Alright, enough of this Kabuki Cold War Redux poker. It’s time to call the hands of all at the table. Show the cards. Guess what? They won’t show them cuz they got nothin. It’s not a legitimate game. If this faux tension between Russia and the West (and more specifically the U.S. as its faux proxy) were real, Russia could have been brought to its knees long ago and its nuclear arsenal dismantled. But what fun would that be? It was always imperative that nuclear arsenal remain intact, or the illusion of it left intact, for a rainy day Cold War Redux play when the War On Terror stopped paying those easy, up-front dividends.
Per the Kabuki Cold War Redux poker game, we’re to believe Putin’s holding a nuclear Royal Flush and thus is having a run of the table as the rest of the players either suck up to him or call him a cheater. But no one calls him on that potential Royal Flush; it’s just presumed. Since they won’t call, we must. So, let’s call. Assuming the game’s legit, which of course it’s not, then the accusation is that Putin’s a cheater and….….. is using nuclear leverage to run the table. By virtue of this, he and his country must be removed from the game since the bounds of decency have been compromised. Putin’s Russia has impugned the integrity of the game. That can’t be tolerated. The cheater must be deposed. The cheater can easily be deposed. Why is the cheater being allowed to cheat? Why do the other players at the table not put a stop to it? Because the game is a charade. It’s Kabuki theater for delusional public consumption. They create realities for us to discuss and while we’re discussing these foisted perceptions and perspectives, they’ve moved further down their reality pipeline and are rolling out numerous other reality offerings for those of us who are only partially blind and deaf to futilely ponder and discuss ad nauseum like a bunch of dogs barking senselessly at the rustling leaves on a gloomy Fall afternoon.
So, let’s pretend this game is True Poker (another one HBO….you’re behind on my royalty payments). How do we bring Russia to heel? Quit subsidizing the tyranny via ridiculously high market prices for oil and gas. Russia is, for the most part, a rentier state with Nukes–not a good combination for world peace. It’s prosperity is directly tied to the “open” market price of oil and gas, meaning its tyranny is funded by the world in the form of a tax if the world, to mean us Small People, pays the extortionist backdoor surcharge/tax (amount above cost to extract plus a reasonable profit margin) for hydrocarbon fuel.
As I underscored in my very first blog post here, the so-called “open” market price for oil, and by implication gas, is manipulated and rigged by a bunch of treasonous and traitorous scumbags (the Small People in Italy knew how to administer justice to scum like this–the gruesome photo is Mussolini beaten and mutilated beyond recognition for his callous and sadistic exploitation of the Small People. In the end, they got their pound of flesh, or I should say, they got to pound Mussolini’s flesh…to a pulp) per this link. As I mentioned in my very first blog post, the price of oil is being manipulated, and set really, by insiders who have the power and ability to do it and are doing it. It’s not just speculation on oil which is bad enough, it’s purposeful setting of the price. The price has nothing to do with demand, supply or costs to extract, or at least not costs to extract directly. Once again, per the link, since this can’t be emphasized enough considering the bullshit thrown our way daily by both the mainstream media and its red-headed stepchild, the alternative media:
They were a band of outsiders unable to get jobs with New York’s gilded financial establishment. They would go on to corner the world’s multitrillion-dollar oil market, reaping unimaginable riches while bringing the economy to its knees.
Meet the self-anointed kings of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In some ways, they are everything you would expect them to be: a secretive, members-only club of men and women who live lavish lifestyles; cavort with politicians, strippers, and celebrities; and blissfully jacked up oil prices to nearly $150 a barrel while profiting off the misery of the working class. In other ways, they are nothing you can imagine: many come from working-class families themselves. The progeny of Jewish, Irish, and Italian immigrants who escaped war-torn Europe, they take pride in flagrantly spurning Wall Street.
Under the thumb of an all-powerful international oil cartel, the energy market had long eluded the grasp of America’s hungry capitalists. Neither the oil royalty of Houston nor the titans of Wall Street had ever succeeded in fully wresting away control. But facing extinction, the rough-and-tumble traders of Nymex—led by the reluctant son of a producemerchant—went after this Goliath and won, creating the world’s first free oil market and minting billions in the process. Their stunning journey from poverty to prosperity belies the brutal and violent history that is their legacy.
