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Iraq Breaks Down, Oil Surges - The Context Underlying The Growing Crisis

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity,

The situation in Iraq is serious, and is probably going to get worse before it gets better. The potential for this recent action to morph into a regional conflict is very high. That that means that oil could go a lot higher, and if it does, we can expect the odds of a global economic recession and an attendant financial crisis to go up considerably from here.

Before we dive into what's actually happening over there right now, I need to begin with a longer and deeper historical context of the region, which is essential to understanding pretty much everything in the Middle East. The western press likes to report on things as if they suddenly occur for no discernible reason, context-free and unconnected to our actions and activities over there. But the story of the Middle East is a story of intense external meddling -- especially by the US, recently. 

Further, I happen to hold the view that when an entire population resorts to violence, it's a sign that they feel they have no other options or opportunities.  Whether it's a financially-strapped fired US employee lashing out at their former bosses and co-workers, or an Arab youth raised in utter poverty deciding that military extremism makes sense, I see the same dynamic at play.

People, like animals, when cornered will take whatever path remains for them to escape. If left with no other paths besides violence, then violence is what you get.  It's not really all that hard to understand, and yet the US media goes out of its way to try and frame violent unrest as some form of inexplicable evil that magically appears for no good reason.

Well, there are plenty of reasons why violence exists in the Middle East is violent (and has for a very long time). And most of those have to do with resources, and their exceptionally scarcity in a desert environment.  

Of course, the Middle East isn't unique in this. For instance, the early European Viking raids and endless wars between the European kings during the middle ages were all essentially resource wars. To understand the reasons for war -- both ancient and modern --  you need to start with resources.  

So whenever I hear terms like 'radical militants' or 'Jihadists' or even 'terrorists', what I hear instead is 'people with poor resources who believe they have no other options.'  The unpleasant truth that threatens the dominant western narrative is that all humans, if they have access to sufficient resources and opportunities, are generally peaceful. By the time an entire population has been 'radicalized', the causal problems have been simmering for a long time and, as a result, will not be easily remedied.

Iraq Is Not Really A State

To start this story, we have to go back to the period just after WW I when Britain and France were divvying up the spoils of the region between themselves. 

Iraq did not exist prior to these two western powers taking out a map of the Middle east, a ruler and a pen, and summarily drawing straight lines that happened to rather inconsiderately cut across cultural, language and racial boundaries. The architects of this secret agreement were a Brit by the name of Sykes and a Frenchman by the name of Picot.

Prior to this Franco-British interference, the area was called Mesopotamia and had long been ruled by a contentious but roughly-balanced mixture of tribes and kings.

Here's the old Mesopotamia in green as compared to the borders drawn by Sykes & Picot:


To understand the current conflict, you have to understand the history of the borders, how they were drawn, and the extent of western plundering and meddling -- which began long before the Bush Iraq wars (I & II) began.

The old partition of the Middle East is dead. I dread to think what will follow

June 13, 2014


The entire Middle East has been haunted by the Sykes-Picot agreement, which also allowed Britain to implement Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s 1917 promise to give British support to the creation of a Jewish “homeland” in Palestine.


The collapsing Ottoman Empire of 1918 was to be split into two on a north-east, south-west axis which would run roughly from near Kirkuk – today under Kurdish control – across from Mosul in northern Iraq and the Syrian desert and through what is now the West Bank to Gaza.


Mosul was initially given to the French – its oil surrendered by the British in return for what would become a French buffer zone between Britain and the Russian Caucasus, Baghdad and Basra being safe in British hands below the French lines.


But growing British commercial desires for oil took over from imperial agreements. Mosul was configured into the British zone inside the new state of Iraq (previously Mesopotamia), its oil supplies safely in the hands of London.



It bears mentioning that the area the French and British allotted to themselves was already fully-populated by the people who lived there. However the area was already determined to be rich in oil and other commodities, and both colonial powers were well-practiced at the art of dividing and conquering local people in order to take their resources.

For the people of Mesopotamia, western resource plundering has only accelerated since the arbitrary lines that comprise the 'state' of Iraq were drawn. 

Of course, it's quite likely that Iraq's border were specifically drawn to cut across ethnic boundaries and thereby assure a failed state, because Britain had learned through history that failed states were the easiest to control. This was their preferred MO in India and numerous other colonies, and by 1916 it was a more or less perfected tool of statecraft.

But whether it was ineptitude or malign intent, the fact remains that Iraq was never a logical geographical entity; and its natural state would be to split into three autonomous regions: Kurds to the north, Sunnis to the west and Shiites to the south.

As a quick reminder, the differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims stems from a split made shortly after the prophet Muhammad died in 632:

Sunni and Shia Islam are the two major denominations of Islam. The demographic breakdown between the two denominations is difficult to assess and varies by source, but a good approximation is that approximately 87-89% of the world's Muslims are Sunni and approximately 11-12% are Shia, with most Shias belonging to the Twelver tradition and the rest divided between several other groups.

Sunnis are a majority in most Muslim communities: in Southeast Asia, China, South Asia, Africa, and most of the Arab world. Shia make up the majority of the citizen population in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, as well as being a politically significant minority in Lebanon. Azerbaijan is predominantly Shia, however practicing adherents are much lower. Pakistan has the largest Sunni and second-largest Shia Muslim (Twelver) population in the world.


Sunnis believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad's wife Aisha, was Muhammad's rightful successor and that the method of choosing or electing leaders (Shura) endorsed by the Quran is the consensus of the Ummah (the Muslim community).


Shias believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali (the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali) in accordance with the command of God to be the next caliph, making Ali and his direct descendants Muhammad's successors. Ali was married to Fatimah, Muhammad's daughter from his wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid.


(Source - wiki)

The reason it's important to know the differences between the two main forms of Islam involved is because the balance of power is split across the Middle East is based on which form dominates a given area.

Saudi Arabia is almost entirely Sunni and has been supporting the rebels in Syria and, by extension, in the rebels now in Iraq as well. Iran, on the other hand, is Shiite, as is most of Baghdad and southern Iraq.

The awkward part of this story is that if the US does get involved to help Baghdad out militarily, it would mean fighting on the same side as Iran (and against the forces the Saudi Arabia supports):

Iran sends troops into Iraq to aid fight against Isis militants

June 14, 2014


Iran has sent 2,000 advance troops to Iraq in the past 48 hours to help tackle a jihadist insurgency, a senior Iraqi official has told the Guardian.


The confirmation comes as the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, said Iran was ready to support Iraq from the mortal threat fast spreading through the country, while the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, called on citizens to take up arms in their country's defence.


