Chinese Troops in Africa: Protecting Civilians and Oil

CFR.org
by Micah Zenko

China-S-Sudan-Flags
The national flags of South Sudan and China are displayed in front of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Ibuki/Courtesy Reuters)

China announced in September that it would send a battalion of seven-hundred infantry soldiers to reinforce the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a heretofore unprecedented move that triples its troop contribution. It is suspected by commentators, such as Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy, that this commitment was made to shield the oil industry—which both UNMISS and the Chinese Foreign Ministry have denied. The increased international profile of Chinese national oil companies (NOCs) and other commercial interests, especially in Africa, has raised questions about whether China’s long-standing principle of non-interference will hold in the future.

Oil imports have steadily grown to meet increasing domestic energy demands—the U.S. Energy Information Association reported that China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer for the first time last year. As a result, Chinese NOCs have become international players in over forty countries since venturing abroad two decades ago. Some observers have criticized these NOCs as mere agents of the central government seeking to aggressively expand power and influence. However, the International Energy Agency found that NOCs actually possess a substantial degree of independence and discretion in their investment policies and operations, and concluded that they mainly base their decisions about equity oil marketing on commercial matters, rather than political meddling.

Chinese NOCs have accepted risk by pursuing oil in political unstable countries, such as Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, and Venezuela, because established markets are dominated by Western oil majors. For example, China invested heavily in Libya, but events outside Beijing’s control during the 2012 revolution resulted in massive damage to Chinese assets—totaling $20 billion. China was forced to hastily reassign the warship Xuzhou from an international anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, to evacuate 35,860 Chinese workers who were stranded in Libya—resulting in a successful but uncoordinated mission. Similarly, Chinese energy firms and workers have long faced high degrees of risk while operating in other developing countries like Ethiopia,Angola, and Cameroonwhere Boko Haram was suspected of kidnapping ten Chinese nationals. Of the one million Chinese citizens working abroad—up from 114,000 in 2007—workers in Sudan and South Sudan in particular have been targeted for kidnappings in recent years. As more Chinese go abroad to visit and work, overseas citizen protection will continue to pose a challenge for the Chinese government.

In South Sudan, China’s interests are primarily in the oil industry. Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian oil companies dominate South Sudan’s oil sector, and China National Petroleum Company alone controls a 40 percent stake in the consortium. Although South Sudan accounted for 5 percent of China’s total crude imports before fighting escalated in December 2013, output has since plummeted by one-third and is now at around 160,000 barrels/day. Stemming from poor governance and corruption, tensions with Khartoum, and political competition, colored by sectarian strife, over oil rents, much violence has been centralized in oil-producing areas. China has diplomatically cooperated with the Western countries—Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to restore stability as an “honest broker” since the conflict’s outbreak. However, the country is facing the possibility of civil war, which would add to the ten thousand people who have died, one million who are displaced, and many more who face protracted humanitarian crisis and even famine as the fighting season begins again this winter.

The United States, which was critical in helping South Sudan achieve independence, has seemingly been less effective in bargaining with the belligerent sides than China, which has worked diligently with the international, regional, and local actors to reach a political solution. Skepticism has been levied on China for apparently wanting to protect its oil investments in the country, yet oil production is the major driver of Sudan’s economy, providing 98 percent of fiscal revenue in 2011. The West and China have recently achieved “rare” political consensus to work closely together to resolve the conflict in South Sudan through multilateral means, and China’s increased involvement in South Sudan should thus be understood in the broader context of its emergence as a global actor willing to protect its interests—signifying a gradual shift and foreshadowing things to come.

Whether China’s peacekeeping deployment in South Sudan is motivated by NOCs or central government guidance may not matter—seven-hundred troops have already been committed. Yan Xuetong, dean of Tsinghua University’s Institute of Modern International Relations, speculated after Libya that China should shoulder more international responsibility, writing, “the Chinese government learned that international responsibility is mainly defined by political responses to international crises, especially security issues.”

China is becoming a great power and as its interests and companies expand overseas, will continue to exert its foreign policy in issues that it once considered off-limits. Last week President Xi Jinping stated in a major foreign affairs speech to Communist Party officials that: “Our biggest opportunity lies in China’s steady development and the growth in its strength. [W]e should be mindful of various risks and challenges and skillfully defuse potential crises and turn them into opportunities for China’s development. …We should conduct diplomacy with a salient Chinese feature and a Chinese vision.” China’s deployment in South Sudan is  another milestone in its path toward greater global engagement that can hopefully offer stability to the global order.

CFR.org

Russia US Sanctions and Stupid CIA Oil Wars

New Eastern Outlook
by F. William Engdahl

-The recent headlines talk of a dramatic collapse of the Russian Ruble against the dollar and euro. World oil prices today hover around $57 dollars a barrel. Late August they were over $100. OPEC ministers refuse to act to stabilize prices. The Russian rouble is forced to halt trading in mid-December. Then the US Congress votes yet a new round of economic sanctions against Russia which await President Obama’s signature. When we examine all of this more closely it reveals the strategic great confusion of western elites, especially American Oligarchs frantically trying to find ways to hold their grip on global power.

I sometimes use the very descriptive adjective “stupid” to speak about the actions of people we are accustomed to think of as anything but stupid. Malevolent, evil, satanic even, you say, but not stupid. Yet more and more I find the description stupid the most appropriate. It is in fact their stupidity in being incapable, in their addiction to power, of seeing the larger global consequences of their tactics or strategies.

If we define intelligence as the ability to grasp the interconnectedness of everything in our universe, then we can call stupid those who, despite their vast resources and access to the best minds, are incapable of considering anything outside their tunnel vision narrow world.

