Many of you have heard Warren Zevon’s song, “The Envoy.”
But few people know that it was written to honor Philip Habib:
And even if you were familiar with both Zevon and Habib, you would not be prepared to consider the weirdness currently enveloping the Middle East.
First, as usual, the USA wanted to sponsor some puppets. You can call them “freedom fighters” or “terrorists” or whatever you like. So the USA used its “State Department” to send lots of expensive stuff, including Toyota trucks. Either the “Treasury Department” didn’t know about this, or just pretended that it didn’t know. Either way, it is now public knowledge:
It might seem strange that USA patriots would harm their own country. It is easier to understand that people loyal to other countries would happily use the USA to advance their own causes, regardless of whether the USA got hurt in the process. Notably, AIPAC seeks to harm Iran, regardless of how much damage the USA might suffer.
Russia had two reasons to intervene – one bad and one good. The good reason was that Russia had treaties, alliances, and international laws mandating that it defend its ally, Syria. The bad reason was that people said that “ISIS” was a “terrorist” group. (I see no reason to dignify “ISIS” with such a scary epithet. It is hard to tell how much of “ISIS” consisted of actual violent men and how much of it consisted of nonviolent con men, looking to make quick bucks. A Russian general at the link below describes ISIS as a “nonstructural division of the CIA.” I guess that means that the USA is happy to support ISIS, and also happy to kill ISIS, if the situation demands.)
At any rate, Russia supported Syria’s legal government by bombing the so-called terrorists.
The USA broke from its normal policy of denouncing terror to say that even if terror is bad, Putin must be considered worse, because the USA is an empire and it gets to define its own reality.
The most concise summary of recent events comes from Ian Shilling, quoted at length below:
The Syrian Kurds from the YPG have welcomed the Russian airstrikes and asked for help with weapons and support. The Syrian Kurds, like the Russians, consider both ISIS and al-Qaeda as the same group of terrorists – their fighters are inter changeable and their aims are the same (massacre non Wahhabi “infidels” and topple Assad).
The Russian attacks near the Turkish border are aimed at cutting off the US/Saudi/Turkish supply lines to ISIS and al-Qaeda. Only a narrow 60 mile corridor now remains, which the US, Turkey and the Neocon Brookings Institute “think tank” aka “Fascist Propaganda Ministry organ” have sought to protect by calling it a “No Fly Buffer” Zone.
The Syrian Kurds are vital in controlling the Eastern side of this corridor to the banks of the Euphrates. Russia is attacking to the West of the Euphrates.
N.B. “rebels” on the above map denotes an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group, such as Al-Nusra.
The Iraqi President Abadi, has sent a formal request to Moscow for Russia to start bombing ISIS in Iraq. This is currently under consideration by Russia.
This follows the announcement of the setting up a joint intelligence sharing center between Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria in Baghdad.
This is a MAJOR blow to US interests in the region. Abadi was specifically chosen by the US (in what was effectively a Coup) to replace his immediate boss, the previous President (Maliki), who was being too friendly with Iran and not obeying US diktats enough.
In a further blow to US interests in the region, the Iraqi Kurd leader President Barzani, has expressed support for Russian airstrikes in Iraq “if they help the Peshmerga in the fight against Daesh (ISIS)”.
N.B. Erdogan is using the “war” against ISIS as a pretext to start a war against the Kurds. He is allied with ISIS and allows the free flow of fighters, arms and supplies across the Turkish/Syria border.
N.B2. What the West is trying to portray as “moderate” rebels are in fact Al-Qaeda linked extremist groups who want to impose Sharia law and have carried out multiple atrocities and massacres against Christians and non Wahhabi muslims.
These are the same al-Qaeda terrorist groups that the West blamed for the Twin Towers 9/11 attacks and have supposedly been fighting a war against for 14 years.
There never were many FSA fighters and what there were mostly defected to ISIS and Al-Nusra a long time ago. The commanders of the FSA have openly stated their support for ISIS since at least mid 2014.
Which explains why the US was only able to find 56 “moderates” in the first batch and 75 in the second batch for their $500m program to train up “moderate” rebels in Division 30. Division 30 have already been wiped out or joined Al-Nusra/ISIS and given their US supplied arms up to the terrorists.
Russia calls them all terrorists – which is exactly what they are.
It also explains why previous US allies – the Kurds in Syria and Iraq and the government in Baghdad are turning to Russia for help (see above).
It has been exactly eight days since Obama and Putin made their speeches at the UN General Assembly.