Addressing the country on Saturday, Maliki said rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) had given "an incentive to the army and to Iraqis to act bravely". His call to arms came after reports surfaced that hundreds of young men were flocking to volunteer centres across Baghdad to join the fight against Isis.


In Iran, Rouhani raised the prospect of Teheran cooperating with its old enemy Washington to defeat the Sunni insurgent group – which is attempting to ignite a sectarian war beyond Iraq's borders.



No wonder Washington is hemming and hawing!  There's no way for Obama to send support to Baghdad without undercutting a lot of carefully laid anti-Iranian propaganda.  What, we're going to be fighting on the same side now as our longtime "Death to America!" adversary?  Politically this is a real pickle.

But such an unnatural alliance may be happening:

US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama considers air strikes in Iraq

June 14, 2014

The US is sending an aircraft carrier and two guided missile ships into the Persian Gulf, bolstering sea and airpower before a possible US strike on the jihadist army in Iraq in the coming days.

Defense secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS George HW Bush into the Gulf on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama indicated he would soon decide on air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), whose seizure of Sunni Iraqi cities has violently upended the region.


A bit ironic to be sending the USS George Bush, but there you have it.  Once again, the US is poised to deliver more military solutions to what are, at heart, political problems. 

As I've posted before, I think that sending your biggest ships into the the Persian Gulf bathtub is an outdated tactic that will not last long if/when modern anti-ship missiles are brought into that theater, such as the very impressive Yakhont-800 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile:

The truly awkward part for US foreign policy here is that Iran could likely come out of this with even more influence over Baghdad -- possibly even enjoying a permanent 'protector' role until or unless some other entity wants to step up to the plate and commit to the job.

Mission Accomplished?  That's going to go down as one of the most premature declarations of all time. More like Missing Accomplishment, if you ask me.

A Lightning-Fast Advance

The situation in Iraq developed fast and continues to move quickly.

Allegedly, nobody saw the rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) coming. "There was no warning".

I find that doubtful given all the tools of State right now, but whether warnings were ignored or not, ISIS has moved incredibly fast seizing one city after another as they've spread southards:

Islamist Insurgents Advance Toward Baghdad

Jun 11, 2014


Islamist militants swept out of northern Iraq Wednesday to seize their second city in two days, threatening Baghdad and pushing the country's besieged government to signal it would allow U.S. airstrikes to beat back the advance.


An alarmed Iraqi government also asked the U.S. to accelerate delivery of pledged military support, particularly Apache helicopters, F-16 fighters and surveillance equipment, to help push back fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an al Qaeda offshoot known as ISIS. The U.S. said it has been expediting shipments of military hardware to the Iraqis all year.


Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said his country faces a "mortal threat" from the ISIS insurgents.


Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft. The Obama administration is considering a number of options, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.


Bernadette Meehan, a White House National Security Council spokeswoman, said the current focus of discussions with Iraq "is to build the capacity of the Iraqis to successfully confront and deal with the threat posed by [ISIS]."


ISIS overran Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, on Wednesday after capturing Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, a day earlier. The takeover of the city of 250,000 about 85 miles north of Baghdad was confirmed by Ali Al Hamdani, a senior official in Salah Al Din province, where the city is located. The insurgents freed hundreds of prisoners from the city's jails.


By Wednesday evening, there were reports of fighting between Iraqi security forces and Islamists on the outskirts of Samarra, a city further south and less than 80 miles north of the capital.




Regional officials said they were worried that significant stocks of weapons ISIS fighters stole from military bases in northern Iraq could be transported across borders and used in conflicts and terror attacks elsewhere.


U.S. counterterrorism officials said on Tuesday that the attacks show the degree to which Islamist militants have established a revolving door between Iraq and Syria, with fighters flowing easily between the two countries and fueling conflict in both.



Somehow, ISIS rebels numbering in the hundreds, or perhaps low thousands, have managed to rout two full Iraqi brigades numbering some 30,000 troops from their positions and send them fleeing. That tells you everything you need to know about the esprit de corps of the Iraqi 'army.' It's not an effective fighting force at the moment.

Awkward Alliances

Now we get to the second awkward part of this story for the US. Along with Saudi Arabia, the US has been supplying weapons and training to the Syrian rebels many of whom are now heading south towards Baghdad.

To fight them would essentially mean fighting our own weapons and training. 

I'm really impressed with the ability of the US news industry, such as in the article above, in keeping out the extremely obvious connection between the hard line Syrian rebels we are supporting and the ISIS rebels now heading south. 

After all, it's not like the news is hidden, or only located on the fringe of the blogosphere. It's been widely reported for over a year that the US has been providing high level training and weapons to the Syrian rebels. Note that this next article from the Washington Post is over 9 months old:

CIA begins weapons delivery to Syrian rebels

Sept 11, 2013

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.


Even more recently, it's been reported that the US has provided high tech anti-tank and anti aircraft weapons systems and training. This is state-of-the-art warcraft for ground troops:

U.S. training Syrian rebels; White House 'stepped up assistance'

June 12, 2014


WASHINGTON — White House officials refused to comment Friday on a Los Angeles Times report that CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since late last year, saying only that the U.S. had increased its assistance to the rebellion.


The covert U.S. training at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.


“We have stepped up our assistance, but I cannot inventory for you all the elements of that assistance,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “We have provided and will continue to provide substantial assistance to the Syrian opposition, as well as the Supreme Military Council.”


And PBS recently weighed in with a documentary on the matter, describing training in Qatar which disturbingly sounds a lot like instruction in how to commit war crimes:

Syrian Rebels Describe U.S.-Backed Training in Qatar

May 26, 2014


WASHINGTON — With reports indicating that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad are gaining ground in that country’s brutal civil war, moderate Syrian rebels have told a visiting journalist that the United States is arranging their training in Qatar.


In a documentary to be aired Tuesday night, the rebels describe their clandestine journey from the Syrian battlefield to meet with their American handlers in Turkey and then travel on to Qatar, where they say they received training in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels. In recent months, at least five rebel units have posted videos showing their members firing U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles at Syrian positions.


The weapons are believed to have come from Saudi Arabia, but experts on international arms transfers have told McClatchy that they could not have been given to the rebels without the approval of the Obama administration.


At Risk: MUCH Higher Oil Prices

The summary here is that the 'rebels' the US is supporting in Syria are part of the very same group that is now headed towards Baghdad.  They are all Sunni hard liners and they will not rest until they have created a new Sunni state for themselves. 

It's really that simple.

What's not simple is understanding what the US' motivations are here in wanting to topple so many regimes in the Middle East and North Africa.  Is it to appease our Saudi allies who also support Sunni causes across the region?  Is it to create an entire region of failed states because that serves some larger master plan?

