Towards an Alliance Between Russia and ISIS?

New intense fighting has erupted between the NATO backed Free Syrian Army of Syria, and the NATO backed Kurds of Syria. The Free Syrian Army comprises the supposedly moderate Sunni Islamist fighters of Syria. The truth is that there are no moderate Sunni Islamist fighters in Syria. All these fighters have been supported in the past by Al Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist organizations.

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ISIS.JPG

All the fighters in Syria are either Sunni Jihadists supported by Turkey, the Arabs and other Sunni countries, or Shia Jihadists, supported by Iran and Bashar al Assad. When we, the pro-Westernes, categorize them as “moderate” and “non-moderate”, we categorize them according to how hostile they are towards the Western World, because all of them think that we are stealing their oil. They question how hostile they are towards the West.

We call “moderate” the Sunni Islamists of Syria who are supported by Qatar, and other countries with relatively good relations with the Western World. But these Sunni Islamists are no better or different than the ones supported by countries hostile to the Western World. They are exactly the same.

The top officers of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are ex people of Saddam Hussein. Saddam was a Soviet ally, and these peope were receiving top training in the previous decades by KGB. The number 2 of ISIS, Abu Ali al Anbari, was a General of Saddam Hussein, and he was killed by the Americans in March 2016. One of the top 5 officers of ISIS, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, was the head of Saddam’ intelligence servies. These people had close connections with the KGB, they were receiving top training from the KGB, and they had supported many terrorist attacks against the United States. Putin was also a member of KGB.

But during the last few years these people have been working with Turkey. They have been selling oil to both Turkey and Assad, they have been receiving military assistance from Turkey, and they were promoting the Qatar-Turkey pipeline. Remember that Turkey also had good relations with Saddam Hussein, and was importing a lot of Iraqi oil. Moreover, Turkey, together with Saddam Hussein, were hunting the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey. Now the Kurds of Iraq have the oil and gas of Northern Iraq and Turkey needs them, but at the time Saddam controlled the oil of Iraqi Kurdistan, and Turkey did not need the Kurds of Iraq. Therefore Turkey also had close contacts with the people of Saddam Hussein, who were also Sunnis. Remember that Turkey, like the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, was infuriated when the Americans overturned Saddam Hussein in 2003, and the Shia majority of Iraq rose to power.

The point is that ISIS could have excellent relations with Russia, if it was not working with Turkey, and if it decided not to promote the Arab-Turkish pipelines i.e. Qatar-Turkey.

Map

Sunni Shia Pipelines.jpg

Remember that the Americans were accusing the Russians of attacking the Free Syrian Army i.e. the Sunni Islamists of Syria that were mainly supported by the Arabs of the Gulf, and for not attacking ISIS. The Americans were right. The Russians had no reason to attack their ex-allies of ISIS, as long as they stayed away from Assad. And they did stay away from Assad. If you check the maps you will see that ISIS stayed away from the coasts of Syria. It was the Free Syrian Army that was very close to Assd.

By not attacking ISIS, Russia did not hurt her relations with Turkey, at a time the two countries were discussing the Turk Stream Pipeline. Things changed of course once Turkey decided to down the Russian aircraft. Due to the rivalry between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, until the rise of King Salman in January 2015, the Turks would not really mind if the Russians were attacking Sunni gangs supported by Saudi Arabia and UAE in Syria. Remember that ISIS was also attacking Saudi Arabia.

However, after the rise of King Salman to power, the Turks and the Saudis decided to cooperate in Syria. Recently Turkey changed her stance towards ISIS, and started attacking ISIS. That’s why ISIS is getting weaker in Syria. Remember that the Arabs of the Gulf, even though they preferred Saddam Hussein from the Iranians, hated and were afraid of Saddam Hussein as well.

I do not know if it would be wise for ISIS to go against Turkey, but it might have no choice, since Turkey seems to have decided to go against ISIS, alongside the Americans. But if the Turks start hunting ISIS, ISIS would have a motive to cooperate with Russia, and Russia would have a motive to cooperate with ISIS.

But can Turkey be serious in attacking ISIS? I don’t know, but by aligning herself with the Americans and the Free Syrian Army, Turkey would have a great advantage i.e. to reduce the importance of the Kurds of Syria, because the Kurds of Syria are the only ally the Americans have against ISIS in Syria. Therefore the Kurds of Syria are very valuable for the Americans.

In Iraq the Americans also have the Iraqi Shias against ISIS of Iraq, but in Syria the Americans only have the Kurds of Syria. The Americans are already in a difficult situation with the Kurds of Syria, because the Kurds of Syria are also supported by Russia, and they support the PKK, which carries terrorist attacks in Turkey, and Turkey is a US ally. The PKK also blocks the oil pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey, that is already running, and the future gas pipeline that will run from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey.

As you can read at the Business Insider article, after the intense fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the Kurds of Syria, the Americans are in a very difficult position, because both of them are their allies. What is for sure is that if the Turks join the Free Syrian Army and attack ISIS for good, they will cause cracks in the American-Kurdish alliance in Syria. But on the other hand they will hand ISIS to Russia. But by doing that the Turks will get more support from the United States.

I also want to say that the ex director of CIA, General Petreaous, said that United States has to support the moderate parts of Al Qaeda in Syria, in order to fight ISIS. As I said there are no moderate elements of Al Qaeda. What he means is that the United States should work with the parts of Al Qaeda that are supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia etc, in order to attack ISIS i.e. the ex people of Saddam Hussein. Remember that Al Qaeda is a loose sum of Sunni gangs, who have a presence in many countries and are supported by many Muslim counties. Some gangs of Al Qaeda might cooperate with Qatar today, but with Pakistan tomorrow etc. Or they can leave Al Qaeda, for ISIS or some other terrorist groups.

Articles

“There’s a ‘secondary conflict’ brewing in northern Syria that ‘could easily spin out of control”, May 2016

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Two Syrian Kurds were shot dead by a former member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) last weekend, in what the executioner said was a response to an incident last monthin which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) killed around 50 FSA fighters and transported them back to Kurdish territory in an open-top trailer.

http://www.businessinsider.com/kurds-arabs-tension-syria-2016-5

 

“Former CIA Director Petraeus Urging Cooperation with Al-Qaeda Against ISIS”, September 2015

1st, 2nd, 3rd Paragraphs

Former CIA director and retired Army general David Petraeus is suggesting America should team up with al-Qaeda to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

That is the word from sources who relayed Petraeus’ advice to the Daily Beast. To be more specific, Petraeus has been “quietly urging U.S. officials to consider using so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to fight ISIS in Syria.”

Petraeus’ idea may not be strategically foolish or indefensible. It is a variation on the old “enemy of my enemy is my friend” play, a tactic the Daily Beast likens to Petraeus urging cooperation with some rather unsavory Sunni militias in Iraq to fight al-Qaeda elements of the insurgency. The idea is that some members of the Nusra Front might be sufficiently distant from “core al-Qaeda” and the heirs to Osama bin Laden’s bloody throne to make useful American proxies against the far greater menace of ISIS.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/09/01/report-former-cia-director-petraeus-urging-cooperation-with-al-qaeda-against-isis/

 

“The US didn’t create ISIS – Assad and Saddam did”, November 2015

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260645/us-didnt-create-isis-assad-and-saddam-did-daniel-greenfield

 

 

The Hezbollah – Al Qaeda Axis

A great article by the Gatestone Institute, about the alliance that was forged between Iran, Sudan, Al Qaeda and the Lebanese Hezbollah in the early 90s in Sudan. See “The New, Improved Axis of Jihad”, May 2013. The Gatestone Institute is a very anti-Jihadist and pro-Israel American think tank, and it has great and detailed articles on terrorism. James Woosley, the CIA director for the period 1993-1995, is included in its list of advisors.

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Χεζμπολάχ.JPG

This particular article was written in 2013 and it is a bit outdated, because in 2015 Sudan changed sides, and aligned itself with Saudi Arabia, after receiving considerable financial support. But for the previous decades Sudan has been the strongest ally of Iran in Africa. Moreover the US-Iranian relations have improved a lot, at least when compared to what they were in 2013, and therefore Iran cannot support Al Qaeda attacks against the United States in the way it could in the past. Moreover, the war in Syria strained the alliance between Al Qaeda, Iran and Hezbollah, because Al Qaeda is a Sunni terrorist group and it is fighting the Iranian ally Bashar al Assad.

The article writes about the alliance that was forged in Sudan in the early 90s, between Sudan, Iran, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden,  one of Al Qaeda’s founders, was a hero of the Afghanistan war against the Soviets (1979-1989). But when the Saudi King invited the Americans to fight Saddam Hussein, when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, Osama bin Laden, and many other Saudis, criticized the Saudi King, and he was expelled from Saudi Arabia.

Osama was the sun of one of the largest constructors of Saudi Arabia, and he grew up with the children of the royal family of Saud. We can therefore assume that when he became an enemy of the Saudi King he must had received very large sums of money from members of the royal family who were antagonizing the King. That was the point of the alliance that was forged in Sudan in the early 90s. Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iran could unite their forces to fight the Saudi King and the Americans.

Osama bin Laden was hiding in Sudan from 1992 to 1996, and he moved to Afghanistan only after the Americans threatened the Sudanese with military action, and the Sudanese had to ask him to leave. I guess that in Afganistan Osama bin Laden must had also support from Pakistan, and the tolerance of China, even though I am sure that China never participated in the terrorist attacks against the United States. China has many problems with Islamic terrorism too. But Pakistan, one of the strongest allies of China, is an Islamic country, and a very corrupt one, with very strong ties to Islamic terrorism. Remember that it was in Pakistan that the American navy seals killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, without asking the permission of the Pakistani authorities. After that the head of the CIA in Pakistan was poisoned, and the Pakistani doctor who helped the Americans trace Osama bin Laden was jailed, supposedly for connections with terrorist. See “Pakistan-Osama bin Laden”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/pakistan-osama-bin-laden/

I must say that when we talk about the alliance between Iran and Al Qaeda we are talking about a partial alliance against the Saudi King and the Americans, and not a full scale alliance, because Al Qaeda is a Sunni and terrorist group, and most of Al Qaeda’s financing comes from Sunni countries i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. Al Qaeda is a loose sum of Sunni Islamic gangs that operate in many countries, and which are influenced by many countries. A new gang might join, and an existing gang might leave. But Al Qaeda is a Sunni terrorist group, and as you can see Al Qaeda and Iran are killing each other in Syria.

Gatestone mentions the names of the officers who forged the alliance between Iran, Sudan, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah in the early 90s, and it also says that training camps were opened in Sudan and South Lebanon, and Hezbollah was the one training the men recruited by Osama bin Laden for Al Qaeda.

Keep in mind that before the war in Syria, which among other things is a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it would have been much easier for Al Qaeda to cooperate with Iran. Remember that both Iran and the Saudis are hurt by the American efforts to bring the oil and gas of Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kazakstan) to the Indian Ocean.

Moreover there are many in Saudi Arabia who perceive the traditional alliance between Saudi Arabia and United States as an obstacle to stronger ties with China, which is now the big importer of Saudi oil. Moreover the American military presence in the Persian Gulf was a main part of the Iranian propaganda. Iran, and the other Saudi enemies, would always use the American military presence in Saudi Arabia to describe the Saudi King as an apostate who brought the infidels to the Holy Cities of Islam i.e. Mecca and Median. In 2003, after the 9/11 attacks, the Americans finally decided to move their bases to Qatar.

The article mentions many attacks carried out by the Iran-Al Qaeda-Hezbollah axis, with the 9/11 attack being the greatest achievement of this alliance. According to Gatestone, Venezuela was the base for the Iranian operations in the American continent, and the Lebanese Hezbollah was using the Margarita Island of Venezuela for its drugs trade with the Mexican drug cartels. Hezbollah is using drug trafficking in order to fill the gaps of its budget.

Note that Venezuela supported Iran, Russia and Assad in the Syrian Arab Spring, even though Qatar has made a lot of investments in Venezuela. Hezbollah was also using the banking system of Venezuela for its operations in the American continent.

For the article see:

“The New, Improved Axis of Jihad”, May 2013

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Indicators and warnings continue to grow concerning the resurgence of an “Axis of Jihad” comprised of Iran, Hizballah, and al-Qa’eda. This axis is not new: its three actors, both national and sub-national, have been working together in an operational terror alliance for over two decades. Still, so many seem unaware not just of this alliance, but of the ideological bonds that brought them together in Khartoum, Sudan, in the early 1990s and have kept them together to the current day. The bond is as old as Islam, and includes the commitment to jihad [war in the name of Islam] and Islamic Shariah law; the threat is to all free and democratic societies which stand in the way of global Islamic government and the forcible application of Islamic Shariah Law.

This modern-day Axis of Jihad was formed in the Sudan under the aegis of the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Omar al-Bashir and his sometime political ally, National Congress Party chairman Hassan al-Turabi. Al-Qa’eda as such had not yet taken its current form, but after the end of the 1980s Afghan war against the Soviet Union, Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri had found safe haven in the Sudan. Al-Bashir and Turabi are pan-Islamists, meaning they see the world in terms of the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam, where Shariah is enforced) versus the Dar al-Harb (everywhere that is not under Islamic Law). Such a worldview chooses to disregard the ancient intra-Islamic schism between Sunni and Shi’a and instead to unify the entire Islamic world in jihad against the “infidel.”

So it was that al-Bashir and Turabi invited the Iranian regime leadership and its Hizballah terror proxies to Khartoum in late 1990 to meet with the future leadership of al-Qa’eda. Then-Iranian president (and once again a 2013 candidate for the office) Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, intelligence director Ali Fallahian, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Reza’i and other top Iranian leadership figures accepted al-Bashir’s invitation and traveled to Khartoum, along with Islamic jihadis from around the region.

There, and in subsequent meetings that took place in Khartoum throughout the early 1990s, the alliance was formed among Iran, Hizballah, and what soon would be known as al-Qa’eda. Usama bin Laden was especially interested in the explosives expertise coupled with a “martyrdom” mentality he had seen demonstrated by Hizballah with such deadly effect against Western targets. It was arranged that Imad Mughniyeh, Hizballah’s top terror operative, would commit to training Usama bin Laden’s growing cadre of terrorists in explosives techniques, especially those involving suicide truck bombings that could bring down large buildings. Training camps were set up in Sudan, Lebanon, and elsewhere where al-Qa’eda’s would-be shahid recruits could learn this craft. The attacks at Khobar Towers, the U.S. East Africa Embassies in Dar Es-Salaam and Nairobi, against the USS Cole, and eventually the 9/11 attacks themselves were all the result of this terror alliance.

