Politics and Other Societal Inanity

Power Structures of the World Don't Play Nice

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Could the world handle an Iranian oil crisis?

  02/01/2012

Lately, oil markets have been jittery over fears that Europe’s new embargo on Iran could spark tensions in the Persian Gulf. So how would the world cope with an Iranian oil crisis, if it came to that? A new paper explores our options — and none of them are pleasant.

In theory, the E.U.’s embargo on Iranian oil imports, set for July, is supposed to cut into Iran’s finances without cranking up the price of crude too high. “The idea here,” says Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan group, “is that if Iran’s other customers, like China and India, see that Iran is prohibited from selling 20 percent of its crude to Europe, those countries now have leverage to bargain down the price” of the leftover oil. So the sanctions depend on China and India flouting the embargo, but forcing Iran to take a loss. Europe and the United States hope this will all go smoothly. One big worry, though, is that Iran responds by lashing out — say, by trying to block the Strait of Hormuz, where 35 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes through. That’s a big “if.” But it would make life excruciating for everyone.

As McNally details in a new report (pdf) for the Council on Foreign Relations, a serious and prolonged disruption of the Strait of Hormuz would dwarf the oil crises of the 1970s — there’s just so much more oil at stake here:

In the truly apocalyptic scenario, McNally estimates, a complete cut-off of the 17 million barrels of oil that pass through the straits each day could cause the price of oil to rise as high as 320 percent — which would “likely tip the global economy into recession.” Now, it’s unlikely the U.S. would allow that to happen. But even lesser disruptions (if, say, Iran started harassing ships or decided to cut off some of its exports) could push the oil price up $20 or $40 or more — the sort of spike that could really put the brakes on economic growth.

So how would the world handle an Iran-related oil shock? McNally considers a couple of options, none of them perfect:

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Filed under politics economy oil markets Iran Iranian oil crisis Europe United States Persian Gulf EU embargo on Iranian oil imports China India Strait of Hormuz

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While We Were Watching…

by Charles Goyette

January 30, 2012

The State of the Union is treated with utmost seriousness by the dominant news media. All four major TV networks and the cable news channels carry the event. My local newspaper devoted most of the front page and big chunks of the inside pages to its coverage: photos, accounts, sidebars, response, and analysis.

But it’s actually a spectacle that crowds out the real news. News about the impact American diplomacy is having on our future standard of living. News about the U.S. dollar’s reserve status winding down.

On the day of the State of the Union address, news flashed around the world – but not on your favorite network or in your morning paper – that India and Iran have agreed to end-run the U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran.

They will use gold to do so.

Those sanctions, which have now been agreed to by the European Union as well, will ratchet up in July. Their enforcement means that banks and financial institutions involved in oil transactions with Iran will be barred from doing any business with financial institutions in the United States and Europe.

According DEBKAfile, a news source based in Israel, Iran has taken steps to bypass American and European banks and their currency desks altogether, agreeing instead to sell its oil to India for gold. China is expected to soon agree to use gold in buying oil from Iran as well. It’s a move that would leave the long-standing global dollar pricing of petroleum in tatters.

The gold-for-oil agreement means three things:

  1. It hastens the unwinding of the U.S. dollar’s global reserve currency status.
  2. The rest of the world is actively developing alternatives to the U.S. dollar. Although it will mean a falling standard of living for the American people, U.S. policies and secretaries of state, like Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, have spurred what will become a stampede away from the dollar. DEBKAfile also reports that both China and Russia have secret mechanisms already in place to pay Iran in non-dollar currencies for its oil. And only a month ago, China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, agreed to develop direct yen/yuan trading, forgoing the dollar as the reserve currency intermediary.

  3. It accelerates the global monetization of gold.
  4. Both China and India have been aggressively adding to their gold reserves. Other countries are following suit. The Keynesians, who have been in charge of American monetary policy, having destroyed the value of the dollar and enabled our ruinous debt, may actually believe that gold is a “barbarous relic.” But it is clear that their opinions have little functional value in the real world. The world is turning to gold more and more as U.S. debt continues to mount. Indeed, is there a better alternative monetary unit to be found? Certainly, it’s not the euro. Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer says gold is the only answer to the question, “if not the dollar, then what?”

  5. It reveals the growing global impotence of the U.S.

Long able to enforce reluctant countries to adhere in its missions and embargoes around the world, the U.S. is finding its will frustrated. Nations that once had to weigh the favor of the U.S. against their own commercial and domestic political interests are increasingly ignoring the global dictates of the U.S. State Department. In 2003, Turkey, where the prospect of a U.S. invasion of Iraq was wildly unpopular, refused even bribes to allow the U.S. to stage the invasion from its soil. Today, the threat of a U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran is meeting with growing disapproval, especially from countries like China and India rely heavily on Iranian oil.