Most importantly, did the US really think that we could both arm the Sunni rebels and support the brutal Shiite hard liner al-Maliki (the current president of Iraq) in Baghdad as he consolidated Shiite power at the expense of the Sunnis?  Why arm and support both sides, unless the goal was a bloody and protracted stalemate?

At any rate, US foreign policy is again in tatters and if it seems like there's no solid plan here, perhaps that's because there isn't one.  It's either a really complex and genius plan or intense bumbling and stumbling.  Sometimes it's hard to tell these things apart.

There was practically no chance of Iraq holding together after the US destroyed the country and then left it without any functioning state apparatus strong enough to withstand 14 centuries' worth of carefully-nurtured resentments in a harsh land with little going for it beyond the oil that will someday be gone.

At any rate, we'll just have to keep watching as all this develops. In the meantime, the biggest risk here is that this becomes a wider regional war.  One that begins by enveloping all of Iraq and which cuts off that countries oil exports for a while.

In Part 2: Oil At Risk, we lay out the very real and growing risk that a coming decrease in Iraq oil exports created by the current turmoil will result in an oil price spike that could approach $150 per barrel (or even worse under certain situations). Such a development would almost certainly plunge the global economy back in to Recession and financial crisis. We address the defensive steps concerned individuals should take now in advance of such a highly undesirable turn of events.

Click here to access Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)


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Mon, 06/16/2014 - 22:59 | 4863859 TNTARG
Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:03 | 4863868 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

Hey, keep OIL out of this.  This was, is and will be about spreading democracy and freedom.  


Ok.  I'm full of shit.  

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:05 | 4863876 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Oil is the KY-Jelly of the democracy gangbang.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:08 | 4863881 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Obama and his crap (how many scandals are we up to?) are making us the laughing stock of the world.  


Batten down the hatchez, fishez!

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:11 | 4863893 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I hate to break the news to you but we've been the laughing stock of the world well before Obama showed up in the White House.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:24 | 4863917 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Weapons were flowing from Libya to Syria in 2012 - it didn't start in 2013 as this article suggests.

Nobody in the CIA or State Dept running these guns could have seen today's Iraq turmoil coming. 

All they were doing was supplying arms to Al Qaeda.

And Fast and Furious had worked out so well.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:59 | 4864005 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"It's a mystery."

that has to be "pieced (peaced?) together."

What we do know is this: "there is a Capitol (Baghdad) with no country." Baghdad has been around a VERY long time.

And that might be all we need to know actually.

"Everything else is being played if on a Stage."

We might not know the outcome of the Act...but we are holding our breath.

I can't explain it but there's something "not right" about this.

It's "real"...but feels "contrived." Like i'm only seeing half the story.

Does this make sense?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:43 | 4864054 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

But Obama was going to get all the troops out!  He promised!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:22 | 4864068 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


One item - I have to admit that despite the transfer of arms to AQ in Syria from Libya, that the speed of the takeover in Iraq notionally by a few thousand of these same AQ militants in pickup trucks is more than a little malodorous.

Are we watching MSM theater notionally to justify further intervention in Iraq - or is the Iraqi army really that pathetic that it has folded in half the country.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:17 | 4864129 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

My email tonight to the Zhedge "brain trust" ( all three of them!)

tips (at)

Subject: You cover "everything under the sun"...

...but you never touch the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion...claimed by some to be a clear forgery (see wiki).

You guys are either the same useless idiots you consistently point out that others are, or you a fronts for the Jew King.

I don't buy that you have "missed" the Protocols. I am going to expose you as the fraudulent (cough named penned), news junky, drama news (cough Jews) you are unless you step up to plate and have an honest discussion about the Protocols.

Men or mice? 



PS Tyler #1, yea you mother fucker, come on out and play

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:32 | 4864181 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

Sykes and Picot drew up maps specifically to fill regions with countries of equal size and power who would be hostile towards one another.


This is an extremely difficult thing to do and the old world powers were extremely good at it.



The only area of the entire globe which Europe did not successfully divide up was North America and the reason why they failed to carve up North America was because it was too damn new and too damn empty. There weren't enough people there with enough historic troubles to carve out warring factions. A giant trade block emerged.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:51 | 4864218 Manthong
Manthong's picture

<<<<< Jen Psaki = Evil Cunt

<<<<< Jen Psaki = Good girl doing her best for ‘merika

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:18 | 4864133 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Billions spent raining the Eye-Rackees and this is what happens?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:39 | 4864149 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Don't be a putz, either Zerohedge saves a few useless charts and starts discussing stated manifestors such as "Protocols"...or they become irrelevant.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:36 | 4864228 new game
new game's picture

th-spot on, believe half or less of what is posted here. still the same-every human has a hidden agenda-kudos for calling out zh to respond! fight club ask the referee to response to the vegas odds makers conection..haha

ps. chriss-thanks for well written doc of mess in m.e.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:47 | 4864263 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Irrevolent it is. 

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:58 | 4864196 Quentin Daniels
Quentin Daniels's picture

He promised to pull the troops out.  He never said anything about not putting them back in again later.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:56 | 4864331 hoos bin pharteen
hoos bin pharteen's picture

Well, "If you like your troops, you can keep them."

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:45 | 4864305 Translational Lift
Translational Lift's picture

So....where was the NSA while all this Iraq shit was building up??  Asleep at their desks....watching porn.....watching the POTU.....oh nevermind!

Another total miss, f-up, another worthless, bloated, burdensome, expensive bureaucracy that just spies on their own people..............

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:55 | 4864329 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

to some of our slow members, NSA is for domestic control, TSA also, HLS also...I will never have to be searched and groped by ISIS or Taliban, but it is done on a daily basis by our own security agents, now who should I be fighting again?

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:24 | 4863939 prains
prains's picture

well,well,well,well........well before Pharry

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:41 | 4864052 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Why don't these pious types, turn and head for Tel Aviv, free a ton of kiddy porn slaves and Russian hookers? Shittin in their own well if you ask me.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:36 | 4863965 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Sounds like you in the shower in high school, laughing stock. Obama is another tool, but America isn't a refelction of this "leadership".

Fuck off, or just go die.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:49 | 4863989 J S Bach
J S Bach's picture

All of this is very important stuff.  But, never lose sight of the fact that the only reason there would be a "financial meltdown" is because of the flawed debt-based money system forced upon (literally) every country.  If each nation had its own sovereign money system based on something solid - whether it be gold, oil, labor, etc... the world would be a much stabler and happier place.  Those behind the usury of nations are the only real target ANYONE should be aiming at.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:19 | 4864028 Gaius Frakkin' ...
Gaius Frakkin&#039; Baltar's picture

WRONG. A society which allows people like Obama, Bush, Clinton to be its "leaders" is sick. Obama is definitely a sad reflection of America.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:49 | 4864191 Bill Shockley
Bill Shockley's picture

This is about screwing the Russians and Iranians and their puppet masters, the Chinese. This is CIA foreign policy and in the national interest for a change.


