Trump Mocks ISIS As ‘Sneaky, Dirty Rats’ – Mattis Focuses on Wiping Them Out

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

President Trump referred to ISIS as ‘sneaky, dirty rats’ in his interview with Sean Hannity this week. I have much more descriptive terms for them, but I understand the use of sanitized descriptors for these monsters. Trump is correct that when we fought Germany and Japan, they wore uniforms and were easy to identify. With ISIS, you can only go by their religious beliefs and their military moves. This is where extreme vetting comes into play. And perhaps the cunning use of flags (see Eddie Izzard):

In all seriousness, President Trump is right… these are evil bastards. And evil always loses in the end… see General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis. Trump also discussed enhanced interrogation techniques and torture. Personally, I’m all for them. I truly believe that there are times when it is the only thing that produces results, if you are going to get anything at all out of the enemy. The enemy has no moral dilemma about torturing us. War is hell and sometimes violence is required. I know that is shocking… the left can just deal with it.

From Breitbart:

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Thursday evening, President Donald Trump had some choice words for the Islamic State.

We have evil that lurks around the corner without the uniforms. Ours is harder because the people that we’re going against, they don’t wear uniforms. They’re sneaky, dirty rats. And they blow people up in a shopping center. And they blow people up in a church. These are bad people.

When you’re fighting Germany, they had their uniforms, and Japan, and they had their uniforms and they had their flags on the plane and the whole thing. We are fighting sneaky rats right now that are sick and demented. And we’re going to win.

Trump also discussed the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, after Hannity argued opponents of waterboarding would endorse the technique if their own loved ones had been kidnapped by terrorists.

Trump said yesterday that despite his feeling that torture works, he’s going to defer judgement on that to his Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, who openly disagrees with him. I find that surprising from Mattis, but we will see. I think Mattis is more of a ‘shoot first and screw the intel’ kind of guy. Trump is deferring to Mattis as he should here. He said Defense Secretary James Mattis “doesn’t intend to use it” and “I’m with him all the way.”

President Trump is also cultivating a close relationship with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has been extremely critical of radical Islam. “He went into a tough situation, and all I can say is, I like him,” Trump declared. As for Saudi Arabia, Trump suggested he was biting his tongue in the interests of maintaining a good relationship with the Kingdom, but he is not pleased with their past activities: “A lot of money is being spent from certain countries on radicalizing people. I don’t like that. I don’t like that.” Saudi Arabia is not our friend and they should be treated as an enemy as far as I’m concerned. Along with Iran, I blame them for 9/11. Trump will have to tread lightly there, but in the end he may find that you can’t really befriend Islamists. It always ends badly.


The Panama Papers – In The Beginning There Was Putin

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Looks like Vlad got caught big time with his mitts in the cookie jar. In the largest financial data leak in history, we are getting to see just how corrupt Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of cronies are. It’s revealing to say the least. It’s a dirty dozen of world leaders who are using offshore tax havens to hidey hole their wealth. But as in all things secret, the light of day is shining into the buried coffers of power brokers. Good times.

And Putin is far from alone… a cadre of celebrities, sports stars, British politicians and the uber wealthy of the planet are all mired in this scandal. Welcome to the Panama Papers. This is a collection of 11 million files or so that contain data to kill for. It makes Edward Snowden look like a rank amateur by comparison. But this wasn’t a hack… it was a mass collection of documents and data.

The leak is originating from one of the world’s most secretive entities… the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca. In the dirt dug up, the firm is exposed for helping clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade taxation. Among their clientele are megastars Jackie Chan and Lionel Messi who have invested their millions offshore. Chan is a big fan of communist China. The whole story is like a movie come to life… it’s also revealed that 26 million pounds that was stolen during the Brink’s Mat robbery in 1983 was possibly funneled into an offshore company set up by this firm.

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A Disaster Worse Than Libya

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Now that another presidential primary is over, can the media take a few minutes to insist that the candidates address some important issues like the crisis in Aleppo, Syria? Tens of thousands of Syrians are dying or fleeing the Russians and the Iranians, who have invaded the country. President Obama is doing nothing to save them.

The American people should be reminded that Obama lost Libya in a fiasco that cost the lives of four Americans. In that case, he intervened militarily and assisted in overthrowing the regime of Muammar Qaddafi, then pulled back when American facilities were attacked. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the country is now a haven for terrorists. President Obama is now losing Syria. Rebels opposed to the Bashar al-Assad regime don’t have the weapons to fight Russian planes and tanks.

Veteran diplomat Dennis Ross is the latest observer to note that the policies of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin seem to be the same. “Rather than being opposed to the Russian efforts, we look to be in league with them,” he writes in the Los Angeles Times.

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War Between Saudi Arabia And Iran Could Send Oil Prices To $250

The rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran has quickly ballooned into the worst conflict in decades between the two countries.

The back-and-forth escalation quickly turned the simmering tension into an overt struggle for power in the Middle East. First, the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric prompted protestors to set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations and kicked out Iranian diplomatic personnel. Tehran banned Saudi goods from entering Iran. Worst of all, Iran blames Saudi Arabia for an airstrike that landed near its embassy in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s Sunni allies in the Arabian Peninsula largely followed suit by downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran. However, recognizing the dire implications of a major conflict in the region, most of Saudi Arabia’s Gulf State allies did not go as far as to entirely sever diplomatic relations, as Saudi Arabia did. Bahrain, the one nation most closely allied with Riyadh, was the only one to take such a step.

Many of them are concerned about a descent to further instability. Nations like Kuwait and Qatar have trade links with Iran, plus Shiite populations of their own. Crucially, Qatar also shares a maritime border with Iran as well as access to massive natural gas reserves in the Persian Gulf. These countries are trying to split the difference between the two belligerent nations in the Middle East. “The Saudis are on the phone lobbying countries very hard to break off ties with Iran but most Gulf states are trying to find some common ground,” a diplomat from an Arab country told Reuters. “The problem is, common ground between everyone in this region is shrinking.”

