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Thread: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Some significant steps in the ongoing shift in the financial system took place this last week.

    James Corbett covers this in his latest editorial and a short update video.

    Quote The Petroyuan Was Born This Week. Here’s What It Means.
    Corbett03/31/2018

    It has been promised for 25 years. Its coming has been heralded as a world-changing event. It has launched a thousand headlines in the last few months. And it happened this week. But if you blinked you would have missed it.

    What am I talking about? Why, the launch of a Chinese yuan-denominated oil futures contracts on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, of course! Or, in more headline-appropriate terms: The Birth of the Petroyuan!

    Considering this event has been in the works for literally a quarter of a century (since the Chinese tried and failed to launch such a contract in 1993), the event came and went with remarkably little fanfare, even from the ChiCom mouthpiece press. Take Xinhua’s decidedly low-key announcement: “China launches crude oil futures trading” (http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0326/c90000-9441491.html). No celebration of the glorious arrival of the dawn of a new monetary order. No bold proclamations about the impending dominance of the Chinese benchmark in global oil sales. Not even a screed about how the fearless leader, President For Life Xi (https://www.corbettreport.com/meet-x...dent-for-life/), is bravely steering the country toward a petroyuan utopia. Just:
    “China on Monday launched trading of the yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, which is the first futures listed on China’s mainland to overseas investors.

    “The listed futures for trading are contracts to be delivered from September this year to March 2019. The benchmark prices of 15 contracts were set at 416 yuan (65.8 U.S. dollars), 388 yuan and 375 yuan per barrel, varied by delivery dates.

    “Li Qiang, Shanghai’s Party chief, and Liu Shiyu, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, together rang the gong to open the trading session.”
    Oh, and the name of this earth-shaking, world-changing futures contract? “SC1809.” It’s like they’re going out of their way to make this as unremarkable as possible.

    But still, here it is. The event that everyone’s been waiting for. A first, tentative step toward the petroyuan and one potential way for the international community to step away from the petrodollar. So what does it mean?

    ....
    From here: https://www.corbettreport.com/the-pe...what-it-means/

    And here is Corbett’s brief update video:
    Quote UPDATE – China to start paying yuan for oil
    Corbett04/02/2018

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/QQxncGeGT68/

    Podcast: http://www.corbettreport.com/mp4/petroyuanupdate.mp4

    No sooner had I penned my editorial on how “The Petroyuan Was Born This Week” than the next piece of the puzzle arrived: China is set to start buying oil directly with yuan this year. You may not know it, but this could be one of the most important stories of the decade.

    SHOW NOTES:
    The Petroyuan Was Born This Week. Here’s What It Means. (https://www.corbettreport.com/the-pe...what-it-means/)

    China taking first steps to pay for oil in yuan this year – sources (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ch...-idUKKBN1H51M5)
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    A little side journey to consider Soft Power as a tool of politics and geopolitics:

    Quote Soft power is the ability to attract and co-opt, rather than by coercion (hard power), which is using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Recently, the term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations. In 2012, Joseph Nye of Harvard University explained that with soft power, "the best propaganda is not propaganda", further explaining that during the Information Age, "credibility is the scarcest resource."[1]
    From here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_power

    Given the reliance on straight out / obvious propaganda in recent times (short little video demonstrating this below), does this indicate an eroding soft power and loss of credibility?

    Last edited by Searcher; 2nd April 2018 at 14:38.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Thank you for the Socratic “exercise”. And thank you @Satori for some answers.

    I had some thoughts and ideas about some of the questions:

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    • How does this resemble a feudal tyranny?
    I think an important aspect of today’s world in the West is how hypocritical it is: we are constantly reminded we live in a “free and fair democracy” but the reality on the ground for most people is that they have little power and only the illusion of choice.

    It seems to me that in some ways this is worse than a medieval feudal state; at least in that system there are fewer pretences: people know they are serfs. We live in a world where the official narrative is constantly at odds with our direct experience of the world.

    Here’s a quotation that may be pertinent from Rosa Meyreder quoted by Rudolf Steiner in his lectures “Karma of Untruthfulness” :

    Quote Modern technology, which makes human life so much easier in so many ways, and modern economics, which so infinitely increases man's material wealth, having now become the tools of modern imperialism, turns against the essential being of the individual.

    Massed together in a soulless multitude, human beings are ground up by the machinery of party interests that drives today's civilization. The individual becomes a spare part, a cog; he can hold his own only to the extent to which he has the strength. But the values of soul quality established by past cultures perish in the process...

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    • Does it matter who "guards" the castle, or even who sits on the throne, if the system remains a feudal tyranny?
    I would say, using the example of the medieval feudalism, that some feudal lords were better than others and so the lives of those “under him” were better than the lives of others “under” different, less empathetic feudal lords.

    Does this make feudalism under any lord a good choice? Most would probably say not. A few cynics might argue that it’s better than tribal barbarism... But, this barbarism isn’t the only choice.

    So I would ask: are we able to create and sustain this “something better”?
    From the evidence of recent history it seems we struggle with sustaining better systems.

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    • Can bloody feuds and wars between the knights and kings of various realms be used to dramatize and obfuscate changes to the underlying propaganda, wealth extraction, control, and surveillance systems?
    Yes, and I think there are other reasons the power players continue with their wars - greed for power and wealth being just two.

    Here, a comment from Allen at Moon of Alabama:

    Quote An important aspect to the US Military/Industrial/Financial/Media complex is how it operates within the political/economic system as a guarantor of large profits for the investor class due to the massive and guaranteed subsidy it receives from the US taxpayer.

    There is a consistent fallacy throughout the liberal intelligentsia that has variations such as "it's a pointless war" or "a failed strategy" or "there is no end game" and on and on, which stems from the misunderstanding of the primary functions of these imperial assaults.

    Beyond the obvious reasons of plunder the US capitalists have been able to secure the US Military apparatus as a large-scale business scheme which has a large and guaranteed return on investment.

    In short the investor class is investing someone's else's money (the US taxpayer) for their "enterprise" (Read: wholesale slaughter and theft of other people's lands and resources) so even when there are losses those are foisted on to the public's account. And whatever "gains" there are, they flow in the direction of the business class while the costs are extracted from the working class.Of course the political sector (your "elected official") validates all of this through the legislative processes and it becomes what is known as "policy."

    This is not exclusive to the more "adventurous" US Military/Industrial actions such as imperial wars but also entails an entire web of activities both foreign and domestic that create "investment opportunities" for Wall St. Any and everything from massive boondoggles like the F-35 to more "modest" programs like radio systems, high frequency antennas, BMS software, data terminals, touch tablets, field service representatives, and of course all of the training for installation, operation and maintenance.

    So you see all of this is done quite legally (with legality being defined within and by a corrupt system) and all of this is maintained through a massive propaganda system that hides the mechanics and realities of the how's and why's of what a Trillion Dollars a Year War Department really entails.
    From here: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04...b8d2e753f9970c

    ============
    And now your next post:

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Back in 2010, Damon Vrabel (who created one of the two films I mention in my previous post, above) posted what may be the clearest statement I've seen yet as to "who is really in charge".