We cut a deal with Bin Ladin in Afganistan and he got Stinger missles and shot down 500 Russian choppers, now we cut a deal with ISIS and they get TOW anti-tank weapons to work up Assad.


The Sunis were always going to get their share of Iraq and in payment they will push the Russians and Assad out of Syria.

Isis and Al Qaida is the army of Saudia Arabia.

Remember your history guys. This is the first smart foreign policy move since Chaney took over back in the day. Halburton and the other mercs will be the losers in this one.


The big question is who gets Bagdad and what Iran can do with it's Nukes defended by Russian missles.

 Green Zone evac anyone?

Anyone see WW3.



Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:06 | 4865068 BigJim
BigJim's picture

There is ZERO evidence Iran has nukes.

But the rest of your assertions are about right.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:26 | 4864030 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Oh no it's Chris Martenson..."deep state" (wait, that is his guitar playing buddy, whats his face)...blah blah. Great minds, weak souls. The mid east is being carefully brought down for GREATER ISRAEL. Just wait til its the NINTH INNING in the USA for the Jew Kings plans....that oughtta really be good!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:16 | 4864132 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

neat trick, getting Saudi Arabia to go all-in on making a Greater Israel.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:32 | 4864146 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

Neat trick getting Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton or Jeb really think controlling Saudi is tough, sheesh.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:04 | 4864202 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

I'm pretty sure Saudis are doing a lot more controlling than being controlled.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:51 | 4864062 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Look at it this way: All that QE liquidity sloshing around the US and EU, and the rising oil prices to absorb a good chunk of it.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:16 | 4863910 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

playing both sides against the middle

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:50 | 4863990 yellencrash
yellencrash's picture

A universally handy strategy, as self defeating in global affairs as it is in the U.S. class system.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:17 | 4864135 surfersd
surfersd's picture

Much better map.

At this time the oilfields seem protected. It could go pear shaped, but I don't think the Kurds in the north and Shities in Bagdad nor Omama want the ISIS stopping the flow. If anything we could see a problem with the products if hey shutdown a couple refineries. 


Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:17 | 4864136 surfersd
surfersd's picture

Much better map.

At this time the oilfields seem protected. It could go pear shaped, but I don't think the Kurds in the north and Shities in Bagdad nor Omama want the ISIS stopping the flow. If anything we could see a problem with the products if hey shutdown a couple refineries. 


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 22:59 | 4863861 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

All by design...excuse me as I have to fill the cars up....

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:11 | 4863891 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Neither paper gold, Asian stocks nor crude oil is moving much...


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:40 | 4863973 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I'm as prepared for this as much as I can be...I'm sure you are too.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:19 | 4864026 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yessir!  You got that right!

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:03 | 4863873 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I'm sure the NSA would have had no problem seeing this coming if ISIS had posted their plans on facebook or used i-phones to communicate.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:19 | 4863918 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

Yeah, those guys are probably sending messages in 20 lb tubs of hummus and baba ganoush.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:08 | 4863883 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Forget $5. How long before we see $8 gas. I'm filling up all the cars and containers ASAP.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:50 | 4864265 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Won't work, todays gas goes bad in a heartbeat, then todays cars are designed to die on the street because of it, and then you have to kill the car to get it running again. I mean we humans are just over designing everything to break as soon as possible around here.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 15:45 | 4866406 Variance Doc
Variance Doc's picture

Yep, but this is excellent. I store many cars with the marine version.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:20 | 4863905 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

There are two types of oil barons of the world. One that writes cheques, and the other who looks like he came off a oil rig hit.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:16 | 4863908 navy62802
navy62802's picture

Newsflash ... none of the "third world" really consists of what we traditionally refer to as a "nation-state." Pretty much all of the "third world" consists of arbitrary geopolitical boundaries drawn up by former world powers that have fallen from status. This is lesson numero uno in the world that we face. It is not a new fact ... it is just one that has been well-obscured for a while. If you wonder why there is such discord, look no further than the history books.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:27 | 4863930 navy62802
navy62802's picture

The world as we know it today is a vestige of the colonial powers of the years ranging from 1500 to the late 1900s. The territories that these colonial powers claimed were useful to them in terms of natural resources. The same regions are useful to us today for the same reasons. The illusion that has been successfully pulled off is that the United States is not a colonial power. However, the reality is that we try to do covertly what the former colonial powers did overtly. Instead of using weapons that maim and kill, we use financial weapons and deceipt. However, the underlying structure is flawed. We are trying to deal with artificial governments imposed on artificial geopolitical sections of land. And this fact is the undoing of American foreign policy. The world as we know it is outdated, and the areas of the world experiencing conflict right now are seeking the natural balance. The only thing to do is to let it play out naturally. The only obstacle is the impatience of elected leaders. It isn't even the impatience of citizens ... just the "leaders." Because they know that they have lied. And to be patient would mean that the lies would be exposed. And they can't have that.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:44 | 4864114 Lin S
Lin S's picture

Very well stated.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:18 | 4863909 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Agreed Iraq could go down hill faster than already. Nothing insures the oil fields remain pumping, or even who controls various ones. You only need add to this the serious gas crisis in Europe. If you look at Ukraine's position, they have asked for prices to remain at pre coup lows, while they bomb and rocket cities full of ethnic Russians. They already owe 4.5 billion and refuse to pay. They are now on pay as you go, BUT, have said they will just steal the gas they want from in transit gas to Europe. Ukraine has 5 months in reserve, none of it paid for. Russia is not shipping to Ukraine, but must ship through Ukraine. In short, a major energy crisis is brewing in Europe. Iraq is headed to god knows where.

How can energy and economies not come under pressure? Lets face it, in 2014, real economies are oil and gas based. You raise those prices and all productive economic activity suffers. But the bankers and market makers can trade all they like, but real economics rule the day. And energy rules real economies.

The CIA has been arming and funding the same guys in Syria who are attacking in Iraq, how do they just not get called out on this? I have yet to hear media or congress ask CIA what arming Al-Qaeda is all about! Syria and Iraq, share Sunni populations and share a common open border. A Syrian ISIS is an Iraq ISIS. Cia arms and funds you if you are the Syrian side, and claims to want to fight you if you are on the Iraqi side. AND, Nobody in the Washington and Media whorehouse even mentions this or asks what the fuck this is all about.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:28 | 4863935 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

The IMF said it will gladly loan Ukraine money, if... cough cough, they maintain the territorial integrity of the country.  


Hence war.   