For the first time, The Asylum unmasks the oil market’s self-described “inmates” in all their unscripted and dysfunctional glory: the happily married father from Long Island whose lust for money and power was exceeded only by his taste for cruel pranks; the Italian kung fu–fighting gasoline trader whose ferocity in the trading pits earned him countless millions; the cheerful Nazi hunter who traded quietly by day and ambushed Nazi sympathizers by night; and the Irish-born femme fatale who outsmarted all but one of the exchange’s chairmen—the Hungarian emigre who, try as he might, could do nothing to rein in the oil market’s unruly inhabitants.
From the treacherous boardroom schemes to the hookers and blow of the trading pits; from the repeat terrorist attacks and FBI stings to the grand alliances and outrageous fortunes that brought the global economy to the brink, The Asylum ventures deep into the belly of the beast, revealing how raw ambition and the endless quest for wealth can change the very nature of both man and market.
Showcasing seven years of research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Leah McGrath Goodman reveals what really happened behind the scenes as oil prices topped out and what choice the traders ultimately made when forced to choose between their longtime brotherhood and their precious oil monopoly.
Containment at its finest. You let these overgrown frat boys loose to drive up the price of oil for their investors but never let them know that was the intent. The frat boys think they’re allowed to get away with it, to pull the wool over the world’s eyes like they used to do when they date-raped naive women back in their college days. And those who allow the frat boys to pretend no one’s watching, well, that’s part of the plan. It’s called containment. The greedy, rapacious frat boys do what they do best without ever knowing anymore than that, and what (and who) the frat boys don’t know, reaps the whirlwind. Russia is one of those reapers. They’ve been reaping this ridiculously-priced oil whirlwind for too long now. It’s time to pull the plug. And if we pull the plug, Russia’s tyranny hits the skids….Big Time. It can’t sustain if you cut its GDP by three quarters overnight, and not to mention, we give a boost to our economies via cheaper fuel and lower prices overall…for everything. What’s not to like about this solution? It’s a Win-Win; one less tyranny to tackle and more prosperity absent the illegal oil tax.
Now, there are some who are going to squabble that Russia is more than a rentier state, but these are the no nuts intellectual bookworms who will tell you there is no such thing as grey hair…it’s only white juxtaposed with another color to give the illusion of grey. Whatever. It’s grey for all practical purposes, and Russia is a rentier state for all practical purposes. Take the rent away, you take the tyranny away. This KPMG study sums up the rentier nature of Russia sufficiently. Per the link:
Following a period of strong GDP growth in the early 2000s the Russian economy experienced a severe decline in
2009. Russia’s GDP contracted by 7.8% in that year, and
was the biggest GDP decrease of the G20 countries. The drastic drop in growth was primarily related to a sharp decrease in oil prices in 2009, heavily affecting the Russian economy, which is highly dependent on oil and gas exports. On top of this, the ruble came under selling pressure and the availability of bank loans declined.
You live by commodities, you die by commodities. It’s really quite simple, and yet instead of pulling this easy plug on Russia by controlling the price of oil to cost to extract plus a reasonable profit, the world allows for a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the rich and The West to Russia in the form of a hidden oil tax under the guise of the “free” market. There’s nothing “free” about this market setting of the price of oil. You have no say in it. It’s not a Democratic process, and in fact, you’re not even considered in the process. The message is “you’ll take whatever shit is handed to you and be grateful.” It should make your blood boil. Instead, your blood is running cold and thick with high fructose corn syrup. Put down the crack pipe and smell the bullshit proffered as roses. We’re being scammed and it’s time to say no more.
As we’ve seen in the previous thread, Putin and the Oligarchs are doing everything they can to create an image of Russia as a destination for capital investment rather than capital flight. For years after the fall of the Soviet Union Russia saw its life expectancy drop in tandem with its overall population. For social demographers, this equals certain doom for a society. In the last several years, Russia has miraculously turned this trend around, at least according to their state statistics, and life expectancy is increasing significantly while the population is now projected to grow rather than shrink.
