Archive | December 2nd, 2018

Global Oil Price Deflation 2018. The Drift Toward Global Recession is Underway

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By Dr. Jack Rasmus

One of the key characteristics of the 2008-09 crash and its aftermath (i.e. chronic slow recovery in US and double and triple dip recessions in Europe and Japan) was a significant deflation in prices of global oil. After attaining well over $100 a barrel in 2007-08, crude oil prices plummeted, hitting a low of only $27 a barrel in January 2016. They slowly but steadily rose again in 2016-17 and peaked at about $80 a barrel this past summer 2018. Now the retreat has started once again, falling to a low of $55 in October and remain around $56 today, likely to fall further in 2019 now that Japan and Europe appear entering yet another recession and US growth almost certainly slowing significantly in 2019. With the potential for a US recession rising in late 2019 oil price deflation may continue into the near future. What will this mean for the global and US economies?

The critical question is what is the relationship between global oil price deflation, financial instability and crises, and recession–something mainstream economists don’t understand very well? Is the current rapid retreat of oil prices since August 2018 an indicator of more fundamental forces underway in the global and US economy? Will oil price deflation exacerbate, or even accelerate, the drift toward recession globally now underway? What about financial asset markets stability in general? What can be learned from the 2008 through 2015 experience?

In my 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’ and its chapter on deflation’s role in crises, I explained that oil is not just a commodity but, since the 1990s, has functioned as an important financial asset whose price affects other forms of financial assets (stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, etc.). Financial asset price volatility in general (bubbles and deflation) have a greater impact on the real economy than mainstream economists, who generally don’t understand financial markets and cycles, think. Hence they don’t understand how financial cycles interact with real business cycles. This applies as well to their understanding of oil prices as financial asset prices, not just commodity prices.

Oil Price Deflation Revisited 2018

Oil is a commodity whose price is determined by the interaction of supply and demand; but it is also a financial asset the price of which is determined by global finance capitalists’ speculation in oil futures markets and the competition between various forms of financial assets globally. For the new global finance capital elite (also addressed in the book) look at the returns on investment (e.g. profits) from financial asset investing globally—choosing between oil futures, stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies, real estate on a worldwide basis.

The price of crude oil futures drives the price of crude oil in the short and medium term, as a commodity as speculators bet on oil supply and demand; and the relative price of other types of financial assets in part also determine the demand of oil speculators for oil futures.

What this means is that simply applying supply and demand analysis to determine the direction of crude oil prices globally is not sufficient. Neither supply nor demand has changed since August 2018 by 30% to explain the 30% drop in crude oil to its current mid-$50s range; nor will it explain where oil prices will go in 2019. Nevertheless, that’s what we hear from economists today trying to explain the recent drop or predict the trajectory of global oil price deflation in 2019.

What Mainstream Economists Don’t Understand

Mainstream economists are indoctrinated in the idea that only supply and demand determine prices. It harkens back to the influence of classical economics of the 18th century and Adam Smith. Supply and demand are the appearance of price determination. What matters are the forces behind, beneath and below that cause the changes in supply and demand. Those forces are the real determinants. But mainstream economists typically deal at the surface of appearances, which is why their forecasts of economic directions in the medium and longer term are so poor.

Looking at recent explanations and analyses by mainstream economists, and their echo in the business media, we get the following view:

First, it is clear that there are three major sources of oil supply globally today: US production driven by technology and the shale fracking revolution. Second, Russian production. Third, OPEC, within which Saudi Arabia and its allies, UAE, Kuwait, etc. Each produce about 10-11 million barrels per day, or bpd.

Since this summer, US fracking has resulted in roughly an additional 670,000 barrels a day by October compared to last July 2018. Both Saudi and Russian production has added roughly 700,000 more, each respectively. Offsetting the supply increase, in part, has been a reduction in output by Venezuela and Iran—both driven by US sanctions and, in the case of Venezuela, US longer term efforts to prevent the upgrading and maintenance of Venezuelan production.