The effect from the brewing conflict on oil is murky, but for now it is not having a bullish impact. In the past, geopolitical tension in the Middle East, especially involving large oil producers, would add a few dollars to the price of oil. This risk premium captured the possibility of a supply disruption into the price of a barrel of crude. However, recent events barely registered in oil trading. That is because the global glut in oil supplies loom larger than any potential for a supply disruption. Oil dropped to nearly $30 per barrel on January 12 and oil speculators are not paying any attention to the tension in the Middle East. Also, the conflict could simply manifest itself in an intensified battle for oil market share. Iran has put forth aggressive goals to ramp up oil production in the near-term. And Saudi Arabia continues to produce well in excess of 10 million barrels per day while discounting its crude in several key markets, particularly in Europe in order to box out Iran.

But what if the current “Cold War” between Saudi Arabia and Iran turned hot?

Saudi Arabia has a variety of reasons to not back down, not the least of which is the very real sense of being besieged on multiple fronts. An article in The New Statesman by former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John Jenkins, clearly laid out the threats that Saudi Arabia sees around every corner: extremists at home; a growing Iran; toppled allies from the Arab Spring; low oil prices; and a fractured relationship with the United States. The nuclear deal between Iran and the West was confirmation on the feeling in Riyadh that it is becoming increasingly insecure.

Already the two rivals have engaged in proxy battles in Yemen and Syria, supporting opposite sides in those wars. A full on direct military confrontation would be something entirely different, however. It would have catastrophic consequences for oil markets, even when taking into account the current supply overhang. Dr. Hossein Askari, a professor at The George Washington University, told Oil & Gas 360 that a war between the two countries could lead to supply disruptions, with predictable impacts on prices.

“If there is a war confronting Iran and Saudi Arabia, oil could overnight go to above $250, but decline [back] down to the $100 level,” said Askari. “If they attack each other’s loading facilities, then we could see oil spike to over $500 and stay around there for some time depending on the extent of the damage.”

While not impossible, war is speculative at this point. Also, $250 and $500 per barrel are numbers pulled out of thin air, and may seem a bit sensationalist. But despite the glut in global oil production – somewhere around 1 mb/d – the margin from excess to shortage is thinner than most people think. OPEC is producing flat out and spare capacity is actually remarkably low right now. The EIA estimated that OPEC spare capacity stood at just 1.25 mb/d in the third quarter of 2015, the lowest level since 2008.

As a result, even though it remains a remote possibility, direct military confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran could well put oil back into triple-digit territory in short order.

Article Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/War-Between-Saudi-Arabia-And-Iran-Could-Send-Oil-Prices-To-250.html

By James Stafford of Oilprice.com


Putin’s “War on Terror” Could Backfire

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

There can be no doubt that the Russians are winning the Middle East propaganda war. But it’s not just the Marxist far-left that is willing to believe whatever Vladimir Putin and his mouthpiece Russia Today (RT) are saying. Some conservatives and self-described Tea Party leaders have also accepted the disinformation the Russians are putting out, even to the extent of affirming the Russian president as a Christian statesman leading the global war on terror.

Consider Chuck Baldwin’s piece, “Rootin’ for Putin,” which insists that “Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the only one fighting a Just War in the Middle East right now.” Baldwin, a Christian pastor “dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded,” was the presidential candidate in 2008 of the Constitution Party, a group associated with the late conservative icon Howard Phillips.

It is simply amazing that any conservative would insist that Putin, who, despite dropping the communist label is still allied with Iran, Communist China, North Korea and Cuba, is somehow doing the right thing in Syria, a long-time Soviet/Russian client state. What Putin is doing is entirely consistent with what the Soviets always did. They are trying to save a client state from what started out as a popular rebellion.

In his column, Baldwin went on to label Barack Obama, David Cameron of Britain, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey as “international gangsters.”

It is true that Obama, through a few of America’s Arab “allies,” has been supporting the cause of some jihadists and terrorists in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been implicated in these dangerous schemes, one of which culminated in the Benghazi massacre of four Americans in Libya. That was a treasonous action that should sink Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and could have justified impeachment charges against Obama himself. Mrs. Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State at the time.

These operations in the Middle East have been characterized by former CIA officer Clare Lopez of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi as “switching sides in the War on Terror.”

But the idea that Putin has clean hands in the Middle East is absolutely ridiculous. Considering that he was a Soviet KGB spy and actually headed one of the KGB’s successor agencies, the idea that Putin has suddenly had a Damascus Road conversion to Christianity is simply ludicrous. His foreign policy is very similar to that of the old Soviet Union.

Since the foreign policy has mostly remained the same, Soviet financing and sponsorship of international terrorist networks, many of them linked to Arab and Muslim groups, also have to be taken into consideration here. It is reasonable to assume that the Russians have maintained at least parts of these networks for a purpose that we see in the backing of Bashar Assad in Syria. Indeed, writer and researcher Christian Gomez has traced the roots of ISIS to the Islamic Revival Party, created by the KGB, during the final days of the old Soviet Union. U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, has noted that the Russians are doing little in Syria to fight ISIS terrorists and that “Everything they [the Russians] are doing is to support Assad, to keep Assad in power.” In other words, Putin is continuing a clever Soviet-style strategy that seeks to maintain Assad in power while using ISIS for his own purposes. One of those purposes, as reflected in RT propaganda, is to make Putin look like a terrorist fighter.

Baldwin isn’t the only personality on the right duped by Putin and his propaganda machine. The CEO of a group calling itself simply the Tea Party has distributed an article claiming that Russia has produced “stunning photographic evidence” that ISIS oil was being smuggled into Turkey on an industrial scale.

The “stunning photographic evidence” shows nothing of the sort. Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider examined the Russian maps and found that the three main routes the Russians claim ISIS had allegedly been using to transport illicit oil into Turkey are not primarily controlled by the Islamic State. Turkish President Erdogan has countered: “Who is buying oil (from ISIS)? Let me say it. George Haswani, holder of a Russian passport and a Syrian national, is one of the biggest merchants in this business.” He noted that the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Haswani, who was also placed on an EU sanctions list, “for serving as middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the ISIS group.”

If you haven’t heard about the sanctions on the individuals and networks providing support to Syria and facilitating Syrian oil purchases from ISIS, you are a victim of the slick propaganda that is being spread around the world by such outlets as RT. It is a fact that the Russian claims against Turkey are taking precedence, even in the Western media, over the facts on the ground, as determined not only by the U.S. Treasury but the U.S. Army. Colonel Warren said, “We flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,” he said. “That is preposterous.”

