• 09/21/2014 - 14:52
    Dear Janet; If I may be so forward, as a concerned citizen of the Constitutional Republic of the United States, it is with great consternation that I feel compelled to write you this distressing...

Israel

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President Obama Explains Why He "Did Not Request Permission" To Invade Syria - Live Feed





Last night's airstrikes on ISIS in Syria came as a surprise to some (though apparently not ISIS who local reporters note had time to move weapons and personnel) as President Obama - and his local arab nation allies (acting in support), though notably no Western nations - unleashed hell on Assad's sovereign territory. The first stirrings of responses from Russia have been creeping out and now Israel is involved in the anti-ISIS coalition. The State Department has just confirmed that they did not give advance warning to the Syrian regime. If you are playing along at home, key words include "broad coalition", "Assad still a bad guy", "Vladimir who?", and "not Muslim."

 
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Israel Joins The Fighting, Shoots Down Syrian Warplane Which Acted In "Threatening Manner"





Whether as a result of recent icy to quite icy diplomatic relations between the two nations, or just because it has other motives, Israel had clearly abstained from joining the US effort to contain the CIA-created ISIS terrorist juggernaut. However, overnight, with the US finally doing what Israel has hoped it would do for so long, namely being engaged in a bombing campaign of Syria (recall that it was Israel which was one of the biggest supporters of a US-led military intervention in Syria in the summer of 2013), it decided "hell, why not" and joined the fray, when shortly before 3 am Eastern time, this hit:

  • ISRAELI SAYS IT DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT IN ISRAELI AIRSPACE
  • ISRAELI ARMY SAYS DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT WAS FIGHTER JET

Quite notable because it was the first time in three decades that Israel had downed a Syrian warplane, so Israel needed a strong pretext for such aggression. An aggression, incidentally, not against ISIS, but Assad's regime itself, which clearly is what Obama's latest operation is all about - to take down a sovereign while doing the bidding of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, just like in 2013.

 
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Futures Slide As Overnight Bad News Is Actually Bad News





European stocks, U.S. equity index futures fall after Euro area PMI for Aug. missed ests., while bond yields for German, Spanish, U.K. debt fall. Copper rises with positive Chinese PMI data, while oil gains as OPEC discusses output cut. European health care stocks among largest underperformers as U.S. plans tighter rules on tax inversion M&A.

 
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The Geopolitical Situation In Europe





After the end of the cold war, the United States dominated world affairs for nearly twenty years. However, the situation of a unipolar world has changed since the financial crisis of 2008 to a now multipolar world that includes China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa. These powers are influencing and manipulating the conflict zones we have today to their advantage. By analysing and dissecting the issues concerning the major conflict zones on our world map, as well as illustrating the parties involved, this article will explain what political and strategic interests are at play and how the development in major hotspots shape the big picture. This will identify the geopolitical forces that affect the European continent and what future concerns and worries await us.

 
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What Iraq Thinks: "It Is Obvious To Everyone That ISIS Is A Creation Of The United States And Israel"





Ever since the stunningly rapid arrival of ISIS on the global scene, there has been speculation that this spin-off of Al-Qaeda, itself a "terrorist" organization if not created by the CIA then certainly funded by Langley courtesy of Operation Cyclone in its "freedom fighter" stage, has had the implicit or explicit backing of either the US or Israel intelligence service. Nowhere is such speculation more vocal than in the one country that has suffered the most from ISIS: Iraq, or rather what is left of the country now that it is split into southern Iraq, the Islamic State, and a Kurdish region that quietly sells crude to unknown buyers at blue light special prices. To the Iraq locals there is no mystery: “It is obvious to everyone that the Islamic State is a creation of the United States and Israel” says Omar al-Jabouri, 31, a Sunni Muslim from a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad. His view echoes what a vast number of his peers think.

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week





With the snoozer of an FOMC meeting in the rearview mirror, as well as Scotland's predetermined independence referndum, last week's key events: the BABA IPO and the iPhone 6 release, are now history, which means the near-term catalysts are gone and the coming week will be far more relaxed, if hardly boring. Here is what to expect.

 
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Shocking Anti-Islam Ad Campaign Coming To New York City Buses And Subways





In a move that is certain to further escalate already stretched racial tensions in America's most cosmopolitan city, some 100 New York City buses will soon carry jarring anti-Islamic posters which feature photos of an ISIS beheading victim, his alleged executioner, Adolf Hitler, declare "Yesterday's moderate [Muslim] is today's headline" and proclaim "It's not Islamophobia, it's Islamorealism" as part of an "educational campaign." According to the NY Daily News, the ads, paid for by flame-throwing blogger Pamela Geller, at a cost of $100,000, are intended as an “education campaign” to warn of the “problem with jihad” and Islamic sharia law, Geller said.