Cold War worked from 1946-1990 to stabilize their imperial grip on global power over Western Europe, the Third World, Japan and Asia. The end of that Cold War has seen the dramatic erosion of our power as new upstarts like China and Russia and even Iran assert their sovereign rights in the world, we can imagine their thinking: “Well, then let’s go back to what worked then. Let’s start a new Cold War or even, step by step, a new unconventional global war to retain our American Century, our Project for a New American Century,” as Dick Cheney and friends call it.

They now try a rerun of their 1986 Saudi oil price collapse strategy to topple Putin, Maduro in Venezuela and Iran according to informed reports from reliable Washington researcher Wayne Madsen.

In 1986, Vice President George H.W. Bush, father of George W., together with Secretary of State George Schultz and others convinced Riyadh, as John Kerry did in his September 2014 meeting with Saudi King Abdullah, to run a “reverse oil shock” that had the effect of toppling the over-stretched Soviet Union. It worked in 1986, why not in 2014? Is the thinking of some in Washington.

CIA role and oil price suicide

According to Madsen, who is a former NSA employee with good connections in different factions of Washington intelligence community, it was CIA chief John Brennan and CIA operatives inside the Saudi Aramco state oil company who devised a diabolical strategy of getting the Saudis, along with Kuwait, to flood the world markets with crude and let Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup do the rest of the dirty work with leveraged derivative short futures on crude.

While I cannot confirm Madsen’s assertion that the Saudi flooding perforce will necessarily last another five years after which Saudi production will collapse because the US CIA convinced Aramco against the advice of oil engineers at Schlumberger and other foreign oil services companies not to use salt water injection, that Brennan, who by some who know him has been described as a “knuckle dragger,” was poised to implement the Saudi strategy as an anti-Putin move is entirely plausible.

Only one problem. The brilliant strategy is ultimately stupid because it is collapsing the US domestic oil industry and hundreds of billions of dollars of planned energy investment globally along with lowering Russian oil dollar revenues and the ruble.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

New Eastern Outlook

Is Oil Price Weapon Really Effective against Russia?

Strategic Culture
by Olga SHEDROVA

The US is engaged in rather dubious activities as it attempts to damage the Russia’s economy by making fall down the world oil prices. 

The United States has taken over as the largest oil producer in the world together with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The new technology of fracking is more expensive than extracting oil by conventional methods, and it’s not profitable with the prices sliding down below 60-70 dollars a barrel. The fall of oil prices brings down the cost of companies shares. In three months the share prices of companies known to be driving vehicles of «energy revolution» have slid down by 40% on average. The leaders such as Apache Corp (APA), ConocoPhillips (COP), EnerJex Resources Inc. (ENRJ), Marathon Oil (MRO), Continental (CLR), Noble Energy (NBL), Southwestern Energy (SWN), Anadarko (APC), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) have their share prices dropped by 30-50% in comparison with the maximum reached in mid-2014. The process continues. Stock price dynamics resemble deflated bubbles. Plunging oil prices sparked a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November in comparison with October. The pullback was a «very quick response» to US crude prices, said Allen Gilmer, chief executive officer of Drilling Info Inc. Offshore drilling is also being affected. Transocean, the owner of the biggest fleet of deep water drilling rigs, recently took a $2.76 billion charge among a drilling rig glut. The Washington’s policy aimed at bringing down oil prices may negatively affect the US economy turning the process into an irreversible trend. The drop limits the access of US energy companies to capital markets. 

Since early 2010 energy producers have raised $550 billion of new bonds and loans as the Federal Reserve held borrowing costs near zero, according to Deutsche Bank AG. With oil prices plunging investors are questioning the ability of some junk bonds issuers to meet their debt obligations. There is a vicious circle. Lower profitability reduces a company’s capitalization making it sell away assets to avoid bankruptcy. It causes the further loss of assets with shares trading going down and, subsequently, the result is the failure to pay off loans as the value of assets is reduced. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) energy outlooks for 2015 predict the lowest oil consumption demand in recent 12 years. The news sent stocks into a nosedive leading to the erosion of $1 trillion in market capitalization from global markets in a week. 

A surge in energy company failures really worries Wall Street experts. It could ripple through the financial system and wallop the banks. «There’s ‘no question’ that for energy companies with a riskier debt profile the high-yield debt market «is essentially shut down at this stage», and there are signs that further pain could hit the sector, «says Senior fixed-income strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, Dan Heckman. He adds, «We are getting to the point that it is becoming very concerning». His opinion is shared by Jacques Sapir, head of the Centre d’Etude des Modfes d’ Industriaization (CEMI-EHESS), who told Europe 1 that «The fall of oil prices could have serious consequences for shale gas extraction, liquid fuel from carbonaceous shales and so-called tar sands. Today the production is not profitable anymore. The producers have received large loans form American banks. The situation creates conditions for US banking sector collapse».

As a result, it will hit pension funds, private investors and the banks holding junk bonds – risky investments that have the potential to turn a high yield – causing a ripper effect across the whole financial system to make inevitable the repetition of 2008-2009 crisis. 

According to The Prudent Bear, «Energy-sector bankruptcies – many of which will result in production capacity being taken out of the market – and the accompanying outsourcing of energy-intensive manufacturing capacity are likely to cause damage that far outweighs any benefit from increased consumption. Capital destruction through bankruptcy reduces the wealth of society, which reduces the amount of capital available for each worker. In its turn it will reduce the long-term living standards of the workers themselves (and indeed their ability to consume). Additional consumption, much of which will be spent on imports, brings no benefit that is even close to the same level of importance». The shale energy production has created new working places. Oil states have added 1.36 million jobs since December 2007 while non-shale states have lost 424,000 jobs.

* * *

Concentrated on hurting Russia Americans fail to see what’s happening in their own backyard. 

On November 9, the Guardian wrote, (4) «John Kerry, the US secretary of state, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising». The collusion is aimed at weakening Russia and striking Iran. Saudi Arabia needs the price to be above $90 a barrel to balance the books. But a bit of pain is acceptable. The Saudis are gambling that they can live with a lower oil price for longer than the Russians and the Iranians can, and that therefore the operation will be relatively short-lived. But thus far, it has not affected the foreign policy of neither Russia nor Iran. 