The more than 2 million bpd increase in global crude oil supply by the global oil troika of US- Russia-Saudi has, on the surface, appeared as a collapse in global oil prices from $80 to $55, or about 30% in just a few months. Projections are supply increases will drive global oil prices still lower in 2019: US forecasts for 2019 are for an average of 12.06 million bpd; for Russia an average of 11.4 million bpd; and for Saudi an average of 10.6 million bpd. (Sources: EIA and OPEC secretariat).

Demand & Supply as Mere Appearance

So the appearance is that supply will drive global oil prices still lower in 2019. But what about demand? Will the forces behind it drive oil price deflation even further? And what about other financial asset markets’ price deflation? Will declines in stock, bond, derivatives, and currencies prices result in financial capitalist investors increasing their demand for oil futures as they shift investing from the collapse of values in those financial markets to oil? Or will it reduce their investing in oil futures as other financial asset markets prices deflate, as a psychological contagion effect spreads across financial asset markets in general, oil futures included?

While mainstreamers focus on and argue that pure supply considerations will predict the price of oil, my analysis insists that a deeper consideration of forces are necessary. What’s driving, and will continue to drive, oil prices are Politics, other financial markets’ price deflation, and Demand that will be driven by renewed recessions in the major advanced economies (Europe, Japan, then US, and continued GDP slowdown in China).

As global economic growth slows, now clearly underway, more than half of the world’s oil producers will increase oil production. Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, smaller African and Asia producers, are dependent on oil sales to finance much of their government budgets. As real growth slows, and recessions appear or worsen, deficits will rise further requiring more government revenues from oil sales. What these countries can’t generate in revenues from prices they will attempt to generate from more sales volume. Even Saudi Arabia has entered this group, as it seeks to generate more revenue to finance the development of its non-energy based economy plans.

So Russia and much of OPEC for political reasons will increase supply because of slowing economies—i.e. because of Demand originally and Supply only secondarily. As the global economy continues to slow Demand forces trump those of Supply. But the two are clearly mutually determined. It’s just that Demand has now become more determining and will remain so into 2019.

Debt as a Driver of Global Oil Deflation

But what’s ultimately behind the Demand forces at work? In the US it’s technology, the fracking revolution, driving down the cost of oil production and thus its price. It’s also corporate debt, often of the junk quality, that has financed the investment behind the oil production output rise. Drillers are loaded with junk bond debt, often short term, that they must pay for, or soon roll over now at a higher interest rate in 2019 and beyond. They must produce and sell more oil to pay for the new technology driven investment of recent years. And as the price falls they must produce and sell still more to generate the revenue to pay the interest and principal on that debt.

So is it really Supply, or is it more fundamentally the debt and technology that’s driving US shale output, that in turn is adding to downward global price pressures? Is it Supply or is it the way that Supply has been financed by capitalist markets?

Similarly, in the case of Russia and much of OPEC, is it Supply or is it the need of those countries to finance their government growing debt loads (and budgets in general) by generating more sales revenue from more oil output, even as the price of oil falls and thereby threatens that oil revenue stream?

Whether at the corporate or government level, the acceleration of debt in recent years is behind the forces driving excess oil production and Supply that appears the cause of the emerging oil price deflation.

Politics as a Driver of Global Oil Deflation

Domestic and global politics is another related force in some cases. Clearly, Russia is engaged in an increase in its military research and other military-related government expenditures. Its governing elite is convinced the US is preparing to challenge its political independence: NATO penetration of the Baltics and Poland, the US-encouraged coup in the Ukraine, past US ventures in Georgia, etc. has led to Russian acceleration of its military expenditures. To continue its investment as the US attempts to impose further sanctions (designed to cut Russia connections with Europe in particular), and as Russia’s economy slows as it raises its domestic interest rates in order to protect its currency, Russia must produce and sell more oil globally. It thus generates more demand for its oil competitively by lowering its price. Demand for Russian oil increases—but not due to natural economic causes as the world economy slows. It increases because it shifts oil demand from other producers to itself.

Saudi politics are also in part behind its planned production increase. It has stepped up its military expenditures as well, both for its war in Yemen and its plans for a future conflict with Iran. The Saudi government investment in domestic infrastructure also requires it to generate more oil revenue in the short term.

The recent Russian-Saudi(OPEC) agreement to reduce or hold oil production steady has been a phony agreement, as actual and planned oil production numbers clearly reveal.