17th, 18th, 19th Paragraphs

The Tri-Border region of South America, where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay met, served as an early hub of terror operations from the 1980s onward for the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires and Hizballah, which jointly directed the 1992 and 1994 terror attacks against the Israeli Embassy and Jewish Cultural Center, respectively, from this lawless area. Since 2005,Iran’s operational base in Venezuela has become the nexus for its operations across the Western Hemisphere, including South, Central, and North America. Diplomatic relationships with Venezuela and other Latin American regimes hostile to the U.S., such as Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua also provide Iran with a means of evading international isolation and sanctions, obtaining a ready source of fraudulent travel documents, and laundering money.

Hizballah’s operations in the Western Hemisphere, including inside the U.S. and Canada, are noted with special concern by U.S. officials: former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff remarked that Hizballah made al-Qa’eda “look like a minor league team,” while former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage has called Hizballah the “A team” and al-Qa’eda the “B team.” Masters of clandestine intelligence tradecraft, as well as among the most highly trained and ideologically-committed special operations forces anywhere, Hizballah (which is trained by the Iranians) expends considerable effort establishing cell networks across the Americas. These cells are assigned to pre-attack casing and surveillance; fundraising via a variety of scams like cigarette smuggling as well as narcotrafficking; and operational planning for terror attacks. Former U.S. Ambassador Roger Noriega testifies regularly for Congress to detail Hizballah’s collaboration with narcotraffickers and guerrilla groups (such as the FARC — Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) whose drug-running and terror training activities are becoming ever more complex, dangerous, and threatening to U.S. national security, as well as that of friends and allies throughout the hemisphere.

Venezuela’s Margarita Island, better known as a prime tourist destination, has become a safe haven for terrorists and drug smugglers, as well as Hizballah’s banking and finance hub in the Western Hemisphere. According to Noriega, Hizballah runs countless businesses and safe houses on the island. Even closer to home, Hizballah has forged operational relationships with Mexican drug cartels such as Los Zetas. The links are opportunistic, rather than ideological, on both sides; Hizballah increasingly uses narcotics trafficking to fill funding gaps left by cutbacks in Iranian largesse, while the cartels benefit from Hizballah’s explosives, tunneling, and weapons expertise. Al-Qa’eda, too, has boasted about the ease of moving non-conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction into the U.S. via the Mexican drug tunnels. Kahlili’s reportingnames al-Qa’eda operative Adnan Shukrijumah, who has been spotted and tracked over the years by U.S. and allied security agencies from Canada to the U.S., and south into Latin America, among the list of operational commanders awaiting attack orders from Iranian Qods Force commander Qassem Suleimani, the overall Iran-Hizballah-al-Qa’eda coalition commander.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3726/axis-of-jihad

 

 

Pan-Arabism VS Pan-Islamism

Pan-Arabism i.e. Arabism and Socialism, is the ideology that was used by the Egyptian socialist dictator Gamal Nasser, the Libyan socialist dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and other pro-Soviet socialist dictators of the Arab World, in order to attack the Arab and Persian Kings of the Persian Gulf i.e. the Saudi Family, the Shah of Iran etc. The main idea of Pan-Arabism, besides its socialist economic model, is for the Arab people to unite, in order to act more efficiently as an international oil cartel, and synchronize (reduce) their production, in order to sell oil at higher prices to United States, Europe and China i.e. “save our oil for our children”.

Map 1

Map The Arab World.JPG

Map 2 The Arab World

Map Arab World.JPG

http://martinsidwell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Arab-World-Map.jpg

Pan-Islamism on the other hand does not separate Muslims to Arabs and non-Arabs, or to Sunnis and Shias etc. Pan-Islamism wants all Muslims to unite in order to form an efficient oil cartel. The commercial ambitions of Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism are the same, but Pan-Islamism involves a much larger oil cartel than Pan-Arabism.

Map 3

Map Islamic World.JPG

Map 4

Map of Islamic World.JPG

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_Muslim_Population_Map.png

Remember that when Nasser was using Pan-Arabism in the 60s and 70s, except of attacking the Saudis, he also wanted to attack the Iranians, who were cooperating with Israel, and were exporting oil through the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, thus avoiding the Suez Canal which was controlled by the Arabs of Egypt.

Today Erdogan is using Pan-Islamism, because Turkey does not have oil and natural gas, but she has the strongest army of the Muslim World, due to her alliance with NATO during the last decades. The Islamists of Turkey want to export to Europe the oil and natural gas of both the Arabs and the Persians (Iranians), but also of the Muslim countries of Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan).

The Saudis were also using Pan-Islamism, in order to attack Gamal Nasser, who was using Pan-Arabism in order to get hold of the oil of the Persian Gulf. In the 50s and 60s, with the use of Pan-Arabism, Gamal Nasser was doing to the Saudis what Erdogan is doing to them in the 21st Century, by using Pan-Islamism.

The Saudis of course are not using socialism as a part of their Pan-Islamic ideology, because they have Kings. The main advantage of the Saudis is their oil revenue, which allows them to make very large contributions to the other Arab countries, in exchange for their support. Gamal Nasser could always promise more than the Saudi King, because promises are always easier to find than actual money. Gamal Nasser also had the support of members of the Saud family who were enemies of the King.

The other advantage of the Saudis is that the Holy cities of Islam i.e. Mecca and Medina, are located in Saudi Arabia. Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca and died in Medina, and the Muslim people believe that it was in Mecca that Allah gave the Koran to Muhammad. The Saud family believes that they are the natural leaders of the Islamic World, because during the previous centuries it was their ancestors who were leading the revolts against the Ottoman Empire at the Arabian Peninsula. The Sauds consider themselves to be true seeds of Prophet Muhammad, because Muhammad was born in their land.

Prophet Muhammad was a very honest merchant, and he is the father of Islam. With Islam, the people of the Middle East were able to unite during the 7th century C.E., and they managed to block the “infidels” (Christians) from the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. After the rise of Islam the Christians had to buy the goods of Asia i.e. spices, silk etc, at much higher prices from the Muslim merchants of the Mediterranean Sea, because they were no longer allowed to use the Silk Roads themselves.

Map The Islamic Iron Curtain

Map The Iron Curtain of Islam.JPG

After the rise of Islam, the Islamic World was able to control international commerce, and that lasted until around 1500 C.E., when the Christians conquered the oceans, and found alternative routes to Asia i.e. around Africa and through the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Christians also discovered the New World i.e. the American Continent. From 1500 the importance of the Middle East and the Islamic World started decreasing, and it became again of extreme importance in the 20th Century, due to its very rich oil reserves.

Map Vasco da Gama.JPG

 

What is important is that Nasser’s Pan-Arabism and Erdogan’s Pan-Islamism follow the legacy of Prophet Muhammad, except that every Muslim leader is using the legacy of the Prophet in his own way.

As I said the Saudi Pan-Islamism does not include socialism, and it is based on the fact that the Saud family was the head of the revolutions against the Ottomans in the Arabian Peninsula, and also in their belief that they are true seeds of the Prophet himself.

Erdogan’s Pan-Islamism is the Muslim Brotherhood’s version, and it involves a Socialist Islamic Union, which would remind the Soviet Union, except that religion would play a major role, while it was almost banned in the Soviet Union. The Russian Communists wanted to assimilate their Muslim colonies i.e. Central Asia etc, and they almost banned religion.

Erdogan would not be the King of the Socialist Islamic Union he is dreaming of, like the Saudi case, but neither he would be the General Secretary, as it was the case in the Soviet Union. Erdogan would be the Sultan or the Caliphate of this Socialist Islamic Union.

You should not see Erdogan as a crazy man, because it does not mean that he has to unite the whole Muslim World in a Socialist Islamic Union in order to be successful. In politics it is not all or nothing. Erdogan has already managed to “convince” the Saudis to pay Turkey billions of dollars, and he has managed to convince the Qataris to invite Turkey to establish a military base in Qatar, in order to protect Qatar from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Qataris not only are more obedient than the Saudis to the Turks, but they also pay them billions of dollars, and they hope that they will manage with Turkey to construct the Qatar-Turkey Pipeline. The Turks and the Qataris see positively the inclusion of Iran in this pipeline, because Iran and Qatar share the largest gas field in the world i.e. the South Pars/North Fields. The Saudis on the other hand are not as rich as the Iranians and the Qataris in natural gas, and they consume internally their gas production, in order not to have more troubles with Russia. The Saudis and the Russians are the two largest oil exporters.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are able to discuss, because Saudi Arabia mainly exports oil to Asia, and Russia mainly exports oil to Europe, and Saudi Arabia does not export natural gas. Therefore there is some room for cooperation between the Saudi and the Russians, given of course that Russia would protect the Saudis from the Turks and the Iranians.

However after the death of King Abdullah and the rise of King Salman to power in January 2015, the Saudis and the Turks have reached an agreement, and they are allies again. But the Turks do not even want the Arab League to operate under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, with the argument that Arabs are not different than Muslims. The Turks want Saudi Arabia to completely surrender herself to Turkey’s leadership. So we have to wait and see if the Saudi-Turkey alliance will last. Remember that the Sauds were leading the revolts against the Ottomans many centuries ago.

From Erdogan’s point of view, if he manages to put under Turkish influence all the regions controlled by Turkey before the First World War (1914-1918), he would still be able to control the oil and natural gas pipelines, but also the trade routes of the New Silk Roads that will connect Asia to Europe after the rise of China.

Map 5 The Ottoman Empire Before WW1

Χάρτης Οθωμανιή Αυτοκρατορία.JPG

http://images.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/files/styles/insert_main_wide_image/public/ottoman_empire_territory_lost_copy_copy.jpg

P.S.

I said that the Saudis, like the Turks, have also promoted a Pan-Islamic model, but that’s not accurate, because Saudi Arabia promoted the idea of a united Islamic World under her leadership, but she did not include Iran in this Union. The Saudi model referred a Sunni Islamic Union.

Erdogan on the other hand promotes a true Pan-Islamic model, because he wants to send to Europe the oil and gas of Iran, but also of Iraq and Azerbaijan, which are also Shia countries, and Erdogan wants Turkey to be in good terms with the Shia World too.

See also “The Islamic Iron Curtain of the 7th Century

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/the-islamic-iron-curtain-of-the-7th-century/

 

The Geopolitics of the Civil War of Shia Islam

The US Invasion of Iraq

With the attack on Iraq in 2003, the United States overturned the Sunni Arab minority of Sadddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was a socialist dictator who was governing Iraq by oppressing the Arab Shia (Shiite) majority, and also by oppressing the Kurds of Iraq. When the Americans overturned Saddam Hussein, the Shia Arab majority of Iraq became the dominant political force, and the ex-people of Saddam Hussein became the leaders of ISIS in Iraq, and many of them also became dominant figures of ISIS in Syria.

Remember that during the previous decades the Alawite minority of Syria was running Syria, and therefore the Sunni Arabs of Syria were not the ones to hold the top positions in the Syrian public sector and in the Syrian army. On the contrary, the Sunnis of Iraq were running Iraq, and they were holding the top positions of the public sector and the Iraqi army, and they were more qualified to hold top positions in ISIS. For more details about what happened in Iraq see “The Truth about the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003”, and “Saddamm Hussein : The Father of ISIS in Iraq”.

1) “The Truth about the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/the-truth-about-the-us-invasion-of-iraq-in-2003/

2) “Saddamm Hussein : The Father of ISIS in Iraq”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/saddam-hussein-the-father-of-isis-in-iraq/

To understand the war for the oil and natural gas of Syria and Iraq it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the region’s geography, and also a basic knowledge of the main ethnic and religious divisions of these two countries. Therefore, before addressing the issue of the civil war of the Shia Muslims of Iraq, I will use some standard maps that depict the geography and ethnic divisions of Iraq and Syria.

The first map shows the main Iraqi divisions i.e. the Shia Arabs (green) of Iraq, the Sunni Arabs (yellow) of Iraq, and the Kurds (blue) of Iraq. The Kurds are normally Sunnis, but they act on their Kurdish identity, and not on their religious identity. The white-yellow part of the map shows the Iraqi desert, with few Sunni elements. As you can see the Sunni elements are positioned along the rivers Tiger and Euphrates.

Map of Iraq : Shia Arabs (green), Sunni Arabs (yellow), Kurds (blue), Iraqi desert with moderate Sunni elements (white)

Map Ethnic Groups of Iraq.JPG

http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Iraq_Ethnic_lg.png

The second map shows the main divisions of Syria i.e. Alawite Arabs (green) of Syria, Sunni Arabs (yellow) of Syria, and the Kurds (khaki) of Syria. Again the white-yellow part shows the Syrian desert, which like the Iraqi deserts has some Sunni elements. As you can see the Sunni elements of Syria are mainly positioned across the Euphrates river.

Map of Syria Sunni Arabs (yellow), Kurds (khaki), Alawite Arabs (green), the Syrian desert with some Sunni elements (white)

Map Ethnic Groups of Syria.JPG

http://www.geocurrents.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Syria-Ethnicity-Summary-Map.png

Speaking of deserts, I must also add the map of Jordan. Jordan is a predominantly Sunni Arab country, and deserts (orange) account for most of her territory. The Arab Peninsula (Saudi Arabia) is also a desert. The Southern part of Israel is also a desert (Negev), and obviously the Sinai Peninsula is a desert.

The Map of Jordan

Jordan Map.JPG

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/jordan_veg_1986.jpg

Actually most of the Middle East is a desert, together with some mountains, with the exception of the fertile crescent i.e. Mesopotamia (Tiger and Euphrates rivers), the coasts of East Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile River in Egypt. Before the age of oil the people of the Middle East were killing each other for water. Sahara, the largest desert in the world, covers most of the part of North Africa. Which parts of the Middle East are deserts and mountains are important, because they might provide a physical barrier for the construction of pipelines, or make these pipelines more vulnerable to sabotage.

Map of Deserts

Map of Deserts.JPG

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/063/cache/map-world-desert_6364_600x450.jpg

Map Mesopotamia

Map of Mesopotamia.JPG

http://www.slidego.com/res/palooza/world/MiddleEast-geography/B727973D.jpg

At the following map you can see a night view of Syria before the war. You can see that most of the lights are at the Mediterranean coasts and across the Euphrates River.

Map Syria

Syrian Night View.JPG

Map The Syrian Desert

Map Syrian Desert.JPG

http://www.nybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/syria-map-101013.png

At the following map you can see the Iraqi desert (South-West Iraq) and the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan at the northern part of the country, and of course Mesopotamia.

Map Desert of Iraq

Map Desert of Iraq.JPG

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/images/iraqart/map_people.gif

The Shia-Sunni Pipelines

 

All these maps are very important for the understanding of the oil and natural gas wars of the Middle East, but also for the internal conflict of Shia Iraq. Keep in mind that the war in Syria is very different from the war in Iraq. The war in Iraq happened because the Americans wanted to overturn Saddam Hussein, one of their bitter rivals, who had supported many terrorist attacks against them, in order to bring to power the Shia majority of Iraq, which was oppressed by Saddam Hussein. The Shias of Iraq saw the Americans as liberators. By overturning Saddam the Americans also strengthened the Kurds of Iraq, who are another American ally.