One of the reasons for this is the massive wealth transfer from the increasingly poor in the West via the artificially high price for oil and gas. Every dollar you pay in excess at the pump helps to further enrich the World Wide Oligarch Network (WWON) and that network includes Russia and its budding technocratic/professional middle class who’s purpose is to maintain the status and affairs of the Oligarchy. The sycophantic minions, if you will. This budding class now has some money to spend…thanks to your generous and heretofore unwitting donations at the pump and register. In fact, Russia is so flush with cash from exorbitantly and artificially priced oil and gas, Putin is paying young Russian families to have children and it’s not a pittance. So, your unwitting donations every time you make a purchase for anything are going to financially support and secure Russian families while you have to cut back on your own. Think about that for a second or a minute. You’re not going to have that extra child or you’re not going to be able to fund your child’s education because you’ve been forced to pay an illegal and criminal extortion tax for fuel, the proceeds of which go to making Oligarchs even wealthier than they already are and giving a budding Russian middle class a leg up as you’re on your way down. You should be furious. Mussolini’s bloody and battered head should be flashing before your eyes. How will justice ultimately be meted out for this blatant and sadistic exploitation? Only you can answer that. I don’t suggest the brutality that was visited upon Mussolini, but I understand the anger and frustration of those who did it.
Couple this transfer of wealth from artificially inflated oil and gas prices with what we’ve learned in the Follow The Money thread concerning feckless sanctions, Siemens vote of confidence and ongoing relationship with Russia and China’s long-term trillion dollar gas deal with Gazprom and, well, things just don’t add up. If you look at what they’re doing behind the scenes and out of the spotlight and tune out the words (the propaganda), it does add up and there is no longer a contradiction. Change your perspective. Update your memes. But it doesn’t just end with the aforementioned. There is even further corroboration of collusion and cooperation behind the scenes in plain site.
It does appear Russia is poised to take the entirety of Ukraine and despite the feigned chastising rhetoric of the Western political establishment, every action it’s taken thus far to counter Russia’s advances are instead actions to support Russia’s advances. Take this article from The Daily Beast as an example. Per the article:
Exclusive: U.S. Won’t Share Invasion Intel With Ukraine
American spies have spotted all the signs of an all-out Russian invasion of Ukraine. Why won’t they tell the Ukrainians about the forces on their border?
U.S. intelligence agencies now have detailed information that Russia has amassed the kind of forces needed for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But the Obama administration hasn’t shared with Ukraine the imagery, intercepts, and analysis that pinpont the location of the Russian troops ready to seize more Ukrainian land, The Daily Beast has learned.
President Obama has repeatedly and publicly expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people—and warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences if he takes over any more Ukrainian territory. Yet Obama’s administration has so far been reluctant to hand over the kind of intelligence the Ukrainians could use to defend themselves. U.S. officials and members of Congress briefed on the crisis in Ukraine tell The Daily Beast that senior U.S. military officers have been instructed to refrain from briefing their Ukrainian counterparts in detail about what the United States knows about the Russians troops amassing on the border.
More At Link
The pic to the left is a painting by George W. Bush; it’s a hobby he’s picked up in retirement. Not bad…I especially like the use of lavender for the background. Nice touch. Hitler was a pretty decent artist, too, as is witnessed by the ambitious offering displayed below. Dubya is fond of Putin. Afterall, he said of the man, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.” So Putin’s received the Bush Seal of Approval. That means something. And, George made certain Russia didn’t feel left out after it opted out of the invasion of Iraq when he allayed Russian fears by saying to Russia’s NTV television “we fully realize that Russia has economic interests in Iraq as do other countries. Of course these interests will be taken into account” per this link. In hindsight, he wasn’t lying, was he? Russia’s and China’s interests have certainly been taken into account. What are friends for, right?
As we know, there have been numerous conjectured reasons, aside from the official reasoning, for the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, and one of the reasons was for control of the oil…to control China’s and Russia’s access. Really? If so, the mission was not accomplished, and in fact, I’d say the invasion was not to restrict Russia’s and China’s access, but to bolster their access…all at U.S. taxpayer expense. Once again, the U.S. taxpayer foots the bill to make Russia and now China flush with cash. Neither supported, and in fact protested, the invasion and yet they’re sharing nicely and undeservedly in the spoils, i.e. oil production contracts and in the case of Russia also weapons sales (crazy, I know…but it’s not if you change your perspective and update your memes). Here’s a McClatchyDC article that underscores China’s oil production potential in Iraq. Talk about lies, notice the blatant lying by Houser and Luft, and in fact, the entire article is misinformation because it doesn’t present any counter balance to the lies of Houser and Luft couched as opinion.
The contract terms the Iraqi government offers oil companies also aren’t attractive, said Trevor Houser, an energy specialist with the New York-based Rhodium Group consulting firm. China is expanding in Iraq because it needs the energy and it doesn’t have alternatives that are as good as those of Western oil companies, he said.