The “Tea Party” article about the Russian claims was lifted directly from the Infowars.com site of Russian apologist Alex Jones, who just scored a major interview with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. No respectable Tea Party group should have anything to do with Alex Jones, who defended the Russian invasion of its former republic Georgia in 2008. Trump’s decision toappear on his show was extremely foolish. He apparently was not aware that Jones promotes claims that actual terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombings carried out by two Muslims from Russia, were “false flags” perpetrated by U.S. police and law enforcement agencies. His website ran a “Voice of Russia”story claiming the dead and wounded were actors plastered with fake blood.

Rather than treat Putin as a good guy or ally, GOP presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (FL) argues that Turkey is a member of NATO and an ally that “deserves the full backing of the United States.” He noted that the Russians were “targeting Turkmen-populated pockets of northern Syria rather than territory controlled by ISIS” and that “Most Russian military strikes since the end of September have been non-ISIS targets, including many civilian areas, revealing that Russia does not share our interest in confronting and defeating ISIS but instead is intent on propping up the Assad regime.”

Before he assumed the role as a leader of the Sunnis in the Middle East, mobilizing forces against Shite Iran and Syria, Erdogan was known for his anti-Soviet views. Indeed, he was an anti-communist in his youth. As a result of Russia’s increased military involvement in Syria, he seems to have awakened to the fact that Putin has returned to his Soviet roots and that Turkey’s future lies with NATO and the West. Turkey joined NATO, originally conceived as an anti-Soviet military alliance, in 1952.

Assuming Erdogan is an Islamist of some kind, as some conservatives contend, it might make strategic sense for the West to back him for that reason alone in his battle with Russia. After all, most of Russia’s 14 million Muslims are Sunnis. RT itself recently highlighted how thousands of Muslims had gathered in central Moscow “to witness the opening of one of the biggest mosques in Europe.” The ceremony was attended by Putin and Erdogan, who had been considered to be on friendly terms.

Their relationship turned sour after Turkey shot down the Russian war plane, and it seems to be deteriorating further.

As noted by Ilya Arkhipov of Bloomberg Business, Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation address to attack Turkey and Erdogan in very personal and religious terms. Putin said, “Only Allah knows why they did this. And it seems that Allah decided to punish the ruling gang in Turkey by stripping it of common sense and reason.” Analyst Timothy Ash told Bloomberg that “The religious angle being used by Putin is unlikely to go down well in the region, where Erdogan is still seen as a defender of the Sunni faith.”

One observer has noted, in regard to Russian involvement in Arab/Muslim terrorism and now ISIS, that the monster that the USSR created may have grown too big, and that it may eventually attack its creator.  In the case of Turkey, Putin is facing a Muslim problem of his own making.


San Bernardino Jihad

By: Denise Simon

Syed Farook was the son of Pakistani divorced parents. Syed’s wife, Tashfeen Malik was also Pakistani. Syed was born in Chicago, raised in Southern California and they met online via a Middle Eastern dating service. Tashfeen arrived in the United States with a Pakistani passport via a (K1)fiancé visa. Syed is a Sunni Muslim according to yet another dating site.

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik (Image via Social Media)

The marriage took place 2 years ago when Syed traveled to Saudi for two weeks to attend the Hajji. Tashfeen was living in Saudi Arabia at the time.

Syed traveled to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in 2014 and returned in July of 2014. Upon the recent return from Saudi Arabia, Syed grew a beard which is an early gesture of subscribing to jihad. It is uncertain when and if he traveled again to Saudi in 2015, as it has been said he recently returned and subsequently participated in a workplace baby shower and a 2 month long paternity leave. The baby is apparently 6 months old and during the massacre was left with a grandmother.

Syed has a brother with the same first name but a different middle name.

LATimes: Years before he was associated with the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, Syed Rizwan Farook endured a turbulent home life, according to court records.

In 2006 divorce filings, his mother detailed a violent marital history in which her children often had to intervene.

Rafia Farook said her husband of 24 years was physically and verbally abusive and was “negligent and an alcoholic,” according to documents filed in Riverside County Superior Court. Her husband, she said, forced her and three of her children to move out. They moved into an Irvine residence.

Later, in multiple requests for domestic-violence protection, Rafia Farook detailed the maltreatment she said she encountered and that her children witnessed: Her husband had once drunkenly dropped a TV on her. Another time, he pushed her toward a car. After a drunken slumber, he shouted expletives and threw dishes in the kitchen.

“Inside the house he tried to hit me. My daughter came in between to save me,” she said about one incident. Police were not called to the home, she said.

“He is always mad,” she said. “Screaming on me, shouting at my kids for no reason. … My son came in between to save me.

When her husband was served with legal separation papers, he was reached at an address in Karachi, Pakistan.

At this time, she said her sons, Syed Raheel Farook, then 23, and Syed Rizwan Farook, then 20, lived with her, along with her younger daughter. Another daughter, Saira, apparently lived elsewhere.

The killer couple were in possession of 4 weapons, all purchased legally, the dates of purchase are unknown. (2) 9mm handguns were purchased by Syed but the long guns were not. The name(s) of the person who purchased the long guns is at this time also unknown. The long guns used .223 rounds.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said that Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, fired between 65 and 75 rifle rounds during the shooting at a county health department holiday party, then unloaded about that number in a later confrontation with police.

Syed Farook’s brother-in-law, Farhan Khan appeared almost immediately after the shooting event standing with The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for a press conference stating this was a shocking event.

There were clustered pipe bombs at the public building where the shooting took place, there were failed pipe bombs in the rented SUV that had Utah tags and there were even more pipe bombs located at the residence.

Syed became radicalized online using social media and phone calls to known terrorists which has been determined after the shooting. Neither were ever on a no-fly list or terror list.


Saudis Planning For A War Of Attrition In Europe With Russia’s Oil Industry

Russia’s central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn.