On the other hand, the war in Syria had nothing to do with the Americans, but with the wish of the Turks and the Arabs to construct the Arab-Turkish natural gas pipelines (Qatar-Turkey), through the Sunni parts of Syria, and in order to prevent Iran from reaching the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq and Syria. I say that because people forget that the Americans did not intervene in Syria. The rich in oil Iraq is very important for the Americans and the Chinese, while the poor in oil and gas Syria is not very important for them. But Syria is very important for the Arabs, the Iranians, the Turks and the Russians, because she can be used to export Iranian oil and gas to the Mediterranean Sea, or to export Arab oil and gas to Turkey and Europe.

Map Sunni VS Shia Pipelines

Sunni Shia Pipelines.JPG

 

I have uploaded many posts about the Sunni-Shia pipeline war, and I do not want to further discuss the issue. Instead I want to write about the internal rivalry of Shia Iraq, and about how geography shapes this rivalry. As you can read at the following Anadolu article, many American analysts expect a conflict among the Shia Muslims of Iraq. Note that Anadolu is one of the main state-owned news agencies of Turkey. See Anadolu “US expert warns of conflict among Shia groups in Iraq”, April 2016.

As you can read at the Anadolu article, a very important Shia (Shiite) cleric of Iraq i.e. Muqtada al Sadr, is no longer supporting the Shia leadership of Iraq, and he wants Iraq to be governed by technocrats instead. Obviously technocrats will pay more attention to the economic fundamentals and not to religious factors i.e. who is a Sunni and who is a Shia Muslim. Al-Sadr comes from a very big Shia family of Iraq, and some members of his family were even killed by the Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein. You can read many articles about the rivalry and the internal conflict of Shia Iraq. See for example Al Monitor “The collapse of Iraq’s Shiite alliance”, April 2016.

In the past, Sadr had been connected to Iran, but now he wants better relations with the Sunni Arabs of Iraq, with the Kurds of Iraq, and also with Turkey. See Al Monitor “Sadr Allies With Sunnis to Challenge Maliki”, January 2013.

Given that Sadr played a major role in the Sunni-Shia war of Iraq, it might sounds strange to hear him calling for better relations with the Sunnis. Moreover, many of his supporters want Iran out of Iraq. Remember that Iran was traditionally supporting the Iraqi Shias and the Iraqi Kurds against Saddam Hussein, in order to destabilize Iraq, because Iraq and Saddam Hussein was on of Iran’s main rivals.

What is important, and what you should remember, is not the name of Sadr, because tomorrow Sadr might hold different views. The important thing is how geography shapes the energy policy and options of Shia Iraq, and therefore the unity of Shia Iraq. There is a lot of discussion about the Shia and Sunni pipelines. The Syrian Arab Alawites are a version of Shia Islam, and if the  Araba Alawites of Syria and the Arab Shias of Iraq are in power, and they emphasize their religion i.e. Shia Islam, and not their ethnicity i.e. Arabism, they would ally with Iran, and the Shia pipelines would go ahead i.e. Iran-Iraq-Syria, while the Sunni pipelines would not go ahead (Qatar-Turkey).

If on the other hand the Shia Arabs of Iraq, and the Alawite Arabs of Syria, emphasize their Arabism and not their religon, they will ally themselves with the Turks, the Saudis and the Qataris, and the Sunni Pipelines will go ahead (Qatar-Turkey), and not the Shia pipelines. There are also the Sunni-Shia pipelines i.e. Shia Iraq-Sunni Iraq-Sunni Syria-Turkey.

Map Sunni-Shiite Pipelines

Al Sadr

http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/assets/4396135/sunni-shia-kurd_state_crop.jpg

You can see that there are many combinations of Sunni pipelines, or Shia pipelines, or Sunni-Shia pipelines, and I have only included a few of them on the map. For example two Shia-Sunni pipeline that are already running are the Iran-Turkey pipeline, and the Azerbaijan-Turkey pipeline. Note that Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Bahrain are the only Muslim countries with Shiite majorities. Actually Turkey and Iran are talking about enhancing their Shia-Sunni pipelines in order to send Iranian natural gas to Europe through Turkey.

Table Shia Muslims

Shia Muslims.JPG

http://www.pewforum.org/2009/10/07/mapping-the-global-muslim-population/

 

The Civil War of Shia Islam

To analyze the violence among the Shias of Iraq one must answer one question. Is it better for the Shias of Iraq to cooperate with Iran, and support the Shia pipelines  (Iran-Iraq-Syria), or is it better for them to cooperate with the Arabs and the Turks, and support the Sunni pipelines (Qatar-Turkey) and the Shia-Sunni pipelines (Shia Iraq – Sunni Iraq – Sunni Syria – Turkey)?

The Shia pipeline (Iran-Iraq-Syria) supposedly has Russia’s support, but the truth is that Russia does not want any pipeline of the Middle East to reach Europe, because it would hurt the Russian exports to Europe. For Russia the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline is a necessary evil in order to block the Qatar-Turkey pipeline.

The Sunni pipeline (Qatar-Turkey) has the support of United States, or it used to have the support of United States, because now it is difficult to say whether the United States is closer to Iran or closer Turkey, due to the American-Turkish rivalry in Syria over the issue of ISIS and the Kurds. The Americans were supporting the Kurds against ISIS in Syria, and the Turks were supporting ISIS against the Kurds. Now we see the Turks changing their stance towards ISIS, and I guess that will ease a bit the relationship between Turkey and United States.

In the initial stages of the Arab Spring we saw the Shias of Iraq aligning themselves with Iran, which was a normal thing, given Iran has been traditionally supporting the Iraqi Shias against the Sunnis of Iraq. But now the Iraqi Shias are in power, and they need the Americans and the Iranians only as long as they have to fight the Sunnis of Iraq, who are supported by the Turks and the Arabs of the Gulf.

But if the Iraqi Shias were to normalize their relations with the Sunnis, and therefore the Turks and the Arabs would stop supporting the Sunnis of Iraq against the Shias of Iraq, the Iraqi Shias would no longer need the Iranians and the Americans. And then the Iraqi Shias could align themselves with Turkey, in order to send oil and natural gas to Turkey through the Sunni parts of Iraq and Syria, and enjoy Turkey’s military protection. Remember that Shia Iraq is rich in oil, and therefore it is a natural competitor of Iran, while Turkey has no oil and gas, and therefore is a natural buyer of Iraqi oil and gas. That’s the reason Turkey had relatively good relations with Saddam Hussein. They were also hunting the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey together.

Moreover the Iraqi Shias do not need Iran to access the Persian Gulf, because they already have access to the Persian Gulf. The whole idea of the Iraq-Iran alliance was that Iraq would allow to reach the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq, and in exchange Iran would allow Iraq to use the Mediterranean Sea through its influence in Syria. Other than that the two countries are natural competitors in the oil and gas markets. Therefore if the Shias of Iraq do not thing they have a chance of reaching the Mediterranean Sea, they would no longer have a motive to cooperate with Iran against the Sunnis. Instead they could use Turkey to reach Europe.

Obviously if the Iraqi Shias and the Turks reach an agreement, the Russians and the Iranians will use the Kurds of Turkey and Syria to block them. The Russians and the Iranians could also use the argument that Syria is a single country, and a traditional Russian and Iranian ally, and therefore one of their allies i.e. Assad, should govern Syria. That would be a problem for the Iraqi Shias, if they were to align themselves with Turkey, but there is no scenario without problems. Obviously the Turks and the Arabs would say that democratic ideals require elections in Syria, hoping that with elections the Sunni majority of Syria would increase their influence over Syria.

The Russians could also ask for a federal Syria, which would be designed in a way that would not permit the construction of competing to Gazprom pipelines, either because of ethnic barriers i.e. the Kurds and the Alawites of Syria, or because of physical barriers i.e. mountains and deserts. See “Russia Wants a Federal Syria”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/russia-wants-a-federal-syria/

Map of Kurdistan

Map of Kurdistan.JPG

Even though I have no idea about what will eventually happen inside Shia Iraq, I can say for sure that there will be competing forces. There will be the Shia Iraqis who will call for the traditional alliance with Iran, and there will be the Shia Iraqis who will call for normalization with the Sunni world. I can also say for sure that Iran will arm the Shia forces that will support the traditional alliance with Iran.

The Americans will also have a motive to cooperate with Iran in Iraq, because the Iraqi Sunnis i.e. the ex-people of Saddam Hussein, always hated the Americans, and after the Americans overturned them in 2003 I would expect them to hate them even more. Therefore the Iraqi Shias that would call for normalization with the Iraqi Sunnis would probably be anti-American. As you can read at the following Debka article, the Americans and the Iranians are having secret talks about how to resolve the conflict inside Shia Iraq. See Debka “US, Iran holding secret talks to stabilize situation in Baghdad: sources”, May 2016.

Note that if the Turks and the Arabs of the Persian Gulf want to have some American support in Iraq, they would have to support Sunni forces in Iraq that are not anti-American. The problem is that I do not know if there are non anti-American Sunni forces in Iraq. The point is that as long as the leaders of the Iraqi Sunnis are the ex-people of Saddam Hussein, and they are so strongly anti-American, the Americans will have a motive to cooperate with Iran in Iraq. Also note that the United States have improved their relationship with India, and has hurt its relationship with Pakistan, and given the traditional links of Pakistan with terrorism, Pakistan might supports terrorists against the United States, either in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places. The United States are already accusing Pakistan of supporting terrorists against the United States. See “Pakistan – Osama bin Laden”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/pakistan-osama-bin-laden/

An important article about the internal conflict of Shia Iraq is Al Arabiya’s “Turkey and Iraq convulse: Bad news for Iran”, May 2016. Al Arabiya is one of the largest Saudi newspapers. The article says that many people expect al Sadr to support Iran, because of the ties he had in the past with Iran, but according to Al Arabiya they are missing Sadr’s pro-Arab rhetoric.

If Sadr’s rhetoric is pro-Arab (nationalist), instead of pro-Shia (religius), it means he will support the alliance of the Arab Shiites of Iraq with Turkey, and he will support the Shia-Sunni pipelines (Iraq-Turkey). If his rhetoric is pro-Shia (religious), and not pro-Arab (nationalist), it means he will support the alliance with Iran, and the Shia-Alawite pipelines (Iran-Iraq-Syria). I cannot predict whether the pro-Shia or the pro-Arab rhetoric will prevail in Shia Iraq, but I can see why many analysts believe there will be a Shia civil war.

Also note that Iraq has been traditionally cooperating with Jordan, because Iraq needed Jordan to reach the Red Sea, in order to avoid the Persian Gulf, which was controlled by two rivals of Iraq in the oil markets i.e. Iran and Saudi Arabia. Moreover Syria was an Iranian ally and an enemy of Iraq.

Map Jordan-Iraq

Map of Jordan Iraq.JPG

Jordan not only supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), while Syria supported Iran, but Jordan also supported Iraq in the Iraq-Kuwait war of 1990, which infuriated Saudi Arabia and United States. Note that even though the Iraq of Saddam Hussein was a pro-Soviet country and Jordan was a pro-American country, the two countries were close allies because Jordan needed the Iraqi oil, and Iraq needed Jordan’s access to the Red Sea. I mention Jordan because the Shias of Iraq need the Sunnis of Iraq if they want to reach Jordan and the Red Sea through Jordan.

Saudi Arabia also needed Jordan to export oil through Jordan and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea (Trans-Arabian Pipeline).

Map Trans-Arabian Pipeline

Map Trans-Arabian Pipeline.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Arabian_Pipeline#/media/File:Tapline.png

Note that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon were constantly fighting about transit fees, and there were also many terrorist attacks on the pipeline, I guess organized by Syria, Iraq and Egypt, and in 1976 Saudi Arabia stopped exporting oil to the Mediterranean. Only the part Saudi Arabia-Jordan was left operational, but after the Jordanian support to Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Kuwait war, the Saudis cut off supplies to Jordan to punish the Jordanians.

Note that the super tankers made oil transport much easier and cheaper, and that’s why Saudi Arabia could abandon the Trans-Arabian Pipeline. Things are more complicated with natural gas, because the ships that carry natural gas are much more expensive than traditional tankers. Moreover LNG requires an expensive procedure in order to liquefy it and then regasify it. Therefore the rule is that natural gas pipelines are much more important than oil pipelines.

From all the above one can assume that there are many reasons that would make the Shias of Iraq to consider changing sides and aligning themselves with the Turks and the Arabs. The main problem is that Iran has a lot of influence in Shia Iraq, and also that the Shias of Iraq have been fighting with the Sunnis of Iraq for many years, and therefore it would require some time to reconcile the two sides. But if the Turks, the Qataris and the Saudis support the moderate Sunni elements of Iraq, the second problem would be somewhat easier to overcome.

Articles

“US expert warns of conflict among Shia groups in Iraq”, April 2016

1st , 2nd Paragraphs

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has the potential to trigger an armed conflict among Shia groups, former U.S. envoy to Syria Robert Ford told Anadolu Agency Saturday.

Certainly it means two things,” Ford said. “It means, number one, there can be more political and maybe armed conflict between different Iraqi Shia elements between Muqtada al-Sadr and Nour al Maliki-supported groups, and maybe between militias belonging to some of the Iranian-backed groups and Muqtada al-Sadr supporters.

10th, 11th Paragraphs

“When all of these is happening in Baghdad, it of course must have an impact on the ability of the Iraqi national army to fight the Islamic State [Daesh] to date in Ninewah and in Anbar,” he said. “It will affect budgets, it will affect personnel rotations, soldiers and their officers who rotate in an out.”

He added that it would be impossible to imagine that this political fighting in Baghdad will not hurt the Iraqi effort against Daesh, which may “at least make it slower, impede it.”

http://aa.com.tr/en/world/us-expert-warns-of-conflict-among-shia-groups-in-iraq/564345

“Sadr Allies With Sunnis to Challenge Maliki”, January 2013

1st Paragraph

No one in Iraq had ever imagined that a popular and political alliance would one day bring together Muqtada al-Sadr and the Sunni Arabs. The two parties participated in an excruciating civil war (2006-2008) that resulted in thousands of casualties on both sides.
Sunni Arabs have always viewed Sadr as the commander of an armed militia. However, they are now strongly calling on him to join them in their protests against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

6th Paragraph

With the failure of efforts aimed at dismissing Maliki through a former political alliance between Kurdistan regional leader Massoud Barzani, Sunni-backed Iraqiya List leader Iyad Allawi and Sadr, the demonstrations that recently started in Anbar reshuffled the cards through an alliance that is in the offing between Sadr and influential Sunni clerics led by Sheikh Abdul-Malik al-Saadi.