    In this article on Global Empire and the International Banking Cartel, Vrabel wrote:
    Quote The [big dealer banks that trade with the Federal Reserve] operate within a larger framework. They do not strategically rule over the framework itself. The ultimate rulers are the most senior private capital pools in the world who use the dealers as capital laundering machines and who create their desired framework through the central banks, IMF, BIS, and political institutions like the European Union and G20.
    Yes, we have the playwrite / director / patron of the play here. The hands behind the visible and less visible instruments of state, finance, and culture remain unremarked while the audience is sucked into the plot and character drama.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    I do think banker Ronald Bernard gave us a glimpse into the world of WHO is really controlling the entire world!

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Searcher, thank you for this thread. Just came across it and am playing catch up.

    This is something that raised my eyebrows when I became aware of it a few years back.

    The UAE purchase of American port facilities https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/uae...ort-facilities (from 2006)

    Apparently this took place during the Bush (W) Administration.

    The purchase gives Dubai Ports World control over facilities in six U.S. ports:

    *New York,
    * Miami
    * Newark-Port Elizabeth
    * Philadelphia
    * New Orleans
    * Baltimore.

    At the time politicians in affected states and cities have raised alarms in the media over vital infrastructure "falling into Arab hands." (Ya Think!)

    The greatest security concern is the estimated 9 million containers that enter U.S. ports every year. The volume is so vast, that only a small percentage of these containers can be effectively searched. In many ports from which U.S.-bound cargo originates, there is little security oversight, which makes it possible to fill a container with people or weapons intended to harm the United States. The gravest concern is that terrorists could smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the United States in an unchecked container. Another growing concern is the vulnerability of shipments of liquefied natural gas—an increasingly important energy source—to terrorist attacks while in U.S. harbors.

    The report goes on:
    Does foreign ownership of terminals make ports more vulnerable?

    Not really, experts say. (Right!?!? they're our friends!) The UAE is considered a U.S. ally in the "war on terror," and many experts see the fact that the 9/11 hijackers used the UAE as a hub are irrelevant. As Stephen Flynn, CFR’s Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, points out, shoe-bomber Richard Reid was a British citizen, yet no objections were raised over the U.S. operations of P&O, a British company. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have indicated they will propose legislation banning the sale of terminal operations at U.S. ports to foreign entities. But the majority of port terminals across the country are foreign-run. For instance, more than 80 percent of the terminals in the largest U.S. port, the port of Los Angeles, are operated by foreign companies. Representative King’s objections over internal workings of DP World are more reasonable, experts say, but the same concerns could be raised over most other shipping companies, U.S. and foreign-owned alike.
    Last edited by Ba-ba-Ra; 2nd April 2018 at 18:59.
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Quote Posted by Paul (here)
    Quote Posted by Satori (here)
    I hope I'm wrong, but things are going to get worse before they get worse.
    .

    Quote Posted by Satori (here)
    Will we be graded?
    Some of us will take as "our grade" how well we and our loved ones do, through times good and bad.

    Some of us will take as "our grade" whether we go to heaven, purgatory or hell, after this life.

    Some of us will take as "our grade" how well we contributed to the well being and awareness of the world around us.

    Some of us will take as "our grade" the progress we've made, towards a life of higher calling, in our next life.

    Some of us will not consider taking a grade.
    Paul, you did notice you sound religious, right? SCNR... and

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Quote Posted by meeradas (here)
    Paul, you did notice you sound religious, right? SCNR... and
    Some of us are religious ... some of us are not, at least not in such terms as I used here .
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Quote Posted by Ba-ba-Ra (here)
    [I]The UAE purchase of American port facilities https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/uae...ort-facilities (from 2006)

    Apparently this took place during the Bush (W) Administration.

    The purchase gives Dubai Ports World control over facilities in six U.S. ports:

    *New York,
    * Miami
    * Newark-Port Elizabeth
    * Philadelphia
    * New Orleans
    * Baltimore.
    ...
    Just a note on this - it seems the UAE company referred to is DPWorld, and apparently they sold the US ports (which they acquired through their acquisition of P&O, which was a British company) following the controversy:

    Quote DP World has a portfolio of 77 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents with a significant presence in both high-growth and mature markets.[citation needed]

    Container handling is the company's core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue. In 2015, DP World handled 61.7 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units).

    The company was founded in 2005 by merging Dubai Ports Authority and Dubai Ports International (which had been founded in 1999). It purchased P&O Group of the United Kingdom in 2006 for £3.9 billion ($7 billion), which was at the time the world's fourth largest ports operator. Shares representing 20% of the company were floated on the NASDAQ Dubai stock exchange in 2007. The company does not currently operate in the United States where its purchase of a number of U.S. ports led to high-level controversy.

    ....

    The ownership of various U.S. ports by DP World (which had been acquired as part of the P&O deal) was seen as highly controversial by many in the United States even though it was supported by the U.S. president of the time (George W. Bush); the US ports were sold shortly afterwards.

    P&O operated major U.S. port facilities in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami. Before the deal was secured, the arrangement was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States headed by the U.S. Treasury Department and including the Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security. It was given the green light, but soon after, both Democratic and Republican members of Congress expressed concern over the potential negative impact the deal would have on port security.

    On 22 February 2006, President George W. Bush threatened to veto any legislation passed by Congress to block the deal, which would be the first time in his presidency he would exercise the privilege. In a statement to reporters, Bush claimed, "It would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through."[5] On 23 February 2006, DP World volunteered to postpone its takeover of significant operations at the seaports and on 9 March 2006, is said that it would transfer its operations of American ports to a "U.S. entity".[6]

    The United States House of Representatives held a vote on 16 March 2006 on legislation that would have blocked the DP World deal, with 348 members voting for blocking the deal, and 71 voting against.[7] DP World later sold P&O's American operations to American International Group's asset management division, Global Investment Group for an undisclosed sum.[8]
    From Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DP_World

    ==========

    More generally, the privatisation of ports is something to consider as part of the bigger picture of shift to a corporate, international structure. Airports are also often privatised and run by international companies as are toll roads and train operations.

    I did a brief search around the internet to see what the “lay of the land” is.

    1. This seems to have been pushed since at least the early 1990s. There are reports and presentations talking about the need for “better management of ports” with the fairly obvious encoded message of offering them up for private management.