The most profitable places in the world to work as an oil company are the North American unconventional fields – such as shale deposits in the Eastern U.S. – and the deepwater fields in West Africa or the Gulf of Mexico, Houser said. China has limited opportunities in those places, he said, with the state-owned oil company PetroChina lacking the technological sophistication needed for deepwater production.
“The fact that (PetroChina) is expanding in Iraq is not to me a sign of their strength, it’s a sign of their relative weakness,” Houser said.
Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said that nearly a third of the future oil production in Iraq was expected to come from fields that either were directly owned or co-led by Chinese companies.
Oil companies from the U.S. and other Western nations have been more interested in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a largely autonomous area that doesn’t take orders from Baghdad. Kurdistan offers more stability and better contract terms to the international oil companies, to the fury of the Baghdad government, which is charged with handling international affairs and calls the contracts illegal.
Western oil companies generally have more attractive global investment opportunities than Iraq, said Luft, who’s an adviser to the U.S. Energy Security Council, a nonprofit group that works to lessen dependence on fossil fuels..
They also need to answer to their shareholders, and they see the world differently from the way state-owned Chinese companies do, he said.“The Chinese oil companies are more in tune with the geopolitical agenda of their government and respond less to shareholders,” Luft said. “If Exxon operates somewhere and has to close down operations for a month, that would have an impact on investors. When the Chinese go into one of those places and something bad happens, there is not the consequence in terms of stock.”
Luft said he didn’t see Chinese development of Iraq’s oil as a case of China enjoying the spoils of a war for which the U.S. had paid dearly both in lives and taxpayer dollars.
It’s a myth that U.S. energy security relies on Middle Eastern imports, he said. Oil from the region makes up just a small percentage of what America uses. The U.S. will benefit if China or anyone else can get Iraqi’s huge reserves developed and onto the market, he said. Since oil is a global commodity, he said, more oil on the market brings down prices.
“Energy security is about not only the availability of the resource but also about the cost,” Luft said. “Anything that brings down global oil prices is positive for U.S. energy security.”
Bullshit, Luft. Chinese and Russian development of Iraq’s oil fields is absolutely at the expense of Iraqi and U.S. lives and the U.S. taxpayer’s dime. And it was the plan all along. And yes, global security and prosperity is predicated upon inexpensive energy meaning lower prices for oil and gas. That was consistently emphasized in the article and it’s one of the few things that wasn’t disinformation but it was presented in such a way to imply that the price of oil and gas is determined by supply and demand, but as was discussed earlier, that is clearly not the case. As we’ve seen above, it’s not about supply and demand, nor is it about cost to produce and deliver. It’s about purposeful, and criminal in my opinion, gouging under the guise of “free” markets.
Another whopper of a lie from the above segment is the quote “the most profitable places in the world to work as an oil company are the North American unconventional fields – such as shale deposits in the Eastern U.S.” Sorry, but this is an outright lie. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Bloomberg has to say about it:
Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs
The path toward U.S. energy independence, made possible by a boom in shale oil, will be much harder than it seems.
Just a few of the roadblocks: Independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back. Shale output drops faster than production from conventional methods. It will take 2,500 new wells a year just to sustain output of 1 million barrels a day in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Iraq could do the same with 60.
“We are beginning to live in a different world where getting more oil takes more energy, more effort and will be more expensive,” said Tad Patzek, chairman of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Companies are showing the strain. Chesapeake Energy Corp., the Oklahoma City-based company founded by Aubrey McClendon, reported profit yesterday that missed analysts’ forecasts by the widest margin in almost two years. Shares declined 4.9 percent. Fort Worth, Texas-based Range Resources Corp. fell 2.3 percent after announcing Feb. 25 that fourth-quarter profit dropped 47 percent. QEP Resources Inc., a Denver-based driller, slid 10 percent after fourth-quarter earnings reported Feb. 25 fell short of analysts’ predictions.
The U.S. oil industry must sprint simply to stay in place. U.S. drillers are expected to spend more than $2.8 trillion by 2035 even though production will peak a decade earlier, the IEA said. The Middle East will spend less than a third of that for three times more crude.