Not least, there’s the question of global financial asset markets’ in decline with falling asset prices and how that impacts the oil commodity futures financial asset market. Once again, changes in oil supply and demand simply do not fluctuate by 30% in just a couple months. The driver of oil prices since July 2018 must be financial speculation in oil futures.

Here it may be argued that investors are factoring in the slowing global economy, especially in Europe and Japan, in coming months. They may be shifting investment out of oil futures as a speculative price play, and into US currency and even stocks and bonds. Or into financial asset markets in China. Or speculating on returns in select emerging market currencies and stocks that have stabilized in the short term and may rise in value, producing a nice speculative gain in the short run. The new global finance capital elite looks at competitive returns globally, in all financial asset markets. It moves its money around quickly, from one asset play to another, enabled by technology, past removal of controls on global money capital flows, easy borrowing, and ability to move quickly in and out of what is a complex network of highly liquid financial asset markets worldwide. As it sees global demand and politics playing important short term roles in global oil price declines, it shifts investment out of oil futures and into other forms of financial assets elsewhere in the global economy. Less supply of money capital for investing in oil futures reduces the demand for oil futures, which in turn reduces demand for oil and crude oil prices in general.

Conclusion

What this foregoing discussion and analysis suggests is the following:

  • Looking at oil supply solely or even primarily is to look at appearances only
  • But Supply & Demand analyses of oil prices are also superficial analyses of appearances. They are intermediate causal factors at best.
  • What matters are real forces that more fundamentally determine supply and demand
  • Politics, technology, and debt financing are more fundamental forces driving supply and demand in the intermediate and longer run.
  • Oil is not just a commodity, since the 1990s especially; it has become a financial asset whose price is determined in the short run increasingly by speculative investing shifts by global finance capital elites.
  • As financial assets, oil prices are determined in the short run globally by the relative price of other competing financial assets and their prices
  • The structure of the global economy in the 21st century is such that a new global finance capital elite has arisen, betting on a wide choice of financial assets available in highly liquid financial asset markets, across which the elite moves investments quickly and easily due to new enabling technologies and past deregulation of cross-country money capital flows

To summarize, as it appears increasingly that politics (domestic budgets and revenue needs, US sanctions, rising military expenditures, trade wars, etc.) and a slowing global economy are causing downward pressure on oil demand and thus oil prices; this price pressure is exacerbated by a corresponding increase in production and supply as a result of rising corporate and government debt and debt-servicing needs. However, in the very short run of weekly and monthly price change, it is global oil speculators betting on further oil price deflation and shifting asset investment returns elsewhere that is the primary driver of global oil deflation.

Global oil prices are in determined by other financial asset market price deflation underway in the short term, and in turn determine in part price deflation in other financial asset markets. Global oil prices cannot be understood apart from understanding what’s happening with other financial asset markets and prices.

Understanding and predicting oil prices is thus not simply an exercise in superficial supply and demand analysis, and even less so an exercise primarily in forecasting announcements of production output plans by the big three troika of US-Russia-Saudi.

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America’s Permanent-War Complex

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Image result for USA War Complex CARTOON

 

By Gareth Porter

What President Dwight D. Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. Read more…

More American Troops to Afghanistan, To Keep the Chinese Out? Lithium and the Battle for Afghanistan’s Mineral Riches

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Unknown to the broader public, Afghanistan has significant oil, natural gas and strategic raw material resources, not to mention opium, a multibillion dollar industry which feeds America’s illegal heroin market. Read more…

Video: Italy: A Whole US/NATO Strategic Military Base, “Global NATO”

By Manlio Dinucci

Manlio Dinucci in this carefully documented Pandora TV production focuses on US-NATO military deployment in Italy and around the World in what might described as “Global NATO”. Read more…

Release of Top Secret CIA Document Reveals Deeper Medical Complicity in Torture Program

By Physicians for Human Rights

With the release of a previously top secret document – made public thanks to a legal victory by the ACLU – disclosing the role of the Office of Medical Services (OMS) in the CIA’s torture program, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) reminds health professionals that torture, in all its forms, is one of the most serious human rights violations and is absolutely prohibited under U.S. and international law, and that any collusion in its implementation – from planning through monitoring – is a gross violation of professional ethics. Read more…

