Reprinted from Asia Times
And oh, the irony -- Top customers for The Caliph's cheap oil happen to be "Sultan" Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Earthly paradise, aka Turkey -- a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally -- and that King "Playstation" Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein's domain impersonating a country, aka Jordan.
Meanwhile, the awesome, immensely sophisticated military apparatus/intel agency acronym fest deployed by "free" US/NATO somehow is simply unable to register/intercept this racket.
As for the Empire of Chaos "solution" to intercept The Caliph's oil profits, the only decision so far has been to bomb oil pipelines that belong to the Syrian Arab Republic; that is, ultimately, the Syrian people.
Never underestimate the capacity of US President Barack Obama's "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" foreign policy doctrine to soar towards unreachable stupidity heights.
Yo sheikh, talk to the hand
Then there's that fateful Secretary of State John Kerry/House of Saud capo hand-kissing fest that took place in Riyadh last month.
In this masterful piece, William Engdahl goes no-holds-barred on the supposed Saudi-US cheap oil/bomb Bashar al-Assad/undermine Russia deal. Yet there may not have been a direct deal; more like Washington and Riyadh working in tandem towards common objectives: regime change in Syria in the long term, and undermining both Iran and Russia in the short term.
As for that crucial Pipelineistan gambit central to the Syrian riddle -- a gas pipeline running from Qatar to regime-changed Syria, instead of Iran-Iraq-Syria -- that's not exactly a Saudi, but a rival Qatari priority.
The Saudis, for their part, have other key considerations, not least how to recover their market share across Asia -- where their biggest customers are located. They are losing market share because of discounted crude sold by both Iran and Iraq. Thus, both must be "punished," on top of the House of Saud's pathological aversion to all things Shi'ite.
As for the big picture in Syria, Obama's capo for dealing with The Caliph, General John Allen, laid down the law to Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awasat. He said, "[T]here is not going to be a military solution here [in Syria]." And he also said, "The intent is not to create a field force to liberate Damascus."
Short translation: those old goons of the previously "winning against Assad" Free Syrian Army (FSA) are now six feet under. And the new FSA goons to be trained in -- of all places -- Saudi Arabia are not exactly being regarded as holy saviors. For all practical purposes, the medium-term scenario spells out more US bombing (of infrastructure belonging to the Syrian nation); no regime change in Damascus; and The Caliph steadily consolidating his wins.
And finally, the Hollywood factor
Imagine if shabby "historical" al-Qaeda had these ultra-slick PR skills. Bearded has-beens with old Kalashnikovs in Afghan caves is so passe. The Caliph not only smuggles tens of thousands of barrels of oil a day undetected, but he also deploys a British hostage turned foreign correspondent (and who may have converted to the Salafi version of Islam) reporting from a hollowed out Kobani about to be totally captured by a bunch of takfiris and mercenaries (they certainly are not mujahideen).
One's gotta marvel at the production values. The Caliph's special report opens with drone footage of Kobani. Is it an American drone? Was it captured in Iraq? Is it an Israeli drone? Turkish? Brit? The "mujahideen" certainly are not on Lockheed Martin's speed dial -- yet.