Middle East

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This Time Isn't Different





The reckless herd has been in control for the last few years, but their recklessness is going to get them slaughtered. Corporate profits are plunging. Labor participation continues to fall. A global recession is in progress. The strong U.S. dollar is crushing exports and profits of international corporations. Real household income remains stagnant, while healthcare, rent, home prices, education, and a myriad of other daily living expenses relentlessly rises. The world is a powder keg, with tensions rising ever higher in the Middle East, Ukraine, Europe, and China. The lessons of history scream for caution at this moment in time, not recklessness. 2016 will be a year of reckoning for the reckless herd.

 
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German Anger Boils Over: Shots Fired At German Refugee Home; One Asylum Seeker Hit





Early on Monday, gun shots were fired at a home for asylum seekers in western Germany and one resident was lightly injured, police said. The shots were fired at a window of the building in the town of Dreieich at around 2.30 a.m (0130 GMT), and one hit a 23-year-old asylum seeker who was sleeping, according to police in Offenbach, near Frankfurt. He was taken to a hospital, but was able to leave shortly afterward.

 
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Saudi Default, Devaluation Odds Spike As Mid-East Careens Into Chaos





On the heels of a tumultuous weekend that saw Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi embassy was torched by protesters angry at the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, CDS spreads for the kingdom have blown out to six-year wides while the implied odds of the riyal peg finally breaking are hitting new record highs.

 
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Mid-East Melee: Sectarian Showdown Looms As Bahrain Cuts Ties With Iran, UAE Recalls Ambassador





What began with the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia has devolved into a full blown sectarian showdown with Bahrain cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, the UAE recalling its ambassador, Sudan expelling the Iranian mission, and Iraqi Shiites attacking Sunni mosques. In short: tinder box meet spark.

 
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Happy New Year: Global Stocks Crash After China Is Halted Limit Down In Worst Start To Year In History





It all started off relatively well: oil and US equity futures were buoyant on hopes Iran and Saudi Arabia would break out in a bloody conflict any minute boosting the net worth of shareholders of the military industrial complex, and then, out of nowhere, like a depressed China in a bull shop, the "mainland" crashed the party and it all well south very, very quickly...

 
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Crude Oil Opens Above $38, Takes Out 1-Week Highs





With hedge fund short positions near record highs and speculators at their least bullish in almost five years, oil prices have spurted higher in the early trading as the diplomatic gloves come off in The Middle East. Despite record levels of crude inventory around the world, WTI Crude is trading above $38, up over 3% from its $37.07 close on New Year's Eve. Algos ran the stops above last week's highs ($38.32) but for now prices are not as excited as many would have expected. Brent, for now, is outperforming and trade 45c rich to WTI.

 
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ISIS: The 'Enemy' The US Created, Armed, & Funded





To delve into Daesh’s convoluted money trail, one must first explore its equally convoluted origins. And in both areas, the role of the U.S. and its allies can not be ignored.

 
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2015 Year In Review: "Terminal Phase" Excess & Peak Cognitive Dissonance





Important pillars of the bull case evaporated throughout 2015. Global price pressures weakened, the global Credit backdrop deteriorated and the global economy decelerated. The huge bets on central bank policies left markets at high risk for abrupt reversals and trade unwinds – 2015 The Year of the Erratic Crowded Trade. Indeed, a global bear market commenced yet most remain bullish. Serious and objective analysts would view this ominously.

 
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Russian Imperialism Meets Illusions Of Ottoman Grandeur





Earlier in 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he found it difficult to understand what Russia was doing in Syria, since "it does not even border Syria." By that logic, Turkey should not be "doing anything" in the Palestinian territories, Somalia, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan or any of the non-bordering lands into which its neo-Ottoman impulses have pushed it.

 
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The Islamization Of Britain? Sex Crimes, Jihadimania, & "Protection Tax"





The Muslim population of Britain surpassed 3.5 million in 2015 to become around 5.5% of the overall population of 64 million. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France, then Germany. Islam and Islam-related issues were omnipresent in Britain during 2015, and can be categorized into five broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists in Syria and Iraq; 2) the continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) the sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; 4) Muslim integration into British society; and 5) the failures of British multiculturalism.

 
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Guest Post: "American Capitalism" No Longer Serves Society





America is being destroyed by problems that are unaddressed. Unbridled greed, short-term in nature, will continue to drive America into the ground.

 
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Sweden's First Month Of 'Islamic Multiculturalism' - Rapes, Acquittals, & Severed Heads





Some 30 Muslim men thought that the woman was in violation of Islamic sharia law, by being in Sweden unaccompanied by a man. They thought that she should therefore be raped and her teenage son killed. At first, the woman did not want to call the police. "She felt sorry for him [the rapist] ... and was afraid he would be deported back to Iraq." Two Swedish citizens were convicted by a Gothenburg Court of joining an Islamist terror group in Syria and murdering two captives. Video evidence showed one victim being beheaded. One week after Sweden raised its terror alert level to the highest ever, the police raised another alarm -- saying their weapons are simply not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack.

 
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Paul Craig Roberts: Why World War III Is On The Horizon





At this point in time, nuclear war can only be avoided in two ways. One way is for Russia and China to surrender and accept Washington’s hegemony. The other way is for an independent leader in Germany, the UK, or France to rise to office and withdraw from NATO. That would begin a stampede to leave NATO, which is Washington’s prime tool for causing conflict with Russia and, thereby, is the most dangerous force on earth to every European country and to the entire world. If NATO continues to exist, NATO together with the neoconservative ideology of American hegemony will make nuclear war inevitable.

 
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Guest Post: Is The West Disintegrating?





The movement toward deeper European integration appears to have halted, and gone into reverse, as the EU seems to be unraveling along ideological, national, tribal and historic lines. If these trends continue, and they seem to have accelerated in 2015, the idea of a United States of Europe dies, and with it the EU. And this raises a question about the most successful economic and political union in history - the USA.

 
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