by phil - September 11th, 2014 8:30 am
We're back in business baby!
It's been 12 years since GW Bush first assembled the "Coalition of the Willing" in November of 2002 (a full year after we were attacked by 15 Saudi hijackers), to go after Osama Bin Laden, (who was hiding in Afghanistan) by attacking Iraq. Interestingly, Bush only stole that phrase from Bill Clinton (what, you thought Bush had an original thought?), who first mentioned it in a 1994 interview.
Now, in 2014, we're ready to go back to war – in Iraq (did we ever really leave?) – with another coalition of the willing staring most of the same players but this time, we have Germany on our side – so you know we're serious. According to the WSJ, they've already spotted a training camp for Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia and – oops, wait – that's being run by us – WE'RE arming and training Syrian rebels – what can go wrong?
Well, as they say, politics make strange Bedouin fellows and I guess we'll ignore the fact that the current ISIS rebels were the same people we armed and trained to fight Saddam 12 years ago. While we're training and arming Syrians in Saudi Arabia, we'll be bombing their country as well. Again, this is pretty much how we handled Iraq but hey – at least we're consistent!
At PSW, we're consistent too. While we love war as much as any other red-blooded Americans, we question this one as well – even when there's a Democrat in charge. It's funny because, just the other day, I suggested that Congress, rather than rejecting the call for $40M to help combat Eblola (as they just did), could have scraped together that money by simply firing one less $1M Tomahawk missile each week. I was wrong, and I apologize – it turns out they cost $1.41M each.
by phil - August 18th, 2014 8:11 am
From Ferguson to Fallujah, America has spent the weekend kicking ass and taking names with the National Guard rushing in to put down the 99% in Missouri while in Mosul, we're bombing the Middle East's 99% off the dams and picking off the stragglers with high-tech drones – F*ck Yeah!
That, combined with what we can politely call a non-escalation of tensions in the Ukraine has sent the price of oil tumbling by 0.75 this morning, good for $750 per contract from our Friday short (and now we're long at $94 on /CLV4 for October) - F*ck Yeah! Index futures were up slightly in Asia but gathered steam in Europe and markets there are coming out of lunch up over 1% – even as the cease-fire in Gaza is about to end.
Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, we got a powerful lesson in numbers as the 1.3Bn population of China is able to overwhelm that Island's 7M people (0.5% of China's population) at will and that will was exercised this weekend as China staged "Pro-Beijing" rallies that protested the "Occupy Central" rallies the bottom 99% of Hong Kong had been staging. Can anti-democracy rallies be far behind?
The anti-Occupy Central campaign's focus on the impact of civil disobedience has appealed to the pragmatism of many Hong Kong people. While many support democracy, they also just want to live their lives and go to work unimpeded. "We can't be optimistic at all—the pro-Beijing camp will control the entire list of candidates," said Joseph Cheng, a political-science professor and convener of the Alliance for True Democracy, a coalition of democratic parties supporting Occupy Central.
In short, while China did promise to give Hong Kong the right to vote – they never said they wouldn't stuff the ballot boxes or put up candidates that were nothing more than two different flavors of the same puppets. "If we are buying fruit, don't give us three rotten oranges to choose from," one of the activists said. Oh wait, that might have been our own election coverage – it's so hard to keep these totalitarian regimes straight…
by phil - June 16th, 2014 8:28 am
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Iraqi citizens are taking it to the streets to stop the Sunni Militant advance that has now moved on to
Saadiya, a "city" of 20,000 people which leads the US media morons to conclude that they are just about to take Baghdad, a city of 5,672,513. The MSM plays on American's complete lack of geographical knowledge and poor math skills to excuse the profiteering by their sponsors (Banksters and Energy Companies) that has driven the price of oil in America up 7% this month – even though oil wasn't this high during most of the actual war in Iraq.
Anyone who actually knows anything about war knows that the ISIL doesn't have the men, equipment or supply lines to hold what they have now, let alone march on Baghdad, let alone move another 200 miles south towards the nation's oil fields – but that doesn't fit the story the media is spinning, so it doesn't get any play.
As noted by the New York Times (and pretty much no other paper) the goal of the ISIL is to provoke a civil war in Iraq and many of their clams of captured cities and Shi'ite executions are nothing but propaganda meant to incite riots. As I said last week, if you follow the money, it trickles down from the $2Bn monthly windfall this unrest is giving NYMEX traders, not to mention the 90M barrels of Global oil sold each day for +$7 ($19Bn per month), 2M of which (+$420M per month) comes from Iraq itself.
Despite all the unrest, our $107.50 oil short from Friday's post is still going strong at $107 this morning (up $500 per contract) and we're still shorting at the $107 line (those of us not so crazy as to leave shorts on over the weekend) as we're hoping to see some capitulation on the 154,000 contract that remain open (1,000 barrels per contract) on the NYMEX between now and Friday's…
by phil - June 13th, 2014 8:26 am
In just 5 minutes we made our first $250 (per contract) of the morning and then we got a chance to re-load at $107.50 at 3:50 where we shorted it again (also noted in our Live Member Chat Room) and second time was already a charm as we got a much nicer run – this time all the way down to $106.75 for a $750 PER CONTRACT gain.
We're still shorting oil as it retests the $107 line and, if you read yesterday's post, you know why we are shorting oil already but this morning, if you want the late, authoritive word on the subject, the IEA just (7:58 EST) released a statement:
by ilene - February 27th, 2011 8:22 am
Here’s the latest edition of Stock World Weekly: Irresistible Forces Meet Immovable Objects. - Ilene
On Saturday, February 27, the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) voted unanimously to institute sanctions on Libya, including travel bans and freezing the assets of Muammar al-Gaddafi and others associated with his regime. Protests have dragged into their twelfth day, and protestors refuse to yield in the face of utterly horrific retaliation by Gaddafi’s loyal forces. U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said, “When atrocities are committed against innocents, the international community must act with one voice – and tonight it has.”