United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated

By Prof. Neta C. Crawford

The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post-9/11 war veterans (see Table 1). Read more…

Here’s What You’ll Pay for Neocon Wars: $5,900,000,000,000

By Kurt Nimmo

More evidence the “war on terror,” now shifted over to a New Cold War against Russia and China, is nothing if not a money-maker for the merchants of death and the usury banksters. Read more…

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Midterm Elections Generate Further Polarization in the United States

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By Abayomi AzikiweTrump played down the loss of the House and emphasized that the Senate would remain under Republican control. Nonetheless, there is a major shake-up in the cabinet of the Trump administration with the immediate departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions with more ousters being imminent. Read more…

America Has No Peace Movement – Blame the ‘White Supremacists’

By Philip GiraldiThe United States of America has no peace movement even though the country has been mired in unwinnable wars since 2001 and opinion polls suggest that there is only lukewarm support among the public for what is taking place in Afghanistan and Syria. Read more…

US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II

By James A. LucasThe largest WWII casualties  were China and the Soviet Union, 26 million in the Soviet Union,  China estimates its losses at approximately 20,000,000 deaths. Ironically, these two countries (allies of the US during WWII) which lost a large share of their population during WWII are now categorized as enemies of America, which are threatening the Western World.  A so-called preemptive war against China and Russia is currently contemplated. Read more...

The Moral Fiber of Justin Trudeau. Palestine and the BDS Movement

By Kim PetersenOn 7 November, Trudeau stood in the House of Commons and railed against anti-Semitism and rightly so. Anti-Semitism, as with any form of racism or hatred expressed against any grouping, is anathema. Read more…

US Intel. Will Bring Assange to US in Chains

By Ann GarrisonWikiLeaks put government, corporations and even the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA and other intel agencies on notice that they could no longer count on operating in secret. Read more…

Destroying a Country’s Standard of Living: What Libya Had Achieved, What has been Destroyed

By Prof Michel ChossudovskyToday, Libya as a country and a nation state has been destroyed. Under Nuremberg, the leaders of the NATO member states involved in the war on Libya are war criminals. Read more…

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The US and China Are Already in a Cold War!

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What’s Mike Pence Talking About? The US and China Are Already in a Cold War!

By Andrew KorybkoPence seemed to shock many observers who were taken aback by his ominous warning about an imminent “all-out cold war” between the US & China, but most people are either feigning surprise or truly haven’t been following the course of bilateral relations between these Great Powers close enough to understand that this is nothing more than a belatedly blunt statement of fact. Read more…

Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane: Doctors’ Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America’s Gun Madness

By Julia ConleyOffering visual proof that emergency room doctors are some of the United States’ top experts on the daily impact of insufficient gun regulations in communities across the country, physicians are sharing images of the blood and gore they regularly face when treating gunshot wounds. Read more…

Israel to Police European Coastlines: Protecting the Continent from Refugees?

By Peter KoenigEU citizens are being brainwashed with neoliberal lie-propaganda into believing that they are living in the heart of democracy – that they are free and protected by police and military, 24/7. Read more…

Escalation of Israeli Attacks against Gaza: Global Solidarity Campaign with the Palestinian People

By Salah AbdelatiLet us urgently work together in the biggest global solidarity campaign with the Palestinian people against the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, in order to boycott, alienate and hold accountable the Israeli occupation. Read more…

Video: The World War I Conspiracy

By James CorbettWhat was World War One about? How did it start? Who won? And what did they win?

Now, 100 years after those final shots rang out, these questions still puzzle historians and laymen alike. Read more…

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Syria: Downed Zionist jet

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Syrian air defences have downed several “hostile targets” over the country’s southern region, Syrian news agency SANA reported. A Syrian security source reported that the air defences downed an Israeli combat plane and four missiles. Israeli military has refuted the claims about the downing.

A Syrian security source reported that Syrian air defences have downed an Israeli military plane as well as four missiles over the country’s al-Kiswah area. The downed missiles have failed to reach their targets, the source added.