Looks like the Persian Gulf states appear to suffer most. The production cost is the lowest in Saudi Arabia, but the things are much worse for its partners. The OPEC forecast of December 21 says the situation on oil market is going to take a different turn and make the «black gold» prices go up again. Evidently the statements made by oil producers are filled with exasperation. 

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top petroleum exporter, said on December 21 that it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if nations outside OPEC did so, in one of the strongest signals that it planned to ride out the market’s biggest slump in years. Speaking at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi blamed a lack of coordination from producers outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – along with speculators and misleading information – for the slump. He said, «Saudi Arabia with OPEC countries tried to restore the balance in the market, but the lack of cooperation from countries outside OPEC in addition to the speculators and the spread of incorrect information, led to the fall of prices». The oil minister for the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei put it even more bluntly stating that one of the biggest reasons that led to the deterioration in prices is the irresponsible oil production by some non-member bodies, some of which are new to the oil market. Evidently he refers to the United States responsible for boosting shale oil supplies in recent years. 

There is ground to believe that while openly supporting the United States Saudi Arabia plays its own game aimed at squeezing the competitors away, including America, from the market. Some time ago Riyadh used to say that OPEC members will not cut production even if the price plunges to $40 dollars a barrel. With oil prices plummeting traditional oil producers have enough reserves to make it through a period of frugality while the US shale industry will be delivered a deadly blow to make it never bounce back. 

The negative economic trends are already visible in the US while Russia has not even started to take counter measures as the economic war unleashed against it is raging on. There is a broad range of options open for Russia. Being carried away by fluctuations of Russian currency the United States does not pay attention on such things as the drop of prices on its stock exchange or the ambiguous policy of its allies. 

Here one cannot but agree with the assessments of Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist, who says that «It is true that sanctions could make it harder for Russian firms to access Western know-how, and ultimately affect Russia’s oil output. But that’s only if they drag on for years – which is doubtful, given the price the EU is already paying. A cut in global oil supply – and stronger global growth – will likely rebalance the oil market in the meantime». The Russian oil buyers can pay in gold, they need no greenbacks. No need to explain what is in store for the US dollar in case they do. The Russian oil producers get dollars for their exports while paying taxes in rubles. It means no abrupt fall in taxes revenues is imminent in Russia. The Russian Federation can also switch to using rubles in its oil trade settlements to depreciate the US dollar while boosting the global demand for its national currency. 

Strategic Culture

Did The Saudis And The US Collude In Dropping Oil Prices?

OilPrice.com
by Andrew Topf

oil

The oil price drop that has dominated the headlines in recent weeks has been framed almost exclusively in terms of oil market economics, with most media outlets blaming Saudi Arabia, through its OPEC Trojan horse, for driving down the price, thus causing serious damage to the world’s major oil exporters – most notably Russia.

While the market explanation is partially true, it is simplistic, and fails to address key geopolitical pressure points in the Middle East.

Oilprice.com looked beyond the headlines for the reason behind the oil price drop, and found that the explanation, while difficult to prove, may revolve around control of oil and gas in the Middle East and the weakening of Russia, Iran and Syria by flooding the market with cheap oil.

The oil weapon

We don’t have to look too far back in history to see Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and producer, using the oil price to achieve its foreign policy objectives. In 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat convinced Saudi King Faisal to cut production and raise prices, then to go as far as embargoing oil exports, all with the goal of punishing the United States for supporting Israel against the Arab states. It worked. The “oil price shock” quadrupled prices.

It happened again in 1986, when Saudi Arabia-led OPEC allowed prices to drop precipitously, and then in 1990, when the Saudis sent prices plummeting as a way of taking out Russia, which was seen as a threat to their oil supremacy. In 1998, they succeeded. When the oil price was halved from $25 to $12, Russia defaulted on its debt.

The Saudis and other OPEC members have, of course, used the oil price for the obverse effect, that is, suppressing production to keep prices artificially high and member states swimming in “petrodollars”. In 2008, oil peaked at $147 a barrel.

Turning to the current price drop, the Saudis and OPEC have a vested interest in taking out higher-cost competitors, such as US shale oil producers, who will certainly be hurt by the lower price. Even before the price drop, the Saudis were selling their oil to China at a discount. OPEC’s refusal on Nov. 27 to cut production seemed like the baldest evidence yet that the oil price drop was really an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and the US.

However, analysis shows the reasoning is complex, and may go beyond simply taking down the price to gain back lost marketshare.

“What is the reason for the United States and some U.S. allies wanting to drive down the price of oil?” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro asked rhetorically in October. “To harm Russia.”

Many believe the oil price plunge is the result of deliberate and well-planned collusion on the part of the United States and Saudi Arabia to punish Russia and Iran for supporting the murderous Assad regime in Syria.

Punishing Assad and friends

Proponents of this theory point to a Sept. 11 meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah at his palace on the Red Sea. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, it was during that meeting that a deal was hammered out between Kerry and Abdullah. In it, the Saudis would support Syrian airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS), in exchange for Washington backing the Saudis in toppling Assad.

If in fact a deal was struck, it would make sense, considering the long-simmering rivalry between Saudi Arabia and its chief rival in the region: Iran. By opposing Syria, Abdullah grabs the opportunity to strike a blow against Iran, which he sees as a powerful regional rival due to its nuclear ambitions, its support for militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and its alliance with Syria, which it provides with weapons and funding. The two nations are also divided by religion, with the majority of Saudis following the Sunni version of Islam, and most Iranians considering themselves Shi’ites.