10th Paragraph

Today, the Sunnis share just as many differences as they do common goals with Sadr. The two parties have detainees in prison and they both hope that they will be released by a general amnesty. They both believe that Maliki monopolizes power in a bid to serve the interests of his party and his close associates. Moreover, they both have a close relationship with Turkey, a strategic ally of Barzani.

12th, 13th Paragraph

But when Sadr went to Iran after 2008 to study, his personality significantly changed. His close associates say that this resulted from his experience with the mistakes of Iran’s ruling theory. In fact, when he returned to Iraq he adopted a different viewpoint regarding the relationship between the Shiite majority and the Sunni minority and described it as a “tolerant relationship,” rather than a “hostile” one. Moreover, he started saying that “Maliki’s entire policy is offensive to the Shiites because it portrays them as a tyrannical majority in the eyes of the Kurds and the Sunnis.” Sadr concluded a press conference by saying that “Iraq is not only composed of Shiites, but of Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians, Mandaeans and Jews as well.”

The Sunnis got that message, embraced it and translated it into demonstrations. Thus, they turned the former militia leader into a new Shiite hero who perceives them as partners, not followers.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/sadr-sunnis-to-oust-maliki.html

“Iraq’s Sadr calls for release of Turkish hostages”, September 2015

1st Paragraph

Iraq‘s powerful Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has condemned the kidnapping of 18 Turkish workers in Baghdad last week and said he was ready to assist the government in securing their release.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-turkey-idUSKCN0RD0LA20150913

“Sadr Gives Maliki ‘Final Warning”, May 2013

3rd, 4th Paragraphs

Sadr’s call came after a series of bloody acts of violence, including 10 car bombs that targeted Shiite neighborhoods in the capital and resulted in the killing of at least 70 people. Sadr said in the statement that “terrorism has influence and control in Iraq. They (militants) frequently step up their bombings, which are met by mere condemnation or silence by all parties.”

He added that “the people are now without a government to protect them and are facing terrorism without help from anyone.” The Shiite leader called on Iraqis to “eliminate hatred from the hearts, defuse sectarian rancor, and return to God.”

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/05/sadr-maliki-iraq-warning.html

“Iraq’s Sadr in Turkey for talks with Erdogan”, May 2009

7th Paragraph

An anti-American firebrand, Sadr has a huge following among Iraq’s Shi’ite poor, and his allies won enough seats in the January 31 polls for Iraq’s provincial councils to remain a political player. Shi’ites are the majority Muslim sect in Iraq.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-turkey-iraq-sadr-idUKTRE5403VZ20090501

“Turkey and Iraq convulse: Bad news for Iran”, May 2016

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/05/08/Turkey-and-Iraq-convulse-Bad-news-for-Iran.html

“The collapse of Iraq’s Shiite alliance”, April 2016

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/shiite-abadi-maliki-kurds-erdogan-pkk-syria-krg-egypt-media.html

“US, Iran holding secret talks to stabilize situation in Baghdad: sources”, Μάιος2016

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/16312/US-Iran-holding-secret-talks-to-stabilize-situation-in-Baghdad-sources

Jordan recalls ambassador from Iran, accusing Tehran of ‘interference’

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/18042016

Jordan closes Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Amman

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/jordan-closes-muslim-brotherhood-headquarters-amman-160413114049536.html

Jordan’s king accuses Turkey of sending terrorists to Europe – See more at:http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/jordans-king-accuses-turkey-sending-terrorists-europe-1687591648

Jordan foils ‘criminal plot linked to ISIS’ in deadly raid

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/02/middleeast/jordan-isis-foiled-plot/

“Syrian refugees in Jordan: ‘If they cut the coupons, we will probably die”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/syrian-refugees-jordan-london-conference

“Jordan Pivots to Saudi Arabia”, April 2016

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/jordan-saudi-arabia-iran-regional-interference-terrorism.html

“Jordan and the Gulf Crisis”, 1991

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Paragraphs

Public support for the Iraqi leader is extensive across Jordan and encompasses a wide spectrum of society. Pro-Saddam demonstrations, of which there are often several a day, are even advertised in the once-tame local newspapers. The sponsors of these gatherings run the gamut from the leftist Jordan People’s Democratic Party to the extremist Islamic Jihad, but the rallies themselves do not vary much. Speakers vilify the deposed Kuwaiti ruling family, the al-Sabahs, for squandering Arab wealth on gambling and prostitutes; Kuwait’s supporters, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are jeered as traitors; American flags are burned; the crowd chants, “Oh Saddam, we are willing to die for you!”

While more circumspect than his constituents, King Hussein has given the impression that he, too, sympathizes with Saddam. Days after the Iraqi invasion the king told NBC News that Saddam was “a person to be trusted and dealt with.” And he called the Iraqi president “an Arab patriot in the eyes of many.” The king was also slow to comply with U.N. economic sanctions against his neighbor. While the truck traffic across the Jordanian-Iraqi border is now down to virtually nothing from its pre-invasion 1,000 vehicles a day, Jordan still imports its oil from Iraq, contending that to do anything else before a replacement source is located would be to commit economic suicide. Additionally, Jordan continues to allow daily Iraqi Airways flights from Amman, which is now the carrier’s only regular destination, in apparent violation of the U.N. ban on commercial and financial transactions with Iraq.

Since the beginning of the crisis King Hussein has busied himself flying about the Arab world, Europe and theUnited States trying vainly to rally support for an “Arab solution” to the crisis. The king’s formula would reportedly trade an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait for a package of concessions to Saddam. This deal would include a pullout of Western troops from Saudi Arabia, an unspecified “privileged” relationship between Iraqand Kuwait, and the convening of a Middle East peace conference to consider the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Such proposals have estranged Amman from Washington and its Arab friends. The Bush administration rejects Hussein’s ideas, saying they would reward Saddam for his invasion. American officials also worry that the king’s efforts will undermine the U.N. embargo by giving the Iraqis hope that more Arab states will eventually rally to their side. The Jordanians counter that their efforts might have succeeded but for U.S. intransigence and haste to send troops to the gulf.

II

Given the formidable forces arrayed against Iraq, King Hussein appears to be recklessly exposing his kingdom to grave risks. Poor in natural resources and weaker militarily than its neighbors, Jordan has nevertheless thrived through its client relationship with Western powers, such as the United States and Britain, and regional financiers, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Hussein’s current position not only jeopardizes the protection afforded by his relationship with the United States and financial assistance from the gulf states but also risks provoking neighboring Syria and Israel.

7th, 8th Paragraph

Behind Hussein’s position lies a Jordanian-Iraqi interdependence that has grown deep in recent years. Jordanhas become so dependent on Iraq as a market for its exports and as a source of cheap oil that destruction of the Iraqi economy by either military means or blockade threatens to destroy Jordan’s economy as well. Despite his misgivings about Saddam’s brutal style of rule and his erratic behavior, the king had also bet heavily on militarily powerful Iraq as a protector from Israeli aggression. The refusal of the U.S. Congress to permit American arms sales to Jordan over the last decade helped push him in this direction.

Hussein wants to secure his kingdom’s future. He also wants to play a weightier role than the military and economic strength of his nation would automatically convey. Contemplating the fall of communism, his frustration with Washington, and his concern about Israeli intentions, he seems to have decided that a close relationship to Saddam was his best bet. He also apparently tired of going against Arab public opinion by cooperating with American and Israeli plans for resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute. Now, playing to the emotions of his own people, Hussein is enjoying the results. Demonstrators raise his picture along with Saddam’s at the rallies, including those of the left, whose leaders the king had imprisoned. Hussein is also acting out of frustration with the United States, which he blames in large part for the failure of his own efforts to find a solution to the Palestinian problem.

Jordan has always been in danger of splitting along demographic lines, but the gulf crisis has united the country. Jordanians of Palestinian origin, who make up more than half of the 3.1 million population, like Saddam’s anti-Israeli rhetoric and ask why the West is so concerned about Kuwait when it has done little to persuade Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. Non-Palestinian Jordanians, or East Bankers, ask the same question. Many older East Bankers cling to Baathist political beliefs from their school days in Baghdad or Damascus, and Saddam has given them hope that a strong, unified Arab nation can be a reality. Finally, there is little Jordanian sympathy forKuwait because many of the hundreds of thousands of Jordanians who have worked there now say the Kuwaitis were arrogant, even cruel, masters.

10th Paragraph

Amman‘s ties with Baghdad first blossomed during the Iran-Iraq War. King Hussein saw the Iraqi army as a check on the Ayatollah Khomeini’s attempts to export his Islamic revolution to Arab countries. The United States and other Western countries backed Saddam for much the same reason. Hussein let the Iraqis, whose narrow outlets to the gulf were blocked during the war, use Jordan as a lifeline. Throughout the war a vast fleet of trucks roared up the desert road from the Jordanian port of Aqaba to Baghdad bringing vital food and supplies. Tanker trucks hauled Iraqi oil to the sea.

14th Paragraph

The Saudis have already shown their anger with Jordan by cutting off the flow of the Tapline pipeline, through which the Jordanians were to receive crude to replace Iraq’s, saying that the Jordanians were behind in payments. They have also recalled their ambassador and are refusing to buy Jordanian goods. Particularly galling to the Saudis may be Hussein’s wish to be called by his great-grandfather’s title, Sharif-suggesting that he harbors ambitions to return to his family’s former domain in Mecca.

33rd Paragraph

In those days Egyptian President Gamal Abdul al-Nasser inspired fiery young men across the Arab world to overthrow more traditional leaders. While Saddam Hussein’s charisma pales in comparison to Nasser’s, his influence does reach into Jordan. In August droves of Jordanians signed up as “volunteers” to fight in the gulf onIraq’s behalf. The Iraqi Embassy in Amman is a beehive of activity with a great many people going in and out. Amman is rife with rumors of financial incentives from Baghdad, but these are hard to confirm.

36th Paragraph

At the same time the Jordanians watch with trepidation as over 17,000 Soviet Jews a month pour into Israel. This inflow rekindled deep-seated Jordanian fears that expansionist forces in Israel will push the West Bankers intoJordan, swamping the already fragile economy and upsetting the delicate demographic balance. Skeptical of American will to restrain Israel and angry at Congress for voting against any significant shipments of new American arms to Jordan, Hussein has in the last two years edged closer to militarily powerful Iraq for protection. Saddam, with his plans to develop nuclear weapons, may also have seemed the only Arab leader with a chance of seriously challenging Israel in the long run.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/iraq/1990-12-01/jordan-and-gulf-crisis

 

“Arafat’s costly Gulf War choice”, August 2009

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Paragraphs

On August 10, 20 Arab League countries at an emergency summit in Cairo drafted a final statement that condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and supported the UN resolutions.

Twelve Arab states supported the use of force while the remaining eight, including the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), rejected a military solution to the Iraqi invasion.

For the PLO, this was a precarious gamble. Since its creation in 1969, the PLO had enjoyed considerable financial backing from both Iraq and Kuwait.

Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader, realised that it was impossible to satisfy his two backers; he believed he was left with no alternative but to support Baghdad. 

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/plohistoryofrevolution/2009/2009/08/200981294137853350.html

“The Iran-Iraq War and Its Effects on Turkey”, September 2006

1st,  2nd Paragraph

We can say that the basic reason of this war is the regional hegemony struggle of the 1970s. This struggle had begun when Britain stated in 1968 that it will withdraw from the east of the Suez latest by the end of 1971. The desires ofIran to fill the gap of power in the region were completely against the Iraq’s self-designed regional role. The invasion of three islands, which belonged to Sharjah and Ras Al Kharimah Emirates before, by Iran, is the first step of the struggle. We must also add the view of Ba’ath Party of Iraq that Iran was a tool of the imperialists against the Arab unity under the leadership of Shah. It is a known fact that Shah had always close relations with Israel and USA.[1]

     After the withdrawal statement of Britain, USA under the load of the Vietnam War, started to use a “twin pillar policy” on the Middle East which puts the security of the Gulf region on two bases. One of these bases would beIran with its military power, and the other Saudi Arabia with its political power. This was a great chance for Iranian government. The policies of Iranwere aiming to put Iraq out of the regional politics. This effort resulted in Iraq USSR close relations and paved the way to sign 1972 Friendship and Cooperation Treaty.

4th, 5th, 6th, 7th Paragraphs

 Border of Shatt-al-Arab is another reason for the struggle of both countries. The transportation on the river of Shatt-al-Arab has been done according to 1937 agreement between both countries, which approved the sovereignty of Iraq on the river and accepted a middle-line in front of Abadanas the border. This border became a problem between both countries after 1971.

       Kurds living in Iraq had the major rights like education in their language, and a certain extent of internal independence. But, there had been differences in the views concerning the application of these rights. Struggles between Ba’ath Party and the KDP (Kurdish Democratic Party) began. Iran supported Kurds against the Iraqi government. Iran’s aim was to come to a certain point of agreement about Shatt-al-Arab issue. So, in 1975, both countries signed the Algiers Agreement. Iraq gave up its decisive policy on the river because of the huge problems it confronted inside the country with the Kurds.

This rapprochement between both countries has come to an end with the Iranian Revolution of 1979. (February 6, 1979) Iran, under the leadership of Khomeini, became a fundamentalist country which tried to spread the Islamic fundamentalism all around the Middle East. Ba’ath Party had a strong tradition of viewing itself as the leader of the Arab world and the guide of pan-Arabism. This characteristic of Ba’ath party makes it always very suspicious about any anti Ba’ath policy movements. So; Iranian fundamental religious government under Khomeini was a big “reason” of Saddam’s conspiracies.

 Shi’ites in Iraq supported Khomeini. As a reaction, Ba’ath Party arrested all the Shi’ite

Leaders in October 1979. In late 1979 Iran escalated its anti-Ba’athist campaign by resuming its support for the Iraqi Kurds; it also began providing moral and material support to Shi’ite underground movements in Iraq; and last, the Iranian government initiated terrorist attacks on prominent officials, the most significant of which was the failed attempt to assassinate the Iraqi Deputy Premier, Tariq Aziz, on April 1, 1980.[3]

10th, 11th, 12th Paragraphs

On September 22, 1980 Iraq invaded Iranian territories. Iraqis captured some villages and the important port of Khorramshahr. Iranians failed to launch any successful counter-offensives. Khuzestan was invaded by Iraqi forces. By 1982, Iranian forces made gradual advances and even forced Iraqi army to withdraw from the border. Iran invaded Iraqi territory. Khomeini and other leaders wanted the removal of Saddam and the payment of reparations to Iranfor the war damages in Khuzestan. In 1984, Iraq acquired French-made Exocet missiles to launch attacks on Iranian oil facilities in the Persian Gulf. Iranattacked tankers loaded with Arab oil, and claimed that the profits from these tankers helped Iraq to buy new arms. As a response, Iraq attacked the Iranian oil tankers. A Tanker War started.