All wars are bankers wars- who the fuck can profit by financing the debt incurred from death and destruction with money made from ether I might add.  

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:12 | 4864020 Idaho potato head
Idaho potato head's picture

Putin has already technically quashed that with Crimea joining the RF. No wonder Kiev is behaving like like rabid minks.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:24 | 4864036 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

shhh. shhh.

you hear that?
"an election this way cometh.

Vote Brat."

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:20 | 4864090 Karl Danneskjold
Karl Danneskjold's picture

Barry's not going to give up the throne.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:17 | 4864208 Quentin Daniels
Quentin Daniels's picture

8 years ago, everyone was saying that about Bush.  TPTB have no need to suspend constitutional term limits.  A sudden move like that would scare the sheep while serving little purpose. O's just a puppet like all who came before him.

The powers behind the throne have plenty more puppets at their disposal to hold the title of 'President' while acting as ordered, no trouble swapping them out every 8 years.  They usually need a wash after that long anyway before being recycled on the speaking circuit to preach to the lower-ranking oligarchs.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:33 | 4864046 Jorgen
Jorgen's picture

The IMF said it will gladly loan Ukraine money, if... cough cough, they maintain the territorial integrity of the country. 

A reverse trick was applied to Yugoslavia. Each Yugoslav republic was offered more money if they were independent country. Thus, the 1990's Balkan wars ensued.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:46 | 4864234 dreadnaught
dreadnaught's picture

of course how can a dirt poor country like Ukraine finance the very high obscene expenses to finance a major war-and on top of that they will be owned by the Bankers for the loan

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:45 | 4866652 Seeing Red
Seeing Red's picture

Great post Jack B!!

p.s.  My avatar is jealous of yours.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:21 | 4863922 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Now we know the problems. Does America have the people to solve them. Nuland? Obama? McCain? Clinton? And the others in the Washington freak show of fucking fools.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:35 | 4864109 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

None of them are nothing more than mere servants.

The same persons are ruling: the US American middle class. They were ruling during Bush era, they are ruling during Obama era, and they will rule during the next US president era.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:23 | 4864170 napper
napper's picture




Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:45 | 4864193 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Does it look like sarcasm?

'Americans' cant face reality: the 'american' middle class empower their servants. That is why there is continuity of policy between presidents.

The servants change, the master does not.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:00 | 4864219 11b40
11b40's picture

No, it does not sound like sarcasm.  It sounds more like ignorance.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:05 | 4864248 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

A very hungry dog walks into a room.  In the first bowl is Purina covered in shit.  In the second bowl is Diamond covered in shit. Guess what the dog has to eat?  It's called a presidential election.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:26 | 4863940 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Internecine war, rolled in the Crusades, covered with oil.

The West may not see it as a re-hash of the Crusades but I'd bet most in the Middle East do.

It makes no sense to stir up that boondoggle; better to let them sort it out and just pay for the oil.

Too bad making war is so profitable for the corporations and banks that run our government or we wouldn't have lost good people to this pointless venture.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:26 | 4863941 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

there's no plan? 


are you insane? there is a clear plan . to set more and more war upon the middle east by any means possible including killing our own, selling weapons to everyone, including iran, and generally ensuring the violence escalates by any means necessary. 


how do i know that's the plan----because that is and what has been happening for 50 years. not since 9/11. since 1945.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:46 | 4864194 SHRAGS
SHRAGS's picture

"The oil resources [of the Middle East] constitute a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history"

State Department memo, August, 1945

Michael Klare's Blood and Oil covers this extensively: TRANSCRIPT.  The video can also be found online with a bit of hunting or at the Pirate Bay.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:37 | 4863966 Moon Pie
Moon Pie's picture

The frickin Sunnis and Shia can't figure out they're being played like a Stradivarius.  Any Iranian or the few Iraqi people I've met have always impressed me as being pretty smart.  Why can't' they see what is really going on here? 

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:04 | 4864009 Zadig
Zadig's picture

The Iraqis were aware that the religious nonsense was being imposed on them since they'd never had religious violence before, but it's apparently impossible to get the US/UK media to admit that.  

A guerrilla war against the occupation and the American puppets, who were really Iranian proxies, killing Baathists in revenge for the Iran/Iraq war was changed into "sectarian civil war".  Which suspiciously only affects the anti-occupation Arab Muslims, but not the pro-occupation Kurdish ones. 

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:45 | 4863982 Joe A
Joe A's picture

So the fight between sunni and shia is actually some sort of family dispute. Can't they settle it in court? Is less messy.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:09 | 4864220 kowalli
kowalli's picture

Mb you can stop impose your democracy to over nations and let them do it themself? it was local conflict and Saddam was capable to resolve it, but no,no,no - you go in...

Stop meddling with other nations, some of them have 5000y history - like China, India - they know better how to do it.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:22 | 4864374 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Like India in the late 40's?

Like China in the 60's?

Good thing they had plenty of extra people to kill or it might have been a problem.

I agree. We should let Iraq solve it's own problems out. They have plenty of desert for mass graves.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:45 | 4863984 yellencrash
yellencrash's picture

The big risk not mentioned would be an unexpected attack in the U.S. in answer to the decision to fight the same hardline Sunnis we armed. 


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:51 | 4863992 rainingFrogs
rainingFrogs's picture

"What's not simple is understanding what the US' motivations are here in wanting to topple so many regimes in the Middle East and North Africa."

In fact, the objective of US foreign policy clearly seems to be to subjugate the nations of the second- and third-world into weak vassal states and then enable/allow the corporatocracy to plunder the resources.  This is clearly what the TPP is designed to do through treaty obligations.

And why should the US limit itself to destroying regimes in Middle East and North Africa.  A recent article on, America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy since 1953 lists the following US sponsored coups and attempted coups since 1953: Iran (1953); Guatemala(1954); Thailand (1957); Laos (1958-60); the Congo (1960); Turkey (1960, 1971 & 1980); Ecuador (1961 & 1963); South Vietnam (1963); Brazil (1964); the Dominican Republic (1963); Argentina (1963); Honduras (1963 & 2009); Iraq (1963 & 2003); Bolivia (1964, 1971 & 1980); Indonesia (1965); Ghana (1966); Greece (1967); Panama (1968 & 1989); Cambodia (1970); Chile (1973); Bangladesh (1975); Pakistan (1977); Grenada (1983); Mauritania (1984); Guinea (1984); Burkina Faso (1987); Paraguay (1989); Haiti (1991 & 2004); Russia (1993); Uganda (1996); Iraq(2001); Afghanistan(2003), Libya (2011).  2013 was a banner year for the coup machine, with regime change activities in Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, and Venezuela, with Cuba an honorable mention.  Heck, the US probably staged a coup on itself November 22, 1963. 