“The conflict is now a full-blown proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which is playing out across the region,” Reuters reported on Dec. 15. “Both sides increasingly see their rivalry as a winner-take-all conflict: if the Shi’ite Hezbollah gains an upper hand in Lebanon, then the Sunnis of Lebanon—and by extension, their Saudi patrons—lose a round to Iran. If a Shi’ite-led government solidifies its control of Iraq, then Iran will have won another round.”

The Saudis know the Iranians are vulnerable on the oil price. Experts say the country needs $140 a barrel oil to balance its budget; at sub-$60 prices, the Saudis succeed in pressuring Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, possibly containing its nuclear ambitions and making the country more pliable to the West, which has the power to reduce or lift sanctions if Iran cooperates.

Adding credence to this theory, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting earlier this month that the fall in oil prices was “politically motivated” and a “conspiracy against the interests of the region, the Muslim people and the Muslim world.”

Pipeline conspiracy

Some commentators have offered a more conspiratorial theory for the Saudis wanting to get rid of Assad. They point to a 2011 agreement between Syria, Iran and Iraq that would see a pipeline running from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh to Damascus via Iraq. The $10-billion project would take three years to complete and would be fed gas from the South Pars gas field, which Iran shares with Qatar. Iranian officials have said they plan to extend the pipeline to the Mediterranean to supply gas to Europe – in competition with Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter.

“The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord,” wrote Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar.

Global Research, a Canada-based think tank, goes further to suggest that Assad’s refusal in 2009 to allow Qatar to construct a gas pipeline from its North Field through Syria and on to Turkey and the EU, combined with the 2011 pipeline deal, “ignited the full-scale Saudi and Qatari assault on Assad’s power.”

“Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a US-controlled New World Order. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal,” Global Research wrote in an Oct. 26 post.

Poking the Russian bear

How does Russia play into the oil price drop? As a key ally of Syria, supplying Assad with billions in weaponry, President Vladimir Putin has, along with Iran, found himself targeted by the House of Saud. Putin’s territorial ambitions in the Ukraine have also put him at odds with US President Barack Obama and leaders of the EU, which in May of this year imposed a set of sanctions on Russia.

As has been noted, Saudi Arabia’s manipulation of the oil price has twice targeted Russia. This time, the effects of a low price have hit Moscow especially hard due to sanctions already in place combined with the low ruble. Last week, in an effort to defend its currency, the Bank of Russia raised interest rates to 17 percent. The measure failed, with the ruble dropping another 20 percent, leading to speculation the country could impose capital controls. Meanwhile, Putin took the opportunity in his annual televised address to announce that while the economy is likely to suffer for the next two years and that Russians should brace for a recession, “Our economy will get diversified and oil prices will go back up.”

He may be right, but what will the effect be on Russia of a sustained period of low oil prices? Eric Reguly, writing in The Globe and Mail last Saturday, points out that with foreign exchange reserves at around $400 billion, the Russian state is “in no danger of collapse” even in the event of a deep recession. Reguly predicts the greater threat is to the Russian private sector, which has a debt overhang of some $700 billion.

“This month alone, $30-billion of that amount must be repaid, with another $100-billion coming due next year. The problem is made worse by the economic sanctions, which have made it all but impossible for Russian companies to finance themselves in Western markets,” he writes.

Will it work?

Whether one is a conspiracy theorist or a market theorist, in explaining the oil price drop, it really matters little, for the effect is surely more important than the cause. Putin has already shown himself to be a master player in the chess game of energy politics, so the suggestion that sub-$60 oil will crush the Russian leader has to be met with a healthy degree of skepticism.

Moscow’s decision on Dec. 1 to drop the $45-billion South Stream natural gas pipeline project in favor of a new pipeline deal with Turkey shows Putin’s willingness to circumvent European partners to continue deliveries of natural gas to European countries that depend heavily on Russia for its energy requirements. The deal also puts Turkey squarely in the Russian energy camp at a time when Russia has been alienated by the West.

Of course, the Russian dalliance with China is a key part of Putin’s great Eastern pivot that will keep stoking demand for Russian gas even as the Saudis and OPEC, perhaps with US collusion, keep pumping to hold down the price. The November agreement, that would see Gazprom supply Chinese state oil company CNPC with 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year, builds on an earlier deal to sell China 38 bcm annually in an agreement valued at $400 billion.

As Oilprice.com commented on Sunday, “ongoing projects are soldiering on and Russian oil output is projected to remain unchanged into 2015.”

“Russia will go down with the ship before ceding market share – especially in Asia, where Putin reaffirmed the pivot is real. Saudi Arabia and North America will have to keep pumping as Putin plans to uphold his end in this game of brinksmanship.”

OilPrice.com

This Threat Is Head and Shoulders Above the Rest

The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges

With the North Korean hackers unleashing their fury upon SONY executives over the movie The Interview, alarm bells have been raised among those who have researched the threat to our power grid. We understand how this low level threat could escalate with regard to a grave threat upon our power grid.

China, Russia and North Korea all possess significant EMP attack capabilities as was pointed out in a previous article. North Korea is a proxy state which does the bidding of China and now China’s intimate economic and military partner, Russia. Having North Korea execute a cyber-based or missile based attack upon the power grid of the United States, would provide Russia and China a thinly veiled layer of plausible deniability.

The warnings are clear and these dire warnings which tell of a threat upon our power grid have been delivered by very powerful people and as of today,these warnings have been ignored.

 

Warnings From On High

emp burstSome top officials in government and in business have taken notice of the threat posed to America by an EMP attack. In January of 2013, and again in her August 2013 farewell address as the outgoing  Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano made it clear that it was a matter of when, not if the grid was taken down by a “cyber 911″. In this video, DHS Director, Janet Napolitano reinforces her belief that an attack upon our grid is a near, clear and present danger.

 

 

 

 Napolitano has expressed concern because virtually nothing is being done.