The result is a heavier discount for Russia’s crude oil, the so-called Urals blend. Bloomberg reported that the Urals typically lands in Rotterdam, a major European destination, at a discount to Brent of around $2 or less. But the discount has widened to $3.50 lately due to increased competition from Saudi Arabia. “Oil supplies to Europe from Saudi Arabia are probably adversely affecting Urals prices,” the Russian central bank warned in a recent report.

Russian officials have accused Saudi Arabia of “dumping” its oil in Europe, a move that Rosneft chief Igor Sechin said would “backfire.”

Russia’s economy has been battered by the collapse in crude prices, compounded by the screws of western sanctions. The Russian economy could shrink by 3.2 percent this year.

Oil exports account for around half of the revenue taken in by the Russian government. And for an economy so dependent on oil, it is no surprise that the plummeting crude oil price has led to a dramatic depreciation of the ruble, although over the past month the currency regained some lost ground. The weakening currency has pushed up inflation, which creates a conundrum for the Russian central bank.

To stop the ruble from plunging further and to keep inflation from spiraling ever upwards, the Russian central bank took aggressive action by hiking interest rates to as high as 17 percent at the beginning of 2015. However, that has negatively impacted the economy. As the ruble stabilized, the bank dialed the interest rate back to 11 percent, where it stands today.

In response to the tough financial circumstances that Russia has found itself in, it sees no choice but to squeeze as much oil out of its aging fields as it can. So far, it has succeeded to some extent. Russian oil production is expected to rise by a modest 70,000 barrels per day in 2015, averaging 10.75 million barrels per day (mb/d) over the course of this year. Output hit a post-Soviet record of 10.78 mb/d in October, according to OPEC’s latest monthly report.

Image URL: http://cdn.oilprice.com/images/tinymce/nickatr1.jpg

However, the upside to Russia’s oil production is limited. The Russian government needs revenue, so is not keen to cut taxes. The government is mulling a delay in the planned cut in export taxes, which, according to OPEC, could result in oil companies paying an additional $2 to $3 billion more in taxes. That could modestly cut into overall Russian oil production, perhaps pushing output down by 0.1 to 0.2 mb/d. In any case, Russia probably can’t boost output any further. OPEC predicts Russia’s oil production will remain flat through next year.

Globally, the competition between oil exporters won’t ease in the near term. There are still too many barrels of crude floating around. OPEC predicts that non-OPEC supply will contract by just 0.13 mb/d in 2016, a rather trivial amount considering the extreme cut backs in investment and drilling activity.

Despite the fact that OPEC officials have consistently put on a brave face in public, insisting that markets will balance relatively quickly, OPEC’s numbers tell a different story. The cartel sees U.S. shale contracting by just 100,000 barrels per day in 2016 from 2015, a volume that is nearly offset by several new projects beginning operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Which brings us back to Europe. Saudi Arabia could be playing a longer game, intensifying its market share strategy by encroaching on Russia’s traditional market in Europe. An increase in Saudi oil flowing to Europe threatens to undermine Russia’s principle market. In its November report, OPEC reported that the Urals discount to Brent “almost tripled in October amid plentiful supplies, sagging refinery margins and wide availability of alternative grades from the Middle East.”

Article Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Saudis-Planning-For-A-War-Of-Attrition-In-Europe-With-Russias-Oil-Industry.html

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com


Obama Has a Different Strategy… Bowing to Iran

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Obama’s speech yesterday was an utter embarrassment to America. I have never seen a more foppish or weak leader on the geopolitical scene. It was hands down the worst moment of his presidency and that’s saying something.

Obama has no strategy in the Middle East unless you count supporting Iran and not attacking ISIS. He’s quite willing to let Russia, France or anyone else go after them as long as it is not us. This is not how you fight a war. Any real military leader will tell you that.

Walid Phares gets it. He is a National Defense University professor and teaches Global Strategies there. Phares is a longtime commentator on Fox News. He is an analyst on issues in the Middle East and no one is better at it. I have long admired him. Jon Scott, the cohost at Fox News said, “Walid, why can’t we take these people out? We know where they are. We’ve got people willing if we would just arm, the Kurds, we’ve got people willing to take them out.” Phares was exceedingly blunt in his answer and right on the money:

Actually we can and actually we should, but the president has a different strategy. He’s getting a lot of pressure by the Iranians. Otherwise he should have long time ago allied himself, partnered with Arab moderate forces such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, they are fighting terrorism very much and very well in Yemen, in Sinai, in Libya, elsewhere, but the reason that he’s not going to these moderate Arab forces and asking them on the ground to be boots on the ground is because the Iranians are pressuring him because the Syrian Regime is pressuring him. They don’t want those areas, those Sunni areas to be liberated by Sunni moderates because they won’t have access to them. That’s the bottom line of it.


It benefits Iran to keep chaos stirred up indefinitely in Syria and the rest of the Middle East. They want to control the region and I believe Obama has promised them just that. Obama never did answer the questions posed to him on ISIS and terrorism yesterday. He danced around them and deflected at every chance he got. He can’t tell the truth because he knows that Americans would have his head. He doesn’t take ISIS out simply because Iran does not want him to. Neither do the Syrians.

Everything Obama has done with the Iranians has been one deep bow. The Iranian nuclear deal is a farce. It gifts everything to the Iranians they want and we get nothing in return. Nothing at all. How is that a deal?

There are indeed a number of Middle Eastern nations fighting ISIS and al Qaeda for their own reasons. Reasons having to do with different factions of Islam, geographical power and money. But even though we share a common enemy with the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians and the UAE, you won’t ever see Obama truly go after ISIS. From the beginning, his bombings have been token ones. He bombs empty, deserted facilities. He bombs at night. Virtually everyone gets away. When we take someone down, it is more because we need a photo-op than due to taking out the bad guys. This is make believe war and is all for show.

In reality, Obama is now answering to Iran. In some ways, he has them running the entire show. He has definitely aligned himself with the Mullahs. Iran and Syria are putting tremendous pressure on Obama to keep out of the fray and not put boots on the ground. Obama chose sides long ago.

Wherever there is sectarian violence involving Islam is exactly where you won’t find Obama. He’s not going to get involved, which should show you exactly where his true loyalties lie. We show up in places that will have little to no effect in stopping ISIS. But Obama can point to the action and say he is leading and fighting for America and the world. It’s all a monstrous lie. I contend that in many ways Obama in fact supports ISIS. He definitely condones the Caliphate.