Africa is next.  An investigation by TomDispatch has found recent US military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations.


Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:56 | 4864001 Spungo
Spungo's picture

Chris is to oil what Peter Schiff is to gold. There are a million reasons for them to go up and never a reason for them to go down. He might be correct, but be careful out there. Fucking with the paper price of oil is just as easy as fucking with the price of gold. This is why oil sometimes goes to stupid prices even though there are no supply constraints. That trade goes both ways. It was some time around 1999 when oil prices dropped to $10. 

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:16 | 4865113 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 Fucking with the paper price of oil is just as easy as fucking with the price of gold.

Uh uh. Gold is easy to manipulate for years because the stock:flow ratio is unique amongst 'commodities'. Oil? Not so much.

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 23:58 | 4864004 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Don't worry, when Brent hits about ~$125 or ~90 Euro for a month the weak consumers will be culled until a new equilibrium is reached. One week price spikes mean little, it takes a month or two at high prices like back in 08 when the peak monthly average was ~$134 and the economy cried no mas and the credit bubble started to really unwind...

Here is the WTI futures chart

and Brent spot

Three straight months above $125 and that was all she wrote....

The spot Brent is also all you need to understand why Europe is getting squeezed...


This time it will just feel like a slow grind into oblivion...

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:08 | 4864012 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"through the roof."


Tue, 06/17/2014 - 16:50 | 4866682 Seeing Red
Seeing Red's picture

You know things are getting bad when you can't tell the pessimists from the realists.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:08 | 4864013 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Lengthy twaddle. 

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:15 | 4864022 blindman
blindman's picture

@"..At any rate, US foreign policy is again in tatters and if it seems like there's no solid plan here, perhaps that's because there isn't one. It's either a really complex and genius plan or intense bumbling and stumbling. Sometimes it's hard to tell these things apart."..
there is a plan, you just can't fathom evil money war.
I wonder why, it is right in front of us everyday?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:29 | 4864027 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"They are all Sunni hard liners and they will not rest until they have created a new Sunni state for themselves."...

And as the history at the top of the read makes it ever so clear... This was one of many options that were put on the table by the U.S., Israel and Britain were losing their grip years ago and realized that the USD would no longer be in charge of this or any other neighborhood...

It's pretty simple really. Destroy the Nation state many times over in it's long history by creating political religious sects which military intelligence from the Western Europe control, Muslim brotherhood, wahabist Isalm in Saudi Arabia etc.  We officially obliterated Iraq with the 2003  invasion with the premise all along of dividing the Country along 3 separate fault line or zones, Kurds, Shia and Sunni.  Now they have all the disparate pieces "out-of-place with 2 million slaughtered in the past 10 years and millions more made refugees courtesy of the U.S. military's chaos factory.

Nobody is talking about Mr. Baghdadi who has been in the worst hell holes in Iraq and was released shortly after President "Ass-puppet" began his first term in office.  Now we hear that several others have "just been" released as well...  Talk about timing!

As Cindy Sheehan tells it like it is -They don't call it divide and conquer for nothing?

It will serve two wonderful objectives among many, that is if you think like these guys do 1) Will keep oil prices high in the immediate future and 2) While the U.S. believes they can contain Russia over the Putsch they created in Febuary in Ukraine using NATO forces, an attempt at escalating the conflict in Iraq will spill over into Syria so that we have an excuse to finish 3 years worth of our demolition project courtesy of the Israelis and the House of Saud which will wind up killing far more than 160,000 in that Country alone that are already dead.

The U.S. and Israelis actually believes they can do it all via proxies to "soften up the Region" before they go back in to finish it with U.S. boots on the ground... Trouble is they will need a "pretext" for that, and this is where it gets a bit "cloudy" for the world's most brilliant psychopathic architects at large...

How long witll the proxy war take that we are now getting underway in Iraq, Syria and Iran before the U.S. economy and dollar entirely implodes?...  I'd say they will happen all at once according to plan.  As Paul Craig Roberts often says -what difference does the condition of your economy make when you are willing to end the world!...

Starting an invasion into Syria will involve Russia to protect it's interests which (never left the table from last year) and China to protect it's interests in Iran...  Can't wait to see the U.S. with it's stalwart supporter in Israel ready to fight to the death if necessary by our side with the Sampson Option always at the ready to ensure that if victory isn't in it's grasp they will take everything down with them in the process.  Whoever said that the Japanese were the worst most dangerous lunatics on the planet flying their airplanes into American aircraft carriers never met a Zionist Jew banker on Wall Street losing all his money!  The differentiator between both cultures is that unlike the Zionist Jew the Japanese have a tradition of honor and taking your own life when you "lose your honor"!...

"Torah.. Torah... Torah..." It's the war movie of all war movies that hasn't been made yet!...

The good news is if that event should ever come to pass in this World their won't be any Jews left in Hollywood to produce it or direct it!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:23 | 4864029 sangell
sangell's picture

The belief that the ISIS barbarians are the same people the US is assisting in Syria is simply tin foil hat BS or ignorance. There is a third group the Free Syrian Army that has opposed the al Nusra, ISIL, ISIS al Qaeda etc. Anyone with any knowledge of Islamic guerilla or terrorist groups knows they are almost limitless in the permutations and flavors they come in. The problem, course, is to give weapons to one group may not keep them out of the hands of another which is why giving the Syrian rebels. ANY kind of anti aircraft capability has been so vexing even though they obviously need something to keep Assad's HOVERING helicopter from dropping barrel bombs on the areas they control.

As bad as ISIS/ISIL/al Nusra etc are, we also should not forget that Assad has equally unsavory militias operating on his behalf including Hezbollah. If you go back a bit in history it was Hezbollah who murdered more than 240 US Marines in Lebanon, blew up the French Embassy killing close to another 100 and kidnapped the US CIA station chief William Buckley and proceeded to torture him for several years, make videos as the man was driven insane and when he was reduced to a blabbering incoherent madman, murdered him. Nice guys... NOT! Assad also used so called 'ghost militias' who are compensated for their work by being allowed to kill, rape and loot civilians if they take a village from the rebels.

The point is we are dealing with the Islamic world here and they are a cruel, barbaric lot. You are not going to find George Washington or Robert E. Lee in charge of an Islamic fighting force. These are the folks that think attacking  schoolchildren in Russia or Israel, an office tower in New York or a nightclub in Bali perfectly acceptable even glorious. So cut the BS about 'poverty made em do it'. Religious fanaticism and hatred is what animates these folks.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:31 | 4864104 Lin S
Lin S's picture

Oh wow, a station chief was tortured?  That's awful!  Ruthless savages!  Next thing you know we'll hear about kidnappings, renditions, and waterboarding, too!