 Iranian military gains inside Iraq after 1984 were a major reason for increased superpower involvement in the war. In February 1986, Iranian troops captured the port of Al Faw. By late 1986; Iran launched several attacks to capture Basra. In late May 1987, on Iraq’s northern front a conflict was so intense. This was a joint effort by Iranian units and Iraqi Kurdish rebels. They endangered Iraq’s oil fields near Kirkuk and the northern oil pipeline toTurkey. So; the superpowers became more directly involved because they feared that the fall of Basra might lead to a pro-Iranian Islamic republic in largely Shia-populated southern Iraq.

 The superpowers were also concerned about the intensified tanker war. During 1987, Iran attacked 29 ships and Iraq assaulted 15. Kuwaiti ships were favourite targets because Iran strongly objected to Kuwait’s close relationship with the Baghdad regime. Kuwait turned to the superpowers, partly to protect oil exports but largely to seek an end to the war through superpower intervention. Moscow leased 3 tankers to Kuwait, and by June 1987 USA had re-flagged 22 Kuwaiti tankers. Finally, direct attacks on the superpowers’ ships drew them into the conflict.

14th, 15th, 16th Paragraphs

The outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War on September 22, 1980; immediately broughtTurkey face to face with unpleasant political and economic prospects, with the former dominating as the war continued. Turkish national security was in jeopardy. First, the ongoing war could further radicalise the regime in Iran, and this might well upset the regional equilibrium. In such an event, the region would immediately become receptive to Soviet influence. Second, the war could spill over the borders of Iran and Iraq, involving the Arab countries around the Persian Gulf, and could become a war between Iran and the Arab world. In such an event, especially when if the superpowers were to become involved, Turkey could well be plunged into a Middle East war despite its determination to stay out of one. Third, the war could have a negative effect on the demographic and ethnic structure of the region. This would pose a threat to the security of Turkey’s south-eastern areas close to its eastern border. An illustration of this occurred in May 1983 when the Iraqi central government weakened, and the Kurds, emboldened by this situation, infiltrated Turkish territory and terrorised the south-eastern villages.

Both warring parties shared their borders with Turkey, which provided them with their only overland access to Europe. Therefore Turkey’s stance on the war mattered a great deal. Turkey declared itself neutral in the conflict. But, Ankara’s relations with Baghdad were better than her relations withTehran. There are two reasons for that. First, Turkey’s Kurdish minority had been up in arms for the past many years in an area contiguous with the Iraqi Kurdish region, and it had been co-operating actively with Baghdad in counter-insurgency. Secondly, as a secular society since 1924, Turkey had much in common with Ba’athist Iraq, and shared Baghdad’s fear of Islamic fundamentalism within its borders.[6]

From the Turkish perspective, the renewal of the Kurdish insurgency in south-eastern Turkey is the single most detrimental by-product of the Iran-Iraq War.[7] Kurds in Turkey have always been under the control of central government and any pro-Kurdish movements were not allowed. The war resulted of Iraq’s loss of control of its own border areas following the transfer of Iraqi troops from Kurdish areas in the north to the Iranian front. Kurds had more space and freedom to operate against Turkey. The name of the Kurdish terrorist organisation was PKK. (Workers Party of Kurdistan) PKK was attacking the civilian and military targets and running back to northern Iraq. In countering the Kurdish problem, Iraq received enthusiastic co-operation from Turkey, with which it had in 1978 concluded a secret accord allowing each side to pursue “subversive elements” up to 9 miles inside each other’s territory. In May 1983 Turkish troops infiltrated 18 miles into Iraqi Kurdistan to destroy the bases of its Kurdish guerrillas in the KDP-occupied part. Following this, Tariq Aziz visited Ankara to reinforce mutual security co-operation further. The outcome was the signing of an agreement in October 1984 permitting cross-border operations up to 18 miles into each other’s territory. This permission given to the Turkish armed forces was counter to Saddam’s policy which rejected “the facilitation of the presence of any foreign armies, bases or armed forces in the Arab homeland, under any pretext and guise and for any reasons.”[8]

18th, 19th, 20th, 21st Paragraphs

I must also note that the Shi’ite fundamentalism of the Khomeini regime was an obvious danger to the Turkish state, where nearly 10 million inhabitants are of Shi’ite origin.[9] And indeed, soon after his victory Khomeini stated that the Turkish regime rested on the force of bayonets and suggested thatTurkey’s leaders were headed for the same fate as the shah. Short after this statement, Turkish military intervened and the coup of September 12, 1980happened in Turkey.

So; while Turkey maintained diplomatic relations with both Iran and Iraq during the war, even providing Iran with a commercial outlet to the West, Turkey saw Iraq’s final victory as in its interest, that is, in containing the spread of Iran’s revolutionary impulse.[10]

Iran was following the Soviet model on the export of its revolution by improving her relations with all the states and supporting the terrorist groups which aim to destruct the regimes of those states. Iran attacked the traditions and the symbols of the Turkish state during the war. (These symbols are mostly related to the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Turkish republic) Tehran involved in domestic politics of Turkey and protested the preventing of religious students who wore kerchiefs from attending university. In addition, the Khomeini regime provided support to Cemalettin Kaplan, a fundamentalist anti-regime preacher in Germany who had sizeable followers among Turkish workers in Europe.[11]

The Iranian “model” became the basic reason for Turkish fundamental groups to claim and struggle for an Islamic state. They used arms to fight against the Turkish armed forces under the name of Hezbollah, IBDA-C etc. All of these organisations’ statements show that the Iranian Revolution and the insurgence of the Islamic identity in the Middle East were the reasons of their existence. These statements also include that the Iran-Iraq War resulted with the defeat of Islamic Resistance to the “evil” Iraq and USA. There is an increasing tendency in the Turkish society towards the re-birth of the Islamic Revolution.

23rd, 24th, 25th Paragraphs

Both Iran and Iraq, as a result of their international isolation, were forced to rely on Turkey as a major source of needed commodities imported fromTurkey itself or from the West. By showing no favour to either party, Turkeyhas become a major trading partner of both. Iran and Iraq increasingly turned to Turkey to satisfy their import needs. They found Turkish products to be less expensive.

Throughout the 1980s, the war with Iran gave Iraq an incentive to co-operate fully with Turkey, including in the establishment of commercial exchanges between the two countries. Turkey quickly became one ofBaghdad’s main customers. 60% of the oil consumed in Turkey was imported from Iraq. When Turkey saw that “Iraq was threatened with collapse under the battering of the Iranian advance”, the Turkish minister of State, Kamran Inan, publicly warned that “no less than 1,5 million Turks and Turkomans live in the northern regions of Iraq.” Inan, in effect, wanted to assert Turkey’s pre-emptive right in the event that an Iranian advance let to the break-up of Iraq.

 In 1984-1985 Turkish-Iranian trade amounted to 230 million $ making Turkey Iran’s third most important commercial partner after West Germanyand Japan.[12] Iran balanced its trade with Turkey by selling 100.000 b/d of its oil to its neighbour. Despite the irritation caused by the Iraqi strikes in May and June 1985 against Turkish-owned oil tankers carrying Iranian oil,Ankara’s relations with Iraq remained cordial. Turkey and Iraq had a strong interest in maintaining the military co-operation in suppressing Kurdish insurgency. In November 1985 Turkey concluded a contract with Iraq for a second oil pipeline with an annual capacity of 71 million tones. (1.4 million b/d)

29th Paragraph

American-Turkish relations improved considerably in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution. USA provided all the possible support to the Turkish democratic regime, trying to prevent Turkey to fall under the effect of Islamic fundamentalism. After the Iranian advance on Iraqi territories, USA sent commissions to Turkey about the preparation of Turkish army to a rapid annexation of the oil-rich northern provinces of Iraq (like Kirkuk) to prevent the oil from falling into the Islamic fundamentalist Iranian regime.[14] Turkish authorities denied such scenarios.

31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th Paragraphs

To make a conclusion we can say that Iran-Iraq War, in general terms, had negative effects on Turkey. The Kurdish nationalism was awakened and the Kurdish terrorists found safe-havens for themselves in the destabilised northern regions of Iraq. The use of military forces against these terrorists and the military operations made by Turkey to Iraq during the war, made the international community suspicious about the Kurdish issue.

     The effect of Islamic fundamentalism in Turkey does not have as much importance as the Kurdish nationalism. The only negative effect is the reflection of Islamic Revolution as a model to fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups in Turkey which aim to establish an Islamic state like Iran.

     In the economic area, we can see the negative effect of the delay of oil transportation and the non-payment of debts, on the Turkish economy. These resulted as a decline in Turkish export policies and as an increase on the amount of Turkish foreign debts.

     We can see that being neutral and in the same time trying to gain the maximum advantage does not work effectively as a foreign policy tool. This neutrality has turned into the internal catastrophes of Turkish economic and political policies towards both sides.

http://www.turkishweekly.net/2006/09/07/article/the-iran-iraq-war-and-its-effects-on-turkey/

Israel–Jordan relations

1st Paragraph

Israel–Jordan relations refers to diplomatic, economic and cultural relations between Israel and Jordan. The two countries have had official diplomatic relations since the 1994 signing of the Israel–Jordan peace treaty. Recently, relations have been slightly strained due to the conflict over the Al-Aqsa mosque.[1][2] However, this has not proven to be exceptionally damaging to the relationship between the two countries.

3rd Paragraph

The relationships between Jewish leaders in Israel and the Hashemite dynasty in the area was characterized by ambivalence as both parties’ prominence grew in the area. Jordan consistently subscribed to an anti-Zionist policy, but made decisions pragmatically. Several factors are cited for this relative pragmatism. Among these are the two countries’ geographic proximity, King Hussein‘s Western orientation, and Jordan’s modest territorial aspirations. Nevertheless, a state of war existed between the two countries from 1948 until the treaty was signed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93Jordan_relations

“Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilat_Ashkelon_Pipeline_Company

“Trans-Arabian Pipeline”

3rd Paragraph

Since the 1967 Six-Day War, the section of the pipeline which runs through the Golan Heights came under Israeli occupation, though the Israelis permitted the pipeline’s operation to continue. After years of constant arguing between Saudi Arabia and Syria and Lebanon over transit fees, the emergence of oil supertankers, and pipeline breakdowns, the section of the line beyond Jordan ceased operation in 1976. The remainder of the line betweenSaudi Arabia and Jordan continued to transport modest amounts of petroleum until 1990 when the Saudis cut off the pipeline in response to Jordan’s support ofIraq during the first Gulf War. Today, the entire line is unfit for oil transport.[2]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Arabian_Pipeline

 

The American-Russian Price War for Natural Gas

A very interesting article by Foreign Affairs, about whether there will be an American-Russian price war over natural gas. See “A U.S. Gas War With Russia”?, May 2016.

In April 2016, the first shipment of American LNG arrived to Europe, and many analysts started talking about a price war between Russia’s Gazprom and the American energy companies. These analysts expect the American LNG shipments to Europe to push Gazprom towards lower gas prices, and also to reduce the Russian geopolitical might over Europe, since the American gas will reduce European dependency on Russian gas. Europe, together with Turkey, consume approximately 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year (2015), and Russia supplies approximately 1/3 of it, and earns 42 billion dollars (2015).

According to Foreign Affairs, the American LNG shipments to Europe will have a more ambiguous effect on Russia. The American companies will be able to ship to Europe a maximum of 80 billion cubic meters of LNG per year by 2020. But at the same time the European production is falling by 10 billion cubic meters per year i.e. Norway, Netherlands, England. Therefore a part of the American LNG, if it does indeed reach Europe, will only cover a part of the falling European production.

The Foreign Affairs article also mentions Norway and Algeria, who are the second and third largest suppliers of natural gas to Europe. The American LNG will reach the western coasts of Europe, and it will more likely hurt Norwegian and Algerian exports to Europe than the Russian ones. However nobody talks about a price war between American, Norwegian and Algerian natural gas, but they only talk about a price war between American and Russian natural gas.

Map

Χάρτης Φυσικού Αερίου.JPG

The Foreign Affairs article also mentions Qatar, because the European Union already had access to plenty of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar. Qatar has significantly increased its exports of LNG to Europe during the last few years, and therefore the American shipments to Europe could hurt the Qatari LNG exports to Europe. Remember that the Qatari and Iranian state owned media passionately supported Bernie Sanders in United States. Bernie Sanders wants to ban the American oil and gas production. See “The Financing of Hollywood’s Socialist Propaganda”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/the-financing-of-hollywoods-socialist-propaganda/

Moreover, the producers of natural gas in United States are private investors and do not care about geopolitics, but about where they can get higher prices. And they might get higher prices in countries that do not have access to pipelines of natural gas i.e. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan etc. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have huge economies, and do not have access to pipeline networks, and they are the largest, the second largest, and the third largest importers of LNG respectively. See for example the figures for 2010.

Largest LNG Importers

Top LNG Importers.JPG

seehttp://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2011/sep/images/graph-0911-3-05.gif

 

In 2015 Japan was the third largest economy in the world, South Korea was the 11th largest, and Taiwan was the 22nd largest economy in the world according to GDP. Therefore they all have huge needs for oil and natural gas, especially after the nuclear accident of Japan in 2011 (Fukushima), which made everyone more reluctant towards nuclear energy.

These countries appreciate LNG more than the Europeans, because the European have access to pipeline networks from Russia, Algeria and Norway, and they might be willing to pay for the American LNG higher prices than the Europeans, and therefore nobody can say for sure how much of the 80 billion cubic meters of the American natural gas will reach Europe.

Also note that Qatar, Indonesia and Malaysia, all Muslim countries, are among the largest exporters of LNG, and they mainly export to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and India, and they see the American LNG exports as a very big threat for their economies. At the following Statista diagram you can see that Qatar is the largest LNG exporter in the world, and Malaysia is the second (2014).  If you have read the link I provided above about the financing of Hollyhood’s socialist propaganda, you have already read about Malaysia’s financing of socialist propaganda in United States i.e. The Wolf of Wall Street.

Top LNG Exporters (2014)

Αυστραλία 2.JPG

http://www.statista.com/statistics/274528/major-exporting-countries-of-lng/

Top LNG Exporters (2010)

LNG Exporters 2010.JPG

https://oilandgaslogistics.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lng-exporters.png

Qatari LNG Exports

Qatar LNG Exports.JPG

http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=QAT

Indonesian LNG Exports

Indonesia LNG Exports by Destination 2014.JPG

http://drg.blob.core.windows.net/bunkerpricebody/images/stories/General_photos/111aaalng_exports_destination.png

At the following map you can see the global natural gas market. With circles you can see the main country exports. The blue part refers to the exports by pipelines, and the green part to LNG exports. The bars show the country imports, and the blue parts refer to imports by pipelines, and the green parts to LNG imports. Some countries have both exports (circles) and imports (bars).