My Congressman, Trent Franks, has expressed the exact same concerns as Napolitano. And unless one has researched this threat, or has attended one of Franks’ Townhall meetings, one would not know of the threat because the MSM has all but ignored the biggest threat to America’s survival as a reported news event. 

This congressman has tried to warn the nation about the coming threat.

 

Like Napolitano, Paul Singer has stated that "It is not a matter of if but when".

Just like Janet Napolitano, Paul Singer has stated that “It is not a matter of if but when and EMP attack takes down our grid”.

Joining the former DHS director in her concerns about an impending EMP attack is billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer who has issued a very dire warning for investors in which he calls the threat of a widespread blackout from an electromagnetic surge the “most significant danger” in the world.” Singer wrote to clients of his $24.8 billion Elliott Management  in a standard investment update letter. “Even horrendous nuclear war, except in its most extreme form, can [be] a relatively localized issue, and the threat from asteroids can (possibly) be mitigated.”
Why isn’t something, along the lines of the Paul Singer proclamation of the need to do something to harden the grid against an EMP attack, being done right now? After all, Singer doesn’t pull any punches when he says that an EMP attack upon our grid would likely be worse than an asteroid strike upon the earth or all-out nuclear war. Are Paul Singer and Janet Napolitano simply lone voices in the wilderness whose dire warnings have no basis in fact? Or, is there is something much more dire going on?

 

The threats posed by a nuclear meltdown are catastrophic. What if the United States was facing 124 nuclear meltdowns, similar in scope to the meltdown at Fukushima, all at the same time?

 

Lessons Learned from Fukushima

Fukushima is often spoken of by many, as a possible extinction level event because of the radiation threat. Fukushima continues to wreak havoc upon the world and in the United States as we are being bathed in deadly radiation from this event.

Coming to a neighborhood near you.

Because of Fukushima, fish are becoming inedible and the ocean currents as well as the prevailing ocean winds are carrying deadly radiation. Undoubtedly, by this time, the radioactivity has made its way into the transpiration cycle which means that crops are being dowsed with deadly radiation. The radiation has undoubtedly made its way into the water table in many areas and impacts every aspect of the food supply. The health costs to human beings is incalculable. However, this article is not about the devastation at Fukushima, instead, this article focuses on the fact that North America could have a total of 124 Fukushima events if the necessary conditions were present and who is ultimately responsible for this potential cataclysm.

 

The Question That’s Not Being Asked

None of the NERC, or the Nuclear Regulatory tests of handling a prolonged blackout at a nuclear power plant has answered two critical questions, “What happens when these nuclear power plants run out of diesel fuel needed to run the generators”, and “What happens when some of these generators fail”? In the event of an EMP attack, can tanker trucks with diesel fuel get to all of the nuclear power plants in the US in time to re-fuel them before they stop running? Will tanker trucks even be running themselves in the aftermath of an EMP attack? And in the event of an EMP attack, it is not likely that any plant which runs low on fuel, or has a generator malfunctions, will ever get any help to mitigate the crisis prior to a plethora of meltdowns occurring. Thus, every nuclear power plant in the country has the potential to cause a Chernobyl or Fukushima type accident if our country is hit by an EMP attack.

CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE 124 FUKUSHIMA EVENTS IN NORTH AMERICA HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME? THIS WOULD CONSTITUTE THE ULTIMATE DEPOPULATION EVENT.

As Congressman Franks has stated, the hardening of our power grid could be accomplished for the price of one B-1 Stealth Bomber. Why then, is this not being done? Perhaps the following quotes, which are representative of a much larger body of quotes, represents the collective ideology of the global elite and their disdain for humanity. Yes, I am stating for the record that the following quotes expose the bottom line of the world’s power brokers.

 

Voices of Depopulation

It would be a mistake for people to view the present crisis as merely a geopolitical struggle. Just as the Obama administration allies of individuals such as Al Sharpton fan the flames of racial discord in the name of divide and conquer, there is a guiding hand that serves to perpetuate the same agenda between nations. I am convinced that most of the globalists believe that the only way to create the New World Order is to completely destroy what is currently in place. As a result, I have come to believe that a great culling is in our future. There is a reoccurring theme contained within the personal words of several dozen global leaders which merits serious consideration. In the interest of brevity, only a few globalist depopulation quotes will be presented here, but they represent a much larger body of similar philosophies ranging from international bankers, recognized world leaders, United Nations officials, Supreme Court judges, CEO’s and virtually the entire environmental movement.

A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal”.
-Ted Turner, in an interview with Audubon magazine

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order”.
-David Rockefeller

“The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary”.
-Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 EARTH CHARTER (RE: Agenda 21)

The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
Obama’s science czar John P. Holdren, Co-author of “Ecoscience”

Some statements simply require no elaboration as their meaning is clear to all who have the courage to see what is in front of their face.

Conclusion

The Chinese, the Russians, the Americans and the North Koreans are not the focal point of this struggle and dire threat to humanity. What we need to realize is that there are people who are reckless enough, powerful enough, insane enough and love power enough to enact this agenda against humanity. The countries of the world are merely the Shakespearian actors upon the stage. Let’s lift up the curtain to see who the real puppet master is.

From a Christian frame of reference, the present struggle is one of good vs. evil. From an agnostic point of view, this is a struggle of good vs. evil. From a Jewish point of view, this is a struggle between good vs. evil. For all of humanity this is a struggle between good vs. evil that goes far beyond the present geopolitical struggle.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.

Ephesians 6:12

And who is this evil that the Bible speaks of? That is the easiest question of all to answer.

No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation”.
-David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

 

Yes, we should prepare by gathering gold, guns, food, water, etc. However, if you leave out God, you have already lost the war.