In the end as this all goes south and Iran grabs more and more power, Obama will blame it all on George W. Bush. He’s already starting to, saying that ISIS is a result of Bush moving into Iraq. That’s another lie. ISIS is a direct result of us pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are also a result of the Libyan mess that Obama and Clinton created intentionally. They gave rise to ISIS, not Bush.


Obama looked incompetent yesterday at the G-20 Summit. But that wasn’t incompetence. That was him covering his ass and not wanting to tell the truth. He knows how all this will end. It is by design. But he doesn’t want to be blamed and have his legacy destroyed for all time, so he has to have a scapegoat. That’s all Bush has ever been for this Marxist. We won in Iraq under Bush. Our forces had it fairly safe and secure. Life was returning to as normal as it could be and elections were returning. Then Obama came in and removed our troops, knowing full well that radical Islam would sweep in and fill the void. Obama is the worst leader our nation has ever known and the ‘change’ he has brought has been nothing but destructive.

Obama hates America. He thinks we’re not worthy of being a world power. He believes our character is defective and we have not earned any of the accolades that America has been given over time. He sees us as international bullies who have inserted themselves across the globe, instead of peace keepers and saviors of those that are victims to Jihadists, dictators and communists. Obama feels we never had the right to intercede on any other country’s behalf, or hell, even our own. He firmly believes that Islam has a right and an obligation to insert itself across the globe and control people for their own good. Allah is his way and his light and the violence that ensues along with death and destruction is simply what must be done.

We have become the French. That is depressing. Not by choice, but by design on the part of Obama and his minions. I never thought I would see the day that the French would look and act stronger than America. But in the wake of the bloody Paris terrorist attacks where at least 132 were slaughtered and over 350 were wounded, Hollande is at least acting sort of like a leader. Now given, he only dropped 20 bombs – he took out one control center, one munitions dump and one training camp in Raqqah. That is not what I would label an intense response. He did it with Intel we supplied him by the way and he used our smart bombs. So, if we have the Intel, then why don’t we do it? Simple. Because Obama is not going to tick off the Iranians. He’s in their pocket all the way.

Shi’a Iran wants the Sunni regions of the Middle East destabilized and they want ISIS to continue to operate and clear the area. As ISIS destabilizes, the Iranians will move in. That will ultimately help Iran take over the entire region in the future. They have $150 billion to play with thanks to Obama. They get to build nukes to their evil heart’s desire per the Iran deal. So, they are going to be THE regional power first. And that is everything in this global game of RISK. Obama has chosen Iran to be the dominant force in the Middle East and they are working hand and glove with the Russians, the Chinese and the North Koreans.

It’s obvious that this is occurring. It explains everything and it is what I have predicted and have been saying for years. The sanctions are gone and can’t be put back the way they were. Iran has been unleashed thanks to Obama. By the time we get a conservative leader in office, the world will be engulfed in a blue apocalyptic fire flamed by Iran.

In the meantime, many, many people will die around the world including in America. Christians will be hunted down and slaughtered. The beheadings, crucifixions, hangings, stonings, etc. will continue and increase while Obama does nothing. He claims that ISIS is contained. Anyone with any sense at all can see that is a lie. Even if you contained them in Syria, which they won’t, they are across the planet now. It’s like containing cockroaches – it’s not going to happen unless you exterminate them with a vengeance.

Obama rejected the idea that a large-scale deployment of American troops in Syria is the answer after the Paris terror attacks. At one point, the president called Friday’s attacks a “setback” but touted the current strategy that is in place to combat ISIS in Syria. “There will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward. But the strategy that we put forward is the strategy that is going to work. It’s going to take time,” he said. I agree with Bill Hemmer of Fox News who stated that those who were hoping for an “it’s them or us” type of speech, did not hear it. You never will from Barack Hussein Obama.


Oil Market Showdown: Can Russia Outlast The Saudis?

“Two men enter, one man leaves, two men enter, one man leaves, two men enter…”

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

November 27, oil consuming countries will celebrate the first anniversary of the Saudi decision to let market forces determine prices. This decision set crude prices on a downward path. Subsequently, to defend market share, the Saudis increased production, which exacerbated market oversupply and further pressured prices.

While the sharp decline in crude prices has saved crude consuming nations hundreds of billions of dollars, the loss in revenues has caused crude exporting countries intense economic and financial pain. Their suffering has led some to call for a change in strategy to “balance” the market and boost prices. Venezuela, an OPEC member, has even proposed an emergency summit meeting.

In practice, the call for a change is a call for Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two dominant global crude exporters, which each daily export over seven-plus mmbbls (including condensates and NGLs) and which each see the other as the key to any “balancing” moves, to bear the brunt of any production cuts.

Both, it would seem, have incentive to do so, as each has lost over $100 billion in crude revenues in 2015—and Russia bears the extra burden of U.S. and EU Ukraine-related economic and financial sanctions. Yet, while both publicly profess willingness to discuss market conditions, neither has shown any real inclination to reduce output—in fact, both countries seem committed to keeping their feet pressed to their crude output pedals. In the course of 2015, both have raised output and exports over 2014 levels—Saudi Arabia by ~500 and 550~ mbbls/day respectively and Russia by ~100 and ~150. The Saudis have repeatedly cut pricing to undercut competitors to maintain market share in the critical U.S. and China markets, while the Russian Finance Ministry recently backed away from a tax proposal which Russian crude producers said would reduce their output.

This apparent bravado notwithstanding, the two countries’ entry into the low-price Crudedome is ravaging their economies. Should crude prices decline from current levels, or even just stagnate, it is possible neither country will exit the CrudeDomeunder its own power.

IMF WEO Data: Recessions as far as the Eyes can See

Both Saudi Arabia and Russia paint positive portraits on current and future economic performance. At a conference in Moscow on October 14, President Putin said that Russia had reached if not passed the peak of its economic crisis and predicted economic growth in coming years. Arab News announced in the first paragraph of its report on Q2 Saudi economic performance that Q2 GDP grew 3.79 percent year-over-year, up from 2.3 percent growth in Q1.