Thank heavens we live a country and a culture that doesn't do such inhumane and reprehensible things!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:39 | 4864110 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

You are not going to find George Washington or Robert E. Lee in charge of an Islamic fighting force.

The world be preserved they never give themselves such 'american' proeminent manager type.
Who know what damage they will be able to deliver once those men start to serve.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:06 | 4864165 Jano
Jano's picture

US troops have nothing lost outside US. If they have been killed in Lebanon, then what?

First, they should not be there, Blame your stupid president and notlebaneese terorists for their death; by the way a soldier has to be killed on the battle field, so what, a small accident perhaps.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:31 | 4864180 Wild Theories
Wild Theories's picture

Yes they are a different group to Al-Nursa and the Free Syrian Army, but Saudi and Qatari money and weapons(which can only be given out with US blessing) still ended up in their hands, no?

Yes, it's technically the Saudis and the Qataris fault for not vetting exactly who they were giving aid to, but the US was aware of this problem and did they stop it or try to make the process more strict? no, they stepped it up...

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:37 | 4864408 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

They're (Sunnis) giving weapons to nutty Sunnis...

Close enough. As long as they're shoveling out the Shite, it's all good.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:12 | 4864223 11b40
11b40's picture

So why don't we just get out?  Tell me again why we are involved in Syria in the first place.  

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:24 | 4864037 DonutBoy
DonutBoy's picture

You seem to be an otherwise intelligent man.  Perhaps you should re-examine this premise.

"The unpleasant truth that threatens the dominant western narrative is that all humans, if they have access to sufficient resources and opportunities, are generally peaceful."

Is a culture that murders it's own girls rather than let them attend school suffering from a lack of resources and opportunities?  

You are willfully ignorant.  You'd like to believe they cherish their children and their lives as you cherish yours.  They do not.  It's not going to go away.


Tue, 06/17/2014 - 00:48 | 4864058 sangell
sangell's picture

There seems to be a curious kind of blindness or stupidity in people like Martensen, ZeroHedge, Mish Shedlock, Ron Paul etc. in that they see right through financial and economic BS but when it comes to geopolitical matters they have the insight of small children.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:46 | 4864115 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Is a culture that murders it's own girls rather than let them attend school suffering from a lack of resources and opportunities?

What does this refer to?

Women ascension in 'american' societies came as they allowed to increase the consumption rate.

Increase of consumption rate that was permitted due to the extreme boost of resources input 'american' societies knew as they were stolen so much environment from others.

Why should those people resist to the change if given the opportunity?

The culture of death is deeper in 'americanism' than it is in elsewhere.

As a consequence, either these people love death and then they choose 'americanism' to forget their old ways, or they do not love death that much and keep their old ways.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:50 | 4864117 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Common point between the muslims and 'americans' show in events like muslim women oppressed because they cant drive.

It is when 'americanism' is shown to spread: muslim women(who adopted 'americanism') are ready to take the streets in order to protest they cant drive and they receive support from 'americans' who find it is a disgrace and an assault on human rights when those women are deprived of driving.

In all cases, more consumption. Wich implies more input of resources.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:54 | 4864449 11b40
11b40's picture

Tough trying to figure out "Americanism" from your perch in China, I guess.

The fact that some Muslim women are forbidden to drive is not the point.  The point is that they are essentially treated as second class citizens and frobidden to do things they would like to do.  Driving is just one of those things.

I personally find this distasteful, but not really any of my business.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:03 | 4864071 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I'm impressed how the Muslims have (been) pivoted from joining together against their common enemy (Israel), to fighting each other.

The Likud and AIPAC must be laughing their asses off.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:53 | 4864120 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'Americans' are too powerful for them to take on.

Israel is vital for the 'american' interests. As the muslims can not fight a way superior foe, they are led to fight among each other.

This in fighting is the future for 'american' people, not for the same reasons though.

Muslims might ever hope to get powerful enough to regain sovereignty.

For 'americans', the lack of sovereignty wont be the cause, it will go for other causes that will leave no hope of change.

The way it works in an 'american' world.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:41 | 4864152 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Perhaps the lessons of 1973 when they all "joined together" to destroy Isreal has not been forgotten!  Arab armies are as useless as the French or italians were against the Germans.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:57 | 4864245 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

After watching that video of the rebels getting a tank, I would agree with you. Shooting it backwards and then all the chest pounding and yelling. They act like a bunch of drunk frat boys. No doubt the US forces could obliterate those people in a couple of days if desired. But it looks to me as if this is being done as an opportunity to tighten our relationship with Iran - our new proxy military force for oil.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:08 | 4864075 OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

Fuck this.

Kill them all, Let 'Allah' sort them out.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:24 | 4864098 Lin S
Lin S's picture

This guy needs to proof his fuckin' copy before posting, sheez...

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:50 | 4864118 intric8
intric8's picture

This is what happens when one country attempts to sink its tentacles in everywhere. You cant hide the suction marks.

America loses moral high ground by the week. At this rate will be relegated to a bystander with little integrity in the world, unempowered through hypocrisy

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 01:55 | 4864122 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'America' loses moral high ground by the week? And?

Who cares? Not 'americans'

'Americanism' has never worked on the moral high ground thing.

When did 'americans' have the moral high ground in their history?

'Americans' have always denied others moral high ground.

So nothing changes here.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:14 | 4864207 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the high moral ground thing is now and always was a ruse to cover our ransacking of the world

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 02:01 | 4864124 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

A nice 'american' article.

So confusion in Iraq is going to influence deeply the price of oil.

It is funny.

Any data on the iraqi production of oil?

Reality check on the influence of libya on the increase in oil price (there is disturbed production in this case)


'Americans' work the same way. The grip they have on Iraq is not enough for them to let the production go up in a way that could affect much.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:24 | 4864171 humblemechanic
humblemechanic's picture

Thanks ZH for the history and related facts, its really a good read, very informative and well researched !

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:30 | 4864177 kurt
kurt's picture

Dear Predominant Western Culture,

Nice war mongering


Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:34 | 4864183 foxenburg
foxenburg's picture

American trained and armed Syrian rebels say " they received training in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush."


Well, they're certainly putting that training to good use.


Tue, 06/17/2014 - 03:38 | 4864189 jubber
jubber's picture

Gold off $20 from yesterday, Oil negative US stocks surge to within points of ATH, market ignores the total humiliation over the failure of Iraq, as the CB's manipulate the market further....Nikkei regains 15k, Dax edges back towards 10k, all for no reason they tyo keep this Ponzi scheme from inploding

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:31 | 4864214 Hindenburg...Oh Man
Hindenburg...Oh Man's picture

As I predicted, another geopolitical crisis jawboned away and gold negative springboarded downward. Things are still horrible on the ground in both Iraq and Ukraine, but as long as you can ignore/explain-away the situation, all is green, buy stocks. Expect the normal .30-.50 percent ramp by the open, gold smashed down further around 830.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:33 | 4864256 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Mr. Yellen speaks this week.