The Map of Natural Gas

Ο Χάρτης του Φυσικού Αερίου.JPG

http://sputniknews.com/infographics/20100426/158748785.html

See also “The Map of Natural Gas”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/the-map-of-the-natural-gas/

and “The Map of War”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/the-map-of-war/

The Foreign Affairs also mentions Australia, which will significantly increase her LNG production in the next few years, and she will probably become the top LNG exporter in the world, and that’s more important for LNG prices than whether the American LNG will be sold to Europe or somewhere else. Note that Muslim oil and gas exporters who are threatened by the Australian production are financing socialists in Australia, in order to flood the country with Muslim immigrants who can sabotage the Australian production with terrorist attacks. For the time being Australia has managed to defend the socialist propaganda and maintain a hard line towards immigrants who reach Australia through Indonesia, Malaysia etc. See for example Reuters “Australia reaffirms hard-line immigration policy”, May 2016.

Map Australia – Indonesia – Malaysia

Map of Australia.JPG

I agree 100% per cent with the Foreign Affairs observations, and I do not think that the main thing of American LNG exports will be an American- Russian price war in Europe. The main war the Americans will have to fight will be domestically, because Iran, the Arabs and Russia will support American socialists, in order to use them as a fifth column in the United States and jeopardize the American economy and society.

On the other hand the Russians will not be happy to see the American LNG arriving to Europe. It will be one more trouble for the Russians, even if it is not the main one.

Articles

“A U.S. Gas War With Russia”?, May 2016

1st Paragraph

 April 21, the first Europe-bound shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) left the Gulf of Mexico and crossed the Atlantic, a move that has been widely regarded as the first step in an impending gas war between the United States and Russia. As the theory goes, Russia has a grip on the European gas market, which it uses to bully its close neighbors and shush any major European states that push back on its geopolitical ambitions. U.S. LNG, it follows, will break Russia’s stranglehold. It is a cheaper and more reliable alternative. In turn, Russia will either lose market share or compete by lowering its prices. But either way, Europe wins, economically and geopolitically.

3rd Paragraph

By 2020, the United States could be sending roughly 80 billion cubic meters of LNG to Europe a year—about two-thirds of the volume that Russia exported to Europe in 2015 and just under a third of Europe’s entire gas consumption, which is 400 billion cubic meters per year (450 billion cubic meters, if one includes Turkey). It is no wonder that conflict seems imminent: if such a large share of U.S. LNG were to land in Europe, Russia would get pushed out of the market and lose a large chunk of the $42 billion it earned by exporting pipeline gas in 2015.

8th Paragraph

On the supply side, Norway is the second-largest provider of gas after Russia. Algeria is third, although its market share is shrinking. This makes these two countries important players, at least for European countries on the coast, which have direct access to seaborne LNG. These coastal European countries are also where U.S. LNG is likely to land since the ability to move gas further inland is often limited by infrastructure and other obstacles. And yet no one is talking about a looming price war between the United States and Norway or Algeria. That’s not as geopolitically exciting, even though it is far likelier to happen: U.S. LNG will compete in markets where Norway and Algeria are often larger players than Russia. Norway’s exports to Europe have risen in recent years, but Algeria’s have declined substantially. How these two countries react to the changing market environment in Europe will matter a great deal.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2016-05-15/us-gas-war-russia?cid=nlc-fatoday-20160516&sp_mid=51385877&sp_rid=aWFrb3ZvczEwMDBAeWFob28uZ3IS1&spMailingID=51385877&spUserID=MTA3MTc0NjI3NDAxS0&spJobID=921992339&spReportId=OTIxOTkyMzM5S0

“Australia reaffirms hard-line immigration policy”, May 2016

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-immigration-idUSKCN0Y508H?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

 

The Financing of Hollywood’s Socialist Propaganda

The Wolf of Wall Street

I don’t know how many of you have seen the “Wolf of the Wall Street” with Leonardo Dicaprio. It is a film that presents the stock market as a sum of drug addicts and lawless men. The stock market is one of the cornerstones of capitalism, and by presenting it as a sum of drunks and crooks, socialists are trying to demolish the free market and the free society.

Image 1 “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Leon di Cap.JPG

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/52a9e05369bedd7f7f23605f/theres-a-free-screening-of-the-wolf-of-wall-street-near-goldman-sachs-tomorrow-night.jpg

The Wolf of Wall Street was financed with Muslim oil money, which actually came from the sinful Malaysian 1MDB fund. Malaysia is a Muslim country, and she is an exporter of oil and natural gas. The 1MDB was a state fund set up for the development of Kuala Lumpur, but the Malaysian political elite used the fund in a non transparent way.

Actually the Malaysian Prime Minister was accused for transferring to his personal bank accounts 700 million dollars from 1MDB, and he later said that the money was a donation of the Saudi Royal family. The Saudi government admitted that the money was a Saudi donation, but according to the Saudis it had nothing to do with the Saudi government, but with some members of the Saudi Royal family. See BBC “Malaysia 1MDB: Saudi minister says Najib funds were donation”, April 2016.

As you can read at the following Wall Street Journal article, the “Wolf of the Wall Street” was financed with 100 million dollars from the Malaysian 1MDB fund. To be more accurate the money came from a studio that received 155 million dollars from the sinful 1MDB. See Wall Street Journal “The Secret Money Behind ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”, April 2016.

Therefore the “Wolf of the Wall Street” was produced with 100 million of Muslim oil money. I am not at all surprised to see Muslim countries financing socialist propaganda in the United States, because that’s the best way to weaken the country. This method was extensively used by the Soviets during the Cold War. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the European and American communists started working for the Islamists.

Recently, another big movie was financed with Arab money, in order to undermine the American oil and natural gas industry, i.e. Matt Damon’s “Promised Land”. The Promised Land presents the American fracking companies as a bunch of crooks. The movie was financed by a studio owned by the Royal family of the United Arab Emirates. See the Daily Signal “Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Movie Financed by Oil-Rich Arab Nation”, September 2012

Image 2 The Promised Land

Hollywood Άραβες

Another big movie full of socialist propaganda was The Big Short”, even though I do not know how it was financed.

Image 3 The Big Short

leon cap.JPG

http://cdn1.thr.com/sites/default/files/2015/12/splashd-bigshort_0.jpg

The Big Short presented the financial crisis as a flaw of capitalism, while it was the result of excessive government intervention.

For the real causes of of economic bubbles see “The Socialist Myth of Economic Bubbles”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-socialist-myth-of-economic-bubbles/

Note that Leonardo Dicaprio is always in favor of Muslim immigrants and refugees that want to immigrate to Europe and United States, and he designated “messenger of peace” by the United Nations. See United Nations “Secretary-General designates Leonardo DiCaprio as UN Messenger of Peace”, September 2014.

Image 4

Leonardo di Caprio.JPG

Leonardo Dicaprio was also made UN Climate Change representative. See “Leonardo DiCaprio Tapped As UN Climate Change Representative Ahead Of Major New York Climate Summit”, September 2014.

Most of the people in the refugee and climate departments of the United Nations are socialists, and have very good relations with the Muslim countries. But note that the Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, even though they accuse the Europeans and the Americans for not accepting enough Syrian refugees, they haven’t accepted any.  See BBC “Migrant crisis: Why the Gulf states are not letting Syrians in”, September 2015.

Oliver Stone is a famous socialist film producer. When the communists rose to power in Greece he openly celebrated their victory. See Greek Analyst “Viva Tsipras; Viva a New Greece”, June 2015.

Hollywood’s Financiers

But let me go back to the politics of oil and natural gas. The Muslim countries, but also Russia and China, do not have the military power required to threaten the United States with conventional war. It is true that they can use terrorism, and they do use it extensively, but the United States has a strong counter terrorism intelligence service, and unless the Islamists manage to launch a nuclear terrorist attack the United States will remain powerful.

The most efficient way to hurt, or threaten the United States, is by hiring socialists within the United States, in order to spread socialist propaganda. I have to say that Russians are not using communists any more, but national socialists instead. Both Communists and Nazis are socialists, but Communists are internationalists while Nazis are nationalists. Therefore it is more useful for the Islamists to hire American and European Communists, in order to flood Europe and America with Muslim immigrants, whom they can later hire as soldiers and carry terrorist attacks.

One of the reasons, but not the only one, that all these countries have a motive to finance socialist propaganda in the United States is that the United States is undermining their oil and natural gas exports. The new production techniques that were invented in United States (fracking), allowed the production of oil and natural gas from the American and Canadian shale reserves, and they were a real disaster for the Arab, Iranian and Russian oil and gas exports. The increased oil and gas production also put downward pressure on oil prices.

As you can see at the following Energy Information Administration diagram, the United States overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia as the top producer of oil and natural gas in the world.

Image US, Russian and Saudi Oil (dark color) and Natural Gas (light color) Production

Map USA Russia Saudi Arabia Oil and Natural Gas Production.JPG

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=20692

As you can see at the following map, the Arabs, the Iranians and the Russians hold most of the conventional global reserves of oil.

Image 6 Map of Global Reserves of Conventional Oils

Map Conventional Oil Reserves.JPG

http://www.bq-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Proven-oil-reserves.png

The Arabs and the Iranians were very lucky with conventional oil reserves, but they are very unlucky with shale reserves, as you can see at the following map from Energy Information Administration, because they do not have any. Russia was not as unlucky as the Iranians and the Arabs, because Russia is the richest country in shale oil reserves, and the ninth richest in shale gas reserves.

But Russia does not have the American technology to produce oil and gas from shale, and anyway she is also deeply hurt by the falling oil and gas prices. When you are a net exporter of energy you want high prices, and when you are a net importer of oil and gas you want low energy prices.

Image 7 Map Global Shale Oil Reserves

Map Shale Reserves.JPG

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/

At the following table you can see the richest countries in shale oil and shale gas (conventional reserves are not included). You can see that the Iranians have not shale reserves.

Image 8 Table Richest Countries in Shale Oil and Shale Rock

Αποθέματα Σχιστόλιθου.JPG

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14431

Another country that is really directly and indirectly hurt by the increased American production is Venezuela. Venezuela is directly hurt because her oil exports to the United States are falling, as you can see at the following diagram from Energy Information Administration. Venezuela is also indirectly hurt by the American production, because the lower oil prices reduce her revenues from other countries too.

Image 9 US Imports from Venezuela

US Oil Imports from Venezuela.JPG

http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=VEN

Venezuela is the richest country of the American continent in oil reserves, and actually the richest one in the word. But Venezuela is a socialist country, and socialist countries are always very corrupted and poor. The richest person in Venezuela is the daughter of the ex socialist President Hugo Chavez, so you can imagine how the socialists do business. See Breitbart “Hugo Chavez’s Favorite Daughter Is Richest Person in Venezuela”, August 2015.

Image 10 Oil Reserves of Venezuela

Venezuela Oil Reserves

http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=VEN

Due to geographic proximity Venezuela counts on her US oil exports as you can see at the following EIA diagram. Unfortunately the data I have refers to 2011.

Image 11

Venezuela Exports to the US.JPG

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2013.01.22/destination.png

Nigeria is another major exporter of oil which is hurt by the United States’ increased production. The Arabs, the Iranians, the Venezuelans, the Russians, and all the countries that are hurt by the American production, are supporting socialist propaganda in the United States. For example, Bernie Sanders, the Jewish candidate who was supported by the Qataris and the Iranians, promised to ban production from shale rock (fracking) if he was elected.

Hilary Clinton on the other hand said she would not ban fracking, and that she would allow foreign countries to buy the American technology, in order to exploit their own shale reserves. See Huffington Post “Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton ‘Sold Fracking to the World”, February 2016.

Bernie Sanders is also very aggressive towards Israel, even though he is a Jew. Actually the Jewish voters of New York voted mainly for Hilary Clinton. See Haaretz “Hillary Clinton Takes Jewish Vote in New York Primaries”, April 2016.

You can see the Arab support for Bernie Sanders when you read the articles of the Arab news networks. See for example the articles of the Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera network.

“Why women should support Sanders not Clinton”, February 2016

“Why I will vote for Bernie Sanders”, February 2016

“Muslims for Bernie Sanders”, April 2016

Or read the Saudi Al Arabiya “Only Bernie Sanders can stop Donald Trump”, March 2016.

Bernie Sanders is also really likened by Evo Morales, the communist leader of Bolivia. See Guardian “Profile: Bolivia’s President Evo Morales”, February 2016.

Evo Morales, a former coca-grower, was a close friend of Hugo Chavez, the Communist leader of Venezuela.

Image 12

Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.JPG

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-12166905

Oil and gas exports account for approximately 50% of Bolivia’s exports.

Image 13

Bolivian Exports.jpg

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/bol/

For more details on Bernie Sanders, the Arabs and oil money see “American Politics in the Age of Oil: The Phenomenon of Bernie Sanders”.

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/american-politics-in-the-age-of-oil-the-bernie-sanders-phenomenon/

The cost of production for shale oil varies from 40 to 90 dollars per barrel, depending on the particular deposit. The cost of production for conventional oil varies from 10 to 40 dollars per barrel. Therefore, when the price of oil is above 40 dollars per barrel, frackers can enter the market, and they make it very difficult for the countries of the international oil cartel (OPEC) to synchronize (reduce) their oil production in order to boost prices. See Bloomberg “OPEC Unsure How It Can ‘Live Together’ With Shale Oil”, February 2016.

For the production cost of shale and conventional oil see Investopedia “The Cost of Shale Oil Versus Conventional Oil”.

From al the above you can understand why it is so important for the Arabs, the Iranians and the Russians to support socialists in order to undermine the United States and promote their interests. During the Cold War the Soviets were supporting communists in the United States. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it is the Muslim countries that support communists in Europe and United States, even though they do not like communists in their countries. The Russians now mainly support national socialists.

The Canadian-American Oil Pipeline

The Keystone Pipeline is a planned Canadia-American oil pipeline, which will carry every day 800.000 barrels of oil from Alberta in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Image 14 Keystone Pipeline

Map Keystone Pipeline.JPG

https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_296w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2012/01/14/Web-Resampled/2012-01-14/296PipelineMAP–300×343.jpg

This pipeline will be a disaster for the oil exporting countries of South America, like Venezuela and Bolivia, but also Mexico. Oil exports account for more than 10% of Mexico’s exports.

Image 15

Mexican Exports.JPG

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/mex/

Remember that the pro-immigrant Bernie Sanders does not want a fence on the Mexican-American borders, and he also wants to give citizenship to illegal immigrants leaving in United States. See “Bernie Sanders Tells Latinos He Backs Immigration Reform at NALEO”, June 2015.