Yet IMF October 2015 and April 2015 World Economic Outlook projections for the Russian and Saudi economies a paint pessimistic portrait, as the following three tables, forecasting GDP through 2020 in current prices/national currency, constant prices/national currency, and current prices/US$ show (all data in billions).

– In each of the data series, except the April and October ones, Russian current prices/national currency and the Saudi constant prices/national currency series, GDP declines from 2014 to 2015. (When adjusted for estimated inflation, however, the forecasts for Russian GDP current prices/national currency show GDP declining from 2014 levels—to 64,039 billion Rubles given inflation of 17.943 percent in the April series; in the October series, to 64,463 billion rubles, given inflation of 15.789 percent. The growth shown in the Saudi constant prices/national currency series results from the reduction in the deflator, which the Saudi National Statistical Office, Central Department of Statistics and Information uses to convert current national currency GDP into constant national currency. For example, decreasing the deflator from 115.073 to 94.234 in the October series and to 97.066 from 115.889 in the April series turns a decrease in GDP in current prices into an increase in GDP in constant prices).

– Between the April and the October forecasts in most of the data series, GDP deteriorates (blue font). Crude prices bear much of the responsibility: the April forecasts were based on $58.14 and $65.65 per barrel oil in 2015 and 2016 respectively, while the October projections are based $51.62 and $50.36 respectively.

– The year in which GDP exceeds 2014 GDP is noted in red font. As a result of the deterioration in GDP forecasts between April and October in the Saudi current prices/national currency series, GDP does not exceed 2014 GDP until 2018 instead of 2017; in the Russian current prices, US$ series, GDP exceeds 2014 level after 2020 instead of 2019; in the Saudi current prices/US$, the recovery is pushed to 2018 from 2017. (In inflation adjusted terms, Russian GDP in current prices, national currency would be below 2015 levels in 2020).

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In Russia, the impact of low crude revenues on GDP has raised questions about Russia’s long term economic prospects. Some see Russia’s economic growth potential as 1 percent annually or less due to low energy prices, low productivity levels, and a shrinking population, while Alexei Kudrin, finance minister from 2001 to 2011, recently commented that Russia’s growth model for the last fifteen years—using income from energy exports to drive up wages, domestic demand and therefore growth—will no longer work. With the government strapped for funds, and energy income no longer supporting domestic demand, some see investment as the sole possible driver of growth.

IMF WEO Data: Budget Deficits as far as the Eyes can See

Both the Saudi and Russian governments depend on energy revenues to fund their budgets—oil funds ~90 percent of the Saudi budget and oil and natural gas ~52 percent of the Russian budget. With the decline in prices, the Saudi budget anticipates a deficit of 20 percent of GDP in 2015 and the Russian budget a deficit of 3.3 percent of GDP. The April and October WEO budget projections in national currencies (Rubles and Riyals) show the deficits decreasing, but continuing through 2020 for both countries:

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The following table shows that as a percentage of GDP, the deficits decline steadily through 2020. However, as a percentage of GDP, the WEO October projections show the Saudi deficits remain double-digit through 2020—the potential impact of which will be discussed in the section on currencies.

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As planning for the 2016 fiscal year proceeds, fiscal reality is forcing both governments to scramble for new sources of revenues and/or opportunities to cut spending to reduce their budget deficits. The Russian government suspended the budget rule using a long term average of crude prices to set spending, since the resulting $80 average price would have dictated unreasonable spending in 2016.

President Putin ordered a 10 percent cut in Interior Ministry personnel, imposed a one million headcount ceiling on this ministry, and planned cuts in Kremlin headcount. The Finance Ministry sought a change in the mineral extraction tax formula to generate an additional 609 billion rubles in 2015 and 1.6 trillion through 2018, but pressure from the Economic and Energy Ministries and Russian producers forced the Finance Ministry to consider alternatives with less negative impact on crude production. In addition, the government reportedly is taking some $13 billion from national pension funds, while the Russian Central Bank is preparing proposals on government pension guarantees that would shift some pension funding burden from the government budget to companies and individuals.

The Saudi government is also scrambling. After an eight year hiatus from issuing sovereign debt, the Saudi government announced a plan during the summer to borrow $28 billion in 2015 and launched the borrowing with a $5 billion offering in August. The Ministry of Finance has banned contracts for new projects, hiring and promotions, and purchase of vehicles or furniture in the fourth quarter, while the newly created Council for Economic and Development Affairs must now approve all government projects worth more than $27 million. The Saudi government also is preparing to privatize airports and contemplating seeking private financing for infrastructure projects.

The budget situation puts the Saudi government in a difficult situation. On the one hand, the size of the deficits requires drastic cuts in spending, but such drastic cuts would impact politically sensitive areas such as energy subsidies, government employment opportunities for Saudi citizens, education, and economic development projects. On the other hand, depleting Saudi government reserves to finance the deficits will put the Saudi sovereign credit rating at risk, which would raise the cost of borrowing as well as pressure the Saudi currency (the consequences of which are discussed below).

IMF WEO Data: Lagging Per Capita Income as far as the Eyes can See

In both Russia and Saudi Arabia, the governments have attempted to shield their citizens from job cuts. In Russia, the government has discouraged businesses from shedding employees, while the Saudi government has maintained headcount in the government and government-related bodies, where most Saudis nationals are employed.

In terms of income, however, the situation is different. IMF WEO projections show per capita income in 2015 declining from 2014 levels in both Russia and Saudi Arabia, and only slowly recovering (the year exceeding 2014 levels in red font). (The increases in per capita income in the Russia current prices, national currency and in the Saudi constant prices, national currency series results from the same factors discussed in the section on GDP).

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Impact on Currencies

The steep decline in crude prices has pressured both currencies. The Ruble has suffered two curses. First, it has declined substantially relative to “hard” currencies, such as the US$, the Euro, British Pound, and the Swiss Franc. Against the U.S. dollar, it depreciated ~29 percent from November 27, 2014 to October 13, 2015 (48.58/US$, to 62.77). Second, it has been and continues to be highly volatile, its fate tied to moves in crude prices. The Ruble reached its post-November 27 low on June 27 (33.73/US$) and twice reached its high of ~70/US$ (January 30 69.47, August 24 70.89). A chart is available on Bloomberg.