Later, Israeli military refuted the claims of downed plane in a statement.

​Earlier, Syrian Arab News Agency reported citing a military source that Syria’s air defence forces have intercepted several “hostile targets” over al-Kiswah and downed them.

“Our air defense systems repelled an attack by several enemy targets over the Al-Kiswah area in the south of the country and shot them down,” the Ikhbariya television said, citing a Syrian military source.

Earlier this year, Syrian Arab News Agency’s reporter said that air defences countered another “hostile target” which had breached Syrian air space west of the capital Damascus.The target back then was reportedly destroyed over Deir al-Ashair area. There were no immediate reports as to what it was.

READ MORE: Russia’s S-300 Will be Able to Close Parts of Syrian Airspace — Moscow

Previously, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that he did not exclude another US strike anytime as long as the United States continued to violate international laws, adding that Syria will continue beefing up its air defences.

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It’s Only a Matter of Time Until Israelis and Americans Decide to Test the Syrian S-300 Air Defences

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And if the commit enough resources to the task they can indeed defeat them — or better said, achieve a result they can present as victory to gullible media and public

We now know a little more about which version of the S-300 family the Russians have delivered to the Syrians: the Russians have converted a number of S-300PM and S-300P2 systems to the export version S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” which, by the way, is also the version Russia delivered to the Iranians and to the Chinese. This system uses the 48N6E2 missile and has an official range of 195km. I will skip the rest of the technical details and just say that this is a recent modification with excellent capabilities, so all the rumors about Russia delivering some antiquated version of the S-300 are now proven false (as usual). In fact, this is not the first time that the Russians have delivered an “Israeli-restraining” air defense system: in 1983 the USSR delivered a number of S-200VE “Vega-E” (SA-5b) air defense systems to Syria which significantly limited Israeli operations over and even around (AWACS) Syria.

Combined with the EW systems also delivered by Russia, these air defense systems clearly are having an impact on US and Israeli operations. And while the Americans are admitting that this is a problem for them, the Israelis, as usual, have both complained about this delivery and boasted that they did not care at all. adding that they would continue to bomb Syria whenever they feel the need. The Israelis have even declared that they would be willing to kill Russian crews if their aircraft are shot at. Except, of course, that so far the Israelis have stayed out of the Syrian skies (keep in mind that according to Israeli sources in 2017 the IDF attacked Syria over 200 times, roughly one attack every 2nd day!).

This time around, not only are the Israelis facing a much more competent air defense system, this system is also highly mobile and therefore much harder to locate, which will greatly complicate future attacks. Furthermore, since one S-300PMU2 battalion can track 300 targets (and engage 36 with 72 missiles simultaneously) at a very long range, the Syrians will now improve their early warning capabilities tremendously, which will make it much harder for the Israelis to successfully conduct surprise attacks against Syria.

Sooner or later, however, we can be pretty confident that both the Israelis and the US will have to try to strike Syria again, if only for PR purposes. In fact, this should not be too difficult for them, here is why:

First, and contrary to what is often claimed, there are not enough S-300/S-400′s in Syria to indeed “lock” all of the Syrian airspace. Yes, the Russians did create a de-facto no-fly zone over Syria, but not one which could withstand a large and determined attack. What the combined Russian and Syrian forces have done so far is to deny some specific segments of the airspace above and around Syria to the AngloZionist aggressors. This means that they can protect some specific, high-value targets. However, as soon as the US/Israelis get a feel for what has been deployed and where, and how this entire integrated air defense network works, they will be able to plan strikes which, while not terribly effective, will be presented by the propaganda machine as a major success for the AngloZionists.

Second, air defense operations are always a game of numbers. Even if you assume that each of the air defense missile has a probability of a kill of 1 (meaning that every air defense missile fired will destroy one incoming missile), you still cannot shoot down more missiles than what your own stores allow you to fire. The US/NATO/CENTCOM can, if needed, engage many more missiles in a saturation attack than the Russians have available for defense. This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Third, the US/NATO/CENTCOM/IDF all have advanced EW capabilities which will allow them to try to disrupt the Russian fire and reconnaissance capabilities, especially if low RCS aircraft (such as the F-22, F-35, B-1B, etc.) are used in the attacks. Low-RCS aircraft (and missiles) don’t have to operate alone and, in reality, they are often engaged with the support of a determined EW effort.