    2. The World Bank and similar regional structures seem to be strong advocates of privately managed ports. Here are some documents/reports:

    * Presentation titled “Management models and Public/Private Partnerships in the Port Sector”, given by a World Bank employee at an ICA (Infrastructure Consortium for Africa) conference in 2010:
    https://www.icafrica.org/fileadmin/d...r%20MJuhel.pdf

    * There is a fairly detailed “Port Reform Toolkit” provided by the World Bank. Here is the section on “Alternative Port Management Structures and Ownership Models”: https://ppiaf.org/sites/ppiaf.org/fi...functions.html

    * And here is another push from the World Bank through an online resource centre called “PUBLIC-PRIVATE-PARTNERSHIP IN INFRASTRUCTURE RESOURCE CENTER”. This page is focussed on “Public Private Partnerships in Ports / Port Reform”:
    http://ppp.worldbank.org/public-priv...ortation/ports

    * The Asian Development Bank, which is modelled on the World Bank (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Development_Bank), published a report in 2000 titled “Develoing Best Practices for Promoting Private Sector Investment in Infrastructure”, which covers port facilities. Clearly the push for private capital (whether foreign or local) ownership was a big push even then:
    https://www.adb.org/sites/default/fi...7906/ports.pdf

    There is an inherent and accepted assumption that privitisation is a good thing.... here in the foreword text, one can see that this report has received grant funding and is only one of the areas of infrastructure being considered:

    Quote This report is one of a series of five commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to identify and recommend best practices to be followed and specific steps to be taken, by ADB’s developing member countries in order to encourage both private sector investment and competition in infrastructure development. The study was financed through a $600,000 regional technical assistance grant - RETA 5753: Developing Best Practices for Promoting Private Sector Investment in Infrastructure. This report focuses on the port sector; the other reports cover the power, water supply, airport and air traffic control, and road sectors.
    2. It seems the port sector is quite competitive with different ports competing with each other for shipping volumes.

    *Here for example is the UK Trade and Investment glossy borchure on the UK’s port facilities: “THE UK PORTS SECTOR -
    A Showcase of World Class Expertise”:
    http://www.hfw.com/downloads/UK-Ports-Brochure.PDF

    *And the rating’s agency Moody’s has regular reports and ratings on private port management companies, as evidenced by their 2013 release of the rating methodology they use “Rating Methodology: Privately Managed Ports Companies”:
    http://web.dpworld.com/wp-content/up...anies-1305.pdf
    It’s clear from this document that there are a number of international players and one of the key rating criteria is the number of ports under management.

    3. The push seems to be global but different regions and players have different nuances:

    *USA:
    It seems that the US might actually be somewhat “behind the curve” on this privatisation wave. According to this article (written by those who are advocates for these privatisation:

    Quote Governmental entities in North America are increasingly using availability payment contracts to undertake critical infrastructure projects. Under these contracts, a governmental entity makes fixed payments to a private contractor that is responsible for the design, construction, long-term maintenance and financing of the project. While Canada has employed these contracts extensively in recent years, the United States has been slower to adopt them.
    And here they move on to push the idea of private port ownership:
    Quote This article describes how availability payment public-private partnership (P3) agreements could be used by port authorities to address their capital expenditure funding gaps and improve the quality of maritime infrastructure expansion projects, especially with respect to “common user facilities,” such as breakwaters, access channel dredging, connecting roads and bridges,1 and port expansion projects.
    Here: https://www.mayerbrown.com/files/Pub...f896/11266.pdf

    *CHINA:
    One part of the Chinese One Road One Belt (OBOR) programme of development has been the investment in and acquisition of ports. This article discusses this (with a slant away from China):
    Quote Why Is China Buying Up Europe’s Ports?
    State-owned port operators are the aggressive leading edge of Beijing’s massive Belt and Road project.
    ...

    A pair of deep-pocketed Chinese behemoths, Cosco Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings, have gone on a buying binge of late, snapping up cargo terminals in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic rim. Just last month, Cosco finalized the takeover of the terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium’s second-biggest port, marking the Chinese firm’s first bridgehead in northwestern Europe.

    That deal followed a raft of other acquisitions in Spain, Italy, and Greece in just the last couple of years. Chinese state firms, which once kept close to their home market, now control about one-tenth of all European port capacity.
    ...
    Here: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/02...europes-ports/

    *EUROPE:
    Europe seems to have an ongoing programme in this area, to the extent that there is what they term a “Library Briefing” from 2013 on “Liberalisation of EU port services: issues and consequences for dock workers”. This document focuses on different initiatives in each country and pushes for Greece and Portugal to “get with the programme”:
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegDat...85_REV2_EN.pdf

    4. By way of comparison, similar initiatives are in play in the airports sector. Here is a document from 2012 covering “Who owns and manages privatised airports?”:
    http://www.air-trans-source.com/linked/manage-bk.pdf

    ============


    This privatisation has been going on since the days of Margaret thatcher in the UK really so is really part of the continued march of corporatisation of infrastructure, utilities, services etc. and seems to be driven largely by the push for the international free movement of capital.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Intermission.....

    A short animated film (less than five minutes) and well worth it.... pursuit of Happiness:

    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    So to the geopolitics of space.... or should that be earth orbit politics?

    This is significant in my view: Russia and China are planning to merge their satellite tracking systems, GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (China).

    Here is an article covering this from RT, which also includes useful summary data on the other satellite tracking systems.

    Quote Russia & China to merge satellite tracking systems into one global navigation giant
    Published time: 1 Apr, 2018 12:21 Edited time: 1 Apr, 2018 13:29

    Russia & China to merge satellite tracking systems into one global navigation giant
    Moscow and Beijing will team up to create an integrated navigation system based on Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the Chinese BeiDou. The system will cover most of Eurasia.

    The countries will reportedly negotiate the merger in May at the International Conference on Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing and Materials Engineering in the Chinese city of Harbin, Izvestia daily reports.

    The initiative to merge the two separate systems is the result of a proposal made by the Chinese authorities to the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos. It is intended to create a joint global navigation satellite system, covering the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

    The new system will allow the partners to share data on the positions of navigation satellite groups, improve working efficiency in a real-time environment, and to exchange corrections, where necessary. At the same time, Russian GLONASS may significantly broaden its user base.

    “If the project is implemented, it will allow for an improvement in accuracy for both systems,” said a Roscosmos spokesperson, as quoted by the media.

    If successful, the project will divide the entire world into two zones of influence by two united systems GLONASS-BeiDou and GPS-Galileo, operated by the US and the European Union, according to Andrey Ionin, a member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.

    Global Positioning System (GPS), the world’s oldest Global Navigation Satellite System, began operations in 1978 to provide location information and navigation to missile submarines and surface ships. The system was also used for hydrographic and geodetic surveying by the US army. The system was opened to civilian and commercial use in 1994. GPS currently operates 31 satellite constellations.

    Russia’s GLONASS became operational in 1993. The navigation system has 27 satellites in orbit and all are operational. It is run by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and is currently the second alternative navigational system in operation.

    Galileo is the European global navigation system, which is available for civilian and commercial use. It is a joint project by the European Space Agency and the European GNSS Agency. At present, there are 22 operational satellites out of a projected 30. Galileo started working in 2016 and is expected to reach full operational capability by 2020.

    Chinese BeiDou was put into operation 2000 with limited coverage and navigation services offered mainly to users in China and neighboring regions. The system currently has a total of 22 operational satellites in orbit and the full constellation is projected to reach 35 satellites.

    Japan and India are also developing their own regional navigation satellite systems.

