(MEE) The United States on Thursday approved a series of deals worth more than $7bn to supply military helicopters, planes and missiles to four of its Arab allies.
The biggest agreement announced on Thursday was for a $3.51bn sale to the Saudi kingdom of 48 CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters with spare engines and machine guns.
The United Arab Emirates wants to spend $3.5bn on 27 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters plus support equipment, made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
Qatar, meanwhile, has requested eight C-17 military cargo jets and spare engines in a pair of contracts totaling $781m.
And Washington has also approved a contract to sell Morocco 1,200 TOW 2A anti-tank missiles made by US arms giant Raytheon for $108m. Continue reading »
Over three years after we first reported that one of the two chief sources of funding and support for the “Islamic State” is the small but wealthy nation of Qatar, and long after we also announced that Saudi Arabia had revealed that it was behind ISIS, in a report that was widely disputed, overnight we finally got definitive evidence that it was indeed Qatar and Saudi Arabia that are the main “logistical and financial” supporters of the Islamic State terrorist organization.
In a leaked email sent on August 17, 2014 by Hillary Clinton to her current campaign manager, John Podesta, who back then was counselor to Barack Obama, she admitted that Qatar and Saudi Arabia “are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” Continue reading »
Earlier this week, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir had the following message for Tehran:
“We wish that Iran would change its policies and stop meddling in the affairs of other countries in the region, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. We will make sure that we confront Iran’s actions and shall use all our political, economic and military powers to defend our territory and people.”
In short, Riyadh and its allies in Doha and the UAE are uneasy about the fact that the P5+1 nuclear deal is set to effectively remove Iran from the pariah state list just as Tehran is expanding its regional influence via its Shiite militias in Iraq, the ground operation in Syria, and through the Houthis in Yemen. Continue reading »
Impossible! … Oh, wait a minute:
Take a look at Afghanistan:
– Former UK ambassador Craig Murray ( The Raw Story):
IT’S THE PIPELINE, STUPID
Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.
Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.
“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.
Murray said part of the motive in hyping up the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.
“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”
The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.
We’re spreading democracy (almost everywhere now) and would certainly not do such evil things for the money, or would we?
– Is The United States Going To Go To War With Syria Over A Natural Gas Pipeline? (Economic Collapse, Sep 3, 2013):
Why has the little nation of Qatar spent 3 billion dollars to support the rebels in Syria? Could it be because Qatar is the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world and Assad won’t let them build a natural gas pipeline through Syria? Of course. Qatar wants to install a puppet regime in Syria that will allow them to build a pipeline which will enable them to sell lots and lots of natural gas to Europe. Why is Saudi Arabia spending huge amounts of money to help the rebels and why has Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan been “jetting from covert command centers near the Syrian front lines to the Élysée Palace in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, seeking to undermine the Assad regime”? Well, it turns out that Saudi Arabia intends to install their own puppet government in Syria which will allow the Saudis to control the flow of energy through the region. On the other side, Russia very much prefers the Assad regime for a whole bunch of reasons. One of those reasons is that Assad is helping to block the flow of natural gas out of the Persian Gulf into Europe, thus ensuring higher profits for Gazprom. Now the United States is getting directly involved in the conflict. If the U.S. is successful in getting rid of the Assad regime, it will be good for either the Saudis or Qatar (and possibly for both), and it will be really bad for Russia. This is a strategic geopolitical conflict about natural resources, religion and money, and it really has nothing to do with chemical weapons at all. Continue reading »
Gold and silver rose on the open in Asia and have continued those gains so far in European trading with the Libyan military conflict leading to a safe haven bid and falls in the dollar and yen. The all time and multiyear nominal dollar highs set on March 7th ($1,444.95/oz and $36.75/oz) look set to be challenged as gold is less than 1% from its record high and silver less than 2% from its nominal recent high.
Safe haven demand continues especially in Asia and macroeconomic and geopolitical risk remains elevated. The tragedy in Japan and possibility of an ecological catastrophe has clouded the economic picture and created even more uncertainty which will lead to continuing physical demand.
In Japan, many ATMs have not been working for days now and this is leading to safe haven demand for gold. Should efforts to sort out the ATM problem not be resolved this week it could out pressure on the already strained Japanese financial system.