A prolonged slide in prices below $85 a barrel may put pressure on operators that have struggled to contain costs or that don’t own acreage in the prolific “sweet spots” of the oil fields, said Leonardo Maugeri, a former manager at Rome-based energy company Eni SpA who’s researching the geopolitics of energy at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Even with crude prices above $100 a barrel, U.S. independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back from selling oil and gas and will carry debt that is twice as much as annual earnings, said Ryan Oatman, an energy analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., an investment bank in Houston.
By contrast, the net debt of Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest energy explorer by market value, is less than half of the cash earned from operations last year. The company will spend 68 cents for every dollar it gets back this year, according to company records and analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
So far, oil prices have been high enough to keep investors interested in the potential profits to be made in shale, Oatman said.
“There is a point at which investors become worried about debt levels and how that spending is going to be financed,” Oatman said. “How do you accelerate and drill without making investors worried about the balance sheet? That’s the key tension in this industry.”
How, Oatman asks? By keeping oil prices ridiculously high, that’s how. And that’s exactly what’s being done. This is a scam of the highest magnitude. You should be outraged. It makes no sense to spend more money and energy to get less than what you put into it. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on with the shale oil play and the only reason it continues is because of the artificially high price of oil. The strategy of tension Kabuki theater that is the Ukraine crisis provides certain cover for the high oil prices to continue indefinitely. Afterall, what are you going to do about it? Nothing. Most refuse to see it for what it is, and if they can’t or won’t, then there’s no chance of ever addressing the scam and prosecuting the scammers.
The invasion of Iraq was obviously not conducted for the stated official reasons, but neither was Iraq invaded for the alternative reason given by the so-called alternative media. The latter explanation is that the invasion of Iraq was an oil grab by the West, but as we’ve seen above, and I’ll further corroborate below, that hasn’t really transpired. Iraq’s production is still lagging. Yes, it’s starting to pick up some, but its potential is increasingly being contracted to China and Russia for production. So, what is the real reason for the invasion of Iraq? What I’ve been saying all along; it’s about raising and keeping the price of oil artificially high–an illegal, backdoor tax, if you will. Sherwood Ross of Global Research, per this link, agrees. Here’s what he has to say:
Saddam Hussein may have been deposed in order to limit Iraq’s oil production and thus keep world oil prices artificially high. This could be the real reason behind the invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American forces and their allies.
According to Greg Palast’s new book, “Armed Madhouse”(Plume), “When OPEC raises the price of crude, Big Oil makes out big time.” Palast makes the point Iraq’s output in the 2003-05 period following the invasion saw a decline in oil production. In fact, it dropped to below the level of the 1995-2003 Oil-for-Food arrangement that allowed Iraq to sell two million barrels per day to raise cash for humanitarian purposes. “Whether by design or happenstance, this decline in (Iraqi) output has resulted in tripling the profits of the five U.S. oil majors to $89 billion for a single year, 2005, compared to pre-invasion 2002,” Palast writes.
He points out the oil majors are not simply passive resellers of OPEC production but have reserves of their own which rise in tandem with oil prices. “The rise in the price of oil after the first three years of the (Iraq) war boosted the value of the reserves of ExxonMobil Oil alone by just over $666-billion,” Palast wrote. What’s more, Chevron Oil, “where (Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice had served as a director, gained a quarter trillion dollars in value.”
Another big winner in the Iraq war is Saudi Arabia. The war-stoked jump in oil prices, Palast writes, put $120 billion in Saudi Arabia’s treasury in 2004, triple its normal take.
Among the big losers have been American motorists, now paying about $3.30 for a gallon of gas. What’s more, the oil price spike has punished U.S. industry, costing America an estimated 1.2-million jobs. “Higher borrowing costs for business since the beginning of the Iraq war are bleeding manufacturing investment,” Palast adds.
Rising oil prices are an anomaly. The world’s petroleum reserves have doubled from 648 billion to !.2 trillion barrels in the past 25 years, Palast reports. According to free market laws of supply and demand, discovery of these immense new pools should cause prices to drop.
To further emphasize that the Iraq invasion was not an oil grab, there’s this article from IMED. Here’s what Julie Lenarz has to say on the matter:
Iraq: The “blood for oil” conspiracy is dead
When the US-led coalition invaded Iraq in 2003, one of the most common perceptions was that the primary motive behind the war was the country’s significant oil reserves.
UnbenanntAccording to a 2002 Pew Poll, 44 per cent British, 75 per cent French, 54 per cent Germans, and 76 per cent Russians were greatly suspicious of US intentions in Iraq and bought into the “blood for oil” narrative. On the contrary, only 22 per cent of Americans believed that the Bush administration’s policy was driven by oil interests.