    The Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is currently under construction. This is expected to become fully operational by the end of the current year. It will have seven satellites and four have already been sent into orbit.

    The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) covers India and nearby regions, extending up to 1,500km. Its seven satellites are currently in orbit, but the first one has been out of operation after all rubidium atomic clocks on board failed in 2017.
    From here: https://www.rt.com/business/422902-r...te-navigation/

    ==========

    At the end of each year / start of the new year, Catherine Austin Fitts and her Solari Report team compile an “Annual Wrap Up” which sums up the previous year and gives a view on future trends. The one at the start of 2015 was titled “Space: Here We Go!”.

    Here is the teaser video (the full wrap ups are for subscribers only but this gives and indication):

    Source: Watch on Vimeo



    And here’s the summary text:
    Quote The Solari Report's Annual Wrap Up for 2015: Space: Here We Go!

    In 2015, look for significant global growth in public and private investment in space. First, the orbital platform around Earth is growing as we depend on satellites to deliver a larger percentage of the world’s economic activity. Second, efforts are underway on three continents to return to the moon and to build bases there. Third, we continue to explore the solar system and, as the Voyager space probes permit, to explore interstellar space. Finally, we are working towards human colonies on Mars in the 21st century.
    ==========

    And back to China’s Beidou, there is an interesting link to the mysteries of Antarctica:

    Quote China to Construct Beidou Satellite Navigation System Reference Stations in Antarctica
    Briefings | | October 30, 2014 | Defense/Military

    On October 28, the China Polar Research Center issued a press briefing discussing China’s upcoming 31st Antarctic scientific expedition. The briefing stated that, during the expedition, for the first time, China will construct Beidou satellite navigation system reference stations in the Antarctic region.

    This will be China’s first acquisition of related data in the Antarctic using the Beidou satellite navigation system. It will focus on solving key issues such as Antarctic region Beidou satellite data processing, seamless coordination of multi-source satellite navigation frames, as well as the consistency of different reference frames in order to achieve China’s application of the autonomous satellite navigation system to build an Antarctic Beidou mapping reference system.

    Source: Xinhua, October 28, 2014

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/2014-10/28/c_1113015467.htm
    From here: http://chinascope.org/archives/2099

    “Build an Antarctic Beidou mapping reference system”.... how interesting. I wonder what that will be used for....
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Back down to earth to political deals.... here’s a remarkable tidbit it true. This is from a Hezbollah source in Lebanon interviewed by the journalist Brett Redmayne-Titley for an article on Hezbollah:

    Quote “Did you know that Assad was given three choices before the war started seven years ago?” asked Hadi, knowing that this is news. “First, he was offered $15 billion to leave Syria unconditionally. Second, he was offered $15 billion to stay if he would support the upcoming pipeline and release control of the one Russian navy base and two airports. But third was the threat…take either option or $15 billion will be spent to defeat you.”
    From here: https://watchingromeburn.uk/news/hezbollah/

    It could be true in the general sense, even if not in the particulars. For instance I am sure the war has cost the western allies (chiefly US, Saudi, Israel, UK, France) much more than USD 15 billion but perhaps the additional is “cost overruns” because they did not think Russia would step in (and perhaps did not expect Iran and Hezbollah to join either....). They certainly didn’t expect Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch to take Afrin (though it is still not clear what exactly Turkey’s motivations are given they were originally allied with the western powers).

    If it’s not true, it’s still interesting:
    - is this a widely held belief among those in Hezbollah? Or Lebanon in general?
    - is this a widely held belief among Assad supporters in Syria? Among those who oppose Assad?
    - is this a clever psyop meme?
    - why is a Western, independent journalist being told this?

    Whatever the provenance and validity of this, it’s fascinating.
    Last edited by Searcher; 5th April 2018 at 06:42.
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is an excellent podcast from “Geopolitics and Empire” exploring China and its wider plans regionally and internationally.
    • It addresses the increase purchase of gold by Russia, China etc. and speculates that there is a shift, at least in the intellectual arena to debate what is the appropriate backing for a currency (rather than the debt backing the USD). Also briefly mentions the Venezuelan petro crypto currency.
    • It also speaks to China’s focus on trade to address its enormous domestic population’s needs and the country’s unwillingness to engage militarily abroad.
    • It speaks about the Arctic sea shipping route opening up (discussed earlier in this thread) and the significance of this as a long term strategy sure to affect shipping.
    • Also discussed is the stability brought by having the long term presence of Putin and Xi at the head of the Russia and China respectively (though this is often painted in the western press as a bad thing).
    • Other topics are discussed including some criticism that China has seen for its treatment of troublesome regions.

    Very interesting overall, I recommend it.



    Quote Chris Devonshire-Ellis provides insight into the Belt and Road based on extensive travel in the region and sees China as spreading peace through trade.

    Show Notes
    The Belt and Road: Five Opportunities for Foreign Investors
    https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/new...eign-investors

    Belt and Road Initiative Ushering in New Trade, Logistics, Blockchain, and 5G Technologies https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/new...g-technologies

    Venezuela to Pay Russia With Own Cryptocurrency for Automotive Parts https://sputniknews.com/business/201...cryptocurrency

    China’s ‘petro-yuan’: The end of the dollar hegemony? https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes...091248813.html

    NSA Monitors Financial World
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-922430.html

    Website
    https://www.silkroadbriefing.com
    http://www.dezshira.com

    Books
    China’s New Economic Silk Road: The Great Eurasian Game & The String of Pearls
    https://www.amazon.com/Chinas-New-Ec...vonshire-ellis
    From here: http://guadalajarageopolitics.com/20...sian-game-076/
    Last edited by Searcher; 5th April 2018 at 08:49.
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is a recent article (Tuesday 3 April) from the Spanish language blog Movimiento Politico de Resistencia about the motivations of the British empire in the Middle East dating from the turn of the 1900s onwards.

    Briefly, the thesis is that
    • Britain’s empire depended on trade
    • (conducted primarily through the sea lanes)
    • and hence on trade conditions favourable to its interests.
    • These conditions were supported / enforced through a formidable navy.
    • The navy changed from steam technology (powered by coal) to oil burning engines
    • (in order to stay ahead of the German state, which was rapidly rising in economic power at the time)
    • and thus required unencumbered access to oil
    • which require domination of the oil supplies in the Middle East.

    At the same time, they needed to continue their hold on British India and their monopoly on its riches and resources and hence controlling the Suez Canal (opened in 1869, so by then in operation for 40 to 50 years) was of primary importance.

    The article explores these and some of the details associated such as the Sykes-Picot and Balfour Declaration. The timing of these is rather suspicious when considered in context of the October Revolution in Russia (hence putting Russia out of the fight and acting as a possible joint claimant).

    I will post a machine translation here but you can read the original Spanish at the blog:

    Quote ‘The British Empire will be oil or it will be nothing’



    The past year has not only celebrated the centennial of the October Revolution, but two other centenarians transcendental, the Treaty of Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration, to understand imperialism and the history of the Middle East in the last century.