Buy the dip

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:49 | 4864264 Eyeroller
Eyeroller's picture

What dip?  Every time the Ponzi Munchkin speaks, the market shoots up.

The only time the market had a hissy fit was when Ole Yellin made her '6 months' gaff at her first presser.

Every presser since then she has been at pains to walk that back with dove-speak.

Expect the same today.

Markets in the GREEN, even if an asteroid hits earth. 

Nothing is stopping this runaway train.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 04:47 | 4864217 Runs-With_Toast
Runs-With_Toast's picture

ZIONIST ISRAEL.........thats yr missing paragraph

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:53 | 4864238 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

No kidding. It's one of the two reasons we are arming the whackjobs in Syria. Israel is little more than a Western military base for protecting the oil supply.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 05:11 | 4864222 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

There is a big 'mistake'(actually a cheap attempt to bamboozle)

Despite the effort by 'americans' to prevent them to (including the handicap start that 'americans' gave), Iraq managed to turn into a State. Iraq was a State. And that angered 'americans'. Big time.

In an 'american' world, after managing the high deed of getting rid of stateless societies, only two kinds of society must be: state societies and failed state societies.

The big advantage of failed state societies: they cant fend off looting effort.

Which is very good for 'americans' as they run a business of extorting the weak, farming the poor.

Another thing that was annoying for 'americans': it was peopled by arabs mostly, who, as many semitic people, are highly endogamous.

Which means that the biological argumentation that 'americans' like to use fails in their case.

It grew worse when the Iraqi State was turned secular, which diminished the religious attack angle.

Behind the denial that Iraqi was a State, is hidden the new 'american' craving to re organize the borders (and hence the redistribution of wealth since in 'american' economics, it is determined through borders)

The nation State unit should be ethnical. It is not so much for others they want it but for themselves as it would help to reduce the superficy of the 'american' middle class.

The reality was that Iraq was so much not a State that 'americans' had to destroy it. They had to do it by themselves or Iraq would still be a State.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:26 | 4865171 BigJim
BigJim's picture

How's the looting of Tibet coming along, monomaniac?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:57 | 4864271 wagthetails
wagthetails's picture

You can't not build a pipeline and grow domestic oil or at least oil from friendly countries AND not maintain a military politics force in these oil countries. This jokers wants it both ways. So do I, but this is reality. Unless Obama has that cleantech in his pocket, be better choose one.

Maybe the fed can buy all the oil and sell it to citizens at a discount?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:07 | 4864279 Debugas
Debugas's picture

USA is preparing to sell its fracking to EU hence the crisis in Ukrain and in Iraq

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:51 | 4864322 ebear
ebear's picture

"Click here to access Part 2 of this report"

Uh... no.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 07:58 | 4864332 Psquared
Psquared's picture

The policymakers either don't study history or they fail to take account of it in their plans for "nation-building." Meaning, they have no real appreciation for the signficance of the past and it's affect on the present and future. They don't think in terms of cause and effect but rather only what they hope to achieve with their present policy. The importance of protecting the flow of oil supercedes all other conditions and factors including human dignity. Our policy in the Middle East is essentially economic only and in true Randian style fully amoral.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:13 | 4864362 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

russia and ukraine just fell into the black hole of history per managed news, say ;hillary has a book out and obumas spawn got a tv job, news that matters. oh and clinton's spawn gets$ 20,000 per minute air time when and if she appears in media, life lived with eyes wide shut.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:14 | 4864526 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Who cares?

Some people liked Fantasy Island too.

Complaining about a leopard because it has spots is pointless.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 08:25 | 4864378 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Two factions of extreme Islam,  which itself is generally hostile to Western mores and traditions,  are at war with one another. And the problem with this is?  

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:05 | 4864477 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

If the new kids on the block take over and start selling oil for Euros, Rubles or Yuan instead of dollars.

Iran's Rouhani may have made overtures to sell in dollars to Western countries which would explain the seemingly miraculous 'pivot' from most hated enemy bent on nuclear Armageddon to not so bad guy.

This might explain them dropping off the "Most Wanted" list.

I don't pretend to know what these fuckers are up to. I do know that if we can't make them hold and use our confetti money, we got big problems.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:41 | 4864669 falak pema
falak pema's picture

that both have one point in common : End US presence in ME. 

Look beyond the dogmatic curtain to understand the geo politics. If US presence weakens it ends the petrodollar regime that controls the finanacial wealth of the world. 'Cos those petro monarchies will then bite the dust. 

THE WEALTH...Kapisch? 

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 09:46 | 4864676 SystemOfaDrown
SystemOfaDrown's picture

US will team up with it's sworn enemy, and Iran fight along side the "Great Satan"? Haaaa! Karma is a Bitch Baby!

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:01 | 4865043 The Shodge
The Shodge's picture

No word about the inherent violent nature of islam???????????????????????????

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:29 | 4865177 BigJim
BigJim's picture

There are a billion+ Muslims. If Islam is 'inherently' violent, why are they not all running around killing people?

How about the 'inherent' violent nature of Judaism? Why doesn't that get more airtime?

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 23:48 | 4867901 The Shodge
The Shodge's picture

Because not all muslims are violent people by nature. But that is despite islam, not because of. So maybe not all muslims are running around killing people, but everywhere there are muslims, there is trouble. Mohammed the pedoprophet was a warlord. The koran is about war and submission of the non-believers. How can that NOT be of relevance to violence in the middle east? How can you write a piece like this and not even mention the religion and its violent teachings? Sorry, but that is retarded. Chris Martenson should know better.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:49 | 4865286 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

Haha, the tube is saying that US Troops on ground ease tensions for oil prices (CTV News).

Not really funny because war is essentially inevitable now, but it's just so sick you gotta laugh.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 12:36 | 4865501 goldsansstandard
goldsansstandard's picture

Is this the natural product of over twenty years of war by the United States Government on the children of Iraq now grown up?

The Hubris of the Washington elite, blue for Albright, and red for Cheney., may have been the seeds of this madness.

Maybe it is time to listen to George Washington. Hate a nation or love a nation too much and that Nation comes to own you..

One more proof that essentials do not change. Washington is still right. All those idiots who claim that modernity changes essentials of security are just that.

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 12:50 | 4865556 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

'absolutely one of the best summary / critiques of the ME i've ever read... indeed, prophetic.'       Bravo!!!

thankyou  mr. martenson


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