The pressure on the Ruble forced the Russian Central Bank to take a series of emergency measures. At the end of last year, it spent ~$100 billion from its foreign currency reserves to defend the Ruble (it finally abandoned the defense when it proved futile and allowed the Ruble to float). In the same period, it extended emergency “hard” currency funding to major Russian banks and businesses with “hard” currency obligations that were coming due at the end of 2014. The Central Bank also sharply raised interest rates—to 17 percent at one point—and has kept the rates high to defend the Ruble (currently ~11 percent). Two examples illustrate the impact of Ruble devaluation:

– Transaero, until recently Russia’s second largest passenger airline, attributed being forced into bankruptcy to high interest rates and a devalued Ruble—the former raised the cost of financing, the latter pushed up prices in Rubles and therefore reduced demand in Russia for international flights and increased the cost, in Rubles, of repaying foreign currency denominated loans and interest.

– The Association of European Businesses in Russia recently announced that sales of new cars and light commercial vehicles contracted 29 percent in August year-over-year and forecast a 37 percent decline for all of 2015. It cited price increases that the car manufactures were forced to take to cover the increased cost of foreign parts and systems used in domestic auto manufacturing.

Volatility is equally pernicious. As another Bloomberg article points out, Russian businesses, unsure of what the value of the Ruble will be long term or even day-to-day, are deferring investment despite generating substantial (Ruble) profits—the very investment which some believe the Russian economy needs to grow and which has been contracting for 20 months.

The Saudis have avoided both Riyal depreciation and volatility. The government has insisted it will keep the Riyal pegged at 3.75/US$ and financial markets thus far have taken comfort from Saudi reserves (estimated to exceed $660 billion). However, as deficits deplete reserves and events occur that threaten the peg and Saudi oil-related export revenues, this comfort quickly could dissipate. After the Chinese Central Bank unexpectedly devalued the Yuan by ~2 percent against the US$, bets that the Saudis would be forced to abandon the peg spiked.

Breaking the peg would devastate the Saudi economy. It would drive up the cost of imports—and Saudi Arabia depends substantially on imports for a wide variety and high percentage of necessary consumer, business, and government goods and services—from food to oil, petrochemical, and other industrial equipment and services to military equipment, supplies, and training. It would also harm the Saudis who recently have been increasing their exposure to “hard” currency denominated loans.

Sovereign Wealth and Foreign Currency Reserves

Both the Saudis and the Russians are drawing down reserves they accumulated during the $100-plus/barrel crude price era to finance their spending. Over the nine months to July 2015, Saudi reserves declined $76 billion, from $737 billion to $661 billion, implying an annual rate of $100 to $130 billion. Should large withdrawals continue, or the amounts increase, confidence in the Riyal will sink.

Besides the $100 billion the Central Bank spent defending the Ruble, the Russian government has used funds from its sovereign wealth funds (the National Welfare Fund and the Reserve Fund) to reduce to fund priority projects, particularly in the energy industry—Rosneft sought one of the largest amounts. In June, Stratfor put the draw on the sovereign wealth funds at $44 billion.

China: The Sword of Damocles

In an era of low crude prices, modest economic growth, and modest crude demand growth, both Saudi Arabia and Russia (and other crude exporters) look to China as a source of incremental revenue to make up for the massive absolute declines in revenue and are prepared to compete intensely for market share.

One can imagine, then, the panic in Riyadh and Moscow when they contemplated the implications of the Chinese Central Bank’s decision to devalue the Yuan by ~2 percent against the U.S. dollar and the possibility this was the first salvo in a series of devaluations.

– For the Saudis, devaluation, if continued, will force the government to decide between volume and revenue. Pegged to the US$, Saudi crude, priced in US$ will become more expensive for the Chinese. It will reduce demand for Saudi crude and/or make the crude of other exporters—e.g. the Russians—whose currencies float. Yet reducing the US$ price to support volumes to China will reduce crude export revenues, which, if sufficiently substantial, could undermine confidence in the Saudi economy and therefore the Riyal peg to the US$.

– For the Russians, the Chinese Central Bank announcement possibly produced excitement at the prospect of competitive advantage over the Saudis in pricing. Quickly, however, excitement may have turned into anxiety. Neither side has made public critical details—including the currency or currencies in which sales will be settled and priced—of three bilateral energy megadeals: Rosneft’s $270 billion 2013 agreement to supply 300,000 mbbl/day annually to China for 25 years; the $400 billion, 30 year agreement signed in 2014 to supply natural gas to China from Eastern Siberia; and the negotiations underway to supply natural gas from Western Siberia.

Are prices set in US$, Rubles, Yuan, a basket of currencies (US$, Euro, Swiss Franc)? Are the Chinese expected to pay in Yuan at the Yuan/Ruble exchange rate? In Rubles at the Ruble/Yuan exchange rate? In Yuan at the Yuan/US$ exchange rate? Each alternative has different implications for Rosneft’s and Gazprom’s gross and net revenues from the sale of crude (Rosneft) and natural gas (Gazprom).

And the Winner is…

Despite the intense pain they are suffering in the low price Crudedome, both the Russian and Saudi governments profess for public consumption that they are committed to their volume and market share policies.

This observer believes the two countries cannot long withstand the pain they have brought upon themselves—and this article only scratches the surface of the negative impact of low crude prices on their economies. They have, in effect, turned no pain no gain into intense pain no gain and set in motion the possibility neither will exit the low price Crudedome under its own power.

Article Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Oil-Market-Showdown-Can-Russia-Outlast-The-Saudis.html

By Dalan McEndree for Oilprice.com


The Moscow-Washington-Tehran Axis of Evil

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The conventional wisdom is that Vladimir Putin has blindsided Barack Obama in the Middle East, catching the U.S. off-guard. It’s another Obama “failure,” we’re told. “Obama administration scrambles as Russia attempts to seize initiative in Syria,” is how a Washington Post headline described it. A popular cartoon showsPutin kicking sand in the faces of Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on a beach.