Finally, the Empire also has long-range weapons which could be used to strike Syria (such as the AGM-158 JASSM low-RCS standoff air-launched cruise missile), especially during a combined electronic warfare and standoff antiradiation missile attack.

So, all the AngloZionists really need to do is to be very careful in their choice of paths of approach and choice of targets, use low-RCS aircraft and missiles under the cover of a robust EW engagement and then use a large enough number of missiles to give the appearance that the Empire has defeated the Russian and Syrian air defenses.

Judging by their past attacks against Syria, the US and the Israelis are far more concerned with the need to appear very powerful, effective and quasi-invulnerable than by actually achieving some meaningful military objective. Of course, this need to appear invulnerable also means that the AngloZionists really cannot afford to have one of their aircraft shot down, hence their current reluctance to test out the Syrian air defense capabilities.

Sooner or later, however, the Israelis will have to try to “defeat the S-300″ as they would put it.

The problem for the Israelis is that they don’t really have any good options. The problem is not so much a technological one as it is a political one.

Let’s assume that the Israelis conduct a successful strike against a meaningful target (if their attack is symbolic, the Russians and Syrians can just limit their reply to the usual protests and denunciations, but take no real action). What would Russia do? Well, the Russians (Shoigu specifically) have already indicated that, if needed, they would increase the number of S-300 batteries (and required support systems) delivered to Syria. Thus, the main effect of a successful attack on Syria will be to make subsequent attacks even harder to plan and execute. Would that really be a desirable outcome for the Israelis? I don’t think so.

If each successful Israeli strike makes each subsequent strike even harder while increasing the danger for Israeli aircraft, what would be the point of such attacks? Are there any truly high-value targets in Syria whose destruction by the IDF would justify triggering a further degradation of the situation in Syria? Conversely, if you were Syrian (or Iranian), would you not want the Israelis to strike Syria (or even S-300 batteries) hard enough to force the Russians to deliver even more air defense systems (not necessarily S-300s by the way!)?

Just as with the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon (which the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 helped create), and the coming to power of Hassan Nasrallah at the head of Hezbollah (which the murder of Abbas al Moussawi by the Israelis in 1992 propelled to the position of Secretary General of the organization), the Israelis are re-discovering again and again the truism: while simple, brute force violence does appear to be effective in the short term, in the mid to long-term it always fails unless backed by meaningful political measures. The big axiomatic truth which the Israelis still are stubbornly refusing to recognize is that all true security is always collective(something the Russians have been repeating for years now). In the case of Syria, Israel would be much, much better off negotiating some kind of deal with the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians (even an unofficial one!) than trying to prevail by blowing up targets in Syria.

I would even argue that with the Trump presidency now dramatically increasing the rate of collapse of the AngloZionist Empire the Israelis need to start making plans to involve other actors in their regional policy. The truth is that the US is not in a position anymore to remain a key player in Middle-Eastern politics and that decades of abject submission to the Likudnik agenda have irreparably damaged the US credibility and influence in the Middle-East (and the rest of the world).

I would compare the delivery of S-300PMU-2 “Favorit” batteries to Syria to a chess opening or an irreversible move like castling: it does not, by itself, decide the outcome of the game, but it does create a baseline environment in which both players will need to operate. For the Russians, the next step is quite obvious: to continue to deliver all types of air defense systems to the Syrians (especially more Pantsirs) with the goal of eventually being able to protect the entire Syrian airspace from any attacks by the US or Israel. The main elements of a multi-layered air defense network are already deployed, Syria now only needs larger numbers. I very much hope that Russia will provide them.

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Trump: US Troops in Middle East for ‘Israel’

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Trump: US Troops in Middle East for Israel

Israel has replaced OIL as primary reason USA in Middle East

The Washington Post interviewed Donald Trump recently. The headline of the article they did based on the interview was Trump slams Fed chair, questions climate change and threatens to cancel Putin meeting in wide-ranging interview with The Post.

The headline leaves out one of the most important statements Trump made in the interview. When asked how long US troops would remain in the Middle East, Trump said, “Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.”

