  In essence, she’s saying, “Yes, the problems are enormous.  Solving them will be painful.  We could see war as we move from a uni-polar to multi-polar world.  Nevertheless, America can handle its problems-if we face them and act now.” 

Biggest problem?  National Debt.  Government must soon  cut expenditures severely.  Biggest losers?  Those corporations who depend on government business and subsidies.

Listening to her interview is well-worth your time.  In fact, it’s worth your time to listen twice and take notes.

video    00:29:43


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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Economy, Geo-Politics, Middle East, Video, War


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Baiting the Bear

[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

The Wall Street Journal (“Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Prices Amid OPEC Price War”):


“On Sunday [October 4, A.D. 2015], Saudi Arabia made deep reductions to the prices it charges for its oil, hard on the heels of cuts last month by rival producers in the Gulf.

“With U.S. production still increasing despite lower oil prices, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are battling to keep their share of the last growing markets in Asia.

“The move comes as Iran, Iraq and other countries in the Middle East made deeper cuts in their official prices than Saudi Arabia last month.

“Saudi Arabia has vowed to keep pumping at high levels as it hopes lower oil prices will stimulate Asian demand and hit rival production in the U.S. that is expensive to produce.”

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Posted by on October 6, 2015 in Middle East, Oil, Russia


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Holy War for a Holy Land?

[courtesy Google Images]

[courtesy Google Images]

The New York Times published an article entitled, “King Salman Upends Status Quo in Region and the Royal Family”.  According to that article:


In the few months since the death of King Abdullah in January, the new king of Saudi Arabia, Salman, has moved fast to reshape foreign and domestic policies.  He has rattled alliances with the United States and regional powers that for decades have been the bedrock of stability for his kingdom.”

The US/Saudi alliance has also been fundamental to maintaining some semblance of order within the entire Middle East region.  The new king Salman’s activism not only threatens relationships with the US, but also magnifies whatever forces of instability already exist among Middle East sects and nations.

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Holy War/ Jihad, Middle East, Muslims, War


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