It is always good to follow up what happens in the Middle East, as you do not know when the next issue will come up.

In Syria – we have an increasingly worrying scenario.

The battleground everybody against Islamic State / PKK against IS and Turkey proxy/ Syria and Russia against Islamic State and Free Syrian Army and US is mutating.

There have been several accidents (2 bombings and one airplane downing) on behalf of the US against Syrian near Al-Tanf (which is the cross road Iran-Iraq-Syria). Lucky enough no Russians or Iranians got involved, yet.

The issue is that the US says is protecting the “good” Free Syrian Army – while for the Syrians are close to impossible to distinguish one from another.

You can debate how much you want – but last year some of the trained rebel groups under the US command switched over to IS just a month after entering Syria.

This conflict is slowly morphing into the new war US/Iran. Hopefully they will keep on fighting via proxies.

Iran, not to be left behind, shot several medium range ballistic missile into Syria against the Islamic State positions in Syria (first use since the Iran/iraq war) in retaliation of the Parliament terror attack. I presume it works also as a warning.

Not to be content, the Iranian navy had military training with China last week.

Qatar is still isolated and two blocs are appearing the Qatar bloc – Turkey, Iran (allied with Russia and China) and Iraq,  versus  the Saudi bloc (Israel (allied with the US), UAE and Egypt).

Also here the issue is the definition of good and bad terrorists. Qatar defines good terrorist the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in Palestine – while the Saudi have other definition of good terrorist (more Islamic State like)

The US is in the Saudi bloc, but, as its main Middle East base is in Qatar, is maintaining a low profile.

Russia, as it needs the Saudi for the oil price, is also maintaining a low profile. China, as usual, very smart, is there – but pretty much invisible to the media (China is also “invisibly” supporting Syria).

Unfortunately terrorist are useful, so no one agrees that all terrorists are bad.

 

Last week, Channel 10 went into administration.

This was a perfect pirate action – the two of the main shareholders (Murdoch and Gordon) withdrew support.

Then, as white knights, came to save and make it private and burning all the listed company shareholders.

As, in perfect pirate style, the agreement between Murdoch and Gordon is an association – so the media concentration laws do not apply.

The real pirates live in Australia, not the Caribbean!

A tech issue for the markets

Posted: June 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Since Friday there has been a sell off in tech. It is a very important move as the US rally has been underpinned by the Tech rally. On Friday some  top managers spoke  (including Goldman Sachs)

Morgan Stanley calculated that if the tech stock fell by 10% all other main stock group financials, industrials and energy mainly) will have to rise by 4.5% just to maintain the market flat.

It is a move to watch, but probably it will be used by people “left behind” to enter the tech bull.

A Russian issue for Putin

Posted: June 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

There is a new wave of Kremlin criticism in Russia and this time is more interesting as it is not supported or galvanized by the West.

The wave of criticism has been  sparked by Navalny (a nationalist, anti Muslim politician, now under arrest) against the high level of corruption and poor economic situation of the average Russian and the constant war spend

This always have been the biggest issue for Putin – while he is probably one of the greatest foreign policy experts, the focus in the internal economics of Russia has always been lucky (even if to reform the highly corrupted Russian economy would be a hard feat also for him).

Probably Putin’s greatest error has been not to take advantage (for the whole economy, not just for himself and friends) of the commodities boom to restructure the economy.

These criticisms will not be unmanageable for Putin and the security apparatus, but will provoke a shift not so dissimilar to Tiennamen Square for China.

Also, in Russia is always better to consider what you wish for.

Amongst the Russian leaders, from an historical perspective at least,  Putin has been quite a pacific and non-violent leader.  Russia is a harsh land that breeds arsh leaders.

An Iranian fog of war

Posted: June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Iran had a full on terror attack.

It is strangely close to the President Trump visit and Qatar issues.

On the surface is quite clear – Iran has been one of the main ground force against Islamic State and Islamic State retaliate.

The fact that President Trump accuses Iran (Shia) to sponsor Islamic State (Sunni, very close to the Saudi Wahhabism) show that he does not understand (or, more likely, he understands but he needs the Saudis as ally).

As the fog of war dictate, there is an alternative scenario.

The attack could be a false flag (or allowed to happen) as an attack on the Iranian Parliament is a casus belli (reason to go to war) and the Iranian Armed Forces (IRGC) already accused the Saudi to be behind it.

Translation: if you decide to put excessive pressure on Qatar – we already have the pretext for war. An ultimatum, Iranian style.

In a confrontation Saudi/Iran, the Saudi will be annihilated without the US. An intervention of US would provoke an intervention of Russia….

So please let’s go back to be “nice” neighbours

Qatar has been put under pressure by Saudi Arabia, US and the GCC (Gulf countries).

Turkey, Russia, Iran and a few others are trying to de-escalate the situation.

What and Why?

It has all escalated as in early 2017 a Qatary royal family hunting party in Iraq (about 50 people) got kidnapped. They then got released with a ransom of $1 billion (!!) – it seems $700 million Iran and $300 million other Iraqi parties.

But this is a pretext. Always Qatar had independent streak from Saudi – it was financing Turkey and the Turkey-aligned militia in Syria – he was closer to Iran and so on.

The President Trump visit to Saudi Arabia gave the authority to Saudi Arabia to bring into line Qatar.

Qatar has a lot of gas reserves, but all food and services are coming from Saudi Arabia. It also hosts one of the largest US military bases.

Saudi imposed no fly zone over Saudi Arabia and associated countries and a naval blockade. Skynews reported that it just gave a 10 points ultimatum to comply within 24hours (the points are not known). Skynews Arabia just retreated the ultimatum saying it was fake news.

Tension remain high. Quite understandably nothing will happen. But if it would, Iran will not stay passively watching and Saudi Arabia has no chance against Iran, without President Trump help.

It is kind of funny. As you watch North Korea and Syria..always something else happens (and gold approaches $1,300)

The US is preparing its next campaign against Iran – in case the war with North Korea does not work.

A new anti Iran CIA specialist  D’Andrea, aka The Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike (as he converted to Islam) has been selected by President Trump.

This is important as D’Andrea is practically the “wet job” arm of the CIA (responsible for drone attacks, the killing of Bin Laden and other extreme rendition operation).

This is the third point of the triad. McMaster and Mattis, the other two military heads, are already against Iran as they deem Iran the responsible of the huge US losses in Iraq (in my opinion correctly so).

Not many people knows that General Mattis went to then President Obama with a plan to hit back at Iran- but he was vetoed.

With all these military experts at the head of the US military complex there is a huge difference from President Obama time.

The military man tends to avoid at all costs, but then if war needs to happen they will apply an unconstrained war scenario similar to the US versus Germany or Japan – not a minimum casualties scenario like under Obama/Clinton. Which by the way is the only way to win a war.

The perfect evil scenario would be a showdown in Syria, especially in the Al Tanf area (near Raqqa) where, with IS defeated, the Iranian Shiite are trying to create an axis Iran/Iraq/Syria/Lebanon.

The showdown would be USA, Turkey, Syrian Free Army, Saudi and Co. (including, secretly Israel) versus Iran and Co, Russia, Syrian Army (including, secretly, China)

If that conflict goes haywire and links with a North Korea war scenario…pack your bags for the countryside.

 

Wow…just writing this and another part of the puzzle fell into the slot.

Qatar have been expelled by the Gulf partner region (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Barhain) as supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and implicitly Iran.Naturally no one knows if this is truth or part of something else.