Using American troops for the benefit of a foreign nation is wrong. When a person joins the US military they take an oath to defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They do not swear to defend or advance foreign nations.

The fact that Donald Trump and US politicians from both parties misuse the US military to protect the foreign Jewish state of Israel in order to win favor with the powerful Israel lobby makes a mockery of the oath Americans take when they sign-up for the military, it is a violation of common sense and it’s a violation of principles promoted by the Deist George Washington when he said in his Farewell Address:

“So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.

It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld.

And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.”

This sage advice from George Washington is completely ignored by US politicians, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, when it comes to Israel. They have blindly supported the Jewish state of Israel for decades. The ultra-liberal George McGovern back in 1972 suggested moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, as Donald Trump actually recently did. In fact, President John F. Kennedy was the last president to stand up to Israel, demanding that the Israel lobby be registered as a foreign agent and that the Jewish state stop its work to develop nuclear bombs.

Currently the only US politician trying to stop the theft of $38 BILLION from American tax payers to be given to Israel to continue the expansion of its military is Republican Senator Rand Paul. He has actually placed a block on legislation that would give the $38 BILLION in American tax payer dollars to Israel.

Paul is now under attack by Jewish organizations and by Christian evangelicals who believe what the ancient Jews wrote in the Bible, that God gave all of that land to the Jews for the Jewish state of Israel.

The belief in the ancient superstition that God gave all of the land of ancient Canaan to Abram/Abraham and the Jews (Genesis 13:14-15) is a key reason for most of the current religious violence in the Middle East. Zionist Christian Pat Robertson explained the modern borders of Eretz-Israel which includes all of, or parts of, modern day Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, and all of the land the UN designated being for the Palestinians. Belief in, or acceptance of, this biblical superstition/myth will be keeping the US military busy for a very long time.

Zionist Christian John Hagee, who founded Christians United For Israel, lists seven reasons Christians need to support the Jewish state of Israel. You can read them here.

When we stop and reflect on the fact that we are now living in a nuclear age with the very real ability to destroy life on our beautiful planet Earth with these deadly nuclear weapons, we must realize our only salvation is our gift from The Supreme Intelligence/God of innate reason. Albert Einstein pointed this out when he wrote:

“The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking that we have done so
far, has created problems we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created
them . . . . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to
survive.”

Deism is that substantially new manner of thinking.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Trump: US Troops in Middle East for ‘Israel’

White House Muzzled C.I.A. on Khashoggi Slaying, Mattis and Pompeo Say

NOVANEWS

White House Muzzled C.I.A. on Khashoggi Slaying, Mattis and Pompeo Say

The White House blocked CIA Director Gina Haspel from attending a highly anticipated Senate briefing on Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis told senators on Wednesday.

“The most persuasive presence at this briefing was an empty chair—a chair that should have been occupied by Gina Haspel, head of the Central Intelligence Agency,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters. “We were told at this briefing that it was at the direction of the White House that she not attend.”

Several senators confirmed to The Daily Beast that Mattis and Pompeo told senators at the classified briefing that the White House prevented Haspel from attending. Lawmakers, including Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had specifically asked for Haspel to brief senators on the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment about the murder of Khashoggi. Thanks to the Turkish government, Haspel reportedly has heard a gruesome audio recording of Khashoggi’s final moments.

Read more at Daily Beast

Posted in USA, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on White House Muzzled C.I.A. on Khashoggi Slaying, Mattis and Pompeo Say

Syria: Over 100 Civilians Suffered From Militant Chemical Attack On Aleppo City

NOVANEWS
Syrian War Report – Nov. 26, 2018: Over 100 Civilians Suffered From Militant Chemical Attack On Aleppo City

…from SouthFront

In the late hours of November 24th militants launched several rockets containing chlorine gas at residential areas in the northern part of Aleppo city, according to Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). 107 civilians reportedly suffered asphyxiation, including many women and children.

These attacks came a few days after SANA reported that French militants arrived in Idlib to equip shells and rockets of local groups with toxic gas. They entered the country through the border with Turkey.

