"Turkey's interest in northern Syria and northern Iraq is not an abstraction triggered by a group of religious fanatics calling themselves the Islamic State; it is the bypass, intersection and reinforcement of multiple geopolitical wavelengths creating an invisible force behind Ankara to re-extend Turkey's formal and informal boundaries beyond Anatolia."
China Says US "Militarization" Of South China Sea Shows Washington "Wants Nothing Better Than Chaos"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/30/2015 20:00 -0400
"China is extremely concerned at the United States' pushing of the militarization of the South China Sea region. "What they are doing can't help but make people wonder whether they want nothing better than chaos."
To let the media tell it, recent "attacks" - including a suicide bombing that killed 32 people earlier this month - have prompted Turkey to officially join the fight against ISIS. In reality, Ankara's motivations can be explained not by a desire to rid the world of "terrorists", but by considerations of political expediency and by an autocrat's insatiable thirst for power.
- Fed expected to push ahead with rate hike plan (Reuters)
- Upbeat earnings lift European stocks ahead of Fed (Reuters)
- Chevron to Cut 1,500 Jobs (Rigzone)
- Can Windows 10 Revive PC Sales? (WSJ)
- U.S. Junk-Bond Buyers Left in Dark as Private Deals Become Norm (BBG)
- Jeb Bush Drawing Big Bucks From GOP Establishment (WSJ)
- Myriad of Greek Risks Means Money Managers in No Hurry to Return (BBG)
- Gas production at Gazprom set to hit post-Soviet low (FT)
- Fed Officials May Offer More Clarity on Rates (WSJ)
- Stocks rebound, shrugging off volatile and weak China (Reuters)
- Three-Day Selloff Knocks 11% From China Shares (WSJ)
- China shares fall again as Beijing scrambles to calm markets (Reuters)
- VAT hikes to make Greek destination less popular (Kathimerini)
- Varoufakis - Something is rotten with the eurozone’s hideous restrictions on sovereignty (FT)
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If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria’s secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial “regime change” abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home. Much of this “strategy” is personified by a single Washington power couple...
When Top Gear front man Jeremy Clarkson left the show, the crowds of fanatical followers faded fast. When Zayn left One Direction, the band's insatiable devotees started to question their faith in the boy band's message. And so, as IB Times reports, the exodus of ISIS front-man "Jihadi John" from the terror group - citing irreconcilable differences with his "jealous" former terrorist colleagues - one wonders if the cracks of caliphate are starting to show...
The US Syrian policy forces Ankara to walk a fine line between ISIS, Assad’s regime, Kurds, the US and its own interest. We will not rule out that Erdo?an could declare a state of emergency and postpone new elections. Whatever the result of the power struggle in Ankara may be, Turkey’s military will not accept the YPG and PKK armed to the teeth by the US.
Last week, we asked "Is Australia the next Greece?" It appears, judging bu the collapse in the Aussie Dollar, that some - if not all - are starting to believe it's possible after last night's 15-month low in China Manufacturing PMI. As UBS previously noted, China's real GDP growth cycles have become an increasingly important driver of Australia's nominal GDP growth this last decade. With iron ore and coal prices plumbing new record lows, a Chinese (real) economy firing on perhaps 1 cyclinder, and equity investors reeling from China's collapse; perhaps the situation facing Australia is more like Greece than many want to admit.
Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s "nuclear weapons program." And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.
With all eyes currently transfixed on Iran’s nuclear future, there is seemingly little attention being paid to another landmark Middle Eastern nuclear trend, spearheaded by Russia.
- In Asia/Pacific, the sales decline was primarily due to lower sales in China and Japan.
- Decreases in Latin America were primarily due to continued weak construction activity
- Sales declined in EAME primarily due to the unfavorable impact of currency, as sales in euros translated into fewer U.S. dollars.
- Sales declined in North America as weakness in oil and gas-related construction was largely offset by stronger activity in residential and nonresidential building construction.
As President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is compared to Richard Nixon’s opening to China, Bibi Netanyahu must know how Chiang Kai-shek felt as he watched his old friend Nixon toasting Mao in Peking. The Iran nuclear deal is not on the same geostrategic level. Yet both moves, seen as betrayals by old U.S. allies, were born of a cold assessment in Washington of a need to shift policy to reflect new threats and new opportunities. Several events contributed to the U.S. move toward Tehran.
Unfortunately, Trump’s antics will make it only more difficult to hold a sane debate about taking that time-out from immigration. So, one alternative is an insane debate about it, one based on sheer grievance and gall rather than the responsibilities of governance. We've feared for many years that we are all set up to welcome a red-white-and-blue, corn-pone Nazi political savior type. We don’t think Donald Trump is it. But he will be a stalking horse for a far more skillful demagogue when the time comes. There’s a fair chance that the wheels will come off the banking and monetary system well before the 2016 election. Who knows who or what will come out of the woodwork before then.
Even after a few weeks have passed, the unexpected visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum still has a lot of people scratching their heads. The news is full of widespread and contradictory theories, while questions abound. Why had the Saudis accepted an invitation from a country sanctioned by the U.S., its oldest and strongest ally? It is still a bit early for all the pieces to neatly fit together but now, after the dust has settled somewhat, a pattern seems to be emerging that may explain the situation.