At the time, experts pointed out that this argument was deeply flawed and a lazy mantra of the war opponents.
While Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, its output in the early 2000s was modest and accounted for only 3 per cent of total global productivity. Due to the geology of the oilfields and, above all, the poor infrastructure destroyed by years of war, Saddam’s negligence, and the sanctions regime, Iraq had the lowest yield of any major producer, amounting to just 0.8 per cent of its potential output.
By the end of 2011, the US had spent almost $802bn on funding the war and, as the Centre for Strategic and International Studies pointed out, Iraq had additional debts of over $100 billion.
On top of that, the US only imports 12.9 per cent of its oil from the Middle East. The vast majority, 8.1 per cent, is provided by Saudi Arabia.
In other words, invading Iraq was an extremely expensive undertaking for the US-led coalition with no guarantee or prospect of considerable profitability.
As Daniel Yergin argued at the time: “no US administration would launch so momentous a campaign just to facilitate a handful of oil development contracts and a moderate increase in supply-half a decade from now.”
The “blood for oil” thesis, at best, represents a small proportion of the truth.
10 years after the invasion of Iraq, who is profiting most from the country’s oil reserves? The US? The UK? No. PetroChina, Russian Lukoil, and Pakistan Petroleum – fierce opponents of the war.
On the other hand, as Germany’s leading weekly news magazine DER SPIEGEL reported this week, “America has not a single, significant oil deal with Baghdad” anymore.
EXXON is moving out of Iraq and PetroChina has taken the lead in the auction of West Qurna – one of the largest oil fields in the world – with Russian Lukoil as a potential competitor. If the Chinese bid is successful, the country will account for 32 per cent of total oil contracts in Iraq.
The “blood for oil” conspiracists owe President Bush an apology.
I had to laugh out loud at the last sentence claiming the “conspiracists” owe Bush an apology. Not! They chose the wrong conspiracy…perhaps by design for those who created and disseminated the meme before allowing it to take on a life of its own. If so, what a great misdirection campaign. I’m not fooled. Follow The Money. Always.
But it’s not just oil production contracts that are being awarded to Russia in Iraq. It’s also weapons contracts. Yes, besides pubescent teenage girls and gas/oil, the next largest Russian export is weapons…the capacity for which was left over from the Cold War days. Per this Pravda article, Russia recently signed a major arms deal with Iraq. How convenient. A positive sign for a long and prosperous relationship.
Russia to sign $5-billion defense contract with Iraq
Russia may join the ranks of major importers of weapons to Iraq. During the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s, a contract for $5 billion may be signed for the sale of MiG fighter jets, products of Russian Helicopters, anti-aircraft missile systems, armored vehicles and other weapons to the Middle Eastern country.
f the deal goes through, Iraq will be among five largest importers of Russian arms. According to the newspaper, contracts will be signed for the supply of the products of the pro RAC “MiG”, “Helicopters of Russia, and “Tula “Instrument Design Bureau” in the amount of $4.3 billion dollars. It is assumed that Iraq would sell 30 Mi-28N combat vehicles and 42 anti-aircraft missile and gun complex “Shell-S1.” Additionally, there may be new contracts for the supply of MiG-29M/M2, radars, armored vehicles and other weapons.
Last year, Russia has retained the second place in the world in terms of arms exports, selling weapons abroad for 11.3 billion dollars. Most likely, this year the country will also remain in second place with a total export at $13.293 billion, or 19 percent of the world supply. The main volume of shipments accounted for a very small number of countries that have the potential to negatively affect the front-runner position of Russia in the global arms trade.
That’s a dated article, but the contract did get approved and Russia is now supplying weapons to Iraq per the contract. Sweet. Follow The Money. There’s plenty to be made…and lost depending on who you are. And don’t think the invasion of Iraq at U.S. taxpayer expense wasn’t highly profitable for a a bevy of defense contractors. Without war or the threat of it and a bloated defense budget, defense contractors have no reason for existence. As a lobbying group, they must make every effort to support a permanent strategy of tension, otherwise their revenue streams, profits and livelihoods disappear, and we can’t have that, can we?
