Iran's move to test-fire a new ballistic missile in October may not have violated the letter of the nuclear accord (on which the ink is barely dry), but UN experts say it does violate a Security Council resolution, a revelation which puts the Obama administration in an extremely awkward position just as Iran was poised to see economic sanctions lifted.
While New York City and London are already well known as top destinations for shady, foreign-money laundering oligarchs who often attain untold riches by thieving from their own people, the Los Angeles area has likewise morphed into a criminal real estate hub.
Just last week, controversial Shiite lawmaker Hanan Fatlawi suggested that John McCain was planning to coordinate with the Saudis, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey on a troop deployment to number 100,000 in Iraq. With the announcement of a new, 34 country military alliance, deputy crown prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman might have just verified Fatlawi's claims.
In the fifth and final GOP presidential nominee debate deathmatch (from The Ventian in Vegas), all eyes will be on the Cruz and Rubio as they vie for 2nd place to The Teflon Don. It won't be all plain-sailing for Trump (who warned CNN about "fairness" and slammed FOX's Megyn Kelly in the pre-debate tweetfest), who expects "them all to be coming for me," but we suspect Ben Carson will be a little quieter. With the stakes highest so far (and Iowa caucuses just 7 weeks away) for some of the also-rans it is put-up-or-shut-up time which may mean more fireworks and spectacle as Americans are distracted from their fear of terror, stagnant income, pre-Fed last supper.
As concerning and hateful as so much of Trump’s commentary is, we can at least be sure he speaks from his own twisted mind. This is precisely why he appeals to so many people in this day and age of completely captured politicians. People like the fact that every word out of his mouth hasn’t been carefully placed there by some billionaire patron. On the exact opposite end of that spectrum we find Marco Rubio. A man so incapable of free-thought, he becomes the ideal target for billionaires looking to craft the perfect puppet. Forget Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio is now the establishment GOP’s pick, and they will do everything in their power to get him the nomination.
Official Washington is awash with tough talk about Russia and the need to punish President Putin for his role in Ukraine and Syria. But this bravado ignores Russia’s genuine national interests, its “red lines,” and the risk that “tough-guy-ism” can lead to nuclear war. In short, Russia is being offered only the binary choice: to acquiesce to the “benevolent” hegemon, or to prepare for war.
If You Think It's Muslims Versus Jews and Christians, You're Being Played ...
"In short, the age of unconventional monetary policy begun by the 2007-09 financial crisis might not be ending."
- Jon Hilsenrath
As in George Orwell’s 1984, the IMF is dividing the world into warring factions - the West vs. the BRICS. To avoid the coming conflict that the neoconservatives’ pursuit of American hegemony is bringing, the Russians have relied on fact-based, truth-based diplomacy. However, neocon Washington relies on lies and propaganda and has many more and much louder voices. Consequently, it is Washington’s lies, not Russia’s truth, that most of the Western sheeple believe. The Western peoples are so dimwitted that they have not yet understood that the “war on terror” is, in fact, a war to create terror that can be exported to Muslim areas of Russia and China in order to destabilize the two countries that serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral, hegemonic power.
If the United States were truly serious about terrorism, it would start by gauging the level of threat properly and communicating that appraisal to the American people: We would also have a more honest and open discussion about our own role in generating it; we would now be having a frank discussion about the role of the media; we’d also see more creative efforts to discredit, marginalize, spoof, and embarrass the groups we oppose; and you’d see a more hardnosed approach to the various American “allies” who are part of the problem rather than being part of the solution.
Following Friday's further freefall in crude oil prices, The Middle East is opening down notably. Abu Dhabi, Saudi, and Kuwait are lower; Israel is weak and UAE and Qatar are tumbling, but Dubai is worst for now. Dubai is down for the 6th day in a row (dropping over 3% - the most in a month) extending the opening losses to 2-year lows. The 11% drop in the last 6 days is the largest since the post-China-devaluation global stock collapse. Leading the losses are financial and property firms.
Calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm of historic proportions. As all the old hate words - xenophobe, racist, bigot - have lost their electric charge from overuse, and Trump was being called a fascist demagogue and compared to Hitler and Mussolini. Why the hysteria? Comes the reply: Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration tramples all over “American values” and everything we stand for, including the Constitution. But is this really true? In fact, is this move a well thought out cunning plan?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up the rhetoric in what appears to be one step closer to the potential for direct conflict with The West. While not detailing 'who' he was focued on, amid the obvious Turkey-Russia tensions, Putin told a session of the Defense Ministry's collegium that "I order to act extremely tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed."
“There are enough people in the last two nights of the sample to question the widespread assumption that Trump’s comments will hurt him among GOP primary voters.”