Caspian Games: Central Asian ‘stans’ Vie for Connectivity Market

Azerbaijan held a presidential election this month. Predictably, incumbent leader Ilham Aliyev won his fourth consecutive term with a Kim dynasty-esque 86% of the votes. International monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) stressed “widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, numerous instances of serious irregularities and …

Continue reading Caspian Games: Central Asian ‘stans’ Vie for Connectivity Market

Advertisements

The Great Game Comes to Syria

An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war, one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration’s designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region’s largest ethnic groups, the Kurds. However, the …

Continue reading The Great Game Comes to Syria

Is Putin Winning the War of Attrition With the US?

The news that President Donald Trump offered to hold a meeting with his counterpart in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, has the political world in an uproar. Furiously keyboards are chattering away as laptop bombardiers are worried that perpetual war for perpetual empire will end if Trump and Putin see eye to eye on anything. From …

Continue reading Is Putin Winning the War of Attrition With the US?

US President Donald Trump (right) holds a defence sales chart with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington DC. Photo: AFP/ Mandel Ngan

MbS Feted in the US Despite War Atrocities in Yemen

The current US tour of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, is a triumph of multi-million-dollar post-truth public relations. The fact that MbS also happens to be destroying Yemen is just a minor glitch. Smooth PR is always able to secure the maxim that not all dictators, Arab or otherwise, are equal; after …

Continue reading MbS Feted in the US Despite War Atrocities in Yemen

The rise of the petro-yuan may depend on China's domination of the gold market. Photo illustration: iStock

China Taking the Long Road to Solve the Petro-Yuan Puzzle

Few geoeconomic game-changers are more spectacular than yuan-denominated future crude oil contracts – especially when set up by the largest importer of crude on the planet. And yet Beijing’s media strategy seems to have consisted in substantially play down the official launch of the petro-yuan at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. Still, some euphoria was …

Continue reading China Taking the Long Road to Solve the Petro-Yuan Puzzle

© Ohde / Global Look Press

Death of US Dollar? China Launches Petro-Yuan to Challenge Greenback’s Dominance

The highly anticipated yuan-backed crude oil futures have been launched in Shanghai. China is the world’s biggest oil consumer, with eyes on rival benchmarks Brent and WTI as well as the US currency. Trading of the new oil futures contracts for September settlement started on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange at 440.20 yuan ($69.70) per …

Continue reading Death of US Dollar? China Launches Petro-Yuan to Challenge Greenback’s Dominance

French soldiers unload tanks from a train in northern Poland for a NATO military exercise (Source: LA Times)

U.S. Army Document: US Strategy to ‘Dethrone’ Putin for Oil Pipelines Might Provoke WW3

A US Army document concedes the real interests driving US military strategy toward Russia: dominating oil pipeline routes, accessing the vast natural resources of Central Asia, and enforcing the expansion of American capitalism worldwide. The Russians are coming. They hacked our elections. They are lurking behind numerous alternative political movements and news outlets. Such is …

Continue reading U.S. Army Document: US Strategy to ‘Dethrone’ Putin for Oil Pipelines Might Provoke WW3

The top-level diplomats Nabil FAHMY (Egypt), Mohammad Javad ZARIF (Iran) and Sergey LAVROV (Russia) at the Middle East conference of Valdai Discussion Club, Moscow, Feb 2018

Russia in Lebanon: “Anti-Zionist” Agenda or “Pro-Israeli” Pivot?

According to various sources, Lebanon has agreed to give the Russian Armed Forces basing and transit rights as well as allow Moscow to develop offshore energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean in a move that’s being heralded as a game-changing pivot by some analysts in the Alt-Media Community. The popular narrative that they’re disseminating is …

Continue reading Russia in Lebanon: “Anti-Zionist” Agenda or “Pro-Israeli” Pivot?