Iran and Other Central Banks Secretly Increasing Gold Reserves
News that Iran and other nations with large dollar currency reserves have greatly increased their gold reserves (see News) will not come as a surprise to our readers. It stands to reason that they would given the degree of exposure which most creditor nations have to the U.S. dollar. It also stands to reason as some of them do not have cordial relations with Washington and may be reluctant to fund the U.S. continuing imprudent fiscal policies.
Gold was not the only precious metal being bought with the FT reporting that the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, the Qatar Investment Authority is reportedly interested in acquiring both and gold and silver.
The QIA has assets estimated to exceed $65 billion and this one sovereign wealth fund alone could easily corner the very small physical silver market which is worth some $36 billion at today’s prices (1 billion ounces of above ground, investment grade refined silver bullion multiply by $36 per ounce).
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2011 09:33 -0400
China Imports 245 Tonnes of Silver in February and Qatar SWF “Interested” in Buying Silver
Central banks and sovereign wealth funds with massive exposure to the dollar, such as the Russians and Chinese, are not going to shout from the roof tops their intentions to diversify into gold and silver bullion as this would lead to a surge in bullion prices and an even greater depreciation of their dollar holdings.
Qatari Diplomat Was Going to See Al-Qaeda Inmate
Qatar diplomat Mohammad Al Madadi causes a scare after smoking on a plane.
The Qatari diplomat who was arrested for sarcastically telling air marshals on a jetliner that he was trying to set his shoes on fire was en route to visit an imprisoned member of al Qaeda at the Supermax prison in Colorado.
Mohammed Al-Madadi, a 27 year old official at the Qatari embassy in Washington, has full diplomatic immunity that makes charging him in U.S. courts very difficult.
Federal officials confirmed that he will not face any charges, saying he “absolutely will not be charged with a crime. He has diplomatic immunity. He invoked it.”
The joke, however, probably will cost al-Madadi his post in the U.S.
The diplomat is on his way back to Washington today and is expected to be sent out of the country soon as both sides are looking for a way to bring the matter to a close without further embarrassment, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to diplomatic sensitivities surrounding the situation.
Qatari diplomat Mohammed Al-Madadi sparked a bomb security scare after sneaking a smoke in an airplane’s bathroom will likely be sent home or transferred to another country, U.S. officials said Thursday.
Al-Madadi was flying first class to Denver for a consular visit with jailed al Qaeda member Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri who is imprisoned at the Colorado “supermax” penitentiary. Al-Marri was arrested in Illinois shortly after the 9/11 attacks and is believed to have been an al Qaeda sleeper agent.
During the flight, the diplomat allegedly went to the bathroom about 40 minutes before landing for a surreptitious smoke, an act that is against federal law. When flight attendants saw smoke coming from the bathroom, they alerted air marshalls who asked Al-Madadi what he was doing.
Al-Madadi allegedly made the off-handed comment to the officials he was trying to light his shoes on fire, at which point the air marshalls detained him and alerted authorities on the ground. Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane and President Obama was notified of the incident as he flew to Prague on board Air Force One. Continue reading »
The Arab states of the Gulf region have agreed to launch a single currency modelled on the euro, hoping to blaze a trail towards a pan-Arab monetary union swelling to the ancient borders of the Ummayad Caliphate.
“The Gulf monetary union pact has come into effect,” said Kuwait’s finance minister, Mustafa al-Shamali, speaking at a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait.
The move will give the hyper-rich club of oil exporters a petro-currency of their own, greatly increasing their influence in the global exchange and capital markets and potentially displacing the US dollar as the pricing currency for oil contracts. Between them they amount to regional superpower with a GDP of $1.2 trillion (£739bn), some 40pc of the world’s proven oil reserves, and financial clout equal to that of China.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar are to launch the first phase next year, creating a Gulf Monetary Council that will evolve quickly into a full-fledged central bank.
The Emirates are staying out for now – irked that the bank will be located in Riyadh at the insistence of Saudi King Abdullah rather than in Abu Dhabi. They are expected join later, along with Oman.
