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Planet of Fear

By       Message Pepe Escobar       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Reprinted from Strategic Culture Foundation


Arab States of the Persian Gulf
(Image by Diercke International Atlas)
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Facing the gleaming Doha skyline on a Persian Gulf winter carries the merit of a panoramic perspective. Most nations around it are going into melt down and the remaining ones -- with the exception of Iran -- exhibit neither the political leadership nor the economic and institutional infrastructure to do anything other than to meekly accept whatever tsunami hits their shores. They are nothing but scared spectators.

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The Empire of Chaos has enough warmongering hardware pre-positioned within spitting distance to turn the whole of Southwest Asia into ashes -- as a gaggle of usual suspects in the Beltway, neocon or neoliberalcon, still can't find a cure to their itching to really win the next war in a sort of exponential Shock and Awe.

Fear reigns supreme. Jim Rickards, the author of Currency Wars, economist and CIA asset, has just released a new book, The Big Drop, with a pretty grim message. For his part Jim Rogers, a.k.a. the Sage of Singapore, most of the time China-bound informing the Chinese elite where to place their investments, holds on to a nuanced perspective on the West blaming all the current global economy turmoil on China.

According to Rogers, "yes, China is slowing. But mostly the world is doing so. Japan, one of China's largest trading partners is officially in recession. Much of Europe is worse. The US stock market was down in 2015 while the Chinese stock market was one of the strongest in the world."

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Rogers adds, "things are going to get worse worldwide so everyone will suffer and is to 'blame.' The original source is the US Federal Reserve and its ludicrous, artificial interest rates caused by massive money printing which the world has copied. Throw in staggering debt increases by the US government [which the world has also copied] and there will soon be hell to pay.

So no wonder apocalyptic war rumors are the new normal -- even as old timers boost their case for only a good old-fashioned world war , as if nuclear exchanges wouldn't be part of the equation. A few sound minds in the Atlanticist axis worry that if Il Duce Trump wins the next US presidential election, that translates into guaranteed bankruptcy for the US, and -- what else -- war if Il Trumpissimo implements half of what he's boasting about.

Short all the oil you can

The Davos annual talkfest is about to begin; that's one of those occasions when the Masters of the Universe -- who usually decide everything behind closed doors -- send their minions to debate the future of their holdings. The current debate centers on whether we are still in the midst of the Third -- digitalized -- Industrial Revolution and the Internet of Things or whether we're already entering the Fourth.

In the real world though all the cackle is about the age of old-fashioned oil. Which brings us to the myriad effects of the cheap oil strategy deployed by the House of Saud under Washington's command.

Persian Gulf traders, off the record, are adamant that there is no longer any real global oil surplus of consequence as all shut-in oil has been dumped on the market based on that Washington command.

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Petroleum Intelligence Weekly estimates the surplus is at a maximum 2.2 million a day, plus 600,000 barrels a day coming from Iran later this year. The US consumption of oil -- at 19,840,000 barrels a day, 20% of world production -- has not increased; it's the other 80% that have been mostly absorbing the dumped oil.

Some key Persian Gulf traders are adamant that oil should be surging by the second half of 2016. That explains why Russia is not panicking with oil plunging towards $30 a barrel. Moscow is very much aware of the partners that are carrying oil market manipulation against Russia, and at the same time is anticipating this won't last too long.

That explains why Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Maxim Oreshkin issued a sort of keep calm and carry on message; he expects oil prices to remain in the $40-60 range for at least the next seven years, and Russia can live with that.

The Masters of the Universe -- just like the Russians -- have realized their oil manipulation cannot last. Hysteria, predictably, took over. That's why they ordered major Wall Street firms to short oil using cash settlement. Compliant US corporate media was ordered to spin the shortfalls will last forever. The target is to drive down the price of a barrel of oil to $7 if possible.

The original Masters of the Universe strategy would eventually lead to regime change in Russia and the usual oligarch suspects back in the saddle re-conducting the massive looting operation Russia suffered during the 1990s.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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