In its first response to the chemical attack, the SAA shelled several positions of the militants in the western Aleppo countryside and the southeastern Idlib countryside. It is possible that the chemical attack may become the tipping point which, would force the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to kick off a military operation in the area.

Furthermore, a Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham unit attempted to attack several SAA positions in northern Hama from the direction of al-Lataminah. However, the SAA repelled the infiltration attempt.

Earlier Syrian and Lebanese sources reported the SAA and its allies are preparing to launch a large-scale military operation against the remaining militants in northwestern Syria. before the end of 2018. Considering the recent escalation, this development has become highly likely.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also continue their allegedly successful efforts against ISIS in Deir Ezzor province. On November 23rd, the US-backed group announced that it had repelled ISIS attacks on their positions around the town of Hajin in the Euphrates Valley. US-led coalition warplanes assisted in the repelling and carried out 10 airstrikes on positions, gatherings and vehicles. The SDF media center claimed 27 terrorists were killed.

On November 24th, ISIS Amaq news agency reported that ISIS militants launched attacks on the SDF between the towns of al-Susah and Hajin. An ISIS commander said that hat more than 32 SDF fighters were killed and many others were captured, a Humvee and loads of weapons were also seized. Syrian outlets reported that ISIS fighters had imposed control of large parts of the town of al-Bahrah during the attack. Despite that, the SDF media center continues to report that all is under control and pretend that the situation around Hajin is in its favor.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Syria: Over 100 Civilians Suffered From Militant Chemical Attack On Aleppo City

Is ‘Israel’ the land of no prosecution for rape?

NOVANEWS

Is Israel the land of no prosecution for rape?

Thousands march in Tel Aviv to condemn violence against women

[ Editor’s Note: Ninety percent of rape cases ending up with no prosecutions screams “rape is OK in the Promised Land”. This was quite a Monday morning surprise.

My first question is how this could have stayed out of the news for so long. With activism running deep in Hebrew DNA, I am perplexed that the women have not taken this public action sooner, unless media control has something to do with keeping it quiet, heaven forbid.

I already smell a whiff of male chauvinism with Bibi rejecting the current proposal for an official commission to dig out who has been blocking the prosecutions, and why. My first guess is that a lot of higher ups have been on the “charge list” and had a vested interest in dead-ending the investigations.

Unfortunately 2000 protesters is not enough for a city the size of Tel Aviv, but maybe this protest will light a fire, the badly needed political kind. VT is with the girls all the way on this one. We will be digging around for the back story … Jim W. Dean ]

– First published … November 26, 2918 –

Thousands have rallied in Tel Aviv to protest violence against women in Israel, a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a Knesset proposal to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry on the issue.

Some 2,000 protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, chanting “We won’t be silent anymore,” “No means no,” and “We are not transparent – women make revolutions.”

The participants called on authorities in Tel Aviv to take action to halt the murder and abuse of women in Israel.

“WE CALL FOR AN END TO THE REALITY IN WHICH MORE AND MORE WOMEN ARE RAISING THEIR VOICES, BUT THE AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO LISTEN,” MIRIAM SCHELLER, DIRECTOR OF THE TEL AVIV ASSISTANCE CENTER, SAID AT THE RALLY.

Scheller said activists will keep up the fight against “a reality,” which has seen nine out of 10 rape cases in Israel being closed without any indictment, “a reality in which they talk about security, but that doesn’t include our security.”

“We will continue to work to change the priorities until we put an end to rape culture,” she added.

The protest was organized by several women’s organizations, including the Tel Aviv Women’s Crisis Support Center; the Israel Women’s Network; the Feminine Spirit; Na’amat and the Women’s Counseling Center.

The organizers said at least 20 women have been murdered by their relatives or partners this year.

Last week, Israel’s ruling coalition voted against a proposal by opposition lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman from Joint List to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry “to investigate the failures and omissions in defending women.”

Speaking at the rally, lawmaker Tamar Zandberg, who heads Merez party, urged the Netanyahu administration to “take responsibility.”

“They tell us it’s not political, but when public officials reject a motion in the Knesset against the war against the murder of women, it cannot be said that it is not political. The allocation of resources is political,” she said.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Is ‘Israel’ the land of no prosecution for rape?

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