The Common Sense Show

How Your Threat Matrix Score Could Land You On The Terminal “RED LIST”

The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges

Did you know that according to Daniel Freeman’s study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that paranoid thoughts are common among normally functioning people? In fact, the study concluded that some dose of paranoia is actually quite adaptive and can serve to keep us safe from danger. What is about to be presented in this article should make one paranoid for when one considers why governments in the West, particularly in the United States, spend billions of dollars to spy on our actions, words, Internet browsing habits, places visited and even our thoughts, we should all be looking under our beds.

The following represents a small cross-section of illegal government spying activities which are designed to do one thing: To determine whose thoughts and actions pose a threat to the newest totalitarian regime on the face of the Earth, the United States. Everything you say and do is being being cataloged and categorized and every American is receiving a threat matrix score similar to a credit rating. And where this is headed is worse than anything Orwell could have imagined.

 

“Every Move You Make, We’ll Be Watching You”

Civil rights activist, Daphne Lee told NBC News 3 that she is worried about her freedom as an American citizen. “This technology, you know is taking us to a place where, you know, you’ll essentially be monitored from the moment you leave your home till the moment you get home”. What is Ms. Lee talking about?

intellistreets

They look like ordinary streetlights, shining down on Las Vegas, but these streetlights have special capabilities that have aware and informed citizens up in arms.

This year, the city of  Las Vegas, NV., is completing a project that it began last year and it has average citizens screaming constitutional foul play. However, these streetlights have capabilities far beyond anything the American people have ever seen.

The program is called Intellistreets and it records conversations, can scan you for a weapon, listen to your conversations and it can even “read your mind”. Eventually you will be placed on a “naughty or nice” list, and this list could have very consequences for your longevity.

 

 

Did you pick up on the part of the Intellistreets video that they passively admit that this is a surveillance and data mining tool? The program, like so many programs that violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, are adding to your personal threat matrix data base.

 

Law Professor Alarmed by DHS Data Gathering Could Lead to One Being Put on the “Red List”

Law Professor Margaret Hu says "Americans could be targeted for unlawful detention and even execution".

Law Professor Margaret Hu says “Americans could be targeted for unlawful detention and even execution”.

Professor Margaret Hu from the Washington and Lee University  School of Law states that “The implementation of a universal digitalized biometric ID system risks normalizing and integrating mass cybersurveillance into the daily lives of ordinary citizens”.

Professor Hu explains that the FBI’s Next Generation Identification project will institute the following:

“A comprehensive, centralized, and technologically interoperable biometric database that spans across military and national security agencies, as well as all other state and federal government agencies. Once complete, NGI will strive to centralize whatever biometric data is available on all citizens and noncitizens in the United States and abroad, including information on fingerprints, DNA, iris scans, voice recognition, and facial recognition data captured through digitalized photos, such as U.S. passport photos and REAL ID driver’s licenses. The NGI Interstate Photo System, for instance, aims to aggregate digital photos from not only federal, state, and local law enforcement, but also digital photos from private businesses, social networking sites, government agencies, and foreign and international entities, as well as acquaintances, friends, and family members”. Biometric ID cybersurveillance might be used to assign risk assessment scores and to take action based on those scores“.

The healthy side of your paranoia is about to emerge as we consider the fact that Professor Hu describes a DHS program known as FAST, which is a DHS tested program and has been described as a “precrime” program. FAST will gather upon complex statistical algorithms that will compile data from multiple databases and will subsequently “predict” future criminal or terrorist acts.

The “precrime”  data will be gathered” through cybersurveillance and stealth data monitoring of ordinary citizens. The FAST program purports to assess whether an individual might pose a “precrime” threat through the capture of a range of data, including biometric data. In other words, FAST accuses non-convicted individuals as being a security threat risk of becoming future criminals and terrorists through data analysis. No charges, no police interviews, the system is designed to become “judge, jury and executioner“.

Under the Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), criminal cues are captured through the following types of biometric data including body and eye movements, eye blink rate and pupil variation, body heat changes, and breathing patterns. Various linguistic cues include the analysis of voice pitch changes, alterations in voce rhythm patterns, and changes in intonations of speech. Hu notes that in documents released by DHS clearly show that individuals could be arrested and face serious consequences based upon statistical algorithms and predictive analytical assessments.

 

Professor Hu issued the following warning:

“The prognostications of FAST can range from none to being temporarily detained to deportation, prison, or death“.

 

Now we know why the unconstitutional NDAA was passed which gave the government the power to permanently detain American citizens without due process of law.

Now we know why the unconstitutional NDAA was passed which gave the government the power to permanently detain American citizens without due process of law.

 

 

DHS Wants to Know Everything About You

dhs fascism

 

There is a new DHS funded multi-billion dollar spy tool and it is called FirstNet. This is a citizen information gathering device like no other. A company called New World Systems (do they really mean New World Order Systems?) is in charge of implementing this system.

 

The Radio Access Network (RAN) part of this elaborate network consists of the radio base station infrastructure that connects to user devices including cell towers and mobile hotspots embedded in vehicles which connects to the satellite network or other types of wireless infrastructure. This is a “search and destroy system” as FirstNet is designed to hunt you down in remote areas. Take a look at the map below along with the embedded graphics from the FirstNet website. They have developed the technology to track you and find you should you be a fugitive from their own special brand of justice. RAN has the ability to track you anywhere on the planet. Soon, there will be nowhere for people with high threat matrix scores to run and hide without being found by this system.

 

There Is No End to the Madness

internet browses you

A company called PredPol claims that it possesses proprietary software which can actually predict times and places for likely future crimes. Intrado has the capability to data mine all social media and create your personal profile based on your Internet chatter. Subsequently, if you are pulled over for a speeding violation, you could find yourself face down on the pavement because you have written something negative about the police who murdered Eric Garner. Or, you might just end up like Eric Garner.

Does anyone else have a problem with this police state surveillance grid? Some might intimate, it is time for a revolution. For those who are so inclined, the authorities, the minions for the banksters, have that possibility covered as well and that will be the topic of a future article. Meanwhile, take a pill, your paranoia is about to get worse.