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Filed under politics State of the Union Iran India China gold oil sanctions U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran American diplomacy European Union U.S. dollar U.S. foreign policy economy editorial

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WWIII Countdown: CFR declares “Time to Attack Iran”

Uploaded by on Dec 27, 2011

The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations (aka CFR) declared this month in their online publication “Foreign Affairs” that it is now time to attack Iran.

Connect:
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Council on Foreign Relations: Time to attack Iran
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136917/matthew-kroenig/time-to-attack-…

US army ready to engage in Iran war 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8969551/US-militar…

China and Iran’s extensive relationship
http://www.irantracker.org/foreign-relations/china-iran-foreign-relations


China’s Hu urges navy to prepare for combat
http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-hu-urges-navy-prepare-combat-160509787.html

For more information please visit http://waitingforthestorm.com

Filed under politics war military-industrial complex Iran war with Iran WWIII Russia China video

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Image:tchrd
 
Tibetan Self-Immolation-Not Despair But Determination
The horrifying nature of these acts of sacrifice naturally produces a response of profound sadness and grief, leading to the very reasonable conclusion that such loss-of-life was a tragic waste, born from sense of despair at the relentless tyranny endured by Tibet’s people. Such a view is eminently understandable, yet if we look a little more closely at these disturbing events, instead of witnessing the despairing actions of individuals unable to to tolerate China’s vicious repression we can observe something entirely different. To realize such an understanding we must first ask ourselves what was the political nature of the action itself? In all the incidents of self-immolation, in and around Kirti Monastery at Ngaba, Tibet’s freedom and complete independence was demanded, along with calls for a return of the Dalai Lama.
 
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Image:tchrd

Tibetan Self-Immolation-Not Despair But Determination

The horrifying nature of these acts of sacrifice naturally produces a response of profound sadness and grief, leading to the very reasonable conclusion that such loss-of-life was a tragic waste, born from sense of despair at the relentless tyranny endured by Tibet’s people. Such a view is eminently understandable, yet if we look a little more closely at these disturbing events, instead of witnessing the despairing actions of individuals unable to to tolerate China’s vicious repression we can observe something entirely different. To realize such an understanding we must first ask ourselves what was the political nature of the action itself? In all the incidents of self-immolation, in and around Kirti Monastery at Ngaba, Tibet’s freedom and complete independence was demanded, along with calls for a return of the Dalai Lama.

Read more »

Filed under politics Tibet China Beijing political suicide self-immolation Tibetan activism

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Tibetan Activists Adopt Self Immolation As Political Tool

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 by Peter Simpson | Beijing

In recent months several Tibetan monks and nuns have set themselves on fire to protest China’s rule in Tibet.  The attempted suicides have drawn an angry response from Beijing officials who claim the protests are linked to acts of terrorism and sponsored by the Dalai Lama. The harrowing incidents mark an escalation in tactics opposing Beijing’s rule.

Since May, nine Tibetans have tried to commit suicide by setting themselves on fire.  The most recent was the first woman, a Buddhist nun.  Five monks have died from their wounds.  All of those who have attempted political suicide have been under 24 years old.

As in the other suicide attempts, the Buddhist nun named Tenzin Wangmo shouted out protest slogans calling for the end of China’s rule, for religious freedom and for the exiled Dalai Lama to be allowed to return to Tibet.

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Filed under politics Tibet China Tibetan activists suicide self-immolation Beijing political suicide political tool

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Everyone Missed It, But China Has ALREADY Retaliated For Last Night's Big Currency Vote In The Senate

Most of the members of Congress know little or nothing about economics. Which would go a long way in explaining how an ivory tower academic economist like Bernanke has been able to pull the wool over their eyes so easily for so long. Ron Paul is one of the few exceptions to this I can think of. The politicians and members of the Federal Reserve couldn’t pull all this shit if we were still on the gold standard. It’s their freakin’ elastic paper money that allows them to do so. But the American people really need to start educating themselves about these things also. How long will we allow ourselves to be led around like cattle by ignorant, conniving, hypocritical politicians?

iambinarymind:

“Last night, the Senate passed a bill that would impose tariffs on currency manipulators like China.”

:::if we are to follow this logic…shouldn’t the Senate also immediately begin imposing tariffs on its own State (USA)…I mean, “currency manipulation” is exactly what the Federal Reserve exists for…this is why it is so hard for me to consume any sort of “mainstream news”…the hypocrisy & propaganda is audacious:::

Filed under politics economics economy Senate China tariffs currencies currency devaluation. Federal Reserve central banks currency manipulation hypocrisy gold standard Ron Paul paper money Ron Paul for President

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