Anyway, the Keystone Pipeline hurts many countries, and again Bernie Sanders is very strongly opposing it, supposedly for environmental reasons. Hilary Clinton was in favor of the project. See Huffington Post “Bernie Sanders Is Against Keystone XL. Hillary Clinton Was ‘Inclined’ to Approve It. Why the Difference”, July 2015.

The Keystone Pipeline was raised by socialists and became a key issue of the primary elections and Hilary Clinton had changed her stance and opposed it. See CNN “Hillary Clinton opposes Keystone XL pipeline”, September 2015.

Note that one of the major environmental groups of the United States, the Sierra Club, which is a major opponent of the Keystone Pipeline, openly admitted that Saudi Arabia is one its major allies in the fight against the pipeline. See the site of Sierra Club “Our best ally in the fight against Keystone XL: The House of Saud”, January 2015.

Obama vetoed the construction of the Keystone pipeline in 2015, citing environmental change. See New York Times “Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline”, November 2015.

In 2014 Obama had said that there was little benefit for the United States from the Keystone pipeline, because it would have a negative impact on the environment, and it would be used only for exporting Canadian oil from the Gulf of Mexico. See Political Fact “Obama says Keystone XL is for exporting oil outside the U.S., experts disagree”, November 2014.

As a final note I have to say that the market of renewable energy is a multi-billion dollar market, and it is the one that can be very well represented by environmentalists. Green energy is great of course, but the problem is that it is a lot more expensive than the energy produced from oil, natural gas and coal. See for example “The Islamist-Environmentalist Alliance”, November 2011.

Articles

“Secretary-General designates Leonardo DiCaprio as UN Messenger of Peace”, September 2014

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has designated Academy Award-nominated actor and committed environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/2014/09/secretary-general-designates-leonardo-di-caprio-un-messenger-peace/

“Oliver Stone on Greek Crisis: “Viva Tsipras; Viva a New Greece”, June 2015

http://hollywood.greekreporter.com/2015/06/18/oliver-stone-comes-out-in-support-of-syriza/

“Keystone Pipeline – Ownership”

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While the project was originally developed as a partnership between TransCanada Corporation and ConocoPhillips, TransCanada is now the sole owner of the Keystone Pipeline System, as TransCanada received regulatory approval on August 12, 2009 to purchase ConocoPhillips’ interest.[18]

Certain parties who have agreed to make volume commitments to the Keystone expansion to have the option to acquire up to a combined 15% equity ownership.[17] One such company is Valero Energy Corporation.[19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline#Ownership

“Leonardo DiCaprio Tapped As UN Climate Change Representative Ahead Of Major New York Climate Summit”, September 2014

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s global fame and passion for the planet has earned him a starring role at the United Nations climate summit in New York next week. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon tapped the actor to be the organization’s representative on climate change and to address the opening of the Sept. 23 event.

http://www.ibtimes.com/leonardo-dicaprio-tapped-un-climate-change-representative-ahead-major-new-york-climate-1691180

“Ban welcomes Leonardo DiCaprio as new UN Messenger of Peace ahead of climate march”

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48762#.VzHC54R95dg

“The Secret Money Behind ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”, Απρίλιος 2016

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Despite the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese, the 2013 hit movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” took more than six years to get made because studios weren’t willing to invest in a risky R-rated project.

Help arrived from a virtually unknown production company called Red Granite Pictures. Though it had made just one movie, Red Granite came up with the more than $100 million needed to film the sex- and drug-fueled story of a penny-stock swindler.

Global investigators now believe much of the money to make the movie about a stock scam was diverted from a state fund 9,000 miles away in Malaysia, a fund that had been established to spur local economic development.

The investigators, said people familiar with their work, believe this financing was part of a wider scandal at the Malaysian fund, which has been detailed in Wall Street Journal articles over the past year.

The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, was set up seven years ago by the prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. His stepson, Riza Aziz, is the chairman of Red Granite Pictures.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysias-1mdb-the-secret-money-behind-the-wolf-of-wall-street-1459531987

“Fracking”

Fracking is the fossil fuel industry’s latest false solution to our energy challenge. It’s more expensive, more polluting, and more dangerous than clean, renewable energy. So why are we pursuing fracking in the first place?

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/issues/fracking/

“Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton ‘Sold Fracking to the World”, February 2016

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/bernie-sanders-will-ban-fracking-_b_9156182.html

“Malaysia 1MDB: Saudi minister says Najib funds were donation”, April 2016

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36051474

“Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Movie Financed by Oil-Rich Arab Nation”, September 2012

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While left-leaning Hollywood often targets supposed environmental evildoers,Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which runs PR for Participant Media, the company that developed the film fund backing Promised Land, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.

http://dailysignal.com/2012/09/28/matt-damons-anti-fracking-movie-financed-by-oil-rich-arab-nation/

Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index

http://www.heritage.org/index/

“OPEC Unsure How It Can ‘Live Together’ With Shale Oil”, February 2016

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-22/opec-s-el-badri-doesn-t-know-how-to-live-together-with-shale-oil

“Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources are Globaly Abundant”, January 2014

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14431

“Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For America’s Shale Basins”, October 2014,

http://www.businessinsider.com/shale-basin-breakeven-prices-2014-10

“Our best ally in the fight against Keystone XL: The House of Saud”, January 2015

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Today the United States Senate joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation backing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmentalists are depending on President Barack Obama’sveto pen to block the project–at least until the State Department issues its final ruling in the matter. But we have another, even more potent ally in the fight: the House of Saud. Rather than cutting back production in order to stabilize oil prices, the world’s largest oil producer is keeping its petroleum taps wide open, hoping to drown upstart competitors in Canada, North Dakota, and Russia in a sea of cheap oil. Here’s Puneet Kollipara in The Washington Post:

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2015-1-january-february/green-life/our-best-ally-fight-against-keystone-xl-house-saud

“Bernie Sanders Is Against Keystone XL. Hillary Clinton Was ‘Inclined’ to Approve It. Why the Difference”, July 2015

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While the debate rages, some people have taken a firm and bold stance on the environmental disaster in the making. Perhaps the biggest opponent of Keystone XL in Congress is Senator Bernie Sanders, who says, “The idea that we would give a green light for the transportation of 800,000 barrels of some of the dirtiest oils all over the world makes no sense to me.” In addition, Bernie Sanders has openly questioned the sanity of Congress, declaring that “it is totally crazy” to think Keystone won’t adversely affect the planet and states the following:

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One big question for Democrats in 2016 will be Hillary Clinton’s ‘inclination’ to support Keystone. In an article by The Christian Science Monitor titled Hillary Clinton has a Keystone XL problem, Clinton’s ambiguous position on the biggest environmental controversy of recent years is analyzed:

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In February, President Obama sided with progressives like Bernie Sanders and took a direct and unwavering stand on the Keystone XL pipeline, vetoing the Keystone XL bill and blocking what 350.org describes as a “pipeline that would connect Alberta, Canada with Gulf Coast refineries that would carry 800,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil across the United States to be refined, exported and burned.” Like Bernie Sanders, who vehemently opposes the pipeline and believes it will lead to a “significantly less inhabitable” planet, Obama listened to the concerns of Greenpeace and others regarding “how disastrous the tar sands oil industry is to the climate.”

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Finally, the word “why” will be an important issue of its own in the upcoming election. If the GOP supports Keystone, and Clinton was “inclined” to support it, then why does there exist a difference on Keystone between Sanders and Clinton? Why is one person overtly against it while the other is silent? The answer to this question, and to several others, could dictate who wins the 2016 Democratic nomination. It’s also an answer that might enable Bernie Sanders to win the presidency.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/bernie-sanders-is-against-keystone-xl-hillary-clinton-was-inclined-to-approve-it-why-the-difference_b_7830214.html

“Hillary Clinton opposes Keystone XL pipeline”, September 2015

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/22/politics/hillary-clinton-opposes-keystone-xl-pipeline/

“Justin Trudeau ‘disappointed’ with U.S. rejection of Keystone XL”, November 2015

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t like the U.S. decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but says it will not hurt the strong bond between the two countries.

“We are disappointed by the decision but respect the right of the United States to make the decision,” he said in a statement. 

“The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation.”

“We know that Canadians want a government that they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy. The government of Canada will work hand in hand with provinces, territories and like-minded countries to combat climate change, adapt to its impacts, and create the clean jobs of tomorrow.”

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Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose urged Trudeau to open new talks with Obama to voice Canada’s position that building the pipeline is environmentally sustainable and will create jobs.

“We are extremely disappointed that President Obama succumbed to domestic political pressure and rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. It has been clear for some time that — despite the facts, economic benefits and environmental safeguards — the White House’s decision was a fait accompli.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-keystone-pipeline-trudeau-obama-1.3307458

“U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi”, Ιούλιος 2014

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-07-04/u-s-seen-as-biggest-oil-producer-after-overtaking-saudi

U.S. remained world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2014”, Απρίλιος 2015

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=20692

“Hugo Chavez’s Favorite Daughter Is Richest Person in Venezuela”, August 2015

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/08/11/report-hugo-chavezs-favorite-daughter-is-the-richest-person-in-venezuela/

“Hillary Clinton Takes Jewish Vote in New York Primaries”, April 2016

http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.715455

“The Cost of Shale Oil Versus Conventional Oil”

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/051215/cost-shale-oil-versus-conventional-oil.asp

“Migrant crisis: Why the Gulf states are not letting Syrians in”, September 2015

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34173139

“Muslims for Bernie Sanders”, April 2016

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Bernie Sanders is the closest candidate to the aspirations of millions of decent Americans dreaming of a better future.

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On the Republican front, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are clean-shaven prehistoric cave-dwellers in business suits, while Hillary Clinton on the Democratic front is the dictionary definition of a chameleon – like a corrupt politician changing colour depending on which way the political wind blows but consistently representing mega-donors, big banks, and Super PACs without any moral scruples, while feigning that she cares about the poor and the disenfranchised.

In this presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders is the closest candidate to the aspirations of millions of decent Americans dreaming of a better future for their children while refusing to lend their name to an imperial republic that systematically arms the rich tyrants around the world, supports Israel stealing Palestine and murdering Palestinians one settlement at a time, and helps to create monstrosities such as ISIL.

Come April 19 New York primary, like millions of other New Yorkers, I intend to exercise my very fragile rights as a US citizen and go and vote for Bernie Sanders, doing my share and hoping he will beat Clinton and win the Democratic nomination.

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I intend to vote for Bernie Sanders conscious of a crucial development in the US Muslim community. This year is the first time that I will vote in a presidential election conscious of being a Muslim, and that consciousness is a significant event in the make-up of the US Muslim community at a time of intense Islamophobia.

I will not be the first nor the only Muslim voting for Sanders in the US. The fact that US Muslims are significantly siding with Senator Sanders has already made majorheadlines in the US.

There is, in fact, an entire Facebook page dedicated to “Muslims for Bernie Sanders 2016”. Leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals like Zareena Grewal and Donna Auston have also written eloquently as to “Why Muslim Americans should vote for Bernie Sanders”. 

Reports indicate that “in less than three weeks, Bernie Sanders, being a friend of the Arab and Muslim American communities, has become legendary, and the support from this community of Sanders voters has been growing online since his March 8 victory in Michigan.”

The significance of US Muslims rallying behind Sanders as “the only Jewish candidate” should neither be exaggerated nor misinterpreted. This is a crucial development, but we need to know why. 

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/04/muslims-bernie-sanders-160417053002807.html

“Why I will vote for Bernie Sanders”, February 2016

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/01/vote-bernie-sanders-elections-hillary-clinton-160131095804384.html

“Why women should support Sanders not Clinton”, February 2016

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The idea that having a woman in office will automatically make the lives of most US women better is wrong-headed.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/02/women-support-sanders-clinton-160211103020677.html

“Only Bernie Sanders can stop Donald Trump”, March 2016

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/03/11/Only-Bernie-Sanders-can-stop-Donald-Trump.html

“Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders has the best policies”, January 2016

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/01/noam-chomsky-bernie-sanders-policies-election-160125180058899.html

“Saudi Prince Gives Millions to Harvard and Georgetown”, December 2005

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Harvard University and Georgetown University each announced yesterday that they had received $20 million donations from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a Saudi businessman and member of the Saudi royal family, to to finance Islamic studies.

Harvard said it would create a universitywide program on Islamic studies, recruit new faculty members in the field, provide more support for graduate students and convert rare Islamic textual sources into digital formats to make them widely available.

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Georgetown said it would use the gift — the second-largest it has ever received — to expand its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, which is part of its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. It said it would rename the center the H.R.H. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

The prince, who is said to be in his late 40’s or early 50’s, and was fifth on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy people this year, with a fortune of $23.7 billion, has made a variety of other sizable gifts, including $20 million to the Louvre and to other universities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/13/education/saudi-prince-gives-millions-to-harvard-and-georgetown.html?_r=0

“Why Arabian Gulf Countries Donate to US Universities”, June 2008

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=31241

British universities receive Saudi funds”, September 2012

http://www.arabnews.com/british-universities-receive-saudi-funds

“Bolivian president Evo Morales sees a lot to like in Bernie Sanders’ candidacy”, Απρίλιος 2016

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The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, has said that an unexpected meeting at the Vatican with US presidential contender Bernie Sanders had demonstrated a “thirst for a different kind of democracy” in the US.

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The firebrand leftist, known as an outspoken critic of US influence of Latin America, added that Sanders’ critique of wealthy donors’ outsized influence in the US squared with his own skeptical view of its democracy.

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Morales, a one-time coca grower, was recently rebuffed by Bolivian voters when they defeated a referendum that would have changed the country’s constitution to allow him to run for a fourth term.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/21/bolivia-president-evo-morales-bernie-sanders-vatican

“Profile: Bolivia’s President Evo Morales”, February 2016

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First elected in December 2005, Evo Morales, from the Aymara indigenous group, is first president to come from the country’s indigenous majority.

As a leader of a coca-growers union, he was also the first president to emerge from the social movements whose protests forced Bolivia’s two previous presidents from office.

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An avowed socialist, his political ideology combines standard left-wing ideas with an emphasis on traditional indigenous Andean values and concepts of social organisation.

But his first move, a few months after taking office, was to begin the process of putting Bolivia’s rich gas fields under state control.

By the middle of 2006, he had renationalised Bolivia’s oil and gas industries.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-12166905

“Bernie Sanders Tells Latinos He Backs Immigration Reform at NALEO”, June 2015

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The second Democratic candidate to go before a gathering of Latino officials this week, presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders dedicated much of his speech to immigration reform saying it’s time for the country to stop playing the native born against immigrants.