The Gulf states remain divided over the wisdom of anchoring their economies to the US dollar. The Gulf currency – dubbed “Gulfo” – is likely to track a global exchange basket and may ultimately float as a regional reserve currency in its own right. “The US dollar has failed. We need to delink,” said Nahed Taher, chief executive of Bahrain’s Gulf One Investment Bank.
The project is inspired by Europe’s monetary union, seen as a huge success in the Arab world. But there are concerns that the region is trying to run before it can walk. Continue reading »
From the article:
“These plans will change the face of international financial transactions,” one Chinese banker said. “America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate.”
Robert Fisk’s report is accurate and the following denial is just disinformation:
– Oil states say no talks on replacing dollar (Reuters):
ISTANBUL/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Big oil producing nations denied a British newspaper report on Tuesday that Gulf Arab states were in secret talks with Russia, China, Japan and France to replace the U.S. dollar with a basket of currencies in trading oil.
The dollar eased in response to the report, which was written by The Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk and cited unidentified sources in Gulf Arab states and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong.
The plan is to bring down the US. The US constitution is still a major threat to the ‘New World Order’ and the elite.
US citizens need to be disarmed, their freedoms and the dollar need to be destroyed, so that the new global currency and the ‘New World Order’ can be established.
The elite wants to turn the US into a Third World country.
Prepare yourself for the greatest collapse in history.
Got gold (silver, food, water, guns and ammunition)?
In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading
Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars.
In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.
Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.
The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.
The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place – although they have not discovered the details – are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China’s former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. “Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable,” he told the Asia and Africa Review. “We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security.”
This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil – yet again turning the region’s conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.
Saudi Arabia dwarfs other states in the region and analysts say there is concern that a common currency would serve to concentrate power in Riyadh
A project to establish a common currency for the Gulf has been dealt a near-fatal blow with the decision by the United Arab Emirates to abandon monetary union after disagreement with Saudi Arabia over the location of a future central bank.
The loss of the Emirates to the currency project could accelerate decisions within some Gulf states to diverge from Saudi Arabia’s desire to maintain a currency peg with the dollar. This could lead eventually to the UAE, the Gulf’s most sophisticated economy, floating its dirham, analysts in the region said.
The UAE attributed its decision to quit the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) project to the choice of Saudi Arabia as host of the key monetary institution.
Evidence of mounting rivalry and distrust between the Gulf’s two biggest economies emerged two weeks ago, when a meeting of the GCC voted to locate the central bank in Riyadh. UAE officials expressed reservations about the decision. The choice of Riyadh would enhance the physical presence of Saudi Arabia within the GCC, as the organisation’s secretariat is already headquartered in the Saudi capital.
The UAE is the second state in the six-member GCC to pull out of the common currency, which was due to be launched next year. Oman had said already that it would not take part, but the loss of the Emirates, which has the greatest international trading links, makes it unlikely that the project will get off the ground.
- States and companies target developing nations
- Small farmers at risk from industrial-scale deals
Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.
The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people.
Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.
“These deals can be purely commercial ventures on one level, but sitting behind it is often a food security imperative backed by a government,” said Carl Atkin, a consultant at Bidwells Agribusiness, a Cambridge firm helping to arrange some of the big international land deals.
One hundred riyal notes at a bank in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital. The US has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to US$300 billion to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait’s daily Al-Seyassah has reported.
KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – The United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait’s daily Al-Seyassah reported Thursday.
Quoting “highly informed” sources, the daily said Washington has asked Saudi Arabia for 120 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates for 70 billion dollars, Qatar for 60 billion dollars and was seeking 40 billion dollars from Kuwait.
Al-Seyassah said Washington sought the amount as “financial aid” to face the fallout of the financial crisis and help prevent its economy from sliding into a painful recession.
The daily said the United States plans to use the funds to help the ailing automobile industry , banks and other companies suffering from the global financial turmoil.
Qatari emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has warned that Doha will not allow any country to turn the Persian Gulf into a war zone.
His remarks on the subject come in an environment of long-standing US and Israel threats to launch an attack against Iranian nuclear installations under the pretext that Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is planning to secretly weaponize its civilian use nuclear program.
The international nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has strongly denied the charge with. IAEA chief Mohammad elBaradei stating he would resign if Iran is attacked on this pretext.
Tehran insists that its program is purely for electricity generation.