The conventional wisdom is driven by the notion that Obama has the best of intentions but that he’s been outmaneuvered. What if his intention all along has been to remake the Middle East to the advantage of Moscow and its client state Iran? What if he knows exactly what he’s doing? Too many commentators refuse to consider that Obama is deliberately working against U.S. interests and in favor of the enemies of the U.S. and Israel.

In his U.N. address, Obama said, “As President of the United States, I am mindful of the dangers that we face; they cross my desk every morning. I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and I will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary.”

This is laughable. We still have a strong military, but the inevitable conclusion from what’s recently transpired is that he doesn’t want to protect the interests of the U.S. or its allies in the Middle East. This is not a “failure,” but a deliberate policy.

The trouble with conventional wisdom is the assumption that Obama sees things the way most Americans do. In order to understand Obama’s Middle East policy, it is necessary to consult alternative sources of news and information and analysis. That includes communist news sources.

A fascinating analysis appears in the newspaper of the Socialist Workers Party, The Militant, one of the oldest and most influential publications among the left. You may remember the old photos which surfaced of Lee Harvey Oswald selling copies of The Militant before he killed the American president.

The headline over The Militant story by Maggie Trowe caught my eye: “‘Reset’ with US allows Moscow to send arms, troops to Syria.” It was not about Hillary Clinton’s reset with Moscow years ago, but a more recent one.

Here’s how her story began: “Moscow’s rapid military buildup in Syria is a result of the ‘reset’ in relations forged with the Russian and Iranian governments by the Barack Obama administration. The deal—reshaping alliances and conditions from Syria, Iran and the rest of the Middle East to Ukraine and surrounding region—is the cornerstone of U.S. imperialism’s efforts to establish a new order in the Mideast, but from a much weaker position than when the now-disintegrating order was imposed after World Wars I and II.”

Of course, the idea that “U.S. imperialism” is served by giving the advantage to Russia and Iran is ludicrous. Nevertheless, it does appear that a “reset” of the kind described in this article has in fact taken place. The author writes about Washington’s “strategic shift to Iran and Russia” and the “downgrading” of relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia. She notes that Moscow “seeks more influence and control of the country [Syria] and its Mediterranean ports and a stronger political hand in Mideast politics.” Iran “has sent Revolutionary Guard Quds forces to help prop up Assad, and collaborates with Moscow on operations in Syria,” she notes.

It is sometimes necessary to reject the conventional wisdom and instead analyze developments from the point of view of the Marxists, who understand Obama’s way of thinking. They pretend that Obama is a pawn of the “imperialists” but their analysis also makes sense from a traditional pro-American perspective. Those who accept the evidence that Obama has a Marxist perspective on the world have to consider that his policy is designed to help Moscow and Tehran achieve hegemony in the region.

At the same time, the paper reported, “Since Secretary of State John Kerry’s congenial visit with Putin in May, it has become clear that Washington would accept Moscow’s influence over its ‘near abroad’ in Ukraine and the Baltics, in exchange for help to nail down the nuclear deal with Tehran.” Hence, Obama has put his stamp of approval on Russian aggression in Europe and the Middle East. This analysis, though coming from a Marxist newspaper, fits the facts on the ground. It means that more Russian aggression can be expected in Europe.

The wildcard is Israel and it looks like the Israeli government is being increasingly isolated, not only by Obama but by Putin. The story notes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow on September 21, saying his concern was to “prevent misunderstandings” between Israeli and Russian troops, since Israel has carried out airstrikes in Syrian territory targeting weapons being transported to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon.

Some reports indicated that Israel had set up a joint mechanism with the Russian military to coordinate their operations in Syria.

However, the Russian leader reportedly told Obama during their U.N. meeting that he opposes Israeli attacks in Syria. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a storythat Russia intends to “Clip Israel’s Wings Over [the] Syrian Skies.” The paper added that Putin’s remarks to Obama showed that despite Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin in Moscow, “Russia intends to create new facts on the ground in Syria that will include restricting Israel’s freedom of movement in Syrian skies.”

It hardly seems to be the case that Obama has been outsmarted in the Middle East, or that Putin and Obama don’t like each other. Instead, it appears that Obama is working hand-in-glove with Putin to isolate Israel and that Obama is perfectly content to let the former KGB colonel take the lead.

Israel has always been seen by most U.N. members as the real problem in the region. Obama is the first U.S. President to see Israel in that same manner and to act accordingly. This is why Putin has not caught Obama off-guard in the least. They clearly see eye-to-eye on Israel and Iran.

Don’t forget that Obama actually telephoned Putin to thank him for his part in the nuclear deal with Iran. The White House issued a statement saying, “The President thanked President Putin for Russia’s important role in achieving this milestone, the culmination of nearly 20 months of intense negotiations.”

Building off the Iran nuclear deal, it looks like the plan is for Russia and the United States to force Israel to embrace a U.N. plan for a nuclear-free Middle East. That would mean Israel giving up control of its defensive nuclear weapons to the world body. Iran will be able to claim it has already made a deal to prohibit its own nuclear weapons development.

Such a scheme was outlined back in 2005 in an article by Mohamed Elbaradei, the director-general at the time of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). That’s the same body that is now supposed to guarantee Iranian compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal signed by Russia and the U.S.

Elbaradei argued there would have to be “a dialogue on regional security as part of the peace process,” to be followed by an agreement “to make the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone.”

The “dialogue” appears to be taking place now, mostly under the authority and auspices of the Russian government, with President Obama playing a secondary role.

The obvious danger is that Israel would be forced to comply with the plan for a “nuclear-weapons-free-zone,” while Iran would cheat and develop nuclear weapons anyway.

Netanyahu told the U.N. that “Israel deeply appreciates President Obama’s willingness to bolster our security, help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge and help Israel confront the enormous challenges we face.”

This must be his hope. But he must know that Israel’s security is slipping and that the survival of his country is in grave danger in the face of this Moscow-Washington-Tehran axis.

Before Putin further consolidates his military position in the Middle East and Iran makes more progress in nuclear weapons development, Netanyahu will have to launch a preemptive strike on the Islamic state. “Israel will not allow Iran to break in, to sneak in or to walk in to the nuclear weapons club,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

In launching such a strike before the end of Obama’s second presidential term, Israel would bring down the wrath of the world, led by Russia and the U.S., on the Jewish state.