On Tuesday we get the latest tragedy out of Turkey as at least 10 are dead in a suicide attack on Istanbul. The explosion rocked Sultanahmet Square outside the city’s Blue Mosque injuring 15 in addition to those killed.
To the degree that the current crisis has anything to do with religion, it’s much less about whether Abu Bakr or Ali was Muhammad’s rightful successor and much more about who’s going to control something more concrete right now: oil.
The mainspring of Islamic extremism and militancy isn’t the moderate and democratic political Islam, because why would people turn to violence when they can exercise their right to choose their rulers? The mainspring of Islamic militancy is the despotic and militant political Islam of the Gulf variety. The Western powers are fully aware of this fact, then why do they choose to support the same forces that have nurtured jihadism and terroris?
"I commend the law enforcement for apprehending these two individuals, but their apprehensions raise the immediate question: Who else is there? What are they planning next? We need to see a systematic and careful retroactive assessment of refugees brought in from high-risk countries."
For more than four decades Washington’s middle eastern policy has been dead wrong and increasingly counter-productive and destructive. Washington’s Mideast policy is predicated on the assumption that the answer to high oil prices and energy security is deployment of the Fifth Fleet to the Persian Gulf. And that an associated alliance with one of the most corrupt, despotic, avaricious and benighted tyrannies in the modern world is the lynch pin to regional stability and US national security. Nothing could be further from the truth. The House of Saud is a scourge on mankind that would have been eliminated decades ago, save for Imperial Washington’s deplorable coddling and massive transfer of arms and political support.
Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian jet and the Saudi execution of a revered Shiite cleric, who threatened no one in prison, should cause the United States to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the alliances and war guarantees we have outstanding, many of them dating back half a century. Do all, do any, still serve U.S. vital national interests?
"It is time to accept that what we have done has worked brilliantly for twenty years but does not work anymore and move on. We are confident our process will eventually work again – for the laws of economics will never be repealed – but for now they are suspended and may be for some time; an indefinite period involving indeterminate levels of risk during which we think it would be wrong for us to be the stewards of your money."
When a pair of Sunni mosques were bombed in Iraq on Sunday, the assumption was that the attacks were carried out by angry Shiites protesting the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Iraqi officials on the other hand, blame ISIS. If Islamic State is behind the attacks, the question becomes this: were they instructed to carry out the bombings by a handler or a benefactor with a hidden agenda?
There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.
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.
The deeper we dig into the story of Dubai's vaporized gold, the more skeletons just tumble out of the closet on what may be the world's biggest gold smuggling ring ever, one involving not just Turkey and Iran, but the mother of all gold smuggling: China itself...
Back in August, Nationalist opposition leader Devlet Bahceli took to Twitter to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a "locally produced Hitler, Stalin or Qaddafi." While Bahceli probably meant that as an insult, Erdogan seems to agree.