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week: Fed Votes, Scotland Votes, And More





US Industrial Production and the NY Fed Empire State Manufacturing survey are the two main releases for the US. In Europe, the euro area trade balance will be the notable print. Beyond today, US PPI, German ZEW and UK CPI are the main economic reports tomorrow. Wednesday will see the release of BOE’s meeting minutes, the US CPI, and the Euro area inflation report. On Thursday, President Obama will host Poroshenko and on the data front we have Philly Fed, initial claims, and building permits to watch out for, but the biggest market moving event will surely be the Scottish independence referendum. German PPI will be the key release on what will otherwise be a relatively quiet Friday.

 
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ISIS' Next Target: The Suez Canal





Following ISIS blitzkrieg in which it took over nearly half of Iraq and a third of Syria in the blink of an eye, at which point it created its own Islamic State Caliphate resulting in Obama's own personal war against the jihadists, some have wondered what is ISIS' next step: surely its leadership will not merely stagnatte as one after another US predator drone bomb away the capital Reqqa until ISIS figurehead leader al-Baghdadi is killed or gravely wounded. To be sure, the one thing ISIS, which stunned the world with the speed of its ascent, can not afford is to stand still. So what is next on the strategic timeline for the Islamic State? According to one source, Al Arabiya, which cites Egyptian experts, the answer is none other than the Suez Canal, and the country it is located in: Egypt.

 
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Meet The Bubblebusters: Federal Reserve Launches A Committee To "Avoid Asset Bubbles"





Just when we thought that the Fed is pulling an Obama and has "no strategy" to deal with what not some fringe blog but Deutsche Bank itself proclaimed was the bubble to end, or rather extend, all bubbles, when it said that "the bubble probably needs to continue in order to sustain the current global financial system" they surprise us once again when they report that, drumroll, the Fed has formed a committee led by the former head of the Bank of Israel - best known for using de novo created fiat money to buy AAPL stock as part of "prudent monetary policy" - Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, to monitor financial stability, which according to Bloomberg is "reinforcing the Fed's efforts to avoid the emergence of asset-price bubbles."

 
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Living In An Age Of Anything Goes And Nothing Matters





The memory hole is working overtime in the USA zeitgeist these days. Shit happens and a week or so later, it unhappens. So it goes, as the late, great Vonnegut always said. All of these stories have something in common: tons of unanswered questions, which the news media shows no interest whatsoever in following up on. And no consequences. People die, nations rise and fall, money disappears, and everybody forgets. The memory hole is the truest signifier of the times we live in: the Age of Anything Goes and Nothing Matters... but that may be changing.

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week: iPhone 6 Release And Other Less Relevant Happenings





One of the more amusing comments overnight came from Bank of America, which now predicts that China's export growth will be boosted by iPhone 6 by 1% per month through year-end. Whether or not this is accurate is irrelevant, but we are happy that unlike before, BofA has finally figured out that iPhone sales are positive for Chinese GDP, not US, which was the case with the release of the iPhone 4 and 5, when clueless strategists all came out boosting their US (!) GDP forecasts on the iPhone release. We note this because the long-awaited release of Apple's new iPhone will certainly grab some attention tomorrow. According to a BofA poll last week and of the 124 respondents surveyed, 66% of those have noted that they are going to buy the new iPhone and of those planning to buy 75% of those will be replacing their iPhone 5/5s.

 
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Europe Needs A New Source Of Oil And Gas, Fast





Summer is over and many Europeans may have to keep warm this coming winter by thinking about their summer holidays while wrapped in blankets, praying for a short winter or for the world to come to its senses. It both cases, they may well be disappointed. The never-ending conflicts in the Middle East, mayhem in Libya, uncertainty in the Gulf and a war in Ukraine are all going to take a toll on the energy supplies this winter. Result? Many cold Europeans, many angry Europeans and many very pissed off Europeans. And what does history tell us about cold, angry, pissed-off Europeans?

 
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Ukraine, Separatists Agree On Cease-Fire; EU May Suspend Sanctions





UPDATE: So far no good...*HEAVY ARTILLERY BLASTS HEARD IN UKRAINE'S MARIUPOL: RIA

While we had grown weary of trashed truces and snapped cease-fires in Israel, it appears, according to Interfax, that Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (having gained notably over the army in recent days) have agreed a cease-fire:

*UKRAINE, SEPARATISTS AGREE ON CEASE-FIRE FROM 6PM TODAY, PRELIM. PROTOCOL TO CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN MINSK: BBC

Great news, especially for Merkel (and Hollande) who has already come out and noted that the cease-fire means EU could suspend sanctions (saving face and avoiding some further escalation). The question is - how much of Putin's 7-point-peace-plan will Ukraine acquiesce to? If any?

 
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Middle-East 'Frenemies'





The enemy of your enemy is your... frenemy; and so it is across the Middle East as the WSJ notes the spread of The Islamic State has united many parties once at odds with each other to become 'strange bedfellows'.

 
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