    It is a redundancy to say that it is not possible to understand the latest developments of the Middle East without these three phenomena. The Sykes-Picot agreement was signed may 16, 1916 in secret, and the Balfour Declaration November 2, 1917, just five days before the October Revolution.

    The Sykes-Picot agreement is the division of the Ottoman Empire, that is to say, the Middle East, after their defeat in the First World War by the victorious powers, Britain and France primarily.

    The Balfour Declaration is a letter typed 122 words directed by Arthur James Balfour to Rothschild, without any official status.

    Unlike the Treaty, that had a general character, the letter lays out the foundations of British hegemony from 1920 to 1948 on a part of the Middle East, Palestine, whose implications should be widely known because they account for hundreds of millions of deaths, only for the moment.

    British imperialism sought to convert to the Middle East and Palestine in a stronghold on the route to the “jewel of the Crown” India, protecting the Suez Canal. The design of the borders of the Middle East, that arise then, including the destruction of Palestine, has that goal.

    The geographical borders are accompanied by the religious. Imperialism not only promotes the different derivatives wahhabi (takfiristas, salafists), but its symmetrical jews: zionism.

    Their victim, because not only are the arabs or the muslims, but the jews themselves. Among others, are Herzl and the zionists who promote anti-semitism to take forward their own political projects, which are those of imperialism.

    Zionism shares, therefore, a fundamental trait with jihadism current that the dominant ideology - that is, imperialist - is so inverted, as is usual in all the formats and ideological consciousness, whether political or religious: it was not the pressure of zionism that gave rise to the Balfour Declaration but, on the contrary: the Balfour Declaration became zionism is a political movement because it gained the support of imperialism, hegemonic power of the time, it was the British.

    Up to that time, zionism only interested a minority jewish, mainly from central and eastern Europe, including Russia, who faced the whole of western Europe and the United States.

    Oil and the Middle East

    It is almost a cliché to allude to the oil when speaking of the Middle East, in connection with the expansion of the car. But it is not exact: for 100 years, the strategic character of the oil is derived from the decision taken by the British Admiralty in the early TWENTIETH century to reconvert the steam ships of the Navy, which until then had been fed a diet of coal, to oil.

    To the front of the Admiralty, in 1911, Churchill believed that the British decline, which was economic and political, could have a remedy technical in the change of the propulsion engines. The empire depended on the navy and, in turn, the navy depended on the new engines, that Germany is still not available.

    But in the islands there were no oil and in July, 1913, Churchill declared in the House of Commons with a dazzling clarity:
    “Without oil, England will no longer receive corn, cotton or any other material necessary for the functioning of its economy.

    “The Admiralty must be able to control the petroleum in origin; must be able to extract, refine and transport the oil. In summary, the British Empire will be oil or it will not be anything”.
    The oil, therefore, has never been in the Middle East, an end in itself, or as a way to profit the capitalist, but an instrument of the hegemony, who is in the military.

    The United States took good note. From 1925 to launch major oil companies and after the Second World War signed with the king Ibn Saud, the so-called Pact of Quincy (https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/es-en...el-quincy.html) (14 February 1945).

    American companies gained the exploitation of the largest reserves of hydrocarbons in the world to change the protection of a dynasty bedouin that had no legitimacy to claim the management of the sacred places of islam, which are Mecca and Medina.

    The covenant of the founding of Saudi arabia modern is based in a Coup, whose foundations were laid by the Service of British Intelligence.

    Since the beginning of the First World War, London had relied on Hussein, a leader of tribal hashemite, that is to say, a descendant of Muhammad to the Ottomans had been charged by the custody of the holy places. He married the daughter of a high official Turkish and was sustained by the Ottoman Empire... until the British began to use it against the Ottoman Empire.

    London promised that he and his sons Ali Abdalah and Faysal reinarían on the independent States (Syria, Iraq, Jordan) created after the division of the spoils of the Ottoman Empire.

    However, to sustain the fiction of Arab unity, the imperialists spoke of a great federation ruled from Mecca or Damascus.

    The 300,000 Arabs who fought in the ranks of the Ottoman army during the First World War remained loyal to the Empire; those who joined the imperialism and its lackey Hussein were an insignificant minority, a few thousand deserters willing to deal with other arabs. The opposite of the version Hollywood about Lawrence of Arabia.

    In his memoirs, the Lawrence acknowledged:
    “I understood that if we won the war, the promises made to the arabs would be wet paper. If it had been a counselor honest, I should have sent my men home rather than let them risk their lives in these stories is doubtful.

    “But, what was not the enthusiasm Arabic our best bet in the war in the Middle East? That is why I said to my comrades in the struggle that England fulfilled the letter and spirit of their promises. Fought bravely confident in it. For me, far from being proud of what we did together, I never stopped feeling a bitter shame”.
    But Rome does not pay traitors. London was soon forgotten of the hachemitas and slowly turned to the Saudis, that were even more submissive. A hoax followed another and the same thing happened with the betrayal.

    There was just silence inconvenient witnesses, such as the famous Lawrence of Arabia in 1935 had a timely “accident” that silenced forever. It is impossible not to suspect the murderous hand of the Service of british Intelligence.

    More information:
    - The purpose of the Covenant of the Quincy (https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/es-en...el-quincy.html)
    - The wahhabism goes hand in hand of imperialism (https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/es-en...-mano-del.html)
    Original Spanish language article here: https://movimientopoliticoderesisten...oleo-o-no.html
    Last edited by Searcher; 6th April 2018 at 06:07.
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    I posted above (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1218094) on the merging of the Russian and Chinese satellite tracking systems. Here is a further commentary and analyses of some of the implications of this from The Saker blog.

    The article is pro Russia in slant and anti the Atlanticist establishment (which it terms the hegemon). It includes some excellent maps and argues that the satellite tracking system is a crucial part of enabling the One Road One Belt projects.

    Quote SitRep: SPACE and the Double Helix (a briefing)
    April 05, 2018
    by Larchmonter445 for the Saker Blog

    http://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/w...ffs5tv6kg.jpeg

    GLONASS + Beidou Satellite Systems are to be joined as a unitary global navigation satellite system.

    It will cover well beyond Russia and China, as it will be the Eurasian satellite system.

    Of course, both are global systems tuned heavily to Russian and Chinese requirements and available to any public user anywhere on Earth.

    Two-thirds of world’s population will no longer be dependent on GPS or the EU’s Galileo system.

    Russia’s global coverage has been in service to the entire world since 2011. It has an accuracy rating of 4.5 meters for public use. China’s BeiDou is still limited to Asia-Pacific region, but will go global in 2020. Presently, its accuracy for public use is 10 meters. But has military encrypted accuracy of 0.1 meters.

    What this integration of the two systems means is extreme accuracy for geo-positioning needs in navigation, location, mapping and transportation.

    There is also a plethora of military security issues that are served by the Russian-China merger of their national systems.

    Picture the globe marked by a massive land area surrounded by military(s) intent on choking off trade routes, commodities, food, fuel, products and opposing navies.