The Common Sense Show

Modi, Putin and the World Order

Strategic Culture
by Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR

A challenging moment and the strong sensitivity

A handful of people in Delhi would know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a secret plan to take the Chinese President Xi Jinping who visited India in September to see his native town of Vadnagar in Gujarat, an ancient settlement with a history that goes back to 2500 B.C.

This idea came naturally to Modi because Vadnagar, known in history as Anandapura, was twice visited by the great seventh century Chinese scholar Hsuan-Tsang on his loop route to central India (627 A.D. to 643 A.D.) and the detailed chronicle of his travels devoted an entire chapter on Anandapura, describing the ‘dense’ population of that appendage of the Malava kingdom ruled by the Yadavas of central India, the region’s produce, climate, and literature and laws, its ten Buddhist ‘sangharamas’ with a thousand priests studying the Little Vehicle of the Sammatiya schools, its several tens of Deva temples, and so on.

But Modi’s secret plan was also a reflection of his distilled worldview, rich in political symbolism, insofar as it flagged his devotion to the ‘Asian century’.

Surveying the India-Russia annual summit last week in Delhi between Modi and President Vladimir Putin too, what needs to be taken note of as the most pronounced salient is the Indian leader’s empathy with the latter’s nationalist constituency. The following remarks by Modi conveyed his unreserved support of Russia – and Putin’s decisive leadership of his country, in particular – and, indeed, this has been articulated against the backdrop of the Cold-War like trends in world politics and the concerted Western strategies to ‘isolate’ Russia:

«President Putin is a leader of a great nation with which we have a friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill. We have a Strategic Partnership that is incomparable in content… The character of global politics and international relations is changing. However, the importance of this relationship and its unique place in India’s foreign policy will not change. In many ways, its significance to both countries will grow further in the future…

«President Putin and I agreed that this is a challenging moment in the world. Our partnership and the strong sensitivity that we have always had for each other’s interests will be a source of strength to both countries…»

Suffice it to say, Putin’s policies, which single-mindedly aim to restore Russia’s prestige and effectiveness on the international stage, hold natural attraction for Modi. The Russian leader has refused to back down in the face of immense pressure from the West and is looking elsewhere in the international community for partnerships, especially with countries such as China and India.

Now, the West had shunned Modi also for over a decade and he too has experienced as a Hindu nationalist the hegemony of western culture and politics in the world order. A common ground between Modi and Putin is easily discernible and possibly definable, and the excellent personal chemistry between them needs no further explanation. They understand each other’s visions for their respective countries and for the world order.

In fact, the appalling insensitivity of Washington’s advice to Modi not to do ‘business’ with Russia would only have reminded him of the not-too-distant past between 2002 and 2013 when he too was ostracized by the US. No wonder, Modi sees that Russia’s travails as a passing phenomenon out of which the country will emerge even stronger.

But then, there is more to it than shared perceptions regarding the West’s opportunistic policies. The point is, Modi has made the ‘modernization’ of India to be his mission, which literally involves dragging India into the 21st century through an expansion of economic ties with foreign partners. He is intensely conscious as a national leader that he cannot afford to fail in this mission, and a renewed mandate to rule India depends critically on his success in generating jobs for young Indians in their hundreds of millions, in raising the standard of living for the common people and enabling social mobility. Simply put, raising India’s international standing, especially in Asia, is integral to his domestic agenda.

This is exactly where Russia’s search for new partnerships internationally and its keenness to energize the Asian partnerships dovetail with India’s need for lasting mutually beneficial economic ties without political strings attached.

Russia is truly well-placed to be one of India’s key partners in the Modi era. For one thing, Russia is not prescriptive – unlike the United States – and Modi’s comfort level will be high in strengthening the partnership with Russia.

Second, unlike the US, which strives to make India a ‘lynchpin’ in its Asian strategies, Russia is happy enough if only India retains its ‘strategic autonomy’ (like Russia too aspires to) on the world stage, which per se helps shift the locus of the world order and the international system toward ‘polycentrism’ and democratization based on shared interests of all countries.

Third, stemming from the above, Modi’s ‘Make in India’ project provides a gateway for the advancement of the India-Russia partnership. To be sure, Modi was visibly elated that Russia understands and is supportive of the impulses driving his vision of the Make in India.

Finally, what emerges is that both India and Russia are willingly conceding to each other the space for each other to maneuver in the current volatile international environments, which of course require constant adjustments and fine-tuning.

Many Indian pundits played up Russia’s growing proximity with Pakistan of late and its unprecedented closeness to China in the ‘New Cold War’ environment as causing concern to India. A former top official in the Indian foreign-policy establishment wrote, «How much Russia will henceforth need to factor in China’s interests in formulating its policies in our region will need careful assessment… In addition to our [Indian] concerns about Russian defence material and technologies supplied to China finding their way into Pakistan, we will now be facing the prospect of direct arms sales to Pakistan.»

However, there is no shred of evidence that Modi subscribes to any such knee-jerk reaction regarding Russian diplomatic moves in the South Asian region or the Asia-Pacific. Broadly, neither India nor Russia is viewing the paradigm of regional security in zero sum terms – as regards India’s expanding ties with the US or Russia’s unprecedented level of cooperation with China and the warming up of its contacts with Pakistan.

Clearly, Modi has nailed pragmatism firmly to the mast of his ship as its leitmotif. And there is remarkable similarity here with Putin’s own outlook and temperament as a statesman. Modi is a pragmatist par excellence who is keenly looking for opportunities to extract the best that he can get out of relations with the West and the ‘East’ (including both Russia and China).