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He also said he opposes tying immigration reform to the building of a border fence and called for a path to citizenship for those here illegally.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/bernie-sanders-tells-latinos-he-bacsk-immigration-reform-naleo-n378691

“Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline”, November 2015

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President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oilpipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies.

Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/07/us/obama-expected-to-reject-construction-of-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline.html

“Obama says Keystone XL is for exporting oil outside the U.S., experts disagree”, November 2014

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President Barack Obama and many other Democrats think there’s little to be gained by building the Keystone XL pipeline.

On Nov. 18, Senate Democrats voted down a proposal to build the oil pipeline — which would stretch from Canada to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with an existing pipeline that goes to Texas’ coast.. But the issue isn’t going anywhere. When the new Republican-led Senate takes over in January, it will likely be at the top of their priorities list.

Obama and other Keystone critics have argued that the pipeline would have a negative environmental impact, while having little benefit for the United States. For example, constructing the pipeline would result in few permanent American jobs.

“Understand what this project is,” Obama said at a Nov. 14 press conference in Burma. “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/nov/20/barack-obama/obama-says-keystone-xl-exporting-oil-experts-disag/

“Pipeline problems hinder Canada’s oil exports”, October 2015

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Companies producing crude in the oil sands of western Canada are being constrained from growing any further by a shortage of pipeline capacity to ship oil out of the region.

Uncertainty over routes to market for any increased production has become an additional deterrent to investment in the oil sands, compounding the effect of the slump in oil prices, according to environmental campaigners, who want to stop the region’s production growing.

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As President Barack Obama’s administration continues to procrastinate over a decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL project to take diluted heavy oil from Alberta to the US, other planned export routes out of the province are also facing delays and political obstruction in Canada.

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The strain on pipeline capacity is analysed in a report published on Tuesday by a campaign group called Oil Change International, with backing from leading North American environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and 350.org.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c2834e3c-7c62-11e5-98fb-5a6d4728f74e.html#axzz48RdoTMvI

“The Islamist-Environmentalist Alliance”, November 2011

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Saudi Arabia has no better friend than the Sierra Club, and the Emirates have no better salesmen than the environmentalists who keep the country hooked on conflict oil. The administration’s sabotage of the Keystone XL project through delays aimed at killing the pipeline is a cynical act of cowardice, and it’s a shot in the arm to the very regimes that it claims to oppose.

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Instead billions have been poured into the People’s Republic of China, which lends us the money to pay for the solar and wind power components that we buy from them, and after the handful of watts from green power have been exhausted to spread joy and peace across parts of Vermont and Oregon, the country goes back with hat in hand to the grinning petroleum plutocracies.

No activist group in America has promoted the growth of tyranny around the world the way that the environmentalist movement has. Every time drilling equipment stands idle because it might endanger the home of the spotted purple mock warbler or the congealed nanny state lizard, the cash registers and card readers in the malls of Dubai ring in another payday.

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The tyrants would still be around, but with one hand out for money they wouldn’t be all that much of a threat. It’s no coincidence that the craziest and most vicious tyrants in the Middle East are found squatting on the dirty thrones of oil regimes. Compare Saddam, the Ayatollahs, Gaddafi and the House of Saud to Mubarak or the Jordanian monarchy. Even Assad’s violent tantrums are brought to you by the oil wells of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Every time environmentalists kill a project in America, they revive it overseas with less oversight, more pollution and without the human rights. The death of Keystone XL means more pollution in China and war in the Middle East. Crusading environmentalists helped kill America’s industries and kept the regime in Beijing alive. The tanks that rolled over the democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square were as green as their environmentalist backers. Both of them painted in the resplendent color of American money.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/113303/islamist-environmentalist-alliance-daniel-greenfield

“The Clinton-Sanders New York Primary Debate: Energy In Focus”, April 2016

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/04/14/the-clinton-sanders-new-york-primary-debate-energy-in-focus/

 

 

Pakistan-Osama bin Laden

According to the Pakistani Prime Minister, the Pakistan-China alliance is higher than the mountains and deeper than the seas. See Stratfor article. I guess he is referring to the 46 billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is promoted by China (New Silk Roads). Actually the two countries have been allies for decades, and they jointly fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, and also their common rival India.

As you can read at the following Stratfor article, the construction of this economic corridor faces various problems, and one of them is that is heavily based on the western Pakistani province of Balochistan. The Baloch people are a Sunni Muslim tribe, and 7 out of 9 million of them live in Pakistan.

Image 1 Baloch People

Ρωσία VS Κίνα (Μάιος 2016).JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baloch_people

Pakistan was a part of India, and when it was separated from India it became one country, in order for the Muslims of India to have power. But now the Baloch people believe they are not equally treated by the other Muslim tribes of Pakistan, and they claim that religion should not be placed before national characteristics, and many of them ask for a country of their own.

At the following map, from a Balochist site, you can see a map of a Balochistan, as it is envisioned by the Baloch people. The Baloch people have been traditionally living in what is today Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, and the map includes some parts of all these three countries.

Map 1 Balochistan

Map of Balochistan

https://balochliberationmovement.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/map4.jpg

The Pakistani port of Gwadar is located at Balochistan, and China is supposed to use the port for commercial purposes, but also as a naval base, in order to become a two Ocean power and encircle India.

Map 2 Pakistan

Map Provinces of Pakistan.JPG

http://www.mapsofworld.com/pakistan/maps/pakistan-political-map.jpg

For India, the China-Pakistan Economic and Military corridor is a real headache, because it will undo India’s geographic advantage over China for the trade with Europe and Africa, and it will give China the chance to encircle India. That’s why India is supporting the aspirations of the Baloch people in Pakistan, in the same way she is supporting the Tibetan people in China.

India also has a motive to become an American ally, since India cannot expect much help from her traditional ally Russia, because Russia and China have formed an alliance against the United States. The United States are facing China in the South China Sea, because China wants to make it a Chinese lake, and a huge part of the world trade passes through the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea.

As you can read at the following Huffington Post article, in March 2016, the Pakistanis arrested in Balochistan an ex officer of the Indian Navy, and they claim that he was there to help the Baloch people find arms. India denied the accusations, even though she admitted that the man was indeed an ex Indian officer. But what the Pakistanis say sounds plausible. See Huffington Post “Tensions Mount Between India and Pakistan Over Balochistan”, March 2016.

In the same Huffington Post article you will read that Pakistan asked for Iran’s cooperation on the Iranian-Pakistani borders, in order to take care of the Baloch issue, since both countries have Baloch populations at their borders. But Iran did not agree to cooperate with Pakistan on the Baloch issue, even though the Iranians treat their Baloch population much worst than the Pakistanis treat theirs, as you can read at the article.

The reason Iran does not want to cooperate with Pakistan against the Baloch people of Pakistan is that it Iran does not want to alienate India, and that could happen if the Iranians and the Pakistanis start coopering against the Baloch people of Pakistan. India is the second largest importer of Iranian oil, second only to China, and Iran cannot afford to lose India to the Arabs.

Image 2 Iranian Oil Exports

Ιρανικές Εξαγωγές Πετρελαίου.JPG

https://www.stratfor.com/sites/default/files/main/images/Iran-Oil-Exports-071615_0.jpg

Moreover the Indians have included Iran in the Indian Silk Roads i.e. the North South Transport Corridor. The North South Transport Corridor will connect Bombay (India) with Chabahar (Iran), and from there the Indian merchandizes will reach Europe through Azerbaijan and Russia.

Map 3 North South Transport Corridor

Χάρτης Ινδία Ρωσία.JPG

http://financialtribune.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/07%20INSTC%20449-ab.jpg?itok=WFV1LGNK&c=5591aebda12dbd507d5a2fc5e22ee93a

The Iranians and the Indians are also promoting the Iran-Oman-India natural gas pipeline, which will bypass Pakistan, one of India’s greatest rivals.

Map 4

Χάρτης Ινδίας VS Κίνα

The Iranians obviously would be very happy to see that the issue of the Baloch people is “settled”, but India is a great customer and they do not want to upset India by getting involved in the Pakistani-Indian rivalry. After all Iran and Pakistan now have some common economic interests, but in the past they have been bitter rivals, because Pakistan was a major Arab ally. Now the Pakistanis are trying to become somewhat neutral in the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, because they have significant economic interests with both the Arabs and the Iranians.

I said that the Indians are trying to cause problems in Iran and China, and I have to say that the Iranians and the Chinese are doing the same thing, and they have supported many terrorist attacks against India. Pakistan is the specialist when it comes to terroism, and Pakistan can use the 180 million Muslim people of India to that end. Pakistan has great influence in Islamic terrorism.

The India-US alliance has alienated Pakistan and United States. The United States have already accused the Pakistanis for carrying out attacks against CIA agents. See “Declassified U.S. document suggests Pakistani link to attack on CIA agents”, April 2016.

The United States are also thinking to cancel the annual military aid they offer to Pakistan, which is approximately 1 billion dollars per year. The Pakistanis are threatening the United States they will buy Russian or Chinese aircrafts instead of American ones. I guess they also mean they will support more terrorist attacks against the United States if the Americans stop giving them the 1 billion dollars each year. See Financial Times “Pakistan threatens to buy Russian or Chinese jets in spat with US”, May 2016.

For the American military aid see the following map.

Map 5 American Aid

American Aid.JPG

http://howmuch.net/articles/countries-scaled-to-the-economic-aid-they-receive-from-us

Also note that Osama bin Laden, the number 1 man of Al Qaeda, was hiding at Pakistan when the US navy seals killed him. After the bin Laden assassination Pakistan imprisoned a Pakistani doctor who supposedly helped the Americans trace bin Laden. See Financial Times “Bin Laden case doctor linked to militant”, May 2012.

Moreover, the CIA head in Pakistan, was poisoned after his success with bin Laden, and he had to urgently quit Pakistan. According to the Americans it was the Pakistani secret services that poisoned him. See Washington Post “After presiding over bin Laden raid, CIA chief in Pakistan came home suspecting he was poisoned by ISI”, May 2016.

Map 6 Ethnic Groups of Pakistan

Pakistan Ethnic Groups.JPG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Pakistan_ethnic_map.svg/2050px-Pakistan_ethnic_map.svg.png

Articles

“The $46 Billion Tie That Binds China and Pakistan”, May 2016

7th Paragraph

While CPEC has been touted as a “game-changer” for Pakistan, Islamabad will need to overcome several problems standing in the way of its implementation. The first is regionalism. Rivalries among Pakistan’s provinces of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Sindh and Balochistan — each with its own strong cultural identities — have long stood in the way of forging an overarching national identity. In particular, Balochistan, the country’s least-populous province, has long accused Punjab, the wealthiest and most populous province, of marginalizing its people. One grievance Balochis hold is that Punjabis expropriated the operations of the Gwadar port, which is being expanded under the CPEC, and delegated the port authority’s administration, cutting Balochis out of the equation. (In November 2015, a Chinese firm signed a 43-year lease for the rights to operate the port.)

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/46-billion-tie-binds-china-and-pakistan?utm_source=paidlist-a&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=*|DATE:|*&utm_content=Daily+Intelligence+Brief%3A+May+6%2C+2016

“Tensions Mount Between India and Pakistan Over Balochistan”, March 2016

1st , 2nd, 3rd Paragraphs

On March 24th, the Pakistani security officials, backed by the civilian authorities, said they had arrested an Indian national somewhere in Balochistan and now they describe it as the “evidence” of Indian involvement in the restive province. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has also confirmed that Mr. Kulbhushan yadhav, a former Navy officer, has been arrested. While Islamabad says Mr. Yadhav worked for the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), on a high position, New Delhi has denied his affiliation with its premier intelligence agency.

Τhe circumstances surrounding the arrest of the Indian national are still elusive. Nobody knows how and where he was arrested and who arrested him. Likewise, the Pakistanis have leveled all kinds of allegations on him soon after the news about his arrest broke out. They say he was involved in providing training and weapons to the Baloch insurgents and engaged in promoting unrest in Karachi. One wonders how much time it took the Pakistani officials to extract so much information from Mr. Yadhav when they are saying that he has been moved to Islamabad for further investigation. Regardless the authenticity of the Pakistani charges, the arrest of Mr. Yadhav will significantly help Islamabad in embarrassing India and discrediting the Baloch nationalists for what they bill as a homegrown liberation movement.

For the past several years, Pakistan has been accusing India of interfering in Balochistan, but it never brought in public any evidence to substantiate its claims. The alleged Indian involvement in Balochistan has become an integral part of the talking points the Pakistani officials use whenever they meet with the Indian officials. The meeting between former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt in 2009 was the first occasion when Balochistan was mentioned at a high level. Afterward, the Pakistani officials also provided dossiers to the United Nations — which were not made public — in October 2015 to prove the Indian hand in fomenting trouble inside Pakistan. The Indians, on the other hand, say they have no interest in destabilizing Pakistan.

6th Paragraph

This incident coincided with the first visit to Islamabad of Iran’s Hassan Rouhani since becoming the President. Iran has suddenly become an active player in the region after the lifting of the sanctions because of the successful deal with the P5+1 nations. Tensions between Tehran and Riyadh have also skyrocketed in the recent months because of differences on Syria and Yemen. The Pakistani officials have reportedly mentioned Mr. Jadhav’s case with the visiting Iranian leader and sought Iran’s cooperation on border security. (The Iranian leader denied discussing the matter with the Pakistanis). The Iranians, on their part, have even a worse record than the Pakistanis when it comes to treating the Baloch people. For instance, last month Shahindokht Molaverdi, Iran’s vice president for women and family affairs,conceded that “we have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan (province) where every single man has been executed.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malik-siraj-akbar/tensions-mount-between-in_b_9552090.html

“Pakistan threatens to buy Russian or Chinese jets in spat with US”, May 2016

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/49dcfe66-11c6-11e6-839f-2922947098f0.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fworld%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz47jU2m2h3

“Declassified U.S. document suggests Pakistani link to attack on CIA agents”, April 2016

http://in.reuters.com/article/usa-pakistan-cia-attack-idINKCN0XB2VO

“Lawmakers: Pakistan could use F-16s against India, not terrorists”, April 2016

http://www.worldtribune.com/lawmakers-pakistan-could-use-f-16s-against-india-not-terrorists/

“U.S. tells Pakistan it will have to fund F-16s itself”, April 2016

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pakistan-planes-idUSKCN0XT1U6?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

“Bin Laden case doctor linked to militant”, May 2012

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8a5872b2-aa5b-11e1-8b9d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz47fBHLrSe

“After presiding over bin Laden raid, CIA chief in Pakistan came home suspecting he was poisoned by ISI”, May 2016

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-bin-laden-raids-shadow-bad-blood-and-the-suspected-poisoning-of-a-cia-officer/2016/05/05/ace85354-0c83-11e6-a6b6-2e6de3695b0e_story.html?postshare=7671462470729574&tid=ss_tw