    That is the world according to the Hegemon.

    One of the coercive tools used to control the land mass was in near Space—GPS satellites. American technology, hegemonic gatekeeping for many years.

    Russia broke from the limitation of US-owned satellite system with GLONASS, its own navigation satellite system. Soon after, China began its own system—BeiDou.

    While developing the Chinese version, China began to use the Russian system for tracking its shipments and transport. Concurrent with the reliance on Russian civilian technology, the Chinese have also adopted and adapted Russian military technology.

    The two giant super powers are moving to integrated missile defense systems, based on S-400 systems. China has begun receiving its first units of the world-class missile defense. Having observed the use of the S-400 in Syria (its mere presence is ‘use’, for it forces the US and Israel to stand off or not fly without Russian ‘de-confliction’ permission.)

    Meanwhile, in Space, the Chinese have seen the value of integration and redundancy. Thus, we have the announcement that henceforth, the GLONASS and BeiDou systems will be integrated. This adds accuracy for all the civilian and military links to navigation, location, mapping, remote sensing and security intelligence data.

    Now look at the massive, mostly uncharted landmass of Eurasia.


    Thousands of kilometers of deserts, mountains, gorges, cliffs, plateaus, tundra, arctic ice, rivers, lakes, inland seas, villages, towns, settlements and cities all of which are destined to be impacted by OBOR, New Silk Road, EAEU and SCO actions.



    Infrastructure, like rail, roads, fiber optic and pipelines demand mapping accuracy (surveying) to millimeters. The first stage of such remote sensing can take it to 3-6 inches. On the ground, using those maps (guided by navigation satellites) the precise accuracy is made possible. Even underwater accuracy by LIDAR sensors is guided by satellites. Thus, the actual development of Belts and Roads Initiative (BRI) projects begins from Space.



    What the Chinese and Russian construction engineers and project planners will use now is a highly accurate, proprietary to Eurasia, navigational system the Hegemon does not control.

    Sadly, as often is the case, India is not participating, hoping to build its own or with Japan’s, an alternative system. India will benefit, nonetheless from Eurasian development. It’s flirtations and alignments with the Hegemon the sort of policy that has always left India lagging.

    What is seemingly a civilian integration by China and Russia—the duo I named the Double Helix—is one of many technological integrations, most of which have military dual use or buttress military use.

    The military navigation applications in current use, facilitate forces location, forces navigation, forces deployment, all weather and around the clock operations, and communication network timing.

    In later presentation, I will expand on the four years of integration that has progressed with the Double Helix since my White Paper (http://thesaker.is/vineyard-of-the-s...-double-helix/) published here at the Vineyard.



    Be assured that President Putin and President Xi have absolute recognition of the existential threat of containment, destabilization, use of terrorists, aggressive NATO encroachment, placement of THAAD missile systems (radars of which neutralize China’s second strike capabilities), and new aggressive basing close to Russia and China’s borders and along the intended routes of the Eurasian development.

    The Russian development of the Arctic is a good place to watch this as routes and specialized ships open a safe passage for Chinese shippers. Russia is also quickly militarizing strategic locations now accessible.



    The development of Russian naval forces and bases in the Asia Pacific region now link with the extensive eastern ports of China to the South China Sea (and beyond for Russia to Vietnam). As we know, Russia has a very large nuclear submarine fleet, which joined with the Chinese submarine capacity, will be a match for the enormously powerful US subsea arms. The two partner navies have exercised annually to sharpen skills and build unity, if needed.

    Importantly, satellites and submarines are linked. Yes, military satellites for communications are separate from the navigational systems, but both systems work in tandem at times.

    Thus, the order of battle begins in Space with navigational systems, links to aerospace for some munitions and machines, and links to land forces and naval surface and subsea vessels.

    China and Russia are quickstepping their special partnership. Some items we see and hear about, others are hidden. GLONASS and BeiDou are now going to fly as brothers in arms.
    From here: http://thesaker.is/sitrep-space-and-...ix-a-briefing/
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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    For people that think the 2nd amendment is wrong for America.
    I present Ted Nugent stating his case along with Alex Jones.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5NelZNtw_U

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    I haven’t seen much coverage or posts on Avalon of the recent Israeli shooting of Palestinian civilians.

    Here are a few reports and comments:
    Quote …Contrary to [Israeli govt spokesman David] Keyes’ claims, the idea of a mass march against the fence seems to have first emerged in social media in Gaza and was only later adopted by Hamas.

    It is the only strategy likely to show results for the Palestinians because they have no military option, no powerful allies and their leadership is moribund and corrupt. But they do have numbers: a recent report to the Israeli Knesset saying that there are roughly 6.5 million Palestinian Arabs and an equal number of Jewish Israeli citizens in Israel and the West Bank, not counting those in East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel has usually had more difficulty in dealing with non-violent civil rights type mass movements among Palestinians than it has had fighting armed insurgencies.

    Keyes claims that the demonstrations are orchestrated by Hamas, but here again he is mistaken on an important point because witnesses on the spot say that the impetus for the protests is coming from non-party groups and individuals. They voice frustration with the failed, divided and self-seeking Palestinian leaders of both Hamas and Fatah. The most dangerous aspect of the situation in terms of its potential for violence may be that nobody is really in charge.
    From here: https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04...rom-criticism/

    Quote 'Outdoor Cinema': Photo Shows Israelis Cheering as Palestinians Killed at Gaza Border

    An Israeli Channel 2 television news journalist, Nir Dvori, posted the photo Friday, showing the barbaric scene of seven Israelis smiling and waving at the cameras as they sat on an observation tower in Nahal Oz, outside the fenced-off Gaza strip overlooking Palestinians suffering gruesome attacks.
    From here: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/ne...0408-0009.html

    Quote Israeli Sniper Targets, Kills Journalist in "PRESS" Vest
    Yaser Murtaja, a cameraman for Palestinian Ain Media, was wearing a "PRESS" flak jacket as he was shot by an Israeli sniper Friday. He died of his injuries in a hospital on Saturday.

    The 30-year-old journalist was one of nine people killed and more than 1,000 injured by Israeli troops Friday on the Gaza border.
    From here: https://www.commondreams.org/news/20...ist-press-vest

    Other stories:
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs...t-gaza-victims

    ==========

    Aside from pressure from Israeli interest groups, what else might be inhibiting a response to this?

    What’s different about this to, for instance, the Soweto school children riots and Sharpeville massacre in South Africa that triggered Western society to condemn the South African apartheid state?

    ==========

    Unrelated (perhaps).... here is some (further) evidence of the pressure that is applied to suppress inconvenient narratives, especially those that portray Israel negatively:

    Quote Israel Lobby Doesn't Want Al Jazeera to Spill its Secrets

    Qatar is under pressure to bury an undercover Al Jazeera documentary that exposes the Israel Lobby in the US. Asa Winstanley of the Electronic Intifada says the film's key revelations include the close cooperation between the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Israeli government.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:2131...ll-its-Secrets

    And here, just one more example (there are probably hundreds if not thousands of cases like this):
    Quote We Made A Documentary Exposing The ‘Israel Lobby.’ Why Hasn’t It Run?