Rarely has there been such a sea change in the course of world events in so short a time. The only comparable events in the last 50 years were the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (which led to the collapse of the USSR) and the WTC attack on 9/11 (which enabled the Neocon wars to be initiated which in turn have dramatically hastened the end of American Hegemony).
I don’t know that this is a huge shift as Ian Shilling claims. But if it truly is a huge sea change in geopolitics, then it has major economic consequences. If Russia is willing to head up an anti-Wahhabi-Islamic/pro-state coalition, then Russia is fighting – and probably winning – the Fourth Generation War.
If Russia and China and Iran are united against Wahhabi terror, Saudi Arabia and the USA will be much weaker.
Some of the economic consequences are being reported in stories that make no mention of the wars.
TEHRAN, Oct. 07 (MNA) – Iran Nanotechnology Educational Laboratories Network held an educational workshop in Suzhou, China, to introduce the capable student laboratories and train the Chinese teachers, INIC reports.
In this workshop, the Chinese teachers were taught how to work with nanotechnology educational devices made in Iran, and a lithography test was carried out as a sample.
Mr. Xu Shao Jie, the Deputy of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) for Education, Dr. Saeed Sarkar, the Secretary-General of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council, Mr. Ke Xu, the Head of Analysis Center of SINano and representative of Nanosurf Enterprise in Switzerland participated in the workshop.
According to Mr. Xu Shao Jie, organization of the workshop was very useful to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and develop educational nanotechnology programs. He expressed the hope that the workshop would have been held pretty well.
Iran Nanotech China Center (INCC) started its work in May 2015 in order to extend cooperation in the field of nanotechnology between Iran and China. Nanotechnology training of students is one of the interesting subjects for cooperation between the two countries.
Of course, this is an anime-friendly blog, and it wouldn’t be right to leave out the relevant news from the home of all anime:
Japanese automakers are looking to restart exports to Iran as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is moving quickly to lay the groundwork for investment in Iran, a leading Tokyo-based newspaper says.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will arrive in Tehran Monday to strike a basic agreement for an investment pact. Prime Minister Abe is also considering to visit Iran late this year, Jiji Press reported, citing informed sources.
The Nikkei, the world’s largest financial newspaper, said Nissan Motor has informed parts suppliers that it may resume shipments to Iran sometime next spring.
“It would send so-called knockdown kits, to be assembled locally, rather than finished autos,” it said, adding the automaker is looking to export kits for several thousand vehicles a year.
Suzuki Motor is readying to ramp up exports of auto components for assembly in Iran while introducing new models to the Iranian market once the sanctions are lifted.
The company began producing around 4,000 sport-utility vehicles a year there in 2005, but the sanctions have reduced output to a trickle since 2012, The Nikkei said.
Another automaker, Isuzu Motors, plans to resume exports of light trucks and other models to Iran while Toyota Motor is weighing to restart exports to the country in earnest after the sanctions end.
Mazda Motor resumed exports of some auto parts to Iran in April in response to an easing of US and European sanctions. According to The Nikkei, the company will consider expanding exports to the country.
International carmakers are eyeing the Iranian market of 80 million people who bought 1.1 million cars last year.
Note that the pendulum didn’t just start swinging when Putin’s bombs started falling. Since July 2015, we’ve had bond sales like these:
Five large purchasers of US Treasuries – China, Russia, Norway, Brazil, and Taiwan – have changed their minds. They’re dumping Treasuries,
China, the largest foreign owner of Treasuries – its hoard peaking at $1.317 trillion in November 2013 – has been unloading with particular passion. By July, the latest data available from the US Treasury Department, China’s pile was down to $1.241 trillion. But in August, the real selling started when the yuan suddenly spiraled down further after its devaluation. Panicked, and fearful of losing control over their currency, officials at the People’s Bank of China sold Treasuries and bought yuan to stabilize the currency.
Russia unloaded $32.8 billion in Treasuries in the 12-month period ended in July; Norway, which like Russia was hit by the oil price rout, sold $18.3 billion, and Taiwan $6.8 billion.
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In a sign of how vital Swift has become to global finance, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned in January that an EU proposal to exclude Russia from the system over the conflict in Ukraine would elicit an “unlimited” response from Russia. “If there is no Swift, there is no banking . . . relationship,” said a top Russian banker at the time.
Spying is also a concern. The US National Security Agency has targeted Swift as a means to track international payments, according to NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
China “wants to facilitate cross-border international business transactions, but you also have to wonder if there’s another angle here,” said Gerard Comizio, chair of global banking practice at law firm Paul Hastings in Washington.
“They’re now relying on a payments system that is highly susceptible to being accessed by intelligence agencies from the US.”