Wait, there’s still more. There’s always more. Russia’s not only selling weapons to Iraq and many other countries including Venezuela, it’s also selling weapons to the U.S. Military. No, I’m not joking, but considering the feigned inflamed rhetoric towards Putin and Russia in the Western mainstream media, it doesn’t square that the U.S. Military would be in bed with Russia’s weapons manufacturers. But it is. If you consider the perspective I’ve presented in this post and update your memes, it makes perfect sense. The strategy of tension is just that, a strategy of tension to keep the price of oil high, military budgets bloated, you poorer and less prosperous and the World Wide Oligarch Network (WWON) wealthier and more powerful. Check this article out from Wired. Per the link:
Russian Firm Got No-Bid Pentagon Contract After Selling Arms to Iran
For two years, the United States regarded Rosoboronexport, Russia’s official weapons exporter, as an international pariah for selling arms to Iran and Syria. Then, in 2010, the U.S. suddenly lifted sanctions against it. By June of this year, the reversal was complete: the Pentagon awarded the company a no-bid contract worth upwards of $1 billion.
How exactly did the United States end up spending taxpayer dollars on Russian equipment with no competition?
The Russian deal may be a small part of the nearly $140 billion in no-bid contracts the Pentagon awarded last year, but it is also in some ways typical, according to an ongoing series by the Center for Public Integrity. If military operations in the early years of Iraq and Afghanistan justified the use of sole-sourcing contracting for support services, then the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan created a new justification for steering contracts to a single bidder: the need to quickly equip the military forces there so that the United States could eventually ship out.
This rush was the Pentagon’s stated justification for sole-source procurements for a host of weapons and equipment, particularly for what’s called “non-standard” equipment — in this case, Russian helicopters. The local military forces that the U.S. built in Iraq and Afghanistan were more familiar with Russian equipment than with U.S. gear, the argument went. Even in Afghanistan, a country which fought off a Soviet occupation in the 1980s, U.S. officials argued that the Northern Alliance and Afghan pilots were used to flying Russian helicopters, which are regarded as rugged and reliable.
Today, U.S. contracts for Russian equipment, used primarily to buy Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have topped $1 billion. They’ve almost all been sole-source or non-competitive contracts given to a variety of middle men companies. Rosoboronexport included.
To reiterate and underscore the title and sentiment of this post, let’s Call The Bluff. I want to see the U.S. as proxy for the West take control of the price of oil and develop a policy that prices oil at cost to extract plus a 10% profit margin for good measure. Those production costs will not include shale or tar sands oil in the averaging estimation. Russia should be pronounced an enemy and brought to heel via non-violent means and that doesn’t mean feckless, empty sanctions. Greatly reducing Russia’s GDP via lower oil prices will hinder its reported recent so-called expansionist proclivity. Those countries trading with the enemy will be targeted as complicit and trade with those countries will be curtailed. For example, if China continues to thumb its nose at the West in solidarity with Russia, it must be made to pay the price. Without the West, China’s GDP falls precipitously. The West is responsible for the majority of China’s exports and by virtue of that, the majority of its production and GDP. Take that away and Russia and China will be at each others throats in no time. In fact, they’d annihilate each other in less than a decade.
The above are just a couple of examples of what could be done if the tension were REAL. But it’s not real, and none of the things I mentioned would ever be done because it’s a false perspective. The Oligarchs residing in Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, the Middle East and the West (the WWON or World Wide Oligarch Network) are partners in crime…against humanity. They work together but paint a false image of tension and crisis. Look over there, not here. And most do look over there and never see the curtain let alone peek behind it.
That photo above comes from a link provided by the screen name FincalnTheMountains accompanied by this post at Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation blog:
According to some Russian Internet resources, the “Russian” troops without insignia that initially occupied Crimea were members of Russian Private Army, sort of “Russian Blackwater”. So Putin had a plausible deniability when he maintained that those were NOT Russian military.
Also some of the mercenaries that liberated Crimea were American Nationals, hired by that Private Army. On that photo we could see one of the mercenaries with far from Slavic face.
Joke’s on Putin
If this claim has any verity, then I don’t think it’s joke on Putin; it’s joke on all those who buy into the strategy of tension. You’re being taken for fools. American mercenaries working side by side with Putin and Russia in annexing Crimea. If true, it’s as insidious as it gets. Nobody would lay claim to these mercenary soldiers. Everyone denied it; Ukraine, Putin and the West. Unbelievable, I know. Maybe there’s a plausible explanation for this, but one hasn’t been provided. If you apply the assertions and sentiments of this post, it’s not so unbelievable.