    You never know who you’re going to spot at the Doha Four Seasons in Qatar. So I was only somewhat surprised when I found myself standing next to Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz (http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/direc...210/Dershowitz) in the omelet line last Saturday.

    It was a fortuitous meeting. Dershowitz had recently played a small role (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news...-american-jews) in an episode that was threatening the reputation of my long-time employer, Al Jazeera (https://forward.com/opinion/396238/h...americas-jews/). So naturally, I leapt at the opportunity to defend it.

    The circumstances of the threat were these: In 2016, the award-winning (https://www.aljazeera.com/pressoffic...854868952.html) Investigative Unit (https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/) I directed sent an undercover reporter to look into how Israel wields influence in America through the pro-Israel American community. But when some right wing American supporters of Israel found out about the documentary, there was a massive backlash. It was even labeled as anti-Semitic (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news...-american-jews) in a spate of articles.

    This uproar came at a time when due to an arbitrary blockade on Qatar imposed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Qatar had been pursuing an end to its siege by appealing to the U.S. According to reports, Qatar sought to offer its own side of the narrative in this conflict by hosting thought leaders, including from the American Jewish community. From reports in the Israeli press, I learned that Dershowitz had been brought to meet with the Qatari emir, and that the American Jews had brought up what they saw as Al Jazeera’s “anti-Semitism” in those meetings.

    Of course, our documentary is not anti-Semitic. It is an exploration of how Israel, a foreign government, influences U.S. foreign policy.

    ...

    I understood Dershowitz’s remarks as a qualified seal of approval, which heartened me. And yet, our documentary has now been elevated to the center of an international scandal, with Al Jazeera’s reputation in America seemingly hanging in the balance.

    Indeed, if the documentary doesn’t air soon, it might prove to be the ammunition sought by a group of zealous U.S. politicians who wish to declare Al Jazeera a foreign entity, and label us journalists as “spies.”
    ...
    From and continues here: https://forward.com/opinion/396203/w...-hasnt-it-run/


    ==========

    And perhaps most ominously at a macro level, The Guardian “predicts” escalating violence in the Middle East arising from “tensions”. Pre-programming perhaps?

    Quote How Gaza clashes could ignite flashpoints all over the Middle East

    Lebanon, Iran and other nations may now be drawn into a spiral of conflict


    A Palestinian slings stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes along the border with Israel. Photograph: Adel Hana/AP

    Tightly wound and anticipating trouble, Israeli troops opened fire before the Gaza border protests had even begun. The Palestinian health ministry said Omar Samour, a 31-year-old farmer, was picking parsley in his field near Khan Yunis early on Friday morning when he was killed. Another farmer was injured by shrapnel. Israel’s military later confirmed its tanks had fired at “suspicious figures” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...protest-israel) on the border.

    Samour’s death was a grim augury of what was to come. As Palestinians observed a day of mourning on Saturday, both sides warned of possible escalation in the weeks ahead. But a bigger question is exercising regional analysts. Will this violent yet long-predicted rekindling of the Israel-Palestine conflict trigger a wider crisis (https://apnews.com/fcb59618f063452c9...-clashes-go-on) drawing in Lebanon, Syria and Iran?

    The absence of a credible peace process underlies the latest confrontation, as happened in 2000 when the second intifada began, and again in 2014. Once again, Hamas and its supporters in Gaza, blockaded by Israel (https://www.theguardian.com/world/israel) and Egypt and at odds with their Fatah rivals in the West Bank, are using mass civilian protest to end their isolation. Once again, Israel’s rightwing leaders, unwilling or unable to contemplate a two-state solution, compound myopic intransigence with a disproportionate use of force.

    The dangerous difference now is timing and context. Friday was the start of six weeks of protests leading up to the 70th anniversary of Nakba day on 15 May, literally the “catastrophe”, as Arabs see it, that followed Israel’s declaration of independence on 14 May, 1948. The US will also move its embassy to Jerusalem in May, effectively recognising the city as Israel’s sovereign capital while ignoring Palestine’s claims. In short, a spring season of looming flashpoints is now begun.

    Historical precedents also suggest local confrontations produce negative, region-wide reactions. The biggest worry is Lebanon, where Hezbollah (https://www.theguardian.com/world/hezbollah), Israel’s sworn foe and Iran’s close ally, is the dominant political and military force. Strains are already apparent over Israel’s erection of a Gaza-style fence on its northern border and over disputed offshore oil and gas fields.....
    From and continues here: https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...n-of-conflicts

    And of course they refer to the contested oil and gas fields (already mentioned a couple times in this thread).... while I am sure these are the motivations for some of the players, there are sure to be other motivations at play.

    ==========

    This is most interesting:
    Quote A Palestinian slings stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes along the border with Israel.
    Myth-making by evoking David and Goliath? How interesting that here the Palestinian is equated with “David” and Israel with “Goliath”....
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    It sounds like you might be good at this one, Searcher.


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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    It sounds like you might be good at this one, Searcher.
    In answer to your question: No, absolutely not.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    Here is a succinct review of the geopolitical moves and countermoves revolving around the Ottoman Empire, oil resources, Britain, and World War I .... and the consequences playing out in today’s war in Syria.

    The commenter also ties this to Trump’s announcement about withdrawing the US forces from Syria (which different people are interpreting in different ways). The commenter ties this to the coming US congressional elections. I don’t know US domestic politics well enough to judge whether this is realistic. The commenter does not have a very complimentary view of President Trump (to state it blandly).

    The other aspects of the opinion tie to other posts in this thread covering the century long fall out from WW1 in the Middle East and beyond.

    Note: I have edited some of the more inflammatory and pejorative terms.


    Quote The US is ‘officially’ withdrawing from Syria in response to demands made by Donald Trump 5 days ago. All decisions and planning for the US move are long in the making, while everything you presently see or hear in official or alternative media concerns a marketing operation.

    For Donald Trump it is ... specifically addressing a political problem with [a] UK [establishment faction] organizing a Blue Wave against Republi[can] by means of institutionalized vote rigging during upcoming Congressional elections, and so he has issued orders to his Generals that they mak[e] it appear as though the US is officially out, even though it is not. ...

    Basically, Donald Trump is [positioning] himself ... to maintain support with his base.

    What’s good is this manoeuvre reduces the chances of a direct confrontation between nuclear powers in the shorter term, and somewhat changes the dynamics between the US and Russia.

    What’s not good is there will be yet another ‘rebranding’ in which a number of US forces will come under auspices of mainly UK and NATO [Commandos] who have already been in charge of the majority of proxy terrorist forces West of the Euphrates, since not long after Donald Trump was elected and demanded the US end it’s [sic] direct support for ISIS.

    Of course French [Commandos] will also be there but when they do issue orders no one will listen. 5 secret French bases are already in the Kurdish controlled north-east of Syria, as announced by Turkey and reported by Thierry Meyssan on April 2nd.
    Turkey publishes the whereabouts of five secret military bases in Syria that belong to France
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article200488.html
    This means:
    1) the Kurds are definitely out ... since the US will more or less abandon them in favour of Turkey, at least officially; while
    2) the UK-EU-NATO and [the UK] Deep State will now become fully responsible for ...Kurd [forces] ... east of the Euphrates and who, by the way, have no local support from the People they preside over ...; and also
    3) this appears to pit the UK/France and NATO against Turkey, without fulsome support from the Pentagon, and therefore more deeply into the arms of Russia.

    But the alliance of Turkey and Russia is not what it seems. Nor are the recent sharp words between Turkey and France. Very soon we will see if Erdogan’s troopers will be willing to directly confront French led terrorist forces on the road to Manbij, since they are already there and standing in Erdogan’s way. What is most likely is the French will manage a withdrawal of Kurds from northern Syria and thus hand this territory over to Turkey, as has been done so many times before as when ISIS would suddenly morph into the SDF or YPG.

    The situation of the world today is almost identical to that which existed in the run up to World War I. Back then the UK wanted to destroy it’s [sic] competitors, including Russia, and especially to tear up the Ottoman Empire, so as to seize it’s [sic] unimaginably massive reserves of oil.

    Imagine how much oil the Turks would control today if the Ottoman Empire was still in existence! This is the basis of the debt Erdogan believes the UK owes to Turkey, and which the British Deep Staters have undoubtedly promised to repay to Turkey, with complete insincerity of course, just as they once offered Constantinople to Russia for their participation in WWI.

    The problem for the UK back then was the Young Turks who controlled the Ottoman Empire wanted to be British allies, not German, so the UK controlled Deep State and specifically Rothschild [and] Winston Churchill organized an event in which German battlecruisers were turned over to the Ottomans, and who with German crews subsequently shelled Odessa under an Ottoman flag and thus brought the Turks into the war against Russia.
    Note: see the post earlier in this thread which ties the young Turks to the Donmeh to the Sabateans -
    here: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1215144

    Continuing:
    Quote We all know what happened to the Ottoman Empire after that, nor do I need to mention effects of WWI on Russia and Germany. This is the reason Russia is so careful about it’s [sic] involvement in both Syria and [the] Ukraine and also explains why some within Germany would very much like to turn away from the Perfidious Empire and towards Russia.

    I would go so far as to say the UK ... values Balance of Power to such the extent that they are willing to see Germany and Russia become allies after a long and drawn out struggle. Thinking of Orwell’s description of a Tripolar World Order in the book 1984 I believe this is actually the plan, or at least it is understood the world of tommorow will look very much like that described by Orwell in his seminal book.

    What should boggle everyone’s minds is the extent to which UK based Deep State networks existing in 1914 were capable of arranging to have Imperial Germany hand over battlecruisers to Ottomans. The influence and power of this organization, based on the ancient Intelligence networks of Venice, is still very much on top today.
    The Spy Chiefs of Renaissance Venice: Intelligence Leadership in the Early Modern World
    http://www.academia.edu/34954495/The...y_Modern_World
    Exactly the same strategy employed ahead of World War I is being used today by the ‘Venetian’ Deep State..., vis a vis Russia and Turkey. [A faction of the] UK [deep state] wants to push Russia and Turkey together in hopes they can later be turned against one another. Their strategy involves attempting to trick the Russians into believing Turkey is a reliable ally for them, and thus to have Russia overextend itself as a result...
    From here: http://thesaker.is/so-it-was-the-inv...comment-507916

    The speculation concerning the final “design” being a world looking like that outlined in George Orwell’s 1984 is interesting.... it would not be the first time that “pre-programming” occurs through fiction.

    Here’s a map showing Orwell’s “fictional” world:
    Last edited by Searcher; 10th April 2018 at 11:59.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: Geopolitics, Culture, History,.... Things to explore about the world

    This short podcast (17 minutes) is loaded with information. It’s the LEFT OUT podcast with professor Michael Hudson, which they term the Hudson Report.

    This conversation analyses the Skripal affair from an economic perspective and proceeds to discuss the money laundering activities of the Latvian bank which was recently closed as well as the larger western plans begun in the 1990s for the “rape of Russia” (see below).

    Well worth the time, I highly recommend it.

    Quote THE HUDSON REPORT: The economics behind the Skripal poisoning
    3
    Apr 3, 2018
    In this episode we discuss the economic and political implications of the attempted murder of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal. We also touch upon the long history of collaboration between Russian oligarchs and Western banks and how it fits into the larger neoliberal project pursued after the collapse of the Soviet Union

    Read more at http://democracyatwrkleftout.libsyn....crsWo0XRcOL.99
    Listen here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/democracya...dest-id=393658


    ===========

    And here is more on the “rape of Russia” from Catherine Austin Fitts at Solari.com:

    Quote Anne Williamson and the Rape of Russia
    March 26, 2018

    [Note from CAF: Watching extreme “Pirate-ization applied to Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America and missing money in the US federal accounts was what inspired me to warn people about the financial coup d’etat. Please understand what Wall Street and Washington did to Russia in the 1990’s. It could happen in many more places if we don’t enforce the US Constitution.]

    Testimony of Anne Williamson
    Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of
    the U.S. House of Representatives
    September 21, 1999


    Before I begin my testimony, I want to take a moment to thank Chairman Leach and Ranking Member LaFalce for the opportunity to share with the House Committee on Banking some of the things I have learned over eight years of watching our Russian assistance program unfold. Chairman Leach, I particularly want to commend your efforts to lead the Congress on this very timely investigation of the true nature and unhappy consequences of our Russian policies.

    I should like to add just a few words about myself by way of introduction. I am the author of CONTAGION: THE BETRAYAL OF LIBERTY; RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE 1990s, which will be available to Committee Members and the American public in time for the nation’s Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to beginning my work on the book, I covered just about all things Russian for a broad range of publications which included inter alia The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mother Jones, Art and Antiques, Premiere, Film Comment and SPY Magazine. From the late 1980s until 1997, I maintained homes in both Moscow and the United States. And therefore I can say for much of the last decade I had the privilege of being a witness to a dramatic history and the pleasure and excitement of sharing with the Russian people their remarkable land, language and culture. And it is with a profound gratitude to and a deep respect for that noble, heroic and too long-suffering people that I speak to you today.

    In the matter before us – the question of the many billions in capital that fled Russia to Western shores via the Bank of New York and other Western banks – we have had a window thrown open on what the financial affairs of a country without property rights, without banks, without the certainty of contract, without an accountable government or a leadership decent enough to be concerned with the national interest or its own citizens’ well-being looks like. It’s not a pretty picture, is it? But let there be no mistake, in Russia the West has truly been the author of its own misery. And there is no mistake as to who the victims are, i.e. Western, principally U.S., taxpayers and Russian citizens’ whose national legacy was stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate and equities markets.
    ...
    From and continues here: https://home.solari.com/anne-william...cial-services/
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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