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Gaddafi apparently made good on his threats to trigger a civil war, using irregular forces largely composed of hired mercenaries to launch a counterattack against protesters. “Anywhere we go there is danger,” said one woman, a 28-year-old mother of four who asked not to be named. “All we want is food and fresh water for our children but it is impossible to find. Security is the only concern of the authorities.”
An accurate report of the death toll is impossible to obtain at this time, but on Wednesday, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini said, “We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible.” The situation in Libya has deteriorated since then. Multiple stories coming in from all over the country have cited dozens to hundreds of casualties in each city. It appears that Libya has slipped into the abyss of complete social breakdown and civil war.
This is just one example of the tide of popular unrest that has been unleashed in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s and other central banks’ inflationary policies. The chart below shows the U.S. Adjusted Monetary Base increasing from $1.75Tn in 2009, to $2.0Tn in 2010, and now nearing $2.3Tn, an increase of $300Bn in just two months! This represents an increase of 35% in less than 18 months. (The U.S. Monetary Base is the total amount of currency that is circulating in the hands of the public or in the commercial bank deposits held in reserves of member banks of the Federal Reserve System.)
by ilene - September 28th, 2010 2:19 am
The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.
Editor’s Note: The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.
When we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers,…
by ilene - September 26th, 2010 2:50 pm
Courtes of Washington’s Blog
[And see also Washington's 9-11 post if you missed it, here.]
We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.
Is it true?
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before9/11, and inserted "crap" in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change one month after Bush took office
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- Cheney and the rest of the neocons lamented - before 9/11 - that America could not truly project its power globally without the justification of a "new Pearl Harbor"
- The decision to threaten to bomb Iran was made before 9/11
- The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons — and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes — all before 9/11
- The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers’ own mouths before 9/11
- Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism programs for the United States before (and on) 9/11. See this Department of State announcement, this CNN article andthis essay
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence, but is an effective way to terrorize people
So did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was it simply an excuse to implement existing plans?
by ilene - September 5th, 2010 11:40 pm
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is currently saying that Dick Cheney’s vision of policy towards the Middle East after 9/11 was to re-draw the map:
Vice-President Dick Cheney’s vision of completely redrawing the map of the Middle East following the 9/11 attacks is "not stupid," and is "possible over time," former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says.
In his new book, A Journey, the former Labour Party leader wrote that Cheney wanted a wholesale reorganization of the political map of the Middle East after 9/11. The vice president "would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it — Hezbollah, Hamas, etc," Blair wrote.
What does this mean?
Well, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the "war on terror" in the Middle East has nothing to do with combating terror, and everything to do with remaking that region’s geopolitical situation to America’s advantage.
For example, as I noted in January::
Starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon; the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda. As American reporter Gareth Porter writes in Asia Times:
Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.
Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states…
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic
by ilene - July 28th, 2010 7:26 pm
Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will probably not be coming to the U.S. any time soon.
"Today the Whitehouse put out a private briefing to reporters about Wikileaks and me and it quoted a section from an interview with me in Die Spiegel saying that I enjoy crushing ——--.
"Somehow the Whitehouse finds that offensive.
"In terms of returning to the United States I don’t know. Our sources advise from inside the US government that there were thoughts of whether I could be charged as a co-conspirator to espionage, which is serious.
"That doesn’t seem to be the thinking within the United States any more however there is the other possibility of being detained as a material witness and being kept either in confinement or not being allowed to leave the country until the Manning case is concluded."
You can implode our banking system all you want but don’t you dare mess with our 9 year long wars.
In completely related news, the House just happened to give up $33 billion to both ongoing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
by ilene - May 23rd, 2010 9:31 pm
Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker
We’re now about a month into the BP Oil "blowout" incident in the Gulf.
We still don’t know exactly what caused the blowout, but that’s not the important factor from my point of view.
We know that a gas "bolus" got into the drill pipe and expanded as it rose, and that was the proximate cause of the blast and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.
What we don’t know is why the blowout preventer failed to close.
There have been several theories and claims, among them:
- The Blowout Preventer’s hydraulic system has one or more leaks in it, and as such it couldn’t close. If this is true then the question becomes who knew of the leak, if anyone, as it would have caused the preventer to fail routine tests.
- There are also claims that the well failed a negative pressure test a few hours before the incident. That would imply that there was a problem with the casing integrity (or the cement job done to lock it in place) and work continued without addressing this first.
Let me provide some context here: I live in the Florida Panhandle and in a "worst case scenario" the value of my home is likely to be destroyed. On April 30th I wrote a piece called "Drill Baby Drill", and I stand behind it today, even with the increased knowledge we now have.
I want answers to the above two questions, and I want the firms and persons responsible for those two breaches of protocol and common sense (along with safety measures) tarred, feathered and bankrupted, in that order, with every penny they personally and corporately possess confiscated to perform whatever remediation we can.
What I do know is this: A deepwater rig like the Horizon costs about $500,000 per day to have on site and operate. There was obviously a decision taken by someone that halting operations to pull and repair or replace the blowout preventer stack would cost millions (such an operation would result in significant downtime, of course, during which the rig would be sitting idle) and thus it was not done.
But this does not change my base view, which is that we have no valid alternative to drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere – indeed, everywhere we can find oil and gas.