The stereotyped mindset of the Indian pundit may take time to absorb this while estimating that these are ‘testing times’ for India-Russia relations, but the significance of Putin’s visit has been noted alright in the West. A Deutsche Welle commentary concluded, «None of this [outcome of Putin’s visit] bodes particularly well for US President Barack Obama’s visit to India next month. The West needs to sit up and take notice. A reinvigorated relationship between New Delhi and Moscow, an alliance of the needy, may have a greater impact on the so-called ‘Asian century’ than many had thought possible just a few months ago».

Indian nationalism and world imperialism

The US President Barack Obama is visiting India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26. This is the first time that India has extended such an invitation to an American president and it happened during Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Obama at the White House in September. 

The Indian pundits and media have variously described the forthcoming visit by Obama as a ‘diplomatic coup’ by the Modi government. 

But not many would know that Obama’s visit does not emanate out of any structured proposal in this regard by the foreign-policy establishment as such. The idea was born entirely in the privacy of Modi’s mind, and he apparently chose to give expression to it even as his conversation with Obama took a warm personal note. 

In some ways, this is symptomatic of the India-US partnership as far as the Indian side is concerned. The Indians do not have even ten percent of the ‘killer instinct’ that the American side has shown to extract the maximum advantage out of the relationship. 

The Indian side often feels happy enough to settle for the trammels of the relationship with a superpower, and would hardly match the American-style relentless chase of ‘deliverables’. The highlight of the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the White House in 2009, for instance, was that Obama held the first state banquet of his second term in honor of him. Ironically, the relationship as such began drifting soon thereafter as the Americans began losing interest in India’s increasingly dysfunctional government. 

Interestingly, Obama recently praised Modi as a «man of action». It is unclear to what extent Modi remains impervious to the invidious charms of American diplomacy. At any rate, so far at least, it is the American side which is seen to be actively setting the agenda of Obama’s visit.

A new legislation by the Modi government that opens up the Indian market for American insurance companies; flexibility in the Indian stance on climate change; ‘tweaking’ of India’s nuclear liability law to accommodate the demands of the American companies hoping to sell reactors to India worth tens of billions of dollars without being held accountable for ‘nuclear accidents’ – the big-ticket items in the American menu for the Obama visit to India have already sailed into view. 

On the other hand, if the Indian side too has a wish list for Obama, that is not yet visible to the public eye. The hope is that there will be a ‘Modi effect’ on Obama’s visit and on the India-US ties. 

In principle, the hugely productive outcome of Modi’s interaction so far with his counterparts among big powers – Japan, China and Russia – sets the bar of strategic partnership with India rather unusually high for Obama to clear. 

Japanoffered Modi a $35 billion investment package, China announced a $20 billion investment plan for India and the estimates are that the total value of the deals signed during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India last week could work out to a whopping amount of a hundred billion dollars. 

Even assuming that only half of these $100 billion deals with Russia may eventually get implemented – that is, making allowance for the inertia of the Indian and Russian bureaucracies – the India-Russia annual summit this year signifies without doubt a coming of age of Indian diplomacy under Modi’s watch in terms of its purposiveness and result-oriented outcome. 

However, this is not only a matter of the business volume transacted during a high-level visit, but also calls attention to the nature of the deals that have been struck. Indeed, the Russian side has taken to Modi’s ‘Make in India’ project seriously. Modi felt elated to mention this in his remarks to the media. 

He singled out the Russian offer to «fully manufacture» in India one of its most advanced helicopters; Putin’s positive response to his request to «locate manufacturing facilities in India» for spares and components for Russian defence equipment; and, the manufacture in India of equipment and components for «at least ten more» Russian-supplied nuclear reactors to be installed in India.  

In fact, Russia’s readiness to comply with the Indian nuclear liability laws while setting up nuclear power plants in India itself stands out in sharp contrast with the American insistence that the laws be «tweaked» to absolve the US companies of liability in case of nuclear accidents. 

How far will Obama warm up to Modi’s Make in India project? Will he also come up with concrete proposals attuned to Modi’s so-called ‘development agenda’ aimed at creating jobs for the hundreds of millions of unemployed youth in the country? There are no clear answers yet. 

Curiously, there is already a sub-soil campaign under way spearheaded by the ‘pro-American’ lobby to debunk the Make in India idea. 

The plain truth is that in defence cooperation, the US has used one excuse or another not to transfer high technology to India. Instead, it focuses on selling products to India and on pressing for greater market access for the US arms manufacturers. The big question is, whether Modi will succeed in bending the Obama administration to conform to the parameters of his Make in India concept. 

Indeed, Modi is not bogged down in ideology when it comes to India’s relations with the world community. He views the world order almost exclusively through the prism of India’s interests. In Modi’s world view the prevailing international situation characterized by polycentrism works rather well for India’s foreign policies. He is equally at ease with the West and the East and will look for advantages for India. Modi said, inter alia, to the media after his talks with Putin, «In today’s world, vibrant economic relations constitute a key pillar of a strong strategic partnership». 

However, in many ways, this is a simplistic world-view that may even appear to be naïve at times. Being a semi-developed capitalist country that is dependent onfinance capital, stoking up of nationalism may not help ward off retribution if Modi refuses to submit to the major imperialist powers, leave alone cross their path of neo-colonial restructuring of the world order. 

To be sure,Modi cannot be unaware of the ground rules of predatory capitalism. His cautious remarks to the media in Putin’s presence suggest that while he may not take recourse to a path of strategic defiance, on the other hand, he seems acutely conscious that abject surrender would only set the stage for further demands and the ultimate outcome would be detrimental to his government’s nationalist agenda and the protective system it promotes for India’s economic and cultural independence.  

Suffice it to say, the historical context within which Russia is being ‘isolated’ by the Wall Street and its European counterparts by cutting it off from international credit holds profound lessons for Indian nationalism – although the Indian elites do not seem to pay commensurate attention to it.

Part 1: Strategic Culture
Part 2: Strategic Culture

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,523 other followers

%d bloggers like this: